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Thread: Top 10 Orchestras

  1. #16
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    I think there's much to be said for the spirit of "support your hometown side." Then again, I guess that's very easy for me to say, because my hometowns have been... well- look at my screen-name

    In any event, I think that if one were to do a Monopoly-board based on Symphony Orchestras, Vienna PO and Berlin PO would be Boardwalk and Park Place, respectively. Beyond that, I'll also admit to a fondness for the Concertgebouw and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (lucky enough to have heard the latter live). Any further personal comment would be silly, as your humble dilettante ought not presume to pass judgement on many of the world's greatest musicians.
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Sep-16-2009 at 05:22. Reason: spelling... because I CAN:)
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  2. #17
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    My top 10 orchestras:
    1)Staakskapelle Dresden
    2)Royal Concertgebouw
    3)Leningrad philharmonic
    4)NBC Symphony
    5)LeipzigGewandhaus
    6)NDR-sinfonieorchester
    7)Munchener-Bach ensemble
    8)Amsterdam Baroque soloists
    9)London Symphony
    10)Bavarian Radio Symphony

    My top 10 conductors:
    1)Arturo Toscanini
    2)Wilhelm Furtwangler
    3)Every Mravinsky
    4)Carlos Kleiber
    5)Willem Mengelberg
    6)Karl Bohm
    7)Sir Colin Davis
    8)Nickolas Harnocourt
    9)Jochum Wand
    10)Rafael Kubelik

  3. #18
    Newbies ArtemisofEphesus's Avatar
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    I don't have a list, I haven't listened to enough classical music yet, but up until now my favourite orchestra is The Academy Of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields. I also like the Berlin Philharmonic, but Karajan's... over-emotionality can get on my nerves.

  4. #19
    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachmaninov View Post
    9)Jochum Wand
    Did you mean Eugene Jochum, or perhaps Gunter Wand?
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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  5. #20
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    Talking

    I'm pickin' 12, in four groups of three. No particular order within each group, but the groups are in order of preference.

    Group 1--Chicago, Berlin, Concertgebouw.
    Group 2--London Sym, Philharmonia, Vienna.
    Group 3--Boston, Gewandhaus, Czech PO.
    Group 4--St. Petersburg, Philadelphia, Bavarian RSO.

    I think that George Szell was nothing less than the greatest conductor who ever lived, and under his Music Directorship, the Cleveland Orch was the greatest orchestra in the world. But I think it is now nowhere near as good as it was under Szell. As for the MYPO, its a great orchestra, but in a mediocre hall. They'd have to be in my top 12 in any other venue; I suppose I'd drop the Bavarian to accommodate them.
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  6. #21
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    Unhappy

    Obviously, that should have been NYPO, not MYPO. My bad.
    "Don't drink and drive. You might spill it."--J Eugene Baker, aka my late father.
    "Crescit sub pondere virtus."--Motto on McCann family crest.

  7. #22
    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebLem View Post
    under [Szell's] Music Directorship, the Cleveland Orch was the greatest orchestra in the world.
    And that's why I think everyone should also list a period along with each orchestra. The members (of the orchestra) change, and more importantly the directors/conductors change, and that seems to be the biggest influence on the listener.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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  8. #23
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by opus67 View Post
    And that's why I think everyone should also list a period along with each orchestra. The members (of the orchestra) change, and more importantly the directors/conductors change, and that seems to be the biggest influence on the listener.
    Yes, well, I think there are a number of orchestras which, while they have had ups and downs, are up almost all the time and have been for a long time. Among them are NYPO, Boston, Chicago, and arguably Philly in the US, and, in Europe, the Concertgebouw, Berlin, Vienna, Leipzig, and, arguably, the Czech Phil.

    Chicago is the one I know most about, as I was born there and lived in that area until 2002. Many people mistakenly think that Georg Solti was the first great music director there. Others, a bit more sophisticated, will acknowledge the greatness of Fritz Reiner's leadership there. But the CSO had at least two great MDs before Reiner--Theodore Thomas, the founder of the orchestra in the 1890's, and Frederick Stock, who succeeded him. Thomas staffed the orchestra entirely with German musicians. It has to be said that America had not yet the educational institutional infrastructure to staff orchestras itself. But the CSO had its first guest conductor in 1904--none other than Richard Strauss, a friend of Theodore Thomas's, and Arthur Schnabel thought enough of the CSO and Frederick Stock that he recorded the last two Beethoven Piano Concerti with them even after he had already done the complete set with Sir Malcolm Sargent in the 1930's.

    What Solti did was very important, though. He brought in the big bucks. When he took over, the CSO was the only one of the Big Five American orchestras without either a Brahms or a Beethoven symphony cycle on the market. Solti marched the orchestra pretty systematically and almost ruthlessly through much of the standard repertoire and did big box after big box--the Beethoven symphonies twice, the Beethoven piano concerti, the Brahms symphonies, the Mahler symphonies, and made the CSO a commercial force to be reckoned with.
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  9. #24
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Berlin Philharmonic
    Vienna Philharmonic
    Israel Philharmonic
    Cincinnati Symphony
    Chicago Symphony
    Les Violons du Roy

    Can't think of many, I've only recently gotten into large-scale symphonic works.
    Last edited by World Violist; Dec-16-2007 at 05:23.
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  10. #25
    Senior Member Rachovsky's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard of "The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields"? I have heard of some of their recordings and they sound so clear and pristine to me. Maybe it's just the way iTunes changes the sound quality.

    I liked the Berlin Philharmonic when Karajan conducted.
    I hope to see the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis in March.
    Then all of the normal ones. Boston Pops, Vienna Philharmonic, NYPO

  11. #26
    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachovsky View Post
    Has anyone heard of "The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields"?
    Yup. My first CD of orchestral music was by them. (With three serenades by Mozart.) I think they will touring the U.S. this year or the next with Murray Perahia.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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  12. #27
    Senior Member Rachovsky's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe I went onto their website and saw that they were coming here in March. They will be performing all of Beethoven's symphonies, concertos, and sonatas. I would love to go to see a #5 or #9. The nearest city that they are in is 6 hours away in Nashville, TN though..

  13. #28
    Senior Member Ephemerid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachovsky View Post
    Has anyone heard of "The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields"? I have heard of some of their recordings and they sound so clear and pristine to me. Maybe it's just the way iTunes changes the sound quality.
    Neville Marriner & the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is excellent, yeah.

    I don't have any "favourite" favourites, but I would say that when looking for recordings, here are some conductors and/or orchestras I tend to trust if I want a good representation of a composition (in no order)

    Yoel Levi & the Atlanta Symphony
    Pierre Boulez & the Cleveland Symphony
    Neemi Jarvi & the Scottish National Orchestra
    Simon Rattle & the Birmingham Symphony
    Michael Tilson Thomas
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Kent Nagano

    ~josh
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  14. #29
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    I'm going to mention my local orchestra who I am a great fan of and I havn't seen listed so far in this discussion. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO).

  15. #30
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Berlin Philharmonic

    Les Violons du Roy
    What did you listen from them?
    "Handel understands effect better than any of us -- when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt... though he often saunters, in the manner of his time, this is always something there."

    Mozart

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