Posts tagged ‘Tennstedt’

January 7, 2014

Great Mahler, Great Tennstedt

Klaus Tennstedt’s is the best Mahler I’ve heard (and great Brahms too), but this live recording of the first symphony in Boston’s Symphony Hall in 1976 Imageexceeds even his studio work. Listen to that cheer at the end! It sounds like a Red Sock just hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Why aren’t more live performances available on CD? I would prefer a live performance even with all the coughs and re-tunings between movements. Performers do their best work in front of live audiences. I heard an unforgettable performance of the Brahms concerto by Mutter and Karajan (on radio) that has never been available for sale on CD as best I have been able to determine. It was stupendous, the best I’ve ever heard her and a brilliant revelation of that concerto as well.

Some people will say you can’t engineer a live recording the way you can a studio performance, but that’s exactly what seems to make them sound better. Tell me if this Tennstedt performance doesn’t sound more like a real orchestra does in a hall and if the instruments don’t sound more like real horns and tympani than do studio recordings. The engineering is better, not worse!Image

If I were in charge of these things, I’d scour the archives for great live performances, and not just by the world-renowned ones, and issue them on CD or, better, Audio DVD or vinyl. What a waste of great artistry, and all in the name of technical perfection.