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Discussion: Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 10 (Adagio) - Gergiev

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Post by Cherubino January 23, 2009 (11 of 20)
Peter said:

"It was, however, at Essen that Mahler probably allowed himself to be influenced...." The important word here is "probably".

My source is much newer than that on andante's site. Mengelberg got the order for the movements in 1919, not from Mahler, but from his airhead widow!

I don't really have very strong views one way or the other, except always to listen to the movements in the order they were performed on the recording. After all, what's done is done. Even when sessions go on for several days, that is the way the conductor conceived the work.

Nor do I, and Alma certainly can't be trusted. Like Tolstoy's Helene Kuragin, her beauty blinded those around her. Less an airhead than a shameless self-promoter, she fits the old joke, "How can you tell she's lying? Her lips are moving." Interesting discussion. Thanks for your imput.

Post by Peter January 23, 2009 (12 of 20)
Cherubino said:

Nor do I, and Alma certainly can't be trusted. Like Tolstoy's Helene Kuragin, her beauty blinded those around her. Less an airhead than a shameless self-promoter, she fits the old joke, "How can you tell she's lying? Her lips are moving." Interesting discussion. Thanks for your imput.

Oops, I thought I'd edited out "airhead". That was because I thought it unfair to airheads, by the way! "Shameless self-promoter" fits the bill for me, too.

British music hall, circa 1910: "Oooh, she's a caution, no mistake."

Post by Cherubino January 23, 2009 (13 of 20)
Gussy said:

Dear All,

I have tried to listen to and appreciate Mahler in the past - it has never clicked. Until now! I find Gergiev´s Mahler exciting and totally engaging. To my ears the performances are razor-sharp - some of the sounds are almost frightening. The previous disc, the third, I can´t fault. I don´t agree at all with the "loud, louder" analogy - many sections/movements are calm and controlled. They contrast well with the more dramatic sections. Yes, the Barbican sound is a little "dry" but just try turning it up - the sound comes alive!

The biggest compliment I can pay Gergiev is that I´ll now start buying other SACDs of these works. RBCD you can forget.

As Yogi Berra (American baseball icon from the 50's, known for his, let's call it, interesting way with words) said when reviewing a horror movie, 'It wasn't scary except for the scary parts"; Gergiev isn't "loud, louder, etc" except for the "loud, louder..." parts. I agree that the calm and controlled sections were, well, calm and controlled. Kidding aside, far more important is that you will start buying and listening to more Mahler. It will, by turns, yield many hours of humorous (not the side-splitting variety, rather, ironic, a response to a tragic view of life; of a man isolated and alienated, who described himself, "...thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed"), poignant, heartbreaking listening. There's room on the train for all comers and all opinions (Gergiev has many enthusiastic fans). Welcome aboard, you're in for an interesting a ride.

Post by Fugue January 23, 2009 (14 of 20)
He is normally one of my favorite conductors, but I don't like the 6th or 7th, so I have no intention of buying this or any other of his Mahler Symphonies. For one thing, they are too fast, and second, the sound is just not that impressive.

How does Gergiev's compare with Ivan Fischer's in terms of sound and intensity?

Post by Luukas September 4, 2014 (15 of 20)
Indeed, this is very thrilling recording of Mahler's huge Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection", one of my personal favorites. Off-stage bands sounds very far, at last! Third movement is fast, but I like it - London Symphony Orchestra's virtuosity is breathtaking! The final chorus (in E-flat major) is too fast, Bernstein's or Tennstedt's versions are better. There are my own top 10 recommendations (don't miss these recordings):

1) Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano) & Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano),
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor) Avie

2) Adriana Kucerová (soprano) & Christianne Stotijn (mezzo-soprano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) LPO*

3) Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) & Lioba Braun (contralto)
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra & Bamberg Symphony Choir, Jonathan Nott (conductor) Tudor

4)Miah Persson & Christianne Stotijn
Chicago Symphony Chorus & Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor) CSO Resound

5) Yvonne Kenny (soprano) & Jard Van Nes (mezzo-soprano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra & London Philharmonic Choir, Klaus Tennstedt (conductor) LPO*

6) Elena Mosuc (soprano) & Zlata Bulycheva (mezzo-soprano)
London Symphony Orchestra & London Symphony Chorus, Valery Gergiev (conductor) LSO Live

7) Lisa Milne (soprano) & Birgit Remmert (alto)
Budapest Festival Orchestra & The Hungarian Radio Choir, Iván Fischer (conductor)Channel Classics

8) Christiane Oelze (soprano) & Michaela Schuster (mezzo)
Kartäuserkantorei Köln, Bach-Verein Köln & Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Markus Stenz (conductor)Oehms

9) Kate Royal (soprano), Magdalena Kožená (mezzo)
Berliner Philharmoniker, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Sir Simon Rattle (conductor) Emi Classics (now Warner Classics)*

10) Natalie Dessay (soprano) & Alice Coote (mezzo soprano)
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra & Orféon Donostarria, Paavo Järvi (conductor)*

*) These records aren't SACDs, only normal CDs

Do you agree?

Post by Chris from Lafayette September 4, 2014 (16 of 20)
Luukas said:

. . . There are my own top 10 recommendations (don't miss these recordings):

. . .

*) These records aren't SACDs, only normal CDs

Do you agree?

Well, I agree about some of them - not all of them! ;-)

A few others I didn't see on your list that I really like too:

1) Livia Aghová (soprano) & Marta Benacková (contralto),
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaclav Neumann (conductor) (Canyon CD, Exton SACD)

2) Ileana Cotrubas (soprano) & Christa Ludwig (mezzo soprano),
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta (conductor) (Decca CD - I have not heard the blu-ray audio yet)

3) Christiane Oelze (soprano) & Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano),
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (conductor) (Accentus Music - blu-ray video)

3) Petra Lang (soprano) & Melanie Diener (mezzo soprano),
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (conductor) (Decca - DVD Audio)

Probably still others I'm forgetting - we're living in a golden age! ;-)

Post by Ubertrout September 4, 2014 (17 of 20)
Man, no love for Bernstein?

Post by Chris from Lafayette September 4, 2014 (18 of 20)
Ubertrout said:

Man, no love for Bernstein?

LOTS of folks love Bernstein - As I say, we're living in a golden age! ;-)

Post by armenian September 4, 2014 (19 of 20)
Fugue said:

For one thing, they are too fast, and second, the sound is just not that impressive.

I am probably the only one who prefers Gergiev for M8, thank god and mainly because it is not recorded in Barbican but instead in St Paul’s Cathedral, with my system it sounds pretty impressive and the sound is very clear despite massive reverberation.

I am also the only person who believes that the massive forces required for performing M8 definitely requires larger space than most orchestra halls can offer.

Vahe

Post by Joseph Ponessa October 15, 2015 (20 of 20)
Luukas said:

Do you agree?

Thank you for posting your comments and reviews on this good, old site. I agree that the Gergiev Second is a great performance, but I think it is only a fair recording -- because, as you say, the rear channels are underused, and because, to my ears, the sound has a scrubbed quality.

I am embarrassed to admit that the only other recording on your list that I have heard is the Tilson Thomas, which has better audio qualities as well as superlative soloists.

There were three fine Mahler Seconds released on DVD-Audio, conducted by Abravanel, Mehta (1995) and Chailly (2001/2). Lately there have been a slew of awesome blu-rays, conducted by Abbado, Boulez, Jansons, Järvi, Chailly (2011) and Gilbert. To me, the best SACD releases have been historic, conducted by Bernstein (1963), Mehta (1975) and Neumann (1980).

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