Author Topic: Conductors  (Read 27072 times)

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Offline Judith

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #160 on: April 08, 2018, 12:05:16 AM »
Muti, V Petrenko,  Thielemann, Harding to name four that never let me down.

Rattle is good but feel as though something missing when listening to him.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #161 on: September 13, 2018, 01:57:15 PM »
Any other admirers of Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967) sometimes known as 'Flash Harry' leading Thomas Beecham to make a joke when Sargent was on a tour in Japan saying 'Flash in Japan' ( get it?)

Anyway I've always felt that he was rather underrated as a conductor.

His Sibelius Symphony 5 (BBC SO) is my favourite version of that work.

I prefer his Walton Symphony 1 to the much lauded Previn LSO version

My brother says that his Messiah is the best version.

There is a great Holst 'The Planets' (BBC SO) and shorter works like Beni Mora

His Tallis Fantasia (VW) is one of the best.

Just to name a few of his recordings.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #162 on: September 13, 2018, 11:59:59 PM »
Any other admirers of Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967) sometimes known as 'Flash Harry' leading Thomas Beecham to make a joke when Sargent was on a tour in Japan saying 'Flash in Japan' ( get it?)

Anyway I've always felt that he was rather underrated as a conductor.

His Sibelius Symphony 5 (BBC SO) is my favourite version of that work.

I prefer his Walton Symphony 1 to the much lauded Previn LSO version

My brother says that his Messiah is the best version.

There is a great Holst 'The Planets' (BBC SO) and shorter works like Beni Mora

His Tallis Fantasia (VW) is one of the best.

Just to name a few of his recordings.

It surprises me how few Sargent recordings there are given his fame during his lifetime. The very first LP I bought was Sargent conducting Vaughan Williams. After that he never seemed to appear on my radar. Did he make a lot of recordings that have never been reissued or was he 'squeezed' out by Beecham, Boult and Barbirolli?

I know he conducted the premiere of RVW 9 but did he ever record it?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #163 on: September 14, 2018, 02:08:56 AM »
It surprises me how few Sargent recordings there are given his fame during his lifetime. The very first LP I bought was Sargent conducting Vaughan Williams. After that he never seemed to appear on my radar. Did he make a lot of recordings that have never been reissued or was he 'squeezed' out by Beecham, Boult and Barbirolli?

I know he conducted the premiere of RVW 9 but did he ever record it?

There's a nice boxed set giving some idea of the range of his recordings. The premiere performance of VW's 9th Symphony has an infamous reputation. Apparently the orchestra was under rehearsed and VW ended up paying for some rehearsals himself. Sargent is supposed to have taken it much too fast. Roy Douglas who worked with VW in later years (he died some while back at over 100 and I once had tea with him) wrote a book called 'Working with RVW' in which he is scathing about Sargent, whom he obviously couldn't stand, and the performance. A recording does exist on Pristine Audio which, of course, I snapped up. Actually I was surprised as I didn't think it was that bad although the opening movement did sound rather rushed:


If you click on the Amazon link above some of the reviews are interesting.

When I first typed in 'Sargent' under 'CDs' of course I got Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  ::)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 02:13:23 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Biffo

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #164 on: September 14, 2018, 02:31:21 AM »
There's a nice boxed set giving some idea of the range of his recordings. The premiere performance of VW's 9th Symphony has an infamous reputation. Apparently the orchestra was under rehearsed and VW ended up paying for some rehearsals himself. Sargent is supposed to have taken it much too fast. Roy Douglas who worked with VW in later years (he died some while back at over 100 and I once had tea with him) wrote a book called 'Working with RVW' in which he is scathing about Sargent, whom he obviously couldn't stand, and the performance. A recording does exist on Pristine Audio which, of course, I snapped up. Actually I was surprised as I didn't think it was that bad although the opening movement did sound rather rushed:


If you click on the Amazon link above some of the reviews are interesting.

When I first typed in 'Sargent' under 'CDs' of course I got Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  ::)

I've just consulted Michael Kennedy's book on the works of RVW. The 9th had a single rehearsal of 3 hours on March 21 1958 , paid for by the composer (over £250). The unsatisfactory premiere took place of April 2nd. I suppose RVW may have sensed the end was near and just wanted to hear the work; he died on August 26th. Boult recorded the work fairly quickly, a great shame he couldn't have conducted the first performance. Kennedy puts some of the blame on the conditions London orchestras have to work under, there was no possibility of the long rehearsals that had been available with the Halle.

I suppose I must have seen the Sargent Icon box before and decided there wasn't enough in it of interest to warrant a purchase.


Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #165 on: September 14, 2018, 06:08:26 AM »
When I first typed in 'Sargent' under 'CDs' of course I got Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  ::)

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #166 on: September 14, 2018, 06:14:32 AM »
Three cheers for the Information Super-Highway!

When I did a search for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (see other thread) on Amazon, under Classical Music, it initially tried to direct me to Seattle Seahawks.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #167 on: September 14, 2018, 06:44:44 AM »
regarding Sargent I must admit to not sharing other's enthusiasm for him.  All of this is from memory but I seem to recall that even though Walton wrote a note for publication on the back cover of the Symphony No.1 recording he - the composer - preferred Previn's  contemporaneous account - sorry Vandermolen.  Also, Walton was less than impressed by the level of preparation Sargent put into the premiere of Troilus & Cressida. That performance can be heard in various pretty rough versions:



to be fair, one Amazon reviewer praises this performance rather highly including Sargent's contribution - to me it sounds rough in every sense.  A shame because once you accept that it is an old-fashioned romantic/tragic opera I think it is one of Walton's masterpieces and certainly a work in which he invested much time and emotional energy.

One thought I put out there about Sargent - and by all means shoot this down in flames - I can't think of a single major 20th Century work dedicated to him by a British composer or other.  Most of the obvious others; Barbirolli/Wood/Boult etc I can think of immediately but not Sargent.  And aside from RVW 9 & Troilus did he get many big British premieres? (that is a genuine question!)


Offline ritter

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Re: Conductors
« Reply #168 on: September 14, 2018, 08:03:45 AM »
.... Roy Douglas who worked with VW in later years (he died some while back at over 100 and I once had tea with him) wrote a book called 'Working with RVW' in which he is scathing about Sargent, whom he obviously couldn't stand, and the performance. ...

And IIRC, William Walton wasn’t particularly thrilled with Sargent during the world premiere of Troilus and Cressida. Lady Walton uttered some unflattering (but good-humoured) words concerning the conductor  in Tony Palmer’s At the Haunted End of the Day.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:53:00 AM by ritter »
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