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Re: [furt-l] Schnabel sets

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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 1 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
      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 2 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
        > 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 3 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
          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 4 of 16 , Dec 3, 1999
            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 5 of 16 , Dec 5, 1999
              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 6 of 16 , Dec 5, 1999
                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 7 of 16 , Dec 7, 1999
                  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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