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Actually, the Berlin Symphony recordings are with Kurt Sanderling. The
Philharmonia recordings are with Thomas.

I've had the wonderful Dresden recordings since they came out early in the
CD era. They were one of the earliest inexpensive sets, typically selling
for $13.99 for the set.


> From: John Haley <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:18:10 -0400
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Records Ruin the Landscape
> 
> 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:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Ŕ 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
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>>