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Offline Martin Colloms  
#1 Posted : 15 January 2015 19:10:29(UTC)
Martin Colloms


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Mahler 2 and timing with early recordings

My habitual Mahler 2 is a double CD by Telarc with Leinsdorf

An early Soundstream recording, the strings are a bit soupy and congested but the recording is quite dynamic and spacious with deep dynamic hi fi bass.
Leinnsdorf is certainly measured but he builds well while the actual drive and pace for the performance remains quite involving thanks to tight ensemble playing, working as a continuum rather than discrete episodes.

Seeking better I reverted to analogue and set the Koetsu Urushi Red S into the Decca grooves with Solti. It was pretty poor in almost every respect. Solti is really episodic , random flashes in the pan but poor continuity , boringly dyslexic sections in between, plus weak bass poor dynamics and a foggy sound lacking depth.

Feeling doubtful I tried that old and by now damaged war horse Klemperer on EMI. As a boy I once saw him at the Festival Hall and I recall he conducted from a chair.
But while this performance was still more measured than Leinsdorf , it had character and an immutable sense of drive and purpose. In contrast to Solti’s fireworks , Klemper knew where he was going with the work. Here the EMI sound , as often found, was narrower in frequency range and a bit dry but the dynamics were expressive with a good sense of pace and it was worth hearing.

I have liked Haitink’s work in general and so embarked on my first play of his Mahler 2 LP , here on Philips. I was disappointed by a laid back approach with insufficient exposition of Mahler’s wayward but hugely exciting changes of pace and character. The performance dragged rather, and it was not helped by a bland almost monochromatic sound , with barely adequate timing , soft bass and dulled trebles. The dynamic range was quite limited.

Finally in desperation I tried my Dad’s well worn and derided Mahler 1 , Leinsdorf again , on RCA ( Dynagroove bought in 1963) . Now I know the arguments against Dynagroove and its ‘ analogue computer’ pre processing, and no, I did not get as far as the inner grooves where the corrective pre part takes effect, but here I found a ‘non digital’ string tone, a lively clear acoustic , firm bass and with Leinsdorf in good control of that vital Mahlerian phrasing, conferring good timing.

I shall now be looking out for a high sample rate, clean strings, but well timed Mahler 2!

Martin Colloms
Offline Togil  
#2 Posted : 16 January 2015 08:07:48(UTC)
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Try Rattle, there are two, Birmingham and Berlin .
Hans
Offline kengale  
#3 Posted : 18 January 2015 14:08:21(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
Mahler 2 and timing with early recordings

My habitual Mahler 2 is a double CD by Telarc with Leinsdorf

An early Soundstream recording, the strings are a bit soupy and congested but the recording is quite dynamic and spacious with deep dynamic hi fi bass.
Leinnsdorf is certainly measured but he builds well while the actual drive and pace for the performance remains quite involving thanks to tight ensemble playing, working as a continuum rather than discrete episodes.

Seeking better I reverted to analogue and set the Koetsu Urushi Red S into the Decca grooves with Solti. It was pretty poor in almost every respect. Solti is really episodic , random flashes in the pan but poor continuity , boringly dyslexic sections in between, plus weak bass poor dynamics and a foggy sound lacking depth.

Feeling doubtful I tried that old and by now damaged war horse Klemperer on EMI. As a boy I once saw him at the Festival Hall and I recall he conducted from a chair.
But while this performance was still more measured than Leinsdorf , it had character and an immutable sense of drive and purpose. In contrast to Solti’s fireworks , Klemper knew where he was going with the work. Here the EMI sound , as often found, was narrower in frequency range and a bit dry but the dynamics were expressive with a good sense of pace and it was worth hearing.

I have liked Haitink’s work in general and so embarked on my first play of his Mahler 2 LP , here on Philips. I was disappointed by a laid back approach with insufficient exposition of Mahler’s wayward but hugely exciting changes of pace and character. The performance dragged rather, and it was not helped by a bland almost monochromatic sound , with barely adequate timing , soft bass and dulled trebles. The dynamic range was quite limited.

Finally in desperation I tried my Dad’s well worn and derided Mahler 1 , Leinsdorf again , on RCA ( Dynagroove bought in 1963) . Now I know the arguments against Dynagroove and its ‘ analogue computer’ pre processing, and no, I did not get as far as the inner grooves where the corrective pre part takes effect, but here I found a ‘non digital’ string tone, a lively clear acoustic , firm bass and with Leinsdorf in good control of that vital Mahlerian phrasing, conferring good timing.

I shall now be looking out for a high sample rate, clean strings, but well timed Mahler 2!

Martin Colloms


My own regular one is Ivan Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra http://www.channelclassics.com/fischer-23506.html CD/SACD5.0, though I've never actually tried the surround stuff. Very clean recording, tremendous dynamic contrasts. I doubt you'd ever manage this level of dynamics on a conventional LP. Most published reviews seem to agree with my own good opinion of both performance and sound.

This Symphony always a bit of a discussion point in our family - I love it, but my daughter, who has sung in it quite a few times now, says it's b.o.r.i.n.g - all that orchestral stuff you have to wait through before getting a chance to open one's mouth! Almost as bad as Beethoven's 9th.

Edited by user 18 January 2015 14:11:36(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Pete_w  
#4 Posted : 18 January 2015 21:31:42(UTC)
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There are, I think I saw, some Hi Res Mahler 2's on that Qobuz website I posted about the other day. Knowing zilch about Mahler, I shall refrain from further comment.
Offline kengale  
#5 Posted : 18 January 2015 23:54:44(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pete_w Go to Quoted Post
There are, I think I saw, some Hi Res Mahler 2's on that Qobuz website I posted about the other day. Knowing zilch about Mahler, I shall refrain from further comment.


The Ivan Fischer one is available both as downloads (SDS... etc) and the original disc - but as it is an awful lot cheaper to buy the complete physical disc(s) CD/SACD there doesn't seem much point in buying the downloads.

Online Simon Briggs  
#6 Posted : 02 December 2021 12:07:19(UTC)
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Revisiting this topic be interested in any updates as I am too looking to find a version out that is both well played and recorded / mastered.

Physical media only!!
Online Simon Briggs  
#7 Posted : 02 December 2021 12:11:44(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
Mahler 2 and timing with early recordings

My habitual Mahler 2 is a double CD by Telarc with Leinsdorf

An early Soundstream recording, the strings are a bit soupy and congested but the recording is quite dynamic and spacious with deep dynamic hi fi bass.
Leinnsdorf is certainly measured but he builds well while the actual drive and pace for the performance remains quite involving thanks to tight ensemble playing, working as a continuum rather than discrete episodes.

Seeking better I reverted to analogue and set the Koetsu Urushi Red S into the Decca grooves with Solti. It was pretty poor in almost every respect. Solti is really episodic , random flashes in the pan but poor continuity , boringly dyslexic sections in between, plus weak bass poor dynamics and a foggy sound lacking depth.

Feeling doubtful I tried that old and by now damaged war horse Klemperer on EMI. As a boy I once saw him at the Festival Hall and I recall he conducted from a chair.
But while this performance was still more measured than Leinsdorf , it had character and an immutable sense of drive and purpose. In contrast to Solti’s fireworks , Klemper knew where he was going with the work. Here the EMI sound , as often found, was narrower in frequency range and a bit dry but the dynamics were expressive with a good sense of pace and it was worth hearing.

I have liked Haitink’s work in general and so embarked on my first play of his Mahler 2 LP , here on Philips. I was disappointed by a laid back approach with insufficient exposition of Mahler’s wayward but hugely exciting changes of pace and character. The performance dragged rather, and it was not helped by a bland almost monochromatic sound , with barely adequate timing , soft bass and dulled trebles. The dynamic range was quite limited.

Finally in desperation I tried my Dad’s well worn and derided Mahler 1 , Leinsdorf again , on RCA ( Dynagroove bought in 1963) . Now I know the arguments against Dynagroove and its ‘ analogue computer’ pre processing, and no, I did not get as far as the inner grooves where the corrective pre part takes effect, but here I found a ‘non digital’ string tone, a lively clear acoustic , firm bass and with Leinsdorf in good control of that vital Mahlerian phrasing, conferring good timing.

I shall now be looking out for a high sample rate, clean strings, but well timed Mahler 2!

Martin Colloms


Revisiting this topic be interested in any updates as I am too looking to find a version out that is both well played, timed and recorded / mastered.

Martin did you find a suitable update both 44.1 Physical media only!! / LP and high sample rate?

Edited by user 02 December 2021 12:12:48(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Online Simon Briggs  
#8 Posted : 02 December 2021 13:03:23(UTC)
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Some recommendations here, I caveat as I have not heard them myself

https://www.gramophone.c...-recordings-updated-2021
Offline Togil  
#9 Posted : 03 December 2021 11:12:12(UTC)
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The Kubelik (btw available in HiRes from Presto ) is a classic as it came out at a time when HiFi became really popular in Germany and we delighted in this early example of thrilling orchestral music recorded in such high quality.
Hans
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