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Thread: Who is your all-time favorite and least favorite famous Conductor?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Is there one famous Conductor you will basically buy everything he has recorded? Is there one Conductor whose recordings you try to avoid ? You can include anyone including those who are long gone to a better place...
    I'm not a huge collector compared to some here, so I don't buy everything of anyone, basically. I have most connected with conductors doing a fair amount of modern/contemporary repertoire. So any conductor of past or present doing that, having a big commitment to that, I do like. To pick a few of those - Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Antoni Wit, Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, and so on.

    Also, Australian conductors such as the late Stuart Challender, John Hopkins, Richard Mills, who've put down a fair amount of Aussie music.

    In terms of avoiding some conductor's work, I avoid those who I see as not adhering to the vision of the composer/work, but that can be fairly subjective on part of the listener, so I'll avoid naming names.

    ...
    Eugene Ormandy goes in the first category. I have never heard a bad recording from him. He seems very consistent, and gets a great sound from his Philadelphia Orchestra...
    No complaints re Maestro Ormandy from this listener.

    ...
    I have to put Leonard Bernstein in the latter category, with a few exceptions. It is almost like he is more important than the musical piece that he is conducting. What do people love about him?
    ...
    He is very flamboyant for sure, but he introduced me to a number of the classics early on (as did Ormandy and Szell, I had many compilations of theirs on now defunct CBS label). There is a sentimental attachment, but more importantly, Lenny doing his own music is great, THIS recording has been a highlight of that, esp. the Sym. #1 'Jeremiah.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    ...
    To my dislike list, I think I would have to had Marin Alsop just a tad less hated than Karajan. I've heard much less by her, but once I'd stomached a butchering of both Brahms and Dvorak, I vowed never to go near her again.
    I haven't heard Marin Alsop's recordings of the Romantics, but I know her recordings of her teacher Bernstein's music is excellent, as are her interpretations of American repertoire. I've also got her doing Takemitsu on Naxos. Maybe her strength is the 20th century, but I cannot judge.
    Last edited by Sid James; May-01-2012 at 04:55.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    I think your sentiments are praiseworthy, but you haven't answered the question.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Is there one famous Conductor you will basically buy everything he has recorded?
    Abbado

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    Is there one Conductor whose recordings you try to avoid ?
    Barbirolli

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Marchant View Post
    Abbado



    Barbirolli
    I find your verdict on Barbirolli very disappointing, I used to love going to his concerts as his interpretations were very dramatic.

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    I find your verdict on Barbirolli very disappointing, I used to love going to his concerts as his interpretations were very dramatic.
    Isn't the point of Barbirolli's interpretations that it is all about Barbirolli? As are Karajan's about Karajan and so on. The trouble is I was never really interested in Barbirolli's views of anything. That said, he turned in a decent performance on vinyl of one of my favourite works - Mahler 6. For "favourite", read: a work I actually know something about.

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    Senior Member LordBlackudder's Avatar
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    need to think
    Last edited by LordBlackudder; May-02-2012 at 00:25.

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  8. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    What have you got against Claudio Abbado? I always see him as a rock solid conductor.

    Solti boring, Mehta inconsistent, Bernstein is Bernstein, Karajan never did anything for me.
    To answer specifically, ever since I heard Claudio Abbado with Beethoven symphony No.2, I was appalled at the insipid way he took the symphony. Next, when I heard him do Mahler's fifth with Chicago, it was bloody spineless. Next when I saw his DVD of Verdi's Requiem it was listless. So much of praise has been showered upon Abbado and all that i have come across is nothing but a slightly better than average readings and I am particular about spirit behind a reading. Abbado has scored only a 3/10 in his performances. I cannot call him rock solid . he cannot be a rock nor is he solid. I can call him a semi liquid gel.
    If you consider Solti as boring when compared with Abbado, just take up the same symphony of Mahler's Fifth with Solti and the same orchestra; compare the readings. I have never heard a more impassioned Adagietto and the entire symphony done anywhere else. Also, hear Solti's Mahler's Eighth with the same orchestra at Sofiensaal Vienna tour. Yes, there are few recordings of Solti that are listless but they are considerably outweighed by his super charged interpretations. I will give Solti a 9/10. Zubin Mehta is indeed inconsistent. He has never done ample justice to his potential as far as disciplined cycles ae concerned. I will give him a 6/10. You talk about Mussorgsky and Abbado. Listen to Mehta's rendition of the Pictures with LAPO or hear him on Mahler's Resurrection with Vienna or Bartok's concerto for orchestra with Israel and Bruckner's Eighth with Israel. You will realize that he will leave Abbado gasping behind many paces. Leonard Bernstein is a legend. He has contribued a lot more than people give him credit for. Listen to his Eroica lectures and his analysis on the pianoforte. Till today, no conductor has taken the first movement with the punch that Bernstein has delivered with the New York Philharmonic on Eroica with the honoured repeat where very few conductors have respected. Also listen to his New World Symphony. No other conductor has delivered with the frenetic bravado as he has done and once again he has honoured the first movement repeat. His Mahler is stupendous. Listen to his Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto with Philippe Entremont. No one has spaced the Second movement as he has done. The spirit comes out beautifully. Bernstein also gets a 9/10.
    Herbert Von Karajan will get a 7/10. You can safely say that people can hear any piece of music even for the first time with Karajan/Berlin and Karajan/Philharmonia and not come out disappointed. He brought technical finesse out of the orchestras and his repertoire was phenomenal. The only conductors I will give for their extra ordinary readings a 10/10 are Wilhelm Furtwangler and Sergiu Celibidache.
    Last edited by tahnak; May-02-2012 at 11:58.

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    Senior Member eorrific's Avatar
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    On top of my head =
    Favourite : Solti, Kleiber, Haitink, Bohm. Of the current crop, I like Thielemann and Gergiev.
    Least : Karajan, Celibidache, hmm... Maximianno Cobra (oh, he's not famous, but that's a good thing isn't it?)
    Last edited by eorrific; May-02-2012 at 13:42.

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    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    Poor Karajan's getting torn apart here...

    Edit: To expand on this a bit: I like Karajan, usually. I even like his shiny Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. I dislike: Norrington, Ancerl. Not that picky otherwise.
    Last edited by Webernite; May-02-2012 at 16:23.

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  12. #54
    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    You know, Glenn Gould's favorite conductors were Stokowski and Mengelberg. What do you people think of those two?

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I haven't got a real beef with any conductor as such - the usual suspects are always criticised for the usual reasons: Karajan (schmaltzy), Bernstein (self-indulgent), Solti (drives too hard), Chailly (detached), Celibidache (slow) etc. etc. but all of these have just as many advocates as detractors. In my experience the one conductor who seems to receive more brickbats than plaudits is Roger Norrington (David Hurwitz totally lambasted him for his Mahler, which I haven't heard). I have Norrington's Beethoven symphony cycle and his recordings of Schubert's 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th and find much to enjoy but the way some people talk about him you'd think he was the Antichrist.

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    Senior Member tgtr0660's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    but the way some people talk about him you'd think he was the Antichrist.
    No. Never. The Antichrist makes life interesting, remember? He doesn't make music dry, lifeless, bland.

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    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    I don't like Norrington's recordings, but I can't tell if it's because of his conducting or just because of the lack of vibrato. Maybe he should make some recordings with vibrato so I can judge him properly.
    Last edited by Webernite; May-02-2012 at 16:24.

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    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    And another thing: Whatever happened to Toscanini? He has not been mentioned once in this thread.

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  18. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webernite View Post
    I don't like Norrington's recordings, but I can't tell if it's because of his conducting or just because of the lack of vibrato. Maybe he should make some recordings with vibrato so I can judge him properly.

    I wouldn't trust Norrington with Hayden for example. Is there anything wrong with Sir Neville Marriner? He seems rather reliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchflorida View Post
    I wouldn't trust Norrington with Hayden for example. Is there anything wrong with Sir Neville Marriner? He seems rather reliable.
    Sir Neville Marriner is thoroughly capable. Never been disappointed him as well as his charming Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Always crisp and elegant. I was deeply impressed by his Stravinsky Pulcinella recently.

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