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Old versus new

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Showing 76-90 of 90 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 1, 2012 9:44:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 9:54:09 AM PDT
As a counterexample to your position on this:

Let's assume you have a favorite musician / group in some other genre, The Beatles for example. Would you prefer hearing someone else perform their repertory? Their music is already being carried on by others for who knows how long. Do you think these imitators will have as much impact or spirit? To go a little further, can some goat ranchers from Iran attempt to play Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds in English, and ever displace the original Beatles, or someone who was closer to them? Probably not without butchering the *score* in some way, and it might even be well worth hearing, but it won't likely bring back memories of John Lennon and his times.

I could probably formulate this a little better, and I'm sure you can pick holes in my reasoning, and you may not like The Beatles at all, but I think it makes my point. Why should CM be any different?

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:53:39 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 15, 2012 4:56:22 PM PDT]

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:57:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 10:10:05 AM PDT
Well, if I misunderstood your position, then I apologize for addressing you and not the forum in general. I don't insist that we disagree.

After reveiwing the comments again, I see my "counterexample" was also a response to Mandryka.

Posted on May 1, 2012 10:50:42 AM PDT
The unhelpful votes are confusing me.

Am I unhelpful because of my original comment, or am I unhelpful because I apologized, or am I unhelpful because my comments are somehow not relevant?

Would the voter who feels I am unhelpful care to enlighten me?

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 11:14:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 11:18:06 AM PDT
KenOC says:
Vaughan, you are unhelpful because some cretin is mashing his "no" button, nothing more than that I suspect and nothing new.

Posted on May 1, 2012 11:21:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 11:43:36 AM PDT
Standing in line for today's conductors:

I'd stand in line to hear John Eliot Gardiner, Norrington (on his best days), Levine, MTT, Dudamel, Muti, Abbado. And Ozawa, if he's able to resume conducting at his peak level. There are others, too.

I agree that today's Mozart and Haydn symphony performances are in every way better than those of the big-orchestra period. Of course I make an exception for Bruno Walter---because I'm predisposed to like everything Dr Walter ever did. But listen to Gardiner, Norrington, Hogwood et al if you want great Mozart.

This doesn't mean that the great ones of the past are diminished in my mind or in my affections. Nobody can outpoint Furtwangler at his best. His 1952 Songs of a Wayfarer with a very young Fischer-Dieskau can't be done again. And that's just one example. Toscanini and Klemperer set enduring standards in such works as the Eroica. Those standards are still with us.

But it seems to me that we owe it to ourselves (and to the musicians involved) to seek out satisfying conductors and performers whom we can actually buy tickets to hear---and then go hear them live, in concert rooms with other people.

In the end, music has to be live. I can't imagine that Furtwangler would disagree.

Posted on May 1, 2012 11:28:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 11:30:55 AM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Furtwaengler could apprecite new young talent and had such assistants as Horenstein, for instance. He attended a concert by a young conductor in Switzerland and said to his wife, "He's left me nothing to say or do."

I'll have to stand in line for the first two you name, Angelo; I've seen and heard the other six, not that I won't be happy to hear them again.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 11:59:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 12:03:25 PM PDT
Piso, thanks. I haven't heard Dudamel live yet, but I've heard the others, and at one time or another they all delivered for me. Ozawa tends to get a bum rap, I know, but I can think of half a dozen performances by him in Boston that still stand out as equal to the best I've heard live or know: Eroica, Mahler Nine, Enigma Variations come to mind offhand. As I think about it, the others are Mahler Two and Five, and Song of the Earth. And Songs of a Wayfarer with Thomas Hampson. OK, that's seven. In spite of what Boston writers said, Ozawa set, and maintained, very high standards in Boston.

Your story about Furtwangler more than suggests that there was a humility about him that's endearing even now, after all these years.

I forgot Simon Rattle. I don't think I've seen him live. I'd stand in line for him, too.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 12:52:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 12:55:53 PM PDT
Mahlerian says:
"I could probably formulate this a little better, and I'm sure you can pick holes in my reasoning, and you may not like The Beatles at all, but I think it makes my point. Why should CM be any different?"

The difference is that popular music is a tradition in which the songs are associated with their writers/most famous performers in a way that they are not in classical music. People see John Lennon's performance and the group's arrangement as being "the original". Igor Stravinsky made recordings of his piano music, but they are not seen any more as "the original" than recordings made after his death (let's set aside for a moment the fact that he wasn't a very good player). They are simply another interpretation of the same music. The music itself, for some the score, is the original, not the recording.

I have read some who think that this is the primary difference between the two traditions (and I hesitate to call classical music a genre).

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 12:53:10 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 15, 2012 4:55:39 PM PDT]

Posted on May 1, 2012 12:56:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 1:11:59 PM PDT
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I feel as if reductionist terms like *nostalgia* make it too easy to dismiss the connection some of us feel to the past.

"Old versus New" is a debate that will rage forever over everything that ages, which would be everything except the fundamantal particles of physics.

As time passes we have more products, more consumption, we dispose of things more thoughtlessly than past generations, and we don't make things to last, as we trade off quality for economy.

Our cultural classics must survive decades if not centuries of criticism and analysis. It is easy to be eager to welcome a newcomer who does something different, but time is the ultimate test. *nostagia* is nothing more than remembering not to forget.

None of this preludes the chance that someone new can make a difference. I feel no nostalgia for the days when Karajan, Solti, Haitink and Marriner ruled CM with garish blandness. I generally prefer the way music before 1800 is performed by Bruggen, Savall, Harnoncourt, etc, but when Walter and Fischer play Mozart, comparisons are meaningless. I also feel as if HIP is a 20th century thing that is running out of gas.

In contrast to music after Schumann, where I'm not so impressed by newcomers (with exceptions). For some composers, this means I go back again to Walter, Furtwangler, Kubelik, Klemperer. Abbado is a paradox for me, great with Mahler and zzzz with Mozart.

Like most other cultural trends, when musical values are traded off by generation of musicians, the results will swing from one extreme to another, sometimes in long periods of repetition.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 1:06:41 PM PDT
MacDoom says:
I stand a fair chance of hearing Dudamel live this summer. There's going to be an open-air concert in the tiny city of Stirling, Scotland - right underneath Stirling Castle, with his Simon Bolivar SO. I'm gobsmacked as to how this could have happened. Quite courageous, too - an open-air concert in Scotland??!

Sadly, on the very same day (how DID they plan this...) the Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays in our village hall - a village of some 800 souls. Unbelievable. Just when you get used to not a lot happening in the local world of CM, two events like this come along at once.

The amount of predicted rain will probably decide which one I'll go to. Teeth will get gnashed regardless at missing the other.

Posted on May 1, 2012 1:08:18 PM PDT
thanks march & ken -
+ votes to you too....

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 1:09:51 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
Shake, Angelo. In San Francisco Symphony Chorus we sang under Ozawa a number of times ... Berlioz "Te Deum", Bach "Magnificat", world-premiere of a Schoenberg "Psalm", &tc. I've seen Simon Rattle several times with Berlin Philharmonic and would be very glad to see them again,..

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 1:25:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 1:46:20 PM PDT
I think the human or social component of music making is relevant to all kinds of music. We just aren't as aware of it with CM, because of its historical, museum-like nature, music created by *dead people*.

I used the Beatles example because they are crossing that terminator from living musicians to legends, and over time their humanity will become less obvious to those who carry on their music. Yet unlike Mozart or Brahms, the Beatles still have the advantage of modern media to preserve their legacy.

If we had high quality records and videos of Haydn performing his own music, we might not be so driven to recreate the experience of listening to Haydn. and we might be more aware of the human and social context of the man himself and his lifetime.

We are not so unfortunate with conductors like Walter who knew Mahler, and that's why we treasure those early recordings so much.

I suppose I would deploy similar reasoning to explain differences I might hear between a British orchestra and a German one, except it would be a matter of space (geographical) and not time. That would also explain why most of my Czech music is recorded on Supraphon, for example, or why I avoid British ensembles for continental music.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  90
Initial post:  Apr 28, 2012
Latest post:  May 1, 2012

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