Discussion:
Anyone also absolutely love Carlos Kleiber to death?
(too old to reply)
imperfection
2009-02-17 07:04:15 UTC
Permalink
I'm addicted to his VPO Brahms 4th a while ago and now can't stop
listening to the Beethoven 5th/7th. Next thing I know I bought the La
Scala Tristan und Isolde, downloaded some broadcasts (including A
Hero's Life, Brahms 2) from OperaShare.

I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
excitement; instead, every nuance and expression is just done right:
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.

Your thoughts?
Matthew B. Tepper
2009-02-17 07:24:55 UTC
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Try his two New Year's Eve concerts, 1989 and 1992.
--
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
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
h***@yahoo.com
2009-02-17 07:42:34 UTC
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So you're the one who loved him to death. Are you happy now?

It's quite a confession, though.
Matthew B. Tepper
2009-02-17 15:35:26 UTC
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Post by h***@yahoo.com
So you're the one who loved him to death. Are you happy now?
It's quite a confession, though.
No, I'm not the OP. Direct your witticisms more carefully, please.
--
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
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
TareeDawg
2009-02-17 07:52:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by imperfection
I'm addicted to his VPO Brahms 4th a while ago and now can't stop
listening to the Beethoven 5th/7th. Next thing I know I bought the La
Scala Tristan und Isolde, downloaded some broadcasts (including A
Hero's Life, Brahms 2) from OperaShare.
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
He runs out of steam in the LvB 5th and it fizzles out like a damp
squib. Granted he has his moments, but not for the long haul afaiac.

Ray (Dawg) Hall, Taree
c***@ckhowell.com
2009-02-17 19:18:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by TareeDawg
He runs out of steam in the LvB 5th and it fizzles out like a damp
squib. Granted he has his moments, but not for the long haul afaiac.
Ray (Dawg) Hall, Taree
To do him justice, he's one of the few (like his father before him)
who try to make sense of the fact that LvB marked a slower pulse for
the half-notes of the finale than for the dotted half-notes of the
scherzo. Most conductors reverse this, some (e.g. Klemperer) sail
through at an even pace all through. So when you hear the relationship
LvB seemingly asked for, the finale does seem oddly slow.

Chris Howell
Matthew Silverstein
2009-02-17 21:30:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@ckhowell.com
To do him justice, he's one of the few (like his father before him)
who try to make sense of the fact that LvB marked a slower pulse for
the half-notes of the finale than for the dotted half-notes of the
scherzo. Most conductors reverse this, some (e.g. Klemperer) sail
through at an even pace all through. So when you hear the relationship
LvB seemingly asked for, the finale does seem oddly slow.
It's not just the tempo. Kleiber's recording of Beethoven 5/iv just feels
heavy--it collapses under its own weight. It certainly doesn't help that
the timpani--which are thrillingly present in the first movement--barely
make an impression in the final three movements.

Matty
jrsnfld
2009-02-17 22:01:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by c***@ckhowell.com
To do him justice, he's one of the few (like his father before him)
who try to make sense of the fact that LvB marked a slower pulse for
the half-notes of the finale than for the dotted half-notes of the
scherzo. Most conductors reverse this, some (e.g. Klemperer) sail
through at an even pace all through. So when you hear the relationship
LvB seemingly asked for, the finale does seem oddly slow.
It's not just the tempo. Kleiber's recording of Beethoven 5/iv just feels
heavy--it collapses under its own weight. It certainly doesn't help that
the timpani--which are thrillingly present in the first movement--barely
make an impression in the final three movements.
Matty
Would more presence for the timpani in the final three movements have
made them less weighty?

--Jeff
Gerard
2009-02-17 08:41:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by imperfection
I'm addicted to his VPO Brahms 4th a while ago and now can't stop
listening to the Beethoven 5th/7th. Next thing I know I bought the La
Scala Tristan und Isolde, downloaded some broadcasts (including A
Hero's Life, Brahms 2) from OperaShare.
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
Don't forget his Schubert 3 & 8 (DG), and a few Beethoven DVD's.
His New Year concertos on Sony have been reissued by Brilliant Classics (I don't
know if this is still available).
William Sommerwerck
2009-02-17 12:56:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by imperfection
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
We've been through this before. All the performances I've heard of C.
Kleiber, live and recorded, have shown the same interpretive pattern -- a
persistent, intense "pushing forward" that is often inconsistent with the
"tenor" (ar, ar) of the music.

20 years ago I heard him conduct the Brahms 2nd live. From the first few
notes, it was plain this would be an intense, electrifying performance. (My
fellow attendees agreed in retrospect.) Yet that isn't the way the first
movement of the B2 is usually conducted. This is, after all Brahms'
"pastoral" symphony. It is not intense, electrifying music. Contrast with
Monteux or Walter.

Based on what I've heard, I don't consider Carlos Kleiber a good conductor,
because he superimposes a particular approach on everything he conducts. (At
least, in those performances I've heard.) He reveals himself, not the music.
h***@yahoo.com
2009-02-17 14:14:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by imperfection
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
We've been through this before. All the performances I've heard of C.
Kleiber, live and recorded, have shown the same interpretive pattern -- a
persistent, intense "pushing forward" that is often inconsistent with the
"tenor" (ar, ar) of the music.
Agreed. There's also his habit of sacrificing the inner voices so as
to get a clean linear melody.
Michael Schaffer
2009-02-17 19:06:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by imperfection
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
We've been through this before. All the performances I've heard of C.
Kleiber, live and recorded, have shown the same interpretive pattern -- a
persistent, intense "pushing forward" that is often inconsistent with the
"tenor" (ar, ar) of the music.
20 years ago I heard him conduct the Brahms 2nd live.
What orchestra was that with?
Post by William Sommerwerck
From the first few
notes, it was plain this would be an intense, electrifying performance. (My
fellow attendees agreed in retrospect.) Yet that isn't the way the first
movement of the B2 is usually conducted. This is, after all Brahms'
"pastoral" symphony. It is not intense, electrifying music. Contrast with
Monteux or Walter.
Based on what I've heard, I don't consider Carlos Kleiber a good conductor,
because he superimposes a particular approach on everything he conducts. (At
least, in those performances I've heard.) He reveals himself, not the music.
O
2009-02-17 19:29:22 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by William Sommerwerck
Based on what I've heard, I don't consider Carlos Kleiber a good conductor,
because he superimposes a particular approach on everything he conducts. (At
least, in those performances I've heard.) He reveals himself, not the music.
I've got to say that I do enjoy listening to Carlos Kleiber, but I
rarely put his disks on (except for the Beethoven 5th). I almost
always pick someone else to listen to first. Does that make sense?

-Owen
Michael Schaffer
2009-02-17 19:34:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by O
In article
Post by William Sommerwerck
Based on what I've heard, I don't consider Carlos Kleiber a good conductor,
because he superimposes a particular approach on everything he conducts. (At
least, in those performances I've heard.) He reveals himself, not the music.
I've got to say that I do enjoy listening to Carlos Kleiber, but I
rarely put his disks on (except for the Beethoven 5th).
Well, there aren't that many to put on to begin with. However, with
those works that there is a CK recording of, they are almost all among
my very first choices for these particular works.
Post by O
 I almost
always pick someone else to listen to first.  Does that make sense?
Not to me, because it looks like you quoted from a post of mine, but
that was actually written by Mr Sommerwerck. I would never write such
nonsense. Well, OK, I write other nonsense about other subjects
instead. But I would never write such nonsense about CK.
Post by O
-Owen
Simon Roberts
2009-02-17 19:37:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by O
In article
Post by William Sommerwerck
Based on what I've heard, I don't consider Carlos Kleiber a good conductor,
because he superimposes a particular approach on everything he conducts. (At
least, in those performances I've heard.) He reveals himself, not the music.
I've got to say that I do enjoy listening to Carlos Kleiber, but I
rarely put his disks on (except for the Beethoven 5th). I almost
always pick someone else to listen to first. Does that make sense?
It makes sense, but I don't agree: the Carlos Kleiber recordings I like most are
always among the first I'll reach for.

Simon
jrsnfld
2009-02-17 21:33:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by O
In article
There's a Kleiber Brahms 2 on DG?
I confuse easily. Isn't there a DVD?
SE.
Maybe there is. I have a Kleiber Brahms 2 with Vienna on an Exclusive
CD and another on a Memories CD (Chicago?) and I think maybe another
(one of the Munich orchestras?) I downloaded from a kindly collector-
sharer type.

--Jeff
EM
2009-02-17 22:32:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
Maybe there is. I have a Kleiber Brahms 2 with Vienna on an Exclusive
CD and another on a Memories CD (Chicago?) and I think maybe another
(one of the Munich orchestras?) I downloaded from a kindly collector-
sharer type.
There is one on a Memories twofer, "Live at the Musikverrein
Grossersall" (sic); rec. March 20, 1988.

EM

Steve Emerson
2009-02-17 20:26:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Sommerwerck
20 years ago I heard him conduct the Brahms 2nd live. From the first few
notes, it was plain this would be an intense, electrifying performance. (My
fellow attendees agreed in retrospect.) Yet that isn't the way the first
movement of the B2 is usually conducted. This is, after all Brahms'
"pastoral" symphony. It is not intense, electrifying music.
It is neither overwhelmingly the one nor the other -- it's a more
complex case. (Those braying trombones and dissonances here and there
are not in the least pastoral.)
Post by William Sommerwerck
Contrast with Monteux or Walter.
Sure (two of my least favorite performances btw), but then contrast
those with Steinberg or Jochum DG.

I don't know how it was played when you saw him, but the various
recordings on Memories from about that time and the one on DG are
intense enough, but not outside a range suggested by the above, and
Reiner, Fricsay, Furtwangler, Munch, etc.

Not that there isn't something to your general point....

SE.
j***@hotmail.com
2009-02-17 17:20:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by imperfection
I'm addicted to his VPO Brahms 4th a while ago and now can't stop
listening to the Beethoven 5th/7th. Next thing I know I bought the La
Scala Tristan und Isolde, downloaded some broadcasts (including A
Hero's Life, Brahms 2) from OperaShare.
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
I prefer Papa Kleiber to his son.
D***@aol.com
2009-02-17 21:49:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by imperfection
I'm addicted to his VPO Brahms 4th a while ago and now can't stop
listening to the Beethoven 5th/7th. Next thing I know I bought the La
Scala Tristan und Isolde, downloaded some broadcasts (including A
Hero's Life, Brahms 2) from OperaShare.
I just found his conducting absolutely fabulous-always engaging,
intense without any highlighting of superficial climaxes to generate
nothing more, nothing less. Feels like the ultimate balance between
mind-blowing sophistication and utter simplicity to me: having
clarity, economy and grace.
Your thoughts?
Carlos Kleiber didn't conduct much in the USA outside of the
Metropolitan Opera. An exception was the Chicago Symphony, which he
guest-conducted during two seasons in the mid-1970s. I heard the
concerts. The first year's had Weber's Der Freischuetz Overture,
Schubert's 3rd Symphony, and Beethoven's 5th. The next year the
concert began with George Butterworth's English Idyll No. 1, continued
with something I can't recall, and ended with the Symphony no. 2 by
Brahms.

I have seldom heard concerts of such complete mastery. It wasn't
just the precision of the playing, of course. It was that combined
with the feeling of sweep and an overall design from the conductor. I
can still see, in my mind's eye, Kleiber smiling as he conducted. And
then, in the coda of the Brahms finale, him shooting out his arms with
subito piano and the CSO instanteneously becoming quiet. It was
stupendous, but it wasn't a stunt. It worked. Great, great Brahms in
concert.

Kleiber was supposed to come back to the CSO for a third season, but
Asian pirates issued recordings of the WFMT broadcast of his first CSO
appearance (Weber, et cetera). Kleiber found out about them. He was
enraged, and would not come back to Chicago. Big sorrow. It was
planned that he would conduct and record Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6,
"Pathetique." (No pun intended, by the way.)

For me, at least, Carlos Kleiber was a great conductor. But like so
many, perhaps best experienced in person.

Don Tait
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