Page 5 of 116 FirstFirst 1234567891555105 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 1726

Thread: Explain fascination with Furtwängler

  1. #61
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    baloney....Toscanini has far, far more adherents among conductors of the 20th century, and present day than WF...the WF style of extreme romanticism really went out with him..the literalist approach has prevailed, undeniably....I'm not knocking Furtwangler, he was a great musician...but the current of classical music-making ran in a different direction during the 20th century...he was a holdover from the 19th century romantic style....things changed....the Toscanini/Weingartner approach prevailed.
    One of the problems with discussions of this sort is always that people tend to think of the current moment in time as an endpoint. There are plenty of examples, over the course of history, where things came, went, and returned. Assuming that classical music survives, we can only speculate about how it will be presented in the future, especially the distant future.

  2. Likes Byron liked this post
  3. #62
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    American Deep South
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Some modern critics and listeners are allergic to anything other than a literalist reading of a score. I call it musical fundamentalism. In my opinion what Furtwangler does is interpret the music. Sometimes it is called old-fashioned, Romantic, willful, interventionist...whatever. He was an original. There is no doubt.
    Is there a modern conductor who comes close to him? Barenboim tries. I think Bernstein succeeded in his sometimes derided late recordings. Just my take.
    I would add that WF opened my ears to Bruckner. Before hearing his Bruckner, I always found it very boring. His performances of 8 and 9 are revelations as is his Beethoven 9.
    Last edited by Gray Bean; May-17-2020 at 16:03.

  4. Likes Byron, Brahmsianhorn, Woodduck and 1 others liked this post
  5. #63
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by larold View Post
    ...His style went back to a time when there was individuality in all those things and a time when the metronome was not the standard for musical metrics. He had an elastic beat. There was a joke players couldn't understand his beat but recordings make it obvious they did.
    Toscanini, Reiner and Monteux had very elastic beats as well...supple, flexible...they don't employ the extreme tempo distortions of WF, but it is a total misconception to characterize Toscanini, Weingartner, etc as rigid time-beaters...it simply is not so. [I'm not saying you made such a claim]

    It is important to understand all of Furtwangler's recordings are one offs -- either radio broadcasts or other "live" performances.
    True, but many of Toscanini's are live performances or broadcasts, as well. alot of Reiner live performances are available today, as well....with AT and FR, it is amazing how similar the live performances are to the studio recordings.
    Again this is monumentally different from the way recordings are made today -- patched together from studio or multiple concert recordings so as to appear perfect when in fact they are not.
    true - patched together recordings can be very near perfect, but they risk losing the musical flow, the continuity....Ormandy drove his musicians nuts with his recording method - <<10 measures and stop...10 measures and stop...and so on>> then paste the whole thing together...

    It's true that the schools of conducting/interpretation diverged between WF, and Toscanini/Weingartner...I'm not saying that one is necessarily better than the other...however, thru the latter part of the 20th century, into the present, the literalist school has prevailed...we do not hear much Furtwangler, Mengelberg style performances these days...
    Last edited by Heck148; May-17-2020 at 16:07.

  6. #64
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I can think of so many Furtwangler recordings that are a revelation......I'm sure those who disagree have tried and listened to at least some of the recordings that wow me so any difference of opinion is just down to individual taste.
    That is me...as I stated previously, when I first got into classical/concert music, I was blown away by Furtwangler...it seemed so profound, so deep, so expressive....but as I became familiar with other styles this changed a bit - WF sounded mannered, even distorted, or dare I say it?? - portentous...
    I guess I just didn't buy into the concept that every harmonic half note in a Brahms or Beethoven symphony must be imbued with a cosmic significance...
    But I modified that as I went along...I don't think that WF was phony in any way...He truly believed in what he was doing, thought it to be the true way to express the music...iow - he wasn't putting anyone on....it just doesn't appeal all that much to me.

  7. Likes Merl liked this post
  8. #65
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    65
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Speaking for myself, because a great number of his recordings are absolutely overwhelming in their intensity and endlessly rewarding in the depth of their vision. In a way I see a lot of similarities with Furtwangler and another of my favorite performers of the 20th century -- Maria Callas. In both cases there is a unique phenomenon that one is not merely listening to an interpretation, but rather an almost visionary act of co-creation.

    I am especially fond of Furtwangler's Wagner.
    Last edited by MaxKellerman; May-17-2020 at 16:22.

  9. Likes Byron, Allegro Con Brio, wkasimer and 3 others liked this post
  10. #66
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post
    Why not just have someone re-enact his performances from recordings? I am sure there are such conductors who have memorized his interpretations of certain pieces...
    There are videos of great Maestros of the past, conducting entire pieces...i remember one of Weingartner, leading, iirc, Beethoven Eroica mvt I....it would be perfectly possible to put this on a screen in front of an orchestra, and let them play, following what they see on the screen....might be interesting...I don't know if it's been done

  11. #67
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    ^ Yes, they do say that Barenboim follows Furtwangler but I haven't really heard that in his work, which so often lacks the insights, inevitability and flow that Furtwangler achieved despite his flexible approach to tempo and so on. The best Barenboim performances seem not to be in the Furtwangler mode.
    I've heard that Barenboim is as "disciple" of Furtwangler, but it is not so apparent in his conducting. I've seen him live, several times, and have many of his recordings....yes, there is some influence, but nowhere near the extent of WF....
    I happen to like Barenboim, in general - his early Bruckner and Schumann cycles with Chicago, on DG, are really outstanding. I heard a live Bruckner #8 that was terrific, preceded by a magical "Parsifal" Prelude...I don't recall any great Furtwanglerian influences tho...

  12. #68
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    436
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Bean View Post
    Some modern critics and listeners are allergic to anything other than a literalist reading of a score. I call it musical fundamentalism. In my opinion what Furtwangler does is interpret the music. Sometimes it is called old-fashioned, Romantic, willful, interventionist...whatever. He was an original. There is no doubt.
    Is there a modern conductor who comes close to him? Barenboim tries. I think Bernstein succeeded in his sometimes derided late recordings. Just my take.
    I would add that WF opened my ears to Bruckner. Before hearing his Bruckner, I always found it very boring. His performances of 8 and 9 are revelations as is his Beethoven 9.
    Well, people claim that there is some literal reading of the score. As soon as a conductor "looks" at the score the literal part is thrown out the window. How can a composer write a literal reading of the score? How is it possible to know what intentions are realized and not? And, how can a composer not know once written that someone will bring something out of the score the composer would not have thought up.

    It gets really old to think that there is this thing out there called a score that exist in some reality as objective and all one has to do is literally interpret it. In fact, if people are arguing over it on so many fronts pretty well proves that such a thing does not exist. I am getting dangerously close to encroaching on religious doctrine as people argue over this and the author is missing in action but no matter, it is right there written as is.

  13. Likes Allegro Con Brio liked this post
  14. #69
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Like you, Becca, I've never seen the fascination either but that does not stop me admiring some of Furty's recordings. Like any conductor I listen to the recording and it either works for me or does not, I don't care who it is. Some rave over WF's intense interpretations whilst others find they represent a distorted view of many works. Whatever your opinion I think you owe it to yourself to see what the fuss is about. Some will get it, others will definitely not. I've heard most of Furty's 'must hear' recordings and many aren't for me or are better realised, performed, played and recorded by many others but they're all interesting, valid interpretations with a very individual voice. It's a shame he didn't live longer to put down more of his recordings in more acceptable sound.
    Very well said!!

  15. #70
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    One of the problems with discussions of this sort is always that people tend to think of the current moment in time as an endpoint. There are plenty of examples, over the course of history, where things came, went, and returned. Assuming that classical music survives, we can only speculate about how it will be presented in the future, especially the distant future.
    Indeed, the romantic style may certainly return to prevalence....or perhaps a merging of the two styles in some new formation.

  16. #71
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    6,283
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    78

    Default

    I have a lot of Barenboim (Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, etc) and don't find very many of his recordings Furtwangleresque apart from his 2nd Beethoven cycle (Beethoven for All) where he actually strove for that particular style. Interestingly that is his weakest set and got a lot of criticism on release. His first set is slower, bigger and more granitic in style but is way superior in every way.

  17. #72
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    436
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Indeed, the romantic style may certainly return to prevalence....or perhaps a merging of the two styles in some new formation.
    Is it gone? If I can purchase cds of all types of interpretations now I see it as a matter of choice. What does seem obscure is the future orchestra. The players who are multitasking all the while...seems like back before technology allow instant connections, musicians would have more focus on the music. I cannot help but think today that during a performance some performers are thinking of their smartphones....what am I missing............

    I am a little biased towards today's performers, not sure the future looks that bright so I hope all this music is preserved well for the future.

    Edit add on: Might add no one has knocked on my door and ask to see my cds and censor what I can hear or not. And then haul off the "banned" cds to be burned with the books, and whatever else deemed unworthy.....yet............
    Last edited by Bigbang; May-17-2020 at 18:38.

  18. #73
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,726
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbang View Post
    Let's get real here. Lots of singers/celebrities/talents are surrounded by the mystique of the person, and Furtwangler is no different.

    I can see it happening as new posters appear to be converts as if somehow it happen by accident listening to a recording. Hardly. And it goes on with all the other recordings (any name) that the "elders" lavish praise on to unsuspecting newbies, the legend stays alive.....
    That's circular reasoning. Because a conductor has a mystique attached to him, this proves his appeal lies in the mystique and not the actual recordings. I suppose then that the popularity of Bach and Beethoven is also bogus, according to your logic. Good art ceases being good art as soon as it becomes popular.

  19. #74
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbang View Post
    Is it gone? If I can purchase cds of all types of interpretations now I see it as a matter of choice. What does seem obscure is the future orchestra. The players who are multitasking all the while...seems like back before technology allow instant connections, musicians would have more focus on the music. I cannot help but think today that during a performance some performers are thinking of their smartphones....what am I missing............
    There are indeeed differences in today's music world regarding orchestras...two things, which, imo, have led to a more generic, homogeneous orchestral performance style:

    1.) the widespread, instantaneous availability of recordings, videos, information, that is easily accessed by musicians all over the world...the national, or regional "flavor" of orchestras has largely broken down, certainly in the ranks of the 2nd or 3rd level ensembles, which are very good overall...the 2nd, 3rd tier orchestras are much better than they were in past years or periods.
    2.) the present audition process - this has homogenized performance criteria to a huge degree. orchestra applicants now perform at least 2 rounds of auditions before a committee - initial screening, preliminary performance level...the music director does not become involved until the final rounds, to hear those applicants forwarded by committee...the watchwords are, therefore - play totally accurately technically and rhythmically, "play safe", do nothing controversial, "color inside the lines", "don't p*ss anyone off"....
    This is a marked change from a previous era - when the conductor had sole control over hiring and firing....the conductor would hear a particular player, realize that his/her style would fit well with his concept, arrange an audition, and likely hire that musician. this led to remarkable unanimity of ensemble and sound for that orchestra, esp for those conductors who held long tenures - ie - Szell, Ormandy....but many others as well. the top orchestras had their own characteristic sound, style, approach, tha could be readily identified....
    The top orchestras still do this, as they have feeder orchestras, programs, conservatories that further that particular style and promote those students to enter the top orchestra...but the 2nd, 3rd tier groups do not enjoy this "farm" program to any great extent...

  20. Likes Bigbang, Varick liked this post
  21. #75
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    436
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    That's circular reasoning. Because a conductor has a mystique attached to him, this proves his appeal lies in the mystique and not the actual recordings. I suppose then that the popularity of Bach and Beethoven is also bogus, according to your logic. Good art ceases being good art as soon as it becomes popular.
    No not at all. In fact, I am amazed here on this forum, posters can form opinions of recordings on a dime, with hardly the time to reflect. With all this lightening speed I am supposed to think they are giving out honest opinions of what they feel? Or perhaps they are under the influence of more senior classical music enthusiasts who they are trying to aspire to.

    Not sure what to make of good art and being popular but Beethoven and Bach ain't popular. Beethoven is just an easy composer to get for the newbie on average. Everything is based on what came before it so Furtwangler was influenced and now he influences those who make music today. My point is that not everyone is "in touch" with what they really want in CM so his fan base might be some who simply want to be in it for popularity sake.
    Last edited by Bigbang; May-17-2020 at 18:50.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •