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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 4 - Fischer

Posts: 221
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Post by Briswest April 5, 2009 (111 of 221)
Thanks for all your responses, and sorry about the confusion....I guess I shouldn't have been discussing Mahler 6 on a forum about Mahler 4!
Yes...the Gutman review I referred to was of Mahler 6 (December 2005). Just to correct my comment, he was actually referring to the finale when he said that "it lacks the weight and import of big-name rivals"
I purchased the CD from an Amazon seller (Caiman). The CD number is CCS 22998. Had another listen last night, and it really is stunning. My only complaint is that I prefer the inner movements reversed, but that's personal, and since it's a single CD, it's easy to program. I can't see myself returning to my other favourutes too often! Hitherto, they have been; Bernstein/DG, Boulez/DG, and Abbado/DG. The Abbado recording was much praised, but I can't say I was that impressed with the sound quality (made at the Philharmonie, Berlin, a venue to yields mixed results in my experience). The Fisher version succeeds in that the ambience of the venue is vividly captured. To me, the hall sounds warm and reverberant, despite its modest capacity, whilst at the same time the detail is not lost. This is no mean achievement since these are normally mutually exlusive qualities! No doubt the reverberation time was able to be set to suit the music, using the special tuning facilities incorporated in the design of the hall, but all of that is meaningless without creative recording engineering. Dynamic range is outstanding, even on the regular CD. I understand Fischer is denying any ambitions to make this a complete cycle.....I hope the third issue in the series (the 4th symphony) is an indication of a change of heart!

Post by channel April 5, 2009 (112 of 221)
Briswest said:

Thanks for all your responses, and sorry about the confusion....I guess I shouldn't have been discussing Mahler 6 on a forum about Mahler 4!
Yes...the Gutman review I referred to was of Mahler 6 (December 2005). Just to correct my comment, he was actually referring to the finale when he said that "it lacks the weight and import of big-name rivals"
I purchased the CD from an Amazon seller (Caiman). The CD number is CCS 22998. Had another listen last night, and it really is stunning. My only complaint is that I prefer the inner movements reversed, but that's personal, and since it's a single CD, it's easy to program. I can't see myself returning to my other favourutes too often! Hitherto, they have been; Bernstein/DG, Boulez/DG, and Abbado/DG. The Abbado recording was much praised, but I can't say I was that impressed with the sound quality (made at the Philharmonie, Berlin, a venue to yields mixed results in my experience). The Fisher version succeeds in that the ambience of the venue is vividly captured. To me, the hall sounds warm and reverberant, despite its modest capacity, whilst at the same time the detail is not lost. This is no mean achievement since these are normally mutually exlusive qualities! No doubt the reverberation time was able to be set to suit the music, using the special tuning facilities incorporated in the design of the hall, but all of that is meaningless without creative recording engineering. Dynamic range is outstanding, even on the regular CD. I understand Fischer is denying any ambitions to make this a complete cycle.....I hope the third issue in the series (the 4th symphony) is an indication of a change of heart!

Still no change of heart for doing more mahler. The three symphonies was all that Ivan wants to do.
Concerning the hall. The Palace of Arts was not even really finished when the Festival Orchestra got in there to make the recording of the Mahler 6th. Actually this was the first rehearsal- recording to take place there. No one even really knew how to use the computer system that controls the moving doors, curtains, canope. So it is a wonder that we got something down but a complement to the hall itself. We have gotten a little better with every recording. Now they have changed the back wall of the stage so we have to start all over again!

Jared

Post by channel April 6, 2009 (113 of 221)
channel said:

Still no change of heart for doing more mahler. The three symphonies was all that Ivan wants to do.
Concerning the hall. The Palace of Arts was not even really finished when the Festival Orchestra got in there to make the recording of the Mahler 6th. Actually this was the first rehearsal- recording to take place there. No one even really knew how to use the computer system that controls the moving doors, curtains, canope. So it is a wonder that we got something down but a complement to the hall itself. We have gotten a little better with every recording. Now they have changed the back wall of the stage so we have to start all over again!

Jared

Just in.. This recording will be cd of the week on BBC radio 3 for the week of april 25th. Plus a Diapson d'Or in France. It is wonderful to see that it is not only this forum who have high regard for this performance!

Jared

Post by pgmdir April 6, 2009 (114 of 221)
channel said:

Just in.. This recording will be cd of the week on BBC radio 3 for the week of april 25th. Plus a Diapson d'Or in France. It is wonderful to see that it is not only this forum who have high regard for this performance!

Jared

The Mahler 4 must be among the very best received of all of your releases!

Are we likely to hear more of Miah Persson? She's incredible!

Bill

Post by Cherubino April 6, 2009 (115 of 221)
channel said:

Just in.. This recording will be cd of the week on BBC radio 3 for the week of april 25th. Plus a Diapson d'Or in France. It is wonderful to see that it is not only this forum who have high regard for this performance!

Jared

What the audience for classical music lacks in numbers it makes up for in enthusiasm and willingness to spend money in its support. Mr. Fischer shouldn't be too dismissive of the desires of that community.

Post by Briswest April 8, 2009 (116 of 221)
Jared.....your responses to my remarks about the Palace of Arts concert hall brought a smile to my face! I have a personal interest in concert halls being an architect myself. I made a special study of concert hall acoustics when I was at university, so I'm always fascinated to see what happens when a new hall is built. The seating capacity at the Palace of Arts would suggest a hall with a shorter reverberation time than would normally be ideal for Mahler, but from what I've read, the adjustable chambers and the canopy make it possible to change the effective volume of the hall, which in turn changes the reverberation time. Actually, I had first bought the Mahler 2, and it went straight to the top of my favourites list of Mahler 2's, but I thought the Mahler 6 had even more presence and transparency. These would probably be the first Mahler recordings that give me that special sense of being at the venue, so I can't wait to hear the Mahler 4. Incidentally, I mentioned in my first post that I could not find the SACD version in a search of the Amazon website (maybe I wasn't dong it properly), but I did find it via the link on this website (and available from the same seller that sold me the CD version!).....very strange! Sorry to hear Mr Fischer really doesn't have plans for any more Mahler, but I'm still hoping he might change his mind in light of the enthusiastic reception of the three he's done to date. Many thanks for taking the trouble to respond to me.

Post by channel April 8, 2009 (117 of 221)
Cherubino said:

What the audience for classical music lacks in numbers it makes up for in enthusiasm and willingness to spend money in its support. Mr. Fischer shouldn't be too dismissive of the desires of that community.

The recommendations from this forum gave the extra push needed in that in May we will be recording Dvorak 7th. This was on the top of the wish list from this forum. I have since given Ivan the lists from this discussion. I don't think he follows this forum but I copy parts of it for him which are relevant. I know however that he is very appreciative of the postive response that this community has given to the Mahler 2nd and 4th.
Jared

Post by hiredfox April 9, 2009 (118 of 221)
channel said:

Still no change of heart for doing more mahler. The three symphonies was all that Ivan wants to do.
Concerning the hall. The Palace of Arts was not even really finished when the Festival Orchestra got in there to make the recording of the Mahler 6th. Actually this was the first rehearsal- recording to take place there. No one even really knew how to use the computer system that controls the moving doors, curtains, canope. So it is a wonder that we got something down but a complement to the hall itself. We have gotten a little better with every recording. Now they have changed the back wall of the stage so we have to start all over again!

Jared

Surely, he is right! Recording full sets of symphonies (for example) - one size fits all mentality - is a very modern trend and rarely a good thing per se, rather smacks of a production line technique.

In the 60's, 70's and 80's much of the fun of record collecting was tracking down (without the help of Penguin) the "best versions" of each symphony; invariably the 'best" versions of a composer's individual works were delivered by a range of different conductors and orchestras.

So, I grew up believing that in fact the interpretations of individual conductors and orchestras excelled for any one composer on only a few occasions.

We heard Ivan in Amsterdam a couple of years back 'do' Beethoven S4, which so far has not made it onto SACD. Yet, it was absolutely captivating, utterly flawless and extraordinarily sensitive, one of the very best interpretations of any Beethoven symphony that we ever heard in the concert hall. Their performance on that night created for us one of those rare heart-stopping moments at the end of the concert when one is too overwhelmed to draw breath easily or utter even a banal word of rapture.

Such an obvious 'special' moment for that audience, probably even exceptional for Ivan and the BFO. Could he ever have reached such a peak for other Beethoven symphonies? Who knows but it is that moment that should have been immortalised on disc.

Yes, we enjoy his Beethoven 7 and it is good but that 4th... We just wait and hope.

Post by Peter April 9, 2009 (119 of 221)
hiredfox said:

We heard Ivan in Amsterdam a couple of years back 'do' Beethoven S4, which so far has not made it onto SACD. Yet, it was absolutely captivating, utterly flawless and extraordinarily sensitive, one of the very best interpretations of any Beethoven symphony that we ever heard in the concert hall. Their performance on that night created for us one of those rare heart-stopping moments at the end of the concert when one is too overwhelmed to draw breath easily or utter even a banal word of rapture.

Did the BFO do an encore? In one performance including Beethoven 4 they did Leroy Anderson's "Plink, plank, plunk".

Post by Cherubino April 9, 2009 (120 of 221)
channel said:

The recommendations from this forum gave the extra push needed in that in May we will be recording Dvorak 7th. This was on the top of the wish list from this forum. I have since given Ivan the lists from this discussion. I don't think he follows this forum but I copy parts of it for him which are relevant. I know however that he is very appreciative of the postive response that this community has given to the Mahler 2nd and 4th.
Jared

That's good news. I wasn't implying that an artist should automatically record on demand (that would be both absurd, and, unfair to the artist, who may or may not have an interest in a particular piece of music); only that imput from the audience may tip the balance in certain instances. Thanks (to both you and Ivan) for listening to us all.

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