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Classical Music - WORST interpretations on record - Page 2

post #16 of 24
that track on Yes's "Fragile" where Wakeman plays the scherzo from Brahms' 4th Symphony. Made me cringe the first few times, now I just skip it.
post #17 of 24
Boy, I don't know where to start...or stop. For various and sundry reasons, here are some of my favorite worsts:
1) Kalinnikov symphony 1 with Scherchen on Archipel. Hard to believe how he stretches it so out of shape.
2) Rimsky-Korskov Capriccio Espagnol with Paray and Detroit. The luftpausen in the last section drive me nuts! Ridiculous.
3) Mahler 7th with Klemperer on EMI. The plodding first and last movements lumber to their death. All existing copies need to be rounded up and destroyed, along with the master tapes. Makes Masur's lifeless version seem exciting.
4) Tchaikovsky 6th with Bernstein on DG. He rapes this beautiful music to shreds with insane tempos. This is not Mahler.
5) Ravel Bolero with Maazel on RCA. That huge ritard before the coda. What the heck was Maazel thinking? It's grotesque.
6) Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade with Stokowsi on RCA. Stoky was a charlatan and ruined music. In this case by beginning the second movement BEFORE the first was over. What a dope! Add in the extra percussion and I hate this.
7) Beethoven symphony 9 with Stokowski on London. All you have to hear is the trumpet run up the scale at the very end to know this sucks.
8) Tchaikovsky Manfred with Fedoseyev. As if cuts aren't bad enough, the rewrite of the finale is terrible.
9) Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique with Norrington on EMI. He didn't make it historical, just boring. Hard to do in this piece.
10) Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia with Charles Gerhardt. A little known recording that hopefully stays that way. He adds percussion and totally ruins Borodin's exquisite orchestration.

I could go on for hours, but won't. There are just so many BAD recordings thanks to the witless and overpaid conductor.
post #18 of 24
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Every interpretation of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor other than Peter Hurford's I find to range between pathetic and pretentious. This was a piece of work Bach used to stress test organs by pulling out all the stops and it should bloody well sound world-ending epic.
Ugh! Peter Hurford uses way too much reed stops in the Toccata. Ruins it for me. The reed is a solo stop. Some of the glorious sound in the Toccata is how the various pipes layer on each other and mix and how the sound changes as different notes decay or different pipes are used. The heavy use of reeds just destroys that aspect. Turns it into a solo reed bombastic. It's my least favorite version of the Toccata and Fugue I have. However, his version of the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor is one of my favorites (I just wish the recording quality of the CD was better). It's on the same CD but played on a different organ. That organ probably didn't have as many reed stops so Peter wasn't tempted to abuse them.

On the subject of the Toccata and Fugue, I've yet to hear a band or orchestral version that was any good. I don't think it can be done. The music just does not translate from the organ to band or orchestra. I just recently tried "The Oregon Symphony Horns and Friends: Works by Bach and Mendelssohn". It includes the famous Toccata and Fugue and the famous Passacaglia and Fugue. It was a chore to listen through. It didn't work.

I also have Bachbusters. Very 80s synth interpretations. But in a case like that you know what you're going to get if you buy a disc like that. I got what I wanted from it. Certainly not regular listening material. But good for what it is.
post #19 of 24
Schubert's 2nd Piano Trio in E flat by the Beaux Art Trio. I don't normally mind them, but I think based on this performance alone, they should stick to truly romantic music. This piece of chamber music plays itself -- it should be played stately and 'correct', and they try to put too much of themselves into it, romancing the rhythm here and there. For some reason, it just curdles my blood -- I can stand just about any other interpretation of it, other than theirs.
post #20 of 24
I'm sure I've heard some horrors, but I have a knack for blocking out awful experiences as soon as their over, plus I'm more prepared to toss discs onto the "discard" pile than some classical fans.

Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
1) Kalinnikov symphony 1 with Scherchen on Archipel. Hard to believe how he stretches it so out of shape.
I'd be interested to know what you mean by this, not having heard this record. I love the Friedmann recording, which gains power by using broader tempos in the finale second half. If you're talking about rubato, that's a different matter...

And how would you rate the Dudarova, if you've heard it?
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by Lex2 View Post
Anne-Sophie Mutter's Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (later version, with the Korngold). Vibrato taken to the extreme as to sound ludicrous.
I never liked Mutter's style...too brusque, and her vibrato sounds so forced, unnatural.
post #22 of 24
remover after 1mn
post #23 of 24
I tend to remove bad recordings both from my collection and my mind, so I will only propose one: the mugging, annoying Don Giovanni of Bryn Terfel conducted by the driving, unmusical George Solti. Just look at the CD cover picture, worth the proverbial thousand words
post #24 of 24
to call a recording bad or an interpretation the worst is pretty subjective. i tend to have favorites but that doesn't necessarily mean that the other recordings are bad. off the top of my head, i can think of one recording which is very unpleasant to listen to.

buy the solti/tristan if you want to hear nilsson scream and uhl struggle mightily for 3+ hours. but still, there are a few glowing reviews on amazon, so some people like it.
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