Customer Review

2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mahler symphonies, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 (LSO/Gergiev) (Audio CD)
It's hard to get all this music ideally recorded in one box, and I don't think it's ever been achieved. The playing is fine however, and interpretation is a subjective issue (after all, it's very easy to get used to a favourite recording). The recordings seem rather distant to me, as I have previously enjoyed many LSO live recordings, e.g. Sibelius & Dvorak symphonies, various Berlioz, etc.).
In summary, at the moment I feel that some of the symphonies fare better than others but a) I need to spend more time with them; and b) they still represent good value for money and you certainly shouldn't discount getting hold of them.
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Initial post: 1 Feb 2014 11:46:28 GMT
Clementi says:
I found your review both interesting and helpful.

I find that, particularly with Mahler, it's all about the conductor! Actually, a similar issue arises with Wagner.

It's also about personal choice and personal preference I think. I once had a Georg Solti interpretation of the Wagner Ring Cycle and, truly, there are parts of it where I genuinely wondered if Solti had died - it's just so slow! If you compare it to someone like Abbado, well, they really couldn't be more different. Von Karajan has similar tendencies to Abbado in that he tends to go at it with some speed, whatever it is! And, for me personally, I LOVE this type of conducting.

Another great conductor is John Gardner (may be Gardener - not sure of spelling) , but again, he has great similarities to Abbado and Von Karajan in my opinion but, as I said, it's subjective really.

The main problem I have with many of the cheaper available versions comes down to the conductor if I'm honest - if you put aside poor recording quality etc. Last night I was searching for a newish recording of Mozart's Requiem in D Minor and, although there are a plethora available, it literally took me hours to find one I could live with (no pun intended since it is a Requiem!)

The LSO tend to give reasonable performances in my experience but it can be hit and miss and, every now and then, they give beyond superb experiences - but, then again, sometimes they give mediocre ones so it pays to maybe do a You Tube search before buying one on here to see if anyone has uploaded a live performance by the same orchestra and/or conductor to see how you feel about it.

Anyway, back to Mahler - Mahler is somewhat "schizophrenic" anyway if I'm honest and that's mostly why I love him so much. Well, that, and the fact that he hangs around just on the nice side of bonkers!

But, anyway, thank you for your review and I hope you are able to find enjoyment in the Mahler's - although I'm not sure it's about giving the time, I honestly think it's about gut reaction. :-)
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