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Thread: Blind Comparison - Symphonie Fantastique

  1. #31
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Im not looking at that till tomorrow, after ive listened to E and said my bit.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    OK, since I've been up since 5.30 (after the cat vomited a huge hairball and then did a giant poo in her litter tray) I've finally had chance to listen to Recording E in full. So here's my final thoughts before I ruin it for myself by revealing Becca's answers. They rank as such;

    #1 D - The best account of the five. Suitably dark and heavy where needed. A classic account and one I've had years (so I got it straight away).
    #2 C - Despite the cavernous recording, sometimes suspect ensemble and tempi variations to the max I loved the spirit of this one. Loved the way the conductor just goes with the flow.
    Guess - as I alluded to a few days ago (the turbulent and crude LvB 9th) it sounds like Munch but I have Munch's BSO accounts so I'm confused. Otherwise Scherchen?
    #3 E - I'll take this one marginally over recording A as its steady-paced and lyrical. Definitely an older conductor with a great feel for rhythm and pulse. Good account but lacks a bit of character at the end.
    Guess - Blomstedt / some French orchestra
    #4 A - This is the one that has me really scratching my head. I like this very broad account but it is a long one but I suspect this is an old-school conductor who doesn't mind taking his time. I like this account for its individuality though.
    Guess - really haven't a clue, tbh, except that it's live, analogue (early 70s judging by sound). Could be any old-boy. French orchestra?
    #5 B - for me this is the only account I didn't like much. In fact I found it rather dull, indeed. Some nice moments of pizzicato but otherwise largely forgettable performance.
    Guess - early digital, European conductor and orchestra. Haitink? Not a clue.

    So there's my guesses. Off to check my answers and see how wide of the mark I am. Lol.
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-14-2018 at 08:16.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Sorry for a third post on the run. Becca, I never knew about that recording (will PM you). Some interesting choices and my guesses weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. I'll say no more.

  5. #34
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    These are the 5 performances...

    A - Sir John Barbirolli / SWR Symphony (concert performance)
    B - Riccardo Muti / Chicago Symphony (concert performance)
    C - Charles Munch / Hungarian Radio Symphony (concert performance *)
    D - Sir Thomas Beecham / French Radio Orchestra (ORTF) (studio performance)
    E - Rafael Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Sympony (concert performance

    * - It appears that this performance was a pre-concert run-through that was recorded without Munch's knowledge. There was a small invited audience which probably accounts for the very reverbrant acoustic.

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  7. #35
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Merl - there is one amongst them which I enjoy
    OK, let's see if I can guess, Becca. I don't have you down as a Munch fangirl (that sounds wrong lol), B and E aren't curious or dark enough....... So it's either Beecham's classic recording or the slow, emotional Barbirolli account. I'm sticking my neck out and going with Barbirolli. Am I right? There is something about that recording that appeals to me too.
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-15-2018 at 08:01.

  8. #36
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    OK, let's see if I can guess, Becca. I don't have you down as a Munch fangirl (that sounds wrong lol), B and E aren't curious or dark enough....... So it's either Beecham's classic recording or the slow, emotional Barbirolli account. I'm sticking my neck out and going with Barbirolli. Am I right? There is something about that recording that appeals to me too.
    Correct! The last two movements remind me of one of those slow-motion nightmares which seems all the worse for moving slowly, and that can fit the music just as well as more hectic tempi. Also the way that Barbirolli plays the waltz with that classic luftpause.

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