Print

Print


Hi, Dave.  There seem to be at least three Brahms Symphony cycles recorded
by Sanderling--with Staatskapelle Dresden, Berlin Symphony and
Philharmonia/London Philharmonia.  Which one are you referring to?

Thanks,
John


On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I would love to hear your reaction. Anyone I've played it for has been
> genuinely overwhelmed by it.
>
> db
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Sep 24, 2014, at 12:06 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks, Dave.  I guess I better hear that one (Sanderling's).  Sorry to
> say
> > that I haven't.
> >
> > Best,
> > John Haley
> >
> >> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> I don't think any Brahms cycle comes close to Kurt Sanderling's. This
> set
> >> is perfect in every way, including sound and performance. I can't even
> >> think of what version would run a distant second.
> >>
> >> db
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPhone
> >>
> >>> On Sep 23, 2014, at 12:41 PM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Well, all the great conductors could be impatient with sloppy playing,
> >> but
> >>> that's not what happened as a routine matter with the world's great
> >>> orchestras that Dorati conducted, and not even in very good regional
> >>> orchestras like Dallas had.  All of the leading orchestras in that era
> >> had
> >>> no problem with delivering the goods and did not deserve abuse.  I have
> >>> never heard anyone describe Dorati as "warm" and "liked."  Obviously he
> >>> must have been very nice to the record company that was a major factor
> in
> >>> sustaining his career.
> >>>
> >>> I also like Steinberg's Pittsburgh Brahms cycle, but Munch's Brahms
> >>> symphonies (the RCA ones, not always the live ones) are also really
> >> great,
> >>> altho he never recorded the third symphony and there is no live one
> >>> either.  Munch (who as a violinist had studied with Flesch had been
> >>> Furtwangler's concertmaster) brought something of the sense of urgency
> >> and
> >>> orchestral phrasing to the Brahms Symphonies that we hear in great
> older
> >>> recordings, such as the superb Weingartner's, which can make "modern"
> >>> recordings seem very pale by comparison, and RCA recorded Munch/BSO
> >>> stunningly.  Reiner also "got it right" with Brahms, as he did with
> >>> virtually everything he ever conducted.  His Brahms Third Symphony with
> >> CSO
> >>> is magnificent in every way.  And Walter's mono cycle with the NY Phil
> is
> >>> wonderful.  I guess everyone has favorites with staples like this.
> With
> >>> Dorati, things are correct but not inspired.  I never tire of the
> Brahms
> >>> symphonies.
> >>>
> >>> Best,
> >>> John Haley
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM, Tom Fine <
> [log in to unmask]>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi John:
> >>>>
> >>>> Musicians who recieved Dorati's wrath, for sloppy playing or ill
> >>>> preparation, tended to feed the "reports" of his alleged ill temper.
> He
> >>>> actually was a warm person, much liked by those who made recordings
> with
> >>>> him. He was also known to be generous and to take regional orchestras
> to
> >>>> very high levels of competence. I'm sure he battled hard with American
> >>>> unions, and he got into quite a fight with unions and management when
> he
> >>>> was in Detroit late in his career. We very much disagree on his
> >> recordings,
> >>>> many of his are my favorites for various pieces (definitely at least
> >> partly
> >>>> a product of being brought up on those performances, but I have
> >> listened to
> >>>> the other "consensus favorites" for most works). He was interested in
> >>>> making precise and exciting recordings, but less coldly precise than
> >> Szell
> >>>> (who I also like very much). Dorati, especially in his Mercury era,
> >> rarely
> >>>> turned out dull moments. His later work on Haydn, both the symphonies
> >> and
> >>>> the operas, is still considered "the canon." I find it interesting
> that
> >> he
> >>>> was so good with Haydn but also with Stravinsky and Copland. I happen
> to
> >>>> agree that his Brahms cycle is OK but not great, to my taste. I'm not
> a
> >>>> huge fan of Brahms in the first place, so I'm picky. I think that's a
> >> case
> >>>> where the Szell treatment is quite good, but I really like what
> >> Steinberg
> >>>> did with Pittsburgh (again, probably because that's what I was brought
> >> up
> >>>> on), and also Solti/Chicago (which surprised me because I usually
> don't
> >>>> consider Solti "the best" at any symphonic recordings but never "the
> >> worst"
> >>>> -- Solti/Chicago also made a surpringly excellent "Rite of Spring"
> >>>> recording, more furious than you'd ever expect). Anyway, Dorati was
> very
> >>>> much liked and admired by the Mercury team, despite the occasional
> >> meltdown
> >>>> when the orchestra wasn't getting it right. His approach to music
> >> matched
> >>>> their approach to recording (get it right, overcome all obstacles,
> have
> >> no
> >>>> patience for sloppiness, do things boldly and with great intensity, be
> >>>> ambitious and optimistic).
> >>>>
> >>>> -- Tom Fine
> >>>>
> >>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
> >>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 10:47 AM
> >>>>
> >>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Records Ruin the Landscape
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Re Tom's comments on Dorati.  Dorati was the conductor in Dallas for a
> >>>>> while, and he left behind him there a reputation as a particularly
> >> nasty
> >>>>> character, personally, to work for or with, and I recall having seen
> >>>>> elsewhere some comments that orchestral musicians generally disliked
> >> him
> >>>>> very much.  Of course he was not alone in that.  The Mercury CD's of
> >> his
> >>>>> Brahms Symphony cycle are all in stereo, and it is very good, not
> >> great.
> >>>>> Try as I might, I have never been able to "fall in love" with his
> >> records.
> >>>>> Extreme competence as a conductor, but not the heart that other great
> >>>>> ones brought to the task, including the three other great Hungarians
> >> who
> >>>>> preceded him with leading conducting careers in the US, Reiner,
> Ormandy
> >>>>> and
> >>>>> Szell, all of whom made greater records (musically) than Dorati.  I
> am
> >>>>> sure
> >>>>> Dorati must have his great fans; I am just not one of them.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Best,
> >>>>> John Haley
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 9:40 AM, Dennis Rooney <
> >> [log in to unmask]>
> >>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> À propos the above comments, it was Doráti who conducted the MSO in
> the
> >>>>>> local premiere of Mahler's Third (I believe the year was 1953), but
> >>>>>> Mitropoulos had earlier recorded the First and Ormandy did an
> >> important
> >>>>>> "Resurrection" there, recorded in concert by Victor in 1935. Steve
> >>>>>> Smolian's recollection of academic opposition to Mahler is important
> >> to
> >>>>>> note; however, Mahler was played by the larger U.S. orchestras,
> >>>>>> sporadically but regularly from the teens on. Ernst Kunwald led a
> >>>>>> performance of the Third in Cincinnati (May Festival) in 1913.
> >>>>>> Unquestionably, Mahler was a beneficiary of the long-playing record,
> >> even
> >>>>>> before stereo, with important recordings by Scherchen, Adler,
> Rosbaud,
> >>>>>> etc.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> DDR
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 2:24 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]
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> --
> >>>>>> 1006 Langer Way
> >>>>>> Delray Beach, FL 33483
> >>>>>> 212.874.9626
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>
>