Discussion:
Abbado: his best recordings?
(too old to reply)
Michael T.
2006-05-14 13:15:31 UTC
Permalink
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?

Michael T.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 13:53:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Michael T.
I think his Alexander Nevsky with the LSO is fabulous. Among the best
recordings of his I know are Bruckner 4 and 5. Oddly, Bruckner 9 is one
of the most disppointing Abbado discs I know.
His Mahler 3 fantastic, next to Boulez the best performance of the
piece I know.
His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play Ligeti,
Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and can't
play, but they actually play it better than most "specialists".
I think the Ravel set with the LSO is also consistently on a very high
level.
If you like the Beethoven symphonies with the BP, you might also enjoy
his Schubert symphonies with the COE.
Gerard
2006-05-14 14:08:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz,
Mussorgsky, various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Michael T.
I think his Alexander Nevsky with the LSO is fabulous. Among the best
recordings of his I know are Bruckner 4 and 5. Oddly, Bruckner 9 is
one of the most disppointing Abbado discs I know.
His Mahler 3 fantastic, next to Boulez the best performance of the
piece I know.
Did you hear the Kondrashin recording already?
Post by Michael Schaffer
His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most "specialists".
I think the Ravel set with the LSO is also consistently on a very high
level.
If you like the Beethoven symphonies with the BP, you might also enjoy
his Schubert symphonies with the COE.
And Mendelssohn and Brahms.

I like all his Mussorgsky recordings too (RCA, Sony, DG).
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 16:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz,
Mussorgsky, various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Michael T.
I think his Alexander Nevsky with the LSO is fabulous. Among the best
recordings of his I know are Bruckner 4 and 5. Oddly, Bruckner 9 is
one of the most disppointing Abbado discs I know.
His Mahler 3 fantastic, next to Boulez the best performance of the
piece I know.
Did you hear the Kondrashin recording already?
I sampled parts of it. There is some rather strong distortion and what
appears to be tape degradation in some places, but overall, the
transfer appears to still be better than on the other box, the white
one, what was it again? LYS? The performance itself is very interesting
and musically rewarding, with in places somewhat rough, but in other
places also very expressive orchestral playing.
The box also has some bonus tracks, among them a version of the 4th
movement in German recorded 10 years later - the original recording has
the text actually in Russian. I wonder if they just recorded the
movement, or if there is another complete performance of the 3rd from
1975 - the French discography only lists movements 4-6. So what
happened to the rest of the recording, if there ever was a complete
one?
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most "specialists".
I think the Ravel set with the LSO is also consistently on a very high
level.
If you like the Beethoven symphonies with the BP, you might also enjoy
his Schubert symphonies with the COE.
And Mendelssohn and Brahms.
Yes, his LSO Mendelssohn recordings are great, too. I heard some of the
Brahms symphonies live when they recorded them in Berlin, but none of
the recordings. I also have a much earlier 3rd with the Staatskapelle D
(early 70s I believe) which is really good, too.
Post by Gerard
I like all his Mussorgsky recordings too (RCA, Sony, DG).
Especially because he recorded a lot of interesting but rarely heard
material, including the version of St.John's Night on the BM with the
choir which can be heard on the Sony disc.
Gerard
2006-05-14 18:05:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Did you hear the Kondrashin recording already?
I sampled parts of it. There is some rather strong distortion and what
appears to be tape degradation in some places,
I've heard such distortion too. But the overall sound is quite good.
Post by Michael Schaffer
but overall, the
transfer appears to still be better than on the other box, the white
one, what was it again? LYS? The performance itself is very
interesting and musically rewarding, with in places somewhat rough,
but in other places also very expressive orchestral playing.
It gave me an impression of Mahler seen through Shostakovich spectacles. Not
inappropriate.
As interpretation I prefer the 3d to the 5th (fast, Mahler-lite).
Post by Michael Schaffer
The box also has some bonus tracks, among them a version of the 4th
movement in German recorded 10 years later - the original recording
has the text actually in Russian. I wonder if they just recorded the
movement, or if there is another complete performance of the 3rd from
1975 - the French discography only lists movements 4-6. So what
happened to the rest of the recording, if there ever was a complete
one?
I presume there was a recording of the complete symphony, maybe only for
broadcasting.
(The other bonus track was the 5th movement in German)
Alan Cooper
2006-05-14 14:56:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Michael T.
I think his Alexander Nevsky with the LSO is fabulous.
Ditto. Also his Pulcinella, the Bartok Piano Concerti ## 1 & 2
w/Pollini/CSO, and Rossini's Viaggio a Reims.

AC
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 19:02:26 UTC
Permalink
Michael Schaffer writes:

"His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most 'specialists.'"

I was extremely disappointed with Abbado's live recording of Boulez's
first four Notations when it first came out on DG. The WP is not quite
so secure in this music as they would later become -- there's a DVD of
Boulez rehearsing the same pieces with them -- and Abbado gave better
performances of the Notations with the CSO in Chicago. Barenboim and
the Orchestre de Paris are more secure than Abbado in Vienna, and they
shape more distinctively. (Neither recording captures either Barenboim
or Abbado at his best in this repertory.)

-david gable
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 19:21:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most 'specialists.'"
I was extremely disappointed with Abbado's live recording of Boulez's
first four Notations when it first came out on DG. The WP is not quite
so secure in this music as they would later become -- there's a DVD of
Boulez rehearsing the same pieces with them -- and Abbado gave better
performances of the Notations with the CSO in Chicago. Barenboim and
the Orchestre de Paris are more secure than Abbado in Vienna, and they
shape more distinctively. (Neither recording captures either Barenboim
or Abbado at his best in this repertory.)
-david gable
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 19:38:29 UTC
Permalink
Michael Schaffer waxed sarcastic:

"Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings,
that Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect? "

Because Abbado was conducting I expected more. He's quite capable of a
sensational performance of the first four Notations. Furthermore, the
performance was recorded live, another hopeful sign. (For rhapsodic
apostrophes to the Vienna Philharmonic, seek out my posts on the
recordings of Mozart, Wagner, Johann Strauss, and Richard Strauss that
Knapperstbusch, Krips, Boehm, Erich Kleiber, and Clemens Krauss made
with them in the 1950's.)

-david gable
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 20:11:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings,
that Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect? "
Because Abbado was conducting I expected more. He's quite capable of a
sensational performance of the first four Notations. Furthermore, the
performance was recorded live, another hopeful sign.
I think that makes it even more impressive how well they play that
repertoire. IIRC, there was only one performance of the program, but I
may be wrong here. That doesn't mean it can't be done better - it
always can. and the Ligeti on the same disc is by far the orchestrally
best sounding I have heard. a lot of the colors that Ligeti put
together come out really well while in many other performances, you get
more an idea what he may have wanted than the actual sonic experience.
Post by d***@aol.com
(For rhapsodic
apostrophes to the Vienna Philharmonic, seek out my posts on the
recordings of Mozart, Wagner, Johann Strauss, and Richard Strauss that
Knapperstbusch, Krips, Boehm, Erich Kleiber, and Clemens Krauss made
with them in the 1950's.)
-david gable
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 20:16:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings,
that Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect? "
Because Abbado was conducting I expected more. He's quite capable of a
sensational performance of the first four Notations. Furthermore, the
performance was recorded live, another hopeful sign. (For rhapsodic
apostrophes to the Vienna Philharmonic, seek out my posts on the
recordings of Mozart, Wagner, Johann Strauss, and Richard Strauss that
Knapperstbusch, Krips, Boehm, Erich Kleiber, and Clemens Krauss made
with them in the 1950's.)
I don't expect there will be much interesting for me to read there, but
if you really know these conductors and their work, you should be able
to see that Kleiber was maybe the closest we had in the last decades to
what they did in general stylistic approach. That doesn't mean it's
"the same" or "as good". In individual cases, his approaches were as
different from these as they were from each other. That all depends on
a lot of factors. But stylistically, he was very close to that
generation of conductors and their MOs and the way they handled the
orchestra.
Post by d***@aol.com
-david gable
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 20:22:24 UTC
Permalink
"But stylistically, [Carlos Kleiber] was very close to that generation
of conductors and their MOs and the way they handled the orchestra."

Not close enough for me. And neither is the orchestra, which interacts
with the conductors in a very different way in the 1950's. I will
admit that having as much personality as Carlos Kleiber has, he stands
out miles in the company of his contemporaries.

-david gable
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 20:25:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"But stylistically, [Carlos Kleiber] was very close to that generation
of conductors and their MOs and the way they handled the orchestra."
Not close enough for me. And neither is the orchestra, which interacts
with the conductors in a very different way in the 1950's.
Different in what way?
Post by d***@aol.com
I will
admit that having as much personality as Carlos Kleiber has, he stands
out miles in the company of his contemporaries.
-david gable
Bob Harper
2006-05-14 21:26:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by d***@aol.com
"His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most 'specialists.'"
I was extremely disappointed with Abbado's live recording of Boulez's
first four Notations when it first came out on DG. The WP is not quite
so secure in this music as they would later become -- there's a DVD of
Boulez rehearsing the same pieces with them -- and Abbado gave better
performances of the Notations with the CSO in Chicago. Barenboim and
the Orchestre de Paris are more secure than Abbado in Vienna, and they
shape more distinctively. (Neither recording captures either Barenboim
or Abbado at his best in this repertory.)
-david gable
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
Godwin's Law is hereby invoked; you lose any argument which may ensue.

Bob Harper
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-15 04:44:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Michael Schaffer
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
Godwin's Law is hereby invoked; you lose any argument which may ensue.
Bob Harper
By my interpretation of Godwin's Law, he has automatically lost the
argument already.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Paul Ilechko
2006-05-16 00:39:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Michael Schaffer
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
Godwin's Law is hereby invoked; you lose any argument which may ensue.
Bob Harper
By my interpretation of Godwin's Law, he has automatically lost the
argument already.
Godwin's law doesn't apply to sarcasm.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-16 02:36:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Michael Schaffer
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
Godwin's Law is hereby invoked; you lose any argument which may ensue.
By my interpretation of Godwin's Law, he has automatically lost the
argument already.
Godwin's law doesn't apply to sarcasm.
As far as I'm concerned, that's when it is best applied.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-15 04:48:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by d***@aol.com
"His Wien modern set is great, too, and you can hear the WP play
Ligeti, Rihm, Boulez, Nono, repertoire that people say they don't and
can't play, but they actually play it better than most 'specialists.'"
I was extremely disappointed with Abbado's live recording of Boulez's
first four Notations when it first came out on DG. The WP is not quite
so secure in this music as they would later become -- there's a DVD of
Boulez rehearsing the same pieces with them -- and Abbado gave better
performances of the Notations with the CSO in Chicago. Barenboim and
the Orchestre de Paris are more secure than Abbado in Vienna, and they
shape more distinctively. (Neither recording captures either Barenboim
or Abbado at his best in this repertory.)
-david gable
Disappointed? Why? You already knew that DG can't make recordings, that
Abbado and Boulez on disc suck (or in this case, Abbado conducting
Boulez), that the WP are all Nazis, so what did you expect?
Godwin's Law is hereby invoked; you lose any argument which may ensue.
Bob Harper
Wow, Mr DA, how come you never are on the scene to "invoke" Godwin's
Law when it is used all the time by these posters? I was merely
repeating what they had said themselves, without you showing up.
Bob Harper
2006-05-15 05:30:11 UTC
Permalink
This post might be inappropriate. Click to display it.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-15 07:44:14 UTC
Permalink
This post might be inappropriate. Click to display it.
Bob Harper
2006-05-15 13:49:12 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Bob Harper
Michael, examine the thread. *You* are the person who used the N word;
your assumption that everyone is thinking (must be that; no one's
actually *said* anything) it about you and all you hold dear, is sheer
paranoia.
No, it's not. It's always there. Racism is very strong in some of those
people.
Evidence, please.
and I didn't mean in this thread in particular, I meant in
Post by Michael Schaffer
general. You never showed up invoking "Godwin's Law" before. Very
telling.
Ah, so now *I'm* one of *them*, eh?
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Bob Harper
You and David have, apparently, profound disagreements. That's
OK. Your insistence on personalizing everything, then getting nasty and
snippy, isn't.
It's really nasty, isn't it? But you confuse a few things here. You
should talk to David7.
Though I was replying to you, my message was clearly addressed to both
of you. It's *you*, however, who choose to cry 'racism' or 'Mommy,
they're calling me a N---'.
He started attacking me in that way when I
Post by Michael Schaffer
simply said, you know what, I know the culture you are talking about
and I see these things a little different. It was even less than that.
It was merely saying have received traditional music training and don't
see that endangered by HIP influences. That's when he started getting
racist.
Again, please define what you mean by 'racist'. That accusation has
become almost as poisonous as calling someone a 'N---', and is just as
fatal to rational discussion.
Post by Michael Schaffer
But thanks for your well meant words, you hypocrite.
You should learn the old saw about sticks and stones. It'll make life a
lot less stressful.

Bob Harper
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Bob Harper
It's unpleasant and gets in the way of our learning
anything from two people who clearly do know a lot.
Bob Harper
rkhalona
2006-05-15 19:59:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Among the best
recordings of his I know are Bruckner 4 and 5. Oddly, Bruckner 9 is one
of the most disppointing Abbado discs I know.
Abbado's best Bruckner recording, for my money, is his early 1st
symphony with the VPO.
It has a freshness and conviction that he has not matched in his later
recordings (except possibly in the 5th symphony).

I echo the praise for his Mussorgsky. His early disc with the LSO is a
desert island disc for me, and his remakes with the BPO on Sony and DG
are also very good.

On the DG site I see that his new recording of the Magic Flute was
released last month. Anyone heard it?

RK
Vaneyes
2006-05-15 21:38:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by rkhalona
Post by Michael Schaffer
Among the best
recordings of his I know are Bruckner 4 and 5. Oddly, Bruckner 9 is one
of the most disppointing Abbado discs I know.
Abbado's best Bruckner recording, for my money, is his early 1st
symphony with the VPO.
It has a freshness and conviction that he has not matched in his later
recordings (except possibly in the 5th symphony).
Haven't heard the early 1. Abbado fan, but with Bruckner he strikes me
as not quite being there. Nice passages, but the works as wholes just
don't stick. So far, 5's the closest to Utopia, I guess. Liked 9's
crushing opening, but downhill from there.

Is the Thielemann 5 still growing for you?

Regards
Paul Ilechko
2006-05-14 14:21:07 UTC
Permalink
Boris Godunov with the BPO on Sony
Listener
2006-05-14 14:38:01 UTC
Permalink
Haydn Sym. 96 and the Sinfonia Concertante on DG with the COE - the
best Sinfonia I've heard and that work is a special favorite for me.
Sym. 96 is at the top of the heaap for me too..

Mozart Piano Concerti 17 and 21 with Pires - Fine performances and
great sound.

Bill
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-14 15:26:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Mahler 4 with Flicka and VPO (coupled with his first Mahler 2, which I can't
compare with the two he's issued since, but is still excellent).

Berg orchestral music with LSO on DGG.

Tchaikovsky 4 with VPO on Sony.

Verdi _Don Carlos_ on DGG.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Alex Panda
2006-05-14 15:30:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Brahms Syms 1 and 4
VPO Eroica
Simon Boccanegra
BPO Mahler 3, 5 and 7
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-14 15:37:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
I like his Brahms cycle with the BPO on DG, but this is the set I imprinted
on, and I know others are less fond of it than I am. My favorite Abbado
recording may be his BPO Mahler 5, or his VPO Beethoven 7, or his recent
Brahms Violin Concerto with Shaham.

Matty
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-14 16:09:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
I like his Brahms cycle with the BPO on DG, but this is the set I imprinted
on, and I know others are less fond of it than I am. My favorite Abbado
recording may be his BPO Mahler 5, or his VPO Beethoven 7, or his recent
Brahms Violin Concerto with Shaham.
Matty
Several posters mentioned items from his earlier WP Beethoven cycle. I
only ever heard the 6th and the Chorfantasie from that which I rather
liked, although it seemed somehow "undecided" in style to me, neither
classicist nor late romantic nor anything you can put a label on. That
is probably a good thing, but it makes it hard to describe. I heard the
5th live with the WP which was an "unashamed" big band reading, but not
without subtle touches. I actually bought the whole cycle when I
stumbled across it cheaply, but haven't listened to the recordings yet.
He seems to have changed his mind rather radically about the stylistic
approach to the symphonies, as the DG cycle and videos made just a
decade later with the BP show.
It would be interesting to hear more opinions about his Beethoven,
especially the earlier cycle.
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 19:54:04 UTC
Permalink
"[Matty's] favorite Abbado recording may be his BPO Mahler 5"

How does this compare to his earlier CSO Mahler 5? There was a day
when I was quite enthusiastic about the Chicago recording, although I
haven't heard it in years.

-david gable
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-14 20:32:27 UTC
Permalink
How does this compare to his earlier CSO Mahler 5? There was a day when
I was quite enthusiastic about the Chicago recording, although I haven't
heard it in years.
I keep the CSO Mahler 5 largely for the opening trumpet solo. I think that
the BPO performance is better in every other respect--more exciting and
dramatic in the second movement, more colorful in the third, more beautiful
in the fourth (at a faster tempo--about 9 minutes), and more cheerful in
the fifth. It's a superb "central" performance.

Matty
Vaneyes
2006-05-14 20:42:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"[Matty's] favorite Abbado recording may be his BPO Mahler 5"
How does this compare to his earlier CSO Mahler 5? There was a day
when I was quite enthusiastic about the Chicago recording, although I
haven't heard it in years.
His CSO M5 recording is pretty bad. Almost Schubert bad. Part of Abbado
learning pains for Mahler, I guess. Lotsa light, but little dark.
Doesn't compare at all with the drama, sheer excitement, and seamless
transitions attained by his BPO M5.

Better efforts for the CSO M7, but I think BPO tops that, too.

Regards
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-14 21:05:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Vaneyes
His CSO M5 recording is pretty bad.
I don't think it's bad. It's just not great. And it features the best
trumpet playing this piece has ever received (at least on CD). Herseth's
opening solo is stunning.

Matty
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 22:06:37 UTC
Permalink
Matty writes:

"I don't think it's bad. It's just not great. And it features the best
trumpet playing this piece has ever received (at least on CD).
Herseth's opening solo is stunning."

Yes, it's pretty terrific. In fact it was my Herseth-worshiping
trumpet playing physicist grad school room-mate (who had spent a year
studying trumpet with the first chair of the Orchestre de Paris) who
gave me the recording. His previous favorite had been Solti/CSO also
because of Herseth.

-david gable
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-15 05:06:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Vaneyes
His CSO M5 recording is pretty bad.
I don't think it's bad. It's just not great. And it features the best
trumpet playing this piece has ever received (at least on CD). Herseth's
opening solo is stunning.
Matty
Apparently you haven't heard John Wallace. The solo on the CSO/Abbado
recording is OK, but it's not really special in any way. Predictably,
it also lacks the depth of tone and the very important element of
melancholy and deep sadness that the opening notes have to have, and is
treated as some kind of brilliant virtuoso display for its own sake.
But the tone is too thin and pressed. This does not sound like a
funerary procession, but like some kind of West Point thing. For an
idea of the tonal quality this needs, refer to any WP recordings of the
piece, especially Bernstein's or Boulez'. For a highly virtuoso, more
"extrovert" rendering of the trumpet parts which still has these tonal
qualities, check out Wallace. BTW, I agree with you that the solo on
the BP/Abbado recording is not too convincing. I never really liked the
BP trumpets too much in those years. Both principals were technically
very correct, but neither tonally nor musically too interesting. Now
they have two new principals, both from Hungary, incidentally (I think
they some kind of principal trumpet player factory there because I met
quite a few really excellent and versatile principal trumpet players
from Hungary). Their playing is much more flexible and musically alive
while having the same depth of tone. I do not know who plays on the
BP/Rattle recording, if it is one player from the "old guard" or one of
the new guys, and I am too lazy to get up now and get the CD to listen
to it.
Vaneyes
2006-05-15 16:04:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Vaneyes
His CSO M5 recording is pretty bad.
I don't think it's bad. It's just not great. And it features the best
trumpet playing this piece has ever received (at least on CD). Herseth's
opening solo is stunning.
Matty
.... BTW, I agree with you that the solo on
the BP/Abbado recording is not too convincing....
That's absurd. Herseth is decent, but sounds limp in comparison. Can't
fault Herseth for that...it's just the interp.

Regards
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-15 19:35:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Apparently you haven't heard John Wallace.
Is he Principal Trumpet for the Philharmonia? If so, is the Zander
recording the only one on which he plays the solo?
Post by Michael Schaffer
The solo on the CSO/Abbado recording is OK, but it's not really special
in any way. Predictably, it also lacks the depth of tone and the very
important element of melancholy and deep sadness that the opening notes
have to have, and is treated as some kind of brilliant virtuoso display
for its own sake. But the tone is too thin and pressed. This does not
sound like a funerary procession, but like some kind of West Point
thing.
I just listened to this again, along with Bernstein/VPO and Abbado/BPO, and
it turns out I don't like this as much as I thought I did. The problem with
Herseth's solo isn't the tone (which I do like), but rather the phrasing.
It's too smooth--too undifferentiated. It doesn't feel like a West Point
march; it doesn't feel like a march at all. You're right--the feeling just
isn't there. Abbado's BPO recording and Bernstein/VPO are both better here
in this respect. The pitch wavers a bit on the VPO recording and bit more
on the BPO recording, but I'll take the more "funereal" phrasing in
exchange for that. I ended up listening to Abbado's BPO performance all the
way though. It's terrific.

Matty
j***@aol.com
2006-05-16 00:44:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Michael Schaffer
Apparently you haven't heard John Wallace.
Is he Principal Trumpet for the Philharmonia? If so, is the Zander
recording the only one on which he plays the solo?
Matty, I think he plays on both the Zander and the Sinopoli. If you go
to the Philharmonia's website, they have sound clips showing the
various instruments, and the Mahler 5 solo is from the Zander
recording. The style and phrasing is quite similar to the Sinopoli
recording solo (which is definitely Wallace).

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/thesoundexchange/the_orchestra/instruments/trumpets/

--Jeff
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-16 07:59:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Michael Schaffer
Apparently you haven't heard John Wallace.
Is he Principal Trumpet for the Philharmonia? If so, is the Zander
recording the only one on which he plays the solo?
Post by Michael Schaffer
The solo on the CSO/Abbado recording is OK, but it's not really special
in any way. Predictably, it also lacks the depth of tone and the very
important element of melancholy and deep sadness that the opening notes
have to have, and is treated as some kind of brilliant virtuoso display
for its own sake. But the tone is too thin and pressed. This does not
sound like a funerary procession, but like some kind of West Point
thing.
I just listened to this again, along with Bernstein/VPO and Abbado/BPO, and
it turns out I don't like this as much as I thought I did. The problem with
Herseth's solo isn't the tone (which I do like), but rather the phrasing.
It's too smooth--too undifferentiated. It doesn't feel like a West Point
march; it doesn't feel like a march at all. You're right--the feeling just
isn't there. Abbado's BPO recording and Bernstein/VPO are both better here
in this respect. The pitch wavers a bit on the VPO recording and bit more
on the BPO recording, but I'll take the more "funereal" phrasing in
exchange for that. I ended up listening to Abbado's BPO performance all the
way though. It's terrific.
Matty
I didn't necessarily mean "march" when I said "West Point". I meant
more "too bravura, too polished medals and shininess" or womething like
that. This has to sound more provincial garrison or village band, maybe
with old spotty trumpets which have a few dents. In any case, the
opening notes should be really soft and tone should have a melancholic
inner glow, not piloshed silver shine, the triplet upbeats should be
slightly accelerated, the the minor third upwards in the third entry
really come out a little. In the Solti recording (I don't have the
Abbado in reach right now), so is just tatatataaa tatatataaa tatatataaa
tatatataaa. There is nothing behind the notes. I am a little too lazy
right now to pull out all the Mahler 5s I have to check this opening. I
did relisten to Sinopoli which has Wallace on it. That sounds really
great, tonally and musically. I do not know if Wallace is also on the
Zander recording. I don't think so, because it was made 5 years after
he left the Philharmonia. I don't have or know that recording anyway.
I will listen to the BP/Abbado recording when I have some time for
that. I just checked WDR/Bertini. That is tonally also just right. So
is the WP/Boulez recording, but I would have to listen to it again to
check for the musical details.
But I didn't just mean the opening passage in my post, but the whole
extended solo sections. That was incredible when I heard the
Philharmonia live under Sinopoli. It had an great range of color and
expression, and at the end of the movement, Wallace played as soft as
the flute, but the tone still had a lot of substance and color. It was
great.

Vaneyes
2006-05-15 15:57:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Vaneyes
His CSO M5 recording is pretty bad.
I don't think it's bad. It's just not great. And it features the best
trumpet playing this piece has ever received (at least on CD). Herseth's
opening solo is stunning.
I wouldn't use stunning. Somewhat surprisingly, considering the CSO
brass section's track record for sabotaging recordings, Herseth's is a
softer opening. Decent, but I prefer the more pronounced, as heard on
the BPO recording. In addition to "bad", I think "flat" is another good
description for that CSO recording.

Sounds like Abbado had the CSO reined in, after that hideous
over-the-top first M5 with Solti. The reins were slackened for the BPO,
and positive results are easily heard. Thrilling, without misplaced
hysteria.

If one must have a CSO M5, it's the live Vienna Decca digital with
Solti.

Regards
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 22:02:05 UTC
Permalink
"Better efforts for the CSO M7, but I think BPO tops that, too."

The first time I heard the Mahler 7th live was Abbado in Chicago, which
lead me to buy the CSO recording that followed the performances.
Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed.

-david gable
Marc Perman
2006-05-16 01:46:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
I like his Brahms cycle with the BPO on DG, but this is the set I imprinted
on, and I know others are less fond of it than I am. My favorite Abbado
recording may be his BPO Mahler 5, or his VPO Beethoven 7, or his recent
Brahms Violin Concerto with Shaham.
I like the Brahms cycle as well, not the least for its first movement
repeats in 2 and 3.

Marc Perman
Roland van Gaalen
2006-05-14 16:26:23 UTC
Permalink
Just a few excellent recordings that I happen to be familiar with:

Brahms / choral music
Bach / concerto for two violins (BWV 1043)
Beethoven 3 / Vienna Philh
Mendelssohn / Reformation symphony

Ten years ago I saw a St Matthew Passion recorded by him.

to this day I regret that I hesitated and decided against buying it.

it must be very very very good.
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
r.p.vangaalenATchello.nl (AT=@)
Simon Roberts
2006-05-14 16:53:02 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@fe06.highwinds-media.phx>,
Michael T. says...
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
I usually find him a bit too genteel (in commercial recordings, at any rate),
but I like a few of his recordings enormously, indluding:

Verdi - Ballo/Covent Garden (DVD-video)
Bruckner - 5 VPO/DG
Brahms - vln cto/Shaham/BPO/DG (thanks for the introduction, Matty)
Haydn 93 & 98 - COE/DG (but not the rest of his Haydn)
Mozart - Posthorn Serenade BPO/Sony

Simon
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
Vaneyes
2006-05-14 18:26:38 UTC
Permalink
Mozart Arias w. Schafer/BPO (DG)
Brahms Double Concerto w. Stern/Ma/CSO (Sony)
Brahms Sym. 3 w. BPO (DG, 1980's)
Tchaikovsky PC 1 w. Argerich/BPO (DG)
Tchaikovsky Sym. 6, R & J Fantasy Overture w. VPO & Boston SO (DG,
1960's)
Debussy Orchestral Works w. BPO (DG)
Mahler Syms. 3, 5, 7, 9 w. BPO (DG)
R. Strauss "Burleske" w. Argerich/BPO (DG)
R. Strauss Songs w. Schafer/BPO (DG)
Ravel PC in G w. Argerich/BPO (DG)
Prokofiev PC 3 w. Argerich/BPO (DG)

Various Berg, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Nono.

Regards
d***@aol.com
2006-05-14 19:32:47 UTC
Permalink
Abbado has a real thing for Mussorgsky, and the Khovanschina from
Vienna on DG is vital, stunning. I also like the earlier RCA recording
of various Mussorgsky raritites with the LSO, but I don't know the
later DG recording of (mostly) the same material. The Sony Boris,
which I eagerly awaited for years, believing that the definitive Boris
was finally on its way, was a major disappointment when it was finally
released: it's far from terrible, but it isn't the transcendent
experience that the live concert performances with Raimondi and the CSO
in Chicago had been. One difference between the DG Khovanschina and
the Sony Boris is that the Khovanschina is a conflation of material
from a run of live performances while the Boris is studio bound. (The
Coronation scene from the Sunday afternoon performance in Chicago is
available in one of the CSO's own boxes. As things stand, my favorite
studio Boris is the abridged English-language Boris with Tozzi and
Mitropoulos from the Met.)

Most of Abbado's studio Verdi is comparatively disappointing including
most especially the vastly overrated Simon Boccanegra, but much of the
Don Carlos is very fine. The Aida is especially tame. I'm very
curious to hear the Covent Garden Ballo that Simon has mentioned.

I used to swear by Abbado's Barber and Cenerentola, both with Berganza
and Alva, and I still like them, but I would prefer a different more,
let us say, Gui-like approach. The trouble is, I have yet to find
recordings using a "Gui-like" approach that I like as much as Abbado
with his Abbado-like approach. (For some reason, the Barber with De
los Angeles, Alva, Bruscantini, and Gui doesn't quite do it for me
despite my admiration for all of these performers.)

In many ways, Abbado is an ideal conductor of Stravinsky. He has the
modern conductor's "respect for the score" approach somewhat tempered
by his roots in Italian musical culture, and if you don't know how
rooted in Italian opera Stravinsky was, you don't know much about
Stravinsky, whose father was a famous opera singer and whose Oedipus
Rex reminded Bernstein of Aida. It reminded Stravinsky of Trovatore.
In any case, the live Oedipus that I heard with Abbado in Chicago was
sensational (on a program with Mussorgsky rarities). As for
recordings, the Pulcinella on DG is especially fine.

I heard Abbado give good to sensational performances of a broad range
of repertory from Gabrieli to Boulez in Chicago. Sadly, he's rarely
more than "genteel," to borrow Simon's word, in the studio.

-david gable
Gerard
2006-05-14 20:22:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
His second recording of Rossini overtures for DG (with the Chamber Orchestra
of Europe) is one of his best recordings.
JJ
2006-05-14 21:40:13 UTC
Permalink
I will put in a plug for a couple of DVDs. A glorious Debussy concert from
the 2003 Lucerne festival, and the 2002 Europa Concert with the BPO - a
program of the Brahms VC with Gil Shaham, Beethoven Egmont and Dvorak 9th
(and a great Sicilian Vespers overture encore). Both DVDs are on Euroarts.
MELMOTH
2006-05-15 11:31:49 UTC
Permalink
Ce cher mammifère du nom de Michael T. nous susurrait, le dimanche
14/05/2006, dans nos oreilles grandes ouvertes mais un peu sales quand
même, et dans le message
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
A principle : _always_ prefer concert tracks, much better than studio
ones, IMHO...
I think that Abbado is at that time the greatest conductor "in the
world"...The last "giant" of conductors, don't he is ?...
--
Car avec beaucoup de science, il y a beaucoup de chagrin; et celui qui
accroît sa science, accroît sa douleur.
[Ecclésiaste, 1]
Melmoth - souffrant
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-15 11:35:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by MELMOTH
Ce cher mammifère du nom de Michael T. nous susurrait, le dimanche
14/05/2006, dans nos oreilles grandes ouvertes mais un peu sales quand
même, et dans le message
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
A principle : _always_ prefer concert tracks, much better than studio
ones, IMHO...
I think that Abbado is at that time the greatest conductor "in the
world"...The last "giant" of conductors, don't he is ?...
Most or all the recordings he has made in the last years are live, so
that should make you happy!
Post by MELMOTH
--
Car avec beaucoup de science, il y a beaucoup de chagrin; et celui qui
accroît sa science, accroît sa douleur.
[Ecclésiaste, 1]
Melmoth - souffrant
Vaneyes
2006-05-15 16:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by MELMOTH
Ce cher mammifère du nom de Michael T. nous susurrait, le dimanche
14/05/2006, dans nos oreilles grandes ouvertes mais un peu sales quand
même, et dans le message
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
A principle : _always_ prefer concert tracks, much better than studio
ones, IMHO...
I think that Abbado is at that time the greatest conductor "in the
world"...The last "giant" of conductors, don't he is ?...
Most or all the recordings he has made in the last years are live, so
that should make you happy!
Aren't most orchestral recordings taken from concerts now? It seems so
to me.

Regards
d***@aol.com
2006-05-15 16:31:19 UTC
Permalink
Vaneyes writes:

"Aren't most orchestral recordings taken from concerts now? It seems so
to me. "

If only it were true of Boulez's. (Now that the BBC SO has released
that live Maderna 9th, I'm hoping they'll reissue the live Mahler 2nd
and 8th with Boulez that were broadcast. I wouldn't mind if they threw
in one of his live Mahler 5th's as well.)

-david gable
Vaneyes
2006-05-15 17:42:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
"Aren't most orchestral recordings taken from concerts now? It seems so
to me. "
If only it were true of Boulez's. (Now that the BBC SO has released
that live Maderna 9th, I'm hoping they'll reissue the live Mahler 2nd
and 8th with Boulez that were broadcast. I wouldn't mind if they threw
in one of his live Mahler 5th's as well.)
Apparently, DG M2 is a June release now, instead of the
previously-announced May. Thought I read there's a Boulez M8 planned
for DG--recording in not-too-distant future.
Not sure if I would like another Boulez M5, if it's a similar interp.
to his DG.

Bruckner 8 at St. Florian is a live DG Boulez must have.

Regards
Terry Simmons
2006-05-15 12:50:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael T.
I like Abbado's Beethoven set (Berliner Ph.) and some of his Mahler,
but I have also heard performances by this conductor on cd which are
not so good. So, which of his recordings are outstanding and worth
getting in your opinion? Brahms, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, Mussorgsky,
various (Italian) opera's etc. etc. ?
Michael T.
I love his DGG recording of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony with the VPO. I think I
read somewhere that one critic thought it was the best recording of *anything*.
His recordings of "Cenerentola" and "Don Carlos" take some beating, too.
--
Cheers!

Terry
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