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Thread: Mahler 8--What recordings do you own?

  1. #31
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biffo View Post
    What is a 100 choristers between friends!
    Choristers are real people (so I am told...)

    I am glad Kubelik gets a mention as well. I have him down as my benchmark for Mahler these days, but his DGG 8th is not a "big event" like some other recordings. Being so really helps, but it doesn't need to be, as nor for me is Tennstedt's calmer more considered recording, which all in all is almost as good as Solti's! Incidentally, if it's that DGG Kubelik you're recommending, Barbebleu, I'd be hard pushed to do the same for the slightly later Audite recording with the same basic forces. I find the recording quality a bit harsh, which detracts from the enjoyment.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Jun-30-2018 at 08:31.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    Choristers are real people (so I am told...)

    I am glad Kubelik gets a mention as well. I have him down as my benchmark for Mahler these days, but his DGG 8th is not a "big event" like some other recordings. Being so really helps, but it doesn't need to be, as nor for me is Tennstedt's calmer more considered recording, which all in all is almost as good as Solti's! Incidentally, if it's that DGG Kubelik you're recommending, Barbebleu, I'd be hard pushed to do the same for the slightly later Audite recording with the same basic forces. I find the recording quality a bit harsh, which detracts from the enjoyment.
    I've not heard that version Robert. Mine is the vinyl one before the DGG engineers went mental with the dynamics. I have a digital copy too but I find that I quite often stick on my vinyl Mahler and just thole the side breaks.

    For all of you scratching your heads at the word thole - it's an old Scottish word meaning tolerate or put up with! every day's a school day, eh!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Well why not? Why use some daft Latin based or Germanic/English phrasal verb when there's a good solid Gaelic/Celtic alternative!

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  6. #34
    Senior Member techniquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    How do you like the Mahlerfest recording?
    I only keep it for curiosity value really, and it would never be my go-to recording. The soloists are often very distant, and the ladies and children choirs sound as though they are really running out of steam in the sections prior to 'Blicket Auf'.
    The recording itself is very flat with the occasional (and almost obligatory) over-spotlighted trumpet. That being said, it's a very brave attempt and I bet it sounded wonderful to be there at the concert.
    There may come a time when Youtube won't let us do this...

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  8. #35
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Added a new one to my collection today:

    Bernstein NYP
    Gielen
    Olson (Mahlerfest)
    Shaw
    Solti
    Haitink

    And I am liking it quite a lot!
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Jun-30-2018 at 17:30.
    Media lies and dishonest governors managed to get Americans give up their liberties over a virus with a >99% survival rate.

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  10. #36
    Member Konsgaard's Avatar
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    The 8th is among my favourite Mahler symphonies so I own a lot of recordings. There's no point listing them all.

    BUT...

    The famous Solti recording was my introduction to the work and the reason it took me years to appreciate it. The 8th I think is the most spiritual Mahler symphony (along with the 2nd) and it takes more than great orchestral execution to get it right.

    Rattle captures the mysticism (still the sound could be better).

    So does Wit on Naxos, a performance that received excellent reviews and offers heartfelt playing and great recorded sound with plenty of reverb (that suits the symphony, in my opinion).

    Bertini, I think overall captures every single tiny detail and again offers a heartfelt performance.

    Finally, the Tennstedt live on the LPO live label is perhaps one of his greatest Mahler achievements. Exuberant, joyous, full of energy! Only drawback some tape hiss.

    So, these are my top 4 choices. Yes, I've heard Bernstein I and II, Abbado, Sinopoli, Chailly (slow tempi that work!), Nagano, Boulez, Gielen, Shaw, Solti, Haitink, Kubeli, Jarvi.

    If anyone is thinking of a budget Mahler 8, then the Wit on Naxos is as good as it gets.
    Last edited by Konsgaard; Jun-30-2018 at 19:08.

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  12. #37
    Senior Member techniquest's Avatar
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    If anyone is thinking of a budget Mahler 8, then the Wit on Naxos is as good as it gets.
    I agree; a sparkling, dignified performance with very good sound too.
    There may come a time when Youtube won't let us do this...

  13. #38
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konsgaard View Post
    So does Wit on Naxos, a performance that received excellent reviews and offers heartfelt playing and great recorded sound with plenty of reverb (that suits the symphony, in my opinion).

    If anyone is thinking of a budget Mahler 8, then the Wit on Naxos is as good as it gets.
    I passed on that one and got the Haitink set today. The Haitink sound seemed richer to me. Maybe check it out again next time I visit Dearborn Music. I like the Haitink but maybe should have both.
    Media lies and dishonest governors managed to get Americans give up their liberties over a virus with a >99% survival rate.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Added a new one to my collection today:

    Bernstein NYP
    Gielen
    Olson (Mahlerfest)
    Shaw
    Solti
    Haitink

    And I am liking it quite a lot!
    I have never been so much of a fan of Haitink's Mahler - too sane and sober for me - but could imagine this being what I would want in this symphony so I am tracking it down (decent used copies seem to sell quite cheaply online) to give it a go. After it I will return to the famous Solti that I have but didn't break this symphony for me the last time I tried.

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  16. #40
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Well, I have been listening to all of Mahler's symphonies in order, one per day, for the past week. An insane undertaking, I know, but it has been richly rewarding so far. Anyway, tomorrow I reach the 8th, long my least favorite Mahler symphony, and the piece which put me off Mahler for a long time after I heard Solti's famous performance (the first Mahler anything I ever heard). I am working on enjoying it, as it was Mahler's own favorite symphony and I am confident that there is something there.

    I have heard the Bernstein/London Symphony and the Solti/Chicago Symphony. Neither did much for me, but I would say the Bernstein was marginally better (he always had a more idiomatic feel for Mahler's music than did Solti). I recently picked up the Haitink/Concertgebouw and this will be the recording I listen to tomorrow. Haitink is always an excellent Mahler conductor and the RCO is one of THE great Mahler orchestras, I think, so I am very excited to check it out. However, should I fail to enjoy this recording, there are a few more I am very, very curious about. Namely, the Wit/Polish Radio – I am a big fan of maestro Wit and the rave reviews here have piqued my interest to an extreme degree – and then the Gielen on Sony. Also curious about the Boulez. And I'm sure one day I will return to the famous Solti with more perspective.

    I'll write back tomorrow, wish me luck






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  18. #41
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    The Gielen on Sony is a good one, imo. I think for many listeners starting out, Mahler no. 8 is a tough one and usually sited as the least favorite. But with time and repeated listening it becomes obvious that it is a great work full of beautiful music. I find Bernstein's 1st movt in the DG recording to be a bit too much. Way over the top for my taste. I prefer Gielen, Boulez, and Tennstedt. And I like Ozawa too. I haven't listened to Kubelik, Haitink, or Solti.
    Last edited by starthrower; Oct-20-2019 at 17:21.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

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  20. #42
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    The Gielen on Sony is a good one, imo. I think for many listeners starting out, Mahler no. 8 is a tough one and usually sited as the least favorite. But with time and repeated listening it becomes obvious that it is a great work full of beautiful music. I find Bernstein's 1st movt in the DG recording to be a bit too much. Way over the top for my taste. I prefer Gielen, Boulez, and Tennstedt. And I like Ozawa too. I haven't listened to Kubelik, Haitink, or Solti.
    I haven't heard any Gielen or Tennstedt. I have a feeling that when I decide to get into one or the other, it will be a big event. Or maybe it won't click with me at all. Either way, your positive words about the 8th symphony are helpful. I suspect you're right that there is really something there and it's just a matter of finding it through multiple listens and perhaps finding the right recording.

  21. #43
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    Solti as a single recording, plus Gielen, Haitink and Chailly in box-sets.

    I've listened to the Solti more than the others, as a function of both purchasing it first and enjoying the symphony less than all the others. I do like dynamism of Solti, haven't listened to the Gielen yet. I'm hoping that having become more accustomed to, and interested, in vocal music since first acquaintance with the symphony I'll get more out of it.

  22. #44
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I haven't heard any Gielen or Tennstedt. I have a feeling that when I decide to get into one or the other, it will be a big event. Or maybe it won't click with me at all. Either way, your positive words about the 8th symphony are helpful. I suspect you're right that there is really something there and it's just a matter of finding it through multiple listens and perhaps finding the right recording.
    A high quality recording can really help with this massive symphony. I'm very impressed with the Boulez on DG. I bought the 2 CD set for a few bucks.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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  24. #45
    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I have Bernstein (London and Vienna), Solti, Gielen, Maazel (live NY) and Abbado. I guess I like Solti the best but it’s my least favourite Mahler work so I don’t listen to it very often. All the choirs and soloists are just too much for me, but that’s my problem. Perhaps I’ll use this as an opportunity to give it another try.

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