Author Topic: Box Blather  (Read 290388 times)

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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1100 on: May 18, 2021, 03:05:57 AM »
Brian, I remember your great enthusiasm for the earlier Previn box. Is this on your menu?


  I recently moved to Japan, and don't have much music with me (my goods will eventually arrive, but now things are minimal). Saw this at the store for a good price, but don't know how this tranche of his work stacks up.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1101 on: May 18, 2021, 06:04:00 AM »
Already bought it  ;D have had it for two weeks and listened to maybe 15-16 CDs. The really great asset is that he continually worked with great brass sections and encouraged them to really blow their lungs out. The Pittsburgh horns sound great in Mahler 4, the London horns and trombones are awesome in The Perfect Fool and their trumpet shines in Lieutenant Kije, etc.

There are some pretty random discs throughout which fall on the far edge of the repertoire. He plays Joplin ragtime with Itzhak Perlman (kind of odd but artistically perfectly executed), Victorian "pop" ballads and parlor songs on two CDs (not sure I will ever listen), a Ravi Shankar concerto (same), and even an Elgar Cockaigne overture conducted by Ted Heath, the prime minister. Poor old fart nearly falls asleep after a couple minutes and the performance takes eons, but the LSO still very charitably give it their all and play their hearts out. It must have made him very happy.

Anyway - great Shostakovich 4-6, 8, and 10, great Prokofiev 1 and 5 (I am excited to get to the complete Cinderella and R&J), legendary Rachmaninov complete orchestra set including The Bells. I haven't heard any duds yet, although the Hurwitz, who just posted a detailed video about this set, says the Planets and Manfred Symphony are duds. I have low expectations of the Beethoven.

Note that there are like 8 CDs with Perlman so if you got his box there will be overlap. But if not, Perlman is great so it's a plus.

Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1102 on: May 18, 2021, 11:38:24 AM »
Hurwitz apparently has a 90 minute video praising the new Ormandy Giant Mono Box. That is really testing the limits of how much YouTube I will watch.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1103 on: May 18, 2021, 01:39:33 PM »
 :D :D
   Thanks for the review, Brian. I reckon I'll have to pick it up.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1104 on: May 18, 2021, 02:14:50 PM »
You should ;D only real complaint so far is they didn't fully match the red tints on the box and lid.

Oh and I'm glad to have a Saint-Saens piano concerto set on CD (with Collard in the box) but the set that I have on hi-res download with Louis Lortie on Chandos is definitely superior for sound, quick tempos, and orchestral excitement.

1980s recordings are not remastered, some others are remastered from 95-2010 ish, and some that are rare or little known are remastered 2017 by Warner Japan or brand new for this box. It's a hodgepodge if you are concerned about that. I am happy as a buyer for sure.

Offline André

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1105 on: May 18, 2021, 02:33:15 PM »
Hurwitz apparently has a 90 minute video praising the new Ormandy Giant Mono Box. That is really testing the limits of how much YouTube I will watch.

But before that, he has a 45 minute video on how not to review that box, in which he demolishes the Gramophone review by Richard Osborne (« Shame on you Mr Osborne! »).  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tAb0B1_NIA&feature=youtu.be

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1106 on: May 19, 2021, 12:14:45 AM »
It's a hodgepodge if you are concerned about that. I am happy as a buyer for sure.

 I LIKE a hodgepodge. That's a plus for me. I expect to be happy.
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Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1107 on: May 19, 2021, 12:24:59 AM »
But before that, he has a 45 minute video on how not to review that box, in which he demolishes the Gramophone review by Richard Osborne (« Shame on you Mr Osborne! »).  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tAb0B1_NIA&feature=youtu.be


  I acquired digital downloads of about 20 disks of the Ormandy box.  Sound is fine, but I'm finding the performances rather stolid. I was hoping it would be like the Walters box, but with more range. So far (for me at least), Walter wowed me far more--with what I had expected to be tired warhorses--than Ormandy has with more exotic gems.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1108 on: May 19, 2021, 05:20:52 AM »
But before that, he has a 45 minute video on how not to review that box, in which he demolishes the Gramophone review by Richard Osborne (« Shame on you Mr Osborne! »).  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tAb0B1_NIA&feature=youtu.be


Good grief! On vacation and unable to watch this week, but I did read the Gramophone review and it seemed like a candid and honest assessment by the writer?

  I acquired digital downloads of about 20 disks of the Ormandy box.  Sound is fine, but I'm finding the performances rather stolid. I was hoping it would be like the Walters box, but with more range. So far (for me at least), Walter wowed me far more--with what I had expected to be tired warhorses--than Ormandy has with more exotic gems.

Did you acquire that piece called "The Squares of Philadelphia"? It's such bad "music" that I burst out laughing when the narrator entered with his ridiculous poetry.

Don't talk me into getting the Bruno Walter box too, now  >:( (well maybe do ... any favorites in it?)

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1109 on: May 19, 2021, 01:53:05 PM »

Don't talk me into getting the Bruno Walter box too, now  >:( (well maybe do ... any favorites in it?)

  I wouldn't recommend it to you at all, Brian. You'd appreciate its qualities, but would soon find it a chore, I think. "Well, yeah, this is a particularly delicious brussels sprout, but you know..."
   You should go to the ebay web site and type in "Mercury Living Presence Box".  Second hand, those are very reasonable, and would bring you more joy, IMO.
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1110 on: May 21, 2021, 05:44:41 AM »
I've been making my way through the Ormandy. I'm not sure I'm as enthusiastic about it as Hurwitz. Most of the performances are perfectly fine, but rarely would I say something is a definitive version based on my listening so far. Also the recording quality ranges from below average to average, Columbia were not great in the mono era. I'd say the main appeal of it for me is hearing more of the Philly Orchestra, they really are quite wonderful.

The Bruno Walter Complete Album Collection on the other hand is one of my desert island boxes, it has some of the very finest performances of numerous symphonies and usually in good to above average recording quality. Content wise I don't think there is much difference from the earlier The Bruno Walter Edition box, but I got rid of that one after hearing how much they killed the sound of the high end. This new box sounds much higher fidelity/truer to the tapes. In both box sets they are mostly using Sony's remixes that are well done and sound better to me than the original US LPs.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 05:49:11 AM by hvbias »

Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1111 on: May 24, 2021, 05:51:43 PM »
I've been streaming samples from the Ormandy mono and Walter big boxes online and mostly agree with hvbias. The Ormandy mono is in such blah sound that, at least to my pedestrian ears, it sounds like any performance by any orchestra. Only the unusual repertoire is interesting, but even then, I started listening to some piece, forget which one, and then thought "but the sound is so much better on Naxos and the playing sounds the same." But the Walter stuff...holy cow. Supercharged Barber, amazing stereo Bruckner 4 with flawless truly romantic phrasing, rather formal but nice Haydn, ridiculously fast Dvorak 8, lovely Brahms choral stuff...ugh yeah I might need that one.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 05:53:18 PM by Brian »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1112 on: May 24, 2021, 11:18:25 PM »
I'm mostly done with big boxes as they usually contain too much repertoire I usually already own in good (and too many) performances, but have bookmarked these 4 for purchases as they contain interesting repertoire and/or artists or genres of particular interest to mei :






Waiting for 3 of them to be released and will put them in a single order form presto.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 11:23:55 PM by The new erato »

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1113 on: May 25, 2021, 12:31:58 AM »
I've been streaming samples from the Ormandy mono and Walter big boxes online and mostly agree with hvbias. The Ormandy mono is in such blah sound that, at least to my pedestrian ears, it sounds like any performance by any orchestra. Only the unusual repertoire is interesting, but even then, I started listening to some piece, forget which one, and then thought "but the sound is so much better on Naxos and the playing sounds the same." But the Walter stuff...holy cow. Supercharged Barber, amazing stereo Bruckner 4 with flawless truly romantic phrasing, rather formal but nice Haydn, ridiculously fast Dvorak 8, lovely Brahms choral stuff...ugh yeah I might need that one.

  Wow, I didn't think you'd get into the Walter. I thought you had long since burned out on the core repertoire stuff.  Well, if anyone can bring it back to life, it's old Bruno.
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Offline Que

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1114 on: May 25, 2021, 09:39:26 AM »
  Wow, I didn't think you'd get into the Walter. I thought you had long since burned out on the core repertoire stuff.  Well, if anyone can bring it back to life, it's old Bruno.

QFT    8)

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1115 on: May 25, 2021, 11:57:00 AM »
Hurwitz, who just posted a detailed video about this set, says the Planets and Manfred Symphony are duds.

Just for a change Hurwitz's sweeping generalisations are wrong - the Planets is very good.  Perhaps Manfred doesn't blaze in the way you might have expected Previn and the LSO to do in this repertoire.  Neither would br my top choice but neither could possibly be termed a dud.  Probably Hurwitz doesn't like them because he can't hear enough gongs

Offline André

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1116 on: May 25, 2021, 03:23:10 PM »
Previn’s Planets are indeed very good. Just not the same as Boult. Hurwitz is indeed wrong here.

Offline Brian

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1117 on: May 25, 2021, 04:10:43 PM »
I should look up Peter Power Pop's Planets ranking. My preferred version is Steinberg/Boston. Also like Mehta/LA, Levine/Chicago, Jurowski/LPO.

Oh, here's his ranking: https://petersplanets.wordpress.com/

Previn is a respectable 35, just ahead of Karajan/Vienna (!), and well ahead of my favored Steinberg at 48.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1118 on: May 25, 2021, 04:53:24 PM »
My favorite Planets (in no particular order): Bernstein/NYPO, Groves/RPO, Mehta/LAPO, Karajan/Wiener and Boult/LPO. I haven’t heard Previn/LSO, but I’d like to change this as I do like this conductor very much.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 07:56:04 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Box Blather
« Reply #1119 on: May 26, 2021, 01:22:14 PM »
I should look up Peter Power Pop's Planets ranking. My preferred version is Steinberg/Boston. Also like Mehta/LA, Levine/Chicago, Jurowski/LPO.

Oh, here's his ranking: https://petersplanets.wordpress.com/

Previn is a respectable 35, just ahead of Karajan/Vienna (!), and well ahead of my favored Steinberg at 48.

Levine/Chicago was released around the time of Dutoit/Montreal and got rather overshadowed - not wholly fairly I would say.  Personally I would take "Petersplanets" with a big pinch of salt.  Just because a guy is fixated on a work doesn't mean he has special insight - Kaplan/Mahler 2 springs to mind!!!  Quite often he references flaws (tuning/ensemble/splits) which I literally cannot hear - and I'm picky!  It feels like he's saying stuff for the sake of finding something to say......