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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Promotional CDs

From:

Deryk Barker <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 30 Mar 2000 16:05:31 -0800

Content-Type:

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Danny Tan ([log in to unmask]) wrote:


Deryk Barker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>>Don't ou think you need some *great* performances to supplement all these
>>nice-sounding ones?
>
>What then, is great performances of Beethoven symphoniew.  Pls list three.
>I already have the Karajan's.  But it appears that you don't approve of
>Karajan as well?

It's just that I think there is a lot more to be found in The Nine than
Herbie does find.  His 1944 Eroica is very fine, for example, as in general
is his 1950s Philharmonia cycle.  But in Berlin he began his quest for a
homogenised sound which for me skates over the surface of the music far too
often.

Rather than repeat myself, I'll point you at my Beethoven survey.  It's
badly in need of updating, but you'll find it at

        http://www.camosun.bc.ca/~dbarker/beethoven.html

Since it appeared more Beethoven has continued to be issued, although at a
rather less alarming rate than in previous years.

FWIW I find Zinman's Arte Nova cycle fun, although I prefer more weight to
my Ludwig.  Also, the covers trumpet that this is the first cycle to use
the new critical edition by (IIRC) Jonathan del Mar.  But IIRC again the
Mackerras cycle (also very good BTW) also used it.

I'm still working through Maag's cycle (ditto Menuhin's) and Wyn Morris's
just arrived yesterday.  Michael Gielen's EMI cycle I like a great deal.
Swift, yes, but not lacking in weight and with plenty of individual
touches, typical of this conductor.

The Naxos cycle under Bela Drahos was variable (what I know of it),
although I liked his 9th.

The only real revelatory performances I've heard in the last few years have
been Hermann Scherchen's remarkable 1965 Lugano cycle (alas, only released
complete in Japan), in which he drives his 2nd-rank Swiss orchestra well
beyond its usual capabilities, producing some thrilling moments along the
way - along with the occasional near-disaster: his 8th, the fastest on
record, almost falls apart during the 3rd movement and you can clearly hear
the conductor singing (AHA!) the errant players back into line.

Living on the edge was often Scherchen's trademark (cf his extraordinary
1965 Toronto Mahler 7).

The other was an aircheck of Simon Rattle's 1999 VPO Prom Pastoral.
Judging by this, his forthcoming EMI cycle should be worth the wait.
(Although I hope he does the Eroica live a few more times first, his
1999 Salzburg performance revealed, IMHO, what will probably a great
interpretation in a couple of years' time).

Other than that, it's pretty much in the web page(s).

Enough?

Deryk Barker
[log in to unmask]

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