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Showing 51-59 of 59 posts in this discussion
Posted on 6 Jun 2012 10:37:53 BDT
JayJayDee says:
And now you can leave those discs in their sleeves because the Kullman/Thorberg '36 performance is on Naxos Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde [Recorded 1936 & 1938] for a fiver (almost the equivalent of a penny-farthing compared to what record collecting used to squeeze us for!

Posted on 6 Jun 2012 12:13:10 BDT
Lez Lee says:
Thanks JJ - any ideas what I can do with them, does it have to be the bin or do they have any value?

Posted on 6 Jun 2012 12:50:29 BDT
Gordon D says:
Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique: the piece our high-school music teacher played us to try to get us to appreciate something other than pop/rock. Failed abjectly on 31 kids in the class; achieved slightly delayed success with me. I still go back to it from time to time and I have a very soft spot for Berlioz, even if I now greatly prefer La Damnation de Faust, Les Troyens and Roméo et Juliette to Symphonie Fantastique.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2012 13:30:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2012 13:38:48 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Lez Lee, I'd have thought that if those Walter/Mahler 78s are unplayed (as distinct from worn out with rose thorns like my parents' collection of much-loved 78s) they'd be very, very valuable. And if not astronomic in monetary terms I'd guess that they (and you) are absolutely priceless in historical value to the music industry and music lovers!
(Cheeky, winking, smiley face not available on AmazonClassical).
C'mon, lass! Your story as to how they remain unplayed is worthy of a thread in itself - at the very least!

And Gordon, my fascination for SF (under Beecham) was entrenched because I regularly heard it wafting up the stairs as my last audible memory before sleeping as an 8 or 9 year old. I moved on to 'Harold' as an obsession. But THEN....after I heard the Pretre/Baker Damnation, and then Crespin's 2 LP excerpts of Les Troyens and, up to now, I agree fully with your ranking! I think Berlioz comes round in cycles and his time might be due again soon!
Les Troyens - Highlights

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2012 17:09:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2012 19:22:04 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Second JJD's request for the story of your unplayed 78s of Mahler's "Song of the Earth", Lez Lee, live from Vienna on 24 May 1936 by Bruno Walter, the Vienna Philharmonic, Kerstin Thorborg and Charles Kullmann, probably with Mahler's brother-in-law Arnold Rose in the concertmaster's chair. Alma in the first row, and some members who had worked under Mahler. It was the 25th anniversary of Mahler's death. Two years later Walter and the VPO recorded live Mahler's Ninth, a few weeks before the Anschluss.

My set of those 78s was played to death. The church choir I was directing by default gave them to me as a graduation present. Dissatisfied with the text translations, I made my own. Then EMI Reference, Great Recordings and later Dutton (the best transfers I've heard) and Naxos. Some acoustical details of the orchestra are better than in any later recording I know, such as the spot two-thirds through "Abschied" where the bottom drops out and the Vienna basses go through the floor.

I've had them on LP, CD, and 78s.

Posted on 6 Jun 2012 18:50:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Apr 2014 13:43:31 BDT
Lez Lee says:
OK, in response to public demand......
In the early 1960s I started going to WEA ( Piso - that's Workers' Educational Association) Music Appreciation classes. They were held at the Royal Institution, Liverpool and the fees (£10 a term) included full use of the facilities. There was a well-stocked library, newspapers and magazines, and an excellent café. There were also occasional recitals and talks - I remember a lecture by Morton Feldman (I didn't understand any of it, rather like his music) and a harpsichord recital by, I think, George Malcolm.
Anyway there was also a large cupboard full of sets of symphonies etc all on 78s and unplayed as by this time LPs had become the norm. There came a wonderful day when they opened up the cupboard to the ravening hoards of music-lovers and said we could have as many as we liked, free! I came away with Schubert's 9th (don't remember the details) and the Mahler. This more out of a sense of duty as I've never been all that keen on Das Lied but I realised the Walter was desirable. The Schubert suffered a bad case of damp and mould but good old Mahler has been carted around in a sturdy X-Ray box through 3 house moves and remains pristine.

Posted on 6 Jun 2012 19:17:46 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Thanks Lez.... please make sure the beneficiaries of your will know the value of that set!
Piso, I think that Walter plumbs the orchestral detail better than any other conductor.
Even the (somewhat maligned) 1961 New York effort with Mildred Miller has (for me) the very best available central passage of Abschied, with a shattering ff on the trombones at bar 367. Makes me shudder just thinking of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2012 19:26:54 BDT
Edgar Self says:
That's a delightful story and picture, Lez Lee, thank you.

JJD -- I agree as to Bruno Walter and "Song of the Earth". Everysubsequent recording has merits, acoustical and musical or vocally, and Klemperer's with Christa Ludwig and Fritz Wunderlich is another classic, but I cherish each of Walter's recordings and I think have them all. Mildred Miller is particularly fine, and with ideal German diction, like Maureen Forrester. It's amazing what those blessed engineers captured in 1936, 1938, and later.

Obviously Bruno Walter has a special relationship to the work, which Mahler played (and sang!) to him before Walter conducted the premiere after Mahler died.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2012 22:43:20 BDT
Mondoro says:
Piso, This is evident in that rehearsal which was the fourth side of the Walter Mahler 9 CBS recording from the early 60s which I literally played to death - that and the Walter Das Lied with Kathleen Ferrier.
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Initial post:  15 May 2012
Latest post:  8 Jun 2012

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