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He was really talented and good at getting his orchestra to do what he wanted. Whether what he wanted was to your taste is up to you. Personal favorites: Mahler 4, Mozart Haffner Symphony, Beethoven concerti with Fleischer, Brahms B-flat with Serkin, Dvorak Slavonic Dances.
 

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Question for Heck, Knorf, or any other experienced orchestral musician:

My first Haffner Symphony was a Szell/Cleveland LP that I liked (and still revere) because of the crystalline nature of some of the string phrases in the first movement. I have already expressed my preference for Szell's Mahler Fourth, in part because of the precision of the wind playing.

So my question: Are these things any first rate orchestral musician can accomplish with enough whipping? Or does it require finding the right people with the right technique and temperament to respond to the blandishments? :)
 

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That's an excellent question. Great conductors have in mind, in their ear, a sound that they want to produce from their orchestras...in a past era conductors would seek out specific musicians they knew, or knew of audition them personally, and get them into their ensembles...

so, not every musician will play with a tone or style that will please every conductor....every musician is going to have their own personal sound and approach...the trick is to have your sections comprised of players who all play in a similar style, tone, articulation....

The greatest orchestras all have their "training grounds" for prospective members...students who are studying with incumbent orchestra members, feeder orchestras...all perpetuating the sound of that orchestra.

Anomalies, inconsistencies within or between sections stick out like an auditory sore thumb...tone and balance problems are readily apparent...if a new musician doesn't "fit" into the orchestra for tone and balance, they probably won't be granted tenure...
Good question, big topic...I'm sure others will chime in with more insights...
Thank you! .
 
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