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Thread: Explain fascination with Furtwängler

  1. #466
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I mentioned having taken conducting class back in college. I actually originally enrolled in music school wanting to be a conductor (inspired by...guess who?) but fell into singing as there were gigs readily available and conducting is hard to break into. I did have the opportunity once to conduct a choir and orchestra, part of a seminar for interested registrants. Haven't picked up a baton since, though I fill in to conduct my church choir on rare occasion.

    How'd I do? (Be kind)
    Great job! You should do more!
    Last edited by Knorf; May-30-2020 at 21:27.

  2. #467
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    Great job! You should do more!
    Thanks! I’ve been waiting for my singing voice to deteriorate, and as I approach 50 that’s becoming more of a reality
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; May-30-2020 at 21:32.

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  4. #468
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I’ve been waiting for my singing voice to deteriorate, and as I approach 50 that’s becoming more a reality
    I just hit 50. My bassoon chops are still the best I've ever had, but I know I can "look forward" to a long, inevitable decline. Luckily composition is very different!

    I'm serious about liking your Haydn, by the way. If you haven't noticed, I calls it as I sees it. I hope you get to do more!

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  6. #469
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I mentioned having taken conducting class back in college. I actually originally enrolled in music school wanting to be a conductor (inspired by...guess who?) but fell into singing as there were gigs readily available and conducting is hard to break into. I did have the opportunity once to conduct a choir and orchestra, part of a seminar for interested registrants. Haven't picked up a baton since, though I fill in to conduct my church choir on rare occasion.

    How'd I do? (Be kind)

    I haven't watched this yet, but plan to. Nevertheless, congratulations for your courage in posting this on this sort of thread! Quite risky.

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  8. #470
    Senior Member Varick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    How grossly tone deaf. The word "cult" is almost always a term of ridicule. It "comes in" (it doesn't walk in by itself, by the way) when someone wants to pose as a person of superior judgment and maturity and impute an imagined excess of enthusiasm to someone else. There may be some justification in applying it figuratively to some really outlandish or irrational behavior. It has no application to the subject at hand. There is no "Furtwangler cult."
    I'm surprised at the level of recoil the word "cult" has here. Particularly with you Woodduck. You have been historically one of the more level heads here in TC (imo). I understand and agree with your literal interpretation of the word, but I don't believe the context of which it was said pages ago warrant such a vehement decry of it's use here. I "get" when people use the term "Gould cult." I am a HUGE fan of Gould's Bach and Baroque works (I can't stand his late classical and romantic works). If someone were to tell me that I am part of the Gould "cult," 1. I wouldn't take offense to it. Mainly because 2. I understand the context in which it is probably given. I also hardly ever take "offense" to anything.

    I'm not defending nor advocating the word. It's just that I've never felt hostility from someone who's used it, particularly in an "artistic" context. When I hear someone call a movie that I happen to love (ex: The Big Lebowski) a "cult classic," it has never occurred to me that I should be insulted, feel ridiculed, or feel like the person is being "superior." Maybe it's just me.

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    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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  10. #471
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    For better of worse, "cult" is usually associated with nut-job leaders and followers. I consider it insulting as I also do the term "fanboy".

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  12. #472
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    In religious terms, "cult" refers to a religion in which the founder and leader is still living. So the Mormons were a cult for a while, until the leader died.
    But there are other meanings. WIK: In modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions both in popular culture and academia and it has also been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.
    It is usually considered pejorative...In the English-speaking world the word "cult" often carries derogatory connotations. It has always been controversial because it is (in a pejorative sense) considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices.

    Another reason the term is offensive to certain members:
    WIK:
    In the 1940s, the long-held opposition by some established Christian denominations to non-Christian religions and/or supposedly heretical, or counterfeit, Christian sects crystallized into a more organized Christian countercult movement in the United States. For those belonging to the movement, all religious groups claiming to be Christian, but deemed outside of Christian orthodoxy, were considered cults.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-31-2020 at 13:02.

  13. #473
    Senior Member Varick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    How'd I do? (Be kind)

    I don't know much about the actual "technique" of conducting, but I know what a conductor does having sat in and watched and listened to many many rehearsals. I know when a conductor brings out the essence, spirit, dynamics, color, etc in a piece and I can read scores OK. I enjoyed that video. I thought your left hand was great at emphasizing what you wanted out of that piece. Well done sir!

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  15. #474
    Senior Member Varick's Avatar
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    If one has a musical background (I have a degree in music, so I can read music), is it difficult to learn how to conduct? To be clear, I am not asking if it is difficult to be a "great" conductor, I am just asking if it is difficult to learn the basics enough to conduct say an easier piece of orchestral music such as an early Mozart or Haydn symphony?

    V
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  16. #475
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varick View Post
    I'm not sure what that even means. Could you please elaborate? I read it as an endorsement of HIP style, but I do not want to put words in your mouth. Thank you.

    V
    In a way that would probably be recognised more easily by the composers concerned. The word 'musician' should have read 'music' of course.

  17. #476
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I mentioned having taken conducting class back in college. I actually originally enrolled in music school wanting to be a conductor (inspired by...guess who?) but fell into singing as there were gigs readily available and conducting is hard to break into. I did have the opportunity once to conduct a choir and orchestra, part of a seminar for interested registrants. Haven't picked up a baton since, though I fill in to conduct my church choir on rare occasion.

    How'd I do? (Be kind)

    That sounded fine to me. Well done you!

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  19. #477
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varick View Post
    If one has a musical background (I have a degree in music, so I can read music), is it difficult to learn how to conduct? To be clear, I am not asking if it is difficult to be a "great" conductor, I am just asking if it is difficult to learn the basics enough to conduct say an easier piece of orchestral music such as an early Mozart or Haydn symphony?

    V
    Conducting is very personal IMO. Just like speaking, the goal is to be able to convey what is going on in your head, except you use movement instead of speech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Conducting is very personal IMO. Just like speaking, the goal is to be able to convey what is going on in your head, except you use movement instead of speech.
    Excellent, almost telepathic! Of course most of it has been conveyed before by speech/practice but what exactly is going on that reminders are needed or that, oops, let's forget what was agreed upon, let's do it this way on the spur of the moment. I guess live performances require a change based on what it going on where excitement causes the conductor to use gestures to convey last minute decisions.

  21. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    I mentioned having taken conducting class back in college. I actually originally enrolled in music school wanting to be a conductor (inspired by...guess who?) but fell into singing as there were gigs readily available and conducting is hard to break into. I did have the opportunity once to conduct a choir and orchestra, part of a seminar for interested registrants. Haven't picked up a baton since, though I fill in to conduct my church choir on rare occasion.

    How'd I do? (Be kind)

    Bravo!!! More!!!

  22. #480
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Interesting article on artists during the Nazi era. I came across this while listening to Elly Ney, a very talented pianist, especially in Mozart, and then feeling disturbed as I looked at her biography. She seems to have been an unrepentant Nazi.

    The following is an article written by British pianist Stephen Hough on the subject, entitled, "Adolph Hitler's favorite pianist", and published March 23rd, 2009:

    "Most of us spend most of our moral lives in the middle - sitting on a fence broader then the gardens on either side. Our days are filled with small acts of cowardice and laziness alternating randomly with small acts of generosity and kindness. The big gestures, whether courageous or cruel, usually pass us by - more often through circumstance than through choice. But at certain times in history, circumstance demands of people difficult or demanding choices, forcing them to confront virtue and vice in real situations, when such choices involve life and death ... for themselves and for others. There were two female pianists in the last century, both Beethoven specialists and exact contemporaries, who did not sit on the broad fence like most of us, but who stood in the gardens on opposite sides with utter conviction and determination.

    Elly Ney (1882-1968), it is said, was a "fanatical supporter" of Hitler. She voluntarily joined the Nazi party in 1937, participated in 'cultural education camps', became an honorary member of the League of German Girls, and wrote adoring letters to "mein Führer". According to the pianist Edward Kilenyi, who was a captain in the U.S. Army at the time, she would read extracts of Hitler's writings and solder's letters from the concert stage; and in Salzburg, where she taught during the war, she used to honor Beethoven's bust with a Nazi salute. After the war she was banned from performing in Bonn, and a request in 1952 for this ban to be lifted was refused. Her career, which had flourished in the earlier years of the century, never recovered, and just last year the mayor of Tutzing, the small Bavarian town where she died, finally removed her portrait from the Town Hall.

    Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965) could easily have escaped safely to America at the outbreak of the Second World War, where she had a huge following, but she chose to abandon her international career and stay at home in central London during the worst of the bombing. After the outbreak of war all public places of entertainment were closed, but she convinced the government to allow her to start a daily series of concerts at the National Gallery which began on 10th October 1939 and continued until 1946. Although all the paintings and sculptures had been removed for safe-keeping, and occasional daytime air raids meant that the audience and musicians had to retreat to the basement, 824,000 people attended 1,698 concerts during London's darkest days. Dame Myra felt that music could give a geniune moral boost to people facing terror and hardship, and she prepared to risk her life and livelihood for that cause.

    Most of us fall into the middle of these two extremes, and our various shades of moral grey can fluctuate daily, depending on all kinds of varying circumstances. Some artists who left Nazi Germany were courageous, some selfish; some who stayed there were courageous, some selfish. Some began well but descended to evil and collaboration; others began badly but later discovered heroism and humanity. I mean to prove nothing by placing these two formidable ladies next to each other in this way, except, perhaps, to pose the question: is there a moral dimension to music? Can a person who does evil things be a great artist?"

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