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LOL
Upon consideration,it is a tactical mistake to mention "F".
"What's most striking is Furtwangler's willingness to sacrifice precision for the sake of passion." - New Yorker


Considering your contention that Szell is comparable to Furtwangler in the attention he garners today, I decided to compare their complete box sets on Amazon and the number of reviews each has received.

Furtwangler:

The Legacy - 107
Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon and Decca - 93
Complete RIAS Recordings - 40
The Legend - Studio Recordings - 36
The Great EMI Recordings - 31

Szell:

The Complete Columbia Album Collection - 61
The Warner Recordings - 50
Decca & Philips Recordings - 11

It seems perhaps that George does not "Szell" as well as Furtwangler. Kind of surprising when you consider that he recorded much more repertoire and with infinitely better sound quality.

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"What's most striking is Furtwangler's willingness to sacrifice precision for the sake of passion." - New Yorker


Considering your contention that Szell is comparable to Furtwangler in the attention he garners today, I decided to compare their complete box sets on Amazon and the number of reviews each has received.

Furtwangler:

The Legacy - 107
Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon and Decca - 93
Complete RIAS Recordings - 40
The Legend - Studio Recordings - 36
The Great EMI Recordings - 31

Szell:

The Complete Columbia Album Collection - 61
The Warner Recordings - 50
Decca & Philips Recordings - 11

It seems perhaps that George does not "Szell" as well as Furtwangler. Kind of surprising when you consider that he recorded much more repertoire and with infinitely better sound quality.

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You did not count all the individual CDs that were released since Compact Disc was introduced. So I feel your analysis is somewhat flawed. I will not count the individual CDs released between Furtwangler and Szell.
 

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Top 10 Szell Recordings, overemphasis on precision and all:

(Of course, his greatest legacy is his orchestral accompaniment for some of the greatest solo/orchestral recordings of all time, but I'm excluding those from this list. Maybe a separate list?)

1.


2.



3.



4.



5.

 

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Szell was a real prick, no doubt.. a control freak, not a nice person...
So -- Who was the bigger *******? Szell or Reiner? Or maybe Rodzinski, who took a loaded gun to rehearsals? I vote for Szell. For the others, there are at least one or two stories I've read that don't put them in such a bad light. I saw a televised interview he gave as part of a documentary. There, he made it clear there that he saw the orchestra as existing solely for the benefit of the board of directors and that he had no responsibility to anyone else, least of all to the hired hands playing the music.

Contrast that to Osmo Vanska, who (temporarily) resigned in response to his players being locked out by management.
 

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What's unfortunate is when I see people romanticizing this sort of behavior, or saying what a shame it is that modern society frowns on it. Szell made some fabulous recordings, but so did Pierre Monetux, a man beloved by his players.
 

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What works that he didn't record do you wish that he had? Knowing what you know about your preferences and his approach, what additional Szell/Cleveland recordings would you will into existence with optimism that you'd find them really enjoyable/interesting?
You're asking the wrong person. Szell's Richard Strauss recordings are the only ones I find to be essential, aside from his concerto recordings.

I would think that he would have done a good Brahms Hungarian Dances. He was good at snappy stuff.
 

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So -- Who was the bigger *******? Szell or Reiner? Or maybe Rodzinski, who took a loaded gun to rehearsals? I vote for Szell.....
Close competition, for sure, they were all pretty miserable b**t**ds....Rodzinski had a volcanic temper, was given to summary firings, but so was Reiner...who was a domineering pr*ck...Szell was a micromanaging martinet....Stokowski and Mravinsky are way up on the podium tyrant list as well...
 

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Thank you to those who gave their thoughts to my last post about Szell. I asked two questions and the responses seemed to be more geared towards the second question. I would like to repost my first question and await any opinions from the TC community.

Obviously,some like Szell,some do not. My statement is;Most of the Szell recordings are between the late 1950''s until his death in 1970. Many(a large majority) have come to be regarded as contenders to be amongst what is know as "reference recordings. "

Thank you
I'm still awaiting some thoughts on this statement that I have put forth.
What role does Szell's discography have in classical recordings?
 

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Close competition, for sure, they were all pretty miserable b**t**ds....Rodzinski had a volcanic temper, was given to summary firings, but so was Reiner...who was a domineering pr*ck...Szell was a micromanaging martinet....Stokowski and Mravinsky are way up on the podium tyrant list as well...
I read a comment somewhere. I'm sorry but I can't find the exact source but the statement was memorable. There was someone who
Worked with Reiner. The adjective was "sadistic." That is pretty low.

But I honestly feel discussing personalities of conductors of a past age are taking our eyes off the target.

The target is the artistry that is left behind in the recordings.
 

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I'm still awaiting some thoughts on this statement that I have put forth.
What role does Szell's discography have in classical recordings?
Not sure what answer you're looking for....for me, Szell's discography is of very large importance....He conducted a large repertoire very well....he was a "literalist" rather than a "Romantic"...with Cleveland, he built a really superb orchestra, definitely one of the "best ever"....I enjoy many of his recordings, tho I generally prefer Reiner and Toscanini, who had the same approach, but are usually more flexible and elastic in their phrasing, while still maintaining great precision....
Szell can really let loose, tho, and when he does it's wonderful - he had the instrument with his Clevelanders, these guys could really play...Walton Sym #2!!
His Beethoven symphonies are excellent, #7 is terrific, and Leonore #3 top of the heap...I enjoy his Haydn and Mozart also, very fine....tho I maybe prefer Walter and Reiner by a very slight margin....we're talking top-notch stuff here....
So, for me, Szell occupies a pretty prominent place in my collection, and I listen to his efforts often...
great musician, great conductor, real a*sh*le of a person....but he's not alone in that category...:rolleyes:
 

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Not sure what answer you're looking for....for me, Szell's discography is of very large importance....He conducted a large repertoire very well....he was a "literalist" rather than a "Romantic"...with Cleveland, he built a really superb orchestra, definitely one of the "best ever"....I enjoy many of his recordings, tho I generally prefer Reiner and Toscanini, who had the same approach, but are usually more flexible and elastic in their phrasing, while still maintaining great precision....
Szell can really let loose, tho, and when he does it's wonderful - he had the instrument with his Clevelanders, these guys could really play...
His Beethoven symphonies are excellent, #7 is terrific, and Leonore #3 top of the heap...I enjoy his Haydn and Mozart also, very fine....tho I maybe prefer walter and Reiner by a very slight margin....we're talking top-notch stuff here....
So, for me, Szell occupies a pretty prominent place in my collection, and I listen to his efforts often...
great musician, great conductor, real a*sh*le of a person....but he's not alone in that category...:rolleyes:
You're answer was perfect
 

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There was someone who Worked with Reiner. The adjective was "sadistic." That is pretty low.
Yes, that adjective fits - he was sadistic - he wouldn't just fire a musician, first he'd grind him down to a pulp, then fire him...if one showed weakness, it was all over....

But I honestly feel discussing personalities of conductors of a past age are taking our eyes off the target.

The target is the artistry that is left behind in the recordings.
You are right...many of these past podium giants were pretty nasty characters - but they produced wonderful results.....they knew exactly what they were doing, knew what they wanted and expected to hear. They knew how to identify and fix problems, and exhibited extraordinary control over their orchestras.
 

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I'm still awaiting some thoughts on this statement that I have put forth.
What role does Szell's discography have in classical recordings?
Obviously this doesn't correct for number of recordings made nor the playlists spotify creates that would direct many 'casual' listeners who want some 'classical music', but for what it's worth here is the popularity of some conductors, including Szell, for Spotify listeners. Monthly listens:

Karajan: 2,617,000
Bernstein: 1,582,000
Abaddo: 1,370,000
Ormandy: 624,000
Davis: 523,000
Bohm: 498,000
Barbirolli: 271,000
Szell: 220,000
Haitink: 177,000
Reiner: 97,000
Wand: 83,000
Furtwangler: 47,000
Celibidache: 33,000
Klemperer: 32,000
Walter: 29,123
Toascanini: 9,600
 
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