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Mahler: Symphony No.9
Mahler: Symphony No.9
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 15.88

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bernstein's CBS/SONY recording of Mahler #9 is better, 30 Nov 2004
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.9 (Audio CD)
Unlike Abbado, whose late Mahler recordings with the Berliners are superior to his earlier takes in Vienna and Chicago, Bernstein's late Berlin recording of Mahler no. 9 is less successful compared with his earlier account with New York Philharmonic (CBS/SONY). The early CBS recording belongs to every serious collection: it is a very good recording, and the interpretation is both balanced and breathtaking.
By contrast, this live performance suffers from Bernstein's late tendency to exaggerate phrasings, tuttis, etc. In addition, there is a fatal mistake committed by the trombone section at the climax of the final movement. Apparently the whole section went for a coffee brake, because they do not play at all when they are supposed to play fff.
To sum up: If you are a completist, or a Bernstein fan, this record is essential. But if you just want Bernstein's best interpretation of Mahler's last completed symphony, I advice you to look for the CBS/SONY recording.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 8:51 PM BST


Mahler - Symphony No 6
Mahler - Symphony No 6

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprice, 3 Sep 2004
This review is from: Mahler - Symphony No 6 (Audio CD)
Many critics hold the Stockholm live sixth to be Horenstein's weakest Mahler interpretation. The main criticism is that there are many playing flaws, and the whole orchestra has been blamed for being slack.
But, as is the case with Barbirolli's Hallé Mahler recordings, even if the orchestra isn't first-rate, the interpretation - in my view - surely is. I am not a fan of Horenstein, but listening to this recording was a nice surprise. Actually I think it is far better than Horenstein's overrated account of the third. Horenstein's conception of how to perform the symphony is second to none, and the weak playing... Well: there are differences between flaws and flaws, especially in the case of the brass department. Sometimes flaws are not real catastrophes but rather spices, adding to the "sense of occasion" due to committed playing. A dull interpretation with stylish, perfect playing is boring, but a committed and concentrated performance never is - with or without playing flaws. (The same holds for Horenstein's live performance of the ninth, which has more serious flaws than here.)
Moreover, in many parts of this performance we do get lovely playing from the Stockholm PO. Trombones are often excellent, with a perfect bite. String playing in the andante is overall very good. And the hammerblows in the finale are excellent. Add then that Horenstein's interpretation is intense and interesting, a well-behaving audience, and a pretty good recording quality, and we have to reject the common view that this disc is not worth serious consideration. I think it deserves at least four stars. Recommended.


Mahler - Symphony No 1
Mahler - Symphony No 1

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Horenstein's best, 14 Aug 2004
This review is from: Mahler - Symphony No 1 (Audio CD)
This is one of Horenstein's best Mahler recordings. The interpretation, orchestral playing, and recording quality (stereo) form a musical unity that is memorable and musically convincing as well. But due to Horenstein's subjective choices, the interpretation is not, in my view, as consistent as Kubelik's (DG or Audite), Walter's (SONY) or Barbirolli's (Dutton), which I consider to be the first choices. For example, the broad tempo choice at the very end is hardly what Mahler indicates in the score.
Nonetheless, this disc is a must for every serious collector.


Mahler: Symphony 4
Mahler: Symphony 4
Offered by nagiry
Price: 6.28

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A famous sleeper, 9 Aug 2004
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony 4 (Audio CD)
This famous 1974 recording with James Levine and Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the great performances of Mahler's 4th.
Here are some reasons. First, Levine is faithful to Mahler's score, no doubt about that. Most rubatos are there, and the odd tempo changes as well (for instance at the very beginning). Second, CSO is in top form. Third, it is a very good recording. Fourth, Judith Blegen is pretty convincing as childish in the final movement (at least in my ears).
At midprice, a self-recommending issue.


Symphony No. 3 (Abravanel, Utah So, Kopleff, Davrath, Sills)
Symphony No. 3 (Abravanel, Utah So, Kopleff, Davrath, Sills)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 11.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Abravanels best, 9 Aug 2004
This set is an incredible bargain. You get a very fine interpretation of Mahler's third symphony for a very low price. Maurice Abravanel and Utah SO are perhaps not the most famous Mahler-music makers today, but in the Mahler record history they have a solid reputation.
Abravanel's take of Mahler 3 is one of his best achievements. This is at least my impression, when I compare it with the other recordings of his that I have in my collection. It has the quality of a live performance, with a spacious and and a somewhat reverberate sound from the Tabernacle acoustics. And the Utah SO playing is a bit raw at times, especially in the brass. But this is as it should be, with this symphony-it should be as a part of nature itself: compare with Barbirolli's Hallé recording (BBC legends)!
Abravanel's interpretation is also quite faithful to the score, as far as I can see. Warmly recommended.


Symphony 10 & 5
Symphony 10 & 5
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: 29.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great 5th and a very interesting 10th, 9 Aug 2004
This review is from: Symphony 10 & 5 (Audio CD)
This bargain twofer contains two excellent recordings that must be included in any serious Mahler CD collection. Rudolf Barshai is conducting Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, an ambitious orchestra that gives its very best under the conductor's baton.
First we have an excellent interpretation and live performance of the fifth symphony, well recorded. The disc is worth buying just for the excellent take of the adagietto, below 9 minutes in duration - at love song pace and not at funeral pace, so to speak, which is interpretatively correct. (Mahler wrote the piece as a love song but some conductors, Bernstein for instance, have wrongly presented it as a funeral piece.) But all the movements are equally well presented, with perfect clarity and balance. So this is indeed one of the best recordings of the fifth that we have. It is in the league of Bruno Walter's mono recording on CBS/Sony and Kiril Kondrashins USSR take on Audiophile Classics. But Barshai's interpretation is far better recorded.
Secondly we have an interesting and moving interpretation AND version of the unfinished tenth symphony - Barshai's own. Thus it is not Cooke's familiar version we have here, as in Simon Rattle's fine berlin recording. Many times Barshai has made choices somewhat different from Cooke's. But there are not many great surprises. Barshai's version sounds a bit more extravagant than Cooke's austere version, however. Playing is excellent throughout, though not as outstanding as in the fifth. The engineering provides a clear and detailed recording.
Strongly recommended.


Ls 1053 - Deleted
Ls 1053 - Deleted

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A memorable performance, 21 Jun 2004
This review is from: Ls 1053 - Deleted (Audio CD)
On this disc we have a live performance of Das Lied von der Erde. George Szell is conducting Cleveland Orchestra in a memorable performance given in Berlin 1967. Szell's reputation as a Mahler conductor is firmly established by his balanced interpretations of the fourth and sixth symphonies. The present performance is almost in the same class. Forrester and Lewis are soloists, and the orchestra is splendid. The drawback is the recording, which is quite boxy. Nonetheless, this disc is a fine addition to the collection.


Symphony 6 in a Minor
Symphony 6 in a Minor

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely satisfying account, 4 Feb 2004
This review is from: Symphony 6 in a Minor (Audio CD)
It surpises me that I am writing the first review of this record at amazon.co.uk. For what we have here is an outstanding disc, an interpretation of Mahler's sixth symphony that must be considered as the first choice.
Thomas Sanderling is probably not the conductor you'll think about as a Mahler conductor. But in fact, the great Mahler conductors of the past have usually produced pretty weak interpretation of this work. So the Sanderling account sets a new standard on how to balance the extremes of the work: not so overtly personal as rattle or Barbirolli, not so rushed as Bernstein, not so meticulously grasped as Zander (too loud hammerblows there!). Sanderling's interpretation is following mainstream in placing the andante as the third movement, having two hammerblows (compare with Rattle), including the exposition repeat in the first movement (by contrast, consider Szell and Barbirolli).
But doing so he is doing a great job: we get a very clear view of the work, and the playing from St Petersburg has few rivals in sheer excellence. In addition, the recording is warm and spacious. At midprice, there is no reason to hesitate: this record should be in every Mahler collection.


Mahler - Symphony No 6
Mahler - Symphony No 6
Price: 10.37

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect balance, 15 Jan 2004
This review is from: Mahler - Symphony No 6 (Audio CD)
On this record we have Günther Herbig in a live performance of Mahler's sixth, with Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra playing. A less well-known orchestra and not quite so famous conductor. But this is the recording I am most pleased with among the available versions of the sixth I have heard.
Some drawbacks first: Herbig omits the first movement exposition repeat, but with the excuse that the recording is taken from a concert. There are a few coughs audible.
Half-cons: Andante is placed second, as with Rattle. But this is perhaps not a drawback. Since the whole performance is placed on one disc this can easily be adjusted by programming the CD player.
Some pros: the orchestra plays as good as possibly they can, not on routine. Herbig adopts a detached view of the work, not over-emphasizing any part or section. The hammerblows (two) in the finale are for example loud but not too loud as in Zander's take with Philharmonia. The interpretation is similar to Bernstein's and Szell's (but is far better recorded than these). That is: it has an forceful drive but it is not extravagantly "personal", as for example Barbirolli's and Rattle's. Nothing is overarticulated.
Hence this is a very "symphonic" Mahler sixth, in which the classical structure of the work gets a clear, well performed, and powerful presentation. Very well recorded and at midprice, it is a bargain.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2012 10:42 AM BST


Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Offered by BellaLuna
Price: 7.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paul Kletzki interpretation of of Das Lied von der Erde, 14 Jan 2004
The alternate take of Das Lied von der Erde, which uses a baritone instead of a mezzo (together with the usual tenor), has few recorded incarnations. This CD, however, contains one of the classic though underrated accounts: Paul Kletzki is conducting the Philharmonia, and Murray Dickie (tenor) and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) are soloists.
At face value, and with recording history in mind, one could have expected that this recording would be no match for the later very famous Bernstein version, with Vienna PO, having Fischer-Dieskau and King as soloists.
But in my view, Kletzki is a far better Mahler interpreter than Bernstein - he is simply more frantic and straightforward, less sentimental. And this makes a great deal when comparing these discs: where Bernstein lets his passion interrupt the flow of the music, so that we hear more of Bernstein than of Mahler, Kletzki makes the Philharmonia play as if it were the last day of the world - as I suppose Mahler would have done it.
Regarding the soloists on the Kletzki take: Dickie makes a good job, even if he's not a Heldentenor like King. And Fischer-Dieskau is singing with a sense of discovery. On the Bernstein take, by contrast, he sings on routine.
Moreover, the recording quality fits at least my ear pretty well.
At bargain price, hence, this CD is a must for Mahler collectors.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2011 12:03 PM BST


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