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  »  New  Mravinsky/Leningrad from 1960 with a Japanese twist...  Re: Mravinsky/Leningrad Mono...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  22920  06-02-2004
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04-29-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2350
Reply to: 2350
The Yevgeny Mravinsky Film

Was watching today the new DVD “Yevgeny Mravinsky: Soviet Conductor, Russian Aristocrat”. It is OK film, despite of very pore translation and sometime the commentaries of the wall but there is in there something absolutely phenomenal. Among many film’s footages of the Mravinsky conducting there is in there a little 10-15 seconds fragment of Mravinsky on podium finishing the latest bars of the Tchaikovsky Symphony #4. The performance was from 1957, when Mravinsky was in his very good shape (musically) and listening the recording of the “Allegro con fuoco” in the way HOW Mravinsky did it always stroked me that I would pay a lot to actual seeing it.  Mravinsky does not do it juts fast but insultingly fast. However, while the ending of the Tchaikovsky #4  rolling with a crazy Russki velocity the Mravinsky orchestra maintain so standing control and so remarkable integrity as if they play a Lohengrin  prelude for the first act. I always wondered what kind commands and what king messages Mravinsky might send to his players….

This 10-15 seconds fragment from 1957 is stunning. Mravinsky is so precise, so eloquent, so “abstract” but so clearly descriptive that I hardly ever expected that “it” might be this way. I was watching this fragment a dozens times today feel that ONLY those 10 seconds of Mravinsky 1957 leading the Leningrad Philharmonic in the last movement of the Tchaikovsky #4 well worth each single penny for the cost of the entire DVD…  The very same Orchestra on the same DVD during their 1971 play on London, lead by Gennady Rozhestvensky sound quite badly and the Rozhestvensky even looks like an idiot contacting the same finale.

I' only sorry that Rob Sibie did not live long enough to see this Mravinsky 10 seconds footage…

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-30-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2355
Reply to: 2350
Re: The Yevgeny Mravinsky Film
I picked up the DVD along with his Tokyo Live CDs when I was in Japan last month.  I was most impressed by the scene of him listening to a playback at a recording studio.  The agonized expression on his face is almost disturbing.  Was it just because he wasn't happy with the performance?  Maybe, but it also made me think what music meant to him.  I don't want to go into a sentimental speculation here, so would just say that it seems the music was the last retreat for him from the envioronment he was placed in this world, especially toward the end of his life, and that gave me a sense of him as an actual human being who once walked on the earth.

Most of the Tokyo Live CDs were recorded as bootleg (CDs themselves are official releases with the blessing of Mravinsky's widow).  You can get them through HMV (Japan).  I don't give a shit to the sound (actually not bad), just the performances blew me away.

In a book "Mravinsky and I" by Midori Kawashima (Mravinsky's translater from '73~'79) she wrote as Mravinsky's words when he was about to leave Japan after his first tour in Japan in '73,

"Before, I thought I was going to the end of the world, but now I know it is us who are living in the end of the world."

I felt pround for being a Japanese!

Yoshi
04-30-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2356
Reply to: 2355
Mravinsky and Bruckner’s Seventh.

Yoshi,

it is well known that Japanese collecting-recording culture is well more developed and very frequently the quality of this CD pressing is way more interesting then we have in States. I quite regularly buy at HMV Japan CDs. Some of them never available anywhere outside of Japan. Evan the Mravinsky's 1961 recordings in London, that were released and mastered by many people are much better by DG of Tokyo. They are expansive like hell but worth each single penny as their quality way better then regular DG or DG’s Originals. I do not think that you should be very pound for being a Japanese as a good quality of Japanese CD mastering is not because the Japanese are so good but because they have no “HP recommended lists” not cretins like Lars Fredel, Stive Rohlin, John Marks, Michele Fremer and not other US marketing whores who created an army of “pleased by frequencies” audio-Morons who satisfied with a primitive mastering surrogate.

Anyhow, about the Mravinsky's movie. The video fragment I described about was phenomenal. The entire film was very poor. The “Classical Record Collector” magazine a few years ago published a complete issues dedicated to Mraviansky and it was way more interesting. Still, there was a astonishing episode in the movie describing Mraviansky canceled his the only performance of Bruckner’s Seventh after a transcending result his orchestra reached at their last rehearsal. Mraviansky desided do not tempt fate as he felt the THAT result might not be reached twice… An amazing legend!!!

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-30-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 2357
Reply to: 2356
We have them in Japan too
Unfortunately, we also have the lists of "Audiophile recommended CDs" on every audio related publications in Japan.  I refer to them as something I should avoid.

Yoshi
04-30-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 2358
Reply to: 2357
Sometimes it is fun to be a Russian-born

 yoshi wrote:
Unfortunately, we also have the lists of "Audiophile recommended CDs" on every audio related publications in Japan.  I refer to them as something I should avoid.
Avoid? Not necessarily. Yoshi, It is not about the fact that exist or do not exist the “Audiophile recommended lists” but THE QUALITY OF PEOPLE who compiles those lists.

Sometimes it is fun to be a Russian-born. Russians have a writer Alexander Griboyedov (1795-1829). Among many things, he wrote a large comedy in verse “Woe from Wit”, or sometimes it translated as “The Misfortune from Intelligence” or "Wit Works Woe". It is very neat satirizing of the foolishness that infested Russian in 19 century (Only Russians?), and in a way Griboyedov did something similar to what Oscar Wilde did in the second part of the 19 century with his Brits.

A quote from one of the characters from the “Woe from Wit”: (the translation is horrible of course)

I wonder who the judges are!
With age they show hostility to freedom,
They read the press that dates as far
Back as the Crimean war. They call it wisdom.
They're quick to criticize and curse
And always sing the same old song,
They never think they can be wrong.
The older these men are the worse.
Where are those fathers of the nation,
Good models for our generation,
The ones that roll in looted money
With influential friends and relatives on hand?
The ones that feast away their lives of honey
And dwell in houses magnificent and grand?
The houses in which the foul features of the past
Will never be revived by all this foreign caste.
The Moscow they will keep your mouth shut
By sending you a dinner party invitation card.
Or, maybe,
It is the man to whom you used to take me
For a bow when I was a baby?
The leader of otstanding rascals, he
Had a team of loyal servants
That during fight-and-drinking rounds
Had saved his life and honour, but then once
He suddenly exchanged them for three hounds.
And then there is the man, as good as all the others,
He gathered children for his ballet muse
By tearing them away from their mothers.
He set his mind on Zephirs and Amours
And let the whole of Moscow admire their beauty,
And when it came to setting his accounts
He didn't bother about credits. «Out of sense of duty»
All his Amours and Zephirs he sold out.
Those are the men that now have grown old and grey,
The men enjoying high respect and estimation.
«They are indeed our fair judges» -- you will say.
And if there is a man among the younger generation
That never strives for vacansy nor seeks an occupation
Who sets his mind on science and shows a thirst for knowledge
Or good himself fills him with inspiration
To creativity in art,
They scream: «Disaster! Fire!» and acknowledge
The man to be a dreamer and dangerous at that.
The coat! The coat! They wear it still,
So beautifully made, it used to hide
Their timidness and their flippant mind.
And that's the road that we should take at will.
The wives and daughters, too, affect the coat
And so did I until a while ago.
I'm not an infant now, you know,
On things like that I shall no longer dote.
When some Guard's officers one day
Were on a short time visit here
The women shouted: «Hurrah!»
And threw their bonnets into the air.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-02-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 2364
Reply to: 2355
In agony?
"The agonized expression on his face is almost disturbing." Maybe the sound was detestable? ;-)

clark 
05-02-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2367
Reply to: 2364
Re: In agony?

The closest i can think of is if your child went south and blames you of your bad influence on him or her when they were younger, and you can't remember or understand what they are talking about, but still feel a tremendous amount of guilt, you'll have that kind of expression on your face.

Yoshi

05-02-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2368
Reply to: 2367
Toscanini syndrome?

Yoshi,

I do not think that it is the case that you and Clark are tying to present. Conductors they are notorious for making faces and expresses dissatisfaction with their on recordings. In many cases it has little to do with the recording themselves but with the conductors egos. As the illustration I would remind an inflames story when Toscanini was frying in 40s in airplane and was listening a recorded broadcast of Beethoven 3th or 5th, I do not remember which one…. Toscanini hated the performance and while was listening he was bitching to his colleges in that plane complaining  that this moment was completely wrong, this moment had horrible tempi, this moment had very poor phraseology, that moment had completely wrong reading and so on. In the end he completely trashed the performance. How big was his surprise when he heard an announcement after the broadcast that the transmission was Arturo Toscanini performing Beethoven with NBC Symphony Orchestra...

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-02-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
yoshi
Jefferson (MA), United States
Posts 69
Joined on 05-04-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 2369
Reply to: 2368
Re: Toscanini syndrome?
That's really a great story, Romy.  I'd love to see his face then.

I have an opposit one, also from Midori's book.  One day, Mravinsky's wife put on an LP of Stravinsky's "Apollon Musagete".  Mravinsky screamed, "Oh, my god!  This makes me really miserable!  What a wonderful performance, what a beautifull, expressive style!  My orchestra will never be able to do this!"  When she told him that it's his own performance, Mravinsky burst into tears.  It was a bootleg made in Germany which was given to her from her friend.

Yoshi
07-06-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 2638
Reply to: 2350
Mravinsky biography book.

... 304 pages and 28CDs (juts kidding)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0810854279/102-3443698-2772169?redirect=true

The price is slightly too stiff and I wonder if anyone heard about this book. Mravinsky during his artistic life dealt with quite interesting people and I wonder if this book would cover all of it. Any rumors before I spend $60?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 1 of 1 (10 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Mravinsky/Leningrad from 1960 with a Japanese twist...  Re: Mravinsky/Leningrad Mono...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  22920  06-02-2004
  »  New  Ah Mravinsky !..  Mravinsky conducts Shostakovich's Symphony 8...  Musical Discussions  Forum     8  73726  05-22-2007
  »  New  Bruckner, me and the Seventh..  From Memory...  Musical Discussions  Forum     81  450054  07-17-2007
  »  New  Alessandro Baricco's "Lesson 21" or the chall..  Alessandro Baricco did it, again!...  Musical Discussions  Forum     13  59353  11-20-2008
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