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Thread: Recommended Mahler Symphonies, 11 Different Conductors, 11 Different Orchestras

  1. #1
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Default Recommended Mahler Symphonies, 11 Different Conductors, 11 Different Orchestras

    Here's a game. Make Mahler symphony recommendations, but you can name a conductor only once, and you have to include Das Lied von der Erde and No. 10 for full points. To make it level-2 challenging, you can only name each orchestra once as well. ETA, for level-3, you can only name each recording label once as well. (N.B., something like CBS/Sony counts as the same label, or London/Decca.)

    Here are my eleven for Level-2:

    #1 Walter, Columbia Symphony, 1962
    #2 Kubelík, Bavarian Radio, 1969
    #3 Boulez, Vienna Philharmonic, 2001
    #4 Szell, Cleveland Orchestra, 1965
    #5 Shipway, Royal Philharmonic, 1996
    #6 Iván Fischer, Budapest Festival, 2005
    #7 Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, 2002
    #8 Gielen, SWR Symphony, 2002
    Das Lied von der Erde Klemperer, Philharmonia, 1967
    #9 Bernstein, Concertgebuow, 1990
    #10 Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony, 2016
    Last edited by Knorf; Jun-05-2020 at 12:33.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    No. 1: Walter/Columbia
    No. 2: Tennstedt/LSO
    No. 3: Haven’t heard enough to make a fair choice
    No. 4: Mengelberg/RCO
    No. 5: Barshai/Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
    No. 6: Bernstein/VPO
    No. 7: Kubelik/BRSO
    No. 8: Horenstein
    Das Lied von der Erde: Klemperer/Philharmonia
    No. 9: Barbirolli/BPO
    No. 10: Ditto with No. 3

    Alright, I don’t get rewarded full points from Judge Knorf for leaving out 3 and 10, but those are the two Mahler symphonies that I haven’t spent the requisite time studying and comparing versions. I’m pretty satisfied with the rest of my choices - even though a couple of them wouldn’t be my absolute first overall they’re still in my upper echelon.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Jun-05-2020 at 03:22.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe." - Douglas Adams

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    Senior Member MrMeatScience's Avatar
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    An interesting game. I'd go for

    No. 1 Boulez/Chicago 1998
    No. 2 Mehta/WPO 1975
    No. 3 Haitink/BRSO 2017
    No. 4 Mengelberg/Concertgebouw 1938
    No. 5 Walter/NYPO 1947
    No. 6 Currentzis/Music Aeterna 2018
    No. 7 Gielen/SWR 1993
    No. 8 Fischer/Düsseldorfer 2019
    DLvdE Klemperer/Philharmonia 1964
    No. 9 Karajan/BPO 1980
    No. 10 Chailly/RSO Berlin 1988

    A lot of my favorites aren't represented for the sake of variety, but I enjoy all of these recordings.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Interesting rules! (Certainly more interesting than a simple my favourite/the best list.)

    Started with the symphonies that I have clear favourite performers and then filled in the rest without repeating the performers... with some hard choices of give-and-take -

    #1 François-Xavier Roth Les Siècles 2018 (Harmonia mundi)
    #2 Otto Klemperer Philharmonia Orchestra 1961/62 (EMI)
    #3 Jascha Horenstein London Symphony Orchestra 1970 (Unicorn-Kanchana)
    #4 Manfred Honeck Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra 2010 Live (Exton)
    #5 Leonard Bernstein Wiener Philharmoniker 1987 Live (DG)
    #6 Teodor Currentzis MusicAeterna 2016 (Sony)
    #7 Ádám Fischer Düsseldorfer Symphoniker 2015 Live (Avi Service for Music)
    #8 Riccardo Chailly Lucerne Festival Orchestra 2016 Live (Accentus)
    DLVDE Klaus Tennstedt London Philharmonic Orchestra 1982/84 (EMI)
    #9 Herbert von Karajan Berliner Philharmoniker 1982 Live (DG)
    #10 Thomas Dausgaard Seattle Symphony Orchestra 2015 Live (Seattle Symphony Media)

    Level-2 compliant! Do I get certification? (Sorry it's a software engineering joke.)

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    MrMeatScience and Kiki are now Level-2 Compliant!

    Allegro con brio needs to spend a wee bit more time with the Third and Tenth.

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    I had to get a wee bit creative for this, especially as Sanderling's recording, while otherwise very good, uses S/A

    #1 Kubelik, Bavarian Radio, ?
    #2 Barbirolli, Stuttgart Radio, 1970
    #3 Horenstein, LSO, ?
    #4 Tilson Thomas, SFSO, 2004
    #5 Barshai, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, 1999
    #6 T. Sanderling, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, 1995
    #7 Gielen, SWR Symphony, 1993
    #8 Dudamel, LA Philharmonic & Simon Bolivar O., 2012
    Das Lied von der Erde Klemperer, Philharmonia, 1967
    #9 Rattle, BPO, 2007
    #10 Harding, Vienna Philharmonic, 2008

    Incidentally, after recently having listened to a number of recordings of the 10th, my opinion of Dausgaard has dropped some, but that's a topic for another thread.

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    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Great game! Let's go:

    #1 Kondrashin, NDR Sinfonieorchester, EMI 1981
    #2 Vladimir Jurowski, LPO, LPO 2011 (2009 recording)
    #3 Haitink, BRSO, BR Klassik, 2017
    #4 Ivan Fischer, BFO Challenge Classics 2009
    #5 Bernstein, VPO DG 1988
    #6 Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Blu Ray/DVD Lucerne Festival 2011
    #7 Chailly, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Accentus DVD, 2015
    #8 Boulez, Staatskapelle Berlin, DG, 2013
    DLVDE Luisi, RCO, DVD RCO live, 2011
    #9 Karajan, BPO (live), DG, 1982
    #10 Gielen, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden Baden & Freiburg, SWRmusic/Naxos, 2005



    A few compromises to reach level 2 compliance and for DLVDE one extra to get the indispensable RCO in. I would almost have been level 3 compliant (11 different record labels), if it wasn't for DG, which appears 3 times, still 9 labels.

    Apart from this, all recordings are worthwhile and most are my first choice.
    Last edited by NLAdriaan; Jun-05-2020 at 07:43. Reason: swapped #8

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    That's interesting, Becca.

    I would have picked Harding/VPO for #10 which is my personal favourte of #10, but the VPO was already picked for #5. For #5 I could have picked Abbado/BPO to free up the VPO, but the BPO was already assigned to #9, which I couldn't change as my top favourites for #9 were all done by the BPO.

    Therefore for #10 I took the compromise and picked my next favourite Dausgaard, although Dausgaard's "turbulence" is very different from Harding's "fluffiness". I gather what others heard/like in them might be very different though.
    Last edited by Kiki; Jun-05-2020 at 07:33.

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Becca and NLAdriaan have earned Level-2 compliance. Level-3 would be quite extraordinary! I don't think I could do it. Hmmm...

    I like this game because some really interesting choices inevitably pop up. I'm making notes myself to listen to some new Mahler recordings I'm unfamiliar with! And seeing which choices we have in common, but how much variety remains, is very cool. Mahler recordings have come a long way from the days when hardly anyone knew or performed more than 1, 2, 4 and maybe 5.

    NLAdriaan, I share your enthusiasm for Boulez's Mahler 8.

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    1 Leinsdorf BSO
    2 Klemperer Philharmonia
    3 Levine CSO
    4 Reiner CSO
    5 Solti CSO
    6/7/8 no preference
    9 Barbirolli BPO
    10 Ormandy Philly
    dlvde no preference

  20. #11
    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    Becca and NLAdriaan have earned Level-2 compliance. Level-3 would be quite extraordinary! I don't think I could do it. Hmmm...

    I like this game because some really interesting choices inevitably pop up. I'm making notes myself to listen to some new Mahler recordings I'm unfamiliar with! And seeing which choices we have in common, but how much variety remains, is very cool. Mahler recordings have come a long way from the days when hardly anyone knew or performed more than 1, 2, 4 and maybe 5.

    NLAdriaan, I share your enthusiasm for Boulez's Mahler 8.
    Level 3 compliance could be reached within agreeable quality limits for my list as follows:
    swapping #5 for Vaclav Neumann with the Czech Philharmonic on Supraphon
    swapping #8 for Gergiev with the LSO on LSO live (quite a good one from this cycle)

    Et Voila, level 3

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  22. #12
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Gauntlet thrown! Ok, I'll work on one as well. Mine has four Deutsche Grammophon and two CBS/Sony. Eep.

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Level-3 Compliant! I'm kind of proud of this list.

    #1 Solti, Chicago Symphony, 1983, Decca
    #2 Klemperer, Philharmonia, 1962, EMI
    #3 Abbado, Lucerne Festival, 2007, Euroarts
    #4 Szell, Cleveland Orchestra, 1965, Sony
    #5 Shipway, Royal Philharmonic, 1996, RPO Edition
    #6 Iván Fischer, Budapest Festival, 2005, Channel Classics
    #7 Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, 1985, Deutsche Grammophon
    #8 Gielen, SWR Symphony, 2002, Hänssler
    Das Lied von der Erde Kubelík, Bavarian Radio, 1970, Audite
    #9 Neumann, Leipzig Gewandhaus, 1969, Berlin Classics
    #10 Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony, 2016, SSM

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    No.1 Mariss Jansons Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Audite-BR
    No.2 Otto Klemperer Philharmonia Orchestra EMI
    No.3 Bernard Haitink Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam Philips
    No.4 André Previn Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra EMI
    No.5 Leonard Bernstein Wiener Philharmoniker DG
    No.6 John Barbirolli Berliner Philharmoniker Testament
    No.7 Claudio Abbado Chicago Symphony Orchestra DG
    No.8 Bertrand de Billy ORF Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Oehms
    No.9 Jonathan Nott Bamberger Symphoniker Tudor
    DLVDE Yannick Nézet-Séguin London Philharmonic Orchestra LPO
    No.10 Thomas Dausgaard Seattle Symphony Orchestra SSO

    How's that for Level 2?
    instagram @granateclasico

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Nice, Granate. Everyone's choices are really interesting! My list of "Mahler to listen to" grows ever longer.

    NLAdriaan, I also feel wrong leaving the RCO off a Mahler list. I could swap out Mahler 8 with Gielen for Jansons and RCO on their home label, a superb performance.

    Alrighty. Current states of compliance:

    Perhaps didn't read the directions: david johnson
    Non-compliant: Allegro con brio
    Level-1: None
    Level-2: Becca, Granate, Kiki, MrMeatScience
    Level-3: NLAdriaan

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