I think we all know how substantial the difference can be between a concert performance and a recorded one. But I also think it essential to be continually aware that, in concert, the conductor rules, in recording it is a team effort to create a competitive product. To this end, many producers go over the material with the conductor and agree beforehand concerning interpretive decisions. If this is not done, then it becomes difficult to integrate multiple takes.
I also found Haitink was often less compelling in concert than on records. One has to be lucky enough to catch any touring musician at a time when jetlag and all the other "on the road" factors don't place physical limits on their stamina, concentration, etc. In Haitink's case, I always felt him more at home with the Concertgebouw, both the orchestra and the venue. And, as we praise or condemn the various record producers and their teams, I'd like to offer my admiration for the crew which what I feel to be the most sonically and musically satisfying recordings issued in the Philips 6500,000 series, particularly those made with the Concertgebouw orchestra.
As to Tchaikovsky performances, this composer has yet to be fully addressed by the performance practice folks. We know how sentimental- i.e., portomento-laden, vocally inflected, tempo-flexible, etc, the performaces of this then new music was performed in his day but I've yet to hear convincing readings along these lines. I see Dudamel recorded some Tchaikovsky but I've not yet heard them. I thought his Mahler First showed considerable progress in this direction and have hopes he will continue to bring an open mind to his readings.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 2:35 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Does anyone (has anyone ever) conducted Tchaikovsky like Koussevitzky?
It is always a fun exercise to hear, many years later, a recording you grew up with, and see if you still love it the same as before. Sometimes your first impressions are happily confirmed, sometimes not. I haven't done that in this case, but the first recording I knew of Tchaikovsky's 5th Sym was the Columbia 78's of Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ormandy's early recordings could be stupendous performances, unlike at the other end of his long career. That's one I sure would like to hear again.
I will hunt for it.
I am another great admirer of Mravinsky's Tchaikovsky Symphony recordings (both mono and stereo), as well as those of Markevitch. I also had Monteux' BSO stereo LP of the 5th Symphony as a teenager, and I have to confess that many of Monteux's recordings have not stood the test of time that well with me, including this one. The performance is well played by the BSO but just lacks fire.
For Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, it is really hard to beat Giulini's EMI recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra. It has great sound on CD. Now I'll have to dig that one up and listen to it again.
Come to think of it, I have not encountered Tchaikovsky's great symphonies very much on live concerts in recent decades. Is it possible that they have somewhat fallen out of favor? Decades ago I did hear Haitink conduct the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony in Carnegie Hall, and (sorry, Steve), was that ever a soggy, uninspired performance.
On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 8:17 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> My personal favorite of T5 is none of the above but Haitink, A Con O
> on Philips 6500 922. I also love the sound. I've large file of those
> 6500xxx Philips of the Concertgebouw on Dutch or other good pressings.
> I'd be interested in s similar version but with the old-fashioned
> Russian horn sound. I recall some of Rostropovich's Russian opera recordings on DGG
> used this kind of orchestra. Anyway, I think Haitink is a vastly
> underrated conductor, along with Kertesz.
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 7:40 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Does anyone (has anyone ever) conducted
> Tchaikovsky like Koussevitzky?
> Dear Dennis,
> Music is so personal and the emotion is so much a part of the
> listening experience. I recall hearing Georg Solti conducting T5 with
> the Chicagoans in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Phenomenal! Wow! I
> marched out of the concert.
> I just listened to the fourth movement of the Philips recording by
> Valery Gergiev from 1998 with the Vienna Philharmonic recorded live in
> the Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg. The applause was as I remembered
> it for Solti at Carnegie Hall. Though I had just listened to the same
> movement by Mravinsky which was probably better and didn't have the
> loud Bravos at the end. From the Philips Original Jackets CD18.
> The Dorati/Minneapolis T5 from the MLP3-12 set is less inspiring on
> many levels (sorry Tom). It sounds more plodding and I didn't like the
> sound quality as much (I'm not certain why as I generally like MLP recordings).
> It's not that it's bad, but if I recall correctly, it's an early
> recording and sounds it, though the Mravinsky is a fairly old recording as well, no?
> Thanks for the impetus to enjoy music <smile>.
> On 6/7/2016 12:28 PM, Dennis Rooney wrote:
> > Dear Ben,
> > The Tchaikovsky Fifth rarely fails to make a strong impression at
> > first hearing, so your preference for Koussevitzky's BSO RCA Victor
> > recording isn't surprising, although I must add that that recording
> > usually does not lead any list of best recorded versions, nor for
> > that matter does the Bernstein. You might investigate those of Igor
> > Markevich, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Pierre Monteux, Artur Rodzinski,
> > Valery Gergiev, and, if you accept their mannerisms, Leopold
> > Stokowski and
> Willem Mengelberg.
> > Ciao,
> > DDR
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.