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Which performance(s) do you prefer (up to 2 choices)

  • A

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • B

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • C

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • D

    Votes: 1 14.3%
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
#3 IS intended to be somewhat disturbing considering that the motivation was memories of the WW1 battle fields. Given that #5 includes music intended for Pilgrim's Progress, there is more solace in it. Having said that, a really good performance of #5 should have a subtle edge to it, which is why I preferred the Handley/RLPO recording to the Barbirolli/Halle which I first got to know.
 

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This has always been my view, too. no. 3 is too disturbing to be a true Pastoral symphony and I find it more emotionally searching somehow than 5, despite plenty of beautiful moments in the latter.
Good to know we share a similar opinion. I kind of think that A Pastoral Symphony is RVW's war symphony (or war-reminiscence symphony), while No. 5 is his pastoral symphony with war elements under WWII circumstances.
 

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#3 IS intended to be somewhat disturbing considering that the motivation was memories of the WW1 battle fields. Given that #5 includes music intended for Pilgrim's Progress, there is more solace in it. Having said that, a really good performance of #5 should have a subtle edge to it, which is why I preferred the Handley/RLPO recording to the Barbirolli/Halle which I first got to know.
Nicely put! Now I need to check out the Handley!
 

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B next. Good playing is apparent. It is slow and beautiful like C, but the build-up and release is slightly more thoroughly done, and the characters of the music also stand out a bit more prominently. Maybe the slowness helps in articulating different moods. However, like C, much of the edge is barely noticeable probably due to the slowness. Overall, it is decent like C, but honestly I would like to hear it played faster.
 

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TBH, aside from the comments I made about the first few minutes of the opening movement, I found the differences between the four to be minimal, thus making a choice difficult.

B, 4th movement, in the early bars, there appeared to be a solo violin prominently recorded from the rest of the strings, where A, C and D didn't. The reentry of the horns at about 3:30 sounded slightly more or slightly less like a car horn blaring, so I assume that is as written.

In my Haitink, there is no car horn, the playing seems generally more even...I see no reason to give it up in favour of these four, but then again, odd individual quirks aside, they all seemed ok.

Am I missing something?
 

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Lastly, A. Good playing again. It is also slow and beautiful, like B & C. However, it is a bit more fussy and even pretentious at places (mostly in the Preludio). The Scherzo, despite its faster speed, sounds flatter than B & C; but the Romanza and the Passacaglia sound more purposeful, and the build-up and release are rather good.

Honestly I cannot say I like any of these four enough to vote. A, B & C are decent in execution, but I definitely prefer something faster and more flowing. D's tempo is decent and it flows fluently, but it sounds flatter than the others. Its compressed dynamic range also does not help.

I am in a bit of a rush this time to play catchup. Ideally I would listen to them a few more times before making comments. Never mind. I am glad I made it this round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Big thanks to everyone who took part ... here are the details ...
A - Royal College of Music Symphony - Antonio Pappano
B - Oslo Philharmonic - Vasily Petrenko
C - London Symphony - Simon Rattle
D - BBC Symphony - Adrian Boult

All of them are live performances
B - A 'pandemic' concert, i.e. in their hall but no audience
C - Also a 'pandemic' concert from 2020, the pseudo-Proms of that year, in the Royal Albert Hall with no audience and members of the orchestra are all socially-distanced.
D - A very recent, first ever release from a Proms concert.
 

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Wow. It's good to know that Pappano's LSO Live VW recording is not the only VW recording of his that I love! I wouldn't have guessed that the orchestra were students. And don't I look stupid saying that the recording that turned out to be by Boult was trying to make the work sound un-English!

That challenge was harder work than usual but I found it very worthwhile spending some extended time with the work. Thanks, Becca!
 

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Despite my best efforts, I just could not finish the comparison in the given time frame - Over the course of the past five days I haven't been able to find the time needed to listen to the four movements of any of the symphonies sequentially from start to finish. My apologies for not being able to do the thread the justice it deserves. My compliments on the effort expended on your behalf.
 

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Yet again, a conductor I've never heard of produces results more to my liking than bigger names. Unlike his namesake Kyrill, Vasily Petrenko is at least a musician :)
The Boult was a bit of a surprise as, although he's a little brisker than I like in my old LP, it's nothing compared to your live performance.
 

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I watched the Rattle at the time, though I don't recall much about it...the 5th is fine enough, but it hasn't made the same impression as the 3rd, 6th and 7th.

Thanks again for arranging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yet again, a conductor I've never heard of produces results more to my liking than bigger names. Unlike his namesake Kyrill, Vasily Petrenko is at least a musician :)
The Boult was a bit of a surprise as, although he's a little brisker than I like in my old LP, it's nothing compared to your live performance.
Vasily Petrenko was the MD of the Royal Liverpool Phil for many years and recently took over the Royal Philharmonic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of Covent Garden for the last 20 years. He takes over from Rattle at the London Symphony in a year or two. Despite the name he is English.
 

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Big thanks to everyone who took part ... here are the details ...
A - Royal College of Music Symphony - Antonio Pappano
B - Oslo Philharmonic - Vasily Petrenko
C - London Symphony - Simon Rattle
D - BBC Symphony - Adrian Boult

All of them are live performances
B - A 'pandemic' concert, i.e. in their hall but no audience
C - Also a 'pandemic' concert from 2020, the pseudo-Proms of that year, in the Royal Albert Hall with no audience and members of the orchestra are all socially-distanced.
D - A very recent, first ever release from a Proms concert.
And all but the Boult currently available on Youtube!
 

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I'd have loved to get involved with the Blind Comparison, as I always have, Becca, but I'm pulled out at work at the moment (covering for missing staff, PRD, reports, etc)
When life calms down, next month, I'll be back to comment.
 

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Yay - I'm happy to have selected Boult as one of my two preferences, having said that if someone put a gun to my head and said name the conductor of 'D' Boult would not have sprung to mind. Which only goes to show how enlightening (and dangerous) these 'Blind Comparisons' invariably are.

Add my thanks to the crew, Becca - based on your recommendation I'm away to dig out my copy of Handley to see how he deals with the symphony.
 
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