What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:24 pm

The other night I pulled out my DDD copy of Brahms First Symphony conducted by Herbert von Karajan with the BPO. The first notes sounded glorious. I probably had never even played this recording since I got a decent stereo a few years ago. I don't think any orchestra can match the dense kind of sound that the BPO made under von Karajan when it comes to crescendoes.
However, the opening of Brahms 1st is tricky because on a dime the wheels come off, and the composition sounds lost for a minute. As the symphony progressed I felt distinctly unsatisfied with what I was hearing, and continued to feel everything was off balance until the closing minutes of the Fourth Symphony. (Okay, I did sleep through part of it as well, but that cannot be helped in my cozy listening room at night, and I did miss the slow movement.)
The next night I decided to play Haitink's version of the same on LSO Live. How much better the whole thing sounded. Although the balance was not quite as good; Somehow the Karajan recording balanced full throttle horns and strings without one drowning out the other, I suppose through isolated miking and mixing. Not that that is good; it's somewhat un-natural. BUt the LSO Live crescendoes were no match for the BPO recording. But I didn't really care all that much about that. The opening of the Haitink performance went from ominous to whimsical and somehow made it work. And the performance as a whole was much more satisfying. I'm not trying to bang the drum for Haitink here; I don't have an opinion about which recording is the best ever for this composition. But my experience raised some questions for me.
But what do you think of von Karajan's recording legacy all these years later? I recall that he would regularly top listener's top conductor polls. Would he still? Was he even the best of his time?

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Barry » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:40 pm

I love that big wall-of-sound BPO sound profile for a lot of the music Karajan was good in. It was great for Bruckner and Strauss. In fact, I'd rate him as being as good as anyone in those two composers' music.

As far as things like the Brahms and Beethoven symphonies, as with Ormandy and the major Russian composers, he recorded the major symphonies three or four times each. I can generally pick out one of the recordings of each major piece as being top notch, and the other recordings as just okay. For instance, I love his Philharmonia recording of the Brahms 4th on EMI and the 60s DG recording of the Brahms 2nd. But overall, based on various live recordings I've heard, it's my impression that he went for broke and really pushed the BPO to play like mad-men to a much greater extent in the concert hall than he did in the recording studio. Some of his live Brahms that I've heard was Furtwangler-like in its intensity.

I wouldn't call him the best ever, but I still consider him to have been one of the greats; certainly one of my half dozen or so favorites when I think of all the recordings he made that I like by a range of composers (Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Strauss, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, etc.).
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1421
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:27 pm

HvK created a unique sound with the BPO and in focussing on that he lost the plot for a number of composers. Just take his LvB 9th either '63 or '70. He builds the tension nicely in I, has plenty of bounce in II, III is not too slow and then comes the choral movement. Ths ound is so congested that you can't hear the soloists properly and nor can you hear how the chorus are articulating Goethe's words. Now for Bruckner (as mentoned) this approach works well but for other composers where a leaner sound is required forget it.

That said, there is one choral work from HvK that i would urge everyone to hear. Verdi's Requiem with La Scala Milan and not the BPO.

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:36 pm

I wonder how much of that sound was the result of DG's recording engineers. There's a small exchange in the Stravinsky set between Stravinsky and a recording engineer. I think Stravinsky is asking the flute or some woodwind to play a little louder, and the recording engineer is telling him not to bother, that he'll turn it up in the mix. Now, I found that very interesting: the recording engineer telling the conductor what to do. This is the 60s when multi-track recording was relatively new. I have a feeling that the recording engineers may have had too much sway in those days, not through any fault of their own, but because conductors would not have understand the multi-track recording process. I mean, Stravinsky should have stood his ground there ... he'd certainly know better than an engineer if the flute was too soft. There are things in the sound you can't compensate for with a gain knob.
The emphasis today, I believe and I could easily be wrong, would be to let the conductor do his magic, and then pick the whole thing up with mike placement chosen to reflect the sound as naturally as possible, or at least with the greatest fidelity possible, without interference in the performance.
Pardon me for so much idle speculation, but made in the interest of stimulating some discussion on this.

I'm very fond of HvK's later Beethoven recordings, especially the Ninth. Although I can never say from memory which of the two last Ninths I have. (I have to check the CDs themselves.)

Tore
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:54 am
Location: Vindenes, Norway
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Tore » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:57 pm

I rank Karajan's late 60s Ring among my favourites. I also have a glorious Verdi Requiem on DVD from the same time period, from La Scala. It is my favourite Verdi Requiem. It's also very nice to watch a young Pavarotti along side the beautiful Leontyne Price.

Tore F Steenslid
www.steenslid.com
Sotra, Norway

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:26 pm

slofstra wrote:But what do you think of von Karajan's recording legacy all these years later? I recall that he would regularly top listener's top conductor polls. Would he still? Was he even the best of his time?
I've never cared for HvK's recordings. i heard him live once, many years back, it was OK - good.

He was no doubt a podium giant of his time - but others consistently surpass him in a wide range of repertoire.
My main complaint with Karajan is the monotonous [monotone-ous] sound he produced with the BPO - everything sounds the same - very rounded off, smooth, rich, creamy, gooey, even. he never allows hard-edges, sharp attacks, hard articulations. this results in an overly smoothed-off, glossy, rounded orchestral sound which quickly becomes tedious.
also, he was a wicked control freak - the orchestra was allowed only so much crescendo - so much fortissimo, so much accent or sforzando - IOW, it always sounds suppressed to me - as tho he were driving a fine sports car, but would never put it into top gear and let it rip. there was always a restraining hand on the reins. it never goes above 85% power.

other conductors - notably Reiner, Toscanini, Solti, Bernstein, Mravinsky, Stokowski will really let the orchestra go at the right time - definitely full throttle, swing for the fences - not all the time of course, but at the right dramatic moments - you get blown away totally. for me, that NEVER happens with an HvK performance.

also, I think poorly of any conductor who insists on conducting with his/her eyes closed. it is most disrespectful to the musicians, and definitely deprives the players of one of the main channels of communication with the conductor - eye contact. I don't think you can achieve really first-rate results by this flawed technique.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17752
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Lance » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:32 pm

I have never been a huge fan of HvK. That said, he has done some wonderful things in the world of music. I still consider his 1963 DGG version of the complete Beethoven symphonies to be among the best I have ever heard insofar as integral sets are concerned. Hard as I try, I cannot totally divorce myself from his Nazi background from his music making. Yes, I have lots and lots of his recordings and they do get frequent listenings.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

HoustonDavid
Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:57 pm

I agree with you Lance: the '63 DGG version of the complete Beethoven symphonies
is one of the best "complete" sets ever recorded, and many critics concur. It is the
reason I have it in my rather limited collection. I have many other Beethoven symphony
recordings, but HvK's is my only complete set.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

bricon
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 10:38 pm
Location: Sydney/Australia

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by bricon » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:18 pm

When I first started to seriously collect recordings (about 40 years ago) I bought a lot of HvK material – in the past 20 years or so very little with him at the helm.

I think a problem with “label” conductors like HvK (DGG), Solti (Decca), Ormandy and Szell (CBS) etc is that they are forced to cover so much ground repertoire wise. Their labels wanted them to record anything and everything, whether they were suited to a piece or not.

I find HvK’s most satisfying recordings to be operas produced for EMI, predominantly from the 1950s – Ariadne auf Naxos, Der Rosenkavelier, Falstaff and Pelléas et Mélisande immediately come to mind.

THEHORN
Posts: 2567
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:57 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by THEHORN » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm

Karajan was of course not a perfect conductor; such a creature has never existed and never will. He was certainly fallible, but on the whole I admire him greatly.
His musicianship was formadible. He was no mere shallow,slick glamor boy despite his glamorous public image, but a musician of vast experience,knowledge , technical skill and interpetive imagination.
He had a very wide repertoire,ranging from Bach to the 20th century and was at home in not only the Austro/German repertoire which was in his blood, but French,Russian,Italian,Scandinavian music etc.
He perfomed quite a few works live which he never recorded commerically.
He was one of the greatest opera conductors of the 20th century.
In Italian opera, he could bring fresh insights into operas by Verdi and Puccini etc which have too often been led by hack routiniers giving their umpteenth humdrum performance.
At his best, Karajan's performaces could be absolutely spellbinding.
He was the absolute master of such composers as Wagner,Bruckner, and Richard Strauss to name only some, and even when his performances were somewhat eccentric and willful and possibly "unidiomatic", they were not boring.
Some critics despised his conducting or at least found it objectionable in some ways. He was accused of reducing music to beautiful ultra-smooth sounds, of egotistical and narcissisitic (where have I heard that term before?) interpretations, of soullessness, being a control freak etc.
But he never left listeners indifferent.
I never found his conducting in any way deserving of contempt ,and often worthy of the highest praise.

stenka razin
CMG's Chief Decorator
Posts: 4005
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:59 am
Location: In The Steppes Of Central Asia

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by stenka razin » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:27 pm

THEHORN wrote:Karajan was of course not a perfect conductor; such a creature has never existed and never will. He was certainly fallible, but on the whole I admire him greatly.
His musicianship was formadible. He was no mere shallow,slick glamor boy despite his glamorous public image, but a musician of vast experience,knowledge , technical skill and interpetive imagination.
He had a very wide repertoire,ranging from Bach to the 20th century and was at home in not only the Austro/German repertoire which was in his blood, but French,Russian,Italian,Scandinavian music etc.
He perfomed quite a few works live which he never recorded commerically.
He was one of the greatest opera conductors of the 20th century.
In Italian opera, he could bring fresh insights into operas by Verdi and Puccini etc which have too often been led by hack routiniers giving their umpteenth humdrum performance.
At his best, Karajan's performaces could be absolutely spellbinding.
He was the absolute master of such composers as Wagner,Bruckner, and Richard Strauss to name only some, and even when his performances were somewhat eccentric and willful and possibly "unidiomatic", they were not boring.
Some critics despised his conducting or at least found it objectionable in some ways. He was accused of reducing music to beautiful ultra-smooth sounds, of egotistical and narcissisitic (where have I heard that term before?) interpretations, of soullessness, being a control freak etc.
But he never left listeners indifferent.
I never found his conducting in any way deserving of contempt ,and often worthy of the highest praise.

This is a wonderful and very fair assessment and I agree with your sentiments concerning Karajan. 8)
Image

arthound
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:26 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by arthound » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:42 pm

There are a number of works I wish HVK had recorded as I would love to hear how he would have made them sound. Particulary Shostakovich's 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies. Mahler 2, Nielsen 5, and Prokofiev 7 would also have been interesting. I recall reading somewhere that he offered to record the Shostakovich 5th for EMI but they didn't take it up - this may just be gossip though!

I understand the criticisms but still think that the sonority he got from the BPO is amazing. I don't hold that DDD set of Brahms up as a reference version but wouldn't want to be without it. That a group of people playing acoustic instruments can create such a sound is testament to his skill.

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:18 pm

I've never heard an HvK peformance or recording that I would consider spell-binding.

the lack of orchestral color and variety makes them soporific, if anything. the same approach for everything.
I've tried many times to get into his music-making, but it never works for me. I'll agree, that the operas may be the best of it - he was a generally a good accompanist for singers - but again, the suppression is a negative for me.

I think generally the VPO recordings are better than the BPO ones - Vienna is less likely to give in regarding the sound they produce. the VPO has its sound, and is only going to modify it so much for anyone.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by josé echenique » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:38 pm

For a spellbinding Karajan recording I would nominate his DG Parsifal, beautiful beyond what´s humanly possible. Here the Berlin Philharmonic plays like a mighty organ, with strings so refined and lustrous that they defy description. Sure, it´s not a religious experience like Knappertsbusch´s Bayreuth recordings, but it´s pretty damn close.
I heard Karajan live both with the BPO and the VPO. He did procure a personal sound like Stokowski´s in Philadelphia, It didn´t work the same for all his repertoire, but at it´s best it was a miracle.

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:06 pm

josé echenique wrote:I heard Karajan live both with the BPO and the VPO. He did procure a personal sound like Stokowski´s in Philadelphia, .
the VPO generally sounds brighter, more aggressive, louder than the BPO under HvK.
he still tried to mute things down, but I don't think the VPO was as willing to comply as fully.

scytheavatar
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:45 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by scytheavatar » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:14 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:That said, there is one choral work from HvK that i would urge everyone to hear. Verdi's Requiem with La Scala Milan and not the BPO.
Yeah, that is without a doubt the best recording he has ever made, of course he was helped by assembling an absurdly mouth watering cast of Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto and Ghiaurov. I think if you collect enough of his material it'll become obvious that his best works are from the 50's and 60's, back when he still had the fire in his belly and before his polishing became an overpolishing. It's a pity too that he didn't record more 20th century classical music, because he fares much better with those works than the works of Beethoven/Mozart/Brahms etc.

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17659
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:38 am

Everything about Him and his Music, especially the pretentious/insulting way he Conducts with his eyes closed as if he was a divine being, except the Early Operas on EMI with Callas, Schwartzkopf etc, and, as Barry says, Bruckner and Strauss on DG...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17659
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:50 am

josé echenique wrote:For a spellbinding Karajan recording I would nominate his DG Parsifal, beautiful beyond what´s humanly possible. Here the Berlin Philharmonic plays like a mighty organ, with strings so refined and lustrous that they defy description. Sure, it´s not a religious experience like Knappertsbusch´s Bayreuth recordings, but it´s pretty damn close.
Gergiev just made that into a Trio of Great Parsival's...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17659
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:52 am

Tore wrote:I rank Karajan's late 60s Ring among my favourites. I also have a glorious Verdi Requiem on DVD from the same time period, from La Scala. It is my favourite Verdi Requiem. It's also very nice to watch a young Pavarotti along side the beautiful Leontyne Price.
That Verdi DVD was Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and is one of the finest Live Performance Videos ever made...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17752
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Lance » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:20 am

slofstra wrote:{snipped} But what do you think of von Karajan's recording legacy all these years later? I recall that he would regularly top listener's top conductor polls. Would he still? Was he even the best of his time?
Image
[von Karajan - eyes closed]

All these years after von Karajan's passing [1908-1989], the conductor has the distinction of having made recordings in the 78-rpm electrical period (I don't believe he recorded in acoustic 78-rpm era, but I could be wrong), into tape and monaural recording, and into stereophonic and eventually into digital recording. His recorded legacy? It much runs the gamut of the best technology. To be sure—and by anybody's standards, and in a word—it's impressive. Karajan had the good fortune of recording with three major companies thus giving him the best engineers, most sophisticated equipment, and venues with, first, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Decca. He also recorded to a far lesser degree with RCA Victor and Philips. The two major orchestras were, of course, the Berlin PO and the Vienna PO, but there were myriad other orchestras as well, throughout Europe. He also recorded prolifically with the Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the finest "recording" orchestras ever assembled. The sheer "sound" of his recordings was a huge drawing card, after all, the BPO and VPO are among the world's most top-ranking orchestras, so sales of his records would be strong. Would he still rank in the top today? If he continued to conduct at his best (like he did in the early-to-mid 1960s and 1970s), he probably would rank in the top. Was he the best of his time? I would say he wasn't the best of his total time, but certainly would rank in the top eight or so. Insofar as the 1950s are concerned, we still had Toscanini, Furtwängler (these two until around the mid-1950s), Mitropoulos, Szell, Walter, Reiner, Monteux, Bernstein, Rodzinski, Stokowski, and myriad other conductors that were at the top.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

stenka razin
CMG's Chief Decorator
Posts: 4005
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:59 am
Location: In The Steppes Of Central Asia

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by stenka razin » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:27 am

I was lucky enough to see Karajan conduct at the Met in 1967, Wganer 'Die Walkure' with Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers. I have never heard a lovlier version of this great opera. Maybe, if many of my fellow CMGers had seen HvK in person, they would think more of his charismatic greatness. 8)
Image

jserraglio
Posts: 4832
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:40 am

I like the Karajan esp the early 60's Beethoven cycle before he morphed into HvK.

BTW, The notable Viennese contralto Hilde Rössel-Majdan, one of Karajan's soloists in the Ninth died last week. I like all of her recordings.

John F
Posts: 19974
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by John F » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:03 am

Heck148 wrote:
josé echenique wrote:I heard Karajan live both with the BPO and the VPO. He did procure a personal sound like Stokowski´s in Philadelphia, .
the VPO generally sounds brighter, more aggressive, louder than the BPO under HvK. he still tried to mute things down, but I don't think the VPO was as willing to comply as fully.
I think you might be describing the Vienna Philharmonic's sound when Karajan and others recorded with it for Decca/London, and the record company favored a more brilliant, if you like more aggressive sound quality than EMI or DG. This may also have had to do with the Sofiensaal, Decca's favored recording venue in Vienna, though that's just a guess. The first Karajan/VPO recording for Decca was Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra" - Karajan's choice - and the opening with its blazing brass was a hi-fi showpiece. (It also impressed Stanley Kubrick.) But I've never heard the VPO sound like that in person, either in New York or in the Musikvereinsaal, which is why I suspect that it may not have been Karajan but Culshaw et al who got the sound you speak of.

DG say they recorded the VPO in the Musikvereinsaal. I don't have that kind of information about EMI's VPO recordings but believe they did likewise. Both companies used producers and sound engineers of Karajan's choice, giving him more control over the recorded sound of the VPO than he had with Decca.

Back on topic: Karajan was undoubtedly one of the great conductors of the 20th century, and some of his many, many recordings show it, but far from all. He made far too many, sometimes of music he didn't care about but his record wanted from him (Adam's "Giselle"!), sometimes of trivial music on which his gifts were wasted: three versions of the ballet music from Gounod's "Faust," an LP of German marches with the Berlin Phil's winds and brass. My own favorites tend to be the opera recordings, especially the earlier ones with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Walter Legge's luxurious casting (and critical ear in the control room), but also some of the later ones such as the "Parsifal" that's been mentioned.

P.S. Sorry to hear of Hilde Rössl-Majdan's death. She was part of the Vienna State Opera's ensemble when it had such a thing, and often sang lead mezzo roles in German and Italian opera when the house didn't import a star as guest. Which meant she rarely sang such roles in commercial recordings by major companies, but those who heard her in the house know her value.
John Francis

maestrob
Posts: 5712
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:51 am

HVK was a great conductor, no question, and like any great conductor he had his moments of weakness. Frankly, I don't care for his Brahms symphonies (lack of tempo discipline), but I do like his German Requiem very much precisely because of the atmosphere HVK generates. In addition, HVK was a superb R. Strauss conductor: get whatever you can in that repertoire. Also, count me in as a rave review for his 1963 Beethoven set: the reason it's so great is that HVK simply did what Toscanini did in his mono set a decade earlier, except HVK changed some of the repeats. Very, very fine conducting, and his best version of the 9. I like his pacing in Bruckner, but the sound DGG produced in that era tends to be constricted in some climaxes.

As for his operatic work: I find it a mixed bag: The Pagliacci is awful slow, his Tosca w/Price/Corelli has wonderful singing but not very slear conducting in spots: his Trovatore w/Price is stunning, and the Rosenkavalier w/Schwarzkopf (the one on film) is just awesome and achingly beautiful, just for a few examples.

I heard him live in a Bruckner VIII in Carnegie Hall and was not impressed with the pacing, but the SOUND was glorious.

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Barry » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:08 pm

Chalkperson wrote:... and, as Barry says, Bruckner and Strauss on DG...
The Bruckner on EMI is outstanding too (at least 4 and 7; I haven't heard the EMI 8th).
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Fergus
Posts: 4197
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:06 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Fergus » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:30 pm

Count me in also as a fan of HvK in general and I especially like what he did with R Strauss and Sibelius.

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:33 pm

stenka razin wrote:I was lucky enough to see Karajan conduct at the Met in 1967, Wganer 'Die Walkure' with Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers. I have never heard a lovlier version of this great opera. Maybe, if many of my fellow CMGers had seen HvK in person, they would think more of his charismatic greatness. 8)
You sure it wasn't reflected charisma off Vickers?

Wallingford
Posts: 4534
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Wallingford » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:53 pm

I see no need for cutting or carping remarks about Karajan--no more than any other maestro who's practically recorded everything. Quality control is always bound to slip. But Karajan's reputation is justified, when measured by such things as his Beethoven Seventh: a perfect one, touched only by Cantelli's.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

stenka razin
CMG's Chief Decorator
Posts: 4005
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:59 am
Location: In The Steppes Of Central Asia

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by stenka razin » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:23 pm

slofstra wrote:
stenka razin wrote:I was lucky enough to see Karajan conduct at the Met in 1967, Wganer 'Die Walkure' with Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers. I have never heard a lovlier version of this great opera. Maybe, if many of my fellow CMGers had seen HvK in person, they would think more of his charismatic greatness. 8)
You sure it wasn't reflected charisma off Vickers?
Henry, Vickers was great, but isn't he always? Nilsson was even better and Karajan absolutely set the Met Orchestra on fire, my friend and kept the audience in rapture............Really....... :wink: :mrgreen:

Regards,
Mel 8)
Image

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:59 am

Good points and balanced perspective. Because there seems to be consensus on his pre-mid-60s work, and less so on his 60s output, I'm still wondering if early multi-track recording technology is partly to blame for the blended, smooth sound of some of the BPO recordings. Of course, the Brahms CD is 80s DDD technology.
Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?

scytheavatar
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:45 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by scytheavatar » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:06 pm

slofstra wrote:Good points and balanced perspective. Because there seems to be consensus on his pre-mid-60s work, and less so on his 60s output, I'm still wondering if early multi-track recording technology is partly to blame for the blended, smooth sound of some of the BPO recordings. Of course, the Brahms CD is 80s DDD technology.
Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?
To me it blows apart most of his contemporaries including the Solti, Bernstein, Bohm and Klemperer sets. Karajan's lighter, faster, more string dominated sound is closer to the newer HIP inspired sets than the 70's/80's highly romanticized style of Karajan's peers. But of course nowadays you have sets like the Abbado, Zinman and Wand sets that are an equal if not surpasses Karajan's performances, and this is just limiting ourselves to the modern instrument sets. And even through the crappy, barely tolerable mono sound you can hear clearly that Karajan is not fit to lick the boots of Furtwängler, but then again which conductor is? What killed Karajan's magic is probably more of him recording too much and not concentrating on his best than his actual ability or that of DG's engineers (whom certainly overproducts some records but not to the extent that some make it out to be). The likes of Beethoven and Brahms is far from what Karajan is best at, you need to look at the already mentioned Bruckner, Strauss, Sibelius, Mahler, Wagner, Puccini and Verdi to hear Karajan at his best. Heck, to me he's probably a better Schubert conductor (and a very underrated one) than a Beethoven conductor.

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:09 pm

I think HvK was at best a very mediocre conductor of Richard Strauss.
he certainly understood the scores well enough - it's just that the sound is so heavy, round and overly smooth that too many of the important inside parts are obscured...
also - the pedal NEVER goes to the metal, which it should certainly do in Strauss.
his Beethoven is too smooth, too legato, not forceful enough for me. Beethovenneeds some hard edges - he wrote them in, they need to be brought out.

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by piston » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:47 pm

His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by josé echenique » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:03 pm

piston wrote:His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
I think he did love Italy. In the 50´s and 60´s his Verdi was uncommonly good: the Gobbi Falstaff, the Callas Trovatore and the del Monaco Otello for example. And he was aways good in Puccini, even in the latter years. Sure, his Turandot was ruined with the atrocious casting of Katia Ricciarelli, but he does have his moments with that score. I think he also did well with Respighi.
But I can´t imagine him conducting Elgar or Copland, even if he did record The Planets.
Does anyone know if he ever tried the Enigma Variations?

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Barry » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:07 pm

josé echenique wrote:
piston wrote:His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
I think he did love Italy. In the 50´s and 60´s his Verdi was uncommonly good: the Gobbi Falstaff, the Callas Trovatore and the del Monaco Otello for example. And he was aways good in Puccini, even in the latter years. Sure, his Turandot was ruined with the atrocious casting of Katia Ricciarelli, but he does have his moments with that score. I think he also did well with Respighi.
But I can´t imagine him conducting Elgar or Copland, even if he did record The Planets.
Does anyone know if he ever tried the Enigma Variations?
He made some outstanding recordings of Russian music. I think that big, somewhat blended sound was good for Russian romantic music (I feel the same way about the Stokowski/Ormandy Philadelphia sound).
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by piston » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:27 pm

But then his generation did have some degree of affection for Italy, both political and cultural. I suppose that they saw the Italians as the "light" side of classical music.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

dirkronk
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 11:16 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by dirkronk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:05 pm

slofstra wrote: Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?
Yes. Two: the entire 6th symphony and the first movement of the 9th. In fact, here's my response on this very forum about four years ago when someone was contemplating an outlay of twenty bucks for the full set:

"...if you want HvK in Beethoven, the early '60s set is the one to go for. It was my first integral set of Ludwig's symphonies. Sonics aren't great but are far more natural in perspective and balance than the later efforts, and although Karajan rushes some movements rather badly (the 9.i and portions of 9.ii show him and the orchestra almost going in different directions, trying to keep up with each other, and that can grow old with repeat listening), the performances can certainly be heard as thrilling. The 3rd and 5th work well this way, I think, the 4th and 7th good too but not quite as totally convincing. The 6th, however, is pathetic...rushed yet "blenderized"...one of Karajan's real duds, and listenable only if you do not know and already love the music. At $20, then, the experiment won't set you back much and will surely provide a good intro. Do plan to supplement later with alternate performances of the 6th. Allow me to suggest, though, that you check your local library. This Karajan cycle is so ubiquitous that you just might find it there (MY library has it), so you can listen free before you decide on the used set."

I haven't really changed my mind since then. If you want more specifics, just say. Otherwise, I'll let those words suffice (I was somewhat more succinct in those comments than I usually am! :lol: )

Cheers,

Dirk

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:11 am

dirkronk wrote:
slofstra wrote: Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?
yes. there are so many better ones :D

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:51 am

scytheavatar wrote:
slofstra wrote:Good points and balanced perspective. Because there seems to be consensus on his pre-mid-60s work, and less so on his 60s output, I'm still wondering if early multi-track recording technology is partly to blame for the blended, smooth sound of some of the BPO recordings. Of course, the Brahms CD is 80s DDD technology.
Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?
To me it blows apart most of his contemporaries including the Solti, Bernstein, Bohm and Klemperer sets. Karajan's lighter, faster, more string dominated sound is closer to the newer HIP inspired sets than the 70's/80's highly romanticized style of Karajan's peers. But of course nowadays you have sets like the Abbado, Zinman and Wand sets that are an equal if not surpasses Karajan's performances, and this is just limiting ourselves to the modern instrument sets. And even through the crappy, barely tolerable mono sound you can hear clearly that Karajan is not fit to lick the boots of Furtwängler, but then again which conductor is? What killed Karajan's magic is probably more of him recording too much and not concentrating on his best than his actual ability or that of DG's engineers (whom certainly overproducts some records but not to the extent that some make it out to be). The likes of Beethoven and Brahms is far from what Karajan is best at, you need to look at the already mentioned Bruckner, Strauss, Sibelius, Mahler, Wagner, Puccini and Verdi to hear Karajan at his best. Heck, to me he's probably a better Schubert conductor (and a very underrated one) than a Beethoven conductor.
It's interesting that you've listed all the composers "Bruckner, Strauss, Sibelius, Mahler, Wagner, Puccini and Verdi" I'm least interested in (note, least interested, not uninterested), with the exception of Sibelius. I have listened to HvK recently for his Tchaikovsky symphonies and also Smetana. The latter, might be out of ignorance as I have only a smattering of Smetana in my collection. (And a composer I am highly inclined to explore further esp through Karl Ancerl's work.)

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:02 am

Heck148 wrote:I think HvK was at best a very mediocre conductor of Richard Strauss.
he certainly understood the scores well enough - it's just that the sound is so heavy, round and overly smooth that too many of the important inside parts are obscured...
also - the pedal NEVER goes to the metal, which it should certainly do in Strauss.
his Beethoven is too smooth, too legato, not forceful enough for me. Beethovenneeds some hard edges - he wrote them in, they need to be brought out.
Speaking of pedal to the metal, I can't abide Elektra. Does anyone else feel that way? My impression, probably unfair and hastily formed, is of Wagner on steroids. Not that Wagner needed any more pumping up already. For years I avoided Richard Strauss because of the impression formed by that opera, and then one day discovered Der Rosenkavalier, not to mention many of his other songs and orchestral work.

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:05 am

josé echenique wrote:
piston wrote:His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
I think he did love Italy. In the 50´s and 60´s his Verdi was uncommonly good: the Gobbi Falstaff, the Callas Trovatore and the del Monaco Otello for example. And he was aways good in Puccini, even in the latter years. Sure, his Turandot was ruined with the atrocious casting of Katia Ricciarelli, but he does have his moments with that score. I think he also did well with Respighi.
But I can´t imagine him conducting Elgar or Copland, even if he did record The Planets.
Does anyone know if he ever tried the Enigma Variations?
Does he show any specific tendencies in how he cast sopranoes?

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:10 am

Barry wrote:
josé echenique wrote:
piston wrote:His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
I think he did love Italy. In the 50´s and 60´s his Verdi was uncommonly good: the Gobbi Falstaff, the Callas Trovatore and the del Monaco Otello for example. And he was aways good in Puccini, even in the latter years. Sure, his Turandot was ruined with the atrocious casting of Katia Ricciarelli, but he does have his moments with that score. I think he also did well with Respighi.
But I can´t imagine him conducting Elgar or Copland, even if he did record The Planets.
Does anyone know if he ever tried the Enigma Variations?
He made some outstanding recordings of Russian music. I think that big, somewhat blended sound was good for Russian romantic music (I feel the same way about the Stokowski/Ormandy Philadelphia sound).

I like the Tchaikovsky symphony set that I have, very much. Can you suggest anything else in the Russian ouevre?

You would think HvK's Mendelssohn would be good, but for years I thought that I did not like Mendelssohn's symphonies all that much because of owning HvK's set. My opinion changed entirely when I heard Abbado's set. Karajan's is wooden by comparison.

As far as Ormandy & Philadelphia, when are we going to see some kind of omnibus CD set? I would spring for that in a hurry.

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:20 am

dirkronk wrote:
slofstra wrote: Anyway, I have passed over that 1963 Beethoven symphony set so many times; I am going to have to get it next time it's on sale. Does anyone have any reservations about this set?
Yes. Two: the entire 6th symphony and the first movement of the 9th. In fact, here's my response on this very forum about four years ago when someone was contemplating an outlay of twenty bucks for the full set:

"...if you want HvK in Beethoven, the early '60s set is the one to go for. It was my first integral set of Ludwig's symphonies. Sonics aren't great but are far more natural in perspective and balance than the later efforts, and although Karajan rushes some movements rather badly (the 9.i and portions of 9.ii show him and the orchestra almost going in different directions, trying to keep up with each other, and that can grow old with repeat listening), the performances can certainly be heard as thrilling. The 3rd and 5th work well this way, I think, the 4th and 7th good too but not quite as totally convincing. The 6th, however, is pathetic...rushed yet "blenderized"...one of Karajan's real duds, and listenable only if you do not know and already love the music. At $20, then, the experiment won't set you back much and will surely provide a good intro. Do plan to supplement later with alternate performances of the 6th. Allow me to suggest, though, that you check your local library. This Karajan cycle is so ubiquitous that you just might find it there (MY library has it), so you can listen free before you decide on the used set."

I haven't really changed my mind since then. If you want more specifics, just say. Otherwise, I'll let those words suffice (I was somewhat more succinct in those comments than I usually am! :lol: )

Cheers,

Dirk
I have many renditions of the 6th. What would you think about the idea of Bernstein's recording as the anti-thesis of HvKs, for that era?

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:27 am

stenka razin wrote:
slofstra wrote:
stenka razin wrote:I was lucky enough to see Karajan conduct at the Met in 1967, Wganer 'Die Walkure' with Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers. I have never heard a lovlier version of this great opera. Maybe, if many of my fellow CMGers had seen HvK in person, they would think more of his charismatic greatness. 8)
You sure it wasn't reflected charisma off Vickers?
Henry, Vickers was great, but isn't he always? Nilsson was even better and Karajan absolutely set the Met Orchestra on fire, my friend and kept the audience in rapture............Really....... :wink: :mrgreen:

Regards,
Mel 8)
Chalkie would understand why I single out Vickers. :) But that must be a great memory to have, really, a historically significant performance, given the cast alone. I did see Jon Vickers perform with our local orchestra, I think it was a farewell tour in Canada when he was about to retire. This was one of my very first experiences in seeing a classical music performance and Vickers' singing of some arias from the Ring made my neck hairs stand on end. It helped to set me on the road of attending classical music concerts as a lifetime passion.

THEHORN
Posts: 2567
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:57 am

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by THEHORN » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:42 am

Elektra is without a doubt one of Strauss's greatest works,but unfortunately,Karajan never recorded it,which is a shame,because from all reports his live performances were phenomenal.
Strauss himself attended a performance of Elektra conducted by the young Karajan,was very impressed and congratulated him.
I don't agree at all with the description of the sound Karajan got from orchestras. To me,it was always an exceptionally rich,warm,chocolatey sound, and filled with prismatic colors,yet he could also be highly incisive rhthmically.
By comparison, the Stokowski sound could be merely garish and bloated, the Ormandy sound bland and oily, and the Szell/Cleveland sound dry,grayish and brittle.
Unlike the rather bland,oily Philadelphia woodwinds,the Berlin WW ,particularly the pungent oboes, were much more flavorful, and Philadelphia brass,though excellent technically,always sounded relatively thin compared to their dark,weighy Berlin counterparts.

slofstra
Posts: 8901
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by slofstra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:57 am

THEHORN wrote:Elektra is without a doubt one of Strauss's greatest works,but unfortunately,Karajan never recorded it,which is a shame,because from all reports his live performances were phenomenal.
Strauss himself attended a performance of Elektra conducted by the young Karajan,was very impressed and congratulated him.
I don't agree at all with the description of the sound Karajan got from orchestras. To me,it was always an exceptionally rich,warm,chocolatey sound, and filled with prismatic colors,yet he could also be highly incisive rhthmically.
By comparison, the Stokowski sound could be merely garish and bloated, the Ormandy sound bland and oily, and the Szell/Cleveland sound dry,grayish and brittle.
Unlike the rather bland,oily Philadelphia woodwinds,the Berlin WW ,particularly the pungent oboes, were much more flavorful, and Philadelphia brass,though excellent technically,always sounded relatively thin compared to their dark,weighy Berlin counterparts.
It doesn't sound like people are disagreeing about the character of the sound as much as whether or not they like the result. These all seem to be more issues of taste than of competence. Also, I think listeners "hear" very differently. We all balance rhythm, pitch, colour, timbre, dynamics differently when we listen. Pitch will be a very important element for a piano tuner (eh, Lance?), whereas someone else may be more attuned to the rhythmic and dynamic aspects of a work. And then even within those compartments we all have our preferences and react differently to different effects.
To take one example, I've never heard horns the way you hear them on a Mravinsky recording. Perhaps the sound of those horns is deeply tied to the Russian musical tradition. They are jarring when you first hear them, but you get used to them, and start to like the sound. Maybe a big part of HvK's 60s sound was in trying to reach the average listener of the day. I can still remember the preceding generation riding around in their Lincoln Mark VIs while the cushy sounds of Mantovani floated in on the easy listening station. Everything was cushy, the slushy handling of those boat-like cars, the muffled sound from the car hi-fi, the dulcet tones of the radio announcer. HvK and the BPO would fit right into all that.

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Barry » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:38 pm

slofstra wrote:
Barry wrote:
josé echenique wrote:
piston wrote:His Germanic take on any work he chose to perform, whatever the cultural origin of that work. Karajan is a formidable expression of ethnocentrism. Everything must be understood through his cultural prism, his alone.

In a nutshell, this Germany lover could not love any other country.
I think he did love Italy. In the 50´s and 60´s his Verdi was uncommonly good: the Gobbi Falstaff, the Callas Trovatore and the del Monaco Otello for example. And he was aways good in Puccini, even in the latter years. Sure, his Turandot was ruined with the atrocious casting of Katia Ricciarelli, but he does have his moments with that score. I think he also did well with Respighi.
But I can´t imagine him conducting Elgar or Copland, even if he did record The Planets.
Does anyone know if he ever tried the Enigma Variations?
He made some outstanding recordings of Russian music. I think that big, somewhat blended sound was good for Russian romantic music (I feel the same way about the Stokowski/Ormandy Philadelphia sound).

I like the Tchaikovsky symphony set that I have, very much. Can you suggest anything else in the Russian ouevre? ...

As far as Ormandy & Philadelphia, when are we going to see some kind of omnibus CD set? I would spring for that in a hurry.
I like Karajan's recording of Scheherazade very much, as well as his Prokofiev 5th. Also, while I don't have either of his recordings of the Shostakovich 10th, I've repeatedly seen them praised on line over the years.

As for Ormandy, I've mentioned before that I think a lot of his best work came at the end of the mono era in the early to mid 50s. Pristine Audio offers a few good Ormandy recordings from that period either as a Flac download or on CD. They do a great job with sound quality at Pristine, but they aren't cheap. I especially recommend the disc or download with the Sibelius 4th and 5th from the early 50s if you have any interest in checking that out. http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeW ... ASC177.php
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:57 pm

slofstra wrote:Speaking of pedal to the metal, I can't abide Elektra. ... For years I avoided Richard Strauss because of the impression formed by that opera, and then one day discovered Der Rosenkavalier, not to mention many of his other songs and orchestral work.
It is reallyhyper-neurotic, pshhotic stuff, same with Salome - blood vengeance and blood-lust just spilling over...

for complete versions - try Nilsson/Solti/VPO/Decca

for excerpts - the Reiner/CSO disc with Inge Borkh is absolutely top-notch....the best I've heard...the conducting is totally riveting... the orchestra playing is absolutely carnivorous and Borkh makes a wonderfully hysterical "heroine".

dirkronk
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 11:16 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by dirkronk » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:20 am

slofstra wrote: I have many renditions of the 6th. What would you think about the idea of Bernstein's recording as the anti-thesis of HvKs, for that era?
Sorry, slofstra...I can't give a considered opinion for that suggestion: it's been too many years since I heard Bernstein's New York 6th (and I've only heard his DGG 6th once or twice and do not own it). Of the ones I do know, I'd have to say that Klemperer's stereo 6th would have to qualify as the literal antithesis of Herbie's...s-s-s-s-l-o-w but with tunes nicely pointed versus Karajan's fast but with mushy tunes.

Me, I'll take Walter/ColSO over just about any others out there; runners-up, a live Carlos Kleiber, Masur/Gewandhaus, Bohm/VPO and a few others. But, of course, all this is just my opinion.

Cheers,

Dirk

Heck148
Posts: 3515
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: What do you like or dislike about HvK?

Post by Heck148 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:29 am

dirkronk wrote: Me, I'll take Walter/ColSO over just about any others out there;
Reiner/CSO for me, a wonderful recording - Solti and Szell are very good too, the former pushed a little harder, the latter a bit more strait-laced, and Bernstein's is quite good also.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests