Salzburg festival

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

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
lennygoran
Posts: 12773
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Salzburg festival

Post by lennygoran » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:59 am


John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by John F » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:43 am

Yes, it does look somewhat better than in recent years. The Henze deserves more performances than it gets, some of the conductors are festival quality, and while the star singers aren't to appear in any staged operas, at least they will appear. Maybe Markus Hinterhäuser's appointment will work out, despite widespread skepticism including mine. Still, given the Festival's history, the level of singers and conductors there in the past, and not least the sky-high ticket prices, it still isn't good enough.
John Francis

barney
Posts: 2628
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by barney » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:02 pm

John F wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:43 am
Yes, it does look somewhat better than in recent years. The Henze deserves more performances than it gets, some of the conductors are festival quality, and while the star singers aren't to appear in any staged operas, at least they will appear. Maybe Markus Hinterhäuser's appointment will work out, despite widespread skepticism including mine. Still, given the Festival's history, the level of singers and conductors there in the past, and not least the sky-high ticket prices, it still isn't good enough.
My goodness, you are hard to please. What would it take? Singers Goerne, Bartoli and Yoncheva would satisfy me, there are some brilliant conductors and as for the pianists, Evgeny Kissin, Igor Levit, Grigory Sokolov, Yuja Wang, Maurizio Pollini, András Schiff and Daniil Trifonov - what a line-up! I can't argue about ticket prices, and I'll never get there during the festival. The only thing in the article Len posted that bothered me was a "new speaking role" in the Magic Flute.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26045
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:40 pm

When I think of the Salzburg festival, I can't help thinking about Herbert von Karajan. Those of my age will remember the he made many LPs in which he had a lion-like appearance on the cover. Then I saw this special from Salzburg and went into a state of shock at seeing that he was really a small, bird-like man with a high-pitched voice. Also, he seemed more interested in stage-directing Don Giovanni than in conducting it. He actually told one singer, with demonstration, how to grab an ass.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
Posts: 12773
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by lennygoran » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:46 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:40 pm
Also, he seemed more interested in stage-directing Don Giovanni than in conducting it.
We have a production of that opera from Salzburg on tape-Ramey is the Don G-it's imo superb! Regards, Len

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by John F » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:08 am

By the time Karajan conducted "Don Giovanni" at the Salzburg Festival of 1988, he was in very poor physical condition and had less than a year to live. Because of terrible pain in his back, he could only conduct three of the performances; his assistant Bruno Weil took the other three. In earlier years Karajan's voice was more or less a baritone, but some people's voices (including mine) get higher as they age. He was always short. :) So were Bernstein and Toscanini; Furtwängler and Klemperer were tall.

Since Karajan made his opera recordings in advance of the Salzburg performances, there was little need to rehearse musically. Working with his cast on the stage for the first time when they got to Salzburg, naturally he gave the stage direction his full attention. Sometimes he had the recording played back during the stage rehearsals while the cast mimed their roles in time with the music. One of a kind, was Karajan.
John Francis

barney
Posts: 2628
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by barney » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:41 am

That is true. But I'm with the school that thinks most of his greatest recordings were in the 1950s - or at any rate before he got famous and started conducting with his eyes closed and his face spotlit. Of course there were some fabulous ones right up to the end, but it seemed to me he had a particular glossy, seamless sound he wanted whatever he was playing.

barney
Posts: 2628
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by barney » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:42 am

When I say famous, I mean the conductor of Europe, the most famous classical musician in the world, probably (though Bernstein would be a rival).

John F
Posts: 18769
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by John F » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:00 am

The homogeneous sound we associate with Karajan was achieved in the recording studio from the 1960s on by his preferred producer Michel Glotz and sound engineer Günter Hermanns. I'm told that in public performances the Berlin Philharmonic's sound was not so blended and smooth - it probably couldn't be. The Vienna Philharmonic sounded like itself.

The earlier recordings with the Philharmonic Orchestra were produced by its founder and EMI/Columbia's boss Walter Legge, who had his own ideas of how an orchestra should sound on records. The orchestra also recorded with quite a variety of other conductors. Karajan was less able to impose his own sound preferences on them. Karajan also managed to get the Metropolitan Opera orchestra to play much better than usual in the pre-Levine days for his performances of "Die Walküre" and "Das Rheingold" in the late '60s, it's some kind of miracle, but they certainly didn't sound like the Berlin Philharmonic. :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOenxgX_VW8
John Francis

barney
Posts: 2628
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Salzburg festival

Post by barney » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:59 pm

Yes, there's no doubt the man could conduct. I like the clip. Thanks.
I have the four big boxes put out by Universal (they are releasing them again now in one box of 330 CDs) and the sets put out by Warner (from memory) of all the 1950s Philharmonia recordings, plus goodness knows how many individual LPs and CDs. Maybe I'll seek them out again. It's s easy to go for the famous ones like the Mahler 9.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest