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Side question: does anyone own a piece of the garish, overpriced merch he's selling? Or know anyone who owns some? Or suspects someone he/she knows could be mad enough to walk around in a "Crazy is Good, Stupid is Not" T-shirt (available in XXL and XXXL)? Answer honestly.

Seriously, DH going commercial kills the little attraction his videos still have for me. The stuff I want to see (the various "10 best recordings") is now behind a paywall and instead we get the pathetic display of an overweight senior citizen with a more or less successful career behind him plugging low-couture through a youtube channel.
 

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BitchFest 2021: The Most Overrated Recordings in the Universe

Beethoven Symphony 5 - Kleiber/VPO
Rimsky Korsakov Scheherazade - Beecham/Royal Philharmonic
Beethoven Symphony 9 - Furtwangler 'Nazi' 1942 (still very confusing which performance Hurwitz is referring to, please just give us the full date)
Mahler Das Lied der von der Erde - Walter/Ferrier/VPO Decca
Sibelius cycle - Anthony Collins
Debussy La Mer - Karajan/BPO analog
Rachmaninoff Symphony 2 - Previn/LSO
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 - Cliburn/Kondrashin
Everything Horenstein recorded :eek:

Counted only 9 but I got sick of rewinding and fast forwarding to get to the list.
Barbirolli's Elgar 2. It surprised me that he didn't compare Barbirolli to a drooling bulldog again.
 

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Hurwitz' videos used to be a daily source of entertainment to me, but they're quickly becoming a daily source of ennui and irritation.

1. Hiding the potentially most interesting videos behind a paywall and using the free ones as click bait - and starting every video with 2 minutes of either talk about those fabulous CLASSICS TODAY DOT COM INSIDER REVIEWS or plugging the overpriced "fashion" items in his online shop. Seems that after assembling the audience, it's time to harvest what has been planted. Of course he has every right to super-commercial, but it decreases the value of his videos for me.

2. Becoming more and more intolerant and messianistic. He keeps repeating his views, even repeating entire reviews, but while he used to present them with some humor, he hammers them down now, with grim determination. His ad hominems become increasingly disturbing: completely dismissing everything Jasha Horenstein ever did in the latest video was just plain nasty.
The first time he banned me from his comment section (for having an opinion of my own), he had the courtesy to write a polite email explaining his actions. I doubt he does do that anymore, having amassed a big enough cult following to not care anymore about the ones that fall off the boat. On the contrary, in his latest video we're treated to the ugly spectacle of Dave gloating over all the people he banned for no other reason than disagreeing with him on the merit of some recording.
He doesn't even hide anymore that he finds it delightful to kick out anyone who doesn't completely agree with him or showers him with praise in the comment sections.

3. It's said over and over in these threads, the problem with Hurwitz is that he takes a couple of qualities that contribute to good performances and recordings, and he judges everything he listens to and criticizes according to those perceived qualities. Thing is, those qualities are
- selective and in no way exhaustive
- presented as the sine qua non for successful performances
Hurwitz prefers recordings that are transparent, disciplined and rhythmically precise. That's fine, and those are important qualities, but there are other qualities that are systematically neglected in his reviews. It's not that qualities like atmosphere or spirituality don't matter to him, but in an often twisted way, he labels recordings "spiritual" that he selected and likes because of other, more favored qualities. That's an clever intellectual trick that's hard to see through: appeasing your audience by praising something that they like for other reasons than you do, by going into detail about your reasons, but only superficially mentioning theirs.

4. When you start watching his videos, the patterns described above aren't immediately clear. There's a relative small amount of videos that directly deal with the stuff he hates and that offer clear insight in his methods. Like his rants about Furtwängler, Barbirolli, Norrington, Rattle and Horenstein. Mostly his views are embedded in long videos with lots of comparisons so it takes some time and effort to determine what it is that makes him jump to those sometimes bizarre conclusions. In my case that made that I followed him a bit too deep into the rabbit hole, something I now regret.

5. One thing that Hurwitz completely and willingly ignores in his reviews is morality. The moral fabric of the musicians and conductors that shines through in their performances. To him, a good recording remains good, no matter under what circumstances it was produced, and a bad one remains bad, no matter what extra-musical qualities could rehabilitate it.
So according to Hurwitz a recording like DLVDE with Fierrier/VPO/Walter, which for many music lovers is legendary because it conveys so much more than just the music alone, is worthless just because it's not technically perfect.
And the complete output by dictators like Szell and Reiner, people that were feared and hated by the members of their own orchestras is above criticism. Barbirolli on the other hand, a man loved by everyone he worked with, is panned because of his supposed lack of discipline.
Well, to me, Szell/Cleveland often sound cold and lifeless. It's like you can sense his obsessive personality through the music, and that's not always a pretty experience. While I can forgive Barbirolli and Hallé every technical imperfection when the music he extracts from his orchestra emits so much human warmth.
And it isn't just my subjective touchy-feely approach versus Hurwitz' objective "truth". The qualities that make Barbirolli's Elgar 2 such a great recording can be determined with just as much exactitude as the technical qualities of, say, Szell's Dvorak. It just requires a open mind and a willingness to not fatally narrow down your critical tools.
 

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What bothers me most about Hurwitz is not his variety of biases - he's entitled of those and he doesn't make a secret of it - but his general music philosophy.

To him, music equals entertainment. He admitted that in a recent video. That explains his preference for colorfully orchestrated scores, for spectacular recordings and for technically immaculate playing - all factors that contribute to the entertainment value of music. This judgement extends to music genres that offer - or strive to offer - more than just entertainment. For instance religious music, highly philosophical works, pieces with difficult literary content, etc. Those values are just distractions to him that get in the way of his enjoyment.

According to him, the St. Matthew's Passion has a worthless story, Parsifal is ridiculous (but the music is oh so beautiful!) - and performances of music that seeks to bring out other values than just superficial pleasure are mostly mistrusted, specially in cases where there's a compromise between outward technical perfection and spiritual content. If a performance leans towards the latter, emphasizes a composition's spiritual content and shows some neglect of technical precision, it's rubbish to him. His betes noires: Furtwängler, Barbirolli and Horenstein (don't be fooled by his positive review of the Barbirolli Elgar edition - he only praises the non-Hallé recordings, showing that he doesn't understand what makes Barbirolli a great conductor at all).

Hurwitz is a one-sided and narrow-minded reviewer lost in a universe that has so much more to offer than just technical perfection and superficial entertainment.
 

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I was once present at a concert where Mahler 6 was played, a slightly raw-edged but dedicated performance by a youth orchestra, surprisingly well played. I applauded till my hands started to hurt.
And then... as an encore they played some bland pop song that was on the charts back then. The percussionist even abused the "hammer" to give it some extra effect.
So I walked out, disgusted and feeling miserable. How can one be able to perform a compelling version of one of the deepest, most serious and intense works in the symphonic repertoire - then within a minute switch a button and become a brainless party animal? Even disgracing your performance by mocking it?
So yeah, I was the only one in the audience who stormed out. Everyone loved it, and I was told afterwards by my company to not take it so serious. Lighten up, dude. They're young, let 'em have fun.
I guess this is the true Hurwitz spirit. Everything is entertainment. There is no deep or shallow, there's only fun and no-fun. Your one-day wonder pop song is worth to stand aside Mahler 6. Let's spice up Beethoven's 9th with rappers!
Postmodern shallowness and lack of taste and intelligence - it sickens me.
 

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Who else thinks that his endless row of (boring) "Dave's faves" videos only serve to give us the impression that he's very broadly oriented and knowledgeable in fields that he never discussed or reviewed? Neither on yt or at his own site, where he leaves the non-orchestral stuff to other reviewers. Yet we are to believe that he loves all kinds of opera and chamber music. Sure Dave.
 

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His latest "Dave's fave" is really bizarre. Hurwitz never discusses organ music, doesn't like it, doesn't care for it. Fair enough.
But now we're supposed to believe that one of his favorite cd's features the organ music of... no, not Bach, Franck, Reger or Messiaen, but Edouard Batiste, the trashiest organ composer of the 19th century.

I downloaded some of his music from IMSLP once, with the idea of playing it in church, always nice to have something off the beaten path in your repertoire. But the liturgical value of this stuff is zero. Play it during a service and people will think a barrel organ has rolled into the building.
But I guess Dave loves campy crap, so yeah, Batiste it is. Good luck with it.
 

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I love the review of a CD of Bruckner 9-- played on organ. It sounds as awful as you'd expect (Hurwitz plays clips of passages like the climax of the slow movement). So Hurwitz starts playing themes from Bruckner 9 on a kazoo to mock the organ recording.

Even though I love Hurwitz for stuff like that, I haven't listened to any of his Dave's Faves entries.
I completely agree with him on the subject of the organ 9th. Arranging a symphony (by Bruckner or anyone else) for organ means losing so much of the score's details and nuances that it becomes a mutilation instead of an arrangement. And in this case it proves that the Bruckner's famed organ-inspired "cathedral sound" is a myth. As a composer of orchestral works, his medium was the orchestra and he didn't have the organ on his mind when he wrote his symphonies.
If keyboard players want to get busy with Bruckner, they should try the various great piano arrangements for 1 and 2 players by people like Grunsky, Singer and Stradal.
 

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His latest "Dave's fave" is really bizarre. Hurwitz never discusses organ music, doesn't like it, doesn't care for it. Fair enough.
But now we're supposed to believe that one of his favorite cd's features the organ music of... no, not Bach, Franck, Reger or Messiaen, but Edouard Batiste, the trashiest organ composer of the 19th century.
And apart from his curious choice, he spouts a lot of nonsense about organ stops in his video. His theory that tremolo and voix céleste stops are imitations of orchestral string vibrato (and thus "prove" that vibrato existed in Beethoven's time) is utter bullsh*t.
First of all, the celeste stop is NOT invented by Cavaillé-Coll. The use of slightly detuned rows of pipes that cause a tremolando effect when combined with a proper tuned stop is as old as renaissance and early baroque Italian organs. The stop is called Unda Maris there. Is Hurwitz gonna claim that Italian string music from 1600 used vibrato because of the organs "imitated string sounds"?
Tremolo in the sense of interrupting the air stream is even older.
Secondly, these "effects" have nothing to do with strings imitation. They're mostly inspired by the human voice. In italian, "voce umana" is even sometimes used as a synonym for voix céleste!
 

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According to Dave, Fauve’s trashy mess, the Te Deum, is better than his undoubted masterpiece, the Requiem… o_O
His justification: it’s just more fun and shorter in length…:ROFLMAO:
Girls and Hurwitzes just wanna have fun!
I guess you meant berlioz? And you're right, I never really cared for the Te Deum. The Requiem on the other hand, is one of the greatest ever. I love how it's devoid of any consolation, or positive message in general. You're going to die, and big chance you'll end in hell, subjected to eternal torture, according to jolly uncle Hector.
 
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