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Intégrale Des Symphonies [Blu-ray]
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Détails sur le produit
Descriptions du produit
Symphonie 1 : Daniel Harding Symph. 2 : Mariss Jansons (Merbeth, Fink) Symph.3 : Mariss Jansons (Fink) Symph.4 : Ivan Fischer (Fink) Symph.5 : Daniel Gatti Symph.6 : Lorin Maazel Symph.7 : Pierre Boulez Symph.8 : Mariss Jansons (Brewer, Nylund, Espada, Blythe.) Symph.9 : Bernard Haitink Symph.10 : Eliahu Inbal Le Chant de la Terre : Fabio Luisi (Larsson, Smith)
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No. 1 is given to Daniel Harding. The ambitious height-scaling music of the young Mahler is reflected in his interpretation, which brings out the youthful exuberance and ardour of the music.
No. 4 is given a slightly quirky reading by Fischer, who fashions a chamber-like texture, appropriate to this almost neo-classical piece.
No. 5 is under Gatti, who gives us an Italianate approach to Mahler, after the manner, perhaps, of Toscanini. We know the Italians love Mahler, as Giulini demonstrated.
No. 6 under Maazel's experienced direction, is perhaps not quite as fine as his Vienna Phil studio version, but nonetheless a fine achievement by a Mahlerian sadly no longer with us.
No. 7, the oddest of the cycle, is given a taught reading by Boulez, who makes a strong case for this "Cinderella" of the Mahler Symphonies.
No. 9, under the Orchestra's old chief, Haitink, is magnificent in concept and execution. His half-century of experience in this music makes for an incredibly moving interpretation.
No. 10 is an Inbal speciality, and he gives us a strong case for this realisation of Mahler's sketches. Again, a very moving reading.
No subtitles for the vocal sections, but otherwise, recommended VERY highly.
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"Dreams come true!" By having this RCO Mahler blu ray box, we can enjoy full-scope of Gustav Mahler's universe of sound even in home-audio system. Frankly speaking, conventional CD format can't afford to reproduce Mahler's extraordinary wide range of dynamics. SACD(e.g. Chailly's RCO M3 by Decca, or Ivan Fischer's BFO M6 by Channel)could provide better presentation of Mahler's symphonies. And advance of blu ray technology can make Mahler's music presented as realistic as possible.(Abbado's Lucerne Festival & Chailly's Leipzig Mahler Festival)
RCO Mahler box is especially notable for its 24 bits/96 khz PCM & 96 khz DTS-HD MA audio format.
It is a little difficult to define "what is standard format of blu ray audio?" At this stage, average specification of up to now released classical music blu ray discs would be summarized as 24 bits/48 khz PCM & 48 khz DTS-HD MA. Then, what's difference between 24 bits & 16 bits? I'd say diffence of dynamics, density & power.
What about 48 khz & 96 khz? I'd say diffent aspects of depths, delicacy or micro-dynamics.
1)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Recently, RCO is regarded as the best concert orchestra(excluding opera house performance)in the world. Person by person, members of Berlinerphilharmoniker(BPO)are more virtuosic. But from the viewpoint of orchestral sound as a whole, RCO is more attractive to me. Section by section, I prefer RCO's string & woodwind to BPO. Of course, in terms of brass (specially french horn) & percussions, BPO is more reliable.
Additional value for this RCO Mahler blu ray box would be found with the concert hall - recording venue! Amsterdam Concertgebouw is famous for its fantastic acoustics.
Let me borrow some words from Lorin Maazel's blog. "There are no finer acoustics anywhere and there is no orchestra in the world more suited to the Mahlerian sweep and breadth requisite to a performance that should launch listeners into orbit"
2)Conductors & each performance
Chief conductor Mariss Jansons conducted No.2(December 2009), No.3(February 2010) and No.8(March 2011). NO.3 & 8 are very satifactory, but No.2 is too mellow. After cancellation of Abbado's Lucerne M8 in 2012, and considering troubled high notes from tenor Steven Gould in Chailly's May 2011 M8, Jansons's RCO M8 performance is very outstanding & valuable recording. Janson's M3 is also excellent and RCO shows well-acquaitance with the piece.
Among the guest conductors, Ivan Fischer(No.4 in April 2010), Lorin Maazel(No.6 in October 2010), and Eliahu Inbal(No.10 in June 2011) are impressive. Fischer successfully presented chamber music like characteristics of No.4. Maazel's No.6 reminds me of Celibidache's Bruckner performance with over 90 minutes expanded tempi. Inbal's No.10 showed how great Cook's performing version is and both conductor & orchestra showed full involvement with the piece.
Daniel Harding(No.1 in September 2009), Daniele Gatti(No.5 in June 2010), and Fabio Luisi(Das lied von der Erde in May 2011) showed ordinary music making, not so impressive.
Bernard Haitink's NO.9(May 2011)stayed within expectation.
No.7 with Pierre Boulez(January 2011)is a little disappointing. Playing of brass section(trumpet & french horn) is not stable and harmony between strings & winds is abnormally in trouble during outer movements(1 & 5).
Overall video quality is not impressive. What's wrong with No.7 & 9? (old film fashion?)
No booklets, no supplements, no traslations(alas! in No.8 very severe drawback).
But superb sound quality alone can justify the value of this blu ray box.
We can realize how fabulous RCO's playing & sound of concert hall could be.
Sometimes we consider Mahler's music too loud and distracting.
But through this blu ray box, we can feel how beautiful Mahler's sound could be.
To buy hi-fi blu ray player is reasonable action? So far, numbers of excellent software are not sufficient.
By this RCO Mahler blu ray release, it would be worthy to invest in expensive blu ray player.
I'd like to express my warmest gratitude for modest price of this box.
But it would be very difficult for us to avoid significant side effect of this blu ray discs. After enjoying this, your ears would feel uncomfortable when listening to conventional CDs, or DVDs.
Most of the reviews I've seen for this set seem to have been rushed out, and, because I have been guilty in the past of writing reviews after only one run-through, I have waited to do this one until I had listened to everything at least twice. Believe me - I grew fonder of several of these performances after a second audition. There's just too much in a Mahler symphony to assimilate critically in one sitting.
There seems to have been a considerable problem for some people to make these discs play in their bluray unit. I bought mine from Amazon usa, and had zero issues. All the cues and menus worked properly. I just have a three year old Panasonic basic region 1 bluray player with no software upgrades. This is such a significant release that, had my player not handled the discs, I would have shelled out $70 for another player that worked (maybe trial and error until I found one). After all, I've saved a bundle by paying only $8 a disc. That would be at least $250 savings for the whole set compared with the conventional labels.
Another complaint seems to be the lack of subtitles or even movement identification. I agree that this is unfortunate, but I would not be deterred by this omission. After all, what you're experiencing here are films of concert performances, and if you had attended the concerts, you wouldn't have gotten any visual aids there, either.I would have liked movement timings printed in the sleeves, though.
The playing on all these discs by the RCO is beyond reproach. The sound is beautifully caught, although the stereo mode is much flatter and not nearly as dynamic and visceral as the DTS MASTER AUDIO. You really need good surround sound for this set to show off its best.
The video is also excellent, always focusing on the particular instrument or section being highlighted at that point. The video is quite crisp except for symphonies #7 & 9, where a much more diffuse, softer focus is used. The lighting seems harsher, too. Looks to me like a different producer/director team was used for these two. Almost reminds me of aging news anchors on tv that were petrified of HD because of complexion "issues".
Now to the individual performances:-
#1) Harding puts down a very good, at times idiomatic first, lots of portamento, conducting with no baton. Very good shots of the duelling timpani at the end. Very enjoyable performance.
#2) Jansons' Resurrection is not as manic as some, but I thought beautifully controlled and integrated. Some interpretations can lose their way - this one really works its way towards a glorious finale. Maybe could have used a little larger choir.
#3) Jansons again, again holding together a very long and episodic symphony. I prefer a swifter Langsam, but his speed fits the whole traversal of this engaging work
#4) Fischer( whom I really like as a conductor) takes a highly personal view of the exquisite fourth, and this is one of the real winners here. Absolutely captivating.
#5) Gatti is known for his individualistic Mahler readings, and this is no exception. He's very generous with his tempo variations, and when he launched into the Adagietto, I thought I was in for a 7-8 minute lovesong, as opposed to the usual 10-13 minute dirge. But he stops to smell the roses in the middle of it and ends up over 9 minutes! Pity! The finale is very exciting.
#6) Maazel, never one of my favorites in Mahler, actually holds this one together very well, giving equal weight to the strings as to the winds. A bit broad, maybe, but he keeps the momentum going, and the hammer blows will elevate you from your seat.
#7) I generally like Boulez' Mahler, especially #2, because all the instrumental parts can be discerned easily. The second Nachtmusik is taken faster than is usual, and is the better for it. Other than the video quality, very good version.
#8) Jansons again; this one I liked much better on the second hearing when I could concentrate on the singers. I never once found my attention flagging, which can sometimes happen for me in the Part 2. There are two other notable eighths available - Chailly and Dudamel. I find myself liking this one best.
#9) Haitink is to me a bland conductor - very stolid and predictable, and I am familiar with prior versions of his M9. Nothing much has changed - no playful lilt in the Landler, and a too drawn-out Adagio. Video quality very poor, as noted above.
#10 I've owned the Inbal cd of the complete Cooke tenth for years, and it is a favorite. He does the famous upward glissando just before the end, unlike Rattle, for instance, who ignores it. Really involving performance - you'll definitely shed a tear or two in the last movement.
Das Lied von der Erde and Totenfeier. Luisi has a way with Mahler - I love his #1 - and he swoops into Das Lied with a vengeance. A very exciting performance, helped enormously by the always wonderful Anna Larsson (dwarfing everybody else)and Robert Dean Smith. Both work without librettos. Totenfier is the apprentice work for symphony #2, first movement, and it is interesting to note how the work grew up. I'd love to see a Luisi #2.
None of these performances are less than very good and a few are excellent. This set is a great deal, and well worth finding a bluray machine to play it on.
In M1, Daniel Harding gives a straight forward, fresh and 'youthful' performance that's completely appropriate. He jacks up the Eastern European flavor of the slow movement, but without miccro-managing or sounding overly fussy in the process. This is nicely done.
For me, M4 with Ivan Fischer and Miah Persson (sop) is the highlight of this set. If anything, this is an even 'hotter' and more flexible performance than the fine one that the two of them offered to the world, via Channel Classics excellent sonics. This is among the finest Mahler 4th's I've ever heard. The Concertgebouw has had an outstanding track record with the fourth over the decades, and their streak surely continues here.
In M5, Daniella Gatti brings to the table that which the Concertgebouw sometimes truly lacks: fire! That said, his 'interpretation' of the fifth has deepened since his inaugural recording of M5 with the Royal Phil. two decades ago. Like Fischer, Gatti fully understands that he has an instrument in front of him - the Concertgebouw - that will respond to his slightest gesture or subtle adjustments in tempo. In spite of Gatti's brusqueness from time to time (isn't the fifth a truly 'brusque' work anyway?), Gatti is seriously having fun here and so are we, his audience. I'm truly hopeful that Gatti will be considered on the short list for Janson's eventual successor someday.
M6 with Lorin Maazel brings nothing that one wouldn't already expect, if they're already familiar with his dark, heavy and sometimes plain slow performances of Mahler that he's given in Vienna and New York. This is not a 'bad' performance by any means. However, the best that can said about it is that Maazel gives an appropriately dark and weighty reading of the piece. Oddly enough, the Concergebouw's percussion section plays far more timidly here than they did on Chailly's truly powerful recording of M6 for Decca (Chailly is a percussionist!).
"DlvdE" & "Totenfeier" is conducted by the mercurial Fabio Luisi, who is now doing much of the conducting duties at the N.Y. Metropolitan Opera. This is very good - Anna Larsson is great! She even makes a strong effort not to over-sing her pseudo-outburst near the end of "der Abschied", where the good Earth and sky are turning all blue and green, and all that good stuff (Mahler does not make any dynamic adjustment above 'piano' at this critical juncture - many singers turn into a loud 'forte'). However, after hearing such a fine performance of "Das Lied von der Erde", why would ANYBODY want to stick around to hear "Totenfeier" - the heavily Liszt influenced, first version of what eventually became the opening movement to the "Resurrection" symphony (#2)? I just don't get that. It's not a bad performance of "Totenfeier", but why would anybody couple it to "DLvdE"?
M9 with Haitink: I skipped it! I'll get around to it someday, but I just can't bring myself to look at it right now. I've always thought that Haitink's famous Concertgebouw recording of the 9th from the latter '60's was highly overrated to begin with. In more recent years, Haitink has become a one-man 'snooze fest' when it comes to Mahler (and many other composers as well). What happened to this man? Besides, I've been listening to the Dudamel/Los Angeles M9 that just got issued on DG (how many 9th's can people listen to at one time anyway!). I'm sure that this isn't terrible, but I doubt if I'll be bowled over by it either.
I want to like the Cooke version of the 10th symphony with Eliahu Inbal more than I do. I don't know what it is, but I just can't jump on the band wagon for his Mahler (that said, his M7 with the Czech Phil. is outstanding!). He obviously knows these pieces exceedingly well, but there's something that just looks too scripted or 'choreographed' about his Mahler conducting. Part of the problem is that I'm just not THAT crazy about the Cooke version (I like the Samale/Mazzuca version best, so far). This isn't bad by any means, so there really is little reason for me to complain at all. I'm just not hanging from the rafters either. For the Cooke version, I still like the Ormandy version best, as well as the recent Gianandrea Noseda one on Chandos.
Special mention has to be given to the M7 with Pierre Boulez. For a man who doesn't like minimalist music (neither do I), he sure is a 'minimalist' conductor. Boulez hardly conducts at all, and gives his most 'meaningful' indications through his eyes. Perhaps this is what the 'zen' of conducting is all about. I say all this because the Amsterdam audience goes 'nuts' at the end. In this entire set, Boulez is the one conductor who gets a unanimous standing ovation. Interpretively speaking, this reading differs little from the one he recorded in Cleveland for DG, the hallmarks of which being a slower than normal first movement; very 'zippy' tempi for the two Nachtmusik movements, and a refusal to slow down at the symphony's final peroration near the end of the finale. Boulez hardly deviates from his game-plan at all. Yet, the results were quite convincing to the Dutch audience. Someone more astute in psychology and human behavior than I, will have to offer an explanation as to why Boulez is so charismatic, and seems to disarm so many of his critics.
This pretty much covers it, but I want to take a moment to talk about the Concertgebouw itself. This orchestra has always been famous for its fine woodwinds, as well as a great transparency to its tonal colorings. The hall itself has relatively steep tiers for the orchestra to sit upon, which gives the woodwinds far more relief than in most concert halls. The percussion have an elevated tier to themselves as well. Thus, the orchestra is well suited for Mahler's music with its almost equal emphasis on all four sections of the orchestra: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. But as I mentioned before, my only complaint about the Concertgebouw is that they can sound a tad bland or 'routine' in some of their performances. Granted all orchestras suffer this problem from time-to-time, as conductors are truly little more than a necessary evil (at their worst, that is). For me, part of the problem is in the brass.
The Concertgebouw horns don't blaze-out the way that their counterparts in Berlin, Chicago, Pittsburgh or Vienna do. No doubt, some of that has to do with where the horns are positioned in the hall, and in relation to everyone else in the orchestra. The other problem - for me, anyway - is their insistence on sticking with American park band style, piston valve trumpets. There are times when the brightness of those trumpets are just right in Mahler's music. But there are other times when the darker and more burnished colorings of the German rotary valve trumpets are sorely missed (in the famous Kubelik/Bavarian Radio S.O. Mahler cycle, a mixture of American and German style trumpets was employed to great effect). The difference in tonal qualities of these trumpets has nothing to do with rotary vs. piston valves. Instead, it's the length and taper of their bell sections and lead pipes - leading up to the valve section - that make the difference (and yes, there are have been numerous attempts to meld the qualities of both trumpets). I know I'm getting into technical stuff that most people can't be bothered with. The point is this: in spite of their fine woodwinds and thoroughly 'modern' percussion, there are moments when the Concertgebouw's brass are just not all that coloristically correct for Mahler.
In spite of his efforts to differentiate himself from Wagner and Bruckner (musically speaking), there are moments in Mahler symphonies where the horns really need to seize the moment (take the bull by the horns?), and the trumpets need to play 'second fiddle' to those horns (and yes, there are many moments where the opposite is true as well). All this is a bit akin to what people frequently say about professional sports teams: all problems and criticisms melt away when the team is winning. I find that the same is true with the Concertgebouw: all my slight reservations about them melt away when the conductor brings the one ingredient that they themselves sometimes forget to bring: fire! Watch the Fischer M4 and Gatti M5 and see if you don't agree.
In spite of all the 'pluses' to this dvd set, if you want an all-Concertgebouw cycle of the Mahler symphonies, I personally would stick with the Chailly box on Decca. Just make sure to supplement that set with the outstanding Janet Baker/James King/Haitink "DLvdE" on Philips. But having just stated that opinion, nobody would go far wrong with the added bonus of the visuals that this unique set offers. If you want to hear and watch just one person's opinion on the major works of Mahler, you simply couldn't do better than to acquire the complete Bernstein dvd set on DG.
Audio and interpretation of conductor is very good , picture quality is fine too.
All discs work beautifully, with great picture and sound. Even with my modest stereo system
(no surround sound) the climaxes at the end of the 2nd symphony were beyond anything on
CD (one of the great performances of the set, by the way).
There is a warmth and dedication to Mahler throughout these performances that is quite special and makes
the set a must for all Mahler enthusiasts. The Concertgebouw also has a special meaning for me,
having heard a concert there some time ago, I can only say it is one of the most amazing acoustical
spaces in the world and I urge anyone who is going to Europe to make sure they hear the Royal
Concertgebouw Orchestra in their own hall. You not only hear the sound of the orchestra in a way
that is beyond words (a soft, warm glow barely suffices) but feel the vibrations through the floorboards.