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Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 33

post #481 of 2747

I think my point is wholly misunderstood.... it seems pretty clear to me. No productive artist is blindly talented. They have a level of control to be able to put what they feel into form. It's OVER-CONTROL that causes blandness. Without some kind of balance NOTHING would be able to manifest. 

post #482 of 2747

Wonderful Youtube vid, thanks!

 

Again, I think it's a question of what one wants, in what phase/stage of one's life.  Not everything has to be "ta-da!" or the supreme most bestest recording evar; moderation is like dynamic range in music, done properly, it opens up the sound so that when exciting things happen, they exist in contrast to the quieter passages.

 

We equate moderation with blandness, often, simply because all too often intentional moderation gets confused with I-don't-care carelessness.

 

I like the word, "overmoderated."  Too many factors going into your choices, giving you a narrow path of the acceptable, leaving you with no room for the spectacular.

 

Moderation should serve as the background against which passion, spectacle, vision, insight can assert itself.  Constant spectacle is mere melodrama, fun for comic books, and bad commercial music, and the news; but not real art.  Melodrama sells until everyone gets bored with it, and seeks delicacy and contrast in its place.

post #483 of 2747
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! :)


Diversity is one of the charms of classical music..

 

Some people just tend to mistake their personal musical experience for being objectively valid and even accuse conductors/musicians of self absorbed intentions..

We all know there you can't defend against supposed intentions but we can regard it as the illuminating projection it represents.. :p

post #484 of 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperears View Post
 

Wonderful Youtube vid, thanks!

 

Again, I think it's a question of what one wants, in what phase/stage of one's life.  Not everything has to be "ta-da!" or the supreme most bestest recording evar; moderation is like dynamic range in music, done properly, it opens up the sound so that when exciting things happen, they exist in contrast to the quieter passages.

 

We equate moderation with blandness, often, simply because all too often intentional moderation gets confused with I-don't-care carelessness.

 

I like the word, "overmoderated."  Too many factors going into your choices, giving you a narrow path of the acceptable, leaving you with no room for the spectacular.

 

Moderation should serve as the background against which passion, spectacle, vision, insight can assert itself.  Constant spectacle is mere melodrama, fun for comic books, and bad commercial music, and the news; but not real art.  Melodrama sells until everyone gets bored with it, and seeks delicacy and contrast in its place.

 

This is a great post. You said what I was trying to with much more finesse.  

post #485 of 2747

Thanks!  It is a difficult thing to articulate, for sure.

post #486 of 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post
 

All the "blind" or "crazy" composers showed a great moderation in relation to their immense vision.

 

To me, the greatest composer of all time was Wagner. There was absolutely nothing moderate about him or his work.

post #487 of 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post
 

No productive artist is blindly talented.

 

I work with artists, and I've had the pleasure to work with a couple of blindingly talented creators. They may have not been productive enough to stack work up like cordwood like less talented individuals, but what they created had much more value overall.

post #488 of 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperears View Post
 

Moderation should serve as the background against which passion, spectacle, vision, insight can assert itself.  Constant spectacle is mere melodrama, fun for comic books, and bad commercial music, and the news; but not real art.  Melodrama sells until everyone gets bored with it, and seeks delicacy and contrast in its place.

 

Tell that to Van Gogh or Goya in his black painting period! I value energy and passion over tidiness and restraint.


Edited by bigshot - 11/4/13 at 10:12am
post #489 of 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

To me, the greatest composer of all time was Wagner. There was absolutely nothing moderate about him or his work.

 

 

I think your definition of moderation is from a biased standpoint. For anything to be created there needs to be a balance between vision and form. I understand you're pretty seasoned when it comes to this, but having a long standing personal connection to something can shrink objectivity with biases. It becomes a part of your identity that you defend, and can tarnish life's universality. Even those blindly talented artists you worked with showed moderation in there ability to create from their vision. If they didn't show any restraint, as you have to get a hold of your vision somehow, they wouldn't have been able to create anything. What you don't like is over-moderation... many of us don't.


Edited by Origin89 - 11/4/13 at 10:40am
post #490 of 2747

Again, there was nothing moderate about Wagner, People were *afraid* of his music because it invited the listener to abandon intellect and surrender to raw emotion. He made operas that ran for hours with production requirements beyond the ability of any opera house in Europe. He chiseled people out of money, wore furs and satin because of his "delicate skin"... convinced a King to worship him! His operas are monumental ungainly affairs dealing with incest, wounds that never heal, sexual infidelity... all of the themes of melodrama ramped up to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Wagner was inappropriate, egomaniacal, unfaithful and excessive to the extreme... and he created some of the greatest music ever composed.

 

A lot of people look at classical music appreciation as "high class" or "refined". But the music isn't refined. Only the trappings of concert halls and tuxedos and tiaras are. Those are the things that regularly threaten to smother classical music and kill it dead. The expression of art isn't refined. It's a blood curdling howl at the top of your lungs in the moonlight. It's the red eyed look of lust. It's the roar of victory over an opponent. It's a leap of joy. These are base human emotions, and they're the whole point of art.

 

Too much is never enough. The passion is the paint on the canvas. "The chief enemy of art is good taste." -Pablo Picasso


Edited by bigshot - 11/4/13 at 10:56am
post #491 of 2747

That's very poetic, indeed. But even Wagner had to show some restraint to pull his vision into the material world. As wild as he was, he still wasn't without moderation. You're comparing him to the other social monkeys that swarm this planet, who live their lives based on excessive control. Like I said, your aversion to the term "moderate" could be from years of a personal relationship to this art-form, which has shrunken your intuitive perspective. 


Edited by Origin89 - 11/4/13 at 11:13am
post #492 of 2747

I have love for ya', Big... I'm hoping this isn't coming off blatantly offensive. 

post #493 of 2747

This debate is as old as the music itself..

 

I have a healthy aversion towards the term 'moderate' myself, it is a overrated virtue IMO, used to hide behind when being mediocre...

 

Most, if not all great men where not moderate and they shouldn't be..

post #494 of 2747

Not to "be" moderate, but to use moderation as a tool for transferring imagination into reality. 

post #495 of 2747

bs, you are a romantic; I, a former romantic, more of a classicist at present.  Sometimes I like Deerhoof, sometimes I like Gabby Pahinui, sometimes I like Vivaldi and Monteverdi, sometimes I like Scriabin.  Most of the time I like Ravel, and Shostakovitch.

 

I have both Solti's Wagner recordings and James Levine's Ring cycle, with the Met.  I enjoy them sometimes, too.  I consider Mahler the better composer, however.  Wagner is adolescent, by comparison, lots of pretentiousness, and lots of wasting of everyone's time, and energy.  Mahler suffers from some of that, too, but has restraint, and delicacy, alongside it.  Wagner is big, stomping boots and shrieking, great if you enjoy haunted houses, which I do, sometimes. :)  But I find Wagner far too obvious; Ravel, and Debussy, by contrast, are marvelous.  Shostakovitch is sublime.

 

And Brahms' Trios are my ultimate example of music I've loved over a whole lifetime, particularly with this Trio's performance:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Piano-Schubert-Collection--Recordings/dp/B00000279G/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1383594586&sr=8-6&keywords=brahms+trios

 

It's all good. :)

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