Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Solti, Cso|
Listen to Samples
A surprise--one of Solti's best Mahelr recordings
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While praising this 1985 remake of the Mahler Third as being far more successful than his original version with the London Sym. from the Sixties, the Gramphone reviewer wrote one of the strangest sentences: "Where stereo did wonders for Mahler, I sometimes think that digital/CD sound may merely end up reminding us what a noisy brute the man was." Wow.
Back among the sane, this is one of Solti's best Mahler recordings. Playing and sonics are spectacular, assuming you admire the prominence of the CSO brass and tolerate the noticeable steeliness in Decca's early digital sound. Mahler is about mystery, religious awe, love of nature, Viennese sentiment, and deep emotional conflict. Solti often evades those issues, but less so here. He gives us a palpable sense of wonder, even though at bottom this is a straight-ahead reading that tries to accomplish everything through overwhelming orchestral force.
That approach works too hard in the long first movement, where visceral impact plays a huge part but where Solti is too relentless. The dance step in the second movement is rather flat, however, and the great posthorn movement that follows--the summit of Mahler's nostalgic nature painting--lacks warmth and mystery. (As you'd imagine, the offstage trumpet is ravishing, however.) The fourth movement with its moving Nietzsche poem, 'O mensch!,' is hauntingly played, and Helga Dernesch makes a touching effect, coming close to Jessye Norman and Christa Ludwig, the best soloists I've heard.
After a fifth movement notable for excellent singing form the women's and children's choirs, the reading rises and falls on the finale, which needs to be lyrically ecstatic and melanchily at the same time. Solti succeeds here through simplicity and a sue hand at shaping the long, arching melody. He doesn't try to squeeze the music of every drop of feeling as Bernstein did (successfully), but this performance remains riveting. In sum, I don't hear the transcendent accomplishment of Bernstein's Mahler Third from NY (on Sony) or Abbado's two recordings (on DG)--even so, this is a very persuasive performance.