Author Topic: James Levine  (Read 7575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3684
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: James Levine
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2010, 06:37:40 PM »
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.
Couldn't conduct, or couldn't conduct to a standard that would satisfy him?
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline MishaK

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3775
    • Tonic Blotter
Re: James Levine
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 06:58:25 PM »
It's hard to judge the statement when it is not a substantiated direct quote, but it sounds like an unnecessary snipe from a biased individual. Whatever you may dislike about Chailly, lack of technique or musicianship certainly doesn't make the list of legitimate gripes.

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11699
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: James Levine
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2010, 07:14:09 PM »
It's hard to judge the statement when it is not a substantiated direct quote, but it sounds like an unnecessary snipe from a biased individual. Whatever you may dislike about Chailly, lack of technique or musicianship certainly doesn't make the list of legitimate gripes.

Yes, I can certainly imagine some complaints about him, but neither his technique nor his musicianship are suspect.  PS, here's his recording of Le Sacre and Four Norwegian Moods with the Cleveland Orchestra.  I have no complaints about it whatsoever.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5538
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: James Levine
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2010, 07:16:39 PM »
I've probably heard Levine live more than any other living conductor (you could scarcely do otherwise if you attend performances at the Met on a frequent basis). But I have to say my attitude towards him is extremely ambivalent. He has done wonders in building the Met Orchestra into an ensemble that can not only play opera but compete with the Philharmonic or any other major orchestra in handling the symphonic repertory. I love his willingness to take on demanding contemporary composers like Carter and Babbitt. He was splendid a couple of years ago leading the Juilliard Symphony in a program consisting of Ives's Three Places in New England and the Carter Cello Concerto and Symphonia.

I am often frustrated and disappointed however in the way he luxuriates in the rich sounds of Romantic music to the point where there is no incisiveness of phrasing and the whole texture feels like a mass of jello. I honestly don't think I could sit through another of his soporific Ring cycles or Rosenkavaliers, and I wasn't in the least disappointed that while he was recovering from his fall a few years ago, he was replaced in Parsifal by Peter Schreier.

That said, even now he can be lively and incisive in music where you'd least expect it, like Gluck's Orfeo, and he was just fine in Fidelio and the Trittico. But he has monopolized many of the bigger operas at the Met for so long that I would like for him to step aside and give other conductors a chance.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 07:24:21 PM by Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11699
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: James Levine
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2010, 07:21:54 PM »
But he has monopolizes many of the bigger operas at the Met for so long that I would like for him to step aside and give other conductors a chance.

I've also heard Levine a great deal, with mostly excellent results.  But apropos this point above: when Levine had to bow out recently for three performances of Lulu at the end of the season, I was disappointed, since I do like the way he handles that piece.  However, when Fabio Luisi stepped in at the last minute, I have to say I may have enjoyed it even more. 

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: James Levine
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2010, 10:46:37 AM »
Only a tangent upon the topic, but the BSO page on facebook recently posted this status update:

Quote
Three safe programs at Tanglewood this weekend! The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart on Friday, an all-Brahms program on Saturday, and a Strauss extravaganza on Sunday! See you there!

Oh! My mistake: they used the term exciting, not safe ; )

Offline LKB

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    something between my ears
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...


Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1891
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2017, 08:44:53 PM »
As mentioned in the Times article, these rumors have been around for a while.  I've been aware of them, for sure.

Offline jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4067
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2017, 08:48:14 PM »
I doubt it would be nothing. Even if it is nothing it certainly brings up the opportunity to discuss the larger problem in the classical music world.

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
  • Location: San Diego
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2017, 09:09:33 PM »
Yes, the rumors have been around for a long time.  I did not give them much credence at the time. This is the first I've heard of a victim coming forward.

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2017, 09:37:16 PM »
It was represented to me by someone in the industry that it was a known fact that he had sexual relations with young boys who were associated with the Opera company. It was tolerated because he was a genius and economically essential to the company. The Met knew about it and are no less culpable than Penn State and Joe Paterno with Sandusky.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:42:56 PM by Scarpia »

Offline LKB

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    something between my ears
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2017, 11:03:59 PM »
I also heard rumors as well, but put it down to jealousy, politics etc..

If it turns out that this behavior was in fact going on, and that the Met was aware and shielding Levine... Well, those involved will have their reckoning, l should hope.

Disheartened,

LKB
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1002
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14133
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2017, 03:25:42 AM »
Several Norwegian female classcal artists have recently come forward with deeply disturbing stories of sexual harassment in the classical music industry. Let me say that my dislike of a dead, major conductor has for years been grounded in what I consider a very trusthworthy story given in an interview 10 years ago by an internationally known Norwegian singer.

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3108
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2017, 03:44:46 AM »
Every female classical musician I know (including myself), and a lot of male classical musicians I know, has at least one story of sexual harassment or abuse.... most often by teachers/mentors, conductors and music directors, and other people in positions of authority. That's just kind of how the industry has worked for decades. I hope some of the men responsible will be held accountable even if they are "great artists", or even just important directors of various institutions who have done a good job etc, but not holding my breath >.>

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44876
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: NYT Reports Levine Accusation
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2017, 04:17:37 AM »
It was represented to me by someone in the industry that it was a known fact that he had sexual relations with young boys who were associated with the Opera company. It was tolerated because he was a genius and economically essential to the company. The Met knew about it and are no less culpable than Penn State and Joe Paterno with Sandusky.

Alas, this is my understanding, as well.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44876
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: James Levine
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2017, 04:20:32 AM »
It may just be timing (this being The Year, apparently, of Wrongheaded Tolerance Wearing Out at Last), but he is in the soup at a time when he ought to be retiring, anyway.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1002
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: James Levine
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2017, 04:26:26 AM »
It may just be timing (this being The Year, apparently, of Wrongheaded Tolerance Wearing Out at Last), but he is in the soup at a time when he ought to be retiring, anyway.

True. The industry-dinosaurs have the most history and the greatest discrepancy between former and current power. The next few will be similar cases; old grand seigneur singers or conductors at, near, or behind the end of their career.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2008
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK