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I don't think so - the implication seems to be that accurate playing, precision, necessarily excludes expressive or passionate presentation....my own long experience tells me this is not so. what is the basis for this implication??
It's a strawman because it's a non-provable statement that someone wishes to use to argue that technical perfection is antithetical to musical expression.
 

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How much technical imperfection impacts your enjoyment is really entirely subjective to your tastes as a listener.
And, who knows? Some of us may not like the way Beethoven conducted/interpreted his own symphonies, could we have a chance to hear the performances, after having gained familiarity of the music as produced by some of our favorite conductors and their orchestras.

One can test this notion out somewhat by blindly comparing recordings of 20th century works conducted by the composers and comparing the renditions with other interpretations. Stravinsky, for example, famously conducted much of his own music. One can compare that to other conductors' productions. Results might prove interesting, even revelatory.
 

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It's a strawman because it's a non-provable statement that someone wishes to use to argue that technical perfection is antithetical to musical expression.
That's not what strawman means. Strawman is when you argue against someone by distorting their argument.

And if the technical perfection is pursued as an end in itself, particularly if it's to draw attention to itself so as to impress the audience with the performer's technical skill, yes it is absolutely antithetical. This is why people will often delineate between performances that use virtuosity merely as an end to impress vs those that use it "in service to the music." The latter recognizes a deeper meaning in the music to which technique is subservient.
 

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And if the technical perfection is pursued as an end in itself, particularly if it's to draw attention to itself so as to impress the audience with the performer's technical skill, yes it is absolutely antithetical. This is why people will often delineate between performances that use virtuosity merely as an end to impress vs those that use it "in service to the music." The latter recognizes a deeper meaning in the music to which technique is subservient.
I think your argumentation since long has been tiring in its predictability, and this is of course the reason of some ironic comments from other posters. The fact is, that how much "expression" musicians put in their work is a question of temper and musical aesthetics, and the technical perfection is just the prerequisite for them to be able to apply the degree of expressiveness they want. And a more restrained expression is not by itself inexpressive as you seem to presuppose. In fact, I think very few musicians can be called truly inexpressive in your sense.
 

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No one said anything here about "subjective truth." That was your contribution to the discussion.
You have talked about the truth Furty seeks in the music. If this doesn't denote a subjective truth, I don't know what the word truth means, but of course the question: "What is truth" was put already by Pilatus.
 

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You have talked about the truth Furty seeks in the music. If this doesn't denote a subjective truth, I don't know what the word truth means, but of course the question: "What is truth" was put already by Pilatus.
That is false. I have never stated it that way. I have stated that his interpretations are not "embellishments" or "adding" to the music, but they are what rings true as a natural expression of the music for him. Reread my posts instead of misquoting me.

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"Subjective truth" was not my label...I just happen to think it quite fitting...
Nope. It absolutely is your label. You are claiming that I am arguing that musical interpretation is a road to some larger "subjective truth." I have never said that. Do you know what a strawman is? It's when you mischaracterize someone's argument in order to pretend you are "winning."
 

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Isn't that exactly what you claim that WF pursues??
Some metaphysical, extra-musical "truth"??
No, I have never said that, and neither would he.

What he says is that the perfect realization of a classical work exists only in the abstract, and as performers were are attempting as best we can to approximate it.
 

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That is false. I have never stated it that way. I have stated that his interpretations are not "embellishments" or "adding" to the music, but they are what rings true as a natural expression of the music for him. Reread my posts instead of misquoting me.

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There were lenghty discussions of this in the "Fascination with Furtwängler" thread and also in the "Fascination with Toscanini" thread. Here is a quote from the former:

.... Furtwangler's greatness was not in possessing the truth, it was in continually seeking the truth. His conception of a work was never "finished." It was never "perfect." Sometimes it could change wildly from one day to the next.

Furtwangler himself once said that we can never achieve in performance the essence of a work. We can only hope to approximate it.
 

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I'm sorry I mentioned it. We're gonna get 25 pages of arguing about that now. Any chance of a return to discussing Szell anytime soon rather than the usual Furty thread hijacking ? Personally I'd put Szell's mechanical, surgical, soulless, shallow Dvorak symphonies 7-9 above nearly anyone's.

Initially, part of the problem I had with some of Szell's recordings was the sound. He was allegedly notorious for interfering in the mixing of albums (constant dissatisfaction with the sound) and didn't have a good ear for stereo listening. A reporter called round to his house once and Szell was complaining about the sound of his stereo broadcasts. The reporter pointed out that part of the problem could be that Mrs S. had placed the speakers behind the settee because they looked ugly. He hadn't even noticed. For a man that often complained about the acoustics at Severance Hall he had little understanding of what would sound good on disc. Thus his VPO Beethoven 5th from Salzburg sounds way better than his studio recording as he had no hand in what it sounded like. Fortunately much of his tinkering has been fixed with subsequent remasterings. I used to have his Beethoven cycle on LPs and it sounded horrid. With the advent of SBM remastering these recordings sounded much better.
 

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....Any chance of a return to discussing Szell anytime soon ....? Personally I'd put Szell's mechanical, surgical, soulless, shallow Dvorak symphonies 7-9 above nearly anyone's.
Szell was a great conductor; for me, he sometimes keeps things "buttoned down" too tightly...and the assertions that he could be stiff or rigid have some validity....however, this is not always the case...at times, he'd really let the orchestra rip - and this was to great effect - Cleveland was a terrific ensemble with great players - I'm thinking Beethoven #7, Leonore #3[!!], Walton Sym #2, just ottomh....
I also enjoy his Mozart and Haydn....the exquisite phrasing and precision are most attractive, and again, he enjoyed input from his outstanding orchestra....
The guy was a total control freak, tho - any lengthy solo meant special coaching sessions with the Maestro, so that it was presented according to his wishes. Szell controlled each musician's salary. If a musician wanted a raise, it had to go thru him...he even tried to dictate musicians' personal habits to a degree - what instrument they played, what they ate, drank, did with free time, etc...

A highly enjoyable book <<Tales from the Locker Room - An Anecdotal Portrait of George Szell and his Cleveland Orchestra>> by Lawrence Angell and Bernette Jaffe sheds some light on his relationships with his musicians....very entertaining...
 

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Szell was a great conductor; for me, he sometimes keeps things "buttoned down" too tightly...and the assertions that he could be stiff or rigid have some validity....however, this is not always the case...at times, he'd really let the orchestra rip - and this was to great effect - Cleveland was a terrific ensemble with great players - I'm thinking Beethoven #7, Leonore #3[!!], Walton Sym #2, just ottomh....
I also enjoy his Mozart and Haydn....the exquisite phrasing and precision are most attractive, and again, he enjoyed input from his outstanding orchestra....
The guy was a total control freak, tho - any lengthy solo meant special coaching sessions with the Maestro, so that it was presented according to his wishes. Szell controlled each musician's salary. If a musician wanted a raise, it had to go thru him...he even tried to dictate musicians' personal habits to a degree - what instrument they played, what they ate, drank, did with free time, etc...

A highly enjoyable book Tales from the Locker Room - An Anecdotal Portrait of George Szell and his Cleveland Orchestra by Lawrence Angell and Bernette Jaffe sheds some light on his relationships with his musicians....very entertaining...
Sounds like he was really the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns
 
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