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So "Dave's faves" are his personal favourites, but the recordings he recommends are mostly the same as in earlier videos that represent his "professional" opinion. Would it be fair to say that the two are intertwined to some degree? I.e. his personal taste coincides with the recordings that are the best by some kind of objective measure?
 

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He is biased towards American orchestras and orchestral music in general, but to the extent he recommends several well-known recordings his videos can be informative. Unfortunately due to his ego he deletes many of the comments, which could provide additional sources of information for the beginner. So he not only presents a biased perspective but he also seeks to eliminate alternative viewpoints. That’s his worst trait. He pretends to speak for all of classical music when in reality he does not. He wants his truth to be seen as THE truth.
I could see how he is biased towards American orchestras but i don't see how he is biased towards orchestral music. He doesn't have a responsability to talk about every genre of music, if he mainly prefers orchestral music than good for him. Don't really understand what you are trying to say with 'biased towards orchestral music'
 

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Discussion Starter · #303 ·
I could see how he is biased towards American orchestras but i don't see how he is biased towards orchestral music. He doesn't have a responsability to talk about every genre of music, if he mainly prefers orchestral music than good for him. Don't really understand what you are trying to say with 'biased towards orchestral music'
Where are we disagreeing? I said he is biased towards orchestral music, and you said he prefers orchestral music. We are saying the same thing.

I do think that being well-rounded is an important trait for a classical music reviewer, particularly one who passes himself off as an authority the way Hurwitz does. He is not just a casual listener. He is someone speaking very loudly with his opinions on all things classical and wielding quite a bit of influence.
 

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So "Dave's faves" are his personal favourites, but the recordings he recommends are mostly the same as in earlier videos that represent his "professional" opinion. Would it be fair to say that the two are intertwined to some degree? I.e. his personal taste coincides with the recordings that are the best by some kind of objective measure?
they largely coincide but i think some recordings you would recommend to others because they are good reference and some might be your favourites but you can see how it wouldn't be a good first recording or something like that. Or maybe he has recommended so many recordings that he wants to share his best of the best. I also don't really see the point
 

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Where are we disagreeing? I said he is biased towards orchestral music, and you said he prefers orchestral music. We are saying the same thing.

I do think that being well-rounded is an important trait for a classical music reviewer, particularly one who passes himself off as an authority the way Hurwitz does. He is not just a casual listener. He is someone speaking very loudly with his opinions on all things classical and wielding quite a bit of influence.
Sorry English isn't my main language, i thought biased was preferred but in a bad way. Like you shouldn't be biased in that particular situation. But i think he has covered the majority of standard repertoire of opera, chamber music and so on.
 

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Bernd Alois Zimmermann
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Listen to Lil Ludi, guys.

The English music press are xenophobic bigots; while US orchestras are completely crap…

As the Dead Kennedys once sang: “Deutschland Uber Alles!”
 

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Bernd Alois Zimmermann
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Agree about the English press, disagree about American orchestras. I love Cleveland, Philly and New York
Cleveland have certainly been great, as much for their choice of conductors and repertoire, as anything else.

Personally, I’d choose a regional German orchestra over anything NY or Philly has ever produced…
 

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He is biased towards American orchestras and orchestral music in general, but to the extent he recommends several well-known recordings his videos can be informative. Unfortunately due to his ego he deletes many of the comments, which could provide additional sources of information for the beginner. So he not only presents a biased perspective but he also seeks to eliminate alternative viewpoints. That’s his worst trait. He pretends to speak for all of classical music when in reality he does not. He wants his truth to be seen as THE truth.
I don't see much of a problem with Hurwitz ruining classical music for the beginners, as long as he a) doesn't control all the CM information sources, and b) does not recommend crap recordings. Beginners who keep an interest would develop their own tastes over time. For example, in his relatively rare Baroque repertoire videos (and even in a couple Romantic repertoire videos) he recommends period instrument recordings. Many beginners who try out them might find they like the period instrument aesthetic.
 

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Nothing but love for Hurwitz. His straightforward takes are usually spot on. And anyone with intelligence and a modicum of taste can sort the astute judgements from his admitted biases. Kudos.
Well, there's the deliberately provocative Classical Music's Top Ten Dirtiest Secrets...
 

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I could see how he is biased towards American orchestras but i don't see how he is biased towards orchestral music. He doesn't have a responsability to talk about every genre of music, if he mainly prefers orchestral music than good for him. Don't really understand what you are trying to say with 'biased towards orchestral music'
Hurwitz has said he covers mostly orchestral recordings because that's what most of his audience cares about. Hurwitz has championed the chamber music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Dvorak in some videos. He actually thinks Dvorak was a greater chamber music composer than Brahms, but that most of Dvorak's chamber music isn't played. He also said in one video that he has a Mendelssohn piano quartet as his ringtone.

However, Hurwitz certainly has an anti-Baroque music bias.
 

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Hurwitz has said he covers mostly orchestral recordings because that's what most of his audience cares about. Hurwitz has championed the chamber music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Dvorak in some videos. He actually thinks Dvorak was a greater chamber music composer than Brahms, but that most of Dvorak's chamber music isn't played. He also said in one video that he has a Mendelssohn piano quartet as his ringtone.

However, Hurwitz certainly has an anti-Baroque music bias.
I don't think that's true but he seems clearly most competent in orchestral music, roughly from Haydn to (not too avantgardist) modern music. Frankly, I wouldn't heed any advice of his beyond this field.
He has some interest in chamber music but for anything pre-Bach, anything piano and a lot of choral and opera beyond the most central warhorses both his interest and competence seems to drop sharply. To be fair, I think he has made at least some of these lacks of interest pretty clear (or one can read them between the lines).
 

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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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But this is an extremely common stance nowadays, just look around in this forum. There are long debates here shifted into "music and politics" that the main fault of classical music and its establishment is that it dares to take music, art and its contents and status seriously. That's stuffy elitism and the fault of pretentious 19th century German composers and philosophers. Elevating random personal preferences in music or other arts so that that artworks and artists acquire quasi-religious status. Pure self-aggrandizement of these eggheads. This is why CM is unpopular and deservedly so. If it admits that it is just like any other entertainment it could become popular and thrive and get rid of that horrible elitism, exclusion and pretention.
 

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I don't think that's true but he seems clearly most competent in orchestral music, roughly from Haydn to (not too avantgardist) modern music. Frankly, I wouldn't heed any advice of his beyond this field.
He has some interest in chamber music but for anything pre-Bach, anything piano and a lot of choral and opera beyond the most central warhorses both his interest and competence seems to drop sharply. To be fair, I think he has made at least some of these lacks of interest pretty clear (or one can read them between the lines).
Hurwitz has written books on Haydn, Mendelssohn, and other composers, so he knows their chamber music, at least.
 

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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.
I agree that the Passion narrative is worthless, and Parsifal's story is ridiculous. I agree that music is entertainment.

I like that Hurwitz has that perspective.
 

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But this is an extremely common stance nowadays, just look around in this forum. There are long debates here shifted into "music and politics" that the main fault of classical music and its establishment is that it dares to take music, art and its contents and status seriously. That's stuffy elitism and the fault of pretentious 19th century German composers and philosophers. Elevating random personal preferences in music or other arts so that that artworks and artists acquire quasi-religious status. Pure self-aggrandizement of these eggheads. This is why CM is unpopular and deservedly so. If it admits that it is just like any other entertainment it could become popular and thrive and get rid of that horrible elitism, exclusion and pretention.
That's not Hurwitz's perspective, exactly. He wants a modest amount of elitism in CM but not too much. It takes time and effort to appreciate CM, he points out. It's for a small proportion of the public that gravitates to it.

He dislikes the pretension, however, and has said that we should shut down all but one opera house if they cannot be sustained by musicgoer's tastes. (Maybe he was being "provocative" in that video)
 

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I am an inexperienced collector, expanding my CD collection and musical library after listening to much of the repertoire. Would experienced listeners benefit from his lists of THE BEST recordings to expand their collections? He has an absurd amount of CDs, and he doesn't give bad recommendations for his BEST, does he? Only steers the listener from both bad and well-regarded recordings.
I do not think you would go wrong with his recommendations unless you regard them not as a starting point in exploration, but as revealed truth. His choices are often idiosyncratic, but (to my best knowledge) never execrable. The problem a beginner may have with his recommendations is that he tends to forgo well-established first-rate performers in favour of sometimes obscure records. I have an extensive collection, and I have benefitted from his videos in discovering more. Should you forgo the Karajan/BP cycle of LvB symphonies in favour of an obscure Czech recording (which he champions, inter alia, because he can publicly play it for copyright reasons)? Probably not. Provided you already have two or three well-established LvB cycles, and you wish to explore something different but good, should you listen to his recommendations? Of course.
 
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