Author Topic: Mahler Symphony no. 4, Ivan Fischer and Budapest Festival Orchestra SACD  (Read 3330 times)

Offline rlmacklin

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I ordered hybrid SACD of Mahler Symphony no. 4, Ivan Fischer and Budapest Festival Orchestra
(on Channel Classics) from MDT in the UK and received it Saturday, April 11 (before its US release date).

I have other SACD versions of Mahler 4 by Reiner and Chicago Symphony (RCA Living Stereo) and the Bernstein/NY Philharmonic from Japan.

My first, the Reiner became the reference for me in that it has a liquidity/flow of the whole piece.
The Bernstein is a fine performance and recording but somehow the bringing out of Bernstein's interpretation of inner details in each section seems highlighted and it just doesn't have the same organic "flow" of the whole as the Reiner for me.  The Reiner is 3.0 multi-channel (left, right and center) and the Bernstein is 5.0 or 5.1 surround (I do not have any subwoofers in my system as the Polk Audio SDA-SRS2s reproduce deep bass and I run the sacdmods-modded Denon 3930 CI in "pure direct mode" to assure the signals stay DSD rather than converting to PCM). 
The Fischer has DSD 5.0 surround and 2-channel stereo SACD and regular 2-channel PCM redbook CD layer.

The Fischer/BFO performance, with Miah Persson as the soprano, is superb, as is the recording - standards equal or superior to the excellent/superb Channel Classics SACDS by Fischer and BFO of Mahler 6th and 2nd symphonies released over the last few years.  Fischer really brings out the details but seems also achieves a flowing whole and this one is already on the way to displacing the Reiner as my "reference."
The recording level seems more than a little low compared to most of my SACD/CD/DVD-A collection (except for the Channel Classics Fischer/BFO of Mahler 6th and 2nd symphonies), but the dynamic range is outstanding.  (I upped the Modwright tubed linestage one level higher than usual and had to recalibrate the other "channel levels" of the center and surround channel preamps using the Denon's audio setup automatic test tone.  I may even need to listen to it on two levels higher on the tubed linestage (and corresponding adjustments on the other preamps) to hear all the low-level sonic information, but the highest volume sections might be close to too loud then...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 01:27:19 PM by rlmacklin »

Offline rlmacklin

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Well, I did it - late last night I upped the Modwright tubed linestage two levels higher than usual (and recalibrated the other "channel levels" of the center and surround channel preamps using the Denon's audio setup automatic test tone) to hear all the low-level sonic information and this brought up lots of previously nearly inaudible details in the recording and made the listening experience nearer live concert decibel levels on the highest volume sections - but well worthwhile.
In my opinion this is certainly a reference performance and recording.   :drool:


A minor correction to first post on this - the Denon mode for assuring no DSD conversion to PCM is "source direct" rather than "pure direct" (which I think is actually the terminology for turning off the player's video circuits and display to reduce interference).

Offline richidoo

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Thanks Roger. The Mahler symphonies are awesome, but you need to be prepared to crank them and shake the house! The dynamic range of a real symphony playing mahler is huge. Without compression it is very hard for a stereo to cover it. That's where low background noise and good acoustics help. The uncompressed recordings always sound soft because they are normalized so the peak is still -3dB from full scale, making the soft sections -60dB. 

I was at hometheaterdoc's house once, playing a cd of Beethoven 9th, with his tact set to 90. He was scared that it would suddenly become a rock record and tear open a wall. Remember Shane, at your last g2g at the old house? hahaha

I have a boxed symphony cycle recommended by Tyson on AC, Bertini conducts various orchestras. It's nice. I have Bernstein 5th, but not heard his 6th.

Thanks for the tips, it must be nice in hirez.
Rich
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 10:44:58 PM by richidoo »