Mahler 5 / Myung-Whun Chung / Seoul Phil. Orch.

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Mahler 5 / Myung-Whun Chung / Seoul Phil. Orch.

The DG live recording of Maestro Chung's reading of Mahler 5 with the Seoul Phil. Orch. was released this past week in Korea.

 

Has it been released elsewhere yet? If yes, how do you like it?

I can leave without it.

We won't miss much anyway. I have seen him "live" in the 9th. No added value. 

Considering the current problems of S.P.O. and the spoiled reputation of Maestro Chung (contrary to his sister great violinist, who made a moving but short comeback)...I don't care to get this new 5th.

Parla

parla wrote:

parla wrote:

We won't miss much anyway. I have seen him "live" in the 9th. No added value. 

Considering the current problems of S.P.O. and the spoiled reputation of Maestro Chung (contrary to his sister great violinist, who made a moving but short comeback)...I don't care to get this new 5th.

Parla

 

Dear Parla,

 

It is my understanding that exactly what was going on behind the scenes in Seoul is still currently being investigated by the police.

Hence, no verdict has been made as to whether the admin. staff(ers) or the former CEO were/was the wrongdoer.

Please note, that the above case has nothing to do with Maestro Chung.

However, the below one does:

 

The City Council of Seoul (Maestro Chung's employer) immediately assigned a team of auditors to investigate the allegations made by the former CEO against Maestro Chung.

This team concluded recently that none of the allegations proved true.

On the contrary, depending on how one interprets Maestro Chung's contract, it turned out that the City Council had not delivered what was agreed upon.

 

I respect your personal views and opinions on Maestro Chung.

However, even if Maestro Chung were a bit shady his music making could still be fantastic. Thus, the newly released CD could be worth a listen.

 

With good intentions,

 

NEH.

 

P.S.

I am not a native speaker of English.

About Maestro Chung.

Dear Neh,

I live in the area of Far East, moving mostly between China and Korea. I have seen a good number of concerts of Maestro Chung and I can assure you he is not what you may admire in the CDs you have. The SPO, although the best orchestra in Korea, is not at this top level or form. They perform well, but they lack this brilliance needed for memorable performances. Based on the "superb mediocrity" of the existing conductors in situ, Mr. Chung managed to accomplish certain achievements for the orchestra and the music life, mostly in Seoul, and, to a considerable extent, to the country as well. However, he has little influence or appeal outside the korean peninsula in the wider area of Far-East (e.g. in China or Japan).

As for the allegations against him, although I do not pay much attention, it seems there is some smoke, even if it is to be decided that there is no fire. Some damage has already been done...unfortunately.

Best wishes.

Parla

parla wrote:

parla wrote:

Dear Neh,

I live in the area of Far East, moving mostly between China and Korea. I have seen a good number of concerts of Maestro Chung and I can assure you he is not what you may admire in the CDs you have. The SPO, although the best orchestra in Korea, is not at this top level or form. They perform well, but they lack this brilliance needed for memorable performances. Based on the "superb mediocrity" of the existing conductors in situ, Mr. Chung managed to accomplish certain achievements for the orchestra and the music life, mostly in Seoul, and, to a considerable extent, to the country as well. However, he has little influence or appeal outside the korean peninsula in the wider area of Far-East (e.g. in China or Japan).

As for the allegations against him, although I do not pay much attention, it seems there is some smoke, even if it is to be decided that there is no fire. Some damage has already been done...unfortunately.

Best wishes.

Parla

 

Dear Parla,

 

I agree with you that the SPO sounds differently live than on recording, i.e. not as good. But then again, most orchestras sound "worse" live.

 

I also agree with you that Maestro Chung's modus operandi with the SPO has yielded extraordinary results within short time. Before his arrival, the SPO was below average by Korean standards.

Now, 10 years later, it is not only considered the best in Korea, but - debatable - the best in all of Asia, including SE Asia.

Most importantly, it keeps growing, seems to be the consensus.

 

The Mahler 5 CD in question is, imho, of better quality then the previous ones released by the SPO on DG.

The SPO has gotten noticeably better over the years (as we both agree on).

The recording reflects that: More detail, richer texture, crisper articulation etc.

 

I gave about 10 Mahler 5s a listen the other night (1st movement only), and found that the SPO rendition brings out parts of the score clearer/better than other recordings.

Add to this Maestro Chung's personal musical choices which - for the most part - I agree with, and I must say that the CD is not the worst of Mahler 5s out there.

 

But judge for yourself/-ves :)

 

Best,

Niels.

Maestro Chung/SPO/Mahler's 5th.

Dear Niels,

I cannot say (at least as a general comment) that "most orchestras sound 'worse' live". I have enough experiences of Orchestras that sound perfectly fine "live". In any case, the disk is a product predominantly of the producer and the recording label rather than the S.O. and its conductor. They can "perform miracles", sometimes...

SPO is a good orchestra but I'm not sure whether it is as good as the "best orchestra" even in SE Asia (In Japan, there are some formidable orchestras that I haven't heard them "live", but I have some extraordinary recordings with them). After the recent crisis, SPO is in a sort of standstill, not growing. Besides, in the glossy mediocrity of the other orchestras in Korea, it is not surprising that they seem "keep growing".

I do not plan to purchase the 5th with Chung. The experience I have from his "live" performances do not constitute the best motivation to do so. I have a good number of considerable recordings of the 5th, so that I may go for only an exceptional new one.

Best as well,

Parla

 

Mahler 5 SPO/Chung

Hi

I have the 24bit 44,1kHz download and the sound is very good. Super actually. Two listenings, the third right now, and I am impressed. Serious approach with frasings from the violin sections in the first movement that got me hooked up immediately. I sense a tempo a little bit on the slower side in the most melodic parts, but also quite rushed elsewhere. I don't think it nails the many different emotions that Mahler put in this music and I probably miss most of all the special viennese style of charm that some conductors manage to get. But all counted for this is clearly above average.

I have been away from Mahler 5 for some time and this release serves as a reminder of how good this music is. I think I have all the SPO recordings for DGG and this must be the best so far. SPO is great but it is not the BPO.

Of course I almost missed to tell about my most important observation. The slow movement is so strong in mixing emotions with clarity and great resolution. Again not the very best adagietto but certainly a very good one. Beautiful !!

tommwi wrote:

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