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DVORAK! István Kertész!

198.27.143.138

Posted on January 7, 2017 at 14:01:22
Ivan303
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Two names that just naturally go together, along with DECCA.

Add the words 'new re-master from original master tapes' and 'BluRay Audio' and what's not to like?

Only think left is 'streaming of the newly remastered release is also available at 16/44.1 via QOBUZ' and we live in a perfect world!


Link below:





 

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Although I run hot and cold on Kertesz. . . , posted on January 7, 2017 at 14:41:02
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . I am indeed tempted by that set. I guess the only thing I'm hesitant about is whether they might issue the blu-ray audio by itself (as they did with the Solti Ring).

My problem with this Dvorak set is that it's slightly anonymous sounding to me, compared to any number of Czech-conducted sets (Neumann, Pesek, Macal), or, for that matter, the earlier Rowicki set on Philips. I remember the British (and some US) critics at the time these Kertesz performances were first released claiming that these performances had an aura of "the thrill of discovery". But I feel it's possible that these same critics were projecting their own "thrill of discovery" (i.e., of the music itself) onto the Kertesz recordings, which, as I said, to me sound slightly anonymous. The story was that Kertesz didn't spend much time studying the scores at the time he made these recordings, and, on at least a couple of occasions, was reported to have learned the scores on an airplane as he was flying in for the recording sessions. Maybe I've been influenced by such reports, because that's exactly the way these recordings sound to me. Nevertheless, they're engineered pretty well, and I DO have a moderate interest in this new re-mastering.

 

RE: Although I run hot and cold on Kertesz. . . , posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:32:59
pbarach
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The scuttlebutt (and I've never heard anyone say this is wrong) is that Kertesz was the first choice among the members of the Cleveland Orchestra to succeed Szell, but the management chose Lorin Maazel. And Kertesz drowned a year later :(

 

Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for those Bruegel..., posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:37:20
Ivan303
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album covers from back in the day.

Some guys like 'babes' on their album covers, Ivan like Bruegel! :-)



 

Jeez, Chris. , posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:57:23
Rick W
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Anonymous? I can only assume you mean lacking personality. Even WITH specific examples of differences in interpretation (none provided) between Kertesz and the Czech conductors you mentioned all you'd be doing is basically saying you prefer one version over the other. Obviously that's fine, but it ain't like 500 other conductors' versions sound just like Kertesz's.

I have all the Kertesz except New World on London LP's and have no complaints. Good music, excellent conductor/orch. and good sound. The personality is in the music, and I hear nothing to suggest Kertesz is hindering that from coming out -- they aren't boring vanilla versions IMO.

I had a couple of the Neumann and got rid of them. Nuthin' special IMO and Superphon sound was not the greatest.

Seems to me that sometimes you create things outta thin air. Rather than English critics "projecting", I think you are the one projecting. There is no reason whatsoever to think English critics who dug the Kertesz/Dvorak "....were projecting their own "thrill of discovery" (i.e., of the music itself) onto the Kertesz recordings....". That combined with the "reports" you mention seems, ahh, Trumpesque :-)

 

I remember them well! [nt] ;-), posted on January 7, 2017 at 17:10:25
Chris from Lafayette
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Well, actually, Neumann recorded some of the symphonies (5) times, posted on January 7, 2017 at 17:37:27
Chris from Lafayette
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At least that's true of the New World (five audio albums, plus two video releases!).

So I should have been more specific when I mentioned Neumann: what I meant was the early-to-mid-80's digital CD cycle recorded in conjunction with Denon, even though I think that most of the CD's were issued under the Supraphon label. (I think some of these albums may have been available on LP too, but, in any case, this was NOT the 70's cycle which was available on Supraphon LP and a couple of American importers, such as Pro Arte) - which I found surprisingly weak, given how great a conductor Neumann was overall.

The whole issue of an "anonymous" sounding conductor could be thought of in terms of the following question: "What would that particular orchestra sound like if they had no conductor for that performance, rather than the conductor in question?" With regard to the Kertesz performances of the Dvorak symphonies, I'm just not hearing that much of a point of view, and I feel that the Decca engineering went far towards elevating the reputation of this set. Kertesz, not so much.

OTOH, maybe I am getting to be "Trump-esque" in my old age - I didn't vote for him though! ;-)

 

"The personality is in the music", posted on January 7, 2017 at 19:33:22
rbolaw
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Yup, good point. But it's also true that the days of a single conductor carefully molding his orchestra for decades are long gone, and instead we have international "big name" conductors jetting from city to city, though that doesn't mean they don't develop good working relations with certain orchestras on a semi-formal or informal basis.

And imo Chris is right (darn it!) that a top orchestra could play the Dvorak symphonies without a conductor, even the relatively obscure early ones. The most a guest or even a regular conductor would likely do is make some general decisions about overall approach, tempo, balance and certain key passages. All that matters, but often less than one might think.

OTOH, the success of a recording, as opposed to a live performance, depends very much on a team of people in addition to the orchestra, only one of whom is the conductor. All of which means it's hard to judge a conductor from competent recordings of standard repertoire by top orchestras.

 

Wife is a HUGE Dvorak fan, having played a number of the symphonies..., posted on January 7, 2017 at 19:34:06
Ivan303
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in years long past, and SHE likes this set of recordings by Kertész, so the discussion is OVER here at 'Chez Ivan'.

Finally getting to the Requiem, which was they whole reason for streaming the box set in the first place (this has been going on all day).

I will now say without fear of 'serious' contradiction from my good friend from Lafayette that this box set is worth the $$. :-)





 

RE: "The personality is in the music", posted on January 7, 2017 at 21:52:57
Rick W
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Yes, a top orch. could play Dvorak without Neumann too. That doesn't make Kertesz bland, lame or lacking a "point of view". Not doing anything radical to a score doesn't equate to copping a standardized interpretation lacking emotion, color, texture, appropriate tempos, dynamic contrast, balance.

To each his own, but I don't hear anything missing in Kertesz's Dvorak, and plenty to enjoy. I'm no Dvorak maven, but I haven't heard other versions I like better, including Czech conductors.


 

RE: DVORAK! István Kertész!, posted on January 7, 2017 at 22:54:22
goldenthal
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On LP I have the 8th and the Requiem, and I treasure them both.


Jeremy

 

The point is not that an orchestra couldn't play without a conductor in charge, posted on January 8, 2017 at 00:34:25
Chris from Lafayette
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The question is: what "value add" does the conductor provide just by being there? I think you're possibly exaggerating what I wrote about Kertesz set: I said it sounded A BIT anonymous - I didn't say it was completely bland or lame, although I'll say again that, to my ears, it does have less of a point of view than the Neumann digital recordings (or, in the New World, the Fricsay, Ancerl, Klemperer, Reiner, Paray, Giulini, Harnoncourt, etc., recordings) do. I owned some (not all) of the Kertesz recordings back in my LP days, and then got the complete Kertesz set on CD sometime in the 90's (since jettisoned), and I still have the Kertesz "The Originals" disc of symphonies 8 and 9 - so it's not as if I haven't kept in touch with these performances.

And, BTW, there IS a Czech conductor whose Dvorak performances I've considered similarly anodyne to the Kertesz performances, and that's Belohlavek. I haven't heard his new set of the Dvorak symphonies (just released last year, I think), but his earlier Dvorak performances had what I consider a similarly weak profile to the Kertesz performances. And yet. . . Ivan Moravec spoke very highly to me of Belohlavek, and I've been told that the Detroit Symphony members loved working with him - probably similar to the respect that the Cleveland Orchestra members had for Kertesz (per pbarach's post below). So there you go: de gustibus and all that.

 

Still might wait for the blu-ray alone however [nt] ;-), posted on January 8, 2017 at 00:42:03
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RE: DVORAK! István Kertész! , posted on January 8, 2017 at 06:17:12
kitch29
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Conincidentally, I heard his requiem for the first time the other day on Itunes with Ancerl and decided to order a copy for my LP library. Had such good luck with a Decca Berlioz recommended by JDaniel recently I went with this Kertesz recording:



 

You will not be disapointed..., posted on January 8, 2017 at 07:48:04
Ivan303
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and if you ever decide to go over to the dark side (little silver disks, HORRORS!) then the newly remastered 9 CD plus BluRay set will not disappoint either.

After listening to the Dvorak Requiem last night (streaming via QOBUZ yet), I am reminded that my system is capable of sounding pretty good, given the right material.

Yes, I'm ordering the Box Set today.









 

If I get the box set...., posted on January 8, 2017 at 07:50:04
Ivan303
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you can have the BluRay until such time as I get a BluRay player.

Too many silver disk spinners are not a good thing for an old analog head.
:-)



 

I'm a Kertesz fan, posted on January 8, 2017 at 07:59:03
rbolaw
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and I for one am not putting down his Dvorak. I mean, we're talking about a very prominent, even legendary conductor here. Obviously never heard him in person, I assume you didn't either. I guess he knew a thing or too about Dvorak. Maybe I'll listen and try to find what Chris and you are arguing about.
But your point that the personality is in the music rings true for me. It should be Dvorak's Dvorak, not the conductor's Dvorak.

 

RE: What of the Kertesz Vienna PO New World?, posted on January 8, 2017 at 08:20:25
Mel
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Long an audio favorite.

 

RE: What of the Kertesz Vienna PO New World?, posted on January 8, 2017 at 08:36:41
Ivan303
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I have it on Vinyl (Treasury Series)

Available on Amazon as an Esoteric SACD(above).

Link below:





 

If you like Kertesz and Dvorak, this box set is worth a look..., posted on January 8, 2017 at 08:53:47
Ivan303
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One of the better re-mastering jobs of a DECCA recording from the mid 60's.

And the Requiem is mind-blowing!

My wife has a short attention span and she sat through all 9 Symphonies AND the 90 minute Requiem without an objection(new record for box set listening).




 

Kind of a general response., posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:04:28
Rick W
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The one Kertesz Dvorak I didn't like was New World. Had it and got rid of it. That one I did feel was too bland. I now have a HvK version and Walter. Suffice it to say, I haven't found a New World that really grabs me and has good sound. I'm starting to wonder if I just don't dig the piece that much.

I don't normally look to one conductor for all of one composer's symphs. I don't own ANY box sets of all of one composer's symphs. by ANY conductor - except Kertesz's Dvorak (sans New World), and I bought each of Kertesz's LP's separately.

But I'm also unlike many inmates on this forum in that I'm much less curious about different versions of pieces. When I find versions that satisfy me and allow me to be immersed in the music - including recording sound - I don't continue to seek out 20 other recordings of the same piece.

Remember, I'm a jazzer first and don't have unlimited resources. I'd much rather spend money and listening time on NEW jazz and/or NEW "classical" compositions than buy my 5th version of a Beethoven Symphony.

When I read posts from some inmates rapping about the 15 (or more) versions of some piece they own my eyes glaze over. Obviously I do hear differences between conductors' versions, but those differences are relatively small compared to jazz. "Classical" is MUCH more composer centric. After all, no conductor is gonna change Dvorak's voicings, give the clarinet part to trumpets in harmon mute, alter Dvorak's form, change the keys, give the oboe player an unwritten solo, change the first movement to salsa or go double-time in the last movement.

While I'm not married to Kertesz's Dvorak, they're the most appealing I've heard, the sound is good, and his versions are certainly more than adequate for me to enjoy listening to Dvorak's music. Its Dvorak that is the real interest for me, not conductor X.

 

Wow! Thanks!, posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:15:26
Chris from Lafayette
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There's a bit of arrogance when someone claims to follow your (and Rick's) last statement, posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:33:44
Chris from Lafayette
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"It should be Dvorak's Dvorak, not the conductor's Dvorak." Really, that's too simplistic - kind of like Landowska's, "You play Bach your way, I'll play Bach HIS way!" Only trouble is that, today, we're pretty sure that the way Landowska played Bach was likely far from HIS way. (That's not to say that he still might have enjoyed Landowska's performances. But that would be total speculation.)

No, even when a number of conductors legitimately claim to follow the score (Toscanini style!) they all manage to sound different from each other. There are too many parameters to control, and they couldn't sound exactly like each other, even if they tried! In a given performance, even the SAME conductor/orchestra won't necessarily sound like they did in earlier performances. The Neumann performances of the New World are an excellent example of this phenomenon, with some, as I mentioned, sounding noticeably different and more or less convincing. Even in regard to the two Kertesz performances of the New World, there seems to be a consensus that the performance with the VPO is quite a bit better than the one with the LSO. Are both of them Dvorak's Dvorak?

 

See the end of my post below ("There's a bit of arrogance. . . ") [nt], posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:35:22
Chris from Lafayette
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Rick - I don't disagree with your post, but see my post above ("There's a bit of arrogance. . . "), posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:44:25
Chris from Lafayette
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BTW, I'll be gone the rest of today, and won't have an opportunity to reply until tonight. (And who knows, the way things are going, the electricity may be out here by then!)

But just to reiterate, I'm in agreement that what you've posted will work for a lot of listeners, including yourself, and I have no problem with that at all. But there are other listeners, including me, who get all worked up over the relatively small differences in performances of certain classical works. It's all part of the spice of life! ;-)

 

RE: There's a bit of arrogance when someone claims to follow your (and Rick's) last statement, posted on January 8, 2017 at 10:02:27
Ivan303
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Wanda's way!





 

Those British critics, posted on January 8, 2017 at 10:29:56
Amphissa
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By now it should be clear that the British reviewing press have always been in place to promote British orchestras, British musicians, and those feriners who drop in to conduct or perform, with British orchestras and musicians. So it should be no surprise that the Brits loved the Dvorak symphonies played by the LSO (with Kertesz dropping in to conduct).

That said, I like the Kertesz recordings well enough on the whole. However, I preferred the competitor cycle by that other K guy, Kubelic (both the Bavarian and the Berlin), but maybe that's because I listen to the last few symphonies most often, especially the 9th, and I like Kubelic's 9th better than any of the Kertesz recordings.

As with any great symphony, there are many ways to play it well, and the 9th falls in that category. So I have many recordings of the piece and I enjoy hearing the variety of recordings, from Fischer to Neumann, Fricsay to Ancerl, etc. Sure, some I end up liking better than others, but many have some interesting takes.

As for the new reissue, I'll hold off. I don't need any more complete sets. Maybe they'll release bluray or SACD format of the tone poems or just the last two symphonies.




"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

RE: Kind of a general response., posted on January 8, 2017 at 10:54:57
Old Listener
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There is another Kertesz recording of the New World Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on Decca. That one has been my very favorite for 4+ decades.

The Kertesz / LSO recording of the 8th Symphony is my very favorite for that symphony.

I don't find Chris's criterion that a conductor should deliver a point of view to be relevant to my choices. I choose on the basis of two questions: did I enjoy listening to the recording and will I want to listen to it again?

A number of recordings of Dvorak works pass my tests. The ones I go back to often are

6th Symphony: Kertesz/LSO, Rowicki/LSO and Ancerl/Czech PO

7th Symphony: Szell/ Cleveland, Kertesz/LSO, Rowicki/ LSO, Monteux/LSO

8th Symphony: Kertesz/LSO, Szell/ Cleveland, Mackerras/Prague SO, Barbirolli/Halle Orchestra

9th Symphony: Kertesz/VPO, Szell/Cleveland, Rowicki/LSO, Mackerras/Prague SO, Kondrashin/VPO

I've got Neumann and Kubelik recordings but I don't revisit them very often.

my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/

 

Out of all the ones I've heard, (which is probably .001% of all available over the years), it's Bruno Walter, posted on January 8, 2017 at 11:21:08
jdaniel@jps.net
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that still holds my attention.

 

Well, no arrogance intended, rather respect, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:24:33
rbolaw
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for Kertesz, Ancerl, Neumann, and the other famous conductors of the past mentioned in this thread. My point, which I don't think was arrogant, was that you can't put how a particular recording comes out entirely on the conductor. If one Kertesz version differs markedly from another of the same work, that would support my point.

I think the best way to evaluate a conductor is in live performance of an orchestra he or she has directed full time for many years, ideally not of a standard warhorse like the Dvorak 7, 8 or 9. Even then, you can't pin everything on the conductor. Look at the NY Philharmonic, where long time concertmaster Glenn Dicterow recently turned 65 and retired. Dicterow had been brought over from the LA Philharmonic by Zubin Mehta. So every music director since has been obliged to work with Mehta's hand picked concertmaster rather than his own.

I do concede that when a conductor compiles an extensive discography over a long career, especially with orchestras he directed for many years, there comes a point where he has to own its overall success or failure. Even there, I'm not looking at his New World or Pathetique Symphony to gauge his success.

 

RE: There's a bit of arrogance when someone claims to follow your (and Rick's) last statement, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:37:53
Rick W
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Chris, I'll repeat.......

Not doing anything radical to a score doesn't equate to copping a standardized interpretation lacking emotion, color, texture, appropriate tempos, dynamic contrast, balance. Whuddya think, Dvorak didn't consider all those things when he wrote the scores? He needs Kertesz or Neumann to inject those things in his compositions?

Yeah, there obviously are performance/recording differences with different conductors. But BY FAR its the composition that is what's important - actually pretty much sacrosanct. Stray too far from what's on the score, take too many liberties and your gigs will be a tad thin.

Omit the repeat, the 1889 version as opposed to the 1899 revision, accent this not that, relatively slight tempo differences, balance preferences etc. (and recording sound). Yes, conductors do manage to sound different. But c'mon, its chickenshit compared to, say, the Beatles' original recordings vs. Duke Ellington's recorded versions of Beatles tunes. What conductor's gonna reharmonize Brahms and turn a largo into a mambo? I took an uptempo Wayne Shorter tune, added sections and made it a lilting ballad. Anybody who does that in the classical world has to title it something like "Variations On A Theme By Dvorak". Obviously no conductor's gonna do anything remotely like that with a performance of a Dvorak symph. because its the COMPOSITION - basically unadulterated - that really matters, not the conductor. I do believe that certain conductors get the best outta certain orchestras, and that's a big contribution towards a good version. According to what I hear that applies to Kertesz's LSO recordings of Dvorak symphs.

I did say that I know I'm different from a number of inmates here. There may well be versions of Dvorak I'd like even better than Kertesz's, but I'm satisfied. I'm sure as hell getting the gist of Dvorak via Kertesz and the sound quality on the LP's is enjoyable. We all have limited time. I'd rather hear 20 new pieces than spend that time listening to 20 conductors' versions of a Dvorak symphony.

In conclusion -- to each his own, but anyone who disagrees with me is full of shit :-)


 

Kertesz, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:38:16
TGR
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He was, as I understand it, quite popular with the musicians of the San Francisco symphony. Apparently during one concert, after a solo by then-concertmaster Stuart Canin, Kertesz flipped him a coin - Canin broke out laughing.

I have the complete Dvorak set with Kertesz, also the Kubelik, on LP. I have not compared most of the symphonies head to head - I want to do that someday.

 

I have some of the Kertesz on LP...., posted on January 8, 2017 at 13:49:12
Ivan303
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and most of the Kubelik as well.

As a vinyl guy with 3000+ LPs in the racks, I consider this latest re-master by DECCA as a real wonder.

The Requiem alone is nearly worth the price of admission and I'm not much of a 'Requiem' guy.





 

Part of it us one's upbringing., posted on January 8, 2017 at 14:35:22
rbolaw
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I was listening to classical music almost around the clock from early childhood. So, I've heard the top 500, or even the top 1,000 classical hits, a whole lot. I can play large sections of many of them by ear, even if I've never seen the score. So a spiffy new high-def multi-channel of the New World, or the Pathetique, or the Spring, or the Jupiter, or the Pastoral, or the Inextinguishable, or the "- Of A Thousand" (hey, this is fun), is fine, but probably not as interesting to me as a convincing performance of something entirely new, or old but infamiliar. Even if most of what is entirely new is less than convincing.

 

My bad - I tried to word that last subject line carefully - didn't mean you or Rick were being arrogant, posted on January 8, 2017 at 16:36:48
Chris from Lafayette
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The arrogance would lie in assuming that one can even present "Dvorak's Dvorak" or (pace Landowska) "Bach's Bach" through one's own interpretation. There's too much in the music that's vague and unspecified. (BTW, the reason I keep mentioning the New World Symphony is because it has the largest number and widest range of recorded interpretations of any of the nine Dvorak symphonies. And I suspect most of these interpretations would be thought of by their originators as honoring what the composer would have liked to hear. Sure, we'll always have conductors such as Mengelberg and Stokowski whose first priority seems to have been to put their own imprint on the music, but I think most conductors see themselves more as conduits to the composer's intentions - even though that's actually unrealizable in an absolute sense.)

And I do agree with Rick that if one is not interested in accumulating a large number of recordings of various warhorses, then it's fine to have a decent recording like the Kertesz/LSO set as one's only version. My OP was more concerned with reviewers (who, one would presume, SHOULD have a certain breadth of knowledge about the recorded versions of what they're reviewing) projecting their own "thrill of discovery" onto a given recorded interpretation. It's not unlike one's "imprint version" of a given work, which always seems to have a greater chance of impressing any given listener more powerfully, just because first impressions are often so strong.

 

Understood - no problem with that [nt], posted on January 8, 2017 at 16:38:09
Chris from Lafayette
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I see a list like yours, and I think. . . , posted on January 8, 2017 at 16:53:43
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . wow! Aside from the Mackerras recordings, aren't you the least bit curious as to what has been happening in recordings of this music since the 70's? Or do you simply dismiss stuff that's been recorded since the 70's? Not that there's anything wrong with the versions you mention (I certainly like most of the recordings on your list too - well, maybe except for the Monteux recording of the Seventh!), but music making just didn't stop in the 70's.

And BTW, perhaps I wasn't clear on this, but I don't necessarily want to be aware of a strong "point of view" in a recorded interpretation. What I was really talking about was something perhaps more intangible - a sense that the players are aware of how their individual parts fit in the total concept and overall context of the music. A conductor can impart that feeling among the players, and an audience can sense it, even if the interpretation is pretty middle of the road.

 

But having said all that, posted on January 8, 2017 at 18:40:58
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I just listened. Kertesz and the LSO take the first movement of the New World a touch too slow. For me, it should canter along at a confident clip, as do Neumann and the Czech Phil on Supraphon, which is very nice and idiomatic, though to me Kertesz has the better orchestra. Better flute solo in the first movement, better English horn solo in the second, better brasses and percussion. Better playing overall.
You could parse stuff like that endlessly. No doubt there are a lot of good New World recordings out there.

 

RE: Kubelik from the Dress Circle at Severance Hall, posted on January 8, 2017 at 19:58:56
kitch29
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Family friends had those seats and I was able to hear him conduct the Dvorak Eighth after a forgotten undercard. I recall it was the eighth because at the same time I was rehearsing it with the Suburban Symphony.

From the Dress Circle all I remember of the concert was looking up and up and up at this towering madman waving his arms and hair around.

I was 16.

 

RE: " but music making just didn't stop in the 70's", posted on January 8, 2017 at 20:47:44
Ivan303
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Yeah, but decent vinyl did.

We vinyl guys kinda ran into a dead end what with the oil crises, crappy recycled noisy vinyl (melted down records with the labels still attached) and then CD's... :-(





 

RE: Kubelik from the Dress Circle at Severance Hall, posted on January 9, 2017 at 04:12:55
pbarach
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I saw him conduct Mahler 9 at Severance Hall; I was a little older than you. It was a memorable performance.

 

RE: I see a list like yours, and I think. . . , posted on January 9, 2017 at 08:41:50
Old Listener
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". . . wow! Aside from the Mackerras recordings, aren't you the least bit curious as to what has been happening in recordings of this music since the 70's? Or do you simply dismiss stuff that's been recorded since the 70's? Not that there's anything wrong with the versions you mention (I certainly like most of the recordings on your list too - well, maybe except for the Monteux recording of the Seventh!), but music making just didn't stop in the 70's."


I merely said that my criteria were different from yours and listed recordings that I come back to often. You know nothing about what other recordings I own or have heard.

You may feel that affirmative action for musicians requires that I give equal attention to and equal affection for recent recordings by currently active musicians.

I'll go right on making my own decisions about what to buy and what to return to regularly. A recording can be a fresh discovery for me whether it was recorded this year, 10 years ago or 30 or fifty.

For the record, vinyl isn't a factor for me now.

How about making a positive contribution to this thread by listing and describing some recent recordings of note of the Dvorak symphonies?



my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/

 

Saw him on tour in Santa Barbara, posted on January 9, 2017 at 14:58:19
TGR
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With what was called the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, in English. This would have been about 1974, when I was the classical music critic for the UC Santa Barbara Nexus (student newspaper). I believe the concert was a Wagner overture (Tannhauser, perhaps), a work by Hartmann, and Beethoven's 7th. I loved that he split the violins left and right. I was actually seated next to the conductor of the Santa Barbara Symphony, who assured me that was an "old-fashioned practice".

Kubelik did great service to romantic music, early and late, and also to the various Czech composers. I own 3 of his versions of Ma Vlast! (Just need the Mercury with Chicago).

It was no coincidence that the concert broadcast on Kubelik's return to Prague, which included Ma Vlast, opened with music from Smetana's Libuse - that opera is a kind of Czech national opera (and actually full of beautiful, somewhat Wagnerian, music).

 

Excellent idea, posted on January 10, 2017 at 01:10:32
Chris from Lafayette
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I did mention other sets in one of my other posts on this thread, but, if you want specifics, here are just a few:


I have one caveat with this recording and that is the edition of the E-flat symphony (No. 3) which Macal uses, which, amazingly, does not correspond to ANY version of the symphony that Dvorak actually knew in his own lifetime. I don't know of any other recording of this symphony that uses this edition (a Simrock edition, which came out after Dvorak had already died). Despite its weaknesses (near the end of the first movement especially), it's still interesting to hear.



Also, Pesek's set was just reissued last year:

Pesek divides the works between the RLPO and the CzPO - I had some of the individual discs when they were first issued. I believe that Pesek had his own jazz band before he started getting into classical conducting (perhaps a bit like Andre Previn I guess, and a few others), and I find he often brings a fresh viewpoint to many of his interpretations. As a matter of fact, I just ordered this set myself - some of the Amazon resellers have it at an extremely low price.

BTW, I totally agree with your statement, "A recording can be a fresh discovery for me whether it was recorded this year, 10 years ago or 30 or fifty." The same is true for me too. Nevertheless, your list did appear a bit confined to me (with regard to release dates) - but, hey, each to his own! ;-)

 

RE: Excellent idea, posted on January 10, 2017 at 11:14:40
johngladneyproffitt
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I should mention another recommendable MCH high-res. cycle of the Dvorak symphonies, now underway. Marcus Bosch and the Nürnberg Staatsphilharmonie SACD on Coviello Classics. Very nicely done in SOTA surround sound --and very much worth a listen!
John Proffitt

 

Yes - Thanks, John - I haven't gotten around to that Bosch cycle yet, posted on January 10, 2017 at 12:11:34
Chris from Lafayette
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I actually treasure an earlier recording by Marcus Bosch (Mendelssohn's Lobgesang Symphony) on a Nishimura DVD-Audio. I believe that Tatsuo Nishimura recorded the proceedings in a very similar way to the method you use: five omnidirectional microphones (one for each channel).


 

Excelent recording...., posted on January 10, 2017 at 16:12:59
Ivan303
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Even at 44.1/16 streaming on QOBUZ.

Great to see these regional European orchestras and young conductors getting the chance to produce great recordings.

Thanks and keep the tips coming!





 

RE: Excellent idea, posted on January 10, 2017 at 23:25:08
Old Listener
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Chris, thanks for the info on more recent recordings.

I had not been aware of the Macal recordings with the CzPO on Exton. IThe Macal/Miulwaukee Symphony recordings on Koss were hard to find back when I was looking and not cheap. I saw good reviews but I never managed to buy one of the CDs.

I was aware of the Pesek recordings on eVrgin. I have the 4th and 5th symphonies; neither performance convinced me that the 4th or 5th were something I wanted to listen to very often. The CDs also included the Czech Suite. Not a successful performance.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/

 

RE: Excellent idea, posted on January 11, 2017 at 01:12:19
Chris from Lafayette
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Those Macal/Milwaukee performances (the couple that I heard anyway) seemed bogged down by what I heard as unattractively dry and damped sound on the recordings. His cycle with the CzPO (at least the two albums I show) has all the reverberation one would need - possibly even too much, I'm sure, for some listeners, but I like it a lot.

Regarding the Pesek recordings, I had those two CD's that you mention too. I really liked them, but I was already a fan of those symphonies from the older 50's and 60's recordings by Neumann and the Prague SO (for No. 4) and Sejna and the CzPO (for No. 5). In any case, I'll soon be getting a chance to re-evaluate the Pesek recordings! ;-)

 

RE: Excellent idea, posted on January 11, 2017 at 07:17:20
Old Listener
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Good info about the two sets of Macal recordings. I usually prefer recordings with a fairly close perspective and less reverb. as opposed to more. I might not find a Goldilocks recording in either set.

I've loved Dvorak's 8th and 9th symphonies from the first time I heard them. Later, the 6th was easy to like. I want to enjoy more of the symphonies and I try. I listen to #7 fairly often and get some pleasure from it. Listening to 1-5 is a duty with little reward. Fortunately for me, there is a lot of other Dvorak that I thoroughly enjoy.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/

 

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