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In Reply to: RE: OK... posted by Todd Krieger on June 21, 2012 at 17:21:47
Bavarian Radio and Munich Opera band is top drawer at the time that Rafael Kubelik conducted and also saw occasional appearances by reclusive Carlos Kleiber.
In our family home, we have scads of mint DGG tulip LP records from them, and in an Financial Times article (I believe) which at one time was linked at the Cleveland Orchestra website, they were regarded in the top 10, along with the Metropolitan Opera Orch under Levine (sick).
In your opinion, how are the English bands?
Used to be LSO, Philharmonia, London Phil, Royal Phil and others were highly regarded. I was listening to a Barenboim/Philharmonia Mozart PC CD in the car today and was struck by the excellence in phrasing and playing.
I haven't heard of lot of the London orchestras recently........ Trumpets were always a strong point, and a clear if not spectacular winds...... I think the string playing is generally decent but I think the LSO has declined there over the past decade. The City of Birmingham Symphony is also a nice band, but haven't heard enough recently to voice specifics.
A performance of Brahms' Double Concerto, final two movements were just put on line...... The opening movement was on line in April........
The cello part performed by Ryoichi Fujimori, NHK's principal cellist.
The performance was sublime in the first movement..... The two soloists (duet?) were a little short on the phrasing at the start of the final movement but improved later on, and the accompaniment in the final movement was superlative.
The conductor was Toshiaki Umeda, who I've never seen before..... But as I said, the NHK Symphony is "conductor proof"....... It performs at a very high level, regardless of who conducts it. (Who knows, Umeda might be a fine conductor, I'd have to see him conduct other works before making any judgments.)
One of the "B" players was on flute, Kanda wasn't there....... The bassoons didn't have the "A" players either. Not much to complain about how they performed.
These 2 ratings show Bavarian Radio (Bayerischen Rundfunk) as 6 in the world. Cleveland is 7. LSO is 4, but IMHO, things move around a bit, too.
Example, I heard LA Phil (during Salonen's tenure) at Disney twice for children's concerts, and they weren't near 8, as that 2008 rating states. Younger conductors were working, but orchestra was not world class. Nowhere near.
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