About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

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About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:19 am

The conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993) was much feared by orchestral players - insofar as orchestral players are any longer afraid of conductors: they realize that they make the sound, whereas the conductor's baton is silent. But unpleasantness makes for uncomfortable rehearsals, and Leinsdorf's reputation as a tyrant went before him. For the first half-hour of his first rehearsal with the London Philharmonic there was a subdued atmosphere and all went smoothly. Then a back-desk viola player whispered to his partner out of the corner of his mouth, "He seems to be quite a nice chap, really." Leinsdorf screamed, "Kviet down zere!"
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:40 pm

It's true, Leinsdorf had a pretty nasty disposition. He was not popular among musicians. He never had a really successful tenure as major orchestra music director - he did conduct Boston during the 1960s, but this was a disaster, a real low point in that orchestra's history....he killed the already flagging morale...Leinsdorf never had the stature, the prowess of the real podium tyrants of the day - Toscanini, Reiner, Szell, Stokowski, etc....these guys were great conductors, hugely successful, who enjoyed long tenures as music directors, orchestra builders....they could get away with being real sobs, because the musical results were superb, top-notch....Leinsdorf wasn't even close.

Consequently, he was the stereotypical "guest conductor" - he had a large repertoire of many works, most all of which he conducted with a plodding, pedestrian stodginess. His unpleasant disposition seemed to add to the problems.
Leinsdorf's autobiography "Cadenza" is rather a sad affair - a whiny litany of finger-pointing and blaming everyone but himself - somebody was always out to get him, to undermine him, to subvert his plans and efforts - the management, the Board of Directors, the Union, the musicians, the recording companies, the critics, etc, etc...all out to cut him down....

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Rach3 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:07 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:40 pm
Leinsdorf never had the stature, the prowess of the real podium tyrants of the day

Are there any tyrant conductors today ; or has the culture changed ?

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:45 pm

I read the book Cadenza by Leinsdorf when it first came out. I should re-read the book. Pianist Earl Wild also came out with his autobiography just before he died, and it is written in the same manner as Leinsdorf, being very blunt with those with whom he was unhappy in his long career.

I was looking over my CD discography and it numbers over 150 CDs. There were some things that I thought he did supremely well, the Schubert Mass No. 6 in E-flat with the Berlin Philharmonic, probably my most prized recording of his [now on Testament]. And I recall a superior Brahms Symphony No. 4 with the BSO/RCA that I thought was outstanding. He also made a number of recordings with my late good friend, the pianist, Leonard Pennario. He recorded for a plethora of labels, including RCA, Capitol, EMI, Westminster, MCA/Universal, Columbia/Sony, British Decca, with some reissues on Testament. So, in the end, as far as recordings go, he left a large legacy on discs. Still, he must have been a very unhappy man.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by John F » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:53 am

The best Leinsdorf performances I can remember, and luckily I have them on tape, were three all-Mozart programs at Tanglewood in 1963, soon after he took over the BSO, especially three concertos with Rudolf Serkin. Leinsdorf was a good accompanist, and with Serkin in top form they gave outstanding performances of Concertos Nos. 9, 19, and 27, better than Serkin's Columbia recordings. No. 19 ended with a finale so fast and brilliant that the audience applauded insistently, so Serkin/Leinsdorf repeated the finale - even faster.

I also heard some good Prokofiev from Leinsdorf/BSO in Symphony Hall in his first year as their music director, well-shaped performances that already were much better played than the orchestra had been giving under Munch. I assume the RCA recordings are as good.

But far more often, Leinsdorf's performances could put one to sleep. I particularly remember a Metropolitan Opera "Salome" in 1977, with a decent cast led by Grace Bumbry, so dull that at the end the audience's applause was merely polite and lasted long enough for only one collective curtain call and then petered out. This for "Salome"!
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:22 am

Schumann Scenes from Goethe's Faust, Feb. 26, 1966: one among several distinguished Leinsdorf/BSO live choral performances in my collection.

Britten War Requiem, 27 July 1963 is another.

I also like his early orchestral recordings on Columbia with the Rochester and Cleveland.

And in opera, I wouldn't be without this one:

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Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Rach3 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:41 am

John F wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:53 am
also heard some good Prokofiev from Leinsdorf/BSO in Symphony Hall in his first year as their music director,
His RCA Victor recordings of the Prokofieff PC's Nos. 1 and 2 with John Browning, PC No.5 with Lorin Hollander, VC # 1 with Erik Friedman, as well as the composer's Sym.No.5, at least on my RCA lp's , all were vey good. Saw him live only once, Spring 1970, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Beethoven 7th and Bloch's "Schelomo" played I believe my the RCO's principal cellist.I had one of the last tickets available at the window that day, a seat at the very front row, far stage right near the exit doors, could not see the cellist. Had a continental breakfast at my pensione that morning, but had to skip lunch and supper to be able to buy the ticket ,although I did have enough guilders ( no Euros then ) left for an Oranjeboom after.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Rach3 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:44 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:41 am
His RCA Victor recordings of the Prokofieff PC's Nos. 1 and 2 with John Browning, PC No.5 with Lorin Hollander, VC # 1 with Erik Friedman, as well as the composer's Sym.No.5, at least on my RCA lp's , all were vey good.
Forgot to say, all those RCA's were with the Boston Symphony.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:55 am

And yet another live BSO concert, August 25, 1963. Big choral works were a Leinsdorf speciality:

1. Prokofiev – Alexander Nevsky

Lili Chookasian
Tanglewood Festival Chorus

2. Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5

And this commercial issue.

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Or this one:

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Or this:


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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Rach3 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:14 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:55 am
And yet another live BSO concert, August 25, 1963. Big choral works were a Leinsdorf speciality:
Have an mp3 of that World premiere Carter Concerto recording with Leinsdorf,Lateiner. The Concerto is a tough nut to crack. Carter's Piano Sonata actually works better for me, no easy listen, either !

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:24 am

One of my favorite piano records of them all (did I forget the Richter & Leinsdorf/CSO Brahms PC 2?):

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:33 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:07 pm
Heck148 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:40 pm
Leinsdorf never had the stature, the prowess of the real podium tyrants of the day
Are there any tyrant conductors today ; or has the culture changed ?
Yes, I think so, but the climate has changed radically...union contracts and wide-spread industry standards have changed things...much better for the musicians...summary firings are essentially out...there are still some dictatorial conductors, but they have to use other methods to exercise their demands....if a conductor wants to get rid of a musician, often the orchestra simply "buys out" the musicians existing contract - ie - pays what is owed, essentially pays the musician to not show up.
In recent history Maazel was known as quite an sob - notorious for assuming a position, getting rid of musicians, bringing in his favorites, then leaving for another post...Maazel was not the only one to do this....consequently, many union contracts stipulate that the new conductor cannot terminate anyone, or very limited numbers, in the first conductor contract period.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:55 am

Henry Fogel on Erich Leinsdorf Rehearsing



And yet another excellent live choral work with Leinsdorf/BSO:

July 16, 1966 Bach St. John Passion, Tanglewood

And a Mahler 5 with the greatest of all 20th century American orchestras!

Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:28 am

Heck148 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:33 am
Rach3 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:07 pm
Heck148 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:40 pm
Leinsdorf never had the stature, the prowess of the real podium tyrants of the day
Are there any tyrant conductors today ; or has the culture changed ?
Yes, I think so, but the climate has changed radically...union contracts and wide-spread industry standards have changed things...much better for the musicians...summary firings are essentially out...there are still some dictatorial conductors, but they have to use other methods to exercise their demands....if a conductor wants to get rid of a musician, often the orchestra simply "buys out" the musicians existing contract - ie - pays what is owed, essentially pays the musician to not show up.
In recent history Maazel was known as quite an sob - notorious for assuming a position, getting rid of musicians, bringing in his favorites, then leaving for another post...Maazel was not the only one to do this....consequently, many union contracts stipulate that the new conductor cannot terminate anyone, or very limited numbers, in the first conductor contract period.
Music making today is much more a collaborative effort between conductor and players, which results in far too many empty and polite read-throughs for concerts, IMHO. Still, great music is happening with great conductors who have figured out how to inspire an orchestra (Nezet-Seguin & Abbado for example). So, yes, the culture has definitely changed, IMHO, for the better. Polite read-throughs are better to my ears than many of the sloppy readings I heard when I was younger: at least they get the notes right! :lol:

In sum, yelling and screaming are no longer part of the mix, and summary firings are a thing of the past.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:54 am

I think a Leinsdorf megabox is long overdue. Let's get on it Sony.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:12 pm

To me, Leinsdorf goes into the category of Teutonic "also-ran" conductors, those who get named when a "What's your favorite recording of ___________" thread has run its course....
we begin to get the recommendations for Konwitschny, Hollreiser, Leinsdorf, Swarovsky, Bongartz, etc....right.....they started at the beginning, finished at the end, that's about it.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by RebLem » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:18 pm

I like his Prokofiev, his Die Walkure, his set of the Beethoven symphonies. He also recorded the complete Mozart symphonies, many of which are excellent performances. I listened to a concert tape of him guest conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in a Mozart symphony once. I think it was one of the symphonies Szell had also recorded. I thought it was a better performance than Szell's and a better performance than Leinsdorf's own recording of it with the BSO. I think this was because the Clevelanders did it the way Szell taught them, except for the special insights Leinsdorf brought to it.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:51 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:12 pm
To me, Leinsdorf goes into the category of Teutonic "also-ran" conductors, those who get named when a "What's your favorite recording of ___________" thread has run its course....
we begin to get the recommendations for Konwitschny, Hollreiser, Leinsdorf, Swarovsky, Bongartz, etc....right.....they started at the beginning, finished at the end, that's about it.
About it, except that they may also happen to be worth hearing, just as a slew of American colleges and universities just below the top tier are worth attending.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:20 pm

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:19 am
The conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993) was much feared by orchestral players - insofar as orchestral players are any longer afraid of conductors: they realize that they make the sound, whereas the conductor's baton is silent. But unpleasantness makes for uncomfortable rehearsals, and Leinsdorf's reputation as a tyrant went before him. For the first half-hour of his first rehearsal with the London Philharmonic there was a subdued atmosphere and all went smoothly. Then a back-desk viola player whispered to his partner out of the corner of his mouth, "He seems to be quite a nice chap, really." Leinsdorf screamed, "Kviet down zere!"
Just to point this out, Leinsdorf unlike the last pope did not have an exaggerated German accent. Just listen to his famous announcement when he was told while the Boston Symphony was performing that Kennedy had been assassinated.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Rach3 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:20 pm
Just to point this out, Leinsdorf unlike the last pope did not have an exaggerated German accent. Just listen to his famous announcement when he was told while the Boston Symphony was performing that Kennedy had been assassinated.
jbuck919 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:20 pm

Chilling, even 55 years later:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfUdJleG5Yc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PXORQE5-CY

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by THEHORN » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:28 pm

Heck,Franz Konwitschny is very little known in America and I don't believe he ever appeared here . But he left some terrific recordings, such as his Beethoven symphonies with the Gewandhaus orchestra to name only one example . I recently heard it on youtube and recommend it highly . He was I believe, the first conductor to observe all the repeats in a set of the Beethoven symphonies .

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:15 pm

THEHORN wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:28 pm
Heck,Franz Konwitschny is very little known in America and I don't believe he ever appeared here .
FK known rather widely as another "Dead stick"...like Leinsdorf, never up with the big boys, but made a living at it....was never very impressed by his recordings....

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by THEHORN » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:59 pm

Have you heard his recording of the Reger Hiller variations on Berlin Classics with the Gewandhaus orchestra ? Absolutely first rate . His recordings of Der Fliegende Hollander and Tannhauser are also deservedly acclaimed .

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Lance » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:54 pm

No, I don't know this recording on Berlin Classics. Do you have a CD number for it? I have many Berlin Classics recordings. I would be interested in this with Leinsdorf.
THEHORN wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:59 pm
Have you heard his recording of the Reger Hiller variations on Berlin Classics with the Gewandhaus orchestra ? Absolutely first rate . His recordings of Der Fliegende Hollander and Tannhauser are also deservedly acclaimed .
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by John F » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:25 am

THEHORN wrote:His recordings of Der Fliegende Hollander and Tannhauser are also deservedly acclaimed .
Leinsdorf made no studio recordings of those operas, so you must be referring to live recordings, presumably of Metropolitan Opera broadcasts since Leinsdorf followed Bodanzky as the Met's all-purpose Wagner conductor from 1938 to 1943. He was then in his 20s and fresh from serving as Toscanini's rehearsal pianist at the Salzburg Festival, and he hadn't yet succumbed to the routine of 2-3 Wagner operas a week, often resisted by the Met's Wagner stars of the time. But eventually he did.

His Met repertoire did indeed include "Tannhäuser" and "Dutchman," but his critical reception was mixed:
Oscar Thompson wrote:As this was Mr. Leinsdorf's first "Holländer" it was scarcely to be expected that his achievement of it would have all of the authority and the surety of an experience in conducting that had been repeated many times. Nor did it have. The playing was clear and euphonious. The conductor had his forces well in hand. But although the performance could scarcely be described as tentative, it lacked thrust and energy. So little vitalized was the overture that this storm-tossed exordium served to recall the remark of one of the "Old Guard" critics who once referred to a particularly tepid performance as being more nearly that of Mendelssohn's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage." What Mr. Leinsdorf will do with this music when he has had time to get it in his blood, so to speak, remains to be seen.
(in Musical America, 1941)
Almost the same review could have been written of the 1977 Met "Salome" that put the audience to sleep, except that it was far from Leinsdorf's first "Salome" and no excuses could be made for it on that account.

It's fair to say that on occasion, Leinsdorf could be roused to give exceptional performances. Such occasions included the Mozart Requiem in memory of John F. Kennedy and the American premiere of Britten's "War Requiem," and I've mentioned a few others. But mostly in his very long career he just got the job done, with high competence but little more. Dependability is the hallmark of an experienced Kapellmeister but it's really not good enough for a high-profile conductor.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:41 am

I believe THE HORN was referring to Konwitschny, not Leinsdorf in all three of his recommendations.
THEHORN wrote:His recordings of Der Fliegende Hollander and Tannhauser are also deservedly acclaimed.
Agreed. I still listen to those two on vinyl but both are on CD.

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THEHORN wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:59 pm
Have you heard his recording of the Reger Hiller variations on Berlin Classics with the Gewandhaus orchestra ?
https://www.amazon.com/Reger-Hiller-Var ... B000006LJK

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by John F » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:52 am

Oops! Obviously I thought we were talking about Leinsdorf's recordings. As for Konwitschny's, they are certainly competent, but it's for the singers one wants those sets, not the conducting, "one" being me. :mrgreen:
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:21 pm

John F wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:25 am
....But mostly in his very long career he just got the job done, with high competence but little more. Dependability is the hallmark of an experienced Kapellmeister but it's really not good enough for a high-profile conductor.
good summation, John, that pretty well nails it...

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by maestrob » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am

Well, gentlemen, every conductor has his moments of weakness and of strength, and on the positive side, Leinsdorf had the following great recordings to his credit:

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There are others, but I'm running out of room :!: :wink:

Leinsdorf had an uncanny ability to get the tempo and shape of the music right, even when he worked with Boston, then not the most refined orchestra on the planet. IMHO he was a major step up from Munch's uneven conducting skills. That Leinsdorf had an aggressive, nasty disposition I do not dispute, but he got the music right more often than not, and he remains a fine musician in my estimation.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by jserraglio » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:31 pm

I agree with maestrob. The more you search, the more excellent Leinsdorf recordings come to light, especially in opera. I would point to the Da Ponte operas, Turandot and Barber on RCA.

Mediocrity never sounded so fine. We should hear more of it.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Donald Isler » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:18 pm

I heard Leinsdorf a few times when I was young, and thought he was very good. Once we went backstage after the concert and Dad told him they came to America together on the same ship in 1938 (the Volendam) but I don't think Leinsdorf was very interested in that.

Leinsdorf probably wasn't the favorite conductor of my teacher, the pianist Zenon Fishbein, but for an extra-musical reason: Mr. Fishbein's first wife (of four) left him for Leinsdorf.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by John F » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:38 pm

To each his own. Writing in the Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera, Jon Alan Conrad said of "Die Walküre," "Erich Leinsdorf's direction appears to best advantage when simple execution of the score's indications will do the job, most notably the Ride of the Valkyries. At other points, it lacks detailed pointing and shaping of the musical-dramatic continuity, but it forms a highly adequate accompaniment to those singers who are willing to take charge on their own," notably Jon Vickers and Rita Gorr. "Highly adequate" is pretty much another way of saying "he just got the job done, with high competence but little more." Sorry, maestrob.

I see Leinsdorf is being given credit for the recording of Brahms's 2nd concerto with Richter, which he took over at the last minute when Reiner fell ill. Richter himself loathed that recording, calling it "one of my worst records... I can't bear it. I've lost count of the number of times I've listened to it in an attempt to find anything good in it. Each time I'm appalled. Tam, param, taram, param. A Tempo di allegretto, you bet! Leinsdorf took it at an allegro, constantly pressing ahead." Compare this with Richter's unreserved admiration for Charles Munch, with whom he played that concerto and recorded Beethoven 1 soon afterwards. Of course we don't have to agree with him...
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:04 am

Now, John, do you really believe all that you read in the newspapers?? :mrgreen:

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:15 am

maestrob wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
Well, gentlemen, every conductor has his moments of weakness and of strength, and on the positive side, Leinsdorf had the following great recordings to his credit....

Leinsdorf had an uncanny ability to get the tempo and shape of the music right, even when he worked with Boston, then not the most refined orchestra on the planet. IMHO he was a major step up from Munch's uneven conducting skills. That Leinsdorf had an aggressive, nasty disposition I do not dispute, but he got the music right more often than not, and he remains a fine musician in my estimation.
Disagree about his Prokofieff - really rather poor, IMO - heavy, muddy, logy....real problems with the orchestra - the low brass sounds terrible - the solo clarinet [Cioffi] is habitually all over the place, crappy tone [glass mouthpiece :(] also- the recorded sound didn't help [early RCA Dynagroove??]
I don't think Leinsdorf got it right very much of the time...He makes even a lively, perky score like Weill's 3 Penny Opera Suite sound dead and stodgy [CSO 5/85].
I heard Leinsdorf/BSO many times in the 60s, along with Philadelphia, NYPO, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester...the Leinsdorf-led BSO did not measure up well against the other top ensembles, really a lot of problems...
Last edited by Heck148 on Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:21 am

John F wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:38 pm
To each his own. Writing in the Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera, Jon Alan Conrad said of "Die Walküre," "Erich Leinsdorf's direction appears to best advantage when simple execution of the score's indications will do the job, most notably the Ride of the Valkyries.
Interesting...I remember hearing Leinsdorf conduct BSO at Eastman Theater Rochester - "Ride of the Walkure" opened the program...never, not once, did we hear the 16th note speak in the main motif played by the low brass [dotted 8th/16th/8th note]....it just got "swallowed" - poor execution, that went unaddressed, apparently...

I should add that one Leinsdorf/BSO recording that I liked was the Gunther Schuller "7 Studies on Themes of Paul Klee"....this is good, and the orchestra sounds alert and interested....neat piece, very effective; don't know if it's better than Dorati/MinnSO, but it is a fine recording.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:54 am

Heck148 wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:15 am
maestrob wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
Well, gentlemen, every conductor has his moments of weakness and of strength, and on the positive side, Leinsdorf had the following great recordings to his credit....

Leinsdorf had an uncanny ability to get the tempo and shape of the music right, even when he worked with Boston, then not the most refined orchestra on the planet. IMHO he was a major step up from Munch's uneven conducting skills. That Leinsdorf had an aggressive, nasty disposition I do not dispute, but he got the music right more often than not, and he remains a fine musician in my estimation.
Disagree about his Prokofieff - really rather poor, IMO - heavy, muddy, logy....real problems with the orchestra - the low brass sounds terrible - the solo clarinet [Cioffi] is habitually all over the place, crappy tone [glass mouthpiece :(] also- the recorded sound didn't help [early RCA Dynagroove??]
I don't think Leinsdorf got it right very much of the time...He makes even a lively, perky score like Weill's 3 Penny Opera Suite sound dead and stodgy [CSO 5/85].
I heard Leinsdorf/BSO many times in the 60s, along with Philadelphia, NYPO, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester...the Leinsdorf-led BSO did not measure up well against the other top ensembles, really a lot of problems...
Heck, I know you nitpick about Leinsdorf's Prokofiev/Boston, and I actually agree with you. My point is that for its time, Leinsdorf's readings got the shapes and the tempi just right: the problems you name all have to do with tone quality, which Boston, as we know, simply lacked. Not Leinsdorf's fault! Thus, IMHO, Leinsdorf was dealt a weak hand, and he did the best he could with it. Of course, nowadays we have any number of better recordings to choose from, including Ormandy in IV, V, & VI, which came after Leinsdorf's disks, IIRC. I still prefer Ormandy in those, but Leinsdorf did a "heck of a job" with what he was handed. As for Threepenny, Leinsdorf was a humorless man, and that repertoire wouldn't suit his personality anyway.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by RebLem » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:19 pm

The Chicago Symphony "From the Archives" series Special Edition for Radiothon 16 was a 2 CD all Mozart box which included 3 symphonies--a # 28 from Bruno Walter, a # 31 from Frits Reiner and a Solti Jupiter. But the longest single performance in the box is a 45'04 performance of the Serenade for Wind Instruments in B Flat Major, K. 362 conducted by Erich Leinsdorf from 18 MAY 1985.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:48 am

I've got 35 or so of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra editions on CD and more on LP, and Volume 15 of that series, no Volume 16, though! I've tried to get all the Reiner material they have ever issued. I wonder if that Volume 16 is still being made available?
RebLem wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:19 pm
The Chicago Symphony "From the Archives" series Special Edition for Radiothon 16 was a 2 CD all Mozart box which included 3 symphonies--a # 28 from Bruno Walter, a # 31 from Frits Reiner and a Solti Jupiter. But the longest single performance in the box is a 45'04 performance of the Serenade for Wind Instruments in B Flat Major, K. 362 conducted by Erich Leinsdorf from 18 MAY 1985.
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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by RebLem » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 am

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:48 am
I've got 35 or so of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra editions on CD and more on LP, and Volume 15 of that series, no Volume 16, though! I've tried to get all the Reiner material they have ever issued. I wonder if that Volume 16 is still being made available?
I looked all through the CSO store website, and the answer is NO, unless you can find it in an estate sale or used someplace. There is another 2 CD set called The Chicago Principal which contains a lot of concerti performed by section leaders of the orchestra which I don't have yet and is still available. It includes, btw, an Arnold Jacobs Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: About Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Post by Heck148 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:06 am

RebLem wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 am
I looked all through the CSO store website, and the answer is NO, unless you can find it in an estate sale or used someplace. There is another 2 CD set called The Chicago Principal which contains a lot of concerti performed by section leaders of the orchestra which I don't have yet and is still available. It includes, btw, an Arnold Jacobs Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto.
Yes, that's a very excellent 2-disc set...some real prizes...The CSO store did have remaining copies of the 12-disc set - <<CSO in 20th Century>> which is really quite spectacular.....some of the aforementioned Reiner performances may be available from other sources....ie - the Haydn 104, Wagner excerpts are available on a Archipel label...

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