Author Topic: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?  (Read 28931 times)

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Offline Herman

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2011, 02:12:44 AM »
Using quotes attributed to unnamed orchestra members is standard in classical music reporting, as you should have noticed if you read any of the music press. The musicians often prefer to be anonymous, to avoid possible damage to their standing. The main qualification to remember is that it is usually a very small minority of the orchestra expressing their opinion (most symphony orchestras are quite large, after all).

if you mean to say that there are no standards in music journalism and that is why we have things like Joyce Hatto, absolutely. But it can't harm to try and do it right.

As I indicated, the quote that was 'reported' is in many ways at odds with both what the orchestra as an organisation does (no Rattle) and the way it wants to sound: not hard and merciless.

So in that case one has to wonder what's the use of a 'quote' like this. Does it mean there is a minority in the Concertgebouw that wants something totally different? That would be a journalistic issue, though a rather tough one to report on. I think it's just a case of someone who wanted us to know that a couple members of one of the best orchestras in the world liked the Rattle cd as much as he did. That is not journalism in my book.

Offline Herman

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2011, 02:19:37 AM »
I go back to the beginning of the stereo era because I think the main reason for looking for modern recordings is likely to be sound quality, and even some of the older stereo recordings are of very high quality.  As well, the longer period provides a wide variety of recordings.



another reason could be that interpretational history has moved on.

I believe today's Brahms is not the relentlessly dour motive spinner of previous generations.

a couple of years ago I heard a marvelous Brahms 4 with Gatti conducting the Concertgebouw, and the colours were just amazingly beautiful.

I have the feeling conductors of the 1945 - 1980 era (I'm just picking random dates) were not so much into the more colourful en melodic aspects of Brahms. But I may be wrong.

jlaurson

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2011, 08:36:18 AM »

In journalism, which is what you do, this is called an unattributed quote. You're supposed to avoid those.

It was an anecdote, not an 'unattributed quote', and as such perfectly clear.

What you perceive to be 'at odds' is precisely the reason for those comments; because the RCO does not (and cannot*) sound the way the Berlin Phil. does under Rattle, they [some, unnamed, players, that is] wouldn't mind sounding like that every so often. In Brahms, for example.

That you somehow know how the entire institution wishes to sound amazes me as do not even cite unnamed sources to non-verify that.

I'm not trying to bestow legitimacy unto Rattle's recording, I'm relating the story why I bothered to listen to it in the first place.  Argghhh. How tedious.

* If you know the Concertgebouw (the building), you will know why.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 12:43:21 PM by jlaurson »

Scarpia

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2011, 08:56:55 AM »
I have the feeling conductors of the 1945 - 1980 era (I'm just picking random dates) were not so much into the more colourful en melodic aspects of Brahms. But I may be wrong.

Some were, Barbirolli, for instance.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2011, 12:31:38 PM »
How often is the first movement really done as an allegro?
 
EDIT: Actually, all his first movements are allegros, but you wouldn't know it by listening.

It's not just the first movement that Rattle takes time over -- the Passacaglia comes in at  nearly ten and a half minutes. That must be the longest on record.

It's well done though -- like listening to some sort of enormous plush rich majestic variations machine.

Another very wonderful bit of Rattle comes towards the end of the second movement, where he takes things steady slow majestic again, to great effect.

One thing he does more than any other record of it I can remember is call to mind Wagner: the Siegfried Idyll, the music Wagner wrote between the scene where Siegfried kills Fafner the scene where he stumbles  across the sleeping Bruenhilde.

There are enough special things in this to make it one to keep, if (for me) not one to love.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 12:40:44 PM by Mandryka »
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Scarpia

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2011, 01:20:16 PM »

It's not just the first movement that Rattle takes time over -- the Passacaglia comes in at  nearly ten and a half minutes. That must be the longest on record.


It's well done though -- like listening to some sort of enormous plush rich majestic variations machine.

Another very wonderful bit of Rattle comes towards the end of the second movement, where he takes things steady slow majestic again, to great effect.

One thing he does more than any other record of it I can remember is call to mind Wagner: the Siegfried Idyll, the music Wagner wrote between the scene where Siegfried kills Fafner the scene where he stumbles  across the sleeping Bruenhilde.

There are enough special things in this to make it one to keep, if (for me) not one to love.

Ten and a half minutes for the passacaglia is a bit on the slow side, but not unusual.  About the same time as Solti, Masur or Karajan, among many others I am sure.  I must say, your description gives the impression that this is the lamest recording of Brahms' forth ever made.   :(

Offline Herman

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2011, 05:51:09 PM »
Ten and a half minutes for the passacaglia is a bit on the slow side, but not unusual.  About the same time as Solti, Masur or Karajan, among many others I am sure.  I must say, your description gives the impression that this is the lamest recording of Brahms' forth ever made.   :(

Rattle has this horrible habit of underlining every single thing.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2011, 09:06:26 PM »
Ten and a half minutes for the passacaglia is a bit on the slow side, but not unusual.  About the same time as Solti, Masur or Karajan, among many others I am sure.  I must say, your description gives the impression that this is the lamest recording of Brahms' forth ever made.   :(

Rattle has this horrible habit of underlining every single thing.

I've heard lamer, for sure.

I don't lnow Solti's, Masur's and Karajan's. I didn't do a thorough search but it was slower than the ones on my hard drive (Furtwangler, Mengelberg, Gardiner, Kempe, Weingartner, Mravinski, Da Sabata, Max Fiedler, Wand, Toscanini, Stokowski )

He does underline; it doesn't always flow. But as I say, it's not uninteresting. I don't think that's necessarily to damn it with  feint praise. :)

Listing my HD like that has made me realise that I really don't know much about the period Herman mentioned -- 1945 - 1980s.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:52:43 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2011, 09:20:40 PM »
I agree with Mandryka, the Furtwängler (and Mengelberg, De Sabata) version are the best chioces, if you don't insist particularly on 'modern'. Carlos Kleiber is also excellent he has at least 7 Brahms#4 recordings with various orchestras, of which the famous one on DG is far from being the best.



which is the best Kleiber then? Thanks for mentioning Da Sabata. Is there a good transfer?
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Drasko

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2011, 11:45:24 PM »
It's not just the first movement that Rattle takes time over -- the Passacaglia comes in at  nearly ten and a half minutes. That must be the longest on record.

Not even close. Giulini in Vienna takes almost 12, and I imagine all the usual slowcoaches: Sanderling, late Bernstein, Celibidache take longer than Rattle.

Thanks for mentioning Da Sabata. Is there a good transfer?

The one in Andante box is very good. And there is currently used copy at amazon.uk for 11 pounds, which I think is a bargain.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B00009PJQP/ref=sr_1_7_olp?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1306312736&sr=1-7&condition=used   

kishnevi

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #70 on: May 25, 2011, 05:42:05 AM »
Not even close. Giulini in Vienna takes almost 12, and I imagine all the usual slowcoaches: Sanderling, late Bernstein, Celibidache take longer than Rattle.

The one in Andante box is very good. And there is currently used copy at amazon.uk for 11 pounds, which I think is a bargain.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B00009PJQP/ref=sr_1_7_olp?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1306312736&sr=1-7&condition=used

Bernstein on DVD (VPO, on Unitel/DG, filmed 10/81):  the timings for all four movements are:
13'36, 13'12, 6'19, 14'03
As contrast the two other versions I have closest to hand:
Eschenbach/Houston
13'30.12'57,6'29,10'22
Haitink, Concertgebouw (1972)
12'21,11'40,6'12, 10'07

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #71 on: May 25, 2011, 06:06:34 AM »
....the Passacaglia comes in at  nearly ten and a half minutes. That must be the longest on record.

Besides the slowpokes already mentioned:

Bernstein/Vienna          11:35
Celibidache/Munich       11:15
Eschenbach/S-H-F         10:58
Sanderling/Dresden      10:47
Szell/Cleveland             10:36


Sarge
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #72 on: May 25, 2011, 06:47:23 AM »
Bernstein on DVD (VPO, on Unitel/DG, filmed 10/81):  the timings for all four movements are:
13'36, 13'12, 6'19, 14'03

:o :o :o

Does that 14:03 include applause?

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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kishnevi

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #73 on: May 25, 2011, 06:58:33 AM »

:o :o :o

Does that 14:03 include applause?

Sarge

Now, that you mention, it probably does.  Forgot about that little point :o

Scarpia

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #74 on: May 25, 2011, 08:01:10 AM »

:o :o :o

Does that 14:03 include applause?

Sarge

Maybe not.  I remember his recording of Brahms 3 first movement.  I seem to recall that he claimed in the pre-performance lecture to have discovered that "allegro" applied to the accompanying voices, and not to the melody, and that everyone but him was playing the movement much, much too fast.  Turns out, they weren't.   :P

There are some things that the Bernstein process works on, but in my opinion, Brahms isn't in that catagory.


eyeresist

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #75 on: May 25, 2011, 05:53:17 PM »
Besides the slowpokes already mentioned:

Bernstein/Vienna          11:35
Celibidache/Munich       11:15
Eschenbach/S-H-F         10:58
Sanderling/Dresden      10:47
Szell/Cleveland             10:36

Bohm/Vienna                10:23

Sounds like Rattle is actually one of the faster ones.
 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #76 on: May 25, 2011, 07:13:38 PM »
Rattle has this horrible habit of underlining every single thing.

But this doesn't make the journey any less rewarding. Rattle's Brahms is great in my opinion. It's one of my preferred cycles. Aside from Rattle, I always like Dohnanyi, Solti, and Harnoncourt.
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Marc

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #77 on: May 26, 2011, 10:27:43 AM »
I have the feeling conductors of the 1945 - 1980 era (I'm just picking random dates) were not so much into the more colourful en melodic aspects of Brahms. But I may be wrong.

Eduard van Beinum?

eyeresist

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #78 on: May 26, 2011, 04:43:41 PM »
What's the repeat situation in the fourth movement?

Haven't seen the score, but just from listening I'd say there are no repeats. The whole thing just moves inexorably forward (presaging Sibelius 7?). If there were repeats, it would be not a passacaglia but a passacaglia rondo.

Offline Herman

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Re: Best modern Brahms symphony 4?
« Reply #79 on: May 26, 2011, 10:55:38 PM »
Bohm/Vienna                10:23

Sounds like Rattle is actually one of the faster ones.

Haitink / Boston     10:23 too
Kubelik / BRSO      10:04
Bélohlávek / Czech PO    10:07