Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Jascha Horenstein, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra|
Mahler: Symphony 9 and Kindertotenlieder / Norman Foster / Jascha Horenstein (2 CDs)
Genres: Pop, Classical
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An old chestnut
Jonathan Stern | New York, New York USA | 11/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For over a decade, this Ninth was one of the more respected versions. As long-time Mahlerians know, Jascha Horenstein was one of the great early Mahler conductors. Unlike his contemporaries, Walter and Klemperer, Horenstein did not have a distinct approach - he seemed to blend naturally into the spirit of every symphony he conducted. He also knew a thing or two about how to get a true "Mahler sound" out of every orchestra he led (often, he conducted second-rate groups). In short, with Horenstein, you may not always get precision and accuracy, and the production values may not be top-notch, but when all is said and done, you will hear Mahler in a way that some conductors with better forces (i.e. Maazel, Abbado, Mehta, Ozawa, etc.)cannot duplicate.This 1952 performance of the Ninth is a case in point. The sonics are dated and there are bloops and bleeps (particularly from the horns - and check out the way the solo clarinet goes sharp on the last note of I), but this recording is nonetheless a text-book example of how to conduct this symphony. I is awe-inspiring - one cannot argue with the intensity, logic, and power of Horenstein/Mahler's vision. Rarely will you find this movement delivered with as much warmth and richness either (in this aspect, only the out-of-print Levine/Philadelphia is better). But the movement that really tests the mettle of the Mahler conductor is II. Tempo I should be a heavy-footed landler tread, and the other two tempi must be coordinated accordingly. Too many conductors rush through the opening briskly, as if embarassed by the (deliberate!) banality of the theme. There are good performances with less-than-ideal tempi in II (Barbirolli and Lopez-Cobos come to mind). But II really works better if it begins with a true landler. Horenstein manages the tempi better than either Walter or Klemperer. Indeed, only Solti/LSO and Levine compare. Despite ensemble problems, Horenstein manages to combine the banalities and grotesqueries with an appropriately achy world-weariness.III is conducted to the hilt. Horenstein squeezes as much fury out of this music as is possible given the limitations of the orchestra and the recording technology. Notice how he abruptly reestablishes the main tempo in the final bars to keep the orchestra from going too crazy. IV is a wonderful, brooding vision. One senses that, according to Horenstein, Mahler is expressing that in life, nothing can be resolved. The result is a deeply emotive, yet dignified reading, lacking the extreme agony of Levine's long-lined account yet possessing more depth than Walter's fast, sing-songy reading. Note also, Horenstein's decision to have the first violins play their unaccompanied descending line (at the climax) without slurs. Several critics have suggested that Horenstein was attempting to link this passage to the opening of I.If you are willing to ignore the flubs, this performance will provide you with great pleasure as it did for many early Mahlerians who saw the light before the Mahler boom of the mid-to-late 60's. Speaking from experience, you will not need another performance if you don't mind the less-than-great production values. And, of course, note the price.Norman Foster is a little too detached and heavy to do full justice to Kindertotenlieder. However, Horenstein's accompaniment is expert, and the orchestra and sonics are quite good."
The Greatest Mahler of All
T. Beers | Arlington, Virginia United States | 11/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many of us consider Jascha Horenstein to be the greatest Mahler conductor of all, and these Vox recordings (very attractively priced) show why. Horenstein manages to project every nuance of these impossibly complex scores while never sounding pedantic. These performances are absolutely corruscating experiences! The Vienna Symphony misses a note now and then in the performance of the Ninth Symphony. But no orchestra knew Mahler's music better when these performances were recorded (ca. 1955) and their experience shows. (Beginning in 1950, the orchestra played all the symphonies under Scherchen, Horenstein, Klemperer and F. Charles Adler. No other orchestra played that much Mahler.) The sound is mono, but quite good mono (even better in the "Kindertotenlieder.") Note that in November 2001 BBC Classics released a 'live' stereo performance of the Ninth with Horenstein dating from the early 1960s. Previous issues of that performance have left a lot to be desired technically, but the BBC label has access to the master tapes. The BBC CDs, however, cost more than three times the price of the Vox set. Some of us will have to have both!"
Absolute must for you to get this album!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Today we are celebrating an additional anniversary of Mahler's birth, July seven 1860.
And in this ocassion it is absolutely important to recommed this outstanding version of the Ninth. Horenstein owned that intuition and touch of genius that allowed him to win every time he decided to record Mahler.
The Kinder are extraordinary too. A low budget prize for a true legend director!"