Discussion:
Maazel's best from Cleveland?
(too old to reply)
Todd Schurk
2006-05-08 17:24:53 UTC
Permalink
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
Cheers,Todd
makropulos
2006-05-08 17:28:05 UTC
Permalink
Prokofiev R&J and the Porgy & Bess are the two that would certainly get
my vote. Here in England at least, the Porgy has been rather
overshadowed by the Rattle one on EMI, but I actually prefer Maazel -
perhaps because it's how I got to know the complete opera for the first
time.
Todd Schurk
2006-05-08 17:42:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
Prokofiev R&J and the Porgy & Bess are the two that would certainly get
my vote. Here in England at least, the Porgy has been rather
overshadowed by the Rattle one on EMI, but I actually prefer Maazel -
perhaps because it's how I got to know the complete opera for the first
time.
I forgot to mention the Prokofiev 5th symphony as another favorite. The
two Strauss Tone Poem discs from Cbs/Sony were terrific from a playing
& conducting standpoint,but not so as recorded sound. Then there are
some that I'm not sure made it on to CD-has the Berlioz "Harold in
Italy" w/Robert Vernon (the Cleveland Principal Violist) ever been on
silver disc?
j***@aol.com
2006-05-08 18:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
Post by makropulos
Prokofiev R&J and the Porgy & Bess are the two that would certainly get
my vote. Here in England at least, the Porgy has been rather
overshadowed by the Rattle one on EMI, but I actually prefer Maazel -
perhaps because it's how I got to know the complete opera for the first
time.
I forgot to mention the Prokofiev 5th symphony as another favorite. The
two Strauss Tone Poem discs from Cbs/Sony were terrific from a playing
& conducting standpoint,but not so as recorded sound. Then there are
some that I'm not sure made it on to CD-has the Berlioz "Harold in
Italy" w/Robert Vernon (the Cleveland Principal Violist) ever been on
silver disc?
I have a vague memory of that Berlioz on CD, listed not long ago at
Berkshire (at the time they also listed the Franck symphony). Perhaps I
am mistaken....

Anyway, one of the most exciting Maazel recordings is his Tchaikovsky 4
on Telarc. I have not heard the 4th on Sony, but the Tchaikovsky 5 was
not bad, either. The Shostakovich 5 on Telarc was rather sober compared
to the second Bernstein recording, which came out at the same time, but
it was a superb disc as well.

---Jeff
Gerard
2006-05-08 18:15:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Anyway, one of the most exciting Maazel recordings is his Tchaikovsky
4 on Telarc.
I've never warmed up to this recording.
His Pictures (Mussorgsky) on Telarc got some very good reviews; but I could
not find out why exactly.
j***@aol.com
2006-05-08 18:46:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
Anyway, one of the most exciting Maazel recordings is his Tchaikovsky
4 on Telarc.
I've never warmed up to this recording.
His Pictures (Mussorgsky) on Telarc got some very good reviews; but I could
not find out why exactly.'
"Warmed" is rarely a word I use for my reaction to Maazel, but I did
find it very well played and very sensibly conducted.

--Jeff
Gerard
2006-05-08 19:08:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
Anyway, one of the most exciting Maazel recordings is his
Tchaikovsky 4 on Telarc.
I've never warmed up to this recording.
His Pictures (Mussorgsky) on Telarc got some very good reviews; but
I could not find out why exactly.'
"Warmed" is rarely a word I use for my reaction to Maazel,
I've bought this recording not because of Maazel, but because of Tchaikovsky.
I've not warmed up to this recording, seen as a recording of Tchaikovksy 4.
Post by j***@aol.com
but I did
find it very well played and very sensibly conducted.
Exactly. No more, no less.
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 05:23:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
Anyway, one of the most exciting Maazel recordings is his
Tchaikovsky 4 on Telarc.
I've never warmed up to this recording.
His Pictures (Mussorgsky) on Telarc got some very good reviews; but
I could not find out why exactly.'
"Warmed" is rarely a word I use for my reaction to Maazel,
I've bought this recording not because of Maazel, but because of Tchaikovsky.
I've not warmed up to this recording, seen as a recording of Tchaikovksy 4.
Aaaah. There's your mistake. I bought it not because of Tchaikovsky but
because of John Mack. Hence, expectations fulfilled and the composition
itself was merely a bonus.

Only half kidding, there....
Post by Gerard
Post by j***@aol.com
but I did
find it very well played and very sensibly conducted.
Exactly. No more, no less.
That's all I ask from Maazel, and I get it almost every time. Some of
his recordings, like the Berlioz Romeo and Juliet excerpts on DG, do
rise above that level to an emotional intensity, but he rarely falls
below it, in my estimation. Even when he picks a bizarre tempo, he acts
like it's the most sensible thing in the world and the playing is
impeccable.

--Jeff
makropulos
2006-05-08 18:01:54 UTC
Permalink
I've never heard that Prokofiev 5 - but it sounds like it's well
worth acquiring (and if it's anything like the R&J it should be
wonderful).

In all honesty I'm not normally an admirer of Maazel's work, but there
are certainly are some good records from the Cleveland years (and some
much less good ones as well, but that's not the subject of your
thread).
bpnjensen
2006-05-08 18:36:38 UTC
Permalink
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...

BJ
sechumlib
2006-05-08 19:17:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
He tends to bend things all out of shape at will.
GMS
2006-05-08 20:41:28 UTC
Permalink
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."

I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed
completely. All these years later, and after being exposed to the
self-indulgent pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years,
Maazel now seems absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has
been deified on this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for,
IMHO, a somewhat similar musical approach. I wonder what this says
about musical tastes and the way they've evolved over the last 30
years. Or is it that Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging
influence from Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.

Gary Stucka
Cellist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
makropulos
2006-05-08 21:20:23 UTC
Permalink
"I can't stand Rattle's _P&B_, much preferring Maazel and the
one from Houston conducted by John DeMain."

Agree totally - Rattle's P&B irritates me. And yes, Maazel or John
DeMain for me too, and of those two, I'd go for Maazel.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-08 21:28:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by GMS
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed
completely. All these years later, and after being exposed to the
self-indulgent pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years,
Maazel now seems absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has
been deified on this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for,
IMHO, a somewhat similar musical approach. I wonder what this says
about musical tastes and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years.
Or is it that Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence
from Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
Perhaps Barenboim is just better at it (that is, "pulling about") than
Maazel is.

Matty
Alan Cooper
2006-05-08 21:42:22 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 08 May 2006 21:28:10 GMT, Matthew Silverstein
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by GMS
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed
completely. All these years later, and after being exposed to the
self-indulgent pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years,
Maazel now seems absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has
been deified on this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for,
IMHO, a somewhat similar musical approach. I wonder what this says
about musical tastes and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years.
Or is it that Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence
from Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
Perhaps Barenboim is just better at it (that is, "pulling about") than
Maazel is.
By "better," I suppose you mean more to your taste. The way Barenboim
brings out inner voices and accompanying figures at the expense of the
melodic line in his new Mahler 7 has been driving me nuts. I can't
believe the high praise that the recording has received here. Could
it be just because it's so "different?" (I did enjoy the outstanding
orchestral playing and recorded sound, though.)

AC
sechumlib
2006-05-09 12:56:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
By "better," I suppose you mean more to your taste. The way Barenboim
brings out inner voices and accompanying figures at the expense of the
melodic line in his new Mahler 7 has been driving me nuts.
I once attended a concert in Cleveland where Maazel conducted the First
Suite from the Water Music. In the minuet trio (F minor), he brought
the cello line out as the principal melodic interest. Certainly
different, and to some extent worth experiencing! I still haven't
decided (about 30 years later) whether I like it.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-09 00:50:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Marc Perman
2006-05-09 01:57:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Barenboim may specialize in Bruckner, but not in a memorably good way.

Marc Perman
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-09 03:47:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc Perman
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so
Bruckner.
Barenboim may specialize in Bruckner, but not in a memorably good way.
Oh, I was very moved by a 9th he did here in Los Angeles many years ago.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 04:11:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!

Of course Barenboim has two cycles (and a Mass) to his credit, but that
doesn't diminish Maazel's achievements with Bruckner.

--Jeff
Todd Schurk
2006-05-09 05:10:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
Of course Barenboim has two cycles (and a Mass) to his credit, but that
doesn't diminish Maazel's achievements with Bruckner.
--Jeff
And I'll take his Emi Berlin Bruckner Eighth (budget price at that)
over either of Barenboims offerings (Chicago/DG & Berlin/Teldec-Warner).
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 05:57:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
Of course Barenboim has two cycles (and a Mass) to his credit, but that
doesn't diminish Maazel's achievements with Bruckner.
--Jeff
And I'll take his Emi Berlin Bruckner Eighth (budget price at that)
over either of Barenboims offerings (Chicago/DG & Berlin/Teldec-Warner).
Same here. In fact, I think Maazel's 8 with the BP is *one of the best*
8s out there. I also heard the live concert. But back then, I didn't
really "get" Maazel's Bruckner. Revisiting the performance after many
years recently, I was very pleasantly surprised. The recorded sound is
very good, too. But I also listened to Barenboim's Bruckner 9 (BP)
again recently, and simply couldn't find too much to like on that disc.
The concept is OK, but somehow the whole performance just passes by
without exciting much interest. The sound is pretty strange, too. I
don't know if it's too glassy, or too muddy, or both, but somehow
Teldec couldn't make sense of the acoustics of the Philharmonie. I even
bought Barenboim's CSO 9th a few months ago. Yes, call me stupid, but I
thought his concept might work better in the somewhat more transparent
and leaner CSO sound. Maybe posters such as jrsn influenced me, because
I thought it might at least be spectacular brass wise. But it isn't,
neither brass wise nor musical in general. Funny, I did like some of
the Barneboim CSO performances when I listened to them many moons ago.
I somehow liked the clarity and directness of his concept. But many
moons later, I just find them bland and uninteresting, and I don't even
like to use the word "bland".
Josep Vilanova
2006-05-09 07:18:02 UTC
Permalink
On 9/5/06 06:57, in article
Post by Michael Schaffer
But I also listened to Barenboim's Bruckner 9 (BP)
again recently, and simply couldn't find too much to like on that disc.
The concept is OK, but somehow the whole performance just passes by
without exciting much interest
I've always admired Barenboim, but I had a similar problem with those
Bruckner performances. Some of his most engaging concerts have been with the
Berlin Staaskapelle. For instance, I have great memories of a live Beethoven
cycle played in London. But I couldn't find the same level of excitement in
the studio recordings.
Talking about all that pulling the music and comparisons with Maazel... Yes,
they both tend to be quite interventionists, and possibly that's why I like
them both so much.

j
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 07:51:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 9/5/06 06:57, in article
Post by Michael Schaffer
But I also listened to Barenboim's Bruckner 9 (BP)
again recently, and simply couldn't find too much to like on that disc.
The concept is OK, but somehow the whole performance just passes by
without exciting much interest
I've always admired Barenboim, but I had a similar problem with those
Bruckner performances. Some of his most engaging concerts have been with the
Berlin Staaskapelle. For instance, I have great memories of a live Beethoven
cycle played in London. But I couldn't find the same level of excitement in
the studio recordings.
Talking about all that pulling the music and comparisons with Maazel... Yes,
they both tend to be quite interventionists, and possibly that's why I like
them both so much.
j
I suspect that some of the things that make them interesting to
audiences can, in Barenboim's case in particular, make them difficult
and annoying to play for and rehearse with. I have only occasionally
felt much admiration for Barenboim's recordings as compared to his live
concerts, though he has made some excellent recordings (as listed in a
recent thread). The problem is that he has made an equal number of
duds.

He easily loses the forest for the trees, which is a killer tendency in
a Brucknerian, and it is more likely a problem on a record than in a
concert--or at least that's my limited experience of him. Unlike Alan
Cooper, I think his Mahler 7 (at least the concerts) show him finding
the forest and and some significant trees along the way, not the other
way around. Same with Maazel's, however.

In this respect, however, Barenboim is like anyone else at that level:
it is axiomatic that good conductors are more interesting, inspiring,
and better "in the flow" in concert than in "studio" takes. Maazel
seems less willful, less chancy as a concertizer (even if he is a
calculated and willful interpeter). He may be weird, but he is easy to
follow.

On record, I often prefer these interesting types to consistent
conductors like Haitink, because as a record collector I get to pick
and choose. And I might gamble on a Barenboim concert as readily as
that of anyone else's. As a daily experience...I don't know. I wouldn't
want any boss for 15 years unless he or she was really easy to get
along with...I certainly wouldn't stand for inconsistency for 15 years,
as a listener or player.

--Jeff
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 06:00:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
I would really like that, too, but I can't find a trace of it anywhere,
not even the BR website or amazon.de. That would be cool. I like
Maazel's BP 8 a lot, and the SOBR is a great Bruckner orchestra. It
would also be good and instructive for you to listen to that and imbibe
their brass sound, in particular.
Post by j***@aol.com
Of course Barenboim has two cycles (and a Mass) to his credit, but that
doesn't diminish Maazel's achievements with Bruckner.
--Jeff
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 06:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
I would really like that, too, but I can't find a trace of it anywhere,
not even the BR website or amazon.de. That would be cool. I like
Maazel's BP 8 a lot, and the SOBR is a great Bruckner orchestra. It
would also be good and instructive for you to listen to that and imbibe
their brass sound, in particular.
It's ok, Michael. Even if I don't listen to those EMI Celi recordings
much anymore, having ruled in favor of his earlier performances, I do
imbibe in a lot more Bruckner from various Munich orchestras than you
might imagine, with Kubelik and Knappertsbusch and Kempe (and a stray
Steinberg aircheck) being special favorites of mine. It should be good
and instructive for you that there are people who actually love all of
the many different great brass sections around the world without the
slightest desire to denigrate or dismiss any of them.

--Jeff
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 07:48:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
I would really like that, too, but I can't find a trace of it anywhere,
not even the BR website or amazon.de. That would be cool. I like
Maazel's BP 8 a lot, and the SOBR is a great Bruckner orchestra. It
would also be good and instructive for you to listen to that and imbibe
their brass sound, in particular.
It's ok, Michael. Even if I don't listen to those EMI Celi recordings
much anymore, having ruled in favor of his earlier performances, I do
imbibe in a lot more Bruckner from various Munich orchestras than you
might imagine, with Kubelik and Knappertsbusch and Kempe (and a stray
Steinberg aircheck) being special favorites of mine. It should be good
and instructive for you that there are people who actually love all of
the many different great brass sections around the world without the
slightest desire to denigrate or dismiss any of them.
--Jeff
Exactly my attitude. That's why I don't feel the need to declare any of
the many great orchestras or their specific sections "peerless" world
champions like you and some other people feel the strong and naive
desire to do when it comes to the CSO. There are many who play just as
well or maybe even better, it depends on the moment, the style you want
to hear in specific repertoire, and other factors. That doesn't mean we
can not appreciate all these different styles at the same time as we
are aware of which sound and playing styles are more adequate for
certain types of music. Realizing that, for instance, the Viennese
brass comes closes to the sound ideal of the late romantic German
repertoire does not mean that we can't appreciate other styles of
playing, just as it doesn't mean they can't be effective and musical in
other areas of the repertoire in which they are less "authentic".
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 08:50:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
I would really like that, too, but I can't find a trace of it anywhere,
not even the BR website or amazon.de. That would be cool. I like
Maazel's BP 8 a lot, and the SOBR is a great Bruckner orchestra. It
would also be good and instructive for you to listen to that and imbibe
their brass sound, in particular.
It's ok, Michael. Even if I don't listen to those EMI Celi recordings
much anymore, having ruled in favor of his earlier performances, I do
imbibe in a lot more Bruckner from various Munich orchestras than you
might imagine, with Kubelik and Knappertsbusch and Kempe (and a stray
Steinberg aircheck) being special favorites of mine. It should be good
and instructive for you that there are people who actually love all of
the many different great brass sections around the world without the
slightest desire to denigrate or dismiss any of them.
--Jeff
Exactly my attitude. That's why I don't feel the need to declare any of
the many great orchestras or their specific sections "peerless" world
champions like you and some other people feel the strong and naive
desire to do when it comes to the CSO.
You are hopelessly confused again. I've never made any such
declaration...I use the word "peerless" for different musicians to
emphasize things they do that are unique and cherishable--I could write
pages and pages about the peerless aspects of a half dozen or more
favorite orchestras without hesitation, but I have never suggested that
any orchestra is some "world champion". The CSO is peerless in the way
it combines those many seemingly contradictory attributes I mentioned
before; the Cleveland Orchestra is peerless in the way it combines
almost the same set of attributes, with some additions and
subtractions, in its own unique way; the same with the Leningraders
under Mravinsky, or the Philharmonia under Karajan, or ...this can go
on. I would use that word "peerless" again and again in an instant to
describe those things that my ears tell me are special to the various
orchestras I've heard without any sense of competition between these
venerable, varied, and shifting traditions. These orchestras *do* make
peerless sounds--splitting the hairs to describe them accurately is the
difficult task that I take on every once in a while, even if the effort
is lost on you because of your prejudices.

To imply that my enthusiasm for various performers means that I have
some determined "ranking" in mind about various musicians and composers
is a ludicrous, prejudicial misreading and your own blind and
persistent mistatement of everything I have written in this newsgroup
for years.

You do, by the way, have a pernicious tendency to read into prejudge
people's statements, infer things that are out of context and then
restate, over and over, your misguided opinion about people as fact,
with ever smaller ties to truth as you go. This, of course, has been
mentioned to you by various people in the past: you are as fond of
misrepresenting people as you are of whining that you are
misunderstood.

If you go back and read carefully my many postings in this newsgroup
you will also find practically no desire to "rank" anything. Who else
in this newsgroup surveys 40 Mahler 7s and 50 Mahler 3s, etc. etc., and
sincerely expresses plaudits for practically all of them? Who else
recommends a couple dozen recordings of the Franck symphony as being
fully convincing favorites?

It's fun to joke and rib you about your CSO blindspot, occasionally,
and I'm sure this helps inspire me to write ever more enthusiastic
things about that orchestra in particular, because its quality is so
blindingly obvious, but let's not forget the context. If you were
trashing Mravinsky's Leningraders I'd lay it on just as heavily in
response. I don't mind being ribbed as a CSO admirer, but I do not like
being prejudged and then misrepresented to others.


There are many who play just as
Post by Michael Schaffer
well or maybe even better, it depends on the moment, the style you want
to hear in specific repertoire, and other factors. That doesn't mean we
can not appreciate all these different styles at the same time as we
are aware of which sound and playing styles are more adequate for
certain types of music. Realizing that, for instance, the Viennese
brass comes closes to the sound ideal of the late romantic German
repertoire does not mean that we can't appreciate other styles of
playing, just as it doesn't mean they can't be effective and musical in
other areas of the repertoire in which they are less "authentic".
Well, once again, your sound ideals are far too pre-fixed and
pre-limited and pre-determined and pre-sumptuous for me. You are
thinking too narrowly for me, to say things like "more adequate" and,
as you did earlier, "more relevant" in judging one perfectly musical
and effective interpretation against another. I know it is popular to
ascribe certain idiomatic advantages exclusively to certain local
traditions on the basis of historical inheritance, but I also know that
provincialism is rampant and music transcends it. I think you should be
able to understand why I find repugnant any notions of authenticity
that impede a broad and cosmopolitan appreciation for what is actually
effective or musical or correct or appropriate in performance.

Meanwhile, if authenticity is so important to you, try to use
authenticity as a basis for your comments about other people in this
newsgroup.

--Jeff
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 11:40:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item. If someone wants to give these recordings to me for my
birthday, I will certainly not resist!
I would really like that, too, but I can't find a trace of it anywhere,
not even the BR website or amazon.de. That would be cool. I like
Maazel's BP 8 a lot, and the SOBR is a great Bruckner orchestra. It
would also be good and instructive for you to listen to that and imbibe
their brass sound, in particular.
It's ok, Michael. Even if I don't listen to those EMI Celi recordings
much anymore, having ruled in favor of his earlier performances, I do
imbibe in a lot more Bruckner from various Munich orchestras than you
might imagine, with Kubelik and Knappertsbusch and Kempe (and a stray
Steinberg aircheck) being special favorites of mine. It should be good
and instructive for you that there are people who actually love all of
the many different great brass sections around the world without the
slightest desire to denigrate or dismiss any of them.
--Jeff
Exactly my attitude. That's why I don't feel the need to declare any of
the many great orchestras or their specific sections "peerless" world
champions like you and some other people feel the strong and naive
desire to do when it comes to the CSO.
You are hopelessly confused again. I've never made any such
declaration...I use the word "peerless" for different musicians to
emphasize things they do that are unique and cherishable--I could write
pages and pages about the peerless aspects of a half dozen or more
favorite orchestras without hesitation, but I have never suggested that
any orchestra is some "world champion". The CSO is peerless in the way
it combines those many seemingly contradictory attributes I mentioned
before; the Cleveland Orchestra is peerless in the way it combines
almost the same set of attributes, with some additions and
subtractions, in its own unique way; the same with the Leningraders
under Mravinsky, or the Philharmonia under Karajan, or ...this can go
on. I would use that word "peerless" again and again in an instant to
describe those things that my ears tell me are special to the various
orchestras I've heard without any sense of competition between these
venerable, varied, and shifting traditions. These orchestras *do* make
peerless sounds--splitting the hairs to describe them accurately is the
difficult task that I take on every once in a while, even if the effort
is lost on you because of your prejudices.
To imply that my enthusiasm for various performers means that I have
some determined "ranking" in mind about various musicians and composers
is a ludicrous, prejudicial misreading and your own blind and
persistent mistatement of everything I have written in this newsgroup
for years.
You do, by the way, have a pernicious tendency to read into prejudge
people's statements, infer things that are out of context and then
restate, over and over, your misguided opinion about people as fact,
with ever smaller ties to truth as you go. This, of course, has been
mentioned to you by various people in the past: you are as fond of
misrepresenting people as you are of whining that you are
misunderstood.
If you go back and read carefully my many postings in this newsgroup
you will also find practically no desire to "rank" anything. Who else
in this newsgroup surveys 40 Mahler 7s and 50 Mahler 3s, etc. etc., and
sincerely expresses plaudits for practically all of them? Who else
recommends a couple dozen recordings of the Franck symphony as being
fully convincing favorites?
It's fun to joke and rib you about your CSO blindspot, occasionally,
and I'm sure this helps inspire me to write ever more enthusiastic
things about that orchestra in particular, because its quality is so
blindingly obvious, but let's not forget the context. If you were
trashing Mravinsky's Leningraders I'd lay it on just as heavily in
response. I don't mind being ribbed as a CSO admirer, but I do not like
being prejudged and then misrepresented to others.
There are many who play just as
Post by Michael Schaffer
well or maybe even better, it depends on the moment, the style you want
to hear in specific repertoire, and other factors. That doesn't mean we
can not appreciate all these different styles at the same time as we
are aware of which sound and playing styles are more adequate for
certain types of music. Realizing that, for instance, the Viennese
brass comes closes to the sound ideal of the late romantic German
repertoire does not mean that we can't appreciate other styles of
playing, just as it doesn't mean they can't be effective and musical in
other areas of the repertoire in which they are less "authentic".
Well, once again, your sound ideals are far too pre-fixed and
pre-limited and pre-determined and pre-sumptuous for me. You are
thinking too narrowly for me, to say things like "more adequate" and,
as you did earlier, "more relevant" in judging one perfectly musical
and effective interpretation against another.
That depends on which elements of the stylistic spectrum you deem
important. I think they all are. Style, playing style and sonority are
very important parts of that spectrum. So are other elements, such as
musical expression, balance, formal structure, textural layering,
etcetcetc. You apparently didn't understand what I actually said in the
last few sentences. By saying "they" can be effective in other areas of
the repertoire in which they are less "authentic" (note the "" to
indicate that this is a vague, not a very precise qualification), I
didn't mean "them" others, I meant, in this particular example, the
Viennese brass. Saying they are probably not the most "authentic" in,
say, French repertoire, doesn't degrade them at all. It doesn't say
wahtever "authentic" exactly may be, you can't be musically great in
that repertoire if your style reflects a different background and
emphasis.
Once again, ebing aware of these elements does not autmatically mean
judging them. But being aware definitely means appreciating the
differences more for what they are, rather than throwing them all in
the same pot.
Post by j***@aol.com
I know it is popular to
ascribe certain idiomatic advantages exclusively to certain local
traditions on the basis of historical inheritance, but I also know that
provincialism is rampant and music transcends it.
I wouldn't ascribe these "advantages" exclusively to "certain local
traditions". Style can be learned, and in fact, where it is still "in
the air", to what degree and however fragmented or not, it still has to
be acquired. But in order to be able to learn style, you have to be
aware of what it actually is and of which elements it consists.
Whatever "provincialism" may actually mean in your usage, it certainly
does not apply to local traditions when it comes to music which emerged
from that same culture. The interest people have in understanding such
elements of the cultural environment they come from - and once again,
for the slow-brained, interest and awareness does not mean that other
styles and local traditions are less "valid" in general - may be very
puzzling for someone like you who doesn't know that kind of
environment, at least as far as his musical interests are concerned.
But whatever it is, or however you want to call it, it certainly is not
"provincialism". The province is where things don't happen and where
there is no connection to outside influences and views. That certainly
does not apply to any of the musical cultures of those countries where
all that culture stuff comes from. The sheer obviousness of two
neighboring countries, such as, for instance, France and Germany,
having two traditionally very distinct musical cultures which at the
same time have endless connections and mutual influences, makes the
whole thing so interesting. What does actually constitute style? Which
elements are still there, which have changed, how have they changed.
All that is extremely interesting and has nothing to do with
"provincialism". On the contrary, one can only really appreciate
elements of other cultures if one is really aware of the same or
similar lements in one's own culture, and the other way around.
All that has nothing to do with ranking and judging. But it has
everything to do with understanding.
Post by j***@aol.com
I think you should be
able to understand why I find repugnant any notions of authenticity
that impede a broad and cosmopolitan appreciation for what is actually
effective or musical or correct or appropriate in performance.
What is effective and/or "correct" is extremely difficult to define.
Musical interpretation is such a vast and elusive subject. One thing we
can be sure of, namely that the knowldege and appreciation of
traditional styles of music and playing music is extremely important
for what you call "cosmopolitan" appreciation. That sounds good and
nice, but in order to be really cosmopolitan, you have to be open to
understand and appreciate the subtleties and fine or not so fine
differences. Throwing everything into the same pot is not
"cosmopolitan". Don't kid yourself about that. I don't know if it is
"provincial" either, but whatever it is, it is not real appreciation.
A real connoisseur of, say, French cooking knows and appreciates what
sets it apart from other cooking styles. He doesn't throw it literally
in the same pot with whatever else is out there. You don't have to
throw Sauerkraut in the same pot with a French bouillabaisse to make it
"cosmopolitan" and less "provincial". Although there are actually
French cooking styles which also use Sauerkraut, namely in the Alsace
which is a partially French, partially German influenced region. It is
very interesting (and tasty!) to see what they do with it as opposed
to, say, in Thüringen. Knowing the differences doesn't make you
appreciate the variations any less. But if you want to make an Alsatian
dish, you should know how it's done, and not confuse it with the German
Sauerkraut style. That would be provincial.
Now, that's a very simplistic comparison, but I think it may help to
illustrate my point in an easy-to-understand way.
Post by j***@aol.com
Meanwhile, if authenticity is so important to you, try to use
authenticity as a basis for your comments about other people in this
newsgroup.
--Jeff
tomdeacon
2006-05-09 12:06:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item.
Surely Maazel deserves some kind of medal. It is not every conductor
who has the stamina or the stomach to perform all of Bruckner's
interminable symphonies in one season.

A prize should also go to the audience. OK. So, it was a German
audience - correction: a Bavarian audience - but still, some kind of
reward should be forthcoming.

In a more equitable world those performances would have been issued in
some for or another by some company or other who wanted to do good
deeds. Sony issued Maazel's Mahler in Vienna. His Bruckner - something
of an achievement, I would say - deserves the same treatment.

Mr. Berky shows a picture of the set, together with timings and dates:

see http://www.abruckner.com/Data/Documents/MaazelSet.htm

but doesn't comment further. I wonder if he actually was able to
acquire a set for himself?

TD
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 12:39:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by j***@aol.com
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item.
Surely Maazel deserves some kind of medal. It is not every conductor
who has the stamina or the stomach to perform all of Bruckner's
interminable symphonies in one season.
Well, he also conducted all Beethoven symphonies in London in *one*
day. At least these Bruckner performances were stretched out over
several weeks.
Post by tomdeacon
A prize should also go to the audience. OK. So, it was a German
audience - correction: a Bavarian audience - but still, some kind of
reward should be forthcoming.
In a more equitable world those performances would have been issued in
some for or another by some company or other who wanted to do good
deeds. Sony issued Maazel's Mahler in Vienna. His Bruckner - something
of an achievement, I would say - deserves the same treatment.
see http://www.abruckner.com/Data/Documents/MaazelSet.htm
but doesn't comment further. I wonder if he actually was able to
acquire a set for himself?
TD
Steven de Mena
2006-05-09 16:55:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by j***@aol.com
Maazel may have been too busy to specialize in Bruckner, but he's
actually one of only a few Brucknerians with an entire recorded cycle
to his credit. It was issued by his Bavarian orchestra as a limited
edition item.
Surely Maazel deserves some kind of medal. It is not every conductor
who has the stamina or the stomach to perform all of Bruckner's
interminable symphonies in one season.
The cycle was completed in the span of just three months! January-February
1999.

Steve
tomdeacon
2006-05-09 10:33:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by GMS
sechumlib wrote, about Maazel, "He tends to bend things all out of
shape at will."
I find this to be an interesting remark. 25 years ago, when I began my
5-year tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra, I would've agreed completely.
All these years later, and after being exposed to the self-indulgent
pulling about of Daniel Barenboim for the last 15 years, Maazel now seems
absolutely staid in comparison to D.B. Barenboim has been deified on
this board while Maazel comes up for criticism for, IMHO, a somewhat
similar musical approach. I wonder what this says about musical tastes
and the way they've evolved over the last 30 years. Or is it that
Barenboim receives some slack for acknowledging influence from
Furtwangler recordings? Just wondering.
It is that Barenboim, not Maazel, specializes in the composer that so many
people on this newsgroup consider the greatest of them all: Bruckner.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

TD
Raymond Hall
2006-05-09 01:11:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by sechumlib
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
He tends to bend things all out of shape at will.
Maazel's Sibelius cycle with the VPO hardly bends the music at all. One of
the great cycles imo, with one of the starkest and bleakest 4ths I have
heard. In fact, au contraire, it is often his way to use a kind of angular
(direct) approach that, I often think, detracts from Maazel's star here.
Maybe he can seem to be indiffferent and very superior to any other form of
life on this planet, but there is no denying that at his best he is a very
good conductor. Often with no frills attached. Often, it is Maazel's
super-angular approach, that appears wrong to the ear.

His R&J is one example which I can mention. Although a superb account,
Maazel doesn't bend the music with the nuances that Previn achieves in the
lyrical sections of the ballet score. Punchy - yes. But with grace - nowhere
near the subtle lilts in the lyrical sections that Previn achieves.

As for DB, I actually admire him more than I once did (when with du Pre),
and I think he has become warmer as a person. As for his pianism, it has
never attracted me, and I have to say I haven't heard much of his conducting
at all.

Ray H
Taree
sechumlib
2006-05-09 13:10:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Maazel's Sibelius cycle with the VPO hardly bends the music at all.
In his inaugural concert with Cleveland after he had been named as
Szell's successor, Maazel conducted the Sibelius 5th. Numerous
orchestra members were horrified with the way he "bent" the music.

I can't say much about it myself. I was there, but I had other things
on my mind.
Marc Perman
2006-05-09 01:59:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
The current criticism is well-founded based on my recent experience hearing
him. He did make some fine recordings in Berlin and Cleveland, but these
were done decades ago.

Marc Perman
Terry Simmons
2006-05-09 14:26:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
BJ
He's well regarded outside the USA, where they seem to like thrill-a-minute in
their music.
--
Cheers!

Terry
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 14:45:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Terry Simmons
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
BJ
He's well regarded outside the USA, where they seem to like thrill-a-minute in
their music.
--
Cheers!
Terry
It seems to me that he is well regarded in the US as well, seeing how
he currently holds a very well renumerated position with one of the top
orchestras there. Like with Haitink, I am puzzled when people say he is
"regarded as an also-ran" or "underrated" or "second tier" or whatever.
It is difficult to imagine a more successful career than the one Maazel
had. He held positions with some of the most renowned orchestras and
opera houses and made tons of records. What one thinks of his musical
contributions is a different story, of course. Personally, I have
always admired the extreme professionalism he (mostly) displayed.
Although his childish response to the news that Abbado had been elected
principal conductor in Berlin was not among his more professional
displays. But I have seen him many times with the BP, and these
concerts were mostly great and very live. Sometimes, he would be a
litte less enthusiastic, but even then, what he did was always very
professional. But I also heard blazing readings of such pieces as
Sibelius 1 and 2 or Prokofieff 5, among other things.
I think Maazel was rarely loved wherever he worked, but always highly
respected.
Terry Simmons
2006-05-09 23:43:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Terry Simmons
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
BJ
He's well regarded outside the USA, where they seem to like
thrill-a-minute in
their music.
--
Cheers!
Terry
It seems to me that he is well regarded in the US as well, seeing how
he currently holds a very well renumerated position with one of the top
orchestras there. Like with Haitink, I am puzzled when people say he is
"regarded as an also-ran" or "underrated" or "second tier" or whatever.
It is difficult to imagine a more successful career than the one Maazel
had. He held positions with some of the most renowned orchestras and
opera houses and made tons of records. What one thinks of his musical
contributions is a different story, of course. Personally, I have
always admired the extreme professionalism he (mostly) displayed.
Although his childish response to the news that Abbado had been elected
principal conductor in Berlin was not among his more professional
displays. But I have seen him many times with the BP, and these
concerts were mostly great and very live. Sometimes, he would be a
litte less enthusiastic, but even then, what he did was always very
professional. But I also heard blazing readings of such pieces as
Sibelius 1 and 2 or Prokofieff 5, among other things.
I think Maazel was rarely loved wherever he worked, but always highly
respected.
I think your comments are very fair indeed. Personally, I think he's one of the
best around.
--
Cheers!

Terry
Todd Schurk
2006-05-10 00:21:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Terry Simmons
Post by bpnjensen
So what is Maazel's problem, exactly (if that is possible to answer)?
He seems to get mixed reveiws at best, and after a lifetime of
conducting major orchestras, he seems to be regarded as an also-ran...
BJ
He's well regarded outside the USA, where they seem to like thrill-a-minute in
their music.
--
Cheers!
Terry
It seems to me that he is well regarded in the US as well, seeing how
he currently holds a very well renumerated position with one of the top
orchestras there. Like with Haitink, I am puzzled when people say he is
"regarded as an also-ran" or "underrated" or "second tier" or whatever.
It is difficult to imagine a more successful career than the one Maazel
had. He held positions with some of the most renowned orchestras and
opera houses and made tons of records. What one thinks of his musical
contributions is a different story, of course. Personally, I have
always admired the extreme professionalism he (mostly) displayed.
Although his childish response to the news that Abbado had been elected
principal conductor in Berlin was not among his more professional
displays. But I have seen him many times with the BP, and these
concerts were mostly great and very live. Sometimes, he would be a
litte less enthusiastic, but even then, what he did was always very
professional. But I also heard blazing readings of such pieces as
Sibelius 1 and 2 or Prokofieff 5, among other things.
I think Maazel was rarely loved wherever he worked, but always highly
respected.
Many conductors who have been highly respected and were not lovable can
be cited as well....in fact I think for every Giulini,Walter, Karel
Ancerl, (3 "lovable'ones) there is a Reiner,Szell,Maazel, etc. All
respected for the ability they had to conduct an orchestra very well
indeed.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-05-08 19:57:22 UTC
Permalink
"makropulos" <***@gmail.com> appears to have caused the following
letters to be typed in news:1147109285.545393.227090
Post by makropulos
Prokofiev R&J and the Porgy & Bess are the two that would certainly get
my vote. Here in England at least, the Porgy has been rather
overshadowed by the Rattle one on EMI, but I actually prefer Maazel -
perhaps because it's how I got to know the complete opera for the first
time.
The Gershwin opera and the Prokofiev ballet would be my picks as well.
Incidentally, I can't stand Rattle's _P&B_, much preferring Maazel and the
one from Houston conducted by John DeMain.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
sechumlib
2006-05-08 19:15:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours?
Not the Brahms, that's for certain!

I was in Cleveland during ALL of Maazel's tenure there. My opinion of
his weak spots included Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Mahler.

Note: "included"; there are more, if I could just think of them.
Todd Schurk
2006-05-08 19:39:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by sechumlib
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours?
Not the Brahms, that's for certain!
I was in Cleveland during ALL of Maazel's tenure there. My opinion of
his weak spots included Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Mahler.
Note: "included"; there are more, if I could just think of them.
You know,
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
as being pulled about and fussy. Now-after not having heard them in a
long time they seem much more sensible-yes,they have some very flexible
moments-but they are always at least interesting (many others are not)
and SO beautifully played and recorded. I find them very attractive
now.
Paul Goldstein
2006-05-08 19:59:49 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, Todd Schurk
says...
Post by Todd Schurk
Post by sechumlib
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours?
Not the Brahms, that's for certain!
I was in Cleveland during ALL of Maazel's tenure there. My opinion of
his weak spots included Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Mahler.
Note: "included"; there are more, if I could just think of them.
You know,
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
as being pulled about and fussy. Now-after not having heard them in a
long time they seem much more sensible-yes,they have some very flexible
moments-but they are always at least interesting (many others are not)
and SO beautifully played and recorded. I find them very attractive
now.
This isn't directly on point, but during or very shortly after his Cleveland
tenure he did a superb live Beethoven 5th with the VPO for CBS. Pulled about,
yes, but very compellingly so in this instance. Exciting as any recent live LvB
I've heard.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 07:27:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Goldstein
says...
Post by Todd Schurk
Post by sechumlib
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours?
Not the Brahms, that's for certain!
I was in Cleveland during ALL of Maazel's tenure there. My opinion of
his weak spots included Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Mahler.
Note: "included"; there are more, if I could just think of them.
You know,
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
as being pulled about and fussy. Now-after not having heard them in a
long time they seem much more sensible-yes,they have some very flexible
moments-but they are always at least interesting (many others are not)
and SO beautifully played and recorded. I find them very attractive
now.
This isn't directly on point, but during or very shortly after his Cleveland
tenure he did a superb live Beethoven 5th with the VPO for CBS. Pulled about,
yes, but very compellingly so in this instance. Exciting as any recent live LvB
I've heard.
I agree about the effectiveness of the pulling about in that
performance, though I am skeptical that I would like it every time. It
is not a performance to hear over and over and study; then again, no
performance need be.

--Jeff
Josep Vilanova
2006-05-09 07:43:23 UTC
Permalink
On 9/5/06 08:27, in article
Post by Todd Schurk
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
Post by Todd Schurk
as being pulled about and fussy.
The most pulled about Brahms I've ever heard -by far- has been with
Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle. Infinitely more extreme than the
recordings with the CSO. I loved it, but I agree it wouldn't be a concept it
would look good on a CD for repeated listening. But on the heat of the
moment, it was great.

j
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 07:50:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 9/5/06 08:27, in article
Post by Todd Schurk
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
Post by Todd Schurk
as being pulled about and fussy.
The most pulled about Brahms I've ever heard -by far- has been with
Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle. Infinitely more extreme than the
recordings with the CSO. I loved it, but I agree it wouldn't be a concept it
would look good on a CD for repeated listening. But on the heat of the
moment, it was great.
j
Why not? You don't have to listen to them exclusively, you can listen
to other performances in between. I don't know any of their Brahms
performances, but for instance, the Bernstein recordings are extremeley
subjective, too, and I may not want to listen to them all the time, but
I am glad they are there on disc, available to be played when I want to
hear that particular style of performance.
j***@aol.com
2006-05-09 14:20:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josep Vilanova
On 9/5/06 08:27, in article
Post by Todd Schurk
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
Post by Todd Schurk
as being pulled about and fussy.
Careful there...I didn't write that: Todd did.
Post by Josep Vilanova
The most pulled about Brahms I've ever heard -by far- has been with
Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle. Infinitely more extreme than the
recordings with the CSO. I loved it, but I agree it wouldn't be a concept it
would look good on a CD for repeated listening. But on the heat of the
moment, it was great.
j
I wouldn't mind hearing that on CD once, and then putting it away for a
few years before trying it again. But it sounds like a great concert
memory that makes his recordings all the more difficult to appreciate.

The most frustrating way to approach Barenboim, on record for sure, is
to assume he's going to be like Furtwangler.

--Jeff
sechumlib
2006-05-09 13:13:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
You know,
I used to think little of the Maazel/Brahms when they were first on LP
as being pulled about and fussy. Now-after not having heard them in a
long time they seem much more sensible-yes,they have some very flexible
moments-but they are always at least interesting (many others are not)
and SO beautifully played and recorded. I find them very attractive
now.
Well, that was always one of his strong points. He might bend the
music, but the players would respond to him wonderfully - even if they
didn't like what he was doing!

He was also a magnificent choral conductor. I sang in the chorus under
him many times and can't praise him too highly for that.

Of course, we had gotten used to singing under Louis Lane who couldn't
handle a chorus worth diddly.
HPLeft
2006-05-10 11:47:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by sechumlib
Not the Brahms, that's for certain!
It's probably been twenty years since I last heard those, but I remember
them being pretty darn entertaining - in a perverse "I can't believe what
I'm hearing" sort of way.

Matt C
tomdeacon
2006-05-08 19:47:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
The Respighi disc reigns supreme, Todd. Not only among Maazel's
Cleveland output. But also among his entire recorded output. In fact,
perhaps it is among the top ten recordings of ANY music I know of.

One of those miracles of the gramophone.

TD
Todd Schurk
2006-05-08 19:56:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
The Respighi disc reigns supreme, Todd. Not only among Maazel's
Cleveland output. But also among his entire recorded output. In fact,
perhaps it is among the top ten recordings of ANY music I know of.
One of those miracles of the gramophone.
TD
I agree 100% Tom. If only we had the whole trilogy...but I'll never
quibble over the two they did do. The Orchestra never was better-as
good perhaps-but not better. T.
Steven de Mena
2006-05-08 20:07:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
The Respighi disc reigns supreme, Todd. Not only among Maazel's
Cleveland output. But also among his entire recorded output. In fact,
perhaps it is among the top ten recordings of ANY music I know of.
One of those miracles of the gramophone.
TD
This one Tom? http://tinyurl.com/n9xvr

Steve
tomdeacon
2006-05-08 21:38:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven de Mena
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
The Respighi disc reigns supreme, Todd. Not only among Maazel's
Cleveland output. But also among his entire recorded output. In fact,
perhaps it is among the top ten recordings of ANY music I know of.
One of those miracles of the gramophone.
TD
This one Tom? http://tinyurl.com/n9xvr
Precisely. And do not accept substitutes, i.e. other incarnations of
this recording.

Unless, that is, you want to try the Mobile Fidelity Lab LP versions,
of which there are more than one, all superb.

But you do have to have a SOTA system to extract the essence of that
recording.

Even on CD, your system will be tested in a unique way.

Demonstration disc.

TD
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 01:26:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
The Respighi disc reigns supreme, Todd. Not only among Maazel's
Cleveland output. But also among his entire recorded output. In fact,
perhaps it is among the top ten recordings of ANY music I know of.
One of those miracles of the gramophone.
TD
I agree.

Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-09 01:36:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
Ugly in what way? I've heard good things about the Pittsburgh recording.

Matty
Ed Presson
2006-05-09 03:33:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Sacqueboutier
Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
Ugly in what way? I've heard good things about the Pittsburgh recording.
On my system, the Pittsburgh recording (done with a minimalist miking
approach, as I recall) sounds remarkably like the orchestra live. An
exceptional recording; although I believe reviews were sharply divided about
the sound. The performances, to my ears, did not equal the Decca recording.

Ed Presson
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 10:45:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Sacqueboutier
Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
Ugly in what way? I've heard good things about the Pittsburgh recording.
Matty
This is going to sound odd coming from a trombonist, but the brass, especially
the trombones, are just too freaking loud. Balances are askew everywhere.
Quite often, one wonders if there were even strings players present at all.
I his usual shallow sort of way, he went for the jugular with volume, not
subtlety.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 11:41:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Sacqueboutier
Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
Ugly in what way? I've heard good things about the Pittsburgh recording.
Matty
This is going to sound odd coming from a trombonist, but the brass, especially
the trombones, are just too freaking loud. Balances are askew everywhere.
Quite often, one wonders if there were even strings players present at all.
I his usual shallow sort of way, he went for the jugular with volume, not
subtlety.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Why should that be odd? On the contrary, playing an instrument should
include knowing how it's used best, and if you think it is not used
well in that context, that's not odd at all.
BTW, did you get my question about the trombone soloist in Bertini's
Mahler 3?
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 15:04:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Sacqueboutier
Oddly though, his remake in Pittsburgh was horrendous. I can't imagine
an uglier recording of anything by anyone.
Ugly in what way? I've heard good things about the Pittsburgh recording.
Matty
This is going to sound odd coming from a trombonist, but the brass, especially
the trombones, are just too freaking loud. Balances are askew everywhere.
Quite often, one wonders if there were even strings players present at all.
I his usual shallow sort of way, he went for the jugular with volume, not
subtlety.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Why should that be odd? On the contrary, playing an instrument should
include knowing how it's used best, and if you think it is not used
well in that context, that's not odd at all.
BTW, did you get my question about the trombone soloist in Bertini's
Mahler 3?
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.

Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 15:11:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.
Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted. Basically, my question was if you have "hard" info that the
soloist was indeed Mulcahy? In the complete box I have, the soloist is
not credited (niether are the posthorn or horn solo in the 5th). Are
they credited in the edition you have? Reason I am asking is I know he
was principal in Cologne at that time, but the WDR, like all bigger
orchestras in Germany always have two equal principals for each wind
instrument (I believe that's called "co-principal" in the US). I think
the other principal there for a long time has been a Dutch layer whose
name I don't remember (I could look it up on their website, but I am
too lazy right now). Anyway, it would be interesting to know since the
solo is really very good.
I am a little unhappy about the splices, too. There is a really audible
one in the trombone solo too, where the soloist suddenly moves 5m to
the left. That shouldn't have happened.
Gerard
2006-05-09 15:32:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted.
I've never heard about such a thing in a newsgroup.
Do you mean that Google groups closes threads?
This will not happen when using a news reader program.
Another possibility is starting a new thread about the same subject.
bpnjensen
2006-05-09 15:53:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted.
I've never heard about such a thing in a newsgroup.
Do you mean that Google groups closes threads?
This will not happen when using a news reader program.
Another possibility is starting a new thread about the same subject.
I have never seen this with Google. Google does many thnigs, some
well, some not so well, but I have not seen it (indiscriminately or
otherwise) close any thread on any topic.

Bruce Jensen
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 16:09:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by bpnjensen
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted.
I've never heard about such a thing in a newsgroup.
Do you mean that Google groups closes threads?
This will not happen when using a news reader program.
Another possibility is starting a new thread about the same subject.
I have never seen this with Google. Google does many thnigs, some
well, some not so well, but I have not seen it (indiscriminately or
otherwise) close any thread on any topic.
Bruce Jensen
They seem to be closed when they get old.
Steven de Mena
2006-05-09 16:38:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by bpnjensen
Post by Gerard
Post by Michael Schaffer
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted.
I've never heard about such a thing in a newsgroup.
Do you mean that Google groups closes threads?
This will not happen when using a news reader program.
Another possibility is starting a new thread about the same subject.
I have never seen this with Google. Google does many thnigs, some
well, some not so well, but I have not seen it (indiscriminately or
otherwise) close any thread on any topic.
Bruce Jensen
They seem to be closed when they get old.
That must be some special "feature" of Google's news reader, as Usenet
newsgroup threads never close.

Steve
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 17:20:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.
Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted. Basically, my question was if you have "hard" info that the
soloist was indeed Mulcahy?
Mulcahy participated in an excerpts disc on the Summit label (surely
for trombone jocks, only). In his credits, he is listed as former principal
trombonist of the Cologne RSO and was the soloist in that Mahler 3rd.
Post by Michael Schaffer
In the complete box I have, the soloist is
not credited (niether are the posthorn or horn solo in the 5th). Are
they credited in the edition you have? Reason I am asking is I know he
was principal in Cologne at that time, but the WDR, like all bigger
orchestras in Germany always have two equal principals for each wind
instrument (I believe that's called "co-principal" in the US). I think
the other principal there for a long time has been a Dutch layer whose
name I don't remember (I could look it up on their website, but I am
too lazy right now). Anyway, it would be interesting to know since the
solo is really very good.
I am a little unhappy about the splices, too. There is a really audible
one in the trombone solo too, where the soloist suddenly moves 5m to
the left. That shouldn't have happened.
I agree that the solo is good. In fact, I think it's one of the best
out there.
I have the EMI edition of Syms. 1-5. The soloists are not credited. Shame
on EMI. But based on the Summit excerpts disc (it was borrowed, so I
don't have it on hand), Mulcahy played the solo. That's why I took up the
quest of finding that particular recording.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-10 00:06:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.
Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted. Basically, my question was if you have "hard" info that the
soloist was indeed Mulcahy?
Mulcahy participated in an excerpts disc on the Summit label (surely
for trombone jocks, only). In his credits, he is listed as former principal
trombonist of the Cologne RSO and was the soloist in that Mahler 3rd.
Post by Michael Schaffer
In the complete box I have, the soloist is
not credited (niether are the posthorn or horn solo in the 5th). Are
they credited in the edition you have? Reason I am asking is I know he
was principal in Cologne at that time, but the WDR, like all bigger
orchestras in Germany always have two equal principals for each wind
instrument (I believe that's called "co-principal" in the US). I think
the other principal there for a long time has been a Dutch layer whose
name I don't remember (I could look it up on their website, but I am
too lazy right now). Anyway, it would be interesting to know since the
solo is really very good.
I am a little unhappy about the splices, too. There is a really audible
one in the trombone solo too, where the soloist suddenly moves 5m to
the left. That shouldn't have happened.
I agree that the solo is good. In fact, I think it's one of the best
out there.
I have the EMI edition of Syms. 1-5. The soloists are not credited. Shame
on EMI. But based on the Summit excerpts disc (it was borrowed, so I
don't have it on hand), Mulcahy played the solo. That's why I took up the
quest of finding that particular recording.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Yes, it's a shame they didn't credit any of the soloists, because they
really *are* soloists here, or in the posthorn sections or scherzo of
the 5th. Have you heard the trombone solo on Jordan's Mahler 3? I think
it is quite good too, but a little dangerous. The first notes are
*really* loud. Are they marked f or ff? I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO? Personally, I think it doesn't sound
very good, rather thin and pressed and some notes are brittle. Or what
am I missing here? There seem to be many fervent believers out there.
It would also be interesting to know which one you like best from your
point of view as player of the sackbutt.
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-10 00:51:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.
Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted. Basically, my question was if you have "hard" info that the
soloist was indeed Mulcahy?
Mulcahy participated in an excerpts disc on the Summit label (surely
for trombone jocks, only). In his credits, he is listed as former principal
trombonist of the Cologne RSO and was the soloist in that Mahler 3rd.
Post by Michael Schaffer
In the complete box I have, the soloist is
not credited (niether are the posthorn or horn solo in the 5th). Are
they credited in the edition you have? Reason I am asking is I know he
was principal in Cologne at that time, but the WDR, like all bigger
orchestras in Germany always have two equal principals for each wind
instrument (I believe that's called "co-principal" in the US). I think
the other principal there for a long time has been a Dutch layer whose
name I don't remember (I could look it up on their website, but I am
too lazy right now). Anyway, it would be interesting to know since the
solo is really very good.
I am a little unhappy about the splices, too. There is a really audible
one in the trombone solo too, where the soloist suddenly moves 5m to
the left. That shouldn't have happened.
I agree that the solo is good. In fact, I think it's one of the best
out there.
I have the EMI edition of Syms. 1-5. The soloists are not credited. Shame
on EMI. But based on the Summit excerpts disc (it was borrowed, so I
don't have it on hand), Mulcahy played the solo. That's why I took up the
quest of finding that particular recording.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Yes, it's a shame they didn't credit any of the soloists, because they
really *are* soloists here, or in the posthorn sections or scherzo of
the 5th. Have you heard the trombone solo on Jordan's Mahler 3?
I have not, but would interested in the opportunity. If I ever come across
it cheap, I'll buy.
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think
it is quite good too, but a little dangerous. The first notes are
*really* loud. Are they marked f or ff?
Fortissimo.
Post by Michael Schaffer
I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO?
No, I can't...because I think it's awful. Bear in mind that I've heard the CSO
live and no recording has caught the trombone sound properly. They sound
full and warm in the hall, but always seem to come out thin and edgy
on records. A shame really.

BTW, I nice little grapevine story that went around while I was in
college. (This
Mahler 3rd was recorded just before I started college.) Turns out that they
did eleven takes of this section and the 11th is the one that made it onto the
final master. I'm pretty sure that Friedman was worn out by that time. That
*might* account for the brittle sound. He was in much better form on
the Solti recording, but then that has other problems...mostly related to
the conductor. I have a few radio airchecks in which he sounded great...
one conducted by Levine and the other by Eschenbach. Both are
outstanding. The timing of the first movement between Levine's RCA
recording and the broadcast (some 12 years later) was within a few
seconds of being identical. Now that's what I call consistency.
Post by Michael Schaffer
Personally, I think it doesn't sound
very good, rather thin and pressed and some notes are brittle. Or what
am I missing here? There seem to be many fervent believers out there.
It would also be interesting to know which one you like best from your
point of view as player of the sackbutt.
As far as the trombone solo goes, I like (in no particular order)
Bernstein I (Eddie Herman)
Bernstein II (Joe Alessi)
Bertini (Michael Mulcahy)
Jarvi (Lance Green)
Tilson Thomas I (not sure, maybe Denis Wick near retirement, but then he always
had enough clout to get credit, so maybe it
was Ian Bousfield)
Boulez/VPO (Ian Bousfield, Wick's replacement in London, moved to Vienna)
Salonen (Ralph Sauer)

There are many recordings I like a lot, but these are for the trombonist in me.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Curtis Croulet
2006-05-10 01:53:32 UTC
Permalink
What about Tilson Thomas in SF?
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33°27'59"N, 117°05'53"W
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-10 02:22:24 UTC
Permalink
On 2006-05-09 21:53:32 -0400, "Curtis Croulet"
Post by Curtis Croulet
What about Tilson Thomas in SF?
I love that recording, but not for the trombone solo. I had very
high hopes, but was disappointed. Though, it very passionate,
it's strangely underpowered. Near the end of the first solo
passage, the soloist is supposed to alternate with the section.
During that part, it sounds as though he's doubled. Not
supposed to be that way.

BTW, the sound on that SF recording is nothing short of amazing.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Eric Nagamine
2006-05-10 08:34:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO?
No, I can't...because I think it's awful. Bear in mind that I've heard the CSO
live and no recording has caught the trombone sound properly. They sound
full and warm in the hall, but always seem to come out thin and edgy
on records. A shame really.
BTW, I nice little grapevine story that went around while I was in
college. (This
Mahler 3rd was recorded just before I started college.) Turns out that they
did eleven takes of this section and the 11th is the one that made it onto the
final master. I'm pretty sure that Friedman was worn out by that time.
That
*might* account for the brittle sound.
I seem to recall a story going around the time of the recording that
Friedman had only recently recovered from being kicked in the mouth by
his horse. That probably didn't help either.

IIRC, he's also on the Martinon recording with the CSO, very early on in
his tenure in Chicago.

-----------
Aloha and Mahalo,

Eric Nagamine
http://home.hawaii.rr.com/mahlerb/broadcaststartpage.html
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-10 11:46:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Nagamine
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO?
No, I can't...because I think it's awful. Bear in mind that I've heard the CSO
live and no recording has caught the trombone sound properly. They sound
full and warm in the hall, but always seem to come out thin and edgy
on records. A shame really.
BTW, I nice little grapevine story that went around while I was in
college. (This
Mahler 3rd was recorded just before I started college.) Turns out that they
did eleven takes of this section and the 11th is the one that made it onto the
final master. I'm pretty sure that Friedman was worn out by that time. That
*might* account for the brittle sound.
I seem to recall a story going around the time of the recording that
Friedman had only recently recovered from being kicked in the mouth by
his horse. That probably didn't help either.
IIRC, he's also on the Martinon recording with the CSO, very early on
in his tenure in Chicago.
Yes. I had forgotten about that part of the story.

He was in much better form on the Marinon recording, but I (apparently in the
minority) have problems with Martinon's conducting in that recording. I find
overdriven and square. OTTH, Levine is very flexible in this music,
and I think
this rather sprawling work need that kind of approach. One shouldn't just
march through nature. Occasionally, one should stop and smell the roses.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-10 13:10:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Eric Nagamine
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO?
No, I can't...because I think it's awful. Bear in mind that I've heard the CSO
live and no recording has caught the trombone sound properly. They sound
full and warm in the hall, but always seem to come out thin and edgy
on records. A shame really.
BTW, I nice little grapevine story that went around while I was in
college. (This
Mahler 3rd was recorded just before I started college.) Turns out that they
did eleven takes of this section and the 11th is the one that made it onto the
final master. I'm pretty sure that Friedman was worn out by that time. That
*might* account for the brittle sound.
I seem to recall a story going around the time of the recording that
Friedman had only recently recovered from being kicked in the mouth by
his horse. That probably didn't help either.
IIRC, he's also on the Martinon recording with the CSO, very early on
in his tenure in Chicago.
Yes. I had forgotten about that part of the story.
He was in much better form on the Marinon recording, but I (apparently in the
minority) have problems with Martinon's conducting in that recording. I find
overdriven and square. OTTH, Levine is very flexible in this music,
and I think
this rather sprawling work need that kind of approach. One shouldn't just
march through nature. Occasionally, one should stop and smell the roses.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Is that Martinon recording available somewhere outside that big CSO
box? I would really like to hear it. I like Martinon in general, and it
would be interesting to hear this performance which apparently was the
first time ever this piece was heard in Chicago.
I don't find Levine that "flexible" though. I relistened to the
recording recently, but didn't find anything really special in there.
There are many better ones.
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-10 11:08:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
I did not get your question. The trombonist on Bertini's Mahler 3rd
was Michale Mulcahy, present 2nd trombonist in the Chicago Symphony.
I sought this recording out a few years back for that reason alone. I
was rewarded with fine performances of the first five symphonies! My
one quibble would be the many audible splices in the 1st movement
of the 3rd symphony.
Still, Bertini's very flexible way with Mahler struck me as just about
right.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I sent the question directly to your email because the thread in which
I found that mentioned was already "closed" and no more replies could
be posted. Basically, my question was if you have "hard" info that the
soloist was indeed Mulcahy?
Mulcahy participated in an excerpts disc on the Summit label (surely
for trombone jocks, only). In his credits, he is listed as former principal
trombonist of the Cologne RSO and was the soloist in that Mahler 3rd.
Post by Michael Schaffer
In the complete box I have, the soloist is
not credited (niether are the posthorn or horn solo in the 5th). Are
they credited in the edition you have? Reason I am asking is I know he
was principal in Cologne at that time, but the WDR, like all bigger
orchestras in Germany always have two equal principals for each wind
instrument (I believe that's called "co-principal" in the US). I think
the other principal there for a long time has been a Dutch layer whose
name I don't remember (I could look it up on their website, but I am
too lazy right now). Anyway, it would be interesting to know since the
solo is really very good.
I am a little unhappy about the splices, too. There is a really audible
one in the trombone solo too, where the soloist suddenly moves 5m to
the left. That shouldn't have happened.
I agree that the solo is good. In fact, I think it's one of the best
out there.
I have the EMI edition of Syms. 1-5. The soloists are not credited. Shame
on EMI. But based on the Summit excerpts disc (it was borrowed, so I
don't have it on hand), Mulcahy played the solo. That's why I took up the
quest of finding that particular recording.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Yes, it's a shame they didn't credit any of the soloists, because they
really *are* soloists here, or in the posthorn sections or scherzo of
the 5th. Have you heard the trombone solo on Jordan's Mahler 3?
I have not, but would interested in the opportunity. If I ever come across
it cheap, I'll buy.
There are some copies starting at $10 on amazon. Not bad, considering
it includes Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie. Both performances are
rather good in general, and the sound is pretty good, too. From the
brass player's point of view, the trb solo is definitely worth checking
out. But the OSR horns are very good, and very musical, too.
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think
it is quite good too, but a little dangerous. The first notes are
*really* loud. Are they marked f or ff?
Fortissimo.
Post by Michael Schaffer
I can't remember what it says
in the score. Can you explain to me what is so great about the trombone
solo in Levine's 3rd with the CSO?
No, I can't...because I think it's awful. Bear in mind that I've heard the CSO
live and no recording has caught the trombone sound properly. They sound
full and warm in the hall, but always seem to come out thin and edgy
on records. A shame really.
I am shocked. Thanks for your honesty and the corage to say that in
public. You see, I am not biased against the sound they make, but I
just don't like what I hear on many recordings. Friedman himself says
on his website that the Decca recordings made in the 70s suck and
misrepresent the CSO sound. That is also obvious, even if you weren't
there. An orchestra simply doesn't sound like that, even taking into
account that they always sound a little different on disc than live
anyway.
I think the RCA recording of Levine's Mahler 3 sounds a little bit more
realistic in general, but ti still doesn't sound very good.
But the Decca Mahler recordings I simply can't listen to anymore with
pleasure. I used to like the 2nd symphony and the way the basses
explode out of the speakers (just as a detail, I don't listen to
recordings just for the basses, of course). But that isn't a relaistic
representation of their sound either. I know they do sound much better
live than the explosion of scratchiness heard here. There was a time
when I thought these recordings were very "exciting", but when I
relisten to them now I can only shake my head about the sound and the
way Solti bulldozes his way through the music. But that is a different
story.
Post by Sacqueboutier
BTW, I nice little grapevine story that went around while I was in
college. (This
Mahler 3rd was recorded just before I started college.) Turns out that they
did eleven takes of this section and the 11th is the one that made it onto the
final master. I'm pretty sure that Friedman was worn out by that time. That
*might* account for the brittle sound. He was in much better form on
the Solti recording, but then that has other problems...mostly related to
the conductor. I have a few radio airchecks in which he sounded great...
one conducted by Levine and the other by Eschenbach. Both are
outstanding. The timing of the first movement between Levine's RCA
recording and the broadcast (some 12 years later) was within a few
seconds of being identical. Now that's what I call consistency.
There is also an interestin story about the first performance in
Krefeld. I don't remember where exactly I read it, but it was a
recollection of the trombonist in which he said how he played the
opening notes as loud as he could and "Herr Mahler" was very impressed
and hired him on the spot for the opera orchestra in Vienna.
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Personally, I think it doesn't sound
very good, rather thin and pressed and some notes are brittle. Or what
am I missing here? There seem to be many fervent believers out there.
It would also be interesting to know which one you like best from your
point of view as player of the sackbutt.
As far as the trombone solo goes, I like (in no particular order)
Bernstein I (Eddie Herman)
Bernstein II (Joe Alessi)
Bertini (Michael Mulcahy)
Jarvi (Lance Green)
Tilson Thomas I (not sure, maybe Denis Wick near retirement, but then he always
had enough clout to get credit, so maybe it
was Ian Bousfield)
Boulez/VPO (Ian Bousfield, Wick's replacement in London, moved to Vienna)
Salonen (Ralph Sauer)
There are many recordings I like a lot, but these are for the trombonist in me.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-11 11:26:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think the RCA recording of Levine's Mahler 3 sounds a little bit more
realistic in general, but ti still doesn't sound very good.
But the Decca Mahler recordings I simply can't listen to anymore with
pleasure. I used to like the 2nd symphony and the way the basses
explode out of the speakers (just as a detail, I don't listen to
recordings just for the basses, of course). But that isn't a relaistic
representation of their sound either. I know they do sound much better
live than the explosion of scratchiness heard here. There was a time
when I thought these recordings were very "exciting", but when I
relisten to them now I can only shake my head about the sound and the
way Solti bulldozes his way through the music. But that is a different
story.
I agree. In fact, I've often used the word "bulldoze" to describe Solti's
Mahler 3rd.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-11 12:46:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think the RCA recording of Levine's Mahler 3 sounds a little bit more
realistic in general, but ti still doesn't sound very good.
But the Decca Mahler recordings I simply can't listen to anymore with
pleasure. I used to like the 2nd symphony and the way the basses
explode out of the speakers (just as a detail, I don't listen to
recordings just for the basses, of course). But that isn't a relaistic
representation of their sound either. I know they do sound much better
live than the explosion of scratchiness heard here. There was a time
when I thought these recordings were very "exciting", but when I
relisten to them now I can only shake my head about the sound and the
way Solti bulldozes his way through the music. But that is a different
story.
I agree. In fact, I've often used the word "bulldoze" to describe Solti's
Mahler 3rd.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Which recordings do you think show the CSO from its best side,
musically and sonically?
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-11 13:07:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think the RCA recording of Levine's Mahler 3 sounds a little bit more
realistic in general, but ti still doesn't sound very good.
But the Decca Mahler recordings I simply can't listen to anymore with
pleasure. I used to like the 2nd symphony and the way the basses
explode out of the speakers (just as a detail, I don't listen to
recordings just for the basses, of course). But that isn't a relaistic
representation of their sound either. I know they do sound much better
live than the explosion of scratchiness heard here. There was a time
when I thought these recordings were very "exciting", but when I
relisten to them now I can only shake my head about the sound and the
way Solti bulldozes his way through the music. But that is a different
story.
I agree. In fact, I've often used the word "bulldoze" to describe Solti's
Mahler 3rd.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Which recordings do you think show the CSO from its best side,
musically and sonically?
Most of the Reiner recordings are superb, as well as the earlier
Kubelik mono recordings for Mercury. The few made by Stokowski
and Martinon for RCA are also excellent. The recordings they made
for DGG with Abbado, Guilini, and Barenboim are fine.

Look for Barenboim's DGG Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony.
His Bruckner cycle with the CSO shows the orchestra in
excellent form, but the "heart" of Bruckner is best heard
elsewhere.

Ozawa's recordings for EMI are quite fine, but here again, I
find the brass rather edgy...the Janacek Sinfonietta comes
to mind...also the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra.

Abbado's CSO Mahler recordings are great...the 2nd, 5th, 6th,
and 7th.

Though I have some interpretive problems with Boulez, his CSO
recordings show the orchestra in excellent light...particularly his
Mahler 9th. Though it's rather episodic interpretively, the sonics
are so incredible that it draws into the soundstage. The colors of
the orchestra are accurately reproduced. I've kept it for that reason.

Almost anything by Solti on Decca will not show the orchestra
accurately.

I'm sure I've left out a lot of great stuff. Surely someone else will
chime in with some excellent recommendations.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-11 14:00:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by Michael Schaffer
I think the RCA recording of Levine's Mahler 3 sounds a little bit more
realistic in general, but ti still doesn't sound very good.
But the Decca Mahler recordings I simply can't listen to anymore with
pleasure. I used to like the 2nd symphony and the way the basses
explode out of the speakers (just as a detail, I don't listen to
recordings just for the basses, of course). But that isn't a relaistic
representation of their sound either. I know they do sound much better
live than the explosion of scratchiness heard here. There was a time
when I thought these recordings were very "exciting", but when I
relisten to them now I can only shake my head about the sound and the
way Solti bulldozes his way through the music. But that is a different
story.
I agree. In fact, I've often used the word "bulldoze" to describe Solti's
Mahler 3rd.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Which recordings do you think show the CSO from its best side,
musically and sonically?
Most of the Reiner recordings are superb, as well as the earlier
Kubelik mono recordings for Mercury. The few made by Stokowski
and Martinon for RCA are also excellent. The recordings they made
for DGG with Abbado, Guilini, and Barenboim are fine.
I have several of the Giulini and Abbado recordings, and most of these
I also like a lot.
Post by Sacqueboutier
Look for Barenboim's DGG Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony.
His Bruckner cycle with the CSO shows the orchestra in
excellent form, but the "heart" of Bruckner is best heard
elsewhere.
I already have the Organ symphony on my amazon wish list, originally
because I thought it was with Orchestre de Paris. When I "discovered"
it was actually CSO; I wanted to delete it, so thanks for the tip.
Isn't the organ on this one dubbed in, the organ in Chartres? I am
usually rather doubtful about this. The Karajan recording has the organ
from Notre Dame dubbed in, it sounds nice, but you can also hear it is
somehow in a different sound space. There is a great recording with the
BP under Levine which actually uses the (very big and loud) organ in
the Philharmonie. I think you can hear that the orchestra really plays
together and interacts with the organ here.
I recently bought Bruckner 9 with CSO/Barenboim, but at first ear, it
did not leave a big impression on me. I had actually expected some
extra massive brass playing here, but it was actually fairly plain. The
scherzo was even a little disappointing. I am completely imprinted on
Giulini's WP recording here with the apocalyptic trombone playing in
the scherzo (which should also appeal to you as player of the Posaune).
Post by Sacqueboutier
Ozawa's recordings for EMI are quite fine, but here again, I
find the brass rather edgy...the Janacek Sinfonietta comes
to mind...also the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra.
Abbado's CSO Mahler recordings are great...the 2nd, 5th, 6th,
and 7th.
I have all these and generally like them much better than Solti's
roughly contemporary recordings, both for the obvious contributions of
the conductor and the actual recorded sound.
It does seem to me though that Orchestra Hall might be somewhat
problematic acoustically. Have you ever heard the orchestra there?
Post by Sacqueboutier
Though I have some interpretive problems with Boulez, his CSO
recordings show the orchestra in excellent light...particularly his
Mahler 9th. Though it's rather episodic interpretively, the sonics
are so incredible that it draws into the soundstage. The colors of
the orchestra are accurately reproduced. I've kept it for that reason.
I rather liked that one, too. I also liked Boulez' The Firebird, some
of the Bartók recordings they made, although I couldn't say any of
them are among my real favorites. But the Concerto for Orchestra offers
more than meets the ear at first. It may not be the most extrovertly
exciting recording, but I find a lot of good stuff to listen to in
there. Incidentally, I think the fugato brass section in the first
movement sounds very good and is uilt up very nicely. The brass sound
here also appeared to me to be rather more "realistic".
Post by Sacqueboutier
Almost anything by Solti on Decca will not show the orchestra
accurately.
Have you heard the Mahler 5 recording made live in Vienna? The one with
Solti standing on a pier or something like that on the cover. While I
don't think it is musically that outstanding, it also seems to sound
more "realistic" in the benign acoustics of the Musikverein.
Post by Sacqueboutier
I'm sure I've left out a lot of great stuff. Surely someone else will
chime in with some excellent recommendations.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-11 14:03:57 UTC
Permalink
I forgot to mention one recording which is a big favorite of mine:
oddly, even though I often don't like the CSO brass sound, the trumpets
in particular, I think the Haydn trumpet concerto with Herseth behind
the trumpet and Abbado behind the baton is the bee's knees.
tomdeacon
2006-05-11 15:36:24 UTC
Permalink
Almost anything by Solti on Decca will not show the orchestra accurately.
An absurd statement, of course.

If this were the case, the CSO would have broken their contract with
Decca as of year 1.

What those recordings show are SOLTI'S Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
which is not Giulini's, Levine's, Abbado's or Reiner's.

Or, I hasten to add, Don Patterson's!!!

Anyone familiar with Solti's muscular, overblown, hyperactive approach
to music in his CSO concerts - he would sell out Carnegie Hall every
time he showed up with "his" band - will recognize the sound on the
dozens of Decca recordings. You can like it or hate it, but it's all
him and the CSO gave him precisely what he wanted.

TD
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-11 16:17:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Almost anything by Solti on Decca will not show the orchestra accurately.
An absurd statement, of course.
If this were the case, the CSO would have broken their contract with
Decca as of year 1.
What those recordings show are SOLTI'S Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
which is not Giulini's, Levine's, Abbado's or Reiner's.
Or, I hasten to add, Don Patterson's!!!
Anyone familiar with Solti's muscular, overblown, hyperactive approach
to music in his CSO concerts - he would sell out Carnegie Hall every
time he showed up with "his" band - will recognize the sound on the
dozens of Decca recordings. You can like it or hate it, but it's all
him and the CSO gave him precisely what he wanted.
TD
Let's see what Jay Friedman, principal trombone with the CSO, has to
say:

"I would like to finish this column with some comments about the
recordings we made with the CSO and London records with Georg Solti in
the 1970's and 1980's. In my opinion, these recordings are a poor way
to judge the sound of the CSO, especially the CSO brass section. London
Records was never interested in capturing the natural sound of the CSO.
They had a pre-conceived sound which they were determined to force on
the orchestra that focused on hard, edgy sonics in a boomy, over
reverberant space. Most of those recordings were made in Medinah
Temple, which was never designed for music, but more for circuses.

I remember the horn section was placed 50 feet or more from the
trumpets and trombones in order to get a gimmicky stereo effect. The
results of these sessions produced a raucous, rough, hard-edged sound
that in no way represents the CSO, especially the brass section. Solti
was a great conductor, but was unable or unwilling to get the people at
London (Decca) to give an accurate sound picture of a great orchestra.
However, I do remember his unhappiness with the sound of the first
Mahler 5th recording. He wanted to cancel the recording, but it was too
late.

In latter years, many times we in the brass section would complain
about the reproduction of our sound when London, Decca recorded us, but
Solti would always say "Listen to the latest recording, I think you
will be very happy." Needless to say, we weren't. To get a true picture
of the CSO brass sound, one must go back to pre-London Decca recordings
or better yet listen to live recordings of concerts."

From
http://www.jayfriedman.net/reflections/20040108Equipment_-_Size_does_matter.php
j***@aol.com
2006-05-11 16:22:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Almost anything by Solti on Decca will not show the orchestra accurately.
An absurd statement, of course.
If this were the case, the CSO would have broken their contract with
Decca as of year 1.
What those recordings show are SOLTI'S Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
which is not Giulini's, Levine's, Abbado's or Reiner's.
Or, I hasten to add, Don Patterson's!!!
Anyone familiar with Solti's muscular, overblown, hyperactive approach
to music in his CSO concerts - he would sell out Carnegie Hall every
time he showed up with "his" band - will recognize the sound on the
dozens of Decca recordings. You can like it or hate it, but it's all
him and the CSO gave him precisely what he wanted.
TD
Exactly half the truth, just as Don's answer is the other half. Those
Solti recordings have realistic elements of the sound, and are missing
other realistic elements. Depending on one's tolerance, there's no
truth or all truth there. If I were one of the musicians represented,
I'd probably be more disappointed than if I were simply a member of an
audience looking for a souvenir. Ever record yourself, Tom? It is a
maddening experience--one rarely hears what one is striving to achieve.
Only the tolerant survive the process and produce with pleasure.

It takes very little effort to figure this Solti/Decca problem out,
especially if one actually has heard the orchestra in different halls
and under different conductors. My solution, as it is with Furtwangler
or Rosbaud or Mravinsky or Mengelberg, is to stop worrying about sound
and start listening to musicianship with a clear understanding that the
sound has more than meets the ear from a recording. That's one reason
to listen to broadcast tapes, because unlike Don, I wouldn't say that
*any* recordings I've heard are really representing *any* musicians
absolutely, in part because musicians are performers.

Oh sure, there are great recordings, and there are issues of whether
recordings can represent the composition better because you can, under
the best of circumstances, get more clarity, more correct notes, and
more control even over the balances, which leads to a better learning
environment. And that is a reason I keep buying armloads of recordings
that are not "live", of course. There's much to enjoy, and all the
better without someone chewing gum behind me or having to worry about
the lousy hall.

But if I were to recommend the best way to listen to the Chicago
Symphony, short of a concert, I would recommend listening to their
broadcasts, or buying their admittedly imperfectly recorded live
concerts that they sell through the orchestra. The trombone on Levine's
Billy the Kid, the strings in Leinsdorf's Pelleas excerpts or Solti's
Midsummer Night's Dream overture, etc., etc.--these are pieces of
information that add up to a very different perspective than the
recordings give--even the DG recordings that Don recommends. Some of
these broadcasts--like the Martinon Mahler--leave one wishing for
better sound (it is weirdly dry)--but nonetheless the performances give
a very truthful and artistically more satisfying impression.

My line I guess, as it is with any orchestra I admire: forget about the
truth of the sound, especially if you are talking about recordings
before the last 10 years, and focus on the style. An accurate picture
of the style emerges only after sampling a variety of concerts, and you
learn more about the musicianship of great orchestras (or pianists or
singers) under the adrenaline of a concert than you do from the duress
of a microphone.

But there are interesting differences due to the Chicago orchestra's
effort to give conductors what they wanted, and to throw out all of
Solti's recordings means you miss an aspect of the orchestra's
personality. The London recordings--especially as they sound to me now,
on CD--are really only a caricature of what they did in concert under
Solti. You can either dismiss it as a caricature, or you can use the
ear to discern the truths, based on what you know from concerts.

I guess you can say the same about pretty much every
orchestra/engineering combination of that era--we've heard complaints
about how many Karajan recordings don't truly represent the
transparency that the Berlin orchestra could have (and goodness knows,
many of us complain about this aspect on the recordings), we've heard
complaints about Ormandy/Philadelphia ad nauseum, because they never
had a good hall to record in, about Celi's recordings in Munich, etc.,
etc. I know that I will never hear a record that adequately sums up
what Ormandy's orchestra sounded like, never hear a record that
approaches the sound Ozawa could get at his best, in Boston, never hear
Rostropovich's ebullience and warmth as it imbued the NSO's strings in
Russian music.

These orchestras must be heard live, and often one concert isn't enough
to hear everything that the sound can be. I spend a fair amount of time
each week listening to a partly amateur group of musicians, but I get
more immediate pleasure out of the "sound", as sound, of those poorly
tuned instruments than I do out of recordings. Perhaps I should spend
more on my stereo, but I feel the same way when I sample ludicrously
expensive equipment in hi-end stereo demo rooms.

Obviously this is a perspective of someone who spends a lot of time
with historical recordings and concert broadcasts--but that's where I
get my insight into performers, in general, not from Decca's (or DG's
or EMI's) studio jobs in Chicago or Berlin or elsewhere.

--Jeff

.
Norman M. Schwartz
2006-05-11 16:37:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
These orchestras must be heard live, and often one concert isn't enough
to hear everything that the sound can be. I spend a fair amount of time
each week listening to a partly amateur group of musicians, but I get
more immediate pleasure out of the "sound", as sound, of those poorly
tuned instruments than I do out of recordings.
Of course!

Perhaps I should spend
Post by j***@aol.com
more on my stereo, but I feel the same way when I sample ludicrously
expensive equipment in hi-end stereo demo rooms.
Do that and the sound of poorly engineered recordings will come through
better and sound far worse.

r***@usa.net
2006-05-08 22:46:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
Cheers,Todd
There are 29 current members of The Cleveland Orchestra who were here
during some or all of the Maazel years.

Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.

As for the recordings, I would certainly put the Respighi disc at the
top of the heap. I would also put in a plug for the Brahms Tragic
Overture. Not a reason to buy the entire set in my opinion, but that
Tragic is great! Another great one is the Verdi Ballet Music. Fabulous
playing (we won't talk about the quality of some of the music).

Ron Whitaker
Steven de Mena
2006-05-08 23:03:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@usa.net
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
Cheers,Todd
There are 29 current members of The Cleveland Orchestra who were here
during some or all of the Maazel years.
Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.
24 years is a long time for him to have waited to return. Zubin Mehta
returns just about every year here to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. (Of
course it helps he has a house here)

As an FYI, Berlshire has the Maazel/CO Brahms 4 Symphonies on Sribendum
(sp?) CDs for about $21.

Steve
sechumlib
2006-05-09 13:18:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven de Mena
24 years is a long time for him to have waited to return.
Well, what about James Levine? He was an assistant in Cleveland under
Szell for many years, and (so far as I know) has NEVER returned to
guest conduct.

He must have decided he hated Cleveland, the orchestra, etc., etc.
Todd Schurk
2006-05-08 23:36:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@usa.net
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
Cheers,Todd
There are 29 current members of The Cleveland Orchestra who were here
during some or all of the Maazel years.
Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.
As for the recordings, I would certainly put the Respighi disc at the
top of the heap. I would also put in a plug for the Brahms Tragic
Overture. Not a reason to buy the entire set in my opinion, but that
Tragic is great! Another great one is the Verdi Ballet Music. Fabulous
playing (we won't talk about the quality of some of the music).
Ron Whitaker
I loved that Verdi when it was an LP...Did it make it to Cd? Yes-most
unfortunate about the illness. Hope he can reschedule for a later date.
That's a pretty fair chunk of Orchestra that is left. It has been 24
years after all. Speaking of the Respighi-The 2 works (Feste & Pines)
were recorded 30 years ago this week-and they sound as wonderful as any
orchestra recording of today! Better than most in fact.
Marc Perman
2006-05-09 01:56:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@usa.net
Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to
Cleveland.

Marc Perman
sechumlib
2006-05-09 13:19:48 UTC
Permalink
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to Cleveland.
Please! Conductors don't DRIVE from NYC to Cleveland.
tomdeacon
2006-05-09 13:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by sechumlib
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to Cleveland.
Please! Conductors don't DRIVE from NYC to Cleveland.
But I'll bet that Amtrak has a connection.

The New York-Chicago run still exists and no longer goes through Canada
for security reasons. So, it must pass south of Lake Erie.

Now, if Maazel REALLY had style, he would have his own railcar, just
like Paderewski!!!

TD
Michael Schaffer
2006-05-09 14:09:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by sechumlib
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to Cleveland.
Please! Conductors don't DRIVE from NYC to Cleveland.
But I'll bet that Amtrak has a connection.
The New York-Chicago run still exists and no longer goes through Canada
for security reasons. So, it must pass south of Lake Erie.
Now, if Maazel REALLY had style, he would have his own railcar, just
like Paderewski!!!
TD
I don't think he could afford that, at his current salary, with the
costs of living in NY.
Steven de Mena
2006-05-09 16:59:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by sechumlib
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to Cleveland.
Please! Conductors don't DRIVE from NYC to Cleveland.
But I'll bet that Amtrak has a connection.
The New York-Chicago run still exists and no longer goes through Canada
for security reasons. So, it must pass south of Lake Erie.
Now, if Maazel REALLY had style, he would have his own railcar, just
like Paderewski!!!
TD
Maazel is currently in Europe, and not New York.

Steve
sechumlib
2006-05-09 18:10:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomdeacon
Post by sechumlib
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to Cleveland.
Please! Conductors don't DRIVE from NYC to Cleveland.
But I'll bet that Amtrak has a connection.
The New York-Chicago run still exists and no longer goes through Canada
for security reasons. So, it must pass south of Lake Erie.
Now, if Maazel REALLY had style, he would have his own railcar, just
like Paderewski!!!
Yes, but it would probably get there late. It often does.
Todd Schurk
2006-05-09 14:42:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc Perman
Post by r***@usa.net
Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to
Cleveland.
Marc Perman
He (Maazel) is in Europe and told not to fly with an inner ear
infection. Could pop an eardrum-though I would have thought he did that
already making the Pittsburg Resphigi disc...guess that one healed up.
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 15:05:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
Post by Marc Perman
Post by r***@usa.net
Unfortunately this morning Maazel was forced to cancel this week's
engagement due to an inner ear infection that has prevented him from
flying. A real bummer -- some of us old-timers were looking forward to
seeing him again after all these years.
Is he currently in New York? Not much more than a 9 hour drive to
Cleveland.
Marc Perman
He (Maazel) is in Europe and told not to fly with an inner ear
infection. Could pop an eardrum-though I would have thought he did that
already making the Pittsburg Resphigi disc...guess that one healed up.
:-)
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Sacqueboutier
2006-05-09 01:22:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Schurk
I'll be returning to some of Lorin Maazel's Cleveland Orchestra
recordings in my listening this week in honor of his return to conduct
the Orchestra after a 24 year absence. Though not a perfect
relationship, Maazel/Cleveland made some terrific recordings together
(also some rather quirky ones-like that Beethoven cycle)...some of my
favorites are the Ravel "Daphnis", Prokofiev R&J,the gorgeous Brahms
symphonies, the Respighi disc, Porgy, and others. What are some of
yours? I believe the Maazel/Wagner concert will be broadcast live next
weekend on Wclv & affiliates. Also-maybe Ron W. could tell us how many
players in the current C.O. were there for some of the Maazel tenure?
Cheers,Todd
There is a nice LP I recently scored on Ebay containing some
of Verdi't ballet music...Don Carlos, Otello, and I vespri siciliani.
Alas, not on CD yet.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Vaneyes
2006-05-09 02:37:38 UTC
Permalink
Nothing that hasn't be topped.

Regards
Jon Alan Conrad
2006-05-09 03:12:06 UTC
Permalink
The Prokofiev [i]Romeo and Juliet[/i] jumped to mind for me too. The
contemporaneous Previn version may have some extra nuances, but
Cleveland plays it significantly better.

The DeMain/RCA is my preferred [i]Porgy[/i], by some distance. But I
like the Maazel quite well, and was delighted at the time to have more
of the music than had been recorded before. And some of his cast is
superb (notably Barbara Hendricks and François Clemmons), though all
the recordings of this opera have fine casts. Either of these versions
is light-years ahead of the Rattle, which manages to drain the life out
it while getting praised (in the UK, at least) for taking it
"seriously" or something.
Vaneyes
2006-05-09 03:43:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jon Alan Conrad
The Prokofiev [i]Romeo and Juliet[/i] jumped to mind for me too. The
contemporaneous Previn version may have some extra nuances, but
Cleveland plays it significantly better.
Re Prokofiev R & J, have you heard the ClevelandO/Levi (Telarc)? Beats
Maazel, IMO.

Regards
HPLeft
2006-05-10 11:52:44 UTC
Permalink
"Todd Schurk" <***@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:***@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
What are some of yours?


I remember being fond of the Maazel Franck Symphonie performance - which
struck me as having much more forward momentum that you usually hear
(something that, IMHO, the work needs).

Matt C
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