Author Topic: Unpopular Opinions  (Read 310279 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2820 on: January 03, 2021, 11:05:07 AM »
Why rank them at all when you can just love them all?  0:)

Perfectly true, so we may say that the opinion is not popular with you for yet another reason 8)
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2821 on: January 03, 2021, 11:06:11 AM »
I have a very intense and long-lasting relationship with the Nielsen concerto - my life partner, you might call it.  When I got my first clarinet, at the age of 15, I bought at the same time the piano edition of the concerto.  I remember the assistant in Taphouse's in Oxford, who obviously knew his stuff, commenting "That's certainly something to aspire to, sir."  Since then I've failed to master the solo part, and was recently within a few weeks of playing the snare-drum part in a concert, before the orchestra (not the soloist) got cold feet.  I have also typeset the whole score in Sibelius, out of sheer fascination with it.  I'm not suggesting for a minute that this gives my opinions of the piece any special status, but it does make me awfully hard to please with regard to performances.  I think I have finally settled on my 2 favourites, so what I plan to do... sometime this year... is a Hurwitz-style review on this very forum (no video, don't panic, Hurwitz is George Clooney compared to me, I promise you) along the lines of BBC Radio 3's Building a Library, comparing the available versions.  I've just got a fair number left to listen to, after which pen will start hitting paper, or fingers keyboard.

Very nice!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
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[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 The new erato

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2822 on: January 03, 2021, 11:25:38 AM »
Indeed. Looking forward to it!

Offline Iota

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2823 on: January 03, 2021, 11:30:38 AM »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2824 on: January 05, 2021, 10:29:53 AM »
If this thread were in the Diner:

This is practically heresy in Mass.,  but I can really do without Jas Taylor.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2825 on: January 05, 2021, 02:09:27 PM »
Dvorak should have orchestrated the Slavonic Dances with like 85% less triangle and cymbals.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2826 on: January 05, 2021, 02:25:54 PM »
Maybe he just shouldn't have orchestrated them... yes I trumped your unpopular opinion.
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2827 on: January 05, 2021, 02:38:26 PM »
Dvorak should have orchestrated the Slavonic Dances with like 85% less triangle and cymbals.

It should apply to music by Verdi, Rossini et al too.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2828 on: January 05, 2021, 02:57:11 PM »
Maybe he just shouldn't have orchestrated them... yes I trumped your unpopular opinion.

(* chortle *)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2829 on: January 05, 2021, 03:45:42 PM »
Dvorak should have orchestrated the Slavonic Dances with like 85% less triangle and cymbals.

How about this for an unpopular opinion: I enjoy Slavonic Rhapsodies more than Slavonic Dances:P
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Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2830 on: January 05, 2021, 07:55:11 PM »
It should apply to music by Verdi, Rossini et al too.
That version of the Barber of Seville overture without any percussion is so much better. (Elisabetta Reina de Inghliterra or however it's spelled)

Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2831 on: January 06, 2021, 12:30:21 AM »
Maybe he just shouldn't have orchestrated them... yes I trumped your unpopular opinion.

I think the Slavonic dances are considerably improved by the orchestration whereas I am rather doubtful in the case of Brahms' Hungarian dances (in any case for the latter I prefer the piano 4 hand version) and a pianist who played both somewhat agreed (he didn't really judge the instrumentation but said that the Brahms was more pianistic and effective, not that surprisingly so as Dvorak was not a virtuoso pianist).
I am not the biggest fan of triangle and especially not cymbals but can accept them in this kind of music.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2832 on: January 06, 2021, 12:37:47 AM »
I think the Slavonic dances are considerably improved by the orchestration whereas I am rather doubtful in the case of Brahms' Hungarian dances (in any case for the latter I prefer the piano 4 hand version) and a pianist who played both somewhat agreed (he didn't really judge the instrumentation but said that the Brahms was more pianistic and effective, not that surprisingly so as Dvorak was not a virtuoso pianist).
I am not the biggest fan of triangle and especially not cymbals but can accept them in this kind of music.

Well, the performance of the piano version on Supraphon is wonderful.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2833 on: January 13, 2021, 12:21:36 AM »
There is nothing wrong with the piano version of the Slavonic dances (I have Köhn/Matthies on Naxos) but I think there is a considerable gain in the orchestral version.

"Blue Rondo à la Turk" is a more gripping and more interesting piece than "Take Five" (I am not really a Jazz person, so maybe this is not even unpopular)
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Offline knight66

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2834 on: January 13, 2021, 02:17:44 AM »
Wagner’s Siegfried is a bum numbing bore. He should have taken scissors to it and cut it down to a decent hour and a half. Last time I sat through it I could not wait for it to end. I don’t feel this way about any other mature Wagner. I once expressed this view on Twitter to a very friendly guy I had been exchanging views with for a year or so. He immediately blocked me, no discussion.

So, my unpopular opinion, Wagner needed a good editor.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2835 on: January 13, 2021, 02:31:47 AM »
Wagner’s Siegfried is a bum numbing bore. He should have taken scissors to it and cut it down to a decent hour and a half. Last time I sat through it I could not wait for it to end. I don’t feel this way about any other mature Wagner. I once expressed this view on Twitter to a very friendly guy I had been exchanging views with for a year or so. He immediately blocked me, no discussion.

So, my unpopular opinion, Wagner needed a good editor.

Mike
Mmmm...I was about to put you on my ignore list after reading this, but....I forgive you  ;) ;D

Strangely, I felt that way about Siegfried too, but the last time I saw it live (Bayreuth 2014), I actually thooght "Wow! Some of the best passages in the whole Ring are actually in Siegfried". Now that's probably the really unpopular opinion.  :D

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2836 on: January 13, 2021, 02:40:54 AM »
I have seen only two Wagner pieces in the theater, Parsifal and Siegfried. It was probably due to my inexperience but Parsifal was more of a chore (despite Barenboim in Berlin opera, with I think Waltraud Meier as Kundry, ca. 1994) than Siegfried (which I saw in Bonn around 2000). I had listened to the Solti Siegfried in preparation and had found it mighty long but it was surprisingly good, although still mighty long. The music is really good and saves even a "recap" scene like the riddle game with Mime and the Wanderer.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2837 on: January 13, 2021, 02:53:29 AM »
Mmmm...I was about to put you on my ignore list after reading this, but....I forgive you  ;) ;D

Strangely, I felt that way about Siegfried too, but the last time I saw it live (Bayreuth 2014), I actually thooght "Wow! Some of the best passages in the whole Ring are actually in Siegfried". Now that's probably the really unpopular opinion.  :D

Regards,

I agree there are great bits, I won’t use that overworked Mark Twain quote. But although there is some action in the opera, more than in Parsifal for example, I find the grinding slowness really too much. Wagner has this habit of explaining something, then repeating it twice. It is an ancient precept, often used in the Bible I gather. Even as highlights it would last longer than Tosca, and that would be just fine. And I don’t mind if purists are writhing  on the ground frothing at the mouth. I will be off for a drink with the time gained.

On Parsifal, I found it a tough nut to crack, but eventually I became somewhat addicted to it. In the wrong hands it can weigh like lead, but with a good conductor, I revel in it.
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2838 on: January 13, 2021, 03:40:33 AM »
I agree there are great bits, I won’t use that overworked Mark Twain quote. But although there is some action in the opera, more than in Parsifal for example, I find the grinding slowness really too much. Wagner has this habit of explaining something, then repeating it twice. It is an ancient precept, often used in the Bible I gather. Even as highlights it would last longer than Tosca, and that would be just fine. And I don’t mind if purists are writhing  on the ground frothing at the mouth. I will be off for a drink with the time gained.

On Parsifal, I found it a tough nut to crack, but eventually I became somewhat addicted to it. In the wrong hands it can weigh like lead, but with a good conductor, I revel in it.

I have never heard Parsifal live and now never expect to, I would be asleep long before the end of Act I. I have managed to sit through most of Solti's recording but never in one sitting. I have a Karajan recording I haven't even attempted.

I have gradually got attuned to Siegfried over the years and always found Act III magnificent.

Offline knight66

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2839 on: January 13, 2021, 03:52:42 AM »
Biffo, I think it is horses for courses for Parsifal, you may make more headway with Karajan than with Solti. Some think Karajan erred on the side of prioritising tonal beauty, but I enjoy the performance a lot. My first choice is Kubelik, but I am not suggesting yet a third set to you when you have two.

If you have Streaming, then Abbado produced a Wagner disc which had about half an hour of Parsifal in a suite, just the orchestra, it might be a way into listening to more of it. The first time I heard it it really made me sit up. It avoids the bleeding chunks category. It also has some Tannhauser and Tristan on it.

Mike
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