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Thread: Simon Rattle's 1987 & 2018 Berlin Mahler 6

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Default Simon Rattle's 1987 & 2018 Berlin Mahler 6

    https://www.berliner-philharmoniker-.../mahler-6.html

    The Berliner Philharmoniker Recording package finally arrived!

    The 2018 Mahler 6 is mighty. A highly satisfying performance. I have not felt so moved by a Mahler 6 performance for a very long time. Intense and refined. The orchestral playing is glorious. And the crown jewel must be the Andante. I was melted.

    It is not an emotional outburst from start to finish (e.g. Bernstein), nor a matter-of-consequence kind of reading (e.g. Haitink). It is on the cold side, but still driving hard. Imagine a heavy weight snow mobile racing across the Antarctic Plateau. Given that I like the live Tennstedt and the Chailly/Gewandhaus (not No. 6 though), you might have some idea whether my enthusiasm means anything to you.

    As a Rattle-hater I need to find something to moan about... the two hammer blows sound slightly different from each other. Wow, the end of the world must be coming!... Seriously, I can't pinpoint anything that I don't like. Allow me to say this again, it was a very satisfying listen for me.

    On the other hand, Rattle's view did not seem all that different 31 years ago in the 1987 Mahler 6. Unfortunately the 1987 recording is rather flat. A lot of the sonority is missing. This is a bit disappointing. I have to admit I don't feel very motivated to listen with intent, or to compare it with the 2018 performance in details. Something for another day then, to get to know the 1987 performance better.

    In spite of that, I'm still very happy because of the 2018 recording!

    Ah, before I forget... Rattle played the A-S order and there were only 2 hammer blows.

    The release itself is not as satisfactory. The physical package is big, bulky and difficult to flip the pages while holding it, just like all other Berlin physical packages.

    On the other hand, the digital download is full of errors. The directory and file names are incorrectly named even though the contents are OK. Also the digital booklet mentions the 2018 recording only. It completely omits the 1987 recording (track listing, timings, recording data). On the other hand, the physical booklet includes references to both the 2018 and 1987 recordings. Strange error.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Glad you like it. I stopped listening to the Rattle haters years ago after some negative comments on one classical site about his very impressive Dvorak Tone Poems disc (the critics and myself thought it was excellent). I've yet to hear the latest Mahler 6 but look forward to doing so. Gotta be better than Vanska's last attempt.
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-25-2018 at 00:13.

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    My experience with doing the recent Mahler 4th blind comparison and a blind Ring from some time ago, is that Rattle can often surprise the nay-sayers.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    .... Gotta be better than Vanska's last attempt.
    The opening march of Vänskä’s Maher 6 reminds me of a funfair parade. There are some extreme slowing down in places, and the phrasing is a bit um, unusual as well. To be fair the pianissimo playing is very beautiful. But honestly, Rattle is in a different league.

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