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Thread: Mahler Symphony no 6

  1. #181
    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
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    We can second guess composers all day long if we are so inclined. When I listen to Mahler's 6th it's no different than putting on any other symphony: I'm interested in hearing the work in the way the composer intended it to be heard and to judge it on its merits accordingly. Of course everyone is free to listen to any multi-movement musical work in the sequence that appeals most to them, regardless of what the composer thought most effective. In the case of Dvorak's 9th, one might even think the second movement would work better as an Adagio like Dvorak originally conceived it until the conductor who premiered the piece convinced Dvorak in rehearsal that it could be better when taken at a slower tempo. Maybe he got it wrong!

    But there's no need to try to justify personal preferences and to talk of ambiguity or uncertainty on Mahler’s behalf when all the current scholarship says otherwise.
    Last edited by WildThing; Aug-16-2019 at 04:18.

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  3. #182
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Just received this:

    Attachment 122540

    Two very different Sixths, will report back soon, if anyone's interested?
    Any thoughts so far?

    I'm shocked by how different they are. Polar opposites, I'd say.

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  5. #183
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    ^^^ Both are superbly played, but there's something that tells me the orchestra had "improved" over 40 years!!

    Gielen does S-A in the earlier recording, A-S in the final one. My personal preference is for the former order, whatever the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, but I think I prefer the slower performance, particularly as he brings more passion out of the Andante. The 1971 recording is possibly too fast, even more so with the first movement repeat.

    Neither has become a favourite on one hearing.

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  7. #184
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    ^^

    And Herr Gielen had slowed down by 20 mins in 40 years.

    Interestingly, I can see that his Sixth had been slowing down more and more through the years...

    1971 (SWR Music) 1:14:08
    1984 Live (Altus) 1:19:28
    1999 (Hänssler) 1:25:06
    2013 Live (SWR Music) 1:36:54

    I think the 1971 recording maintains the momentum throughout the piece very well and very consistently. Perhaps the release of energy in the Andante could be a bit more thorough, and overall it may sound a bit monotonous.

    The 2013 live recording could not be more different. I was really shocked. It seems every note and every passage lives in its moment. I cannot come up with a better description, but I do find it quite special. Not my favourite either. Personally I'd like something that sounds more manic.

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  9. #185
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    ^^^^ I'd go for something more bleak than manic! Possibly my favourite recording is Boulez......or Szell (both single-disc performances!?)

    .....that said, Karajan's Andante is a very special moment...in the 2013 Gielen approaches that.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Aug-19-2019 at 15:19.

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  11. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    ^^^^ I'd go for something more bleak than manic! Possibly my favourite recording is Boulez......or Szell (both single-disc performances!?)

    .....that said, Karajan's Andante is a very special moment...in the 2013 Gielen approaches that.
    Agree that Karajan's Andante is very special. I also like Karajan's first movement, which presents a mood which is less militaristic, more world-weary, than the typical performance. Maybe not quite what Mahler intended, but I find it an interesting contrast.
    Last edited by Baron Scarpia; Aug-19-2019 at 20:01.

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