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[furt-l] Karajan

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  • Ponzetto
    ... I m ... Of course you are quite right: I m even told HvK himself said that in his later performances he did his best to give a cold, unbiased reading of
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 1, 1999
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      Andy Kimbrell <kimbrell@...> wrote:


      >I fully agree with Mr. Ponsetto most recent listing about T. and FW, but
      I'm
      >nopt sure about calling Karajan a "safe choice" conductor. I find much of
      >K.s early work interesting and his opera work often exceptional. But later
      >his music making seems to have become cynical, cold and calculating. Just
      >compare his early v late Rosenkavaliers.


      Of course you are quite right: I'm even told HvK himself said that in his
      later performances he did his best to give a cold, unbiased reading of the
      work, as if there was no conductor but only the music (these are not the
      words, but - I hope - the meaning was this, which would make him a sort of
      objectivist, though that looks a little strange, given his narcissistic
      ego). For instance, I feel that his 1980s Beethoven Symphonies are
      uninteresting to say the least, while his 60s and 70s cycles (never heard
      the 50s) are my idea of a "safe choice", good to begin with: a complete,
      inexpensive, stereo set; Furtwaengler may come later.

      Nevertheless, the late Karajan is not always so bad: e.g. I like the
      Alpensymphonie and the Schumann/Grieg concertos with Zimmermann; in short, I
      quite like HvK, in spite of all his human and musical limits.


      But I see that many others are discussing Karajan's (de-)merits ... Really,
      I would like to defend his Strauss: a couple of times I tried somebody else
      conducting Strauss's non-opera scores, and HvK remains my favourite (before
      WF !)

      On the subject of his being self-absorbed I can nonetheless agree: I think
      conceited might even be the word. Not everyone in the orchestras was
      disturbed, though: Michel Schwalbé (BPO concertmaster) related that "he
      could let the orchestra play itself, leading just a little, but then
      suddenly leading very strongly in important places so that the impulse is
      that much greater"; and Hugh Bean, leader of the Philharmonia,said that
      "some players felt sincerity was lacking because he was so prodigiously
      clever at recording sessions and he seemed to have a rather insolent ease.
      But in fact he'd done his homework so superlatively that on the surface not
      a lot appeared at recording sessions."

      Best regards,

      Giacomo Ponzetto

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    • Alan Spaeth
      ... Not, I must say, the most glowing recommendations I ve ever seen. Given what seems the unstated rule for musicians being interviewed to damn only with
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 1999
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        On Thu, 1 Jul 1999 11:17:38 Ponzetto wrote:
        >On the subject of his being self-absorbed I can nonetheless agree: I think
        >conceited might even be the word. Not everyone in the orchestras was
        >disturbed, though: Michel Schwalbi (BPO concertmaster) related that "he
        >could let the orchestra play itself, leading just a little, but then
        >suddenly leading very strongly in important places so that the impulse is
        >that much greater"; and Hugh Bean, leader of the Philharmonia,said that
        >"some players felt sincerity was lacking because he was so prodigiously
        >clever at recording sessions and he seemed to have a rather insolent ease.
        >But in fact he'd done his homework so superlatively that on the surface not
        >a lot appeared at recording sessions."
        >

        Not, I must say, the most glowing recommendations I've ever seen. Given what seems the unstated rule for musicians being interviewed to damn only with faint praise, I wonder if any musicians who played under HvK have unqualified positive things to say.

        Best Regards,
        Alan Spaeth
        aspaeth@...




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      • Morrstock@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/1/99 8:34:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ponzetto@tin.it writes:
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 1, 1999
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          In a message dated 7/1/99 8:34:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ponzetto@...
          writes:

          << Michel Schwalbé (BPO concertmaster) related that "he
          could let the orchestra play itself, leading just a little, but then
          suddenly leading very strongly in important places so that the impulse is
          that much greater"; and Hugh Bean, leader of the Philharmonia,said that
          "some players felt sincerity was lacking because he was so prodigiously
          clever at recording sessions and he seemed to have a rather insolent ease.
          But in fact he'd done his homework so superlatively that on the surface not
          a lot appeared at recording sessions." >>
          Wolfgang Wagner, discussing the 1951 Bayreuth season, was once asked who was
          the better conductor, Karajan or Knappertsbusch. Simple, he said, Karajan in
          rehearsal, Kna in performance. Regards, Steve Morris
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