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Thread: Underrated conductors................

  1. #31
    Junior Member Blanchard's Avatar
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    David Whitwell
    Jorge Mester

  2. #32
    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anshuman View Post
    I've always found Mehta as good as the big league conductors. His Mahler is brilliant. His tchaikovsky oiano concerto with Barenboim thrilling.Maybe the criticism has something to do with his being of Asian origin esp. a third world country. Just speculating.
    That is obnoxious!

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    Is Mravinsky under-rated?
    I have not heard much of him (shame on me), but some people believe that he is very under-rated as a conductor of German music.
    Last edited by Moscow-Mahler; Mar-11-2012 at 18:21.

  4. #34
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    I've seen a lot of names I think are really OVERrated in this topic : Fricsay, Krips, come on, contrary to great conductors their interpretations really sound old-fashioned.
    And Mehta ? Is it a joke ? Of course there is worse than him (Maazel for instance) but, anyway, Mehta has never been great, not even good, as I always felt a concert with him was either bad (I heard him 6 months ago with the Israel philharmonic, worse concert of the year), or would have been preferable with an other conductor or even without any (a few weeks ago, Bruckner 8th with the Berliner Philharmoniker).

    About Mravinsky, I think he is underrated in general, but not particularly in German repertoire. His Brahms are wonderful, but I easily forget his Beethoven. And his Bruckner are not always captivating.

    Thanks to joen_cph for pointing out a few names.
    - Mengelberg : not really underrated, I usually hate what he does, even if it is personal and interesting.
    - Scherchen : underrated IMO, I agree
    - Paray : underrated, at least by the labels, why no more reeditions ?
    - Golovanov, Moralt, Denzler, etc. : ok, why not, but not essential either (you can count Gauk among them too).
    - Abendroth : YES and thank you ! I can't understand people still not knowing him !

    - I read Reiner somewhere too... I'm not sure he is underrated, as he is very widely known and admired. Charles Munch or Pierre Monteux would come to my mind before Reiner...

    I would add :
    - Kurt Sanderling : one of the absolute best Brahms cycles + Mahler 9th, 10th and Lied von der Erde, must haves ! And his Sibelius, admired by many (but I think there are better cycles).
    - Joseph Keilberth : for his Wagner, but not only that, I recently heard his Schumann 1st & 4th symphonies, recorded during the war (his nazi involvement might be an explanation for his disgrace, but it can't explain everything or nobody would listen to Karajan, Furt and Mengelberg... and everyone would know Abendroth)
    - Victor de Sabata : widely known as an operatic conductor, ignored in the symphonic repertoire, when he provided passionate, incandescent performances in the German repertoire. Listen to his concert with the Wiener Philharmoniker in Salzburg in 1953 : what a fury in Tod und Verklärung ! Who would dare do that today ?
    - Jean Martinon is not really forgotten but his talent and his performance deserve really to be better known and distributed ! And his (numerous) concert performances !

    A topic on overrated conductors would be interesting but it would be impossible to name them all Anyway, I'd start with Haitink, Maazel, maybe Mehta. Masur too. Solti. Kubelik. Szell. Please stop me...

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Kletzki and Sanderling are two who have stood out to me.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jun-17-2012 at 02:26.

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  8. #36
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Staring 50 years ago, he built the once minor league Los Angeles Philharmonic into a world class orchestra, the equal of any
    The music directors of the LA Phil before Mehta included Van Beinum, Wallenstein, Klemperer and Rodzinski. It was populated by some of the finest sessions musicians in the film business. Mehta didn't make the LA Phil world class, the LA Phil made Mehta world class. That was the problem during hs tenure there.

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  10. #37
    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    I appreciate those posters who have bothered to explain why they have nominated particular conductors. Sorry, Blanchard and others, but, if I have never heard of the people you nominate, your post is essentially meaningless to me.

    I nominate Martyn Brabbins - he has turned in stunning live performances of composers as disparate as Stockhausen, Glass and Brian, as well as the standards, yet is a stalwart in the recording studio, delivering truly well thought through readings in what must be minimal preparation and rehearsal time.
    Last edited by Jeremy Marchant; Jun-17-2012 at 02:36.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    I nominate Donald Runnicles the Scottish conductor. ... Wagner and Bruckner are two of his specialties.
    Oh, bugger. I heard him conduct a very good Hollander at Bayreuth 20 years ago. And next Saturday I was going to hear him do Bruckner 8 here in Sydney, but he's pulled out for family reasons.
    Rats.
    GG

  12. #39
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    Jeremy--Mester took over the Louisville First Edition series after Whitney. The recordings featured a lot of rare (and often commissioned) works back when the major labels were mostly re-recording the warhorses and there were few independents. He worked with an undersized and somewhat scrappy orchestra (before today's editing techniques that can make the West Liverpool Youth Orchestra almost sound like the Berlin Philharmonic/apologies if there is such an orchestra) so I find his recordings more useful than required listening.

    As to the topic at hand, under- or over- rated are difficult standards. It has to come down to individual taste (a chacun son gout) since these are all professionals. Ironically the first conductor mentioned, Eschenbach, is one I've never warned up to either live or on recordings. I am basing this mostly on recordings. Even with 35 years of recitals, concerts and operas the sample size (around 350) is small and there is the chance of an attendence bias (although my high opinion of the Haitink and Solti bodies of work needs no help from the many times I've seen them live). Also I don't pay enough attention to broadcasts, whether radio, TV or web based.

    I believe that matching a conductor's proclivities (style?) to the right repertoire helps. Some may find Krips old-fashioned, but in Mozart and Schubert I find his light touch, flexibility and warmth charming. And even oft-maligned conductors can catch fire. Mehta has two of my favorite recordings: the Nielsen 4th and Turandot. After all nobody bats 100%, even Knappertsbusch could, when he lost interest, mangle Wagner.

    Two that I would suggest are Peter Maag and Richard Hickox. Maag never got a long term position with a major orchestra or a long term recording contract, but he has conducted some real gems. The Mendelssohn 3rd is my standard for the piece. He did operas (Verdi Luisa Miller and Cherubini Abencerags stand out). He recorded some lesser known works (try the Malipiero on Naxos). I just wish there was more.

    Hickox has a huge catalogue. Highlights would be the Tippett survey, the Rubbra symphonies, the Haydn Masses, Grimes and the Vaughan Williams operas. As the house conductor for an independent label he didn't seem to get the attention that others leading a major orchestra get almost automatically.
    Last edited by Rangstrom; Jun-17-2012 at 19:34.

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  14. #40
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    I forgot to cite Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, maybe the only great living brucknerian today.

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    Senior Member Turangalîla's Avatar
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    Herbert Kegel! Listen to his Ein Deutches Requiem and Moses und Aron. Both are by far the greatest interpretations.
    "Perhaps only genius really understand genius."
    – Robert Schumann

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  18. #42
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    I saw Gotterdammerung under Runnicles in San Francisco. Very good.

  19. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Discobole View Post
    I've seen a lot of names I think are really OVERrated in this topic : Fricsay, Krips, come on, contrary to great conductors their interpretations really sound old-fashioned.
    Krisps recorded VERY good Mozart, Fricsay made some good (or maybe even great) recordings, but died early. Krisps also did not made much recordings. So, I am not sure, is it possible to compare them with the conductors with much bigger legacy.

    ***

    Is Christoph von Dohnányi underrated? He made some very good recordings with Cleveland Orchestra, he was invited to improve Philharmonia orchestra, but he is stil not very famous....

  20. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    I nominate Donald Runnicles the Scottish conductor. He was Music Director at the Sanfrancisco Opera for seventeen years. He is now General Music Director ar the Deutches Oper,Berlin. Also principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor at the Atlanta Symphony. Wagner and Bruckner are two of his specialties.
    Runnicles is a wonder conductor and an absolute gentleman. He is also an amazing Mahler interpreter.

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  22. #45
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    As a scotsman I have to put Alexander Gibson out there as one of the all time exceptional Orchestral and Opera conductors.

    His Sibelius Symphony recordings with the RSNO are second to none and should be explored. I often just sit back and let myself be transported to another world!

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