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Mahler suggestions

Connemara

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I'd like to listen to more Mahler. What are your favorite recordings? Which symphony do you like best?
 

rach2jlc

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The number 7 is very interesting; my favorite recording is Solti with the Chicago Symphony.

My personal favorite is the number 9; there are several good recordings, but the one I have that I like is with Boulez and Chicago.

Certainly parts of the no. 8 are really gorgeous; I have Abbado with the Berlin Phil. Listen to Part II: Sehr Langsam beginnend (that part is only about 5 or 6 minutes long)... WOW! It will knock you out.

Others are very famous and rightly so... people always talk about the no. 2 and the no. 5... early mahler is nice and all, but I like his later, really oppressively heavy, "eh, I'm sickly and I'm dying but I have to transcend the world" sort of stuff.
 

Mauby

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Originally Posted by rach2jlc
The number 7 is very interesting; my favorite recording is Solti with the Chicago Symphony.

My personal favorite is the number 9; there are several good recordings, but the one I have that I like is with Boulez and Chicago.

Certainly parts of the no. 8 are really gorgeous; I have Abbado with the Berlin Phil. Listen to Part II: Sehr Langsam beginnend (that part is only about 5 or 6 minutes long)... WOW! It will knock you out.

Others are very famous and rightly so... people always talk about the no. 2 and the no. 5... early mahler is nice and all, but I like his later, really oppressively heavy, "eh, I'm sickly and I'm dying but I have to transcend the world" sort of stuff.


Good advice, thanks.
 

King Francis

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Originally Posted by rach2jlc
The number 7 is very interesting; my favorite recording is Solti with the Chicago Symphony.


 

Manton

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2 and 5 are the easiest to get into, so start there.
 

Full Canvas

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Start with the 9th. Then come back in one month (after one of your Connemara crying jags) and tell us how it changed your life.

Interestingly, Anatole Broyard offers a less than complimentary look at Lewis Thomas' Late Night Thoughts on Reading Mahler's Ninth Symphony in today's NYT. Interesting because the book was written more than twenty-five years ago.



___
 

tlmusic

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Each of the Mahler Symphonies is a quality work. The one I always go back to is No. 2--Claudio Abbado with the Chicago Symphony (Deutsche Grammophon).
Originally Posted by rach2jlc
early mahler is nice and all, but I like his later, really oppressively heavy, "eh, I'm sickly and I'm dying but I have to transcend the world" sort of stuff.
I get the feeling that all of Mahler's Symphonies display this mood--#2 and #6 especially for me.
 

johnapril

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Christmas is the time for the fourth symphony.
 

aportnoy

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Originally Posted by johnapril
Christmas is the time for the fourth symphony.

The sleigh bells are amazing.

I've heard both Solti and Abaddo conduct Mahler with The Chicago. Both were exceptional but quite different. That being said, Lenny's Mahler interpretations are my favorite.
 

tlmusic

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A friend told me about a guy who had a special requirement of his fiancÃ
.

She had to accompany him to hear all of the Mahler Symphonies. They had to be in chronological order. After that experience(it took some ten years), they could be married.
 

Thomas

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Suggest you abandon this Mahler business for the likes of Shostakovich. I still do not get mahler. Call me a philistine if you must.
 

A Y

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They're all great, and each person has their own entry point into his works that's pretty different from other people. The general consensus is that 4 and 1 are the most popular, because they're short, and kind of follow the traditional symphonic plan, but I know people who first heard 7 (one of the more difficult pieces because of its apparent discombobulation) and got into it, and I got in through his song cycles. For Mahler, the art songs and the symphonies are inextricably linked, and the song cycles are like cogent little summaries of the bigger arguments his symphonies make.

Which pieces have you heard and liked? That may make it easier to suggest things.

It's hard to pick just one for a favorite, so I'll name all of them:

1st: MTT/SFSO
2nd: Bernstein/NYPO
3rd: Salonen/LAPO
4th: MTT/SFSO, but I have a soft spot for the Schoenberg/Stein chamber reduction played by Slowik/Smithsonian CO for its unabashed heart-on-sleeve portamenti, but that may be an acquired taste
5th: Stenz/Melbourne SO
6th: Levi/ASO
7th: MTT/SFSO or MTT/LSO
8th: Nagano/DSO Berlin or Solti/CSO
9th: MTT/SFSO
Das Lied von der Erde: Bernstein/King/Fischer-Dieskau/VPO
Song cycles: anything with Thomas Hampson, but it's hard to go wrong with any of them. My first imprint is a wonderful cycle on Telarc with Lopez-Cobos/Cincinnati SO/Schmidt.

But you really have to hear these pieces live, where a good performance will make any recording pale in comparison.

If forced to pick, my one favorite Mahler piece of all is "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" from the Ruckert Lieder, sung by a bass baritone with full orchestra.

It's always safe to get Bernstein/NYPO on Sony Classical for a general starter set. Bernstein/VPO on Deustche Grammophon is good, too.

Listening to all of them in a row is a real kick, too. It's like the aural version of the most epic novel you've ever imagined.

--Andre
 

bach

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here's a mahler suggestion: stop listening to what other people tell you to and figure out what you like for yourself.
 

Pylon

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I enjoyed a recent performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, dubbed the "Resurrection" Symphony, by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra - it's lengthy, and without a true intermission; but overall I found it to be a pretty dynamic piece.

YMMV.
 

audiophilia

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Mahler, like most, saved his best for last.

His 5th is a fantastic symphony. So many great recordings. Boulez on DGG is spectacularly played as is Sinopoli on the same label.

His 7th is a crazy symphony with so many great moments. A lot better than many of his critics suggest. Interestingly, Tilson Thomas and his LSO/RCA recording is dynamite.

But if you want the best of Mahler, IMO, Das Lied von der Erde and his 9th Symphony are true masterpieces. None of his glibness, cowbells, etc. Beautifully structured with the most gorgeous orchestrations.

Das Lied's greatest recording (primarily because Wunderlich can actually sing the part as written) is Klemperer on EMI. Walter with the great Maureen and Patzak is also very fine.

The 9th has many fine recordings. LSO/Solti on vinyl sounds amazing. iTunes Plus has a pretty good sounding San Fran/Tilson Thomas if you want it right now.

My favourite is Karajan on DGG live from the Berlin Festival. No words.

I've conducted or played most of the symphonies and the last two mentioned are always tough to get through.

There are a few of my reviews of Mahler Symphonies at Audiophilia and on the forum, if you're interested.
 

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