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I do realize that my post should go into the political thread. I respectfully leave that up to the moderators. CM organizations are starting to shut off Putin CM apologists I am just about ready to throw out all Gergiev recordings that I have((which are not much since I have not been a particular fan of Gergiev).

What say the TC Community?
 

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If it personally makes you feel good to do it, then knock yourself out. But I don't think it would affect any kind of change for good or ill, and I don't think someone that continues to enjoy their Gergiev recordings is operating in a moral grey area. It's just a zero impact activity either way.

If we were talking about boycotting new purchases of his recordings, and we lived in a world where there was any money in the classical recording industry, then maybe there would be something to talk about. But I imagine that most of Gergiev's personal income comes from concert fees and his salaries as an arts administrator. The powers that be are turning up the heat there, and so I don't think there's really anything left for the individual consumer to do.
 

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Does Gergiev really support Putin? If so, in what way? I wonder whether this is yet another piece of either fake or hyped up news.

I don't have any recordings of Gergiev, although I have heard some of his work.

In terms of classical, I've still got one recording each of Karl Bohm (Nazi ideologue) and James Levine (should have been charged for assault). Even the classical establishment has acknowledged the troubling aspects regarding the conduct of these two.

I thought of getting rid of them, but I won't simply for the reason that I like the music and can't be bothered forking out money for other recordings just for this reason. By the same token, I haven’t exactly rushed out to get more of their recordings.

I don't think that Putin is in the category of Hitler, and as far as I know Gergiev hasn't committed the type of assault that Levine did. So if I did own one of his records, I'd have no qualms about keeping it.
 

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If I threw out every CD made by someone who did something reprehensible and something morally evil and wrong, I'd have a very, very small library. There are very few saints in the music biz.
 

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I have moved the thread to the Politics and Religion in Classical Music subforum. Please remember that all posts must focus on musically related content and not pure politics.
 

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Does Gergiev really support Putin? If so, in what way? I wonder whether this is yet another piece of either fake or hyped up news.
All music sites are on it, even the local rag brought this news.
I never throw anything away, just I either never listen it again or give it away.
One the other hand he made some beautiful DVD recordings , you've hardly see him, so dilemma here.
 

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Should we throw out Gergiev recordings/CDs
_______________________________________________________________

...

What say the TC Community?
Long a problematical issue: separating the artist from his/her art. Should we shun certain art because its creator was a sinner? There is so much difficult philosophy in even any cursory consideration of that question that I certainly am not going to touch it here in this small space.

I had indeed considered this very idea earlier this week and actually checked my Discogs database to see what I had on hand by Gergiev. There was not much, but what was there seemed to have less to do with the conductor than with the composers, which is why I originally purchased the music in the first place. And as far as I can tell, nothing in the collection conducted by Gergiev has anything to do with Putin politics.

I see I have acquired the Gergiev Mahler box set (and a couple of the individual discs, probably before I bought the full box set).

Atmosphere Thunder Thunderstorm Light Nature


I confess I have trouble getting enough Mahler, one of my most cherished composers, and I seem always open to a new interpretation when available. In the case of Gergiev's LSO set, I found the "lightning" cover art attractive, even before I listened to the music. Too, it was the LSO in "live" recordings, so much there to be appreciated even without Gergiev. But you get a Russians interpretation of an Austrian composer via an English orchestra. Plenty to listen for in that mix, I suggest. And ... there is that cover art.

And just as Mahler has nothing to do with Putin, so with Tchaikovsky. I see I have Gergiev's Philips recording of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique" with the Kirov Orchestra. A Russian composer, a Russian conductor, and a Russian orchestra. Plenty there to listen for. And, again, I purchased the album moreso for the Tchaikovsky than for the performers, as I remain a big fan of Tchaikovsky and hold his Sixth Symphony in highest esteem as one of the greatest of all symphonies and one of my top ten favorite symphonies, a truly inescapable work I can't get enough of.

Musical instrument Baton Coat Music Font


Shostakovich, of course, is inescapably political, at least as I hear his music. But what I hear is very anti-Soviet and seems to run counter to anything Putin represents. In any case, I love the Shosty symphonies and am not surprised to see I have Gergiev's box set of 4-9, "The War Symphonies", in my collection. I certainly know that when I purchased this set I had no inclination about Gergiev's political inclinations, but, again, found the idea of a major Russian composer looking at the major symphonies of a major Russian composer with interpretive assistance from a major Russian orchestra (Kirov Orchestra and Chorus Of The Mariinsky Theatre) as well as a non-Russian one (Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest) quite compelling.

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Too, there's that cover.

I know there is at least one other version of Sofia Gubaidulina's Johannes-Passion on record, but I have the Gergiev recording, which was released at least five years prior to that other recording by Helmuth Rilling. Perhaps I should get the Rilling recording to hear what his take on this epic work is, but then again I cannot buy everything -- though a glance over my record and CD shelves seems to suggest that I already have.

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It's not a work I would listen to with any regularity, and Gergiev does a fine enough job communicating to me what I expect the music is about, so I'll let it go at that. And because it is the only copy of this particular Passion that i have on hand, I have no compelling reason to give it up, regardless of the sins of the conductor, sins of which I knew nothing when I purchased the album on November 11, 2004.

Another Gergiev disc I have exists in that space of rarities, and would thus be hard to give up, since the interpretation is likely irreplaceable. It's Vissarion Shebalin's Symphony No. 3 with Gergiev leading the USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra, a 1995 release from Olympia, though the recording itself was made in 1982. Shebalin's Symphony No. 3 is dedicated to Shostakovich.

Organism Font Art Paint Tints and shades


If there is another recording of the Shebalin Third Symphony I do not know of it. Discogs doesn't list any but the Olympia disc. So I'm happy to have that record.

So ... I don't suspect I'll be paring down my meager Gergiev collection any time soon. But, I probably will no longer purchase a Gergiev record, at least not during the conductor's life. If there are royalties to be had from such a purchase, I prefer not to cooperate in further lining the man's pockets. After all, I don't have to hear everything, do I?

But, if I do choose to relinquish my Gergiev recordings, for whatever reason, and if I make some small profit from selling them, I will gladly donate the funds to Ukrainian refugees, something I can do even without any consideration of Gergiev and his political views.

In fact, perhaps what we should all do is cut the fuss about "whether or not Gergiev" and simply send a check to the Red Cross for Ukrainian relief. We'll probably all feel a little better for the transaction.
 

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All music sites are on it, even the local rag brought this news.
I don't think that necessarily makes it legitimate news, it just means that it is widely reported. He's basically being castigated for being at odds with American foreign policy. So he's basically been caught up in the USA's sanctions against Russia. It seems pretty one sided to me.
 

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The object of sanctions is to try and change opinion. If by not playing Gergiev’s recordings you are going to help the situation in Ukraine - or if they offend your conscience - then by all means consign them to the bin. I think I thought better action is to give him and other Russian state sponsored artists and athletes etc an international boycott while the expansionist gangster regime is in place in Russia. That should also apply to the English football team not going to Qatar and playing in stadiums by slave labour btw. But I suppose money will prevail
 

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The sanctions are unlikely to change opinion but they might lead to a brain drain. In terms of music, the main impact of the sanctions may well be that musicians who up until now lived in Russia and traveled abroad to earn hard currency will be forced to relocate somewhere else, basically in the West. Definitely shades of the Cold War here.
 

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Unlike many posting here I am a big fan of many of Gergiev's recordings. I feel many miss out on him because they believe his reputation is as a barnstormer ala Mravinsky (something that he does not live up to) while his work (though not lacking in excitement) is actually very subtle. It would hurt a lot to get rid of many of his recordings.

I also have many Ukrainian friends and have visited the country many times and can't come close to imagining how they are suffering. Their hopes and dreams have been shattered. I abhor what Putin is doing.

But a big question is where does Gergiev stand in this. Many Russians - including a lot who were previously comfortable enough with Putin's ways - are against this war. Large numbers have risked being prosecuted for treason by protesting, and could easily be looking at a miserable future and early death, but many more are silently distressed. Where is Gergiev in this? Does anyone have any information? I will certainly not oppose someone just because s/he is Russian and living and working in Russia. But if it could be shown that Gergiev is contributing to Putin's actions - as a public apologist or enthusiastic supporter - I would certainly be uncomfortable keeping his recordings.

But, as things stand, I am not aware that he has gone as far as, say, Furtwangler or Karajan did in support of Hitler. Furtwangler may not have been a Nazi but he performed for them and seemed to accept the removal of Jews from his orchestras. Karajan was a member of the party but that may have been a pragmatic careerist choice on his part rather than political enthusiasm. The work of both was certainly supportive of Hitler's regime by producing wonderful music and thereby making things seem more normal. Nevertheless, I have many recordings by both Furtwangler and Karajan. I suppose historical distance helps there but as far as I can see so far Gergiev has not been guilty of any kind of support for Putin's actions and is far less guilty than they were in their support for Hitler's regime.
 

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I have always thought this sort of question as a bit of a slippery slope.

Can I freely listen to a Gergiev recording set down during Boris Yeltsin's presidency because Gergiev didn't support Putin during that time? Do I need to pinpoint the exact time Gergiev supported Putin and his wont to invade the Ukraine and cut out those particular recordings?

And what of the musicians and technical folk involved in a recording. Is the LSO (or the composers they perform) complicit in Gergiev's political alliances so much so that I can not listen to their music, recordings, or performances through association? Did the 60 or so musicians add nothing to their recordings such that one person's political stance ruins the entire performance? Worse yet, will listening to (or enjoying) these recordings change my political beliefs or the few shekels I spend on the recording support their cause? Should I do background checks on every recording for all involved?

For some yes, I am sure. For me, no.
 

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This just in :
=> Management drops conductor Valery Gergiev over Putin ties

quote=> (...)The move by Gergiev's management comes just ahead of a Monday deadline Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter imposed on Gergiev to publicly denounce the invasion. If Gergiev does not comply, Reiter has said he will remove him as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. (...)

https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/management-drops-conductor-valery-gergiev-putin-ties-83144022
Imagine if Russia or China had done the same to a British or American citizen in a similar position during the invasion of Iraq? There would've been outrage from the West.
 

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Looking into matters more closely I can now see that Gergiev has a history of supporting Putin's policies towards Ukraine (including the annexation of Crimea). He has not just kept his mouth shut but seems to have gone beyond anything that might have been necessary in the interests of his career. Of course, there is no reason to expect a great musician to be politically aware but some things are just plain wrong and his history of public stances in support of Putin does, I feel, place some burden on him to distance himself from what is being done by Russia at the moment. So I am glad to see so many of his engagements outside of Russia being cancelled.

But his recordings? Well, I am not sure I would buy any more but I do think that his music making - where beauty, humanity and integrity seem to seep from the approaches he takes - presents an interesting contrast to his political (and necessarily personal) actions. I don't think I could jettison the best of what he has done even though I can't help feeling less enamoured with him and his work.

Some have mentioned the parallel of such a case with cases of musicians who have misused their power to exploit sexual opportunities. Those musicians who used their positions to sexually exploit those under them disturb me much more (but even then I still retain some Dutoit recordings) than the stands a musician might take on international affairs. Misuse of power in interpersonal relations seems beyond excusing while understanding someone's nationalistic political stances seems to require getting more under their skin to understand how they have ended up supporting the unsupportable.
 
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