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In Reply to: RE: Depends On Whether You Want The Real Mahler or Polite Suburban Sedan Mahler posted by Newey on April 12, 2017 at 19:07:17
London for the more appropriate brass sound.
A conductor can be appropriately fiery yet still manage Mahler's more inward moments and passages with sensitivity.
More often than not, Solti doesn't have the right feel for Mahler or the Central European sound Mahler knew.
Solti "barely scratches the surface"? Perhaps you should elaborate to help us discover what we should be listening for in order to know if a given conductor has "scratched the surface".
And, pray tell, what is the "right feel" for Mahler? Is it somehow tied up with the entrance of the organ, as suggested by your post below?
I used to have the Solti/LSO album in my LP days (I think it was my imprint version) - I liked it, but I still felt that Solti's approach was, in general, over energized.
I like the performance, but it always seems to me that the recording engineer jacked up the volume of the basses at the very beginning. Not an appealing effect; the music speaks for itself.
I want to put in a vote for Tennstedt/LPO on LPO Live; it's an exciting and well-recorded performance. Mehta/Vienna is another good one.
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.
first heard on an Independent World Releases LP I picked up in 1975 at Garland Audio (along with an SP-3A, D-76, and Tympani 1C's that, unlike the LP, I no longer have).
Morris' ensemble, the "Symphonica of London", is itself a "pickup" group. But he and his producer picked well, not least in the vocal soloists they were able to round up. An expansive interpretation done well.
Morris Mahler 8 and 10 now remastered and released on HDTT download and physical disc.
In Part II, one can actually hear those three piano/harp rolled chords (!) right before the mandolin entrance.
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