Discussion:
Most difficult famous piece to get right?
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Lawrence Kart
2018-08-23 00:35:10 UTC
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I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.

I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.

And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.

Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?

Larry Kart
HT
2018-08-23 05:49:20 UTC
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Chopin's last scherzo. Usually played too slow (ca. 11 minutes) and un-scherze like. A performer who did it get right:



Henk
JohnGavin
2018-08-23 13:42:29 UTC
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Chopin's last scherzo. Usually played too slow (ca. 11 minutes) and un-scherze like. A performer who did it get right:

http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI

Henk

_————————————————————————————————-

I used to like this recording. It remains admirable for fantastic reflexes and virtuosity - but it now comes across to me as rather 1 dimensional. Horowitz falls short of capturing the capriciousness of the piece - this is Chopin, the genius improviser in a rare, light, carefree mood. VH delivers on the runs, but misses the charm of the other bits (the ascending chords, the unisons).

2 pianists who capture this better, IMO, are Grosvenor and Barbosa (both available on YouTube).
AB
2018-08-23 20:04:03 UTC
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Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Henk
I greatly admire Horowitz, but i don't like this at all. Very superficial, not that clean. He could be very careless at times.

AB
dk
2018-12-04 02:05:10 UTC
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Post by HT
Chopin's last scherzo. Usually played too
slow (ca. 11 minutes) and un-scherze like.
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!

dk
HT
2018-12-04 10:58:52 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
Indeed. It is harsh. If it's not harsh, it's just nice - even if it's played very well:



Henk
HT
2018-12-04 11:47:55 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
Eight years earlier a much better Moiseisch:



Henk
AB
2018-12-04 18:43:02 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
http://youtu.be/-y4HqZfWbsI
Henk
yes better, but still not that clean.

AB
AB
2018-12-04 18:45:30 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
Henk
I find the piano harsh, playing a bit insensitive.

AB
dk
2018-12-07 17:27:17 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
Indeed. It is harsh. If it's not harsh, it's
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
No, no. 4 should sound sparkling! Like this:


dk
dk
2018-12-07 17:33:05 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
Indeed. It is harsh. If it's not harsh, it's
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
http://youtu.be/mChAelTj064
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!

dk
JohnGavin
2018-12-07 18:22:54 UTC
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- show quoted text -
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust

It’s the uncalculated spontaneity and youthful freshness that makes Benjamin Grosvenor’s version so admirable as well.
AB
2018-12-07 18:51:34 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by dk
Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
Indeed. It is harsh. If it's not harsh, it's
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
http://youtu.be/mChAelTj064
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!
dk
impossible to compare sound production due to recording differences. Don't underestimate V.'s technique:-)

AB
n***@gmail.com
2018-12-08 16:37:25 UTC
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Post by AB
Post by dk
Post by dk
Post by HT
Post by dk
Post by HT
http://youtu.be/nvoJD-fJIEI
Too harsh!
Indeed. It is harsh. If it's not harsh, it's
http://youtu.be/xCQZ7RsEXNI
http://youtu.be/mChAelTj064
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!
dk
impossible to compare sound production due to recording differences.
Indeed, the recording studio, the engineers and the instrument itself. Pianists audition several different Steinways before deciding on the one they want, and then even have it transported to a concert hall for their recital.

Don't underestimate V.'s technique:-)
Post by AB
AB
HT
2018-12-07 20:41:04 UTC
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Post by dk
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!
Grosvenor has a great technique and sound. His musical personality turns pale alongside that of Horowitz. You have to be very young and naive to believe that a Chopin scherzo should sparkle.

Henk
AB
2018-12-07 21:36:28 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by dk
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!
Grosvenor has a great technique and sound. His musical personality turns pale alongside that of Horowitz. You have to be very young and naive to believe that a Chopin scherzo should sparkle.
Henk
he was very young at that point, but the talent is obvious and huge; yes, the playing is a bit flippant but his playing has matured since then......if you listen to his recent recitals one can hear a complete artist. just listen to Gaspard-Ravel. Astounding.

AB

AB
dk
2018-12-08 05:44:10 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by dk
Incidentally, both Grosvenor's technique and
his sound production leave Volodya in the dust!
Grosvenor has a great technique and sound. His
musical personality turns pale alongside that
of Horowitz. You have to be very young and
naive to believe that a Chopin scherzo
should sparkle.
I did not say "a Chopin scherzo should sparkle"!
I said the 4th scherzo op. 54 should sparkle!
Huge difference! You have to be very old and
naive to believe it shouldn't!

Chopin isn't what Ashkenazy makes it sound like!

dk
HT
2018-12-08 10:27:36 UTC
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Post by dk
Chopin isn't what Ashkenazy makes it sound like!
Ashkenazy? To avoid further misunderstandings: in my opinion the 4th scherzo should sound like Horowitz makes it sound. Other suggestions are welcome - as long as they "bite" instead of "sparkle". For example:



Henk
JohnGavin
2018-12-08 14:49:37 UTC
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Ashkenazy? To avoid further misunderstandings: in my opinion the 4th scherzo should sound like Horowitz makes it sound. Other suggestions are welcome - as long as they "bite" instead of "sparkle". For example:

http://youtu.be/zcFI-7taTDU

Henk

To my ears, Horowitz makes it sound first and foremost like a virtuoso vehicle. Those fantastic spring-coiled fingers, combined with the super accelerated action of his Steinway impress for sure, but late Chopin is more than that. It’s not a bad performance by any means, but I’d be tempted to describe it as Scherzo op. 54 by Chopin-Horowitz.
HT
2018-12-08 15:55:48 UTC
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Post by JohnGavin
To my ears, Horowitz makes it sound first and foremost like a virtuoso vehicle. Those fantastic spring-coiled fingers, combined with the super accelerated action of his Steinway impress for sure, but late Chopin is more than that. It’s not a bad performance by any means, but I’d be tempted to describe it as Scherzo op. 54 by Chopin-Horowitz.
I couldn't disagree more. There is nothing what I would call virtuosic about this performance. As Dan Koren said: it's too harsh. There is not one moment in the whole where he shows off and/or is trying to please the audience. On the contrary. I like the expression "menacing urgency" used by one of the commentators on YT.

This expression would fit many of young Horowitz's best performances. It's what makes him stand out, in my opinion.

Henk
Herman
2018-12-08 11:14:30 UTC
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You conferred with the composer about this?

Or do you just mean you find 'sparkling' more pleasant?
dk
2018-12-08 18:40:24 UTC
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Post by Herman
You conferred with the composer about this?
Indeed. I advised him while he wrote it! ;-)

dk
Herman
2018-08-23 06:21:05 UTC
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"Right" in this case just means "the way I like it"?
Herman
2018-08-23 07:33:17 UTC
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Post by Herman
"Right" in this case just means "the way I like it"?
Looks like this topic started another quote bot frenzy
Andy Evans
2018-08-23 10:09:33 UTC
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I think Debussy Jeux is nearly impossible to get right - it's such a strange work. Cleveland/Boulez come closest for me but even so I find it hard to listen to this music - I'm never "convinced".
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-23 15:54:12 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
I think Debussy Jeux is nearly impossible to get right - it's such a strange work. Cleveland/Boulez come closest for me but even so I find it hard to listen to this music - I'm never "convinced".
D.H. Inghelbrecht

Yes, difficult to get right. A great work in my book.
Tassilo
2018-11-23 00:33:25 UTC
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I have several live Boulez performances of Jeux that I prefer to the studio recording from Cleveland. Then again, I have a problem with almost every studio recording Boulez made for DG in the last 25 years. (I blame the engineering, because the live broadcasts preceding the studio recordings have been just fine.) -dg
Post by Andy Evans
I think Debussy Jeux is nearly impossible to get right - it's such a strange work. Cleveland/Boulez come closest for me but even so I find it hard to listen to this music - I'm never "convinced".
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-23 15:51:20 UTC
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Post by Herman
"Right" in this case just means "the way I like it"?
Right. But I didn't "just mean" that. I mentioned a few specific points and could have added a great many more about each of those recordings. Of course, they aren't all the Sixths out there, which was why I asked the question as i did. In any case, the question arose in my mind because when I listen to a recording of a familiar great work that seems ideal to me, I usually find that other performances are not that dissimilar. That wasn't the case here, not at all.
AB
2018-08-23 20:05:13 UTC
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Post by Herman
"Right" in this case just means "the way I like it"?
good point Herman!


AB
g***@gmail.com
2018-08-23 06:57:22 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
According to the following:

- The Pastoral, in particular, is the kind of performance one more or less despairs of hearing nowadays.

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphonies-6
Alex Brown
2018-08-23 07:09:41 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
To my ears there are at least three recordings of the Sixth which are
great (Klemperer, Bohm, Bernstein) while other Beethoven symphonies
haver fewer or no wholly successful recordings: the Fifth and the Seventh.

In general I find works with a "tragic" strain most often fail on
record, e.g.

Mozart 40
Mozart Piano Concerto 24
Dvorak 7
Mahler 6
--
- Alex Brown
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-24 00:21:42 UTC
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Post by Alex Brown
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
To my ears there are at least three recordings of the Sixth which are
great (Klemperer, Bohm, Bernstein) while other Beethoven symphonies
haver fewer or no wholly successful recordings: the Fifth and the Seventh.
- Alex Brown
Now that I've heard Klemperer, I agree that belongs up there with Monteux.

Larry Kart
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-24 01:27:24 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by Alex Brown
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
To my ears there are at least three recordings of the Sixth which are
great (Klemperer, Bohm, Bernstein) while other Beethoven symphonies
haver fewer or no wholly successful recordings: the Fifth and the Seventh.
- Alex Brown
Now that I've heard Klemperer, I agree that belongs up there with Monteux.
I'm also very impressed by Erich Kleiber's (1953), which has a certain invigorating nervousity that his son also evinces, perhaps to the point of becoming febrile at times, in his impressive YouTube Sixth.

Also, I have second thoughts about Bernstein's live Vienna Phil. recording (1980). I was listening on LP, and everything I said about it above still applies. Then today I listened to the same performance on CD and could hardly believe the difference. The fussy dynamic shifts are evened out (if that's the way to put it), and the whole sonic picture is more "forward,." This is the most joyous first movement of the Sixth I've ever heard, and if joyousness isn't the whole story, Bernstein makes it seem like it is.
Post by Lawrence Kart
Larry Kart
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-24 02:44:46 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by Alex Brown
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
To my ears there are at least three recordings of the Sixth which are
great (Klemperer, Bohm, Bernstein) while other Beethoven symphonies
haver fewer or no wholly successful recordings: the Fifth and the Seventh.
- Alex Brown
Now that I've heard Klemperer, I agree that belongs up there with Monteux.
I'm also very impressed by Erich Kleiber's (1953), which has a certain invigorating nervousity that his son also evinces, perhaps to the point of becoming febrile at times, in his impressive YouTube Sixth.
Also, I have second thoughts about Bernstein's live Vienna Phil. recording (1980). I was listening on LP, and everything I said about it above still applies. Then today I listened to the same performance on CD and could hardly believe the difference. The fussy dynamic shifts are evened out (if that's the way to put it), and the whole sonic picture is more "forward,." This is the most joyous first movement of the Sixth I've ever heard, and if joyousness isn't the whole story, Bernstein makes it seem like it is.
P.S. Comment on C. Kleiber's You Tube Sixth: "This was Kleiber's only performance of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. He was very fond of the work, but he considered it extremely difficult, and he was apparently unsatisfied with his interpretation -- so much so that he never attempted it again.
Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by Lawrence Kart
Larry Kart
g***@gmail.com
2018-08-24 04:18:30 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic...
According to the following:

- Pierre Monteux, Vienna Philharmonic (1959, RCA LP, London CD; 41½‘) – Monteux’s paramount gift was to meld classical restraint with humanizing warmth.

http://www.classicalnotes.net/classics4/pastoral.html
g***@gmail.com
2018-08-24 07:14:30 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
- Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.

Thomas Aquinas
Lawrence Kart
2018-08-24 22:53:50 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
- Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.
Thomas Aquinas
Did I say it was?
O
2018-08-25 17:38:53 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what
I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set
of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was
dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was.
So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein,
Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with
the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just
quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but
does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers
edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for
one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's
point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with
dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about;
Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why
doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I
sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple
piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one
feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?"
Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
- Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.
Thomas Aquinas
Did I say it was?
How long has Thomas Aquinas been posting here?

-Owen
g***@gmail.com
2018-08-28 06:45:21 UTC
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Post by O
Post by Lawrence Kart
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what
I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set
of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was
dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was.
So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein,
Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with
the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just
quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but
does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers
edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for
one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's
point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with
dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about;
Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why
doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I
sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple
piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one
feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?"
Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
- Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.
Thomas Aquinas
Did I say it was?
How long has Thomas Aquinas been posting here?
-Owen
Recent quiz on him:

https://blog.oup.com/2018/08/philosopher-of-the-month-thomas-aquinas-quiz/
weary flake
2018-08-25 16:01:42 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's
what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to
a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil.,
I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his
Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment --
Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna),
Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE.
Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost
impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods;
both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me,
both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find
some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so
fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance
is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why
doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I
sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple
piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one
feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get
right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
I'd say the most difficult pieces are the pieces that are so simple
that professionals are unable to play them, like the lovely simplest
pieces in Anna Magdalena Bach: every version I've heard recorded was
"embellished" by recording it too fast and/or using an instrument
like a clavichord or other instrument, played in an ugly manner,
whether harshly or without expression. So that's an example of
pieces so simple they are difficult to play correctly.
JohnGavin
2018-08-25 16:54:15 UTC
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Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through! Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.

I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
AB
2018-08-25 20:45:20 UTC
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Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through! Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
can't understand why so many people are enamored with Schiff...... Just heard a LvB Pathetique sonata. Mediocre at best......

AB
weary flake
2018-08-25 22:22:26 UTC
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Post by AB
Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose
numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this
approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through!
Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
can't understand why so many people are enamored with Schiff...... Just
heard a LvB Pathetique sonata. Mediocre at best......
Schiff does unusual things like playing the first movement of
the Moonlight sonata without dampers.
AB
2018-08-26 00:33:44 UTC
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Post by weary flake
Post by AB
Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose
numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this
approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through!
Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
can't understand why so many people are enamored with Schiff...... Just
heard a LvB Pathetique sonata. Mediocre at best......
Schiff does unusual things like playing the first movement of
the Moonlight sonata without dampers.
how does it sound?

AB
vhorowitz
2018-08-26 00:57:11 UTC
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I love Karel Sejna’s Supraphon Beethoven 6th.....Fresh and filled with beautiful sounds, and supremely unforced....neither impatient or mushy.
weary flake
2018-08-26 02:36:26 UTC
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Post by AB
Post by weary flake
Post by AB
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose> >>
numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this> >>
approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through!
Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
can't understand why so many people are enamored with Schiff......
Just> > heard a LvB Pathetique sonata. Mediocre at best......
Schiff does unusual things like playing the first movement of
the Moonlight sonata without dampers.
how does it sound?
It sounds like how you'd expect it to sound, and you wouldn't like it.
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two:

Schiff (2007): too fast
Gulda (1950s): too slow

I still await one more to my taste.
j***@gmail.com
2018-12-04 12:38:14 UTC
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Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric

Jonathan Dunsby
c***@gmail.com
2018-12-04 19:38:29 UTC
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Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric
Jonathan Dunsby
He did this because Beethoven's marking "senza sordini" theoretically means this ("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at the beginning of the Waldstein last movement) it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as opposed to completely clean changes
AB
2018-12-05 20:27:14 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric
Jonathan Dunsby
He did this because Beethoven's marking "senza sordini" theoretically means this ("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at the beginning of the Waldstein last movement) it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as opposed to completely clean changes
what is 'vibrato pedaling'?
AB
c***@gmail.com
2018-12-06 06:49:47 UTC
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Post by AB
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric
Jonathan Dunsby
He did this because Beethoven's marking "senza sordini" theoretically means this ("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at the beginning of the Waldstein last movement) it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as opposed to completely clean changes
what is 'vibrato pedaling'?
AB
Quick and continuous half-pedalling which aims to hold some of the sound but not all of it
AB
2018-12-06 17:01:28 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by AB
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric
Jonathan Dunsby
He did this because Beethoven's marking "senza sordini" theoretically means this ("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at the beginning of the Waldstein last movement) it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as opposed to completely clean changes
what is 'vibrato pedaling'?
AB
Quick and continuous half-pedalling which aims to hold some of the sound but not all of it
you know any recordings where this method is used? Which pianists do this?

AB
JohnGavin
2018-12-06 19:35:34 UTC
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you know any recordings where this method is used? Which pianists do this?

AB

Anton Kuerti
dk
2018-12-07 17:24:52 UTC
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Post by AB
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by AB
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first
movement of the moonlight sonata played
without dampers. I own every version of
such on CD, which there are two: Schiff
(2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with
right pedal down for the whole movement,
without lifting ? Equally eccentric
He did this because Beethoven's marking
"senza sordini" theoretically means this
("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos
of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at
the beginning of the Waldstein last movement)
it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult
to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some
cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as
opposed to completely clean changes
what is 'vibrato pedaling'?
Quick and continuous half-pedalling which
aims to hold some of the sound but not all
of it
you know any recordings where this method is
used? Which pianists do this?
All the pianists with Parkinson's! ;-)

dk
Herman
2018-12-06 07:28:15 UTC
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Post by AB
what is 'vibrato pedaling'?
AB
it's the new and all-clean detergent!

get a free sample!
Mark Zimmer
2018-12-07 19:32:16 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by j***@gmail.com
Post by weary flake
It is my favorite version of the first movement of the moonlight
sonata played without dampers. I own every version of such on CD,
which there are two: > Schiff (2007): too fast / Gulda (1950s): too slow
Didn't Rodger Woodwood use to play it with right pedal down for the whole movement, without lifting ? Equally eccentric
Jonathan Dunsby
He did this because Beethoven's marking "senza sordini" theoretically means this ("without dampers") and maybe on the pianos of Beethoven's day (like the long pedal at the beginning of the Waldstein last movement) it worked. On a modern piano it's difficult to stop it sounding a mess, I suppose some cunning vibrato pedalling might be tried as opposed to completely clean changes
Yes, this works all right if you're playing a fortepiano. Not a pianoforte.
Tassilo
2018-11-23 00:36:23 UTC
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This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting. It was really intended for the performer to use at home. -dg
Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through! Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
g***@gmail.com
2018-11-23 02:08:08 UTC
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Post by Tassilo
This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting. It was really intended for the performer to use at home. -dg
Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through! Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
Isn't it true that very few of his works, if any, were meant to be performed in front of large audiences?
Tassilo
2018-11-23 23:04:44 UTC
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On Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 9:08:10 PM UTC-5, ***@gmail.com wrote:
Most of Bach's music falls into one of two categories: keyboard music for use at home (or in private lessons with students) and music for the Lutheran worship service. Much of the organ music was intended to be heard in the church, but the WTC is an anthology from which you select pieces to play at home. If you have a couple of friends over or a couple of family members at home, you may want to play for them, too. I'm not sure you had large audiences for anything in a provincial part of Germany in the first half of the 18th century.

-dg
On Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 2:36:26 PM UTC-10, Tassilo
Post by Tassilo
This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting. It was really intended for the performer to use at home. -dg
Post by JohnGavin
Bach’s Art of Fugue. Why do the majority of interpretations choose numbingly slow tempos? 15 fugues with additional canons and this approach makes this great masterpiece such an ordeal to get through! Two exceptions among performers are Gould and Joanne Mac Gregor.
I’d look forward to hear what Andras Schiff does with Art of Fugue.
Isn't it true that very few of his works, if any, were meant to be performed in front of large audiences?
JohnGavin
2018-11-23 21:44:35 UTC
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This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting.

_——————_—————————————————————————————

I can only speak personally, but nothing has conveyed the seemingly limitless genius of J.S. Bach more than listening to the Art of Fugue from beginning to end. The common subject shared by each fugue, whether stated plainly, inverted, in augmented or compressed rhythm gives the work an undeniable unity and a feeling of inevitable progression - it’s the progression that conveys the transcendent nature of this music. For me it is as unlikely as hearing one part of the Mass in B minor at a time.

What is the evidence that Bach didn’t intend the work to be read or heard from beginning to end? (which chillingly comes abruptly due to the composers death.)

I can easily accept that the 48 P & Fs were not intended to be heard in one sitting, or the Inventions or Sinfonias - but A of F makes far less sense heard piece by piece.
Tassilo
2018-11-23 23:11:21 UTC
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The Art of the Fugue is an anthology just like the WTC except that Bach has built the whole thing on a single subject. That doesn't mean that he didn't conceive it as in some sense a whole: he most certainly did, as the use of a single subject suggests. But that wholeness exists in an ideal realm, not in the day to day world of normal contemporary habit. You are one of those who happily enters that ideal realm. (Not even the Goldberg Variations was conceived as a concert piece to played straight through from beginning to end in one go.) For what it's worth, the public concert in the modern sense really evolved in the second half of the 18th century when Mozart rented space, hired musicians, and charged admission to performances of his own music. He didn't make much money doing it.

-dg
Post by Tassilo
This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting.
_——————_—————————————————————————————
I can only speak personally, but nothing has conveyed the seemingly limitless genius of J.S. Bach more than listening to the Art of Fugue from beginning to end. The common subject shared by each fugue, whether stated plainly, inverted, in augmented or compressed rhythm gives the work an undeniable unity and a feeling of inevitable progression - it’s the progression that conveys the transcendent nature of this music. For me it is as unlikely as hearing one part of the Mass in B minor at a time.
What is the evidence that Bach didn’t intend the work to be read or heard from beginning to end? (which chillingly comes abruptly due to the composers death.)
I can easily accept that the 48 P & Fs were not intended to be heard in one sitting, or the Inventions or Sinfonias - but A of F makes far less sense heard piece by piece.
Mark Zimmer
2018-11-27 16:11:37 UTC
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Post by Tassilo
This doesn't justify slow tempi, but Art of the Fugue was never conceived as a concert piece. Nor was it conceived to be listened to in one sitting.
_——————_—————————————————————————————
I can only speak personally, but nothing has conveyed the seemingly limitless genius of J.S. Bach more than listening to the Art of Fugue from beginning to end. The common subject shared by each fugue, whether stated plainly, inverted, in augmented or compressed rhythm gives the work an undeniable unity and a feeling of inevitable progression - it’s the progression that conveys the transcendent nature of this music. For me it is as unlikely as hearing one part of the Mass in B minor at a time.
What is the evidence that Bach didn’t intend the work to be read or heard from beginning to end? (which chillingly comes abruptly due to the composers death.)
I can easily accept that the 48 P & Fs were not intended to be heard in one sitting, or the Inventions or Sinfonias - but A of F makes far less sense heard piece by piece.
Re: " (which chillingly comes abruptly due to the composers death.)" Doesn't Wolff suggest that this was intentional, as an exercise left to the reader? That makes some sense because I think the tools are all there for the reader to do so.
Haydn House CD
2018-08-28 17:57:00 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
Ditto re the Monteux / VPO recording! The Paul Kletzki / Czech Philharmonic / Beethoven 6th is very good and deserve attention. All 9 Beethoven Symphonies with Kletzki are on Supraphon CD.
Al Eisner
2018-08-28 20:14:41 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
The "Pastoral" is not a work I listen to a lot, and I may well have not
heard the Monteux (I guess I should), but among what I've heard I strongly
urge you to check out Erich Kleiber. There are two performances on
Decca (Universal) re-releases; I'm pretty sure that the one with the
Concertgebouw is the greater of them (although I don't recall this
for sure).

As to difficult works, I would suggest LvB Op. 130/133: I can't recall
a performance which gets *all* of it "right" to my ears.
--
Al Eisner
g***@gmail.com
2018-09-04 04:47:58 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
http://www.classical-music.com/article/10-impossible-classical-masterpieces
g***@gmail.com
2018-11-21 16:18:51 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
Most difficult violin pieces:

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/violin/hardest-pieces-for-violin/
gggg gggg
2020-11-14 03:44:58 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
dk
2020-11-14 15:20:08 UTC
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Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"

dk
Bob Harper
2020-11-14 17:37:39 UTC
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Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
dk
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.

Bob Harper
Graham
2020-11-14 17:46:25 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
dk
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.
Bob Harper
I heard that he played it faster as an encore to make up the difference.
dk
2020-11-14 19:15:59 UTC
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Post by Graham
Post by Bob Harper
Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.
Bob Harper
I heard that he played it faster as an encore to make up the difference.
Did he perform the Haas or the Novak version?

dk
Bob Harper
2020-11-14 19:36:06 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by Graham
Post by Bob Harper
Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.
Bob Harper
I heard that he played it faster as an encore to make up the difference.
Did he perform the Haas or the Novak version?
dk
Cage, though ad libitum.

Bob Harper
dk
2020-11-14 21:39:54 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by dk
Post by Graham
Post by Bob Harper
Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.
Bob Harper
I heard that he played it faster as an encore to make up the difference.
Did he perform the Haas or the Novak version?
dk
Cage, though ad libitum.
Bob Harper
No symphonic work can be legit without at least 2 (and preferably 3)
conflicting revisions by independent musicologists! There must be
checks and balances like in every other walk of life. Did you notice
what happened to Chopin's works? We had Paderewski, Mikuli and
Cortot Editions, and the Polish National Edition swept them aside
because of illegal ommissions and various adulterated Sharpie
markings.

dk
Bob Harper
2020-11-14 19:33:21 UTC
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Post by Graham
Post by Bob Harper
Post by gggg gggg
Post by Lawrence Kart
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to
get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150317-the-worlds-most-difficult-music
4'33"
dk
True. The recent performance by the BPO under Petrenko was impossibly
rushed at only 2'59". A shame, as it was otherwise quite elegant.
Bob Harper
I heard that he played it faster as an encore to make up the difference.
:)

Bob Harper
gggg gggg
2020-12-07 01:59:14 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
(Youtube upload):

Most Difficult Piano Piece Ever - Liszt 'Tarantella' With Street Piano
Andy Evans
2020-12-10 10:30:20 UTC
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For me Debussy Jeux. A strange piece that just about nobody pulls off. Closest probably the later Boulez version.

I think of it as close to Pelleas in conception - that weirdness that you don't get in La Mer and his other popular orchestral works.
Bob Harper
2020-12-10 17:21:39 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
For me Debussy Jeux. A strange piece that just about nobody pulls off. Closest probably the later Boulez version.
I think of it as close to Pelleas in conception - that weirdness that you don't get in La Mer and his other popular orchestral works.
Good suggestion. It's a piece I've never 'gotten'. Have to try again.

Bob Harper
raymond....@gmail.com
2020-12-11 00:43:31 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
For me Debussy Jeux. A strange piece that just about nobody pulls off. Closest probably the later Boulez version.
I think of it as close to Pelleas in conception - that weirdness that you don't get in La Mer and his other popular orchestral works.
Courtesy of :-
By BBC Music Magazine

August 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm

It is doubtful that any theatre has experienced a more remarkable few weeks than the newly opened Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris in May 1913. It was the scene on 29 May of the most notorious premiere of them all: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the hoopla surrounding which overshadowed two rather different works.

The first Parisian performance of Fauré’s sublime only opera, Pénélope, was given on 10 May, two days before the composer’s 68th birthday. Five days later, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes unveiled a work with what turned out to be the last completed orchestral music by Debussy: Jeux. This ‘poème dansé’ has come to be seen as equally important as the Rite in its own way, but being eclipsed by the reception of Stravinsky’s tour de force was just one factor among many working against Jeux getting a good start.

It took the best part of 40 years for the significance of Jeux to be recognised. While Stravinsky’s advances grab you by the throat, and Schoenberg’s expressionist works scream their angst, Jeux is understated and suffused with light. It’s chromatic, yet never harsh; rhythmically complex, yet fleet-footed and graceful. Analysing it is like trying to capture wisps of mist.

What Debussy called the ‘beautiful nightmare’ of Stravinsky’s Rite would never have been possible without the harmonic freedom of the Frenchman’s earlier works. But in realising Debussy’s orchestral ideal, Jeux had lessons for the radical post-war generation of composers in its fluidity of form. Rather than using form for unity and integration, Debussy’s score explores discontinuity, with more than 60 changes of tempo, motifs in constant flux and ever-changing orchestral colours – and yet there is an almost invisible coherence.

Like Pinocchio, Jeux quietly unlocked the door to the way that later composers put their music together like a collage. This can be heard in Messiaen’s mature works, while Stockhausen praised Jeux as the crucial step towards the ‘moment form’ that underpinned many of his pieces, a sentiment echoed by Ligeti. As Boulez put it, ‘the general organisation of [Jeux] is as changeable instant by instant as it is homogeneous in development’.

The title mirrors the ambiguities of the scenario, in which a boy and two girls are searching for a tennis ball, but embark on other games, firstly childish, then more amorous. Boulez has described Jeux as ‘The Afternoon of a faun in sports clothes’, reflecting the musical affinity Jeux has with Debussy’s early masterpiece and the ballet’s echoes of the nymphs chasing the faun in Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, produced in May 1912. One month later, Debussy was persuaded to write a new work for the Ballets Russes. He was initially reluctant, a telegram to Diaghilev stating bluntly ‘Subject ballet Jeux idiotic, not interested’, but a doubling of the fee (and the shelving of Nijinsky’s idea for a plane crash near the end) evidently prompted a change of heart.

Once committed, Debussy wrote the initial draft of Jeux at uncommon speed, in about a month from July to August 1912, telling André Caplet that he needed ‘to find an orchestra “without feet” for this music’. Debussy refused to let Diaghilev and Nijinsky hear his work in progress, ‘not wishing these barbarians to poke their noses into my experiments in personal chemistry!’ He later came to view his caution as well-founded, telling Gabriel Pierné that Nijinsky ‘with his cruel and barbarous choreography… trampled my poor rhythms underfoot like weed’.

In Nijinsky’s defense, it is worth remembering that he did not hear the orchestral score until late in the day. While the piano duet version of the Rite gives a good flavour of this most percussive of ballets, Jeux on piano is far removed from Debussy’s diaphanous orchestral textures. Matters were not helped by the frantic preparations for the Rite swallowing up rehearsal time. To compound it all, one of the three dancers for Jeux, Nijinsky’s sister Bronislava, discovered she was pregnant just before the premiere.

The premiere of Jeux provoked no riot, no scandal of the sort that accompanied Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and certainly not bouquets and plaudits. Rather, there was bemusement about the dancing, while the music seemed barely to be noticed at all. Now, such indifference has been replaced by recognition of a work that epitomises the word sublime. Listening to Jeux, as the hesitant opening bars are interrupted by those indescribable chords opening a door to another universe, how did those sitting in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées nearly a century ago fail to realise that Debussy’s games were very special indeed?
--------------------------

There are a few who say de Sabata or Rosbaud get closer to the score's intention. What Debussy intended and finally realized is another story however. Baudo, Martinon, Haitink, and Boulez are my recordings of Jeux. I must give Boulez a closer listen.

Ray Hall, Taree
Bob Harper
2020-12-11 01:14:02 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Andy Evans
For me Debussy Jeux. A strange piece that just about nobody pulls off. Closest probably the later Boulez version.
I think of it as close to Pelleas in conception - that weirdness that you don't get in La Mer and his other popular orchestral works.
Courtesy of :-
By BBC Music Magazine
August 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm
It is doubtful that any theatre has experienced a more remarkable few weeks than the newly opened Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris in May 1913. It was the scene on 29 May of the most notorious premiere of them all: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the hoopla surrounding which overshadowed two rather different works.
The first Parisian performance of Fauré’s sublime only opera, Pénélope, was given on 10 May, two days before the composer’s 68th birthday. Five days later, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes unveiled a work with what turned out to be the last completed orchestral music by Debussy: Jeux. This ‘poème dansé’ has come to be seen as equally important as the Rite in its own way, but being eclipsed by the reception of Stravinsky’s tour de force was just one factor among many working against Jeux getting a good start.
It took the best part of 40 years for the significance of Jeux to be recognised. While Stravinsky’s advances grab you by the throat, and Schoenberg’s expressionist works scream their angst, Jeux is understated and suffused with light. It’s chromatic, yet never harsh; rhythmically complex, yet fleet-footed and graceful. Analysing it is like trying to capture wisps of mist.
What Debussy called the ‘beautiful nightmare’ of Stravinsky’s Rite would never have been possible without the harmonic freedom of the Frenchman’s earlier works. But in realising Debussy’s orchestral ideal, Jeux had lessons for the radical post-war generation of composers in its fluidity of form. Rather than using form for unity and integration, Debussy’s score explores discontinuity, with more than 60 changes of tempo, motifs in constant flux and ever-changing orchestral colours – and yet there is an almost invisible coherence.
Like Pinocchio, Jeux quietly unlocked the door to the way that later composers put their music together like a collage. This can be heard in Messiaen’s mature works, while Stockhausen praised Jeux as the crucial step towards the ‘moment form’ that underpinned many of his pieces, a sentiment echoed by Ligeti. As Boulez put it, ‘the general organisation of [Jeux] is as changeable instant by instant as it is homogeneous in development’.
The title mirrors the ambiguities of the scenario, in which a boy and two girls are searching for a tennis ball, but embark on other games, firstly childish, then more amorous. Boulez has described Jeux as ‘The Afternoon of a faun in sports clothes’, reflecting the musical affinity Jeux has with Debussy’s early masterpiece and the ballet’s echoes of the nymphs chasing the faun in Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, produced in May 1912. One month later, Debussy was persuaded to write a new work for the Ballets Russes. He was initially reluctant, a telegram to Diaghilev stating bluntly ‘Subject ballet Jeux idiotic, not interested’, but a doubling of the fee (and the shelving of Nijinsky’s idea for a plane crash near the end) evidently prompted a change of heart.
Once committed, Debussy wrote the initial draft of Jeux at uncommon speed, in about a month from July to August 1912, telling André Caplet that he needed ‘to find an orchestra “without feet” for this music’. Debussy refused to let Diaghilev and Nijinsky hear his work in progress, ‘not wishing these barbarians to poke their noses into my experiments in personal chemistry!’ He later came to view his caution as well-founded, telling Gabriel Pierné that Nijinsky ‘with his cruel and barbarous choreography… trampled my poor rhythms underfoot like weed’.
In Nijinsky’s defense, it is worth remembering that he did not hear the orchestral score until late in the day. While the piano duet version of the Rite gives a good flavour of this most percussive of ballets, Jeux on piano is far removed from Debussy’s diaphanous orchestral textures. Matters were not helped by the frantic preparations for the Rite swallowing up rehearsal time. To compound it all, one of the three dancers for Jeux, Nijinsky’s sister Bronislava, discovered she was pregnant just before the premiere.
The premiere of Jeux provoked no riot, no scandal of the sort that accompanied Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and certainly not bouquets and plaudits. Rather, there was bemusement about the dancing, while the music seemed barely to be noticed at all. Now, such indifference has been replaced by recognition of a work that epitomises the word sublime. Listening to Jeux, as the hesitant opening bars are interrupted by those indescribable chords opening a door to another universe, how did those sitting in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées nearly a century ago fail to realise that Debussy’s games were very special indeed?
--------------------------
There are a few who say de Sabata or Rosbaud get closer to the score's intention. What Debussy intended and finally realized is another story however. Baudo, Martinon, Haitink, and Boulez are my recordings of Jeux. I must give Boulez a closer listen.
Ray Hall, Taree
Thanks for this, Ray. Very interesting and redoubles my desire to get to
know the work better.

Bob Harper
Lawrence Kart
2020-12-11 04:22:32 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Andy Evans
For me Debussy Jeux. A strange piece that just about nobody pulls off. Closest probably the later Boulez version.
I think of it as close to Pelleas in conception - that weirdness that you don't get in La Mer and his other popular orchestral works.
Courtesy of :-
By BBC Music Magazine
August 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm
It is doubtful that any theatre has experienced a more remarkable few weeks than the newly opened Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris in May 1913. It was the scene on 29 May of the most notorious premiere of them all: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the hoopla surrounding which overshadowed two rather different works.
The first Parisian performance of Fauré’s sublime only opera, Pénélope, was given on 10 May, two days before the composer’s 68th birthday. Five days later, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes unveiled a work with what turned out to be the last completed orchestral music by Debussy: Jeux. This ‘poème dansé’ has come to be seen as equally important as the Rite in its own way, but being eclipsed by the reception of Stravinsky’s tour de force was just one factor among many working against Jeux getting a good start.
It took the best part of 40 years for the significance of Jeux to be recognised. While Stravinsky’s advances grab you by the throat, and Schoenberg’s expressionist works scream their angst, Jeux is understated and suffused with light. It’s chromatic, yet never harsh; rhythmically complex, yet fleet-footed and graceful. Analysing it is like trying to capture wisps of mist.
What Debussy called the ‘beautiful nightmare’ of Stravinsky’s Rite would never have been possible without the harmonic freedom of the Frenchman’s earlier works. But in realising Debussy’s orchestral ideal, Jeux had lessons for the radical post-war generation of composers in its fluidity of form. Rather than using form for unity and integration, Debussy’s score explores discontinuity, with more than 60 changes of tempo, motifs in constant flux and ever-changing orchestral colours – and yet there is an almost invisible coherence.
Like Pinocchio, Jeux quietly unlocked the door to the way that later composers put their music together like a collage. This can be heard in Messiaen’s mature works, while Stockhausen praised Jeux as the crucial step towards the ‘moment form’ that underpinned many of his pieces, a sentiment echoed by Ligeti. As Boulez put it, ‘the general organisation of [Jeux] is as changeable instant by instant as it is homogeneous in development’.
The title mirrors the ambiguities of the scenario, in which a boy and two girls are searching for a tennis ball, but embark on other games, firstly childish, then more amorous. Boulez has described Jeux as ‘The Afternoon of a faun in sports clothes’, reflecting the musical affinity Jeux has with Debussy’s early masterpiece and the ballet’s echoes of the nymphs chasing the faun in Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, produced in May 1912. One month later, Debussy was persuaded to write a new work for the Ballets Russes. He was initially reluctant, a telegram to Diaghilev stating bluntly ‘Subject ballet Jeux idiotic, not interested’, but a doubling of the fee (and the shelving of Nijinsky’s idea for a plane crash near the end) evidently prompted a change of heart.
Once committed, Debussy wrote the initial draft of Jeux at uncommon speed, in about a month from July to August 1912, telling André Caplet that he needed ‘to find an orchestra “without feet” for this music’. Debussy refused to let Diaghilev and Nijinsky hear his work in progress, ‘not wishing these barbarians to poke their noses into my experiments in personal chemistry!’ He later came to view his caution as well-founded, telling Gabriel Pierné that Nijinsky ‘with his cruel and barbarous choreography… trampled my poor rhythms underfoot like weed’.
In Nijinsky’s defense, it is worth remembering that he did not hear the orchestral score until late in the day. While the piano duet version of the Rite gives a good flavour of this most percussive of ballets, Jeux on piano is far removed from Debussy’s diaphanous orchestral textures. Matters were not helped by the frantic preparations for the Rite swallowing up rehearsal time. To compound it all, one of the three dancers for Jeux, Nijinsky’s sister Bronislava, discovered she was pregnant just before the premiere.
The premiere of Jeux provoked no riot, no scandal of the sort that accompanied Nijinsky’s choreography for Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and certainly not bouquets and plaudits. Rather, there was bemusement about the dancing, while the music seemed barely to be noticed at all. Now, such indifference has been replaced by recognition of a work that epitomises the word sublime. Listening to Jeux, as the hesitant opening bars are interrupted by those indescribable chords opening a door to another universe, how did those sitting in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées nearly a century ago fail to realise that Debussy’s games were very special indeed?
--------------------------
There are a few who say de Sabata or Rosbaud get closer to the score's intention. What Debussy intended and finally realized is another story however. Baudo, Martinon, Haitink, and Boulez are my recordings of Jeux. I must give Boulez a closer listen.
Ray Hall, Taree
Thanks for this, Ray. Very interesting and redoubles my desire to get to
know the work better.
Bob Harper
The best Jeux IMO is D.E. Inghelbrecht's
Todd Michel McComb
2020-12-13 22:14:11 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
Baudo, Martinon, Haitink, and Boulez are my recordings of Jeux.
I must give Boulez a closer listen.
Your post also prompted me to revisit this piece after many years.
I went to a review portal, and the first I was able to find ready
to hear (and the "search" is terrible, even when you know exactly
what you're trying to find) was an interpretation out of Singapore
on Bis....

It would seem to illustrate your point in bringing _Jeux_ to this
thread, so thank you for this illustration.

(Rosbaud was also available. And your remarks on intent v. realization
are certainly noted as well. The former is an almost Ivesian sort
of thing, it would appear. Likewise not exactly realized....)
dk
2020-12-15 19:26:05 UTC
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IMHO the most difficult famous piece to get right is
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Finding the best spot
to place the cannon is very tricky. One must be very
careful to avoid damage to the hall and to not hurt
anyone in the orchestra or in the audience.

dk
number_six
2020-12-15 20:20:57 UTC
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Post by dk
IMHO the most difficult famous piece to get right is
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Finding the best spot
to place the cannon is very tricky. One must be very
careful to avoid damage to the hall and to not hurt
anyone in the orchestra or in the audience.
dk
Not to mention protecting one's flanks, while advancing -- or retreating...
Andy Evans
2020-12-16 11:24:58 UTC
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Just thinking about it a bit more, I'm going to add Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges.

It's not hugely complicated - you just need a native French speaking cast and a conductor with a great sense of humour and timing. But it brutally reveals performances that lack one or both. Simon Rattle falls flat on his face in both, for instance, and he's not the only one.

Maazel gets it right. So does Ansermet and Bour. This is a work that needs a lot of charm. And there are a fair number of very efficient but fairly charmless conductors plying their trade.
dk
2021-01-31 04:22:15 UTC
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Post by dk
IMHO the most difficult famous piece to get right is
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Finding the best spot
to place the cannon is very tricky. One must be very
careful to avoid damage to the hall and to not hurt
anyone in the orchestra or in the audience.
and 4'33" is practically impossible to perform in
EXACTLY the time it is supposed take -- unless a
metronome is used which would seriously spoil
the listeners' experience.

dk
Alan Dawes
2021-01-31 11:18:23 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by dk
IMHO the most difficult famous piece to get right is
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Finding the best spot
to place the cannon is very tricky. One must be very
careful to avoid damage to the hall and to not hurt
anyone in the orchestra or in the audience.
and 4'33" is practically impossible to perform in
EXACTLY the time it is supposed take -- unless a
metronome is used which would seriously spoil
the listeners' experience.
dk
40 years ago you could have performed it in the Kingsway Hall London using
the rumble of underground trains for timing :-)

Alan
--
***@argonet.co.uk
***@riscos.org
Using an ARMX6
Al Eisner
2021-01-31 22:04:19 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by dk
IMHO the most difficult famous piece to get right is
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Ouverture. Finding the best spot
to place the cannon is very tricky. One must be very
careful to avoid damage to the hall and to not hurt
anyone in the orchestra or in the audience.
and 4'33" is practically impossible to perform in
EXACTLY the time it is supposed take -- unless a
metronome is used which would seriously spoil
the listeners' experience.
dk
Not necessarily. For a recording, it could of course be trimmed to
exactly the right length - it may be better if the performers don't
know when it is over. And for a live performance by a full orchestra,'
the conductor could have a timer silently go off (vibrator mode) a
few seconds ahead of time.
--
Al Eisner
Todd Michel McComb
2021-01-31 22:09:59 UTC
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Post by dk
and 4'33" is practically impossible to perform in
EXACTLY the time it is supposed take ....
... for a live performance by a full orchestra,' the conductor
could have a timer silently go off (vibrator mode) a few seconds
ahead of time.
As exciting as this speculation surely is, much of Cage's later
music uses a visible (not audible) timer. There are works where
each musician uses their own timer (e.g. _Twenty-Three_), but the
last pieces use a general timer visible to all at once.

(E.g. Anthony Braxton generally uses an hour glass, moving farther
afield....)

gggg gggg
2021-01-30 03:45:53 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
I vote for the Beethoven Sixth.
I have one great recording (I won't say perfect, even though that's what I think) -- Monteux with the Vienna Philharmonic. Listening to to a set of Beethoven LPs I'd just purchased, Bohm with the Vienna Phil., I was dismayed, after enjoying Bohm's First, at how pedestrian his Sixth was. So I hauled out every Sixth I had around at the moment -- Bernstein, Vienna Phil., Furtwangler 1944 (Berlin} and '54 (Vienna), Jochum with the Berlin Phil., and Harnoncourt with the COE. Harnoncourt is just quirky, lots of lunging accents; Jochum is almost impossibly slow but does capture some of the vital pastoral mood/moods; both Furtwanglers edge close to the ideal but not close enough for me, both too slow for one thing, though not as slow as Jochum, and I find some of F's point-making a bit too "conductorial"; Bernstein is so fussy with dynamics that this pretty much becomes what the performance is about; Bohm, as the Brits say, is just po-faced.
And Monteux? A perfect flowing tempo for the first movement -- why doesn't anyone else capture what he does? -- and from then to the end I sit there stunned, absorbed, you name it. In particular, what a simple piece of music it seems in Monteux's hands up to a point, and then one feels (I feel) that it is in fact not simple at all.
Any other candidates for the "most difficult famous piece to get right?" Or candidates for a Sixth that surpasses Monteux's?
Larry Kart
According to this:

- It is also considered to be a virtuoso work and difficult to play well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Symphony
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