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Thread: Solti CSO Mahler 6

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Duggan's reviews always seem to me highly contentious on occasion. However, as Mahler interpretations are highly personal things, we must allow him that. In the 6th I have Karajan (not chromium plated at all - Duggan is using a tired old phrase), Kubelik and Tennstedt. All terrific performances in their various (and very different) ways. Do note that Szell omits the repeat in the first movement - hence gets his on to one CD!

    Just to say I admire Barbirolli's Mahler but I do find his 6th far too slow in the first movement
    You seem to have a Karajan recording for every work imaginable. What do you see in him?

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I know DavidA is a big Karajan fan but for me Karajan is like every conductor in that he's made some duds and some cracking recordings. For example I find his Schumann dull but his Beethoven excellent. I've just finished writing a small review for his Live Japan 77 Symphony cycle (to be posted with my next Beethoven cycles roundup, soon).

  3. #78
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    You seem to have a Karajan recording for every work imaginable. What do you see in him?
    Why do you make these statements? The fact is I haven't!

    Just I like exciting performances with superb orchestral playing. There is a frisson and energy in the Karajan performances which is quite astonishing. I know it's fashionable to diss him now - he was a victim of the 'tall poppy syndrome' among the less talented - but I have never followed fashion, especially in music. I like what I like.
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-12-2019 at 18:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I know DavidA is a big Karajan fan but for me Karajan is like every conductor in that he's made some duds and some cracking recordings. For example I find his Schumann dull but his Beethoven excellent. I've just finished writing a small review for his Live Japan 77 Symphony cycle (to be posted with my next Beethoven cycles roundup, soon).
    Yes like every great conductor he had his ups and downs, his great performances and his off days. This is what always amuses me when some tin-eared critic complains he conducted everything the same. He didn't even on his studio recordings. And when it came to live performances he could be as different as could be according to his mood. But get him on the right day the results were amazing. At least that's what the musicians said who played with him.
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-12-2019 at 20:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Why do you make these statements? The fact is I haven't!

    Just I like exciting performances with superb orchestral playing. There is a frisson and energy in the Karajan performances which is quite astonishing. I know it's fashionable to diss him now - he was a victim of the 'tall poppy syndrome' among the less talented - but I have never followed fashion, especially in music. I like what I like.
    I was just curious

  7. #81
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Yes like every great conductor he had his ups and downs, his great performances and his off days. This is what always amuses me when some tin-eared critic complains he conducted everything the same. He didn't even on his studio recordings. And when it came to live performances he could be as different as could be according to his mood. But get him on the right day the results were amazing. At least that's what the musicians said who played with him.
    I think the amazing thing about Karajan was his consistency but even more his control of the orchestra. Some may see that as an almost totalitarian control but it's not like that. Listen to all of Karajan's performances of Beethoven's 7th and you can hear it - the orchestra is in the palm of his hands and he maintains such an incredible line throughout the performances. It's flexible, never sounds rushed, sluggish or forced and is constantly moving forward. And yes, I agree that it's highly unfashionable to like him but so was vinyl and look how that's come back.

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    There is a great Bruno Walter interview where he talks about how to conduct Tristan und Isolde, a conductor needs passion in his heart, and to conduct Beethoven’s Pastorale he needs a love of nature. Karajan is Mr. Reliable. You always know the sound will be beautiful, the tempos just about right, and the execution exemplary. But it comes across as a well-oiled machine. I don’t hear the personal identification with the specific work.

    I received a wonderful compliment when performing Bach’s Ich habe genung a year ago. The concertmaster told me he was amazed at how I had a different color for each movement, and that it brought him to tears. It wasn’t something I consciously thought about. I just tried to personify what each movement spoke to. It is also what I look for in evaluating recordings. Many people I work with expect a basic sound applied to everything sung. Corporate efficiency. That’s not me.
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Jan-12-2019 at 23:22.

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  10. #83
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    Sorry if I was a little rough on old HvK. I do like some of his recordings. The Peer Gynt suites are gorgeous. He also made a great recording of Honegger symphonies. And he was great at Richard Strauss. I think tone poems suited him better, pieces that emphasized sound over structure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I think the amazing thing about Karajan was his consistency but even more his control of the orchestra. Some may see that as an almost totalitarian control but it's not like that. Listen to all of Karajan's performances of Beethoven's 7th and you can hear it - the orchestra is in the palm of his hands and he maintains such an incredible line throughout the performances. It's flexible, never sounds rushed, sluggish or forced and is constantly moving forward. And yes, I agree that it's highly unfashionable to like him but so was vinyl and look how that's come back.
    Interesting that the players of the BPO said it was like playing chamber music because he left them too play things themselves without giving a clear beat and only intervened if things went wrong. The opposite of what tin-eared critics like to say.

  12. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Sorry if I was a little rough on old HvK. I do like some of his recordings. The Peer Gynt suites are gorgeous. He also made a great recording of Honegger symphonies. And he was great at Richard Strauss. I think tone poems suited him better, pieces that emphasized sound over structure.
    I don't think the shade of HvK will mind you being 'a little rough on him' when millions have bought (and enjoyed) his recordings!

  13. #86
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    There is a great Bruno Walter interview where he talks about how to conduct Tristan und Isolde, a conductor needs passion in his heart, and to conduct Beethoven’s Pastorale he needs a love of nature. Karajan is Mr. Reliable. You always know the sound will be beautiful, the tempos just about right, and the execution exemplary. But it comes across as a well-oiled machine. I don’t hear the personal identification with the specific work.

    I received a wonderful compliment when performing Bach’s Ich habe genung a year ago. The concertmaster told me he was amazed at how I had a different color for each movement, and that it brought him to tears. It wasn’t something I consciously thought about. I just tried to personify what each movement spoke to. It is also what I look for in evaluating recordings. Many people I work with expect a basic sound applied to everything sung. Corporate efficiency. That’s not me.
    I frankly can't see what you receiving compliments for singing Bach has got to do with Karajan conducting Beethoven's Pastoral! I'm just listening to his 1850s performance and it really is something! But let me remind you the thread is about Mahler!
    Last edited by DavidA; Jan-13-2019 at 08:41.

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    Funny how the OP explicitly asks about Solti and gets a debate about HvK instead.

    I've not heard the Solti, but when I was looking for an account (after seeing Gergiev at the Proms, on TV with the World Orchestra for Peace), I settled on the LSO/Janssons. Seems pretty good to me. I also like Abbado/Lucerne.

    Solti plays the Andante/Scherzo the 'wrong' way round of course, which is why I've probably overlooked him, and listening to it now, the opening movement is a little too brisk for my taste. Mind you, if he keeps this up, it'll shorten the interminable 4th mvmt (Jansons clocks in at 30.41 where Solti is three minutes faster).

    [add] Not impressed with the Solti, or, more particularly, the orchestra. Some naff playing, I thought, though I suppose the engineer could be at fault.
    Last edited by MacLeod; Jan-13-2019 at 09:17.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    Funny how the OP explicitly asks about Solti and gets a debate about HvK instead.

    I've not heard the Solti, but when I was looking for an account (after seeing Gergiev at the Proms, on TV with the World Orchestra for Peace), I settled on the LSO/Janssons. Seems pretty good to me. I also like Abbado/Lucerne.

    Solti plays the Andante/Scherzo the 'wrong' way round of course, which is why I've probably overlooked him, and listening to it now, the opening movement is a little too brisk for my taste. Mind you, if he keeps this up, it'll shorten the interminable 4th mvmt (Jansons clocks in at 30.41 where Solti is three minutes faster).

    [add] Not impressed with the Solti, or, more particularly, the orchestra. Some naff playing, I thought, though I suppose the engineer could be at fault.
    Even funnier that it was OP who first injected Karajan into the discussion, not me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I frankly can't see what you receiving compliments for singing Bach has got to do with Karajan conducting Beethoven's Pastoral! I'm just listening to his 1850s performance and it really is something! But let me remind you the thread is about Mahler!
    I was explicitly clear how it relates. Karajan applies the same chromium-plated sound to every work. It is beautiful, but what does it tell you about the specific emotions of the work?

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  18. #90
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Even funnier that it was OP who first injected Karajan into the discussion, not me.
    Can't see where the OP mentions Karajan, but I could be overlooking it.. ?
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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