Discussion:
Thielemann's new Bruckner 5 on DG?
(too old to reply)
h***@aol.com
2005-01-26 19:53:07 UTC
Permalink
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
RX-01
2005-01-26 21:55:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.

Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.

RX-1
Alex
2005-01-27 13:22:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Hmm, it's on 2CDs? Rather slow then. Harnoncourt's recent live RCA version
fits easily on one (albeit with a bonus CD of rehearsal excerpts). And H's
is on SACD as well, which it doesn't look like Thielemann's is - so it would
have to be special for me to buy it. Which I still may do...
Lasse
2005-01-27 13:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex
Hmm, it's on 2CDs? Rather slow then. Harnoncourt's recent live RCA version
fits easily on one (albeit with a bonus CD of rehearsal excerpts).
And H's
Post by Alex
is on SACD as well, which it doesn't look like Thielemann's is - so it would
have to be special for me to buy it. Which I still may do...
Think it's just over 80 minutes. Will probably be 2 cd's for the price
of one. And will probably be special...

r/l
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-01-27 15:37:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lasse
Post by Alex
Hmm, it's on 2CDs? Rather slow then. Harnoncourt's recent live RCA
version fits easily on one (albeit with a bonus CD of rehearsal
excerpts). And H's is on SACD as well, which it doesn't look like
Thielemann's is - so it would have to be special for me to buy it.
Which I still may do...
Think it's just over 80 minutes. Will probably be 2 cd's for the price
of one. And will probably be special...
Well, should be 2-for-1, but remember how Warner Classics screwed its US
customers over Barenboim's recording of Furtwängler's Symphony #2!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Van Eyes
2005-01-28 05:45:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
....Think it's just over 80 minutes. Will probably be 2 cd's for the price
of one. And will probably be special...
Well, should be 2-for-1, but remember how Warner Classics screwed its US
customers over Barenboim's recording of Furtwängler's Symphony #2!
Lauds & Lamentations - Music of Carter & Yun (ECM New series), 2 CDs, 80
min., full-price.

Regards
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-27 22:18:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
The clips are well hidden though. There is no link to the microsite on the
CT main page. You have to go to What's New, click on the album, click on it
again when it pops up, then finally you get to the clips. Track 1 and 2 are
the same clip. I hope the album is more carefully produced.!
Post by RX-01
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
RX-1
RX-01
2005-01-28 18:11:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
The clips are well hidden though. There is no link to the microsite on the
CT main page. You have to go to What's New, click on the album, click on it
again when it pops up, then finally you get to the clips. Track 1 and 2 are
the same clip. I hope the album is more carefully produced.!
Post by RX-01
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
RX-1
First, I got the links from the DG newsletter. And second, all tracks
are different on the product microsite that I visited.

RX-01
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-01-28 20:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
The clips are well hidden though. There is no link to the microsite on
the CT main page. You have to go to What's New, click on the album,
click on it again when it pops up, then finally you get to the clips.
Track 1 and 2 are the same clip. I hope the album is more carefully
produced.!
Post by RX-01
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
First, I got the links from the DG newsletter. And second, all tracks
are different on the product microsite that I visited.
So this is the same DGG which still proclaims on its Website, "International
release of the 2005 New Year's Concert CD is scheduled for 7 January, merely
one week after the recording, closely followed by the SACD on 11 January and
the DVD on 17 January." And yet, according to my friends at Tower, release
in the hated-by-the-industry USA has been pushed back to February!

I would suggest that any product announcements you read on DGG's Website
ought to be treated as wishful thinking, not fact.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-28 20:57:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
The clips are well hidden though. There is no link to the microsite on the
CT main page. You have to go to What's New, click on the album, click on it
again when it pops up, then finally you get to the clips. Track 1 and 2 are
the same clip. I hope the album is more carefully produced.!
Post by RX-01
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
RX-1
First, I got the links from the DG newsletter. And second, all tracks
are different on the product microsite that I visited.
RX-01
Can you post the links, please? I found the tracks here:
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/special/index.htms?ID=thielemann-bruckner
, but Track2 is the same as Track1. I would like to hear an excerpt from the
second movement too.
George Murnu
2005-01-28 05:22:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no longer
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate when I
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me that
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.

Regards,

George
Post by RX-01
RX-1
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-28 10:59:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no longer
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate when I
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me that
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your computer
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound, telling
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played back
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to clips of a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself. Are
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
Post by RX-01
RX-1
George Murnu
2005-01-29 05:30:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no
longer
Post by George Murnu
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate
when
Post by George Murnu
I
Post by George Murnu
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me that
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your computer
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound, telling
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played back
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to clips of a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself. Are
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
I said I will elaborate when I have some time. Now I am going to sleep.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
Post by RX-01
RX-1
Roland van Gaalen
2005-01-29 14:00:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no
longer
Post by George Murnu
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate
when
Post by George Murnu
I
Post by George Murnu
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me
that
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your
computer
Post by George Murnu
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound,
telling
Post by George Murnu
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played
back
Post by George Murnu
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to clips of a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself.
Are
Post by George Murnu
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
I said I will elaborate when I have some time. Now I am going to sleep.
I'm curious why anybody would want to recapture "Celi's sound".

It was nothing special, as far as I can tell from the recordings that I have
sampled, although some of his interpretations were very slow (and boring, in
my opinion).

The Bach B minor mass is an exception.
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
r.p.vangaalenATchello.nl (AT=@)
Dan
2005-01-29 17:26:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the
orchestra no
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
longer
Post by George Murnu
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate
when
Post by George Murnu
I
Post by George Murnu
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me
that
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your
computer
Post by George Murnu
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound,
telling
Post by George Murnu
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played
back
Post by George Murnu
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to
clips of
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself.
Are
Post by George Murnu
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
I said I will elaborate when I have some time. Now I am going to sleep.
I'm curious why anybody would want to recapture "Celi's sound".
It was nothing special, as far as I can tell from the recordings that I have
sampled, although some of his interpretations were very slow (and boring, in
my opinion).
The Bach B minor mass is an exception.
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
El Klauso
2005-01-29 18:39:49 UTC
Permalink
As someone who took in three Celi performances - his US debut with
Curtis, and two of his Munich tour concerts - please let me assure you
he did have a unique, powerful and pleasing sound at his command. It
was transparent, warm, flexible, vibrant, softly polished or powerful
as needed, and the players knew what the works were all about in a way
that led to ease of expression, and clarity in the rendition of their
parts. .
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-01-29 18:59:42 UTC
Permalink
"El Klauso" <***@twcny.rr.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1107023989.077099.230250
Post by El Klauso
As someone who took in three Celi performances - his US debut with
Curtis, and two of his Munich tour concerts - please let me assure you
he did have a unique, powerful and pleasing sound at his command. It
was transparent, warm, flexible, vibrant, softly polished or powerful
as needed, and the players knew what the works were all about in a way
that led to ease of expression, and clarity in the rendition of their
parts. .
As someone else who took in three Celi performances (two at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion and one at Royce Hall), please let me assure you that I
agree that he did indeed get a beautiful sound and immaculate playing from
his orchestra. It was all the things you say, except that the tempi were
generally too slow to be convincing, and constantly distracted my mind from
the music-making. He nearly got away with it in the Bruckner 4th I heard,
and the EMI recording (from a few months before) is rather similar to it,
if my memory is correct.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Roland van Gaalen
2005-01-29 21:45:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by El Klauso
As someone who took in three Celi performances - his US debut with
[...]
As someone else who took in three Celi performances (two at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion and one at Royce Hall), please let me assure you that I
agree that he did indeed get a beautiful sound and immaculate playing from
his orchestra. [...]
Was Celibidache's sound unique in that respect?

If so, to what extent is it captured on the EMI live recordings?
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
r.p.vangaalenATchello.nl (AT=@)
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-29 21:53:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
letters to be typed in news:1107023989.077099.230250
Post by El Klauso
As someone who took in three Celi performances - his US debut with
Curtis, and two of his Munich tour concerts - please let me assure you
he did have a unique, powerful and pleasing sound at his command. It
was transparent, warm, flexible, vibrant, softly polished or powerful
as needed, and the players knew what the works were all about in a way
that led to ease of expression, and clarity in the rendition of their
parts. .
As someone else who took in three Celi performances (two at the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion and one at Royce Hall), please let me assure you that I
agree that he did indeed get a beautiful sound and immaculate playing from
his orchestra. It was all the things you say, except that the tempi were
generally too slow to be convincing, and constantly distracted my mind from
the music-making. He nearly got away with it in the Bruckner 4th I heard,
and the EMI recording (from a few months before) is rather similar to it,
if my memory is correct.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
The live sound of the MP playing under him was indeed marvellous as has been
described. I am surprised though that nobody mentioned the fact that C let
the brass almost never play brassy loud but tried to work with restrained
round tone colors and convey a sense of dynamics more by intensity of tone
than by actual loudness.
But Roland has a point too. The sound of the orchestra is not very
interesting on the EMI recordings. Obviously a recording is always very
different from hearing the music live. C himself went on and on about this
and declared that's why he never wanted to make recordings. But actually I
think he just said all that because he wanted to put Karajan down, the
superstar of the recording industry.
It is possible to capture the quality and texture of a sound in a way which
does reflect the original's qualities. I like to think of a recording as a
"miniature", another poster called it a "snapshot". Just like a miniature,
it is not the real thing. But it can be a more or less faithful
representation of the original on a much smaller scale. It can be faithful
to colors and relative proportions of the original object and it can contain
a lot of detail caringly represented by the model maker (the sound
engineer).
But in any case, the EMI recordings from Munich do not represent at all what
the orchestra sounded like. The carefully blended and balanced sonorities
are sawed apart by too much close-miking and playing with the levels. The
brass often stick out in a rasping unblended way, which wasn't what it
sounded like at all.
I used to have a few tapes of live performances in Berlin recorded and
broadcast by RIAS. Even though the MC was even one more step further away
from the original because of the limitations of the medium, these captured
the sound of the orchestra much better. In some of the recordings from
Stuttgart released by DG, I can now and then catch a glimpse of the sonority
he worked out with the orchestra, but not everywhere, and like it has
already been said, some of his actual interpretations (esp. Bruckner) are
radically different from later years.
Dan
2005-01-29 18:53:58 UTC
Permalink
<<I'm curious why anybody would want to recapture "Celi's soun­d." It
was nothing special, as far as I can tell from the record­ings that I
have sampled, although some of his interpretations were very slow­
(and boring, in my opinion).>>

Apart from what one thinks of Celibidache's interpretations in
particular or his approach to music making in general, I can only say
that in my experience, there was a unbelievable and unbridgeable gap
between what one heard live and what one hears on recording.

For example, when I heard him conduct the Curtis Symphony at Carnegie
Hall, I, like everyone else in the audience was overwhelmed. An
immediate 10 minute standing ovation was followed by an encore, and
then another 15 minute (at least) standing ovation. No one was moving
toward the exit. The Rossini Gazza Ladra Overture had such wit and
color. Emanating from Debussy's Ibera was a Mediteranean heat that was
palable, and the range of color that the orchestra produced in
Prokofiev's K-Mart version of the Rite of Spring, the Sythian Suite,
made even that piece (for me, at least) convincing.

A lot of this was due to the way in which players learned to listen to
each other and blend to an extent that no one had asked of them before.
It was something that took a great degree of time and patience too.

Later, when I listened to the official tape (made by Carnegie Hall and
paid for by Curtis and, eventually, John De Lancie's job) it was like a
faded snapshot of the original. It sounded fine and I recognized the
performance, but it contained little of the color and provoked none of
the emotion and experiences that I remembered from that night. I can't
even begin to tell you why that might be the case. When I attended the
concert I did not go with any particular expectations. It was a huge
surprise.

The way I hear his performances, they range from brilliant (his
mid-period Mozart and Brahms) to misguided (Pictures at an Exhibition)
to bizarre (the late Beethoven 9th Scherzo), but discounting his
philosphy or the fact that his esthetic wasn't applicable to lots of
works, at his best in his Stuttgart and early Munich period the sound
he got seem to extract the last bit of juice out of each work.

But, I think most of it is lost on his recordings - and at best, they
are only like family snapshots, revealing little of certain aspects of
the performance.

For those who don't understand what all the hoopla is about
Celibidache, I only ask them to try to find a copy of his Stuttgart
performance of the Mozart Jupiter. No one has issued it officially
yet, but, it's been floating around. It's all there in that one piece.
An orchestra playing as if they were a string quartet. Perfect
chamber music playing.

Dan Plante
patter
2005-01-29 19:11:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan
<<I'm curious why anybody would want to recapture "Celi's soun­d."
It
Post by Dan
was nothing special, as far as I can tell from the record­ings that I
have sampled, although some of his interpretations were very slow­
(and boring, in my opinion).>>
Apart from what one thinks of Celibidache's interpretations in
particular or his approach to music making in general, I can only say
that in my experience, there was a unbelievable and unbridgeable gap
between what one heard live and what one hears on recording.
For example, when I heard him conduct the Curtis Symphony at Carnegie
Hall, I, like everyone else in the audience was overwhelmed. An
immediate 10 minute standing ovation was followed by an encore, and
then another 15 minute (at least) standing ovation. No one was moving
toward the exit. The Rossini Gazza Ladra Overture had such wit and
color. Emanating from Debussy's Ibera was a Mediteranean heat that was
palable, and the range of color that the orchestra produced in
Prokofiev's K-Mart version of the Rite of Spring, the Sythian Suite,
made even that piece (for me, at least) convincing.
A lot of this was due to the way in which players learned to listen to
each other and blend to an extent that no one had asked of them before.
It was something that took a great degree of time and patience too.
Later, when I listened to the official tape (made by Carnegie Hall and
paid for by Curtis and, eventually, John De Lancie's job) it was like a
faded snapshot of the original. It sounded fine and I recognized the
performance, but it contained little of the color and provoked none of
the emotion and experiences that I remembered from that night. I can't
even begin to tell you why that might be the case. When I attended the
concert I did not go with any particular expectations. It was a huge
surprise.
The way I hear his performances, they range from brilliant (his
mid-period Mozart and Brahms) to misguided (Pictures at an
Exhibition)
Post by Dan
to bizarre (the late Beethoven 9th Scherzo), but discounting his
philosphy or the fact that his esthetic wasn't applicable to lots of
works, at his best in his Stuttgart and early Munich period the sound
he got seem to extract the last bit of juice out of each work.
But, I think most of it is lost on his recordings - and at best, they
are only like family snapshots, revealing little of certain aspects of
the performance.
For those who don't understand what all the hoopla is about
Celibidache, I only ask them to try to find a copy of his Stuttgart
performance of the Mozart Jupiter. No one has issued it officially
yet, but, it's been floating around. It's all there in that one piece.
An orchestra playing as if they were a string quartet. Perfect
chamber music playing.
Dan Plante
If you really want to hear a "big" orchestra play like a string
quartet-try the live Szell Mozart 40 from the 1970 Japan
tour-breathtaking!
Dan
2005-01-29 20:51:08 UTC
Permalink
<<If you really want to hear a "big" orchestra play like a str­ing
quartet-try the live Szell Mozart 40 from the 1970 Japan
tour-breathtaking! >>

I'll try to keep an eye open for it. I've always had an enormous
respect for Szell and Cleveland, but there is an enormous difference
between the kind of ensemble that of Szell and Celibidache got from
their respective orchestras. I can't speak for the performance you
referenced (but I'm eager to hear it) but Szell's precision
performances always strike me as
coming from the outside - that is coming from the will of the
conductor, as brilliant as it is. The chamber music attributes coming
from Celibidache's orchestra - to me, at least - seem to emanate from
the musicians themselves - after Celibidache has led them their. Both
have their positive as well as their negative attributes. Szell is
always clean, precise, creating a sharply articulated surface and,
again, to me at least, coming from a person who has a precise an idea
how it should go from the start. The downside is that, on a bad day,
it can be cold and unfeeling.

As for Celibidache, the kind of chamber music approach he represented
came from a group exploration of the piece from its core idea that the
results could be rather devoid of any forward motion and its surface
could be severely unarticulated.
But when heard - and heard live on a good day and good repertoire - one
could feel drawn into the performance in a very special way.

That performance I mentioned of the Jupiter Symphony was the first
thing I ever heard of Celibidache. It was broadcast on the radio in
1977 or so and I tuned in the middle of the first movement. I turned it
on merely as background for something else, but within a few seconds I
was stopped cold. I had just never heard anything like this before.
This piece, which everyone has known since forever just spoke like a
group improvisation.

Dan Plante
El Klauso
2005-01-29 21:16:51 UTC
Permalink
A further thought or two on Celibidache...

We tend to speak of Celi's performances as if they represented some
sort of monolitic career-long stereotyped approach. Based on his few
recordings, and mainly upon the wealth of recorded performances that
I've heard, he seemed to pass through several distinct stylistic
periods as a conductor.

Generally, and there are admittedly many exceptions to this broad
outline, his efforts of the late 40's through the time of his Italian
broadcast adventures of the early 1960's seem to represent a sort of
dramatically hightened brand of objectivity, with the odd subjective
rhetorical gesture or odd tempo choice thrown in from time to time.
From the mid 1960's to the late 70's, he seemed much more generally
subjective and flexible in his interpretations, running an interpretive
gamut from lean and relatively swift to grand and overstated; often
both tendancies can be heard within the same reading, and quite often
the resultant performances are galvanizing. (Witness some of the DG
releases of Bruckner from Stuttgart vs. the EMI Bruckner Munich
performances for an example of the chasm between Celi's different
stylistic approaches.) His final period, from the early 80's until the
time of his death, saw an ascendancy of a contemplative Zen-like
interpretive persona, which led to some terribly slow tempi; yet he
seemed able to sustain tension and interest in quite a few of these
performances. The recorded fruits of this final period are, as is
evident from the disparity of opinion, not to everyone's taste.
Regards,

Chuck Klaus
Roland van Gaalen
2005-01-29 21:41:28 UTC
Permalink
"Dan" <***@earthlink.net> schreef in bericht news:***@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

<< Apart from what one thinks of Celibidache's interpretations in
particular or his approach to music making in general, I can only say
that in my experience, there was a unbelievable and unbridgeable gap
between what one heard live and what one hears on recording.

For example, when I heard him conduct the Curtis Symphony at Carnegie
Hall, I, like everyone else in the audience was overwhelmed. An
immediate 10 minute standing ovation was followed by an encore, and
then another 15 minute (at least) standing ovation. No one was moving
toward the exit. >>

I suppose most of them eventually left the hall.

Don't you think that such 10 and 15 minute standing ovations (the entire
audience being "overwhelmed") are a form of mass hysteria?

I suspect it had nothing to do with music.

This crowd behavior can only be attributed to Celibidache's long white hair
and "profound" appearance.
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
r.p.vangaalenATchello.nl (AT=@)
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-29 22:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland van Gaalen
<< Apart from what one thinks of Celibidache's interpretations in
particular or his approach to music making in general, I can only say
that in my experience, there was a unbelievable and unbridgeable gap
between what one heard live and what one hears on recording.
For example, when I heard him conduct the Curtis Symphony at Carnegie
Hall, I, like everyone else in the audience was overwhelmed. An
immediate 10 minute standing ovation was followed by an encore, and
then another 15 minute (at least) standing ovation. No one was moving
toward the exit. >>
I suppose most of them eventually left the hall.
Don't you think that such 10 and 15 minute standing ovations (the entire
audience being "overwhelmed") are a form of mass hysteria?
I suspect it had nothing to do with music.
This crowd behavior can only be attributed to Celibidache's long white hair
and "profound" appearance.
C didn't really have a very profound appearance. He looked more like a nice
granddad with too oily hair. But the concerts were indeed a great musical
experience which you could tell came across to a large number of the
audience because it was usually very, very quiet during the concerts. I
believe he did manage to make most of the audience really listen.
His concerts, even though the tempi were so slow, were those events were I
also just sat and listened, there was no single second of boredom because
what was going on was always very carefully shaped and interesting.
I am not a huge fan of C because I think his work was ultimately
undimensional. I don't think his Bruckner performances are the greatest
representations of these works. I liked to say they are not really
performances of the music, but meditations about it. Although by meditation
I do not mean to automatically acknowledge C as the ultimate master of Zen
in classical music that he tried to act. A lot of that was just talking. A
Zen master also doesn't spend as much time putting others down as C did.
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
George Murnu
2005-01-30 06:52:35 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
I am not a huge fan of C because I think his work was ultimately
undimensional.
This is a statement that you made a few times about Celibidache and I think
that it merits discussion. Keeping in mind again that what I mostly heard
from Celi are recordings, yet performances such as the Bach Mass in B Minor,
Rossini's Overture to La Scala di Seta, Bruckner's 8th symphony, and
Beethoven's 2nd sound to me very different; certainly judging from
recordings there is nothing that tells me that Celi's approach to all of
these pieces is similar.

Even if Celi's approach to all these pieces would be the same, and matters
of taste appart, does this automatically disqualify him? One could
certainly argue that, for example, Klemperer's approach to all the music he
conducted in his Philharmonia years is equally unidimensional: his
trademark "granitical" sound could be equally detected in Bach's Matthaeus
Passion, in a Mozart symphony, or in a Richard Strauss poem. And wasn't
Koussevitzky accused of always conducting Russian music whether by
Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, or Copland (somebody please give the exact quote)?
Yet there is no doubt that both Klemperer and Koussevitzky belong with the
greatest conductors of the past century. One of course could correctly
argue that Klemperer's approach to music in his early years was totally
different than his approach to music with the Philharmonia orchestra, but
this is equally correct of Celi: his work in Berlin was different than his
work in Stockholm which was different than his workin Munich.
Post by Michael Schaffer
I don't think his Bruckner performances are the greatest
representations of these works. I liked to say they are not really
performances of the music, but meditations about it. Although by meditation
I do not mean to automatically acknowledge C as the ultimate master of Zen
in classical music that he tried to act. A lot of that was just talking. A
Zen master also doesn't spend as much time putting others down as C did.
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-30 07:23:45 UTC
Permalink
It seems that I misclicked on sent my reply to you privately instead of to
the group. Could you copy it and post it here? The text is gone on my
machine.
George Murnu
2005-01-30 17:13:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
It seems that I misclicked on sent my reply to you privately instead of to
the group. Could you copy it and post it here? The text is gone on my
machine.
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
I am not a huge fan of C because I think his work was ultimately
undimensional.
Whoops! I eant onedimensional but mistyped. But your completion of my typo
as unidimensional carries the meaning I intended.
Post by Michael Schaffer
This is a statement that you made a few times about Celibidache and I think
that it merits discussion. Keeping in mind again that what I mostly heard
from Celi are recordings, yet performances such as the Bach Mass in B Minor,
Rossini's Overture to La Scala di Seta, Bruckner's 8th symphony, and
Beethoven's 2nd sound to me very different; certainly judging from
recordings there is nothing that tells me that Celi's approach to all of
these pieces is similar.
I have heard him many times live and his basic approach was the same - in
that period at least (roughly 1985-93) - in all repertoire. He wasn't
interested in tempo markings and stuff like that. He always developed his
interpretations from the sound material and chose tempi which allowed the
orchestra to play every single note very clearly and with full sound. That
was nice and interesting to hear, but ultimately very onedimensional. He
ignored the structure of the compositions almost completely. Also, his sound
was really great and very colorful, but it was also a rather limited palette
because he never let the orchestra really rip or produce aggressive sounds,
earthy tones, snarling strings which may now and then be nice to hear too.
That is what I mean by onedimensional.
What often amuses me is that his music making was even more artifical,
rounded off and polished than Karajan's. Yet often the same people who fall
to the floor in front of Celibidache's statue always find it cool to hammer
Karajan for the same reasons. Strange. The first thing I thought when I
heard the MP under C was "that sounds tonally a lot like Karajan, it's just
much slower and softer in the loud dynamics. But Karajan had much more
dramatic and structural control on top of that.
Post by Michael Schaffer
Even if Celi's approach to all these pieces would be the same, and matters
of taste appart, does this automatically disqualify him?
Who says it does? I do not qualify or disqualify any artists. I don't give
them stamps or grades either. I just try to describe what I hear and think
so we can discuss it. But if you ask me that directly, even though I don't
like to speak about music in those broad terms: yes, I think he was a great
and interesting musician, but he wasn't the god-like figure he tried to
impersonate and that many often see him as. He was great, but not any
greater than Karajan, Bernstein, or Giulini. As an interpreter of Bruckner
he is often seen as the final revelation that we all waited for. His
Bruckner was great and interesting, but ultimately failed to realize more
than one dimension of the music. If you want the complete picture, listen to
someone like Giulini (8,9), and in some case also Karajan (4,5). Celibidache
never got there. But he did manage to fool a lot of people into believing he
did.
Post by Michael Schaffer
One could
certainly argue that, for example, Klemperer's approach to all the music he
conducted in his Philharmonia years is equally unidimensional: his
trademark "granitical" sound could be equally detected in Bach's Matthaeus
Passion, in a Mozart symphony, or in a Richard Strauss poem. And wasn't
Koussevitzky accused of always conducting Russian music whether by
Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, or Copland (somebody please give the exact quote)?
Yet there is no doubt that both Klemperer and Koussevitzky belong with the
greatest conductors of the past century. One of course could correctly
argue that Klemperer's approach to music in his early years was totally
different than his approach to music with the Philharmonia orchestra, but
this is equally correct of Celi: his work in Berlin was different than his
work in Stockholm which was different than his workin Munich.
Post by Michael Schaffer
I don't think his Bruckner performances are the greatest
representations of these works. I liked to say they are not really
performances of the music, but meditations about it. Although by
meditation
Post by Michael Schaffer
I do not mean to automatically acknowledge C as the ultimate master of Zen
in classical music that he tried to act. A lot of that was just talking. A
Zen master also doesn't spend as much time putting others down as C did.
Post by Roland van Gaalen
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
x***@hotmail.com
2005-01-30 07:23:53 UTC
Permalink
<<Keeping in mind again that what ­I mostly heard
from Celi are recordings, yet performances such as the Bach ­Mass in B
Minor,
Rossini's Overture to La Scala di Seta, Bruckner's 8th symph­ony, and
Beethoven's 2nd sound to me very different; certainly judgin­g from
recordings there is nothing that tells me that Celi's approa­ch to all
of
these pieces is similar. [ . . . ]>>

George is a more eloquent (and, let it be said, more thoroughly
convinced) advocate of the late Celibidache, but I do agree with what
he's saying here and his further point of the more-easily accepted
"unidimensionality" of other, usually (even) older conductors is well
made. I would say myself that the late Celibidache did much favor
certain types of sonorities and orchestral attacks, for instance in all
that rotundity and balance one seldom hears (aptly) "harsh" attacks or
"real" staccatos. But, then, isn't that true of most conductors? Didn't
Golovanov shake the house with his invariably hyperromantic crescendi?
Didn't Karajan go for the famous "lush" sound as a rule? Didn't Szell
almost always involve pointed, dry transparence and biting staccatos
over generous, warm legatos? Etc. etc.

Well, miracles of sonority/articulation variety like those brought by,
say, Mengelberg or Silvestri, who apparently had an infinite eventaille
in those respects are just that, miracles. Anyway, imho, by any other
standards and at his best, Celibidache didn't possess less of a "great
conductor sonority imprint" than most of his older colleagues nor less
than any of the younger ones.

regards,
SG
George Murnu
2005-01-30 06:28:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of the
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no
longer
Post by George Murnu
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate
when
Post by George Murnu
I
Post by George Murnu
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me that
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your computer
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound, telling
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played back
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to clips of a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself. Are
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
First of all, we are discussing recordings; I don't think it is necessary to
speak about Celi or Levine live. For the record, I did in fact hear Celi
live once with the Munich Philharmonic and Levine twice with the orchestra -
plus of course, Levine countless of times live at the Met.

But as you may have guessed, I have all of Celi's EMI releases in Munich,
plus a few of Levine's Oehms recordings. Since they both were recorded live
in the same hall (O.K. Celi's early recordings in Munich were made in
Herkulessaal) by the same company - namely the Bavarian Radio or by the
Munich Philharmonic itself - comparisons of the sound of the orchestra under
the two maestros I think is fair game. And from what I hear, the Munich
Philharmonic is in worse shape under Levine than what it was under Celi
(yes, the decline of the orchestra started IMO around 1994 with Celi's
diminishing health but even so IMO this statement is true). What I don't
hear under Levine is the ensemble playing that the orchestra gave under
Celi. Under Celi, the orchestra did sound like ONE instrument, even with
the limitations of the microphone you can hear the fact that the players do
actually take time to listen to each other, that each player knew exactly
what was required of him. All of this has disappeared under Levine who
tried to emulate the kind of playing he gets from his Met band. But the
strength of the Met orchestra is its virtuosity, its technical precision,
and the Munich Philharmonic was never a virtuoso orchestra in the same sense
the Met band is. Thus the ensemble playing suffered in Munich under Levine,
and what I most notably miss is the string sound that Celi got from his
band.

So what does all of this has to do with Thielemann? It does because it
usually takes about two seasons for a conductor to fully put his stamp on
the orchestra, although of course progress can be seen (more or less) from
concert to concert. Thus the orchestra that Thielemann conducted in his
debut as music director was basically the one he inherited from Levine. And
it is true that a compresed audio file is not an ideal way to hear music,
but even with this limitation, the sound is not worse than many historical
recordings that are routinely discussed in this group. Keeping these
limitations in mind, I could still say that the basic string sound in
Thielemann's recording was, unsurprisingly, closer to Levine's lighter sound
rather than to Celi's richer sound and that the bits and pieces heard did
not reminded me of Celi's interpretation with the same orchestra. Of
course, I will have a better picture in March when the Thielemann's
recording will be released.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
Post by RX-01
RX-1
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-30 07:42:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by RX-01
Post by h***@aol.com
Has anyone heard CT's B5 on DG. I see it is out in Japan.
R.Sauer
I know many people in this newsgroup don't like Thielemann. However, I
urge everyone to listen to the media clips on the DG website. This
sounds like an amazing performance, even though it's hard to tell of
course from a 5 minute clip from each movement.
Still, the orchestral playing sounds magnificent, reminding me of
the
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by RX-01
Celibidache on EMI (after all it is the same orchestra, the Munich
Philharmonic)! It will be released internationally in March.
Admitedly, the sound of my computer is horrible, but the orchestra no
longer
Post by George Murnu
sounds like Celi's old band - Levine destroyed it ; I will elaborate
when
Post by George Murnu
I
Post by George Murnu
have time - and from the bits and pieces on the it did not seem to me
that
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Thielemann recaptured Celi's sound; maybe he will do it with time, or
perhaps hearing the recording in ideal sound will change my impression.
What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. So the sound on your
computer
Post by George Murnu
is not good, but you still know that Levine destroyed the MP sound,
telling
Post by George Murnu
from listening to mediocre-sound quality compressed audio clips played
back
Post by George Murnu
on an admittedly bad computer, and you aren't even listening to clips of a
Levine performance, but of Thielemann's. But still you know that Levine
destroyed the "Celibidache sound", which you never heard live yourself.
Are
Post by George Murnu
you just bored or why are you wasting everybody's time with your empty
blabla?
First of all, we are discussing recordings; I don't think it is necessary to
speak about Celi or Levine live. For the record, I did in fact hear Celi
live once with the Munich Philharmonic and Levine twice with the orchestra -
plus of course, Levine countless of times live at the Met.
In this case, it is very necessary to speak about live. Because the EMI
recordings do not reperesnt the live sound they had at all. I posted about
this a few posts up. Maybe you want to take a look and give us your views.
What did C conduct when you heard them (in NY?)
Post by George Murnu
But as you may have guessed, I have all of Celi's EMI releases in Munich,
plus a few of Levine's Oehms recordings. Since they both were recorded live
in the same hall (O.K. Celi's early recordings in Munich were made in
Herkulessaal) by the same company - namely the Bavarian Radio or by the
Munich Philharmonic itself - comparisons of the sound of the orchestra under
the two maestros I think is fair game.
Absolutely not. They may have moved the microphones in completely different
spots, use a different mixing approach, it may even be completely different
people working there. I certainly hope so. Even though German radio stations
have a very high level of quality and the engineers are better trained than
anywhere else (at least in theory), the work of the BR engineers in the C
live recordings is very disappointing. I will relisten to some of them
tonight to recheck my impressions.
Post by George Murnu
And from what I hear, the Munich
Philharmonic is in worse shape under Levine than what it was under Celi
I have absolutely no doubt. Levine is nowhere near the quality of C. I was
horrified when I heard they hired him after C. Bit that decision is easily
explained. Munich is very provincial but likes to think it is a leading
metropole. So they spent a lot of money on cultural representations. Which
is basically good. But it was all too predictable that after C who had
finally brought the orchestra to more attention (it was never a German top
orchestra - even in Munich, the BR and Opera have or used to have, a better
reputation) they would just hire a more or less glamorous, safe, but
ultimately not very interesting jetsetting maestro. Kind of like LA which
had its first really good period with Mehta in the 70s, then even had
Giulini, if only for a few years, and then - Previn -, what an uninspired
and wrong decision. Fortunately they made up in deciding for Salonen when he
was still not very famous. Let's hope that Thielemann is a similarly good
decision to bring the MP back "into the game". I don't know if it is. I
haven't made up my mind yet what to think of T.
Post by George Murnu
(yes, the decline of the orchestra started IMO around 1994 with Celi's
diminishing health but even so IMO this statement is true). What I don't
hear under Levine is the ensemble playing that the orchestra gave under
Celi. Under Celi, the orchestra did sound like ONE instrument, even with
the limitations of the microphone you can hear the fact that the players do
actually take time to listen to each other, that each player knew exactly
what was required of him. All of this has disappeared under Levine who
tried to emulate the kind of playing he gets from his Met band. But the
strength of the Met orchestra is its virtuosity, its technical precision,
and the Munich Philharmonic was never a virtuoso orchestra in the same sense
the Met band is. Thus the ensemble playing suffered in Munich under Levine,
and what I most notably miss is the string sound that Celi got from his
band.
So what does all of this has to do with Thielemann? It does because it
usually takes about two seasons for a conductor to fully put his stamp on
the orchestra, although of course progress can be seen (more or less) from
concert to concert. Thus the orchestra that Thielemann conducted in his
debut as music director was basically the one he inherited from Levine.
And
Post by George Murnu
it is true that a compresed audio file is not an ideal way to hear music,
but even with this limitation, the sound is not worse than many historical
recordings that are routinely discussed in this group. Keeping these
limitations in mind, I could still say that the basic string sound in
Thielemann's recording was, unsurprisingly, closer to Levine's lighter sound
rather than to Celi's richer sound and that the bits and pieces heard did
not reminded me of Celi's interpretation with the same orchestra. Of
course, I will have a better picture in March when the Thielemann's
recording will be released.
The string sound in the Thielemann clips appears to me relatively full and
soft and a little fuzzy, in any case much closer to the C (apart from the
fuzzy part, C usually had very good ensemble) than the L/MET-like sound. But
I don't take these impressions seriously because I think these clips are not
at all representative.
What also reminds me a bit of C is the tamed, held back, or to put it
positively, nobly controlled brass sound.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
Post by RX-01
RX-1
George Murnu
2005-01-30 17:43:44 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
In this case, it is very necessary to speak about live. Because the EMI
recordings do not reperesnt the live sound they had at all. I posted about
this a few posts up. Maybe you want to take a look and give us your views.
What did C conduct when you heard them (in NY?)
I recently posted detailed impressions about the new EMI volume of Celi
conducting the Munich Philharmonic. My favorite performances from this set
were the Bach Mass in B Minor, the Tristan & Isolde fragments, the
Scheherezade, some - not all - Italian overtures, and the Roussel - Milhaud
CD.

In New York I heard Celi conducting Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole, Strauss'
Don Juan, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Of course, hearing
one concert is not the same as hearing the conductor over a period of time,
observing his strengths and weaknesses. And at the time I didn't know too
much about music as (at least I think) I know today. Nonetheless, I
remember having the same reaction that you and other members have posted
about: I was totally absorbed during the concert, I was overwhelmed, had no
time or was in no mood to question his overtly broad tempi in the Great Gate
of Kiev for example.

I agree with you that Celi is not the ultimate great conductor, or perhaps,
better put, not the only great conductor. But I do belive that, based on
the recordings, his very best performances can stand up there at the very
top. Which does not mean that I find Celi's approach the only valid one
even for his best performances. Magnificent as the Bruckner 6 performance
is, I wouldn't want to be without Keilberth's equally magnificent recording
as well - and this is just to give one example. And the fact that some fans
"who fall to the floor in front of Celibidache's statue always find it cool
to hammer Karajan for the same reasons", well, that's their problem and
ultimately their loss. I do occasionally post here in favor of HvK - the
New Year Day Concert with the VPO for instance - but that's something for
another day...
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
But as you may have guessed, I have all of Celi's EMI releases in Munich,
plus a few of Levine's Oehms recordings. Since they both were recorded
live
Post by George Murnu
in the same hall (O.K. Celi's early recordings in Munich were made in
Herkulessaal) by the same company - namely the Bavarian Radio or by the
Munich Philharmonic itself - comparisons of the sound of the orchestra
under
Post by George Murnu
the two maestros I think is fair game.
Absolutely not. They may have moved the microphones in completely different
spots, use a different mixing approach, it may even be completely different
people working there. I certainly hope so. Even though German radio stations
have a very high level of quality and the engineers are better trained than
anywhere else (at least in theory), the work of the BR engineers in the C
live recordings is very disappointing. I will relisten to some of them
tonight to recheck my impressions.
Post by George Murnu
And from what I hear, the Munich
Philharmonic is in worse shape under Levine than what it was under Celi
I have absolutely no doubt. Levine is nowhere near the quality of C. I was
horrified when I heard they hired him after C. Bit that decision is easily
explained. Munich is very provincial but likes to think it is a leading
metropole. So they spent a lot of money on cultural representations. Which
is basically good. But it was all too predictable that after C who had
finally brought the orchestra to more attention (it was never a German top
orchestra - even in Munich, the BR and Opera have or used to have, a better
reputation) they would just hire a more or less glamorous, safe, but
ultimately not very interesting jetsetting maestro. Kind of like LA which
had its first really good period with Mehta in the 70s, then even had
Giulini, if only for a few years, and then - Previn -, what an uninspired
and wrong decision. Fortunately they made up in deciding for Salonen when he
was still not very famous. Let's hope that Thielemann is a similarly good
decision to bring the MP back "into the game". I don't know if it is. I
haven't made up my mind yet what to think of T.
Post by George Murnu
(yes, the decline of the orchestra started IMO around 1994 with Celi's
diminishing health but even so IMO this statement is true). What I don't
hear under Levine is the ensemble playing that the orchestra gave under
Celi. Under Celi, the orchestra did sound like ONE instrument, even with
the limitations of the microphone you can hear the fact that the players
do
Post by George Murnu
actually take time to listen to each other, that each player knew exactly
what was required of him. All of this has disappeared under Levine who
tried to emulate the kind of playing he gets from his Met band. But the
strength of the Met orchestra is its virtuosity, its technical precision,
and the Munich Philharmonic was never a virtuoso orchestra in the same
sense
Post by George Murnu
the Met band is. Thus the ensemble playing suffered in Munich under
Levine,
Post by George Murnu
and what I most notably miss is the string sound that Celi got from his
band.
So what does all of this has to do with Thielemann? It does because it
usually takes about two seasons for a conductor to fully put his stamp on
the orchestra, although of course progress can be seen (more or less) from
concert to concert. Thus the orchestra that Thielemann conducted in his
debut as music director was basically the one he inherited from Levine.
And
Post by George Murnu
it is true that a compresed audio file is not an ideal way to hear music,
but even with this limitation, the sound is not worse than many historical
recordings that are routinely discussed in this group. Keeping these
limitations in mind, I could still say that the basic string sound in
Thielemann's recording was, unsurprisingly, closer to Levine's lighter
sound
Post by George Murnu
rather than to Celi's richer sound and that the bits and pieces heard did
not reminded me of Celi's interpretation with the same orchestra. Of
course, I will have a better picture in March when the Thielemann's
recording will be released.
The string sound in the Thielemann clips appears to me relatively full and
soft and a little fuzzy, in any case much closer to the C (apart from the
fuzzy part, C usually had very good ensemble) than the L/MET-like sound. But
I don't take these impressions seriously because I think these clips are not
at all representative.
What also reminds me a bit of C is the tamed, held back, or to put it
positively, nobly controlled brass sound.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
RX-1
Michael Schaffer
2005-01-30 23:19:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
In this case, it is very necessary to speak about live. Because the EMI
recordings do not reperesnt the live sound they had at all. I posted about
this a few posts up. Maybe you want to take a look and give us your views.
What did C conduct when you heard them (in NY?)
I recently posted detailed impressions about the new EMI volume of Celi
conducting the Munich Philharmonic. My favorite performances from this set
were the Bach Mass in B Minor, the Tristan & Isolde fragments, the
Scheherezade, some - not all - Italian overtures, and the Roussel - Milhaud
CD.
In New York I heard Celi conducting Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole, Strauss'
Don Juan, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Do you remember when that was? I heard PaaE with them in Berlin in about
1986, maybe 87.
Post by George Murnu
Of course, hearing
one concert is not the same as hearing the conductor over a period of time,
observing his strengths and weaknesses.
I heard them many times - they were in Berlin for a series of concerts every
year. Of course I am taking into account that the hall in Berlin has
different acoustics from the one in Munich and that the EMI recordings were
done at different times. So I am not disappointed because the recordings do
not reflect exactly what I heard. Maybe their sound was even a little more
forced when they played in their own hall. I hear it doesn't carry as well
as the Philharmonie.
Setting the question of balances and tonal values apart, I find some of the
recordings also quite disappointing musically. For instance Bruckner 8 (on
EMI). I remember the live concert as fascinating not only because every
single note seemed to be in a place where it made sense musically, every
phrase was played musically and tellingly. On the recording, there are many
instances where the phrasing sags and they cannot fill the vast time frame C
sets for them to play in. The very ending of the symphony falls apart
completely. I now wonder if my recollection of the musical merits of the
performance I heard is incorrect. Maybe I was just "cheated" by the great
sound and did not notice the actual musical deficiencies?
Post by George Murnu
And at the time I didn't know too
much about music as (at least I think) I know today. Nonetheless, I
remember having the same reaction that you and other members have posted
about: I was totally absorbed during the concert, I was overwhelmed, had no
time or was in no mood to question his overtly broad tempi in the Great Gate
of Kiev for example.
Yes, I remember those incredibly long chords at the end. But it was great
music-making and very absorbing.
Post by George Murnu
I agree with you that Celi is not the ultimate great conductor, or perhaps,
better put, not the only great conductor. But I do belive that, based on
the recordings, his very best performances can stand up there at the very
top. Which does not mean that I find Celi's approach the only valid one
even for his best performances. Magnificent as the Bruckner 6 performance
is, I wouldn't want to be without Keilberth's equally magnificent recording
as well - and this is just to give one example. And the fact that some fans
"who fall to the floor in front of Celibidache's statue always find it cool
to hammer Karajan for the same reasons", well, that's their problem and
ultimately their loss. I do occasionally post here in favor of HvK - the
New Year Day Concert with the VPO for instance - but that's something for
another day...
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
But as you may have guessed, I have all of Celi's EMI releases in
Munich,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
plus a few of Levine's Oehms recordings. Since they both were recorded
live
Post by George Murnu
in the same hall (O.K. Celi's early recordings in Munich were made in
Herkulessaal) by the same company - namely the Bavarian Radio or by the
Munich Philharmonic itself - comparisons of the sound of the orchestra
under
Post by George Murnu
the two maestros I think is fair game.
Absolutely not. They may have moved the microphones in completely
different
Post by Michael Schaffer
spots, use a different mixing approach, it may even be completely
different
Post by Michael Schaffer
people working there. I certainly hope so. Even though German radio
stations
Post by Michael Schaffer
have a very high level of quality and the engineers are better trained
than
Post by Michael Schaffer
anywhere else (at least in theory), the work of the BR engineers in the C
live recordings is very disappointing. I will relisten to some of them
tonight to recheck my impressions.
Post by George Murnu
And from what I hear, the Munich
Philharmonic is in worse shape under Levine than what it was under Celi
I have absolutely no doubt. Levine is nowhere near the quality of C. I was
horrified when I heard they hired him after C. Bit that decision is easily
explained. Munich is very provincial but likes to think it is a leading
metropole. So they spent a lot of money on cultural representations. Which
is basically good. But it was all too predictable that after C who had
finally brought the orchestra to more attention (it was never a German top
orchestra - even in Munich, the BR and Opera have or used to have, a
better
Post by Michael Schaffer
reputation) they would just hire a more or less glamorous, safe, but
ultimately not very interesting jetsetting maestro. Kind of like LA which
had its first really good period with Mehta in the 70s, then even had
Giulini, if only for a few years, and then - Previn -, what an uninspired
and wrong decision. Fortunately they made up in deciding for Salonen
when
Post by George Murnu
he
Post by Michael Schaffer
was still not very famous. Let's hope that Thielemann is a similarly good
decision to bring the MP back "into the game". I don't know if it is. I
haven't made up my mind yet what to think of T.
Post by George Murnu
(yes, the decline of the orchestra started IMO around 1994 with Celi's
diminishing health but even so IMO this statement is true). What I
don't
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
hear under Levine is the ensemble playing that the orchestra gave under
Celi. Under Celi, the orchestra did sound like ONE instrument, even
with
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
the limitations of the microphone you can hear the fact that the players
do
Post by George Murnu
actually take time to listen to each other, that each player knew
exactly
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
what was required of him. All of this has disappeared under Levine who
tried to emulate the kind of playing he gets from his Met band. But the
strength of the Met orchestra is its virtuosity, its technical
precision,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
and the Munich Philharmonic was never a virtuoso orchestra in the same
sense
Post by George Murnu
the Met band is. Thus the ensemble playing suffered in Munich under
Levine,
Post by George Murnu
and what I most notably miss is the string sound that Celi got from his
band.
So what does all of this has to do with Thielemann? It does because it
usually takes about two seasons for a conductor to fully put his stamp
on
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
the orchestra, although of course progress can be seen (more or less)
from
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
concert to concert. Thus the orchestra that Thielemann conducted in his
debut as music director was basically the one he inherited from Levine.
And
Post by George Murnu
it is true that a compresed audio file is not an ideal way to hear
music,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
but even with this limitation, the sound is not worse than many
historical
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
recordings that are routinely discussed in this group. Keeping these
limitations in mind, I could still say that the basic string sound in
Thielemann's recording was, unsurprisingly, closer to Levine's lighter
sound
Post by George Murnu
rather than to Celi's richer sound and that the bits and pieces heard
did
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
not reminded me of Celi's interpretation with the same orchestra. Of
course, I will have a better picture in March when the Thielemann's
recording will be released.
The string sound in the Thielemann clips appears to me relatively full and
soft and a little fuzzy, in any case much closer to the C (apart from the
fuzzy part, C usually had very good ensemble) than the L/MET-like sound.
But
Post by Michael Schaffer
I don't take these impressions seriously because I think these clips are
not
Post by Michael Schaffer
at all representative.
What also reminds me a bit of C is the tamed, held back, or to put it
positively, nobly controlled brass sound.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
RX-1
George Murnu
2005-02-01 04:18:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
In this case, it is very necessary to speak about live. Because the EMI
recordings do not reperesnt the live sound they had at all. I posted
about
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
this a few posts up. Maybe you want to take a look and give us your
views.
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
What did C conduct when you heard them (in NY?)
I recently posted detailed impressions about the new EMI volume of Celi
conducting the Munich Philharmonic. My favorite performances from this
set
Post by George Murnu
were the Bach Mass in B Minor, the Tristan & Isolde fragments, the
Scheherezade, some - not all - Italian overtures, and the Roussel -
Milhaud
Post by George Murnu
CD.
In New York I heard Celi conducting Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole, Strauss'
Don Juan, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Do you remember when that was? I heard PaaE with them in Berlin in about
1986, maybe 87.
It was 1989 during Celi's only tour of the U.S. with the Munich
Philharmonic. A few months before I also heard Karajan live for the first
and only time in my life, with the VPO also at Carnegie Hall...
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
Of course, hearing
one concert is not the same as hearing the conductor over a period of
time,
Post by George Murnu
observing his strengths and weaknesses.
I heard them many times - they were in Berlin for a series of concerts every
year. Of course I am taking into account that the hall in Berlin has
different acoustics from the one in Munich and that the EMI recordings were
done at different times. So I am not disappointed because the recordings do
not reflect exactly what I heard. Maybe their sound was even a little more
forced when they played in their own hall. I hear it doesn't carry as well
as the Philharmonie.
Setting the question of balances and tonal values apart, I find some of the
recordings also quite disappointing musically. For instance Bruckner 8 (on
EMI). I remember the live concert as fascinating not only because every
single note seemed to be in a place where it made sense musically, every
phrase was played musically and tellingly. On the recording, there are many
instances where the phrasing sags and they cannot fill the vast time frame C
sets for them to play in. The very ending of the symphony falls apart
completely. I now wonder if my recollection of the musical merits of the
performance I heard is incorrect. Maybe I was just "cheated" by the great
sound and did not notice the actual musical deficiencies?
Post by George Murnu
And at the time I didn't know too
much about music as (at least I think) I know today. Nonetheless, I
remember having the same reaction that you and other members have posted
about: I was totally absorbed during the concert, I was overwhelmed, had
no
Post by George Murnu
time or was in no mood to question his overtly broad tempi in the Great
Gate
Post by George Murnu
of Kiev for example.
Yes, I remember those incredibly long chords at the end. But it was great
music-making and very absorbing.
Post by George Murnu
I agree with you that Celi is not the ultimate great conductor, or
perhaps,
Post by George Murnu
better put, not the only great conductor. But I do belive that, based on
the recordings, his very best performances can stand up there at the very
top. Which does not mean that I find Celi's approach the only valid one
even for his best performances. Magnificent as the Bruckner 6 performance
is, I wouldn't want to be without Keilberth's equally magnificent
recording
Post by George Murnu
as well - and this is just to give one example. And the fact that some
fans
Post by George Murnu
"who fall to the floor in front of Celibidache's statue always find it
cool
Post by George Murnu
to hammer Karajan for the same reasons", well, that's their problem and
ultimately their loss. I do occasionally post here in favor of HvK - the
New Year Day Concert with the VPO for instance - but that's something for
another day...
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
But as you may have guessed, I have all of Celi's EMI releases in
Munich,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
plus a few of Levine's Oehms recordings. Since they both were
recorded
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
live
Post by George Murnu
in the same hall (O.K. Celi's early recordings in Munich were made in
Herkulessaal) by the same company - namely the Bavarian Radio or by
the
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
Munich Philharmonic itself - comparisons of the sound of the orchestra
under
Post by George Murnu
the two maestros I think is fair game.
Absolutely not. They may have moved the microphones in completely
different
Post by Michael Schaffer
spots, use a different mixing approach, it may even be completely
different
Post by Michael Schaffer
people working there. I certainly hope so. Even though German radio
stations
Post by Michael Schaffer
have a very high level of quality and the engineers are better trained
than
Post by Michael Schaffer
anywhere else (at least in theory), the work of the BR engineers in
the
Post by Michael Schaffer
C
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
live recordings is very disappointing. I will relisten to some of them
tonight to recheck my impressions.
Post by George Murnu
And from what I hear, the Munich
Philharmonic is in worse shape under Levine than what it was under
Celi
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
I have absolutely no doubt. Levine is nowhere near the quality of C. I
was
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
horrified when I heard they hired him after C. Bit that decision is
easily
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
explained. Munich is very provincial but likes to think it is a leading
metropole. So they spent a lot of money on cultural representations.
Which
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
is basically good. But it was all too predictable that after C who had
finally brought the orchestra to more attention (it was never a German
top
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
orchestra - even in Munich, the BR and Opera have or used to have, a
better
Post by Michael Schaffer
reputation) they would just hire a more or less glamorous, safe, but
ultimately not very interesting jetsetting maestro. Kind of like LA
which
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
had its first really good period with Mehta in the 70s, then even had
Giulini, if only for a few years, and then - Previn -, what an
uninspired
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
and wrong decision. Fortunately they made up in deciding for Salonen
when
Post by George Murnu
he
Post by Michael Schaffer
was still not very famous. Let's hope that Thielemann is a similarly
good
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
decision to bring the MP back "into the game". I don't know if it is. I
haven't made up my mind yet what to think of T.
Post by George Murnu
(yes, the decline of the orchestra started IMO around 1994 with Celi's
diminishing health but even so IMO this statement is true). What I
don't
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
hear under Levine is the ensemble playing that the orchestra gave
under
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
Celi. Under Celi, the orchestra did sound like ONE instrument, even
with
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
the limitations of the microphone you can hear the fact that the
players
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
do
Post by George Murnu
actually take time to listen to each other, that each player knew
exactly
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
what was required of him. All of this has disappeared under Levine
who
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
tried to emulate the kind of playing he gets from his Met band. But
the
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
strength of the Met orchestra is its virtuosity, its technical
precision,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
and the Munich Philharmonic was never a virtuoso orchestra in the same
sense
Post by George Murnu
the Met band is. Thus the ensemble playing suffered in Munich under
Levine,
Post by George Murnu
and what I most notably miss is the string sound that Celi got from
his
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
band.
So what does all of this has to do with Thielemann? It does because
it
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
usually takes about two seasons for a conductor to fully put his stamp
on
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
the orchestra, although of course progress can be seen (more or less)
from
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
concert to concert. Thus the orchestra that Thielemann conducted in
his
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
debut as music director was basically the one he inherited from
Levine.
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
And
Post by George Murnu
it is true that a compresed audio file is not an ideal way to hear
music,
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
but even with this limitation, the sound is not worse than many
historical
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
recordings that are routinely discussed in this group. Keeping these
limitations in mind, I could still say that the basic string sound in
Thielemann's recording was, unsurprisingly, closer to Levine's lighter
sound
Post by George Murnu
rather than to Celi's richer sound and that the bits and pieces heard
did
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
not reminded me of Celi's interpretation with the same orchestra.
Of
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by George Murnu
course, I will have a better picture in March when the Thielemann's
recording will be released.
The string sound in the Thielemann clips appears to me relatively full
and
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
soft and a little fuzzy, in any case much closer to the C (apart from
the
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
fuzzy part, C usually had very good ensemble) than the L/MET-like sound.
But
Post by Michael Schaffer
I don't take these impressions seriously because I think these clips are
not
Post by Michael Schaffer
at all representative.
What also reminds me a bit of C is the tamed, held back, or to put it
positively, nobly controlled brass sound.
Post by George Murnu
Post by George Murnu
Regards,
George
RX-1
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