The classical music thread


Following some limited discussion on the Clssical Music Streaming thread in this forum I’ve started this thread for general discussion about classical music in whatever form you listen. I thought we could discuss the music, where you acquire it, upcoming concerts and anything else vaguley similar :smiley: but always more about the music than the equipment.



This is an excellent idea/thread. To start discussions: I am sure most of us will have a few favourite composers, and as a consequent acquire many alternative recordings of some of their works. In no particular order, my music collection is top heavy with multiple recordings of music from Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Sibelius, Vivaldi, though my tastes are many and varied. I look forward to new interpretations of many of these composers’ works. Anyone like to contribute?


I’ve been listening to a lot of John Adams lately…is he the most “important” post-Stravinsky composer we have? I guess only time will tell. I’ve been eyeing that new Adams CD box set from the Berlin Philharmonic…should be great!


Many thanks to the two of you for adopting the thread. I feared it would remain unloved!

My musical tastes centre on the romantic: Mahler (above all), Richard Strauss, Puccini, Verdi, Berlioz, etc. but happily extend from Mozart through Beethoven to Nielsen, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Britten. The one era I’ve never been able to get into (and I duck now, for fear of missiles!) is the Baroque.

I’m sitting listening to last movement of Mahler’s 9th (one of my all time favourite symphonies) in the Fischer/Budapest Festival Orchestra version from Channel Classics: glorious music.

On that note, is anyone else going to the Barbican (London) on 20th February for the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Adam Fischer performing Mahler’s 9th?



The Fischer brothers are both wonderful conductors!!!


To return to the previous thread’s connection with Currentzis, his recent Mahler 6 sent me searching out what it used to sound like. One that I found that I greatly enjoyed was Daniel Harding, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, I like Harding’s approach to conducting and have enjoyed seeing him conduct Mahler with the Berlin Philharmonie on their Digital Concert Hall. Today I have had the Jorg Widmann CD playing with Harding and Christian Tetzlaff. Tetzlaff’s sound on the Violin Concerto is huge, broad, warm. A good CD.


Just seen that Ivan Fischer’s new Mahler 7 is available on Channel Classics website exclusively as it’s not for general release until March. This will be my next download when I have time. There’s also a link to an interesting film which shows rehearsals & interviews Ivan.


Wow—this thread is very worthwhile for me: I didn’t know that! The question is whether I’ll take a chance on the download without first seeing any review. I’m very tempted in spite of the fact that the seventh is the least played of my collection of Mahler symphonies. I have the Abbado/Chicago SO version (from ripped CDs). I do enjoy the work but have never been able to get to grips with the last movement and usually omit it when playing the work :blush:

I know I’m going to be thinking about getting that download until I actually do it…



I like the notion of the multi-format download of Mahler 7 offer by Channel Classics. That would be one way to test against each other all the different formats now available for high res playback - tempted.
The new releases for the week appeared on Qobuz late last night - I like the sound of this -

It is ancient and modern sounding at the same time. Fascinating.


Hi Stephen, you might find it interesting to look at the film (nearly one hour) with extensive conversations between Fischer and Jared, often focusing on the last movement. It can be visited via the Channel Classics website. I have to say, I find no.7 the least approachable of the Mahler symphonies.


Thanks, Chris: I’ll do that now. I did succumb: bought and downloaded the album this morning but have not yet listened to it. I concur entirely with your “approachable” point.



I reserve the least approachable description for a Mahler symphony for the 8th. I have tried a few times but it is the massed singing that does it for me, I just cannot take it. All the symphonies that surround it are amongst my favourites though.


I love Mahler’s 8th (and “Das Lied von derErde”, come to that)!

Lest others may fear this is turning into an exclusively Mahler fest, however, for anyone who likes Verdi I can most strongly recommend the Antonio Pappano/Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia version. I was wary because it was a live performance but there is no audience noise (or, mercifully, applause) and amazing sound quality for a “mere” CD quality download. There’s also an exceptionnaly good Pappano “Aida” (24/96—not live).



Ah, indeed, I’d walk a million miles for Das Lied, no doubt on that one.
But right now I’m sitting with this CD playing, so different to Mahler -


Thanks for creating this thread. Mahler fan here as well although I am much more comfortable with the early, more accessible, symphonies (1-4). The last 5 years I am enjoying primarily chamber music, from Haydn to Shostakovich. Still unable to understand or like (or either) atonal music however (ducks for cover…)


CSO will be doing a Beethoven Extravaganza next 2020 season for composer’s 250th Birthday.
The entire Symphony Cycle, Piano Sonata along with Chamber music will be performed. Whilst I love Beethoven and the CSO need accessible programming for everyone to bring traffic ( in the US all orchestras are not State funded ), I am bummed there is only TWO Mahler ( 4th + 6th ) and just ONE Bruckner!

I would love to experience Mahler’s 8th live some day.


Hi Kuma, hearing Mahler live is always a memorable experience. I heard Rattle with the CBSO do Mahler 2 in Brighton some years ago. To hear a large orchestra play one of the “big symphonies” can leave a lasting impression. I heard Karajan with the Berlin Phil at the Festival Hall many years ago, doing Bruckner 8 and a year later Bruckner 5. The cobwebs were well and truly blown away! Enjoy Mahler 4 and 6 - do you get to hear the CSO very often?


I was fortunate enough to hear Mahler’s 8th at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham (UK) in June 2004, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The comment in my diary: “Absolutely fantastic concert—Rattle wonderfully in control of huge forces: unforgettable.”.

There really is no real alternative to hearing these huge works live (even though the Rattle/CBSO disc of Mahler 8 is magnificent) and I count among my good fortune the fact I heard the Berlioz Requiem twice in St Paul’s Cathedral with Sir Colin Davis conducting the LSO. The first occasion was in 2001 and the second in 2011 (the last performance of the work he gave before he died the following year aged 85). To hear, live, the four brass choirs echoing around St Paul’s in the thunderous Dies irae and Lacrymosa was an overwhelming emotional experience I shall never forget. For anyone interested, I strongly recommend the 24/96 download of the 2011 performance. It’s from two live performances but there is no audience noise and no applause. It is breathtaking.

Reverting for a moment to “Das Lied von der Erde” there’s a note on the Channel Classics website to the effect that Iván Fischer will be releasing a recording of that in 2020.



Same series, also highly recommended. Was my favourite during my early twenties next to Bach cantatas.

Bach has now been mentioned on this topic.


May I suggest Alban Berg’s Wozzeck? First performed by Erich Kleiber, father of Carlos. Read about it, then listen - it helps. It has parts which are quite enjoyable for tonality addicts.