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  March 2009

CLASSICAL March 2009

Subject:

Music of Bruno Walter

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 11:43:38 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

Bruno Walter (1876-1962)
Symphony in d minor
NDR Sinfonieorchester
Leon Bostein, conductor
cpo 777 163

Executive Summary: While Mahler's influence is obvious in the third
movement and portions of the finale, not as much like Mahler as you
would have thought; and about as good as you might have expected.

As with many of the great conductors, Bruno Walter had at one time in
his career considered being a composer.  Hearing a work by a conductor
often explains a great deal of how they think about music.  I am often
amazed that some very fine conductors have written such inconsequential
music.  Of my contemporaries, the names of Lorin Maazel, Michael
Tilson-Thomas and Leonard Slatkin come to mind.  How interesting it would
be hear some of those student works by Toscanini!  Then we have that
decent Concerto for Double Bass by Koussevitzky, some superb music by
De Sabata and some reasonably fine music by Weingartner.  Based on the
few works of Szell I have heard, he seems to have had some potential as
a composer.  And then, on the other extreme we have the very successful
Mahler and Bernstein.  While the jury is still out as to how long
Bernstein's music will be with us, Mahler alone seems to have jumped the
gap, perhaps nominally, to the holy grail of the standard literature.
Bruno Walter's essay in symphonic form falls, to my ears, just below the
music of Weingartner.

The Symphony is approximately an hour in duration.  According to the
program notes, Walter's Symphony dates from 1907, written before the
composer turned thirty.  Contrary to some notions, proffered in the
program notes, that the music was somewhat modernist, (well it is more
advanced than Brahms) I found it is clearly of its time.  By this time
Mahler was a friend and Walter had been hired by Mahler to work at the
Vienna Court Opera.  While one might expect an abundance of similarity
to the music of Mahler, the obvious borrowings are not overwhelming.
What is borrowed from Mahler is the approach to continuous development
and evolution of the thematic material.  Ideas are rarely repeated; they
evolve.  One of the clearest references to the "sound" of Mahler, including
his characteristic use of the triangle, can be found in the charming
third movement.  An extended waltz, with trio, it serves the function
of a scherzo movement.  With much of the other music being slow, a true
scherzo might have provided much needed contrast to the rest of the work.

One is left with the overall impression of a congenial, unpretentious
work of moderate interest.  With the exceptions of the Mahleresque Third
Movement and the last third of the finale, nothing really lingers in the
ear or the mind.

Botstein's reading gives time for the music to breath, perhaps a bit
too much, as the musical argument seems, at times, to be unnecessarily
protracted.  I am not that much of a purest to refrain from suggesting
that his interpretation could have benefited from some slightly faster
tempi, even if the markings did not call for them.  The playing of the
orchestra is superb and the recorded sound is excellent.

It is wonderful to have the opportunity to hear this work and for that
reason alone, I can highly recommend the acquisition of this recording.
However, I doubt the merits of the music will engender much repeated
listening.

Karl Miller

             ***********************************************
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