Classical Music Forum banner
41 - 50 of 50 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
9,048 Posts
What do Mahler fans think of the Gielen cycle? I bought a copy because it was on sale cheap at JPC several years ago but I rarely get inspired to listen to it.
I like it a lot and similarly rate Gielen's Beethoven Symphony cycle highly however I, too, rarely reach for it when I want to play Mahler but tbh I rarely reach for any of my cycles and just pick individual Mahler discs so Gielen is not alone. If I'm playing music from my HD then Chailly (both), Gielen, Bertini and Neumann tend to get picked a little more than others. The last Mahler CDs I played were Kubelik (Audite) for the 1st, Honeck for the 4th, Zander for the 9th and Gergiev for the 7th (not cos they are my faves, btw, but they are all very good at least).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
18,028 Posts
I suppose it's a case of having too many recordings at our disposal. I have listened Gielen's Schoenberg/Berg/Webern box more than his Mahler. I was tempted to buy that nice looking 10th Edition of post war composers but I've already got a number of those works so I'll probably take a pass.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
Does anyone know if there is a Mahler tradition that would somehow be based on the way Mahler himself conducted the pieces? Could there somehow be a weighty tradition that Mengelberg, a friend of Mahler, would have established at the Concertgebouw?
Regrettably, there is not. We have performances on record of the 2nd by three conductors who knew and worked with Mahler: Oskar Fried, Bruno Walter, and Otto Klemperer. They are all quite different. Same with the 4th: Walter and Mengelberg couldn't be more un-alike. The Ninth will always be a question and DLVDE, too. Walter had close contract with Mahler as they were being written, Klemperer didn't' and again they take really opposite approaches. Mahler as we all know made zillions of minute detailes in his scores and hoped to give the performers a guide as to how he wanted the music played, but as we know all too well those instructions are either ignored or interpreted a million ways. I do not believe there is a wrong or right way to play Mahler: just be honest and let the music move! It cannot be sanitized, smoothed over or be played tepidly. Bernstein really tromps all over the score markings yet somehow seems to get to the heart of the matter much more than anyone else. Then there's Boulez who does try to follow each and every marking and realize what Mahler indicated. Yet, I find Boulez' recordings quite sterile and devoid of passion - and they're just about the best played ones out there.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,699 Posts
Regrettably, there is not. We have performances on record of the 2nd by three conductors who knew and worked with Mahler: Oskar Fried, Bruno Walter, and Otto Klemperer. They are all quite different. Same with the 4th: Walter and Mengelberg couldn't be more un-alike. The Ninth will always be a question and DLVDE, too. Walter had close contract with Mahler as they were being written, Klemperer didn't' and again they take really opposite approaches. Mahler as we all know made zillions of minute detailes in his scores and hoped to give the performers a guide as to how he wanted the music played, but as we know all too well those instructions are either ignored or interpreted a million ways. I do not believe there is a wrong or right way to play Mahler: just be honest and let the music move! It cannot be sanitized, smoothed over or be played tepidly. Bernstein really tromps all over the score markings yet somehow seems to get to the heart of the matter much more than anyone else. Then there's Boulez who does try to follow each and every marking and realize what Mahler indicated. Yet, I find Boulez' recordings quite sterile and devoid of passion - and they're just about the best played ones out there.
Don't forget F. Charles Adler who was the chorus master for the premiere of the 8th.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,753 Posts
Regrettably, there is not. We have performances on record of the 2nd by three conductors who knew and worked with Mahler: Oskar Fried, Bruno Walter, and Otto Klemperer. They are all quite different. Same with the 4th: Walter and Mengelberg couldn't be more un-alike. The Ninth will always be a question and DLVDE, too. Walter had close contract with Mahler as they were being written, Klemperer didn't' and again they take really opposite approaches. Mahler as we all know made zillions of minute detailes in his scores and hoped to give the performers a guide as to how he wanted the music played, but as we know all too well those instructions are either ignored or interpreted a million ways. I do not believe there is a wrong or right way to play Mahler: just be honest and let the music move! It cannot be sanitized, smoothed over or be played tepidly. Bernstein really tromps all over the score markings yet somehow seems to get to the heart of the matter much more than anyone else. Then there's Boulez who does try to follow each and every marking and realize what Mahler indicated. Yet, I find Boulez' recordings quite sterile and devoid of passion - and they're just about the best played ones out there.
For some reason I prefer Bernstein´s versions on video! His live takes on Mahler and Sibelius and many others are outstanding and for some reason they SOUND better than the studio recordings. Like these two, both magnificent:


 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,015 Posts
Does anyone know if there is a Mahler tradition that would somehow be based on the way Mahler himself conducted the pieces? Could there somehow be a weighty tradition that Mengelberg, a friend of Mahler, would have established at the Concertgebouw?
My money would be on Mengelberg. He started the Mahler tradition in Amsterdam and performed all of his symphonies in 1920 during the first "Mahler Festival". His annotated scores are a valuable source of information for performance, since some have been used by Mahler himself, and contain his markings.
Mengelberg tried to promote Mahler's music at a time when it was at its most unpopular, not only in Amsterdam but also in New York. Unfortunately we only have recordings of the 4th symphony, the adagietto of the 5th and the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. But I'm convinced that the famous 1939 4th is as closest to Mahler's style as one can get, closer than Walther's or Klemperer's.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
My money would be on Mengelberg. He started the Mahler tradition in Amsterdam and performed all of his symphonies in 1920 during the first "Mahler Festival". His annotated scores are a valuable source of information for performance, since some have been used by Mahler himself, and contain his markings.
Mengelberg tried to promote Mahler's music at a time when it was at its most unpopular, not only in Amsterdam but also in New York. Unfortunately we only have recordings of the 4th symphony, the adagietto of the 5th and the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. But I'm convinced that the famous 1939 4th is as closest to Mahler's style as one can get, closer than Walther's or Klemperer's.
Coincidentally, I just watched the Blu-ray of Chailly's Mahler 6. In a bonus interview, he's asked why his Mahler interpretations had changed so much from his earlier Concertgebouw recordings. He said that before he had felt the weight of tradition and the necessity of following Mengelberg's lead, and he no longer did so. As it happens, I don't respond at all to his earlier, highly praised cycle (Hurwitz ranked it No. 1), but I Iike what I've heard in his Leipzig video recordings.
 

· Banned
Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius, Bartók
Joined
·
6,562 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I received the Gabriel Feltz symphony box set today and it looks quite nice I must say. The 14 CDs are housed in a clamshell case with CD sleeves. Each CD sleeve has the original issued cover art, so this was a nice touch. I'm not sure when I'll even be able to get around to this box set as my backlog is quite vast at this juncture.
 
41 - 50 of 50 Posts
Top