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CLASSICAL  November 2007

CLASSICAL November 2007

Subject:

Re: Beethoven Symphonies

From:

Olivier Solanet <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 21 Nov 2007 18:34:20 -0800

Content-Type:

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Though I have accidentally deleted the reply to this post, someone
yet again began bashing Pletnev's recent cycle of the above mentioned
symphonies.  Though I can avow to being a fervent Pletnev admirer, I
really don't understand why so many people are so offended by his
interpretations.

I will concede that I find the brass section a bit too raucous at
the end of the 5th symphony, but then again, I really don't like that
symphony at all in the first place...  Other than that, I really don't
see what everyone's problem is with these interpretations.  Perhaps it
is that they are veritable interpretations and not replicas that bothers
people.  Many like to compare so & so's performance to the same canon
of performances over and over again.  Has no one grown tired of this?
Is no one able to get past and open their ears to anything *other* than
the usual decades old performances?  Surely there are *living* performers
able breath new life into dusty old works!  I'll admit that I find these
performers to be fewer, farther between, and perhaps less idiosyncratic
than the performers of the 'great romantic tradition' of years past, but
they're still there.

I get incredibly frustrated by people who are only able to append their
approval to performances of works that are but carbon copies of previous
versions.  This is not what I understand to be the definition of an
interpretation.

Getting back to Beethoven...  In his review of the Pletnev cycle which
can be found here:

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2007/Nov07/Beethoven_Pletnev_4776409.htm

Dominy Clements quotes Pletnev on Beethoven: ?He was after one objective
above all: to surprise?  and he was a great improviser; so improvising
with the notated score is an important consideration when you?re dealing
with his music.?

Whether or not you agree with Pletnev, and whether you believe he
sometimes goes too far in his interpretation, you cannot deny his point
of view, nor that he for one actually *has* a point of view.  For as
much as I admire and respect Pletnev, I'll be the first to say that I
at times find certain of his performances a bit cold - though less as a
conductor than as a pianist.  However, as for alleged "reviewers" such
as David Hurwitz - another avid Pletnev basher - I could not disagree
more with his stating that Pletnev's idiosyncrasies are jests of pure
novelty completely devoid of insight.  If Mr.  Hurwitz knew the first
thing about Pletnev, he would know that he's a very cerebral musician
who digs meticulously into each score.  I would hardly consider any of
his performances' geneses to bely in novelty.

As for musically dogmatic printing plates of unilateral performances,
this is a malaise I simply cannot espouse.  No musician should.

Olivier Solanet
[log in to unmask]
www.oliviersolanet.com

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