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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 3 - Boulez

Posts: 8

Post by tony August 18, 2003 (1 of 8)
with regards to http://www.sacdinfo.com/showtitle.php?title=870

hmmm...

Iím not sure how fair the comment on this SACD is. The audio quality on this SACD is superb, yet it has only received three stars, were you actually listening the multi channel sacd version?

Although I am a relatively new to Mahler, and I only have this version of the third, it seams extremely captivating and well composed to me. Many of the reviews in Newspapers (the Sunday Times UK said it was one of the best recordings, 3 out of 3 stars) as well as other reviews I had seen on the web have good write-ups about this disk. The First and Final movements are exceptional and some of the best playing I have ever heard.

I have one problem to mention. The third is long (that is not the problem), so Mahler split it into two sections. But these two sections are not split across the two CD's as he intended, seams a little weird.

Which thirds are better, what should i be purchasing? Are any on SACD? Help ;)

Post by Dinko August 18, 2003 (2 of 8)
http://www.sacdinfo.com/showtitle.php?title=865

That one seems better received. Not just here.
I haven't heard Boulez' recording, nor will do I intend to hear it. Mahler's 3rd symphony is not one I like much. So having Michael Tilson Thomas' version is enough for me. Whatever its artistic merits, the MTT has great sonics.

Post by zeus August 18, 2003 (3 of 8)
Welcome Tony,

I've got both the Boulez and Tilson Thomas (and the earlier MTT with the LSO). Boulez is variable with his Mahler (I really like his 6th and 7th). I thought he'd be lost on the Wunderhorn symphonies but I found myself quite enjoying this. Sonics aren't too bad either with just a bit of coarseness on the transients. Better than I thought it would be anyway. The MTT by comparison seems laboured. Anyway, these are just provisional comments ... I need a wet Sunday to sit down and listen to these back to back. It's a great work. You may want to try the 2nd (Resurrection) next as this is probably the closest.

Stephen

Post by nucaleena August 18, 2003 (4 of 8)
tony said:

with regards to http://www.sacdinfo.com/showtitle.php?title=870

hmmm...

Iím not sure how fair the comment on this SACD is. The audio quality on this SACD is superb, yet it has only received three stars, were you actually listening the multi channel sacd version?

Although I am a relatively new to Mahler, and I only have this version of the third, it seams extremely captivating and well composed to me. Many of the reviews in Newspapers (the Sunday Times UK said it was one of the best recordings, 3 out of 3 stars) as well as other reviews I had seen on the web have good write-ups about this disk. The First and Final movements are exceptional and some of the best playing I have ever heard.

I have one problem to mention. The third is long (that is not the problem), so Mahler split it into two sections. But these two sections are not split across the two CD's as he intended, seams a little weird.

Which thirds are better, what should i be purchasing? Are any on SACD? Help ;)

dear tony, i havent heard the Tilson Thomas SACD, but I do recall that he recorded an excellent third a few years ago with the LSO. If memory serves me right, it also featured Janet Baker, - and I'd take that earlier interpretation as a good pointer. I'm not a great Boulez fan, but his very clear, analytical readings can provide a quite different and still valuable perspective on Mahler. Personally, I think that the Bernstein approach to the third was very valid (moreso, for instance, than his seventh)- its one of his most balanced Mahler recordings, emotional without being hysterical. It was also given markedly improved sound in its recently re-mastering (at medium price). My other favourite performances are the two Haitink ones, - the earlier Philips analogue one can usually be found on budget labels and the later Philips digital recording is still around in Philips mid-price incarnations. Both had very good sound, especially in the strings, and the Concertgebouw is still my favourite Mahler orchestra, - they, especially with Haitink at the helm, steer a perfect middle-course between cool/analytical and emotional performances.

Post by dovenestedtower August 18, 2003 (5 of 8)
I bought, or exchanged, 3 copies of the Boulez Mahler 3. Each had a flaw in the 5th movement. I did listen to the other movements several times and my feeling is: beautiful playing, good (not great) sonics, but, as with Boulez in general, a little "cool." I like my Mahler "hot," (I see Mahler as a Romantic composer) so I'm looking forward to Zander's 3 in Jan. 04.

Have not heard the Tilson Thomas, though in general I like him.

The Zander Mahler 6 SACD should be in everyone's collection who has a modium of interest or curiosity about old Gustav. Three SACD's with great sonics for the price of one! We get the entire symphony, an earlier version of the last movement of it, and a whole 79 min lecture disc with Mr. Zander that's worth the price of admission by itself! I have several M3's on CD, think I will just wait for Jan. for Zander.

Post by tony August 19, 2003 (6 of 8)
dovenestedtower said:

I bought, or exchanged, 3 copies of the Boulez Mahler 3. Each had a flaw in the 5th movement. I did listen to the other movements several times and my feeling is: beautiful playing, good (not great) sonics, but, as with Boulez in general, a little "cool." I like my Mahler "hot," (I see Mahler as a Romantic composer) so I'm looking forward to Zander's 3 in Jan. 04.

Have not heard the Tilson Thomas, though in general I like him.

The Zander Mahler 6 SACD should be in everyone's collection who has a modium of interest or curiosity about old Gustav. Three SACD's with great sonics for the price of one! We get the entire symphony, an earlier version of the last movement of it, and a whole 79 min lecture disc with Mr. Zander that's worth the price of admission by itself! I have several M3's on CD, think I will just wait for Jan. for Zander.

yes i have Zander's Mahler 6 SACD, and it is superb! I look forward to his 3.

What was the flaw?
Slightly unrelated, I noticed after listening again to the final movement last night that at one stage when everything goes quiet (about 1.30 mins in), in the centre channel a noise (rather loud) which sounded like someone sucking a microphone! ;-)

Tony

Post by dovenestedtower August 19, 2003 (7 of 8)
The flaw was, about two or three minutes into the 5th movement (the "Bim-Bams") there was a loud popping noise (one POP) then quiet for a couple of seconds, then it reverted to beginning of the SACD (movement 4) and started playing again. If I skipped past the offending part, it was fine. This was the case in 3 different copies bought at two different stores in Boston/Cambridge, MA. I returned all, of course, and am wondering, how many complaints/returns they received. Those can't have been the only flawed copies.

For the record, I have about 40 SACDs and have had no problems with any others.

Post by peteyspambucket September 3, 2003 (8 of 8)
dovenestedtower said:

...I did listen to the other movements several times and my feeling is: beautiful playing, good (not great) sonics, but, as with Boulez in general, a little "cool." I like my Mahler "hot," (I see Mahler as a Romantic composer) so I'm looking forward to Zander's 3 in Jan. 04.

Have not heard the Tilson Thomas, though in general I like him.

I did not know until today that my review had spawned this discussion.

I come to the Mahler 3rd the same way dovenestedtower described here. I like Mahler to be on the hot side.

I've clarified my review a little, but it's still, having listened to it some more after that review, a huge disappointment.

In general, I do not like MTT's SACD version either really. But his version sounds like it tries to do something more with the music, even though it also comes off cold. In spite of that, the MTT still features very good sonics.

I have not heard Zander's work with Mahler symphonies, but I will give it a try. I want to see some reviews on his Mahler 3, before I drop down the money.

Nice to know there's an interactive community out there in this website.
Cheers,
Peter

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