I was at a party tonight, and on the TV in the background was the DVD of Bernstein conducting the Vienna Phil in Mahler 10. It was amazing! Spacious and passionate and full of colors. Should I buy that, or should I look for another recording of the piece? I love the visual aspect of these performances.
If you haven’t already, get into Mahler 9. It’s SOO incredible. Easily my favourite Mahler symphony. The tenth pales in comparison, imo. I’ll post Ancerl’s recording if you’d like.
Anyway, for the tenth, Rattle is usually a good choice for the reconstructed version. For just the adagio, I like Kubelik’s recording (Kubelik is my favourite Mahler conductor, overall).
Thanks for the suggestion! I love the 9th and listen to it a lot. There are many splendid versions, especially the Ancerl version which you posted once and which I downloaded. An amazing work full of broad range and passion and colors. I was just amazed by the intensity of the 10th-- I had actually not heard it before. I’ll look into the Rattle. Kubelik is such an amazing Mahlerian-- his recording of the First Symphony is by far the best in my opinion.
Yeah, IMO Kubelik absolutely owns Symphonies 1, 5, 7, 8 and Das Lied. And if that weren’t enough, his others are all so strong as to be at least in my top 5.
The Kubelik DG complete set is stunning, and the live Mahler symphonies on Audite are even better. If anyone’s interested I’d be glad to post both sets.
What would you recommend as a strong Mahler 3? I love the Mitropoulos live from Carnegie Hall in 1956 with its electricty although it uses some rather large cuts to the score. I’m still pondering whether or not to buy the new Abbado DVD from the Luzerne series. Abbado’s Mahler 2 from that cycle is really amazing, and well-recorded.
The BEST Mahler 3 is Charles Adler from 1951. I’ll post it. Mitropoulos is my 2nd favourite followed by Horenstein and Kubelik.
Abbado’s Mahler is generally excellent, but his 2 can’t stand up to the likes of Klemperer, Mehta, Fischer and Walter.
This will have to be proven, of course
You are fond of the off beat Mahler, that is clear -
Chailly is wonderful in this piece, as is Lennie (both versions). Regrettably, there isn’t a Bruno Walter, as I’d love to hear the transcendant qualities of his late recording of 9 in this piece as well. Too often, it’s played as if it’s an overblown version of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” or the Alpinsymphonie.
I find Klemperer’s Mahler totally below his normal standard. I find he can’t hold ensemble together well enough to produce adequate playing in the 2cd. There are too many moments of scrambling in the orchestra to be comfortable with in the middle movements. And I am a Klemp fan. But a lot of the guys from is generation had a bitch of a time with these pieces technically. Same with Barbirolli. I think this is why Szell restricted his Mahler rep, keeping it to a number that he could do to his level.
Yeah, sorry for being so blunt, but I absolutely love the Adler recording. Such a unique interpretation. I also really like Bychkov and Barbirolli in the third. Bernstein and Chailly are top notch, like you say.
Of course I disagree about Klemp and Barbirolli. Klemp’s 2, 4 and 9 are absolutely classic and his 7 is good, even if it’s way slow. Barbirolli’s 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 are all wonderful too, imo. But then I generally don’t like Bernstein Mahler, so it looks like we have slightly different Mahler tastes… though we seem to always agree about Szell.
Oh and on topic, Ormandy and Gielen are also fantastic Mahler 10s (both Cooke version).
It’s so interesting that although I rarely select Bernstein’s versions as favorite readings of Mahler Symphonies, I still find his passion and dedication magnetizing. I find that his readings were often pretty bombastic or sometimes calculated for effect. But, he did bring quite a bit of awareness to Mahler in America. I studied with a leading Mahler historian named Stephen Hefling, and he seemed to be pretty allergic to, as he put it, “conductors with the initials LB.”
Yeah, there’s no doubt that Bernstein was a hell of a Mahler conductor, but my personal view is that Mahler’s music is plenty bombastic enough and Lennie possibly overdoes it.
Of course, sometimes an over the top Mahler interp is exactly what you need, and in that case Bernstein is no. 1 on my list