Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

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THEHORN
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Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by THEHORN » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:46 am

Are there some recordings of certain works people here initially disliked but
heard sometime later and changed their minds about? Or vice versa?
I got to know Bruckner 3 about 40 years ago as a teenager from the Columbia LP with Szell and Cleveland, when I was becoming a Bruckner fan. I hadn't yet developed my tastes in evaluating performances , and I thought it was a terrific performance.
I recently heard it on CD, and didn't like the performance as much ,having heard so many other recordings by the likes of Boehm,Karajan, Knappertsbusch ,
and Inbal etc.
Yes, it was still played to technical perfection, but there was something lacking interpretively I just couldn't put my finger on, and the sound seemed dry and greyish ,like the Columbia /CBS orchestra recordings in general have always always seemed to me.
I've come to like some recordings by Toscanini,Giulini and Ormandy more though,
but I still think Philadelphia orchestra never sounded quite right in Austro-German repertoire, the woodwinds and brass in particular.
Sometimes when you hear recording after quite a long time,even many years, I guess your reaction can change. What about other CMGers?

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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:58 am

Many of the Telefunken recordings of Bach from the late 60s and early 70s, which helped launch the HIP phenomenon, don't sound quite as wonderful in places as they did when they were the only such things available. While revelatory and still having much on them that is wonderful (I've saved every one I ever had), they have rough edges that are more apparent now that there are many subsequent documents of the same music.

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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:09 am

Yes, a lot of times... :wink:
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Barry
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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by Barry » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:11 am

When I first started listening to and buying classical music, Beethoven's fifth was by far my favorite piece.

Back in those early days, I placed more emphasis on speed. Faster was better. I didn't know from conductors back then, but by chance, my first Beethoven fifth purchase was one of Klemperer's recordings, which obviously isn't very fast. I then bought what was then a new recording by Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra and loved it. I didn't think anything could be better than that recording.

Of course, as I moved along and started listening to recordings by a series of legendary Beethoven conductors, I discovered that my earlier view of the Muti recording was more than a tad skewed by the fact that I hadn't heard enough recordings to compare it to.
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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:25 am

Yes. When I first began listening to classical recordings, von Karajan seemed all the rage to this neophyte. I thought him definitive for damn near all orchestral music, especially the core "Germanic" repertoire, and bought more recordings by him than any other conductor. Over the years, however, as I was exposed to other approaches and other recordings, I found the textural clarity and nimbleness favored by some other conductors far more appealing, after which some of those HvK offerings lost their luster--the oft-praised '63 (?) LvB cycle, for instance.

On the other hand, some of the early period instrument recordings just sounded wrong to me. The tempos and pitches were off, the winds sounded squawky, the horns blatty, and the strings scratchy. Hogwood's Brandenburgs were my first HIPPI purchase, and it was a long time before I bought any more such recordings! Today, however, I've grown to love the period instrument sound and HIP performance styles...and though Hogwood is not my favorite, I still have those LPs, whereas Karajan's Brandenburgs have long since been disposed of!

I suspect that I often "imprint" on the first recording of a piece of music that I acquire, the one that "teaches" me to know and enjoy the work. Other recordings--especially as they deviate more radically from the approach familiar to me--often seem to fall short of my "standard" or "reference" recording--at least until I've heard them often enough to begin to approach them on their own terms and not as attempts to imitate that which I already know. The Hagens' LvB quartets sure ain't your grandfather's (or the Guarneris') Beethoven! René Jacobs's Cosi is a long way from Böhm's. Yet I've come to enjoy these later approaches to core repertoire at least as much as my old favorites, and sometimes even more.
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maestrob
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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by maestrob » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:57 am

Yes, of course, but not often.

Szell's Bruckner III (already mentioned) in but one example: I just think the CD transfer did not sound as good as the original LP, frankly.

Barbirolli's Mahler VI is another: Initially I was impressed by the grandeur of his slow opening tempo, now it simply sounds disjointed (just a tad faster, please!).

Many of the 1970's HIP recordings now sound dry and harsh to my ears: as people learned to play in that style, the recordings just got better and better.

OTOH, Karl Richter's Bach still sounds impressive, if a bit slow.

Sviatoslav Richter's (the pianist) Bach used to impress me mightily, now more nuanced playing has emerged that supersedes his. Same with Nikolayeva in Bach & Shostakovich.

More later.....

Chung
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Re: Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About Certain Recordings?

Post by Chung » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:32 pm

THEHORN wrote:Are there some recordings of certain works people here initially disliked but
heard sometime later and changed their minds about? Or vice versa?
I got to know Bruckner 3 about 40 years ago as a teenager from the Columbia LP with Szell and Cleveland, when I was becoming a Bruckner fan. I hadn't yet developed my tastes in evaluating performances , and I thought it was a terrific performance.
I recently heard it on CD, and didn't like the performance as much ,having heard so many other recordings by the likes of Boehm,Karajan, Knappertsbusch ,
and Inbal etc.
Yes, it was still played to technical perfection, but there was something lacking interpretively I just couldn't put my finger on, and the sound seemed dry and greyish ,like the Columbia /CBS orchestra recordings in general have always always seemed to me.
I've come to like some recordings by Toscanini,Giulini and Ormandy more though,
but I still think Philadelphia orchestra never sounded quite right in Austro-German repertoire, the woodwinds and brass in particular.
Sometimes when you hear recording after quite a long time,even many years, I guess your reaction can change. What about other CMGers?
Yeah. It comes with the territory of being an enthusiast of classical music.

A couple of examples:

I used to really treasure my copy of the Hungarian Rhapsodies played by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Masur released by Phillips. As I've heard other orchestras play them since then, I wouldn't place Phillips' disc as highly as I did before (although the way Masur and the Gewandhaus play some parts of No. 6 is still unsurpassed for me).

Recordings of Beethoven's symphonies are another example and one which many on this forum can relate to. I used to consider the 3rd and 5th as played by von Karajan leading the Berliners to be the respective reference versions but now it's Cluytens for the 3rd and C. Kleiber or Reiner for the 5th.

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