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Oops.  The Berlin Symphony one is with Thomas Sanderling, not Kurt.  And it
looks like both Kurt cycles have appeared on various labels, including a
Denon redo of the 1970's Dresden cycle.  Which version are you listening
to?

Best,
John Haley

On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 11:01 PM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>
>>
>
>