Discussion:
Most Overrated Conductors of all time
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j***@gmail.com
2018-01-10 15:13:13 UTC
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IMHO, some of Ormandy's Philadelphia recordings are more impressive than others. For example, Ormandy recorded Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" twice, once in 1957 (issued by Columbia as ML 5286 / MS 6003) and again in 1967 (issued by Columbia as M 30446). The 1957 performance is far superior to what sounds to me like a "just going through the motions" performance of the one recorded ten years later. For some unknown reason, CBS/Sony Music has reissued the 1967 performance on CD, and while they used the cover of the 1957 release on a CD reissue, the recording contained on that CD was conducted by Andre Kostelanetz! Comparing Ormandy's 1957 performance with other recordings of Grofe's Suite, others pale in comparison. Fiedler, who is idolized by most Bostonians including myself, conducted a less charismatic recording than Ormandy's first one, and Bernstein's, which CBS/Sony Music loves to repackage and reissue is only so-so. Ormandy's recording of Kodaly's "Hary Janos Suite" is also quite commendable.
Frank Berger
2018-01-10 16:25:50 UTC
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Post by j***@gmail.com
IMHO, some of Ormandy's Philadelphia recordings are more impressive than others. For example, Ormandy recorded Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" twice, once in 1957 (issued by Columbia as ML 5286 / MS 6003) and again in 1967 (issued by Columbia as M 30446). The 1957 performance is far superior to what sounds to me like a "just going through the motions" performance of the one recorded ten years later. For some unknown reason, CBS/Sony Music has reissued the 1967 performance on CD, and while they used the cover of the 1957 release on a CD reissue, the recording contained on that CD was conducted by Andre Kostelanetz! Comparing Ormandy's 1957 performance with other recordings of Grofe's Suite, others pale in comparison. Fiedler, who is idolized by most Bostonians including myself, conducted a less charismatic recording than Ormandy's first one, and Bernstein's, which CBS/Sony Music loves to repackage and reissue is only so-so. Ormandy's recording of Kodaly's "Hary Janos Suite" is also quite commendable.
The 1957 recording appears to be available on this Japanese CD:

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/SICC-1688

or:

http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/search/keyword_g
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-10 18:42:17 UTC
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I am of the belief that all the "older" conductors were not Gods...., and
many were overrated. In particular, I find E. Ormandy rather ordinary,
Szell was terrific, and Reiner a master craftsman. I'm not trying to start
a negative thread, but was wonder what others may feel.
Ormandy: I started out with little affection for Ormandy and little reason to change that view. But if you listen you find that he does a lot of things really well, and that he and his orchestra did have a unique sound that enriched many of their recordings. And while I wouldn't think of him as a first choice for German music, those Mozart wind concertos are a total pleasure. There are other better places to start if you are looking for an "overrated" conductor.

In general, even conductors whom I think are overrated tend to get certain things right. I've often been dismissive of Jansons work with the RCO and BRSO, but recently heard a few recordings that were quite excellent. Still don't think much of his Beethoven, though.
Ed Presson
2018-01-11 00:10:27 UTC
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I am of the belief that all the "older" conductors were not Gods...., and
many were overrated. In particular, I find E. Ormandy rather ordinary,
Szell was terrific, and Reiner a master craftsman. I'm not trying to start
a negative thread, but was wonder what others may feel.
Ormandy: I started out with little affection for Ormandy and little reason
to change that view. But if you listen you find that he does a lot of
things really well, and that he and his orchestra did have a unique >sound
that enriched many of their recordings. And while I wouldn't think of him
as a first choice for German music, those Mozart wind concertos are a total
pleasure. There are other better places to start if you >are looking for an
"overrated" conductor.
In general, even conductors whom I think are overrated tend to get certain
things right. I've often been dismissive of Jansons work with the RCO and
BRSO, but recently heard a few recordings that were quite >excellent. Still
don't think much of his Beethoven, though.
I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones. Some
conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa
recordings have some good things, but most of their later
recordings seem much less inspired.

Ed Presson
Raymond Hall
2018-01-11 00:56:28 UTC
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-I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones.  Some 
-conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa 
-recordings have some good things, but most of their later 
-recordings seem much less inspired. 

-Ed Presson 

Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage. Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good. Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted at.
For the record, Karajan, who I find an exceptional musician, leaves me a bit cold with his ideas of orchestral sound.

Ray Hall, Taree
Bob Harper
2018-01-11 04:31:13 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
-I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones.  Some
-conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa
-recordings have some good things, but most of their later
-recordings seem much less inspired.
-Ed Presson
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage. Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good. Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted at.
For the record, Karajan, who I find an exceptional musician, leaves me a bit cold with his ideas of orchestral sound.
Ray Hall, Taree
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?

Bob Harper
Raymond Hall
2018-01-11 06:27:21 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage. Previn did wonderful
-early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has always been a bit of a curate's egg, but
-not consistantly good. Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
-groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted at. 

By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed? 

Bob Harper 


No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but each to their own.

Ray Hall, Taree
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-11 14:46:54 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage. Previn did wonderful
-early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has always been a bit of a curate's egg, but
-not consistantly good. Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
-groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted at. 
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed? 
Bob Harper 
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred all of the works put into his charge
Steven Bornfeld
2018-01-11 14:52:05 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage. Previn did wonderful
-early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has always been a bit of a curate's egg, but
-not consistantly good. Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
-groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted at.
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?
Bob Harper
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred all of the works put into his charge
LOL!
Johannes Roehl
2018-01-17 09:48:57 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred all of the works put into his charge
I have heard very little of his work but there are a few Bruckner and Wagner recordings that seem to have avid followers (often hard to find, that's one reason why I have never heard them).
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-17 15:16:15 UTC
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Post by Johannes Roehl
Post by m***@gmail.com
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred all of the works put into his charge
I have heard very little of his work but there are a few Bruckner and Wagner recordings that seem to have avid followers (often hard to find, that's one reason why I have never heard them).
Isn't this supposed to be highly regarded?:

Loading Image...
Randy Lane
2018-01-17 20:40:21 UTC
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Overrated - Ozawa
Underrated - Jordi Saval
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-18 16:05:54 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
Overrated - Ozawa
Underrated - Jordi Saval
How can Ozawa be overrated when nobody likes him? I think we are confusing "overrated" with "undeserving."

I'll also add that I've never read anything negative about Savall. He seems an artistic titan of sorts, the way he's managed his ensemble, covered so much musical ground and produced so many fine recordings devoid of commercialism.
Frank Berger
2018-01-18 17:22:16 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Randy Lane
Overrated - Ozawa
Underrated - Jordi Saval
How can Ozawa be overrated when nobody likes him?
He must really, really suck.

I think we are confusing "overrated" with "undeserving."
The whole thread is confusing, overrated and undeserving.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I'll also add that I've never read anything negative about Savall.
The he's surely overrated!

He seems an artistic titan of sorts, the way he's managed
his ensemble, covered so much musical ground and produced so
many fine recordings devoid of commercialism.
The greater they are, the more overrated they must be.
Bastian Kubis
2018-01-18 16:38:58 UTC
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Am Donnerstag, 11. Januar 2018 15:46:59 UTC+1 schrieb
Post by m***@gmail.com
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred
all of the works put into his charge
I have heard very little of his work but there are a few Bruckner and
Wagner recordings that seem to have avid followers (often hard to
find, that's one reason why I have never heard them).
I actually think at least one of his recordings is *the* central version
of the work in question - Weber's Freischütz - and is rather
*under*-rated compared to C. Kleiber's. [I don't know his Bruckner and
Wagner well enough to comment.]

Bastian
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-18 23:27:23 UTC
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Post by Bastian Kubis
Am Donnerstag, 11. Januar 2018 15:46:59 UTC+1 schrieb
Post by m***@gmail.com
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred
all of the works put into his charge
I have heard very little of his work but there are a few Bruckner and
Wagner recordings that seem to have avid followers (often hard to
find, that's one reason why I have never heard them).
I actually think at least one of his recordings is *the* central version
of the work in question - Weber's Freischütz - and is rather
*under*-rated compared to C. Kleiber's. [I don't know his Bruckner and
Wagner well enough to comment.]
Bastian
Yes his Freischutz is quite good as is his 1953 Bayreuth Lohengrin. His 1955 Ring is good solid conducting but IMHO not really worth some of the plaudits it received.
Raymond Hall
2018-01-19 01:00:45 UTC
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Has anyone mentioned Tennstedt yet? I've got his Mahler box and intend to listen more comprehensively when in a 'mahler-mood'. For many he was revered.

Ray Hall, Taree
O
2018-01-19 14:54:37 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Has anyone mentioned Tennstedt yet? I've got his Mahler box and intend to
listen more comprehensively when in a 'mahler-mood'. For many he was revered.
His EMI Mahler box (both of them) are not his best Mahler, although
they're not bad. But his best work is on the Memories labels, if you
can find them, or the many concert recordings that are floating around
the internet.

-Owen
Bob Harper
2018-01-19 15:51:49 UTC
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Post by O
Post by Raymond Hall
Has anyone mentioned Tennstedt yet? I've got his Mahler box and intend to
listen more comprehensively when in a 'mahler-mood'. For many he was revered.
His EMI Mahler box (both of them) are not his best Mahler, although
they're not bad. But his best work is on the Memories labels, if you
can find them, or the many concert recordings that are floating around
the internet.
-Owen
There is a live Mahler 4 recorded June 7, 1990 with Arleen Auger and the
Chicago Symphony that is absolutely superb. It's still on
ConcertArchive, and will repay the effort to obtain it. The sound is
quite reasonable.

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2018-01-19 16:13:52 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by O
Post by Raymond Hall
Has anyone mentioned Tennstedt yet? I've got his Mahler box and intend to
listen more comprehensively when in a 'mahler-mood'. For many he was revered.
His EMI Mahler box (both of them) are not his best Mahler, although
they're not bad. But his best work is on the Memories labels, if you
can find them, or the many concert recordings that are floating around
the internet.
-Owen
There is a live Mahler 4 recorded June 7, 1990 with Arleen Auger and the
Chicago Symphony that is absolutely superb. It's still on
ConcertArchive, and will repay the effort to obtain it. The sound is
quite reasonable.
Bob Harper
Oops. It's on SymphonyShare. Sorry for the error, but do try to hear it.

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2018-01-19 15:36:57 UTC
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Post by Bastian Kubis
Am Donnerstag, 11. Januar 2018 15:46:59 UTC+1 schrieb
Post by m***@gmail.com
Joseph Keilberth - with a couple of exceptions he decently interred
all of the works put into his charge
I have heard very little of his work but there are a few Bruckner and
Wagner recordings that seem to have avid followers (often hard to
find, that's one reason why I have never heard them).
I actually think at least one of his recordings is *the* central version
of the work in question - Weber's Freischütz - and is rather
*under*-rated compared to C. Kleiber's. [I don't know his Bruckner and
Wagner well enough to comment.]
Bastian
His Bruckner 6 is one of the finest ever recorded.

Bob Harper
Tatonik
2018-01-21 16:57:06 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage.
Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has
always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good.
Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted
at.
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?
Bob Harper
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
I don't know quite what to make of Mackerras. Sometimes I find his
lean, unfussy readings refreshing, but he seems to take the same
approach to everything, and I don't think it always works in his
recordings of the Brahms symphonies and orchestral works. (I bought
them all, alas.) In any case, I don't know how he's rated in general,
so I can't say whether it's over or under.

Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4. In addition to Mackerras I have Previn
in No. 4, and I think he's much more suited to this music.

Not to derail the thread, but what are some of the preferred Brahms 4
recordings out there?
Tatonik
2018-01-21 17:21:49 UTC
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Post by Tatonik
Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4.
This raises a question I've been pondering for awhile. Is the best
person to judge a performance one who has an affinity for the music or
one who has no particular love for it - perhaps even dislike? Is
dislike a disqualification or could it allow one to hear more
dispassionately and therefore more clearly? Also, if the one who
dislikes the music is won over by a particular performance, could this
be a clear indication that the performance is exemplary?

Are the lovers of the music and the haters of the music likely to agree
on which performances are best?
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-21 18:31:06 UTC
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Post by Tatonik
Post by Tatonik
Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4.
This raises a question I've been pondering for awhile. Is the best
person to judge a performance one who has an affinity for the music or
one who has no particular love for it - perhaps even dislike? Is
dislike a disqualification or could it allow one to hear more
dispassionately and therefore more clearly? Also, if the one who
dislikes the music is won over by a particular performance, could this
be a clear indication that the performance is exemplary?
Are the lovers of the music and the haters of the music likely to agree
on which performances are best?
The following recent article concludes:

- ...Great art is not necessarily created to please.

https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-ovids-metamorphoses-and-reading-rape-65316
Bob Harper
2018-01-21 18:29:55 UTC
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Post by Tatonik
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage.
Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has
always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good.
Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted
at.
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?
Bob Harper
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
I don't know quite what to make of Mackerras. Sometimes I find his
lean, unfussy readings refreshing, but he seems to take the same
approach to everything, and I don't think it always works in his
recordings of the Brahms symphonies and orchestral works. (I bought
them all, alas.) In any case, I don't know how he's rated in general,
so I can't say whether it's over or under.
Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4. In addition to Mackerras I have Previn
in No. 4, and I think he's much more suited to this music.
Not to derail the thread, but what are some of the preferred Brahms 4
recordings out there?
First and foremost, Furtwängler, poor sound and all. No one, and I mean
NO ONE, conducts the Finale the way he does, and it is devastating.
Carlos Kleiber is essential as well.

A useful, if necessarily incomplete, survey:
https://topear.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/comprehensive-review-brahms-4th-symphony/

Bob Harper
Orchman
2018-01-22 02:33:02 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
First and foremost, Furtwängler, poor sound and all. No one, and I mean
NO ONE, conducts the Finale the way he does, and it is devastating.
Carlos Kleiber is essential as well.>>
Bob, we usually hear things pretty much the sane, but I have to differ with you here - Toscanini and Reiner deliver Brahms 4/IV with tremendous power, drive and precision....I much prefer their versions to Furtwangler's, which have lots of excitement, but just don't have the "punch"
Bob Harper
2018-01-22 05:40:48 UTC
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Post by Orchman
Post by Bob Harper
First and foremost, Furtwängler, poor sound and all. No one, and I mean
NO ONE, conducts the Finale the way he does, and it is devastating.
Carlos Kleiber is essential as well.>>
Bob, we usually hear things pretty much the sane, but I have to differ with you here - Toscanini and Reiner deliver Brahms 4/IV with tremendous power, drive and precision....I much prefer their versions to Furtwangler's, which have lots of excitement, but just don't have the "punch"
Well.....de gustibus and all that. For me, the end of the symphony as
Furtwängler plays it is a dive straight into the abyss. I don't know
Reiner's, but Toscanini's (and others') refusal to accelerate at the
critical point vitiates the power of the reading.

Bob Harper
Herman
2018-01-22 11:59:06 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Well.....de gustibus and all that. For me, the end of the symphony as
Furtwängler plays it is a dive straight into the abyss.
Yeah, but.... Is there any indication that Brahms *wanted* a dive straight in the abyss?

He was interested in Wagner and other abyss divers, but not a fan.
Orchman
2018-01-23 22:01:50 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Furtwängler plays it is a dive straight into the abyss. I don't know
Reiner's, but Toscanini's (and others') refusal to accelerate at the
critical point vitiates the power of the reading.>>
One man's dive into the abyss is another man's train wreck, I guess...I just find that the loss of rhythmic precision resulting from Furtwangler's constant taffy-pulling of the tempo is a distraction....doesn't really work for me, tho many enjoy it....
Toscanini and Reiner really maintain tee precision, and deliver tremendous power, wallop, at the climaxes....
Bob Harper
2018-01-23 23:30:59 UTC
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Post by Orchman
Post by Bob Harper
Furtwängler plays it is a dive straight into the abyss. I don't know
Reiner's, but Toscanini's (and others') refusal to accelerate at the
critical point vitiates the power of the reading.>>
One man's dive into the abyss is another man's train wreck, I guess...I just find that the loss of rhythmic precision resulting from Furtwangler's constant taffy-pulling of the tempo is a distraction....doesn't really work for me, tho many enjoy it....
Toscanini and Reiner really maintain tee precision, and deliver tremendous power, wallop, at the climaxes....
Fair enough. I'll have to pull the Reiner out and hear it again--it's
been a while.

Bob Harper
dk
2018-01-23 23:31:37 UTC
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Post by Orchman
Toscanini and Reiner really maintain tee precision,
and deliver tremendous power, wallop, at the climaxes....
Is the Brahms 4 really all about tee precision, wallop
and power? Is music in general about tee precision ?!?

Obviously whatever makes one happy makes on happy, so
this is not a provocation to debate.

Pax,

dk
Bob Harper
2018-01-24 01:30:43 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by Orchman
Toscanini and Reiner really maintain tee precision,
and deliver tremendous power, wallop, at the climaxes....
Is the Brahms 4 really all about tee precision, wallop
and power? Is music in general about tee precision ?!?
Obviously whatever makes one happy makes on happy, so
this is not a provocation to debate.
Pax,
dk
Ha! Except about typos. Right, Dan? :)

Bob Harper
Ricardo Jimenez
2018-01-24 01:41:36 UTC
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The Reiner 4 (Royal Philharmonic) is not on Spotify. The third
movement is missing from Youtube. I hope somebody fixes that. In the
past, Carlos Kleiber got raves for his performance. I am surprised no
one has mentioned it in the current thread.
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-24 02:08:56 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
The Reiner 4 (Royal Philharmonic) is not on Spotify. The third
movement is missing from Youtube. I hope somebody fixes that. In the
past, Carlos Kleiber got raves for his performance. I am surprised no
one has mentioned it in the current thread.
"Carlos Kleiber is essential as well."
That's what Bob said at the beginning of this discussion, and I agreed.

I have never warmed to Reiner's Brahms, but I'll have to try it again.
Bob Harper
2018-01-25 00:41:59 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
The Reiner 4 (Royal Philharmonic) is not on Spotify. The third
movement is missing from Youtube. I hope somebody fixes that. In the
past, Carlos Kleiber got raves for his performance. I am surprised no
one has mentioned it in the current thread.
I did, early on.

Bob Harper
Herman
2018-01-24 08:55:26 UTC
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This post might be inappropriate. Click to display it.
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-22 04:02:44 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by Tatonik
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage.
Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has
always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good.
Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted
at.
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?
Bob Harper
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but
each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
I don't know quite what to make of Mackerras. Sometimes I find his
lean, unfussy readings refreshing, but he seems to take the same
approach to everything, and I don't think it always works in his
recordings of the Brahms symphonies and orchestral works. (I bought
them all, alas.) In any case, I don't know how he's rated in general,
so I can't say whether it's over or under.
Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4. In addition to Mackerras I have Previn
in No. 4, and I think he's much more suited to this music.
Not to derail the thread, but what are some of the preferred Brahms 4
recordings out there?
First and foremost, Furtwängler, poor sound and all. No one, and I mean
NO ONE, conducts the Finale the way he does, and it is devastating...
Furt is mentioned in the following recent book:

https://boydellandbrewer.com/conducting-the-brahms-symphonies.html
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-22 17:38:16 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
First and foremost, Furtwängler, poor sound and all. No one, and I mean
NO ONE, conducts the Finale the way he does, and it is devastating.
Carlos Kleiber is essential as well.
Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today.
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-22 22:09:41 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today.
Just sampled Abbado/BPO, which sounds fine, and is more "hall"-realistic than Karajan's 80's recording. Also sampled Wand/NDR, a personal favorite, but an odd recording for the way some instruments don't show as much as I expect. Settled on Jurowski/Pittsburgh on Pentatone for a full performance. This is close-miked and clear. The performance is direct and dramatic with every movement packing a punch. The finale is conventional- no Furtwangler touches- but still really well done. A terrific recording, not one I'd listened to before, but one that will remain on my short list of great recent recordings.
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-22 22:13:24 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today.
Just sampled Abbado/BPO, which sounds fine, and is more "hall"-realistic than Karajan's 80's recording. Also sampled Wand/NDR, a personal favorite, but an odd recording for the way some instruments don't show as much as I expect. Settled on Jurowski/Pittsburgh on Pentatone for a full performance. This is close-miked and clear. The performance is direct and dramatic with every movement packing a punch. The finale is conventional- no Furtwangler touches- but still really well done. A terrific recording, not one I'd listened to before, but one that will remain on my short list of great recent recordings.
Not Jurowski- Janowski.
Raymond Hall
2018-01-23 03:38:33 UTC
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-Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no
-interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today. 

I spun some of Cluytens Beethoven symphonies last night. For big band LvB, it doesn't come any better imho. Tempi, naturalness, sound of the BPO, punch, I'm inclined to retire all the other pretenders I have.

Ray Hall, Taree
Bob Harper
2018-01-23 03:48:06 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
-Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no
-interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today.
I spun some of Cluytens Beethoven symphonies last night. For big band LvB, it doesn't come any better imho. Tempi, naturalness, sound of the BPO, punch, I'm inclined to retire all the other pretenders I have.
Ray Hall, Taree
Not sure if I could do that, Ray :). But it IS a wonderful set.

Bob Harper
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-24 02:10:21 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
-Agree. I also believe Abbado/BPO is a successful big-orchestra performance with no
-interpretive quirks. Will have to check on that later today. 
I spun some of Cluytens Beethoven symphonies last night. For big band LvB, it doesn't come any better imho. Tempi, naturalness, sound of the BPO, punch, I'm inclined to retire all the other pretenders I have.
Ray Hall, Taree
BTW, I have no idea how we moved from Brahms 4's to Cluyten's Beethoven, but I approve!
Raymond Hall
2018-01-24 02:31:10 UTC
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My fault, as my reply was prompted by mention of Abbado/BPO (and thinking it was his Beethoven being discussed), and after spinning some Cluytens LvB. I was aware that Cluytens was widely admired for his LvB set, and my ears could only concur.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/artist/composition/2204

Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.

Ray Hall, Taree
Herman
2018-01-24 09:00:29 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3 better.

Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works just because there's more instruments involved.
Raymond Hall
2018-01-24 14:18:44 UTC
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-Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3
-better. 

-Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string
-quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works
-just because there's more instruments involved. 


Maybe I should begin investigating his smaller scale instrumental works.

Ray Hall, Taree
Joe
2018-01-24 19:31:49 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
Maybe I should begin investigating his smaller scale instrumental works.
Ray Hall, Taree
The opus 8 piano trio (brilliantly revised by the composer late in life) would be a fine place to start. I know there are a few who think there's no good Brahms, but for those who like him, I'd say there's almost no bad Brahms. (The string quartets I've never warmed to, but I figure that's my problem, not his.)

Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
Herman
2018-01-24 20:47:19 UTC
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Post by Joe
Post by Raymond Hall
Maybe I should begin investigating his smaller scale instrumental works.
Ray Hall, Taree
The opus 8 piano trio (brilliantly revised by the composer late in life) would be a fine place to start. I know there are a few who think there's no good Brahms, but for those who like him, I'd say there's almost no bad Brahms. (The string quartets I've never warmed to, but I figure that's my problem, not his.)
Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
Sorry, I have sat thru various live performances of Op. 8 and it's light years behind Brahms mature piano trios.
Bob Harper
2018-01-25 00:46:00 UTC
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Post by Raymond Hall
-Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3
-better.
-Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string
-quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works
-just because there's more instruments involved.
Maybe I should begin investigating his smaller scale instrumental works.
Ray Hall, Taree
Absolutely. The quintets (String, Piano, and Clarinet), the two sextets,
the sonatas (Violin, Cello, and Clarinet), and the Piano Trios are tops
for me. Less enamored of the Quartets (String and Piano), though I admit
their excellence. Lots to enjoy!

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2018-01-25 00:50:32 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by Raymond Hall
-Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3
-better.
-Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string
-quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works
-just because there's more instruments involved.
Maybe I should begin investigating his smaller scale instrumental works.
Ray Hall, Taree
Absolutely. The quintets (String, Piano, and Clarinet), the two sextets,
the sonatas (Violin, Cello, and Clarinet), and the Piano Trios are tops
for me. Less enamored of the Quartets (String and Piano), though I admit
their excellence. Lots to enjoy!
Bob Harper
Add the Clarinet Trio to the list. The Horn Trio is OK, but not one of
my favorites.

Bob Harper
dk
2018-01-25 00:17:24 UTC
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Post by Herman
Post by Raymond Hall
Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3 better.
Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works just because there's more instruments involved.
Do you hate the brass and the woodwind?

dk
Ricardo Jimenez
2018-01-25 01:05:20 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by Herman
Post by Raymond Hall
Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3 better.
Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works just because there's more instruments involved.
Do you hate the brass and the woodwind?
dk
The biggest Brahms orchestra is the one for the German Requiem which
is also his longest work. Since it hasn't been mentioned, perhaps it
is not a favorite of many here.
Bob Harper
2018-01-25 18:15:17 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
Post by dk
Post by Herman
Post by Raymond Hall
Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I like nr 3 better.
Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas, the string quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a symphony above those works just because there's more instruments involved.
Do you hate the brass and the woodwind?
dk
The biggest Brahms orchestra is the one for the German Requiem which
is also his longest work. Since it hasn't been mentioned, perhaps it
is not a favorite of many here.
Well, I think GBS's crack, "it could only have come from the
establishment of a first-class undertaker" is very wide of the mark, but
I don't listen to large-scale choral works very much to begin with. I'd
like to hear it in concert some time so as to form a more informed opinion.

Bob Harper
Frank Berger
2018-01-25 20:01:34 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
Post by dk
Post by Herman
Post by Raymond Hall
Coming to the Brahms 4th, above is a link to what I think is an excellent
description of the work, without doubt Brahms' finest imho. I'll give
Carlos Kleiber's recording a spin again.
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful and great symphony, but I
like nr 3 better.
Plus, there are at least two stellar violin sonatas, the clarinet sonatas,
the string quartets and string quintets, and I see no reason to put a
symphony above those works just because there's more instruments involved.
Do you hate the brass and the woodwind?
dk
The biggest Brahms orchestra is the one for the German Requiem which
is also his longest work.  Since it hasn't been mentioned, perhaps it
is not a favorite of many here.
Well, I think GBS's crack, "it could only have come from the establishment of a
first-class undertaker" is very wide of the mark, but I don't listen to
large-scale choral works very much to begin with. I'd like to hear it in concert
some time so as to form a more informed opinion.
Bob Harper
I dragged my wife once to a concert in Dallas. She doesn't particularly like
classical music but agreed to go. Turns out we both came down with colds and
they played the German Requiem. Not a successful evening in any regard.
dk
2018-01-28 01:31:03 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
I dragged my wife once to a concert in Dallas. She doesn't particularly like
classical music but agreed to go. Turns out we both came down with colds and
they played the German Requiem. Not a successful evening in any regard.
That must have been Dallas!
Not a place one associates
with classical music.

dk

dk
2018-01-28 01:29:59 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
The biggest Brahms orchestra is the one for the German Requiem which
is also his longest work. Since it hasn't been mentioned, perhaps it
is not a favorite of many here.
Understatement!
My cats hate it more than they hate Wagner!

dk
dk
2018-01-25 00:19:25 UTC
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Post by Herman
Well, I would doubt about that. It's a wonderful
and great symphony, but I like nr 3 better.
Same here. No. 4 smells too much like death to
my ears. No. 3 at least leaves the listener with
hope for another symphony! ;-)

dk
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-21 18:40:40 UTC
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Post by Tatonik
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Raymond Hall
Ozawa, Abbado have never done much for me either, at any stage.
Previn did wonderful early work in limited repertoire. Jansons has
always been a bit of a curate's egg, but not consistantly good.
Rattle vastly overrated, but seems to find favour with the
groupies. Others like Mackerras, I will always remain flabbergasted
at.
By flabbergasted do you mean greatly impressed?
Bob Harper
No. Greatly unimpressed. I am flabbergasted at the esteem he gets, but
each to their own.
Ray Hall, Taree
I don't know quite what to make of Mackerras. Sometimes I find his
lean, unfussy readings refreshing, but he seems to take the same
approach to everything, and I don't think it always works in his
recordings of the Brahms symphonies and orchestral works. (I bought
them all, alas.) In any case, I don't know how he's rated in general,
so I can't say whether it's over or under.
Maybe I'm not the best judge of Brahms symphonies, though, because the
only one I truly enjoy is No. 4. In addition to Mackerras I have Previn
in No. 4, and I think he's much more suited to this music.
Not to derail the thread, but what are some of the preferred Brahms 4
recordings out there?
This 2007 review article may be of interest:

http://www.classicalnotes.net/classics2/brahmsfourth.html
Andy Evans
2018-01-21 18:56:32 UTC
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Post by Tatonik
I don't know quite what to make of Mackerras. Sometimes I find his
lean, unfussy readings refreshing, but he seems to take the same
approach to everything, and I don't think it always works
All the hype about Mackerras' Janacek operas is one big con. The Supraphon recordings with all-Czech musicians from Prague and Brno are all, in my opinion, superior. Even better is to hear the operas live in Prague and Brno, which I've also done. Authentic music making, full of life and rhythm, in the true Czech idiom. Not exactly what you get in Vienna even though it's not too far as the crow flies. Even Mackerras' Czech recordings aren't better than the Supraphons.
Frank Berger
2018-01-11 01:58:30 UTC
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Post by Ed Presson
I am of the belief that all the "older" conductors were not Gods...., and
many were overrated. In particular, I find E. Ormandy rather ordinary,
Szell was terrific, and Reiner a master craftsman. I'm not trying to start
a negative thread, but was wonder what others may feel.
Ormandy: I started out with little affection for Ormandy and little reason
to change that view. But if you listen you find that he does a lot of
things really well, and that he and his orchestra did have a unique >sound
that enriched many of their recordings. And while I wouldn't think of him
as a first choice for German music, those Mozart wind concertos are a total
pleasure. There are other better places to start if you >are looking for an
"overrated" conductor.
In general, even conductors whom I think are overrated tend to get certain
things right. I've often been dismissive of Jansons work with the RCO and
BRSO, but recently heard a few recordings that were quite >excellent. Still
don't think much of his Beethoven, though.
I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones. Some
conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa
recordings have some good things, but most of their later
recordings seem much less inspired.
Ed Presson
OTOH, some conductors get better as *I* age, such as Karajan.
Charles H. Sampson
2018-01-13 19:59:14 UTC
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Post by Ed Presson
I am of the belief that all the "older" conductors were not Gods...., and
many were overrated. In particular, I find E. Ormandy rather ordinary,
Szell was terrific, and Reiner a master craftsman. I'm not trying to start
a negative thread, but was wonder what others may feel.
Ormandy: I started out with little affection for Ormandy and little reason
to change that view. But if you listen you find that he does a lot of
things really well, and that he and his orchestra did have a unique >sound
that enriched many of their recordings. And while I wouldn't think of him
as a first choice for German music, those Mozart wind concertos are a total
pleasure. There are other better places to start if you >are looking for an
"overrated" conductor.
In general, even conductors whom I think are overrated tend to get certain
things right. I've often been dismissive of Jansons work with the RCO and
BRSO, but recently heard a few recordings that were quite >excellent. Still
don't think much of his Beethoven, though.
I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones. Some
conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa
recordings have some good things, but most of their later
recordings seem much less inspired.
Wow, somebody resurrected an old post! Whatever, I certainly agree about
Ozawa. I have (on vinyl) his set of Ravel's orchestral music. After
buying that and listening to it, I never bought anything else of his. I
don't know why I'm still holding onto it.

Charlie
--
Nobody in this country got rich on his own. You built a factory--good.
But you moved your goods on roads we all paid for. You hired workers we
all paid to educate. So keep a big hunk of the money from your factory.
But take a hunk and pay it forward. Elizabeth Warren (paraphrased)
Oscar
2018-01-13 22:06:41 UTC
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Listening to Ozawa's 1989-90 recording of Mahler Symphoby No.9 w/ BSO right now on Universal Japan Blu-spec 2CD reissue from 2014. It is better than most, and this recording, among a handful of others (Carmina Burana 1969 on RCA Red Seal springs to mind), keeps me from holding Ozawa in lesser esteem. Not an easy piece to pull off. However, I was not a subscriber to BSO concerts from 1972-2002. I may think differently were that the case. I understand audiences up there had very mixed reviews of his performances and stewardship of the orchestra, just as Dudamel does in Los Angeles. But this Mahler 9 shines and is one of my faves.
music lover
2018-01-14 17:27:08 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Listening to Ozawa's 1989-90 recording of Mahler Symphoby No.9 w/ BSO right now on Universal Japan Blu-spec 2CD reissue from 2014. It is better than most, and this recording, among a handful of others (Carmina Burana 1969 on RCA Red Seal springs to mind), keeps me from holding Ozawa in lesser esteem. Not an easy piece to pull off. However, I was not a subscriber to BSO concerts from 1972-2002. I may think differently were that the case. I understand audiences up there had very mixed reviews of his performances and stewardship of the orchestra, just as Dudamel does in Los Angeles. But this Mahler 9 shines and is one of my faves.
Not sure what audiences in Los Angeles are less than rapturous about everything Dudamel does in Los Angeles. Certainly the Los Angeles Times is out of this world about him. The orchestra doesn't need a marketing department with the Times support of the orchestra.
t***@ucsc.edu
2018-01-15 01:59:32 UTC
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Post by music lover
Post by Oscar
Listening to Ozawa's 1989-90 recording of Mahler Symphoby No.9 w/ BSO right now on Universal Japan Blu-spec 2CD reissue from 2014. It is better than most, and this recording, among a handful of others (Carmina Burana 1969 on RCA Red Seal springs to mind), keeps me from holding Ozawa in lesser esteem. Not an easy piece to pull off. However, I was not a subscriber to BSO concerts from 1972-2002. I may think differently were that the case. I understand audiences up there had very mixed reviews of his performances and stewardship of the orchestra, just as Dudamel does in Los Angeles. But this Mahler 9 shines and is one of my faves.
Not sure what audiences in Los Angeles are less than rapturous about everything Dudamel does in Los Angeles. Certainly the Los Angeles Times is out of this world about him. The orchestra doesn't need a marketing department with the Times support of the orchestra.
Glad this old thread got revived. Actually made me post here for the very first time ...
"Most overrated" would really need qualification - overrated by the critics, or in terms of the success/fame with the general public. But no matter how one defines that, Karajan was the name that came to mind first (like for so many others here.) His Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven (the later recordings), some Romantics, and definitely his excursions into Baroque music are so concerned with a homogeneous sound that any deeper "truth" (a dangerous term, I realize) is lost. But his Bruckner, Strauss (Richard, and Johann too), his Mahler and Shostakovitch are a different story. Too bad he got to some of them so late in his career, and, in the case of DSCH, recorded the one work twice and disregarded everything else by him.
Celibidache is second for me. If for Karajan sound was everything, Celi strove for some mystical experience, but didn't see that the piece under his hands got all the life taken out of it in the process. I lived in München, and even there he had as many haters as people who liked his conducting. (Of course, they didn't just like it, they thought that was the only way to conduct.)
Solti belongs on this list too IMHO. His music making was all about drive and exitement, and remained very much at the surface. I must confess, though, that I love his Mahler 5 (along with Karajan's and Barshai's) as ONE way to play the piece. Solti, like Karajan, had the full backing of his label, and that kept him in the limelight for many years. Today, he seems almost forgotten, if I'm not mistaken.
Andy Evans
2018-01-15 13:06:47 UTC
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Overrated
Bohm
Bernstein
Barbirolli
Rattle
Barenboim
Abbado
Mehta
Guilini
Ashkenazy
Berglund
Sanderling
Mengelberg
Jansons
Mackerras
Slatkin

Underrated
Gielen
Fricsay
Rosbaud
Van Beinum
Mravinsky
Segerstam
Harnoncourt
Paray
Britten
Maderna
Munch
Ansermet
Argenta
Stravinsky

Just right
Solti
Ancerl
Boulez
Karajan
Maazel
Ormandy
Klemperer
Walter
Kna
Furtwangler
Toscanini
Reiner
Szell
Muti
Beecham
Horenstein
HT
2018-01-15 13:20:30 UTC
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Not mentioned by Andy Evans:

Overrated: Haitink, Gergiev
Underrated: Jochum, Chailly

Henk
Andy Evans
2018-01-15 14:11:43 UTC
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Post by HT
Overrated: Haitink, Gergiev
Underrated: Jochum, Chailly
Henk
Agree completely! There are many, many more that could be listed one way or another. Such as:

Overrated
Kubelik
Dutoit
Sawallisch
Herreweghe


Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris

Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Herman
2018-01-15 14:42:17 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
drh8h
2018-01-15 14:56:51 UTC
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Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience with Previn has been positive. The first Rach2 is far superior to Ormandy's first stereo. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge about him, though. My tendency is to explore a conductor's work only once he is gone. I have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik, but a recent hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all the various orchestras has put me back in the plus column for him. Sometimes he was lively and engaged, at others, it is like the aural version of autopilot.
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-15 15:20:33 UTC
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Post by drh8h
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience with Previn has been positive. The first Rach2 is far superior to Ormandy's first stereo. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge about him, though. My tendency is to explore a conductor's work only once he is gone. I have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik, but a recent hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all the various orchestras has put me back in the plus column for him. Sometimes he was lively and engaged, at others, it is like the aural version of autopilot.
I can't agree with you about Previn's first Rach 2 vs/ Ormandy's Rach 2. Though cut (not a bad thing, actually), Ormandy's is passionate and exciting, more so, in my opinion, than Previn's.

Mark
Frank Berger
2018-01-15 15:36:59 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by drh8h
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience with Previn has been positive. The first Rach2 is far superior to Ormandy's first stereo. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge about him, though. My tendency is to explore a conductor's work only once he is gone. I have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik, but a recent hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all the various orchestras has put me back in the plus column for him. Sometimes he was lively and engaged, at others, it is like the aural version of autopilot.
I can't agree with you about Previn's first Rach 2 vs/ Ormandy's Rach 2. Though cut (not a bad thing, actually), Ormandy's is passionate and exciting, more so, in my opinion, than Previn's.
Mark
Personally, when I find I don't like a performer as much as
it seems others do, my first inclination is to wonder what's
wrong with me, not them.
Bob Harper
2018-01-18 03:51:55 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by drh8h
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli,
Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're
clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience with Previn has
been positive. The first Rach2 is far superior to Ormandy's first
stereo. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge about him, though. My
tendency is to explore a conductor's work only once he is gone. I
have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik, but a recent
hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all the various orchestras has
put me back in the plus column for him. Sometimes he was lively and
engaged, at others, it is like the aural version of autopilot.
I can't agree with you about Previn's first Rach 2 vs/ Ormandy's Rach
2. Though cut (not a bad thing, actually), Ormandy's is passionate and
exciting, more so, in my opinion, than Previn's.
Mark
Personally, when I find I don't like a performer as much as it seems
others do, my first inclination is to wonder what's wrong with me, not
them.
A sensible inclination, I'd say.

Bob Harper
Frank Berger
2018-01-18 04:02:50 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by Frank Berger
On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 8:56:54 AM UTC-6, drh8h
On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 9:42:21 AM UTC-5, Herman
On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 3:11:48 PM UTC+1, Andy
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi,
Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably
about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated
conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience
with Previn has been positive. The first Rach2 is far
superior to Ormandy's first stereo. I don't claim
comprehensive knowledge about him, though. My tendency
is to explore a conductor's work only once he is gone. I
have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik,
but a recent hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all
the various orchestras has put me back in the plus
column for him. Sometimes he was lively and engaged, at
others, it is like the aural version of autopilot.
I can't agree with you about Previn's first Rach 2 vs/
Ormandy's Rach 2. Though cut (not a bad thing, actually),
Ormandy's is passionate and exciting, more so, in my
opinion, than Previn's.
Mark
Personally, when I find I don't like a performer as much
as it seems others do, my first inclination is to wonder
what's wrong with me, not them.
A sensible inclination, I'd say.
Bob Harper
There's a lot wrong with me. Including a complete lack of
appreciation of this thread. We now know that every
conductor is considered overrated by some and underrated by
others.
Bob Harper
2018-01-19 15:35:57 UTC
Reply
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by drh8h
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli,
Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're
clearly on another planet.
In a certain repertory, mostly Russian, my experience with Previn
has been positive. The first Rach2 is far superior to Ormandy's
first stereo. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge about him,
though. My tendency is to explore a conductor's work only once he
is gone. I have always been a little on the fence about Kubelik,
but a recent hearing of most of his LvB cycle with all the various
orchestras has put me back in the plus column for him. Sometimes he
was lively and engaged, at others, it is like the aural version of
autopilot.
I can't agree with you about Previn's first Rach 2 vs/ Ormandy's
Rach 2. Though cut (not a bad thing, actually), Ormandy's is
passionate and exciting, more so, in my opinion, than Previn's.
Mark
Personally, when I find I don't like a performer as much as it seems
others do, my first inclination is to wonder what's wrong with me,
not them.
A sensible inclination, I'd say.
Bob Harper
There's a lot wrong with me.  Including a complete lack of appreciation
of this thread.  We now know that every conductor is considered
overrated by some and underrated by others.
By George, I think you've got it!

Bob Harper
Andy Evans
2018-01-15 15:01:58 UTC
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Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
Why? He made good recordings of e.g. Shostakovich, Rachmaninov... He wasn't just a showbiz guy, so I'm imagining his reputation starts at a pretty low point in terms of public perception. I'm just raising it a little, though not nearly as far as some of my real heroes like Ansermet, Gielen and Van Beinum. Apparently the LSO were quite happy to see him go in the end, but I don't know exactly why. No doubt you're going to tell me!
Herman
2018-01-15 16:08:50 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
Why? He made good recordings of e.g. Shostakovich, Rachmaninov... He wasn't just a showbiz guy, so I'm imagining his reputation starts at a pretty low point in terms of public perception. I'm just raising it a little, though not nearly as far as some of my real heroes like Ansermet, Gielen and Van Beinum. Apparently the LSO were quite happy to see him go in the end, but I don't know exactly why. No doubt you're going to tell me!
His LSO Tchaikovsky is unbelievably sloppy. And this is rep the orchestra (or rather musicians in it) had played countless times. There's no discipline. Like many conductors of that era who recorded at lot, he seemed just hell bent on getting as much as fast as possible in the record stores.
Ed Presson
2018-01-15 20:39:33 UTC
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Post by Herman
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly
on another planet.
Why? He made good recordings of e.g. Shostakovich, Rachmaninov... He wasn't
just a showbiz guy, so I'm imagining his reputation starts at a pretty low
point in terms of public perception. I'm just raising it a >little, though
not nearly as far as some of my real heroes like Ansermet, Gielen and Van
Beinum. Apparently the LSO were quite happy to see him go in the end, but I
don't know exactly why. No doubt you're >going to tell me!
I remember reading a report in which Previn was quoted as saying that a
Vienna Philharmonic player asked him, "Maestro, why don't you ask more of
us?" When I hear Previn's later recordings, I can understand the players
question.

Ed Presson
Herman
2018-01-15 21:37:38 UTC
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Post by Ed Presson
I remember reading a report in which Previn was quoted as saying that a
Vienna Philharmonic player asked him, "Maestro, why don't you ask more of
us?" When I hear Previn's later recordings, I can understand the players
question.
Though I sympathize with the sentiment, I wonder if this anecdote (like so many from the conductor / orchestra field) is genuine.

An orchestra musician asking for longer rehearsals and more talk from the podium? Nah.
Bob Harper
2018-01-18 03:50:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Herman
Post by Andy Evans
Underrated
Mitropolous
Previn
Cluytens
Gauk
Wyn Morris
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Well, if you think Andre Previn is an underrated conductor, you're clearly on another planet.
And yet---the Previn Walton 1st on RCA and the Rachmaninov 2nd on EMI
are tremendous. No comment about 'ratings', except to say they're silly.

Bob Harper
Orchman
2018-01-19 18:19:27 UTC
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On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 10:50:19 PM UTC-5, Bob Harper wrote:,

<....the Previn Walton 1st on RCA ......tremendous. No comment about 'ratings', except to say they'>

Absolutely - great recording of Walton #1!!
Randy Lane
2018-01-20 00:06:16 UTC
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Maybe a good subset - vocalists and instrumentalists who yook up conducting but never should have.

First Candidates:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?

Yehudi Menuhin?
I have heard some goos stuff, but not enough to say ywes or no.
Frank Berger
2018-01-21 02:39:47 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
Maybe a good subset - vocalists and instrumentalists who yook up conducting but never should have.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?
I'm surprised to see this. Some of F-D's conducting
enterprises have almost legendary status in RMCR. Brahms 4,
Harold in Italy, Schubert 5 and 8 come immediately to mind.
Post by Randy Lane
Yehudi Menuhin?
I have heard some goos stuff, but not enough to say ywes or no.
Joe
2018-01-21 15:26:09 UTC
Reply
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Post by Frank Berger
Post by Randy Lane
Maybe a good subset - vocalists and instrumentalists who yook up conducting but never should have.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?
I'm surprised to see this. Some of F-D's conducting
enterprises have almost legendary status in RMCR. Brahms 4,
Harold in Italy, Schubert 5 and 8 come immediately to mind.
Those performances representing (if I'm not mistaken) a good percentage of his total recorded output as a conductor. He seems like a better candidate for underrated status.

Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
Frank Berger
2018-01-21 16:22:47 UTC
Reply
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Post by Joe
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Randy Lane
Maybe a good subset - vocalists and instrumentalists who yook up conducting but never should have.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?
I'm surprised to see this. Some of F-D's conducting
enterprises have almost legendary status in RMCR. Brahms 4,
Harold in Italy, Schubert 5 and 8 come immediately to mind.
Those performances representing (if I'm not mistaken) a good percentage of his total recorded output as a conductor. He seems like a better candidate for underrated status.
Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
Berlioz Harold in Italy 16.00 Supraphon 708
Brahms Piano Concerto 2 83.00 Orfeo 810102
Brahms Symphony 4 98.00 Planeta-Agostini 98
Brahms Symphony 4 98.00 ROCD 49
Brahms Symphony 4 98.00 Orfeo 810102
Haydn Symphony 104 Orfeo 221901
Haydn Violin Concerto Hob. VIIa:1 Orfeo 221901
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) Orfeo 494001
Schubert Symphony 5 D485 Royal Classics 6454
Schubert Symphony 8 D759 Royal Classics 6454
Schumann Introduction and Allegro Appassionato 92.00 EMI 64626
Schumann Introduction and Allegro Appassionato 92.00 EMI 69692
Schumann Piano Concerto 54.00 EMI 64626
Schumann Piano Concerto 54.00 EMI 69692
Strauss (Richard) Ariadne Auf Naxos - overture Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Ariadne Auf Naxos-Ein Schones war Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Ariadne Auf Naxos-Es gipt ein Reich Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Capriccio - final scene Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Capriccio - Mondscheinmusic Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Die liebe der Danne - Wir umgibst du mich mit Frieden Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Die liebe der Danne - Zwischenspiel aus dem 3. Aufzug Orfeo 511991
Strauss (Richard) Salome - Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund kussen lassen 54.00 Orfeo 511991
Wolf Der Corregidor ("Nicht geschlossen? - Nicht geschlossen!") EMI 56644
Wolf Italian Serenade EMI 56644
Wolf Pentheslea EMI 56644
Wolf Scherzo and Finale EMI 56644
wkasimer
2018-01-22 12:52:06 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
Maybe a good subset - vocalists and instrumentalists who yook up conducting but never should have.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?
Yehudi Menuhin?
I have heard some goos stuff, but not enough to say ywes or no.
I think that these are both pretty decent conductors - in fact, I prefer their conducting to most of their singing/playing.

#1 on my list would be Placido Domingo, who is a terrible conductor.
t***@gmail.com
2018-01-18 21:45:34 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Kondrashin was a fantastic conductor!!

TH
c***@gmail.com
2018-01-18 22:40:12 UTC
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Post by t***@gmail.com
Post by Andy Evans
Not sure what to do with Dohnaniyi, Thielemann, Jarvi, Sinopoli, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky.... probably about right
Kondrashin was a fantastic conductor!!
TH
I don't love them all equally, but I've heard great things from everyone on the that list. Maybe the heading should have been "Conductors I don't get"
drh8h
2018-01-15 14:18:55 UTC
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Post by HT
Overrated: Haitink, Gergiev
Underrated: Jochum, Chailly
Henk
Anyone with an opinion about Monteux? Depending on which recording I am listening to, he is one of the greats (as per John Canarina and Arturo Toscanini) , or a "mediocrity" as asserted by B.H. Haggin. Then there is the vexed question of Stokowski. He almost transcends any attempt to rate him. I don't think we can mention Beecham and Barbirolli and leave out their contemporaries, Sargent and Boult. But again, it depends on what I am hearing.
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-15 16:04:20 UTC
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Post by HT
Overrated: Haitink, Gergiev
Underrated: Jochum, Chailly
Henk
Anyone with an opinion about Monteux? Depending on which recording I am listening to, he is one of the greats (as per John Canarina and Arturo Toscanini) , or a "mediocrity" as asserted by B.H. Haggin. Then there is the vexed question of Stokowski. He almost transcends any attempt to rate him...
According to the following:

- He may have been a charlatan and a "buffone," as Toscanini called him...But he also produced a kind of orchestral sound that Toscanini envied and could never match, even with the Philadelphia Orchestra, while Stokowski could do it with any orchestra he conducted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1983/01/15/mystery-38/b2587508-f379-45c9-9fa5-b1cdab31b608/?utm_term=.e2d8ce17f13a
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-16 03:48:53 UTC
Reply
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by HT
Overrated: Haitink, Gergiev
Underrated: Jochum, Chailly
Henk
Anyone with an opinion about Monteux? Depending on which recording I am listening to, he is one of the greats (as per John Canarina and Arturo Toscanini) , or a "mediocrity" as asserted by B.H. Haggin. Then there is the vexed question of Stokowski. He almost transcends any attempt to rate him...
- He may have been a charlatan and a "buffone," as Toscanini called him...But he also produced a kind of orchestral sound that Toscanini envied and could never match, even with the Philadelphia Orchestra, while Stokowski could do it with any orchestra he conducted.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1983/01/15/mystery-38/b2587508-f379-45c9-9fa5-b1cdab31b608/?utm_term=.e2d8ce17f13a
Recent Youtube upload:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 Stokowski / NBC S.O. 1954 - Restored

(In the comments section):

- This is simply the best performance I ever heard of my favorite symphony; how that wizard Leopold transforms Toscanini's orchestra into such a lush and luminous sound is a marvel; have the sounds of nature in the Second Movement ever sounded so nature-like, or have the final pages ever sounded so ecstatic? Many, many thanks for restoring this treasure in such faithful and beautiful sound! Tears of joy.
Orchman
2018-01-19 16:27:46 UTC
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Anyone with an opinion about Monteux? Depending on which recording I am listening to, he is one of the greats>>
Definitely one of the greats...large repertoire, at which he excelled...splendid musicianship - He and Reiner always seem to be musically correct - their performances are always musical and make sense, "in the right ballpark".
Monteux was also, like Reiner, a great orchestra trainer - perhaps the greatest ever. His skill at re-vitalizing, or developing orchestras was amazing.

Generally popular with musicians - like Walter, he was decent, courteous and respectful of them, yet set very high musical standards.
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-19 17:59:26 UTC
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Post by Orchman
Anyone with an opinion about Monteux? Depending on which recording I am listening to, he is one of the greats>>
Definitely one of the greats...large repertoire, at which he excelled...splendid musicianship - He and Reiner always seem to be musically correct - their performances are always musical and make sense, "in the right ballpark".
Monteux was also, like Reiner, a great orchestra trainer - perhaps the greatest ever. His skill at re-vitalizing, or developing orchestras was amazing.
Generally popular with musicians - like Walter, he was decent, courteous and respectful of them, yet set very high musical standards.
For those who are looking for a work to compare them, they each recorded a Living Stereo Scheherazade:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.recordings/reiner$20monteux%7Csort:relevance/rec.music.classical.recordings/cQLIR3wNVpM/wHbgKvfl0EEJ
Mr. Mike
2018-01-16 20:18:04 UTC
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Post by t***@ucsc.edu
Solti belongs on this list too IMHO. His music making was all about drive and exitement, and remained very much at the surface. I must confess, though, that I love his Mahler 5 (along with Karajan's and Barshai's) as ONE way to play the piece. Solti, like Karajan, had the full backing of his label, and that kept him in the limelight for many years. Today, he seems almost forgotten, if I'm not mistaken.
In the September/October 2006 edition of ARG, a reviewer of Solti's
version of Mahler's 8th wrote:

...how precipitously some musical reputations fall after the death of
the artists who inspired them. In his lifetime, Solti would sell out
concert halls effortlessly. His recordings were commercial hits and
recipients of many critical awards. These days, his reputation has
plummeted. When he is remembered at all, it is as a brutal, rigid
martinet.
Andy Evans
2018-01-16 20:29:02 UTC
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Solti belongs on this list too IMHO. Today, he seems almost forgotten, if I'm not mistaken.
Solti is very much on my playlist - my preferred Ring Cycle, Meistersinger and Parsifal. His achievements in Wagner alone will keep his reputation alive. He was a really good conductor of opera - he achieved very tight ensembles, kept everything moving and got good performances from his singers.
Tatonik
2018-01-21 19:23:01 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Solti belongs on this list too IMHO. Today, he seems almost
forgotten, if I'm not mistaken.
Solti is very much on my playlist - my preferred Ring Cycle, Meistersinger
and Parsifal. His achievements in Wagner alone will keep his reputation
alive. He was a really good conductor of opera - he achieved very tight
ensembles, kept everything moving and got good performances from his
singers.
I recall reading an assessment of Solti many years ago - I think it was
in an interview with Sergiu Celibidache. Celibidache essentially said
that Solti is a marvelous pianist but not a good conductor.

Among of my earliest engagements with the Beethoven symphonies was a
complete set on cassette from Book of the Month club, a rerelease of
Solti's earlier recordings with the CSO. I enjoyed them, but my
critical faculties were as yet undeveloped. Later on when they were a
bit more developed I enjoyed his Mahler 5 (both versions) and some of
his Tchaikovsky recordings. I was a little disappointed in his disc of
Beethoven 4 and 5 from his second Beethoven cycle in the 1980s.

At the very least I would consider him a good conductor. Perhaps it is
true that he was a better pianist than conductor. In another message in
this thread I mentioned Brahms orchestral recordings by Mackerras. I
was disappointed in the Variations on a Theme by Haydn in that set,
while I love the same piece in the version for two pianos played by
Solti and Perahia. It has so much character and feeling that I don't
miss the variety of timbers and tonalities an orchestra affords. I'm
also fond of Solti's disc of Mozart piano quartets.
m***@gmail.com
2018-01-17 03:46:23 UTC
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Post by Mr. Mike
Post by t***@ucsc.edu
Solti belongs on this list too IMHO. His music making was all about drive and exitement, and remained very much at the surface. I must confess, though, that I love his Mahler 5 (along with Karajan's and Barshai's) as ONE way to play the piece. Solti, like Karajan, had the full backing of his label, and that kept him in the limelight for many years. Today, he seems almost forgotten, if I'm not mistaken.
In the September/October 2006 edition of ARG, a reviewer of Solti's
...how precipitously some musical reputations fall after the death of
the artists who inspired them. In his lifetime, Solti would sell out
concert halls effortlessly. His recordings were commercial hits and
recipients of many critical awards. These days, his reputation has
plummeted. When he is remembered at all, it is as a brutal, rigid
martinet.
One reviewer twelve years ago - who cares???
Orchman
2018-01-19 18:17:57 UTC
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Post by Mr. Mike
In the September/October 2006 edition of ARG, a reviewer of Solti's
...how precipitously some musical reputations fall after the death of
the artists who inspired them. In his lifetime, Solti would sell out
concert halls effortlessly. His recordings were commercial hits and
recipients of many critical awards. These days, his reputation has
plummeted. When he is remembered at all, it is as a brutal, rigid
martinet.>>
Bullcrap. Solti has a fine, well-deserved reputation among musicians and listeners....this critic is goofy....Sotli's recordings of so many works are still top choices....many of the greatest live concerts I've ever heard were conducted by Solti, leading the CSO...
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-14 06:45:08 UTC
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Post by Charles H. Sampson
Post by Ed Presson
I am of the belief that all the "older" conductors were not Gods...., and
many were overrated. In particular, I find E. Ormandy rather ordinary,
Szell was terrific, and Reiner a master craftsman. I'm not trying to start
a negative thread, but was wonder what others may feel.
Ormandy: I started out with little affection for Ormandy and little reason
to change that view. But if you listen you find that he does a lot of
things really well, and that he and his orchestra did have a unique >sound
that enriched many of their recordings. And while I wouldn't think of him
as a first choice for German music, those Mozart wind concertos are a total
pleasure. There are other better places to start if you >are looking for an
"overrated" conductor.
In general, even conductors whom I think are overrated tend to get certain
things right. I've often been dismissive of Jansons work with the RCO and
BRSO, but recently heard a few recordings that were quite >excellent. Still
don't think much of his Beethoven, though.
I like more of Jansons' earlier recordings than the more recent ones. Some
conductors don't age well; for me early Abbado, Previn, Slatkin, and Ozawa
recordings have some good things, but most of their later
recordings seem much less inspired.
Wow, somebody resurrected an old post! Whatever, I certainly agree about
Ozawa. I have (on vinyl) his set of Ravel's orchestral music. After
buying that and listening to it, I never bought anything else of his. I
don't know why I'm still holding onto it.
Charlie
--
Nobody in this country got rich on his own. You built a factory--good.
But you moved your goods on roads we all paid for. You hired workers we
all paid to educate. So keep a big hunk of the money from your factory.
But take a hunk and pay it forward. Elizabeth Warren (paraphrased)
The following rates his "Planets" by Holst very highly:

https://petersplanets.wordpress.com/
g***@gmail.com
2018-01-10 21:19:14 UTC
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IMHO, some of Ormandy's Philadelphia recordings are more impressive than others. For example, Ormandy recorded Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" twice, once in 1957 (issued by Columbia as ML 5286 / MS 6003) and again in 1967 (issued by Columbia as M 30446). The 1957 performance is far superior to what sounds to me like a "just going through the motions" performance of the one recorded ten years later. For some unknown reason, CBS/Sony Music has reissued the 1967 performance on CD, and while they used the cover of the 1957 release on a CD reissue, the recording contained on that CD was conducted by Andre Kostelanetz! Comparing Ormandy's 1957 performance with other recordings of Grofe's Suite, others pale in comparison. Fiedler, who is idolized by most Bostonians including myself, conducted a less charismatic recording than Ormandy's first one, and Bernstein's, which CBS/Sony Music loves to repackage and reissue is only so-so...
Have you ever heard the composer conduct that?:

Loading Image...
ways
2018-01-11 04:30:16 UTC
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Herbert von Karajan
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