Discussion:
New Cleveland Orchestra recordings
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Hank Drake
2020-03-09 12:15:22 UTC
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The Cleveland Orchestra's private label will be releasing a 3-CD set in June. It will include concert recordings of works by Beethoven, Varese, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Prokofiev, Strauss (probably Richard) and Staud. The Beethoven will probably include the 9th Symphony from May of 2018 as there was mention at those concerts that the performances were being recorded. The Deutsch is probably his Okeanos for organ and orchestra which was performed in March of 2019.


https://www.amazon.de/Cleveland-Orchestra-New-Century/dp/B085HP9FGX
operafan
2020-03-09 13:34:11 UTC
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I'm guessing the Varese piece will be Ameriques. The Prokofiev might be the third symphony. I heard both of those performances in concert, and they were terrific.
Post by Hank Drake
The Cleveland Orchestra's private label will be releasing a 3-CD set in June. It will include concert recordings of works by Beethoven, Varese, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Prokofiev, Strauss (probably Richard) and Staud. The Beethoven will probably include the 9th Symphony from May of 2018 as there was mention at those concerts that the performances were being recorded. The Deutsch is probably his Okeanos for organ and orchestra which was performed in March of 2019.
https://www.amazon.de/Cleveland-Orchestra-New-Century/dp/B085HP9FGX
Hank Drake
2020-03-09 17:49:31 UTC
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Post by operafan
I'm guessing the Varese piece will be Ameriques. The Prokofiev might be the third symphony. I heard both of those performances in concert, and they were terrific.
Post by Hank Drake
The Cleveland Orchestra's private label will be releasing a 3-CD set in June. It will include concert recordings of works by Beethoven, Varese, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Prokofiev, Strauss (probably Richard) and Staud. The Beethoven will probably include the 9th Symphony from May of 2018 as there was mention at those concerts that the performances were being recorded. The Deutsch is probably his Okeanos for organ and orchestra which was performed in March of 2019.
https://www.amazon.de/Cleveland-Orchestra-New-Century/dp/B085HP9FGX
On a slightly related note, the Cleveland Orchestra has cancelled scheduled performances in Europe and Abu Dhabi.
Oscar
2020-03-09 19:36:05 UTC
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Who comprises the production team for these releases? Michael Bishop's Five/Four?
Hank Drake
2020-03-10 16:32:52 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Who comprises the production team for these releases? Michael Bishop's Five/Four?
It's possible. He's still in the Cleveland area. However, most Saturday concerts are recorded by WCLV so their team may be the recording engineers.

Btw, I was at the orchestra store at Severance the other week and they're now selling a selection of used LPs. I bought three in excellent condition, including a Mendelssohn/Schubert symphony LP conducted by Louis Lane.

Hank
Hank Drake
2020-03-11 14:58:29 UTC
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A new photo of the set has been published.

The Beethoven will be the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, in Welser-Most's arrangement. Varese Ameriques, Deutsch Okeanos. I can't make out the others. I was at two of the concerts and blogged about them.

https://hankdrake.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-study-in-contrasts-beethoven-and.html

https://hankdrake.blogspot.com/2019/03/haydn-deutsch-and-tchaikovsky-with.html


Loading Image...

Hank
operafan
2020-03-11 21:46:15 UTC
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Post by Hank Drake
A new photo of the set has been published.
The Beethoven will be the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, in Welser-Most's arrangement.
TCO already has a DG release of a live performance of Beethoven 9 (which isn't that good, and wasn't as good as the most recent performance)--so I'm not surprised they didn't include another Beethoven 9.
Hank Drake
2020-03-11 15:00:49 UTC
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Turns out, Amazon US now has the complete listing.

https://www.amazon.com/Century-Cleveland-Orchestra-Franz-Welser-M%C3%B6st/dp/B085F2JNK9
Andrew Clarke
2020-03-12 09:08:02 UTC
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Post by Hank Drake
The Cleveland Orchestra's private label will be releasing a 3-CD set in June. It will include concert recordings of works by Beethoven, Varese, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Prokofiev, Strauss (probably Richard) and Staud. The Beethoven will probably include the 9th Symphony from May of 2018 as there was mention at those concerts that the performances were being recorded. The Deutsch is probably his Okeanos for organ and orchestra which was performed in March of 2019.
https://www.amazon.de/Cleveland-Orchestra-New-Century/dp/B085HP9FGX
The whole question of US orchestras increasing income by selling CDs of their own performances has been raised here before. It appears that one orchestra has followed Hall'e and LSO Live by so doing. I wonder if others will follow?

And did the Cleveland have to negotiate with the Musicians' Union?

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Hank Drake
2020-03-14 01:43:33 UTC
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The orchestra has released a promotional video.


msw design
2020-03-15 03:59:22 UTC
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Post by Hank Drake
The orchestra has released a promotional video.
http://youtu.be/8jT5J8VLobA
Dear god, it reads like a bad translation. Whomever is marketing this is out of their depths. It sounds like a bunch of made-up "stuff"- bad bullet points from someone's PowerPoint - because they can't figure out how to market anything real- the conductor, the music, the orchestra. When you look at the BPO sets, they appear to be visually consistent with the orchestra website and really seem to reflect a brand. I find the look of this set baffling- a gesture of denial: "We're fun!"

I say this not with the intent to be bitchy but in the hopes they can succeed. But I see nothing here that shows any clear vision or marketing smarts.
msw design
2020-03-15 04:02:46 UTC
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Post by msw design
Dear god, it reads like a bad translation. Whomever is marketing this is out of their depths. It sounds like a bunch of made-up "stuff"- bad bullet points from someone's PowerPoint - because they can't figure out how to market anything real- the conductor, the music, the orchestra. When you look at the BPO sets, they appear to be visually consistent with the orchestra website and really seem to reflect a brand. I find the look of this set baffling- a gesture of denial: "We're fun!"
I say this not with the intent to be bitchy but in the hopes they can succeed. But I see nothing here that shows any clear vision or marketing smarts.
The set is also a resounding "no confidence" vote in FWM. He's so utterly boring that they don't even mention him.
Oscar
2020-03-15 04:13:05 UTC
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Wow. msw nailed it. Gives me no pleasure to offer concurrences, either.
Herman
2021-02-02 08:17:20 UTC
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It is kind of odd there wasn't a live human being on the Cleveland premises to talk for twenty seconds about the fact that on the Ohio calendar "a new century" has begun in 2021.

Since all recordings in this box are with (or "under the baton of") Welser-Most it would have been the logical thing to have him say a couple of sentences. If he can do the Vienna New Year's Concert, certainly he can do that, too.
Oscar
2021-02-02 09:53:57 UTC
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Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-02 17:28:11 UTC
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I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
Frank Berger
2021-02-02 17:32:47 UTC
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But how about the music he makes?
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-02 19:40:29 UTC
Permalink
Live, on the air, and on record, the music, as programmed, conducted and played, is consistently interesting.
Post by Frank Berger
But how about the music he makes?
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-03 07:17:18 UTC
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Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)

Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.

It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...

Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Frank Berger
2021-02-03 15:22:35 UTC
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Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Wishing for a Deneve/SLSO box might bw premature. I don't
see any recordings at all by them yet. Which earlier Deneve
recordings, with Stuttgart Radio, Brussels, Royal Scots
primarily are particularly recommendable? I see recordings
of Ravel, Roussel, Debussy, Poulenc, Honegger, Say,
Connesson (?).
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-03 19:47:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Wishing for a Deneve/SLSO box might bw premature. I don't
see any recordings at all by them yet. Which earlier Deneve
recordings, with Stuttgart Radio, Brussels, Royal Scots
primarily are particularly recommendable? I see recordings
of Ravel, Roussel, Debussy, Poulenc, Honegger, Say,
Connesson (?).
It was just idle daydreaming. They haven't recorded anything for commercial release, at least as far as I'm aware. But the SLSO must make in-house recordings for their own archives. So if ever there were to be a box of such material, similar to what they did for Vonk in the early 2000s, my wallet would be ready.

My favorite recordings of Denève's are his Roussel, Ravel, Debussy, Honegger, and Prokofiev. In here the spring of his rhythms, natural feel of pacing, subtly contrasted colors which serve to clarify inner parts, and sense of line are all heard at their most attractive. Nothing sounds forced or pushed at the listener; it's almost as if the score were somehow able to play themselves. Yet closer listening reveals the painstaking direction from the podium. Take his Honegger symphonies, for example (which I'm sorry he didn't record an entire cycle of). The Brahmsian color and mien of these works don't make them immediately appealing to present day listeners who now accept Mahler and Shostakovich as models of symphonic discourse. In the hands of some conductors, the second movement of the "Liturgique" can turn into a stream of brownish-grey sludge that one has to jump over in order to reach the cathartic final movement. But Denève manages to breathe air into Honegger's textures, find the glint of light in his orchestration, but without sacrificing the music's weightiness. The web of melody and countermelody from flute, oboe, clarinet, and muted trumpet are allowed to float to the surface, rather than blend into the strings as so often happens. His readings of Honegger's music might be the finest since Munch and Ansermet.

His Prokofiev I've only heard via a DG CD from a few years ago which has been poorly distributed and promoted. (Apparently there's also a Blu-ray of "The Love for Three Oranges" under his direction that I've yet to hear.) But, again, the recording is teeming with all kinds of small touches that cumulatively leave a great impression. If Monteux or Frémaux had recorded Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and "Cinderella," I'd imagine they would've sounded a lot like Denève.

I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Bob Harper
2021-02-03 20:38:46 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?

Bob Harper
Herman
2021-02-03 21:42:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
I'm sorry, "immaculately photogenic"? I'm not trying to be insulting, but, for instance, YNS is just a tiny prematurely balding guy, who happens to be rather successful, and so he looks charismatic. I have never seen Mirga GT on stage, but on pictures she looks, may I say, almost agressively average. Dudamel has a lot of exuberance, and Nelsons is (as I recall) rather tall, but really, I doubt anyone would notice them if they were just passing by on the street.
These pictures for album covers are usually the product of hours of styling work. Anyone would look "immaculately photogenic" after that.
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-03 22:39:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herman
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
I'm sorry, "immaculately photogenic"? I'm not trying to be insulting, but, for instance, YNS is just a tiny prematurely balding guy, who happens to be rather successful, and so he looks charismatic. I have never seen Mirga GT on stage, but on pictures she looks, may I say, almost agressively average. Dudamel has a lot of exuberance, and Nelsons is (as I recall) rather tall, but really, I doubt anyone would notice them if they were just passing by on the street.
These pictures for album covers are usually the product of hours of styling work. Anyone would look "immaculately photogenic" after that.
What looks "charismatic" about YNS if we're not talking about looks to begin with? As for MGT, I can't comment on how "aggressive" her averageness of appearance may be. But knowing personally a number of female conductors, it's telling that—aside from not being appointed to a top symphony orchestra and not landing a major record deal—the commonalities my acquaintances share are not being young or youthful in appearance, not having trim waistlines, and generally not meeting societal expectations of female attractiveness. I'm sure that MGT wasn't pre-manufactured to look the way she does, aggressively average or otherwise, but I'm also certain that her looks haven't hurt her career, and moreover that she has a team of people to focus-test her appearance and public comments, then tweak them accordingly. Forget trying to picture the likes of Krips, Tennstedt, or Klemperer trying to make it today—Nadia Boulanger couldn't stand a chance!

We can pretend all we want that in the year 2021 looks somehow don't matter in this increasingly niche musical genre, but the results indicate otherwise. Stoki, Karajan, and Bernstein were already doing this back in the day; all were helped along not only by their undeniable genius, but also by the glamor that their fans perceived. Only thing is that now all we have is "glamor," but little to no talent, unfortunately.
Owen
2021-02-03 22:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with
his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS,
MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all
share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is
catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need
social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc.
Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
He'd be immediately dismissed...that is...until they actually heard him.

-Owen
Bob Harper
2021-02-04 00:34:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owen
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with
his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS,
MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they
all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is
catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need
social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc.
Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our
hyper-visual age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too
bad, as you're right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt
have been received today?
He'd be immediately dismissed...that is...until they actually heard him.
-Owen
/
Precisely.

Bob Harper
raymond....@gmail.com
2021-02-04 03:51:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.

Ray Hall, Taree
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 13:44:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
Commenting on this and the posts on Yannick's appearance. First, on a superficial note, he had a lot more hair when he was hired as Music Director.

That aside, while I agree with you on Tennstedt, the Philadelphia's (and they are probably not alone) business situation was so bad before YNS was hired that they simply could not afford to think solely in terms of music-making and not at all in terms of marketing. While YNS may not look like a model, in addition to being musically talented, he has a tremendous and very positive personality that I'm sure was very appealing to the Orchestra's management.

Unfortunately, I agree that Deneve, who was Principal Guest Conductor in Philadelphia before taking the St. Louis job, would have been a tough sell due to his appearance. I agree that's unfortunate and superficial, but it's the reality.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 13:51:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
Commenting on this and the posts on Yannick's appearance. First, on a superficial note, he had a lot more hair when he was hired as Music Director.
That aside, while I agree with you on Tennstedt, the Philadelphia's (and they are probably not alone) business situation was so bad before YNS was hired that they simply could not afford to think solely in terms of music-making and not at all in terms of marketing. While YNS may not look like a model, in addition to being musically talented, he has a tremendous and very positive personality that I'm sure was very appealing to the Orchestra's management.
Unfortunately, I agree that Deneve, who was Principal Guest Conductor in Philadelphia before taking the St. Louis job, would have been a tough sell due to his appearance. I agree that's unfortunate and superficial, but it's the reality.
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
mswd...@gmail.com
2021-02-04 14:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Are we forgetting the Czech Phil? Admittedly, they don't sound like the Czech Phil I love. But it's not a bad station.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 15:21:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Are we forgetting the Czech Phil? Admittedly, they don't sound like the Czech Phil I love. But it's not a bad station.
No, it's not. And I don't know much about the cultural situation in Prague. Perhaps marketing is less important to selling classical concert tickets there. But I would still not bet on him ever being hired as a music director by an elite American or Western European Orchestra.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 15:25:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Are we forgetting the Czech Phil? Admittedly, they don't sound like the Czech Phil I love. But it's not a bad station.
No, it's not. And I don't know much about the cultural situation in Prague. Perhaps marketing is less important to selling classical concert tickets there. But I would still not bet on him ever being hired as a music director by an elite American or Western European Orchestra.
In fact, given how long he's been around and highly regarded (wasn't he mentored by and a favorite of Karajan?), it's hard for me to believe it wouldn't have happened by now.
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 15:10:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
Commenting on this and the posts on Yannick's appearance. First, on a superficial note, he had a lot more hair when he was hired as Music Director.
That aside, while I agree with you on Tennstedt, the Philadelphia's (and they are probably not alone) business situation was so bad before YNS was hired that they simply could not afford to think solely in terms of music-making and not at all in terms of marketing. While YNS may not look like a model, in addition to being musically talented, he has a tremendous and very positive personality that I'm sure was very appealing to the Orchestra's management.
Unfortunately, I agree that Deneve, who was Principal Guest Conductor in Philadelphia before taking the St. Louis job, would have been a tough sell due to his appearance. I agree that's unfortunate and superficial, but it's the reality.
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
His brother was much better looking.
Herman
2021-02-04 20:01:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.

And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-04 20:14:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herman
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.
And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
A very long time ago, a mentor and friend of mine, a now deceased former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, brought up Bychkov in conversation. He talked for a bit about having played under him, then suddenly made a raspberry-face to me and said, "Can you imagine trying to make a career with a mug like this?" (My mentor was Jewish, for whatever that's worth.)
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 21:37:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Herman
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.
And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
A very long time ago, a mentor and friend of mine, a now deceased former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, brought up Bychkov in conversation. He talked for a bit about having played under him, then suddenly made a raspberry-face to me and said, "Can you imagine trying to make a career with a mug like this?" (My mentor was Jewish, for whatever that's worth.)
It is worth nothing, as was Herman's remark.
John Fowler
2021-02-04 21:40:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Herman
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.
And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
A very long time ago, a mentor and friend of mine, a now deceased former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, brought up Bychkov in conversation. He talked for a bit about having played under him, then suddenly made a raspberry-face to me and said, "Can you imagine trying to make a career with a mug like this?" (My mentor was Jewish, for whatever that's worth.)
It is worth nothing, as was Herman's remark.
Taste in man flesh is totally subjective.
Herman
2021-02-04 21:55:45 UTC
Permalink
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 21:59:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.

I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.

But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 22:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 22:11:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 22:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
I guess I can see that, but regardless, while he didn't ask for it and did nothing to encourage it, he definitely became something of a sex symbol for many of the women in the Philadelphia area during the 80s and early 90s.
John Fowler
2021-02-04 22:20:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
I guess I can see that, but regardless, while he didn't ask for it and did nothing to encourage it, he definitely became something of a sex symbol for many of the women in the Philadelphia area during the 80s and early 90s.
For what it's worth, I always thought that Leonard Bernstein was a very handsome guy. And he also looked Jewish.
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 22:43:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Fowler
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
I guess I can see that, but regardless, while he didn't ask for it and did nothing to encourage it, he definitely became something of a sex symbol for many of the women in the Philadelphia area during the 80s and early 90s.
For what it's worth, I always thought that Leonard Bernstein was a very handsome guy. And he also looked Jewish.
I thought he looked Ukranian.
Andrew Clarke
2021-02-05 02:05:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
I guess I can see that, but regardless, while he didn't ask for it and did nothing to encourage it, he definitely became something of a sex symbol for many of the women in the Philadelphia area during the 80s and early 90s.
I'm getting the impression that the technique of marketing a big traditional orchestra in the USA must be fairly similar to Max Bialystock's efforts in "The Producers" (Mel Brooks version). A lot of people in that film look Jewish, too - maybe because it's the longest Jewish joke in history.

I do have to say that in the days when I went to live orchestral concerts in Melbourne and Adelaide, I was not particularly interested in the conductor's appearance. Some of the lady cellists were another matter. Here is The Thinking Man's Felicity Kendal, from the OAE:



Here she is again, really kicking out the jams this time:



Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Frank Berger
2021-02-05 02:41:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
I have seen / heard Bychkov a couple times, and I think the majority of the audience thought he looked great, in the sense that he's got a very expressive face. That's what people expect from a conductor.
I'm not sure how that would be possible unless they seat the majority of the audience behind the stage and poll them on the way out of the hall.
I'll take a good performance without any regard to what the conductor looks like. I often close my eyes during live performances to block out any consideration other than the music itself.
But the people who market orchestras and their music directors have other considerations.
And to look at it from the other side, there is no doubt that Muti was hugely popular in Philadelphia in part because of his appearance and physicality on the podium (he moved a lot more back in those days than he does now). I've heard a number of women over the years comment on how they miss him in Philly. They couldn't tell you who followed him and probably didn't give much thought to the Orchestra after he left.
I thought he looked Jewish.
I guess I can see that, but regardless, while he didn't ask for it and did nothing to encourage it, he definitely became something of a sex symbol for many of the women in the Philadelphia area during the 80s and early 90s.
I'm getting the impression that the technique of marketing a big traditional orchestra in the USA must be fairly similar to Max Bialystock's efforts in "The Producers" (Mel Brooks version). A lot of people in that film look Jewish, too - maybe because it's the longest Jewish joke in history.
All of the principals were Jewish except Kenneth Mars.
Post by Andrew Clarke
http://youtu.be/ZO88Ydj-S9k
http://youtu.be/dpUZvJOlsZQ
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Andrew Clarke
2021-02-05 06:07:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Andrew Clarke
I'm getting the impression that the technique of marketing a big traditional orchestra in the USA must be fairly similar to Max Bialystock's efforts in "The Producers" (Mel Brooks version). A lot of people in that film look Jewish, too - maybe because it's the longest Jewish joke in history.
All of the principals were Jewish except Kenneth Mars.
I've just realised that specifying the Mel Brooks version isn't helpful - he was involved with both films but didn't direct the second version. In fact I've seen and loved both versions of the film, the original 1968 release with Zero Mostel, and the 2008 version with Nathan Lane. I believe Bialystock's methods of attracting sponsorship were the same in both versions ...

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 21:30:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herman
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.
And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
As a non-self-hating Jew, certainly not. That you would even think that speaks volumes about you. You might try taking what people say at face value and not assuming ill motive when there is no reason to do so.

Obviously all judgements on appearance are subjective to an extent, but I'm hardly going out on a limb that some people are viewed as very attractive by most and others as very unattractive.

I am not of the opinion that this should impact their ability to get jobs, including as a music director. But my opinion doesn't hold sway in that regard. Orchestras, at least those in parts of the West, and especially now, with rare exceptions where an institution may be so financially sound that it doesn't matter, have to worry about marketing. That's the world as it is; not as I want it to be.

And Bychkov has not avoided taking on jobs as a music director; they just haven't been with the types of orchestras I had in mind, and I believe I know at least part of the reason why. I also think it's unlikely that he's had many other offers and rejected them.
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 21:57:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Herman
Post by Phl Maestro
In fact, Bychkov is another case in point. I am guessing a lot of people, including some of you, consider him to be one of the best active conductors. He is invited to guest conduct by all of the top orchestras, but none has selected him to be their music director. I hate to say it, but it would hard to market him because of his appearance.
Try considering the reason why is he doesn't want the hassle of being an orchestra's music director. It's not like he needs it for the money.
And just on a side note: I'm kind of puzzled why you object to Bychkov's appearance. I'm not familiar with any objective "handsome man" standards, and I'm not sure anyone would want John Hamm or Pierce Brosnan in front of an orchestra. Do you perhaps mean he looks too Jewish?
As a non-self-hating Jew, certainly not. That you would even think that speaks volumes about you. You might try taking what people say at face value and not assuming ill motive when there is no reason to do so.
Obviously all judgements on appearance are subjective to an extent, but I'm hardly going out on a limb that some people are viewed as very attractive by most and others as very unattractive.
I am not of the opinion that this should impact their ability to get jobs, including as a music director. But my opinion doesn't hold sway in that regard. Orchestras, at least those in parts of the West, and especially now, with rare exceptions where an institution may be so financially sound that it doesn't matter, have to worry about marketing. That's the world as it is; not as I want it to be.
And Bychkov has not avoided taking on jobs as a music director; they just haven't been with the types of orchestras I had in mind, and I believe I know at least part of the reason why. I also think it's unlikely that he's had many other offers and rejected them.
Appearance is just one of many attributes. It will count in employment opportunities, like it or not. If you (we) dislike such discrimination enough, be can pass civil rights legislation to protect ugly people and then try to enforce it. Good luck with that.

It is possible to consider whether Bychkov (or anyone else) "looks Jewish" without being a bigot. We could design a study that would indicate to what extent people can successfully identify Jews by appearance alone (yarmulkes and tzitzis would have to be removed, maybe beards too). Does Bychkov look Jewish? I think he looks Russian. His brother looks Jewish. They look nothing alike, as far as I can see. Now if you go around noticing people who "look Jewish" and make remarks and never do the same about the Irish leprechaun type then you probably ARE an anti-semite. Like if the only disadvantaged people you are activist about are the Palestinians, then you probably ARE one of them or you are an anti-semite.

Seriously, I think there may be certain physical types that really are "identifiable" as belonging to a particular nationality. Little Irish guys that look like leprehauns, for example. The problem is that the vast majority of Irish men don't look like that. Maybe there is a "type" that is more likely to be Jewish (of course, we talking about Eastern European Jews). Kirill does resemble the caricature you see in anti-semitic cartoons. But again, most Jewish men don't like anything like that. Some are 6'4", blond and blue-eyed or red-headed.
Bob Harper
2021-02-04 19:12:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
Agreed. I was only talking about the visual, which you have so pithily
described. Had we no recordings from him other than the live Mahler 2,
he would be regarded as one of the greatest conductors who ever lived.

Bob Harper
MickeyBoy
2021-02-05 17:12:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
Frank Berger
2021-02-05 17:39:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
An earlier post contained recommendations for Deneve. With Tennstedt I think you could hardly go wrong. Overt at talkclassical.com they had a poll that ran from 2014 to 2017 to determine the top 5 Tennstedt recordings. The final results:

1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (Profil-1979) - 42
2. Wagner - Die Walküre, Act I (LPO-1991) - 40
3. Brahms - Symphony No. 3 (BBC Legends-1983) - 30
4. Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (EMI-1983) - 24
5. Mahler - Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand” (EMI-1986) - 18

Others that didn't make the top 5:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (LPO-1992)
Bruckner - Symphony No. 3 (Profil-1982)
Mahler - Symphony No. 6 (LPO-1983)
Strauss - Four Last Songs (EMI-1982)

I'm fond of the Strauss, FWIW.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-05 18:09:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (Profil-1979) - 42
2. Wagner - Die Walküre, Act I (LPO-1991) - 40
3. Brahms - Symphony No. 3 (BBC Legends-1983) - 30
4. Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (EMI-1983) - 24
5. Mahler - Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand” (EMI-1986) - 18
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (LPO-1992)
Bruckner - Symphony No. 3 (Profil-1982)
Mahler - Symphony No. 6 (LPO-1983)
Strauss - Four Last Songs (EMI-1982)
I'm fond of the Strauss, FWIW.
Several of his Philadelphia performances are among my all-time favorites: A Mahler 5 from I believe 1979; a Mahler 9 from the late 80s, and Tchaikovsky's 6th.
Frank Berger
2021-02-05 18:28:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Frank Berger
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (Profil-1979) - 42
2. Wagner - Die Walküre, Act I (LPO-1991) - 40
3. Brahms - Symphony No. 3 (BBC Legends-1983) - 30
4. Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (EMI-1983) - 24
5. Mahler - Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand” (EMI-1986) - 18
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (LPO-1992)
Bruckner - Symphony No. 3 (Profil-1982)
Mahler - Symphony No. 6 (LPO-1983)
Strauss - Four Last Songs (EMI-1982)
I'm fond of the Strauss, FWIW.
Several of his Philadelphia performances are among my all-time favorites: A Mahler 5 from I believe 1979; a Mahler 9 from the late 80s, and Tchaikovsky's 6th.
I have 6 different Tennstedt Mahler 5s, but not one from Philadelphia. Can't seem to find it anywhere. I see St. Laurent has the 9th from 1988 and the Tchaik 6 I have on Memories.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-05 22:33:22 UTC
Permalink
I have 6 different Tennstedt Mahler 5s, but not one from Philadelphia. Can't seem to find it anywhere. I see St. Laurent has the 9th from 1988 and the Tchaik 6 I have on Memories.
Assuming the Mahler 9 from 1988 was from the Academy of Music, that should be the correct one. There is also an earlier one (he led it twice in Philly, as he did with Bruckner's 8th) and I think one from Carnegie Hall. I'd be happy to pass the 5th along if you are comfortable giving me an email address.
Frank Berger
2021-02-06 23:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
I have 6 different Tennstedt Mahler 5s, but not one from Philadelphia. Can't seem to find it anywhere. I see St. Laurent has the 9th from 1988 and the Tchaik 6 I have on Memories.
Assuming the Mahler 9 from 1988 was from the Academy of Music, that should be the correct one. There is also an earlier one (he led it twice in Philly, as he did with Bruckner's 8th) and I think one from Carnegie Hall. I'd be happy to pass the 5th along if you are comfortable giving me an email address.
Thanks. I'll keep the offer in mind. I find things I download tend to disappear. Wondering where you got it, though.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-07 00:35:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phl Maestro
I have 6 different Tennstedt Mahler 5s, but not one from Philadelphia. Can't seem to find it anywhere. I see St. Laurent has the 9th from 1988 and the Tchaik 6 I have on Memories.
Assuming the Mahler 9 from 1988 was from the Academy of Music, that should be the correct one. There is also an earlier one (he led it twice in Philly, as he did with Bruckner's 8th) and I think one from Carnegie Hall. I'd be happy to pass the 5th along if you are comfortable giving me an email address.
Thanks. I'll keep the offer in mind. I find things I download tend to disappear. Wondering where you got it, though.
I think I originally got it from someone who years ago used to email to me lists of live performances he had and was willing to send me on CDRs for a fairly low price. I believe that person may be a member of another board that members or former members of this board belong to and where performance downloads are posted. I also believe it may have been posted in that group once or more by others.
Dan Fowler
2021-02-06 00:34:29 UTC
Permalink
Tennstedt’s Bruckner 8th on Testament remains one of my favorites. The
ending never fails to give me chills.
Post by Frank Berger
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with
his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS,
MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they
all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is
catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need
social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc.
Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his
reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the
podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered
to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection.
Any suggestions for their best work?
An earlier post contained recommendations for Deneve. With Tennstedt I
think you could hardly go wrong. Overt at talkclassical.com they had a
poll that ran from 2014 to 2017 to determine the top 5 Tennstedt
1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (Profil-1979) - 42
2. Wagner - Die Walküre, Act I (LPO-1991) - 40
3. Brahms - Symphony No. 3 (BBC Legends-1983) - 30
4. Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (EMI-1983) - 24
5. Mahler - Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand” (EMI-1986) - 18
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (LPO-1992)
Bruckner - Symphony No. 3 (Profil-1982)
Mahler - Symphony No. 6 (LPO-1983)
Strauss - Four Last Songs (EMI-1982)
I'm fond of the Strauss, FWIW.
raymond....@gmail.com
2021-02-05 18:32:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
Tennstedt's Mahler cycle is perhaps his main legacy, but he has recorded a miscellany of other works, from Martinu to Prokofiev, and most orchestral music from Wagner's operas. Summarising Tennstedt as a conductor, one is struck by his intensity, and inclination toward a slightly grandiose style, especially in Mahler and Wagner. He was also very capable of sustaining long lines without losing any threads. He is worth watching on some YouTube clips, often irritating one by keep pushing his spectacles up. A very inwardly emotive conductor.



Just listen to the opening of this Mahler 3, a live (1981) recording with the Minnestota SO. Superbly urgent.

As for Deneve, then his Roussel (symphonies) on Naxos is excellent. A conductor to watch maybe.

Ray Hall, Taree
MickeyBoy
2021-02-05 18:48:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
Tennstedt's Mahler cycle is perhaps his main legacy, but he has recorded a miscellany of other works, from Martinu to Prokofiev, and most orchestral music from Wagner's operas. Summarising Tennstedt as a conductor, one is struck by his intensity, and inclination toward a slightly grandiose style, especially in Mahler and Wagner. He was also very capable of sustaining long lines without losing any threads. He is worth watching on some YouTube clips, often irritating one by keep pushing his spectacles up. A very inwardly emotive conductor.
http://youtu.be/QOmoUR8Yr00
Just listen to the opening of this Mahler 3, a live (1981) recording with the Minnestota SO. Superbly urgent.
As for Deneve, then his Roussel (symphonies) on Naxos is excellent. A conductor to watch maybe.
Ray Hall, Taree
Gents: Thank bigly for our very helpful suggestions. Will pursue.
Frank Berger
2021-02-05 19:12:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
Tennstedt's Mahler cycle is perhaps his main legacy, but he has recorded a miscellany of other works, from Martinu to Prokofiev, and most orchestral music from Wagner's operas. Summarising Tennstedt as a conductor, one is struck by his intensity, and inclination toward a slightly grandiose style, especially in Mahler and Wagner. He was also very capable of sustaining long lines without losing any threads. He is worth watching on some YouTube clips, often irritating one by keep pushing his spectacles up. A very inwardly emotive conductor.
http://youtu.be/QOmoUR8Yr00
Just listen to the opening of this Mahler 3, a live (1981) recording with the Minnestota SO. Superbly urgent.
I have no words that do it justice. Awesome and stupendous don't do it justice. It's like an Apollo or Shuttle launch.
Post by ***@gmail.com
As for Deneve, then his Roussel (symphonies) on Naxos is excellent. A conductor to watch maybe.
Ray Hall, Taree
Ed Presson
2021-02-06 01:56:17 UTC
Permalink
"Frank Berger" wrote in message news:tqWdnfwM7LkJBYD9nZ2dnUU7-***@supernews.com...

.
Post by ***@gmail.com
As for Deneve, then his Roussel (symphonies) on Naxos is excellent. A
conductor to watch maybe.
Ray Hall, Taree
Oh dear, I must demur. I have his 2-CD set of Debussy orchestral works as
well as this Roussel CD,
and while I grant his eliciting of lovely pastel sounds (especially in the
Debussy), I find both
to be dramatically and rhythmically flaccid. I may be in the minority here.
raymond....@gmail.com
2021-02-06 03:41:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
As for Deneve, then his Roussel (symphonies) on Naxos is excellent. A
conductor to watch maybe.
Oh dear, I must demur. I have his 2-CD set of Debussy orchestral works as
well as this Roussel CD,
and while I grant his eliciting of lovely pastel sounds (especially in the
Debussy), I find both
to be dramatically and rhythmically flaccid. I may be in the minority here.
I can guess where you are coming from, as initially I thought the symphonies were a little bit underpowered, as one can generally imagine that Roussel needs more bite and abrasiveness. But good sonic competition is scarce, although I know Janowski has done all four symphonies for RCA.

In an ideal world I thought that this music would have suited Ansermet perfectly, but afaik he only recorded 3 and 4. Deneve however creates a Roussel more conducive to repeated listening and they are beautifully played.

Fact is, if I could only take one Roussel work to my desert island, it would be Le Festin de l'araignee, and I am sure there is more competition in this work.

Ray Hall, Taree
Owen
2021-02-05 20:40:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by MickeyBoy
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
(snip)
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Lamentably, I suspect there is much to what you say. In our hyper-visual
age, looks frequently count for more than substance. Too bad, as you're
right about his work. How, one wonders, would Tennstedt have been
received today?
Bob Harper
Tennstedt would tower above the present crop (no pun intended), had his reputation been kept intact. He looked like a stick insect on the podium, almost fragile given his height, but the intensity he delivered to his players was unmatched.
Ray Hall, Taree
I see that I have no recordings by DeNeve or Tennstedt in my collection. Any suggestions for their best work?
Tennstedt's best recordings are the live performances. One which has
gotten approbation here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00361DRBY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


The above is also on Spotify.

Recently, this youtube entry has been referred:


-Owen
Frank Berger
2021-02-04 02:27:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Wishing for a Deneve/SLSO box might bw premature. I don't
see any recordings at all by them yet. Which earlier Deneve
recordings, with Stuttgart Radio, Brussels, Royal Scots
primarily are particularly recommendable? I see recordings
of Ravel, Roussel, Debussy, Poulenc, Honegger, Say,
Connesson (?).
It was just idle daydreaming. They haven't recorded anything for commercial release, at least as far as I'm aware. But the SLSO must make in-house recordings for their own archives. So if ever there were to be a box of such material, similar to what they did for Vonk in the early 2000s, my wallet would be ready.
My favorite recordings of Denève's are his Roussel, Ravel, Debussy, Honegger, and Prokofiev. In here the spring of his rhythms, natural feel of pacing, subtly contrasted colors which serve to clarify inner parts, and sense of line are all heard at their most attractive. Nothing sounds forced or pushed at the listener; it's almost as if the score were somehow able to play themselves. Yet closer listening reveals the painstaking direction from the podium. Take his Honegger symphonies, for example (which I'm sorry he didn't record an entire cycle of). The Brahmsian color and mien of these works don't make them immediately appealing to present day listeners who now accept Mahler and Shostakovich as models of symphonic discourse. In the hands of some conductors, the second movement of the "Liturgique" can turn into a stream of brownish-grey sludge that one has to jump over in order to reach the cathartic final movement. But Denève manages to breathe air into Honegger's textures, find the glint of light in his orchestration, but without sacrificing the music's weightiness. The web of melody and countermelody from flute, oboe, clarinet, and muted trumpet are allowed to float to the surface, rather than blend into the strings as so often happens. His readings of Honegger's music might be the finest since Munch and Ansermet.
His Prokofiev I've only heard via a DG CD from a few years ago which has been poorly distributed and promoted. (Apparently there's also a Blu-ray of "The Love for Three Oranges" under his direction that I've yet to hear.) But, again, the recording is teeming with all kinds of small touches that cumulatively leave a great impression. If Monteux or Frémaux had recorded Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and "Cinderella," I'd imagine they would've sounded a lot like Denève.
I suspect that Denève's lack of wider renown has nothing to do with his intrinsic qualities as a musician. Whether it's "The Dude," YNS, MGT, Nelsons, or whoever else the hot flavor-of-the-month is, they all share the common trait of being immaculately photogenic, which is catnip for brain-dead marketing types and the sort of rubes who need social media to dictate what they must listen to, eat, dress, etc. Denève, on the other hand, just looks like a regular guy.
Than
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-03 18:48:22 UTC
Permalink
Former violinist Welser Most favors a blended sound. Former Plain Dealer music critic Don Rosenberg didn’t like it. I do.

I’ve heard Welser-Most live in Mahler, Haydn, Mozart, Janacek, Bruckner, J Strauss, R Strauss, Verdi, Dvorak and Britten. Only the Mahler was not to my taste. The rest were very satisfying.
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Néstor Castiglione
2021-02-03 19:51:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Former violinist Welser Most favors a blended sound. Former Plain Dealer music critic Don Rosenberg didn’t like it. I do.
I’ve heard Welser-Most live in Mahler, Haydn, Mozart, Janacek, Bruckner, J Strauss, R Strauss, Verdi, Dvorak and Britten. Only the Mahler was not to my taste. The rest were very satisfying.
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Former Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Christoph von Dohnányi was better, at any rate.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-04 08:21:17 UTC
Permalink
Totally different musicians. I wouldn’t say I prefer one to the other.
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Former violinist Welser Most favors a blended sound. Former Plain Dealer music critic Don Rosenberg didn’t like it. I do.
I’ve heard Welser-Most live in Mahler, Haydn, Mozart, Janacek, Bruckner, J Strauss, R Strauss, Verdi, Dvorak and Britten. Only the Mahler was not to my taste. The rest were very satisfying.
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
Former Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Christoph von Dohnányi was better, at any rate.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 13:48:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
I was supposed to see him conduct Mahler's 6th in Philadelphia during that period, but he cancelled. I was extremely happy when Cleveland selected him as music director because I was concerned the Philadelphia would select him. They were also looking at that time.

I have a generally negative view of FWM. I've seen him three times live and there was one very good concert that featured Mozart's 25th and Shostakovich's 7th symphony, but I was unimpressed by his Mahler and Bruckner.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-04 14:03:27 UTC
Permalink
Philly’s loss, Cleveland’s gain. FWM is an excellent conductor for the Cleveland.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
I was supposed to see him conduct Mahler's 6th in Philadelphia during that period, but he cancelled. I was extremely happy when Cleveland selected him as music director because I was concerned the Philadelphia would select him. They were also looking at that time.
I have a generally negative view of FWM. I've seen him three times live and there was one very good concert that featured Mozart's 25th and Shostakovich's 7th symphony, but I was unimpressed by his Mahler and Bruckner.
Phl Maestro
2021-02-04 14:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Philly’s loss, Cleveland’s gain. FWM is an excellent conductor for the Cleveland.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
I was supposed to see him conduct Mahler's 6th in Philadelphia during that period, but he cancelled. I was extremely happy when Cleveland selected him as music director because I was concerned the Philadelphia would select him. They were also looking at that time.
I have a generally negative view of FWM. I've seen him three times live and there was one very good concert that featured Mozart's 25th and Shostakovich's 7th symphony, but I was unimpressed by his Mahler and Bruckner.
The two Orchestras have very different types of sound traditions. I think FWM is a much better fit for Cleveland than he would have been for Philadelphia.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-04 15:20:21 UTC
Permalink
Agreed. To all appearances FWM loves his orchestra where he’s been since 2002, unlike, say, Maazel (as good as Maazel was in other respects). I do not cotton to FWM’s Mahler (even less to his Wagner). I learned much from CvD’s concerts. His programming was impeccable, mind-blowing actually. I would leave Severance Hall shaking my head in disbelief at what I had heard, composers I had never ever listened to before. CvD is a master.

One thing I like about FWM on record is some of the repertoire he explores: Schmidt, Korngold, Schreker, Kancheli, Eminem, HK Gruber, etc.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Philly’s loss, Cleveland’s gain. FWM is an excellent conductor for the Cleveland.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
I was supposed to see him conduct Mahler's 6th in Philadelphia during that period, but he cancelled. I was extremely happy when Cleveland selected him as music director because I was concerned the Philadelphia would select him. They were also looking at that time.
I have a generally negative view of FWM. I've seen him three times live and there was one very good concert that featured Mozart's 25th and Shostakovich's 7th symphony, but I was unimpressed by his Mahler and Bruckner.
The two Orchestras have very different types of sound traditions. I think FWM is a much better fit for Cleveland than he would have been for Philadelphia.
Joseph Serraglio
2021-02-04 15:25:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Agreed. To all appearances FWM loves his orchestra where he’s been since 2002, unlike, say, Maazel (as good as Maazel was in other respects). I do not cotton to FWM’s Mahler (even less to his Wagner). I learned much from CvD’s concerts. His programming was impeccable, mind-blowing actually. I would leave Severance Hall shaking my head in disbelief at what I had heard, composers I had never ever listened to before. CvD is a master.
One thing I like about FWM on record is some of the repertoire he explores: Schmidt, Korngold, Schreker, Kancheli, Eminem, HK Gruber, etc.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Joseph Serraglio
Philly’s loss, Cleveland’s gain. FWM is an excellent conductor for the Cleveland.
Post by Phl Maestro
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
Post by Oscar
Vintage Vinyl in University City, Mo. has (2) new, sealed copies of this Cleveland box. Was in store last week. Very nice (rectangular) presentation, but I have heard enough weak-stream, low-information Welser-Möst performances on records. Would much rather hear a new initiative dedicated to, say, Stéphane Denève and his Saint Louisans. He was installed in 2019. Haven't heard him conduct yet, but am very interested.
FWM kept bailing out on guest gigs here in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. Twice he scheduled Prokofiev 6; twice he cancelled last minute. The first time the cancelling wasn't announced until the evening of the concert. Will never forget my disappointment of having to hear yet another Tchaikovsky 5 (led well enough by Alexander Treger) instead of the all too rarely programmed Prokofiev. (Mester in Pasadena had programmed it a year or two before; an excellent performance.)
Finally got to hear FWM in 2012, albeit with the San Francisco Symphony instead of the Cleveland. Program of Mendelssohn 3, a Saariaho piece (a wan, dull work whose name I forget, but vaguely recall it having astronomical connotations), and Shostakovich 6. The Mendelssohn was legatoed and blended to within an inch of its life; the Shostakovich a little better, but not by much. There was no rhythmic snap, no feel for the contrasts of color. Phrases sagged about as appealingly as soggy diapers off a clothes line. Recalled hearing his dreadful EMI recordings as a kid, but was hoping that the passing years had improved his interpretive verve. But no.
It's sad to admit this, but he's "frankly better than most" now. Next to the staggering achievements in vapidity of the likes of YNS, Andris Nelsons, and MGT, ol' FWM sounds like the second coming of Koussy. But I digress...
Anyway, count me in for that SLSO/Denève box, too. Haven't heard them together, but have heard Denève live a couple of times (and much more via CDs). A fine musician who deserves wider recognition than he currently enjoys.
I was supposed to see him conduct Mahler's 6th in Philadelphia during that period, but he cancelled. I was extremely happy when Cleveland selected him as music director because I was concerned the Philadelphia would select him. They were also looking at that time.
I have a generally negative view of FWM. I've seen him three times live and there was one very good concert that featured Mozart's 25th and Shostakovich's 7th symphony, but I was unimpressed by his Mahler and Bruckner.
The two Orchestras have very different types of sound traditions. I think FWM is a much better fit for Cleveland than he would have been for Philadelphia.
Andrew Clarke
2021-02-04 05:06:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph Serraglio
I’ve heard many FWM concerts live in Severance Hall, on record, and on the air, and don’t find him boring.
"A New Century" and the Schubert / Krenek CD are available from Presto Classical. The former disc was The Gramophone Recording of the Month. Both get glowing reviews from the BBC Music Magazine.

It appears, Joseph, that you're not alone. You just live on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
gggg gggg
2021-02-01 23:54:44 UTC
Permalink
The Cleveland Orchestra's private label will be releasing a 3-CD set in June. It will include concert recordings of works by Beethoven, Varese, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Prokofiev, Strauss (probably Richard) and Staud. The Beethoven will probably include the 9th Symphony from May of 2018 as there was mention at those concerts that the performances were being recorded. The Deutsch is probably his Okeanos for organ and orchestra which was performed in March of 2019.
https://www.amazon.de/Cleveland-Orchestra-New-Century/dp/B085HP9FGX
(Recent Youtube upload):

The Cleveland Orchestra's first recording (1924): Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture, Sokoloff conducting
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