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Thread: Mahler Symphony 2

  1. #46
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    While there are many reasons why the likes of Walter, Klemperer and Barbirolli are so often recommended, one notable reason can be summed up in the following table of timings:

    Walter/New York P.O. ........ 79:34
    Klemperer/Philharmonia ... 79:25
    Klemperer/Bavarian .......... 79:26
    Barbirolli/Stuttgart ............ 80:55

    Bernstein/NYPO (Sony) ..... 84:40
    Rattle/CBSO ....................... 85:42
    Tennstedt/LPO ................... 89.xx
    Bernstein/NYPO (DGG) ...... 93:xx

    Notice the gaping hole in timing between those 'rather ancient' recordings (particularly from those who knew and worked with Mahler) and more recent recordings. ... there seems to be a strong tendency to noticeably slow down and, in my opinion, not to the good. Yes there are exceptions, but this is not limited to the 2nd, it is true of others also ... parts of the 5th being a particularly egregious example.

    If you are not already familiar with the earlier recordings, you owe it to yourself to listen to them.
    Good point, Becca. I'm quite happy to champion new recordings if they're adding to our recording legacy. The tendency to slow down in Mahler is irksome and makes the music drag. The same happened to Beethoven symphonies at the turn of the last century and only now are we getting back up to speed again. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate and love a slow account but when it becomes the norm it annoys me.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Bernstein/NYPO (DGG) ...... 93:xx
    Fantastic reading, I happened to love both fastest and slowest on the list above, but the first movement is just plain wrong at this tempo.

  4. #48
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Totally forgot about this recording (so thanks to a poster on the Mahler 1 thread who mentioned Ozawa). Ive always thought Ozawa's Mahler is underrated but this one is highly recommended by most who've heard it and for good reason - its a cracker! Probably one of the best live 2nds around and Stutzmann and the Saito orchestra are superb.

    71pBv3By4iL._SX425_.jpg

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  6. #49
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Glad to see someone appreciating Ozawa's Mahler 2. Actually I mentioned this recording several posts above (#44) in this thread Brilliant throughout and especially ferocious 1st movement. Love it!
    Last edited by Azol; Jan-02-2019 at 11:54.

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  8. #50
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Glad to see someone appreciating Ozawa's Mahler 2. Actually I mentioned this recording several posts above (#44) in this thread Brilliant throughout and especially ferocious 1st movement. Love it!
    Whoops, sorry Azol. It is a cracker, though.

  9. #51
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I have various recordings of the 2nd

    Mehta and the VPO. Really fine and fiery

    Kubelik - one of the best Mahlerians.

    Klemperer - he knew Mahler so nuff said

    Barbirolli - sensational performance with BPO
    I must add Stokowski and Tennstedt and Rattle. How they add up!
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-04-2019 at 21:12.

  10. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rach Man View Post
    Actually, Honeck and the PSO were planning on recording a live Mahler 2 in June of 2017. But they decided not to do it a few weeks before the concert. I don't know what changed their minds. But I was at one of the Mahler 2 concerts at Heinz Hall and it was spectacular. It's a shame that it wasn't recorded.
    I was there, too, for the Sunday performance that month. A wonderful performance. Unforetuinately the huge tower chimes overpowered the entire orchestra during the very end of the finale.

  11. #53
    Member WaterRat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post


    Solti insisted on another take from Decca for 2nd, this final one at Medinah Temple venue Chicago (he was not satisfied with original recording) and he made quite a statement...........

    This one has a conclusion that captures the rapture, the blinding glory and power of leaving this mortal world and experiencing the infinite beyond, a vision beyond human description.....Solti triumphs here making most other versions seem like tepid affairs with no concept of what is being depicted musically, the final here blazes like a supernova and sweeps us away

    Decca should remaster this treasure and include a blu ray 24/96 version
    My fav 2nd, and Solti's best Mahler.

  12. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    Klemperer, Rattle, Solti's earlier recording are the best for me.

    I also still enjoy the famous (infamous???) first recording done by Gilbert Kaplan. It really feels like a real "event"!
    Forgive my ignorance. What makes it infamous? A shop nearby has a copy of this...

  13. #55
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Gilbert Kaplan was a publisher who founded the magazine Institutional Investor, and sold it making a lot of money. He had this thing about Mahler, particularly the 2nd, and used his money to pay someone to teach him how to conduct it. He rented Avery Fisher Hall in NY and the American Symphony Orch. for his 'debut'. He then ended up making a couple of recordings of it. The consensus that I am aware of is that the performances are about what one might expect under the circumstances. Needless to say, there are others out there who disagree.

  14. #56
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Gilbert Kaplan was a publisher who founded the magazine Institutional Investor, and sold it making a lot of money. He had this thing about Mahler, particularly the 2nd, and used his money to pay someone to teach him how to conduct it. He rented Avery Fisher Hall in NY and the American Symphony Orch. for his 'debut'. He then ended up making a couple of recordings of it. The consensus that I am aware of is that the performances are about what one might expect under the circumstances. Needless to say, there are others out there who disagree.
    The orchestras that Kaplan recorded with were the London Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic, both of which would probably have made decent recordings with one of the third stand cellists waving the stick.

    I don't think that either recording is essential per se, but the earlier one with the LSO is worth having for the extravagant documentation included with the CD's.

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  16. #57
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Gilbert Kaplan was a publisher who founded the magazine Institutional Investor, and sold it making a lot of money. He had this thing about Mahler, particularly the 2nd, and used his money to pay someone to teach him how to conduct it. He rented Avery Fisher Hall in NY and the American Symphony Orch. for his 'debut'. He then ended up making a couple of recordings of it. The consensus that I am aware of is that the performances are about what one might expect under the circumstances. Needless to say, there are others out there who disagree.
    Believe a certain Norman Lebrecht thought it wonderful and wondered why orchestras needed professional conductors. It is a remarkable achievement for an amateur but not really a remarkable performance.

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  18. #58
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Walter/New York P.O. ........ 79:34
    Klemperer/Philharmonia ... 79:25
    Klemperer/Bavarian .......... 79:26
    Barbirolli/Stuttgart ............ 80:55

    Bernstein/NYPO (Sony) ..... 84:40
    Rattle/CBSO ....................... 85:42
    Tennstedt/LPO ................... 89.xx
    Bernstein/NYPO (DGG) ...... 93:xx
    It is an interesting analysis but the more recent recordings chosen do seem to be ones that come in with unusually long timings. Some more timings (some more recent than others but all, I think, not ancient) are:

    Boulez ................... 81:18
    Kubelik .................. 70:22
    Mehta (Israel PO) .... 77:51
    Neumann ............... 75:35
    Tennstedt (live) ....... 76:06

    All are closer to the ancients and most are shorter. The big differences come from how long the last movement takes.

  19. #59
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    It is an interesting analysis but the more recent recordings chosen do seem to be ones that come in with unusually long timings. Some more timings (some more recent than others but all, I think, not ancient) are:

    Boulez ................... 81:18
    Kubelik .................. 70:22
    Mehta (Israel PO) .... 77:51
    Neumann ............... 75:35
    Tennstedt (live) ....... 76:06

    All are closer to the ancients and most are shorter. The big differences come from how long the last movement takes.
    You had better check your arithmetic, the two Kubelik recordings are 77 mins (DGG) and 80 mins (Audite - although that may include some applause.) As to the Tennstedt, the idea that his live performance is 13 minutes faster than his studio seems suspect. The one live version I can find (LPO label) is 93 minutes!

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  21. #60
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    You had better check your arithmetic, the two Kubelik recordings are 77 mins (DGG) and 80 mins (Audite - although that may include some applause.) As to the Tennstedt, the idea that his live performance is 13 minutes faster than his studio seems suspect. The one live version I can find (LPO label) is 93 minutes!
    Oops yes. You are right. I am sorry.

    I was getting the timings from my itunes library (rather than searching of the CDs) and failed to notice that those two have the last movement divided into more than one "song". So, Tennstedt's live account is indeed very long (nearly 94 minutes) and the Kubelik (DG) one is 76:22 - so still quite rapid. Solti is close to Boulez at 81:03. So the corrected list (with Solti added) is

    Boulez ................... 81:18
    Kubelik .................. 76:24
    Mehta (Israel PO) .... 77:51
    Neumann ............... 75:35
    Tennstedt (live) ....... 93:56!!!
    Solti ....................... 81:03

    My fingers are crossed: I think that it right, now. It does still seem that the ancients are not so much quicker than more modern accounts.

    My memory doesn't work quite as well as it used to (never mind about my arithmetic) and I am trying to match these figures with the impressions I have formed about the different accounts. The true timing for the live Tennstedt seems in line with how I remember it (I like it but it is not a favourite). The Mehta surprises me a little. It is a performance I like a lot but I can't remember finding it so much faster that your ancients. And the Neumann! (I hope I've counted right now ...).
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Jan-11-2019 at 21:14.

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