First Pick: Mahler Symphonies

12tone
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First Pick: Mahler Symphonies

Post by 12tone » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:36 am

I've only been through most of Haitink's cycle on Phillips. It's the only cycle I'm familiar with, although I've heard Abbado's new 9th on DG (Berliner Phil) and Maazel's 5th on Sony (Wiener Phil).

Haitink's is okay. Nothing super spectacular. Either it's Haitink or Mahler, but sometimes the symphonies can be boring. I think it's Haitink cuz Abbado's 9th just sounds like what Mahler might have sounded like. The accent and grammar in the musical vocabulary / language makes sense.


You're first pick?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:45 am

Tennstedt.
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Post by Barry » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:53 am

I'm not a cycle guy, so I'll give a first pick for each symphony:

1: Bernstein (most people prefer his DG recording, but I love them both)

2: Lenny again (first NY recording on Sony)

3: Horenstein

4: Mengelberg; with a special mention for De Waart/Minnesota from that orchestra's anniversary box set

5: Bernstein/DG

6: Toss up between Bernstein/DG and Barbirolli/EMI

7: Klemperer (I know.......it's not really Mahler's 7th, but it's about the only way I like this symphony)

8: Horenstein

9: My personal favorite is a live Tennstedt/Philly performance from the late 90s that I have a tape of, but among commercial recordings, it's close between Barbirolli and Sinopoli

Don't really have a pick for the tenth.

I guess if I absolutely had to pick one complete set, it would be Bernstein/DG.
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Post by MaestroDJS » Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:18 pm

For the entire cycle, I prefer Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (except the London Symphony Orchestra in No. 8). My reasoning is simply that Bernstein was probably just as hyperactive and neurotic as Mahler himself, if not just plain nuts, so he probably knew the territory better than anyone. During my high school years, Bernstein's LP of Symphony No. 6 in A Minor became my favorite of the lot, because the speakers almost blew over the furnishings in my room. My parents didn’t quite know what to think. They were relieved that I didn’t listen to acid rock, but half the time our house seemed possessed by a humongous brass section instead.

In individual symphonies, my votes go to Bruno Walter, who recorded Nos. 4 and 5 in mono and Nos. 1, 2 and 9 plus Das Lied von der Erde in stereo. Walter was an associate of Mahler and probably closer to him than any other conductor, even though their temperaments seemed rather different.

One of my very favorite recordings of anything is Symphony No. 9 in D Major (1909) by Gustav Mahler, which Walter recorded with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra on January 16, 18, 28 & 30 and February 2 & 6, 1961. (Incidentally on January 23-25, Igor Stravinsky recorded his complete Firebird [1910 version] with the same vast orchestra. Those must have been wonderful months to be a member of the Columbia Symphony Orchestra.)

Walter wrote about his recording sessions in February 1961: "I'm on the point of completing a recording of Gustav Mahler's greatest masterpiece, his Ninth Symphony, which, together with Das Lied von der Erde, was not published until after his death and whose first performance I myself conducted. That was back in 1912. My last European performance of Mahler's Ninth took place shortly before Hitler marched into Vienna [in 1938]. A gramophone recording was made during the actual concert and sent to me in Holland, where I was lucky enough to be engaged during that catastrophic period. But I was so concerned at that time about [my daughter] Lotte that I couldn't devote the necessary attention to the test pressing, with the result that it turned out to be deeply unsatisfactory. This unfortunate affair, which has always weighed heavily upon me, I can now offset with a total success."

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PS. Terrible multilingual pun for people who hate Mahler: Das Lied von der Merde.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:05 pm

I haven't heard a full cycle so I'll give my first picks on the ones I have heard (although I feel I should note that some of them will be a first pick by default, due to not having to heard any other versions, yet. I'll make reference to those)

Symphony 1: Kubelik, BRSO
Symphony 2: Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic
Symphony 3: Horenstein
Symphony 4: Berstein, NYP (default)
Haven't heard five and six yet (I need to remedy this, I really have no idea why)
Symphony 7: Solti, CSO (default)
Symphony 8: Can't say, I only have one version and I'm not sure who conducts it. It's split into 15 tracks, but I believe most versions are?
Symphony 9: Solti, CSO (default)
Das Lied Von Der Erde: Horenstein

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Re: First Pick: Mahler Symphonies

Post by herman » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:17 pm

12tone wrote:Haitink's is okay. Nothing super spectacular. Either it's Haitink or Mahler, but sometimes the symphonies can be boring.
Tone, I remember you thought Bruckner was boring, too. Maybe this kind of longe durée symphony stuff just isn't for you. (I don't listen to any of this stuff at home, either.)

However if you like what you're hearing in Abbado's Mahler, I'd say, get more of Abbado's Mahler. Abbado is a very good conductor, one of the very best.

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Post by Lance » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:18 pm

I'm assuming you wanted to know each symphony on an individual basis.

My First Picks:

Complete sets: Leonard Bernstein, NYP - boxed LP set [haven't acquired on CD.]

Symphony #1: Ozawa - Boston Symphony Orchestra - LP version only. I haven't found any other except the first recorded by Dimitri Mitropoulos with the Minneapolis SO on Sony Heritage [CD 62342] recorded in 1940, despite the 78-rpm sound, but fine remastering nonetheless. This is probably the only Ozawa recording I would ever recommend.

Symphony #2: Stokowski - on BBC 4136 - or any Stokowski recording, private or otherwise.

Symphony #3: James Levine - RCA 1757. I loved the LP set so much I almost wore it out and finally got the CD set. I've been forever thankful for this great performance with Marilyn Horne, mezzo; and Bud Herseth, posthorn.

Symphonies 4-10 - no favourites. I have countless versions of ALL the Mahler symphonies but the ones I love the most are the first three symphonies.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:27 pm

There are many individual performances that I like such as Chailly and the Fifth Symphony with the Royal Concertgebouw. But, overall, both Bernstein cycles remain my clear favorites.

Kaplan with the Second Symphony is also recommended.

The most moving Ninth is Walter's with the Vienna P.O. performed live just before the Anschluss.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:27 pm

Cycle: Bernstein.

1st: Bernstein

2nd: Klemperer's live recording

3rd: Bernstein

4th: Klemperer

5th: Scherchen

6th: Szell

7th: Horenstein

8th: Horenstein

9th: Klemperer or Walter (last mvt of Barbirolli's rec, not the rest)

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Post by Lance » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:39 pm

There seems to be some preference of one Bernstein performance over the other, i.e., the NYP and the VPO. In choosing the DG/VPO performances how would you describe the differences with the NYP? Or if it is the NYP (which Mahler conducted), why is this more acceptable than the VPO (which Mahler also conducted)?
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Re: First Pick: Mahler Symphonies

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:52 pm

12tone wrote:
Haitink's is okay. Nothing super spectacular. Either it's Haitink or Mahler, but sometimes the symphonies can be boring.
Not to make it an issue or distract from the substance of the topic, but this sort of statement (very common here) always amuses me in the way it overlooks a most plausible explanation for one's middling or negative judgments.

"Either it's Haitink or Mahler" - or far more likely, - it's YOU, - at least in some proportion.

Perhaps you lack the maturity and sensibility and insight to assimilate with much understanding both the music and its interpretation (or the music in its interpretation) in this case.

Not necessarily. But one might consider the possibilty and at least refer to it together with one's other suspicions.
Last edited by Gregory Kleyn on Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MaestroDJS » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:54 pm

As someone who is often befuddled, bemused and bewildered about discussions of the finer points of this recording vs. that recording... :)
Ralph wrote:The most moving Ninth is Walter's with the Vienna P.O. performed live just before the Anschluss.
Interesting, because many people agree. However, Walter himself was never happy with that 1938 recording (see my notes above), and he preferred his 1961 remake with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra ("This unfortunate affair, which has always weighed heavily upon me, I can now offset with a total success."). Maybe I've missed something, but not being a Mahler expert, I'll take Walter's word for it.
Lance wrote:There seems to be some preference of one Bernstein performance over the other, i.e., the NYP and the VPO. In choosing the DG/VPO performances how would you describe the differences with the NYP? Or if it is the NYP (which Mahler conducted), why is this more acceptable than the VPO (which Mahler also conducted)?
My main reason to prefer Bernstein's NYP set was that it was the only complete cycle available in the early 1970s when I first came to grips with Mahler, and Bernstein was an excellent conductor in this music. I was well pleased, drank deeply from this well of music for several months, and then moved on to the next composer (some Tchaikovsky guy or somebody).

More than 3 decades later, I am delighted that the situation has improved so much that I have heard countless other versions of these symphonies, both recorded and live. However when it comes to my own collection, I am still well pleased with Bernstein/NYP, my LPs are still in fine condition, and I am content.

So much music, so little time. :)

Dave

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Mahler Symphonies--my picks

Post by RebLem » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:24 pm

Best overall complete set--Tennstdt, though, when completed, the Boulez may well replace it in my affections. Now, for the individual symphonies--

1-Boulez, Chicago Symphony. Before that came out, my fave was the Levine LSO recording.

2-The two greatest conductors here, I think, are Bernstein (either of his first two with Sony, not DGG) and the Klemperer, Philharmonia. Both of them are at opposite interpretive extremes. Bernstein tries to maintain the listener's interest by exaggerating Mahler's dynamic and tempo changes, and Klemperer tries to build a sense of monumentality by smoothing them out, by understating them. In general, I would say Bernstein is better in the inner movements, Klemperer in the outer ones. If you want a MOR performance, the Slatikin and, of course, the classic Bruno Walter performance are both good.

3--The original Bernstein for Sony is the only one that does it for me.

4--Two here--George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra, whose sense of internal instrumental balances was truly masterful (my candidate for greatest conductor who ever lived, all things considered) and the Bernstein DGG recording, which is the only one, I believe, that uses a boy soprano, which was Mahler's original intention. Mahler abandoned that idea, but I think Bernstein makes a persuasive case for it.

5--Sinopoli, Bernstein DGG, Boulez.

6--Far and away the best performance, and an MOR one at that, IMO, is the Tennstedt--this is the greatest performance in the Tennstedt set, IMO. Boulez's is a fine performance, too. Also, I recommend 3 other performances which I see as at interpretive extremes. Ironically, it is difficult to find two performances more unalike than the Bernstein Sony, which emphasizes the lyricism of the score, and the Bernstein DGG, which emphasizes the pulse and rhythm of the music. Another fine performance at the lyrical end of the spectrum is the Sinopoli. Also, the Haitink recording, although rather understated, reveals some of the contrapuntal nature of the last movement in a way that no other performance in my experience does.

7--Lots of good performances here. Bernstein Sony is good, Sinopoli, Solti, Boulez.

8--Bernstein Sony and Solti. I have a friend who said one of the most unforgettable experiences of his life occured when he listened to the The Bernstein Sony of an airplane's headphones one day while flying home to Chicago from a teachers' conference in San Francisco. The cragginess of the score seemed to fit right in with the sight of the Rocky Mountains outside his window.

7--Das Lied von der Erde--here, the one and only has to be the classic Bruno Walter recording with Kathleen Ferrier and Julius Patzak.

9--For me, the greatest performance is the 1938 Bruno Walter, VPO recording. Packed with extra-musical meaning, like the performance of Das Lied mentioned above, but for very different reasons. Second choice would be the Giulini, Chicago Symphony, a sentimental favorite for me, because I attended a CSO concert of the piece with Giulini a few days before the recording was done. A real sleeper, as I have mentioned before here, is the Karel Ancerl, Czech Philharmonic recording.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:34 pm

I look for any opportunity to post this moving story.

*****

SOUND;Poignance Measured in Digits The New York Times July 16, 1989, Sunday, Late Edition - Final

Copyright 1989 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

July 16, 1989, Sunday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section 2; Page 19, Column 1; Arts and Leisure Desk

LENGTH: 770 words

HEADLINE: SOUND;
Poignance Measured in Digits

BYLINE: By Hans Fantel

BODY:
Normally the phonograph plays a casual accompaniment to our lives. We think of it, quite rightly, as a means of entertainment. Yet there are times when the machine suddenly shows a deeper aspect of its character, and the miraculous nature of the instrument stands revealed.

So it was for me last week. The mail brought a new CD for review. I opened the parcel and suddenly found myself holding a piece of my past - as remote as a previous incarnation yet as present as my heartbeat. The recording was made at a concert I attended more than 50 years ago. At first memory refused to fill in the details. But soon they crowded into me, in a chaos of remembrance, as the phonograph asserted its power of putting the past into the present.

The recorded concert took place at the Musikverein in Vienna. The liner notes confirmed the date: Jan. 16, 1938. Bruno Walter, the great conductor then in his prime, led the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler's Ninth Symphony. Since this epochal work had never before been put on disks, a British record company then known as His Master's Voice (now EMI), had hauled its cumbersome recording apparatus to Austria for the occasion - a rare and complicated undertaking before the age of tape.

My father was a subscriber to the Philharmonic and had taken me along in the mistaken belief that, being a rather precocious teen-ager, I might be ready for the rigors of Mahler. Because almost none of Mahler's works were then available on records, my father probably looked on this concert as a welcome opportunity to acquaint me with a composer he deeply admired and had known personally.

The brand-new CD in my hand seemed strangely incongruous. Its curiously abstract digital concepts were unthinkable at the time the original recording was cut into soft, palpable wax. Here, in the latest technical guise, were echoes of a lost world. While I inwardly grappled with this, my recall sharpened, and I remembered the occasion of the recording with startling accuracy.

Mahler performances were rare in Vienna in those days because Mahler's city had already been contaminated by the acolytes of Adolf Hitler. By their reckoning, Mahler's music was loathsome - a product of ''Jewish decadence.'''' To put Mahler's music on the program was therefore a political act. It was to protest and deny the hateful faith that blazed across the border from Germany. That much I understood quite clearly, even as a boy.

We could not know on that winter Sunday that this would turn out to be the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler crushed his homeland to make it part of the German Reich. The music, captured that day by the bulky old microphones I remember strung across the stage, was the last to be heard from many of the musicians in the orchestra. They and their country vanished.

I put on the record. To hear that music again, after so long a time and in so distant a place, was a strange reprise. I now lived on another continent and even spoke another language. And I had become an adult.

I now had some musical understanding of what I had then heard uncomprehendingly. I could now recognize and appreciate the singular aura of that performance: I could sense its uncanny intensity - a strange inner turmoil quite different from the many other recordings and performances of Mahler's Ninth I had heard since. Knowing now what nobody could have known at the time of the concert, it seemed that perhaps the playing of the music carried within it a foreboding of what was to come. Terror and anguish, not yet experienced but divined, were transformed into song. Was it by chance that Mahler's Ninth - that supreme expression of farewell - was on the program that day?

But it wasn't the music alone that cast a spell over me as I listened to the new CD. Nor was it the memory of the time when the recording was made. It took me a while to discover what so moved me. Finally, I knew what it was: This disk held fast an event I had shared with my father: 71 minutes out of the 16 years we had together. Soon after, as an ''enemy of Reich and Fuhrer,'' my father also disappeared into Hitler's abyss.

That's what made me realize something about the nature of phonographs: they admit no ending. They imply perpetuity.

All this seems far from our usual concerns with the hardware of sound reproduction. But then again, speculating on endlessness may be getting at the purposive essence of all this electronic gadetry - its ''telos,'' as the Greeks would say. In the perennial rebirth of music through recordings, something of life itself steps over the normal limits of time.
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Post by Library Bob » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:21 pm

1: Bernstein/NYPO or Leinsdorf/BSO
2: Klemperer/Philharmonia
3: Bernstein/NYPO or Leinsdorf/BSO
4: Bernstein/NYPO or Reiner/CSO
5: Rattle/BPO
6: Tilson Thomas/SFSO
7: Bernstein/NYPO
8: Bernstein/LSO or Haitink/Concertgebouw
9: Bernstein/NYPO or Walter/VPO
10: Ormandy/Philadelphia or Bernstein/NYPO (adagio only)

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Post by MaestroDJS » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:22 pm

RebLem wrote:9--For me, the greatest performance is the 1938 Bruno Walter, VPO recording. Packed with extra-musical meaning, like the performance of Das Lied mentioned above, but for very different reasons.
Ralph wrote:We could not know on that winter Sunday that this would turn out to be the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler crushed his homeland to make it part of the German Reich. The music, captured that day by the bulky old microphones I remember strung across the stage, was the last to be heard from many of the musicians in the orchestra. They and their country vanished.
Ah now I understand. The 1938 Walter/VPO recording is cherished as a recording of an historic event, rather than as a recording of the Mahler 9th itself. I respect that.

However this confirms that I can safely take Walter's own word that his 1961 remake is the better document of the symphony itself.

Dave

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Post by Heck148 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:39 pm

I don't usually go for complete sets, tho there are a couple of exceptions...

for Mahler Syms

#1:
Giulini/CSO
Walter/ColSO

#2:
Solti/CSO
Walter/NYPO

#3:
Levine/CSO
Bernstein NYPO II DG
tho Martinon/CSO live is excellent, with the best finale ever...

#4:
Walter/NYPO '45
Reiner/CSO

#5
Solti/CSO I & II
Abbado/CSO/DG

#6
Solit/CSO

#7
Abbado/CSO
Bernstein.NYPO I/Sony

#8
Solti

#9
Giulini/CSO
Walter/ColSO

#10
Martinon/CSO live '66

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Post by Ralph » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:24 pm

MaestroDJS wrote:
RebLem wrote:9--For me, the greatest performance is the 1938 Bruno Walter, VPO recording. Packed with extra-musical meaning, like the performance of Das Lied mentioned above, but for very different reasons.
Ralph wrote:We could not know on that winter Sunday that this would turn out to be the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler crushed his homeland to make it part of the German Reich. The music, captured that day by the bulky old microphones I remember strung across the stage, was the last to be heard from many of the musicians in the orchestra. They and their country vanished.
Ah now I understand. The 1938 Walter/VPO recording is cherished as a recording of an historic event, rather than as a recording of the Mahler 9th itself. I respect that.

However this confirms that I can safely take Walter's own word that his 1961 remake is the better document of the symphony itself.

Dave

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*****

Dave,

I don't agree. That performance is, in my view, a milestone in interpreting the Ninth Symphony. But the historical aura exerts a compelling sense of emotion...and sadness.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:05 pm

It seems to me that his commentary is speaking of the recording quality itself more than the performance...

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Post by pizza » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:36 am

In my opinion there are, in addition to the well-respected recordings usually mentioned in lists such as this, other, lesser known recordings that equal or in some cases even surpass them, but because they are out of the mainstream of commerce, so to speak, they remain relatively unknown. I'll mention just a few before going on to some of the older and better known recordings:

Rudolf Barshai's 5th with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, a student entry-level orchestra, (but don't let that fool you) on Laurel Records -- Laurel-905 -- is one of the finest, most exciting and provocative performances of this difficult symphony I've ever heard. It has recently been re-released by Brilliant Records in a two CD set together with Barshai's performing edition of the 10th with the same orchestra, which is itself superb, recorded in demonstration quality sound, and should be heard by all who are familiar with and enjoy the various Cooke editions.

Thomas Sanderling's 6th with the St. Petersburg PO on RS (RS 953-0186) is an incredible performance. This is also one of those performances that are rarely mentioned simply because it lacks the exposure and ease of procurement that the better known recordings enjoy. I think it's still available, but I may be mistaken.

Classics for Pleasure has finally released Horenstein's 4th with the LPO in sound that does justice to this fine performance. This recording has suffered throughout its history from very poor sounding releases which never should have been issued at all, and was never taken seriously by critics, probably for that reason. Now it's available in all its glory and at budget price.

So much for the unusual.

Concerning the rest, my choices are:

1. Horenstein/LSO

2. Abravanel/Utah SO

3. Horenstein/LSO

7. Klemperer/New Philharmonia -- admittedly unusual and an acquired taste, but in my opinion the finest ever committed to record. The CD should be avoided, and if possible, the original EMI LP should be heard, rather than the Angel release.

8. This was the only Mahler symphony to which I could never relate until I heard Horenstein's live 1959 Albert Hall performance on BBC; and what a revelation! This performance is one of the greatest Mahler experiences I've ever had!

9. As much as I love this work, I've never heard a performance that was completely satisfying and I've heard almost every major recording ever released. I tend to listen to Giulini/Chicago SO more than to any other, and the performance is certainly one of the best around, but I'm still waiting for the one that does it all.

10. I already mentioned the Barshai which is not to be missed. As far as Cooke performing versions are concerned, I recommend the live Martinon/CSO from 1966. I was there and it was absolutely stunning; when it was over, there was hardly a dry eye in the hall. I also recommend both Rattle recordings on EMI; the first he did with the Bournemouth SO and the last with the BPO. Chailly's with the RSO Berlin is also a favorite.

For Das Lied, I usually prefer Horenstein/BBC Northern SO with Alfreda Hodgson and John Mitchinson, or Raymond Leppard/BBC Northern with Janet Baker and Mitchinson. Leppard is a conductor who is not usually associated with Mahler, but in this case he did a fantastic job, and Janet Baker's performance outshines her earlier one with Haitink/Concertgebouw. I suspect that Horenstein's previous rehearsals and recording with this orchestra in this same work helped prepare it for this fine performance, but that's just speculation.

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Post by MaestroDJS » Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:05 am

Harvested Sorrow wrote:It seems to me that his commentary is speaking of the recording quality itself more than the performance...
In February 1961, Bruno Walter wrote:"I'm on the point of completing a recording of Gustav Mahler's greatest masterpiece, his Ninth Symphony, which, together with Das Lied von der Erde, was not published until after his death and whose first performance I myself conducted. That was back in 1912. My last European performance of Mahler's Ninth took place shortly before Hitler marched into Vienna [in 1938]. A gramophone recording was made during the actual concert and sent to me in Holland, where I was lucky enough to be engaged during that catastrophic period. But I was so concerned at that time about [my daughter] Lotte that I couldn't devote the necessary attention to the test pressing, with the result that it turned out to be deeply unsatisfactory. This unfortunate affair, which has always weighed heavily upon me, I can now offset with a total success."
I'm not sure exactly why Bruno Walter preferred his 1961 recording over his 1938 recording. Yes, the recording quality was one factor, because he couldn't devote enough attention to the test pressing, but I doubt that this was the only consideration. More likely the main reason was that he had a well-rehearsed orchestra and plenty of time in nearly ideal studio conditions. Whatever the reason, I assume that Walter knew much more about this music than I ever will, so I accept his preference for his later version.

Dave

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Post by Barry » Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:13 pm

pizza wrote: 9. As much as I love this work, I've never heard a performance that was completely satisfying and I've heard almost every major recording ever released. I tend to listen to Giulini/Chicago SO more than to any other, and the performance is certainly one of the best around, but I'm still waiting for the one that does it all.
I'm not sure that it's still in print, but if you ever see the Sinopoli recording around, I highly recommend it (I've noticed a few copies in the clearance/cutout bin at Tower lately).

I've had mixed luck with Sinopoli; loving some of his work, and really hating some of it too. The Mahler 9 definately falls into the former category.

And I agree with you on the Klemperer seventh. His unorthodox approach is the only one that works for me.
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Post by pizza » Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:41 pm

Barry Z wrote:
pizza wrote: 9. As much as I love this work, I've never heard a performance that was completely satisfying and I've heard almost every major recording ever released. I tend to listen to Giulini/Chicago SO more than to any other, and the performance is certainly one of the best around, but I'm still waiting for the one that does it all.
I'm not sure that it's still in print, but if you ever see the Sinopoli recording around, I highly recommend it (I've noticed a few copies in the clearance/cutout bin at Tower lately).

I've had mixed luck with Sinopoli; loving some of his work, and really hating some of it too. The Mahler 9 definately falls into the former category.

And I agree with you on the Klemperer seventh. His unorthodox approach is the only one that works for me.
I appreciate the Sinopoli recommendation. I assume it's on DG. I'm not that familiar with his work.

The Klemperer 7th may actually be the closest to the way Mahler himself conducted it. Klemperer assisted Mahler in his preparation for the premiere and was present when it was performed. That doesn't guarantee anything with a mind as independent as Klemperer's, but it's something to think about.

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Post by Barry » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:17 pm

pizza wrote: I appreciate the Sinopoli recommendation. I assume it's on DG. I'm not that familiar with his work.

The Klemperer 7th may actually be the closest to the way Mahler himself conducted it. Klemperer assisted Mahler in his preparation for the premiere and was present when it was performed. That doesn't guarantee anything with a mind as independent as Klemperer's, but it's something to think about.
I recall Mark A. making that same point about Klemperer's seventh.

The Sinopoli is on DG; I believe with the Philharmonia.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Post by MahlerSnob » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:42 pm

1. Bernstein/Concertgebouw
2. Bloomstedt/SFSO (1992)
3. No favorites. I'm not a big fan of this piece
4. Mengelberg/Concertgebouw
5. My favorite is a bootleg, so I won't comment.
6. MTT/SFSO
7. Again, no favorites.
8. Solti/CSO (1971)
9. Walter/VPO (1938) - a remarkable recording, for those who don't know it.
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Post by Johnny » Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:47 am

:?

Okay everyone, this is where I need your help. Try as I
might, I cannot listen to Mahler. Now this comment is coming
from a Bruckner convert.

Every piece of Mahler I have heard, seems to be going in
many, many directions at once. It just seems like a traffic
jam with total gridlock and the associated racket :shock:
( some analogy huh? )

Am I missing something ? Please help :(
I live my life one note at a time.

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Post by Barry » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:09 am

Johnny wrote::?

Okay everyone, this is where I need your help. Try as I
might, I cannot listen to Mahler. Now this comment is coming
from a Bruckner convert.

Every piece of Mahler I have heard, seems to be going in
many, many directions at once. It just seems like a traffic
jam with total gridlock and the associated racket :shock:
( some analogy huh? )

Am I missing something ? Please help :(
I also happen to prefer Bruckner to Mahler, but I also like Mahler.

Which Mahler symhonies have you tried so far?
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:34 am

Johnny wrote::?

Okay everyone, this is where I need your help. Try as I
might, I cannot listen to Mahler. Now this comment is coming
from a Bruckner convert.

Every piece of Mahler I have heard, seems to be going in
many, many directions at once. It just seems like a traffic
jam with total gridlock and the associated racket :shock:
( some analogy huh? )

Am I missing something ? Please help :(
*****

Have you listened to his First Symphony? It's the most accessible.
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Post by Barry » Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:39 pm

Ralph wrote:
Have you listened to his First Symphony? It's the most accessible.
I agree. Bernstein's NY first was my introduction to Mahler and I fell for it in a big way. But it took a while longer before I was able to appreciate any of the other symphonies.
Last edited by Barry on Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Johnny » Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:29 pm

Ralph and Barry. I can only go by what I have heard on NPR
radio. I never paid attention to the many Mahler works because it
was all I could do to get through them.

So you think I should go with the 1st Symphony ? I'll give it a
try. :)



Thanks,
Johnny.
I live my life one note at a time.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Sep 23, 2005 2:23 pm

I agree with that reccomendation, it's definitely straightfoward and "lighter" than his other symphonies.

That said, another piece I heard early on and loved was his Das Lied von der Erde...however, you may not be ready to that, as I (if I recall correctly) heard his 3rd symphony first and enjoyed it, although I didn't pay enough attention to his work until some time later. Due to this, I'd say our minds operate differently (Not to say that one way or the other is better).

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Post by MaestroDJS » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:51 pm

Musings about Mahler Magma, by David Stybr
Reprinted from Maestro, Vol. 13, No. 10: November/December 2004
Classical Music Special Interest Group of Mensa
David Stybr, Coordinator

I first became familiar with the music of Gustav Mahler in a very roundabout way. In the 1960s I was hooked on rock, like every other boy in the neighborhood. Nobody blasted it better than WLS-AM radio in Chicago. Then in 1968 at age 11, I discovered classical music via the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a revelation, and gradually my musical tastes began to shift.

Finally in 1972 when I was 15 years old, I seriously began to collect classical music. Naturally my 2 highest priorities were the basic masterpieces and cheap recordings. So I began with symphonies by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, in the cheap but excellent Odyssey stereo LP reissues by Bruno Walter and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. What next to collect? Walter became one of my favorite conductors, which led me to other recordings by him of Bruckner, Dvorák, Schubert, Wagner ... and Mahler.

Mahler was a volcano! By coincidence the early 1970s saw an eruption of renewed interest in Mahler, and the cataclysmic explosions of his music overwhelmed me. Who needed lava lamps anymore, when I was inundated with Mahler magma? It was Earth-shaking!

His huge orchestras, high drama and manic-depressive emotional contrasts were just what my adolescent psyche wanted. In retrospect, I had simply traded the loud blasting rock music from WLS-AM for the loud blasting classical music of Gustav Mahler. But what a trip! Bruno Walter recorded Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9 and Das Lied von der Erde in legendary performances, and soon I had these LPs in my small but growing collection.

Gaps remained in my collection, so I turned to Leonard Bernstein’s complete recordings of all 9 symphonies with the New York Philharmonic (except the London Symphony Orchestra in No. 8). These had just been reissued in a 15-LP set: The Symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Bernstein seemed apt because he was a composer-conductor like Mahler, and probably just as nuts. His LP of Symphony No. 6 in A Minor became my favorite of the lot, because the speakers almost blew over the furnishings in my room. My parents didn’t quite know what to think. They were relieved that I didn’t listen to acid rock, but half the time our house seemed possessed by a humongous brass section instead.

At this time another complete set of symphonies appeared which shifted my interests into a very different direction. It was the 48-LP set of the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn, with Antal Doráti and the Philharmonia Hungarica. Friends and relatives were amazed that a high school student like me would spend my scant money on this, but I viewed it as a wise investment. After all, I still have those LPs. Gradually my interest in Mahler faded, and Haydn became one of my very favorite composers, as he remains to this day. I still have these LPs, and reap great dividends from them to this day. Whereas most musical dilettantes rave about Mozart, I prefer Haydn for his consummate craftsmanship, seemingly inexhaustible invention and profound feeling. Besides, Mozart himself supposedly said that Haydn was the only composer around as good as he was, ha ha.

Late in life Bruno Walter spoke about Mahler and Mozart, and his words could describe me as well: “When I was very young, when I was a teenager, then I was only enthusiastic for the great pathos and the big emotions, and Mozart seemed to me at that time too quiet, too tranquil. Youth is more apt to love the shout and the great gestures. ... I fell into the same category. It needs some maturity to understand the depth of emotion that speaks in Mozart’s seeming tranquility and measure.”

In the 1980s I hardly listened to Mahler at all. His music seemed too overblown, and much ado about nothing. Eventually in the 1990s I began to re-evaluate Mahler, due to the CD reissues of Bruno Walters’ recordings. Yes the music of Mahler is huge and grandiose, yes it is both sublime and ridiculous, and yes he tries to cram the entire Universe into each and every symphony. But it is good honest music. More than a quarter-century after I discovered Mahler, I can now appreciate the vast content beneath the vast surface, albeit in smaller doses.

About 15 years ago, during my first term as Coordinator of the Classical Music Special Interest Group of Mensa, the Coordinator of the Headbanger SIG triple-dared me to review some heavy metal music. My early years of loud blasting rock music from WLS-AM must have prepared me well. To her great surprise I agreed, provided she reviewed some classical music. This must have caught her off guard, but she eventually agreed too. So she sent me the début CD of metal rock band Skid Row, and I sent her Leonard Bernstein’s performance with the New York Philharmonic of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A Minor. Who outblasted whom? Well, Mahler 6 became very popular amongst the headbanger crowd for a while.

Ready to mosh?

Dave

David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr
Fanfare for a Meeting of the Minds (1:00)
http://www.DeniseSwanson.com/Stybr/Stybr-FM.htm

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Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:58 pm

Thanks, Dave. I look forward every day for your erudite pieces.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:31 pm

That was a good read. And I do find that the metalhead crowd (myself included) tends to lean toward composers like Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, etc. Ones who very open emotionally in the symphonies and had some turmoil and "darkness" in their music. This includes the young and old ones alike.

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Post by MartinPh » Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:01 am

#1: Bernstein, DG; Chailly, Decca
#2: Kaplan (his first recording, not the VPO remake)
#3: Chailly, Decca
#4: Maazel, Sony
#5: Chailly, Decca
#6: Several good ones. Jansons, LSO Live; Bernstein, DG; Boulez, DG
#7: Gielen, Hänssler
#8: Rattle, EMI
#9: Zander, Telarc
#10 (Cooke version): Chailly, Decca
Das Lied: Boulez, DG

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Dunna like Mahler? Heresy !!!

Post by RebLem » Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:49 am

The Mahler First is very accessible, and I would suggest the Boulez, CSO recording as the best.

However, I think the most accessible, and more typically Mahlerian in its reliance on familiar, folk-like melodies, is the Fourth Symphony. Szell, Cleveland and Bernstein DGG with a boy soprano are the best here, IMO.

After that, try the Walter, Ferrier, Patzak, VPO recording of Das Lied von der Erde.
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Post by MaestroDJS » Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:30 am

Ralph wrote:Thanks, Dave. I look forward every day for your erudite pieces.
Thank you, and the feeling is mutual. I'll never know everything, but the fun is in the larnin'.

Often someone raises a certain point in this forum and I'll think, "Gee, that's a good question." So as a typical engineer I conduct some research and then return to share my findings. Sometimes forum recommendations also result in a truckload of new CDs at my house. Luckily I haven't quite reached the stage where I need to stand on freeway ramps with the sign "Will work for classical CDs."

Here's something I just learned: Recently a German engineer visited our offices, and the subject drifted to music (imagine that). During our conversation as I mercilessly mangled the German language, I asked him why the title Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) is not simply "Das Lied der Erde" -- without "von", as in Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge. He said yes both forms are gramatically correct. However "Das Lied der Erde" means that the song cycle is merely about the Earth, whereas "Das Lied von der Erde" implies that the song cycle is also part of the Earth in the sense of belonging to it. Cool. :)

Dave

David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr
Fanfare for a Meeting of the Minds (1:00)
http://www.DeniseSwanson.com/Stybr/Stybr-FM.htm

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http://www.DeniseSwanson.com
Murder of a Smart Cookie
Penguin Putnam ~ Signet, New York, NY

PS. Denise's schedule in New York State is taking shape, but some details must still be hammered out. We'll arrive in White Plains sometime Wednesday, November 2, but I hope not too late. Then Thursday morning she'll be the keynote speaker at the New York Association of School Psychologists' Annual Convention in White Plains (both she and the lead character of her mystery book series are school psychologists). As usual, I'll be her Lackey, er, Personal Assistant. Afterward we'll skedaddle to Albany, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and Lake George for a combination book tour and vacation. I might also follow up on an engineering project I had a few years ago in Corinth. As usual, more and more activities are being squeezed into the allotted dates, so I hope it won't be entirely one big rush.

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Post by rogch » Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:42 am

Doesn't anybody like Chailly around here? I think his recording of the eigth symphony is marvelous. His third is said to be brilliant as well, but i haven't heard that one.

Klemperer and Bernstein were brilliant conductors of course, and their Mahler recordings were no exceptions. It is very difficult for me to imagine that anybody can beat Klemperer's version of the second symphony.

How about Zubin Mehtas recordings? I have only heard him on the radio in a live preformance of the third symphony, but that was exelent.
Roger Christensen

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Artur Schnabel

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:38 pm

I listed one of Mehta's recordings and I like Chailly's 3rd alot. I simply rank Horenstein higher

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Chailly's Mahler

Post by RebLem » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:03 pm

I haven't heard any of Chailly's Mahler. However, I did recently acquire his set. Stay tuned.

I do think everybody's #1 Mahler recording ought to be Klemperer's Second. Not only is it one of the great, all time Mahler recordings, especially in the outer movements, but at more than 79 minutes of music on one disc, at mid-price, its one of the great bargains, too.
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Re: Chailly's Mahler

Post by Barry » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:51 pm

RebLem wrote:I haven't heard any of Chailly's Mahler. However, I did recently acquire his set. Stay tuned.

I do think everybody's #1 Mahler recording ought to be Klemperer's Second. Not only is it one of the great, all time Mahler recordings, especially in the outer movements, but at more than 79 minutes of music on one disc, at mid-price, its one of the great bargains, too.
I'll find out the next time I'm in the mood to listen to the second. The Klemperer EMI studio recording was given to me as a gift recently, but I've yet to listen to it. I can't force Mahler. I only listen to it when I'm really in the mood; although I never pass up an opportunity to hear one of the symphonies live.

I did have Klemperer's live BRSO recording, also on EMI, for a while, but I found that I simply didn't like it that much. I can't remember specifically why. I just recall it didn't move me anywhere near as much as Bernstein or Scherchen. Perhaps I'll have better luck with the studio recording.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Post by pizza » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:56 am

My view of Mahler 2 is perhaps a little different than that of most others. I listen to it when I want to be frightened! For me it's edge-of-the-seat music with a fleeting stare into the hereafter.

I've always preferred Abravanel's performance for that reason alone. The ambience of the Mormon Tabernacle recording venue lends itself to that kind of an interpretation. And in the last movement, where the dead rise from their graves and march in an endless procession (Mahler's view as well), Abravanel makes it seem so real that invariably the goosebumps rise on my arms and my hair almost stands on end! That movement alone is matchless in my opinion. It's an emotionally exhausting experience but I love it!

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Post by Peter Schenkman » Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:52 am

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the Kubelik 10 disc set on Deutsche Grammophon (429 042 2). It’s well played, well recorded and Kubelik knows these symphonies inside out. It also is very good value, last time I looked it was going for $5.00-6.00 a disc (Canadian). His live cycle on the Audite label is, if anything even a tad better but those discs are pricey.

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

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Post by pizza » Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:57 am

Peter Schenkman wrote:I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the Kubelik 10 disc set on Deutsche Grammophon (429 042 2). It’s well played, well recorded and Kubelik knows these symphonies inside out. It also is very good value, last time I looked it was going for $5.00-6.00 a disc (Canadian). His live cycle on the Audite label is, if anything even a tad better but those discs are pricey.

Peter Schenkman
I didn't even know he did a live cycle. Here is John Quinn's critique of the 9th.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... ubelik.htm

This is something I'm going to investigate. Thanks for mentioning it.

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Post by herman » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:21 am

Obviously I don't have that Mahler cycle (or any other one), but I love everything Kubelik did in his Bavarian days, available on Audite or Orpheo.

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Post by MaestroDJS » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:26 am

After my immersion in the music of Beethoven this past week, I've returned to Mahler via the excellent recordings by Leonard Bernstein and Bruno Walter. One of the really cool aspects of recording technology is that many recordings I first heard as a boy in the 1960s still sound like they were recorded yesterday, and better than the original LPs.

Naturally Bruno Walter is closely associated with Mahler, so I was surprised that his stereo recordings of Symphonies Nos. 1 and 9 were actually among his last recordings in January and February 1961; he also recorded Bruckner, Haydn and Mozart in March 1961. Mahler's 5th Symphony and some Schumann symphonies were scheduled for the next year, and Walter had begun to mark up his copies of the scores in anticipation of the recording sessions, but unfortunately he died in February 1962.

Many of Walter's rehearsals were also recorded, such as as Mozart's Linz Symphony in 1955 and Wagner's Siegfried-Idyll in 1959, but these rehearsals were recorded in mono. However Walter's rehearsals of Mahler's 9th Symphony were recorded in stereo, so one can almost feel present at part of the recording sessions.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I checked some session logs to see what else Bruno Walter and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra were recording during their final sessions together in the first quarter of 1961. They were very busy indeed, and Igor Stravinsky also conducted the orchestra in his own music.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major. Zino Francescatti, Violin; Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. January 26, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Johannes Brahms: Alto Rhapsody. Mildred Miller, Mezzo-Soprano; Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor; Occidental College Concert Choir; Howard Swan, Chorus Master. January 11, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E-Flat Major. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. March 11, 13, 19, 22, 27, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Antonín Dvorák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. February 8 and 12, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 88 in G Major. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. March 4 & 8, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 100 in G Major, “Military”. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. March 2 & 4, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D Major. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. January 14 & 21, 1961, and February 4 & 6, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor. January 16, 18, 28 and 30, 1961, and February 2 & 6, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Wolfgang Mozart: Overtures: Così fan tutte, Impresario, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte; Masonic Funeral Music. Columbia Symphony Orchestra. March 5, 8 and 31, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Igor Stravinsky: Firebird (complete 1910 ballet). Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Igor Stravinsky, Conductor. January 23-25, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.

Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg Music. Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Bruno Walter, Conductor; Occidental College Concert Choir; Howard Swan, Director. March 24 and 27, 1961; American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California.
Bruno Walter (1876-1961) had already made a long series of mono recordings with various orchestras, and his earliest were 3 entr'actes from Bizet's Carmen in 1900 with the Berlin Philharmonic via the primitive acoustic process. At the end of his career, Walter was delighted to preserve his final performances with the full benefit of high fidelity stereo. It's fascinating to read some of producer John McClure's recollections of the preparations for these recording sessions of 1958-1961. Walter had retired to Beverly Hills in the 1950s and rarely conducted in public due to his health. However he agreed to work in a studio environment for a maximum of one 3-hour session every other day. This let Walter record even the most demanding music at a pace which he could maintain. In 1957 McClure visited a series of recording venues in and around Los Angeles, but almost all of those on his list were rejected for one reason or another. The very last venue on his list, an old American Legion Hall in Hollywood, turned out to be virtually ideal in terms of accessibility, availability and acoustics (these must be "The 3 A's"). Walter had already made a series of mono studio recordings in New York with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, so he trusted Columbia Records to create a Los Angeles-based studio orchestra of that same name. Walter and McClure worked very well together, despite the 54-year difference in their ages, and McClure was sometimes a guest in the Walter home in Berverly Hills.

In addition to his many mono recordings with the New York Philharmonic, Walter also made 3 stereo recordings with them in Carnegie Hall, Manhattan Center and -- believe it or not -- the St. George Hotel. The St. George Hotel Complex consisted of 9 buildings constructed between 1885 and 1933 occupying an entire city block, and in its heyday it was perhaps the finest luxury hotel in Brooklyn. However it fell on hard times and by the late 20th Century it was rather dilapidated. It was the scene of a 16-alarm fire (one of the largest in New York City history) on August 26, 1995.
Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde. Mildred Miller, Mezzo-Soprano; Ernst Haefliger, Tenor; New York Philharmonic; Bruno Walter, Conductor. April 18 and 25, 1960; Manhattan Center, New York, New York.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection”. Emilia Cundari, Soprano; Maureen Forrester, Mezzo-Soprano; New York Philharmonic; Bruno Walter, Conductor; Westminster Choir; John F. Williamson, Chorus Master. February 18, 1957; February 17 & 21, 1958; Carnegie Hall, New York, New York.

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, “Unfinished”. New York Philharmonic; Bruno Walter, Conductor. March 3, 1958; St. George Hotel, New York, New York.
Well, that's enough arcane musical research when I should be working. :D

Dave

David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr
Fanfare for a Meeting of the Minds (1:00)
http://www.SibeliusMusic.com/cgi-bin/sh ... reid=74514

Personal Assistant and Der Webmeister to author Denise Swanson
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pizza
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Post by pizza » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:57 am

MaestroDJS wrote: Well, that's enough arcane musical research when I should be working. :D
Sure looks like work to me! :shock:

MaestroDJS
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Post by MaestroDJS » Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:32 pm

Many of the votes for best version of Das Lied von der Erde go to Bruno Walter's recording with Kathleen Ferrier and the Vienna Philharmonic, and I would agree that it's outstanding. However I am also well pleased with Bruno Walter's April 1960 stereo remake with Ernst Haefliger, Mildred Miller and the New York Philharmonic. I've always enjoyed Mildred Miller's mezzo-soprano voice, although she made few recordings, and I wondered what prompted Walter to select her. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1924, the daughter of German immigrants named Müller (Mueller), and she had a very long and rewarding career:

Pitt Chronicle: Newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh
Flying Without a Safety Net: The 80 Years of Mildred Miller Posvar
December 13, 2004 Issue
http://www.umc.pitt.edu/media/pcc041213 ... osvar.html

Summary:
Mildred Miller gave 338 performances in 21 roles during her 23 years at the Metropolitan Opera. Her Met career overlapped with:
• her career as an acclaimed art song recitalist coast-to-coast, championed and coached in this highly specialized repertoire by one of history’s greatest art song interpreters, operatic soprano Lotte Lehmann;
• her appearances as a frequent guest in the 1950s and ’60s on “The Bell Telephone Hour,” first on radio and then on television, and on TV’s “The Voice of Firestone”;
• an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”;
• the first performance by a musician in the Nixon White House, her 1969 vocal recital honoring the retirement of U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren;
• her performances with other major opera companies throughout the United States and in Europe;
• her contributions as a recording artist, including her performance of Aaron Copland’s “In the Beginning” conducted by the composer, and her selection by legendary conductor Bruno Walter to sing as soloist in his landmark stereo recordings of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) and Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, the latter two winning the Grand Prix du Disque; and
• her responsibilities as a wife, a mother of three, and Pitt’s First Lady.
Dave

David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr
Fanfare for a Meeting of the Minds (1:00)
http://www.SibeliusMusic.com/cgi-bin/sh ... reid=74514

Personal Assistant and Der Webmeister to author Denise Swanson
http://www.DeniseSwanson.com
Murder of a Smart Cookie
Penguin Putnam ~ Signet, New York, NY

Heck148
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Post by Heck148 » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:42 am

MaestroDJS wrote:I am also well pleased with Bruno Walter's April 1960 stereo remake with Ernst Haefliger, Mildred Miller and the New York Philharmonic.
yes, this is one of my favorite recordings of DLvDE.
good soloists, and the orchestra is really brilliant.

special highlights are Harold Gomberg's wonderful performances of the big oboe solos in "autumn" and "farewell" - really phenomenal artistry...

the solo playing on all instruments is excellent throughout..

Walter really puts the farewell-finale across very effectively...there is a crushing finality, a closing to which there is no appeal, esp in the orchestral interlude prior to the final section...

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Post by Peter Schenkman » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:59 am

The two cited Bruno Walter recordings of Das Lied von der Erde, Vienna, 1952 and New York, 1960 are just two of many Walter performances of Mahler’s masterpiece available on CD. I’m sure that there are more out there, but looking through my shelves quickly I come up with the following. All of interest.

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

May 24, 1936; Vienna Philharmonic; Kerstin Thorborg, Charles Kullman (Naxos)
January. 8, 1948; New York Philharmonic, Kathleen Ferrier, Set Svanholm (Naxos)
May, 1952; Vienna Philharmonic, Kathleen Ferrier, Julius Patzak (Decca)
February. 22, 1953; New York Philharmonic; Elena Nilolaidi, Set Svanholm (Music & Arts)
April, (?), 1960; New York Philharmonic; Mildered Miller, Ernst Haefliger (CBS/Sony)
April 16,1960, New York Philharmonic; Maureen Forrester, Richard Lewis (Music & Arts)

Peter Schenkman
CMG Cello Specialist

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