Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Thomas Hampson, Gustav Mahler, Leonard Bernstein|
Mahler 2: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon [Box Set]
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
Serpentor | Groesbeek, Netherlands | 03/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bernstein's Mahler is virtually unlike any other Mahler. There is no middle way, you either love it or hate it. This 'middle trilogy', safe it for a Fifth being too constrained, is all about extremes. The Wiener Philharmoniker, quite unexpectedly, turns in a stunning Sixth with spine-chilling climaxes and horns that ring like never before. Their rendition of the Fifth, like I mentioned before, is equally well played but also a bit underplayed. This surely doesn't apply to the New York Seventh, perhaps the most drugged out performance of this work ever recorded. Bernstein's approach to the first movement is stern, the middle movements are lucid and the finale isn't stately but perfectly provocative with clarinets and trombones appropiately misbehaving. The final minutes come across with such massive brass and such overall orchestral power that you may think the roof of Lincoln Center is ready to being moved to the Bronx. This really is the Mahler without compromises with overall great sound (the Seventh is a bit dimmer than usual) and a rightful culmination of vulgarity, emotion and human brilliance. A five star recording, without hesitation."
Great Middle Mahler!
A. Vetter | NY | 07/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great set for these three symphonies. There are many great versions of each. Yet, if you want to get a set of these, this would be a great place to start.
The fifth by Bernstein is quite different. the initial movement is slower than I would expect. yet, it delivers on the goods.
The adagietto is not too slow and the finale is triumphant. Quite an experience. The sixth is now my favorite again. Each movement is rightly timed. The finale is awesome.
As to the seventh, it is not a favorite at all. But, this version is exciting and it drives a lot.
In the end, for the middle symphonies, this is a no brainer. There are individual versions that may be better. but, there is only one Bernsein!!!"
The middle third of Mahler's career, magnificently done
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 06/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DG has made a sensible division of Mahler's symphonic career into thirds. This is the post-Wunderhorn phase, so called because with the Fifth Sym. Mahler stopped implanting the folk-flavored material he gathered from his Knaben Wunderhorn song cycle. Innocence was left behind, and in its place Mahler composed three symphonies, #5-7, that baffled and alienated his audience. Today, the Fifth is heard far more frequently than the other two, thanks to the famous Adagietto, and its ability to fit on one CD has insured many bargain reissues.
The Gramophone reviewer stated as fact that the first version of the Fifth that Bernstein did in NY was a weak link in his ealier cycle, while this Vienna Phil. remake is one of the pinnacles of the second cycle. For me, the first version was almost a mess, but I didn't find a huge improvement in the Vienna remake, despite the fact that it's much better played and recorded. To my ears, Bernstein didn't "get" the Fifth, which is strange, since so many other conductors (Walter, Barbirolli, Abbado, Karajan) did.
But in the Sixth Sym. Bernstein turned in a signature performance that awed nearly everyone. His conception of the first movement is fast and relentless, but that's the only possible caveat. The range of emotion and the virtuosic playing of the Vienna Phil. are astounding. This is a work that Bernstein rehabilitated when he first recorded it in the Sixties, and that recording, which single-handedly convinced the musical world that the Sixth wasn't a bad piece of music, stands up very well even now.
The same rehabilitation and the same magnificence belong to Bernstein's recording of Sym. #7. In terms of sheer excitement and bravado, his NY Phil. recording is unique. But when he returned to New York for this live remake, the results were equally spectacular, lacking just the last ounce of thrilling discovery one felt the first time around.
The fillers here are live performances of two song cycles, Kindertotenlieder and Ruckert Lieder. Thomas Hampson is outstanding, but I feel he is overshadowed by Bernstein's impassioned conducting. In addition these songs have been so magnificently treated on disc by the likes of Kathleen Ferrier, Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau that the standard was impossibly high for the relatively inexperienced Hampson.
In all, despite my reservations over the Fifth Sym., this middle installment in Bernstein's DG cycle contains almost nothing but undisputed triumphs.