Search found 20388 matches

by John F
Wed May 22, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

I've looked a little further to find out which conductors Toscanini did criticize, if not Furtwängler. "He calls Stokowski and Mengelberg 'clowns' because of their thirst for publicity" - note, not because of Mengelberg's performing style - "and refers to the former [Stokowski] as a 'gangster' becau...
by John F
Tue May 21, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

My point is that Toscanini wanted to establish a universal understanding for how music should go, i. e. basic rules of the road No he didn't! He established the rules of his road, and other conductors (except for WF) submitted to the powerful influence of his music-making as they heard it. A turnin...
by John F
Tue May 21, 2019 3:39 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

I don't think Toscanini, or Weingartner were motivated in the least by unionization of orchestras, potentially less rehearsal time maestrob raised that point, and as he is a professional musician while I'm not a musician at all, I take it seriously. My comment did not say that this was cause and ef...
by John F
Mon May 20, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Summer meet-up
Replies: 31
Views: 4907

Re: Summer meet-up

Yes, it's still on my calendar. Looking forward to seeing everybody - well, maybe not everybody, sorry you won't be with us Lance, but a good turnout.
by John F
Mon May 20, 2019 6:13 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

Reminds me of Phillipe Jordan tripping over invidious comparisons to Ring conductors long dead and gone. Some are dead but not gone, thanks to recordings. Others named in this thread such as Thielemann and Petrenko aren't dead. If Jordan comes off the worse from such comparisons, so much the worse ...
by John F
Sun May 19, 2019 5:25 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

I see you haven't been able to provide even one of those favorable comments and reviews by "many others" that you spoke of. You yourself can't approve or disapprove of Philippe Jordan's because you haven't heard a note of it, nor apparently read any reviews. The New York Times reviewer Zachary Woolf...
by John F
Sat May 18, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

More. Sometimes I wish we could somehow abolish scores without abolishing pieces - that is, return music to a fully oral tradition, but with our cherished repertory intact. At the very least, I think we would pay more attention, as listeners, to the kinds of things that make individual performances ...
by John F
Sat May 18, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Taruskin told the Prokofiev story in a lecture published as "Tradition and Authority" in the book "Text and Act," which is rewarding reading for those who like to read about music and performance. After describing the special features of Prokofiev's recording of the gavotte, he says: These features ...
by John F
Sat May 18, 2019 5:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

When I said erratic about some of Furtwangler's performances, I meant that he has a tendency to make extreme tempo choices that are nowhere indicated in the score, for example in a 1944 version of Bruckner IX, or his rewriting of Schumann IV for DGG. It may be interesting intellectually to hear the...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: More rare Kathleen Ferrier, contralto!
Replies: 4
Views: 146

Re: More rare Kathleen Ferrier, contralto!

SOMM CD 5004, 77:41 It includes quite a cast of singers, including Otto Edelmann, Irmgard Seefried, William Herbert, among others. Ferrier was the only non-German singer in this Vienna performance conducted by Volkmar Andreae with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This certainly looks worth hearin...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

I didn't see or hear this Ring, but many others have great admiration for the way Philippe Jordan conducted it , including Anthony Tommasini . You are the only individual I know of who has called Jordan's conducting of the Ring "weak ". If you read the review by Zachary Woolfe with which this threa...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

The Met just has to book its artists far enough ahead to get those it wants, and indeed that's how it's done. Peter Gelb said in effect that the Met's next 4-5 years are planned, including the artists, and that's typical for a major opera house competing with the others for the top talent. The Met's...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Well there it is. We probably wouldn't be having this discussion, or it wouldn't have gone on this long, if you and Heck148 didn't dismiss performances I think well of as "erratic," which is also necessarily a challenge to my taste. I hear the difference between Furtwangler's ideas about tempo, whic...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

I agree, Heck148, that Furtwangler's experiments with tempo set my teeth on edge: I just don't relate to his way of thinking. Having grown up listening to both conductors, I fell into the Toscanini camp when I heard his Beethoven, and wanted to make music like that all my life. I've never stood in ...
by John F
Thu May 16, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

Salonen conducted "Tristan und Isolde" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and brought it to New York on tour. I thought it was very good. But the Ring is an entirely different challenge from "Tristan," not just because of its length, and I would think Salonen needs to conduct it more than once to get...
by John F
Wed May 15, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

Kirill Petrenko Certainly a plausible candidate, with Ring cycles in Munich and Bayreuth in his resumé. But as music director of the Bavarian State Opera and the Berlin Philharmonic, I doubt he can clear two months or more to rehearse and conduct three Ring cycles in New York, if indeed he would wa...
by John F
Wed May 15, 2019 10:46 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

To dismiss a live performance, especially a great one, because of untidiness in the last minute is pretty extreme. There are many recordings of other music by other musicians that are imperfect in one way or another but are nonetheless indispensable, even legendary - one example is Sviatoslav Richte...
by John F
Wed May 15, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

First, the Met needs to find a conductor who can do the work justice, a tall order now that the last great generation of Wagner conductors is gone and James Levine is in outer darkness (and probably also physically incapable). I can think of three candidates, off the top of my head: Christian Thiele...
by John F
Wed May 15, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

By the way, concerning fidelity to the score: Furtwangler's extremely fast tempo for the very end of the 9th symphony is controversial, and it's not how I'd like to hear that music. But I got out my score and find that Beethoven marked the passage "Prestissimo" as well as fortissimo, and prestissimo...
by John F
Tue May 14, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bored of the ‘Ring’
Replies: 31
Views: 544

Re: Bored of the ‘Ring’

This review is full of straw men, beginning at the beginning with five paragraphs devoted to reviewing a Ring performance of seven years ago. But sifting through the chaff, I gather that in these performances the characters are more strongly directed (and, of course, acted) more strongly than before...
by John F
Tue May 14, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

For those who are interested, here's the Berlin Philharmonic playing the finale of Brahms's Symphony no. 1 on January 23, 1945, Furtwangler conducting. Their concert hall, the Philharmonie, had been destroyed in the bombing of Berlin and they were performing in a movie theatre called the Titania Pal...
by John F
Tue May 14, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Zubin Mehta was trained in Vienna and often conducted the Vienna Philharmonic. He says in his memoirs that when he became music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic he had the orchestra acquire rotary valve trumpets and persuaded the players to learn how to play them, and that he has done the sa...
by John F
Mon May 13, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?
Replies: 4033
Views: 763320

Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Alfred Brendel has a son named Adrian, but he plays the cello. There are other Brendels around who aren't necessarily related, such as the baritone Wolfgang Brendel.
by John F
Mon May 13, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

That kind of trumpet sound may be suitable for French music. Certainly it's what I hear (or used to hear) in French and French-oriented orchestras like the Boston Symphony. Also, in the old days, in Russian orchestras, whose winds and brass were played in the French manner and for all I know with Fr...
by John F
Mon May 13, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?
Replies: 4033
Views: 763320

Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

And then there's this, Dohnanyi's strongest claim to immortality:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeswLTu_IiI


Others may play it with a bit more dexterity - Dohnanyi was nearly 80 in 1956 - but none with greater wit and humor.
by John F
Sun May 12, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: George Dreyfus
Replies: 10
Views: 321

Re: George Dreyfus

Sorry, but topics like this belong in the Corner Pub, not here.
by John F
Sun May 12, 2019 3:48 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Great stuff, Heck.
by John F
Sat May 11, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

The NBC's principal oboe from the beginning to 1943 was Robert Bloom, an excellent player who was a Tabuteau pupil and sounded like it. Nothing harsh about that. The principal flute was John Wummer, who went to the New York Philharmonic in 1942. The clarinetist Augustin Duques wasn't so great.
by John F
Sat May 11, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Australia Festival in New York
Replies: 6
Views: 260

Re: Australia Festival in New York

I'm afraid the Austrian Ballet's program got rather rough treatment from the NY Times dance critic - not their top man, Alastair Macauley, who's retiring, but someone else I don't know, the author of a book-length history of tap dancing. Review: Australian Ballet Returns With Homegrown Talent, Humdr...
by John F
Sat May 11, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Toscanini's detractors (Furtwangler among them) called him stiff and metronomic, but I don't find that the case at all Earlier in this thread I wrote, "Toscanini partisans always say that his tempos were flexible, but while that may have been so in opera and in recordings before 1938, it isn't real...
by John F
Sat May 11, 2019 2:53 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Australia Festival in New York
Replies: 6
Views: 260

Australia Festival in New York

The three Australian companies include the Australian Ballet, in a very different mode from when they toured the US in 1971 with Rudolf Nureyev in standards such as "Don Quixote." Australia Festival Dance, Contemporary and experimental Joyce Theater , Chelsea Until Sunday May 12 2019 The Joyce gets ...
by John F
Sat May 11, 2019 2:42 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Young Concert Artists
Replies: 1
Views: 156

Young Concert Artists

That's the name of an organization, or a program, or a competition - what you will - that has been discovering and promoting fine young musicians for many years. The key word is "concert" - there's no shortage of competitions and opportunities for would-be opera singers, less so for those who do ope...
by John F
Fri May 10, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

That's just guessing. The orchestra's four Jewish players had high-quality replacements; the new concertmaster, Gerhard Taschner, appointed by Furtwängler in 1941 when he was only 19, can be heard on YouTube in solo works and he sounds excellent. If you like you can compare the many wartime performa...
by John F
Fri May 10, 2019 6:27 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: For His 200th Birthday, a Composer Gets a Closer Look
Replies: 6
Views: 284

Re: For His 200th Birthday, a Composer Gets a Closer Look

I've had the René Leibowitz recording of “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein” for decades and actually seen it - twice: in Stuttgart, and here in New York with Stephanie Blythe in the title role. Not so rarely performed, then - no more than Offenbach's famous ones, "La belle Helene" and "Orphée aux En...
by John F
Fri May 10, 2019 3:32 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

DG issued it as a 2-LP set, with either Schumann's 4th or Haydn's 88th symphony on side 4.It was good of them to do that, making the Furtwängler recording cost the buyer twice as much as any other Schubert 9th and hurting sales, instead of putting the 55-minutes on a single disc. That was feasible b...
by John F
Thu May 09, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Toscanini partisans always say that his tempos were flexible, but while that may have been so in the opera house and in recordings before 1936, it isn't really true of most of his NBC Symphony concerts. His tempos may not have been metronomic but I certainly wouldn't call them flexible. However, the...
by John F
Thu May 09, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

Despite Furtwängler's successful efforts to retain them, by 1942 the Berlin Philharmonic's four Jewish members, including concertmaster Szymon Goldberg, had left the orchestra and emigrated. Nonetheless, as you can hear in the 9th and other wartime performances, the orchestra not only kept up its st...
by John F
Thu May 09, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

You may be thinking of the live performance recording at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival, which was published by EMI and is the Furtwängler 9th most people know. He always took the coda of the last movement at a speed I thought was impossible and sometimes it was. :) That summer the orchestra was playing...
by John F
Thu May 09, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

You're right, Decca was an early adopter of stereo recording, their Mozart operas were recorded binaurally in 1955, while EMI was among the last - just as they had been among the last to adopt the LP, releasing new recordings on 78s into the 1950s (the Bayreuth 1951 "Die Meistersinger"). RCA Victor ...
by John F
Thu May 09, 2019 12:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

Congratulations! I'm glad your group received your program well; they certainly should have. This opens the way to similar programs by you or others in your group, to leaven the intellectuality of most of your programs. the mid-50s to mid-60s, a time when very little serious music was being composed...
by John F
Tue May 07, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Right you are - good catch. Furtwängler conducted those works, and Stravinsky's concerto with the composer at the piano, in the 1920s. Later his programs were rather less adventurous.
by John F
Tue May 07, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

We can't hear Furtwängler's performance of Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra, which he conducted with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras in 1922, his first season as both orchestras' music director following the death of Nikisch. He never conducted it again; the only othe...
by John F
Tue May 07, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

That would be saying too much. Furtwangler conducted quite a lot of modern music, especially in his younger years but right up to the end. The concert listing published by Tahra includes Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements, Hindemith's Harmonie der Welt symphony and Concerto for Orchestra, Bart...
by John F
Tue May 07, 2019 3:11 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Ross doesn't cite a source for Furtwangler's supposed remark, and I can't find it in any of Furtwangler's published writings: "Concerning Music" (1948), "Ton und Wort" (writings 1918-1954), "Notebooks" (1924-1954), and "Briefe" (1894-1954). By dating the "quotation" as 1947 he appears to be referrin...
by John F
Mon May 06, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

A little more information. The Mahler song with Janet Baker and John Barbirolli was recorded in May 1967. My source doesn't name the recording venue, whether in Manchester, the Halle Orchestra's home town, or in London; maybe I can find out, probably not.
by John F
Mon May 06, 2019 12:56 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: A New Wotan Reigns in the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Ring’
Replies: 2
Views: 200

Re: A New Wotan Reigns in the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Ring’

The mediocre Greer Grimsley has been singing Wotan in this season's Ring cycles, including the HD transmission of "Die Walkure," and I didn't know that Michael Volle has been brought in to sing the final Ring cycle only. That's certainly an improvement, and he should have sung them all, though neith...
by John F
Mon May 06, 2019 12:49 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sir John Barbirolli
Replies: 75
Views: 3721

Re: Sir John Barbirolli

Of course what you play is up to you, and while I'm sure your audience won't complain about an extra few minutes of Cortot's Chopin, in a far greater work than any of the impromptus, you know best.

Good luck with your show, and as I said, do tell us about how it went.
by John F
Mon May 06, 2019 12:30 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

I would think, if anyone wants to hear Furtwangler's Symphonic Concerto, that they'd listen to his performance with Edwin Fischer as the pianist: 7DgEFHUqyxY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DgEFHUqyxY Back to Beethoven. Toscanini always said that he didn't really understand the 9th's first movement...
by John F
Sun May 05, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross on Furtwangler
Replies: 58
Views: 2058

Re: Alex Ross on Furtwangler

Not quite enough said. For some reason you chose to listen to a Furtwangler Beethoven 9th that's among his worst. He was then both ill - he died three months later - and almost deaf. To do him justice, you should listen to the performance of March 1942, which is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
by John F
Sun May 05, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: YouTube news
Replies: 3
Views: 157

Re: YouTube news

I believe most of the classical recordings on YouTube were not uploaded the record companies or the artists but from amateurs, i.e. copyright violators. :wink: I looked for any indication that YouTube was going to take a harder line against this but there's no mention. All they really care about app...