Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Neumann, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra|
Listen to Samples
A very fine performance to re-discover
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Neumann has been for (too) long a neglected Mahlerian, in the shade of Horenstein, Barbirolli or Bernstein. It is true that all the recordings he made do not equally pay homage to his art, but the present reeditions on Berlin Classics are really among the best. The interpretation is as good as Bernstein's and the sound quality is much better than on previous reissues on other labels. Don't miss it."
An outstanding version directly put forth
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 08/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Vaclav Neumann and the Gewandhaus Orchestra give a scintillating account of Mahler's poor stepchild, the Symphony No. 7 sometimes known as "Song of the Night" for its two sections of nachtmusik.
Unlike devout Mahler specialists that bleed emotions over every page of the score, Neumann does not captialize on the spooky nature of the night music, directing a straightforward performance that makes the music accountable on its own, without addtional personal affectation.
This performance probably does not adhere to every score marking Mahler added. As a whole, the effect is of a strongly played late Romantic symphony with outstanding playing by a 250 year old orchestra and leadership by a conductor whose approach to Mahler is no nonsense and unsentimental.
In his release on the Mahler Symphony No. 2, the notes to Neumann's issue disclose that Mahler had one of the largest egos of the 19th or any other century. This is clear from not only viewing his musical scores but from reading about them by anyone that believes every nuance of Mahler the man must be followed in order for his music to be successful.
I don't subscribe to this theory, anymore than I subscribe to the theory that you have to be a practicing Lutheran with a devout nature to have success performing Bach. I don't know anyone today that requires the latter but I read a lot of critics that believe the former is essential.
There are many good things about this performance other than Neumann's straightforward approach. The playing of the orchestra is ubiquitously outstanding. In particular, the clarion call from the first trumpet late in the first movement and near the end are more effective than in any other version of this music I have heard. And last, the more than three decade old recording sounds as good in 2005 as the most recent DDD release.
Unless you are a Mahler devotee that must have the score interpreted as the composer demands, or unless you must have every ounce of extra pathos Bernstein injects in every Mahler performance, you will enjoy this CD very much."