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Thread: Sergiu Celibidache and slow tempos

  1. #31
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    It was probably Celibidache's magnificent (EMI) recording of the 8th Symphony that finally opened my mind to Bruckner. I'd owned recordings of Bruckner's symphonies for years, but never paid them much attention; however, after being converted by "Celi", I returned to them with fresh ears, and I appreciated them all the more for that.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I'm fine with Celi in Bruckner and other composers but his pedestrian Beethoven is tiresome to my ears. Like Klemperer I often admire the playing and textures and understand why some people like it but it's just all too ponderous in Beethoven.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhombic View Post
    He shows such a passion for slow tempos... I do not understand why yet. It yields somewhat funny renditions of Beethoven symphonies, Bruckner and many other composers, which seem rather unstable due to the tempo.
    He was greatly impressed by Furtwaengler, one of F’s few genuine disciples, certainly not Daniel Barenboim or Herbert von Karajan, who claimed to be but one can hear little or no evidence. Celi described his tempos as being broad rather than slow. Huge difference! The details that one can hear in his performances are sometimes astonishing and completely unforced. Does this work all the time? No! But what conductor got it right all the time, even Furtwangler? Look for the Celi YT interviews. Do your own homework. He did not think like most other conductors, and he’s one of my all-time favorites. Nobody like him now!

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Feb-09-2018 at 05:20.
    "That's all Folks!"

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  7. #34
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    There are several YT videos of him in rehearsal, and it's quite clear (to me at least) that he knows exactly what he's doing. In Bruckner, the performances are mesmerizing and entirely appropriate. In today's world, in live performance only Haitink comes close.

    Curiously (or maybe not) there is no Mahler in his discography - anyone know his views on that composer?

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobilmente View Post

    Curiously (or maybe not) there is no Mahler in his discography - anyone know his views on that composer?
    I believe Celi was not a fan of Mahler symphonies (like Toscanini). He once said of Mahler (translated),

    "Mahler, a man without a character; only a great instrumental virtuoso, one who always starts well and then is not able to stop."

  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I believe Celi was not a fan of Mahler symphonies (like Toscanini). He once said of Mahler (translated),

    "Mahler, a man without a character; only a great instrumental virtuoso, one who always starts well and then is not able to stop."
    Wow. Well, as the Good Book says, great men are not always wise. (Job 32:9)

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