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Thread: Who would you pick to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Default Who would you pick to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic?

    Instead of the incumbent.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Tough job, so I'm led to believe - the prestige and glamour is second to none but any candidate is on a hiding to nothing. If so, then I'm reminded of Tiberius Caesar when he described the role of being emperor of Rome as akin to 'holding a wolf by the ears' - and of course the ghost of Herbie von K. still looms large at the Philharmonie.

    I haven't a real preference but I reckon Gustavo Dudamel will be offered it some day seeing he's becoming serious box office as his star continues to rise. I'd like to see Marin Alsop get a crack at it but I don't know whether her reputation for conducting as many - if not more - American works than European ones would go against her - and I'm not entirely sure if the Berlin PO would be a strictly Equal Opportunities Employer when it came to the podium. I gather some musicians had 'issues' with her appointment as musical director at Baltimore but I hope that kind of nonsense (if it WAS that kind of nonsense) wouldn't hinder her chances at Berlin or anywhere else. The fact that she isn't strictly speaking A-list (or at least not yet) perhaps would, though.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Chailly???

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Chailly???

    I forgot about him - he's still a free agent since ditching Leipzig, isn't he? Plus he's got notches on the gunbelt with recording Mahler, Brahms and Bruckner. And as long as the Berlin PO haven't got a contractual tie-in that would prevent them recording for Decca...

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    he's got a new Beethoven set coming out , too.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Has he? It'll be interesting to read the reviews bearing in mind the stick he took in some quarters for his Mahler cycle - 'clinical', 'inorganic', 'dull' 'emotionally uninvolved' etc. - and if there's a body of work you can't hide behind if you're guilty of all this then it's Beethoven's symphonies! It's a packed field where competition is particularly fierce, so I wish him luck. Incidentally, I've got Chailly in Mahler's 2, 3, 4 and 8 (as well as his Bruckner 0, 2 and 7) and I haven't a problem with any of them.

    Another free agent is Ingo Metzmacher - he left the Berlin DSO mid-contract about a year ago. He also has the added advantage of being German but again I don't know whether his track record would go against him - he seems a bit of a modernist.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    i have both his Mahler and Bruckner sets and like them both. not too much Mahler angst. but beautiful textures. his recent Bach recordings are excellent. potential for greatness is there, I think.


    http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...lbum_id=648264
    Last edited by Itullian; Nov-10-2011 at 21:54.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I suppose with Mahler you're damned if you do and damned if you don't - if you want to let the music largely speak for itself then you get moaned at because you aren't putting enough of yourself into it (Chailly). On the other hand if you concentrate on the searing intensity aspect then you get criticised for being self-indulgent (Bernstein) or riding the orchestra too hard (Solti). Only one man can say who's correct, and he died in 1911.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    I suppose with Mahler you're damned if you do and damned if you don't - if you want to let the music largely speak for itself then you get moaned at because you aren't putting enough of yourself into it (Chailly). On the other hand if you concentrate on the searing intensity aspect then you get criticised for being self-indulgent (Bernstein) or riding the orchestra too hard (Solti). Only one man can say who's correct, and he died in 1911.
    and he probably would like different interpretations too. I think Bruno Walter new him and look at his Mahler. Mild. Sensitive. I think composers can like diverse views within reason.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I like to think that's how Mahler would see it, otherwise there would be little point in anyone conducting his works other than Mahler himself! Part of the enormity of the task is due to the fact that a conductor has to work hard with every bar in an effort to second-guess what Mahler the conductor would have done and what Mahler the composer was actually thinking/feeling - and it's fun to compare different interpretations.

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    Rattle's the world's best living conductor, in my opinion.
    I don't think any orchestra is better than the BPO.
    They belong together. They played Mahler 1 here 12 months ago and it was spellbinding.

    It's not Karajan's band any more. Nearly half the orchestra turned over during the Abbado years. Average age of the players is somewhere in the early 40s, I think.

    If I had a single choice of any conductor/orchestra combination to hear (in a decent-sounding venue) it would be Rattle/BPO.
    And I write as someone who heard the Vienna Phil 6 weeks ago...
    cheers,
    GG

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Maybe, but his recordings haven't done much for me.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I didn't want to ask Itullian if his question was based on any dissatisfaction with Rattle seeing we had a nice little chat! I was basing my own thoughts on who could follow him as opposed to who I'd have instead, in which case I would say no-one seeing Rattle's doing fine.
    Last edited by elgars ghost; Nov-11-2011 at 01:06.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    yeah, i didn't mean taking Rattle out. after he's out, I meant.

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    Icarus
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    I've been very impressed with Vanska recently. Anyone else?

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