Updoc – 10/26/2012

UPDOC 205: SPOOKIN’ WITH GUS: 10/26/12

Opening theme: Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Ninth Room; Tutankhamun (Black Lion)

Philly Joe Jones: Blues for Dracula; The Riverside Records Story (Fantasy)
Gustav Mahler/New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein: Symphony No. 7 [excerpt]; Mahler – Symphony Nos. 7 & 9 (Columbia)
Gustav Mahler/New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein: Symphony No. 7 [excerpt]; Mahler – Symphony No. 7 (DGG)
Gustav Mahler/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein; Symphony No. 7; Mahler – Symphony No. 7 in E Minor – New Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, 29 August 1969 (Music & Arts)
Witold Lutoslawski/Stuttgarter Kammerorchester/Dennis Russell Davies: Musique Funebre; Lutoslawski/Bartók – Musique Funebre (ECM)
Gustav Mahler/Heinrich Rehkemper/Munich National Theatre Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein: Nun Will Die Sonn’ Hell Aufgehen (Kindertotenlieder No. 1); Mahler – The First Three Orchestral Recordings (Pearl)
Gabriel Kahane: Where Are the Arms [title tune] (2nd Story Sound)

Out theme: Gustav Mahler/Mme. Charles Cahier/Berlin Staatsopfer Orchestra/Selmar Meyrowitz: Ich Ben der Welt Abhanden; Gekommen Mahler – The First Three Orchestral Recordings (Pearl)

One Response to “Updoc – 10/26/2012”

  1. From Rafi Zabor 11/1/12

    Listening to the broadcast Friday I finally began to figure out what Horenstein does with the Seventh and why his interpretation is so coherent. It begins, I think, with rhythmic continuity. Mahler’s theme-setting is so highly rhetorical, with violent startups, sudden halts, vast changes in dynamics, that most conductors—certainly including Bernstein—tend to emphasize that tendency with a stop-start rhythmic sense that further accentuates the rhetoric. Also, unlike Beethoven, Mahler often cannot marry melody and rhythm in his thematic statements and has to stack his melodies atop march rhythms, dance rhythms, and so forth, and this can make everything sound top-heavy and bottom-weak. In the Seventh, along with everything else Horenstein does, he never lets the rhythm lag but keeps linking everything up and moving it forward, and this not for effect, or to speed things along, or to cover a compositional weakness, I think, but because he is in deeper touch than most interpreters with Mahler’s symphonic and expressive logic, and better understands why this leads to that and why. Back in the day, when Mahler was not yet established in the repertoire and Mahler performance was an embryonic art, Horenstein performances, many of them concert bootlegs with uneven sound and discipline, were touchstones for Mahlermanes and were thought superior to more famous recordings by Bernstein and older lifelong Mahlerites like Otto Klemperer and Bruno Walter. When, finally, Horenstein was given a contract to record the complete symphonies (in 1971 or so) in the studio, he got the First, Third, and Fourth down before succumbing to a stroke. Even with bootlegs we lack a Second and a Fifth, and the one Sixth we have is clearly an inferior performance, but still, I’m not sure that anything has displaced him, over the decades, from the top of the heap as an interpreter of Mahler. Three, Four, Seven, Eight and Nine may still be unsurpassed, despite their technical unevenness here and there. Anyway, just thought I’d put my two cents in about the rhythm. And three cheers for Jascha H, a cult favorite, and I see by my outfit that I am a member.