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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What are your impressions? I think it's a great platform for presentation and discussion of classical music. However, a lot of it seems self-serving as Hurwitz promotes himself and his personal biases and heavily polices the comments, which is a shame because there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there with a lot to add.

This is a pretty fun topic:


Off my head, my list would include:

1. Mahler, Symphony No. 7 (my personal favorite, though I know it is controversial)
2. Beethoven, Eroica (1959 stereo EMI)
3. R. Strauss, Metamorphosen (EMI)
4. Bach, Mass in B minor (EMI)
5. Mozart, Symphony No. 40 (1956 EMI)
6. Beethoven, Pastoral (studio EMI)
7. Mahler, Symphony No. 2 (live 1965 EMI)
8. Beethoven, Fidelio (EMI studio)
9. Brahms, Symphony No. 2 (studio EMI)
10. Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 (1961 live Testament, slightly over 1957 live Testament)

Four more:

Bruckner, Symphony No. 6 (studio EMI)
Mahler, Symphony No. 9 (studio EMI)
Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde (studio EMI)
Bruckner, Symphony No. 4 (live Munich EMI)

Celebrated recordings that don't crack my list:

Bach, St Matthew Passion (not enough drama and momentum)
Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem (not flexible enough)
Mozart, Die Zauberflote (great singing, but a little heavy for this work)

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok. Can you please add the posts from the previous thread to this one?

I think I made about 3 posts that I think were quite valuable, informative and positive (my view, of course - happy to be challenged). And I know of who others posted of at least equal value.

Can you please do this so that we can have a reasoned exchange of ideas about music, commentary, and a general discussion about what we all love?
You can always copy and paste. I linked the other thread on the previous page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
No. I'm not going abuse the people on this blog with endless repetition. If I like Hurwitz' videos I'll just look at them. If I don't I won't look at his YouTube videos. It's soo simple.
If Hurwitz doesn't like Norrington, he can just ignore him. Why does he have to endlessly refer to him as the world's worst conductor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
Perhaps it's the same motivation as it is for those who keep criticizing Hurwitz...
Well sure. But the point is why is that same critic immune to criticism himself? There are some here who are going to exorbitant lengths to protect and inflate Hurwitz's public image.

And yeah, if he wasn't such a *******, I wouldn't be posting about him. But he keeps giving me fresh, new ammunition. That's not my fault.

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I confess: I bought a t-shirt. The red one, "Make American Classical Again". It has drawn some attention at orchestra rehearsals.
That's one we can all get behind, as opposed to his other recent one:

"It's okay to like things that suck…just admit it."

What possible relevance does that slogan have to anyone who doesn't share Hurwitz's juvenile psychosis of needing to feel superior about his musical preferences?
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
It's a lousy recording. On many different different levels. Looking at the video makes me want to puke.
It's one of the greatest recordings in existence, as many people have and will continue to observe, but that's not the point.

The point is that I bet if someone made a video entitled "Why David Hurwitz sucks as a classical music reviewer," you would take offense. Wouldn't you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
It makes me puke. But you will never ever accept any other opinion.
Good Lord, I accept any and all opinions. I'm not the one making a video saying the recording "sucks" which by extension impugns anyone who disagrees.

Can you not see the hypocrisy here? According to you, I'm not allowed to have a different opinion of that 9th, and I'm also not allowed to criticize Hurwitz. But it's perfectly fine for Hurwitz to make a public video saying it sucks and deleting any comments saying otherwise.

You're really backing yourself into a corner here. Your essential argument is that only your opinion matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 · (Edited)
My opinion is that all opinions count. One just needs to consider if it is an INFORMED opinion. Read the opinion and let it go.
What is an "informed" opinion?

In any case, I'm sorry you don't like hearing negative critiques of Hurwitz's videos posted in these threads. My advice is that you just read the opinion and let it go.

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
I can understand that, but they bang on about it continually, saying if you don't like reading their discourse, just read the opinion and let it go. Perhaps they should take their own advice when reading or listening to Hurwitz.
Uh, that was me quoting verbatim another poster telling him to take his own advice.

My main problem with Hurwitz, stated in the other thread, is that he treats his own biases and opinions as fact and goes so far as to accuse others of being dishonest in their statement of their preferences. He is incapable of hearing what others hear, and so he declares his to be the only possible reality.

Aside from being psychotic, his schtick possibly prevents newcomers from even discovering some of the great music out there. I think in the end though most people would never see someone who conducts himself like Hurwitz to be the ultimate authority anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Hurwitz is not qualified to decide what is objectively good or bad. He has a limited understanding of what constitutes good art.

That is the essential point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 · (Edited)
David Hurwitz is a musical simpleton. He does not know the difference between good and bad music, and he resents the people who do know the difference. This is the reason for his vitriol. He is a Salieri-like figure, jealous of those with a real talent for music appreciation. So he substitutes his dumbed-down version of it - balances, intonation, clarity, fidelity to the score - as a way to "get back" at the intelligentsia, most symbolized by the sinister British reviewers whom he despises. This is why he paints himself as a man of the people who speaks "plainly." Typical low-level populist jargon.

Again, his video "Why Furtwängler's 1942 Nazi Ninth Really Sucks" is revealing.

In the description he writes:

"this ramshackle, horribly engineered live recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony..."

A 6-year-old could tell you this is a really old recording, but the reality is that compared to other 1942 live recordings, this one has pretty good sound. Regardless, Hurwitz only can and only does evaluate this sublime performance on this simplistic basis. It is all he really knows how to do. He knows nothing about music beyond simple mechanics.

"...represents for some poor, delusional souls, the ultimate transcendental statement by the most "spiritual" of all conductors."

Here is where the vitriol comes out. He hates the people who hear music on a level of which he is incapable. So his refuge is to accuse them of imagining what they hear, as if there is some grand conspiracy among generations of people to pretend there is value in this recording despite poor Dave's inability to comprehend the same.

"It's pure bunk. "

Classic Dave Hurwitz delusion. I can't appreciate it, therefore it objectively must have no value. My limited, personal reality is the only possible reality. Otherwise, I would have to be confronted with my own limitations. Instead I will inflict my reality on the world as the only acceptable alternative.

"Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

And here we have the ultimate in his delusion. He honestly believes people can be commanded to appreciate a recording he sees no value in. He cannot accept the fact that the recording has intrinsic value or else would not have garnered such admiration over decades upon decades. He even states at one point that no one would like this recording if Furtwangler's name was not attached to it. That's a baseless assertion which is demonstratably false. At this point you have to feel sorry for him. He has to deny reality to protect his fragile ego.

So in short, David Hurwitz is a mediocre dilettante who is determined to overturn the "system" by making his limited musical understanding a law unto itself.

Like Salieri, he speaks for all mediocrities. He is their champion.

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
He does seem to dislike recordings where the primary appeal is historicity - e.g. there's a famous recording of Bruno Walter premiering Mahler's Ninth Symphony that he trashed because it was performed poorly.
Because he's an idiot. Like the 1942 Furtwangler Beethoven 9th, the 1938 Vienna Mahler 9th is one of the most intense, inspired performances you will ever hear. For Hurwitz to desecrate these iconic recordings with his simple-minded criteria is a travesty.

The primary appeal of these recordings is NOT their historicity. Rather it is apt to help explain their unique intensity by the context in which they were performed. It is absolutely no different than explaining the inspiration of a composition by examining the context of a particular period in the composer's life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
incidentally ive said this before but i would find it hilarious if a HIP ensemble started doing things that were common in the early 19th century like shuffling movement order, omitting movements, splicing in movements from entirely different symphonies, or drastic rescoring
It's never been about authenticity. It's about stuffing centuries' old music into a modern aesthetic - faster, slicker, less emotive, more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #149 ·
That, and the romantic view of composer as hero figure never left us, meaning many "want" their Beethoven to be "straight" and undistilled by an interpretative view.
But Beethoven himself didn't play his music that way.

It is not about fidelity, hero worship, or authenticity. It is about the modern concept of removing the self and making everything automated, like replacing the person at the checkout counter with a self-scanner.

Here is your Beethoven served in "pure" automated form, uninterrupted by human thought or emotion. But that is what ironically strips the music of its essence.

Furtwangler had a great line about this. He heard an "authentic" performance of the St Matthew Passion. He commented on how clinical the whole thing was, how not a single line was truly felt. "The music of Bach, as it were, did not put in an appearance." Precisely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #154 · (Edited)
to bring it back to Hurwitz, if I agree 100% with him on something, it's that what really matters is that if a performance pleases you, because no matter what Dave, me, Toscanini, Beethoven or Roger Norrington says, nobody can contradict you if you say you like a performance, and that truth can not be contradicted - no matter how "objectively" flawed it may be.
Except he doesn't say that. He says "Your opinion doesn't matter." He also says that liking a performance that objectively "sucks" is like eating junk food.

He tries to remove the human element of enjoyment from the equation and make it all about technical "facts" such as recording balances and intonation. It's all self-serving in the end. He is not really telling us about the music being produced, and in some cases he is even assaulting it with his carping nitpicking over technicalities.

In this sense Hurwitz is no different than the authenticists, who use technical fixation as a substitute for real talent.
 
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