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Grieg

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by William Kersten, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. @Doug - Well, that killed my image of Strauss. His music is so creative, I would have expected a bit more enthusiasm. However, people change over time too. He may have been very different when he was young (24) and wrote Tod und Verklarung.

    @William - Wow, 11,000 LPs? That's a massive collection. I think I have about 1000 CDs, but I've noticed some are already yielding errors so I'm trying to digitize them but it takes time. I used to hear Zubin Mehta at the Hollywood Bowl when I was a kid, though I didn't appreciate the experience then as much as I would now. I remember getting goosebumps though listening to Beethoven's 7th sitting in one of the front rows.
     
  2. You'd be surprised! Metalheads are generally pretty chill and the "hard on the outside, soft on the inside" kind of type. At least I felt much safer on the Wacken Open Air (among ~70000 mostly drunk metalheads) than on the average saturday evening in the "old town"/center of any big German city. Crime statistics probably will agree too.
     
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  3. That's bad you are getting errors on the CDs. I suppose because of the non-archival dyes on both normal CDs and DVDs. Ironically the oldest records I have - sets of 78 rpm ceramic discs of Gilbert and Sullivan in massive thick cardboard binders that each weigh about 10 pounds - still play perfectly. Though you have to change the record every 8 minutes. I just saw an announcement of a "Phonocut" which allows you to MAKE a vinyl record in your home. Part of the resurgence of vinyl. I was startled to go to Barnes and Noble and see a huge LP record section. Part of the appeal of LPs is how they focus your attention on the individual album, instead of dumping it along with a thousand other songs on a phone, and also how the artwork can be so beautiful with those big 12 inch covers. Rock album artwork is like an entire sub-genre, and classical LPs - like some of my boxed sets of Mahler symphonies - often had liner notes that were more detailed that the Grove Dictionary of Music!
     
  4. @William Kersten I truly enjoyed your midi performance of the Grieg. The relative capabilities of all of the different sample libraries keep me scratching my head. Of all of the VSL instruments, I think their strings are the most difficult to handle, and you did very well with them. My greatest problems with samples come when I try to do tutti sections. @Alexander Schiborr are you now using the Berlin Strings? Whatever it was, they sounded great. But getting to performance issues, each of us has a different musical aesthetic and each listens for different things in a performance. I could readily enjoy both your performance and the short excerpt by @Alexander Schiborr as well. But I tend to have a more conservative approach to midi performance than many. I guess I would rather be criticized for too little expression and phrasing than too much. When I studied music in the 1960s and 1970s I had very conservative teachers and directors.
     
  5. Thanks Paul. What you're saying about your approach reminds me of what I've thought about some performances by great conductors with whom I noticed big differences in style conducting Mahler. Leonard Bernstein is so wild and intense and ultra-espressivo I haven't liked his versions, because it is like adding a maniac to a maniac - too much! But both Wilhelm Furtwangler and Eugene Ormandy were both very conservative low key conductors and did such great jobs with those symphonies - especially the Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Mahler's 2nd which is incredibly beautiful and as close to perfect as possible. Strangely enough it is not in print today.
     
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  6. However I have to add that I learned something from Alexander's pointing out the lesser amount of dynamic shading in my performance vs. the live. I am looking at some performances of my own pieces with an ear to that. I think sometimes I don't go far enough.
     
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  7. My favorite recordings are often Ormandy or George Szell.
     
  8. Yes George Szell - I have the Schumann symphonies that he did that are really definitive.

    Another perfect recording that Ormandy did of a piece often done in an exaggerated way is Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky Korsakov. It seems to exemplify that perfect balance that Ormandy's conducting would get between the emotional quality and perfect clarity.

    on the other hand again Bernstein's approach is often unmatched in certain pieces. I'm thinking of the recordings he did of Tchaikovsky's 4th and 5th (but NOT the 6th), and Shostakovich's 5th that the New York Philharmonic did when they first toured Russia in the 60s. How they played it shocked the Russians, who were used to a much more staid and complacent performance, and Bernstein went nuts with the tempo and ferocity of the piece. You have to hear that recording to believe it - it is an incredible performance in which the orchestra is playing so intensely yet perfectly.
     
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  9. I used to work in the archives for the NYPhil. I did QC for the digital archives --- all the scores. I have a story or two about that tour....but not the time to share.

    I read all of the preplanning notes. Interesting read. It's online too.
     
  10. wow I'd love to hear about that.
     

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