Author Topic: Nikolaus Harnoncourt  (Read 19878 times)

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Lilas Pastia

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2007, 02:22:36 PM »
This is very interesting. It would imply that he considers a composers' character when making his choices? I wonder if he has other mental/aesthetic/moral restrictions? Too bad about his refusal to conduct Berlioz. This is another logical 'fit' for a musician of such wide interests and open mind. I notice he's never conducted any Russian or French repertoire and yet I'd definitely welcome a Pathétique, Pictures or d minor symphony from him. I can't imagine him doing Elgar though :D

BTW and just for the record, the reason I didn't like (actively disliked as a matter of fact) the Brahms piano concertos set is that IMHO it lacked flow. I understand it's an elusive concept, but in the case of Brahms there's a very thin line between being borne aloft on a surge of romantic tone and getting bogged down in the thickets of his harmonic and rythmic complexities. It has nothing to do with a preference for fast or slow Brahms. Gilels-Jochum achieve flow within a very grand, unhurried conception. Donohoe - Svetlanov (in 1) and Magaloff-van Otterloo (in 2) achieve grandeur within a volcanically surging framework. I recognize I could have sat on it and unearthed the set when I had "grown up" artistically, but my reaction was more that of a protest. But again, I honestly can't explain in technical terms what "faults" I found in these interpretations. Blame it on my genes, cultural background or (horror!) non-european origin if it makes anyone feel better. I've never much liked the Serkin-Szell or Barenboim-Barbirolli versions either. And yet, they are from old school, old world musicians born and steeped in the idiom, "firmly rooted in those traditions".

« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 02:49:32 PM by Lilas Pastia »

ChamberNut

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2008, 06:55:02 AM »
What are your thoughts on Nikolaus Harnoncourt as a conductor?

Morigan

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2008, 07:41:49 AM »
While I love his Beethoven... His recent Nozze di Figaro DVD for the 2006 Salzburg festival was so horrible that I wanted to claw my eyes out and tear my ears off.

Offline Que

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2008, 07:47:04 AM »
Harnoncourt is a genius, but jut like any other conductor he doesn't always hit the nail right on the head.

He excells in: Bach, other German Baroque composers and Haydn.

Partly excells in: Mozart

Always interesting and fascinating but rather odd in: Beethoven and Romantics like Schubert, Bruckner and Brahms. His Verdi Requiem is just plain weird....

Q


springrite

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2008, 07:51:17 AM »
Harnoncourt is a genius, but jut like any other conductor he doesn't always hit the nail right on the head.


A couple of times, I thought he hit the nail right on the head.
Other times he hit the head right on the nail.

Overall, I do like him. At least he is usually never boring.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 07:54:49 AM by springrite »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2008, 07:52:48 AM »
My impressions of Harnoncourt are mostly overwhelmingly positive.  His Dvořák Slavonic Dances with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is brilliant, one of my favorite recordings of anything.  I also love his Bruckner, Dvořák and Haydn symphonies, all with the Concertgebouw.  And someone here just had nice things to say about his Bartók, also with the COE--a disc that somehow slipped by me since it came out in 2004.

--Bruce
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:04:21 AM by bhodges »
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Offline hautbois

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2008, 08:02:51 AM »
I am honestly biased, so i rank highly most of his output that i own, but admittedly, he has no precision at times in his conducting, and that mean hitting and missing, and he does both equally well.  ;D I agree with Que on the Verdi Requiem...it was just...b...a....d....

Although i am tempted to say everything he has every recorded, here are some of my favourite Harnoncourt recordings:







And of course, the legendary:


Howard

*p.s. is the bias obvious now?  ::)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:06:15 AM by hautbois »

Bonehelm

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2008, 09:54:16 AM »
Love his classical/Baroque output but not his romantic ones...never liked HIP romantics anyway.

bassio

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2008, 01:37:22 PM »
I need to listen to his Classical.

Also more of his Bach.. to form a final opinion.

Mozart

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2008, 01:58:36 PM »
Harnoncourt uses strange tempos, just to be different. I don't really like it.

Offline val

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2008, 10:38:37 PM »
Very good some times, very bad in others.

He was remarkable with the Concentus Musicus in Bach's Cantatas, Zelenka, Fux and the sublime versions he gave of Monteverdi's operas, in special Orfeo (with Koszma) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (with Berberian, Donath).

But when he started to conduct Mozart, Beethoven, Bruckner, and after 3 our 4 very bad experiences (Beethoven's Nine Symphonies, Bruckner's 3rd above all) I never bought any new recordings of Harnoncourt.

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2008, 11:41:42 PM »


Finally a scholarly conductor, very nice!  (I don't prefer dictators on the podium at all.)
Stalwart of HIP movement in Vienna.  I think his Monteverdi Rameau etc. is clunky, but
Haydn Mozart w/Concentus is sublime (especially live).  His Dvorak and Bruckner are
beautiful performances also.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 11:44:44 PM by fl.traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline hautbois

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2008, 08:11:24 AM »
Harnoncourt uses strange tempos, just to be different. I don't really like it.

Which brings an important and controversial point. Since recordings are meant to capture a moment in time where a performance is deemed to be valuable and worth leaving a legacy, is creativity no longer relevant? If ten Beethoven cycles have the same tempi and similar approaches in sound culture and such, why is it necessary to release another? Classical music after all, at least nowadays, do not make money at the same rate or enjoy popularity as how commercial pop artists do. Music itself is a creative art, from the composer's point of view, and to a certain extand, the performer's point of view.

When a performance is deemed good, is it good because it is historically correct (for certain composers, we will ever know anyways), or is it because we hear something interesting that has not been heard before, or is it because someone else told you it's good. Harnoncourt is wild, he does the craziest things, you might say that he does that just to be different, but we all know that to say so is plain ignorance. (The term HIP to describe his Romantic music performances are just bad stereotyping, a lack of understanding of the art itself.) The problem with the classical music scene today is the lack of creativity and freshness, musicians are becoming more and more timid so to say, students graduate from conservatories not wanting to take risks, orchestras who don't work hard and hate taking new ideas, etc. Yet, positively, technology has brought many advantages to the classical music world, and they are thankfully being taken advantage of. (Wonderful websites like RCO's, CSO's etc.)

Harnoncourt hits and misses, but then again, we are left with a legacy of hits that will surely be enjoyed by many generations to come.

Howard

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2008, 04:24:35 PM »
Excellent point, and excellent post, hautbois!  Like you, I tend to prefer performances that exercise some creativity.  And no one can accuse Harnoncourt of being less than scholarly. :) I love his Schubert symphonies with the Concertgebouw. :D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Bogey

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2008, 05:28:59 PM »
I put great.  With the music of his I have explored I have always been very pleased.  Que, have you heard his Mozart Requiem disc yet?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Renfield

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2008, 05:39:00 PM »
I put great.  With the music of his I have explored I have always been very pleased.  Que, have you heard his Mozart Requiem disc yet?

Stupendous performance, that one. And it well-illustrates why I also voted "Great". :)

Offline Brian

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2008, 06:43:23 PM »



Why would any record label ever put such an image on a CD cover?  :D My friend reports that, if you move left and right, Harnoncourt's eyes follow you.

Renfield

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2008, 06:56:18 PM »
Why would any record label ever put such an image on a CD cover?  :D My friend reports that, if you move left and right, Harnoncourt's eyes follow you.

It's true! :o

No, really, I find that cover ridiculous myself. But the performance inside is far from it, thankfully. ;)

Offline Que

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2008, 08:28:39 PM »
I put great.  With the music of his I have explored I have always been very pleased.  Que, have you heard his Mozart Requiem disc yet?

Yes, I have - very impressive and definitely great Harnoncourt, as are his late Mozart symphonies.

Q

bassio

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Re: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2008, 12:58:52 PM »
When a performance is deemed good, is it good because it is historically correct (for certain composers, we will ever know anyways), or is it because we hear something interesting that has not been heard before

It is good when you like it  ;)