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10-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5698
Reply to: 5698
The "new" Shostakovich 10th symphony

I never was a big fan of this symphony, as I am not a big fan of Shostakovich generally, but this time it was truly remarkable performing event. My local FM WGBH 89.7 stated the new fiscal year funding campaign and compile a CD recorded “live” locally during July and August 2006, the CD that they given away to contributors. The CD has:

Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor - Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Stefan Asbury, conductor -Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe: Suite No. 2
Bernard Haitink, conductor - Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

Today they play this CD – what a wonderful play from Tanglewood Orchestra!
 
The “Daphnis et Chloe”, that I generally like a lot, was truly spectacular… but the Shostakovich 10 is even further then this – it was really seldom event!

In fact it was probably the very first Shostakovich 10 that made sense to me and that I actually appreciated the work for a first time. I have to tell that Bernard Haitink did it once before for me. 3-4 years ago he played Shostakovich 4th Symphony – the work that I would not listen even under a general anesthesia. However, that time Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and Haitink did nothing sort of stunning with the 4th symphony. Now is the Shostakovich 10th – the same “style” of the pay - only now with Tanglewood Orchestra. What is performance!!!

God bless FM: The final - 4meg file in 44/16

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
10-23-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5714
Reply to: 5698
The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra CD
Hey, what do you know: I have found that the “donation” CD that was broadcasted by my NPR is also available from Boston Symphony local Gift Shop. I do not think that it is possible to buy it anywhere else. Thankfully the symphony Hall is just a few blocks away from my home…. or perhaps from your home via the Internet…

Enjoy…. The short preview clips are available on the page.

http://www.bso.org/bso/shop/productDetail.jsp?pid=prod1920011

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
10-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5720
Reply to: 5698
DSCH - one of my fave composers
Well, glad to hear you are starting to 'get' Shostakovich, Romy.   He has been one of my very favourite composers for many years.   The 10th is my fave DSCH symphony - I have 10 recordings in my collection.   I don't have the commercial Haitink release, I found it a bit 'tame' and sold it on.   My fave is probably by Jarvi (I don't normally have much time for him - he tends to be a bit glitzy and superficial for my tastes - but in this Chandos recording the performance blazes with intensity (great sound quality too).

You should perhaps try DSCH's piano quintet and 2nd piano trio - some of the most deeply felt, tragic & beautiful music I have ever heard.   Hey !! - I owe you some music, don't I - I'll include some of my fave DSCH recordings - my best piano quintet recording is on a fairly obscure Italian audiophile label - Real Sounds.   I'll get some stuff copied over the next few days!   :-)

Rgds, Jerry


Jerry
10-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 5723
Reply to: 5720
Shostakovich vs. Shostakovich


Hmmmmmmm, Jerry I do know Shostakovich very well, and it is not that I do not “get” him. I do “get “him unfortunately. I just I do not like many of his “thighs”, that might have4 to do with many things – my personal heritage and my “admiration” of many aspects of “soviet thinking”. Not the last factor that Shostakovich-like music was play in excess in my childhood as the propaganda-musk and there was countless songs wring in the Shostakovich-style that glorified the Soviet-ways of living… It was not necessary written by Shostakovich but there were a number of composers who in one way or another imitated Shostakovich and all that big Soviet musical crap is something that I do not particularly found attractive. Interesting that Shostakovich’s musk is hardly Russian music and more like “mutant” music – sort of hybrid between Mahler and Mao Dze Dun…

 JANDL100 wrote:
The 10th is my fave DSCH symphony - I have 10 recordings in my collection.   I don't have the commercial Haitink release, I found it a bit 'tame' and sold it on.   My fave is probably by Jarvi (I don't normally have much time for him - he tends to be a bit glitzy and superficial for my tastes - but in this Chandos recording the performance blazes with intensity (great sound quality too).

If you so like the 10th then you need to try that Tanglewoon performance. I will send it to you it I when I will send your Nanut’ M7, M8, M9, and M10. BTW, Jarvi very frequently plays very nicely Russian music, even as a guest–conductor, I do like him…
 JANDL100 wrote:
You should perhaps try DSCH's piano quintet and 2nd piano trio - some of the most deeply felt, tragic & beautiful music I have ever heard.  Hey !! - I owe you some music, don't I - I'll include some of my fave DSCH recordings - my best piano quintet recording is on a fairly obscure Italian audiophile label - Real Sounds.   I'll get some stuff copied over the next few days!   :-)

The Shostakovich’s chamber music is very different form his orchestral music. In his chamber music Shostakovich is very personal and not subordinate to the “mass-thinking”. His quintets, his preludes and particularly his quarters are phenomenal and I deeply love them. They are very different from his orchestrations...

BTW, Jerry if you so into Shostakovich then among the CDs that I send you will be 2 CDs that you will find very special. One of them is one absolutely unique performance of Shostakovich symphonies – something that never ever was available beside of that off the air FM recording. Almond dozens and dozens of the best Fifth attempts that know the performance that I sent to you stay above anything else as an 11Km-tall mountain. Another recording that I set to you is a stunning musical satire about Soviet culture, brilliantly composed and absolutely amazingly performed.  You will see there it will have some influence of Shostakovich but it not be the Shostakovich style but rather the composer will be referring to the same vulgar cliché as Shostakovich use does. The difference is that for the composer of the “Parody” is was satiric tools to mock the Soviet live, for the Shostakovich however it was the way of thinking and the way of naturally expressing himself…

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
10-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mats
Chicago
Posts 76
Joined on 09-18-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 5726
Reply to: 5723
SQ vs Large scale works
Shostakovich string quartets have long been favorites of mine as well.  For years I listened to them and the Bach cello suites  more than any other serious music.  I tried to get into the symphonic works but it never seemed as profound to me.  Also I never had speakers that could do justice to any larger works.  Now that is changing a bit (more on that later perhaps).  Is it not true that many composers ( all? ) experience more coersion when it comes to orchestral compositions;  political, financial and commercial?  Which composers have been most free to write from there heart and soul  I wonder? 

Parenthetically, David Berning once told me that he used the Fitzwilliam Quartet box on London as one of his references when developing Siegfried.

Thanks for the heads up on the Tanglewood cd.  Order is placed.  The ultraslow Beethoven was however, as you predicted Romy, impossible to find.

Mats
10-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 5727
Reply to: 5726
Coercion in DSCH orchestral works
Yes, of course, there is much submission to the powers that were in many DSCH orchestral works - his life, and the lives of his family were literally at stake, after all.  Stalin was not a nice or forgiving man.  But I don't hear any 'coercion' or submission to the Soviet policy of lowest-common-denominator art in symphonies 6 8 9 10 13 14 or the violin or cello concertos.  Masterpieces all, in my opinion.

Jerry


Jerry
10-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 5728
Reply to: 5727
Pease, leave all that politically-sentimental sensationalism alone.
 JANDL100 wrote:
Yes, of course, there is much submission to the powers that were in many DSCH orchestral works - his life, and the lives of his family were literally at stake, after all. Stalin was not a nice or forgiving man.
Jerry, this is not the view that I share. The western propaganda for years has been moronically selling Shostakovich to western “consumers” as some kind of “Soviet sufferer” but is was absolutely not true. Shostakovich was very much the subject and the properly of the soviet machine, the machine that Shostakovich fully and with great enthusiasm embraced and was taking a full benefit of it. I have no time now to go into more details but it would be much more correct to keep Shostakovich music separately form the bogus foretells that were invented about Shostakovich and his surrounding.

Rgs, 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
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 8
Post ID: 5729
Reply to: 5728
OK - Sorry
OK - Sorry, Romy.    I hadn't realised it was a contentious issue.

I certainly agree that there is no need to mix musical issues with political/historical ones.

I think much of DSCH's music should (and can) stand on its own merits, regardless of the political back-drop.

Rgds, Jerry


Jerry
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 5731
Reply to: 5729
The “wrapped” Shostakovich as a commodity.

 JANDL100 wrote:
I hadn't realised it was a contentious issue.

O, yes. There are lot controversies about Shostakovich and the infamies “Testimony” – did not help as lot but rather spill oil into the fire. I do not tend to accuse Solomon Volkov in direct falsification but he Volkov does have very strong tendencies for massaging facts in order to make the point more polarized and more salable. I real all his books and there are many very “slippery” places in many of them.

 JANDL100 wrote:
I certainly agree that there is no need to mix musical issues with political/historical ones.
I would disagree with it. A composer, or any other artist for that matter, is not detachable it’s from political/historical/social scene – there is nothing wrong with it. However, if we are willing to view Shostakovich’s art from a perspective of political environment of Soviet Union then let do not mislead ourselves with convenient untruth.

Shostakovich in many instanced was the horn and the voice of Communism, he made very many actions, writings, speeches and articles where he was absolutely voluntary behaving as a representative of extremely pro- Communistic way of thinking. He became a member of Communist party in adult and mature age, without any pressure and perfectly according with his will. Shostakovich in many instances behaved protecting the Communist nomenclature and he was fully supported and benefited by that Communist machinery. Shostakovich got over a dozen of Party’s prizes and grants and he was the most officially celebrated Soviet composer. Still, in the western propaganda twist it all as some kind of devilish ploy, portraying Shostakovich living in a hell and is fighting each second of his life for… fighting the ideals of … the Washington Post’s values. Do not forget that the very same propaganda that invented Shostakovich as an “ultimate sufferer” invented and brought to the world the Cold War… whatever it worth. The portraying Shostakovich as a Russian Jesus Christ was very nicely fitting into the ploy of general demonization of socialists in western propaganda since the second part of the century. It might or not might be a correct of view the politics but it is absolutely mistaken and jaded wai to look at Shostakovich.

Shostakovich wrote a lot of wonderful and sometime ingenious music but at the same time he wrote a lot of incredible crapy music in many instances extremely vulgar and distasteful music. I take the things as they are.

Shostakovich, as any other composers has own voice in sound and own stylistic. I do not like many things he did BUT I would not associate it with his political/historical/social scene. Shostakovich good or his bad moments were portraits of who Shostakovich was. In many instances he wrote music in the way how he was thinking – nervosa-loaded, jumpy, inappropriately-sarcastic thinking with no point of references to relevance and with setting the boundaries of own sarcasm. Sarcasm is phenomenal expression form but only if the supper-intends are very well defined. In case of Shostakovich the self-devastating sarcasm became a part of nature, the nature that lacks of any non-sarcastic supper-intends.  I might understand why it happened as according to Dostoyevsky a sarcasm  is a last refuge of people whose soul’s privacy are invaded. Still, we do not blame shark are eat meat and we do not blame elephants that they are vegetarian. They are who they are and let them to be their ways…

The sarcasm-sunk and sarcasm-diluted Shostakovich is who he is. His sarcasm have become his own voice, converting his own voice into the disgusting permanent stylistics of the “Clockwork Orange”

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
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 10
Post ID: 5732
Reply to: 5731
Yeah - OK !
Yes, I would agree that music can validly be viewed in its historical/political perspective as well - I was just trying to be polite and pour some soothing oil on the troubled waters of our postings!!   :-)

I have read Testimony, and it seems to me that Volkov clearly has a heavy anti-Soviet agenda that he wants to put over.  I am sure that it also bears much truth as to the activities of the Soviet authorities, even if DSCH's beliefs, attitudes and involvement may not be truthfully presented.

I am happier though just to regard DSCH music as absolute so that it stands on its own - is it good or bad to listen to ?

I agree that a lot of the orchestral/choral music is pro-Soviet propaganda crap pumped out by a good, card carrying servant of the regime who is eager to please his political masters.   But some of it (like the orchestral music I listed above) is absolutely masterful and IMO will withstand any musical comparison with other composers.

The violin concertos, for example, are to me "absolute music" and can be compared with any other music ever written, just as much as the wonderful chamber music (string quartets etc) that you have referred to.
Just my opinion!

Rgds, Jerry

P.S. Romy - your CDs arrived today.  Wow - lots of interesting listening ahead - many thanks!


Jerry
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 5734
Reply to: 5732
The Testimony, the Mccarthyism, the republicans and the Halliburton

 JANDL100 wrote:
I have read Testimony, and it seems to me that Volkov clearly has a heavy anti-Soviet agenda that he wants to put over.

Yes, but do not forget that Volkov has also a heavy agenda of creating of own popularity by selling Shostakovich to west.  Volkov knew very well what kind grains he implanted in what kind soil… In the environment of idiotic demonization of Soviet Union (that was a pure invention of US’s military industrial complex) the Volkov’s tales turned out to be much admired. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with Shostakovich…

 JANDL100 wrote:
P.S. Romy - your CDs arrived today.  Wow - lots of interesting listening ahead - many thanks!

You’re just about losing your virginity, Dorothy. As many debates musical people have about the tempos and style of playing the “Allegro non troppo” of the Fifth the recording I set you answers all questions. It is a truly hair-raising play with phenomenally smart accents…

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
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 5735
Reply to: 5732
It is no different than Bach worshiping God.
 JANDL100 wrote:
I agree that a lot of the orchestral/choral music is pro-Soviet propaganda crap pumped out by a good, card carrying servant of the regime who is eager to please his political masters.
I have no problems with it if it was done at a seirtain level. Sergey Prokofiev composed in 1939 an ode dedicated to Stalin’s 60th birthday. If you know Russian and might understand the words then you will see that it is more than repellent. However, it is phenomenal musical piece; in fact I feel the ingenious piece…

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Audio_Files/Prokofiev_Stalin.mp3

Rgs, 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
10-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 13
Post ID: 5736
Reply to: 5734
Romy is right - and he will get some nice surprises too
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Re: Masur Shosty 5th ...

You’re just about losing your virginity, Dorothy. As many debates musical people have about the tempos and style of playing the “Allegro non troppo” of the Fifth the recording I sent you answers all questions. It is a truly hair-raising play with phenomenally smart accents…

The caT


I have just listened to it - you are right - very very good.  I will send you a recording Asahina made of the 5th in 1960.   I think you will enjoy it very much as well.  .... dare I say it is even better than Masur !   ;-)   For me, anyway.  Absolutely electric.  It answers even more questions than Masur, and poses some of its own  :-D

& you were right - it was lucky you told me to "buckle up" for the Golovanov 1812 ov    ... Wow!

You like Beethoven slow, yes? - as long as it is done right!   I will send you a really slow performance of the DSCH 1st violin concerto - very slow but exquisitely done by a violinist I had not heard of before, Michael Erxleben.  Very very special, I think.   It takes 47 minutes, as opposed to the more usual 35 minutes.

Rgds, Jerry


Jerry
10-26-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 5743
Reply to: 5736
Asahina made in 1960s…
I’m very little true familiar with Asahina. I have few of his recording, Japan-pressed but the all from 90s and end of 80s. I generally do not like those performances and I do not like the orchestra. I read a few months ago in the Takashi’s forum that Asahina’s earlier recordings were much better but I never was able to get earlier recordings as my Japanese sources when the sell music do not specify the year and the communication with them is very difficult. Sure, please let me to have that Asahina from 60s…  Whever did you buy them?

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
12-03-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 6022
Reply to: 5736
I begin to hate Asahina

 JANDL100 wrote:
I have just listened to it - you are right - very very good.  I will send you a recording Asahina made of the 5th in 1960.   I think you will enjoy it very much as well.  .... dare I say it is even better than Masur !   ;-)   For me, anyway.  Absolutely electric.  It answers even more questions than Masur, and poses some of its own
 Got it, Jerry. Thanks.

I would agree with you that the Asahina’s play of Shostakovich 5th in 1960 poses questions. The biggest question that it poses in my mind is why the “big esthetes” Japanese so ionized Asahina and moved him at such a pedestal. I got lately a few Asahina’s recordings from 60s – very unfortunate performances. To be honest I have to tell that I do appreciate the macro-objective of what Asahina is trying to do but the renderation of those objectives is juts horrible. The Asahina’s orchestra plays at the level of Western Pennsylvania high-school marching band. I am not kidding – I actually was laughing a few times during that 1960 play. I think any more or less civilized orchestra should never make this level of play public.

Jerry, I found the Shostakovich 5th/Asahina 1960 is very artificial. Asahina is trying to pump up pathos from nowhere and his orchestra does it very unknowledgably. The Shostakovich sometimes sound like Tchaikovsky ballet, sometimes like dances from Fledermaus and most of the time like village entertainers play pro-bono in their local retirement home.  I completely do not get this play.

I again encourage to you give into the Masur 1987 that I sent you. It is not just from my point of view way better Shostakovich 5th - it is VERY different level of reading, understanding and performance of the peace. I think it was the last Asahina CD that I got.

Rgs, the Cat

PS: The Shostakovich Violins concerto that you sent with Berlin and somebody was spectacular. Who was it?


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-04-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mats
Chicago
Posts 76
Joined on 09-18-2005

Post #: 16
Post ID: 6040
Reply to: 6022
Violin Concerto
I think Jerry talked about the super slow Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1, Michael Erxleben violin, Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester,  Claus Peter Flor conducting on Berlin Classics 0013732BC.  Fantastic performance and sound.

Mats
12-05-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 17
Post ID: 6050
Reply to: 6040
Shosty & Bruckner recordings
Yes, Mats is right - Erxleben is the violinist in the Shosty VC1 I sent Romy.   Have you got around to the Nanut Bruckner 8 yet, Romy?   Love it or hate it, I'm sure you'll have a strong opinion!

I must confess that I really enjoy Asahina's OTT rendering of the Shosty 5th - I can listen thru the fairly poor (at times) playing - I much prefer it to Masur's effort that Romy sent me - that just sounds bland to me!  It takes all sorts, huh?     80)

Jerry


Jerry
12-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 6066
Reply to: 6050
The random Asahina and Slovakian Bruckner.

 JANDL100 wrote:
Have you got around to the Nanut Bruckner 8 yet, Romy?   Love it or hate it, I'm sure you'll have a strong opinion!

I have listened it a few times and I still do not know. I like the performance but it did not develop yet my “personal attachment” with Sound of this orchestra. This orchestra works for me VERY nicely with Mahler 6, but Mahler is kind of more “soundable” music. Bruckner is very different animal; it is more meditative and introverted. Nanut and his Slovakians folks play it a little too “overly-musical” for my taster. My problem is that I do not know how I would play it. Still, so far this Bruckner 8 did not become one of those “that was it” performances, I do not have better, but this one did not make me stop looking.

 JANDL100 wrote:
I must confess that I really enjoy Asahina's OTT rendering of the Shosty 5th - I can listen thru the fairly poor (at times) playing - I much prefer it to Masur's effort that Romy sent me - that just sounds bland to me!  It takes all sorts, huh?

Bland  (blānd)   adj.   bland·er, bland·est

1.    Characterized by amoderate, unperturbed, or tranquil quality, especially:
  a.     Pleasant in manner; smooth: a bland smile.
  b.    Not irritating or stimulating; soothing: a bland diet.
  c.     Exhibiting no personal worry, embarrassment, or concern: told a series of bland lies.
  d.    Dull and insipid: a bland little drama.
  e.     Having little or no distinctive flavor: bland cooking.

2.    
  a.     Dull and insipid: a bland little drama.
  b.    Having little or no distinctive flavor: bland cooking.

Well, whatever it is the Masur/Chocago 1987 is not bland. Even if we say that it is then what Asahina demonstrated? Asahina care the same basic tempos as Masur does, in fact they are surprisingly; the same at time. But Masur holds poses to the very end and do not flood them. Asahina, does not care about the presentation of thyme and he rushed to introduce a new exiting phrase. Asahina is like a hungry man who is sitting at the table with a appetizer, main course and ice cream and he is mixing all together juts because he can’t control own sense of hunger. Asahina dose ornaments the play with some “different moves” but the irony is that I for whatever reasons feel that those “different moves” are just the accidents of badly played as most of those “different moves” are not bind into the fabric of the whole piece. When I sent to you the Nanut’s Mahler I will put a couple of other Asahina play from 60s and you will see that even in very deferent music his orchestra does same: shoring out of music some random sonic inventions, completely not supported by anything else and with any pointer for rational of their actions. It more reminds me the Japanese Jazz from 60x then Shostakovich.

Jerry, make an experiment. Listen Asahina and then listen Arturo Michelangeli’s play 9any recording!!!). Pay attention when Michelangeli introduce any of his “from himself” element. The entire texture and presentation of the played peaces is very-very deeply reasoned with Michelangeli’s own “mistakes”. Asahina does not have it. What he and his orchestra will be playing it second time it will be absolutely different “reading” because that dams orchestra plays it literally randomly. At least it is that way how I perceive it.

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
12-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JANDL100


Forest of Dean, UK
Posts 71
Joined on 09-27-2007

Post #: 19
Post ID: 6067
Reply to: 6066
Asahina - sometimes good, sometimes bad
Yes, I do know what you mean about Asahina.   I have DVDs of a Brahms symphony cycle - 4 is good (not wonderful), 2 not bad, 3 is just plain boring (and it is one of my favourite symphonies).   I haven't gotten around to 1 yet - too much other stuff to listen to that is probably better.    I agree that Asahina's reputation/legend usually exceeds his actual accomplishment.

I have sent you another small packet of CDRs, Romy, including a very wonderful (I think) Shosty piano quintet - I eagerly await your opinion on it!


Jerry
12-06-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 6070
Reply to: 5736
Poetic Diction of conductors and Asahina

 JANDL100 wrote:
I will send you a recording Asahina made of the 5th in 1960.   I think you will enjoy it very much as well.  .... dare I say it is even better than Masur !   ;-)   For me, anyway.  Absolutely electric.  It answers even more questions than Masur, and poses some of its own

Jerry, 

playing music is like poetic diction. It exists or doesn’t. If it exist then the depth of diction’s complexity become the key. One person can read poetry “as is”, no problem there.  A person who is familiar with poetic language hardly needs any out loud diction to get what he is able to get. Still, there are people who have a talent of poetic diction and their reading of poetry is something different, somthing that set poetry to a very different level, the level of a public event.

The entire art of interaction between voicing of a poem with the poem’s own metaphors, linguistics, articulations, phonetics, rhythms etc, etc…is a very fine and very well-measured artistic endeavor. I do not think that I say anything that you do not know but… from my point of view (among of what I heard) Asahina has absolutely no class of poetic diction. His, macro understanding and macro-impressionism are fine but he does not have class (abilities, time, opportunity or whatever) to express anything thought own diction. One person take a pencil, make a few strokes and you can see a characters or image. Another person would use a gallon of paint on canvass but you still will see juts a nonspecific “accidental spot of color” with no characters and no personality. Asahina just flood sound with partially in-tune sound and nothing else. A good chef give you a cucumber and beans salad that tastes like filey milon and crappy cook will dump on your plate a pile of cucumbers, beans, give to you a bottle of some kind of source and would suggest you to improvise. To me Asahina, at least among a few CDs that I have, demonstrated himself as very bad cook.

Still, I less care about Asahina and his orchestra but I feel that it does make sense to talk about it in context the specific Shostakovich 5th. Pay attention with the Masur/Chicago there is no accident and everything is subordinated by a very strong will and sense of purpose. It would be a different subject if you found THAT Masur/Chicago play as something how you would play the work yourself. I happened absolutely mad about the ways how Masur organized everything in there, particularly in the first and the last movements. It is exactly what I call the demonstration of superb and VERY sophisticated Poetic Diction from Masur (who is not my most beloved conductor BTW) where intensification and reduction of artistic pressure happens with a super-moderated sense of power and control, the power that took the work much further then where it was originally intended by  in a way simpleton-Shostakovich.

From my point of view that performance is one of many greatest committed to media musical event I have in my collection.

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
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