Discussion:
What makes a "CD From Hell"?
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s***@nycap.rr.com
2019-08-28 11:42:34 UTC
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I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.

NIFrost
msw design
2019-08-28 11:56:02 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Hurwitz's CD's From Hell are probably special in the way they aggravate him. But what about recordings that simply vie for "Worst Ever"? Me, I'll throw in a recording that is depressing in its lack of inspiration and truly painful to listen to: Yandani Butt conducts Wagner with the LSO on Nimbus. Just listen to "Entry of the Retirees into the Doctor's Waiting Room" (my renaming). The recordings are a stain on all involved, though the orchestra is the least to blame for such a bloodless exercise.
s***@nycap.rr.com
2019-08-28 12:04:47 UTC
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Post by msw design
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Hurwitz's CD's From Hell are probably special in the way they aggravate him. But what about recordings that simply vie for "Worst Ever"? Me, I'll throw in a recording that is depressing in its lack of inspiration and truly painful to listen to: Yandani Butt conducts Wagner with the LSO on Nimbus. Just listen to "Entry of the Retirees into the Doctor's Waiting Room" (my renaming). The recordings are a stain on all involved, though the orchestra is the least to blame for such a bloodless exercise.
The worst CD I ever listened to got raves when it came out but I just couldn't stand it. Booooooring! A snooze-fest. Rosenthal's final take on Gaite Parisienne. On the Naxos label. Came out maybe 15 years ago. Just awful.

MIFrost
Bozo
2019-08-28 13:23:47 UTC
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For me,more often the music itself rather than performer, eg my cd's of Martucci's 2nd PC and complete Boulez piano sonatas.
msw design
2019-08-28 14:09:34 UTC
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Post by Bozo
For me,more often the music itself rather than performer, eg my cd's of Martucci's 2nd PC and complete Boulez piano sonatas.
Khachaturian Symphony 3/Stokowski/CSO. Like if you were on acid and thought the best thing to listen to was the "Leningrad" symphony, and then you hallucinated half the instrumental accompaniment.
JohnGavin
2019-08-28 14:12:51 UTC
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There are lots of recordings of performances that seem to be out of the main stream in regards to interpretation, but are so outstanding in other ways that I find myself liking them and listening to them over and over again.

So I would presume that a “CD from hell“ would be a recording that rubs one very much the wrong way. I’d have to put all of Gavrilov’s recent work on YouTube in that category. His art seems to be distorted by his oversized ego.
HT
2019-08-28 18:54:09 UTC
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I’d have to put all of Gavrilov’s recent work on YouTube in that category. His art seems to be distorted by his oversized ego.
He seems to have more fun these days:



Henk
Bozo
2019-08-28 20:32:58 UTC
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And just as loud.
music lover
2019-08-29 19:01:25 UTC
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The worst CD I ever listened to got raves when it came out but I just couldn't stand it. Booooooring! A snooze-fest. Rosenthal's final take on Gaite Parisienne. On the Naxos label. Came out maybe 15 years ago. Just awful.

MIFrost


Not sure Rosenthal’s Gaite is worst CD ever but definitely pretty dreary. Especially in light of his lively and vivacious Offenbach from years before. Was he 92? 102 when recorded?

BTW how do I reply without copy/paste?

Thanks
HT
2019-08-28 16:06:59 UTC
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A CD from hell should at least be as horrible as fascinating in its esthetic evilness (having the willful intention to be iconoclastic).
Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis certainly have the talent for it. Gould had it in his Brahms recording with Bernstein. So did De Pachmann in his later days. I remember Heifetz playing a solo piece by Bach in a superior indifferent way.

BTW, what an interesting topic! I'll try to find more examples.

Henk
Oscar
2019-08-28 16:41:38 UTC
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Kopatchinskaja can do no wrong.
O
2019-08-28 17:37:56 UTC
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Post by HT
A CD from hell should at least be as horrible as fascinating in its esthetic
evilness (having the willful intention to be iconoclastic).
Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis certainly have the talent for it. Gould had it in
his Brahms recording with Bernstein. So did De Pachmann in his later days. I
remember Heifetz playing a solo piece by Bach in a superior indifferent way.
BTW, what an interesting topic! I'll try to find more examples.
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.

-Owen
HT
2019-08-28 18:38:20 UTC
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Post by O
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.
<g> Agreed. t is as horrible as it is fascinating:



Henk
Ricardo Jimenez
2019-08-29 01:41:44 UTC
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András Schiff's latest Schubert foray: Sonatas and Impromtus, played
on a forte piano from Schubert's day. I am listening to this 2 disc
set on Spotify and have to try hard not to stop. Whatever the virtues
of Schiff's playing, the lack of the higher overtones throughout the
instrument's range just drives me nuts.
Bozo
2019-08-29 01:47:27 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
András Schiff's latest Schubert foray: Sonatas and Impromtus, played
on a forte piano from Schubert's day. I am listening to this 2 disc
set on Spotify and have to try hard not to stop. Whatever the virtues
of Schiff's playing, the lack of the higher overtones throughout the
instrument's range just drives me nuts.
Amend.
graham
2019-08-29 02:48:27 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
András Schiff's latest Schubert foray: Sonatas and Impromtus, played
on a forte piano from Schubert's day. I am listening to this 2 disc
set on Spotify and have to try hard not to stop. Whatever the virtues
of Schiff's playing, the lack of the higher overtones throughout the
instrument's range just drives me nuts.
Have you heard the Hewitt/Muller Schott disc of the Bach gamba sonatas?
He makes his cello sound like a gamba, which would be fine if
accompanied by a harpsichord, but Hewitt is playing a modern grand,
presumably her Fazioli. I find the contrast aggravating.
O
2019-08-29 13:20:51 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by O
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.
http://youtu.be/D_1pJ9sptk8
Your link is one of the better ones...at least he doesn't assassinate
it like he does with K. 331:

https://open.spotify.com/album/39TLNMXRfGWadz6ffKrkNa?si=pHLcF6RsTP6whMg
KL-HVfA

-Owen
HT
2019-08-29 14:46:25 UTC
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Post by O
Your link is one of the better ones...at least he doesn't assassinate
https://open.spotify.com/album/39TLNMXRfGWadz6ffKrkNa?si=pHLcF6RsTP6whMg
KL-HVfA
Hmmm. I couldn't zap away - had to listen till the bitter end. To be able to play so beautifully ugly ... What a genius!

Thanks for the link!

Henk
Bozo
2019-08-29 15:22:00 UTC
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A ghoulish ( ? ) Gould treatment of K.545 :


O
2019-08-30 15:32:16 UTC
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Post by Bozo
http://youtu.be/0UZuFNiHLcM
RlKRx&index=46
"No matter what I put into this piano, it comes out sounding like Bach"
-Glenn Gould never said that
JohnGavin
2019-08-30 19:38:49 UTC
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A ghoulish ( ? ) Gould treatment of K.545 :

http://youtu.be/0UZuFNiHLcM


Far more exasperating is Gould’s Chopin Sonata in B Minor. A travesty!!
Bob Harper
2019-08-29 16:22:06 UTC
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Post by O
Post by HT
A CD from hell should at least be as horrible as fascinating in its esthetic
evilness (having the willful intention to be iconoclastic).
Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis certainly have the talent for it. Gould had it in
his Brahms recording with Bernstein. So did De Pachmann in his later days. I
remember Heifetz playing a solo piece by Bach in a superior indifferent way.
BTW, what an interesting topic! I'll try to find more examples.
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.
-Owen
I remember hearing, many years ago, Gould's 'Appassionata'. I was in LA
on business, and was departing the Long Beach Airport on my way to my
motel. That performance was the most perverse distortion of a great work
I have ever heard, and I swore aloud at the radio. Horrible!

Bob Harper
c***@gmail.com
2019-08-29 17:44:00 UTC
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Post by Bob Harper
Post by O
Post by HT
A CD from hell should at least be as horrible as fascinating in its esthetic
evilness (having the willful intention to be iconoclastic).
Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis certainly have the talent for it. Gould had it in
his Brahms recording with Bernstein. So did De Pachmann in his later days. I
remember Heifetz playing a solo piece by Bach in a superior indifferent way.
BTW, what an interesting topic! I'll try to find more examples.
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.
-Owen
I remember hearing, many years ago, Gould's 'Appassionata'. I was in LA
on business, and was departing the Long Beach Airport on my way to my
motel. That performance was the most perverse distortion of a great work
I have ever heard, and I swore aloud at the radio. Horrible!
Bob Harper
What's your feeling about Rzewski's "Appassionata"? :-)

AC
Bob Harper
2019-08-29 18:25:00 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by Bob Harper
Post by O
Post by HT
A CD from hell should at least be as horrible as fascinating in its esthetic
evilness (having the willful intention to be iconoclastic).
Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis certainly have the talent for it. Gould had it in
his Brahms recording with Bernstein. So did De Pachmann in his later days. I
remember Heifetz playing a solo piece by Bach in a superior indifferent way.
BTW, what an interesting topic! I'll try to find more examples.
Ah, Henk, you missed the better Gould target: his willfully perverse
Mozart sonatas.
-Owen
I remember hearing, many years ago, Gould's 'Appassionata'. I was in LA
on business, and was departing the Long Beach Airport on my way to my
motel. That performance was the most perverse distortion of a great work
I have ever heard, and I swore aloud at the radio. Horrible!
Bob Harper
What's your feeling about Rzewski's "Appassionata"? :-)
AC
Haven't heard it. Difficult to imagine it could be worse than Gould's,
but...

Bob Harper
Bozo
2019-08-29 20:25:33 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
What's your feeling about Rzewski's "Appassionata"? :-)
Thanks, had not realized he "played " it.

Rzewski’s 41-minute “Appassionata” , with cadenzas :



Per the YT poster :

“Excerpts from an article on Rzewski: "No question, Mr. Rzewski likes to keep listeners guessing. When he plays other people's music, he can raise hackles by improvising cadenzas in the middle of such untouchable masterworks as Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" and "Appassionata" Sonatas. "I do it because I think it's authentic," he said. "It's what I think Beethoven would have done. A few years ago, after a concert at Bard College, a musicologist came up to me and told me very sternly that you could do that at parties but not at a concert. Usually people don't hire you at all if they think you're going to go in for such shenanigans. "And maybe they're right. My Japanese friend Yuji Takahashi, the pianist and composer, says: 'It's redundant. All the irrational stuff is already there, in Beethoven's writing.' I do whatever I think is right at the moment. One thing is for sure: You shouldn't prepare it. Improvisations have to pop into your head then and there, or there's no reason for them.""

I did listen. More " Marcia funebre doloroso" than " Appassionata."

Rzewski's 66-minute "Hammerklavier " is also at YT. I'll let someone else here listen, report.
Bozo
2019-08-30 01:33:49 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Rzewski's 66-minute "Hammerklavier " is also at YT. I'll let someone else here listen, report.
Fortified by some of my cheap shiraz, and not wishing the added stress of watching or reading the news, decided to hear Rzewski play “ Hammerklavier “ , as the mountain climbers say, “ because it’s there” :



Cadenzas (4) = ego. Rzewski’s “authentic”, “ what Beethoven would do “, rationale puzzling since I believe Beethoven was very deaf by Op.106, and not playing in public. Rzewski does get through the Fugue, more or less, and this was live.
Todd Michel McComb
2019-08-30 05:47:03 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Fortified by some of my cheap shiraz, and not wishing the added stress
of watching or reading the news ....
So what about something like this?

http://www.squidco.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=23209

(Sorry that I don't really know a link to where you can hear more.
Perhaps such exists.)
Bozo
2019-08-30 16:40:28 UTC
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Post by Todd Michel McComb
(Sorry that I don't really know a link to where you can hear more.
Perhaps such exists.)
Thanks for the suggestion.

I did find this :


Not my cup of Earl Grey.
Andrew Clarke
2019-08-29 11:33:14 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Dave has very pronounced ideas on Historically Informed Practice which differ greatly with respect to tempi and the presence/absence of vibrato. He has some interesting ideas, e.g. that HIP is essentially a modern construct, with which I would largely agree. Sometimes Dave's pronouncements are pretty well accurate, esp when it comes to the Scrape and Grind school of HIPocracy; sometimes he goes overboard and condemns recordings that are much better than he allows them to be - in fact whenever I come across a CD from H, I immediately go to one of the download sites and listen to some of the excerpts, which very often leads me to purchase the recording ...

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
8***@gmail.com
2019-08-29 16:12:54 UTC
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Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Dave has very pronounced ideas on Historically Informed Practice which differ greatly with respect to tempi and the presence/absence of vibrato. He has some interesting ideas, e.g. that HIP is essentially a modern construct, with which I would largely agree. Sometimes Dave's pronouncements are pretty well accurate, esp when it comes to the Scrape and Grind school of HIPocracy; sometimes he goes overboard and condemns recordings that are much better than he allows them to be - in fact whenever I come across a CD from H, I immediately go to one of the download sites and listen to some of the excerpts, which very often leads me to purchase the recording ...
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
All of which goes to show--there's no such thing as bad publicity. There are many critics who I also use as a springboard to do the opposite of what they recommend. It doesn't matter whether someone agrees with me or not. What matters is that (1) the review piques curiosity and encourages listening, (2) the points of praise or condemnation are accurately described so that the listener can hear them, and (3) having done that, the listener draws his/her own conclusions.

Dave H
Bob Harper
2019-08-29 16:27:40 UTC
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Post by 8***@gmail.com
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Dave has very pronounced ideas on Historically Informed Practice which differ greatly with respect to tempi and the presence/absence of vibrato. He has some interesting ideas, e.g. that HIP is essentially a modern construct, with which I would largely agree. Sometimes Dave's pronouncements are pretty well accurate, esp when it comes to the Scrape and Grind school of HIPocracy; sometimes he goes overboard and condemns recordings that are much better than he allows them to be - in fact whenever I come across a CD from H, I immediately go to one of the download sites and listen to some of the excerpts, which very often leads me to purchase the recording ...
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
All of which goes to show--there's no such thing as bad publicity. There are many critics who I also use as a springboard to do the opposite of what they recommend. It doesn't matter whether someone agrees with me or not. What matters is that (1) the review piques curiosity and encourages listening, (2) the points of praise or condemnation are accurately described so that the listener can hear them, and (3) having done that, the listener draws his/her own conclusions.
Dave H
Agreed. I used to form an initial judgment of recordings by reading,
say, Harris Goldsmith's reviews in High Fidelity. If he liked it, I
probably wouldn't, and vice versa.

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2019-08-29 16:25:35 UTC
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Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I just listened to the V/C of Tchaikovsky by Kopatchinskaja/Currentzis, Dave Hurwitz's "CD from hell." It certainly is, well, unusual. A real roller coaster ride. Not boring, that's for sure. A performance of extremes. But while it may be out of the mainstream I wouldn't call the performance "from hell." In fact, I think I'll listen to it again.
NIFrost
Dave has very pronounced ideas on Historically Informed Practice which differ greatly with respect to tempi and the presence/absence of vibrato. He has some interesting ideas, e.g. that HIP is essentially a modern construct, with which I would largely agree. Sometimes Dave's pronouncements are pretty well accurate, esp when it comes to the Scrape and Grind school of HIPocracy; sometimes he goes overboard and condemns recordings that are much better than he allows them to be - in fact whenever I come across a CD from H, I immediately go to one of the download sites and listen to some of the excerpts, which very often leads me to purchase the recording ...
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Agreed about DH's tics. Another source for 'inverse recommendations' is
the redoubtable Bernard Michael O'Hanlon, ubiquitous in the 1-2 star
Amazon recommendations whenever HIP is involved. Your fellow Australian,
I believe.

Bob Harper
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