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   Home » Musical Discussions » I hate, hate, hate, hate Boston Symphony! (73 posts, 4 pages)
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11-17-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 61
Post ID: 17386
Reply to: 4929
Boston at its best.
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Listening today Scharwenka Piano Concerto No1 by Earl Wild and BSO under Erich Leinsdorf. I am not so wild about the concerto, there is a reasons why all 4 Scharwenka’s concertos are on second and their tears of piano concertos repertoire.  However, how great BSO use to play back in 1969!!! It is available on Elan label and comes with much more interesting Paderewski’s Piano Concerto with London under Arthur Fiedler. Piano played by the same Earl Wild, identically wonderful. The BSO was recorded in our Symphony Hall and you won’t have this sound and this play today… Unfortunately…

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
03-30-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 62
Post ID: 18026
Reply to: 4929
Very unexpected treat by Leonidas Kavakos
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It was unexpected treat last night from BSO with Beethoven 4:

http://classical-scene.com/2012/03/28/kavakos-nails-the-details/

who cold believe that it might be such an interesting piece….

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
06-24-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 290
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 63
Post ID: 18320
Reply to: 18026
Kavakos and tchaikovsky
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I heard Kavakos play the Tchaikovsky Concerto a couple of years ago. Outstanding technique and muusicality. The concertmaster was just back in her chair obviously impressed by his technical command. As for conducting, well, Ashkenazy made the transition fairly successfully. I suppose it gets tiresome to play the same dozen works over and over, When is the last new Violin Concerto that became a repertoire item?
09-30-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 64
Post ID: 20109
Reply to: 4929
My latest BMI post...
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...deletd.

The Mahler Second last Saturday was a wonderful concert to demonstrate how irrelevant BSO is becoming in lives of people who are interesting in actual musical results instead of paranoiac desire of feeding a parochial cesspool of smalltalk about musical life. From this perspective BSO is not much different from BMI, which also has very little relatively or quality.

The Resurrection that BSO showed on Saturday was probably the most boring I even attended. With some minor exception of BSO’s strings in second movement the whole concert was like waking up after a wavy hangover where musicians did not know why they do what they do and music had no idea why it sounds. The BMI people talk a lot about the pose after the first movement that Mahler introduced to “calm down nerves” but I after the first movement told to Wify that I just realized that it has to be incredibly boring job to play full time in an orchestra like BSO, not much different in my view then to be BMI writer or reader.

For sure we have very good musicians at BSO and no one question their desire or interest to demonstrate exciting music. However, I am realist and for quite a few years, very much like the last Saturday, the trip to Concert Hall was an unfortunate waste time and money. Not much different from BMI. The last truly stimulating article I have read at BMI was two years back about a Rockport chamber concert. The rest writing at BMI no different than BSO – a bunch of generally good people with good intention are trying to push out themselves irrelevant verbal expressions about events that might amuse only people who spent 10 years in sensory deprivation chambers…

Not only the insultingly-mediocre BSO play and boring Dohnányis’ interpretation were something that received at BMI a clean bill of health from a Professor of Music but another I am sure some kind of Professor Stephen Owades extends appreciation to the quality of live sound that WCRB had on Saturday.  I think that Professor Owades instead of buying a hearing aid need to embrace another title like sonic generalissimo or something like this…
.
I understand that cross-kissing in a bat any status-quo individual is the only prerogative that left for players of reviewers who not able to play well together or to write well. And I understand that my childish yell about residual integrity is just childish. Well, this is one of the reasons why I do not read BMI anymore and why I do not waste my time nowadays to monitor what BSO is doing.  Still, it is fan once a while to visit BMI and to confirm that the sarcophagus of self-serving hallucination that BMI decouples itself from reality becoming thicker and now feature a full bas-relief of local mocking credentials.

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
09-30-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,079
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 65
Post ID: 20113
Reply to: 20109
The "Critical" Industry and Easy Audiences
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Perhaps if the "critics" did a better job these days, the artists would rise to the occasion.  Good examples of poor "critical analysis" may be heard daily on innumerable NPR stations across the country, with "well-educated" "music critics" inventing and extoling the "merits" of trite popular music compositions and performances.  Likewise, audiences seem perfectly happy to be and be seen at tepid or even downright poor performances, and the ovations and plaudits pour forth for good and poor performances, alike.

As for otherwise-capable musicians, who is going to break ranks, and what difference would it make?  Looking back to the great ones, I admit that I put a lot on the conductor.

No question in my mind, better critics and a worthwhile, ongoing critical dialog raise the bar in the art world.  However, is there a place or an audience anymore for someone who does not want, first and foremost, to maintain a spot in the group hug that is today's critical dialog? Not to mention that, more and more, the audience is invited - and they seem inclined -  to join in the group hug.


Paul S
09-30-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 292
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 66
Post ID: 20117
Reply to: 20109
Frankly, Romy...
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...I'd have deleted it too. The essay was way more about you than the music, and the sideswipes at BMI were entirely gratuitous.

Their review of the M2 was however the most frivolous piece of writing about serious music I've read since, oh, 1958.

The performance came across on the radio much better than it did evidently in the hall. It did evince a good deal of restraint and, for lack of a better word, tastefulness, but the mezzo was terrific (vibrato aside, but what can you do?) and the percussion battery at the very end was quite the best I've ever heard. I'll listen again.

c
09-30-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 67
Post ID: 20118
Reply to: 20117
It was written to be deleted.
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Come on, Clark, I know what I am doing and The BNI’s Lee is predictable like winter snow. The sideswipes at BMI were very much not gratuitous. The frivolous writing about serious music is BMI credo and it is very much not an accident that I associated the insolent BSO play with the unwarranted drooling of BMI writers.

Yes, I also recognise that on radio the M2 was much better then in was in Symphony Hall I did reported this phenomena before: something that that do with processing made tonal and timing problem more forgiving. What however their processing was not able to fix was completely pointless play during the first movements.  There are no other words then “pointless” to describe how BSO played. I so disgusted that with exception of one forthcoming Bruckner concert this season I am not planning to go there. let them play to entertain the BMI reviews writing professors….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 290
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 68
Post ID: 20121
Reply to: 20117
Fashion du jour
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"Their review of the M2 was however the most frivolous piece of writing about serious music I've read since, oh, 1958.
The performance came across on the radio much better than it did evidently in the hall. It did evince a good deal of restraint and, for lack of a better word, tastefulness, but the mezzo was terrific (vibrato aside, but what can you do?) and the percussion battery at the very end was quite the best I've ever heard. I'll listen again."


The comments about this perf (leaving aside the reviewer's blather) sound identical to my perceptions of Mahler 2nd I heard from Chailly and the Concertgebouw about 10 years ago. This is what Dohnanyi, Chailly, Salonen, Dutoit, Rattle, Young etc etc produce. You either like it or not. It is music to enjoy after a lawn croquet game. Many people apparently enjoy tidy restrained performances of the 19th century orchestral works whether Mahler and Bruckner or Schubert's 2nd. As with CJ the only area where I find some verve is left is in the formerly benighted percussion section.

However, there is another more serious underlying issue. Audiences in the past were listening to a large slice of contemporary works. Now the orchestra and soloists are playing the same works over and over. Technically it's usually quite good but mostly sounds like highly processed food tastes. So the emphasis at least with soloists is more eye candy than ear candy.
10-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 69
Post ID: 20122
Reply to: 20121
BSO/Mahler concert.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, it is not about the way how a given “reviewer” like or does not like the music but the general level of informity of the BMI people who put them in position to express an expert option, not to mention the level of brainless pomposity they express while they do it. The guy from BMI wrote that the conductor sat down on a stool and waited for five full minutes while latecomers took to their seats. Well, the story how Mahler factored in the very long rest after first most is the most famous anecdote among all movements’ breaks but the BMI writer was not informed about not know about it. Does he have to? Let see: “David Patterson, Professor of Music and former chairman of the Performing Arts Department at UMass Boston, was recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award and the Chancellor’s Distinction in Teaching Award. He studied with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen in Paris and holds a PhD from Harvard University.“

I very much do not knock the David Patterson personally – it is fine do not know those relatively unimportant things  but I brought it up as an illustration about the whole BMI level. Both MBI and Seen and Heard International gave high remark to this BSO/Mahler concert and I find it preposterous.

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
10-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 290
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 70
Post ID: 20123
Reply to: 20122
The audience
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I was referring to the audiences and music buyers who acquire the above artists recordings, not the reviewer's opinions.  I assume the audience didn't walk out or fail to applaud.
10-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 292
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 71
Post ID: 20124
Reply to: 20121
What steverino says, yeah!
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Partly too, if not largely, this blandness results from the recording process and its expectations wherein performers strive for perfection at the cost of expressiveness. Even orchestras that have not recorded for ages fall prey to it. A band like the London Symphony Orchestra, which virtually lives in the recording studio, can barely produce spontaneity.

Look at Michael Tilson Thomas. His SFSO live recordings are models (?) of restraint and good taste. Feh! But when he did the Mahler Second at Tanglewood several seasons ago, it was EXCITING and unusual.

c
02-23-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,406
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 72
Post ID: 20634
Reply to: 4929
Boston Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck
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The local, mostly whoreish publications, are drooling over themselves about the Beethoven’s Third symphony BSO played this week. I sat on Saturday and listed it (and recorded of cause). God, listening the concert I realized that it was epiphany why I so much do not like BSO. It was incredibly boring play – so common for BSO. Manfred Honeck did ornament the Erotica, trying to convert it almost into Mahler. The writing simpletons got supper existed with those new colors, and new animation. However, music is so much more than just melodic and tonal accentuation, particularly the tonal accentuation made by relatively poor BSO players. Anyhow, the Honeck’s Erotica is not the keeper.
 


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-23-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 292
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 73
Post ID: 20635
Reply to: 20634
Must differ, somewhat
fiogf49gjkf0d
The first movement went terrifically well -- Rhythmically alert, quickly paced and beautifully shaped. It reminded me of the Weingartner recording, and of the Thomas/Pittsburgh I once heard on the radio while sitting in the car. Difference is, the last three movements became more as Romy says, although "Mahler" would be a stretch.
Page 4 of 4 (73 items) Select Pages:  « 1 2 3 4
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  The wonderful Alisa Weilerstein!!!..  Alisa (cont'd)...  Musical Discussions  Forum     2  19421  05-03-2008
  »  New  The great Corus performances!..  The Tanglewood Chorus next week with Orff....  Musical Discussions  Forum     1  12462  10-12-2008
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