Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Best classical recordings...ever!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 32

post #466 of 2039

I just find the LSO horns too "Hollywood," yes; give me the Chicago Symphony any day, but especially under Solti.  Or the BSO for that matter, under Ozawa.  Vienna Philharmonic for the string sections. :) Royal Concertgebouw for concerto accompaniment.

 

It's all just taste, anyways, not like any of these people's or orchestras recording performances are "bad" per se; I just feel like Mahler is espressivo enough as is, he benefits from the less indulgent orchestras and conductors, the others just overload what already veers all too frequently upon excess.

post #467 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperears View Post

I just find the LSO horns too "Hollywood," yes; give me the Chicago Symphony any day, but especially under Solti.  Or the BSO for that matter, under Ozawa.  Vienna Philharmonic for the string sections. smily_headphones1.gif Royal Concertgebouw for concerto accompaniment.

It's all just taste, anyways, not like any of these people's or orchestras recording performances are "bad" per se; I just feel like Mahler is espressivo enough as is, he benefits from the less indulgent orchestras and conductors, the others just overload what already veers all too frequently upon excess.
I understand the point you are making completely, but I'm amazed you say give me the Chicago Symphony horns any day with Mahler, as if it was a sheer full bore blast of a sounding horn section I craved it would be exactly the Chicago SO I would turn to to give me that, even over the LSO, and especially under Solti where their approach was so hard driven to the point of being wild at times (Strauss tone poems being a perfect example). I love that though.

The CSO to my ears are certainly as an orchestra more 'Germanic' sounding than the other well known US bands though and I would most definitely agree with you regarding the Vienna Phil strings. I do believe the LSO to be one of the world's most flexible orchestras though, with an ability to change their sound dramatically for given conductors and repertoire. My ears are always in good hands with them over a very broad spectrum of music. Interesting discussion!
Edited by amigomatt - 11/3/13 at 2:20pm
post #468 of 2039
Yes, agreed, fun to discuss!

And these things are not frozen in time; I'm specifically recalling the LSO with Levine on one of Mahler's more difficult symphonies, and I remember that recording feeling more like an experiment than an inspiring interpretation. I was new to the symphony at the time I got it, too, and my tastes were no doubt more youthful. smily_headphones1.gif

On another note, for years I clung to a set of Brahms' four symphonies by Emmanuel Krivine and the Bamberger Symphony, because someone identified them as fresh and authoritative. They bored me to tears; I like Brahms best in solo piano or chamber music anyways.

Picked up Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic years later and felt like I'd spent a life wasted! What a revelation by comparison.

Oh: Colin Davis for Berlioz (Les Troyens especially), and I like Haitink for Ravel/Debussy, though lots of choices there, and I agree Martinon is the most French of all the orchestral interpreters, lightness and drive both.

Krystian Zimmerman for Chopin's Ballades, _the_ best music ever created, anywhere, at any time. smily_headphones1.gif and a compelling performance.
post #469 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperears View Post
 

I just find the LSO horns too "Hollywood," yes; give me the Chicago Symphony any day, but especially under Solti.  Or the BSO for that matter, under Ozawa.  Vienna Philharmonic for the string sections. :) Royal Concertgebouw for concerto accompaniment.

 

It's all just taste, anyways, not like any of these people's or orchestras recording performances are "bad" per se; I just feel like Mahler is espressivo enough as is, he benefits from the less indulgent orchestras and conductors, the others just overload what already veers all too frequently upon excess.


Just taste indeed, though Mahler wouldn't agree with the 'espressivo enough as is' part.. that's for sure

 

Personally I wouldn't call conductors/orchestras indulgent when they choose to play Mahler's music in line with the man's personaltity, molto expressivo.

post #470 of 2039
Certainly I wouldn't go to extremes either way; Mahler is as much an architect of musical structure and innovation as he is an expressionist. The Kindertotenlieder, case in point.

I don't think I could listen to Karajan's Mahler, though. Again, it's a question of age and experience. When I was young, there was nothing so ecstatic as Scriabin's Poeme d'Extase; now, a good Haydn quartet is sometimes far more appealing, and when I was young Haydn looked and felt like music for babies to me, everything so obvious and predictable. smily_headphones1.gif

One thing I've always loved is Italian opera; it's like the Batman and X-Men of its time. I've been listening to a rerelease of a bunch of La Scala Verdi, from the '60's and, later, Abbado's period with them.

The pundits rail against the earlier performances in the recording as being within the tradition, but sloppy and inadequate; but I find them a blast! The proximity between popular Italian song of the time, and the performance styles of the singers and conductor in the earlier recordings, is much more immediate. They may not be the "greatest" performances of Il Trovatore or Un Ballo in Masquera, but they're FUN! to listen to. They have me wanting to sing along, they're very physical and unpretentious.

And so it goes; I'm in the mood for more serious Mahler at the moment; others may want his cries, whispers, tears and melodrama more.
post #471 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinto View Post
 


Just taste indeed, though Mahler wouldn't agree with the 'espressivo enough as is' part.. that's for sure

 

Personally I wouldn't call conductors/orchestras indulgent when they choose to play Mahler's music in line with the man's personaltity, molto expressivo.

 

How a composer expresses something and how a conductor expresses that idea can be two different things. I've found that when conductors get overly emotional they can really shrink a piece by staining it with their ego. The conductor's personality starts to overshadow the composition and I begin to loose interest. Because now I have to look past the composer's and the conductor's ego to see what's really trying to be communicated.


Edited by Origin89 - 11/3/13 at 6:29pm
post #472 of 2039

I want both. Conductors who stick to just the notes on the page are just streetcar conductors. They have no purpose. A monkey can stand up there and just wave a stick.

post #473 of 2039

Bernstein was accused of being too much "in the way of the music," instead of "letting it speak for itself." I prefer his cycle of the Beethoven symphonies above all others.  His was a strong personality, like Glenn Gould's, and the world would be missing something phenomenal if he'd just tried to be a musical scientist.

 

At the other extreme is Pierre Boulez, who, though he's just as strong a personality, can take almost anything he conducts and turn it into modernist or post-modernist music, yet another fascinating thing.

 

Then there are those like Tennstedt, Haitink, Kubelik, Szell, Charles Rosen (piano), who exist somewhere in the middle.  James Levine, with the Met: a history in itself.

 

I think it's simply a question of whether or not, like various kinds of reproduction systems and transducers, you are looking for "neutrality" on the part of the performer (is there ever such a thing, though?), or whether you want the imposition of a strong perspective and idea, to guide you.

 

Your own familiarity with the repertoire can change that, over time; the more imposing performers will increasingly tend to make everything sound "like them," leaving you craving for something different.  Those who are more intimate with study of what they conceive as the composer's intention -- however construed, and make no mistake, this is still interpretation! -- are still constructing a picture of whom they think the composer is.  A powerful objectivist can still present a performance as a vision, one separate from her/his own personality, but still coherent, gripping, thought-provoking.

 

The worst, though, are those whose performances aren't inspired by anything except obedience; I think increasingly, as time has moved on, the newer generations of performers have been all too obedient in their approach to the repertoire, to performance practices, to what they naively conceive of as a more "objective" approach.

 

It's time for a new generation of musicians to rebel, truly rebel, within the tradition.... and use it to say something!  Anything! :)

post #474 of 2039

I was just on amazon and saw they have a new (I guess) 150th Anniversary Mahler boxed set for sale. Supposedly the complete works, and it should be...16 cd's in all. Unfortunately they are out of them at the moment but I put one on order anyway. Looks kind of like a 'Greatest Hits' collection as the various works are by a hugely varied group of orchestras and conductors > Seemed like a good way to 'get my feet wet' so to speak, with Mahler.

post #475 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I want both. Conductors who stick to just the notes on the page are just streetcar conductors. They have no purpose. A monkey can stand up there and just wave a stick.

 

I think moderation is key. I was talking about extremes. Wand's Bruckner, Kletzki's Beethoven, or Bohm's Schubert are great examples that really show a fine balance between the conductor's vision and letting the music speak.


Edited by Origin89 - 11/3/13 at 8:03pm
post #476 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperears View Post
 

Bernstein was accused of being too much "in the way of the music," instead of "letting it speak for itself." I prefer his cycle of the Beethoven symphonies above all others.  His was a strong personality, like Glenn Gould's, and the world would be missing something phenomenal if he'd just tried to be a musical scientist.

 

At the other extreme is Pierre Boulez, who, though he's just as strong a personality, can take almost anything he conducts and turn it into modernist or post-modernist music, yet another fascinating thing.

 

Then there are those like Tennstedt, Haitink, Kubelik, Szell, Charles Rosen (piano), who exist somewhere in the middle.  James Levine, with the Met: a history in itself.

 

I think it's simply a question of whether or not, like various kinds of reproduction systems and transducers, you are looking for "neutrality" on the part of the performer (is there ever such a thing, though?), or whether you want the imposition of a strong perspective and idea, to guide you.

 

Your own familiarity with the repertoire can change that, over time; the more imposing performers will increasingly tend to make everything sound "like them," leaving you craving for something different.  Those who are more intimate with study of what they conceive as the composer's intention -- however construed, and make no mistake, this is still interpretation! -- are still constructing a picture of whom they think the composer is.  A powerful objectivist can still present a performance as a vision, one separate from her/his own personality, but still coherent, gripping, thought-provoking.

 

The worst, though, are those whose performances aren't inspired by anything except obedience; I think increasingly, as time has moved on, the newer generations of performers have been all too obedient in their approach to the repertoire, to performance practices, to what they naively conceive of as a more "objective" approach.

 

It's time for a new generation of musicians to rebel, truly rebel, within the tradition.... and use it to say something!  Anything! :)

 

 

I agree. I don't want to hear a robotic performance nor an overly egoic one. This is art, so a love to create and express is vital... as well as letting the composition breathe. 


Edited by Origin89 - 11/3/13 at 7:58pm
post #477 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post
 

 

I think moderation is key. I was talking about extremes. Wand's Bruckner, Kletzki's Beethoven, or Bohm's Schubert are great examples that really show a fine balance between the conductor's vision and letting the music speak.

 

Moderation is a recipe for blandness. I want a blindingly talented composer and a blindingly talented conductor. Notes on a page are just an idea. It takes an interpreter to make them reality. Modern conductors are bland. I find more interesting conductors in the past.

 

I'll take Stokowski or Bernstein over Abbado or Jarvi any day of the week.


Edited by bigshot - 11/3/13 at 8:10pm
post #478 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Moderation is a recipe for blandness. I want a blindingly talented composer and a blindingly talented conductor. Notes on a page are just an idea. It takes an interpreter to make them reality. Modern conductors are bland. I find more interesting conductors in the past.

 

I'll take Stokowski or Bernstein over Abbado or Jarvi any day of the week.


I think music was a lot more important to people in the past and that caring shows. It saddens me to no end when I see all these schools cancelling their music programs, but they keep all the sports programs funded. Very misguided IMO.

post #479 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Moderation is a recipe for blandness. I want a blindingly talented composer and a blindingly talented conductor. Notes on a page are just an idea. It takes an interpreter to make them reality. Modern conductors are bland. I find more interesting conductors in the past.

 

I think you're perspective is a bit foggy here. A level of moderation is required to do anything in life. It's normally the artist who can take their astronomic vision and moderate it through the senses into manifestation who truly express the sweetness of life. All the "blind" or "crazy" composers showed a great moderation in relation to their immense vision. To be able to put such a composition like Beethoven or Bruckner's to paper shows great balance... regardless if they appeared looney to outsiders. 

 

Modern conductors come off bland because they are being overly-moderated, and not letting the creativity flow. Showing that a proper moderation is key.


Edited by Origin89 - 11/3/13 at 8:22pm
post #480 of 2039
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Moderation is a recipe for blandness. I want a blindingly talented composer and a blindingly talented conductor. Notes on a page are just an idea. It takes an interpreter to make them reality. Modern conductors are bland. I find more interesting conductors in the past.

 

I'll take Stokowski or Bernstein over Abbado or Jarvi any day of the week.


+1

 

 


Edited by Quinto - 11/4/13 at 12:36am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Best classical recordings...ever!