Haitink documentary

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slofstra
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Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:04 pm

I watched the documentary "It comes my way ..." on Bernard Haitink's conducting career last night. Chock full of interesting insights over its 49 minute length.
The title comes from Haitink's statement that he wasn't ambitious but that opportunities just came his way. When asked about his Philips recording career, he indicates that his recording legacy came about because they asked him to record. Apparently when he assumed the RCO baton, after van Beinum's death, he felt he wasn't ready for that job, and Philips also had little confidence in him. They asked him to record the famous Mahler Concertgebouw cycle on a 2 year deadline. He said that was impossible and that he needed 10 years. 10 years is what it took.
A memorable scene features Haitink and the Dutch interviewer poring over a score for 'Das Lied van der Erder' annotated by William Mengelberg. The score carries an inscription from Mahler himself to Mengelberg, along the lines of, "Good luck trying to conduct this one; I could never do it". Okay, not the exact words, but that's the thought.
Haitink is utterly unprepossessing and humble. Each question is followed by a pause, and you feel you're getting a considered, honest and wise answer.

I watch quite a few documentaries both in the classical and pop music worlds. You know what I really hate. Just a bunch of talking heads relating how great the subject is. What a waste of time. This is a one-on-one interview and it's all meat.

The film is available on the BPO web site. Probably worth getting a one week ticket when you feel like watching a bunch of stuff all at once. I have recently renewed my annual subscription for the ninth or tenth year straight.
https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/film/370

Here is a freebie interview that you might enjoy as well.
https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/interview/16901-3
From the above...
"You are one of the truly great conductors, and sadly we do not have very many of them, where everything you say to us is very convincing" ... Peter Brem, violinist, BPO.

barney
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:57 pm

Thanks for alerting me to this. I might try a week's sub as you suggest.

maestrob
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:57 am

Hello, Henry!

IMHO, Haitink has had an intriguing career. From what you've just posted, it sounds like he was an honest appraiser of his own talents, and that's refreshing. That said, I prefer him as an accompanist: his Beethoven Concerto cycle with Perahia won praise, especially the disc of III & IV, which received a Record of the Year Award, and I think they are great music-making. The thing is, his generally rather diffident style is not to my taste: I prefer a more energetic, commanding approach to symphonic music, which is what attracts me to Toscanini, Bernstein, Kletzki, Bruno Walter, late Abbado or Solti at their best, and so on. Preferring conductors who assert themselves with more enthusiasm and take command, I've not acquired a great deal of Haitink's discography, and consider him quite disappointing in much of what I own, including Vaughan-Williams's Sea Symphony, Walton I, Shostakovich IV, etc. There is, by contrast, a very fine Bruckner V in my collection that I would not be without, as well as a Shostakovich XIV sung in the original languages of each poet, a version that was sanctioned by the composer. His Brahms Piano Concertos with Arrau are quite unacceptable.

IOW, an uneven output that did not encourage me to keep up with him over the years. He seemed to revel in the great sonority of the orchestra rather than consistently generate excitement. No electricity!

That said, I'm sure he's made many other fine recordings that I simply have not had the time to consider.Now that I have access to much free listening on amazon, perhaps I'll give those a try during the coming years.

Haitink's self-appraisal sounds quite humble and accurate as you post it. His recordings are ranked highly on amazon, so I guess somebody's buying them. :)

Thanks for posting the interview.

slofstra
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:27 am

barney wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:57 pm
Thanks for alerting me to this. I might try a week's sub as you suggest.
If you do, check out some of the BPO's post COVID work. I was impressed. They put together a number of smaller ensembles exploring corners of the repertoire. The format could look like stopgap, but I think they made the most of the opportunity and I was thrilled with much of the result.
In particular I like the 'Tango and More' concert and the 'Philharmonic Octet' concert. I hope that when things get back to normal they do a bit more like this as part of their season.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:10 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:57 am
Hello, Henry!

IMHO, Haitink has had an intriguing career. From what you've just posted, it sounds like he was an honest appraiser of his own talents, and that's refreshing. That said, I prefer him as an accompanist: his Beethoven Concerto cycle with Perahia won praise, especially the disc of III & IV, which received a Record of the Year Award, and I think they are great music-making. The thing is, his generally rather diffident style is not to my taste: I prefer a more energetic, commanding approach to symphonic music, which is what attracts me to Toscanini, Bernstein, Kletzki, Bruno Walter, late Abbado or Solti at their best, and so on. Preferring conductors who assert themselves with more enthusiasm and take command, I've not acquired a great deal of Haitink's discography, and consider him quite disappointing in much of what I own, including Vaughan-Williams's Sea Symphony, Walton I, Shostakovich IV, etc. There is, by contrast, a very fine Bruckner V in my collection that I would not be without, as well as a Shostakovich XIV sung in the original languages of each poet, a version that was sanctioned by the composer. His Brahms Piano Concertos with Arrau are quite unacceptable.

IOW, an uneven output that did not encourage me to keep up with him over the years. He seemed to revel in the great sonority of the orchestra rather than consistently generate excitement. No electricity!

That said, I'm sure he's made many other fine recordings that I simply have not had the time to consider.Now that I have access to much free listening on amazon, perhaps I'll give those a try during the coming years.

Haitink's self-appraisal sounds quite humble and accurate as you post it. His recordings are ranked highly on amazon, so I guess somebody's buying them. :)

Thanks for posting the interview.
I see conductors as bringing different strengths to the repertoire. Some, like Haitink, are structuralists and they are bent on bringing the utmost in musicality out of the score itself. There's a desire to understand the composer's intent, although knowing when to bend that is important.
Then there's the issue of technical accuracy in the playing - is the oboe half a tone too high on that note - that kind of thing.
And finally, there's the issue of bringing out virtuousity or expression according to various key player's abilities.
So out of those three core abilities, I'd say Haitink's sweet spot is in the first category.

Haitink is probably at his best in Bruckner. I say "probably", because I'm still not a Bruckner fan. I did recently listen to a good part of Bruckner's 4th symphony with the BPO under Haitink's baton in 2014. The orchestra plays with the utmost precision and unison, bringing out the immaculate structure of Bruckner's work. There is a subtle acceleration as themes are repeated to increase the building intensity. The flute weaves in and out exactly as it should, and the big horn notes step with grandeur. So, I'm suggesting that structure and harmony are at the core of Bruckner, well, based on limited snatches of listening. I felt in listening to the first movement of the 4th that Bruckner had turned the orchestra into a giant church organ.
(My problem with Bruckner is that all of the little bits are lacking in musical interest, although I can appreciate the structure. I feel the need to hear more twists and turns, more contrast.)

In the core romantic repertoire, though, I haven't found the equal to Haitink. His 1970s recording of the Brahms symphonies with the Concertgebouw are my favourites. Someone said that Solti's with the CSO were better, but I find them rough around the edges compared to Haitink.
You mention the Arrau concertoes and I don't have a specific memory of them (they're in the same set as the symphonies.) Arrau is one of my favourite players but he's a very organic player and also uneven. I don't see him exceling in the Brahms concertoes to be honest. Meanwhile the Ax/Haitink/ BSO recording remains one of my favourites of the Second concerto. The Perahia/Haitink recording of the third and fourth PC of Beethoven was one of the first classical CDs I ever purchased and it's a high mark.
I also like Haitink's more recent Beethoven set with the LSO on LSO Live. Great to listen to on the SACD player incidentally.
The only one who might be Haitink's equal is Klemperer. I had thought of Klemperer as stodgy, but his Beethoven orchestral set with the Philharmonia were a revelation.

It's interesting that you mention Bernstein as a great conductor. His Beethoven Pastorale is one of my favourite recordings of all, but I find him very uneven.

So, lately I've been interested in pursuing a more thorough examination of Haitink's career work. One thing I got from the film, although he didn't say it in so many words, is that he shifted from hammering his orchestra into his conception of the score, toward more of a collaboration. That is, some of the video clips show him literally berating the Concertgebouw in the opening bars, of, I think, one of Mahler's. And he states in the interview that now, when he works with an orchestra for the first time he likes to let them play through a movement while he listens before offering any commentary. In another section he describes how he loves to prep himself with a clean score, even for a piece he's conducted many times before. So what I think I see that, in his maturity, he has learned the art of collaboration and combined that with his dedication and mastery of the score - the results are going to be pretty incredible.
Haitink's self-deprecation shouldn't be taken as any kind of assessment. I've noticed that many high achievers are driven by a strong fear of failure. I'd put Haitink in that category. We like to think of the great conductors as sterling examples motivating high art and that they exist in some kind of state of exalted bliss. But I wonder if it isn't more like a form of torture from what I've read and heard. There is a kind of ecstasy in the magic of the music on the night of the performance and the audience's response, but what dire straits and anguish in order to achieve that. And the risk of burn-out and depression as a result of all that hard work.

I have Haitink's Vaughan Williams set, and had played it once or twice. Good, I think, but since I discovered Vernon Handley that's all I listen to. And on his Shostakovich traversal with the Concertgebouw/LSO I wouldn't want to venture an opinion, other than they do sound good. But how good? But I think his recording of symphony 4 with the CSO, more recently, stands out for me.

I see that Haitink's Concertgebouw traversals of Mahler and Bruckner, respectively, have been release in Bluray Audio. I won't bother with the Bruckner, but I want the Mahler set. Have you heard it?

barney
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:32 pm

Thank you Henry for putting up your appreciation in such detail. It is very well expressed, and I find hardly anything to cavil at. I'm rather with Brian on the Brahms piano concerti though. In some music, Arrau is wonderful; in some, he is not to my taste - as I've written b efore, his Chopin lacks spark and gains weight, as though he were playing mid to late Beethoven. These concerti have been recorded so often by such wonderful pianists that there is no excuse for shortage of choice. I have, coincidentally, 37 accounts each of both 1 and 2. Arrau would be mid-table at best.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:25 pm

barney wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Thank you Henry for putting up your appreciation in such detail. It is very well expressed, and I find hardly anything to cavil at. I'm rather with Brian on the Brahms piano concerti though. In some music, Arrau is wonderful; in some, he is not to my taste - as I've written b efore, his Chopin lacks spark and gains weight, as though he were playing mid to late Beethoven. These concerti have been recorded so often by such wonderful pianists that there is no excuse for shortage of choice. I have, coincidentally, 37 accounts each of both 1 and 2. Arrau would be mid-table at best.
Yes, I offered no opinion on the Arrau / Haitink recording. The one I very much like is Ax with Haitink.

maestrob
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:52 am

I see conductors as bringing different strengths to the repertoire. Some, like Haitink, are structuralists and they are bent on bringing the utmost in musicality out of the score itself. There's a desire to understand the composer's intent, although knowing when to bend that is important.Then there's the issue of technical accuracy in the playing - is the oboe half a tone too high on that note - that kind of thing.And finally, there's the issue of bringing out virtuousity or expression according to various key player's abilities.So out of those three core abilities, I'd say Haitink's sweet spot is in the first category.Haitink is probably at his best in Bruckner. I say "probably", because I'm still not a Bruckner fan. I did recently listen to a good part of Bruckner's 4th symphony with the BPO under Haitink's baton in 2014. The orchestra plays with the utmost precision and unison, bringing out the immaculate structure of Bruckner's work. There is a subtle acceleration as themes are repeated to increase the building intensity. The flute weaves in and out exactly as it should, and the big horn notes step with grandeur. So, I'm suggesting that structure and harmony are at the core of Bruckner, well, based on limited snatches of listening. I felt in listening to the first movement of the 4th that Bruckner had turned the orchestra into a giant church organ.(My problem with Bruckner is that all of the little bits are lacking in musical interest, although I can appreciate the structure. I feel the need to hear more twists and turns, more contrast.)In the core romantic repertoire, though, I haven't found the equal to Haitink. His 1970s recording of the Brahms symphonies with the Concertgebouw are my favourites. Someone said that Solti's with the CSO were better, but I find them rough around the edges compared to Haitink.You mention the Arrau concertoes and I don't have a specific memory of them (they're in the same set as the symphonies.) Arrau is one of my favourite players but he's a very organic player and also uneven. I don't see him exceling in the Brahms concertoes to be honest. Meanwhile the Ax/Haitink/ BSO recording remains one of my favourites of the Second concerto. The Perahia/Haitink recording of the third and fourth PC of Beethoven was one of the first classical CDs I ever purchased and it's a high mark.I also like Haitink's more recent Beethoven set with the LSO on LSO Live. Great to listen to on the SACD player incidentally.The only one who might be Haitink's equal is Klemperer. I had thought of Klemperer as stodgy, but his Beethoven orchestral set with the Philharmonia were a revelation.It's interesting that you mention Bernstein as a great conductor. His Beethoven Pastorale is one of my favourite recordings of all, but I find him very uneven.So, lately I've been interested in pursuing a more thorough examination of Haitink's career work. One thing I got from the film, although he didn't say it in so many words, is that he shifted from hammering his orchestra into his conception of the score, toward more of a collaboration. That is, some of the video clips show him literally berating the Concertgebouw in the opening bars, of, I think, one of Mahler's. And he states in the interview that now, when he works with an orchestra for the first time he likes to let them play through a movement while he listens before offering any commentary. In another section he describes how he loves to prep himself with a clean score, even for a piece he's conducted many times before. So what I think I see that, in his maturity, he has learned the art of collaboration and combined that with his dedication and mastery of the score - the results are going to be pretty incredible.Haitink's self-deprecation shouldn't be taken as any kind of assessment. I've noticed that many high achievers are driven by a strong fear of failure. I'd put Haitink in that category. We like to think of the great conductors as sterling examples motivating high art and that they exist in some kind of state of exalted bliss. But I wonder if it isn't more like a form of torture from what I've read and heard. There is a kind of ecstasy in the magic of the music on the night of the performance and the audience's response, but what dire straits and anguish in order to achieve that. And the risk of burn-out and depression as a result of all that hard work.I have Haitink's Vaughan Williams set, and had played it once or twice. Good, I think, but since I discovered Vernon Handley that's all I listen to. And on his Shostakovich traversal with the Concertgebouw/LSO I wouldn't want to venture an opinion, other than they do sound good. But how good? But I think his recording of symphony 4 with the CSO, more recently, stands out for me.I see that Haitink's Concertgebouw traversals of Mahler and Bruckner, respectively, have been release in Bluray Audio. I won't bother with the Bruckner, but I want the Mahler set. Have you heard it?
Good morning, Henry!

Thank you for such a clear, concise post. I'm just reading it for the first time this morning, as I shut down yesterday just before you posted, so let me offer you as best I can an equally thorough answer.

1) I have not heard Haitink's 1970's Brahms set as of yet. Your admiration for it intrigues me, however.

2) I have not heard his Mahler either. It's a set I have avoided, owing to my personal preference of Abbado/Lucerne DVDs, or Bernstein/Vienna DVDs, as well as some individual performances by Solti, Barbirolli and Bernstein/NY.

As I've stated before, I find Haitink's priorities in music-making often don't agree with mine. In what I've heard, the Maestro gives priority to tone quality and smoothness over passion and electricity and forward momentum. That's a set of priorities that's exactly reverses mine. That's why I admire Kondrashin's set of Shostakovich symphonies so much, and it's why Toscanini is my hero as a conductor and as a human being (at least in his public life). It's also why I admire Bernstein so much, at least in his NY recordings.

You mention that you find Bernstein "uneven." Well, I'd agree with you that this is true during the last decade or so of his life, when he was quite worn out and just couldn't muster up enough rehearsal time to get what he wanted. His Tchaikovasky VI is enormously self-indulgent, and his late Mahler CDs are inconsistent. I heard him conduct Mahler VII in NY at the time he recorded it for DGG, and the concert was, frankly, an embarrassment. The recording is better, but it lacks the passion and commitment of his NY or Vienna recordings. OTOH, Bernstein brought the Chicago Symphony to Avery Fisher Hall in June of the year he recorded that symphony for DGG, and I had a front-row seat. This was one of the greatest concert experiences of my lifetime. Bernstein was finally able to open the cut he had to make in the long development of the first movement in order to fit the music on one LP side for the 1960's Columbia issue, and the Chicago orchestra was as passionately involved in the work as any orchestra could be: it was a great musical event, and the recording is but a pale reflection of the great energy I felt at that live event.

Finally, let me say that Bernstein's New York recordings, IMHO, are consistently great. Not one weak spot, unless you count the one tempo mistake he made in one of the Schumann Symphonies, which he later corrected in a televised concert from Tokyo in 1979, which featured, for the second time, his magnificent reading of Shostakovich V, the first digital recording released on CD by a major label (A DVD of the entire concert was later released here.). Of course NY at the time was not the most beautiful orchestra in the USA (that would be Chicago or Philadelphia), but Bernstein still managed to produce many magical moments with them.

All that brings me to the essence of this post, which is why do I admire certain recordings, conductors and performances? That brings me to what my priorities are in music-making, so here goes:

Ideally, I'm looking for a marriage between passion, energy, discipline and beauty of tone. Abbado achieves that in his Lucerne recordings of Mahler: his Mahler II DVD is the best I've heard over the years. Stokowski's disc of Wagner recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra is another stereo disc I admire. So is Bernstein's recording of Beethoven Quartets transcribed for string orchestra made in Vienna for DGG. Richter's performance of the Brahms Second Concerto led by Leinsdorf in Chicago (the second movement was recorded in one uninterrupted take, an astounding feat!) is another example. Bruno Walter's magnificent stereo Mahler IX recorded for Columbia is another.

That said, not all recordings live up to those standards of course. In that case, I prioritize passion, discipline and electricity over tone quality, thus I admire Toscanini's Beethoven way ahead of Klemperer, whom you admire so much. I prefer to hear HvK's 1963 set because it sounds better, and also because Toscanini's spirit is very much in evidence. I also admire David Zinman's approach very much, as well as several of the HIP sets I own. As for Brahms, I'm the "someone" you mention that favors Solti's Chicago recordings. I can't imagine what you mean by "rough around the edges:" I find the Chicago players perfectly shaped and disciplined, with beauty of tone to spare. I imagine that Haitink's approach would be more plush, but that's not what I'm looking for necessarily. I'll have to listen to them before I comment further.

During my training at Juilliard, my Maestro, Vincent La Selva, continuously stressed that "Fatser is not necessarily more exciting!" It's true. Excitement and the electricity of the finest performances come from the commitment and passion of the musicians involved. Many conductors make this mistake, often glossing over passages that, if left to speak for themselves, would add to the depth of the performance. By contrast, going too slowly makes the bottom drop out of the musical tension needed to move your audience. Conductors who revel in the beauty of the orchestra make this mistake. Thus, a balance between emotional tension and beauty of tone must be maintained at all times. I'm not singling out Haitink here as the only example of this error, but he is one famous example in my book. Not always, but sometimes. Others would be Thielemann, and yes, von Karajan on occasion, especially in opera (I can't listen to his Pagliacci on DGG.).

As for Vaughan-Williams, I grew up with Adrian Boult's cycle and admire it greatly, but Barbirolli is more atmospheric in II & V. I do admire Handley's cycle as well as you do, so we can agree on that!

Well, enough said for now. I've gone on too long, I'm sure! I sincerely hope all this gets my point across. If you've gotten to the end of this post, thanks for reading. :)

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:14 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:52 am
I see conductors as bringing different strengths to the repertoire. Some, like Haitink, are structuralists and they are bent on bringing the utmost in musicality out of the score itself. There's a desire to understand the composer's intent, although knowing when to bend that is important. ... see above
Good morning, Henry!

Thank you for such a clear, concise post. I'm just reading it for the first time this morning, as I shut down yesterday just before you posted ... see above
Very interesting post, and I have no problem taking your comments on board alongside my own viewpoint.
First, a couple of minor points. I have many renditions of the Brahms PC#2, as does Barney as he mentioned above. I began paying attention to classical music around 1980, age 27, but only through live performance. We had a young family and I didn't have much spare time for sitting and listening to a recording. A night out on our symphony subscription along with a nice meal was our monthly treat through the winter. One of the most scintillating live performances I experienced during that period was Marc Andre Hamelin performing the Brahms PC#2 with our local KW Symphony. The rapture! Later, when I began purchasing more CDs, I acquired the Ax/ Haitink rendition and that purchase was probably made on the strength of the Perahia/ Haitink Beethoven PCs. I likely had no more than 20 or 30 CDs at the time, and used a boombox to play them. (My stereo from my pre-family days having long since bit the dust.)
All a long way of saying that havingby now acquired 20 recordings of the Brahms PC#2 I agree that the Richter/ Leinsdorf is the head of the pack.
Through my early period of purchasing CDs I was also excited about Bernstein's recordings, especially the Beethoven Pastorale. I had had the latter on audio tape as well, played mostly on trips to clients. I also like Bernstein's Haydn late symphonies though not unequivocally. But as time went on I lost my general enthusiasm for Bernstein based on some other recordings, and given that he lost my focus, I wouldn't mind looking at his New York work more closely based on my memory of the good stuff and your recommendation.

Okay, to the main point. I think that different compositions not only call for different approaches, but different emphases in approach. I think this happens organically, not even by intent. If Haitink gets good reviews for Brahms and not so good for Shostakovich, then what kind of work will he get?
In solo instrumental work, Annie Fischer sounds great on the Beethoven sonatas, but in Mozart she can't touch Clara Haskill. Horowitz is let's say, atypical, in Beethoven. We prefer Brendel or Kempff. This has as much to do with temperament as it does with those performers having chosen a specialty.
In symphonic work, I believe a structural approach is very important in the many turns and complex sound arrangements of Brahms. There isn't room for expression and virtuosity beyond what the piece demands, even though Brahms' work is often Bohemian in origin. Although I have the symphonies in mind here, not the Rhapsodies or the like.
The scherzo in Brahms' Fourth Symphony is an absolute delight. I just don't think it ever sounds better than under the baton of Haitink.

At the other end of the scale of structure versus virtuosity lies Mendelssohn. The violin concerto has to be attacked with rigour and the utmost in passion and expression. In just playing the notes with precision it sounds flat. I heard a live performance with Liza Ferschtman just before the pandemic shut everything down. She is hardly in the top tier at least in terms of name recognition. Maybe more recognition lies ahead, but in that performance she was scintillating and sounded ever the flamboyant gypsy. You know how you listen to a familiar piece, kind of anticipating each note, and what comes out is better than what you expected? It was like that, and was the highlight of our season. (Afterward, I had her sign my program; I'm not sure why I do that, but anyway.)
I had a lot of trouble with Mendelssohn's orchestral work until I heard Abbado's (with the LSO, I think). It isn't just that they're the best I've heard, but that nothing else comes close. Here the issue is passion and expression. You'd think with all that Protestant choir snore-fest tradition it wouldn't be that way, but that's how it is.

Haitink's sweet spot is Brahms and Beethoven and that is a very crowded field. And what about von Karajan by comparison? Another smooth operator. His Beethoven Ninth, I think it's the 1977 third one, is atypical HvK. And probably the best Ninth on record. In the final movement the vocal work is way, way over the top, and it's extremely exciting. It sounds mad. People like the myth of a mad Beethoven I think.
The Klemperer Ninth is one of the worst I've heard. But one to eight is among the best. Your comment that just fast isn't more exciting is very true. Klemperer's Beethoven sounds majestic, rolls along and the notes have a weight to them that is very pleasing. He can go fast, and I believe his 7th is quite fast and dances as it should. I realized that Klemperer doesn't just play one way, but he does have a certain sound. Didn't work in the Ninth, though.
And I have Toscanini's set of Beethoven symphonies. Unfortunately, they have not appealed to me very much. But saying that, things do change over time. It might be a decade or two, and based on what you've said, and that I have them, they could use a dusting off.

I'll sometimes play something that I haven't touched in years, and my views will change. I think the way I hear changes over time. (It also changes over the months, btw. I can go a month or two of listening and things sound very flat in general. Sometimes it's best to give listening a rest for a while to make it fresh again. I wondered why, after a camping vacation and no real music, I enjoyed music so much - even a street musician or something arbitrary. I believe that mood, pressures in life can have an affect, but also the weather and humidity. I once had a car with a cheap stereo and a poor heater. It was a Ford Tempo; what a piece of garbage that was. Anyway that stereo sounded great in cold weather!! Not so good in the summer, though. Okay, now I'm off into complete arcania, I better stop.)

maestrob
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:31 am

OK, Henry!

So, I will definitely seek out Haitink's early Brahms from the 1970's. I should mention that his recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Brendel is quite good (Phillips), so that gives me some hope! It just doesn't inspire me the way Richter/Leinsdorf does. You can hear it on amazon if you don't own it:

Image

Speaking of Vaughan-Williams, Bernstein made an electrifying recording of the Fourth Symphony that leaves Boult in the dust while he was in NY. It can still be found as a single:

Image

Happy listening!

barney
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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:18 pm

During my training at Juilliard, my Maestro, Vincent La Selva, continuously stressed that "Fatser is not necessarily more exciting!" It's true. Excitement and the electricity of the finest performances come from the commitment and passion of the musicians involved. Many conductors make this mistake, often glossing over passages that, if left to speak for themselves, would add to the depth of the performance. By contrast, going too slowly makes the bottom drop out of the musical tension needed to move your audience. Conductors who revel in the beauty of the orchestra make this mistake. Thus, a balance between emotional tension and beauty of tone must be maintained at all times.
Brian, this should be on every conductor's dressing room wall. Of course there will be exceptions, but that is a great starting point. Great musicians can keep the tension/momentum at a slow tempi, often. I learned the Beethoven symphonies with Klemperer's recordings with the Philharmonia, deeply majestic accounts. 30 years this side of HIP, they can seem a little slow, but they do not lose musical tension. I have just reviewed Sokolov's new double CD plus DVD account of Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. They are certainly slow, but the clarity of the articulation and the forward motion that Sokolov gets despite the tempi, make these deeply satisfying live performances for me.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:19 am

barney wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:18 pm
During my training at Juilliard, my Maestro, Vincent La Selva, continuously stressed that "Faster is not necessarily more exciting!" It's true. Excitement and the electricity of the finest performances come from the commitment and passion of the musicians involved. Many conductors make this mistake, often glossing over passages that, if left to speak for themselves, would add to the depth of the performance. By contrast, going too slowly makes the bottom drop out of the musical tension needed to move your audience. Conductors who revel in the beauty of the orchestra make this mistake. Thus, a balance between emotional tension and beauty of tone must be maintained at all times.
Brian, this should be on every conductor's dressing room wall. Of course there will be exceptions, but that is a great starting point. Great musicians can keep the tension/momentum at a slow tempi, often. I learned the Beethoven symphonies with Klemperer's recordings with the Philharmonia, deeply majestic accounts. 30 years this side of HIP, they can seem a little slow, but they do not lose musical tension. I have just reviewed Sokolov's new double CD plus DVD account of Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. They are certainly slow, but the clarity of the articulation and the forward motion that Sokolov gets despite the tempi, make these deeply satisfying live performances for me.
Thanks for the acknowledgement, Barney! It's always a pleasure to discuss music here where such good taste abounds. :)

Seriously, though,I was taught that the best way to conduct singers was to stay slightly ahead of the breath, so that your soloist would never feel strained, and thus be able to project a fuller, more satisfying tone. The same applies to orchestras, whether with wind instruments or string sections. A most valuable lesson, which is why many orchestral conductors don't venture into the realm of opera (not to mention the politics involved.). I passionately believe that all opera conductors should have vocal training in order to become sensitive to this point.

It should be noted that all of the successful conductors I mentioned in another thread that were trained by Jean Morel at Juilliard (Conlon, Slatkin & Chung) went on to have success in opera as well as in purely orchestral music (Have you heard Slatkin's Romeo & Juliette with Ruth Ann Swenson & Domingo?), something that cannot be said about more recent graduates that were trained by, as we called him, "Uncle Otto." It's for this reason that I chose to study with La Selva at night, because he offered a more complete training and background, and, in fact, was a tenor himself! I had coached roles and sung with him in performance, and was excited by his style of musicianship, since it resonated with my great admiration for Toscanini. La Selva, in class and in private sessions, often expressed that same admiration for the Maestro, so I was hooked!

As for the Sokolov DVD/CD set, it's been sitting on my shelf now for a couple of months. I must get to it, as he is, IMHO, one of the great pianists of the day. Glad to hear you like him too.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by Modernistfan » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:41 pm

In general, I am a great fan of Haitink as a conductor who puts the music above his own personal glorification. I think that this is very important. The big exception, and, given that I am probably the world's biggest Shostakovich fan, an important exception, is in Russian music, especially Shostakovich. I had many of his recordings of Shostakovich symphonies at one time and have gradually gotten rid of most of them. They are not Russian enough and not emotional enough. (Blame my own Russian background; all of my grandparents emigrated from what was then the Russian Empire, Moldova on my mother's side and Belarus on my father's side.)

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:25 pm

Modernistfan wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:41 pm
In general, I am a great fan of Haitink as a conductor who puts the music above his own personal glorification. I think that this is very important. The big exception, and, given that I am probably the world's biggest Shostakovich fan, an important exception, is in Russian music, especially Shostakovich. I had many of his recordings of Shostakovich symphonies at one time and have gradually gotten rid of most of them. They are not Russian enough and not emotional enough. (Blame my own Russian background; all of my grandparents emigrated from what was then the Russian Empire, Moldova on my mother's side and Belarus on my father's side.)
That's very interesting. As you know, the cliche has Russian fiery and emotional, German cool and technical. Of course that's oversimplified, but there's something to it, and you seem to be endorsing the notion. I'm a huge Shostakovich fan too, and in fact spent much of yesterday listening to him, but I'd love to be able to do so through Russian ears.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:03 pm

Modernistfan wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:41 pm
In general, I am a great fan of Haitink as a conductor who puts the music above his own personal glorification. I think that this is very important. The big exception, and, given that I am probably the world's biggest Shostakovich fan, an important exception, is in Russian music, especially Shostakovich. I had many of his recordings of Shostakovich symphonies at one time and have gradually gotten rid of most of them. They are not Russian enough and not emotional enough. (Blame my own Russian background; all of my grandparents emigrated from what was then the Russian Empire, Moldova on my mother's side and Belarus on my father's side.)
I can accept that. Although there is a marked difference between Haitink's Shostakovich 4th with the Chicago Symphony compared to his earlier set. The former is a really good recording. Shostakovich often has this serio-comic, satiric tone that has to be brought out. Don't think Haitink does that.
Regarding Brian's comment on opera above, Haitink has conducted a great deal of opera, but stepped back from it some years ago. Probably did more of that when he was a young man of 75. :)

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:09 pm

barney wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:25 pm
Modernistfan wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:41 pm
In general, I am a great fan of Haitink as a conductor who puts the music above his own personal glorification. I think that this is very important. The big exception, and, given that I am probably the world's biggest Shostakovich fan, an important exception, is in Russian music, especially Shostakovich. I had many of his recordings of Shostakovich symphonies at one time and have gradually gotten rid of most of them. They are not Russian enough and not emotional enough. (Blame my own Russian background; all of my grandparents emigrated from what was then the Russian Empire, Moldova on my mother's side and Belarus on my father's side.)
That's very interesting. As you know, the cliche has Russian fiery and emotional, German cool and technical. Of course that's oversimplified, but there's something to it, and you seem to be endorsing the notion. I'm a huge Shostakovich fan too, and in fact spent much of yesterday listening to him, but I'd love to be able to do so through Russian ears.
I keep quoting Haitink, but it's mostly from this documentary. He states that the Concertgebouw approach straddles the German and French, whatever that means exactly. Very interesting that you grew up on the Klemperer symphonies, Barney. I came to them late because of that stodgy preconception about Klemperer. Learned otherwise.

I think the point on tempo is that at a certain speed, not too fast, you get some echo and decay on the tympani's and the big chords that is very pleasing. Too fast and it just becomes a frenetic blur, which can be fine, but usually isn't. (Rattle's Beethoven symphony 5 with the Wiener, final mvt is like that. I swear the piccolo player has swallowed the instrument and is trying to dislodge it from his throat the way he plays. But the frenetic effect works there, although I'm not saying that's the ideal way to play it.)

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:37 pm

Yes, and conductors like the much-admired Labadie in Bach play far too fast for my liking. The music is strangled, and where there are singers they often can't really articulate. He wouldn't have to slow down a lot to let the music breathe just a little and still keep the excitement he wants. I remember one English critic said Solti was trying to beat the egg timer in a Figaro overture, and a common motif is that the conductor is afraid of missing a train.

But again, the great conductors hold it together fast or slow. Look at Toscanini.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:05 am

barney wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:37 pm
Yes, and conductors like the much-admired Labadie in Bach play far too fast for my liking. The music is strangled, and where there are singers they often can't really articulate. He wouldn't have to slow down a lot to let the music breathe just a little and still keep the excitement he wants. I remember one English critic said Solti was trying to beat the egg timer in a Figaro overture, and a common motif is that the conductor is afraid of missing a train.

But again, the great conductors hold it together fast or slow. Look at Toscanini.
Barney, what you say about current HIP Bach conductors going too fast sometimes is quite accurate. I once saw a concert in Avery Fisher Hall with Herrweghe leading the Bach B Minor Mass, a personal favorite that I've also sung in Carnegie Hall, so I knew the score intimately. Unfortunately, Herrweghe pushed the tempo in the Gloria so quickly that the poor natural horn player could hardly get the notes out! It was a disaster, a train wreck, and deeply offensive to me. Before I could get a word out, however, my neighbor (a man I didn't know) began angrily criticizing the horn player! Of course I corrected him instantly, and that was that, as the performance resumed. Of course, it's never the conductor's fault, is it?

That said, I am a great fan of John Eliot Gardiner's complete traversal of the Bach Cantatas, which I listen to each year, but even that great scholar makes the mistake of going "Off to the races!" with the most beautiful duet Bach wrote for soprano & mezzo in No. 78, again a Cantata I've performed. Gardiner's rushed tempo totally strangles the beauty of that lovely duet which hurries to its conclusion and disappears in the mist long before it can be properly appreciated. That's the only point I disagree with him in the entire set, but it's a killer!

Then there's Glen Gould's too slow tempo in Brahms I w/Bernstein, but that's a whole other story I'm sure everyone here knows.

Richard Strauss was quite famous about his faster tempi in the recordings and concerts he led of his own music, thus the origins of the fable of the conductor being afraid of missing a train. I also suspect that modern recording techniques can capture the sonorities of the recording venue better than they could in the 1930's and '40's, thus encouraging modern conductors in romantic repertoire with large orchestras to slow down a bit, sometimes too much, IMHO.

Even Toscanini, whom you cite, in spite of his reputation for strictly metronomic performances, could get carried away with the moment. I'm thinking first of his Nimrod with the BBC in the 1930's, and the finale of Brahms I with the Philharmonia in 1952, both live performances and easily available today on CD. Of course, the Nimrod is passionate and very effective, but he distorts the tempo quite a bit to get the effect he wants. In the Brahms, he rushes things more than a little in the finale, more than any other conductor I've heard, but the effect is thrilling to the enthusiastic audience. So both instances put the lie to his reputation as a cold & rigid interpreter! Remember Furtwangler's comment about him being a "bean counter!"? Nonsense!

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:06 pm

barney wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:37 pm
Yes, and conductors like the much-admired Labadie in Bach play far too fast for my liking. The music is strangled, and where there are singers they often can't really articulate. He wouldn't have to slow down a lot to let the music breathe just a little and still keep the excitement he wants. I remember one English critic said Solti was trying to beat the egg timer in a Figaro overture, and a common motif is that the conductor is afraid of missing a train.

But again, the great conductors hold it together fast or slow. Look at Toscanini.
I'm going to have to give Toscanini's Beethoven another spin. I haven't listened to them in decades and tastes do change.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:25 pm

maestrob wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:05 am
barney wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:37 pm
Yes, and conductors like the much-admired Labadie in Bach play far too fast for my liking. The music is strangled, and where there are singers they often can't really articulate. He wouldn't have to slow down a lot to let the music breathe just a little and still keep the excitement he wants. I remember one English critic said Solti was trying to beat the egg timer in a Figaro overture, and a common motif is that the conductor is afraid of missing a train.

But again, the great conductors hold it together fast or slow. Look at Toscanini.
Barney, what you say about current HIP Bach conductors going too fast sometimes is quite accurate. I once saw a concert in Avery Fisher Hall with Herrweghe leading the Bach B Minor Mass, a personal favorite that I've also sung in Carnegie Hall, so I knew the score intimately. Unfortunately, Herrweghe pushed the tempo in the Gloria so quickly that the poor natural horn player could hardly get the notes out! It was a disaster, a train wreck, and deeply offensive to me. Before I could get a word out, however, my neighbor (a man I didn't know) began angrily criticizing the horn player! Of course I corrected him instantly, and that was that, as the performance resumed. Of course, it's never the conductor's fault, is it?

That said, I am a great fan of John Eliot Gardiner's complete traversal of the Bach Cantatas, which I listen to each year, but even that great scholar makes the mistake of going "Off to the races!" with the most beautiful duet Bach wrote for soprano & mezzo in No. 78, again a Cantata I've performed. Gardiner's rushed tempo totally strangles the beauty of that lovely duet which hurries to its conclusion and disappears in the mist long before it can be properly appreciated. That's the only point I disagree with him in the entire set, but it's a killer!

Then there's Glen Gould's too slow tempo in Brahms I w/Bernstein, but that's a whole other story I'm sure everyone here knows.

Richard Strauss was quite famous about his faster tempi in the recordings and concerts he led of his own music, thus the origins of the fable of the conductor being afraid of missing a train. I also suspect that modern recording techniques can capture the sonorities of the recording venue better than they could in the 1930's and '40's, thus encouraging modern conductors in romantic repertoire with large orchestras to slow down a bit, sometimes too much, IMHO.

Even Toscanini, whom you cite, in spite of his reputation for strictly metronomic performances, could get carried away with the moment. I'm thinking first of his Nimrod with the BBC in the 1930's, and the finale of Brahms I with the Philharmonia in 1952, both live performances and easily available today on CD. Of course, the Nimrod is passionate and very effective, but he distorts the tempo quite a bit to get the effect he wants. In the Brahms, he rushes things more than a little in the finale, more than any other conductor I've heard, but the effect is thrilling to the enthusiastic audience. So both instances put the lie to his reputation as a cold & rigid interpreter! Remember Furtwangler's comment about him being a "bean counter!"? Nonsense!
That would be an out of character misstep from Herreweghe because I find his recordings lovely, and they breathe. My favourite St. Matthew Passion is his and I have listened to quite a number of that recording. His more recent Haydn's Schoepfung is also top tier.
Herreweghe's very recent recording of Monteverdi's 'Vespro della Beata Virgine' won critical acclaim, but while I like it and listened to it on my Tidal subscription, I compared with Gardiner's recording of the same. Fundamentally different, and I think, Gardiner's is better, in that particular case. Of course, it is the "Monteverdi Choir" so that must give him some kind of an advantage. :)

So how do you go about listening to all of Bach's cantatas, and how long does it take? I have a box of a subset of Gardiner's traversal and it brings tremendous pleasure. But I wouldn't contemplate a complete traversal. Suzuki's set on SACD was very tempting when offered at a low price, but I resisted on the basis of it never becoming a listening priority.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:12 am

I agree. I am always delighted when I listen to a Bach cantata, but would become fatigued after half a dozen, let alone 150, if I wanted to play them in order.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:17 am

Good morning, gents, and a Happy Labor Day Weekend to you both!

Just to clarify, when I spend time with the complete Bach Cantatas, I work them in with other titles from different centuries, so no more than one or two Bach discs a day, thus my ears don't get tired. Remember that I'm trained also in vocal technique, so it's interesting hearing from that standpoint alone. Gardiner's singers are exquisite and remarkably flexible and virtuoso when called for. Also, I sang quite a bit of Bach in Carnegie Hall during my twenties, so listening brings back happy memories. At any rate, it takes about 3-4 months for me to complete the set, and I try to go through it once a year to keep my memory fresh.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:18 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:17 am
Good morning, gents, and a Happy Labor Day Weekend to you both!

Just to clarify, when I spend time with the complete Bach Cantatas, I work them in with other titles from different centuries, so no more than one or two Bach discs a day, thus my ears don't get tired. Remember that I'm trained also in vocal technique, so it's interesting hearing from that standpoint alone. Gardiner's singers are exquisite and remarkably flexible and virtuoso when called for. Also, I sang quite a bit of Bach in Carnegie Hall during my twenties, so listening brings back happy memories. At any rate, it takes about 3-4 months for me to complete the set, and I try to go through it once a year to keep my memory fresh.

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Fantastic. What a lovely ritual. While I'm not up to that, I'll add that in recent years I do pull the St. Matthew Passion every Easter weekend. I don't celebrate Easter from a religious perspective, but I do find the Passion a moving experience. The Easter part of it began when I saw the Passion performed in the Concertgebouw on Easter weekend in my country of birth about ten years ago. It was a memorable experience, not only the concert, but every moment I spent in Amsterdam that night. So there is that to remember, and the Passion itself. It is truly a monumental piece of music and perhaps the story has lost meaning in this day and age, but it still resonates with me at a basic level, unlike much religiosity which I find very shallow.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:12 pm

Yes, such rituals are very affirming. I think my favourite religious work is Messiah because it is so exquisite yet so accessible, though the St Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor are possibly greater musical achievements. This will (probably) be the first time in years that I have not attended a live performance and I am sure it is the work I have seen most often. But it is staged every year in Melbourne in December, often by more than one set of performers, whereas the two Bach masterworks are comparatively rare, and I never miss them when available either.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:26 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:12 pm
Yes, such rituals are very affirming. I think my favourite religious work is Messiah because it is so exquisite yet so accessible, though the St Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor are possibly greater musical achievements. This will (probably) be the first time in years that I have not attended a live performance and I am sure it is the work I have seen most often. But it is staged every year in Melbourne in December, often by more than one set of performers, whereas the two Bach masterworks are comparatively rare, and I never miss them when available either.
Agreed!

There are three other rituals I have with choral music that I've performed. One of them is, naturally, to play Handel's Messiah every year at Christmas, a work that I sang 50+ times in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall during my twenties. Another is to play Bach's Christmas Oratorio at (naturally) Christmas, a work that I love deeply, and have sung twice in Carnegie Hall, the second time from memory. The third is to play the B Minor Mass at Easter. That was some of the most difficult music I've ever learned, and I've remained greatly attached to it ever since the Carnegie Hall performance in 1978.

It's wonderful how great music stays with you for a lifetime, and never loses it's freshness and emotional appeal.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:22 pm

Just bringing up this thread to let slofstra know that I have finally completed listening to Haitink's 1970's Brahms Symphony cycle, and frankly, I can find nothing to criticize. He does indeed surrender to the music, and the Concertgebouw plays with commitment and beauty. Nothing egotistical or flamboyant here at all. The thing is, I ask for more emotion in my Brahms. Haitink is right in everything he does, I just wish he would do more. Thus, I still prefer Solti/Chicago for his energy level: I just find him more engaged than Haitink's rather cooler approach. For the same reasons, I'm rarely completely satisfied with Pollini's approach to music, or Boulez's conducting.

De gustibus........ :D

Thanks, Henry, for urging me to learn something new. I appreciate it.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:04 pm

maestrob wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:22 pm
Just bringing up this thread to let slofstra know that I have finally completed listening to Haitink's 1970's Brahms Symphony cycle, and frankly, I can find nothing to criticize. He does indeed surrender to the music, and the Concertgebouw plays with commitment and beauty. Nothing egotistical or flamboyant here at all. The thing is, I ask for more emotion in my Brahms. Haitink is right in everything he does, I just wish he would do more. Thus, I still prefer Solti/Chicago for his energy level: I just find him more engaged than Haitink's rather cooler approach. For the same reasons, I'm rarely completely satisfied with Pollini's approach to music, or Boulez's conducting.

De gustibus........ :D

Thanks, Henry, for urging me to learn something new. I appreciate it.
And in turn, I will have to do another traversal of the Solti/CSO Brahms set to see what my impressions are now. I've rarely met a Brahms performance I didn't at least like; when it come to performance, viva la difference.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by Handelian » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:57 am

barney wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:12 am
I agree. I am always delighted when I listen to a Bach cantata, but would become fatigued after half a dozen, let alone 150, if I wanted to play them in order.
I do think we make a mistake when we listen to music in the way the composer never intended. I can remember listening to the complete WTC part two in concert and frankly towards the end being quite bored with it. Then thinking of course that JSB ever intended it to be listened to that way. Similarly with the cantatas they were written to be heard and sung by a congregation one at a time! With a week in between at least!

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:28 am

In general, I'd have to agree with you. But not with the WTC, and here's why. In 1988 at the Adelaide Festival, Andras Schiff did the complete WTC, both volumes, over two nights. I happened to be in Adelaide and secured tickets, and I was riveted. It's when I really fell in love with Bach.
That was Australia's bicentennary of white settlement, and they really pulled out the stops. A fantastic festival.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by slofstra » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:40 am

Handelian wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:57 am
barney wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:12 am
I agree. I am always delighted when I listen to a Bach cantata, but would become fatigued after half a dozen, let alone 150, if I wanted to play them in order.
I do think we make a mistake when we listen to music in the way the composer never intended. I can remember listening to the complete WTC part two in concert and frankly towards the end being quite bored with it. Then thinking of course that JSB ever intended it to be listened to that way. Similarly with the cantatas they were written to be heard and sung by a congregation one at a time! With a week in between at least!
I think we can look past the composer's intention on this, and just realize that, for example, a recital of various Chopin pieces, judiciously chosen, is more enervating than listening to 32 waltzes in a row. However, the 24 preludes or the Impromptus contain enough variety and interest to sustain the listener for the duration.
As for the Bach cantatas, yes, one cantata, maybe two, then they become a stretch. Whereas the Passions were designed, I believe, for extended listening, and contain so many twists, turns and surprises, that time almost stands still, and at the end you're left wondering how that could have been two hours.
This knowledge does tend against how many of our CDs are organized. That is, they do tend to organize repertoire numerically into 70 minute chunks, and then group those chunks. A box of Bach cantatas, or Mozart concertoes, Haydn string quartets, et cetera. Ideally I'd play one Bach cantata, one Mozart concerto and then a Haydn string quartet, but that represents too many trips to the CD player. :) If there's a technological or practical solution to that problem I would be be glad to hear of it.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:03 pm

Yes, an NAS which you direct from your phone or computer. Don't ask me about that, but there are plenty on this website who do understand the technology.
About a third of my CDs are copied (by a friend who set it up) on to the NAS and I play them via iTunes, at the same-quality sound. So I don't have to leave my computer to fetch CDs from a different room. When my friend visits again (he lives overseas) I will have all 10,000 CDs stored electronically.

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:46 am

barney wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, an NAS which you direct from your phone or computer. Don't ask me about that, but there are plenty on this website who do understand the technology.
About a third of my CDs are copied (by a friend who set it up) on to the NAS and I play them via iTunes, at the same-quality sound. So I don't have to leave my computer to fetch CDs from a different room. When my friend visits again (he lives overseas) I will have all 10,000 CDs stored electronically.
Good on you, Barney, for having the patience!

Labeling the tracks and titling all the CDs defeats me there, frankly. I simply cannot stick to the job. I remember Chalkie a long time ago said he was working on a program for labeling classical CDs properly (perhaps with amazon?), but even with their excellent sounding streaming service I find their labeling terribly incomplete.

When I want to hear a CD, I simply place it physically "in rotation," thus ensuring that it will have its turn. This results in mini-piles of discs on my computer and near my stereo (which are not connected to each other), thus ensuring a variety of new and older music in rotation. Works fine for me now. :)

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Re: Haitink documentary

Post by barney » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:16 am

maestrob wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:46 am
barney wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, an NAS which you direct from your phone or computer. Don't ask me about that, but there are plenty on this website who do understand the technology.
About a third of my CDs are copied (by a friend who set it up) on to the NAS and I play them via iTunes, at the same-quality sound. So I don't have to leave my computer to fetch CDs from a different room. When my friend visits again (he lives overseas) I will have all 10,000 CDs stored electronically.
Good on you, Barney, for having the patience!

Labeling the tracks and titling all the CDs defeats me there, frankly. I simply cannot stick to the job. I remember Chalkie a long time ago said he was working on a program for labeling classical CDs properly (perhaps with amazon?), but even with their excellent sounding streaming service I find their labeling terribly incomplete.

When I want to hear a CD, I simply place it physically "in rotation," thus ensuring that it will have its turn. This results in mini-piles of discs on my computer and near my stereo (which are not connected to each other), thus ensuring a variety of new and older music in rotation. Works fine for me now. :)
Well, if it works then there is no further argument. But I cannot accept your praise. It was my friend Russell (whom you met in New York with me in 2016) who does all the work, and he does it to have access to my collection. He carries it back to Auckland, where he lives.

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