Author Topic: Recordings That You Are Considering  (Read 2255610 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16120 on: March 24, 2021, 07:38:13 AM »
Suitner without a doubt for me.

I'll go into a little more detail as I spent much of January listening to these box sets.

Suitner is generally faster and more exciting. He omits repeats in the first two symphonies so they are around 45 minutes rather than 55. There are big differences especially in 3 and 4, Suitner is 2 minutes faster in the first movement alone of 3, for example. There is not really a question of an "authentic Czech sound" with either box, because Suitner's orchestra is German and Pešek's better orchestra is British. (The Czech Philharmonic plays some in the Pešek box, but this is the 1990s Czech Philharmonic, not the 60s-70s version, so it sounds much more international and less traditional.)

There are some really distinctive, unforgettable moments in the Suitner performances, such as the coda of the first movement of 8, where he doubles the tempo and is absolutely thrilling. Pešek's performances are much more "normal" and conventional. You may well like them a lot if you enjoy performances that are on the slower side or more dignified. (The funeral march in 3 is stately and Elgarian vs. the absolute maniacal hysteria in Rowicki.) But the andante first movement of 4 is unforgivable for me. (The next three movements are really good though! Great scherzo energy.)

There are certainly very nice things in the Pešek cycle, he is very good in 5 and 6, and a lot of generous couplings including overtures and the Czech Suite. The presentation of the box is also much nicer than the Brilliant plastic case, which is easily breakable. But Suitner's performances are top-tier, especially maybe the best 3 and 8 ever, whereas I would only recommend Pešek if you are a serious Dvorak superfan who already has Kertesz, Suitner, and maybe Rowicki and want to hear a lower-energy version. Even then, Neumann is a good lower-energy conductor who has the Czech Philharmonic in its more older-fashioned sound with more distinctive old woodwind instruments.

EDIT: I just now saw that you do not have any Dvorak symphony cycle at all. In this case I would suggest looking for the recent cheap Decca reissue of Kertesz, and if it is unavailable, Suitner or Rowicki. Kubelik is very good but in the $35 range.

Interesting. I thought Suitner was low energy and just not the right conductor for this music. Neumann isn’t a low energy conductor at all, especially his earlier cycle which is his better one of the two he’s recorded. I’d say Kertész, Neumann (1st cycle) and Kubelik are the way to go in Dvořák’s symphonic music.
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Offline André

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16121 on: March 24, 2021, 07:45:46 AM »
Suitner is far from low energy, whether in Dvorak, Schubert (the best cycle by a country mile) or Bruckner (terrific versions of 4 and 5). Personally I prefer it and Kertesz over Kubelik, which I find too polite (the BP’s fault, I think). I don’t have all the Neumanns (only 4-6) but on account of these performances he’d probably get my vote for the best Dvorak cycle. For some reason I've never managed to hear Rowicki’s Dvorak.

Offline Brian

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16122 on: March 24, 2021, 07:51:37 AM »
Neumann isn’t a low energy conductor at all, especially his earlier cycle which is his better one of the two he’s recorded.
Yeah, he's not exactly sleepy in the way that the ongoing SWR cycle has been. But there is a clear difference in tempos between Kertesz, Rowicki, and Suitner, who tend to be faster all across the board, and somewhat slower performances by Neumann, Pesek, and some single-disc recordings like Tilson Thomas' 6 and Bernstein's 7. Rowicki is sometimes too fast, his Fifth is a little too fierce rather than pastoral.

I am in the middle of listening to all my Dvorak symphony recordings, by coincidence I spent a lot of time with Pesek, Neumann, and Suitner at the start, with Kertesz yet to come.

my personal favorites
1 - not sure yet
2 - not sure yet, maybe Anguelov?
3 - Suitner
4 - not sure yet
5 - Jansons??
6 - Dohnanyi or Kertesz
7 - Szell
8 - Suitner or Mackerras
9 - not sure yet, maybe Kubelik or Urbanski
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 07:55:19 AM by Brian »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16123 on: March 24, 2021, 07:52:15 AM »
Suitner is far from low energy, whether in Dvorak, Schubert (the best cycle by a country mile) or Bruckner (terrific versions of 4 and 5). Personally I prefer it and Kertesz over Kubelik, which I find too polite (the BP’s fault, I think). I don’t have all the Neumanns (only 4-6) but on account of these performances he’d probably get my vote for the best Dvorak cycle. For some reason I've never managed to hear Rowicki’s Dvorak.

Well, poor vers la flamme is again met with a mob of contrarians and naysayers. :P Truth be told, I’m probably not the best person to give Dvořák recommendations anyway considering I don’t listen to his music all that much.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 07:54:24 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16124 on: March 24, 2021, 07:54:10 AM »
Yeah, he's not exactly sleepy in the way that the ongoing SWR cycle has been. But there is a clear difference in tempos between Kertesz, Rowicki, and Suitner, who tend to be faster all across the board, and somewhat slower performances by Neumann, Pesek, and some single-disc recordings like Tilson Thomas' 6 and Bernstein's 7. Rowicki is sometimes too fast, his Fifth is a little too fierce rather than pastoral.

Read Reply #16123 with special emphasis on the second sentence. :)
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Offline DavidW

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16125 on: March 24, 2021, 09:23:12 AM »
For the 6th and the 9th I like Ancerl.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16126 on: March 24, 2021, 04:22:26 PM »
Well, poor vers la flamme is again met with a mob of contrarians and naysayers. :P Truth be told, I’m probably not the best person to give Dvořák recommendations anyway considering I don’t listen to his music all that much.

 :laugh:

Sorry, Brian, but I pulled the trigger on the Pesek, before I read your lengthy and surely quite helpful post. In any case it seems you'd agree that it's at least a worthy cycle, even if it wouldn't have been your first choice as a recommendation. Not sure whether I care about this music enough to warrant buying multiple cycles, but we'll see how I feel after spending some more time with these symphonies. I only really know 8 and 9. Suitner/Staatskapelle Berlin is still a dirt-cheap option at some fifteen dollars last I checked, so I'd still consider getting it if I end up falling for the music. Truth be told I never cared for Dvorák much at all until quite recently.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16127 on: March 24, 2021, 04:28:47 PM »
I read this last exchange with interest...Rarely listen to symphonic music, purchased Suitner years ago due to decent reviews, low price and my good experience with Berlin Classics. Relieved to find that I didn't go too far astray, as I don't intend to acquire multiple recordings of the Dvorak symphonies.  ;)

Online Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16128 on: March 25, 2021, 03:47:09 AM »
There's a whole separate thread on Dvorak symphony cycles. I remember Suitner got a lot of positive feedback there and elsewhere, because it's on my potential shopping list as a result. Along with Rowicki and some Neumann.
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Online Papy Oli

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16129 on: April 11, 2021, 05:15:58 AM »
Would anyone know please where the Jean Martinon Later Years Icon box, the Armin Jordan Icon box and the Ansermet French Music box might be available for purchase as FLAC please ? I can't seem to find them anywhere as buyable downloads (nothing on Presto, qobuz, 7digital, HighResAudio, Eclassical, etc...)
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16130 on: April 11, 2021, 05:26:09 AM »
Would anyone know please where the Jean Martinon Later Years Icon box, the Armin Jordan Icon box and the Ansermet French Music box might be available for purchase as FLAC please ? I can't seem to find them anywhere as buyable downloads (nothing on Presto, qobuz, 7digital, HighResAudio, Eclassical, etc...)

My guess is that the Martinon and Jordan sets aren't available as downloads of any kind anywhere; I bought them as CDs. None of the Icon sets seem to be available as downloads, not even as mp3.

Online Papy Oli

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16131 on: April 11, 2021, 05:31:50 AM »
My guess is that the Martinon and Jordan sets aren't available as downloads of any kind anywhere; I bought them as CDs. None of the Icon sets seem to be available as downloads, not even as mp3.

Presto does have has a few Icon boxes as downloads in their current offer if that's of interest, Biffo.

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/promotions/historical/labels/1507/browse?format=2&size=120&view=small&sort=relevance

Sadly, not Martinon or Jordan.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16132 on: April 11, 2021, 05:35:44 AM »
Suitner without a doubt for me.

I'll go into a little more detail as I spent much of January listening to these box sets.

Suitner is generally faster and more exciting. He omits repeats in the first two symphonies so they are around 45 minutes rather than 55. There are big differences especially in 3 and 4, Suitner is 2 minutes faster in the first movement alone of 3, for example. There is not really a question of an "authentic Czech sound" with either box, because Suitner's orchestra is German and Pešek's better orchestra is British. (The Czech Philharmonic plays some in the Pešek box, but this is the 1990s Czech Philharmonic, not the 60s-70s version, so it sounds much more international and less traditional.)

There are some really distinctive, unforgettable moments in the Suitner performances, such as the coda of the first movement of 8, where he doubles the tempo and is absolutely thrilling. Pešek's performances are much more "normal" and conventional. You may well like them a lot if you enjoy performances that are on the slower side or more dignified. (The funeral march in 3 is stately and Elgarian vs. the absolute maniacal hysteria in Rowicki.) But the andante first movement of 4 is unforgivable for me. (Again Suitner is 2-3 minutes faster. The next three movements are really good though! Great scherzo energy.)

There are certainly very nice things in the Pešek cycle, he is very good in 5 and 6, and a lot of generous couplings including overtures and the Czech Suite. The presentation of the box is also much nicer than the Brilliant plastic case, which is easily breakable. But Suitner's performances are top-tier, especially maybe the best 3 and 8 ever, whereas I would only recommend Pešek if you are a serious Dvorak superfan who already has Kertesz, Suitner, and maybe Rowicki and want to hear a lower-energy version. Even then, Neumann is a good lower-energy conductor who has the Czech Philharmonic in its more older-fashioned sound with more distinctive old woodwind instruments.

TLDR: Depends if you like fast exciting readings or slow calm readings.

EDIT: I just now saw that you do not have any Dvorak symphony cycle at all. In this case I would suggest looking for the recent cheap Decca reissue of Kertesz, and if it is unavailable, Suitner or Rowicki. Kubelik is very good but in the $35 range.

Really good over-view - my only quibble is that the analog Neumann is most certainly NOT lower-energy although the digital remake certainly was.  But other than that I'd agree (almost!) completely.

Offline Stürmisch Bewegt

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16133 on: April 11, 2021, 05:51:26 AM »
Thinking of asking for this for my BDay; has THE best recording (IMO) ever of the Franck Symphony, among other treasures :

Leben heißt nicht zu warten, bis der Sturm vorbeizieht, sondern lernen, im Regen zu tanzen.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16134 on: April 11, 2021, 06:00:29 AM »
Presto does have has a few Icon boxes as downloads in their current offer if that's of interest, Biffo.

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/promotions/historical/labels/1507/browse?format=2&size=120&view=small&sort=relevance

Sadly, not Martinon or Jordan.

Thanks for the info. Obviously I didn't cast my net widely enough when I checked for downloads.  Of the ones on offer I either have them already (in one form or another) or not interested. May have to check out the Fournier set though.

Offline DavidW

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16135 on: April 11, 2021, 06:00:56 AM »
Would anyone know please where the Jean Martinon Later Years Icon box, the Armin Jordan Icon box and the Ansermet French Music box might be available for purchase as FLAC please ? I can't seem to find them anywhere as buyable downloads (nothing on Presto, qobuz, 7digital, HighResAudio, Eclassical, etc...)

That Martinon box is not even on Warner's website so I think it was just a limited release on cd.  If you're deadset against cds then perhaps you can find it as a lossy download on Apple Music.

Online Papy Oli

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16136 on: April 11, 2021, 10:45:16 AM »
Thanks for the info. Obviously I didn't cast my net widely enough when I checked for downloads.  Of the ones on offer I either have them already (in one form or another) or not interested. May have to check out the Fournier set though.

No worries, fair enough.

That Martinon box is not even on Warner's website so I think it was just a limited release on cd.  If you're deadset against cds then perhaps you can find it as a lossy download on Apple Music.

I hadn't thought of Itunes, thank you David (not an Apple person). I have had a look but they have neither.
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Online Madiel

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16138 on: April 12, 2021, 01:32:22 AM »
^Has some good things on it.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Recordings That You Are Considering
« Reply #16139 on: April 12, 2021, 02:01:37 AM »
Sibelius:


Very very good disc! I don't always go for Vänskä's Sibelius but this is a very good example of what he brings to the table. I always thought he shined more in the lesser known works than in the symphonies.