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ARSCLIST  May 2014

ARSCLIST May 2014

Subject:

Re: Haydn

From:

Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 11 May 2014 00:05:11 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (251 lines)

Carl, You like Scherchen? Check out his Symphonie Fantastique! His live
Mahler 5 from France is brilliant too, albeit slightly cut.


On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 11:37 PM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Thanks for all the ideas! On my LP shelves, FJ Haydn is sandwiched between
> KA Hartmann and HW Henze. I've been more inclined to reach for one of those
> guys. But these exchanges got me curious, plus I recorded a piano recital
> last week that contained an entertaining sonata by Haydn. Could really hear
> how much Beethoven owed to Haydn's example when it came to sly tricks and
> humor. Joseph a Stan Laurel to Ludwig's Lou Costello?
>
> Aside from some chamber music, I had three Haydn symphony albums perched
> between the two moderns. #88 by Eugen Jochum (DGG, with #98) seems to me
> typical of this conductor in its sensitivity and lack of ego. Berliner
> Philharmoniker takes it seriously, that is to say beautifully yet not
> over-powered. Appealing, engaging, gemütlich.
>
> One of the LB Columbia series was sitting there, #99 and #100. I guess
> this one made the cut a while ago, because 99 is absolutely terrific. 100
> is somewhat less spirited. The recording gets in the way of the Allegretto
> military music, blunting the expressive dynamics. The Menuetto goes a
> little flat-footed. And the disc has the usual affliction of Columbias of
> that period - the sides start out sounding okay and get steadily worse. But
> that doesn't hurt 99 so much. I'll have to dig out the other
> Bernstein/Haydn albums to see if my feelings about them have changed. This
> one certainly has little resemblance to that stinker on DG.
>
> Being that Reiner was LB's conducting prof, it's appropriate that his last
> recording, of Haydn 101 and 95, was also at hand. I had never put it on.
> $0.75 at a library sale, it's a 1964 Decca pressing, mint as a little
> scrub-a-dub-plate on my VPI revealed. Fritz was very ill and it's a pick-up
> band, but there's that sound! It's not joyful or light-hearted Haydn, but
> 101 doesn't suffer for the seriousness with which the pieces are made to
> fit. The music seems more to be revealed than performed. It does suffer
> from poor recorded balance, however, the horns and trumpets buried behind
> the strings. Maybe Andreas fixed that - I'll check out the CD next time.
>
> Scherchen, eccentricities? I don’t believe it. Definitely want to hear
> those given how extraordinary his Beethoven is. Don't think I've heard any
> of the Colin Davis versions, though I generally like his work. Did have
> access years ago to the complete Dorati sets, but I hadn't gained an
> appreciation for him then. Adam Fischer's, otoh, I heard quite a lot of
> while DJing an afternoon show, and always enjoyed those readings. Recall
> them being successful examples of Nimbus Ambisonics. Glad to know you can
> still get them. I think he more recently recorded a Beethoven symphony
> cycle that was well received.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Tait
> Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2014 6:39 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Haydn
>
>   I support Steve completely about Scherchen's recordings of Haydn
> symphonies. I know that he and I can remember the 1950s, when Scherchen's
> Westminster Haydn symphony recordings were sometimes cited as a model. In
> my experience, they were almost cited as a cult. So I bought and still own
> them all. I remember thinking that Scherchen's Westminster LPs of a few
> earl(ier) symphonies, such as #49, 44, #55 ("The Schoolmaster"), and
> perhaps #63 (?) were superb. But his recordings of the "London" symphonies
> (93-104), which I own, were sometimes jaw-droppingly weird. One would hear
> (say) three movements that seemed almost ideal with one that could only be
> described as loony. I seem to recall no. 98 as that way concerning the
> finale.
>
>   Some of us surely own the six-LP Westminster album set of Scherchen's
> "London" symphonies. I do. Bound in silk, no less. (Real silk? Is it?)
> Perhaps Steve has kept his, too....
>
>   Don Tait
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Fri, May 9, 2014 9:27 am
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Haydn
>
>
> I care less about pitch-perfect intonation than what the conductor gets (or
> allows) the orchestra to convey.
>
> The Bernstein NY Phil Haydn Symphonies have given me great pleasure.  They
> have considerable energy and, in appropriate places, bounce, a clear sense
> of architecture, and an awareness of Haydn's sly sense of humor without
> underlining, a combination I find nowhere else.  They make me smile.  For
> more "informed" readings, I like the Hogwood, pitch-adjusted OL set.
>
> I do like the Adam Fischer readings.  I've not heard Davis in Haydn who I
> find elsewhere somewhat metronomic.  I HATED his Sibelius Symphonies.
>
> The earlier Doratis have a "rough and ready" tinge that probably reflects
> the orchestra's unfamiliarity with so many of the earlier works before the
> recordings were made.  His later Symphonies were OK but I enjoyed- that's
> the proper term- Bernstein's more.
>
> A sleeper is Beinum's mono 96 on London.  The extra horn line in the last
> go-round of the trio may or may not be authentic, but it amusingly
> refernces London's foghorns.
>
> As to Scherchen, his Haydn is gimmicked up.  The 100 was fun at early
> audio shows but the group lacks the feeling of being inside Haydn's mind.
> Theyr'e just readings, sometimes misdirected.  I'd not sit through one of
> them again voluntarily.
>
> One person's opinion.
>
> Steve Smolian
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dave Burnham
> Sent: Friday, May 09, 2014 12:39 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Haydn
>
> I don't believe the Colin Davis set on Philips can be beat.
>
> db
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On May 9, 2014, at 12:03 AM, Roger Kulp <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > My favorite Haydn recordings are mostly from the 40s-70s Josef
> > Krips,Hermann Scherchen,Serge Kossevitzky,Eugen Jochum,George
> > Szell,and all those old guys,but as a whole Paavo Jarvi is my favorite
> > modern conductor.Here he is in the Haydn #84
> >
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUhvKbbJ0OM
> >
> >> Date: Thu, 8 May 2014 22:27:00 -0400
> >> From: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Haydn
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>
> >> Thanks Alex. I don't listen to enough Classical period music to know
> >> what I like necessarily, but I know I don't like portentous. That's
> >> what came to mind from LB's #88 on DG, until the finale, which seems
> >> more engaged than the rest of the performance. On the flipside, #92
> >> fairs better, but not anything to treasure, IMO. Inner movements
> >> don't go anywhere; they're played the same at the end as at the
> >> beginning. I first encountered his Haydn records in the mid-80s and
> >> thought: great, hopefully they play him like they play Gershwin. But
> >> I was disappointed. Three are in a give-away pile, along with the DG.
> >>
> >> LB wasn't generally a stickler for textual fidelity and he wasn't
> >> always well prepared. Orchestra's know this when they see it.
> >> According to one biographer, he could be quite casual about some of
> >> his recordings. Sessions for short, war-horse pieces were sometimes
> >> noted
> on his calendar as "shit."
> >> They were said to be quick, barely-rehearsed sessions. When it
> >> worked, the spontaneity could be delightful. When it didn't, ...
> >>
> >> They shouldn't have had any technical problems with Haydn, but the
> >> NYP could also be rather inconsistent. [<-Understatement.]
> >>
> >> Who would you say does nail FJH in recent years?
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alex McGehee
> >> Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2014 7:37 AM
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mitrop[olous was Dora Labbette, Soprano with
> >> string
> >> quartette:
> >>
> >> Sorry for the delay, was working on deadline for another project. The
> >> Bernstein performances have been widely praised, held up as models,
> >> etc., but I can't board that train. The string playing is sloppy,
> >> intonation questionable at times, especially in the "Paris" cycle.
> >> Now please don't ask me for specifics because I gave my sets away
> >> years ago. Unable to make the connection many others have made with
> >> the late Haydn symphonies conducted by Bernstein, I jotted down a few
> >> notes and was glad to have the empty shelf space open up. Sections in
> >> the outer movements were on occasion especially egregious for poor
> ensemble.
> >>
> >> My favorite Bernstein/Haydn performance is on YouTube (don't have the
> >> link but it's easy to find) where Bernstein uses only his facial
> >> gestures to conduct the VPO in the final movement of no. 88 in G
> >> major. It's a "look Ma no hands" moment of priceless peacock-ary, and
> >> of course the orchestra can play the piece superbly even with
> >> blindfolds on. Bernstein was truly a great man and he would have been
> >> the first to tell you so. I apologize in advance to his many fans for
> >> being a little harsh here, and on checking see that I still have his
> >> DG
> performances of 88 and 92.
> >>
> >>> On May 6, 2014, at 5:33 PM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Alex, I'm curious how you feel about Bernstein's Haydn performances.
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alex McGehee
> >>> Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:45 AM
> >>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mitrop[olous was Dora Labbette, Soprano with
> >>> string
> >>> quartette:
> >>>
> >>> Hi guys,
> >>>
> >>> The Haydn literature is replete with spurious timpani parts and over
> >>> the years they've gained a large group of devotees, never mind that
> >>> Haydn never wrote them and had the resources available to do so.
> >>> Maybe Haydn played the drums and that would cool off this simmering
> >>> musical brew of yes-he-did, no-he-didn't continuo crowd led by James
> >>> Webster of
> >> Cornell.
> >>>
> >>> The German authorities (who must be obeyed): at the Joseph Haydn
> >>> Institute in Köln, responsible for the complete edition of Haydn's
> >>> work that got underway in the late 1950's. Why it's taken so long I
> >>> can't go into detail here, but it's almost done, give or take
> >>> another seven years. A scholar there has laid down a serious
> >>> argument for several symphonies that don't really have high alt
> >>> horns. I kind of like the symphonies that way and so did H. C.
> >>> Robbins Landon (he had a
> >> passion about them).
> >>>
> >>> The credo (within reason) must alway aim at the composer's original
> >>> intentions which do include later revisions and authorized
> >>> arrangements (like the flute and string instruments Johann Peter
> >>> Solomon wrote out from Haydn's symphony scores). I enjoy the playing
> >>> of the BPO with Karajan at times, but it's not Haydn. (And Landon
> >>> thought it the gold standard)The wind and string parts are all out
> >>> of balance and the timpani part (so important to Haydn when he
> >>> actually wrote one) has trouble getting through. I'm not a cat gut
> >>> wing-nut, just someone who likes these works served up with true
> >>> balance and not overly controlled with spot mics. And don't get me
> started on Harnoncourt.
> >> Yikes!
> >>>
> >>> Alex McGehee
> >
>
>
>

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