Search found 20388 matches

by John F
Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:45 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Concerts: Just Chill Out and Enjoy Yourself
Replies: 11
Views: 1019

Re: Concerts: Just Chill Out and Enjoy Yourself

Ralph doesn't identify the author of this piece, but he's a certain Guy Dammann, whose Guardian blurb describes him as "a freelance writer and academic living in London. He has written widely on the arts for various publications and lectures on classical music and philosophy at King's and University...
by John F
Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:57 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Richard Strauss - An Underrated Composer ?
Replies: 25
Views: 1969

Re: Richard Strauss - An Underrated Composer ?

Underrated by who? Not by performers, not by audiences, and not by most critics and scholars. Stravinsky's dismissal of "Ariadne auf Naxos" may amount to no more than professional jealousy - Strauss beat him to it with neoclassicism - and generally speaking, composers' opinions of each others' music...
by John F
Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:08 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Condoleezza Rice performs Dvorak
Replies: 13
Views: 886

Re: Condoleezza Rice performs Dvorak

In the same Aspen concert, she and the students played the slow movement from the Brahms piano quintet, also on YouTube. Judging by high professional standards, the performances are a little stiff, but I'm impressed anyway.
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:30 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Further Thoughts on Rozhdestvensky's Cancellation
Replies: 20
Views: 1969

Re: Further Thoughts on Rozhdestvensky's Cancellation

We don't actually know the contents of the BSO's contract with Rozhdestvensky, so we can't say which of them (if either) actually breached its terms. Show business contracts often go into some detail as to how the artist is to be promoted, a friend of mine in the biz tells me, and while Rozhdestvens...
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:02 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius - why so despised?
Replies: 56
Views: 6505

Re: Sibelius - why so despised?

Sibelius scholar James Hepokoski has pointed out some resemblances between the early Kullervo Symphony and Bruckner's symphonic style. Later on Sibelius became far more terse in his symphonic structures, but his continuing use of sequences and string tremolandos may seem Brucknerian to some.
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Virgil Thomson's music, good or not so good?
Replies: 10
Views: 946

Re: Virgil Thomson's music, good or not so good?

some guy already said it. The only work of Thomson's to make any impression on me is "Four Saints in Three Acts," delightful in Robert Wilson's production for Houston Grand Opera (also presented at the Lincoln Center Festival). I saw "The Mother of Us All" at New York City Opera and though it had a ...
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:05 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius - why so despised?
Replies: 56
Views: 6505

Re: Sibelius - why so despised?

Used to be that most people knew Sibelius because of Finlandia, and after that it was through the Swan of Tuonela and the Symphony #2. These pieces are popular for a reason. I suppose someone whose first Sibelius was Tapiola or the 4th Symphony might well be put off, but it's not very likely that th...
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Further Thoughts on Rozhdestvensky's Cancellation
Replies: 20
Views: 1969

Further Thoughts on Rozhdestvensky's Cancellation

The BSO is hanging tough about its marketing approach and the presentation of that concert and Rozhdestvensky on its posters and in its subscription brochure, not just the marketing director but managing director Mark Volpe. Jeremy Eichler gives several good reasons why they shouldn't, and analyzes ...
by John F
Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:07 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler
Replies: 147
Views: 10381

Re: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler

Imagine a kid who wants to become an architect or a space engineer. He can draw these beautiful, amazing houses or fabulous models of future spacecrafts... But , he just can't walk into NASA's headquarters and start drawing whatever he likes. Why? Among many things, he sucks at maths. And you have ...
by John F
Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:28 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler
Replies: 147
Views: 10381

Re: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler

Sylph wrote:he wouldn't be able to conduct any other work. Not even Beethoven's Fifth even if you hit him with it on the head. 8)
Of course you don't know this, and I'll bet you don't even believe it. :)
by John F
Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:16 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Boris Tishchenko - a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside...
Replies: 2
Views: 386

Re: Boris Tishchenko - a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside...

From your description, Tishchenko's music might be something like Schnittke's. I like Schnittke's music. So maybe I should try some Tishchenko.
by John F
Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:10 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler
Replies: 147
Views: 10381

Re: Gilbert Kaplan : Desperately Seeking Mahler

Gilbert Kaplan is beyond question a conductor. He has repeatedly led professional orchestras in public performances, and even made recordings. No other criteria are needed. That he chooses to conduct only one work doesn't signify; all conductors make repertory choices, and whatever choices they may ...
by John F
Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:25 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius - why so despised?
Replies: 56
Views: 6505

Re: Sibelius - why so despised?

One measure of Sibelius's standing might be the conductors who have recorded his music. Looking through amazon.com I find plenty of Finns, Brits, and Americans for sure, but also Karajan (Austria - 2 cycles), Kurt Sanderling (German), Koussevitzky and Ashkenazy (Russia), Neeme and Paavo Järvi (Eston...
by John F
Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:32 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical Christmas music
Replies: 43
Views: 3698

Re: Classical Christmas music

Of course not. Richter is a common last name, and Karl and Sviatoslav are no more related than either is to Franz Xaver Richter or Hans Richter, or to the Richter scale. Not that it matters, really.
by John F
Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:24 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Need help with another classical song ID
Replies: 3
Views: 369

Re: Need help with another classical song ID

If it wasn't composed for that use, it might be adapted from an English madrigal or carol. Definitely not opera.
by John F
Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:21 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why Do Berlioz and Gounod ...
Replies: 4
Views: 461

Re: Why Do Berlioz and Gounod ...

Gounod's "Faust" is reasonably close to Goethe's "Faust Part 1," allowing for the necessary shortening (it takes longer to sing words than say them) and the usual recasting into arias, duets, etc. Closer than Thomas's "Hamlet" is to Shakespeare, for sure. And I'd say the Berlioz is often quite close...
by John F
Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:09 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius' Third Symphony
Replies: 23
Views: 5056

Re: Sibelius' Third Symphony

This symphony seems to have been a favorite of Colin Davis. Not only did he conduct it often, but it's the piece he chose for a session with the Juilliard student orchestra. Overhearing what he was saying to the players, I was surprised that he didn't stick to technicalities but suggested a dramatic...
by John F
Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:54 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical Christmas music
Replies: 43
Views: 3698

Re: Classical Christmas music

Bach's Christmas Oratorio in the DG Archiv recording conducted by Karl Richter, with an unequaled group of soloists: Gundula Janowitz, Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich, Franz Crass. I was surprised and delighted to find out that Sviatoslav Richter used to invite friends to visit on Christmas to hear...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:48 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Lorin MAAZEL
Replies: 25
Views: 1163

Re: Lorin MAAZEL

I don't know Koussevitzky's late recording of Sibelius 2, but his 1930s version for RCA Victor is the one I grew up with (my parents owned it), and I still think it's the most magnificent performance I've heard.
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:43 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Improvisation, Anyone?
Replies: 7
Views: 553

Re: Improvisation, Anyone?

Improvisation is part of the job description of a church organist, isn't it? Used to be, anyway, in those parts of the church service such as the taking of the collection and holy communion which vary unpredictably in length. I'm no churchgoer so I don't have much experience of this in practice, but...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Shostakovich's trash: The Song and The Sun?
Replies: 12
Views: 863

Re: Shostakovich's trash: The Song and The Sun?

As you said, musically shallow. Does anybody feel otherwise, really? Shostakovich could dash off this stuff at will, but saved his best ideas for pieces he cared about. At the same time as "The Sun Shines Over Our Motherland," he was composing his fifth string quartet.
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:47 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Job of an Orchestral Librarian
Replies: 3
Views: 316

Re: The Job of an Orchestral Librarian

Why should the position not be competitive? When an orchestra announces a vacancy, there are sure be several applicants, which means competition. However, I don't believe openings occur all that often. The major orchestras and opera companies hire writers for their program notes, and the librarians ...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Improvisation, Anyone?
Replies: 7
Views: 553

Re: Improvisation, Anyone?

the pianist and musicologist Robert Levin began the program's second half by pulling four slips of paper out of a basket. Then he launched into a musical fantasy that, to a layman's ear, sounded just like Mozart. It was Mr. Levin's own spontaneous composition, invented on the spot using suggestions...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:20 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Shostakovich's trash: The Song and The Sun?
Replies: 12
Views: 863

Re: Shostakovich's trash: The Song and The Sun?

Shostakovich did what he had to do after the Zhdanov accusations of 1948, to get Stalin off his back and earn some kind of a living, and he wasn't the only Soviet composer to do this kind of hackwork for this reason. "Song of the Forests" served that purpose to perfection. As for "The Sun Shines on ...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Make me a Rosa Ponselle fan.
Replies: 12
Views: 1276

Re: Make me a Rosa Ponselle fan.

The classic Rosa Ponselle recordings are the arias and duet from "La Vestale" and "Norma," "Ernani, involami" from Verdi's opera, and selections from "La Forza del Destino." These show the sumptuous quality of her voice to great advantage, as well as her agility and dramatic projection, and the reco...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Lorin MAAZEL
Replies: 25
Views: 1163

Re: Lorin MAAZEL

Seems to me that Maazel is at his best in music for the theatre. I've heard fine things from him in the opera house, recently "Die Walküre" at the Met (he's to return for "Don Carlo" in a future season), and I agree that his recordings of "Porgy and Bess" and "Romeo and Juliet" are very good. I also...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:17 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Voters Fail the Test
Replies: 14
Views: 884

Re: Voters Fail the Test

OK, what am I missing? Not the test; I scored 91 (one of the questions I missed was just overlooked, an elementary mistake of not checking my answers). But I see an average of 78%. Also, I don't see a number/letter grade conversion, but by usual US standars for criterion-referenced tests I got an A...
by John F
Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:04 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is Claudio Abbado a great conductor?
Replies: 82
Views: 5521

Re: Is Claudio Abbado a great conductor?

Right on. Even when the same names come up repeatedly, they can attract comments from new people, or even new thoughts and information from people who have written on the subject before. Messages of the "I've read that before" kind are easy enough to skip past, and not a high price to pay.
by John F
Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:02 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is Claudio Abbado a great conductor?
Replies: 82
Views: 5521

Re: Is Claudio Abbado a great conductor?

Neeme Järvi may not be a great conductor, but he's an uncommonly useful one. Who else has performed and recorded so much good music that the rest of the musical world seems to have no time for? Such as the Miaskovsky Symphony #6, an extraordinary work all but unknown outside Russia until Järvi, his ...
by John F
Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?
Replies: 58
Views: 3268

Re: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?

So that's how it was. Lorin Maazel reportedly became the New York Philharmonic music director partly because the players liked his "efficient" rehearsal methods during a two-week stint as guest conductor. These included ending a rehearsal early and letting the players go. Kind of like letting the st...
by John F
Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:46 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Voters Fail the Test
Replies: 14
Views: 884

Re: Voters Fail the Test

Not bad!
by John F
Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:07 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Voters Fail the Test
Replies: 14
Views: 884

Re: Voters Fail the Test

What's most surprising and disappointing is that elected officials did even worse on this quiz than the people at large who voted them in. I should say, though, that the test is definitely not easy, many of the questions and answers (and the way they are written) are not at the high school level, an...
by John F
Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Voters Fail the Test
Replies: 14
Views: 884

Voters Fail the Test

washingtonpost.com Voters Fail the Test By Kathleen Parker Tuesday, November 25, 2008; 7:56 PM WASHINGTON -- So much for the wisdom of The People. A new report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) on the nation's civic literacy finds that most Americans are too ignorant to vote. Out of 2...
by John F
Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:30 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Rostropovich as Conductor
Replies: 21
Views: 1198

Re: Rostropovich as Conductor

I went to some of the concerts in Rostropovich's mammoth Shostakovich retrospective in the 1990s with the London Symphony, and sometimes he was "on" and other times he wasn't. To be expected with such a mercurial and spontaneous temperament as his. The Leningrad Symphony was definitely an "on" night...
by John F
Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:02 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?
Replies: 58
Views: 3268

Re: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?

Setting the clock back a little further, Abbado's tenure as music director of the Vienna State Opera began in 1986, when he gave up his position as the Chicago Symphony's principal guest conductor. So if the search for Solti's successor began in 1986 or 1987, it would still have been too late to ask...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:12 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Russian Conductor Walks Out on Boston
Replies: 25
Views: 2110

Re: Russian Conductor Walks Out on Boston

His reaction seems hugely disproprotionate (based on the facts reported within this thread). He could have addressed the matter in any number of ways with the BSO, short of abruptly canceling four concerts on short notice. Disproportionate by what measure? What else might Rozhdestvensky and the Bos...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:34 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Rostropovich as Conductor
Replies: 21
Views: 1198

Re: Rostropovich as Conductor

I like the DG National Symphony 5th too - probably the recording I listen to most often. The first movement's central march-like episode with its radical accelerations and final crushing statement of the main theme in the low brass is a vivid drama of events you can almost see. The remake on Teldec ...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:51 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Sign of the Times
Replies: 9
Views: 684

Re: Sign of the Times

The latest I've heard about Circuit City is that they're closing 155 stores, leaving over 1000 open for business, including 8 in New York City. Indeed, this fall Circuit City opened a new store next to Lincoln Center in the space vacated by the late lamented Tower Records. (An unhappy choice?) They ...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Russian Conductor Walks Out on Boston
Replies: 25
Views: 2110

Re: Russian Conductor Walks Out on Boston

Put yourself in Rozhdestvensky's place for a moment. Suppose you are a 77-year-old world-famous conductor, particularly one who lived and worked for 60 years in a country where matters such as one's billing on posters was often a very serious matter indeed. (One might arrive at the concert hall or o...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:34 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top Music Schools in the UK (US?)
Replies: 14
Views: 708

Re: Top Music Schools in the UK (US?)

Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music is the largest in the US (at least it was the last time I checked) and has always had an enormous faculty full of distinguished active and retired performing artists. You'll find some familiar names in their voice faculty: http://info.music.indiana.edu/gro...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Romantic Period DANISH Piano Trios
Replies: 1
Views: 460

Re: Romantic Period DANISH Piano Trios

Friedrich Kühlau (1786-1832) was a Danish resident and citizen for most of his career, though born in Germany. Beethoven wrote a canon on his name, "Kühl, nicht lau," and thought well of his music, as do I. Three piano quartets and a violin sonata on the Marco Polo label are very attractive music, s...
by John F
Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?
Replies: 58
Views: 3268

Re: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?

I am puzzled as to why he got the position as conductor of the CSO in preference to - the great - Claudio Abbado. No need to be puzzled. If the Chicago Symphony actually approached Abbado, they were wasting their time, as two years previously he had been chosen by the Berlin Philharmonic to succeed...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?
Replies: 58
Views: 3268

Re: Is BARENBOIM a great conductor?

Rubato isn't just about "highlighting beautiful places in the music," if anybody still does that nowadays. It's also about dramatic/rhetorical effect and also structural articulation, as with Furtwängler, one of the musicians Barenboim most admires. (Cf. Furtwängler's rubato in the development of th...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:16 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: US Global Dominance Set to Wane
Replies: 27
Views: 728

Re: US Global Dominance Set to Wane

Well, China has very litte innovation, they import and/or steal technologies from others and also has an aging population. That used to be the rap on Japan, back in the '50s, and look where they are now. In many ways, China is positioned more advantageously now than Japan was in the aftermath of a ...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:01 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: World's Best Orchestras
Replies: 12
Views: 1178

Re: World's Best Orchestras

Leinsdorf may have gotten more disciplined playing from the National Symphony than Rostropovich, but to what end? For me, tidiness and polish are minor virtues when set in the balance. I would travel to Washington to hear what Rostropovich and his orchestra might achieve in music I care about, and s...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Rostropovich as Conductor
Replies: 21
Views: 1198

Re: Rostropovich as Conductor

For me, Rostropovich was possibly the most eloquent performer of his time, whether playing the cello or conducting. Indeed, I've often said he is the greatest musician I ever heard in person, and I still think so. He usually had very distinctive ideas about how a piece should go, often quite persona...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:24 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Erik Tuxen (friend of Carl Nielsen) plays Helios overture
Replies: 3
Views: 619

Re: Erik Tuxen (friend of Carl Nielsen) plays Helios overture

Those old Decca/London recordings of Nielsen with Tuxen and especially Thomas Jensen with the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra have a special quality to them. Good to hear the Helios Overture again. Youtube has become one of the few places online where you can hear complete transfers of audio r...
by John F
Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: World's Best Orchestras
Replies: 12
Views: 1178

Re: World's Best Orchestras

The Vienna Philharmonic hasn't named a music director since Clemens Krauss in the early 1930s. However, in their other capacity as the core of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, they have worked under many music directors, currently Seiji Ozawa and with Franz Welser-Möst beginning in 2010. Opera dire...