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Ask the people insisting on a continuous straw man argument. I made my opinion known pages ago. Apparently I'm not entitled to it.
Two hints for you, in hope of learning and growing:

1) Your opinion, such as it is, was never the problem.
2) It is not an example of the "straw man" logical fallacy when people are calling you out on or disputing what you literally wrote, or very close, accurate-within-reason parahrases of what you wrote. If you're unhappy with responses to what you wrote, it's on you to clarify what you mean.

Misapplication of straw man fallacy accusations, and false claims that you're not entitled your opinion, are neither doing you any good at all nor are they fooling anyone who can go back and read exactly what you wrote. Gaslighting will not help you.
 

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Two hints for you, in hope of learning and growing:

1) Your opinion, such as it is, was never the problem.
2) It is not an example of the "straw man" logical fallacy when people are calling you out on or disputing what you literally wrote, or very close, accurate-within-reason parahrases of what you wrote. If you're unhappy with responses to what you wrote, it's on you to clarify what you mean.

Misapplication of straw man fallacy accusations, and false claims that you're not entitled your opinion, are neither doing you any good at all nor are they fooling anyone who can go back and read exactly what you wrote. Gaslighting will not help you.
1) I never said that music contains philosophical truth. That is a distortion of my description of a perfect performance existing in the abstract that the performer is trying to achieve. And the distortion is a sophomoric attempt by a certain poster to "win" points.

2) I never said that one conductor has possession of the "truth" and others don't. I have said that he and others seek the inner depth of a musical score as a philosophy, and certain others treat the score as self-evident. This is not a news flash.

3) I don't care what "problem" you have with me. You're not going to bully me on this forum. Why don't you stick to discussion of the music? The simplest way to avoid straw man accusations is to quote someone directly as opposed to putting your own self-serving spin on their argument.

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Well, my friends, I tried.

Getting back to this thread's actual topic, one of the demonstration recordings I like to use is Szell's Cleveland recording of Smetana's Overture to The Bartered Bride, mastered for SACD. It's just a spectacularly vivid performance and recording! Szell's Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream suite is similarly great, just sensationally good.
 

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1) I never said that music contains philosophical truth. That is a distortion of my description of a perfect performance existing in the abstract that the performer is trying to achieve. And the distortion is a sophomoric attempt by a certain poster to "win" points.

2) I never said that one conductor has possession of the "truth" and others don't. I have said that he and others seek the inner depth of a musical score as a philosophy, and certain others treat the score as self-evident. This is not a news flash.

3) I don't care what "problem" you have with me. You're not going to bully me on this forum. Why don't you stick to discussion of the music? The simplest way to avoid straw man accusations is to quote someone directly as opposed to putting your own self-serving spin on their argument.

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I think your 2nd point is the one in contention, in relation to Szell.

From Szell's biographer, himself a conductor:

"His personal goal was to approach each score with the clearest possible understanding of the composer's style and intentions."

http://georgeszell.com/a-personal-reminiscence/

In other words, he was not a literalist

"What he said of Toscanini could also be said of Szell: "That he was a literalist in the trivial sense of the word is, I believe, nonsense. It is not possible for an artist like Toscanini to be a literalist; he was, I would rather say, a truth-seeker." "
 

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If someone has a problem with what I said about Szell, be a man and say so rather than distort and embellish on my point in an attempt to teach me a lesson and bully me out of ever saying something “out of line” again.

I stand by everything I have said about Szell. I actually don’t find him cold. The playing in the Marcia funebre of his Eroica is very sensitive and beautiful. But I find the interpretation two-dimensional. As I said on page one, IMO he barely skims the surface. Others find more depth, NOT just Furtwängler.

Does that mean I hate Szell? Not at all. His R. Strauss is superb, especially the Don Juan. His Slavonic Dances are my favorite next to Talich. But even in these works, I like Szell realizing these are works where there is a limit on the interpretive depth to be had.

That’s my take, and if anyone has a problem with it they can kiss my fanny, but DO NOT go around trying to embellish on my statements and go straw man.

That’s the coward’s way.
 

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Whatever is said in this thread of George Szell one way or another, I stand by my contention that my absolute favorite recorded version of one of my absolute favorite symphonies, the "From the New World" by Antonín Dvořák, is the recording made by George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra in March of 1959, near the close of the Cleveland's 41st season, at Severance Hall.

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This recording, from "back in the day" when the "New World Symphony" was known as number 5, is one of the symphonic pieces that early grabbed my attention as "classical music" and held me in its grip from that first hearing till ... now, and onward.

If I had to live with only one Dvořák recording, this one would be my choice.

If I had to live with only one Szell recording, ... ditto.
 

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Whatever is said in this thread of George Szell one way or another, I stand by my contention that my absolute favorite recorded version of one of my absolute favorite symphonies, the "From the New World" by Antonín Dvořák, is the recording made by George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra in March of 1959, near the close of the Cleveland's 41st season, at Severance Hall.

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This recording, from "back in the day" when the "New World Symphony" was known as number 5, is one of the symphonic pieces that early grabbed my attention as "classical music" and held me in its grip from that first hearing till ... now, and onward.

If I had to live with only one Dvořák recording, this one would be my choice.

If I had to live with only one Szell recording, ... ditto.
An excellent recording of a superb masterpiece. His recordings of Dvorak's Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 as well as the Slavonic Dances are also superb. His recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto accompanying Fournier on the cello, this time with the Berlin Philharmonic, is my all time favorite recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
 

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An excellent recording of a superb masterpiece. His recordings of Dvorak's Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 as well as the Slavonic Dances are also superb. His recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto accompanying Fournier on the cello, this time with the Berlin Philharmonic, is my all time favorite recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
The final three Dvořák symphonies are available in a 2-CD set which also features some music by Smetana, all conducted by Szell:

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That disc is also in my collection. Unfortunately, I do not have the Fournier performance in my collection, but I'm looking into picking it up. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

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An excellent recording of a superb masterpiece. His recordings of Dvorak's Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 as well as the Slavonic Dances are also superb. His recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto accompanying Fournier on the cello, this time with the Berlin Philharmonic, is my all time favorite recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
Yes - that is also my favorite Dvorak Cello Concerto. Szell's Dvorak Symphonies are the best. Too bad the earlier ones were not popular then and he never recorded them. My favorite Szell recording is his Beethoven 3rd. Never equaled to this day.
 

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1) I never said that music contains philosophical truth. That is a distortion of my description of a perfect performance existing in the abstract that the performer is trying to achieve. And the distortion is a sophomoric attempt by a certain poster to "win" points.

2) I never said that one conductor has possession of the "truth" and others don't. I have said that he and others seek the inner depth of a musical score as a philosophy, and certain others treat the score as self-evident. This is not a news flash.

3) I don't care what "problem" you have with me. You're not going to bully me on this forum. Why don't you stick to discussion of the music? The simplest way to avoid straw man accusations is to quote someone directly as opposed to putting your own self-serving spin on their argument.

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But that's not my claim.
With all due respect, you do not have enough of a sound philosophical basis for your thoughts (this is why you feel everyone misinterprets you - it's because you don't use language consistently, as we've argued about in the past) to not rub people up the wrong way when you post such loaded responses all the time whenever a thread pops up celebrating a conductor who isn't Fartwangler.

I was looking forward to reading about Szell, not Brahmsianhorn or Fartwangler.

As for Szell, he was great no question. Some similarities with Karajan in precision and 'glossy' sound but Szell's sound was better overall I think in avoiding the 'Karajan soup'. His interpretations were often very fine indeed, but wouldn't quite be my first choice most of the time. He certainly wasn't a mere time-beater.
 

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whenever a thread pops up celebrating a conductor who isn't Fartwangler.
I was looking forward to reading about Szell, not Brahmsianhorn or Fartwangler.
And now you're using this as an excuse to do your favorite name-calling. A disgrace to the (arguably) greatest conductor of the German repertoire.

I can tell I'm going to get the word 'furtwangler' thrown at me
Yes, you know it and you enjoy it; gets you more chances to call him 'fartwangler'.
 

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A disgrace to the (arguably) greatest conductor of the German repertoire.
Can't make everybody happy, but that statement comes across to me as a disgrace to all those great conductors of the German repertoire i hear as better than Furtwangler, like Walter, Bohm, Klemperer, Karajan. I hear Furtwangler as more mechanical than Szell, but that's just me.
 

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I hear Furtwangler as more mechanical than Szell, but that's just me.
I think this is a very uncommon use of the association of "mechanical". There can be hardly any doubt that e.g. Furtwangler is far more flexible in tempo and generally more unpredictable. You are of course free to dis/like either of them but to claim that "mechanical" would characterize a "wayward" conductor better than a rather rigid one, is not very plausible.
 

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I think this is a very uncommon use of the association of "mechanical". There can be hardly any doubt that e.g. Furtwangler is far more flexible in tempo and generally more unpredictable. You are of course free to dis/like either of them but to claim that "mechanical" would characterize a "wayward" conductor better than a rather rigid one, is not very plausible.
By mechanical I include his accelerandos/ ritardandos, dynamics, etc. I don't hear as much phrasing of lines as in many conductors. He is like a robot machine to me mimicking human emotion, in general.
 

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By mechanical I include his accelerandos/ ritardandos, dynamics, etc. I don't hear as much phrasing of lines as in many conductors. He is like a robot machine to me mimicking human emotion, in general.
I think I get what you're saying. For me the problem with Furtwängler is how predictable his choices are. I was taken with some of his recordings on the first listen, but found for me that they didn't wear well. He always does the same things: brass get louder, go faster // strings play big melody, go slower // it's softer, go slower // woodwinds doing stuff, again, ugh??? I DUNNO I guess twiddle thumbs until brass loud go faster.

That for me summarizes Furtwängler's playbook.

I guess the words I would use to describe how Furtwängler's conducting sounds to me: artificial and contrived (and also weirdly sloppy in terms of ensemble and intonation.) It does sort of resemble how one might program MIDI to attempt making it sound musical.

I'm well aware many love what Furtwängler did, and this includes many musicians I admire. But I'm not a fan.

Give me Szell any day.
 

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This is one of those things where even Furtwangler detractors will agree that he was very subjective and in the moment, to the point that his various performances varied widely, even those made in back to back days. I mean that was the whole point. He left things for the inspiration of the moment. Whereas with Szell everything sounds pre-scripted and doesn't vary much from performance to performance. Aside from decisions over tempo, I don't hear Szell doing very much interpretively.

Now, if you are going to say that the things Furtwangler did sounded intuitively "correct" - a sentiment I agree with - and that it therefore sounded obvious and predictable, that would be an interesting way of putting it. I guess the question becomes what are you looking for when you listen? Furtwangler himself said that he saw his interpretations as "honest." He was not trying to mangle the music in any way. Maybe that's boring to some.
 
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