ubject: Re: R.C. Marsh's book on the CO
Date: 10/21/2004 5:21 PM Central Standard Time
Marsh...had contempt and ridicule for Furtwangler...
You must have Marsh confused with someone else. He thought highly of Furt's
Beethoven Fifth, for example. I have a personal letter from him wherein he
recommends WF's 1937 recording. He also enthusiastically reviewed Furt's
1947 Fifth (scarcely a "literalist" performance) when it appeared on DGG in
the early 1960s, and elsewhere he specifically recommended Klemp's 1955 mono
recording. RCM also liked Bruno Walter, and his Jan 1964 Walter discography
is one of the classic articles from the late, lamented High Fidelity. He
roundly criticized Szell's stereo coupling of Mozart's Jupiter and
Beethoven's Fifth for being too fast in both works. Around 1973 he took on
an earlier review by Harris Goldsmith, who had unfavorably compared Solti's
then-new 1972 Beethoven Ninth to Toscanini's. Marsh thought Toscanini
showed its age badly, and he found Solti and Giulini "worthy to stand beside
Toscanini on any shelf."
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Thanks for your comments. I am grateful, and your ideas are
thought-provoking. I have enjoyed reading them, and in many ways you're
correct. Much more to come. I knew Robert Marsh. What I quoted by him came from
his '50s book about Toscanini - "Herr Bratwurst" about Schubert 9, a German who
didn't conduct Schubert 9 like Toscanini. Aka Furtwangler. He told me so.
Sorry. For later times, I remember a Marsh review in the Sun-Times of a
Giulini/CSO Brahms 1st. It was somewhat slow, and had major tempo variations.
Marsh wrote that the tempi and variations would have offended him earlier on
principle because they differed from Toscanini, Szell, and what is in the
score, which he believed was gospel; and that he had come to believe that the
strictures of what is on the page may not totally, completely, utterly tell
everyone everything as he had previously believed. In other words, he liked
Giulini's Brahms 1.
I must go. Shall send more soon.