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Thread: Explain fascination with Furtwängler

  1. #631
    Senior Member Red Terror's Avatar
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    Man has always had a weak grasp of the truth.
    Last edited by Red Terror; Jun-30-2020 at 18:32.

  2. #632
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Did I say only Furtwangler? My point, again, is that his whole purpose was to convey that truth, and obviously he was successful or he would not have attracted the following he did. You're not trying to argue that people listen to Furtwangler for pinpoint accuracy, are you?
    I'm absolutely not. I'm just trying to understand how can music convey any such inherent truth?

    I don't see how one could claim that a piece is inherently "something" because that should, correct me if I'm wrong, mean that it can be perceived objectively as this "something". This inherent objective truth should be apparent for not only Furtwängler and a few others, but for significantly more people. Also, if Furtwängler and some others understood it, why aren't their interpretation identical if this truth was indeed objective? Music is abstract by nature and in my opinion its goal, in contrast to many other arts, is not to represent the exterior world but something less concrete.
    Last edited by annaw; Jun-30-2020 at 18:43.

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  4. #633
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    Do I need to call on the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization to come in here and clean up the mess? Grab the "hazmat" suits.

    My doctor tells me I need to limit my exposure to toxic Internet debates. So I must bid this thread adieu.

    The good news is my lingering doubt has been assuaged. I am confident I need pay recordings of Furtwängler no further attention. I had been wondering. No longer! Thanks, all. Cheers.
    I'm joining you, mate. I advise anyone with any sense to do the same. Once I saw a triple post I knew it was time to concentrate on something more fulfilling (like putting the bins out).

    i-think-weve-covered-this-topic-please-move-along.jpg

  5. #634
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I'm absolutely not. I'm just trying to understand how can music convey any such inherent truth?

    I don't see how one could claim that a piece is inherently "something" because that should, correct me if I'm wrong, mean that it can be perceived objectively as this "something". This inherent objective truth should be apparent for not only Furtwängler and a few others, but for significantly more people. Also, if Furtwängler and some others understood it, why aren't their interpretation identical if this truth was indeed objective? Music is abstract by nature and in my opinion its goal, in contrast to many other arts, is not to represent the exterior world but something less concrete.
    You are totally missing the point. Furtwangler's greatness was not in possessing the truth, it was in continually seeking the truth. His conception of a work was never "finished." It was never "perfect." Sometimes it could change wildly from one day to the next. Barbirolli was like this too. It was Toscanini who saw the score as self-evident.

    There is an old saying that Beethoven's music was better than it could ever be played.

    Furtwangler himself once said that we can never achieve in performance the essence of a work. We can only hope to approximate it.

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  7. #635
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Well, that's the whole point of the cartoon. People who want perfect execution will gravitate towards that. People who want spirit of the music will gravitate towards that. Obviously Furtwangler understood the truth inherent in the music to have attracted the following he did and does. The perfectionist crowd only hears the outer shell of what he is doing because their standards for listening are different.
    Oh for goodness sake! So musicians who want to play all the right notes gravitate towards something which isn't the truth and people who play the wrong ones gravitate towards the truth. What a load of sentimental twaddle! Like dear old Stanley Baldwin used to say, "I'm not clever, I'm just honest!" As if you couldn't be clever and honest at the same time! I can assure you there are plenty of musicians who can bring out the 'truth' of the music (whatever that might be) while still playing all the right notes. If not I should be playing to sold-out halls after the pandemic as playing the wrong notes (and getting to the truth of the music) is something I happen to be rather good at!

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  9. #636
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    You are totally missing the point. Furtwangler's greatness was not in possessing the truth, it was in continually seeking the truth. His conception of a work was never "finished." It was never "perfect." Sometimes it could change wildly from one day to the next. Barbirolli was like this too. It was Toscanini who saw the score as self-evident.

    There is an old saying that Beethoven's music was better than it could ever be played.

    Furtwangler himself once said that we can never achieve in performance the essence of a work. We can only hope to approximate it.
    And some of his performances were sure approximate!

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    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    It seems like Furtwangler rivals even Karajan in inspiring internet vitriol.

    I find the most fascinating thing about him to be the name. There's a brand of jelly in the U.S. which used to have the advertising tag line, "with a name like Schmuckers, it has to be good."

    He was on the "takes more liberties with the score" side of the spectrum, compared with Szell, Solti, Reiner, Toscanini, who were on the "takes less liberties" side of the spectrum. Often Furtwangler's liberties were felicitous, not always. The claims about "truth" miss the point. It doesn't matter if it is "true," it matters if you can make it seem so.
    Last edited by Baron Scarpia; Jun-30-2020 at 19:13.
    There are two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington.

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  13. #638
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    You are totally missing the point. Furtwangler's greatness was not in possessing the truth, it was in continually seeking the truth.His conception of a work was never "finished." It was never "perfect." Sometimes it could change wildly from one day to the next. Barbirolli was like this too. It was Toscanini who saw the score as self-evident.

    There is an old saying that Beethoven's music was better than it could ever be played.

    Furtwangler himself once said that we can never achieve in performance the essence of a work. We can only hope to approximate it.
    Pardon if I did. I based my own points on your previous posts.

    I guess I'm joining with Merl and Knorf though. Some great Tannhäuser recordings are waiting to be listened to !
    Last edited by annaw; Jun-30-2020 at 19:21.

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  15. #639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    You're big on the erudite replies today.
    you're big on BS today.

    as if the music simply speaks for itself
    It does speak for itself, as long as you don't clutter it up with a lot of non-musical, phony metaphysical, pseudo-philosophical garbage.

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  17. #640
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Obviously Furtwangler understood the truth inherent in the music to have attracted the following he did and does....
    LOL!! complete, utter horse-dung....give it a break BH....

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  19. #641
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    My doctor tells me I need to limit my exposure to toxic Internet debates. So I must bid this thread adieu.
    Yup!! It's just not worth it to becoming entangled in this maelstrom of musical miasma.

  20. #642
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I'm joining you, mate. I advise anyone with any sense to do the same.
    you've got it Bro....it's [still] unreal.

  21. #643
    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    you've got it Bro....it's [still] unreal.
    You think that referring to other people's opinions as garbage is not toxic?
    There are two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington.

  22. #644
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    LOL!! complete, utter horse-dung....give it a break BH....
    So what's the appeal of Furtwangler then? What is your explanation for his popularity still today?

  23. #645
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    You think that referring to other people's opinions as garbage is not toxic?
    It's his own insecurity lashing out. Must win at all costs. Kind of like Toscanini. Claim to have a monopoly on authenticity and be as driven and perfect as possible, and then nobody can doubt you. The first rule of thumb for a real truth-seeker is to admit that you do not and cannot ever fully know it.

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