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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

"Over energized." You answered you own question.

The Bernstein organ reply was a bit of light-hearted irony, though your black hole of a thread above surely sucked up everyone's patience for irony and jokes on this forum lately, include your own, apparently! : )

Honestly: the entrance of the organ is stunning. That said, Bernstein's first movt is a bit wayward, the second not as rustic as it could be (see Walter) but he comes into his own by the 3rd movt. The 5th is as apocalyptic and transcendent as one could want and--to bring us back to your request--compare the NYPO brass playing of the chorale leading up to the "Opening of the Graves" with Chicago's: the NYPO's burnished, yet powerful sound is a balm compared to the CSO's brass, which sound downright synthesized. I used to like the Herseth/Solti sound. Not anymore, sorry.

Anyway, yes, you put it best: Solti's over-energized. "Shock and awe" is certainly a must in Mahler, but my goodness, there's a lot of poetry between the lines too, that Solti, IMHO skates over. Take the ascending horn solo in the 1st movt: don't you wish Solti would allow the section to breathe a little? The only metaphor I can come up with off the top of my head is a leaf lofted by the wind: the best conductors let it float naturally. With Solti the lyrical sections remind me more of someone tugging on a kite. In a word: Solti has problems turning a phrase.

Compare Solti's 8th to Morris'. I imprinted on the former, but there's so much more material that Morris reveals, both lyrical and textural, that Solti flattens with his pile-driving approach. If you want real-world example, compare their orchestral interludes in Part II.

I suspect Newey will accuse me of preferring plush, limo Mahler but all I'm saying is that when attention paid to the more "mature" elements of Mahler's sound world, the shock and awe becomes even more powerful.





Edits: 04/12/17

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