Karl Miller wrote:
>Was it the individuality of a Furtwangler (or a Stokowski, et al) that
>makes his recordings seem to "hold up so well" with so many, that makes
>him some we return to?
Bingo, at least for me. When I was getting interested in 'classical'
music in the 60s it was easy to identify orchestras and performers.
In high school I subscribed to the Boston Symphony and began to listen
closely to Munch and other BSO performances. They are well established
in my neurotransmitters and I try to get as many releases today as I
What I find disappointing is listening to contemporary performances
and very often finding them bland. Too often they sound alike - I find
nothing new or appealing. When Klemperer came out with a recording of
the Berlioz "Harold in Italy" it was different from the Munch recording,
but it was a superb performance and there was something to listen to and
respond to. It was exciting. It was not uncommon to listen to a new
performance a work I knew well and respond to it - liking it or not.
Today, most often I don't have much response other than ho hum. There
is just less to hear among different performances.
Is there too much risk for performers and recording companies to record
performances other than the 'tried and true'. It's probably why I keep
exploring older recordings not well known by me.