View Poll Results: Karajan - Hero or Hype?

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  • Hero

    50 64.94%
  • Hype

    27 35.06%
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Thread: Karajan - Hero or Hype?

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Very Senior Member View Post
    I’m not interested in debating the minutiae of the BBC’s list with you. I really couldn’t care less about the exact ranks achieved by any of the 20 composers who appear. As far as I’m concerned it gives a rough idea of the relative greatness of the conductors of all time, and is not some definitively ranked list written on Tablets. The only thing I would say is that Karajan definitely deserves to be somewhere in the top 10, and on that reckoning the question posed in the thread title as to whether Karajan is a "hero" rather than "hype" is off beat.

    My main concern was not so much with your various nit-picking comments on Karajan’s greatness and the quality of his recordings versus others, but more the comment by another member that the BBC’s poll was not intended to provide an indication of the “greatest” conductors of all time but only those which most inspired the panel of current conductors. By this there seemed to be a clear intention to marginalise the results of the BBC’s poll, and the same argument has cropped up on another recent thread relating to Claudio Abbado.

    As is perfectly clear from the BBC’s Press Statement on this subject, it couldn’t be any clearer that the BBC regarded its poll results as indicating the 20 “greatest conductors of all time”, with Carlos Kleiber at the top of the pack. How far you or I or anyone else agrees with the BBC’s results or methodology is another matter, but to suggest that its findings are not relevant is a mistaken view. As if I haven't got enough to do on my Sunday mornings without having to point out to some folk that they ought to read the whole Press Release before going off half-cock with some daft story based on the first paragraph that happened to suit their own jaundiced view simply because they don't like references to expert opinions (as has clearly been demonstrated on this and other threads).

    Personally, I have far more faith in the opinions of known experts on specialist topics like conducting than the views of anonymous people who turn up on forums like this. Whilst I will listen to contrary views such as yours which go against the grain of most commonly accepted opinion, I can hardly get excited about any of them.

    I'm still unclear why you or anyone else for that matter think that Karajan was way over-rated even though he was Chief Conductor of the BPO for 35 years. If indeed he was over-rated why didn’t they didn’t they get rid of him much sooner, and find somebody much better? They didn't do so, and in fact he retired. In fact Carlos Kleiber was oferred the job in 1989 but he declined it. I'm not sure why but possibly it smacked of being too hard work. It was of course Claudio Abbado who took up the job, but he too appears to come in for some stick (no pun intended) by T-C's small bunch of self-appointed "experts" on conducting.
    Read my posts more carefully.
    I explained exactly WHY
    1. the minutiae matters and the corollary that if the minuitiae didn't matter the whole list doesn't matter
    2. you can'ts squirrel out of the exact rankings and still make comments like "Karajan definitely belongs in the top ten., etc"
    3. why he had as much power and influence as he did, that's for the historian, but it was not because he was TOP TEN material.

    You're merely rephrasing the questions I already answered.
    Last edited by brianwalker; Feb-19-2012 at 22:47.

  2. #167
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    I think this bickering is non-productive, as well as rude. I say stop it, and have a good long think on reproducing this sort of stuff on other threads at TC.

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  4. #168
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    On the contrary, I find it quite productive.

    The best and longest threads are the ones with the fiercest bickering.

    The Most Overrated and Underrated Composers in History - According to You

    Metal Music (Death Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, etc)

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    These threads provide a lot of insight. I've learned a lot from them.

    Digging through the history books I found that we once had a metal sub-forum!

    History is truly mindblowing.
    Last edited by brianwalker; Feb-19-2012 at 23:37.

  5. #169
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    I would bring to your attention that one of these wonderful conductors, John Elliott Gardiner ...
    Good idea! I'm going to start a new poll on Sir John! I expect far less controvesery and the result we should all agree on. Forget Herbie!

  6. #170
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    Much too much spare testosterone going to waste

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  8. #171
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    I don't think it's too much testosterone, I think it's not enough Zoloft.

  9. #172
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    I think these guys have done well - all this bickering and no Magic Words!
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

  10. #173
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    While there certainly were some truly great Wagner singers in the first half of the 20th century through maybe the 60s, I don't think you should idealize the past . There were also plenty of Wagner performances where the singing ranged from mediocre to godawful, and certainly by no means ALL those who sang Wagner were fabulous by any means.
    For every supernal performance by Flagstad, Melchior, Fridrich Schorr and their contemporaries, there were quite a few which were downeight awful . It's the same today . The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  11. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    While there certainly were some truly great Wagner singers in the first half of the 20th century through maybe the 60s, I don't think you should idealize the past . There were also plenty of Wagner performances where the singing ranged from mediocre to godawful, and certainly by no means ALL those who sang Wagner were fabulous by any means.
    For every supernal performance by Flagstad, Melchior, Fridrich Schorr and their contemporaries, there were quite a few which were downeight awful . It's the same today . The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    ???????
    Wrong thread?
    Who said anything about Wagner singers?

  12. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    While there certainly were some truly great Wagner singers in the first half of the 20th century through maybe the 60s, I don't think you should idealize the past . There were also plenty of Wagner performances where the singing ranged from mediocre to godawful, and certainly by no means ALL those who sang Wagner were fabulous by any means.
    For every supernal performance by Flagstad, Melchior, Fridrich Schorr and their contemporaries, there were quite a few which were downeight awful . It's the same today . The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    But the problem is that there is nobody even remotely in the same class as the stars that you mention available now.

  13. #176
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    I came across this thread while trying to find info on his Schumann symphonies.
    But only two choices Hero or Hype? How about neither? He has his good and bad interpretations. Good = Beethoven Symphonies. Bad (or better described not so good) = Mozart Requiem.

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  15. #177
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDs View Post
    I came across this thread while trying to find info on his Schumann symphonies.
    Much as I like some Karajan I'd encourage you to look elsewhere for Schumann. Zinman, Bernstein, Skrowaczewski, Gardiner, Norrington and Kubelik all do them much better than Karajan's soggy Schumann (for me it's his worst symphony cycle). However if you really want a Schuman set then Sawallisch is your man. Still a fantastic cycle.
    Last edited by Merl; Oct-15-2018 at 10:02.

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  17. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Much as I like some Karajan I'd encourage you to look elsewhere for Schumann. Zinman, Bernstein, Skrowaczewski, Gardiner, Norrington and Kubelik all do them much better than Karajan's soggy Schumann (for me it's his worst symphony cycle). However if you really want a Schuman set then Sawallisch is your man. Still a fantastic cycle.
    Thanks! I already have three sets of Schumann Symphonies but I saw the Karajan set was released on SHM SACD. So I was looking for information before dropping $70 on the SHM SACD set.

  18. #179
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    There are other opinions about Schumann symphonies on here. Some love Karajan's Schumann but others don't (see also Rattle - another set I find underwhelming). I'd advise you to have a good listen, first. We all hear different things.

    Best Brahms and Schumann symphony cycles?

  19. #180
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    Karajan's 1971 cycle suffers from DG's bright and acidic sound. I doubt the SACD re-issue could have fixed that.

    He recorded No. 4 several times and IMHO they are better performed. BPO/1957 is leaner and more focused. DSK/1972 is more energetic. VPO/87 is slow but it has got a rather magical sonority. His finale is always grand and slow. Not everybody's cup of tea I suppose.

    Sawallisch's DSK cycle should be a safe bet if one has not got it yet. On the other hand, the Philadelphia remake is slow, sluggish and the recording is muddy and overly reverberant.

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