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I’ve been listening to the Bernstein, Kollo, Ludwig, Israel PO live one. Brilliantly exhilarating.
 

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I don't think I have ever systematically evaluated my recordings. But roughly it's like this: The most important part by far is of course the last one, the next important is the first song, then follow the 2nd and 4th and the two "scherzando" tenor songs last.
It is very unlikely that any of the 4 middle songs will make/break a recording of LvdE for me.
However, it usually does not work by evaluating the most important parts but by exclusion beause of things I dislike or that annoy me, especially about the singers.

No conducting and playing can redeem the piece if I am constantly annoyed with or dislike timbre, mannerisms etc. of the singers. And in the end it usually boils down to the tenor (+ fortunate miking) making most of the first song because to me this one seems the one most easy to fail because you need someone like a "lyric Heldentenor". Whereas an alto would have to have damn annoying vibrato or something to totally spoil "Der Abschied" for me, so despite this being by far the most important part, the most likely exclusion/devaluation for me comes from the tenor in the first song.
 

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As with a lot of Mahler, I like a cooler, more introspective Das Lied that isn't too overwrought and melodramatic. The music establishes the drama without being pushed and pulled excessively. I get that from Walter and Boulez.
Have you heard the Kent Nagano with Klaus Florian Vogt and Christian Gerhaher? Sounds like that would be up your alley.
 

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Time for a really dark horse (which I found in my collection today, totally forgot that I owned it):

Sky Nature Natural landscape Water Tree


Taped in 1974, it's very curious recording in that it's practically a remake of the famous Horenstein version from two years earlier, with the same soloists (Mitchinson and Hodgson) but now with the Scottisch National Orchestra (we're still in the north of the UK) and Gibson conducting.

I should give it a spin again, but I don't think it made a big impression. Maybe better played than the Horenstein recording, but with less emotional impact and Gibson's direction seems rather uninvolved. Sound seems better though, and the soloists are superb, specially Hodgson.

 

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fluteman - OH, my ... Ferrier was "terrible", in the Walter/VPO recording?! I disagree ... but, to be honest, I haven't listened to Walter/NYP in the same work. ... Also, to all, maybe someone could mention a Mahler "master" - Jascha Horenstein, in his recording with Alfreda Hodgson and John Mitchinson. Sure, Mitchinson is probably not the BEST tenor, in his role ... but Horenstein & Hodgson truly make-up for certain shortcomings, IMO.
 

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My opinions have nothing to do with what "pervading opinion" is or isn't here, but are as developed in up to 55 years of constant listening. Why do I have to worry about whether my opinions jibe with those of others here or elsewhere? Why does whatever the "pervading opinion" is here matter at all?

And anyway, are the Mahler recordings of Bruno Walter and Pierre Boulez considered second rate here or elsewhere? Walter was a student and disciple of Mahler himself. Boulez as a conductor is well-known for his interpretations of Mahler, as well as Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky. His own music may be controversial in the "pervading opinion" here, but I don't see why that is relevant. I notice both recordings I cited were cited as favorites by other posters before me. Again, if that matters.

I happen to be a fan of Van Beinum. I think If he hadn't passed away at a relatively early age he likely would have made a lot more stereo commercial recordings (I believe he only made one or two) and he would have been a much bigger name. I think there are other Van Beinum fans here. Once again, if that matters.

Finally, I remember reading that Ferrier's illness did affect her later recordings. But my opinion is based on the recordings I have heard, many of which I own.

Edit: I never thought I would cite David Hurwitz, whom I despise, for support on any topic, but here is what he says about Ferrier's Das Lied, at least the recording I know:

Bruno Walter recorded Das Lied three times, and the most famous recording is his second one, recorded in the 1950s for London and featuring Kathleen Ferrier and Julius Patzak. That record has enormous sentimental value for the British, because they can't get enough of Ferrier, who died tragically of cancer in 1953 at the age of 41. But the fact is, she sounds terrible on the recording, and Patzak was well past his prime, too. Also, the postwar Vienna Philharmonic was no match for the New York Philharmonic in performing this music; the New York orchestra has an even more authentic Mahlerian pedigree than do the Viennese. This final stereo performance, then-- Walter's last thoughts on the piece that he premiered 50 years earlier--is the one to own.

So he prefers the Walter version I happen to like. Sigh. Fortunately, Ferrier lived (just) long enough to record a fair variety of repertoire, so all can make up their own minds.
Funny that after 55 years of listening you contradict the opinion of the man who actually knew Maher. " The greatest things in my life I've been knowing Kathleen Ferrier and Mahler in that order " (Bruno Walter) I have actually been listening for 55 years too and would disagree with that opinion! It does not only appear to go against received opinion but against common sense as well from what one can hear.
 

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Funny that after 55 years of listening you contradict the opinion of the man who actually knew Maher. " The greatest things in my life I've been knowing Kathleen Ferrier and Mahler in that order " (Bruno Walter) I have actually been listening for 55 years too and would disagree with that opinion! It does not only appear to go against received opinion but against common sense as well from what one can hear.
The portion of my post you highlighted, in which it says "[Kathleen Ferrier] sounds terrible", is a direct quote from a David Hurwitz review. Those are his words, not mine. Nor is it my opinion. It is my opinion that I prefer the Walter / Miller / Haefliger / New York Philharmonic recording to the Ferrier recording, and in particular Miller's interpretation and performance to Ferrier's interpretation and performance, as David Hurwitz does.

As I don't entirely agree with Mr. Hurwitz's review, I can hardly criticize you if you don't either. But what I find almost comical about your post is that you feel the need to cite "received opinion" and "common sense" in support of your tastes in music. Why not have the confidence and security to stand by your opinion, accept the fact that we disagree, and that both of us disagree, though maybe in different ways, with Mr. Hurwitz, and move on?

I only cited the Hurwitz review to illustrate how tastes in music can, and will, differ. I don't need his review as a security blanket, as I tried to make clear.
 

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The portion of my post you highlighted, in which it says "[Kathleen Ferrier] sounds terrible", is a direct quote from a David Hurwitz review. Those are his words, not mine. Nor is it my opinion. It is my opinion that I prefer the Walter / Miller / Haefliger / New York Philharmonic recording to the Ferrier recording, and in particular Miller's interpretation and performance to Ferrier's interpretation and performance, as David Hurwitz does.

As I don't entirely agree with Mr. Hurwitz's review, I can hardly criticize you if you don't either. But what I find almost comical about your post is that you feel the need to cite "received opinion" and "common sense" in support of your tastes in music. Why not have the confidence and security to stand by your opinion, accept the fact that we disagree, and that both of us disagree, though maybe in different ways, with Mr. Hurwitz, and move on?

I only cited the Hurwitz review to illustrate how tastes in music can, and will, differ. I don't need his review as a security blanket, as I tried to make clear.
If you didn't need his reviews the security blanket I don't know why you bothered to quote him as nobody on TC appears to take him seriously. When you quote someone approvingly people tend to think you agree with them.

Common sense you know.

Seems also common sense that we take a bit more notice of the man who knew Mahler than Mr Hurwitz fulminating his opinions. Walter might just have known a bit more about what the composer wanted from a singer than a tin-eared critic.
 

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I could not disagree more. One of the worst DLVDE's in my 50+ collection. Bought it for the curiosity value (one singer tackling all six songs), but it does not work at all for me.
Absolutely. There aren't many recordings that I'd say I actually hate, but this is certainly one of them. I never understood the reasoning behind Kaufmann handling both vocal parts aside from having an ego the size of Jupiter. Glad I never actually bought this recording, because I'd definitely be throwing it in file 13 or giving away to someone who would like something like this (I can't imagine it would be many).
 
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Absolutely. There aren't many recordings that I'd say I actually hate, but this is certainly one of them. I never understood the reasoning behind Kaufmann handling both vocal parts aside from having an ego the size of Jupiter. Glad I never actually bought this recording, because I'd definitely be throwing it in file 13 or giving away to someone who would like something like this (I can't imagine it would be many).
Not sure about Kaufmann's ego, but he is an adventurous sort who enjoys a challenge. I haven't heard his attempt at DLvdE, but even in theory it seems a bad gamble and a misrepresentation of the work. At best it's something a singer might do for a private audience, but nowadays it seems every screwball notion gets publicized in one way or another, and tampering with works of art has become normalized by a postmodern outlook that takes no offense at anything. The attitude seems to be "Mahler is dead and can't object."
 

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I've just come across yet another DLVDE with Baker in the mezzo part. Has anyone heard it?

That now makes five (the studio Haitink, and three other live accounts conducted by Leppard, Kempe and Kubelik).
 

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My opinions have nothing to do with what "pervading opinion" is or isn't here, but are as developed in up to 55 years of constant listening. Why do I have to worry about whether my opinions jibe with those of others here or elsewhere? Why does whatever the "pervading opinion" is here matter at all?

And anyway, are the Mahler recordings of Bruno Walter and Pierre Boulez considered second rate here or elsewhere? Walter was a student and disciple of Mahler himself. Boulez as a conductor is well-known for his interpretations of Mahler, as well as Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky. His own music may be controversial in the "pervading opinion" here, but I don't see why that is relevant. I notice both recordings I cited were cited as favorites by other posters before me. Again, if that matters.

I happen to be a fan of Van Beinum. I think If he hadn't passed away at a relatively early age he likely would have made a lot more stereo commercial recordings (I believe he only made one or two) and he would have been a much bigger name. I think there are other Van Beinum fans here. Once again, if that matters.

Finally, I remember reading that Ferrier's illness did affect her later recordings. But my opinion is based on the recordings I have heard, many of which I own.

Edit: I never thought I would cite David Hurwitz, whom I despise, for support on any topic, but here is what he says about Ferrier's Das Lied, at least the recording I know:

Bruno Walter recorded Das Lied three times, and the most famous recording is his second one, recorded in the 1950s for London and featuring Kathleen Ferrier and Julius Patzak. That record has enormous sentimental value for the British, because they can't get enough of Ferrier, who died tragically of cancer in 1953 at the age of 41. But the fact is, she sounds terrible on the recording, and Patzak was well past his prime, too. Also, the postwar Vienna Philharmonic was no match for the New York Philharmonic in performing this music; the New York orchestra has an even more authentic Mahlerian pedigree than do the Viennese. This final stereo performance, then-- Walter's last thoughts on the piece that he premiered 50 years earlier--is the one to own.

So he prefers the Walter version I happen to like. Sigh. Fortunately, Ferrier lived (just) long enough to record a fair variety of repertoire, so all can make up their own minds.
I agree about the stereo Walter, it would be proverbial Desert Island Choice if I was limited to one. My personal favorite, because it was my only version for many years, is Haitink/Amsterdam et al..
Did Paavo Jarvi record this?
 

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Bruno Walter recorded Das Lied three times, .......Also, the postwar Vienna Philharmonic was no match for the New York Philharmonic in performing this music; the New York orchestra has an even more authentic Mahlerian pedigree than do the Viennese. This final stereo performance, then-- Walter's last thoughts on the piece that he premiered 50 years earlier--is the one to own.
Yes, the Walter/NYPO/Miller/Haefliger is my favorite along with Reiner/CSO/Forrester/Lewis....both great recordings - featuring fine soloists and superlative orchestral work....great solo work, esp notable in both recordings is the stunning oboe solo work - Autumn, Der Abschied - Harold Gomberg [NYPO] Ray Still [CSO]
 

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Bruno Walter recorded Das Lied three times, and the most famous recording is his second one, recorded in the 1950s for London and featuring Kathleen Ferrier and Julius Patzak. That record has enormous sentimental value for the British, because they can't get enough of Ferrier,
Oh dear, such philistine stereotyping.
 

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I was surprised to find a most decent CD in my collections: Paul Kletzki conducting Philharmonia. Fischer-Dieskau singing, even! I find this combination of symphony and song cycle very appealing.
 

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^I'm not British and I think Ferrier is absolutely exquisite on that recording. Even if I didn't know of her terminal illness, her rich mystical voice and expert inflection of the text is perfectly suited for Mahler. However, I am much less enamored with Patzak, who sounds past his prime to my ears.
 
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