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Who is the best conductor in the BIG Romantic repertoire?

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Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2012 12:07:10 PM PST
Who are your favorites - past and present?

I have been betting my money on Pappano lately getting his Tchaikovsky, his Rachmaninov with Andsnes and his Verdi Requiem. But I don't know this repertoire enough to really tell how good he is - I just like it so far.

The Sawallisch Schumann was better for me than the HIPsters Gardiner and Harnoncourt. I guess I like really Romantic Romanticism...

(This is not my core repertoire at all - so this is probably about all that I can contribute with here.)

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 3:11:42 PM PST
I used to think I was brainwashed by solti's bartok, brahms, mahler, beethoven, strauss and wagner.
but now that I look back on it, Given his temperment and my temperment hitching my wagon to him in the seventies when I was a teenager was probably my best bet.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 9:00:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2012 7:55:23 AM PST
Putting the HIP crowd aside for the moment--except for Gardiner's Schumann, my favorites list would look something like this:

Brahms--Jochum, Furtwangler, Kertesz (in Vienna), Walter, C. Kleiber, early Haitink (in Amsterdam).
Schubert--Jochum, Furtwangler, Sawallisch, Blomstedt, C. Kleiber, Haitink.
Schumann--Furtwangler, Sawallisch, Kubelik, Gardiner.
Mendelssohn--Furtwangler, Abbado, Karajan.
Bruckner--Furtwangler, Jochum, Celibidache (on DG), Blomstedt, Wand, later Haitink, Giulini, Karajan, Abbado.
Mahler--Barbirolli, Walter, Bernstein, Horenstein, F. Charles Adler, Klemperer, Ancerl, Giulini, Chailly, Abbado, Herbig, Kubelik.
Sibelius--Berglund, Saraste, Barbirolli, Rosbaud, Gibson, Karajan, Kajanus, Vanska, Segerstam.
Strauss--Blomstedt: Orchestral Works, Kempe, Strauss, and maybe Reiner.
Wagner--Furtwangler, Kempe, Knappertsbusch, Jochum, Sawallisch, C. Kleiber, Kubelik, Goodall, Karajan.
Rachmaninov--Ormandy, Previn.
Tchaikovsky--Mravinsky, Haitink, Jansons.
Dvorak--Neumann, Kertesz, Kubelik, C. Davis.
Berlioz--C. Davis, Munch.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 9:07:11 PM PST
Yi-Peng says:
Abbado for one. His interpretations of Brahms, Schubert and Mendelssohn are very well-nuanced and big-hearted. I might add Gardiner for Mendelssohn - but I'm wishing that he and the ORR will hurry up and do their Mendelssohn project soon.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 10:12:24 PM PST
Marcelo Lehninger, currently assistant conductor in Boston, is in his late 20s, does not seem to have made recordings, and IMHO is a conductor to watch, certainly in this repertoire. A few weeks ago in Symphony Hall he gave the best performance of Dvorak Eight I've ever heard, live or recorded.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 10:17:07 PM PST
KenOC says:
Nobody's mentioned Karajan or Bernstein, certainly the people's choices. Both remain (although long dead) the highest grossing conductors in the core Romantic repertoire.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 10:18:23 PM PST
D. Vicks says:
I like Tchaikovsky.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 6:08:53 AM PST
scarecrow says:
I like Christian Theilmann, Karajan and Bernstein for Schumann Beethoven,,and Wagner,
Metha is also a good Wagner conductor as naturally Solti. . . .Barenboim, Celibidache and Giulini for Bruckner. . .

M.R. Simpson's list has it all covered for me. . .I agree . . .

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 7:00:13 AM PST
HB says:
Past: Szell, Bernstein, Kempe, Boult, Klemperer, Giulini, Steinberg, Wand, Mackerras, Ormandy, Dorati, Paray and Jochum

Present: Abbado, Nezet-Seguin, Saccani, Wit, Nott, Feltz, Chailly

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 2:03:00 PM PST
My present would be Wit, Chailly, Nagano, and juts a notch below, Salonen. Would like to like Dutoit more than I do.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 2:40:18 PM PST
Would like to like Dutoit more than I do. >>
I have a soft spot for him.
The recordings of the French repertoire he made for decca in Montreal in the early digital days still sound amazing.
A++ recordings and A- performances put him in a 'special category' and still keep his 'saint saen's third and ravel's 'daphnes and Chloe' at the top of my list.
sounds vapid, I know.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 2:52:40 PM PST
Joe Anthony says:
"Who is the best conductor in the BIG Romantic repertoire?"

I say:

There are many, but when in doubt I say to go with Eugene Ormandy.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 3:20:56 PM PST
I agree with those Dutoit recordings, esp those two. OPJ. I admit it's unfair, but I came to expect that excellence from everything he does.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012 10:24:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 9:56:26 PM PST
Ahmad says:
Wilhelm Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Furtwängler :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012 10:58:40 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
@ Dave So do I. Tchaikovsky rules. What was the topic about again?

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 7:02:33 AM PST
LEONARD BERNSTEIN was the Greatest, Mostess, Grandiosess and Stupendiousess conductor of them all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 8:19:33 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 22, 2012 8:34:42 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 3:24:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 6:55:29 AM PST
As I perused the comments the question that begged itself "why is Conductor XYZ your favorite?" There was no contrast other than mention of "Hip" composers. One post *seemed* to list every recording owned.

Admittedly, my collection is light on Romantic and I wondered that I might be missing the implied and obvious. My collection is largely comprised of one complete Symphony cycle for any given composer and maybe a couple of other Symphonies with different conductors. Beethoven - Karajan '63, Tchaikovsky - Mehta, Bruckner - Haitink, and that's probably about it. Since most of my recordings are pretty damn good IMO, it was never considered that buying another cycle would be money and time well spent.

Weeellll... that was before a Beethoven disc was gifted to me one Christmas; "Movie Lover's Beethoven." At first I inwardly grimaced at this commercially inspired patchwork of Beethoven's works and the chore of displaying surprise and affection for gratitude sake. Since I already owned the Karajan cycle and at least one recording of the other pieces, a pair of socks would have been more exciting. Instantly I knew my mother (who didn't offer the gift) was at the root of the purchase.

This wonderous being of early childhood, who gave me the greatest gift of all... Life, seemed to have lost the touch when I reached teen adolescence. Well before I became a middle-aged, boring fart of which I am happily contented, I deeply enjoyed wearing a lot of black clothing. My mother's theory was that a surprise gift was important above all. She didn't understand that my joy would not be enhanced by a black sweater sporting muted blue and red stripes across the chest, or worse yet - an elk print, when the original request consisted of a few plain black tee shirts.

Short story long, the "Movie Lovers" disc includes Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony in very lively renderings from the 3rd, 8th, and 9th symphonies. Gotta say that I like these heavily punctuated, revved up renderings more than those on the Karajan cycle by a large margin. Is the *new* factor at the heart of my Solti appreciation? I doubt it, but I'm not entirely sure.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 3:38:08 PM PST
Another quandry of mine.

When I read Amazon reviews of recordings by Russian composers, invariably it is pointed out that the best recordings are by those of Russian conductors. Ozawa (Japanese), Mehta (Israeli), and Ansermet (conducting French Symphony) rendering Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky are inferior cycles?

The few authentic Russian Naxos label recordings that I've purchased leave me cold. The recording quality leaves me hearing the room more than anything else. Echoing halls and uneven volume in regards to the various instruments.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 11:38:19 PM PST
David M. says:
I'll limit myself to three conductors to atone for being unable to limit myself to the Big Romantics.

Atterberg: Westerberg, Rasilainen, Atterberg
Bartók: Fricsay, I. Fischer, Doráti
Beethoven: Furtwängler, Schuricht, Barenboim
Berg: Bour, Doráti, Abbado
Brahms: Furtwängler, Jochum, Schuricht

Bruckner: Jochum, Furtwängler, Böhm
Copland: Bernstein, Copland, L. Slatkin
Debussy: Martinon, Inghelbrecht, Désormière
Dvořák: Šejna, Talich, Ančerl
Enescu: Silvestri, Georgescu, Andreescu

Falla: Ansermet, Markevitch, De Burgos
Gershwin: Whiteman, Bernstein, F. Slatkin
Grieg: Ruud, Golovanov, Beecham
Hindemith: Hindemith, Furtwängler, Kubelík
Holst: Boult, Wetton, Hickox

Honegger: Munch, Ansermet, Baudo
Ives: Tilson Thomas, Sinclair, Ormandy
Janáček: Ančerl, Bakala, Talich
Korngold: Gerhardt, M. Albrecht, G. Albrecht
Liszt: Golovanov, Scherchen, Silvestri

Mahler: Kubelík, Horenstein, Tennstedt
Martinů: Ančerl, Šejna, Bělohlávek
Mendelssohn: Fricsay, Maag, Kubelík
Mussorgsky: Golovanov, Abbado, Melik-Pashayev
Nielsen: Jensen, Tuxen, Grøndahl

Novák: Šejna, Talich, Pešek
Orff: Jochum, Kubelík, Eichhorn
Poulenc: Prêtre, Shaw, J. Darlington
Prokofiev: Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky, N. Järvi
Rachmaninoff: Rozhdestvensky, Kondrashin, Golovanov

Ravel: Martinon, Inghelbrecht, Rosenthal
Reger: Jochum, Böhm, Busch
Roussel: Cluytens, Martinon, Bour
Schoenberg: Bour, Kubelík, Atherton
Schreker: G. Albrecht, Cerha, Zagrosek

Schubert: Furtwängler, Beecham, Böhm
Schumann: Furtwängler, Sawallisch, Abendroth
Shostakovich: Kondrashin, Mravinsky, Rozhdestvensky
Sibelius: Segerstam, Barbirolli, Collins
Smetana: Talich, Šejna, Ančerl

Strauss: Krauss, Böhm, Kempe
Stravinsky: Doráti, Fricsay, Abbado
Tchaikovsky: Mravinsky, Golovanov, Mengelberg
Tveitt: Engeset, Ruud, Dreier
Vaughan Williams: Previn, Boult, Hickox

Wagner: Krauss, Furtwängler, Jochum
Walton: Previn, Szell, Boult
Weber: Furtwängler, Kubelík, Ansermet
Weinberg: Kondrashin, Barshai, Ermler
Zemlinsky: G. Albrecht, Klee, Rickenbacher

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 3:46:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 3:50:31 AM PST
Park says:

Did Karajan or Bernstein do any Rachmaninoff (Sergei cannot remember)? Now another problem enters: Is Sergei classified as Romantic or Modern?....Sergei wanted to be remembered as a Modern composer, yet due to his early works that scream of Tchaikovsky, I'm afraid he is hopelessly Romantic. What do you think?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 4:00:46 AM PST
Joe Anthony says:

Both Bernstein and Karajan did Rachmaninoff; although I don't think that either were known as great Rachmaninoff conductors.

As for Rachmaninoff's style; even though he lived around the same time as Prokofoev, Stravinsky, Bartok, Hindemith and the Second School of Vienna, I'd place him in the late-Romantic category.

In a way, I see Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff as two great Romantic Russian composers. The speak directly to the heart with a a very sad Russian soul; only Tchaik is the more feminine, and Rach is the more masculine.

While Tchaikovsky weeps; Rachmaninoff broods.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 12:53:11 PM PST
Park says:
Joe Anthony,

"While Tchaikovsky weeps; Rachmaninoff broods."

How Profound!!! :D
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  Dec 19, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 23, 2012

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