LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  September 2007

CLASSICAL September 2007

Subject:

Feint Praise

From:

John Smyth <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Sep 2007 13:29:46 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

Why the feint praise?
Flagstad's farewell Gotterdammerung and Martinon's PCO Prokofiev 5th

I listened to Flagstad's complete Gott on London mono with Fjeldstad
conducting and was very impressed.  In fact I found her Immolation more
hair-raising than either Nilsson, Solti or Bohm, even though a scant few
of Flagstad's high notes push the limits of her autumnal abilities.  But
who cares?  What I like is her full-bodied, sensually flexible voice,
(hard to talk about a 60yo woman that way) and absolute authority in the
scene; Nilsson never takes her phaser off stun, and her endless clarion-call
voice makes her sound comparably detached and distant.

No, I haven't heard Flagstad in her prime, but I dare say this performance
surpasses any of the usual suspect sopranos in recent cycles of the last
40 years on the major labels.  I was sorry to read that Culshaw wasn't
impressed, and was surprised to read that he didn't think Fjeldstad was
a Wagnerian.  I found the conducting absolutely thrilling.

As for Martinon's RCA Prokofiev 5th with the PCO, what a
rollercoaster ride!  I've never heard such a "caffeinated" performance
that--miraculously--doesn't skimp on the darker, more terrifying moments,
such as the coda of the 1st mov't.  There are revelations every measure
and the vibrant french woodwinds and brass project Prokofiev's orchestral
colors into the boldest relief possible.  At the same time, if there's
an ominous pedal tone or chilly tremolo under all the fun, it's there,
(without a sense of fussiness, a quality that seems to elude modern
conductors).

Hurwitz on his Classicstoday website pans the performance, citing
scratchy strings, (OK, point taken), and an absent gong and woodblock.
I have to disagree: the gong is clearly audible, it's just not a slashing,
shear sound, (which, to me, cheapens the 1st mov't coda).  I would hate
for listeners to pass on this performance based upon those complaints.
This performance is simply in a class by itself and has forever changed
the way I hear this symphony.  Martinon brings a jazzy raucousness back
to the first and second mov'ts that seems deliciously scandalous to my
ears, after hearing a generation of conductors play this work as if
through a hole in some prison door of the Gulag Archipelago.  (Sir Simon
Rattle's EMI 5th is one exception, though he always makes me feel as
though I'm being "educated," which isn't a bad thing, but something akin
to getting vaguely turned on in a sex education class: it's just not the
real deal).

If I recall correctly, Prokofiev said his 5th was an optimistic symphony
overall, which I always thought rather curious and untrue with the
exception of a few pages in the final mov't.  Now I think I get it.

John Smyth, (still dragging a rock through plastic to enjoy music more
than ever)

             ***********************************************
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.  For more information,
go to:  http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager