Search found 19086 matches

by John F
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Prokofiev War Sonatas
Replies: 28
Views: 845

Re: Prokofiev War Sonatas

Sonata #7 - Richter for sure. Also Vladimir Sofronitsky in 1955. The bad news: he plays it on Scriabin's piano which, as usual, is out of tune and pretty beat up. If you can stand to listen to it, I think you'll find it remarkable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FnskNMyIII Sonata #6 - Heard it for...
by John F
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings
Replies: 16
Views: 1327

Re: Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

The Philadelphia Orchestra certainly didn't sound like its Columbia recordings when they performed in the Academy of Music - an acoustic so dry that it made NBC's notorious Studio 8H sould like Carnegie Hall. I always believed the orchestra's voluptuous string sound was developed to compensate for t...
by John F
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Basil Twist's "Symphonie Fantastique"
Replies: 0
Views: 249

Basil Twist's "Symphonie Fantastique"

Some will have seen this already. (I did long ago at the Lincoln Center Festival.) Well, here's your chance to see it again - or if you haven't, for the first time. Basil Twist’s Fantastic Feathered World (With Tinsel and Berlioz) By Marina Harss March 23, 2018 “Pull, pull, pull!” Basil Twist called...
by John F
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Fascinating website
Replies: 7
Views: 392

Re: Fascinating website

One of Rodzinski's few recordings during his brief time with the Chicago Symphony was, again, "Also sprach Zarathustra." Based on the recordings, I'd say it was Rodzinski who made the CSO into the brilliant virtuoso ensemble that Rafael Kubelik and then Fritz Reiner inherited. He (Rodzinski) was fam...
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Another conductor: Günter Wand
Replies: 20
Views: 785

Re: Another conductor: Günter Wand

Just one thing: Hamburg was and is in West Germany. It's Tennstedt whose career began in East Germany, where he was GMD of the Dresden State Opera. Emigrating to the West, he preceded Günter Wand as music director of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Exterminating Angel on PBS
Replies: 7
Views: 408

Re: The Exterminating Angel on PBS

Thanks! I hope to be watching.
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Fascinating website
Replies: 7
Views: 392

Re: Fascinating website

Yes, it's a great source for orchestra personnel - not just a listing but with a good deal of career detail.
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries
Replies: 38
Views: 1852

Re: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries

You may be confusing the belief in the conception of Mary free from original sin (the Immaculate Conception) with the "no-sex-involved" virgin birth of Jesus (the Incarnation). Say what? In the real world, conception occurs at the time the female's egg is fertilized by the male's sperm, not many mo...
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:22 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What I listened to today
Replies: 324
Views: 21559

Re: What I listened to today

Speaking of interpretive ideas involving Brahms's horn parts, there's a startling moment in Klemperer's recording of the German Requiem in which essentially harmonic writing becomes a solo, as if it were the last trump summoning all to the Last Judgment - at 2:20 in the clip and when the passage ret...
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:02 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries
Replies: 38
Views: 1852

Re: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries

That's interesting to know. I'd have thought the doctrine of the "immaculate conception" (no sex act involved) was so ancient and implicit that there would have been no need for the pope to declare it so recently. The RC church, like God, works in a mysterious way... However, I believe the article i...
by John F
Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Another conductor: Günter Wand
Replies: 20
Views: 785

Re: Another conductor: Günter Wand

I heard one concert he conducted, with his orchestra (the North German Radio in Hamburg) - Mozart 40, Brahms 4. Solid, well played, nothing wrong, nothing special. These are the virtues of a good Kapellmeister, which in his day was a useful and not dishonorable thing to be; his comments as quoted su...
by John F
Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Coraline avant-garde opera
Replies: 2
Views: 249

Re: Coraline avant-garde opera

Turnage is an experienced composer, but even so, looks like a lot of Mullarkey to me. :wink:
by John F
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries
Replies: 38
Views: 1852

Re: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries

According to the Wikipedia article "Papal Infallibility," there has been only one papal pronouncement claimed to be infallible under church dogma: it "took place in 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as an article of faith." It was only in 1870 when the church formally declared ...
by John F
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:05 am
Forum: Films & Movies & Their Music
Topic: Movies are going to the dogs...
Replies: 8
Views: 548

Re: Movies are going to the dogs...

I'd say blame the owners, not the dogs. A dog that has been properly trained, socialized, and cared for ought not to do any of those things. My apartment building is "pet friendly," many of the other tenants have dogs of all breeds from chihuahas to a great dane, and I've met quite a few of them in ...
by John F
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What I listened to today
Replies: 324
Views: 21559

Re: What I listened to today

I didn't know the Graffman/Munch Brahms existed, and Graffman was a good pianist, so I listened to this recording on YouTube. Among other things, I was curious about those details in the orchestral part that Distler makes so much of. Unfortunately I couldn't pin them down because my score doesn't ha...
by John F
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:20 am
Forum: Films & Movies & Their Music
Topic: Movies are going to the dogs...
Replies: 8
Views: 548

Re: Movies are going to the dogs...

Actually, I believe it's cats that were domesticated for vermin control. Dogs aren't very good at it. But they are much better at working for us, in hunting, herding, pulling sleds, protecting us, sounding alarms, finding missing persons, entertaining us, and in remarkable ways as service dogs for p...
by John F
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

"Strident" is the right word for Renata Scotto's sound in her later years. I suppose she brought it on herself by taking heavier roles such as the "Trovatore" Leonora, Norma, and Lady Macbeth. Rosa Ponselle chose to retire, and by all accounts was happy about it. She had always been afflicted with t...
by John F
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Films & Movies & Their Music
Topic: Movies are going to the dogs...
Replies: 8
Views: 548

Re: Movies are going to the dogs...

I don't think it's a fetish (as I understand the word), it's a convention that goes back at least 2500 years to Aesop and his fables of animals behaving like humans. There's a reason for so many movies about dogs, living and animated: nearly 70% of American households include at least one dog. I gue...
by John F
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

Questioning the character of the Munch/BSO in Bruckner, Mahler, Strauss and Wagner w/o citing a single performance does strike me as problematic. If one knows the requirements of the music and the character of the orchestra, one can certainly have a qualified opinion, which is all that's needed her...
by John F
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

According to Wikipedia, Amara was 51 when she sued the Met (in 1976), and her suit was "successful." A Pyrrhic victory, then, though I expect she got some money out of it; she didn't sing at the Met again until 1981, and thereafter only 7 performances until her last in 1991 as Madelon (not Maddalena...
by John F
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

I haven't heard any of his Bruckner. I do question how a negative judgment could be rendered on it (or on his Mahler for that matter) seemingly without having heard an actual performance. Nobody has made such a judgment, not in this thread, have they? Several have observed that the character of Mun...
by John F
Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season
Replies: 2
Views: 231

Re: Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

Philadelphia's history of opera is complicated and troubled. No one opera company has survived more than 20 years as originally organized; instead there has been a series of rivalries and mergers. Opera Philadelphia was renamed and perhaps reorganized five years ago from the Opera Company of Philade...
by John F
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:35 am
Forum: Films & Movies & Their Music
Topic: Movies are going to the dogs...
Replies: 8
Views: 548

Movies are going to the dogs...

... and dogs are going to the movies. Click on the link to see many photos of the event. Aisles of Dogs Sonner Kehrt March 20, 2018 SAN FRANCISCO — It was Charlie Bucket’s first trip to the movies, and he dressed up for the occasion. Looking sharp in a flowered bow tie, he glanced around the histori...
by John F
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January
Replies: 4
Views: 366

Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

Actually, the sdnior fare for NY Transit (subways and buses) is $1.35.
by John F
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:09 am
Forum: Classical Concert Reviews
Topic: Bernstein brought me to the concert, but then....
Replies: 1
Views: 377

Re: Bernstein brought me to the concert, but then....

perhaps I like the idea of this composition more than the piece itself That describes my response to much of Bernstein's music, partly due to titles and concepts that promise more than I think they deliver, partly to Bernstein's style. After his centennial has passed, I wonder how much of his music...
by John F
Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:59 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January
Replies: 4
Views: 366

Re: New York subway system discombobulated by delays in January

As a practical matter, I don't care whether the subway I get on is running to its schedule or is a delayed earlier train. At most times of the day or night, NYC's main line subways are close enough together that I don't have to wait long for the next one. Of the lines listed, I take the A or C from ...
by John F
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: More Roerich Stage Sets Needed at Met!
Replies: 7
Views: 428

Re: More Roerich Stage Sets Needed at Met!

Roerich never designed a Metropolitan Opera production. He is famous for designing the original production of "Rite of Spring" for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and also did the Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" for them. The Ballets Russes appeared once at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1916. The...
by John F
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What I listened to today
Replies: 324
Views: 21559

Re: What I listened to today

Toscanini conducted the premiere of Gillis's Symphony No. 5½ in the NBC Symphony broadcast of September 21, 1947, no doubt with the composer in the sound booth. A broadcast transcription is in the Toscanini Legacy Archive at the NYPL performing arts library.
by John F
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Concerned Fake Warning
Replies: 17
Views: 758

Re: Concerned Fake Warning

Hackers have ways of infecting an innocent Web site with malware. Since others have had the same problem, it has to be a site of some general interest, i.e. not Classical Music Guide. :) And I expect it's the most recent site you browsed before the incident, or one of them. Checking your browser's h...
by John F
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

I have no information you don't have. But when an employee is fired, normally his employer stops his pay; Levine's salary was $400,000 a year plus $27,000 for each performance he was to conduct. Not paying him will save the Met half a million or more a year, a small fraction of its annual budget but...
by John F
Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Concerned Fake Warning
Replies: 17
Views: 758

Re: Concerned Fake Warning

I looked up the 888 phone number and found this: https://whocalled.us/lookup/8885583089 One of the respondents says that phone number is not Microsoft Tech Support, regardless of the screen message says. As jserraglio says, it's a scam What the perp has to gain from it, I can't guess. Still, it got ...
by John F
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

The idea that Gelb is trying to force out Levine is ludicrous on its face. Why would he do so without clear evidence, after all that Levine has done for the MET musically during his tenure? Not necessarily ludicrous. When Gelb was chosen to succeed Joseph Volpe as the Met's general manager in 2006,...
by John F
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: zimmerman article
Replies: 3
Views: 310

Re: zimmerman article

You wouldn't like it. The story of "Die Soldaten" is somewhat like "Wozzeck," but Zimmermann's musical style makes Berg sound like Puccini. The production at the Armory was quite something to see and indeed part of - the audience was moved back and forth on rails for different scenes - but the acous...
by John F
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

It's been ugly since Levine's accusers began to speak up. But as I've said, the lawsuit is not only about alleged libel, for which as you say the defense is the truth as far as that can be established, but also about financial damages. Also whether Levine's outright dismissal on these or any other g...
by John F
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: review philadelphia orchestra
Replies: 3
Views: 317

Re: review philadelphia orchestra

It seems everyone but me is beating the drums for Nézet-Séguin, including several CMG members. So far I haven't heard any performances that would justify all the hoopla, compared with many others in a pretty long lifetime of listening, and no recordings at all - nor any that would contradict it. I'l...
by John F
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

Big bucks are at stake here, along with much else of course. By firing Levine, and presumably taking away his pension and other benefits as well, Gelb has helped the Met's bottom line at a time when it badly needed some help. I'm not saying that's his reason, but facts are facts. As for James Levine...
by John F
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:36 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

THEHORN, do you really see no significant qualitative difference between the Philharmonic's unquestionably great music directors (I named Toscanini and Bernstein; before them there was Gustav Mahler) and everybody else? Because the only name missing from your honor roll of the last half-century is A...
by John F
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries
Replies: 38
Views: 1852

Re: Resigned Pope Benedict defends Francis, delivers blistering rebuke to Catholic reactionaries

Since there hasn't been a living former pope for more than half a millennium, no role has been established in the church or out of it that Benedict is expected or required to play. It's up to him to define his role, then, and apart from the current pope, nobody can authoritatively claim to know bett...
by John F
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

Toscanini conducted Bruckner's 4th and 7th symphonies at the New York Philharmonic, the 7th twice, but otherwise not at all, and he never conducted any Mahler. An incomplete recording of the 7th as broadcast in 1935 sounds to me very idiomatic, and indeed I'd say quite beautiful. Toscanini was a Wag...
by John F
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Met Fires Levine
Replies: 38
Views: 2098

Re: Met Fires Levine

Woolf's column is wrong-headed. When an orchestra or an opera ensemble achieves greatness, that is almost always associated with the qualities and achievements of its top music man, call him Music Director or Chief Conductor or what you will. The great eras of the Vienna State Opera are indissolubly...
by John F
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero
Replies: 8
Views: 651

Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Pope Paul a saint? He certainly didn't seem like one when he was alive, not to me anyway. Maybe sainthood is becoming a kind of emeritus honor for former popes, as professor emeritus is for former distinguished professors.
by John F
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

Stokowski's efficiency was proverbial. I've just now read an orchestra player's story that Stokey got a student orchestra he played in to sound like the Philadelphia Orchestra in an hour of rehearsal. But Mengelberg was a famous talker in rehearsals, extremely longwinded, and if you put that togethe...
by John F
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

Tempo changes, even extreme ones, can be brought off if the orchestra is well rehearsed. The recordings of Willem Mengelberg, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, have countless examples of this. And it's not just in studio recordings with the possibility of many retakes; ...
by John F
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

I'm the one who said, "apart from some French music, he often didn't seem very involved in the music he conducted," which is based on my perceptions during BSO performances in Symphony Hall and Harvard's Sanders Theatre between 1958 and 1962. I heard coarse tone (e.g. from the blaring first trumpet ...
by John F
Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:12 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

Oh, you meant gout as in "Have some Madeira, m'dear" :

I don't care for sherry, one cannot drink stout,
And port is a wine I can well do without,
It's simply a case of chacun a son gout.
Have some Madeira, m'dear!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW_zi8n4HDQ
by John F
Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

RCA Victor did use Munch and the BSO to accompany Maureen Forrester's recording of the Gesellenlieder and Kindertotenlieder. Otherwise no Mahler, and no Bruckner at all that I know of. Munch's native Strasbourg was part of Germany when he was born - he served in the German army during World War I an...
by John F
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

It's interesting, JohnF, that Richter had gout. Do you think that coloured his view? He so often seems so irritated. I never heard that, and wouldn't know what to say about it. Seems to have had nothing to do with his admiration for Munch. In "Sviatoslav Richter: Notebooks and Conversations," Bruno...
by John F
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why hasn't Reiner's non-CSO recordings been reissued?
Replies: 11
Views: 652

Re: Why hasn't Reiner's non-CSO recordings been reissued?

Looks like a useful list as far as it goes, but I see it doesn't include Reiner's 1938 recordings for the World's Greatest Music label, and there may be other omissions that I don't have time to look for just now.
by John F
Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Charles Munch, conductor
Replies: 77
Views: 3636

Re: Charles Munch, conductor

As I've said before, the BSO's playing went badly downhill by the late 1950s when I was hearing them in concert while at college, and apart from some French music, he often didn't seem very involved in the music he conducted. Those who know his work only through edited recordings may think better of...
by John F
Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Zagat Guides sold again
Replies: 3
Views: 350

Zagat Guides sold again

Tim and Nina Zagat cashed in back in 2011 when they sold their business to Google. Since then, the Zagat system has gone steadily downhill, as Google didn't really know what to do with it and repeatedly cut its staff. Now they have sold it on to an online restaurant guide called "The Infatuation," w...