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Topic: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

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  1. #1

    Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Dear Mahlerites,

    last night I completed another one of Mahler's slow movements: from his 9th Symphony the 4th movement, "Adagio".

    http://www.myspace.com/virtualphilha...dagio-83999557

    The challenge here was to create that aura of "farewell" by using appropriate tempi and expression. Not sure if I succeeded... when I listened through headphones, it seemed ok, but when replaying it on my laptop speakers, the string attacks seemed to harsh, and the tempo appeared a bit too monotonous. Well, I need to give it a break and listen to it after a few days again, with fresh ears.

    My approach here is a bit inspored by the conductor Roger Norrington, who conducted the 9th Symphony at this year's BBC Proms concert series. He makes a point not to use vibrato, because he claims that this was not there in Mahler's time. The GPO string section samples do have very little vibrato, except the solo strings. And I hesitate using the additional processing controllers for adding some vibrato - in my experience that sounds unnatural when a whole instrument section begins to "vibrate" in sync. May be more suitable for solo instruments.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Quote Originally Posted by reinholdbehringer View Post
    Dear Mahlerites,

    last night I completed another one of Mahler's slow movements: from his 9th Symphony the 4th movement, "Adagio".

    http://www.myspace.com/virtualphilha...dagio-83999557

    The challenge here was to create that aura of "farewell" by using appropriate tempi and expression. Not sure if I succeeded... when I listened through headphones, it seemed ok, but when replaying it on my laptop speakers, the string attacks seemed to harsh, and the tempo appeared a bit too monotonous. Well, I need to give it a break and listen to it after a few days again, with fresh ears.

    My approach here is a bit inspored by the conductor Roger Norrington, who conducted the 9th Symphony at this year's BBC Proms concert series. He makes a point not to use vibrato, because he claims that this was not there in Mahler's time. The GPO string section samples do have very little vibrato, except the solo strings. And I hesitate using the additional processing controllers for adding some vibrato - in my experience that sounds unnatural when a whole instrument section begins to "vibrate" in sync. May be more suitable for solo instruments.
    what an amazingly large and complex project, you have done an excellent job! Such a myriad of nuance and detail! Well done!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Serious amount of work in there. Brilliantly complex, and brilliantly conducted.
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  4. #4

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Dear @Plowking, dear @sd cisco,

    thank you for your positive comments - I am very glad that you like and appreciate the work that went into creating this rendition.

    I have posted a new entry on my blog:
    http://reinholdsmusic.blogspot.com/2...nt-adagio.html

    Probably next week I will have a slightly updated version of this recording, to remove the clipping, to adjust some of the string attacks, and to rework the tempo flow. It might get a bit faster then.

  5. #5

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Amazing work, Reinhold. The harshness of the upper registers is not your problem but that of sample technology. I am wrestling with it for moths, getting better, but technology must get better.

    I don't think the tempo should get faster. Even this one is a bit too swift. But that's a matter of taste. Yeah, work on accents is due, but it'll make your presentation even more amazing.

    Thanks, Sylva.

  6. #6

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Reinhold, you've just made my afternoon 100% more pleasant. I had the tedious task to do of picking things up here in my little studio, and I wanted to put some music on so I could focus on that instead dusting, re-shelving, and all that mindless tedium.

    Your Mahler fit the bill perfectly - I couldn't have asked for something more engrossing to get me through my drab task.

    It's an amazing amount of work here - my goodness, from the MP3 player's counter, I see this is 20 minutes long! - I know I've never produced something that long. I boggle at the thought.

    I understand what you mean about the string attacks often being too harsh, but the recording you have is more than just fine for now. Later, you'll enjoy doing some velocity tweaking, getting things smoothed out a bit.

    Thank you so much for a delightful time this afternoon, and for sharing your huge project with us.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Quote Originally Posted by sylva View Post
    Amazing work, Reinhold. The harshness of the upper registers is not your problem but that of sample technology. I am wrestling with it for moths, getting better, but technology must get better.

    I don't think the tempo should get faster. Even this one is a bit too swift. But that's a matter of taste. Yeah, work on accents is due, but it'll make your presentation even more amazing.

    Thanks, Sylva.

    Hi Sylva,

    thank you very much for your friendly comment!

    Regarding the tempo: the much acclaimed "reference", the 1938 recording of Bruno Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic, is actually only 18 min 20 sec long, whereas mine goes over 20 minutes. But you are right: in some parts it feels a bit rushed. But in other parts, I feel it could move a bit faster. If a slow tempo is played, then one needs to do a lot interesting modulation. Plainly playing the sampled and looped sounds can sound quite irritating - and therefore I do have a tendency with the GPO to play things a bit faster.
    Also, the tempo appears to be depending on my own mood: sometimes I feel it should be played slower than it is now (with lots of use of expression and possibly the other sound-influencing controllers), in other times I feel it is dragging a bit. Maybe I should create a few "final" versions with different (but hopefully consistent) tempo mapping. reflecting my own different attitude and satisfying the expectations of what would be suited best for this music.

    I hope to get the accents sorted by next week, so that the overall flow is smoother. Although, in some parts in the score, there are explicit accents on the string notes, indicating that these notes could be played with a bit of a strong attack.


    Thank you for the listen and the constructive comments!

  8. #8

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Reinhold, you've just made my afternoon 100% more pleasant. I had the tedious task to do of picking things up here in my little studio, and I wanted to put some music on so I could focus on that instead dusting, re-shelving, and all that mindless tedium.

    Your Mahler fit the bill perfectly - I couldn't have asked for something more engrossing to get me through my drab task.

    It's an amazing amount of work here - my goodness, from the MP3 player's counter, I see this is 20 minutes long! - I know I've never produced something that long. I boggle at the thought.

    I understand what you mean about the string attacks often being too harsh, but the recording you have is more than just fine for now. Later, you'll enjoy doing some velocity tweaking, getting things smoothed out a bit.

    Thank you so much for a delightful time this afternoon, and for sharing your huge project with us.

    Randy

    Hi Randy,

    thank you very much for your positive comment! I am glad that this music helped you to go through the drab task, but this is not my own merit, but you would have to thank the composer for this - the music is just amazing in itself.

    This piece actually did not require a huge effort - because it is so slow, it does have relatively few notes. This is also the reason why at the moment I am only focusing on Mahler's slow movement ) Much more work was necessary for the last movement of Symphony No.1, with those fast runs of short notes all over the score - that took me quite a while to complete, a whole month with every evening 6-8 hours work. This one, "Adagio", on the contrary, took only about 10 such evenings. The difficulty of this one is more in the proper expression treatment of these very slow and quiet parts.

    Creating renditions of the whole Mahler oevre will probably take me about 10 years, if I continue at my current pace. If I would be able to work on this full-time every day, I could be done in about 4 years.

    Thank you again for your appreciation of my rendition!

  9. #9

    Re: Mahler: Symphony No.9, IV.movement. "Adagio"

    Dear friends,

    I have revised my recording of this work - the file is here:
    http://www.myspace.com/virtualphilha...-v1-0-84066031

    Most significant change: the tempo. Sylva will be happy - I actually reduced the tempo in most parts; in very few instances I increased the tempo. Also I played now slightly faster the final part. Still, overall the piece is no longer.

    Also I adjusted some of the string attack (velocity) values. But in several instances I left them at a high value, because the score actually indicate an emphasis or a sf.

    Hope you also like this version.

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