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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - San Francisco/Michael Tilson Thomas

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Post by tream January 6, 2009 (41 of 44)
DSD said:

I agree with you about MTT's Mahler, I didn't try his 2nd. I bought Mahler Symphonies Nos. 1, 7 and 9 by Michael Tilson Thomas and I found the performances boring and the sound quality only fair. It seems his Mahler does not have the full range of human emotions, he does the happy fine, but he totally does not get the depression and deep despair before the triumphant jubilation and ultimate joy.

My Mahler symphonies are by Ashkenazy, Chailly, Zander and Zinman on SACD and Scherchen on 24/96 DVD. Zander gets the darkest and deepest despair better than any conductor I've ever heard but his joyful triumphant is not as jubilant as some of the others. All in all I think Chailly and Ashkenazy are the best Mahlerites on SACD so far. Although Zander's No. 1 is to die for!

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I was present at the performaces that comprised the recordings of the 2nd (and most of the others, including 7 and 9) and boring is not an adjective that I or the remainder of the audience would use. The emotional impact of the Resurrection was astonishing in live performance and has been captured on the recording. While I don't necessarily like to cite others views to support my own, I will note that reviewers like Andrew Quint (who writes for Fanfare and The Absolute Sound) have found the MTT Mahler series to be at an extremely high level, both in performance and sound. Quint is no one's shill.

It is true that the MTT/SFSO Mahlers have an extremely wide dynamic range - just like a symphony orchestra does, in real life. One of the really great things about SACD technology is that you don't get distortion when you turn up the volume to realistic SPL's like you do with RBCD. Played at the levels that you hear in the concert hall, the SFSO Mahlers sound TERRIFIC.

BTW - MTT does begin the 2nd at a slightly lower intensity level than other conductors, in order to ensure that the emotional climax of the finale is not underplayed.

Post by Peter January 6, 2009 (42 of 44)
tream said:

....Quint is no one's shill......

Shill seems a peculiarly American word: one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, record label etc (originally circus or carnival slang?)

Another definition: a person who publicises or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty.

I had assumed it meant one had taken the shilling (the King's shilling, the equivalent of a couple of dimes), and so had to be loyal. On the other hand, I am sure "negative shilling" takes place in all walks of business; perhaps some conductors are victims of this?

Post by Luukas October 10, 2015 (43 of 44)
I listened this just two minutes ago, and I have to say that this is absolutely the one of the greatest surround-sound SACDs ever! The last minutes of the symphony were impressively presented - I felt that I was almost in heaven! After the powerful climax, I heard the sound of the French horns and [church] bells from the rears - what an awesome experience!
Do you have the same impression?

Post by windhoek October 10, 2015 (44 of 44)
Luukas said:

I listened this just two minutes ago, and I have to say that this is absolutely the one of the greatest surround-sound SACDs ever! The last minutes of the symphony were impressively presented - I felt that I was almost in heaven! After the powerful climax, I heard the sound of the French horns and [church] bells from the rears - what an awesome experience!
Do you have the same impression?

Hey Luukas, I've heard MTT's Mahler 2, but only in stereo and thought it was a real rock solid performance and well worth a recommendation. My current favourite is Abaddo/Lucerne because they 'resurrected' the symphony with vim, something I hadn't heard or felt from any other performance.

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