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Thread: Mahler: Symphony No. 5

  1. #46
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    I still like the Karajan also very much, I know controversial but hey, it's my time.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    OMG, I forgot my current favourites, Ivan Fischer with the Budapest FO and Honeck with the Pittsburgh SO . If you haven't heard them then do yerselves a favour. Both are superb (especially the Honeck)


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  5. #48
    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    Default Mahler 5

    What makes or breaks the performance of #5 is pacing (I prefer quick) and tightness (all the musicians are "temporally aligned" -- i.e, on cue).

    Another important thing: for the recording (can't speak for actual/live) the balance engineering must be carefully/proactively "programmed". Mahler "bounces" instrument sounds (like muted trumpets and clarinets in high relief) at various times; std/generic mike placement on the orch. stage often misses or de-emphasizes these effects. The recording engineer must, IMO, be very intimately familiar with this work ahead of time in order to capture its acoustics.

    This is by far my fave Mahler work and one of my fave classical works of them all. I think I've heard most recordings mentioned in this thread.

    For performance, the fast-paced Mehta/Los Angeles (London/Decca 1976) is top. It is also a very clear/dynamic recording (as are many Decca's from the mid-late 1970s). Unfortunately, the balance engineering misses or under-emphasizes certain elements.


    -------

    While I'm not particularly impressed with the sloppy 1997 Koln performance by CSO/Barenboim, the balance engineering is perhaps its saving grace:


    The 1997 Koln recording's engineering is intimate and "chambery".

    Balance engineering seems to have been somewhat "standardizing" over the past dozen years, so you end up with large, open, full sound with plenty of deep-bass capture. For example:





    ++
    Last edited by 13hm13; Nov-06-2016 at 11:52.

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  7. #49
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    Either Solti/CSO will do it for me - 1970, and 1990. I heard the live #5 in March of '70 @ Carnegie Hall...amazing!! greatest concert I've ever heard. No recording could ever capture the incredible somority of the final pages of this work, the way it was played at that Carnegie Hall concert so long ago.
    Abbado/CSO is also really tops, as well,and in some ways recorded better by DG.
    for historical interest - Walter/NYPO from 1947 is most valuable.

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  9. #50
    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    Tennstedt/London Philharmonic
    Kubelik/Bavarian Radio Orchestra

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Shipway is a good one.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  13. #52
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    Abbado and the B.P is a very good contender.

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    For a more sunnier, affirmative approach to the 5th, Jukka Pekka Saraste's Virgin recording with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a good one. Some may not care for it. One person I know called it 'Mahler lite', but I don't think it has to be heavier than heaven to enjoy it. I think it is quite satisfying and one may come away from it feeling elated by this impressive recording. Saraste had recently recorded the symphony again. I have not heard it though.
    If I want it hard and fast, I find the Solti/CSO 1970 Decca recording to be perfect. It's really exciting and has super-human playing. At 66 minutes it's among the fastest I know but has plenty of passion if not the depth. As for Lenny, his DG/VPO recording is a bit over-wrought and sludgy to me. His Sony suffers from bad sound and occasionally scrappy ensemble playing. I like Lenny on video with the VPO. It's from the DVD set of Mahler symphonies that Lenny recorded in the 1970's.
    Others I like are Abbado/BPO which has wonderful detail, Chailly/RCO and Tennstedt's live performance from the late eighties.
    Karajan is good if not great with a wonderful adagietto.
    I know that I may take some heat for this but Barbirolli kind of leaves me cold. I find him to be too slow and subdued. It is an architectural reading in my mind. I can understand the attraction but I need more passion and urgency in this symphony.

    My favorites are Solti/CSO, Bernstein/VPO on video, Maazel and Chailly. Saraste is a go to if I want to hear a lighter but still exciting approach. I'd like to hear the Honeck/Pittsburgh recording but those Exton's are quite expensive! His 3rd is marvelous. One of the best I have heard. There are many I have not heard, so my assessments are limited in that respect.

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    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn67 View Post
    Tennstedt/London Philharmonic
    Kubelik/Bavarian Radio Orchestra
    Since these are the only two I own, they win every time
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
    R. Kipling

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    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    Since these are the only two I own, they win every time
    After having bettered, I feel, Bernstein/N.Y. Phil, Karajan/Berlin Phil., Barbirolli/New Philharmonia, Solti/Chicago Sym. and Levine/Philadelphia Orch., they're the only ones I still own too.

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  18. #56
    Senior Member Oldhoosierdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    This one is very good:
    This is the one I have. Once I heard it I didn't need any other. Got the audiophile download for whatever that means. I do have Abravenel from a box download which isn't bad perhaps a bit underpowered.

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    Senior Member Joe B's Avatar
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    I love music. I want music. I need music.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    John Barbirolli with the New Philharmonia Orchestra has the most beautiful, warm and tender Adagietto I've heard so far—just perfect—and so wonderfully serene. In fact, I like his entire performance.



    My apologies to those who like von Karajan's recording... I wouldn't exactly say I didn't care for his infuriating distortion of Mahler's intentions, but I unceremoniously threw the disc out the window to the birds, along with Hvk's bombastic distortion of Mahler's 6th, and suddenly they stopped singing and flew away. He did better with the 9th.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Dec-02-2017 at 05:29.
    "That's all Folks!"

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  24. #59
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    Joe B., Haitink is another pioneer of Mahler's symphonies. In the movie "Mahler" directed by Ken Russell and starring Robert Powell (of Jesus of Nazareth fame) as Mahler, Haitink's recordings were used for the film. It worked for me. I love the movie! It's quirky, yes. Also more than a bit convoluted, but all in all it shows Russell's sincere love for the man and the music.
    I regret to say that I don't own much of Bernard Haitink's Mahler, apart from his masterful readings of the 9th and Das Lied von der Erde. I'm always in awe of these works whenever a performance wins me over. I think that it was Mahler's intention for this to be so. As a conductor he once said something to the effect that 'my music will be judged by it's interpreters.' He seemed to have faith in the idea that they would understand his music and raise it to the ranks of excellence. If this is so, he was 100% right.

  25. #60
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    I agree that Barbirolli's adagietto is marvelous. I find Karajan's 6th to be a bit over-rated although the slow movement is only matched by his counterpart Leonard Bernstein in his VPO DG reading. Karajan did have a way with slow movements of great symphonies. I don't think it can even be argued. The guy KNEW how to be.........ethereal. More than most I have heard. That said, he had a pretty good orchestra too.
    Last edited by KJ von NNJ; Dec-02-2017 at 05:08.

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