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11-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,051
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5942
Reply to: 5942
The "anecdotal" (cinematic) reading
Today I listened to a CD of Dvorak's 5 & 7 by the Slovak Philharmonic, conducted by (American) Stephen Gunzenhauser in 1989.

The orchestra is better than good, at least for the 5th, and the sound they make can be awesome, despite the poor Naxos CD.  Likewise, the conducting on the 5th is "very good", but it also to me begins to illustrate what I am thinking of as a the sort of "anecdotal reading" that causes the 7th on this CD to be a non-starter.

By "anectdotal" I mean a reading that does not seem to construct the parts into a whole so much as it "features" certain parts and voices within the fabric in a way that endows these parts and voices with their own "personalities" and allows them to pop out like certain faces in the window of a passing bus or, worse, like the panned/gathering close-ups of "characters" in Felini films.

I can remember as a child being totally mesmerized the first time I heard/saw Walt Disney's "Fantasia".  The music was magnificant and the imagery was just mind-blowing on the big screen.  Sure, it was grotesque, but everything just fit together so perfectly.  But as the years passed I realized that the price of this experience was higher than I had thought, namely stupid "images" dancing around in my head, not only whenever I heard the Thaikovsky, etc. in question but it can also happen whenever I hear "anecdotal" reading of various symphonies.

What I am wondering is whether modern conductors are actually conscious of the "film legacy" and/or "cinematic potential" of the music they conduct, because it sure sounds to me as if some conductors are so mindful, and several orchestras seem to be +/- "stuck" in the "film genre".  I could start a list, but maybe this is just my own private Idaho.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-26-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,283
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5960
Reply to: 5942
The American cinematic but more like TV physiology
Yep,

the effect is here. The cinematic reflecting of realty did make a big scar not only on musical perception but in many other perceptions. The cinematizm is probably is the easiest consumable sensation and most of public beehives like electrons - they flow into a lowers possible resistance. I do not necessary see it is as bad or good thing, it is a fact.

Still, there is a difference between the "film legacy" or "cinematic potential" and the CNN-like perception where superficial, abridged, sensational highlights in many instances substitute depth and intensity of real comprehension. I am not against a situation when someone perceives true voice of American Music as soundtrack of “Dancing with Wolves” – the truly brilliant John Barry's work well worth to be a great move and to be a great music. However, the easy-thrilling, pop-TV-like tendency of many orchestras/conductors is something that does not make me happy.

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
11-26-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,051
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5967
Reply to: 5960
"Consumable" art vs. consumable "art"
I applaud Duchamp for the former (especially his Valise project).

I am not sure if the latter merely causes or if it actually comprises the noise and fluctuations on our AC lines.


Best regards,
Paul S
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