Discussion:
Klemperer Revisited
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Rich
2011-12-15 09:38:04 UTC
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The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler. Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th. In Heyworth's biography of OK he writes: "Mahler's Symphony No.
7 fared scarcely better on 1 October. Klemperer had been present when
the work had received its first performance under its composer's
direction in Prague in 1908, but had always been distinctly ambivalent
about its merits. Though he found the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements. It was for this reason
that he had conducted it only once before, in Cologne in 1922. As
though to confirm his doubts about the work, the London performance
misfired. The Festival Hall was far from full and, above all in the
huge opening allegro, the extremely measured tempi were widely
criticised. When Klemperer's recording of the work was issued later
in the season it was cooly received." OK recorded the 7th in
September of 1968, and the symphony was hardly a favorite with
audiences. Debate over the M7's merits are usually focused on the
finale. I think Pierre Boulez said that this movement only works at a
fast tempo. In contrast, Klemperer takes 24 minutes to get through it,
and I didn't mind one bit. In general I think that listeners today
favor super-fast tempi..maybe so we can get through all those box sets
we haven't listened to yet... I don't know.

Rich
T. Esteban Ayala
2011-12-15 09:58:21 UTC
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The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler.  Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th.  In Heyworth's biography of OK he writes: "Mahler's Symphony No.
7 fared scarcely better on 1 October. Klemperer  had been present when
the work had received its first performance under its composer's
direction in Prague in 1908, but had always been distinctly ambivalent
about its merits.  Though he found  the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations  about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements.  It was for this reason
that he had conducted it only once before, in Cologne in 1922.  As
though to confirm his doubts about the work, the London performance
misfired.  The Festival Hall was far from full and, above all in the
huge opening allegro, the extremely measured tempi were widely
criticised.  When Klemperer's recording of the work was issued later
in the season it was cooly received."  OK recorded the 7th in
September of 1968, and the symphony was hardly a favorite with
audiences.  Debate over the M7's merits are usually focused on the
finale. I think Pierre Boulez said that this movement only works at a
fast tempo. In contrast, Klemperer takes 24 minutes to get through it,
and I didn't mind one bit.  In general I think that listeners today
favor super-fast tempi..maybe so we can get through all those box sets
we haven't listened to yet...  I don't know.
Rich
I've always liked Klemperer's Mahler 7th a lot. Not a big fan of that
symphony in general. But Klemperer's has always struck me as sounding
just right to me. Might be one of my favorites. The third movement
sounds especially spooky with Klemperer's heavy footed tempos. His
deliberate and weighty approach also work well in the finale, bringing
out better than anyone, I feel, the underlying acidulous humor in the
music.

Despite his reputation, I've always had mixed feelings about
Klemperer's Mahler. His Philharmonia Mahler 2 is good (the live
Concertgebouw and VPO recordings are better). The Mahler 4 is very
good. Klemperer's late recording of the 9th is great in places, but
generally uneven (the VPO recording is no better). Both of his
recordings of Das Lied von der Erde feel too unyielding to me; not as
sensitive as I'd like to the sublime beauty of Mahler's music (great
voices in the EMI recording, though). But that 7th is really good;
among the best of his best.

Now I just hope EMI gives Klemperer's Bruckner the boxset treatment.
T. Esteban Ayala
2011-12-15 09:59:06 UTC
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The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler.  Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th.  In Heyworth's biography of OK he writes: "Mahler's Symphony No.
7 fared scarcely better on 1 October. Klemperer  had been present when
the work had received its first performance under its composer's
direction in Prague in 1908, but had always been distinctly ambivalent
about its merits.  Though he found  the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations  about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements.  It was for this reason
that he had conducted it only once before, in Cologne in 1922.  As
though to confirm his doubts about the work, the London performance
misfired.  The Festival Hall was far from full and, above all in the
huge opening allegro, the extremely measured tempi were widely
criticised.  When Klemperer's recording of the work was issued later
in the season it was cooly received."  OK recorded the 7th in
September of 1968, and the symphony was hardly a favorite with
audiences.  Debate over the M7's merits are usually focused on the
finale. I think Pierre Boulez said that this movement only works at a
fast tempo. In contrast, Klemperer takes 24 minutes to get through it,
and I didn't mind one bit.  In general I think that listeners today
favor super-fast tempi..maybe so we can get through all those box sets
we haven't listened to yet...  I don't know.
Rich
I've always liked Klemperer's Mahler 7th a lot. Not a big fan of that
symphony in general. But Klemperer's has always struck me as sounding
just right to me. Might be one of my favorites. The third movement
sounds especially spooky with Klemperer's heavy footed tempos. His
deliberate and weighty approach also work well in the finale, bringing
out better than anyone, I feel, the underlying acidulous humor in the
music.

Despite his reputation, I've always had mixed feelings about
Klemperer's Mahler. His Philharmonia Mahler 2 is good (the live
Concertgebouw and VPO recordings are better). The Mahler 4 is very
good. Klemperer's late recording of the 9th is great in places, but
generally uneven (the VPO recording is no better). Both of his
recordings of Das Lied von der Erde feel too unyielding to me; not as
sensitive as I'd like to the sublime beauty of Mahler's music (great
voices in the EMI recording, though). But that 7th is really good;
among the best of his best.

Now I just hope EMI gives Klemperer's Bruckner the boxset treatment.
T. Esteban Ayala
2011-12-15 10:00:25 UTC
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The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler.  Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th.  In Heyworth's biography of OK he writes: "Mahler's Symphony No.
7 fared scarcely better on 1 October. Klemperer  had been present when
the work had received its first performance under its composer's
direction in Prague in 1908, but had always been distinctly ambivalent
about its merits.  Though he found  the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations  about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements.  It was for this reason
that he had conducted it only once before, in Cologne in 1922.  As
though to confirm his doubts about the work, the London performance
misfired.  The Festival Hall was far from full and, above all in the
huge opening allegro, the extremely measured tempi were widely
criticised.  When Klemperer's recording of the work was issued later
in the season it was cooly received."  OK recorded the 7th in
September of 1968, and the symphony was hardly a favorite with
audiences.  Debate over the M7's merits are usually focused on the
finale. I think Pierre Boulez said that this movement only works at a
fast tempo. In contrast, Klemperer takes 24 minutes to get through it,
and I didn't mind one bit.  In general I think that listeners today
favor super-fast tempi..maybe so we can get through all those box sets
we haven't listened to yet...  I don't know.
Rich
I've always liked Klemperer's Mahler 7th a lot. Not a big fan of that
symphony in general. But Klemperer's has always struck me as sounding
just right to me. Might be one of my favorites. The third movement
sounds especially spooky with Klemperer's heavy footed tempos. His
deliberate and weighty approach also work well in the finale, bringing
out better than anyone, I feel, the underlying acidulous humor in the
music.

Despite his reputation, I've always had mixed feelings about
Klemperer's Mahler. His Philharmonia Mahler 2 is good (the live
Concertgebouw and VPO recordings are better). The Mahler 4 is very
good. Klemperer's late recording of the 9th is great in places, but
generally uneven (the VPO recording is no better). Both of his
recordings of Das Lied von der Erde feel too unyielding to me; not as
sensitive as I'd like to the sublime beauty of Mahler's music (great
voices in the EMI recording, though). But that 7th is really good;
among the best of his best.

Now I just hope EMI gives Klemperer's Bruckner the boxset treatment.
herman
2011-12-15 11:26:08 UTC
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 Though he found  the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations  about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements.
Is "rhetorical" Klemperer's word?

I don't see why the first or last mvt is any more "rhetorical" than
the middle movements.
Rich
2011-12-15 13:00:12 UTC
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Post by herman
 Though he found  the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations  about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements.
Is "rhetorical" Klemperer's word?
I don't see why the first or last mvt is any more "rhetorical" than
the middle movements.
Based on Heyworth's text, I'd say the only words that are Klemperer's
are "deeply affecting in their simplicity"...
GP49
2011-12-15 15:43:18 UTC
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On Dec 15, 1:38 am, Rich <***@comcast.net> wrote;

The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler. Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th.

====================================================

Nice, especially for those who don't have the Seventh and have balked
at the prices for used copies of the
CD...they would change hands for around $200, sometimes even more.
Granted, on the original EMI CD issue,
some works by Klemperer himself were included, but the Mahler 7 had to
be the main item of interest.

Earlier this week, a used copy sold on the infamous auction site for
under $50; still more than the entire
French 6-CD set, but a major "bottom fell out" of the market

From the documentation that comes with the the French set, it would
appear that it is not newly remastered,
but uses the digital masters from previous CD issues. That's OK;
there's nothing wrong with the existing
masters. EMI didn't have the money to spend on remastering, anyway.

I've long liked Klemperer's Mahler 7. Many didn't. They may have
imprinted on the Bernstein
from Columbia, the first Mahler 7 to be issued in "good" (though it
was Columbia-grade) stereo.
I thought Bernstein made the Mahler 7 sound trivial. Klemperer was a
revelation: "Oh,
THAT's what Mahler meant..."
MSW
2011-12-15 19:45:07 UTC
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I thought Bernstein made the Mahler 7 sound trivial.  Klemperer was a
revelation: "Oh, THAT's what Mahler meant..."
I'd had many years with Klemperer before I got to Bernstein's. An it
isn't that I disliked Klemperer, but Bernstein makes that first
movement speak better than almost any I've heard. So it can go the
opposite way, too. (Full disclosure: I'm not sure it matters that I
heard the remixed Bernstein M7, but I don't know the original.)
J.Martin
2011-12-15 20:27:25 UTC
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I've long liked Klemperer's Mahler 7.  Many didn't.  They may have
imprinted on the Bernstein
from Columbia, the first Mahler 7 to be issued in "good" (though it
was Columbia-grade) stereo.
I thought Bernstein made the Mahler 7 sound trivial.  Klemperer was a
revelation: "Oh,
THAT's what Mahler meant..."
I don't know what Mahler meant, but the Bernstein/NYPO remains one of
the definitive recordings for, along with perhaps the live Tennstedt
in Cleveland. Perhaps if the Klemperer was the first version I'd
heard, without any idea of what the "usual" tempos might be, I might
respond to it better. As it is, I've always regarded it as a bit of a
curiosity. AFAIK, only the live Kubelik/NY is anywhere near this
slow.

Anyway, I'm delighted to hear that Klemps' Mahler is being collected
in one box--no Mahlerian should be without them.
Rich
2011-12-15 22:48:08 UTC
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GP49 wrote:

From the documentation that comes with the the French set, it would
appear that it is not newly remastered,
but uses the digital masters from previous CD issues. That's OK;
there's nothing wrong with the existing
masters. EMI didn't have the money to spend on remastering, anyway

For a recording made in September of 68, the M7 sounds excellent.
Kudos to Peter Andry and Robert Gooch. Concerning the subject of
remastering-I noticed that when I popped disc 1 of the EMI set
Klemperer /Haydn Favorite Symphonies into my laptop, that Windows
Media gave the track readout in Japanese. This must be some fluke..I
doubt very much if these are Japanese EMI remasterings .... And this 3-
CD set is essential listening. The Andante of "The Clock" will put
you in a trance...I wish I knew how that old man worked such magic
with an orchestra.

Rich
wkasimer
2011-12-16 15:45:38 UTC
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Post by GP49
Nice, especially for those who don't have the Seventh and have balked
at the prices for used copies of the
CD...they would change hands for around $200, sometimes even more.
I bought mine about three years ago for $75 (by far the most I've
paid, per CD, for any used item), and thought that I'd gotten a
bargain...

Bill
T. Esteban Ayala
2011-12-16 18:34:54 UTC
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Post by wkasimer
Post by GP49
Nice, especially for those who don't have the Seventh and have balked
at the prices for used copies of the
CD...they would change hands for around $200, sometimes even more.
I bought mine about three years ago for $75 (by far the most I've
paid, per CD, for any used item), and thought that I'd gotten a
bargain...
Bill
Didn't realize how expensive that set was until much later. I was
lucky to find it for $7 at the Moby Disc that used to be in Pasadena
back in 1999.
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-12-16 20:51:13 UTC
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"T. Esteban Ayala" <***@gmail.com> appears to have caused the
following letters to be typed in news:bdbdc37f-ed03-49bb-8ab3-
Post by GP49
Nice, especially for those who don't have the Seventh and have balked
at the prices for used copies of the CD...they would change hands for
around $200, sometimes even more.
I bought mine about three years ago for $75 (by far the most I've paid,
per CD, for any used item), and thought that I'd gotten a bargain...
Bill
Didn't realize how expensive that set was until much later. I was lucky
to find it for $7 at the Moby Disc that used to be in Pasadena back in
1999.
I remember them; I used to visit the one on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman
Oaks, until one day the whole chain shut down softly and suddenly, almost
as though they had met with a Boojum.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers.
gggg gggg
2021-11-23 08:02:15 UTC
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The new French EMI 6 CD set: Klemperer conducts Mahler. Nice to have
all of Klemperer's EMI Mahler recordings in one box, especially the
7th. In Heyworth's biography of OK he writes: "Mahler's Symphony No.
7 fared scarcely better on 1 October. Klemperer had been present when
the work had received its first performance under its composer's
direction in Prague in 1908, but had always been distinctly ambivalent
about its merits. Though he found the three short central movements
'deeply affecting in their simplicity' he had reservations about the
longer and more rhetorical outer movements. It was for this reason
that he had conducted it only once before, in Cologne in 1922. As
though to confirm his doubts about the work, the London performance
misfired. The Festival Hall was far from full and, above all in the
huge opening allegro, the extremely measured tempi were widely
criticised. When Klemperer's recording of the work was issued later
in the season it was cooly received." OK recorded the 7th in
September of 1968, and the symphony was hardly a favorite with
audiences. Debate over the M7's merits are usually focused on the
finale. I think Pierre Boulez said that this movement only works at a
fast tempo. In contrast, Klemperer takes 24 minutes to get through it,
and I didn't mind one bit. In general I think that listeners today
favor super-fast tempi..maybe so we can get through all those box sets
we haven't listened to yet... I don't know.
Rich
(Recent Y. upload):

Klemperer's Ten Best Recordings (Preview Discussion: Do Conductors Improve With Age?)
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