Discussion:
Karajan Sound
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FePe
2006-05-27 10:13:16 UTC
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I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?

-FePe
Lenny Abbey
2006-05-27 10:48:41 UTC
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Nothing.

Lenny


"FePe" <***@NOSPAMfepe.dk> wrote in message news:44782637$0$15784$***@news.sunsite.dk...
What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
Handel8
2006-05-27 11:22:55 UTC
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Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.

Alan Prichard
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-27 11:32:08 UTC
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Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
Alan Prichard
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings. But live, he could unleash a lot of drive and
impact. One example for a pretty ferocious performance is his second
recording of "Le Sacre du Printemps". After the negative criticism from
Stravinsky about his first recording of the piece (which wasn't nearly
as negative as a lot of people think though), he let the piece rest for
a decade, restudied and rehearsed it intensely, played it a few times
in concert, then recorded it with the BP *in one single, unedited
take*. The result is still technically very sophisticated - no raw
scratching and blaring, but it also has enormous weight and impact.
Gerard
2006-05-27 14:14:33 UTC
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Post by Michael Schaffer
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings.
'Ferocious' does me think to his DG recording of Schubert 9. There's nothing
smooth in this recording.
b***@phillynews.com
2006-05-27 15:06:32 UTC
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Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael Schaffer
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings. But live, he could unleash a lot of drive and
impact...
After hearing a few of his live recordings from the 70s and 80s, I have
to agree with this. The Eroica on DVD from the BPO's 100th anniversary
concert is extremely aggressive; perhaps too much so at times (still, I
love the performance overall). I've also heard recordings of a live
Brahms symphony cycle he and the BPO gave at Carnegie Hall in the mid
70s. Ferocious is absolutely the word I would use to describe the
performances. Again, at times I wished he would let up a bit. But the
intensity and power were nearly constant. I don't think I've heard
anything quite THAT aggressive from him among his commercial
recordings.
Barry
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-27 15:13:07 UTC
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Post by b***@phillynews.com
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael Schaffer
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings. But live, he could unleash a lot of drive and
impact...
After hearing a few of his live recordings from the 70s and 80s, I have
to agree with this. The Eroica on DVD from the BPO's 100th anniversary
concert is extremely aggressive; perhaps too much so at times (still, I
love the performance overall).
Yes, I wanted to mention that as an example, too, because it is
something everyone get and listen to. But there are also many
"sensitive" sides to that performance. Or the Alpensinfonie filmed in a
live concert in 1984 or so (I was in the actual concert). It may not be
exactly "ferocious", but it has nothing "smooth" and "polished in it in
the sense of glossed over and uneventful. It is very intense music
making. There is also a Bruckner 9 from 1985 on DVD which I haven't
watched, but I was in that concert, too, and even though it's 20 years
ago, I still remember clearly how intense and "aufgewühlt" (I don't
know how to translate that - it means "stirred up" in the sense of
emotionally very intense and alive) the playing was. I would like to
see the DVD some time.
Post by b***@phillynews.com
I've also heard recordings of a live
Brahms symphony cycle he and the BPO gave at Carnegie Hall in the mid
70s. Ferocious is absolutely the word I would use to describe the
performances. Again, at times I wished he would let up a bit. But the
intensity and power were nearly constant. I don't think I've heard
anything quite THAT aggressive from him among his commercial
recordings.
Barry
O
2006-05-28 03:11:43 UTC
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Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Michael Schaffer
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings. But live, he could unleash a lot of drive and
impact...
To me, after Benny Goodman, Karajan is the King of "Swing." (Jack of
Swing?) A lot of recordings to me have a particular swagger which
sounds like big band music. It kind of wells up and breaks out in the
climaxes. Almost all his Brahms 1st Symphonies I've heard have this
phenomena.

-Owen
g***@gmail.com
2020-06-04 20:52:41 UTC
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Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
Alan Prichard
The later Karajan could be quite ferocious, too, but the smooth,
elegant side was much more predominant throughout the last decades,
especially on recordings. But live, he could unleash a lot of drive and
impact. One example for a pretty ferocious performance is his second
recording of "Le Sacre du Printemps". After the negative criticism from
Stravinsky about his first recording of the piece (which wasn't nearly
as negative as a lot of people think though)...
According to this:

- Both received the sort of precision-drilled performances - impeccable, perhaps even "perfect," but dispiritingly bloodless - that seemed to characterize so much of his work at that time.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/entertainment/books/1978/07/02/karajans-rite/c2ff167b-f962-4cce-904f-b5abf2c50f3a/
Simon Roberts
2006-05-27 20:51:50 UTC
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In article <***@38g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Handel8
says...
Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with.
I would, though I might prefer "savage splendor", a phrase I think I've seen
used by someone; listen to his conducting of Pizarro's aria in his EMI Fidelio,
for instance, or the war music in the Agnus Dei of the Missa Solemnis in his
1975 EMI recording, or some of the outbursts in Otello (EMI again).

What are you comparing this recording to that made you
Post by Handel8
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
I disagree with that too. I don't hear much evidence in support of the general
view that Karajan became increasingly smooth/bland with age, and can't think off
hand of any recording of his pre 1959 that's as ferocious (or bold or dramatic
or however you want to put it) as recordings since, especially in works he
recorded several times. In Bruckner 8 the progression is in reverse, from
stultifyingly smooth and dull (BPO/EMI late 50s) through to the much more
energetic/dramatic final recording with the VPO, while to these ears the
blandest/smoothest of his Beethoven sets is the first, on EMI, from the 1950s.
He could, of course, be smooth in his later years (someone encountering the
allegretto of Beethoven 7 for the first time via his final DG recording of the
piece might have a hard time figuring out the rhythm in the first few bars), and
his style did change, but not always as legend would have it.
Post by Handel8
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
I don't think they support your contention at all.

Simon
g***@gmail.com
2019-05-15 05:00:38 UTC
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Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
Alan Prichard
According to this:

- The early live recordings of his concerts in post-war Vienna all capture a fiery temperament that was sacrificed in later years to an overriding concern for sonority.

https://www.orfeo-international.de/pages/news_509_e.html
i***@gmail.com
2019-12-22 23:32:02 UTC
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Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
Alan Prichard
According to this:

- It has been said that the truest measure of a man often lies in the esteem of his enemies. And so it is that the most intriguing pendant to the Furtwängler saga summons once again his younger nemesis.

After taking the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic upon Furtwängler's death, Herbert von Karajan won unprecedented fame and fortune by polishing his performances to a superhuman precision, purging the music of any vestige of human emotion, as if to deliberately suppress memories of the approach of his predecessor. And yet, decades after Furtwängler's tortured demise, toward the end of his own charmed life, the wealthiest and most successful musician of all time seems to have become haunted with a most peculiar concern. Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim.

What doubt possibly could have troubled the mind of the world's greatest musician? That Furtwängler wouldn't have approved!

http://classicalnotes.net/features/furtwangler.html
Frank Berger
2019-12-23 01:05:10 UTC
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Post by i***@gmail.com
Post by Handel8
Gee, the word "ferocity" is not a word I would associate with Karajan
to begin with. What are you comparing this recording to that made you
come up with that adjective? Maybe the early Karajan could be
described that way, but not anything since about 1959, I would think.
No for me, the word "smoothed out' would be more abt. "Slick"
another good word that applies. And he got more and more that way as
time went on, as his recordings will attest. Hint: compare the 3 or 4
Beethoven symphony cycles.
Alan Prichard
- It has been said that the truest measure of a man often lies in the esteem of his enemies. And so it is that the most intriguing pendant to the Furtwängler saga summons once again his younger nemesis.
After taking the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic upon Furtwängler's death, Herbert von Karajan won unprecedented fame and fortune by polishing his performances to a superhuman precision, purging the music of any vestige of human emotion, as if to deliberately suppress memories of the approach of his predecessor. And yet, decades after Furtwängler's tortured demise, toward the end of his own charmed life, the wealthiest and most successful musician of all time seems to have become haunted with a most peculiar concern. Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim.
What doubt possibly could have troubled the mind of the world's greatest musician? That Furtwängler wouldn't have approved!
http://classicalnotes.net/features/furtwangler.html
This was written 20 years ago. Is there newer scholarship? And is that
last statement about what troubled Karajan anything more than
unsupported assertion?
f***@hotmail.com
2006-05-27 11:26:44 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
"Ferocity"? Some quick tempi, yes, but in the recordings I know (some
100 CDs or so) he tends to be an estethe rather than an ecstatic...

That said, his sound amazes me. Many criticize it for being not
transparent and heavy, and it is certainly true that the loved making
it all a big cloud of sound. But why not, it can be very enjoyable from
time to time.

I have all his Mendelssohn symphonies, but I simply cannot stand them
anymore for some atrocious playing and singing. The choir on the
Lobgesang is worse than my English allows me to express - even worse
than the Wiener Singverein in his worst days. Those sopranos - had they
sent them to Jericho the walls would have evaporated into dust. And
right at the beginning of this symphony the horns come in with a very
approximate rendering of their important motif. Same holds true for my
favourite Mendelsshon symphonie, no. 5 "Reformation". I certainly like
Karajan's basic approach, but it's simply played inadequately.

Nevertheless, there are many invaluable recordings he left us - his
Ring (warts and all), his VPO Bruckner VII, his VPO video Bruckner IX
(1977 IIRC), the Wagner VPO chunks disc with Jessye Norman, his higly
idiosyncratic 1988 BPO Brahms IV (VERY strange, but fascinating -
almost Mengelbergian in some places)...

At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.

OTOH, much that was important to him, sound and technical brilliance,
have now been bettered enormously as well with respect to orchestral
technical standards as with the quality of recordings. Which takes away
much of the luster around his BPO and him at the height of their glory.

And other conductors with recordings and orchestras in much worse
technical conditions aimed at other things in their interpretations
which lose less through the technical progress since their time -
Furtwängler as a prime example.

Cheers,
Floor
Norman M. Schwartz
2006-05-27 12:11:10 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
"Ferocity"? Some quick tempi, yes, but in the recordings I know (some
100 CDs or so) he tends to be an estethe rather than an ecstatic...

That said, his sound amazes me. Many criticize it for being not
transparent and heavy, and it is certainly true that the loved making
it all a big cloud of sound.

I heard him conduct the Phiharmonia (Handel Water Music and LvB Pastoral) in
Carnegie H. a long time ago and the concert sticks out in my memory as being
quite the opposite. All was balanced, light-handed, delicately played and
clear as a bell. The cloud of sound must be the responsibility of the
engineers at the Philharmonie.
James Kahn
2006-05-27 16:44:14 UTC
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Post by f***@hotmail.com
"Ferocity"? Some quick tempi, yes, but in the recordings I know (some
100 CDs or so) he tends to be an estethe rather than an ecstatic...
That said, his sound amazes me. Many criticize it for being not
transparent and heavy, and it is certainly true that the loved making
it all a big cloud of sound.
I actually thought that the nickname "Fluffy" had something to do
with that "cloud of sound" that I also associate with at least some
of his recordings. But a recent discussion here indicated otherwise.
Maybe it's more than a coincidence, though.
--
Jim
New York, NY
(Please remove "nospam." to get my e-mail address)
http://www.panix.com/~kahn
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-27 16:51:54 UTC
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Post by James Kahn
Post by f***@hotmail.com
"Ferocity"? Some quick tempi, yes, but in the recordings I know (some
100 CDs or so) he tends to be an estethe rather than an ecstatic...
That said, his sound amazes me. Many criticize it for being not
transparent and heavy, and it is certainly true that the loved making
it all a big cloud of sound.
I actually thought that the nickname "Fluffy" had something to do
with that "cloud of sound" that I also associate with at least some
of his recordings. But a recent discussion here indicated otherwise.
Maybe it's more than a coincidence, though.
--
Jim
New York, NY
(Please remove "nospam." to get my e-mail address)
http://www.panix.com/~kahn
Where does that silly "nickname" come from? Karajan was never fluffy,
in younger years up to the 50s he was ususally crew cut, then later
coiffeured rather stiff, at times spiky.
Simon Roberts
2006-05-27 20:57:15 UTC
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In article <***@j33g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Michael
Schaffer says...
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by James Kahn
I actually thought that the nickname "Fluffy" had something to do
with that "cloud of sound" that I also associate with at least some
of his recordings. But a recent discussion here indicated otherwise.
Maybe it's more than a coincidence, though.
--
Jim
New York, NY
(Please remove "nospam." to get my e-mail address)
http://www.panix.com/~kahn
Where does that silly "nickname" come from? Karajan was never fluffy,
in younger years up to the 50s he was ususally crew cut,
Not according the photos I've seen from pre-40s; it was rather long. Anyway,
according to Osborne's book the nickname was bestowed by a female admirer. (I
think this is revealed c. p92, but I've not looked at the book since it was
first published and my memory may be off.) I imagine it was a reference to his
hair, but maybe she was referring to something else....

Simon
FePe
2006-05-27 12:27:20 UTC
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Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.

(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Steven de Mena
2006-05-27 12:46:02 UTC
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Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Welcome. How old are you? And how were you introduced to classical music?

Steve
f***@hotmail.com
2006-05-27 14:38:28 UTC
Reply
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Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Oops, I did not want to give you a feeling of having said something
stupid - I just tried to say what I think about this subject without
any subtextual message.

Thus, there's absolutely no need to apologize - I am a "serious"
listener for 15 years now, but compared to many here in this forum I
still have no experience at all. It's really amazing how much knowledge
is around here - but it can be intimidating, too.

But knowledge is not everything - even if one cannot compare a
recording to all the other 257 1/2 that have been made in the last 129
years (I don't even own the 1962 Karajan Beethoven cycle, I only have
his 70s and 80s efforts) and in addition to written testimonies of
performances back into the Stone Age, he still remains entitled to his
own ears and can share his impressions.

And I have made good experiences here with people who fill me in with
matters I didn't know about.

Cheers,
Floor
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-27 14:58:53 UTC
Reply
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Post by f***@hotmail.com
Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Oops, I did not want to give you a feeling of having said something
stupid - I just tried to say what I think about this subject without
any subtextual message.
Thus, there's absolutely no need to apologize - I am a "serious"
listener for 15 years now, but compared to many here in this forum I
still have no experience at all. It's really amazing how much knowledge
is around here - but it can be intimidating, too.
Nobody here knows really all that much. We all have our little
specialized interests and fields, even though some seem to try to make
it look like they really know everything about anything. But that's
nonsense. I know some areas of the repertoire and some areas of
performance practice quite well, but then there are other areas that I
know next to nothing about. But some people try to make themselves look
omniscient. That is what you see behind all these sweeping generalized
statements about this or that. It is very easy to come in and put
everything down in an effort to make oneself look very smart.
You see that every day here, but it shouldn't be mistaken for actual
knowledge.
Post by f***@hotmail.com
But knowledge is not everything - even if one cannot compare a
recording to all the other 257 1/2 that have been made in the last 129
years (I don't even own the 1962 Karajan Beethoven cycle, I only have
his 70s and 80s efforts) and in addition to written testimonies of
performances back into the Stone Age, he still remains entitled to his
own ears and can share his impressions.
And I have made good experiences here with people who fill me in with
matters I didn't know about.
Cheers,
Floor
Dan Koren
2006-05-27 20:01:54 UTC
Reply
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Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by f***@hotmail.com
Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Oops, I did not want to give you a feeling of having said something
stupid - I just tried to say what I think about this subject without
any subtextual message.
Thus, there's absolutely no need to apologize - I am a "serious"
listener for 15 years now, but compared to many here in this forum I
still have no experience at all. It's really amazing how much knowledge
is around here - but it can be intimidating, too.
Nobody here knows really all that much.
Indeed not.
Post by Michael Schaffer
We all have our little specialized interests and fields, even though
some seem to try to make it look like they really know everything
about anything.
Like German culture?



dk
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 03:26:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by f***@hotmail.com
Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
Oops, I did not want to give you a feeling of having said something
stupid - I just tried to say what I think about this subject without
any subtextual message.
Thus, there's absolutely no need to apologize - I am a "serious"
listener for 15 years now, but compared to many here in this forum I
still have no experience at all. It's really amazing how much knowledge
is around here - but it can be intimidating, too.
Nobody here knows really all that much.
Indeed not.
Post by Michael Schaffer
We all have our little specialized interests and fields, even though
some seem to try to make it look like they really know everything
about anything.
Like German culture?
For instance. Most people here know zip about German culture, except
that they listen to a lot of music from there. But no other cultural
background or insights, no basic knowledge of the language and
literature, very superficial historical knowledge. It is very apparent
in many of the postings here. I myself only know a fraction of the
culture, but still vastly more than most people here. Which is no
special achievement of any kind, since I grew up there. Of course, a
lot of people growing up in Germany (or anywhere in the world) have no
clue about their culture, but those are the dumb, uninterested people.
Everyone interested in these things will naturally start out by
acquiring a lot of information from his surrounding culture, beginning
with the language. I was also extremely lucky, of course, by growing up
in Berlin where there is so much of that, especially the music. Plus
Germany is a country which spends a lot of resources for its culture
and education in general and about history in particular, especially
about the recent violent past. An almost ideal situation to start out
from.

Like for the present topic. You may not have known that, but Karajan
was principal conductor of an orchestra (one of 8 total) in Berlin for
over 3 decades of which I was able to witness most of the final one,
lucky me. Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
That situation makes it very easy to also learn a lot about other
cultures, because the exchange with many other countries is very
intense and the education system makes it fairly easy to learn foreign
languages and a lot of other things.

I jeep that in mind when I converse with provincial cheese heads like
you. And I am not holding it against you at all. It is not your fault.
But you could have done more to learn a little bit about the world. But
then again, you seem to do just fine just pretending which probably
works very well in your immediate surroundings, although you are often
exposed as a pretentious idiot here, in this international forum.
Post by Dan Koren
dk
George Murnu
2006-05-28 04:29:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
For instance. Most people here know zip about German culture, except
that they listen to a lot of music from there. But no other cultural
background or insights,
Do Tatort, Scorpions, Merz, or Winnetou count? (oops, Scorpions are music -
or are they?)
:-)
Post by Michael Schaffer
no basic knowledge of the language and
literature, very superficial historical knowledge.
Well, how can somebody love, say Gounod's, Busoni's or Berlioz' Faust but
have no clue about Goethe's (or indeed, settings of the story before and
after him?) How can somebody know about Wagner but have no clue about the
Mad King Ludwig? How can somebody love Bach but have no clue about the
Reformation and Martin Luther?
Post by Michael Schaffer
It is very apparent
in many of the postings here. I myself only know a fraction of the
culture, but still vastly more than most people here. Which is no
special achievement of any kind, since I grew up there. Of course, a
lot of people growing up in Germany (or anywhere in the world) have no
clue about their culture, but those are the dumb, uninterested people.
Everyone interested in these things will naturally start out by
acquiring a lot of information from his surrounding culture, beginning
with the language. I was also extremely lucky, of course, by growing up
in Berlin where there is so much of that, especially the music. Plus
Germany is a country which spends a lot of resources for its culture
and education in general and about history in particular, especially
about the recent violent past. An almost ideal situation to start out
from.
Like for the present topic. You may not have known that, but Karajan
was principal conductor of an orchestra (one of 8 total) in Berlin for
over 3 decades of which I was able to witness most of the final one,
lucky me.
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
Post by Michael Schaffer
That situation makes it very easy to also learn a lot about other
cultures, because the exchange with many other countries is very
intense and the education system makes it fairly easy to learn foreign
languages and a lot of other things.
I jeep that in mind when I converse with provincial cheese heads like
you. And I am not holding it against you at all. It is not your fault.
But you could have done more to learn a little bit about the world. But
then again, you seem to do just fine just pretending which probably
works very well in your immediate surroundings, although you are often
exposed as a pretentious idiot here, in this international forum.
dk
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 05:51:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
For instance. Most people here know zip about German culture, except
that they listen to a lot of music from there. But no other cultural
background or insights,
Do Tatort, Scorpions, Merz, or Winnetou count? (oops, Scorpions are music -
or are they?)
:-)
Yes, but these contents won't give you much insight into earlier
cultural layers. But if you want to get a feeling for post-war German
popular culture, Tatort and Winnetou are indispensable. I mean the
films, the books are much older and don't really tell you much about
German culture of the time since escapist adventure novels set in
remote places are nothing particularly German at all, and they don't
contain the kind of insight of a Western mind looking at far away
cultures, like, for instance, Kipling - May simply made all the stuff
up without ever having been in Kurdistan or America.
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
no basic knowledge of the language and
literature, very superficial historical knowledge.
Well, how can somebody love, say Gounod's, Busoni's or Berlioz' Faust but
have no clue about Goethe's (or indeed, settings of the story before and
after him?) How can somebody know about Wagner but have no clue about the
Mad King Ludwig? How can somebody love Bach but have no clue about the
Reformation and Martin Luther?
I often wonder about that myself.
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
It is very apparent
in many of the postings here. I myself only know a fraction of the
culture, but still vastly more than most people here. Which is no
special achievement of any kind, since I grew up there. Of course, a
lot of people growing up in Germany (or anywhere in the world) have no
clue about their culture, but those are the dumb, uninterested people.
Everyone interested in these things will naturally start out by
acquiring a lot of information from his surrounding culture, beginning
with the language. I was also extremely lucky, of course, by growing up
in Berlin where there is so much of that, especially the music. Plus
Germany is a country which spends a lot of resources for its culture
and education in general and about history in particular, especially
about the recent violent past. An almost ideal situation to start out
from.
Like for the present topic. You may not have known that, but Karajan
was principal conductor of an orchestra (one of 8 total) in Berlin for
over 3 decades of which I was able to witness most of the final one,
lucky me.
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
And for a number of other places all across the world. But if we are
talking about German culture, Berlin is not a bad place to start. It's
all there, the good and the bad sides.
Post by George Murnu
Post by Michael Schaffer
That situation makes it very easy to also learn a lot about other
cultures, because the exchange with many other countries is very
intense and the education system makes it fairly easy to learn foreign
languages and a lot of other things.
I jeep that in mind when I converse with provincial cheese heads like
you. And I am not holding it against you at all. It is not your fault.
But you could have done more to learn a little bit about the world. But
then again, you seem to do just fine just pretending which probably
works very well in your immediate surroundings, although you are often
exposed as a pretentious idiot here, in this international forum.
dk
Gerard
2006-05-28 10:39:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
I think you're (both) mixing up two things that are not the same, and that
you're talking about 'culture' where 'arts' is meant.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 11:01:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
I think you're (both) mixing up two things that are not the same, and that
you're talking about 'culture' where 'arts' is meant.
Probably true, but it all depends on how you define both in the
context. I guess what you mean is that it is more apt to speak of
culture as meaning something broader, including all aspects of living
of a certain time and place, while art would be more specifically
"artistic activities". But you can't separate them anyway, and I think
in this context, it can be understood what we were talking about. In
any case, if you talk about the culture or art of any given "cultural
sphere", I think it is not such a farfetched idea that the actual
places where that culture comes from and many elements of it are still
"alive" are not the worst places to start developing an understanding
for it, although that idea is often ridiculed by idiots like dk.
*Especially* when we are talking about culture in the broader sense
that you seem to hint at here, then I would say it is basically
indispensable to spend a lot of time in these places and be familiar
with the language and also a certainamount of their *art* to gain a
first hand understanding of a culture rather than just a voyeur's point
of view knowledge of some isolated elements of its *art*.
Good point. Thanks for bringing that up.
Gerard
2006-05-28 11:53:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
I think you're (both) mixing up two things that are not the same,
and that you're talking about 'culture' where 'arts' is meant.
Probably true, but it all depends on how you define both in the
context. I guess what you mean is that it is more apt to speak of
culture as meaning something broader, including all aspects of living
of a certain time and place,
I was more thinking of: all aspects of living of a certain community
(many people at the same place at the same time - like in New York - are not
necessarily a community, on the contrary).

But that does not change the worth of your thoughts.
Post by Michael Schaffer
while art would be more specifically
"artistic activities". But you can't separate them anyway, and I think
in this context, it can be understood what we were talking about. In
any case, if you talk about the culture or art of any given "cultural
sphere", I think it is not such a farfetched idea that the actual
places where that culture comes from and many elements of it are still
"alive" are not the worst places to start developing an understanding
for it, although that idea is often ridiculed by idiots like dk.
*Especially* when we are talking about culture in the broader sense
that you seem to hint at here, then I would say it is basically
indispensable to spend a lot of time in these places and be familiar
with the language and also a certainamount of their *art* to gain a
first hand understanding of a culture rather than just a voyeur's
point of view knowledge of some isolated elements of its *art*.
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look at others
cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the participants
know for sure that their culture is the best or superior to all others.
Therefor they can see other cultures only as inferior ones.
(There's some relation between such a view and military power.)
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 11:59:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Post by George Murnu
[snip]
Post by Michael Schaffer
Plus we had literally all great conductors and orchestras
from the world stop by all the time. It's almost unfair how much
culture we get there, all the time.
This is certainly the case about New York as well.
I think you're (both) mixing up two things that are not the same,
and that you're talking about 'culture' where 'arts' is meant.
Probably true, but it all depends on how you define both in the
context. I guess what you mean is that it is more apt to speak of
culture as meaning something broader, including all aspects of living
of a certain time and place,
I was more thinking of: all aspects of living of a certain community
(many people at the same place at the same time - like in New York - are not
necessarily a community, on the contrary).
But that does not change the worth of your thoughts.
Post by Michael Schaffer
while art would be more specifically
"artistic activities". But you can't separate them anyway, and I think
in this context, it can be understood what we were talking about. In
any case, if you talk about the culture or art of any given "cultural
sphere", I think it is not such a farfetched idea that the actual
places where that culture comes from and many elements of it are still
"alive" are not the worst places to start developing an understanding
for it, although that idea is often ridiculed by idiots like dk.
*Especially* when we are talking about culture in the broader sense
that you seem to hint at here, then I would say it is basically
indispensable to spend a lot of time in these places and be familiar
with the language and also a certainamount of their *art* to gain a
first hand understanding of a culture rather than just a voyeur's
point of view knowledge of some isolated elements of its *art*.
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look at others
cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the participants
know for sure that their culture is the best or superior to all others.
Therefor they can see other cultures only as inferior ones.
(There's some relation between such a view and military power.)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of people whose country doesn't have
significant military power, but who still think that. But of course, in
those cases in which such forces can be mobilized, they can then go
ahead and propagate that more unhindered. That is a very universal
phenomenon.
Gerard
2006-05-28 12:16:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look
at others cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the
participants know for sure that their culture is the best or
superior to all others. Therefor they can see other cultures only
as inferior ones. (There's some relation between such a view and
military power.)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of people whose country doesn't have
significant military power, but who still think that.
That's right. Do you examples?
BTW I'm not thinking of individual people, but of general ideas as part of a
culture.

But I think that in many cases - when you look at the history of such
countries - there has been forms of domination in the past, recently or not.
Some modesty at this point will come up long after the loss of power.

2 examples - but I don't know if you mean countries like those.
Italy - once the Romans ruled the whole (known) world.
Spain - once they had an empire where the sun never set down.
(and actually many other countries that have been mighty during some period)
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 12:44:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look
at others cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the
participants know for sure that their culture is the best or
superior to all others. Therefor they can see other cultures only
as inferior ones. (There's some relation between such a view and
military power.)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of people whose country doesn't have
significant military power, but who still think that.
That's right. Do you examples?
BTW I'm not thinking of individual people, but of general ideas as part of a
culture.
But I think that in many cases - when you look at the history of such
countries - there has been forms of domination in the past, recently or not.
Some modesty at this point will come up long after the loss of power.
2 examples - but I don't know if you mean countries like those.
Italy - once the Romans ruled the whole (known) world.
Spain - once they had an empire where the sun never set down.
(and actually many other countries that have been mighty during some period)
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have so
many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
Gerard
2006-05-28 13:54:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to
look at others cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the
participants know for sure that their culture is the best or
superior to all others. Therefor they can see other cultures
only as inferior ones. (There's some relation between such a
view and military power.)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of people whose country doesn't
have significant military power, but who still think that.
That's right. Do you examples?
BTW I'm not thinking of individual people, but of general ideas as
part of a culture.
But I think that in many cases - when you look at the history of
such countries - there has been forms of domination in the past,
recently or not. Some modesty at this point will come up long after
the loss of power.
2 examples - but I don't know if you mean countries like those.
Italy - once the Romans ruled the whole (known) world.
Spain - once they had an empire where the sun never set down.
(and actually many other countries that have been mighty during some period)
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have
so many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
I don't think this is completely BS.
But apart from that: their "national pride" seems to originate from that
period, when they had military power too. Do you think they 'still' feel
superior to other cultures?
A keyword might be "they". I think people who know about their history think
different than people who think in terms of 'winning a soccer championship'.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-28 14:09:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to
look at others cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the
participants know for sure that their culture is the best or
superior to all others. Therefor they can see other cultures
only as inferior ones. (There's some relation between such a
view and military power.)
Not necessarily. There are a lot of people whose country doesn't
have significant military power, but who still think that.
That's right. Do you examples?
BTW I'm not thinking of individual people, but of general ideas as
part of a culture.
But I think that in many cases - when you look at the history of
such countries - there has been forms of domination in the past,
recently or not. Some modesty at this point will come up long after
the loss of power.
2 examples - but I don't know if you mean countries like those.
Italy - once the Romans ruled the whole (known) world.
Spain - once they had an empire where the sun never set down.
(and actually many other countries that have been mighty during some period)
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have
so many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
I don't think this is completely BS.
It is. There are obviously many Greek loan words in other, especially
European languages, but that doesn't mean that these derive from Greek.
I am sure you know the basics about the Indo-European languages and all
that.
Post by Gerard
But apart from that: their "national pride" seems to originate from that
period, when they had military power too.
When was that? When Alexander the Great was still around?
Post by Gerard
Do you think they 'still' feel
superior to other cultures?
No, I think "they" actually feel inferior to other countries because it
is a fairly small and not exactly wealthy country. There is a lot of
hatred for the many tourists who come to Greece every year - but
without who the country wouldn't have much, and also for the US because
they "support" the arch enemy to the East who flies around in their air
space with fighter planes all the time.
Now, these are vast generalizations. I have met many nice and very
intelligent people there who didn't give a flying fuck about things
like these. But I heard stuff like that fairly often.
Post by Gerard
A keyword might be "they". I think people who know about their history think
different than people who think in terms of 'winning a soccer championship'.
That is for many people a historic event, too.
Gerard
2006-05-28 14:42:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
But apart from that: their "national pride" seems to originate from
that period, when they had military power too.
When was that? When Alexander the Great was still around?
For example. And they had Sparta around.
And don't forget the first Trojan horse.
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Do you think they 'still' feel
superior to other cultures?
No, I think "they" actually feel inferior to other countries because
it is a fairly small and not exactly wealthy country.
Sometimes acting superior is a compensation for feeling the opposite. Then a
glorious past is very welcome.
Post by Michael Schaffer
There is a lot
of hatred for the many tourists who come to Greece every year - but
without who the country wouldn't have much,
This looks like a problem (to me) for every country that meets mass tourism
(and needs them, but wishes they were not needed). The behaviour of many
tourists is not very ... eh .. respectfull to the countries and peoples they
visit (most of them only visit beaches and bars - where the local population
is there just to serve them). That might hurt; it does not make the tourists
very beloved. It happens everywhere. What can people do against it (else than
feeling superior in some way)?
Post by Michael Schaffer
and also for the US
because they "support" the arch enemy to the East who flies around in
their air space with fighter planes all the time.
Now, these are vast generalizations. I have met many nice and very
intelligent people there who didn't give a flying fuck about things
like these. But I heard stuff like that fairly often.
Post by Gerard
A keyword might be "they". I think people who know about their
history think different than people who think in terms of 'winning
a soccer championship'.
That is for many people a historic event, too.
I was ;-)

But as you said: when meeting nice and intelligent people the situation is
different.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-30 00:47:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
But apart from that: their "national pride" seems to originate from
that period, when they had military power too.
When was that? When Alexander the Great was still around?
For example. And they had Sparta around.
And don't forget the first Trojan horse.
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Gerard
Do you think they 'still' feel
superior to other cultures?
No, I think "they" actually feel inferior to other countries because
it is a fairly small and not exactly wealthy country.
Sometimes acting superior is a compensation for feeling the opposite. Then a
glorious past is very welcome.
Or a "glorious" future, as in the case of the 3rd Reich. Only that in
that case, it was actually a fairly strong country which was
artificially held down and sucked dry, a mistake which generated a lot
of the hatred that the NS regime capitalized on to unleash a singular
wave of destruction. Luckily, the US occupation forces after WWII were
much smarter than the British and French after WWI and helped rebuilt
the country to create a strong ally rather than a strong enemy again.
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
There is a lot
of hatred for the many tourists who come to Greece every year - but
without who the country wouldn't have much,
This looks like a problem (to me) for every country that meets mass tourism
(and needs them, but wishes they were not needed). The behaviour of many
tourists is not very ... eh .. respectfull to the countries and peoples they
visit (most of them only visit beaches and bars - where the local population
is there just to serve them). That might hurt; it does not make the tourists
very beloved. It happens everywhere. What can people do against it (else than
feeling superior in some way)?
True, but for me it always had a little bit of a loser thing when they
felt like that. Nobody forces them to accept tourists, but without
them, they wouldn't have much. Of course, many tourists don't behave
very nicely, that is completely unnecessary. There was a pretty funny
German film 10 years or so ago called "Man spricht deutsh" (spelling
mistake intended) about German tourists from the province who invade
Italy every year and expect everything to be like at home, only warmer
and with a beach.
But a lot also depends on how the tourism is set up. Where they build
mass hotels to process as many tourists as easily as possible, they
will attract a lot of cheap primitive people. A glaring example for
this is the island of Mykonos in the Aegean which is a mass tourism
hell, overbuilt, overcrowded, dirty, noisy, lots of drunken people who
try to get laid at all costs. My ex was from the neighbor island Naxos
(like the label) which is a much bigger island but has much less
tourism. They have discos and a lot of tourist restaurants, too, but
everything is happening on a much smaller and much more relaxed scale.
a difference like night and day, really. They also tend to get a very
different kind of tourist from Mykonos. I never saw myself as tourist
anyway, more as a visitor.
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
and also for the US
because they "support" the arch enemy to the East who flies around in
their air space with fighter planes all the time.
Now, these are vast generalizations. I have met many nice and very
intelligent people there who didn't give a flying fuck about things
like these. But I heard stuff like that fairly often.
Post by Gerard
A keyword might be "they". I think people who know about their
history think different than people who think in terms of 'winning
a soccer championship'.
That is for many people a historic event, too.
I was ;-)
But as you said: when meeting nice and intelligent people the situation is
different.
Bob Harper
2006-05-29 23:16:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Michael Schaffer wrote:
(snip)
Post by Michael Schaffer
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have so
many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
An idea which is a running joke in the very funny movie 'My Big Fat
Greek Wedding.'

Bob Harper
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-30 00:34:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
Post by Michael Schaffer
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have so
many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
An idea which is a running joke in the very funny movie 'My Big Fat
Greek Wedding.'
Bob Harper
Yes, I had a few déja-vus when I watched that movie; I had a Greek
girlfriend for several years. Although the Greeks in Berlin don't
behave nearly as stereotypically (Greek word, incidentally), most of
them are actually *from* Greece, and the ones *in* Greece even less.
Apart from the exaggerations - it was after all a comedy -, I think
there was some truth in it as emigrant communities often tend to behave
more stereotypically than the people in the actual country.
Ian Pace
2006-05-30 00:56:30 UTC
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Post by Michael Schaffer
Yes, I had a few déja-vus when I watched that movie; I had a Greek
girlfriend for several years. Although the Greeks in Berlin don't
behave nearly as stereotypically (Greek word, incidentally), most of
them are actually *from* Greece, and the ones *in* Greece even less.
Apart from the exaggerations - it was after all a comedy -, I think
there was some truth in it as emigrant communities often tend to behave
more stereotypically than the people in the actual country.


That's an interesting thought. Why do you think it is - possibly because of
some (maybe unconscious) pressure to 'perform' for the host community?

But from where do the stereotypes emanate? From the 'native people' or from
the host communities (or from neither)?

Ian
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-30 02:00:20 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
Post by Michael Schaffer
One example comes to mind spontaneously, in Greece, where I have been
very often, a lot of people always get on your nerves with how Greece
is the oldest culture in Europe (theoretically true, not that most of
the poeple who chew your ear off with that know much about it though,
and there isn't much left of that anyway) and they also tell you all
the time how all other languages derive from greek because they have so
many Greek words (which is BS, of course).
An idea which is a running joke in the very funny movie 'My Big Fat
Greek Wedding.'
A few weeks ago I was in the studio audience for the taping of a pair of
episodes as pilots for a television show. I don't know how much I can say
here about the show itself, so I'll limit my remarks here. The audience
was a fairly compact one, and we mostly behaved ourselves pretty well.

At one point, the producers wanted to open the floor to questions from
audience members, so they stopped filming and the director talked to us to
screen us for ideas. I had a question that he liked, and after comparing
it with those of a couple of other people he decided to go with mine as the
only one. They were trying out different "tosses" (transitions from one
camera to another), so I had to keep returning to my mark for a reaction
shot several times. After three times I smiled and said, "Man, the camera
loves me." This got a big laugh from "celebrity guest" Nia Vardalos, the
star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Naturally I was delighted to get such
a reaction from a pro, and I was pretty buzzed for the rest of the day.
--
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
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Ian Pace
2006-05-28 12:35:24 UTC
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Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look at others
cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the participants
know for sure that their culture is the best or superior to all others.
Therefor they can see other cultures only as inferior ones.
(There's some relation between such a view and military power.)
Do you think that's true in the USA?

Ian
Gerard
2006-05-28 13:40:16 UTC
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Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gerard
Maybe this is a part of your (and maybe mine too) culture, to look at others
cultures this way.
But I'm sure there are some cultures in this world in which the participants
know for sure that their culture is the best or superior to all
others. Therefor they can see other cultures only as inferior ones.
(There's some relation between such a view and military power.)
Do you think that's true in the USA?
I can't say all USA-people think that way (of course not). But generally
spoken: yes.
Gene Poon
2006-05-27 18:18:16 UTC
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Post by FePe
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
================================================

Don't characterize your post as "stupid" because it's not. It reflects
your taste and opinion as of now, and it's as valid as anyone elses and
just as subject to change and modification as you listen more.

Ultimately what you gain and learn from your own listening is worth more
than what you gain and learn from others' opinions.

Karajan was a sort of techocrat. Most here will remember is "all else
is gaslight" comment about the Compact Disc. As such he was aware of
the recording process and of how it saved his performances for
posterity. No doubt he was constantly conscious of this "saving for
posterity" during recording sessions, which is perhaps why his
recordings, more and more, went to the smooth/polished/slick (depending
on whom you ask), while his live performances didn't.
Dan Koren
2006-05-27 20:00:40 UTC
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Post by FePe
Post by f***@hotmail.com
At least, he had a clear concept, and he cared a lot about the quality
of the sound the orchestra produced. One may disagree about the value
of what resulted, but I find it certainly worthwile to explore his
recordings - and I take Karajans bad-intonation shaky-ensemble 1970s
Beethoven cycle at any time over Rattle's VPO effort or any Beethoven I
heard from Maazel.
I own both the 1962 Beethoven cycle with Karajan and the Beethoven cycle
with Rattle. I find Karajans approach much more interesting.
(And sorry for the stupid post. I have only listened to classical music
seriously for two years now, so I guess I'm not as experienced as you are.)
You should multiply by ten the time spent listening to
Karajan, then subtract the result from the amount of
time you reported as listening to classical music.




dk
s***@online.no
2006-05-28 12:31:07 UTC
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Post by Dan Koren
You should multiply by ten the time spent listening to
Karajan, then subtract the result from the amount of
time you reported as listening to classical music.
dk
Are you not exaggerating somewhat? I mean, it may be that his shallow
personality too often shines through, and there may be an air of bad
taste and fluffyness about him. It may be that his oversize ego too
often gets in the way, and there may be a lack of real life and drama
in the performances. It also may be that his ideal of recorded sound
was some kind of muddy artificiality. But still, to multiply with ten?!
After all, one may find some entertaining things here and there. For
example, he manages -perversely- to make Bergs orchestral pieces sound
NICE. (And he probably is good in Hansel und Gretel).
Personally I would multiply with, say, four or five.
O.S.
Satid S.
2006-05-27 14:06:19 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
HvK's conducting of the Mendelssohn's on DG sounds "ferocious" to me in
the outer movements of Symphony no.1 while no.3 does not to my ears.
And this style also reminds me of his LvB's no.5 and 8 of the1960s
recording. Also his Brahms' Violin Concerto with Christein Ferras.
It's a conducting style that I like. I also like his Brahms' 4th with
BPO recorded in 1980s which is not ferocious sounding but properly
eloquent.

Satid S.
Thomas
2006-05-27 17:06:31 UTC
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I'm personally not fond of the "Karajan sound", myself. Too 'sterile'
and not enough emotional involvement for the material he was conducting
for my taste.

That said, I like his '60s recording of Mozart's requiem, his recording
of Madama Butterfly with Callas, and I'm searching for his recording of
Schumann's third symphony as it's supposed to be among the best.
(Unfortunately I've only found it in a set with the other four
symphonies at this point)
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-27 18:10:32 UTC
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Post by Thomas
I'm personally not fond of the "Karajan sound", myself. Too 'sterile'
and not enough emotional involvement for the material he was conducting
for my taste.
That said, I like his '60s recording of Mozart's requiem, his recording
of Madama Butterfly with Callas, and I'm searching for his recording of
Schumann's third symphony as it's supposed to be among the best.
(Unfortunately I've only found it in a set with the other four
symphonies at this point)
Here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000E3HQ/qid=1148753278/sr=1-16/ref=sr_1_16/104-2465131-7231953?s=classical&v=glance&n=5174
I don't think you will ever find a CD with just Schumann 3 - unless you
take that CD and saw the parts with the Mendelssohn symphony off!
BTW, Karajan never performed the 3rd in concert - he only did the
recording sessions. I wonder why. He often conducted the 4th in
concert.
Gene Poon
2006-05-27 18:11:29 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
If there is anything in particular, it would not be his "sound"
especially as time went on and he seemed to pay more attention to
smoothness (for want of a better word) than anything else.

Karajan at the end of his life wasn't much like Karajan in the 1950s and
1960s.

-GP
MELMOTH
2006-05-28 05:44:30 UTC
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Ce cher mammifère du nom de FePe nous susurrait, le samedi 27/05/2006,
dans nos oreilles grandes ouvertes mais un peu sales quand même, et
Post by FePe
What do you like about Karajan?
Is it a troll ?...
If it is...It's not a good one !...
--
Car avec beaucoup de science, il y a beaucoup de chagrin; et celui qui
accroît sa science, accroît sa douleur.
[Ecclésiaste, 1]
Melmoth - souffrant
g***@gmail.com
2020-01-03 00:21:54 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
Concerning Sibelius' 2nd symphony:

- ...Karajan's trademark luster and attention to detail.

http://classicalnotes.net/classics2/sibelius.html
gggg gggg
2021-02-22 23:54:17 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
According to this:

- Karajan had a tendency to homogenise music, bending it to his line of beauty, suppressing its diversity of character.

http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/080130-NL-Monster.html
Herman
2021-02-23 11:45:46 UTC
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"Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim."

I'd say "reportedly" is the central word in this piece of gossip.

Although it's amusing to see so many standard techniques of nazi propaganda employed in that classical nots piece about Furtwangler, Karajan and Celibidache (bathe every mention of the good guys in shiny adjectives and submerge in the bad guy in murky adjectives, and don't forget to mention that the bad guy got very very rich by devious ways) the idea that the crook ends in a gell of remorse is perhaps going a little too Disney-far.

Taking Lebrecht as your main source is perhaps not such a great idea.
Herman
2021-02-23 11:49:01 UTC
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Post by Herman
"Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim."
I'd say "reportedly" is the central word in this piece of gossip. Taking Lebrecht as your main source is perhaps not such a great idea.
Although it's amusing to see so many standard techniques of nazi propaganda employed in that classical notes piece about Furtwangler, Karajan and Celibidache (bathe every mention of the good guys in shiny adjectives and submerge the bad guy in murky adjectives, and don't forget to mention that the bad guy got very very rich by devious ways) the idea that the crook ends in a hell of remorse is perhaps going a little too Disney-far.
reposted because of the typos
Frank Berger
2021-02-23 13:59:21 UTC
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Post by Herman
"Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim."
I'd say "reportedly" is the central word in this piece of gossip. Taking Lebrecht as your main source is perhaps not such a great idea.
Although it's amusing to see so many standard techniques of nazi propaganda employed in that classical notes piece about Furtwangler, Karajan and Celibidache (bathe every mention of the good guys in shiny adjectives and submerge the bad guy in murky adjectives, and don't forget to mention that the bad guy got very very rich by devious ways) the idea that the crook ends in a hell of remorse is perhaps going a little too Disney-far.
reposted because of the typos
You do know that the Labrecht piece on which you are commenting is over 20 years old, right?
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-23 21:23:39 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Post by Herman
"Reportedly, even while bathed in constant public adulation by legions of sycophants and forever ecstatic audiences, von Karajan would privately despair and scowl at all the acclaim."
I'd say "reportedly" is the central word in this piece of gossip. Taking Lebrecht as your main source is perhaps not such a great idea.
Although it's amusing to see so many standard techniques of nazi propaganda employed in that classical notes piece about Furtwangler, Karajan and Celibidache (bathe every mention of the good guys in shiny adjectives and submerge the bad guy in murky adjectives, and don't forget to mention that the bad guy got very very rich by devious ways) the idea that the crook ends in a hell of remorse is perhaps going a little too Disney-far.
reposted because of the typos
You do know that the Labrecht piece on which you are commenting is over 20 years old, right?
Has Normy changed his views since? At any rate, the tidbit the quotebot shared earlier more fittingly describes almost any conductor under 60 alive today, than it does Herr Kapellmeister Herbie.
weary flake
2021-02-26 02:21:05 UTC
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Post by gggg gggg
Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
- Karajan had a tendency to homogenise music, bending it to his line of beauty, suppressing its diversity of character.
In all the Brahms and Bruckner recordings I've heard Karajan
conduct I was never confused about which composer wrote which piece.
Post by gggg gggg
http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/080130-NL-Monster.html
Lebrecht's writing is homogenous, it sounds all the same,
lacking diversity of character.
gggg gggg
2021-12-21 07:58:00 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
(Recent Y. upload):

Preview: Karajan's 5 Worst Recordings As Keys To His 10 Best
gggg gggg
2021-12-26 07:36:55 UTC
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Post by FePe
I have been listening lately to Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 with
Herbert von Karajan on DG. What distinguishes Karajan as I see it is
his ferocity that you can't find with other conducters. This may have
been discussed many times before (but I'm a newcomer to classical
music). What do you like about Karajan?
-FePe
According to this:

- ...An obsessive, downright bizarre fetish of surface beauty in musical interpretation.

https://alfredeaker.com/2014/08/03/karajan-or-beauty-as-i-see-it-ambitious-compelling-beautifully-complex-and-commendably-close/
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