Posted by Mike Sanders on July 19, 1999 at 16:21:42:
In Reply to: Re: Mahler Symphonies. posted by Steve Lamb on July 19, 1999 at 15:22:37:
I also have a great love for the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. And it is because of this strong feeling for his music that I must disagree with Steve Lamb's recomendation of Gilbert Kaplan's recording of Mahler's 2nd Symphony. In the Fall of 1991 Kaplan guest conducted here in St. Louis, and we performed the Mahler 2nd Symphony IN SPITE of his conducting. I have not heard the LSO recording, but I do not hesitate to say that anything worth recommending about it has to have originated solely from the orchestra's playing and not from any contribution on Kaplan's part. He is a total fraud when it comes to any meaningful knowledge or direction in this (or any) piece of the standard orchestral repertoire. He has no idea how to rehearse an orchestra, does not read music, and, in my oppinion, learned anything he knows about music and conducting from standing in front of a mirror while his stereo was playing. We (the St. Louis Symphony Symphony Orchestra) saved him from total embarrasment in numerous spots in the performances. Once these performances were over our management was made aware of our feelings and we were assured that Mr. Kaplan would never be re-engaged for any concerts with the SLSO.
I can recommend three very good recordings of Mahler 2nd: Haitink / Concertgebouw; Bernstein / NY Phil; Slatkin / St. Louis (recorded before I joined the orchestra, with Dave Fedderly playing tuba).
Also, one of the best orchestral recordings of anything I've heard, Solti / Chicago, Mahler 7th, made in the early '70s. Brassis spectacular, esp. Herseth.
Try to hear a live performance of any of the Mahlers by a great orchestra sometime. You will never forget it.