Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

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maestrob
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Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by maestrob » Thu May 07, 2015 11:47 am

.........on a new music director. Some names under consideration are mentioned in this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/arts/ ... l?ref=arts

John F
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Thu May 07, 2015 12:54 pm

The only news in this long story, if it is news, is the voting procedure, which the orchestra has refused to disclose. Otherwise, we know all that stuff, including the date of the vote, and have discussed it often. Hey, everybody, last chance to guess wrong before the bar closes! :D
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Thu May 07, 2015 1:17 pm

John F wrote:The only news in this long story, if it is news, is the voting procedure, which the orchestra has refused to disclose. Otherwise, we know all that stuff, including the date of the vote, and have discussed it often. Hey, everybody, last chance to guess wrong before the bar closes! :D
OK, I'm game. Christian Thielemann. And if he wins I'll rush up and give him a big hug at the Musikverein on 21st May!!

Whomever they choose, the Berliner Philharmoniker will make the right decision.

Holden Fourth
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu May 07, 2015 2:34 pm

My money's on Dudamel

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Thu May 07, 2015 3:46 pm

It really all depends if, after the first round of voting, the losing "factions" gang up against the winning one which, according to orchestral gossip, is Thielemann's. If a lot of musicians strongly object to Thielemann's appointment, this coalition of factions is a real possibility.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by lennygoran » Thu May 07, 2015 7:18 pm

John F wrote: Hey, everybody, last chance to guess wrong before the bar closes! :D
Hey even I'll take a crack at it-Furtwängler! Regards, Len [fleeing] :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Ricordanza » Fri May 08, 2015 6:13 am

I'll go for a long shot...Vladimir Jurowski.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by stenka razin » Sat May 09, 2015 6:43 pm

Jansons dropped out of the running, so my guess is Thielemann.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Modernistfan » Sun May 10, 2015 10:45 am

I hope that they cannot settle on Thielemann with his reactionary repertoire and nationalist political views. Too bad Jansons pulled out. As I said earlier, Dudamel would be a disaster comparable to the explosion of the Hindenburg. Maybe Chailly would be a compromise candidate. Nelsons has just started in Boston and would not be inclined to leave, even if offered the post. They really need to look outside the box--Jurowski, Bychkov, Ivan Fischer would all be substantially better than Thielemann.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by RebLem » Sun May 10, 2015 2:18 pm

I haven't heard much of Thielmann and know nothing of his politics, but I did listen to and watch is Beethoven 9th with the Vienna Phil on YouTube, and it is more or less interchangeable with your average Beethoven 9th. He does seem to have a bit of a talent for picking good soloists, but that's about all I can say for him.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by johnshade » Sun May 10, 2015 2:45 pm

Modernistfan wrote:I hope that they cannot settle on Thielemann with his reactionary repertoire and nationalist political views.

I like Thielemann and have several of his orchestral and opera CDs. I don't believe that his repertoire will hurt his chances, but his politics are not politically correct. (It seems his opinions have been misstated by some of his peers and the press.)
The sun's a thief, and with her great attraction robs the vast sea, the moon's an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun... (Shakespeare)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Sun May 10, 2015 3:27 pm

But Thielemann's repertoire is also pretty narrow and the outcome of that could be more "monotonous" programming for the BPO, as "Das Maestro-Syndrom" put it in yesterday's Zeit Online.
http://www.zeit.de/2015/18/berliner-phi ... mon-rattle
Dudamel and Nelsons are certainly not out of the election because, in contrast to Barenboim and Jansons, they have not issued a statement to the contrary. And the author of "Das Maestro-Syndrom" is really hot about Nelsons' rendition of a Bruckner symphony.

The BPO, we are reminded, is second to none, as "dashing" as the VPO, more homogeneous than the NYP, and more flexible than Amsterdam's great orchestra. And in Berlin someone like Nelsons would not have to spend so much time with fund raising events and individual sponsors. The jury is still out, says the author, on the extent to which such fund-raising work potentially affects the concentration of a great conductor.

Also implied in this piece is that this matter of maintaining the Philharmoniker's status as the world's greatest orchestra should rule out gambling on lesser candidates, such as Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, or less predictable ones, such as Vladimir Jurowski.
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Sun May 10, 2015 5:05 pm

The conductor of any European orchestra "would not have to spend so much time with fund raising events and individual sponsors" as the conductor of almost any American orchestra. Duh. One reason Barenboim left the Chicago Symphony, he said, is that he had had enough of that. But Andris Nelsons has signed a 5-year contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the world's greatest and richest, beginning this season, and unless he's another Thielemann, he isn't likely to walk away from it.

Christine Lemke-Matwey (who she?) has nothing more than gossip to offer, and I don't see anything really new that hasn't been hashed over in the NY Times, not to mention Classical Music Guide.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Mon May 11, 2015 3:04 pm

No results. They called it a night without having reached an agreement.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Modernistfan » Mon May 11, 2015 3:15 pm

No decision today. They will resume voting tomorrow. No results of any votes have been released. A purported tweet earlier that stated that Andris Nelsons had gotten it appears to have been fraudulent. Maybe that is good news if the Thielemann steamroller has been stopped. I think that almost anyone who has been brought up seriously would be fine except for Thielemann and Dudamel. Of course, I am a lot closer to Los Angeles than to Berlin, so I might be happy if Dudamel left Los Angeles.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Mon May 11, 2015 4:19 pm

And if I correctly understand the always curious translations "Google Translate" generates, the musicians are promising to vote again within "one year"! So, don't hold your breath!
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by THEHORN » Mon May 11, 2015 4:47 pm

A young conductor is not necessarily a bad choice . After all, Stokowski was only 30 when he took the Philadelphia orchestra over and Furtwangler was not much older when he was appointed to succeed Nickisch at the Berlin Phil.
in the 1920s .
I don't think Dudamel would be a "didsaster" by any means, like his conducting or not . The Berlin musicians seem to like him a lot , as do orchestras everywhere .
Thiklemann would be a great choice except for his lack of a track record in contemporary music , but that could change if he got the job .

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Modernistfan » Mon May 11, 2015 5:21 pm

Give me a break! The reason orchestras like Dudamel is that he makes very few demands on them. The reality is that he is 99% hype, even though pushed by Deutsche Grammophon. He can be inconsistent, unprepared, and sloppy. He can get away with this in Los Angeles, because no one there who matters cares about at all the orchestra, how it is playing, or what it sounds like. They DO care in Berlin.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by stenka razin » Tue May 12, 2015 4:35 pm

The Berliners will not vote again till next year. Can you believe that? :(

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by slofstra » Tue May 12, 2015 10:35 pm

Did the article not allude to a multi-stage voting procedure? For some reason, when our local orchestra loses a conductor the board inflicts conductor try outs on the audience for a couple of years before choosing a new one. At least the BPO will have one lined up ahead of time. (We were also without a concertmaster for a couple of years; finally got a new one this year.)

I've been watching the BPO on Digital Concert Hall for a number of years now. When I see a concert that excites me I press a "favourite" button, so I have a list I can go through.

Thielemann comes up a lot as a favourite in my little list.

If you're curious here is what Thielemann has conducted the last few years - an excellent job with the warhorses, top marquee guest artists and at least some interesting repertoire in the mix.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/c ... thielemann

But I don't think he will win the position.

I think Jansons would be a poor choice, just a bit too dry and stodgy. Nelsons would be good.

Chailly would be fantastic but he has not conducted the BPO all that much. However, he has conducted them 3 times the last couple of years, and not at all in 2008 through 2012. Could that mean anything?

My personal favourite and dark horse for the position is Tugan Sokhiev.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by barney » Sun May 17, 2015 9:40 am

slofstra wrote:Did the article not allude to a multi-stage voting procedure? For some reason, when our local orchestra loses a conductor the board inflicts conductor try outs on the audience for a couple of years before choosing a new one. At least the BPO will have one lined up ahead of time. (We were also without a concertmaster for a couple of years; finally got a new one this year.)

I've been watching the BPO on Digital Concert Hall for a number of years now. When I see a concert that excites me I press a "favourite" button, so I have a list I can go through.

Thielemann comes up a lot as a favourite in my little list.

If you're curious here is what Thielemann has conducted the last few years - an excellent job with the warhorses, top marquee guest artists and at least some interesting repertoire in the mix.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/c ... thielemann

But I don't think he will win the position.

I think Jansons would be a poor choice, just a bit too dry and stodgy. Nelsons would be good.

Chailly would be fantastic but he has not conducted the BPO all that much. However, he has conducted them 3 times the last couple of years, and not at all in 2008 through 2012. Could that mean anything?

My personal favourite and dark horse for the position is Tugan Sokhiev.
Sigh. We will get together in 50 weeks and start over again.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Sun May 17, 2015 1:58 pm

stenka razin wrote:The Berliners will not vote again till next year. Can you believe that? :(
I'd guess that means there was nowhere near a consensus or even a clear-cut front-runner. If so, then it's as well to give time for minds to change, new members to join the orchestra, and more guest appearances by potential candidates. The orchestra has plenty of time until Simon Rattle departs.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Sun May 17, 2015 9:30 pm

No consensus, to be sure, and also a clear indication that the Thielemann faction did not come close to a majority. A phone call to another potential candidate is not to be excluded and, God forbid, a rejection is also a possibility. All evidence to the contrary, the Berlin Philharmoniker is not civilization's Mount Olympus and, in this quest for the Messiah, it will have to address its own identity issues before this process can proceed any further. So says Alex Ross:
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultur ... -a-messiah
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Mon May 18, 2015 3:15 am

Thanks for the link.
Alex Ross wrote:the idea that its chief conductor is the Pope of classical music
Has anybody ever really thought that? Or is it just phrase-making? The Berlin Phil is a great orchestra, of course, but its position in the classical music world has never been anything like as dominant as the metaphor suggests, nor is its chief conductor believed to be as infallible as the Pope, let alone as momentous as the Messiah, who was or was not Jesus Christ. To that I've just two words to say: Simon Rattle. :mrgreen:
Alex Ross wrote:What difference does it make?
It makes a world of difference to the orchestra - its repertoire, its sound, its concerto soloists, its recording opportunities. The Berlin Phil does not have a distinctive sound of its own, but takes on the sound ideal of its music director; the Karajan sound was very different from the Furtwängler sound, and the Abbado sound was different from both. Karajan expanded their repertoire to include opera, as he built an opera festival around them. Rattle expanded their repertoire to include the recently avant-garde.

Alex Ross has his own personal opinion of what a great orchestra should be and do, but his view has no direct relevance to this particular orchestra's history and its role in the culture of which it is at or near the center. The Berlin Phil has never been noted for striking adventurousness in new music, any more than the Vienna Philharmonic. Nor, as far as I know, have its players or those of any other orchestra had an intellectual identity. That has nothing to do with how they are hired and their roles as members of a corporate ensemble. The most striking appointments to embody intellectual adventure, Pierre Boulez as music director of the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony, were not made by the players but by non-playing administrators. They imposed intellectual adventure on the players, many of whom were none too happy about it.

What's surprising, even shocking, is that Ross is singing the same song as Norman Lebrecht in "The Maestro Myth." Granted that today's conductors seem rarely to lead performances as compelling, even legendary, as Toscanini's and Furtwängler's, one simply cannot argue that such performances are nothing special, and that an individual interpretation such as Furtwängler's Beethoven is qualitatively indistinguishable from a non-interpretation such as Christopher Hogwood described his Beethoven recordings to be. Ross makes no such argument - he acknowledges the greatness of Furtwängler and Bernstein, and he'd be an incompetent critic if he didn't. But only in passing, amid one dismissive comment after another. He seems to believe that we shouldn't expect such transcendent musical experiences, or even want them.
Alex Ross wrote:If orchestra schedules were tilted toward living composers, there would be less of a need for podium prestidigitation.
What there would be a need for is large audiences as keen to hear such music as today's audiences are keen to hear Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Small audiences can be found, perhaps, for the events he names, involving small ensembles in small halls in major cities. Alan Gibson has been finding them for the New York Philharmonic's Contact series, a few chamber concerts of new music far from the 2,800-seat Avery Fisher Hall. But for a symphony orchestra at full strength, Ross's prescription would be as ruinous as Boulez's notorious injunction to blow up all the opera houses. Even he retreated from that position, when he was asked to conduct at the Opéra and Bayreuth; it was just talk. And I'm afraid I think Alex Ross's piece is also just talk.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by THEHORN » Mon May 18, 2015 3:08 pm

Modernistfan , I don't agree with you at all about Dudamel . It's easy enough to cynically assume that he's all hype and no substance , but what I've heard about him contradicts this . Like his conducting or not, he's a serious and dedicated conductor and one of proven ability . "Orchestras like him because he's so undemanding "? I don't buy this claim at all .
No conductor can make a career conduting the world's top orchestras by being hyped by managers and publicity .
If you don't have what it takes, you are not going to be a regular guest with the Vienna or Berlin Philharmonics etc.
They don't suffer fools gladly . Hype can make a mediocrity famous in pop music , but not classical .

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by maestrob » Tue May 19, 2015 2:02 pm

I tend to agree with this, but I haven't heard Dudamel's day-to-day concerts, only special events (Mahler I, Verdi Requiem, the R. Strauss Berlin CD). The Verdi was exquisite, the Mahler willful and distorted, and the Berlin CD weak (could have been the engineers' fault). Every conductor goes through growing pains, and I've heard reports of same, so my mind is still open.

As for being invited by top organizations, I've heard many concerts by top-tier orchestras that were badly lead, and by some very famous conductors.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Fri May 22, 2015 8:59 pm

Remember the Sarah Willis tweet "leak" during the hot hours of the election? That horn player for the BPO is quite the number! She's a bundle of intense energy and that is no surprise if you realize that she made the brass in what is still a very masculine orchestra (and ditto for Vienna). Yes, the orchestras you all love from the German-speaking world are more masculine than just about anywhere else!! Willis was born in the US but from an Australian father (not sure about her mother's nationality). She grew up in four different countries and, I gather, is mostly of "British" identity.

Well, here she is playing to/for elephants:
https://youtu.be/L6F8ncnsoJ8
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Ricordanza » Sat May 23, 2015 6:33 am

piston wrote:Remember the Sarah Willis tweet "leak" during the hot hours of the election?
No, what did she say?

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Sat May 23, 2015 8:18 am

It was apparently a fraudulent tweet because none of the orchestra players were allowed to carry electronic devices (which is why I "" the so-called leak):
But while the world waited, Twitter panted, as users chased rumor after rumor that the Berliners had selected as their next conductor none other than Andris Nelsons, the 36-year-old Latvian who became the Boston Symphony Orchestra music director just last year.


“Nelsons did it!!!” read a fraudulent tweet that initially appeared to have been posted by Sarah Willis, a French-horn player with the Philharmonic.

It was the lie that launched 1,000 tweets. Two English magazines, Classical Music and Gramophone, got in on the social-media action, reporting that Nelsons had been anointed. A reporter for Canada’s The Globe & Mail tweeted, “White smoke from music conclave: Looks like new conductor of Berlin Philharmonic is Latvian Andris Nelsons.”
Boston Globe
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Sun May 24, 2015 4:34 am

Christian Thielemann is still the likely candidate, IMO (despite the usual bile from Lebrecht): he's got skin in the game!!

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/music/9 ... -election/

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Sun May 24, 2015 1:42 pm

Lebrecht isn't just bilious, he's not to be trusted. Whether he actually has inside information or is making it up, we won't know until enough time has passed for his alleged sources to confirm or deny his claims. His carelessness about checking facts was shown again last week when he picked up the mistaken report of Nicolai Gedda's death, then had promptly to retract it.

To hear him tell it, the Berlin Phil is behaving like the Democratic Party in the old days before primaries when presidential candidates were chosen by wheeling and dealing at the national convention. As for his three options, he has excluded an obvious fourth option well known in smoke-filled rooms: the dark horse, aka none of the above. The Philharmonic hasn't chosen an obvious candidate since Karajan died, and Simon Rattle was the darkest horse imaginable. As for Lebrecht's third option, which he actually favors - a joint music directorship - Thielemann would surely never agree to that sharing of power, and if he did, one will get you ten that he'd walk out soon, for some reason or other. Nor, I should think, would Andris Nelsons consent to be a junior partner, to Thielemann or anyone else, now that he has another great orchestra all to himself in Boston.

There's been only one such arrangement that I know of, in the 1950s when Dimitri Mitropoulos was the New York Philharmonic's music director and Leonard Bernstein was appointed co-director in 1957. Mitropoulos was saintlike in his willingness to swallow all kinds of insults for the sake of music, but Bernstein was impatient and pushy, and the next season Mitropoulos was pushed out and Bernstein became the orchestra's sole music director. Not an inviting precedent for any conductors or orchestra that might be considering this expedient.

If an orchestra's music director shuns any repertory that the orchestra needs to play, that gap is filled by guest conductors and, sometimes, by the orchestra's associate and assistant conductors. During Pierre Boulez's tenure at the Philharmonic, he would conduct no Tchaikovsky or Brahms, but the orchestra was able to find others who would. This kind of mopping up, as it were, does not require a two-headed music directorate, and is not in itself a good reason to have one. Except, evidently, in Lebrechtland.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

As interesting as, or better than, most appraisals I've ever read of the situation!! Thanks for your ideas on this, which seem very sound.

"The dark horse" is an interesting idea, but one wonders if the orchestra actually feels it benefited from such an outcome this last time with Rattle. I have no idea. Repertoire is important, of course, but one would think (or expect) an orchestra which has the power to hire and fire would also have some input over repertoire!! But the politics of music are in many ways every bit, or even more, treacherous and unpredictable than any Democratic primary - only on a smaller scale!!

Last week, in Vienna I met a man who owned a company which produced operas independently and sold them to festivals etc. He had done this for over 30 years and was discussing future plans and the question of retirement came up. In his line of business, he said, he couldn't imagine retirement being more enjoyable than working. We then discussed the politics of opera and classical music and he agreed it could be just terrible and very hard to negotiate. I transposed that idea to the current machinations at the Berliner Philharmoniker and the role of Christian Thielemann in all of that. I cannot believe that events will unfold merely with divine intervention!! Vested interests/heavy lobbying will be playing a significant role to, er, influence things a little. If I wanted such a job I'd be working hard to make sure I got it, one way or another. And Thursday night's repeated 'curtain calls' at the Musikverein for Thielemann, long after the orchestra had left, had a significance understood by the Viennese, Christian Thielemann and myself. I've been to his performances before and there was nothing to match this kind of reception.

Interesting months ahead!!

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Mon May 25, 2015 8:19 am

Another advantage for Christian Thielemann - and I'm sure it was a factor in the choice of Simon Rattle - is a recording contract with a major record label which intends to keep him busy in the studio. Fees for recording sessions and royalties from published recordings can make a big difference to an orchestra player's take-home pay. For those still trying to handicap the Berlin Phil's election, they might take this into account.

I've remembered another joint music directorship, also involving the New York Philharmonic. Willem Mengelberg was their chief conductor from 1922 on, while also leading the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1928, Toscanini conducted half the season and shared the top billing with Mengelberg. After the 1929-1930 season, Mengelberg was gone. Well, it lasted a little longer than Mitropoulos/Bernstein.
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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Ricordanza » Tue May 26, 2015 5:24 am

John F wrote:I've remembered another joint music directorship...
I believe that Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy were joint directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra some time in the 1930's, before Ormandy took over as sole music director.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by John F » Tue May 26, 2015 6:50 am

According to Wikipedia, you're right. But that was a planned transition - Stokowski had decided to leave, Ormandy didn't push him out. (He couldn't have!) So it's not the same as the two New York Philharmonci instances.
John Francis

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Tue May 26, 2015 6:49 pm

An interesting outcome of this very remarkable democratic process is how it has contributed to focus the German media on potential music directors, globally, even if they're very distant runners and are not necessarily interested at this point in time. A somewhat long article today on the "Franko-Kanadier" Yannick Nezet-Sequin. Among the many German articles on this conductor in the last 24 hours, a piece in the Berliner Morgenpost which is quite a bit more lengthy than the usual bow to a successful young orchestral director:
http://www.morgenpost.de/printarchiv/ku ... ation.html
The article points out that Yannick did say there was a reason why he renewed his contract with Philadelphia, but the interest in his personality, artistry, achievements, etc., is clearly there.
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by slofstra » Wed May 27, 2015 11:52 am

John F wrote:
stenka razin wrote:The Berliners will not vote again till next year. Can you believe that? :(
I'd guess that means there was nowhere near a consensus or even a clear-cut front-runner. If so, then it's as well to give time for minds to change, new members to join the orchestra, and more guest appearances by potential candidates. The orchestra has plenty of time until Simon Rattle departs.
Keeping an eye on the guest conductor list would be interesting.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by slofstra » Wed May 27, 2015 12:50 pm

Belle wrote:Christian Thielemann is still the likely candidate, IMO (despite the usual bile from Lebrecht): he's got skin in the game!!

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/music/9 ... -election/
Just looking at political history, if the front-runner and obvious candidate doesn't get it on the first try, they won't get it at all. So if Thielemann is getting the position it would have to happen soon.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Chalkperson » Sat May 30, 2015 10:43 pm

slofstra wrote:
Belle wrote:Christian Thielemann is still the likely candidate, IMO (despite the usual bile from Lebrecht): he's got skin in the game!!

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/music/9 ... -election/
Just looking at political history, if the front-runner and obvious candidate doesn't get it on the first try, they won't get it at all. So if Thielemann is getting the position it would have to happen soon.
He is a loathsome individual, I'd vote for Rattle to stay...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by maestrob » Sun May 31, 2015 12:00 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
slofstra wrote:
Belle wrote:Christian Thielemann is still the likely candidate, IMO (despite the usual bile from Lebrecht): he's got skin in the game!!

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/music/9 ... -election/
Just looking at political history, if the front-runner and obvious candidate doesn't get it on the first try, they won't get it at all. So if Thielemann is getting the position it would have to happen soon.
He is a loathsome individual, I'd vote for Rattle to stay...

Welcome back, Chalkie! You've been missed.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Ken » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:48 pm

Pardon my French, but I'm going to lose my excrement if Thielemann gets the Berlin gig. Not only is he (as has already been mentioned) somewhat reviled for his borderline radical nationalistic views, he's the most smug and unspectacular conductor of all those who have been mentioned as potential candidates.

Here's one more vote for Yannick Nézet-Séguin -- and not just because he's a good ol' Montreal boy! :)
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:49 pm

I'm quite prepared to chip in, Ken, for some of the usual sanitary products for you should Christian Thielemann get the gig. For you he might be expressing "radical nationalistic views" but for others like myself it's called "expressing an opinion" and, last time I looked, that was still legal.

I think you are asking CT to play the music you like and subscribe the politics you like. Good luck!

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:51 pm

It's not up to us; it's up to the musicians. Clearly, at least to my mind, the musicians have and will factor in every facet of a potential music director, including his alleged reactionary opinions on this and that. If Thielemann holds adversarial and potentially confrontational opinions that he has not been able to contain in the past, musicians who strongly differ in their own opinions are not going to be attracted by such an individual. His lack of discretion has not served him well and, I believe, everybody knows that.
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:38 pm

Nobody ever suggested it is up to us but the music-loving public has followed the issue of a successor for the BPO, and all the speculation which accompanies that, with great interest and a certain degree of 'ownership'. There is already a body of support for Thielemann within the BPO so his 'indiscretions' haven't offended everybody, it seems. I re-iterate, one man's "indiscreet'' comments are another man's "freedom of speech". For me, the idea of uniformity of political views is somewhat anathema to democracy. If the majority of musicians feel that Thielemann is merely an outspoken, offensive prat then he will undoubtedly pay the price for that.

And I know from personal experience of live concert-going that he is respected and loved in Vienna - for what it's worth.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by piston » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:09 pm

I do not wish to challenge your informed statements at all. And, yes, it is truly interesting how there's been a sense of "ownership," as you say, in this remarkably democratic selection process. We, classical music lovers, are watching an election and getting involved in it. Neat!

But you are minimizing reports of factionalism within the "tribe," and these reports were, I think, confirmed by the initial outcome of this electoral process. Factionalism, to me, implies strongly-held views that are not so easily conducive to a compromise and it is my assumption, based on that outcome, that Thielemann's non-musical views have interfered with his appointment. Because, if a faction is strongly supportive, as you say, it nevertheless did not prevail due to equally strong opposition.

Was this polarization merely due to Thielemann's notoriously narrow repertoire? I venture that there's more to it than just that.
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)

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Ken » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:27 am

Belle wrote:I'm quite prepared to chip in, Ken, for some of the usual sanitary products for you should Christian Thielemann get the gig. For you he might be expressing "radical nationalistic views" but for others like myself it's called "expressing an opinion" and, last time I looked, that was still legal.

I think you are asking CT to play the music you like and subscribe the politics you like. Good luck!
Hi Belle,

We hear a lot of the "but we're just expressing our opinion!" from the pegida camp that CT has been standing up for, and it's basically just a thinly disguised way of saying "we're frustrated that we have no ambition in life and can't earn a decent living, so we'll find a scapegoat and protest against it!", or "we're your village neo-Nazis and will use any opportunity to get attention". I can respect differences in opinion, so long as the opinions are rationally and are also close to reality -- which is not the case here. Really. There's no taking this group seriously. Almost nobody does. Which is why CT's going out into the media and supporting these mofos is kind of sickening.

That said, this isn't the corner pub: I've never been especially fond of his conducting skills. I get a sense of smarminess listening to his stuff; saw him do a couple of my favourite composers in concert a few years ago and nearly nodded off. 8)
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by Belle » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:00 am

I like CT's conducting and if he wants to speak up on behalf of his community (Dresden) then he is entitled to do that. As I say, he's much loved in Vienna. I guess those misguided folks just don't know anything about real music.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by slofstra » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:49 am

Chalkperson wrote:
slofstra wrote:
Belle wrote:Christian Thielemann is still the likely candidate, IMO (despite the usual bile from Lebrecht): he's got skin in the game!!

http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/music/9 ... -election/
Just looking at political history, if the front-runner and obvious candidate doesn't get it on the first try, they won't get it at all. So if Thielemann is getting the position it would have to happen soon.
He is a loathsome individual, I'd vote for Rattle to stay...
Whoa, that bad, huh.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by slofstra » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:55 am

Belle wrote:I like CT's conducting and if he wants to speak up on behalf of his community (Dresden) then he is entitled to do that. As I say, he's much loved in Vienna. I guess those misguided folks just don't know anything about real music.
I'm with you on the conducting. He's done some very good work guest conducting the BPO, IMO. But my hunch is he won't get the nod. Familiarity breeds contempt.

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Re: Berlin Philharmonic Prepares to Vote..........

Post by barney » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:02 am

Some things are not "just expressing an opinion". For example, it may be a genuinely held opinion that the Holocaust never happened, but it's wrong - and in Germany it's illegal to express it. No "just" there. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that is Thielemann's opinion - I don't know his view on that.

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