LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Monospaced Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  September 2014

ARSCLIST September 2014

Subject:

Re: Records Ruin the Landscape

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:43:31 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (140 lines)

Hi Dave:

Please attempt again to fix the reply-to setting with your e-mail so that when one hits reply, it
replies to ARSCList and not to you.

On to your point ...

Skrowaczweski is probably under-appreciated because he only made a few Mercury records and he
followed in Dorati's footsteps. However, he did benefit, very late in his Mercury days, from the
recording acoustics of the wonderful Edison High School auditorium. The process you mention of
listening to playbacks and making minute adjustments was DORATI'S, most certainly so. That's why he
was such a good recording conductor. He was one of the first to understand the difference between a
recording and a live performance (ie everything in a recording must be superb and precise because it
will be carefully listened to over and over and there's no visual to distract from any mistakes). He
also had very strong ideas about tempo, intonation and orchestral balance and was given wide
latitude about all of that by the Mercury recording method. I think any musician who worked in his
orchestras won't say he was shy about asking specific things of his players. It's entirely possible
that Skrowaczweski learned these things from Dorati. His reputation was of a more colleagial
approach to the players.

Paray was very precise compared to some other French conductors, but his method was to play through
long sections and rarely do small patch-ups. I think he wanted to get everyone into a certain feel
and then hit the part that needed replacement and leave it up to the producer and tape editor to
make it work on record. There was also the issue that Paray spoke little English so there were
translation issues that made small replacements time-consuming and thus money-wasting. I don't have
the edit notes, but someone, maybe Harold Lawrence, told me that many of the Paray symphony
recordings involved complete takes of whole movements, whereas Dorati liked to patch up small
sections and would get very cross if the same mistakes were made twice. I personally think Paray had
a crisper sense of time than, say, Munch, but that's just one man's opinion. My favorite French
conductor was Monteux, although he made some dull recordings here and there (not as a rule by any
means). One thing I've wondered about with Paray's Mercury recordings was how much he would have
benefitted early on by a good recording venue. I think there was always stress in the background
with Ford Auditorium. Politically, it had to be used, but it was a terrible recording venue. The
Paradise Theatre (old Orchestra Hall) was falling apart and was in a bad part of town, so there was
some outside stress involved with those sessions also. People seem to have always liked the Cass
Technical High School recordings best, and not just for sound quality. I think everyone was happy
with that venue, and there was a sense that whatever was played there could be well recorded, so
perhaps the sessions had a lighter feel to them. On some of the early-era recordings made at Ford
Auditorium, I question whether Paray could hear the whole orchestra in the proper balance, because
he seems to hesitate at times like he's not quite sure he hears everything they're playing, or he's
not used to hearing the sound qualities of that hall. I've never heard a good word about Ford
Auditorium, but when your #1 Patron builds you a venue, that's where you play. It's also worth
noting that Paray built up a much better orchestra than he found, and that has something to do with
the better quality of the later recordings.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Records Ruin the Landscape


> Hi Tom
>
> You fail to mention who I think is perhaps the most exciting conductor on Mercury Living Presence,
> Stanislaw Skrowaczweski. Without exception I find his interpretations and the recorded sound more
> transparent than with Dorati and Paray, etc. I get the feeling that he would listen to a playback
> and then make adjustments in the orchestra to idealize the sound of the recording. Such a
> conductor would be the perfect compliment to a production staff like your parents and their
> colleagues.
>
> db
>
>
> On Monday, September 22, 2014 2:41 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
> Hi Don:
>
> Mercury didn't adhere to any "standard canon of classical music" except in that Paray and Dorati
> both liked Beethoven and Dorati liked Brahms and Tchaikovsky so those composers were well
> represented. Otherwise, Dorati made plenty of records of Hungarian, Russian, Czech and other
> Eastern
> European composers, plus an on-going series of well-received American and European
> modern-classical
> composers. Paray usually stuck to French music and Romantic era classical. Hanson was all about
> modern American music, for the most part. Fennell was into a variety of things from marches to
> "pops" to wind arrangements of symphonic music. None of this was "standard canon," and it was
> Mercury's main point of difference (note that there is not a complete Beethoven cycle on Mercury
> Living Presence, never a 9th recorded and no released stereo 4th or 8th; if I recall correctly one
> of Dorati's Brahms symphonies was mono-only too). I would say the reason no Mahler was recorded
> was
> that none of Mercury's conductors or orchestras performed or advocated Mahler, the exception being
> Barbirolli (who was actually under contract with Pye). It's also worth noting that Walter and
> Bernstein started making well-received Mahler recordings in the "golden era" (late mono/early
> stereo
> LP era). No sane record producer would spend very many resources competing with Columbia's
> Bernstein
> publicity machine. Columbia and RCA were much more obsessed with recording every note of every
> piece
> from Beethoven to the 20th century, "standard canon" material, usually by multiple conductors and
> orchestras. Finally, it's worth noting that Dorati brought forth a lot of new-to-recordings
> material
> from Tchaikovsky like original scoring for the ballets, first recording of "1812" as it was
> originally conceived, first recording of the complete Suites. Dorati also premiere-recorded
> several
> modern pieces. Hanson's recording tally is full of premieres by the very nature of his American
> Music Festivals. Fennell hunted down original band music never recorded and not heard since the
> original bands, including Confederate sheet music found in attics for "The Civil War" albums. None
> of this is "standard canon of classical music" by any stretch. Mercury buyers were not wanting the
> Reader's Digest Guide To Great Music, but Mercury made sure not to get so out there on every
> release
> that they couldn't sell records. This was part of what doomed Everest -- too much stuff that no
> one
> had heard of, no matter how well recorded. The last thing they did, as they were in the midst of
> shutting down, was a mediocre Beethoven cycle with Krips.
>
> To part of your point, it's doubtful that Mahler symphonies were being performed out in places
> like
> Minneapolis or Detroit in that period, or that audiences were demanding it. But, I think if you
> checked concert repertoire around the US, they were being performed here and there through the
> years.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Don Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 2:47 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Records Ruin the Landscape
>
>
> <snip>
>
>> There are no Mercury recordings of any of these (or of Mahler), which
>> shows they were not in the standard canon of classical music in the
>> 1950s.
>>
>> Regards
>> --
>> Don Cox
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>>
>
>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager