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Re: [furt-l] Schnabel sets

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  • Felix Delbruck
    ... That s not quite fair. while the third-to-last number is rather fast and the phrasing is a bit mannered (as it almost always was by this stage in H s
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
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      I said a moment ago about Hofmann's Kreisleriana:

      >[...] the second-to-last number is wonderfully poetic, but the rest are
      >technically ragged and musically a mixed bag.

      That's not quite fair. while the third-to-last number is rather fast and the
      phrasing is a bit mannered (as it almost always was by this stage in H's
      career) it is nevertheless also very beautiful.

      FD

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    • samir ghiocel golescu
      I will not contest that, from the perspective of the modernly--educated era, some of the things Hofmann does can be judged as you do. I, for one, believe
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
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        I will not contest that, from the perspective of the "modernly--educated"
        era, some of the things Hofmann does can be judged as you do. I, for one,
        believe that the modern perspective and standards has no right in judging
        Hofmann on its own standards, like the owner of a famous bed from the
        Greek antiquity.

        I feel that I *have* to suspend my petty objections in front of such a
        daimon. That, of course, does not compel anyone else to do the same.

        Yes, Hofmann was uneven. Yes, he was drinking and could be whimsical.
        Whimsical in a way only he (and Friedman) knew how to be... not that
        much of Horowitz's terrestrial excitement, but a whim like a Greek
        deity's whim, an ineffable, (only sometimes) scaringly and
        daringly overcharged, jeu d'esprit that seemed to mask irrepressible
        sorrow and wrath in front of the annihilation of his own culture, one of
        the few true tragic vocations among musical interpreters (Furtwangler is
        the most obvious epitome of that).

        The way Hofmann brought out inner voices was often imitated, sometimes
        convincingly emulated (by Horowitz, Cherkassky...), but never, never
        really challenged. Hofmann was the most complex, contradictory, sublimely
        vulnerable and nobly "integrated", elemental and aristocratic, gifted with
        animal-like splendor and Godly spirituality, among the human natures that
        ever expressed themselves trough the sounds of a piano. He, IMHO, defied
        usual measurements, comparisons, and criticism. When he was "banging" the
        piano, it was not a piano that was banged, it was HOFMANN that was roaring
        and murmuring in a way, I dare imagine, only Anton Rubinstein did.

        regards,
        SG


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      • samir ghiocel golescu
        ... have, of course ... * POSTED to furt-l - the Furtwangler Mailing List * Send new posts to furt-l@amulation.com * To unsubscribe, go to http://
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
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          > believe that the modern perspective and standards has no right in judging

          have, of course

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        • Felix Delbruck
          What is there left to add in the face of such eloquence? ;-) While I think you ve got a rather bad case of the Hofmann bug I can t really blame you, I myself
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
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            What is there left to add in the face of such eloquence? ;-) While I think
            you've got a rather bad case of the Hofmann bug I can't really blame you, I
            myself am still convalescing (I have to be careful you don't cause me to
            relapse). That Casimir Hall recital is indeed much greater than the sum of
            its parts and as an *experience* it is very hard to resist. Especially the
            surprises and contrasts: when the angry bluster of his Waldstein sonata
            resolves into a kind of benediction in the trill chain of the final
            prestissimo, which is in turn cut short by the boisterous humour of the
            ending; or when the dark melodrama of the Polonaise turns into the light,
            whimsical nostalgia of the nocturne, a completely different sound-world; or
            the way in which the rapt opening of the Ballade follows, almost without
            pause, upon the high-jinks of the Waltz and the laughter of the audience
            when Hofmann accidentally hits the piano lid. And at the very end an
            extraordinary sadness in the middle section of the otherwise light-hearted
            'Penguin'. It's a kaleidoscope of emotions, evoking a spontanious freedom, a
            courtly informality - Liszt going into the auditorium to converse with his
            audience during the interval - and throughout there is a sharp pathos
            because as you say, not far below the surface you can clearly hear the
            anguish of the man at the mess of his life. But - and it is a very big but -
            the works themselves get rather lost in the process. That's OK when the
            piece at hand is something like Stojowski's Oriental Caprice, but when it
            comes to the Waldstein Sonata or Kreisleriana I become concerned. Those
            works contain innumerable riches and points of interest of their own and too
            much gets lost in Hofmann's performance. I wouldn't want to miss this
            recording for the world, but I think you do have to judge it, to be fair to
            Hofmann himself, against the standard not of our time, but of the works
            themselves, and there he comes up short. Even in the darkest days of the
            war, Furtwängler was still resolutely focussed on illuminating the work at
            hand, he did not forget the objective side to his task as an interpreter.

            Felix Delbrück

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          • Felix Delbruck
            And that s it from me on the subject, this is a Furtwängler list, after all! FD ... * POSTED to furt-l - the Furtwangler Mailing List * Send new posts to
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
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              And that's it from me on the subject, this is a Furtwängler list, after all!

              FD

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            • samir ghiocel golescu
              What about the Phonographe transfer? Did anyone hear *that*? Thanks, SG _ Performing decently a musical masterpiece requires enormous patience, great skill,
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 5, 1999
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                What about the Phonographe transfer? Did anyone hear *that*?

                Thanks,
                SG


                _



                "Performing decently a musical masterpiece requires enormous patience,
                great skill, and years of painful practice. Still, performing decently a
                musical masterpiece is nothing more than insufficient and little more
                than obscene."



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              • JKauff001@aol.com
                Also could anyone recommend a complete version in more up to date sound? I want to get to know the sonatas but I think it would be a little easier if were
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 5, 1999
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                  Also could anyone recommend a complete version in more up to date sound? I
                  want to get to know the sonatas but I think it would be a little easier if
                  were first set were in more modern not necessarily sterreo sound. Thanks Jay
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                • Neil
                  ... You d not go far wrong with Alfredo Perl in Nuovo Era at £/$ 5 per disc. I ve got a few of his performances and they sparkle with wit and vitality, are
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 7, 1999
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                    On Sun, 5 Dec 1999 21:31:04 EST, you wrote:

                    >Also could anyone recommend a complete version in more up to date sound? I
                    >want to get to know the sonatas but I think it would be a little easier if
                    >were first set were in more modern not necessarily sterreo sound. Thanks Jay

                    You'd not go far wrong with Alfredo Perl in Nuovo Era at £/$ 5 per disc. I've
                    got a few of his performances and they sparkle with wit and vitality, are well
                    recorded and not without depth.

                    Also people speak very highly of Claude Frank on M & A, plus Yves Nat.

                    Neil
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