Author Topic: James Levine  (Read 7292 times)

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Offline suzyq

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James Levine
« on: April 06, 2010, 07:42:18 PM »
Do you think that James Levine should retire or at least trim his schedule?  Unfortunately he is having so many health problems and  this is causing many problems for the Metropolitan Opera, Boston Sympnony and the many engagements he has scheduled.

His schedule was printed in todays New York Times (4/6/10) - it's hard to see how he will
be able to keep these engagements.  I look forward to reading what your feelings are. :)

 



 

Offline Bogey

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 07:59:06 PM »
If he is doing it at this point for enjoyment, then sure.  Also, maybe this is what is actually keeping him going and he would be in worse shape, at some level, if he stopped.  And if the employers in this case do not mind what might be a checkerboard schedule on his part, then why not.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline suzyq

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James Levine
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 04:29:23 AM »
Isn't time for James Levine to retire and become a Guest Conductor? 

It dosen't seem professional to have the Met Opera, Boston Symphony and others waiting to see what happens.  We are all human and subject to health problems at times.  It may be time for James Levine to bow out gracefully and that is difficult to do.  That old saying, "leavem wanting more".

It would be great to learn more from those with much more knowledge then I have.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 07:37:23 AM »
Why should Levine bow out? What exactly would this do for the classical community? We lost Mackerras last week, we can't afford to loose Levine right now even he would just become a guest conductor. His leadership is crucial right now to Boston. That said, Levine is an excellent conductor. I used to have little respect for any of his recordings, but then I heard his recording of Berg's Violin Concerto and was blown away. This really made me re-examine his output. There's a great newer recording he conducted of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe that you should acquire at some point. It's beautiful through and through. Hopefully, Levine will have many more years ahead of him. I would like to pick up his new recording of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder at some point.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline Superhorn

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 07:46:24 AM »
   It's too early to know whether he should step down from the BSO and the Met. Let's just hope that his health improves. It would be terrible loss to classical music if he had to retire because of ill health.
  Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope he will be able to conduct the Met's new production of the Ring beginning this September with Das Rheingold on opening night and the subsequent performances, as well as Die Walkure later in the season, and the other operas.
  Fortunately, the Met has gained the services of the highly gifted and versatile Italian conductor Fabio Luisi as principal guest conductor starting next season, and he will be quite active there from now on.
   There is even buzz about him succeeding Levine as music director some time in the future.

Franco

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 07:53:23 AM »
Isn't time for James Levine to retire and become a Guest Conductor? 


I'd answer in the negative since he hasn't, and those organizations have not, expressed any opinion about this and theirs are the only opinions that count.

Offline MishaK

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 08:41:13 AM »
According to Norman Lebrecht, the BSO may announce before the end of summer that Riccardo Chailly will succed Levine as music director.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 08:48:03 AM »
The Boston Symphony Orchestra have never been one of my favorite orchestras. I don't even think I own that many of their recordings. I think this orchestra has made many missteps one of them was letting Ozawa in the front door. :D The Philadelphia Orchestra will hopefully recover from the Eschenbach episode, but they have Dutoit right now, but it will be interesting to hear what Nezet-Seguin will do with this orchestra. Another interesting post will be Yan Pascal Tortelier in Sao Paulo succeeding John Neschling. Hopefully, Tortelier, who is a great conductor, can sustain the kind of repetation that Neschling built for this orchestra.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

karlhenning

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 08:50:43 AM »
The Boston Symphony Orchestra have never been one of my favorite orchestras. I don't even think I own that many of their recordings. I think this orchestra has made many missteps one of them was letting Ozawa in the front door. :D

In general, I'll agree that Ozawa stayed longer than was good for either himself or the band.  But . . . have you heard the Gurrelieder he recorded with the BSO and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus? Or the complete Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet with the BSO?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 08:59:33 AM »

In general, I'll agree that Ozawa stayed longer than was good for either himself or the band.  But . . . have you heard the Gurrelieder he recorded with the BSO and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus? Or the complete Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet with the BSO?

Oh yes Karl. I own all of Ozawa's Prokofiev recordings and that recording of Schoenberg as well. He's a capable conductor no doubt, but I think his authority on the podium isn't as great as say a Kubelik or a Bernstein or even Levine. But this is my opinion of course.
 
Two of my favorite recordings with Ozawa are his Faure recording of orchestral works and his recording with Viktoria Mullova performing Sibelius' Violin Concerto.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

karlhenning

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 09:09:35 AM »
Oh yes Karl. I own all of Ozawa's Prokofiev recordings and that recording of Schoenberg as well. He's a capable conductor no doubt, but I think his authority on the podium isn't as great as say a Kubelik or a Bernstein or even Levine. But this is my opinion of course.

If you'll pardon my nuance, I agree with your overall assessment of his relation to Kubelik, Bernstein & Levine;  still, I think very highly of just a handful of the recordings Ozawa has made.

Offline suzyq

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 01:25:21 PM »
Thanks one and all - I've enjoyed reading your posts and learning is one of the benefits.

I hope that Levine recovers as all of us do, but I have a feeling that the Met, BSO. must be
discussing his ability to resume conducting behind the scenes. 

Guess we can hope for the best :)


oabmarcus

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010, 03:26:45 PM »
According to Norman Lebrecht, the BSO may announce before the end of summer that Riccardo Chailly will succed Levine as music director.

the same Chailly that couldn't conduct Le Sacre du Printemps?

Offline MishaK

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010, 03:36:18 PM »
the same Chailly that couldn't conduct Le Sacre du Printemps?

WTF are you talking about? There is general consensus among musicians and critics alike that he is one of the finest and most underrated living conductors. He would be quite a get for the BSO.

oabmarcus

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2010, 03:44:07 PM »
WTF are you talking about? There is general consensus among musicians and critics alike that he is one of the finest and most underrated living conductors. He would be quite a get for the BSO.

there was this story in "Serving Genius" about Chailly not able to conduct the piece, don't take my word for it, go read it.

oabmarcus

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2010, 03:45:36 PM »
WTF are you talking about? There is general consensus among musicians and critics alike that he is one of the finest and most underrated living conductors. He would be quite a get for the BSO.
being great and can't conduct certain pieces aren't mutually exclusive you know. Some great conductors make their fame based on only a narrow repertoire which they are very good at.

Offline MishaK

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2010, 03:51:35 PM »

oabmarcus

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Offline jochanaan

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2010, 05:41:46 PM »
the same Chailly that couldn't conduct Le Sacre du Printemps?
I haven't heard anything about Chailly and Le Sacre, but Chailly did just fine in the complete works of Varèse, so I'd be very surprised at anything less than an excellent Le Sacre from his baton. :)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

oabmarcus

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Re: James Levine
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2010, 06:28:29 PM »
I haven't heard anything about Chailly and Le Sacre, but Chailly did just fine in the complete works of Varèse, so I'd be very surprised at anything less than an excellent Le Sacre from his baton. :)
I was surprised when I read about that, but I think part of it was that he had to record a new piece (la sacre), a piece at the time he couldn't conduct when he was expecting to record another piece he was familiar with. Administration had to take some blame for that too.
That story was decades old anyways.

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