Thread: Your favorite Mahler cycle

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Post by windhoek April 2, 2015 (21 of 64)
diw said:

He is referring to the RCO cycle, most of which came out on SACD, then they released a BluRay set of the entire cycle.

I am not sure but I don't think the SACDs and BluRays are all the same performances.

Ah, thanks for the clarification. Abbado/Lucerne SACDs would have be my preferred format, oh well.

Post by Fugue April 3, 2015 (22 of 64)
There are a few isolated SACD Mahler recordings that I like (Abbado's 6th, for one), but overall, Solti and the CSO on London RBCD are hard to beat in my opinion. The virtuosity of their playing and Solti's white-hot interpretations are just amazing. The sound is quite good, too.

Post by windhoek April 5, 2015 (23 of 64)
I listened to Mahler's 8th (as performed by Abbado/Berlin PO) last night for the first time and very quickly decided I liked it and iirc, this BDA version reputedly contains a more than modest m/c mix, so promptly ordered a copy :)
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 - Wit

Post by Mahler-fan April 8, 2015 (24 of 64)
What about:

I: Honeck (Exton), and Ancerl (Supraphon) as alternative since this was the one recording that started me falling in love with classical music.

II: Klemperer (Ph. O. - EMI)

III: at this moment Jansons (RCO live) or Horenstein (Unicorn), but I feel I have to look further for this one.

IV: Haitink (RCO live), and I also like the Walter (mono)

V: Barshai, Bernstein (DG), Kondrashin (Melodiya)

VI: Bernstein (DG), Sanderling (Reference Recordings)

VII: Abbado (Chicago)

VIII: Kubelik (DG), but same remark as III

IX: Haitink (RCO - Philips)

X: no opinion yet

Post by windhoek April 8, 2015 (25 of 64)
I finally got round to playing the BDA of Wit's performance last night and although I don't feel ready to write a review per se, I'm more than happy to share my initial impressions, which are quite positive.

I played the 5.1 DTS HD MA (albeit it in 4.0 as per my speaker setup) and feel the balance between front and rears was spot on. The m/c mix is definitely more dynamic than most classical m/c mixes that utilise rear speakers for atmospheric purposes only as there was a considerable (probably not most) amount of choral and even some orchestral work routed through the rears.

There are of course some beautiful passages of music within this symphony and my emotive self had no difficulty connecting with them. The only other version I've heard is Abbado/Berlin PO and although I enjoyed it, I doubt it'll see the light of day again (I'm thankful to it though for the introduction to M8) because if, like me, you have a penchant for discrete m/c music and like Mahler's 8th, this is a great version to have in your collection and after hearing it, perhaps the only one you'll want.

This means I now know my favourite Mahler cycle contains (fwiw, I have all 10 Mahler symphonies, but only two absolute favourites thus far):

2. Abbado/ Lucerne Festival Orchestra
8. Wit/ Warsaw Philharmonic choir and Orchestra (5.1 DTS HD MA)

Post by tgdallas April 9, 2015 (26 of 64)
This is tough... Unofrtunately I don't have my favorite performances on SACD, but on cd or lp:
2. Mehta (Vienna)
3. Horenstein
6. Sinopoli
7. Klemperer
9. Walter
I have not made up my mind on the rest.

On sacd I like:
1. Tilson-Thomas
4. Fischer
8. Jansons
It seems I must listen to Abbado.

Post by windhoek May 2, 2015 (27 of 64)
I received my Mahler 1-7 Abbado/ Lucerne BD-V set today and just played Symphony No. 5 and wow, what a cracker! It's the first time I've heard the M5, but it sure as hell won't be the last. Next time though, I might just play audio without the video, but then again might not because Abbado's such an expressive conductor, seeing him in action adds to the experience.

Post by windhoek May 6, 2015 (28 of 64)
I just watched Mahler's 2nd as performed by Abbado/Lucerne and it blew my mind! As the symphony drew to a close, I could feel my heart beating wildly and tears welled up in my eyes. Can there really be a better performance of this mighty symphony? Possibly maybe, probably no. For any Mahler fans with a BDP player hooked up to their system and/or a computer (with the BD-V ripped for playback), this Abbado/Lucerne BD-V set of Mahler symphonies is outstanding and a no brainer to buy.

Post by fausto K May 6, 2015 (29 of 64)
windhoek said:

... Mahler's 2nd as performed by Abbado/Lucerne ... Can there really be a better performance of this mighty symphony? Possibly maybe, probably no. ...

well, quite possibly it could be outdone by Manfred Honeck's recent recording of M2 (as far as I know recorded in the Musikverein in Vienna, with the Wiener Singverein!), but we may never know, for it remains in the vaults for the time being, since Exton doesn't appear interested anymore in releasing other than recordings done by Japanese orchestra's/musicians (probably strapped for cash, Exton, that is). Ditto Honeck's Mahler 6, which is already in the can, but remains unreleased.

Post by windhoek May 6, 2015 (30 of 64)
I don't know whether I I'd buy another version even if Honeck's in unmanned because with this BD-V release, as well as hearing a great performance, I got to see a great performance. I was tempted to turn off the display, but seeing the conductor and orchestra at work really adds to the experience. I thought it might be distracting, but far from it, I love it!

The other M2 versions I've heard are the recent Benjamin Zander's (on SACD, Linn label), Metha/ Vienna PO (SHM-SACD) and MTT and the Abbado/ Lucerne performance is so much better. The word that springs to mind is vim. Abbado/Lucerne perform with a vim that I've yet to hear in any other performance. I guess in the US, this release might be between $80-$100 new, but if you've got a TV in your setup, it's a bargain and an obligatory buy :)

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