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Thread: Recordings of Beethoven 8

  1. #136
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Reiner's Brahms 4 was recorded with the Royal PO in 10/62 - it should be available...great recording, along with Toscanini/NBC the top of the heap, imo...C. Kleiber is very good, but Reiner and AT head the list....
    Both Toscanini and Reiner make my list of essential Brahms 4ths. Their renditions very nearly approach, dare I say it, TRUTH.

    Furtwängler (1949) (Tahra, Preiser, Seven Seas)
    Weingartner (EMI, Living Era, Andante)
    Toscanini (1935) (EMI, Arkadia)
    Klemperer (1954) (Testament)
    Kleiber (DG)
    Abbado (DG)
    Reiner (Chesky)
    Van Beinum (Philips)

    Incidentally, I have NEVER bought Toscanini’s contention that he hears only Allegro con brio, any more than I buy Hurwitz’s contention that emotional responses to music amount to imaginary twaddle. In both cases they merely wanted to make their own aesthetic sound more authoritative. Antonin Scalia did the same on the Supreme Court, using supposed “fidelity” to the written law to cloak his own biases.

    Toscanini was a very emotional, passionate conductor, better than what we have today.

  2. #137
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Just saying.....

    c3enyrz4k9p31.jpg

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  4. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Universal truth is a standard, nothing more. It is impossible to define. But it exists, or we wouldn’t care.
    There are very, very few universal truths...the value of "c" - perhaps [tho that may vary in a black hole]...Planck's constant?? maybe...the Taoist concept of the interaction of all matter, energy, thought, in an ever-changing universe..?? perhaps...

    "Some people define perfection as playing correct notes and rhythms."
    No musician that I know of subscribes to this.

    Some people define perfection in more oblique terms. And when you strike gold, it’s better than any simple note perfect performance could ever be.
    I agree - a note perfect rendition, devoid of any musical expression is pretty useless....a passionately played, expressive performance, with a few technical glitches may have great musical value.

  5. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Both Toscanini and Reiner make my list of essential Brahms 4ths. Their renditions very nearly approach, dare I say it, TRUTH.
    They are magnificent renditions...very powerful and expressive.

    Incidentally, I have NEVER bought Toscanini’s contention that he hears only Allegro con brio, any more than I buy Hurwitz’s contention that emotional responses to music amount to imaginary twaddle.
    Toscanini delivered...I've no idea what his mindset was regarding the message of the music...we've only got the sonic results to go by, and they are indeed, impressive...
    I don't follow Hurwitz, and I am therefore not too interested in his opinion. of course, music may evoke an emotional response, it should!!..it is human communication....people will respond...great composers use artistic creative technique to produce these sounds...
    How each individual responds is up to each listener. but to say that art/music evokes no response from the audience/observer is pretty silly.

    Antonin Scalia did the same on the Supreme Court, using supposed “fidelity” to the written law to cloak his own biases.
    please, don't even mention that disgusting, hypocritical phony in the same thread as great artists like Toscanini, Furtwangler or Reiner...[I know political commentary belongs on another thread....mea culpa]

    Toscanini was a very emotional, passionate conductor, better than what we have today.
    yes, for sure....I favor those conductors who generate tremendous energy, alertness, risk-taking, a "swing-for-the-fences" approach to music-making...they produce exciting, riveting, passionate performances....Toscanini, Reiner, Furtwangler, Solti, all had it - so did Bernstein, Mravinsky....they gave their musicians the "green light"....They were powerful personalities who could control the orchestra...but they would let loose on the reins when needed, and the results are memorable...immortal, even....their performances continue to be adored, praised, appreciated [and purchased!!] to this day....
    It is not by accident that great musicians of the past are still revered today....

  6. #140
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    No, Stravinsky was right. In fact, he was very rarely wrong about anything he put into print. You can deny what he said all you like, like you can deny gravity, but you go ahead and jump off that roof carrying nothing but ordinary clothes, and we'll see how much your denial is worth.

    So, yes, there are some Universal truths, in fact. Gravity is one. The non-existence of telepathy, whether cliamed to be transmitted via sound waves or any other medium, is another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Nope. Emotional exchange is inherently part of the musical experience or we wouldn’t care. Stravinsky was limited and immature.
    By 1936 Stravinsky was widely recognized as one of the greatest composers, ever. He was also 51. So, he was neither limited nor immature.

    It is very well known that certain odors or fragrances can conjure up vivid memories, and sometimes provoke strong emotions with them, sometimes unexpectedly. Maybe the smell of burning wood summons up pleasant memories of a family campout, for example.

    But somehow no one is confused into thinking it's the smells themselves that express or carry the memories. Certainly not. They are attached to a memory by the human brain receiving them, and the reappearance of that connection is incidental to the particles' substance in the air which comprises the fragrance. The odors communicate and express nothing whatsoever inherent to themselves.

    Furthermore the wood burning smells that bring up cozy memories of grandma's cabin in the woods and her fireplace in the winter to one person, to someone else might remind them of a horrific tragedy, the fear and horror when their house burned down and everyone in their family but them died in agony.

    Music likewise does not carry inherent meaning or expression. Emotion attached to music is formed by the experiences and expectations in the brain of the listener. That's it. For one person, Beethoven's Third Symphony will throw them into an ecstasy such that they are driven to tear their clothes off; to another it's just forking boring and it's rather the music of Nicki Minaj which does that for them. Neither experience is invalid in itself, but neither is either an inherent property of the actual music.

    To one person, it's horrifying discord and noise; to another, it's a prelude for piano by Rachmaninoff.

    A composer's state of mind, their emotions while composing, their intention, anything at all in terms of inspiration, are all in line with a listener's experience only in so far as the attached musical tropes are agreed upon, consciously or otherwise, as the basis of shared, established cultural expectations and experiences. Otherwise, without those established tropes from past experience, which are not an inherent compoment of music, it's a chaotic system and the listener has no idea, and can have no idea, as to what the intended emotions of the composer (if any) were, from the music alone, certainly not without being told.

    Sure, there are onomatopoetic possibilities. For example: some low rumbling sounds, some haphazard string pizzicatos, and you might bring to the listener's mind impending rain. But that's not expressing rain, or the fear that the picnic will be ruined; it's just manufacturing a sound with different means to resemble another sound.

    The performer also does not communicate emotion via the medium of musical performance. Despite all myths to the contrary, what a musician is thinking about overwhelmingly most of the time is first of all counting (dancers, too, by the way), and concentrating on not screwing up what they practiced. This goes for conductors as well: mostly counting, and maintaining a physical pattern with just enough showboating so the audience thinks there's emotion happening, but don't forget to cue the timpani. The conductor or any musician has way too much to do in the moment, mostly counting, to be deeply involved in any particular feeling.

    (I mean, maybe some people get off on counting numbers... I'm not one to kink shame...)

    Getting back to conductors. No one conductor can have an inherently greater or more valid emotional reality about a composition than another. Not possible. You might prefer one who sticks pretty close to the text. Or another who is constantly taking liberties. Neither is more or less expressive of emotion, of some farcical emotional truth that is basically pure superstition.

    Telepathy is not real.
    Last edited by Knorf; Mar-04-2021 at 02:55. Reason: Electromagnetic radiation and human error are real

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  8. #141
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    The only Universal Truth in the arts is that there isn't one.

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  10. #142
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    The only Universal Truth in the arts is that there isn't one.
    Indeed! You try to box in art, and say to art, this box defines you and nothing else does, what art immediately does is give you the finger and bust right on out

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  12. #143
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    For the last time, will anyone listen to me when I say that the universal truth I am talking about is an abstract concept and NOT something concrete? I feel like I’ve been making this point for a year and still no one gets it. It is something we strive for, nothing more. You can’t make a statement “this is a universal truth.” It’s undefinable.

    Why is this not a semantic point? Because the alternative is to say that everything we do is random, aimless, and has no purpose behind it, and I don’t believe that.
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Mar-04-2021 at 03:31.

  13. #144
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    The only Universal Truth in the arts is that there isn't one.
    Right. That statement is an attempt at universal truth, which can never be defined. You just made my point perfectly.

  14. #145
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry so instead I will slightly mangle a quote...

    "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the [Universal Truth] is, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened."

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  16. #146
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Yay! A Douglas Adams quote!

    And, oh yeah, it's totally already happened.

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  18. #147
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    We are all in agreement here that universal truth can never be reached or defined.

    Why do you think it was such a big deal that Judaism defined God as “he who has no name?” Because the idea was the infinite unknowable, contrasting with the tangible idols of worship that preceded. The concept is the same.

    Universal truth only exists in the abstract. But if it didn’t exist in that abstract, then everything would be random and we wouldn’t even care to be having these discussions.

  19. #148
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Don't include me in 'we are all...' ...and on that note I am out of here.

  20. #149
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Once again, discussion has gone completely off-topic.

    The subject of this thread is Recordings of Beethoven 8. Please stick to that topic, and if anyone wants to discuss other matters, open a thread with that subject to do so.

    Posts not directly related to the subject may be deleted.

  21. #150
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    .

    Posts not directly related to the subject may be deleted.
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    As I said before, although I love all movements of the 8th, I have a real passion for the outer movements and think that, especially, the finale is terrific in the right hands. It can take a fair degree of interpretive choices too but I love how Scherchen and Chailly shape it. Yeah, I know they're both very quick but both are such a thrill too and both conductors unfold the music even at such high speeds. Chailly really does get bags of detail in and there's even time for some air around the instruments, which, given these tempi, is some achievement. The horn playing sounds superb throughout that Chailly set but it's exceptional here. Scherchen slightly lightens the strings to get full effect in his finale (but you'd never know it).
    Last edited by Merl; Mar-04-2021 at 09:33.

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