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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Scion7 on January 11, 2016, 07:42:39 PM

Title: David Hurwitz
Post by: Scion7 on January 11, 2016, 07:42:39 PM
NB Original post removed, the following is a message from the moderator:

Scion7

I wake up, open the machine and find your post has been reported. I then read through the thread and despite plenty of members pointing out to you how offensive that specific post is, you just leave it there. It was homophobic. That means it is automatically offensive to those here who are gay and to all those who disapprove of homophobic attitudes being expressed; which, as you see, is a fair few. The offensiveness is also against the ethos of this site.

As you did not take all the comments seriously and amend the post; I am writing publicly to you and have basically removed it. It is not on to post material that makes people feel denigrated or uncomfortable.

PM me if you feel the need to continue a discussion on this issue.


Knight
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 11, 2016, 07:46:50 PM
I'm guessing you disagree with his views....but your comments makes you worse than whatever he said!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 07:52:42 PM
Perhaps the best way to deal with Hurwitz is not to deal with him. Give this a shot.

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." - Jean Sibelius
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on January 11, 2016, 07:58:41 PM
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." - Jean Sibelius



No longer true:

(https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ebert.jpeg?quality=75&strip=color&w=1680)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 08:00:17 PM


No longer true:

(https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ebert.jpeg?quality=75&strip=color&w=1680)

Well, it's the intention behind Sibelius' comment that remains important, which to me is pretty simple: forget the critics, they simply don't matter.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Wakefield on January 11, 2016, 08:03:07 PM
Perhaps the best way to deal with Hurwitz is not to deal with him. Give this a shot.

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." - Jean Sibelius

Well, the highlighted part is actually inaccurate.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Scion7 on January 11, 2016, 08:06:24 PM
Somewhere along the line, a Brit pee'd in his cereal, apparently.  He's constantly bashing us.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 08:08:37 PM
Well, the highlighted part is actually inaccurate.

See Reply #4 in this thread. :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 11, 2016, 08:15:18 PM
Somewhere along the line, a Brit pee'd in his cereal, apparently.  He's constantly bashing us.

Ignoring your strange homophobic remark about pink and which way Hurwitz "swings" (which was uncalled for and frankly offensive):

British critics do have a well-known "circle the wagons" mentality where they protect British artists and composers. Every nationality does this, to some extent, but - to take one example - when BBC Music Magazine listed the "50 Greatest Recordings of All Time," over 35 involved UK performers, composers, or labels. Plus, they also claimed Murray Perahia was British in order to boost their national pride.

Another element here: there is an (admirable?) eagerness among UK listeners to fall madly in love with their eccentric minor composers. Naxos and other label execs have confirmed that it's possible to make a weird amount of money with Bax chamber music, Moeran, various Irish rhapsodies, etc. As an American, I'm nowhere near as proud of people like John Knowles Paine as the Brits are of people like Rutland Boughton. More power to them.

Another element here: with certain notable exceptions (e.g. fire-breathing Guardian food critic Jay Rayner), British critics tend to be incredibly polite. There are code words and phrases used to say nice things about a recording one does not like. (I tend to ignore any album described as "worthy".)

I am an American who is a music critic for a British publication (MusicWeb). I have been writing for MusicWeb, with a team of 40-50 mostly UK-born colleagues, since 2009. I've seen too much stuff like the stuff Dave Hurwitz mocks to get angry at him for saying it.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 08:15:32 PM
Somewhere along the line, a Brit pee'd in his cereal, apparently.  He's constantly bashing us.

See Reply #2.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 08:15:59 PM
Well, the highlighted part is actually inaccurate.

So what? every one here is a critic by virtue of simply participating.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Wakefield on January 11, 2016, 08:18:09 PM
See Reply #4 in this thread. :)

A fair amount of important composers have been also talented critics, remarkably Schumann. Some critics as Theodor Adorno, for instance, have had a huge cultural importance.  :) 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Wakefield on January 11, 2016, 08:23:16 PM
So what? every one here is a critic by virtue of simply participating.

Well, I guess the adjective "professional" is implicit here; not related to any special qualification, but in the sense of doing something as a paid job rather than as a hobby.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 08:24:52 PM
Somewhere along the line, a Brit pee'd in his cereal, apparently.  He's constantly bashing us.

Oh, boo-hoo. Read what he actually writes, not what you think he writes. The review is actually a damning with faint praise of symphonies by a second-(or lower) tier American composer: http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/

There's no question, as Brian confirms, that "British critics do have a well-known 'circle the wagons' mentality where they protect British artists and composers." I've seen this repeatedly in BBC Music Magazine, one reason I no longer subscribe. It is a defensive over-reaction to the famous accusation of Britain as "das Land ohne Musik," as if it were necessary or inevitable that musical gifts must be distributed evenly over all the nations. Be happy you've produced some of the world's greatest literature.

And no reason to believe that anyone peed in his cereal. How do you know he even consumes cereal?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 08:25:00 PM
A fair amount of important composers have been also talented critics, remarkably Schumann. Some critics as Theodor Adorno, for instance, have had a huge cultural importance.  :)

Oh and don't forget Berlioz and Debussy. ;) Anyway, I don't buy into the whole 'cultural importance' point-of-view about music critics and will continue to ignore them. No offense to Brian or Bruce who I know are no strangers to music criticism. :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 11, 2016, 08:28:09 PM
And no reason to believe that anyone peed in his cereal. How do you know he even consumes cereal?
Same way he presumably knows that Hurwitz "swings that way" and likes pink?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 08:29:01 PM
Plus, they also claimed Murray Perahia was British in order to boost their national pride.

Next thing you know, they'll say Henry James was a British novelist.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 08:38:39 PM
Same way he presumably knows that Hurwitz "swings that way" and likes pink?

Regarding the cereal, I am having some difficulty envisioning the mechanics of the situation, much as I have difficulty grasping the mechanics of Beecham's famous metaphor about the skeletons copulating on the tin roof, the genitalia not being part of the skeletal system. Is the cereal to be brought to Mr. Hurwitz pre-peed, as it were, or does the peeing take place while Mr. Hurwitz is eating his Frosted Flakes? If the latter, the bowl is presumably on Mr. H's breakfast table, and the pee-er would have to climb up the table, unzip, and perform the deed. Unless, of course, he collects a sample in a cup and simply pours it on, perhaps with the subterfuge that he is actually sweetening the cereal with apple juice . . . .
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2016, 08:45:43 PM
First of all, the OP should delete reference to animals with a certain reputation in relation to another human being (and other putdowns). There is no need for personal attacks behind someone's back, especially when that person is not here to defend themselves. It is really uncalled for and diminishes the poster.

Oh, boo-hoo. Read what he actually writes, not what you think he writes. The review is actually a damning with faint praise of symphonies by a second-(or lower) tier American composer: http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/

There's no question, as Brian confirms, that "British critics do have a well-known 'circle the wagons' mentality where they protect British artists and composers." I've seen this repeatedly in BBC Music Magazine, one reason I no longer subscribe. It is a defensive over-reaction to the famous accusation of Britain as "das Land ohne Musik," as if it were necessary or inevitable that musical gifts must be distributed evenly over all the nations. Be happy you've produced some of the world's greatest literature.

And no reason to believe that anyone peed in his cereal. How do you know he even consumes cereal?
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I really detest when critics go on and on about whether the music should be of interest to me or not. Dislike it? Say it and move on. The reviewer's job is NOT to provide verbose opinions of the composer, but of the disc/performance at hand. Some reference is good: 'sounds like', 'contemporary of', and other references that help the reader understand what type of music the composer composed. But then I guess history is riddled with music critics who think putting others down raises themselves up.

Finally, a lot of people seem to enjoy taking unsubstantiated potshots at British reviewers. It seems to be a filter many have.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Daverz on January 11, 2016, 08:46:48 PM
Hurwitz is often an ass, but i find nothing problematic in this review and pretty much agree with all of it.  You do want this excellent set if you are interested in Persichetti or American symphonic music, but it's a step below, say, Piston's best.

Labels like Chandos, Dutton, and Naxos do record a lot of forgettable British music that gets good notices from British critics.  At least they do promote their own composers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 08:56:05 PM
First of all, the OP should delete reference to animals with a certain reputation in relation to another human being (and other putdowns). There is no need for personal attacks behind someone's back, especially when that person is not here to defend themselves. It is really uncalled for and diminishes the poster.
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I really detest when critics go on and on about whether the music should be of interest to me or not. Dislike it? Say it and move on. The reviewer's job is NOT to provide verbose opinions of the composer, but of the disc/performance at hand. Some reference is good: 'sounds like', 'contemporary of', and other references that help the reader understand what type of music the composer composed. But then I guess history is riddled with music critics who think putting others down raises themselves up.

Finally, a lot of people seem to enjoy taking unsubstantiated potshots at British reviewers. It seems to be a filter many have.

a) Hurwitz is a public figure. He is not protected from comments, pro or con, simply because he is not a member of this group.
b) There is no code of rules a reviewer must follow. I see no reason why a reviewer should not offer opinions on the music, especially if it's unfamiliar stuff, and I don't see how this constitutes self-aggrandizement. Again, everyone here does that sort of thing all the time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on January 11, 2016, 08:58:14 PM
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I really detest when critics go on and on about whether the music should be of interest to me or not.

I do want critics to make value judgements of the music.  I do not see reviewing a recording without mentioning that the music is dull or mediocre to be a service.  It does annoy me when a critic keeps getting assigned music they are obviously not in sympathy with, but that's an editorial issue.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Rinaldo on January 11, 2016, 09:00:05 PM
Well, it's the intention behind Sibelius' comment that remains important, which to me is pretty simple: forget the critics, they simply don't matter.

I politely disagree. Critics are a healthy part of the whole 'artistic cycle'. It's just that some of them are lousy at their job, just like there are lousy composers or lousy plumbers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2016, 09:04:00 PM
a) Hurwitz is a public figure. He is not protected from comments, pro or con, simply because he is not a member of this group.
b) There is no code of rules a reviewer must follow. I see no reason why a reviewer should not offer opinions on the music, especially if it's unfamiliar stuff, and I don't see how this constitutes self-aggrandizement. Again, everyone here does that sort of thing all the time.
a) So what. This is common courtesy/etiquette.
b) I disagree. An opinion about the performance is one thing, but I am talking about repeated comments about how a composer is not worth listening to, the piece is crap, that they are 'second-rate', etc. This is not the place of the reviewer, in my opinion, and this will inevitably be the reason I stop reading a reviewer or a publication.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 09:04:12 PM
It does annoy me when a critic keeps getting assigned music they are obviously not in sympathy with, but that's an editorial issue.

That doesn't bother me either. A critic out of sympathy with a work may still offer valid insights about it, perhaps more valid than another critic who regards the work uncritically.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 09:07:55 PM
I politely disagree. Critics are a healthy part of the whole 'artistic cycle'. It's just that some of them are lousy at their job, just like there are lousy composers or lousy plumbers.

Let's ask Mr. Henning these questions since he's most definitely a part of an artistic cycle and I am not: what part does a critic play into your musical process and do you think their criticism of any of your work has been an asset or a liability to getting more of your work heard?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 09:09:07 PM
a) So what. This is common courtesy/etiquette.
b) I disagree. An opinion about the performance is one thing, but I am talking about repeated comments about how a composer is not worth listening to, the piece is crap, that they are 'second-rate', etc. This is not the place of the reviewer, in my opinion, and this will inevitably be the reason I stop reading a reviewer or a publication.

So don't read. I like reading reviewers who possess the insight to see the flaws in a work. That doesn't mean they're always on target, but I learned more (say) from John Simon's analysis of the flaws in Bergman's "Cries and Whispers" (a film from a director he often reveres) than from other blandly laudatory comments.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2016, 09:14:52 PM
So don't read. I like reading reviewers who possess the insight to see the flaws in a work. That doesn't mean they're always on target, but I learned more (say) from John Simon's analysis of the flaws in Bergman's "Cries and Whispers" (a film from a director he often reveres) than from other blandly laudatory comments.
Music reviewers generally do not provide a detailed analysis of a work. And film is a different animal - we are talking music reviews. But then there is a huge difference between making broad statements with no support (in a short review) vs a more detailed analysis. 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 11, 2016, 09:15:21 PM
Let's ask Mr. Henning these questions since he's most definitely a part of an artistic cycle and I am not: what part does a critic play into your musical process and do you think their criticism of any of your work has been an asset or a liability to getting more of your work heard?

It absolutely can work that way. Critics bring works they love or hate into public awareness. Barber was permanently crushed by the negative reviews of Antony and Cleopatra, for example. Conversely, a supportive review can do much for a creative figure's reputation: every one now wants to see Hamilton on Broadway following rave critical reviews; and directors like Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, and Ramin Bahrani have expressed public gratitude to Roger Ebert for championing their films. I think this notion that a critic is superfluous is fundamentally inaccurate.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 11, 2016, 09:20:53 PM
It is a defensive over-reaction to the famous accusation of Britain as "das Land ohne Musik,"

Funny thing is though, the very accusation is historically inaccurate. England was one of the red-hot centers of European music in the 16th/17th centuries, and enjoyed a noteworthy revival in the 20th. The "Land ohne Musik" stereotype only applies if we're talking about the Classical and Romantic periods.

There wasn't an English Brahms or Beethoven; but on the other hand, there wasn't a German Byrd or Tallis.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 11, 2016, 09:23:18 PM
It absolutely can work that way. Critics bring works they love or hate into public awareness. Barber was permanently crushed by the negative reviews of Antony and Cleopatra, for example. Conversely, a supportive review can do much for a creative figure's reputation: every one now wants to see Hamilton on Broadway following rave critical reviews; and directors like Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, and Ramin Bahrani have expressed public gratitude to Roger Ebert for championing their films. I think this notion that a critic is superfluous is fundamentally inaccurate.

Personally, I never understood the need for approval from a critic. People can make up their own minds about art and I'll leave it at that and will be curious to read Karl's answers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: amw on January 11, 2016, 09:41:48 PM
Ignoring your strange homophobic remark about pink and which way Hurwitz "swings" (which was uncalled for and frankly offensive):
I know it's been site policy for apparently forever, but is this really something we're expected to do? Just ignore all the random homophobia (misogyny, racism, admissions of being a literal rapist/possible child abuser, whatever) and allow that kind of behaviour to continue uncontested, in turn making the forum incredibly unwelcoming for lots of people?

I mean that's what I've been doing so far (for instance I found that putting a few members on my block list, eg Sgt Rock, Florestan, Greg, that Valkyrie guy and a few others, cut down the amount of misogyny I have to experience with my own eyes by about 80 percent) but is it really what we should be doing? I mean... whatever.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: amw on January 11, 2016, 09:50:27 PM
A critic out of sympathy with a work may still offer valid insights about it, perhaps more valid than another critic who regards the work uncritically.
Broadly agree with this as well. There aren't a lot of music critics whose insights I take seriously, but of those who do exist, I also value their assessments of works they dislike (even if I may fundamentally disagree).

I'm not sure how important critical response is to contemporary (classical) composers—mostly because the contemporary classical composer probably doesn't make a living from writing music alone—but it's definitely super important for record companies. Look how many people here for instance choose which CDs to sample or buy by reading reviews. >.>
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Monsieur Croche on January 11, 2016, 10:10:02 PM
Edited by Knight to remove the offending text of Scion 7
[Edit Add: ^^^ I kinda wished that had been left up, because it tells us more about the poster than it does about anyone or anything else. Ergo, you have a good idea of the quality of what and who you're dealing with if you respond -- or don't, lol. End Edit Add.]

Dude:
Pink is a color.

Your quote lacks any reference to what it is actually about; to what does it refer?

Swinging one way or t'other plus the fare gets anyone on the bus.

If you mean he's a queer, homo, pansy, etc. and can somehow prove that somehow affects his critical thinking, well, than I think you ought to have the balls to do so, man up, and say exactly what you mean.

The most irritating thing is your quote -- like hearing half of a conversation, no one knows what the hey it is about.

So, what is it about, and what is your point?

"If I were a British critic and thiswere a...." What is the 'this?' you are on about?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 11, 2016, 10:40:52 PM
Folks,

I acted on the initial post in this thread as soon as I saw that it had been reported. I am sorry that mods can neither read all posts, nor be on-line to act at once when the reports are made. I have edited that post and removed the quotes of it. I know that makes some subsequent posts make less obvious sense, but the alternative was to bin much more material. I have left a message for the originator of the thread, and will contact him directly. Ideally, the thread would quickly have disappeared, but I am reluctant to bin it as you have produced an interesting discussion.

You are correct that on this site, we don't allow that sort of behaviour.

Knight


Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: The new erato on January 11, 2016, 11:36:45 PM
It would have been nice to have kept a link to the original review, which I find absolutely OK by the way - including the Hurwitzers view on the British Music Press and British reviewers - they are often laughably provincial making most mainstream UK Music publications occasionally cringeworthy reading.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 11, 2016, 11:39:30 PM
Well, feel free to dig it out and link to it. Clearly you read it so can probably retreive it.

I was not prepared to validate any part of that post.

Knight
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: The new erato on January 12, 2016, 12:37:35 AM
Here it is:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1)

Quote:

"This description may sound like damning with faint praise, but it isn’t meant to be. If I were a British critic and this were a Chandos production of some second-tier English composer (say, Dyson, or Finzi, or Moeran), I could carry on about “yet another triumphant example of the extraordinary musical resurgence of the early 20th century, etc., etc.,” ad nauseam."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 01:33:20 AM
Well, I guess the adjective "professional" is implicit here; not related to any special qualification, but in the sense of doing something as a paid job rather than as a hobby.  :)

Funnily enough, having mostly read page 2 of this thread before page 1, I was going to say "a critic is just an audience member for money".

I like critics so long as they're perceptive. Follow a given critic long enough and you can also work out their own leanings, biases, pet hates etc. and sort of develop a code for translating their comments to take into account your own leanings, biases, pet hates etc. We've all got them, because we're all human beings.

As for Britons favouring Britons, I've thought that for a long time, for example after getting to know the Penguin CD guide. It's not necessarily harmful, for example any inclination they had to steer me towards the Hyperion label has been richly rewarded, but at the same time it's perfectly possible there are things I've missed out on on equivalent continental European labels (or America, or even Australian) that would have been just as satisfying. There's nothing wrong with Britons favouring good British stuff, so long as it doesn't tip over into an uncritical declaration that it's all good just because it's British.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 12, 2016, 01:47:59 AM
Please don't mention Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Ross Edwards as Nigel Westlake fandom... ::)

They write cool music, but wow, so many Australian composers still underrepresented even here!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: The new erato on January 12, 2016, 01:49:09 AM
Funnily enough, having mostly read page 2 of this thread before page 1, I was going to say "a critic is just an audience member for money".

I like critics so long as they're perceptive. Follow a given critic long enough and you can also work out their own leanings, biases, pet hates etc. and sort of develop a code for translating their comments to take into account your own leanings, biases, pet hates etc. We've all got them, because we're all human beings.

As for Britons favouring Britons, I've thought that for a long time, for example after getting to know the Penguin CD guide. It's not necessarily harmful, for example any inclination they had to steer me towards the Hyperion label has been richly rewarded, but at the same time it's perfectly possible there are things I've missed out on on equivalent continental European labels (or America, or even Australian) that would have been just as satisfying. There's nothing wrong with Britons favouring good British stuff, so long as it doesn't tip over into an uncritical declaration that it's all good just because it's British.
Ideally one needs to read the occasional issue of Diapason or Fonoforum to get some perspective. My German isn't too bad (and jpc lists the latest recommendations), to get any sense out of Diapason (which I buy when I visit France) the star system is a good help to understand if they actuially like a disc :-) though my French is on the level that I understand a reviews general drift.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: SimonNZ on January 12, 2016, 01:51:35 AM
Here it is:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1)

Quote:

"This description may sound like damning with faint praise, but it isn’t meant to be. If I were a British critic and this were a Chandos production of some second-tier English composer (say, Dyson, or Finzi, or Moeran), I could carry on about “yet another triumphant example of the extraordinary musical resurgence of the early 20th century, etc., etc.,” ad nauseam."

Would that more composers were so "second-tier"

And trying to reinforce some notion of composer caste system would never be what I want from a cd review. The dismissing text also doesn't tally with the 9,9 rating he awards the disc. Does he always write like this?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 01:52:31 AM
Here it is:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1)

This is actually one of the mildest, most sympathetic and most positive Hurwitz reviews I have ever read. Quite unlike his usual stuff.  :)

Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 02:04:52 AM
See, even saying that Hurwitz isn't usually positive is a stereotype. It's not true. I don't read that website regularly, but it is one of the ones I usually search if I'm curious about something and want to see what reviews are out there. He is perfectly capable of giving out 9s and 10s when he thinks they are warranted, and in any case a "critic" who gives out nothing but 9s and 10s simply isn't being critical enough.

Not everything can be the best of the best... and similarly not every composer can be the best of the best. That is completely different from saying a composer isn't enjoyable, and that particular review actually makes that distinction pretty explicitly.  But if one is trying to distinguish what is good from what is outstanding, as a critic must to be any use, not everyone gets a prize.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 02:08:56 AM
Please don't mention Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Ross Edwards as Nigel Westlake fandom... ::)

They write cool music, but wow, so many Australian composers still underrepresented even here!

I don't think the Australian attitude to Australian artists is necessarily the same as the British attitude to British artists. For classical music, I suspect we still tend to think of it as a European artform - and is that any wonder when all the most famous names, the ones that get programmed, are from Europe?

Many years ago the premiere of Carl Vine's piano concerto was televised. I remember thinking that was a pretty remarkable thing. These days it seems to be Elena Kats-Chernin who is capable of breaking through to get wider media references.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 02:10:12 AM
See, even saying that Hurwitz isn't usually positive is a stereotype.

Granted.  :D

Quote
He is perfectly capable of giving out 9s and 10s when he thinks they are warranted, and in any case a "critic" who gives out nothing but 9s and 10s simply isn't being critical enough.

Not everything can be the best of the best... and similarly not every composer can be the best of the best. That is completely different from saying a composer isn't enjoyable, and that particular review actually makes that distinction pretty explicitly.  But if one is trying to distinguish what is good from what is outstanding, as a critic must to be any use, not everyone gets a prize.

Agreed.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 12, 2016, 02:14:04 AM
I got so sick of the UK critics eulogising over every last eructation by Simon Rattle, that it pushed me in the opposite direction and I hardly listen to his musicmaking. There have been exceptional recordings, but quite a few that I have heard do nothing for me.

Mike
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 03:35:44 AM

It's a pet peeve of mine, but I really detest when critics go on and on about whether the music should be of interest to me or not. Dislike it? Say it and move on. The reviewer's job is NOT to provide verbose opinions of the composer, but of the disc/performance at hand.

Hear, hear. And when part of his opinion is:

Quote
Persichetti, like his colleagues such as Giannini, Mennin, Piston, Creston, Schuman, and to some extent Barber and Harris, belongs to a fairly well-defined school of American neo-classicists ....

... he undermines his own credibility. "Neo-classicists"?  Is that the best communal descriptor he could come up with? The lot all write less-interesting Pulcinellas, is that it?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 03:51:20 AM
Let's ask Mr. Henning these questions since he's most definitely a part of an artistic cycle and I am not: what part does a critic play into your musical process and do you think their criticism of any of your work has been an asset or a liability to getting more of your work heard?
No critics/reviewers have ever discussed my work in print (or pixels), so the question remains entirely abstract.

I've been writing for some while, and feel reasonably confident in my work and abilities.  So I don't think any negative review would "shake" me, as it might well a young composer who is trying to make his way in the musical world. I even wonder (though one must be careful of what one wishes for) whether a real stinker of a negative review would not be preferable to the decades of nothing, on Oscar Wilde's principle that "the only worse thing than being talked about is not being talked about."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: North Star on January 12, 2016, 03:55:53 AM
No critics/reviewers have ever discussed my work in print (or pixels), so the question remains entirely abstract.
What? It wasn't a professional critic who named Suspension Bridge the worst viola sonata ever?  ;)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 03:56:30 AM
What? It wasn't a professional critic who named Suspension Bridge the worst viola sonata ever?  ;)

Best review I ever had!  8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 04:05:21 AM
Hurwitz is often an ass, but i find nothing problematic in this review and pretty much agree with all of it.  You do want this excellent set if you are interested in Persichetti or American symphonic music, but it's a step below, say, Piston's best.

Agree with you (and Andrei) that the review itself is quite tame (and I read it without realizing that the author was Hurwitz, believe it or not).  I haven't listened to any of the Persichetti symphonies, so I have no opinion on their relative worth compared to Piston, Schuman or Mennin;  sure, I discounted his opinion as one who hadn't the musical sense to appreciate distinctions among that clowder of mid-century US symphonists . . . but neither did I take his mildly negative appraisal as "significant damnation."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 04:08:10 AM
I haven't listened to any of the Persichetti symphonies

Avoidance, or sheer lack of opportunity?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on January 12, 2016, 04:09:24 AM
Hear, hear. And when part of his opinion is:

... he undermines his own credibility. "Neo-classicists"?  Is that the best communal descriptor he could come up with? The lot all write less-interesting Pulcinellas, is that it?
I have seen used "neo-classicism" far more broadly, so it would certainly also include less-interesting "Symphonies in three Movements" or "Mathis der Maler" etc.
As I hardly know any music of these American composers I have no opinion whether the lumping together is justified, but neo-classicism is often used extremely broadly.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 04:15:56 AM
I find extremely amusing when I (oftenly) hear that music unites people. That seems to me quite untrue. Music is actually highly divisive, witness this thread, or the one about avoidance, or the recently locked one, or countless other threads, active or locked, rife with disagreements, misunderstandings and recriminations occasioned by music.  :D

Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: North Star on January 12, 2016, 04:17:49 AM
I find extremely amusing when I (oftenly) hear that music unites people. That seems to me quite untrue. Music is actually highly divisive, witness this thread, or the one about avoidance, or the recently locked one, or countless other threads, active or locked, rife with disagreements, misunderstandings and recriminations occasioned by music.  :D
(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/crazy_straws.png)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 04:20:18 AM
Avoidance, or sheer lack of opportunity?

The latter, I think.  Years ago, I played a couple of his minor works for symphonic band;  nice, well written, but arguably minor works (and therefore no basis to judge the composer's overall work).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 04:21:37 AM
I have seen used "neo-classicism" far more broadly, so it would certainly also include less-interesting "Symphonies in three Movements" or "Mathis der Maler" etc.

As I hardly know any music of these American composers I have no opinion whether the lumping together is justified, but neo-classicism is often used extremely broadly.

Well, that's reasonable enough, to be sure.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 04:24:52 AM
Music reviewers generally do not provide a detailed analysis of a work. And film is a different animal - we are talking music reviews. But then there is a huge difference between making broad statements with no support (in a short review) vs a more detailed analysis.

The differences between the art forms are not so great as to invalidate my point. A major problem with music-reviewing is that to discuss musical points, a technical vocabulary is helpful but the readership is not generally versed in this vocabulary. In addition, the newspapers and other media generally cannot print musical examples.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 04:36:19 AM
Personally, I never understood the need for approval from a critic. People can make up their own minds about art and I'll leave it at that and will be curious to read Karl's answers.

Mr. Henning has replied, but I think my post has more than answered your objections. None of us, you included, exists in a vacuum where we are all just "making up our own minds" or "giving our own opinions" that haven't been somehow shaped by the cultural environment in which we take part, and that includes the influence of various critics. If 100 recordings are released in a week, or 50 shows are playing on Broadway, or 200 artists are on view in the galleries, what determines which recording you will buy or which show you'll see or which gallery you will visit? You can't take them all in so as to form your own opinion and make up your own mind; inevitably for every recording you hear there are 20 you'll miss. Critics, good ones that is or ones we can count on to share our own tastes, can perform a valuable filtering function directing us to the most interesting examples for us to explore ourselves.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 04:36:54 AM
I haven't listened to any of the Persichetti symphonies
Avoidance, or sheer lack of opportunity?

It is true, though, that my first introduction to Mennin was in just the same environment:  regional high school symphonic band, playing Mennin's Canzona . . . the Mennin work made a much more striking impression upon my mind then, than did the Persichetti;  and as a result when I came, decades later, to seek out more works, my curiosity was keener upon Mennin than Persichetti.

My entrée to Schuman was, similarly, a band arrangement of the New England Triptych . . . .
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 04:39:40 AM
It is true, though, that my first introduction to Mennin was in just the same environment:  regional high school symphonic band, playing Mennin's Canzona . . . the Mennin work made a much more striking impression upon my mind then, than did the Persichetti;  and as a result when I came, decades later, to seek out more works, my curiosity was keener upon Mennin than Persichetti.

My entrée to Schuman was, similarly, a band arrangement of the New England Triptych . . . .

So they do actually have a common denominator: having written music for symphonic band, or which lends itself to such an arrangement.  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 04:49:31 AM
So they do actually have a common denominator: having written music for symphonic band, or which lends itself to such an arrangement.  :D

Well, nothing really unusual about that:  the symphonic band is a comparatively young ensemble, and therefore much of its literature is perforce New Music.  (Of course, the Mennin piece was actually composed before I was born, but it still felt mighty new to me  8) )

Parenthetically, symphonic band was my first introduction to Holst as well, the classic Suites for Military Band.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 04:57:32 AM
Well, nothing really unusual about that:  the symphonic band is a comparatively young ensemble, and therefore much of its literature is perforce New Music.  (Of course, the Mennin piece was actually composed before I was born, but it still felt mighty new to me  8) )

Parenthetically, symphonic band was my first introduction to Holst as well, the classic Suites for Military Band.

Is it customary for US high schools to have a symphonic band? I think it is an extraordinary pleasant way to be introduced to classical music as a teenager. I cannot think of a single Romanian high school that has a symphonic band, except those dedicated expressly to the study of music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 05:00:29 AM
Is it customary for US high schools to have a symphonic band? I think it is an extraordinary pleasant way to be introduced to classical music as a teenager. I cannot think of a single Romanian high school that has a symphonic band, except those dedicated expressly to the study of music.

It was, when I was in high school.  It may remain more or less customary, even though at present more schools are wrong-headedly cutting out music programs (schools whose PTAs would never dream for an instant of paring back any sports programs).

My aunt (my mother's younger sister) is just a few years older than I;  and there was still an orchestra in our high school when she was enrolled . . . but it had withered away before I reached junior high.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 05:01:27 AM
And yes, very pleasant.  In fact, there are patches of the orchestral literature to which I was introduced via a symphonic band arrangement . . . .
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 12, 2016, 05:02:30 AM
The differences between the art forms are not so great as to invalidate my point. A major problem with music-reviewing is that to discuss musical points, a technical vocabulary is helpful but the readership is not generally versed in this vocabulary. In addition, the newspapers and other media generally cannot print musical examples.
I think it is. Movie reviews are most often of new creative material never experienced before. Interestingly, I would say that reviews of live events tend to be much closer to movie style reviewing than classical disc reviewing. The same is for pop music, where the material is often new. But then, there aren't many reviewers I like (if any these days). But I do agree that the technical barrier is a problem in a classical music some of the time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 12, 2016, 05:06:54 AM
Is it customary for US high schools to have a symphonic band? I think it is an extraordinary pleasant way to be introduced to classical music as a teenager. I cannot think of a single Romanian high school that has a symphonic band, except those dedicated expressly to the study of music.
Many do, though not all. As Karl wrote, the arts programs are often under threat when it comes to budget time (if there is some sort of drive to cut spending). My school system had this when I was there, and even had the bigger, more expensive instruments to use/borrrow during the school year (for example, the tuba).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 05:10:01 AM
Thanks for both replies. Well, the difference between US and Romania is that in US the musical education of teenagers is seemingly under threat, while in Romania it is conspicuously missing altogether... :(
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 05:16:38 AM
I got so sick of the UK critics eulogising over every last eructation by Simon Rattle, that it pushed me in the opposite direction and I hardly listen to his musicmaking. There have been exceptional recordings, but quite a few that I have heard do nothing for me.

Mike

Entirely understand.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 05:54:24 AM
I think it is. Movie reviews are most often of new creative material never experienced before. Interestingly, I would say that reviews of live events tend to be much closer to movie style reviewing than classical disc reviewing. The same is for pop music, where the material is often new. But then, there aren't many reviewers I like (if any these days). But I do agree that the technical barrier is a problem in a classical music some of the time.

Movie reviews don't disappear, and can be consulted via newspaper web sites or anthologies of reviews such as Roger Ebert published. In fact Ebert wrote his Great Movies series (probably never completed at his death) largely to introduce younger viewers to the entire heritage of film that gets overshadowed because everyone's running to the latest thing at the local multiplex. For new releases we're all at the mercy of whichever films the distributors and theaters allow us to see; and there was a time not so long ago where once a film disappeared from the theaters, you'd never see it unless it popped up at an art house or late-night TV. But thanks to DVDs, BluRays, Hulu, Turner Classics, etc., access to the entire history of filmmaking is increasingly available to anyone with a personal player, computer, or TV set; and many film lovers, myself included, have acquired substantial numbers of beautifully restored films from companies such as the Criterion Collection. Ebert certainly had his flaws and limitations, but if he flags a film as a Great Movie, I'll certainly be looking to find it on Hulu or for a used DVD on Amazon.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 05:56:10 AM
Movie reviews don't disappear, and can be consulted via newspaper web sites or anthologies of reviews such as Roger Ebert published. In fact Ebert wrote his Great Movies series (probably never completed at his death) largely to introduce younger viewers to the entire heritage of film that gets overshadowed because everyone's running to the latest thing at the local multiplex. For new releases we're all at the mercy of whichever films the distributors and theaters allow us to see; and there was a time not so long ago where once a film disappeared from the theaters, you'd never see it unless it popped up at an art house or late-night TV. But thanks to DVDs, BluRays, Hulu, Turner Classics, etc., access to the entire history of filmmaking is increasingly available to anyone with a personal player, computer, or TV set; and many film lovers, myself included, have acquired substantial numbers of beautifully restored films from companies such as the Criterion Collection. Ebert certainly had his flaws and limitations, but if he flags a film as a Great Movie, I'll certainly be looking to find it on Hulu or for a used DVD on Amazon.

Yes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 05:56:14 AM
I know it's been site policy for apparently forever, but is this really something we're expected to do? Just ignore all the random homophobia (misogyny, racism, admissions of being a literal rapist/possible child abuser, whatever) and allow that kind of behaviour to continue uncontested, in turn making the forum incredibly unwelcoming for lots of people?

I mean that's what I've been doing so far (for instance I found that putting a few members on my block list, eg Sgt Rock, Florestan, Greg, that Valkyrie guy and a few others, cut down the amount of misogyny I have to experience with my own eyes by about 80 percent) but is it really what we should be doing? I mean... whatever.
You raise a good and disturbing point. This ties in to the broader public social-issue point that things won't change until we have the courage to tell offensive people that they're wrong, to their face.

I feel a bit of a hypocrite here, since being a "regular" at GMG has entailed some unwanted people deciding I'm their "friend". This, and the common "We're all just here to talk about music! Stick to the music and nothing else matters!" have made me more willing to look the other way than I should have been. But after hearing the explanation behind a very recent and unfortunate forum drama event, I will be hitting the Report button every damn time. I reported Scion's post to the mods before writing that reply to it.

I thought about sending this as a PM, but maybe it needs to be a separate thread.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 06:06:47 AM
I think it is. Movie reviews are most often of new creative material never experienced before. Interestingly, I would say that reviews of live events tend to be much closer to movie style reviewing than classical disc reviewing. The same is for pop music, where the material is often new. But then, there aren't many reviewers I like (if any these days). But I do agree that the technical barrier is a problem in a classical music some of the time.

I understand what you're trying to say, but I would phrase it differently... it's not so much that something is "new" but there is generally only one version of it. If one wants to hear a Mozart symphony, one is generally asking "which version of this Mozart symphony is best". Of course, around here you can find people who are more than prepared to buy quite a lot of different recordings of the same Mozart symphony, but that isn't common.

Whereas with movies or pop music it's less common that there are multiple versions. If one wants a particular song, there might only be one of it, or the perception is that different versions are sufficiently different in instrumentation, style etc that they're not 'the same thing' in the way that 2 recordings of a symphony are using all the same notes and basic materials. Similarly, there are several versions of some stories on film, but each film is seen as a separate work.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Cato on January 12, 2016, 06:07:06 AM
Many do, though not all. As Karl wrote, the arts programs are often under threat when it comes to budget time (if there is some sort of drive to cut spending). My school system had this when I was there, and even had the bigger, more expensive instruments to use/borrow during the school year (for example, the tuba).

Yes, Music and Art are the illegitimate children of what passes for Education these days.  In my own school - A Catholic school with high standards - the attitudes of parents toward Music and Art are execrable.  Part of the problem is that no grades are allowed, only "Meets standards" or "Not yet meeting standards."

I have heard parents say e.g. "Why is the Art teacher giving the kids essays to write.  I mean, it's just Art!" 

Our Music teacher has surrendered: no homework, no quizzes, no rigor.  The kids listen to Basic Music History throughout the years, do some singing and Orff-instrument work, and that is enough.

Americans have in general never been persuaded of the value of a curriculum with Art and Music as equals to Mathematics or English.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 06:09:17 AM
In fact Ebert wrote his Great Movies series (probably never completed at his death) largely to introduce younger viewers to the entire heritage of film that gets overshadowed because everyone's running to the latest thing at the local multiplex.

Ebert's Great Movie series is maybe his greatest achievement, and for me an essential part of watching a classic film. If somebody chooses to ignore all the critics, this is one of the things they are missing: how fascinating and eye-opening it can be to hear an expert explain to you just why a great thing is great.

Critics are often seen (especially here) as serving an essentially negative function, by saying they don't like things and slinging insults. And this is an essential service in some cases, like when you want people to avoid an awful restaurant (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?_r=0) or avoid an awful movie (http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/north-1994).

But critics are, in fact, at their most useful when they help you appreciate a great thing even more. Robert Schumann's writings on his contemporaries; Ralph Ellison's essays about jazz; numerous commentaries on Shakespeare (I have collections by Marjorie Garber and David Bevington); Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise; Vagn Holmboe's essay about why he admires Haydn; the essays of David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, etc.; Roger Ebert's Great Movies series.

There's hardly a more misunderstood profession than critic. Ugh: Maybe that's why I ended up in it. But as an idealist, I see it as an opportunity not just to advocate for things (like Ebert advocated for the young Scorsese) but to deepen people's understanding of the art, why they love it, and what makes it work.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 06:13:33 AM
A Catholic school with high standards

Not Catholic enough, and not high enough standards, meseems.  :D :D :D

I mean, really, for a Catholic school to downplay the importance of music and arts is surprising, to say the least. As for the Catholicity of those parents, there is a Romanian proverb: God, protect me from my firends, for I can protect myself from my ennemies!.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 06:13:49 AM
I also question the idea that music critics should refrain from saying "this composer is second-rate." Movie, book, painting, etc. critics do that all the time. And, while we can certainly talk about the language and the tone which a specific music critic uses, in general the idea of evaluating the worth of music is, frankly, the whole damn point!

It helps to have a knowledge of the critic and his/her likes, dislikes, foibles, weaknesses, etc. For example, Dave Hurwitz really loves huge early 20th century romantic orchestral works, and I've found that if he gives a 10/10 to some obscure 70-minute symphony, I'm probably going to hate it. But once you have mapped out these sketches of who a critic is, even reviews you disagree with can be very very valuable. I hate "Santa Fe Listener." But I know if he gives an album 3 stars, it's an essential purchase.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 12, 2016, 06:14:42 AM
I need to thank you Brian for reporting the post. In all the actions arising today, I forgot to get back to you. My apologies.

The instant anyone encounters that kind of post; report it. The site has been calm for quite some time; but in my experience, one problem often leads to another and threads sometimes suffer a domino effect. So the earlier the better.

We don't want to smother any remotely controversial discussions, but primarily this is a music board. We have suffered from members who prefer to discuss anything but music and often cause trouble.

When in the midst of a discussion, do bear in mind the onlookers who may be anxious to see too much cut and thrust, even if they are not involved.

Having written all of that; the most acrimonious outbreak of firefighting I ever recall was started on a Haydn String Quartets thread, (probably on the old site).

Knight
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 06:20:53 AM
Ebert's Great Movie series is maybe his greatest achievement, and for me an essential part of watching a classic film. If somebody chooses to ignore all the critics, this is one of the things they are missing: how fascinating and eye-opening it can be to hear an expert explain to you just why a great thing is great.

Critics are often seen (especially here) as serving an essentially negative function, by saying they don't like things and slinging insults. And this is an essential service in some cases, like when you want people to avoid an awful restaurant (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?_r=0) or avoid an awful movie (http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/north-1994).

But critics are, in fact, at their most useful when they help you appreciate a great thing even more. Robert Schumann's writings on his contemporaries; Ralph Ellison's essays about jazz; numerous commentaries on Shakespeare (I have collections by Marjorie Garber and David Bevington); Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise; Vagn Holmboe's essay about why he admires Haydn; the essays of David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, etc.; Roger Ebert's Great Movies series.

There's hardly a more misunderstood profession than critic. Ugh: Maybe that's why I ended up in it. But as an idealist, I see it as an opportunity not just to advocate for things (like Ebert advocated for the young Scorsese) but to deepen people's understanding of the art, why they love it, and what makes it work.

Yes to all of this.

And of course, it's a lot more fun writing about something that you enjoyed. I doubt many reviewers/critics go into that work with the intention of being negative all the time. They go into it because of the prospect of being able to let people know about the good stuff.

People have occasionally suggested I get into music reviewing. It's an attractive idea on one level, but I'm not sure I could cope with a mandated pace. You want me to already tell you my reactions? It'll take months!

I did, though, at one point join a reviewing site where I only had to cope with one pop song at a time. Turns out the 3rd song I listened to remains one of my very favourite things... only at the time I believed I couldn't possibly have found an utterly fantastic song so early and drew back from scoring it as highly as I might have done... I later bought the CD from the artist and played it to anyone who would give me a chance.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 06:25:26 AM
Ebert's Great Movie series is maybe his greatest achievement, and for me an essential part of watching a classic film. If somebody chooses to ignore all the critics, this is one of the things they are missing: how fascinating and eye-opening it can be to hear an expert explain to you just why a great thing is great.

Critics are often seen (especially here) as serving an essentially negative function, by saying they don't like things and slinging insults. And this is an essential service in some cases, like when you want people to avoid an awful restaurant (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?_r=0) or avoid an awful movie (http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/north-1994).

But critics are, in fact, at their most useful when they help you appreciate a great thing even more. Robert Schumann's writings on his contemporaries; Ralph Ellison's essays about jazz; numerous commentaries on Shakespeare (I have collections by Marjorie Garber and David Bevington); Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise; Vagn Holmboe's essay about why he admires Haydn; the essays of David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, etc.; Roger Ebert's Great Movies series.

There's hardly a more misunderstood profession than critic. Ugh: Maybe that's why I ended up in it. But as an idealist, I see it as an opportunity not just to advocate for things (like Ebert advocated for the young Scorsese) but to deepen people's understanding of the art, why they love it, and what makes it work.

Intelligent and sensitive criticism is an important contribution.

Bringing it back 'round to the OP, Hurwitz is here something of a blunt instrument, so I contest the review's value as a contribution.

On one hand, (poco) Sfz's point is well taken, that [intelligent and sensitive] negative criticism may give us more and better insight upon a piece or performance than an uncritically positive review.  On the other, two considerations:

There is the need for what Alan (and he was perhaps citing Ruskin) refers to as “the listener’s share”:  that for fair assessment of the work, and genuine insight, some degree of sympathy with the artist’s aims is necessary.  And I suspect I may possibly be misusing “the listener’s share” here . . . .

And (while I do not absolutely know this to be the case with the Persichetti) say we have only one recording available of a piece which may be little understood not only by the general public, but perhaps even by musical professionals.  I think there needs to be room for critiquing a recording/performance of a piece, without mistaking that for necessarily a true profile of the musical work – we take that for granted with literature for which there are ample recordings (the LvB symphonies, e.g.).  Critics ought to have wit enough to separate dissatisfaction with a given listening experience, from the nature of a composition.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 06:28:51 AM
I also question the idea that music critics should refrain from saying "this composer is second-rate." Movie, book, painting, etc. critics do that all the time. And, while we can certainly talk about the language and the tone which a specific music critic uses, in general the idea of evaluating the worth of music is, frankly, the whole damn point!

On one hand, I affirm the validity of your questioning that.

On the other, I wonder if, whenever (or if ever) a critic goes into print reacting to music of mine, his honest reaction will be to dismiss me as a second-rate composer.  I should resent it, of course;  and I may have only my own vanity interfering with my accepting the verdict.  But I am certainly trying to be first-rate.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 06:33:05 AM
But critics are, in fact, at their most useful when they help you appreciate a great thing even more. Robert Schumann's writings on his contemporaries; Ralph Ellison's essays about jazz; numerous commentaries on Shakespeare (I have collections by Marjorie Garber and David Bevington); Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise; Vagn Holmboe's essay about why he admires Haydn; the essays of David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, etc.; Roger Ebert's Great Movies series.

Maybe this is exactly the problem some people seem to have with critics. They somehow feel they are being forced somebody´s else opinion down their throat. Now, that many a composer expressed disdain for critics, is only too natural, all things considered. But we laymen might just not be that smart or that knowledgeable as we think we are so as not to need, or at the very least accept and consider, somebody´s else opinion, especially when that somebody knows about music and its technicalities more than we could ever hope to learn.

The final decision is of course individual (a thing Hurwitz himself acknowledged in his review), but there is no reason to reject beforehand what a professional critic has to say.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 06:36:35 AM
I wonder if, whenever (or if ever) a critic goes into print reacting to music of mine, his honest reaction will be to dismiss me as a second-rate composer. 

You´ll then be in the honorable companionship of Richard Strauss.  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 06:41:58 AM
On one hand, I affirm the validity of your questioning that.

On the other, I wonder if, whenever (or if ever) a critic goes into print reacting to music of mine, his honest reaction will be to dismiss me as a second-rate composer.  I should resent it, of course;  and I may have only my own vanity interfering with my accepting the verdict.  But I am certainly trying to be first-rate.

And if a critic of significance in the Boston area happens to hear one of your pieces and responds favorably, it could be a major stepping-stone in your musical career.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 06:43:55 AM
And if a critic of significance in the Boston area happens to hear one of your pieces and responds favorably, it could be a major stepping-stone in your musical career.

Indeed. I should learn not to cease hoping that this may happen.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 06:44:49 AM
On one hand, (poco) Sfz's point is well taken, that [intelligent and sensitive] negative criticism may give us more and better insight upon a piece or performance than an uncritically positive review.

Schumann once wrote word to the effect: the critic who is afraid to attack something bad is only a half-hearted supporter of something good.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 06:45:49 AM
Schumann once wrote word to the effect: the critic who is afraid to attack something bad is only a half-hearted supporter of something good.

Fair enough.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 06:47:36 AM
Indeed. I should learn not to cease hoping that this may happen.

But perhaps there needs more proactivity on your part, to bring your name to greater attention. It is beyond me for instance, having heard some of his music, why Nico Muhly has come to such prominence - even to the point of having an opera done at the Met - but I can only conclude he has a shameless genius for self-promotion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 06:48:51 AM
And if a critic of significance in the Boston area happens to hear one of your pieces and responds favorably, it could be a major stepping-stone in your musical career.

+ 1.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 06:53:06 AM
No critics/reviewers have ever discussed my work in print (or pixels), so the question remains entirely abstract.

I've been writing for some while, and feel reasonably confident in my work and abilities.  So I don't think any negative review would "shake" me, as it might well a young composer who is trying to make his way in the musical world. I even wonder (though one must be careful of what one wishes for) whether a real stinker of a negative review would not be preferable to the decades of nothing, on Oscar Wilde's principle that "the only worse thing than being talked about is not being talked about."

Don't worry, my friend, your time in the sun will come. I just hope it's not too late when it happens. I think if I was a composer, I wouldn't let a negative review shake me either as I'm reminded of this quote from Max Reger in relation to a critics negative review: “I am in the smallest room of the house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.” :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 06:56:21 AM
I'm reminded of this quote from Max Reger in relation to a critics negative review: “I am in the smallest room of the house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.” :)

This genuinely made me burst out laughing very loudly.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 06:59:37 AM
This genuinely made me burst out laughing very loudly.

:D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 07:03:56 AM
But perhaps there needs more proactivity on your part, to bring your name to greater attention.

I feel I am quite proactive, which is not to gainsay your suggestion.  I do tirelessly invite the Boston Music Intelligencer to attend and review performances which include my music;  but they have never yet done so.

But I must never become complacent or resigned.

Don't worry, my friend, your time in the sun will come. I just hope it's not too late when it happens.

Thanks for the kind thought. When it happens, it happens.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 07:04:10 AM
I'm reminded of this quote from Max Reger in relation to a critics negative review: “I am in the smallest room of the house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.” :)

Quite possibly the best review of anything, ever.  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:08:03 AM
This genuinely made me burst out laughing very loudly.

And I find it tiresome (as well as an overfamiliar cliché). Who listens to Reger today? The critic may have been entirely on point.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:12:54 AM
I feel I am quite proactive, which is not to gainsay your suggestion.  I do tirelessly invite the Boston Music Intelligencer to attend and review performances which include my music;  but they have never yet done so.

Perhaps there are other sources you are not approaching. Granted, what makes one career take off rather than another is hard to fathom, and may not necessarily reflect the merits of the work. It could be an entirely fortuitous combination of merit, luck, self-promotion, and just being in the right place at the right time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 07:13:14 AM
Who listens to Reger today?

Those who like his music.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 07:14:17 AM
And I find it tiresome (as well as an overfamiliar cliché). Who listens to Reger today? The critic may have been entirely on point.

Sheesh....lighten up.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 07:16:41 AM
At least Reger is known by his name, as opposed to "a critic".  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 07:18:14 AM
On one hand, I affirm the validity of your questioning that.

On the other, I wonder if, whenever (or if ever) a critic goes into print reacting to music of mine, his honest reaction will be to dismiss me as a second-rate composer.  I should resent it, of course;  and I may have only my own vanity interfering with my accepting the verdict.  But I am certainly trying to be first-rate.
This of course goes back to what it means to be a GOOD critic. I have gotten to (or been forced to - MW just sent me an unrequested CD of someone from Norway I've never heard of) review probably 40-50 contemporary composers, and because the composer is still alive, it's best to focus on what their voice is, and what they're trying to do, and rather than passing judgment on if they're "second-rate", I try to communicate to the MW readers whether they would like it or not. If a reader can finish the review and think, "that does/does not sound interesting to me," that's my goal.

The reason being simple. Composers evolve, go through "periods," change their styles. Imagine somebody reviewing Janacek when he was your age! Back in college, I learned this lesson very vividly when I wrote negatively about a guy's new student work for the school magazine, then went to his next concert and was so entranced I became a fan for life. (Damage was already done. Dude hates me.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:18:17 AM
I think if I was a composer, I wouldn't let a negative review shake me either as I'm reminded of this quote from Max Reger -

Easy to say. You're not a composer and have not been in the situation. As noted above, Barber was devastated by the negative reviews of the opera he wrote to inaugurate the new Met at Lincoln Center. It colored the remainder of his life, led to alcoholism and depression, and we're talking here about a widely and justly admired composer. Anyone can write a clever comment like Reger's in a snit, but the very fact he wrote it shows that it did very much affect him.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:18:50 AM
Sheesh....lighten up.

So having nothing valid to say, you resort to personal attack.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 07:19:26 AM
Perhaps there are other sources you are not approaching. Granted, what makes one career take off rather than another is hard to fathom, and may not necessarily reflect the merits of the work. It could be an entirely fortuitous combination of merit, luck, self-promotion, and just being in the right place at the right time.

Good suggestion:  I should see if there are avenues I have neglected.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 07:21:47 AM
This of course goes back to what it means to be a GOOD critic. I have gotten to (or been forced to - MW just sent me an unrequested CD of someone from Norway I've never heard of) review probably 40-50 contemporary composers, and because the composer is still alive, it's best to focus on what their voice is, and what they're trying to do, and rather than passing judgment on if they're "second-rate", I try to communicate to the MW readers whether they would like it or not. If a reader can finish the review and think, "that does/does not sound interesting to me," that's my goal.

The reason being simple. Composers evolve, go through "periods," change their styles. Imagine somebody reviewing Janacek when he was your age! Back in college, I learned this lesson very vividly when I wrote negatively about a guy's new student work for the school magazine, then went to his next concert and was so entranced I became a fan for life. (Damage was already done. Dude hates me.)

I richly appreciate the many notes which this post strikes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 12, 2016, 07:22:06 AM
So having nothing valid to say, you resort to personal attack.

Careful both please. I would like some time to myself this afternoon.

Knight
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 07:24:00 AM
Easy to say. You're not a composer and have not been in the situation. As noted above, Barber was devastated by the negative reviews of the opera he wrote to inaugurate the new Met at Lincoln Center. It colored the remainder of his life, led to alcoholism and depression, and we're talking here about a widely and justly admired composer. Anyone can write a clever comment like Reger's in a snit, but the very fact he wrote it shows that it did very much affect him.

Of course it was easy to say, because I was speaking hypothetically. Thankfully, Barber still was able to compose and regain some of his confidence. As for the Reger quote, I found it amusing and I only included because I enjoy joking around with people. The quote wasn't meant to be dissected and taken apart.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 07:26:12 AM
So having nothing valid to say, you resort to personal attack.

Oh, now I'm personally attacking you? Okay. ::)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 12, 2016, 07:28:27 AM

Having written all of that; the most acrimonious outbreak of firefighting I ever recall was started on a Haydn String Quartets thread, (probably on the old site).

Knight

If you are going to have a hammer-fight, it is best that it is something worth pulling out your hammer about!  0:)

That said, I also want to reinforce what Knight was saying here; we have new members who came here, after watching for a long time, specifically because our community was more harmonious than almost any other on the 'Net. We need to make every effort to keep it that way and not return to the Wild, Wild, West of yesteryear.

That said, Hurwitz is an ass. There are, however, worthwhile critics who don't have an ax to grind all the time.

8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on January 12, 2016, 07:30:35 AM
Reger also dedicated a violin sonata to his critics in which he used musical motives "a-f-f-e" and "es-c-h-a-f" (meaning ape/monkey and sheep; in German h is b and es is e flat, cf. Shostakovich's signature D S C H)

There is a song by Hugo Wolf where the critic is kicked down the stairs after a visit at a composer; I can't recall the title of the piece right now, though.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:34:45 AM
Thankfully, Barber still was able to compose and regain some of his confidence.

But the reviews of that opera devastated him - he would never refer to A+C by name, but instead called it "My Disaster." Yes, he composed some more, but his output trickled and the effect on his personal life was disastrous.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Rinaldo on January 12, 2016, 07:34:58 AM
It helps to have a knowledge of the critic and his/her likes, dislikes, foibles, weaknesses, etc. For example, Dave Hurwitz really loves huge early 20th century romantic orchestral works, and I've found that if he gives a 10/10 to some obscure 70-minute symphony, I'm probably going to hate it. But once you have mapped out these sketches of who a critic is, even reviews you disagree with can be very very valuable. I hate "Santa Fe Listener." But I know if he gives an album 3 stars, it's an essential purchase.

I always maintained that a good critic should be able to convey preferences through the writing, even if it's the first thing you've read (although familiarity obviously helps). And as for disagreeing with a review - that's what I loved about Ebert, who taught me how to appreciate opinions differing from my own. A critics' job is not to say what you should be thinking, but what he / she thinks.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:35:44 AM
Oh, now I'm personally attacking you? Okay. ::)

I'm not going to pursue this with you, John. Be honest to the effect you are having.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 07:36:06 AM
And I find it tiresome (as well as an overfamiliar cliché). Who listens to Reger today? The critic may have been entirely on point.

*shrug* So I'll write a positive review of the joke, and you'll right a negative one. And our readers will make of that what they will.

As to who listens to Reger today, I can't give you names and addresses but I'm quite certain they exist.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Rinaldo on January 12, 2016, 07:36:30 AM
Quite possibly the best review of anything, ever.  :D

My favourite is Christgau obliterating Lee Hazlewood's Poet, Fool or Bum with a single word: Bum.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:38:27 AM
The quote wasn't meant to be dissected and taken apart.

What is in the quote is a matter of interpretation. Yes, it's funny. But the very fact that Reger chose to pursue it, is evidence enough of his prickly and defensive nature.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:41:30 AM
My favourite is Christgau obliterating Lee Hazlewood's Poet, Fool or Bum with a single word: Bum.

Or W.S. Gilbert visiting some actor, I think Beerbohm Tree, backstage and saying, "My dear fellow: good is not the word!"

Or Dorothy Parker writing of Katharine Hepburn: "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 07:42:31 AM
But the reviews of that opera devastated him - he would never refer to A+C by name, but instead called it "My Disaster." Yes, he composed some more, but his output trickled and the effect on his personal life was disastrous.

Keywords from my post are "some confidence". How many times are you going to tell me about Barber and the critic? I already was well aware of how Barber's music changed after the failure of Antony and Cleopatra and what his mental state was during those declining years.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 07:42:54 AM
As to who listens to Reger today, I can't give you names and addresses but I'm quite certain they exist.

I do. Not all that frequently, perhaps; but I do.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2016, 07:45:32 AM
I do. Not all that frequently, perhaps; but I do.

I should probably just go see if we have a composer discussion thread to hunt down other likely suspects...

Not that I care, personally, beyond deflating a rather over-inflated rhetorical question. I've heard of Reger, I'm aware of the general style of his music, and that can only be because others have mentioned his name and have been listening to him.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 07:48:14 AM
I should probably just go see if we have a composer discussion thread to hunt down other likely suspects...

Not that I care, personally, beyond deflating a rather over-inflated rhetorical question. I've heard of Reger, I'm aware of the general style of his music, and that can only be because others have mentioned his name and have been listening to him.

I suppose the best description I can use for Reger is "Brahms on steroids," but, of course, this is over-simplifying his style and certainly doesn't do the composer any justice. :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 07:48:21 AM
I always maintained that a good critic should be able to convey preferences through the writing, even if it's the first thing you've read (although familiarity obviously helps). And as for disagreeing with a review - that's what I loved about Ebert, who taught me how to appreciate opinions differing from my own. A critics' job is not to say what you should be thinking, but what he / she thinks.
Yes! And yes, that's what I loved about Ebert too. He took a work on his own terms. He didn't give horror movies low ratings just because they're horror movies, for instance (as you shouldn't dismiss a composer for writing in a style that isn't yours).

This is what frustrates me about my other critic gig, at a local newspaper. Newspapers strongly believe that you should never mention "I" in an article, and shouldn't try to infuse a review with your personal tastes and POV. But authoritative pronouncements are - unless backed up by an impressive body of evidence - just personal opinions in sheep's clothing. Better to be honest, methinks, than to be aggrandizing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:51:09 AM
The reason being simple. Composers evolve, go through "periods," change their styles. Imagine somebody reviewing Janacek when he was your age! Back in college, I learned this lesson very vividly when I wrote negatively about a guy's new student work for the school magazine, then went to his next concert and was so entranced I became a fan for life. (Damage was already done. Dude hates me.)

Similarly, Hans von Bülow wrote scathingly of Verdi's middle-period operas, but was so bowled over by Aida, Otello, and the Requiem that he wrote Verdi a breast-beating letter of apology.

This is the dilemma any would-be critic faces: it's easy enough to praise, but how to give negative criticism to someone you might actually encounter? Tone, perhaps, is everything. John Simon could be a very generous critic, but at his worst he gave into almost apoplectic personalized venom especially towards women he found unattractive. There is the story that an actress (Sylvia Miles) he treated viciously in a review came up to him in a restaurant and dropped a plate of spaghetti on his head.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 07:55:45 AM
Yes! And yes, that's what I loved about Ebert too. He took a work on his own terms. He didn't give horror movies low ratings just because they're horror movies, for instance (as you shouldn't dismiss a composer for writing in a style that isn't yours).

This is what frustrates me about my other critic gig, at a local newspaper. Newspapers strongly believe that you should never mention "I" in an article, and shouldn't try to infuse a review with your personal tastes and POV. But authoritative pronouncements are - unless backed up by an impressive body of evidence - just personal opinions in sheep's clothing. Better to be honest, methinks, than to be aggrandizing.

A month ago I re-watched Aliens, and warmly appreciated Ebert's review:

. . . I admire both that he was entirely frank about how the pace and intensity wound him up ('But when I walked out of the theater, there were knots in my stomach from the film's roller-coaster ride of violence. This is not the kind of movie where it means anything to say you "enjoyed" it') yet he gave it 3-1/2 stars because it is so well made ('I was drained. I'm not sure "Aliens" is what we mean by entertainment. Yet I have to be accurate about this movie:  It is a superb example of filmmaking craft.')
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 07:57:09 AM
*shrug* So I'll write a positive review of the joke, and you'll right a negative one. And our readers will make of that what they will.

As to who listens to Reger today, I can't give you names and addresses but I'm quite certain they exist.

There are seven billion people in this world. Quite possibly some still listen to Reger. You will have to admit he is largely overlooked today. (Heads up for Reger fans: two works will be performed at NY's Carnegie Hall on March 17.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2016, 08:00:13 AM
There are seven billion people in this world. Quite possibly some still listen to Reger. You will have to admit he is largely overlooked today. (Heads up for Reger fans: two works will be performed at NY's Carnegie Hall on March 17.)

Reger's Piano Concerto and Four Tone Poems after A. Böcklin are top-drawer and, for these works alone, you can count me as a fan of his music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 12, 2016, 08:06:08 AM
Movie reviews don't disappear, and can be consulted via newspaper web sites or anthologies of reviews such as Roger Ebert published. In fact Ebert wrote his Great Movies series (probably never completed at his death) largely to introduce younger viewers to the entire heritage of film that gets overshadowed because everyone's running to the latest thing at the local multiplex. For new releases we're all at the mercy of whichever films the distributors and theaters allow us to see; and there was a time not so long ago where once a film disappeared from the theaters, you'd never see it unless it popped up at an art house or late-night TV. But thanks to DVDs, BluRays, Hulu, Turner Classics, etc., access to the entire history of filmmaking is increasingly available to anyone with a personal player, computer, or TV set; and many film lovers, myself included, have acquired substantial numbers of beautifully restored films from companies such as the Criterion Collection. Ebert certainly had his flaws and limitations, but if he flags a film as a Great Movie, I'll certainly be looking to find it on Hulu or for a used DVD on Amazon.
But those Ebert reviews are very detailed and go into quite depth (which was typical of most of his reviews). Most music reviews these days are not like that, nor do they explain what they see as a flaw (or advantage) - they just state it and move on. The New York Times reviewers have also typically gone into quite high detail to explain why they give the review they do, just another example.

Perhaps an example would work better. I went to musicweb and picked the first review I came upon that was negative in the summary, this one: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jan/Mattheson_keyboard_OC1837.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Jan/Mattheson_keyboard_OC1837.htm). Look at paragraph 2, where the reviewer writes:
Quote
Comparison with Bach is inevitable for such a collection, but my hopes of finding something to rival The Art of Fugue were alas not realised. Mattheson himself is said to have appreciated J.S. Bach’s skill, but he left his name out of an otherwise compendious “Grundlager einer Ehren-Pforte” that includes 149 biographies of other composers. A case is made for Mattheson’s apparent rejection of “richly ornamented baroque magniloquence” and apparent “premonitions of romanticism”, but to my ears we have here a composer who was no doubt reasonably skilled and highly knowledgeable, but couldn’t quite hack it in comparison with Bach and wanted no part in elevating his contemporary’s name over his own. There are entertaining aspects to these pieces, but you can either argue that they are the creations of a “free spirit” or someone who couldn’t quite land on the kind of musical sweet-spot that delivers music satisfying at every level and in ways that defy period and style.

What exactly does this tell us? We're being told this music 'doesn't work'. Why? Well, we don't know really. There is no explanation. We're told that in comparison to Bach, he isn't as skillful. Well, that cover pretty much all of Bach's contemporaries excluding a small handful (perhaps). And would you go into a new piece of a less known composer with the expectation that it would rival one of the greatest pieces ever written? I mean, that seems to me a setup for failure.

Further, the reviewer writes:
Quote
There are indeed some fascinating pieces which would reward study, though for what reasons will be for the listener to decide. The Corrente on track 6 caught my ear for its strange tonality, a winding path that changes from one bar to the next but always somehow finds its way back to the root. It’s nice to think of this as forward-thinking exploration, but for myself I can’t get around a general lack of sophistication or finish that would elevate such things into works that would work in a wider context. One can imagine many of Bach’s pieces as useful with orchestra or any kind of instrumental combination, but Mattheson’s stubbornly resist a life beyond the keyboard. The Sonata is one of Mattheson’s earliest works but doesn’t out-Handel Handel by a long way. While I’m all for breaking with convention this strikes me as worthy of study in how not to write a sonata.
So now he's being dumped on, because the music doesn't adapt as well to other instruments/instrumentation beyond the instrument for which the music is written, which seems a bit silly to me. And we're told this is not the way to write a sonata, but we're not told where he went wrong. Incidentally, it seems at least one of Mattheson's pieces WAS adapted for instruments other than the one it was written for, though it was not initially the keyboard in the case I am aware of. I wonder if the reviewer knows that.

So I don't like this type of composer bashing. If you read the last paragraph, you find out the musician did Mattheson no favors and bungled the music, which makes you wonder if a different musician would have had a completely different result (assuming we accept this as fact). Maybe you don't agree with me, but I hope I am a little clearer as to what I find frustrating in music reviewing today.

Whether you liked Ebert or not, he KNEW film, the processes and techniques of making film, and the history of film (in quite high detail).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 08:13:22 AM
Yes! And yes, that's what I loved about Ebert too. He took a work on his own terms. He didn't give horror movies low ratings just because they're horror movies, for instance (as you shouldn't dismiss a composer for writing in a style that isn't yours).

This is what frustrates me about my other critic gig, at a local newspaper. Newspapers strongly believe that you should never mention "I" in an article, and shouldn't try to infuse a review with your personal tastes and POV. But authoritative pronouncements are - unless backed up by an impressive body of evidence - just personal opinions in sheep's clothing. Better to be honest, methinks, than to be aggrandizing.

Depends on the newspaper, I suspect. I just finished reading "On Conan Doyle" by Pulitzer winner Michael Dirda of the Washington Post (slight name-dropping: we were friendly when I studied at Oberlin in the late 60s, but I never kept up with him), and his criticism is always highly personal, always reflective not only of his tastes but of the circumstances which led him to discover any work he writes about. Mike's criticism takes on a uniquely relaxed and engaging quality as a result. I think some of these old strictures about never using the personal pronoun are starting to relax, and you see this even in the NY Times.

Now back to ol' Roger for a moment: early on I thought he was something of a horse's ass on that TV show, and Siskel seemed to have the upper hand intellectually. Perhaps the obese appearance and glasses aided in that impression, though I'm no one to talk when it comes to the avoirdupois department. But I found Ebert far more compelling when I started reading his reviews of the Great Movies. I doubt he finished the series; films like Wild Strawberries and North by Northwest are conspicuously absent, and he never wrote about Rossellini. Like Michael Dirda, however (who also loves all good writing, and not just "high art"), Ebert would never disdain a film like Star Wars, giving it four stars for being good of its kind, while at the same time he could appreciate the nuances of Ozu, Bergman, Antonioni, and Truffaut among many others. This lack of snobbery earned the venom of John Simon (who wrote a cowardly posthumous piece of vituperation on his personal blog), Simon being an exquisite who disdained anything smacking of the popular. However, if one looks at Simon's list of his dozen favorite films, you'll find every one of them also on Ebert's Great Movies list.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 08:14:50 AM
Reger's Piano Concerto and Four Tone Poems after A. Böcklin are top-drawer and, for these works alone, you can count me as a fan of his music.

I will hunt down the CDs for each of these. Thanks.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 12, 2016, 08:19:32 AM
Depends on the newspaper, I suspect. I just finished reading "On Conan Doyle" by Pulitzer winner Michael Dirda of the Washington Post (slight name-dropping: we were friendly when I studied at Oberlin in the late 60s, but I never kept up with him), and his criticism is always highly personal, always reflective not only of his tastes but of the circumstances which led him to discover any work he writes about. Mike's criticism takes on a uniquely relaxed and engaging quality as a result. I think some of these old strictures about never using the personal pronoun are starting to relax, and you see this even in the NY Times.

Now back to ol' Roger for a moment: early on I thought he was something of a horse's ass on that TV show, and Siskel seemed to have the upper hand intellectually. Perhaps the obese appearance and glasses aided in that impression, though I'm no one to talk when it comes to the avoirdupois department. But I found Ebert far more compelling when I started reading his reviews of the Great Movies. I doubt he finished the series; films like Wild Strawberries and North by Northwest are conspicuously absent, and he never wrote about Rossellini. Like Michael Dirda, however (who also loves all good writing, and not just "high art"), Ebert would never disdain a film like Star Wars, giving it four stars for being good of its kind, while at the same time he could appreciate the nuances of Ozu, Bergman, Antonioni, and Truffaut among many others. This lack of snobbery earned the venom of John Simon (who wrote a cowardly posthumous piece of vituperation on his personal blog), Simon being an exquisite who disdained anything smacking of the popular. However, if one looks at Simon's list of his dozen favorite films, you'll find every one of them also on Ebert's Great Movies list.
Interesting. I always felt that Ebert was the superior in this regard, but it isn't critical to the discussion. The thing that used to frustrate me about Siskel was that the things he didn't like about a film were often because something didn't happen in the film the way he wanted it to. Ebert, on the other hand, reviewed what happened. I'm simplifying, but that is basically the idea. You don't get that in music reviewing much though.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 08:21:57 AM
I will hunt down the CDs for each of these. Thanks.
Am listening to the piano concerto right now. It is really a slavish imitation of the Brahms First Concerto, although I'll admit the slow movement is quite beautiful. There's an interesting anti-virtuosic vein to the piano writing throughout (or more properly, anti-showing-off).

I'll try to listen to a bunch of Reger today and post a roundup in his composer thread.

Depends on the newspaper, I suspect. I just finished reading "On Conan Doyle" by Pulitzer winner Michael Dirda of the Washington Post (slight name-dropping: we were friendly when I studied at Oberlin in the late 60s, but I never kept up with him), and his criticism is always highly personal, always reflective not only of his tastes but of the circumstances which led him to discover any work he writes about. Mike's criticism takes on a uniquely relaxed and engaging quality as a result. I think some of these old strictures about never using the personal pronoun are starting to relax, and you see this even in the NY Times.

Depends, also, on whether the critic has "made it". Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer winner; NY Times voices like Ben Brantley, Janet Maslin, and A.O. Scott are very well-known in their fields by now. As a freelancer, I am still to some extent just some random guy, and my tastes/peculiarities do require more introduction.

Now back to ol' Roger for a moment: early on I thought he was something of a horse's ass on that TV show, and Siskel seemed to have the upper hand intellectually. Perhaps the obese appearance and glasses aided in that impression, though I'm no one to talk when it comes to the avoirdupois department. But I found Ebert far more compelling when I started reading his reviews of the Great Movies. I doubt he finished the series; films like Wild Strawberries and North by Northwest are conspicuously absent, and he never wrote about Rossellini. Like Michael Dirda, however (who also loves all good writing, and not just "high art"), Ebert would never disdain a film like Star Wars, giving it four stars for being good of its kind, while at the same time he could appreciate the nuances of Ozu, Bergman, Antonioni, and Truffaut among many others. This lack of snobbery earned the venom of John Simon (who wrote a cowardly posthumous piece of vituperation on his personal blog), Simon being an exquisite who disdained anything smacking of the popular. However, if one looks at Simon's list of his dozen favorite films, you'll find every one of them also on Ebert's Great Movies list.
"The avoirdupois department" has to go into the GMG Hall of Fame for great turns of phrase. But mostly I'm quoting this for the opportunity to quote Ebert's original 1977 review of a certain well-known movie:

"Every once in a while I have what I think of as an out-of-the-body experience at a movie. When the ESP people use a phrase like that, they're referring to the sensation of the mind actually leaving the body and spiriting itself off to China or Peoria or a galaxy far, far away. When I use the phrase, I simply mean that my imagination has forgotten it is actually present in a movie theater and thinks it's up there on the screen. In a curious sense, the events in the movie seem real, and I seem to be a part of them. Star Wars works like that."

P.S. Maybe my young age contributes to my love of Ebert - never saw the TV show and only ever knew him through the writing archives.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 08:24:20 AM
But those Ebert reviews are very detailed and go into quite depth (which was typical of most of his reviews). Most music reviews these days are not like that, nor do they explain what they see as a flaw (or advantage) - they just state it and move on. The New York Times reviewers have also typically gone into quite high detail to explain why they give the review they do, just another example.

Depends on the venue the critic publishes in. Film critics like John Simon and Pauline Kael were given almost unlimited space to develop their reviews. To restate in case you didn't see my post, the problem with music criticism is that to make a case, one needs to go into analytical detail that is often beyond the technical training of many listeners. I think I could make a case, for instance, for why Dittersdorf is inferior to Mozart, but it would require technical phraseology and, ideally, musical examples. I wonder too at times about the musical knowledge of some critics. Several years ago I heard Boulez conduct Dérive II in NY, and the Times reviewer several times referred to an oboe, when in fact no oboe was present and the instrument used was an English horn. I emailed the performer the next day, who wrote back: "Make you wonder, doesn't it?"
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 12, 2016, 08:31:53 AM
Depends on the venue the critic publishes in. Film critics like John Simon and Pauline Kael were given almost unlimited space to develop their reviews. To restate in case you didn't see my post, the problem with music criticism is that to make a case, one needs to go into analytical detail that is often beyond the technical training of many listeners. I think I could make a case, for instance, for why Dittersdorf is inferior to Mozart, but it would require technical phraseology and, ideally, musical examples. I wonder too at times about the musical knowledge of some critics. Several years ago I heard Boulez conduct Dérive II in NY, and the Times reviewer several times referred to an oboe, when in fact no oboe was present and the instrument used was an English horn. I emailed the performer the next day, who wrote back: "Make you wonder, doesn't it?"
I agree for the most part. Funny story too (otherwise, I'd have to cry).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 08:33:31 AM
Am listening to the piano concerto right now. It is really a slavish imitation of the Brahms First Concerto, although I'll admit the slow movement is quite beautiful. There's an interesting anti-virtuosic vein to the piano writing throughout (or more properly, anti-showing-off).

I'll try to listen to a bunch of Reger today and post a roundup in his composer thread.

Ha! funny, I checked the shelves and there are four Reger CDs, including the Böcklin Tone Poems and some chamber music, but not the PF concerto (which I think Serkin played). So I have a new project which both Brian and I can write about, and then you can all print our reviews and retire to the smallest room in your house.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 08:38:19 AM
P.S. Maybe my young age contributes to my love of Ebert - never saw the TV show and only ever knew him through the writing archives.

YouTube, Brian, YouTube. It's funny at times to watch Siskel and Ebert going at it, but even funnier to watch the clip where Ebert is debating John Simon on the merits of Star Wars. As with presidential debates, I suppose it tells a lot about you which side you think wins.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 08:41:21 AM
YouTube, Brian, YouTube. It's funny at times to watch Siskel and Ebert going at it, but even funnier to watch the clip where Ebert is debating John Simon on the merits of Star Wars. As with presidential debates, I suppose it tells a lot about you which side you think wins.
Link us up, dude!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 08:41:25 AM
So I have a new project which both Brian and I can write about, and then you can all print our reviews and retire to the smallest room in your house.
;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kishnevi on January 12, 2016, 08:47:08 AM
Ha! funny, I checked the shelves and there are four Reger CDs, including the Böcklin Tone Poems and some chamber music, but not the PF concerto (which I think Serkin played). So I have a new project which both Brian and I can write about, and then you can all print our reviews and retire to the smallest room in your house.

Actually, it has been a while since I last listened to the PC, but I remember liking it on its own merits.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: North Star on January 12, 2016, 08:58:03 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/Ky9-eIlHzAE
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 09:04:37 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/Ky9-eIlHzAE

Thanks!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 09:08:08 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/Ky9-eIlHzAE

I don't think Jn Simon can really both complain that it is "de-humanizing," and that it is for children.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 09:18:51 AM
Am listening to the piano concerto right now. It is really a slavish imitation of the Brahms First Concerto

"really" --- your using this word means that either you are absolutely and utterly convinced, beyond any reasonable doubt, or you have irrefutable proof, that what you state is true. Are you? Do you?

"slavish" --- short of you having the power to read people´s minds, and dead people´s mind for that matter, how do you know that what Reger set about when composing it was imitating Brahms´ First Concerto, and slavishly for that matter?



Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 12, 2016, 09:20:05 AM
Interesting. I always felt that Ebert was the superior in this regard, but it isn't critical to the discussion. The thing that used to frustrate me about Siskel was that the things he didn't like about a film were often because something didn't happen in the film the way he wanted it to. Ebert, on the other hand, reviewed what happened. I'm simplifying, but that is basically the idea. You don't get that in music reviewing much though.

I remember a statement from him (I think in his autobiography) that one of the first films he reviewed was Bergman's Persona. This proved to be decisive, because the strangeness of the film forced him to develop his no-nonsense approach to criticism: state the facts of the film as clearly as possible, and then explore and analyze your own feelings about it. You can sense him using this approach as a template throughout his career.

Pauline Kael on the other hand took a much more ideological approach, deciding in a certain a priori sense what cinema should and shouldn't be.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 09:27:00 AM
"really" --- your using this word means that either you are absolutely and utterly convinced, beyond any reasonable doubt, or you have irrefutable proof, that what you state is true. Are you? Do you?
Yes. Yes.

‘My Piano Concerto is going to be misunderstood for years. The musical language is too austere and too serious; it is, so to speak, a pendant to Brahms’s D minor Piano Concerto. The public will need some time to get used to it.’ - Max Reger

From the Hyperion CD booklet essay:

"Despite his dislike of the work, Walter Niemann’s review identified the two dominant influences—Brahms and Liszt—on the sonority and layout of the piano part. The influence of Brahms is clear. What Charles Rosen called ‘the inspiration of awkwardness’ in Brahms’s piano style is also evident in Reger’s concerto. It makes huge technical demands on the soloist while avoiding the temptation to dazzle for the sake of it. As well as some daunting passages in octaves, the soloist has to negotiate some elaborate figurations in the inner parts, and some thoroughly Brahmsian leaps and cross-rhythms....

"The opening of the Allegro moderato (with a timpani roll and a rhythm that both echo the start of Brahms’s D minor Concerto) shows Reger at his most advanced harmonically....Like Brahms’s model, the first movement is much the longest of the three."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 12, 2016, 09:29:48 AM
"really" --- your using this word means that either you are absolutely and utterly convinced, beyond any reasonable doubt, or you have irrefutable proof, that what you state is true. Are you? Do you?

"slavish" --- short of you having the power to read people´s minds, and dead people´s mind for that matter, how do you know that what Reger set about when composing it was imitating Brahms´ First Concerto, and slavishly for that matter?

In case anyone hasn't noticed, the finale of the Brahms 1st Concerto is a direct imitation of the finale to the Beethoven 3rd Concerto. (Charles Rosen has a full discussion of this somewhere.) To quote Melville from Moby Dick: "Who ain't a slave?"
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on January 12, 2016, 10:34:20 AM
Reger is often indebted to Brahms but this can hardly account for the relative obscurity of his music. The Grieg piano concerto is at least as closely following mood and gestures of the Schumann pc (at least at the beginning) as Reger Brahms but it is about as popular as the Schumann.

Reger wrote often as if to "out-Brahms Brahms" (and while he was at it to out-Bach Bach as well). He is extremely skillful in the counterpoint etc. department, but not great with melodies; the more popular works are often variations on other people's tunes (Mozart, Telemann, Bach, Beethoven...)
I am not sure if I really love anything by Reger but I find his music interesting and sometimes fascinating. (There was a guy on a German language forum who listened almost only to chamber music by Beethoven, Brahms, Reger and Schönberg.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 10:55:37 AM
‘My Piano Concerto is going to be misunderstood for years. The musical language is too austere and too serious; it is, so to speak, a pendant to Brahms’s D minor Piano Concerto. The public will need some time to get used to it.’ - Max Reger

Funny how selecting what part to highlight makes all teh difference in the world.  ;)

If Reger´s PC was really a slavish imitation of Brahms´ First, why then did he state that the public would need some time to get used to it? Wouldn´t it have been obvious at the first sight hearing that this is so?

Quote
From the Hyperion CD booklet essay:

"Despite his dislike of the work, Walter Niemann’s review identified the two dominant influences—Brahms and Liszt—on the sonority and layout of the piano part. The influence of Brahms is clear. What Charles Rosen called ‘the inspiration of awkwardness’ in Brahms’s piano style is also evident in Reger’s concerto. It makes huge technical demands on the soloist while avoiding the temptation to dazzle for the sake of it. As well as some daunting passages in octaves, the soloist has to negotiate some elaborate figurations in the inner parts, and some thoroughly Brahmsian leaps and cross-rhythms....

"The opening of the Allegro moderato (with a timpani roll and a rhythm that both echo the start of Brahms’s D minor Concerto) shows Reger at his most advanced harmonically....Like Brahms’s model, the first movement is much the longest of the three."

I read "influence", "echo" and "like". Why does they have to translate into "slavish imitation"?

Joseph Schuster´s string quartets have been attributed for a long time to Mozart. Eventually their authorship was proven beyond doubt. Now, you might as well said that Schuster´s SQs are "a slavish imitation of", ie undistinguishably from, Mozart´s ---IOW, that when it comes to SQs Schuster was at the very same level of Mozart, both stylistically and technically. Would you say that Reger´s PC might very well be attributed to Brahms without anyone noticing any difference for a long time?  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2016, 11:08:30 AM
Would you say that Reger´s PC might very well be attributed to Brahms without anyone noticing any difference for a long time?  :D
No! Brahms is great.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 11:17:29 AM
No! Brahms is great.

Voilà!  :D

I remember having listened to Reger´s PC on Youtube last year and finding it too long. Or was it the VC? I will repeat the experience with both and report back.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Super Blood Moon on January 12, 2016, 11:23:50 AM
Oh, sorry, I thought this thread was about Hurwitz's ass.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 11:25:48 AM
Quote from: Heavy Metal Dave
Hurwitz's ass is mine.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kishnevi on January 12, 2016, 11:47:14 AM
Voilà!  :D

I remember having listened to Reger´s PC on Youtube last year and finding it too long. Or was it the VC? I will repeat the experience with both and report back.

Did a quick check of the timings in the Berlin Classics Reger set. The PC is 41 minutes, the VC 58 minutes.

I liked both, and think both of you gentlemen are undervaluing Reger.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Monsieur Croche on January 12, 2016, 06:22:20 PM
Oh, sorry, I thought this thread was about Hurwitz's ass.

It seems you saw the original OP before it was deleted. From that hot-pink prose with its tone of a first-world level of importance hissy-fit, I could see where one might think that part of Hurwitz was the thing of greatest focus and interest.

The OP had all the quality of your having entered a room while hearing the balance of a sentence already begun and half-way done, after the subject had already been stated.

Just about anywhere you care to look, there is often a narrow nationalist take on 'home-boy' composers, even if that nation has but two well-known 'local boy makes good' composers to rub together.

I think the complaint was about a type of comment on such a group of collected composers, all British, with [the complained-about critic being an American] of course an American-style stamp on that. Another contributor pointed out this national/regional preoccupation to lionize the "local boys who done good" dynamic and called it "provincial." I think the more apposite word is "parochial."

Anyway, the post, imo, was a tempest in not a teacup, but more a tempest in the ancillary and even shallower saucer, and a very minor first world bit of business.

I mean, who is this 'Hurwitz,' person, and is he of any real significance whatsoever?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 12, 2016, 07:27:56 PM
Oh, sorry, I thought this thread was about Hurwitz's ass.
I thought it was a mule!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on January 13, 2016, 01:10:12 AM
Now, let's see: mules can be bad tempered, they kick and are generally sterile.....does it fit?   ::)

Mike
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on January 13, 2016, 02:13:47 AM
Whoops, 'mule' seems to be worse than 'ass' then, right?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 13, 2016, 09:56:49 AM
Here it is:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12140/?search=1)

Quote:

"This description may sound like damning with faint praise, but it isn’t meant to be. If I were a British critic and this were a Chandos production of some second-tier English composer (say, Dyson, or Finzi, or Moeran), I could carry on about “yet another triumphant example of the extraordinary musical resurgence of the early 20th century, etc., etc.,” ad nauseam."

Incidentally, what few of us would probably have expected (given Hurwitz's lumping all these US symphonists together), he actually gives a laudatory review to this CD of Mennin:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51QMOf2jabL._SS280_PJStripe-Robin,TopLeft,0,0.jpg)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 14, 2016, 09:44:13 AM
I don't think Jn Simon can really both complain that it is "de-humanizing," and that it is for children.

Well, he means it in the sense that the movie is a live-action cartoon, with no human complexity. And while I admit I enjoyed the first Star Wars movie (episode IV) as the one that takes itself less seriously than all the heavy-handed others, I find myself closer to Simon than to S+E on this argument. While the occasional Star Wars-type movie is fine in small doses, I have a number of friends who gravitate almost exclusively to movies of this type: simplistic conflicts between Absolute Good and Absolute Evil always on a save-the-earth scale of monumental grandiosity, a total lack of introspection or growth in the characters, predictable plot development where the Good Guys are temporarily routed but always defeat the Bad Guys in the end, heavy reliance on CGI effects, excessive violence, and an ear-splitting bombastically derivative musical score.

These same people are always looking for escapism in the films they watch and reject virtually anything else as either boring or depressing (whether they have seen it or not). I wonder if the young kids or teenagers brought up on Star Wars and Hunger Games can still appreciate something as subtle or delicate as Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon, sometimes spoken of as the best little film for and about small children ever made, or Claude Berri's The Two of Us, about a little Jewish boy taken in by an anti-Semitic farmer during WW2 France, and more. I don't mean to point exclusively to films with subtitles as counter-examples, but the worst offenders of the Star Wars mentality seem always to be American films, and if that kind of cinematic junk food is one's sole movie-going diet, how is one to appreciate the achievements of an Ozu, a Mike Leigh, a Cassavetes, a Bresson?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 02:50:15 AM
The gender does not fit, curls are long gone and I'd modify the penultimate verse to "pretty decent" instead of "very good" but the last verse still fits DH unfortunately well.

There was a little girl,
            Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
            When she was good,
            She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

He should stick to the (mostly late romantic orchestral) stuff he loves and has some knowledge about and keep silent otherwise (i.e about almost everything else, especially vocal music or almost everything pre-Haydn). He posted a rant about his dislike of Lieder. I got into a discussion with him when he wrote similarly inane stuff 15 or so years ago in the (now google) rec.music.classical.recordings newsgroup but I am not repeating such windmill fights at youtube.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 08:08:00 AM
Ha! funny, I checked the shelves and there are four Reger CDs, including the Böcklin Tone Poems and some chamber music, but not the PF concerto (which I think Serkin played). So I have a new project which both Brian and I can write about, and then you can all print our reviews and retire to the smallest room in your house.

Indeed, Rudolf Serkin was a champion of the Reger Piano Cto.
Marc Hamelin has recorded the Reger PC recently and it was  -  coincidence!  -  subject to a slashing review by Hurwitz, who I suspect used this record, and a record of a Pfitzner's Piano Cto to boost his viewership by being as scathing as he could be.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 08:24:21 AM
I have watched two or three reviews on Hurwitz's youtube channel, and frankly it was a waste of time.

The first was about Elgar's Symphony nr 2. I was a little surprised to see him characterize the symphony as an unimportant throwaway piece compared to the Mogul March. I mean, you can say you like said march better than the symphony, but it's utter bullshit to say the symphony didn't mean anything to the composer. It's a little strange for a critic to talk about British music as if it's by definitition twee and second rate. If you think so, why review British music?

Also, why talk about Elgar as a Victorian who is afraid of sex? The second symphony is dedicated to Edward VII, the total opposite of Queen Victoria. Elgar was an Edwardian. I don't know if this is cynical trying-to-be-funny, or just ignorance, but it's embarrassing. Nor am I sure it's a good idea to "sing" themes to demonstrate what theme you're talking about. I mean, Hurwitz is no Maria Callas. It doesn't elucidate anything, it just makes you wonder if Hurwitz ever listens to himself, which is a prerequisite for a critic of any kind.

The other clip I saw was about "the most horrible piano concertos" of Reger and Pfitzner, a disgraceful cynical attempt to get laughs about Germans  -  including acting as if it is impossible to pronounce German names and words. Obviously most people interested in classical music tend to be in the second, if not third half of their lives, not young, and maybe there are one or two who think it's like old times again if you act as if Germans bark instead of talk. It's rather painful when a very large part of our classical music heritage happens to be composed by Germans. What are you going to do about it?

So I have no idea what the opening post was about, and I'm not even sure if Hurwitz is an ass. But why on earth would a sane person spend twenty friggin' minutes watching a guy laugh at his own mediocre jokes? I have been a (book) critic for fifteen years. I stopped in 2010, and never regretted it. I believe fifteen years as the maximum time one should spend doing this before one gets tired and cynical. Looking at these DH vids I see the pathology in optima forma. The self-importance, the cynical "humor", the need to grind reputations in the dust, and on the other hand, the need to safeguard the critic's importance (there's a bit about all critics basically agreeing about what is good in a Beethoven clip  -  in other words, critics are always right, which somehow, I don't know why, brings to mind Joyce Hatto, maybe as evidence music critics always parrot each other?) and, really, the tiredness of yet again visiting the tired ol' warhorses. I mean, really? does anybody need a twenty minute vid about 'the BEST Rach PC2"?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: T. D. on July 14, 2020, 08:38:15 AM
I have watched two or three reviews on Hurwitz's youtube channel, and frankly it was a waste of time.

...

The other clip I saw was about "the most horrible piano concertos" of Reger and Pfitzner, a disgraceful cynical attempt to get laughs about Germans  -  including acting as if it is impossible to pronounce German names and words. Obviously most people interested in classical music tend to be in the second, if not third half of their lives, not young, and maybe there are one or two who think you're defending your country (in Hurwitz's case the UK) if you act as if Germans bark instead of talk. It's rather painful when a very large part of our classical music heritage happens to be composed by Germans. What are you going to do about it?

So I have no idea what the opening post was about, and I'm not even sure if Hurwitz is an ass. But why on earth would a sane person spend twenty friggin' minutes watching a guy laugh at his own mediocre jokes?

I find that strange. I have no interest in DH's youtube videos, and am not a Classics Today "Insider", but read a reasonable amount of reviews from the CT site. I have always considered that CT practically worships both Hamelin and Hyperion. Indeed, the Hyperion "Romantic Piano Cti" disc with the Reger, performed by Hamelin (it's not a new recording, c. 2010) got 9/9 from Jed Distler on CT.

So if I was shelling out money for the privilege of being a Classics Today "Insider", what source should I believe: the CT site or DH's youtube channel?  ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 14, 2020, 08:39:28 AM
David Hurwitz is American. One should not be so worked up about what is wrong with his reviews that one can’t figure this out.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 08:42:41 AM
David Hurwitz is American. One should not be so worked up about what is wrong with his reviews that one can’t figure this out.

I did not know he was an American, but on the other hand I'm not sure either one should know where a critic comes from when it's about historical classical music

"It's a little strange for a [edit] music critic to talk about British music as if it's by definitition twee and second rate. If you think so, why review British music?"
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 08:44:57 AM
PEter Serkin also played Reger frequently, incl. the pc but AFAIK did not make a commercial recording of the latter.
I was angry enough after a few minutes of his Lieder rant, so I did not bother with the "horrible" piano concertos. I am not huge fan of either piece but they certainly deserve at least as much attention as the typical Hyperion excavation. They are also quite different from each other, as generally the main or only common element of Reger and Pfitzer is that they are late romantic German composers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 08:49:37 AM
Yes, Peter Serkin played one of those large variation pieces by Reger, just like his dad.

If I were a music critic, the fact that several great interpreters find this music worth their while would give me pause. And it would certainly make me refrain from this onslaught of bad jokes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 08:52:54 AM

Yes, Peter Serkin played one of those large variation pieces by Reger, just like his dad.

If I were a music critic, the fact that several great interpreters find this music worth their while would give me pause. And it would certainly make me refrain from this onslaught of bad jokes.

I don't even know what "the Lieder rant" is about but I am pretty sure DH is feeding people's prejudices a lot, hoping to get more clicks, which is ultimately a self-defeating strategy.

If you want to hear bad jokes about Germans you don't need all the twaddle about classical music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 14, 2020, 09:10:12 AM
Obviously most people interested in classical music tend to be in the second, if not third half of their lives

Pray tell, what is the third half of a person's life?

As to Hurwitz, I believe at least one Barnum quote applies. 

Alternatively, for younger readers, it's important to remember that haters gonna hate.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 09:21:22 AM
It is a fairly new video but in essence he said the same many years ago: Classical Lieder are essentially like popsongs, just more pretentious and their interpreters and listeners even more so. The texts are as silly as it gets which makes the affection and pretention worse. Symphonies have no analogue in modern popular music, so there is a good reason to listen to them. But there is not really a good reason to listen to Schubert or Wolf instead of contemporary pop music. If lieder are sung at all, they should be sung "artlessly" as historically in small circles of friends in a Salon etc.
He has a few vaild points that are either trivially true (that songs by Dowland, Purcells, Schubert, Wolf etc. have a bit more in common with 20th century popular songs than Bruckner symphonies do, but this does not negate the differences). And of course, there is often pretentiousness. But he, as a nerdy fan of classical music mocks the supposedly prententious lieder toffs in exactly the same way many fans of rock/pop would mock the opera/classical toffs.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 14, 2020, 09:26:37 AM
Classical Lieder are essentially like popsongs, just more pretentious and their interpreters and listeners even more so.


That's basically true.

It may be time to repost this from the blog Stuff White People Like: #108 Appearing to enjoy Classical Music (https://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/09/01/108-appearing-to-enjoy-classical-music/)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 14, 2020, 09:42:52 AM
Meh. Hurwitz would probably be horrified if someone said there was no need to listen to the favourite songs of his youth because there were plenty of newer songs that were pretty much the same. It’s a silly argument.

Maybe he just can’t handle things that aren’t in English.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 14, 2020, 09:47:15 AM
I have watched two or three reviews on Hurwitz's youtube channel, and frankly it was a waste of time.

The first was about Elgar's Symphony nr 2. I was a little surprised to see him characterize the symphony as an unimportant throwaway piece compared to the Mogul March. I mean, you can say you like said march better than the symphony, but it's utter bullshit to say the symphony didn't mean anything to the composer.

That was a joke. Delivered with a straight face, but definitely a joke.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 10:01:35 AM
The potential for pretentiousness applies in the same way to the person who prefers Couperin to Chopin, Vaughan Williams to Verdi, or generally the less familiar to the more popular or even classical music in favor of anything else. And by now, there are lot of pretentious fans of popular music (in my highschool time in the late 1980s there was a deep rift between hard'n heavy and "pop" fans and probably also between the infinite variety of these subgroups). Not even to start with jazz that was dance music even until after WW II and is now the abode of turtlenecked guys in late middle age with $$$ turntables in sparsely furnished living rooms ;)
Anything somewhat distinctive can lead to pretention and pretentiousness. And as appreciation can be feigned (unlike playing music or actually doing art or some other pretentious hobby), it will be sometimes. However, in a time and society where classical music (and even more some niches within classical music) are socially distinctive only in very small segments of society, real friends will draw more often mockery than gain any social status.

The very similarity between classical and popular songs could be used by someone trying to make more fans of classical music to recommend a bunch of Lieder, mélodies etc. that they might actually prefer to Bruckner symphonies. Instead he idiotically claims that the genre has basically been superseded. They same could be said of Ma vlast versus Star wars movie scores and it would be as wrong.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 10:02:37 AM
good definition of a joke is: something people laugh about or find funny.

not: the one who's making the joke is the only one laughing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 10:06:43 AM
The very similarity between classical and popular songs

The vocal range in classical vocal music is obviously way larger than in pop music.

In most pop songs the vocal line never exceeds an octave, and usually doesn't even come close to doing that.

Singers who do, like Mariah Carey, are exceptions and are lauded like they are divas.

However, Carey could not sing a line without microphone and amplification, and this goes for the entire pop / musical business. These performers have technical limitations that would make them utterly lost in classical vocal music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 14, 2020, 10:11:34 AM
The potential for pretentiousness applies in the same way to the person who prefers Couperin to Chopin, Vaughan Williams to Verdi, or generally the less familiar to the more popular or even classical music in favor of anything else.


Yep.

I think it may be difficult for many people on this forum to accept the fact that classical music is basically irrelevant, very few people care about it, and that occasionally erudite exchanges about irrelevant distinctions among artists, recordings, performances, performance traditions, and perceived technical superiority - eg, extended vocal range - are intrinsically pretentious.  Other verbs are preferred - discriminating, cultured, sophisticated, etc.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 14, 2020, 10:20:29 AM
The vocal range in classical vocal music is obviously way larger than in pop music.

In most pop songs the vocal line never exceeds an octave, and usually doesn't even come close to doing that.

Singers who do, like Mariah Carey, are exceptions and are lauded like they are divas.

However, Carey could not sing a line without microphone and amplification, and this goes for the entire pop / musical business. These performers have technical limitations that would make them utterly lost in classical vocal music.

Sigh. How the hell is stereotyping of pop singing by a classical fan any better than stereotyping of classical singing by a pop fan?

For one thing there are plenty of lieder and melodies that don’t involve a wide compass.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 10:36:20 AM
Sigh. How the hell is stereotyping of pop singing by a classical fan any better than stereotyping of classical singing by a pop fan?

For one thing there are plenty of lieder and melodies that don’t involve a wide compass.

I don't know any pop performer who sings without a microphone.

Even lousy street performers have since the turn of the century moved to amplification.

And, in classical, if your vocal range does not exceed an octave, good luck trying to get into a conservatory or music school.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Daverz on July 14, 2020, 12:45:04 PM
good definition of a joke is: something people laugh about or find funny.

not: the one who's making the joke is the only one laughing.

I think you have HDS, Hurwitzer Derangement Syndrome.

I got the joke the first time, though I did roll my eyes.

I'll also admit that I have a Lieder problem.  I have books on Lieder, many lieder recordings, but I just can't get into it.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 14, 2020, 01:10:32 PM
That was a joke. Delivered with a straight face, but definitely a joke.
+1  That's how I saw it too.

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2020, 01:16:21 PM
I think you have HDS, Hurwitzer Derangement Syndrome.

I got the joke the first time, though I did roll my eyes.

I'll also admit that I have a Lieder problem.  I have books on Lieder, many lieder recordings, but I just can't get into it.

As a rule, I prefer Lieder in a recital, rather than via recording. The immediacy and a connection with the singer helps a great deal.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 14, 2020, 01:18:52 PM
It is a fairly new video but in essence he said the same many years ago: Classical Lieder are essentially like popsongs, just more pretentious and their interpreters and listeners even more so. The texts are as silly as it gets which makes the affection and pretention worse. Symphonies have no analogue in modern popular music, so there is a good reason to listen to them. But there is not really a good reason to listen to Schubert or Wolf instead of contemporary pop music. If lieder are sung at all, they should be sung "artlessly" as historically in small circles of friends in a Salon etc.
He has a few vaild points that are either trivially true (that songs by Dowland, Purcells, Schubert, Wolf etc. have a bit more in common with 20th century popular songs than Bruckner symphonies do, but this does not negate the differences). And of course, there is often pretentiousness. But he, as a nerdy fan of classical music mocks the supposedly prententious lieder toffs in exactly the same way many fans of rock/pop would mock the opera/classical toffs.
Sorry to hear that he dismissed(?) lieder as I do enjoy them.  Yes, times change, but I think that in the best of them (lieder), the feelings are immortal.  And to sing them well is a true art, gift, and work of ones life.

Best,

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2020, 01:19:28 PM
Sorry to hear that he dismissed(?) lieder as I do enjoy them.  Yes, times change, but I think that in the best of them (lieder), the feelings are immortal.  And to sing them well is a true art, gift, and work of ones life.

Best,

PD

Testify!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 14, 2020, 01:29:59 PM
The vocal range in classical vocal music is obviously way larger than in pop music.

In most pop songs the vocal line never exceeds an octave, and usually doesn't even come close to doing that.

Singers who do, like Mariah Carey, are exceptions and are lauded like they are divas.

However, Carey could not sing a line without microphone and amplification, and this goes for the entire pop / musical business. These performers have technical limitations that would make them utterly lost in classical vocal music.
Some pop/rock singers have had operatic training/background.  I haven't dug further into it, but heard that Annie Lenox and Pat Benatar both had operatic/classical training or backgrounds?

Dolly Parton had an amazing range (probably rather more limited now) but not that kind of background/training (grew up poor in Appalachia in a large family).

Best wishes,

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: BWV 1080 on July 14, 2020, 06:09:28 PM
The vocal range in classical vocal music is obviously way larger than in pop music.

In most pop songs the vocal line never exceeds an octave, and usually doesn't even come close to doing that.

Singers who do, like Mariah Carey, are exceptions and are lauded like they are divas.

However, Carey could not sing a line without microphone and amplification, and this goes for the entire pop / musical business. These performers have technical limitations that would make them utterly lost in classical vocal music.

Needing a mike is a feature, not a bug - can thank Bing for pioneering how one can sing less obnoxiously by not bleating like stuck pig, which is what the generation of pop singers before him did.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 14, 2020, 07:56:57 PM
Some pop/rock singers have had operatic training/background.  I haven't dug further into it, but heard that Annie Lenox and Pat Benatar both had operatic/classical training or backgrounds?

Dolly Parton had an amazing range (probably rather more limited now) but not that kind of background/training (grew up poor in Appalachia in a large family).

Best wishes,

PD

Genre demands are different ... you normally don't sing lieder in a concert stadium, for example. We've had an official conservatory for the genres of jazz, rock & pop, "The Rythmic Conservatory", in Copenhagen, for decades. I don't know how unusual that is; it was established in 1986, and typically has 30 professors & 200 students. Though it's certainly no ticket to commercial success (and there are still many examples of rather lousy singers in the genres of rock and pop), there's no doubt it has contributed to a generally improved quality level here.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 14, 2020, 09:37:22 PM
Most bands don't play football stadiums. The reason why the singer(s) need a mike is because the other instruments are amplified too. However, many singers have developed a habit of keeping the mike at kissing range, and they are basically whispering with thousands of watts backing them up. They have no natural volume whatsoever, which is part of your training as a classical singer.

It has spread to the talking circuit. Whenever I do a reading, the organizer wants to hook me up to one of those horrifying (see, I'm using Hurwitz language!) wraparound mikes which make you look like you're on oxygen. However, normally you're talking to thirty or fifty people max, who've taken the trouble to show up. The room is usually a book store, a small church or a class room. Now, I don't think preachers needed a microphone in the days of yore, nor did teachers, and I always talk without a microphone, also because it necessitates using your voice, standing or sitting upright and making eye contact with the people who are listening. My younger, thirty-something colleagues all talk thru mikes, and they're usually gazing at the floor as they do, and the funny thing is, because they are whispering (amplified) it's often really hard to hear what they're saying. They are basically talking to themselves.

Rant über.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 14, 2020, 10:51:38 PM
Well, the rock/folk/jazz performers I tend to like have plenty of vocal range and phrasing abilities as well as power, and they've often had success, but I agree that it's not the case with many of the currently really big commercial names in pop and rock.

Btw, larger venues and outdoor/festival concerts are of course the main thing here in Copenhagen, usually not intimate concerts, for the established names.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 14, 2020, 10:52:51 PM
Meanwhile, I think you'll find that every classical recording involves microphones anyway, so what the heck is this particular debate about?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 14, 2020, 10:56:39 PM
It's about non-artificially created, natural or acquired singing abilities ...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 11:01:10 PM
I think it may be difficult for many people on this forum to accept the fact that classical music is basically irrelevant, very few people care about it, and that occasionally erudite exchanges about irrelevant distinctions among artists, recordings, performances, performance traditions, and perceived technical superiority - eg, extended vocal range - are intrinsically pretentious.
This is a non sequitur. Classical music is by no means "irrelevant". Apart from still being a multimillion or billion dollar market and its rising popularity and cultural relevance in East Asia, it is not important how many people care about or understand something, as long as the number of interested people is sufficient to keep a field going. General Relativity Theory was important in 1922 when maybe about 100 people or so understood it, even fewer worked in the field and there were no technical applications (like GPS) for which it could be used. (And when there was also very sparse observational evidence for the theory.)
And as a lot of the supposedly pretentious features are clearly rooted in reality, i.e. in general classical music is in fact "technically superior", this is also different from tribal teenagers dissing Depeche mode fans in favor of Slayer or whatever the oppositions of my high school time were. If some brilliant artist or scientist is an arrogant ass this might be a deplorable feature of character but it does not at all follow that s/he is not really brilliant in a demanding and competitive field, only because there are also arrogant asses who became famous for some nonsense.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 14, 2020, 11:01:41 PM
It's about non-artificially created, natural or acquired singing abilities ...

Hmm. I thought that it was about Herman's determination to counter Hurwitz' view that pop singing is better than lieder singing by asserting the reasons why lieder singing is better than pop singing.

Which to me is the same error of trying to compare 2 different art forms. They're just different. They're not even trying to do the same thing. I like them both. And I'd like to be allowed to like them both without either of these guys telling me why I'm wrong to like one of them.

Personally I wouldn't pay any attention to Hurwitz' view that lieder aren't worth listening to. But I'm not going to pay any more attention to the view, which I've encountered here before, that pop music isn't worth listening to. You like it? Listen to it. You don't like it? Don't listen to it.

Anyone think Hurwitz is an ass? Then don't read or watch his reviews!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 14, 2020, 11:46:35 PM
I actually think that there is some socialization problem today but this concerns all classical vocal music, opera and oratorio as well as lieder. We are now in the 3rd or 4th generation that has grown up with pop style microphone singing and therefore tends to find classical non-ampflified singing "artificial". There is nothing bad about artificial in art, and that some things outside classical are as artificial as inside (why should Ella Fitzgerald's scat be less artificial than Bartoli doing Rossini coloratura?) and what's more artifiical than electronic amplification?
Anyway, someone open-minded should be able to get beyond such socialization. And it wouldn't explain why opera seems to be still quite popular whereas Lieder never really were. (In my limited experience the singing style in the  "West End musicals" like Lloyd Webber" is somewhere between opera and popular music and they are rather popular.)
Of course, one mostly correct answer is, that most Lieder were never meant to be really public music but thrived in private or semi-public settings. Again, this probably changed at the end of the 19th century (I have no idea but I'd have thought that Wolf, Strauss etc. tend to be more difficult to sing and accompany than Schubert?) and it was also true for a lot of other music, i.e. most solo piano and chamber music although these latter genres appeared in public settings already in the early 19th century.

Anyway, there are plenty of piano pieces that are neither longer nor more sophisticatedly composed than lieder. I never heard the claim that they had become irrelevant because now we have Einaudi, Clayderman and similar elevator music pianists (and presumably also a few that are better than that).

And finally, to get back to Hurwitz, it seems really poor criticism to rant on stuff one simply does not get and rationalize one's dislike with poor arguments or analogies. He also seems to make strange exceptions: Lied von der Erde is great because its orchestral and some of the songs are a bit longer than many with piano accompaniment, or what is the reason?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 15, 2020, 01:05:54 AM
Hmm. I thought that it was about Herman's determination to counter Hurwitz' view that pop singing is better than lieder singing by asserting the reasons why lieder singing is better than pop singing.

Which to me is the same error of trying to compare 2 different art forms. They're just different. They're not even trying to do the same thing. I like them both. And I'd like to be allowed to like them both without either of these guys telling me why I'm wrong to like one of them.
(...)

   I don't disagree, but there's a point in how abilities of classical singers can show partly hidden or overlooked limitations of otherwise popular pop and rock singers. That's a technical or formal aspect, but it can be relevant for shaping and developing expressive content too. I do think however that inspiration can actually go both ways, some lied singers can lack the passion or contemporary urge of good rock singers, for example.

   Whether you find lieder/melodies/songs obsolete, can also partly be ascribed to whether you find classical literature at all relevant, or sampling a more complete picture of a period's cultural expression. Such songs are obviously related to the composers' other works, the ideas behind them, and their times.

   Hurwitz doesn't strike me as a real polyhistor or a very literary person (I think Jo498 actually shows more of the quality, an excellent example of the solid virtues of the German educational system ;) ), he's more of an entertainer, but at least he has a good deal of knowledge about earlier recordings & he is not afraid to present strong musical opinions and preferences. The absence of both those characteristics can be frustrating in the case of many other, much more uninteresting or bland reviewers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 01:24:27 AM
Meanwhile, I think you'll find that every classical recording involves microphones anyway, so what the heck is this particular debate about?

Sure, and looking at it from that perspective, classical performers don't need any skills anymore, because they can just patch the Hammerklavier Sonata together in 30 second bits.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 15, 2020, 01:46:15 AM
      Hurwitz doesn't strike me as a real polyhistor or a very literary person (I think Jo498 actually shows more of the quality, an excellent example of the solid virtues of the German educational system ;) ), he's more of an entertainer, but at least he has a good deal of knowledge about earlier recordings & he is not afraid to present strong musical opinions and preferences. The absence of both those characteristics can be frustrating in the case of many other, much more uninteresting or bland reviewers.

Indeed. There aren't actually many sources of classical reviews these days, and Classics Today (not Hurwitz specifically) to my mind has better writing than most of them.

Out of the ones that actually let me read anything, anyway. Free access to Gramophone works on some bizarre and erratic principle I can't figure out, and I think they're hideously expensive.  MusicWeb International writing is not that good, and seems to consist largely of people who want to say something kind of nice about almost everything which frankly isn't helpful. It's actually better to have a reviewer whose quirks are apparent, and you can be familiar with them and adjust for your own tastes.

I don't know who else does reviews that go beyond 2 paragraphs.

So I've recently been considering subscribing to Classics Today. Having said that, I'm not sure I'm that thrilled with this new video review thing. Partly that might just be because it's new and the style needs work.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 15, 2020, 02:09:24 AM
In another thread I wrote that I was positively surprised by some other Hurwitz videos. And I hope not only because I accidentally agreed with him on some thing. I also used to like Classics Today, especially 15 years or so ago when most/all was free. It wasn't great but better than most other free online sources and overall not bad.
I think he is competent in some fields, basically 19th and early 20th century orchestral but he often seems not only amateurish but to lack listening experience and affection for chamber and piano (for piano he does have Distler and another one? at Classics Today), baroque music and even more for vocal music. And of course he has a lot of fun heaping trash on artists or music he dislikes. But this is quite disappointing. A good critic would at least to a certain extent be able to show why so many artists and a considerable audience value e.g. Lieder (and a few also Reger's piano concerto...) so highly without calling it all mere pretentious elitism. And he should realize the obvious retort that DH could be called pretentious himself when pontificating about the "best Bruckner 4th".

And I'd rather forget the German education system. It was barely o.k. when I went through it in the 1980s and most of my historical, musical and literary knowledge I acquired through private reading. (To be fair my school education was fairly solid in maths and languages and for me German literature class did not spoil the fun of reading).
Admittedly, as a German (or maybe "old European") I dislike the cultivation of ignorance of foreign languages and anti-intellectual arrogance vs. "high culture" favored by some Americans. I can see that the pretentiousness often correlated with old European high culture does deserve some scorn but for a reviewer and popularizer of old European classical music this seems somewhat inconsistent. And I'd also defend great German poetry or even mediocre poetry like Wilhelm Müller against being set equal to "let's spend the night together, baby, it's now or never etc.
Fun fact: Müller's son Max was one of the founders of Indology (and was active mostly at Oxford university). He is still so well known in India that the "Goethe-Institute", the institutions for the promulgation of German culture abroad, are called instead "Max Mueller Bhavan" in India.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 15, 2020, 02:28:27 AM
I don't think a reviewer should bother with reviews when they dislike an entire genre. Get someone else to do it.

Because the people reading the reviews are most likely to be people who do like the genre, or at least are interested in it. What those readers want to know are which works and which performances are the ones to seek out.

A review that says a chamber work isn't exciting doesn't mean a lot if the reviewer thinks chamber music in general isn't exciting.

Equally, it's not that helpful if someone basically says everything is great.  Which plenty of people do.

I actually did some music reviews of 'pop music' for a short period some years ago, it was quite fun and very interesting because of the way the website worked. You had to get 5 different short reviews before they were published and the weighted score shown. Partly it was interesting because I was very frequently the score in the middle nearest the overall rating. But I stayed away from styles I wasn't familiar with or didn't understand, because there was far too much risk I would be responding to the style and not the specific performance. Sometimes I would try listening to something but not go on to write a review, at least until I'd listened to a few things in that category to see if they actually sounded different in quality to me.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 02:29:41 AM
But this is quite disappointing. A good critic would at least to a certain extent be able to show why so many artists and a considerable audience value e.g. Lieder (and a few also Reger's piano concerto...) so highly without calling it all mere pretentious elitism. And he should realize the obvious retort that DH could be called pretentious himself when pontificating about the "best Bruckner 4th".

This feeding of the philistine instinct (including acting as if no normal human being could pronounce a German word  -  or any word outside English) and calling everything outside Beethoven and Mozart 'pretentious' is obviously counterproductive.

All cultural pursuits are to a degree liable to be called pretentious by outsiders. It's about exerting oneself in hopes of getting better and having some fun along the way. It's what parents do with their kids and it's what adults do with themselves if they want to be more than a digestive system on two legs.

I read Sophocles in the original at nights. Super pretentious, except nobody knows or cares. I do it because I like to make things hard for myself and experience beauty occasionally.

Having been a critic myself, I'm very suspicious of reading critics because of their fun writing. I know how easy 'fun writing' is. It leads (in the critics) to cynical posturing and opinion farts, and I believe  what Hurwitz is aiming for in this new channel.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 02:38:16 AM
I don't think a reviewer should bother with reviews when they dislike an entire genre. Get someone else to do it.

What Hurwitz is doing is quite calculated. He knows some people think it's a great spectacle if a critic slams something.

And of course in the living arts it does make sense sometimes to review someting in a negative way, if the critic thinks this is not the way the art form should go. In that case it helps if the critic is a great critic, rather than just some guy in his home office laughing at his own jokes.

However it doesn't make the slightest sense if you're reviewing work that is over a century old, and, to boot, has not been part of a continuing school.

It's just about getting clicks.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 15, 2020, 02:39:54 AM
It's just about getting clicks.

...working tremendously well right now with your help, isn't it?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 02:46:33 AM
I have no idea.

It's a cynical question, if you don't mind me saying so.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 15, 2020, 02:54:05 AM
I have no idea.

It's a cynical question, if you don't mind me saying so.

I do mind you saying so, because how is it any different to you being cynical about Hurwitz' motives? All I'm doing is following on from that logically and pointing out that if his aim is to provoke a reaction, it's working very well. ON YOU.

You said it was a waste of time watching Hurwitz and then wrote another 4 reasonable length paragraphs about the experience of watching Hurwitz. Which certainly doesn't give the impression that watching him was boring.

You and Jo have started a whole conversation all about Hurwitz thanks to your outrage, on a thread that had been dead for 4 years. You've got a bunch of other people involved. We're all talking about and thinking about Hurwitz. If YOU think his motive is to get clicks - you said that was his motive, not me - then how can you have no idea whether it's working when this forum is repeatedly talking about Hurwitz? Of course it's working.

And if you don't want it to work, your best strategy is to stop talking about Hurwitz!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on July 15, 2020, 03:19:20 AM
I do mind you saying so, because how is it any different to you being cynical about Hurwitz' motives? All I'm doing is following on from that logically and pointing out that if his aim is to provoke a reaction, it's working very well. ON YOU.

You said it was a waste of time watching Hurwitz and then wrote another 4 reasonable length paragraphs about the experience of watching Hurwitz. Which certainly doesn't give the impression that watching him was boring.

You and Jo have started a whole conversation all about Hurwitz thanks to your outrage, on a thread that had been dead for 4 years. You've got a bunch of other people involved. We're all talking about and thinking about Hurwitz. If YOU think his motive is to get clicks - you said that was his motive, not me - then how can you have no idea whether it's working when this forum is repeatedly talking about Hurwitz? Of course it's working.

And if you don't want it to work, your best strategy is to stop talking about Hurwitz!

You hit the nail on the head. Amen!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 15, 2020, 03:21:42 AM
General Relativity Theory...

...is in no way analogous to classical music. 

Even with the growing market in East Asia - and here objective data would be helpful to gauge how much it is growing there - classical music remains entirely irrelevant to almost all of humanity, including in the West.  It always has been, and always will be.  Fans typically assign far more importance to their passions than everyone else does.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Christo on July 15, 2020, 03:39:47 AM
I'm one who actually loves the Hurwitzer's videos on Youtube very much & all criticism of it leaves me cold.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 15, 2020, 03:49:10 AM
I'm one who actually loves the Hurwitzer's videos on Youtube very much & all criticism of it leaves me cold.  :)
I'm only recently aware of them but I certainly enjoyed the ones on Pettersson's Symphony No.8 and Elgar's 2nd Symphony, whilst not agreeing with some of his verdicts. They are entertaining and informative and I don't take them too seriously. I've also realised that I have his book on the Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos unless it's written by someone with the same name.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 15, 2020, 04:07:44 AM
   Concerning the Pettersson video review, there was a serious flaw though. The entertaining impromptu style, with only some key points apparently having been rehearsed, also meant that he disclosed himself not knowing how many symphonies P had composed; he suddenly guessed about maybe '11-12', when the reality is 16, plus an unfinished one, plus a symphonic movement.

   If you are to review a composer of a bunch of major symphonies, including characterizing the composer and recommending symphonies ahead of the others, you at least have to know how many that were composed, & something about the later ones ... This was just disappointing.

Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 04:36:09 AM

You and Jo have started a whole conversation all about Hurwitz thanks to your outrage, on a thread that had been dead for 4 years.

Well, I guess that's what quarantine does...

I was not aware this topic was that old; as many do I just responded to the most recent post.

If people enjoy watching a man laughing at his own jokes, I am all for sending them there.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2020, 06:19:33 AM
I don't know who else does reviews that go beyond 2 paragraphs.

I'm no Hurwitz, of course. (https://www.earrelevant.net/2020/07/cd-review-gabrieli-showcases-all-star-brass/)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2020, 06:22:23 AM
This feeding of the philistine instinct (including acting as if no normal human being could pronounce a German word  -  or any word outside English) and calling everything outside Beethoven and Mozart 'pretentious' is obviously counterproductive.

All cultural pursuits are to a degree liable to be called pretentious by outsiders. It's about exerting oneself in hopes of getting better and having some fun along the way. It's what parents do with their kids and it's what adults do with themselves if they want to be more than a digestive system on two legs.

I read Sophocles in the original at nights. Super pretentious, except nobody knows or cares. I do it because I like to make things hard for myself and experience beauty occasionally.

Having been a critic myself, I'm very suspicious of reading critics because of their fun writing. I know how easy 'fun writing' is. It leads (in the critics) to cynical posturing and opinion farts, and I believe  what Hurwitz is aiming for in this new channel.

Bingo.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: MusicTurner on July 15, 2020, 06:50:13 AM
(...)

And I'd rather forget the German education system. It was barely o.k. when I went through it in the 1980s and most of my historical, musical and literary knowledge I acquired through private reading. (To be fair my school education was fairly solid in maths and languages and for me German literature class did not spoil the fun of reading).
Admittedly, as a German (or maybe "old European") I dislike the cultivation of ignorance of foreign languages and anti-intellectual arrogance vs. "high culture" favored by some Americans. I can see that the pretentiousness often correlated with old European high culture does deserve some scorn but for a reviewer and popularizer of old European classical music this seems somewhat inconsistent. And I'd also defend great German poetry or even mediocre poetry like Wilhelm Müller against being set equal to "let's spend the night together, baby, it's now or never etc.
Fun fact: Müller's son Max was one of the founders of Indology (and was active mostly at Oxford university) (...)

As a side remark - when I studied at university in the 80s-90s, German sources (= library books, articles ... this was before the internet) would generally be a guarantee for factual knowledge in depth, and a cultural/societal analysis with substance. Whereas some of the French and English fashionable names, though innovative, were often much more idiosyncratic, vague, relativistic and fluffy in their approach, with the risks and - in the long term - possible deficits that might follow. I'm pretty sure that generally, the German school system is still better at creating a background of factual knowledge, than for instance ours in Denmark. There's a more serious approach, to that, I think.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 07:08:58 AM
Denmark shouldn't be too bad...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on July 15, 2020, 07:27:11 AM
most of my historical, musical and literary knowledge I acquired through private reading.

Me too; emphatically so actually. And not only history, literature and music. Heck, when in high school I much prefered to read books about the history of mathematics and physics (George Gamow, anyone?) or books about fun mathematics and physics (Martin Gardner, anyone?) rather than solving the dull and headscratching exercises in the dull and headscratching math and physics handbooks.

Quote from: Mark Twain
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kyjo on July 15, 2020, 08:02:45 AM
I'm one who actually loves the Hurwitzer's videos on Youtube very much & all criticism of it leaves me cold.  :)

+1 Regardless of whether or not I agree with his opinions, I find his videos enormously entertaining (I legitimately laugh out loud quite frequently during them) and his enthusiasm for music is so infectious. Not to mention he has so much knowledge of and enthusiasm for both the standard repertoire and lesser-known music (mainly orchestral, that is, but understandable since he’s a percussionist). :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on July 15, 2020, 08:09:00 AM
+1 Regardless of whether or not I agree with his opinions, I find his videos enormously entertaining (I legitimately laugh out loud quite frequently during them)

Yep.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kyjo on July 15, 2020, 08:20:51 AM
This one (about Svetlanov’s Mahler cycle), in particular, cracked me up: https://youtu.be/UBvECavsdog
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 15, 2020, 08:46:17 AM
How deep you find his knowledge kind of depends on your own knowledge.

As others have noted, he says a lot of ignorant things.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 15, 2020, 08:59:54 AM
I'm no Hurwitz, of course. (https://www.earrelevant.net/2020/07/cd-review-gabrieli-showcases-all-star-brass/)

Great review, Karl! Well done.
And look at you cleverly grabbing clicks from a thread dedicated to hating on Hurwitz. But be careful, become too controversial and we might start a new thread about you  8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 15, 2020, 09:03:33 AM
I subscribe to the Hurwitz video-circus. They are entertaining, sometimes informative, sometimes cringe-worthy, and I wish we had more similar video-discussions on classical music out there. Maybe there is and I haven't found them, or maybe we should start our own, a GMG YouTube Channel  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 09:05:42 AM
How deep you find his knowledge kind of depends on your own knowledge.

As others have noted, he says a lot of ignorant things.

Yeah, I don’t subscribe to the Hurwitz fan club and never have liked him since I started to seriously dive into this music. His opinion isn’t any more viable or important than my own. It’s pretty sickening the amount of people that kiss his ass and shower him with superlatives. The man has done NOTHING. He’s just a man with an opinion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2020, 09:06:13 AM
Great review, Karl! Well done.
And look at you cleverly grabbing clicks from a thread dedicated to hating on Hurwitz. But be careful, become too controversial and we might start a new thread about you  8)

Damn it, I knew the risks!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 09:09:10 AM
Damn it, I knew the risks!

And Karl, your review, on the other hand, was informative and actually was enjoyable to read even if I’m not particularly interested in the repertoire that you were reviewing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on July 15, 2020, 09:09:56 AM
How deep you find his knowledge kind of depends on your own knowledge.

As others have noted, he says a lot of ignorant things.

There is a Zen story which applies exactly to you and the Hurwitzer.



Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 15, 2020, 09:11:04 AM
It’s pretty sickening the amount of people that kiss his ass and shower him with superlatives. The man has done NOTHING. He’s just a man with an opinion.

John, you seem outraged. It's alright to not like him or his criticism, but don't let it get to you too much.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 15, 2020, 09:11:23 AM
+1 Regardless of whether or not I agree with his opinions, I find his videos enormously entertaining (I legitimately laugh out loud quite frequently during them) and his enthusiasm for music is so infectious. Not to mention he has so much knowledge of and enthusiasm for both the standard repertoire and lesser-known music (mainly orchestral, that is, but understandable since he’s a percussionist). :)

Yeah, he never forgets to mention the tam-tam, if there's a part for it.

Otherwise - he's just a guy who's listened to a ton of recordings, has his own prejudices and blind spots, and is fairly upfront about them. As such, he's as useful or not as most critics.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ritter on July 15, 2020, 09:32:30 AM
I am one of those who enjoy the Hurwitz videos. Many times I don’t agree with what he says, other times I don’t give a damn about what he says (in the sense that I won’t watch a video on a piece/composer/artist/recording I have no interest in), but other times there is informative stuff in his speeches, and they tend to be entertaining (bad jokes and all).

The man has gained some points with me recently, though  ;): I listened to the Pfitzner Piano Concerto once (some 25 years ago), and the thought of it still gives me shivers. One of the ugliest pieces of music by a (kinda) major composer I’ve ever encountered.   ::)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 15, 2020, 09:37:34 AM
I'm one who actually loves the Hurwitzer's videos on Youtube very much & all criticism of it leaves me cold.  :)
I enjoy them. I don't watch regularly, but Monday listened to his Elgar and Zubin Mehta videos and a couple others while cleaning the bathroom. They're fun, and some of the people here are taking them waaaay too seriously. :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 15, 2020, 09:39:28 AM
The man has done NOTHING.
He's a former orchestral musician who arranged American premieres of a number of big European works like George Lloyd symphonies.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 09:43:50 AM
He's a former orchestral musician who arranged American premieres of a number of big European works like George Lloyd symphonies.

And, yet, I still stand by my initial comment.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 15, 2020, 09:44:47 AM
It’s pretty sickening the amount of people that kiss his ass and shower him with superlatives.

Who, for instance?

He's a former orchestral musician who arranged American premieres of a number of big European works like George Lloyd symphonies.

He's also written some guidebooks to some big-name composers (Mahler and Haydn, maybe others). You can like these books or not, but I think they count as "something."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 15, 2020, 09:50:51 AM
They're fun, and some of the people here are taking them waaaay too seriously.


This.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 10:26:38 AM
John, you seem outraged. It's alright to not like him or his criticism, but don't let it get to you too much.  :)

I’m not outraged just more puzzled that people put so much stock into his opinion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ritter on July 15, 2020, 10:38:31 AM
I don’t really think people put much stock in his opinions, they’re simply entertained by him (that’s my case, at least).

Good day, John!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 10:47:42 AM
I don’t really think people put much stock in his opinions, they’re simply entertained by him (that’s my case, at least).

Good day, John!

I sure hope that’s the case. G’day to you as well, Rafael. 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2020, 11:09:11 AM


He's also written some guidebooks to some big-name composers (Mahler and Haydn, maybe others). You can like these books or not, but I think they count as "something."

Indeed.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kyjo on July 15, 2020, 02:57:36 PM
He's a former orchestral musician who arranged American premieres of a number of big European works like George Lloyd symphonies.

Well, he’s certainly got my respect for that! :)

And yeah, a lot of folks here are taking him wayyyy too seriously. Music is, of course, so subjective and we can’t get offended whenever someone has a different opinion of it than we do. Yes, he has strong opinions, but he nowhere does he state (to my knowledge) that his opinion is the last word or that it’s above anyone else’s. He’s simply another music lover sharing his thoughts.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2020, 03:16:02 PM
I don't follow his blog, nor do I place any importance on his reviews.  But, he is an ass.   :laugh:

Word.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2020, 04:37:50 PM
I don't follow his blog, nor do I place any importance on his reviews.  But, he is an ass.   :laugh:

Absolutely. ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: kyjo on July 15, 2020, 04:39:32 PM
The man has gained some points with me recently, though  ;): I listened to the Pfitzner Piano Concerto once (some 25 years ago), and the thought of it still gives me shivers. One of the ugliest pieces of music by a (kinda) major composer I’ve ever encountered.   ::)

Did you listen past the first movement? ;) It’s definitely the weakest of the four; the remaining three are much stronger IMO, especially the middle two. The boisterous scherzo is really catchy and the intimate slow movement quite lovely.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 15, 2020, 06:34:14 PM
Did you listen past the first movement? ;) It’s definitely the weakest of the four; the remaining three are much stronger IMO, especially the middle two. The boisterous scherzo is really catchy and the intimate slow movement quite lovely.

Rafael's tastes are very different to ours, so I don't have high expectations he is going to change his mind about the Pfitzner.  ;)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 15, 2020, 08:29:05 PM
   Concerning the Pettersson video review, there was a serious flaw though. The entertaining impromptu style, with only some key points apparently having been rehearsed, also meant that he disclosed himself not knowing how many symphonies P had composed; he suddenly guessed about maybe '11-12', when the reality is 16, plus an unfinished one, plus a symphonic movement.

   If you are to review a composer of a bunch of major symphonies, including characterizing the composer and recommending symphonies ahead of the others, you at least have to know how many that were composed, & something about the later ones ... This was just disappointing.
Yes. I agree. That's a fair point. It hardly takes complex research skills to work out how many symphonies Pettersson composed!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ritter on July 15, 2020, 11:18:12 PM
Rafael's tastes are very different to ours, so I don't have high expectations he is going to change his mind about the Pfitzner.  ;)
I think you are right, Cesar.  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Irons on July 17, 2020, 06:00:12 AM
I have watched a couple. The Elgar 2 is OK even if I didn't agree with his assessment of Barbirolli. I enjoyed the one on the Beethoven piano concertos but his talk on Holst band music is so boring I gave up.

Something very similar but with a different style of delivery   https://youtu.be/z-okey4m_gA
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 17, 2020, 06:16:03 AM
What is it with late middle-aged white dudes and messy stacks of CDs?  Late middle-aged white dudes have heard of downloads and ripping, yes?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Biffo on July 17, 2020, 06:37:58 AM
What is it with late middle-aged white dudes and messy stacks of CDs?  Late middle-aged white dudes have heard of downloads and ripping, yes?

Yes, and this one has also heard of streaming. I download and stream. Ripping is a waste of time as far as I am concerned. Perhaps I am just a natural hoarder and can't bear to part with LPs, CDs etc.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 17, 2020, 10:52:43 AM
I have watched a couple. The Elgar 2 is OK even if I didn't agree with his assessment of Barbirolli. I enjoyed the one on the Beethoven piano concertos but his talk on Holst band music is so boring I gave up.

Something very similar but with a different style of delivery   https://youtu.be/z-okey4m_gA
Cool!  I didn't know that he was doing online video reviews!  Listened to part of it.  Loved it when he talked about playing some Bartok for some kids who came in there want some pop music, but left with the Bartok and his subsequent comment about that!   ;D

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 17, 2020, 11:40:02 AM
What is it with late middle-aged white dudes and messy stacks of CDs?  Late middle-aged white dudes have heard of downloads and ripping, yes?
I was just thinking (and was going to add onto my posting) that I'm dying to see what goodies he has in there...CDs, books...and, yes, maybe downloads too?   :D

Wondering what record labels are doing these days in terms of sending out promos?  I'd imagine that there would be a way to allow certain people to download a copy for free in order to review it?  Also, it would save on postage!

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Florestan on July 17, 2020, 11:45:43 AM
This thread should be renamed "Anyone whom I disagree with is an ass...."

Or better still "Anyone whom I disagree with and I can't simply ignore is an ass...."
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 17, 2020, 11:53:56 AM
What is it with late middle-aged white dudes and messy stacks of CDs?  Late middle-aged white dudes have heard of downloads and ripping, yes?
Speaking for myself I much prefer hard copy CDs.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 17, 2020, 12:40:49 PM
Speaking for myself I much prefer hard copy CDs.
Jeffrey,

Is there a way which you could get a free download should you wish to review something for a record company?  Do they give you that option?

PD

p.s.  Just saw friend today (the one good at building things) and mentioned again about shelving.  Lumber prices have apparently gone up as well as scarcity too for the time being, but I'd like to price some things out.  Have you had to have extra CD/LP shelving built for your home?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 17, 2020, 01:26:15 PM
Wondering what record labels are doing these days in terms of sending out promos?  I'd imagine that there would be a way to allow certain people to download a copy for free in order to review it?  Also, it would save on postage!

PD
As a former amateur critic - Naxos has switched to all online promo copies for labels it distributes. Critics get 8 full album downloads per month and they can request more after 8, or specially request a physical copy. BIS also allows critics to download high res files, using a payment box which is endearingly called "Free for testing purposes."

Hurwitz has occasionally mentioned in reviews when he purchased his copy, usually of an import from Italy or Japan which isn't sold in the US.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 17, 2020, 01:35:58 PM
Speaking for myself I much prefer hard copy CDs.

+ 1

I still love the CD medium and I don’t really see this changing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 17, 2020, 01:38:29 PM
This thread should be renamed "Anyone whom I disagree with is an ass...."

Or better still "Anyone whom I disagree with and I can't simply ignore is an ass...."

Well I don't seek Herb-wits out for entertainment, but I don't believe that anyone here who finds him entertaining, is an ass . . . .
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 17, 2020, 01:39:57 PM
Videos. Visual. Try holding a download or stream in your hand. Of course CDs are a better visual.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 17, 2020, 01:44:01 PM
As a former amateur critic - Naxos has switched to all online promo copies for labels it distributes. Critics get 8 full album downloads per month and they can request more after 8, or specially request a physical copy. BIS also allows critics to download high res files, using a payment box which is endearingly called "Free for testing purposes."

Hurwitz has occasionally mentioned in reviews when he purchased his copy, usually of an import from Italy or Japan which isn't sold in the US.
Thanks for the info Brian; I had suspected that.  Hope that they still keep manufacturing CDs for quite a while longer, but it's not looking good.

Best wishes,

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 17, 2020, 01:49:01 PM
Thanks for the info Brian; I had suspected that.  Hope that they still keep manufacturing CDs for quite a while longer, but it's not looking good.

Best wishes,

PD


People have been predicting the demise of physical media since Napster hit the scene.  I have been promised a paperless office for even longer.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 17, 2020, 01:56:44 PM

People have been predicting the demise of physical media since Napster hit the scene.  I have been promised a paperless office for even longer.
lol  We'll see...of course now vinyl is taking off (again)!

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Wanderer on July 17, 2020, 09:04:37 PM
I don't follow his blog, nor do I place any importance on his reviews.

Likewise. Also, I prefer reading and I find the concept of the “video review” of CD’s a spectacularly dim idea, especially if it’s just talking and not e.g. playing and commenting on musical examples, in which case the video format would indeed add some actual value instead of just being a waste of time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2020, 09:56:52 PM
Likewise. Also, I prefer reading and I find the concept of the “video review” of CD’s a spectacularly dim idea, especially if it’s just talking and not e.g. playing and commenting on musical examples, in which case the video format would indeed add some actual value instead of just being a waste of time.

Same here, I watched several and was puzzled at the format. I prefer to read reviews than watch some guy in his den spout. I think he falls into the space we often identify here, which is: If I don’t like it, it must be crap. His criticism seems as much about ego and the fun of the put down as knowledge. I read his review of Barbirolli’s Mahler 9th last night, he so relishes trashing certain conductors, it’s a kind of dishonesty really.

Reading through thIs thread, I learned of his views on lieder. What a tosser. He doesn’t get it, doesn’t like it, so it must be crap.

Of course, when he does agree with my views, I think he is OK.

Mike

 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 17, 2020, 10:22:07 PM
Same here, I watched several and was puzzled at the format. I prefer to read reviews than watch some guy in his den spout. I think he falls into the space we often identify here, which is: If I don’t like it, it must be crap. His criticism seems as much about ego and the fun of the put down as knowledge. I read his review of Barbirolli’s Mahler 9th last night, he so relishes trashing certain conductors, it’s a kind of dishonesty really.

Reading through thIs thread, I learned of his views on lieder. What a tosser. He doesn’t get it, doesn’t like it, so it must be crap.

Of course, when he does agree with my views, I think he is OK.

Mike

Mike - I completely agree with your view - so you must be right (joke!  :))
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2020, 10:25:22 PM
Mike - I completely agree with your view - so you must be right (joke!  :))

That makes us both right, which is just so satisfying.

Mike
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Daverz on July 17, 2020, 10:55:48 PM
Well I don't seek Herb-wits out for entertainment, but I don't believe that anyone here who finds him entertaining, is an ass . . . .

Masterful ;)

I enjoy Hurwitz's videos for the most part.  But it has to be admitted that he often purposely expresses himself in a way meant to be annoying or even boorish.   Who can forget "Kathleen Ferrier: England’s Greatest Contralto, or Fruit Basket?"

https://www.classicstoday.com/kathleen-ferrier-englands-greatest-contralto-or-fruit-basket/



Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Herman on July 18, 2020, 12:40:45 AM
Same here, I watched several and was puzzled at the format. I prefer to read reviews than watch some guy in his den spout.

There's also the thing that these youtubes run up to 25 minutes if I recall. Compared to reading a Classics Today review in a couple minutes, that's just a massive waste of time, which you'll never get back, especially if it's just watching a guy laugh at his own jokes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 18, 2020, 12:51:44 AM
The review videos are not quite that long (but too long already), the longest ones are usually the "repertoire" when he goes through a lot of different recordings. Some of them I found interesting enough. I also like the idea of the "prequels/sequels" of somewhat less famous to more famous works. IIRC the BBC music magazine did have a similar series in the 1990s (the only time I somewhat regularly read it was in the mid-1990s), titled somewhat differently, something like "What to listen to after X?"
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: knight66 on July 18, 2020, 01:26:04 AM
There's also the thing that these youtubes run up to 25 minutes if I recall. Compared to reading a Classics Today review in a couple minutes, that's just a massive waste of time, which you'll never get back, especially if it's just watching a guy laugh at his own jokes.

Yes, of course it could be used like radio and You do something else while keeping an ear open. Looking at him is no aesthetic pleasure. But really, listening to him does me no good either.

Mike
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2020, 04:35:18 AM
Likewise. Also, I prefer reading and I find the concept of the “video review” of CD’s a spectacularly dim idea, especially if it’s just talking and not e.g. playing and commenting on musical examples, in which case the video format would indeed add some actual value instead of just being a waste of time.

It takes nothing away from your point, to appreciate the oxymoron "spectacularly dim" 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 18, 2020, 05:30:47 AM
Likewise. Also, I prefer reading and I find the concept of the “video review” of CD’s a spectacularly dim idea, especially if it’s just talking and not e.g. playing and commenting on musical examples,
In the Elgar video he inserts musical examples played over a freeze-frame of his face. I think I saw a bit of score once, but generally I listen while cleaning house, effectively turning the videos into podcasts. Maybe he should consider podcasts.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 18, 2020, 10:53:42 AM

Of course, when he does agree with my views, I think he is OK.

Mike
Isn't it funny how that works?  ;) ;D

Best,

PD

p.s.  I did quite enjoy what I watched of Rob Cowan's review...the one that Irons had posted a link to earlier.  I have enjoyed reading his reviews in the past and liked how (on YT) he played some samples illustrating his comments too.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mahlerian on July 18, 2020, 11:53:03 AM
I watched his video on the Reger and Pfitzner concertos. I don't particularly like the Reger and don't think I've ever listened to the Pfitzner, though I haven't liked any of the music I've heard by him, but Hurwitz's argument against Reger's use of sonata form struck me as bizarre. If he doesn't think the harmonic language of the concerto is based on tonal conflict and resolution, what does he think it's based on?

(Also, isn't it past time to retire the idea that "sonata form" movements that aren't based on tonality are somehow flawed, after a century of successful examples, starting from La mer at the earliest?)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Daverz on July 18, 2020, 04:04:45 PM
I like Pfitzner's Palestrina (Kubelik recording), with the caveat that "like" here means that I ignore the plot and just wallow in the orchestration.  I'm also very fond of his Symphony in C Major, Op. 46.

(https://images.universal-music.de/img/assets/101/101194/4/720/palestrina-0028942741724.jpg)

Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 19, 2020, 06:29:50 AM
Let's be fair and allow David to speak for himself...

https://www.youtube.com/v/c_f6fkrSfqg&t=149s
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: aukhawk on July 23, 2020, 05:59:16 AM
What is it with late middle-aged white dudes and messy stacks of CDs?  Late middle-aged white dudes have heard of downloads and ripping, yes?

You do realise he's just sitting in front of a green backdrop and all that shelving is just a stock photo taken in some junk shop.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 23, 2020, 10:33:07 AM
Let's be fair and allow David to speak for himself...

https://www.youtube.com/v/c_f6fkrSfqg&t=149s
Quite interesting to watch that.  Thank you for posting it!  :)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Mirror Image on July 23, 2020, 11:25:38 AM
At least he likes Koechlin, so I’ll give him kudos for that:

https://www.youtube.com/v/1hJxB37LYC0

https://www.youtube.com/v/zy81JZ_iRlY
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 23, 2020, 01:16:56 PM
Just watched his good, fun "big box sets we need" video and four of the 11 were already on my list of future box sets I'd have to buy (Ormandy/Columbia, Slatkin/RCA, Markevitch/DG, complete Orpheus Chamber Orchestra). Added a couple more to my list. Killing my hypothetical future budget, Dave!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 24, 2020, 02:15:28 AM
Just watched his good, fun "big box sets we need" video and four of the 11 were already on my list of future box sets I'd have to buy (Ormandy/Columbia, Slatkin/RCA, Markevitch/DG, complete Orpheus Chamber Orchestra). Added a couple more to my list. Killing my hypothetical future budget, Dave!
Dave,

Between this site and youtube, it's like being with Jason sailing on the seas and hearing the sirens calling!

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 24, 2020, 05:51:50 AM
Dave,

Between this site and youtube, it's like being with Jason sailing on the seas and hearing the sirens calling!

PD

Verily.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Irons on July 28, 2020, 04:41:03 AM
Not an ass by any means. His grasp on the recordings of Moeran's symphony and the work itself is impressive. He even mentioned the Dilkes recording which in my view the best and not available on CD I believe.

https://youtu.be/wJymxkTi8Vc
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: André on July 28, 2020, 05:40:38 AM
Not an ass by any means. His grasp on the recordings of Moeran's symphony and the work itself is impressive. He even mentioned the Dilkes recording which in my view the best and not available on CD I believe.

https://youtu.be/wJymxkTi8Vc

The Dilkes recording is available on CD, as a used item on the market place. It’s my favourite version of the work. I know it through Jeffrey’s advocacy  ;).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Irons on July 28, 2020, 06:02:00 AM
The Dilkes recording is available on CD, as a used item on the market place. It’s my favourite version of the work. I know it through Jeffrey’s advocacy  ;).

Excellent. Thanks for correction.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 29, 2020, 05:13:52 PM
I've been rather unfair with this gent. I've been watching several of his videos and I've changed my mind about him. His stuff is informative, insightful and has a huge touch of good humour. But above all I admire his enthusiasm and certain impudence to share his knowledge and tastes. It's rather infectious, isn't it? I don't stumble upon people who have that spark to convey that authentic passion about classical music. I really admire that, and, of course, I feel fully identified with that behavior. And what about when he hums a tune while explaining? Very hilarious! I don't share many of his views on recordings and works, though, but I've found many of his reviews and comparisons spot on.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2020, 02:36:30 AM
The Dilkes recording is available on CD, as a used item on the market place. It’s my favourite version of the work. I know it through Jeffrey’s advocacy  ;).
That recording had a huge impact on me when I bought the LP in the Record Dept. of Harrods when I worked there in my university summer holidays.

I recently watched and greatly enjoyed Mr Hurwitz's tribute to the conductor Maurice Abravanel and the Utah SO on the Vanguard label, focusing on CDs of music by Milhaud, Varese VW, Satie and Honegger.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: ritter on July 30, 2020, 02:42:07 AM
...I recently watched and greatly enjoyed Mr Hurwitz's tribute to the conductor Maurice Abravanel and the Utah SO on the Vanguard label, focusing on CDs of music by Milhaud, Varese VW, Satie and Honegger.
+1....and as proof thereof, https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21529.msg1309253.html#msg1309253

 :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2020, 02:43:41 AM
+1....and as proof thereof, https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21529.msg1309253.html#msg1309253

 :)

Excellent!
The way in which he says 'Hello!' at the start of his presentations amuses me.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an .....
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 30, 2020, 02:47:11 AM
Can we please change the name of this thread to something less insulting? Just taking out the offending word would be the bare minimum. Thank you.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 30, 2020, 02:52:59 AM
Hurwitz has a bunch of pet peeves and oddball favorites and he uses especially the former to provoke people (create traffic). It's been like that on ClassicsToday for a long time. Some of his bêtes noires are Rattle, Furtwängler, Horenstein, Norrington (and to a lesser extent historically oriented musicians in general), historical recordings, Lieder and the fans of all these artists or genres. Some of his obsessions are percussion, especially tamtam and string vibrato.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an .....
Post by: Christo on July 30, 2020, 03:56:33 AM
Can we please change the name of this thread to something less insulting? Just taking out the offending word would be the bare minimum. Thank you.
+1
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an .....
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 30, 2020, 05:12:12 AM
Can we please change the name of this thread to something less insulting? Just taking out the offending word would be the bare minimum. Thank you.

+1

+2
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Todd on July 30, 2020, 05:36:27 AM
The thread title as-is gets more clicks.  I suspect Mr Hurwitz would be fine with it if he paid any attention to this site.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Brian on July 30, 2020, 05:48:24 AM
The thread title as-is gets more clicks.  I suspect Mr Hurwitz would be fine with it if he paid any attention to this site.
He'd probably find this whole thread quite amusing (especially the edited/removed first post). Maybe we should forward it.

I've been rather unfair with this gent. I've been watching several of his videos and I've changed my mind about him. His stuff is informative, insightful and has a huge touch of good humour. But above all I admire his enthusiasm and certain impudence to share his knowledge and tastes. It's rather infectious, isn't it? I don't stumble upon people who have that spark to convey that authentic passion about classical music. I really admire that, and, of course, I feel fully identified with that behavior. And what about when he hums a tune while explaining? Very hilarious! I don't share many of his views on recordings and works, though, but I've found many of his reviews and comparisons spot on.
Welcome to the club!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 30, 2020, 06:08:27 AM
Hurwitz has more pages in his thread than Alban Berg's.

And his videos continue to be a great watch. I also found out a few years ago that a book I bought back in high school, around 1993, titled Beethoven or Bust was written by Hurwitz. I believe it was his first book too.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 30, 2020, 07:02:44 AM
I noticed a little while ago that someone has adjusted the thread's name.  :)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 30, 2020, 08:06:37 AM
I noticed a little while ago that someone has adjusted the thread's name.  :)

PD
For which I offer my thanks!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2020, 09:55:46 AM
Hurwitz has a bunch of pet peeves and oddball favorites and he uses especially the former to provoke people (create traffic). It's been like that on ClassicsToday for a long time. Some of his bêtes noires are Rattle, Furtwängler, Horenstein, Norrington (and to a lesser extent historically oriented musicians in general), historical recordings, Lieder and the fans of all these artists or genres. Some of his obsessions are percussion, especially tamtam and string vibrato.
I very much agree with him about Rattle and Norrington but totally disagree with his verdict on Horenstein and Furtwangler.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: j winter on July 30, 2020, 10:43:12 AM
I've been rather unfair with this gent. I've been watching several of his videos and I've changed my mind about him. His stuff is informative, insightful and has a huge touch of good humour. But above all I admire his enthusiasm and certain impudence to share his knowledge and tastes. It's rather infectious, isn't it? I don't stumble upon people who have that spark to convey that authentic passion about classical music. I really admire that, and, of course, I feel fully identified with that behavior. And what about when he hums a tune while explaining? Very hilarious! I don't share many of his views on recordings and works, though, but I've found many of his reviews and comparisons spot on.

I would largely agree with this.  I definitely don't agree with all of his picks, but he's definitely knowledgeable and IMO the videos are worth the time if the repertoire under discussion is of interest.  I've watched quite a few and enjoyed them.

As Hurwitz himself points out in one of videos, it can be very difficult sometimes to convey a sense of humor in writing -- a statement that might seem simplistic or needlessly argumentative in print can come across very differently when you can hear the tone of his voice and see the twinkle in his eye.  I suspect the same thing happens quite often on this forum actually -- a lot of the misunderstandings and arguments we get into would probably never happen if we were in the same room, or could at least see and hear the cues that contribute to a good conversation... alas, there are inevitable downsides to a text-based format such as this...  :-\
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 30, 2020, 11:09:20 AM
I see posters here saying they don't agree with Hurwitz 100% of the time, and that includes me saying that as well. But I've also never read, or watched, a critic of any art form that I agreed with 100% of the time, I don't see that being possible. I really enjoy reading negative reviews, or criticisms, that I don't agree with, or those that have a different opinion of mine. It helps me to experience the piece from a side I may have missed, or ignored. Or it could even confirm my opinion. Of course I would need more than a "I just didn't like it" review to make it worth it.
When shopping I often find myself seeking out negative reviews of that product, or service, more than I do the positive reviews. Anyone else find themselves doing this?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2020, 11:09:34 AM
I would largely agree with this.  I definitely don't agree with all of his picks, but he's definitely knowledgeable and IMO the videos are worth the time if the repertoire under discussion is of interest.  I've watched quite a few and enjoyed them.

As Hurwitz himself points out in one of videos, it can be very difficult sometimes to convey a sense of humor in writing -- a statement that might seem simplistic or needlessly argumentative in print can come across very differently when you can hear the tone of his voice and see the twinkle in his eye.  I suspect the same thing happens quite often on this forum actually -- a lot of the misunderstandings and arguments we get into would probably never happen if we were in the same room, or could at least see and hear the cues that contribute to a good conversation... alas, there are inevitable downsides to a text-based format such as this...  :-\
Very good point about text-based communications.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: André on July 30, 2020, 01:00:10 PM
I very much agree with him about Rattle and Norrington but totally disagree with his verdict on Horenstein and Furtwangler.

Exactly.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 30, 2020, 01:34:39 PM
I see posters here saying they don't agree with Hurwitz 100% of the time, and that includes me saying that as well. But I've also never read, or watched, a critic of any art form that I agreed with 100% of the time, I don't see that being possible. I really enjoy reading negative reviews, or criticisms, that I don't agree with, or those that have a different opinion of mine. It helps me to experience the piece from a side I may have missed, or ignored. Or it could even confirm my opinion. Of course I would need more than a "I just didn't like it" review to make it worth it.
When shopping I often find myself seeking out negative reviews of that product, or service, more than I do the positive reviews. Anyone else find themselves doing this?

Good sense!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Daverz on July 30, 2020, 03:14:51 PM
I very much agree with him about Rattle and Norrington but totally disagree with his verdict on Horenstein and Furtwangler.

It's not just his opinions on these conductors, these are very old feuds he picked himself (he got kicked off a Horenstein listserv, for example), and that Dave keeps coming back to again and again in a tiresome way.  I've already mentioned his tendency toward boorishness and trolling (https://www.classicstoday.com/kathleen-ferrier-englands-greatest-contralto-or-fruit-basket/).  That said, I really enjoy the repertoire videos, not so much the attack vids.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 30, 2020, 04:16:18 PM
It's not just his opinions on these conductors, these are very old feuds he picked himself (he got kicked off a Horenstein listserv, for example)

Perhaps because he is an ass....
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 30, 2020, 05:24:44 PM
Some of his bêtes noires are Rattle, Furtwängler, Horenstein, Norrington

I like recordings by all of these conductors (except Norrington, whose work I haven't really heard). None the less, sometimes Hurwitz can be worthwhile, as when he points out specific problems or issues in their recordings. I note that he often includes score references when he really wants to trash something, but never when he's being positive.

He does have his favorite conductors as well - never heard him say anything bad about Klemperer, Ancerl, or Giulini.

I see posters here saying they don't agree with Hurwitz 100% of the time, and that includes me saying that as well. But I've also never read, or watched, a critic of any art form that I agreed with 100% of the time, I don't see that being possible.

Ain't it the truth. BTW I bought that Beethoven or Bust book also, ages ago and secondhand.

Anyway, Hurwitz is one of the critics who turned me on to Martinu, along with Jim Svejda. So I will be eternally grateful for that.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on July 30, 2020, 06:26:34 PM
He has made an enthusiastic Youtube video about Einar Englund.  0:)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Jo498 on July 30, 2020, 10:18:56 PM
It's not just his opinions on these conductors, these are very old feuds he picked himself (he got kicked off a Horenstein listserv, for example), and that Dave keeps coming back to again and again in a tiresome way.  I've already mentioned his tendency toward boorishness and trolling (https://www.classicstoday.com/kathleen-ferrier-englands-greatest-contralto-or-fruit-basket/).  That said, I really enjoy the repertoire videos, not so much the attack vids.
Very well put. I don't want him to agree with my preferences (he has a right to be wrong and so have I) but he can be very tiresome in preaching about his dislikes and especially about the stupid fans who are not able to see through the undeserved reputations of Furtwängler, Horenstein etc. As you said, these feuds are also too old to give Hurwitz any credit for pushing someone from a pedestal.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2020, 02:38:30 AM
I see posters here saying they don't agree with Hurwitz 100% of the time, and that includes me saying that as well. But I've also never read, or watched, a critic of any art form that I agreed with 100% of the time, I don't see that being possible. I really enjoy reading negative reviews, or criticisms, that I don't agree with, or those that have a different opinion of mine. It helps me to experience the piece from a side I may have missed, or ignored. Or it could even confirm my opinion. Of course I would need more than a "I just didn't like it" review to make it worth it.
When shopping I often find myself seeking out negative reviews of that product, or service, more than I do the positive reviews. Anyone else find themselves doing this?
Good point. Me too re. the reviews.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2020, 02:40:01 AM
He has made an enthusiastic Youtube video about Einar Englund.  0:)
Yes, I've just spotted that.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on July 31, 2020, 05:37:13 AM
Just watched his Walton 1 video. His enthusiasm for the symphony is without question and found of most interest his comments on the difficulty for the orchestra to play this symphony well. Haitink will not have Hurwitz on his Christmas card list for sure. His top choice held no surprises and I have no argument, but disappointing that he didn't audition Sargent. 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2020, 05:40:00 AM
Just watched his Walton 1 video. His enthusiasm for the symphony is without question and found of most interest his comments on the difficulty for the orchestra to play this symphony well. Haitink will not have Hurwitz on his Christmas card list for sure. His top choice held no surprises and I have no argument, but disappointing that he didn't audition Sargent.

Yes, poor Sir Malcolm. His Walton Symphony No.1 is only appreciated by you, me and one or two others here  8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on July 31, 2020, 06:01:10 AM
I disagree with him a lot but at least he's got a great sense of humor even when he's dead wrong --- and in my book this is a big plus.

Besides, if some guy posting Youtube reviews can really make another guy lose their sleep over it then it's the latter guy's problem, not the former's.

Heck, the Earth would not stop revolving around the Sun and the world's troubles would not come to a halt just because someone is wrong on the internet.

A little more sense of proportion and perspective plus a little more relaxation and nonchalance would help enormously some people, methinks. For instance, I don't see how anyone can find Hurwitz tiresome except someone who constantly watches his videos or read his reviews --- but then again why would one do just that to begin with?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 31, 2020, 08:26:58 AM

Heck, the Earth would not stop revolving around the Sun and the world's troubles would not come to a halt just because someone is wrong on the internet.
You mean that there is someone who is wrong on the internet [Insert blinking eyes.]?!   :o ???

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on July 31, 2020, 08:37:33 AM
You mean that there is someone who is wrong on the internet [Insert blinking eyes.]?!   :o ???

PD

Yes. His username is Florestan and he posts on GMG. He had been repeatedly trying to convince his wife that he's right both on the internet and about posting on the internet, but he hasn't made much headway.

 ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 31, 2020, 09:49:14 AM
Yes. His username is Florestan and he posts on GMG. He had been repeatedly trying to convince his wife that he's right both on the internet and about posting on the internet, but he hasn't made much headway.

 ;D
:laugh:  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 31, 2020, 10:55:58 AM
I find this thread entertaining .... 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 31, 2020, 11:20:08 AM
I find this thread entertaining .... 8)
"The next show will be at 7 p.m. tonight.  Please come and bring your family and friends."

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz is an ass .....
Post by: Madiel on July 31, 2020, 10:47:33 PM
Hurwitz has a bunch of pet peeves and oddball favorites

Which of us does not?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on July 31, 2020, 11:13:53 PM
He can have them, but as Daverz pointed out, Hurwitz tends to overdo it in a predictable fashion, so for people who have not read him for years it might be entertaining for a while but for others it's like grinding horse skeletons to dust.
I also think that a professional critic could be held to slightly higher standards than some random dude on the internet.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on July 31, 2020, 11:56:23 PM
Really?

You're basically criticising him for being a human being and having opinions.

If you want objective reviews, get them from an algorithm. The notion of the objective reviewer is a fantasy that people keep reaching for whenever a reviewer's personal preferences don't align with their own. Reviewers are most useful when you know and understand their personal tastes and how they align (or don't) with your own, not when you insist that the reviewer irons them out and doesn't tell you what they genuinely, personally thought.

The only people who don't have opinions on a subject are people who don't care about a subject. And having people that don't care about a subject writing reviews in that field is just pointless.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on August 01, 2020, 12:21:45 AM
No, this is of course not the criticism. Didn't you read what I wrote? I wrote explicitly that it is not about clashing personal preferences; e.g. I am not even sure I have ever heard a recording by Horenstein and don't really have strong (or myself rather mixed) opinions on Rattle, Furtwängler or Norrington but I still find Hurwitz ranting about them literally for decades very silly and the extent to which he does it should be beneath a serious professional critic.
Apparently you have not had such a long acquaintance with Hurwitz's ramblings on certain topics. One can simply stay silent about a topic instead of annoyingly overdoing it. Like bringing up stuff like string vibrato and the tam tam parts all the time, even if not central to a particular review. Or simply not review Reger recordings, if one doesn't care for the music instead of trashing a lesser known composer, basically a cheap shot.
But here we have another quandary because a professional critic might not want to admit that he knows not that much about a certain field (e.g. vocal music) and obviously many people never shut up. To be fair, Hurwitz had solved this for Classics Today by leaving stuff he didn't know very well or care about to others. E.g. they have/had Jed Distler and I think another guy doing most of the solo piano reviews and similarly for opera/vocal stuff.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 01, 2020, 12:49:09 AM
I've been reading Classics Today reviews for a number of years.

Can't be arsed with the videos.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 06, 2020, 06:20:25 AM
I also like how coronavirus is making Hurwitz a little crazy. During the mostly glowing "big box" review of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields megabox, he takes a break to observe his cat playing with a toy, and then there's this amusing exchange in the comment section:

Viewer: "This is waaaaaay too much music for me, though even at $160, this is a good deal for the sheer quantity."
Dave: "Oh, come on! What else have you got to do?"
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on August 06, 2020, 07:03:31 AM
I also like how coronavirus is making Hurwitz a little crazy. During the mostly glowing "big box" review of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields megabox, he takes a break to observe his cat playing with a toy, and then there's this amusing exchange in the comment section:

Viewer: "This is waaaaaay too much music for me, though even at $160, this is a good deal for the sheer quantity."
Dave: "Oh, come on! What else have you got to do?"

Nice!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on August 09, 2020, 01:19:10 AM
Enjoyed the Hurwitz Frank Bridge and not too long which is a plus. Laughed out loud at his comments on English music and indeed England itself. As always an element of truth adds to the humour. Hurwitz does know his stuff over a vast repertoire and recordings. I am particularly impressed at his fulsome praise for Sir Charles Groves but less so at failing to mention the profound effect that WW1 had on Bridge's musical style.

https://youtu.be/2z-j1v64e8Q
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 09, 2020, 03:44:09 AM
Enjoyed the Hurwitz Frank Bridge and not too long which is a plus. Laughed out loud at his comments on English music and indeed England itself. As always an element of truth adds to the humour. Hurwitz does know his stuff over a vast repertoire and recordings. I am particularly impressed at his fulsome praise for Sir Charles Groves but less so at failing to mention the profound effect that WW1 had on Bridge's musical style.

https://youtu.be/2z-j1v64e8Q

Pity it's only about a handful of orchestral works (though his choices make a lot of sense). I think Bridge's best stuff is in chamber music. But he does seem to have a handle on the music he's talking about.

Also... it's a bit creepy when the music is playing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Todd on August 09, 2020, 05:59:41 AM
Eloquence seems to think David Hurwitz's reviews are worthwhile enough to cite in an email blast.

GMG gripers gonna gripe, though.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on August 09, 2020, 08:18:02 AM
Pity it's only about a handful of orchestral works (though his choices make a lot of sense). I think Bridge's best stuff is in chamber music. But he does seem to have a handle on the music he's talking about.

Also... it's a bit creepy when the music is playing.

It is. Does he freeze the frame or go very still? His knowledge is impressive but lets face it he ain't no oil painting! Why not fill the screen with the booklet cover of music being played. Anything other then him.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 09, 2020, 08:46:34 AM
He freeze frames it, yeah. It's a little unnerving. It's already weird that he stares straight at me when I might be watching the video while, say, using the john  ??? .
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: MishaK on September 07, 2020, 02:18:43 PM
I've been enjoying his youtube channel immensely. He comes off so much more humorous and thoughtful in video than he does in his writing. (Though his obsession with tam tams persists.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on September 07, 2020, 03:05:15 PM
I've been enjoying his youtube channel immensely. He comes off so much more humorous and thoughtful in video than he does in his writing. (Though his obsession with tam tams persists.)

Coincidentally, I just read a review of his (Gerhard Schjelderup on CPO) and as I read I tried to hear his voice and speech manner in my head. It actually made much more sense that way ! He really gains from being heard, despite his mannerisms.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: MishaK on September 07, 2020, 08:15:07 PM
Coincidentally, I just read a review of his (Gerhard Schjelderup on CPO) and as I read I tried to hear his voice and speech manner in my head. It actually made much more sense that way ! He really gains from being heard, despite his mannerisms.

Yes, I agree. His writings take on a different tone when you know what he actually sounds like in speech. And it's easier to appreciate the sort of wink in the eye when he seemingly completely trashes a recording.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on September 07, 2020, 10:20:57 PM
I think the voice and mannerisms are often grating but it adds a (intended or unintended) humourous dimension that is lacking in writing. The recent video on Hindemith's Weber Metamorphoses is very nice because Hurwitz dug out the obscure piano 4-hand pieces by Weber that served as material but that hardly anybody has ever heard before.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on September 07, 2020, 11:07:57 PM
I think the voice and mannerisms are often grating but it adds a (intended or unintended) humourous dimension that is lacking in writing. The recent video on Hindemith's Weber Metamorphoses is very nice because Hurwitz dug out the obscure piano 4-hand pieces by Weber that served as material but that hardly anybody has ever heard before.

He also has a video on the works by Domenico Gallo that Stravinsky's Pulcinella is based on.  Very fun to listen to these works having known and loved the Stravinsky for decades.

https://www.youtube.com/v/qXioT4afCrs
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Scion7 on September 07, 2020, 11:08:07 PM
Yes, I agree. His writings take on a different tone when you know what he actually sounds like in speech. And it's easier to appreciate the sort of wink in the eye when he seemingly completely trashes a recording.

On the other hand, a few days in the stocks at Thame wouldn't do him any harm ...

(https://i.postimg.cc/hvkcDY1z/1200px-Stocks-PSF.jpg)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 12:48:31 AM
Enjoyed the Hurwitz Frank Bridge and not too long which is a plus. Laughed out loud at his comments on English music and indeed England itself. As always an element of truth adds to the humour. Hurwitz does know his stuff over a vast repertoire and recordings. I am particularly impressed at his fulsome praise for Sir Charles Groves but less so at failing to mention the profound effect that WW1 had on Bridge's musical style.

https://youtu.be/2z-j1v64e8Q
I just watched the Bridge video as a displacement activity from getting on with my school work preparation  ;D.
Thank you Lol for alerting me to it. It was very enjoyable indeed and he is right about Sir Charles Groves who, IMO, conducted the best 'Morning Heroes' (Bliss) on disc (although everyone raves about Andrew Davis) and Bliss's 'A Colour Symphony'. amongst much else. I have the large Groves box which includes the marvellous Bridge tone poems. Hurwitz is also right about how good James Judd's 'Jeremiah Symphony' (Bernstein) is. His comments on England and English music are very funny including the way in which Bridge transformed from an 'uninteresting, late-romantic, pale, English, quasi-pastoral' composer (a representative of the 'Old Boy's Club') to a 'gnarly modernist'. Good to hear him still droning on about Elgar's 'March of the Moghul Emperors' as well. Highly entertaining and informative. I'd have liked to hear him say a bit more about 'Oration'.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on September 08, 2020, 05:53:42 AM
I just watched the Bridge video as a displacement activity from getting on with my school work preparation  ;D.
Thank you Lol for alerting me to it. It was very enjoyable indeed and he is right about Sir Charles Groves who, IMO, conducted the best 'Morning Heroes' (Bliss) on disc (although everyone raves about Andrew Davis) and Bliss's 'A Colour Symphony'. amongst much else. I have the large Groves box which includes the marvellous Bridge tone poems. Hurwitz is also right about how good James Judd's 'Jeremiah Symphony' (Bernstein) is. His comments on England and English music are very funny including the way in which Bridge transformed from an 'uninteresting, late-romantic, pale, English, quasi-pastoral' composer (a representative of the 'Old Boy's Club') to a 'gnarly modernist'. Good to hear him still droning on about Elgar's 'March of the Moghul Emperors' as well. Highly entertaining and informative. I'd liked to hear him say a bit more about 'Oration'.

I know your expertise is channelled to older students Jeffrey, but driving past our village infants school this morning I got an unexpected buzz seeing for the first time for too long kiddies in their uniforms being taken to school by their parents. It felt like a small victory and a big step forward.

Pleased, as I did, you enjoyed the Bridge video. He only scratched the surface of a deep and interesting composer but we are all guilty of that, at least I am! As an American, I thought his judgements were sound and true, more so then many British commentators I think. As I commented he missed out on the WW1 influence on Bridge's music and indeed 'Oration' is a crucial part of that.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 09:09:08 PM
I know your expertise is channelled to older students Jeffrey, but driving past our village infants school this morning I got an unexpected buzz seeing for the first time for too long kiddies in their uniforms being taken to school by their parents. It felt like a small victory and a big step forward.

Pleased, as I did, you enjoyed the Bridge video. He only scratched the surface of a deep and interesting composer but we are all guilty of that, at least I am! As an American, I thought his judgements were sound and true, more so then many British commentators I think. As I commented he missed out on the WW1 influence on Bridge's music and indeed 'Oration' is a crucial part of that.
It must have been touching to see the children returning to school Lol - a bit of normality restored. Last week I had to teach a Year 8 class while (unsuccessfully) attempting to include a pupil isolating at home via video-link with a background notice of continuous drilling going on from the building site outside the windows (which have to be kept open for ventilation purposes). Other than that the lesson went well!  >:D
Yes, it would be good to hear David Hurwitz's views on some of Bridge's chamber music such as the excellent Piano Quintet. I find him a most interesting composer.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on September 08, 2020, 11:23:39 PM
It must have been touching to see the children returning to school Lol - a bit of normality restored. Last week I had to teach a Year 8 class while (unsuccessfully) attempting to include a pupil isolating at home via video-link with a background notice of continuous drilling going on from the building site outside the windows (which have to be kept open for ventilation purposes). Other than that the lesson went well!  >:D
Yes, it would be good to hear David Hurwitz's views on some of Bridge's chamber music such as the excellent Piano Quintet. I find him a most interesting composer.

The only way I can approach Bridge is as two composers, Jeffrey. The one of "Summer" and the other of the 4th Quartet. I picked up a recording of the Piano Quintet just recently.

Hope for your sake the building work is finished soon as we are in for an "Indian" summer I have read. Thinking of rolling out the barbecue for weekend. 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on September 10, 2020, 07:30:12 AM
Fair play to Hurwitz he has the power to surprise. His video talk on complete Nielsen cycles went pretty much as expected with the usual suspects achieving the Hurwitz seal of approval.

Moving on to single symphony recommendations I listened to his survey of the Nielsen "Inextinguishable". Well I never! Didn't see that one coming!!

https://youtu.be/6urJd0hEssc
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on September 10, 2020, 11:16:10 AM
Fair play to Hurwitz he has the power to surprise. His video talk on complete Nielsen cycles went pretty much as expected with the usual suspects achieving the Hurwitz seal of approval.

Moving on to single symphony recommendations I listened to his survey of the Nielsen "Inextinguishable". Well I never! Didn't see that one coming!!

https://youtu.be/6urJd0hEssc

Have to admit that I discounted the later Gibson recordings on Chandos, but this is a cheap download on chandos.net.

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%206524
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on September 10, 2020, 12:08:32 PM
Have to admit that I discounted the later Gibson recordings on Chandos, but this is a cheap download on chandos.net.

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%206524

Unsuccessfully searched for CD but located a LP on RCA which I have ordered. Be interesting to see if as good Hurwitz says it is.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on September 10, 2020, 01:45:20 PM
Unsuccessfully searched for CD but located a LP on RCA which I have ordered. Be interesting to see if as good Hurwitz says it is.

Chandos will burn CDRs:

Available only as a playable CDR
Add this CDR to your basket and we'll burn the complete album in your basket to a CDR disc and send it you.
This is limited to single complete albums under 76 minutes only.
Can be played on any normal CD player, home, car or computer.
Please note: This is not an original CD manufactured by the label. Booklets and inlays are not included but can be downloaded from the media section (where available).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on September 10, 2020, 11:19:12 PM
Chandos will burn CDRs:

Available only as a playable CDR
Add this CDR to your basket and we'll burn the complete album in your basket to a CDR disc and send it you.
This is limited to single complete albums under 76 minutes only.
Can be played on any normal CD player, home, car or computer.
Please note: This is not an original CD manufactured by the label. Booklets and inlays are not included but can be downloaded from the media section (where available).

As far as recordings go I live in the dark age with the LP being my favoured mode of music carrier. I did sample Gibson's Nielsen 4 from the link you posted. If vinyl had not been available I may well have followed your suggestion and that would have been a first!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 08, 2020, 05:46:57 AM
You're gonna love this, guys. The discussion is about Mozart's String Quintets.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Scion7 on October 08, 2020, 05:50:34 AM
Typical. Whenever he puts something down, it's best to check out the recording, chop-chop, because it is probably smashing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on October 08, 2020, 05:51:47 AM
Looks like he had a change of mind?  Perhaps newer ones have edged them out?

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 08, 2020, 06:09:11 AM
Shock, horror. Different opinions 16 years apart.

Also, given that old Classics Today reviews didn’t have names attached, was the old one definitely him?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 08, 2020, 06:11:09 AM
I watched his enthusiastic recommendation of Anton Reicha fugues yesterday and was fascinated by the musical examples which he played and which I streamed afterwards. Reicha's big thing was that you could write a fugue any way you want, on any theme you want, with the voices in any key you want, as long as the result sounds good.

Well, this morning I had a dream about it  ;D and dream composed a fugue on "Gnomus" from Pictures at an Exhibition. It sounds pretty gnarly but it works?! and cracks me up  ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 08, 2020, 06:11:52 AM
Shock, horror. Different opinions 16 years apart.

Also, given that old Classics Today reviews didn’t have names attached, was the old one definitely him?

It was.

https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-10314/ (https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-10314/)

Anyway, this volte face reminded me of our dear John (Mirror Image).  :D


Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on October 08, 2020, 07:42:33 AM
Have to admit that I discounted the later Gibson recordings on Chandos, but this is a cheap download on chandos.net.

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%206524
I liked Gibson's Nielsen and Sibelius recordings very much as well as his underrated VW Symphony No.5 and Walton Symphony No.1
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 08, 2020, 07:45:48 AM
I think one should also keep in mind that classical chamber music is not exactly Hurwitz' forte so he probably bothers only for specific reviews to check or double check. This can be both an explanation for changes of mind and for automatically mentioning some standard rec without really remembering it well.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 08, 2020, 12:10:39 PM
Don't get me wrong, guys: the more I watch his videos, the more I like him. It's just that that memory slip was too funny to let it go unnoticed.  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 09, 2020, 10:15:08 AM
The beginning of this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-mOVYUvX9E) is really ... unforgettable.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on October 09, 2020, 02:48:35 PM
The beginning of this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-mOVYUvX9E) is really ... unforgettable.  ;D ;D ;D
:laugh: Thank you for posting that Brian.  I had a good laugh (much needed these days).  :)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 09, 2020, 06:36:35 PM
The beginning of this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-mOVYUvX9E) is really ... unforgettable.  ;D ;D ;D

Almost as funny is when he hits the tam-tam.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2020, 08:13:45 AM
I really, really, really love this guy. He sings the praises of Boccherini and Mendelssohn, he takes Handel over Bach, Dvorak over Brahms*, )Mahler over Bruckner and --- quite unexpectedly for me --- loves Chopin. He has a great sense of humor and an uncanny physical resemblance to one of my favorite Romanian writers (who happens to be Jewish too --- albeit a convert to Orthodox Christianity). Truly a man after my own heart. Way to go, Dave!

* when it comes to symphonies, Dvorak wins hands down in my book --- also he was a much better tunesmith than Brahms
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: ritter on October 10, 2020, 08:26:18 AM
...but he doesn’t understand Boulez!   >:( ::)

I suppose you’d say “and he doesn’t like Boulez” as a plus, Andrei.  ;D

Good day to you, Sir.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2020, 08:29:20 AM
...but he doesn’t understand Boulez!   >:( ::)

I suppose you’d say “and he doesn’t like Boulez” as a plus, Andrei.  ;D

You bet!

Quote
Good day to you, Sir.

Muy buenas tardes,  señor don Rafael!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 10, 2020, 08:41:23 AM
I really, really, really love this guy. He sings the praises of Boccherini and Mendelssohn, he takes Handel over Bach, Dvorak over Brahms*, )Mahler over Bruckner and --- quite unexpectedly for me --- loves Chopin. He has a great sense of humor and an uncanny physical resemblance to one of my favorite Romanian writers (who happens to be Jewish too --- albeit a convert to Orthodox Christianity). Truly a man after my own heart. Way to go, Dave!

* when it comes to symphonies, Dvorak wins hands down in my book --- also he was a much better tunesmith than Brahms

Which proves that humour is an especailly personal thing as I find Hurwitz's "humour" of the worst kind of bar-room bore type.  All a little too pleased with themselves and laughing at their own wit and insight.  Literally about as unfunny as I can find anybody or anything......
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2020, 08:59:26 AM
Which proves that humour is an especailly personal thing as I find Hurwitz's "humour" of the worst kind of bar-room bore type.  All a little too pleased with themselves and laughing at their own wit and insight.  Literally about as unfunny as I can find anybody or anything......

Ain't the infinite diversity of human nature just marvelous? I mean, if everybody, everywhere, everytime would like exactly the same sort of things, humor included, the world would be such an unbearable bore...  :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Christo on October 10, 2020, 11:04:40 AM
I find him always funny and good-humoured.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2020, 11:15:09 AM
I find him always funny and good-humoured.

This.

Hear, hear!

Word.

QFT.

+ 1

etc.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 10, 2020, 12:02:16 PM
His blind spots (deaf spots?) regarding music like Boulez and all of Lieder are unfortunate, but he is a lot of fun, sitting in front of his tam-tam like a Brooklyn Buddha, and he's obviously heard a lot of music. I can't help enjoying him even when I feel he's full of crap, because he has the guts to say things that probably many feel but aren't willing to admit. (Such as his antipathy towards the Grosse Fuge and the St. Matthew Passion. Phooey nonetheless, because I love them both.) Every once in a while I feel I must acquire a recording he champions, but at this stage of my life I'm not buying a lot of music and I don't need the umpteenth Beethoven cycle. I wish he would say more about chamber and piano music, not to mention opera, but those are not his fortes. I give him props too for taking interest in early music, something I would not expect from a critic who so specializes in common-practice orchestral music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2020, 12:17:48 PM
I can't help enjoying him even when I feel he's full of crap, because he has the guts to say things that probably many feel but aren't willing to admit.

Good point! Very good point indeed!

 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: MN Dave on October 10, 2020, 02:07:27 PM
I am on a Brahms symphony journey because of heeeeem. 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 10, 2020, 02:30:59 PM
I like him because of his sincerity and total enthusiasm, but I get annoyed when he's too dismissive with certain recordings/works/composers. Despite his channel is a fun musical source, I don't buy all what he says. I've listened to some recordings he recommends and my impression is "seriously?"

In addition, I've noticed that he tends to favour fast performances and cataloguing them as the best.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 10, 2020, 04:57:45 PM
In addition, I've noticed that he tends to favour fast performances and cataloguing them as the best.
Actually this overlaps with the comment about having the guts to deliver unpopular opinions. Hurwitz definitely believes that orchestral performances should be exciting and fun and thrilling (with exceptions where the composer clearly did not intend those things). In my experience concertgoing, that's become a minority view among conductors and performers, except for the HIP movement. There's definitely more expectation these days of "musicianly" qualities, integrity, depth, the long line, structure. Those things are good, but many conductors seem to sacrifice the let's just go for it guts and thrills of people like, oh, say, Charles Munch or 60s Lenny in order to achieve them. (Is the rise of Bruckner concert performance related??)

I personally am having a progression of opinion the opposite of what people are supposed to as they age - from wanting lots of beauty to wanting lots of excitement. Which is part of why Hurwitz is useful to me. But it's definitely part of his personality, and honestly, a welcome dissenting voice to the prevailing cultural mood.

PS. A couple modern conductors who are definitely thrill seekers - V. Jurowski and S. Denève.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 10, 2020, 07:53:14 PM
Actually this overlaps with the comment about having the guts to deliver unpopular opinions. Hurwitz definitely believes that orchestral performances should be exciting and fun and thrilling (with exceptions where the composer clearly did not intend those things). In my experience concertgoing, that's become a minority view among conductors and performers, except for the HIP movement. There's definitely more expectation these days of "musicianly" qualities, integrity, depth, the long line, structure. Those things are good, but many conductors seem to sacrifice the let's just go for it guts and thrills of people like, oh, say, Charles Munch or 60s Lenny in order to achieve them. (Is the rise of Bruckner concert performance related??)

I personally am having a progression of opinion the opposite of what people are supposed to as they age - from wanting lots of beauty to wanting lots of excitement. Which is part of why Hurwitz is useful to me. But it's definitely part of his personality, and honestly, a welcome dissenting voice to the prevailing cultural mood.

PS. A couple modern conductors who are definitely thrill seekers - V. Jurowski and S. Denève.

I take your point, and I definitely am another fan of exciting performances. I look for a balance where there is thrill but at once it doesn't affect lyricism (depending on the work).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on October 11, 2020, 04:15:41 AM
Actually this overlaps with the comment about having the guts to deliver unpopular opinions. Hurwitz definitely believes that orchestral performances should be exciting and fun and thrilling (with exceptions where the composer clearly did not intend those things). In my experience concertgoing, that's become a minority view among conductors and performers, except for the HIP movement. There's definitely more expectation these days of "musicianly" qualities, integrity, depth, the long line, structure. Those things are good, but many conductors seem to sacrifice the let's just go for it guts and thrills of people like, oh, say, Charles Munch or 60s Lenny in order to achieve them. (Is the rise of Bruckner concert performance related??)

I personally am having a progression of opinion the opposite of what people are supposed to as they age - from wanting lots of beauty to wanting lots of excitement. Which is part of why Hurwitz is useful to me. But it's definitely part of his personality, and honestly, a welcome dissenting voice to the prevailing cultural mood.

PS. A couple modern conductors who are definitely thrill seekers - V. Jurowski and S. Denève.

This is one reason I'm less keen to explore popular standard repertoire new recordings of symphony music. Others are that you typically have to listen through entire performances to find any gems of insight which often means long pieces which could amount to a decent amount of time that could have been spent listening to other music or better performances. And lastly I'm not really sure what more there is to be said. I feel like there are still endless possibilities left in piano and chamber music. I like all these qualities "integrity, depth, the long line, structure" but I often find modern performances are sort of a master at none but instead try to do it all, except often lacking that excitement factor you mention.

I think more labels need to record live, forget about being worried about things like mistakes; let the professional critics tear into them for that, just go for it anyway. I think we must have all been to plenty of concerts where the live performance is much better than the respective recording.

On Hurwitz I find a lot of his choices are fairly safe and filled with the warhorses, which is fine. He said there is a general professional critic consensus that is agreed upon so I don't think he is trying to be some maverick. I've listened to around a dozen of his videos on my commute so maybe I need to listen for more. One recording that did surprise me and I was absolutely thrilled to discover was Eiji Oue in Das Lied von der Erde.

(https://img.discogs.com/rdc3SK4SMpeZUewccNkFQGWwiJs=/fit-in/600x606/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-7074743-1433107024-6764.jpeg.jpg)

If he did an entire series on newer recordings I'd be more keen to tune into him.

One other conductor I feel fits that excitement category is Manfred Honneck, I would love to see him and that world class brass section of Pittsburgh at some point.

Oh yeah that Boulez video, that caused a few embolic strokes on Talk Classical  :D I greatly admire Boulez but I won't let things like that ruffle my feathers. I set the bar pretty low with humor and cracked up at some of his more juvenille jokes like that one about Michael Tilson Thomas getting arrested with cocaine and could have used some of that cocaine for some boring performance he mentioned, maybe this was extra funny with an eventless performance of MTT's Berg Three Pieces for Orchestra recording fresh in mind.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 11, 2020, 05:50:37 AM
In addition, I've noticed that he tends to favour fast performances and cataloguing them as the best.
I am not sure that this can be said in general. Maybe for (late) romantic stuff some of which tends to get played more slowly. But in his Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann recs it seemed like a mix without clear preferences for fast or extremely fast and he just recommended the Klemperer St. Matthew which is probably the slowest among well known recordings.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on October 11, 2020, 06:39:50 AM
The beginning of this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-mOVYUvX9E) is really ... unforgettable.  ;D ;D ;D

Re: Hurwitz’ take on the Sea Symphony.

It’s a good one. I take his point that Whitman’s brand of poetry may be genius for some but fake and pedantic to others. When it comes to the analysis of recordings his biases take him to some excesses: using timings to determine an interpretation’s character (even if he denies it) for example. The slowest (Haitink) is a « snooze fest ». It’s not. The fastest (Spano) he likes a lot. I don’t - it’s rushed beyond acceptability. That doesn’t make it ‘exciting’, merely impatient.

There’s a large measure of subjectivity in one’s tastes and distastes. Justifying them with some pseudo-rationalization is not necessary. Once he has hit his soft spot, he is an excellent guide to the performances he describes. I happen to agre with his top choices: Slatkin, Previn, Boult.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 08:25:38 AM
a welcome dissenting voice to the prevailing cultural mood.

Well said.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 09:47:41 AM
Hurwitz definitely believes that orchestral performances should be exciting and fun and thrilling

Witness his love for Haydn, Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Mahler --- whose music is exciting and fun and thrilling.

I share both his opinion and his preferences.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 12:01:56 PM
I personally am having a progression of opinion the opposite of what people are supposed to as they age - from wanting lots of beauty to wanting lots of excitement.

Hmmmm... my impression is that teenagers want lots of excitement --- hence their preference for orchestral music, first and foremost Beethoven and Mahler (which as a teen I shared unreservedly); while mature people want beauty --- hence my current preference for chamber music, especially Mozart, Schubert and Chopin.

 :D :D :D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2020, 12:08:30 PM
Hmmmm... my impression is that teenagers want lots of excitement --- hence their preference for orchestral music, first and foremost Beethoven and Mahler (which as a teen I shared unreservedly); while mature people want beauty --- hence my current preference for chamber music, especially Mozart, Schubert and Chopin.

 :D :D :D
Yes exactly, and I am having the opposite, from beauty to excitement.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 11, 2020, 12:16:07 PM
Yes exactly, and I am having the opposite, from beauty to excitement.  :)

I got it alright, Brian!

Would you agree that in order to deliver exciting and fun and thrilling orchestral performances, one must first have exciting and fun and thrilling orchestral music to perform?

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2020, 04:30:51 PM
I got it alright, Brian!

Would you agree that in order to deliver exciting and fun and thrilling orchestral performances, one must first have exciting and fun and thrilling orchestral music to perform?
Hmmm... I think there must be an example somewhere of an orchestra and conductor who successfully made some not-very-good music sound super exciting...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: some guy on October 11, 2020, 05:25:37 PM
Take a piece of music, any piece of music.

You can easily find people who think that that piece is exciting, fun, and thrilling.

You can just as easily find people who think that that piece is boring.

Given that situation, which everyone acknowledges, it seems irresistible to conclude that the words "exciting, fun, thrilling, and boring" none of them describe the music itself but the responses that different people will make to the music.

I have observed for almost sixty years that the overwhelming majority find it quite easy to resist that conclusion, however. Mr. Hurwitz hasn't resisted it any more completely than anyone else, but he has resisted that conclusion publically. He consistently and perhaps* even without exception uses evaluative terms--terms that point to responses--as if they described the music he discusses. This ends up meaning that if one agrees with his assessments, one likes him. If one does not agree, then one dislikes him. Of course there are other possibilities, people who disagree with certain assessments but still like him overall, and people who often agree with his assessments but don't particularly like him.

But persistently using evaluative terms as if they were descriptive means that what you won't ever get is any sort of discussion about the music itself. It could happen, I suppose, by accident. But not often.

*I have not watched all of Mr. Hurwitz's videos. After the first two dozen or so of him saying that this or that performance is "great; it really, really is" or that it's "horrible; trust me, avoid this recording" or that this or that kind of music is something that "nobody wants to listen to," well, I don't really have watch any more, do I? (Quotes are approximate.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 11, 2020, 05:32:16 PM
I wish he would just list his recs in the comments section, so you don't have to slog through a half hour of his shtick to get the thing you came for.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: MN Dave on October 11, 2020, 06:42:31 PM
I wish he would just list his recs in the comments section, so you don't have to slog through a half hour of his shtick to get the thing you came for.
Sometimes I fast forward until I see him holding up the next CD. Pause. Look for it on Spotify. Continue. Etc.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 06:52:40 PM
I wish he would just list his recs in the comments section, so you don't have to slog through a half hour of his shtick to get the thing you came for.

That would be a good idea, but it would spoil the essence of the video.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 14, 2020, 04:24:04 AM
Don't click below if you don't want spoilers.  Here a list of Dave's picks for the ideal Mozart Piano Concertos (for 1 piano):

https://bit.ly/3jWARnO
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 14, 2020, 04:40:09 AM
Don't click below if you don't want spoilers.  Here a list of Dave's picks for the ideal Mozart Piano Concertos (for 1 piano):

https://bit.ly/3jWARnO

I suppose this was meant as some kind of a joke.

Anyway, I like Hurwitz first and foremost because in an age of complete and total crelativism he has strong convictions and is not afraid of expressing them or making value judgments based on them.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 14, 2020, 08:58:10 AM
I suppose this was meant as some kind of a joke.

Anyway, I like Hurwitz first and foremost because in an age of complete and total crelativism he has strong convictions and is not afraid of expressing them or making value judgments based on them.

No, why do you think it was a joke?  I made the list from his video and thought I'd share it.  But since some feel that discovery is part of the videos, I didn't just paste it in.

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 14, 2020, 08:59:28 AM
Don't click below if you don't want spoilers.  Here a list of Dave's picks for the ideal Mozart Piano Concertos (for 1 piano):

https://bit.ly/3jWARnO
He is doing that thing that some GMGers do in the Polling board, where he only picks each pianist for one single piece. That definitely makes something like the Mozart concertos darn near impossible (and certainly not ideal). But I guess it makes the videos a lot more interesting than if it was the same three people doing 9 concertos each or whatever.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 14, 2020, 09:04:52 AM
No, why do you think it was a joke? 

Because when I first clicked the link a few hours ago what I got was very different from what I get now. Too bad I didn't save that image. I'm puzzled.  ???
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 14, 2020, 09:07:20 AM
He is doing that thing that some GMGers do in the Polling board, where he only picks each pianist for one single piece. That definitely makes something like the Mozart concertos darn near impossible (and certainly not ideal). But I guess it makes the videos a lot more interesting than if it was the same three people doing 9 concertos each or whatever.

"Ideal" was not an ideal way of describing what he's trying to do, which is show the range of what's available for these works by not repeating soloist or conductor. 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 15, 2020, 12:58:51 AM
An even less appropriate adjective would be "practical". Or "cheap".
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 15, 2020, 01:18:11 AM
I don't find this strategy very plausible in the case of Mozart piano concerti as it might be with Brahms or Mahler symphonies. Even in these cases "ideal" is obviously not always compatible with the constraint to never repeat conductors/orchestras.
In the case of the Mozart it also shows that even with Distler's help Hurwitz is not in his "element" as he would be with Sibelius or Bruckner. (Which is only natural, one would have to be a real Mozart concerto nut to have and compare a dozen or more recordings of eg. KV 238 or 413, I feel that I am fairly close to being such a nut and have only about 3-4 recordings of such lesser known pieces). So the justifications for the particular choices are often pretty thin. And the practical aspect also speaks against it for the dozen less frequently recorded concerti. Sure, wit spotify and used discs one can probably find even #5 or #11 with Barenboim or Bilson without buying the respective complete box.



Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 15, 2020, 02:00:59 AM
Because when I first clicked the link a few hours ago what I got was very different from what I get now. Too bad I didn't save that image. I'm puzzled.  ???

I clicked the link right now and this is what I got, the same image I got before calling it some sort of joke.

(https://www.paste.org/assets/images/spam.png)

I have no idea what was/is going on.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 15, 2020, 04:58:37 AM
An even less appropriate adjective would be "practical". Or "cheap".
Oh stuff like that is purely for nerds who are bored during quarantine, not beginners going shopping. (Unless you count making a streaming playlist - then it makes sense.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 15, 2020, 05:04:44 AM
Oh stuff like that is purely for nerds who are bored during quarantine, not beginners going shopping. (Unless you count making a streaming playlist - then it makes sense.)

It's true that streaming makes it possible. Not that an old stick-in-the-mud like me considers that possibility, and I certainly don't get the impression that Mr Hurwitz is a streaming kind of guy. What on earth would he wave in front of the camera?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 15, 2020, 05:06:56 AM
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 15, 2020, 05:19:11 AM
Here's the "ideal" Strauss tone poems list at pastebin again:

https://www.paste.org/111207
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 15, 2020, 05:21:08 AM
I clicked the link right now and this is what I got, the same image I got before calling it some sort of joke.

(https://www.paste.org/assets/images/spam.png)

I have no idea what was/is going on.

Maybe they think I'm a spammer? 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 15, 2020, 05:28:27 AM
Maybe they think I'm a spammer?

Beats me.

I was as puzzled as you when seeing that.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on October 16, 2020, 04:58:00 AM
Here's the "ideal" Strauss tone poems list at pastebin again:

https://www.paste.org/111207

Have you tried posting them in the comments of the video? I wonder if he would delete them.

I often see people make lists on Youtube and these usually have loads of likes putting them at the top of the page. One fitness/weight lifting guy I used to watch loved that monetization money and the sound of his own voice and would make these unnecessary 20+ minute videos for a few minutes worth of content. Someone would have a list of what he was talking about shortly after the video went up.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on October 16, 2020, 06:15:55 AM
Have you tried posting them in the comments of the video? I wonder if he would delete them.
Putting the time stamps so that people can fast forward could be a compromise. ("Tod und Verklarung comes up at 18:15" or whatever)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 16, 2020, 08:00:29 AM
Here's the "ideal" Strauss tone poems list at pastebin again:

https://www.paste.org/111207

Ooooh, I've gotta get that Ormandy Dance of the Seven Veils right now!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Wanderer on October 16, 2020, 09:11:16 AM

Aus Italien: Ashkenazy/Cleveland (brief mention of Muti/Berlin on
Philips or Decca)
Macbeth: Neeme Jarvi
Don Juan: Szell/Cleveland
Death and Tranfiguration: Dohnanyi/Vienna (or Karajan digital)
Til Eulenspiegel: Haitink/Concertgebouw
Also Sprach Zarathrustra: Karajan/Berlin/DG analog
Ein Heldenleben: Reiner/Chicago
Don Quixote: Tortelier/Kempe/Berlin (an earlier stereo recording than
the one with SKD)
Dance of the 7 Veils: Ormandy
Sinfonia Domestica: Maazel/DG
Ein Alpensonfie: Solti/Bavarian Radio
Metamorphosen: Suitner/SKD

5: Levin/Hogwood
6: Ashkenazy/Philharmonia (Decca)
8: Kempff/Leitner (DG)
9: Andsnes (Warner)
11: Bilson/Gardiner
12: Zacharias/Maksymiuk (Warner)
13: Perahia (Sony)
14: R. Serkin/Schneider (Sony)
15: Casadesus/Szell (Sony)
16: P. Serkin/Schneider (Sony)
17: Schiff/Vegh (Decca)
18: Anda (DG)
19: Haskil/Fricsay (DG, Decca)
20: Brendel/Mackerras (Decca)
21: Annie Fischer/Sawallish (EMI/Warner)
22: Buchbinder (Profil)
23: Moravec/Marriner (Hänssler)
24: Uchida/Tate (Decca)
25: Fleisher/Szell (Sony)
26: Vasary (DG)
27: Richard Goode/Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (Nonesuch)


Thank you.
Seriously, this is the type of post that the thread should be all about - and that clown’s youtube page should have zero traffic coming from here. As it is, it feels more like a sickly vortex of obsession with an insufferable wannabe classical music Kardashian - where the medium and the narcissistic image becomes more important than the message (the obvious reason why, as mentioned above, a list of recordings is not included in each video’s description).
Isn’t there a feature in the forum’s software to be able to exclude selected threads such as this from the “new posts” page?  :D

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 16, 2020, 09:23:27 AM
Thank you.
Seriously, this is the type of post that the thread should be all about - and that clown’s youtube page should have zero traffic coming from here. As it is, it feels more like a sickly vortex of obsession with an insufferable wannabe classical music Kardashian - where the medium and the narcissistic image becomes more important than the message (the obvious reason why, as mentioned above, a list of recordings is not included in each video’s description).
Isn’t there a feature in the forum’s software to be able to exclude selected threads such as this from the “new posts” page?  :D

Aren't you a bit too harsh, Tasos? After all, nobody (Hurwitz least of all) forces you to watch his videos, or to take them seriously. He has his opinions, convictions and biases, like we all do. For all his flaws, he genuinely loves music and he's fun (at least for me). I don't always agree with him but I think one could do much worse than watching his YT videos.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 16, 2020, 05:39:42 PM
Thank you.
Seriously, this is the type of post that the thread should be all about - and that clown’s youtube page should have zero traffic coming from here. As it is, it feels more like a sickly vortex of obsession with an insufferable wannabe classical music Kardashian - where the medium and the narcissistic image becomes more important than the message (the obvious reason why, as mentioned above, a list of recordings is not included in each video’s description).
Isn’t there a feature in the forum’s software to be able to exclude selected threads such as this from the “new posts” page?  :D

Dude, why do you think I went to the trouble of posting these on pastebin when I could have more easily posted them in directly?   
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Wanderer on October 17, 2020, 02:27:43 AM
Aren't you a bit too harsh, Tasos?

Not really.  :)
And I was not referring to his opinions about music.

There's also the thing that these youtubes run up to 25 minutes if I recall. Compared to reading a Classics Today review in a couple minutes, that's just a massive waste of time, which you'll never get back, especially if it's just watching a guy laugh at his own jokes.

Exactly. A list of the recordings mentioned in each video would make this thread actually useful. Oherwise, it could just as well be in The Diner (the sorry little table by the toilet door).

It takes nothing away from your point, to appreciate the oxymoron "spectacularly dim" 8)

Thank you. Choice of words was not accidental.  ;)


Dude, why do you think I went to the trouble of posting these on pastebin when I could have more easily posted them in directly?   

I don’t know, but I thank you for valiantly wasting your time so that others wouldn’t have to.  :D

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 17, 2020, 02:59:24 AM
If you think DH is basically a clown why should one be interested in his recommendations?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 17, 2020, 03:23:17 AM
One observation I would make that would apply to any such comparative reviews in any media;  I simply don't know how he finds the time to do an in-depth comparison!  If you are listening to an hour long work (for example RVW Sea Symphony) I would say to make valid judgments EACH performance would have to be listened to afresh at least twice and notes about each performance taken.  Then and only then with each version resonating anew in your head you can make reasonable comparisons from your own point of view.

Clearly DH cannot devote that amount of time to this alone - he has a website to run, new repertoire/discs to review etc etc.  Therefore his comments must be based on memories/perception of a performance from possibly years back and/or "dipping in" to versions at various key moments to give a compare/contrast reading of those moments.  This is in part why timings must then be given undue significance - its an easy way to call a version "slow"/"rushed".  Of course, none of the above means that conclusions reached will be "wrong" - especially since in the midst of his sweeping generalisations there are grains of truth and insight.  However, they have to be just that - sweeping generalisations.  So as ever, it is "listener/watcher/buyer beware" (if I knew Latin I'd write the equivalent!)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 17, 2020, 03:47:46 AM
Caveat emptor (buyer) is the classic phrase, I think. Cave hominem unius disci. Or maybe sometimes also the man with too many musical discs. I'd grant Hurwitz that with some music he has a huge experience that even statements from memory or brief refreshings of memory are not without value. Strauss tone poems or Sibelius symphonies might be pieces where this is true. But I doubt that this is the case with Mozart PC and the constraint to never repeat performers makes such a list more dubious. As does the fact that he is referring to the pieces by number, not Köchel number. ;)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 17, 2020, 05:38:52 AM
One observation I would make that would apply to any such comparative reviews in any media;  I simply don't know how he finds the time to do an in-depth comparison!  If you are listening to an hour long work (for example RVW Sea Symphony) I would say to make valid judgments EACH performance would have to be listened to afresh at least twice and notes about each performance taken.  Then and only then with each version resonating anew in your head you can make reasonable comparisons from your own point of view.

Clearly DH cannot devote that amount of time to this alone - he has a website to run, new repertoire/discs to review etc etc.  Therefore his comments must be based on memories/perception of a performance from possibly years back and/or "dipping in" to versions at various key moments to give a compare/contrast reading of those moments.  This is in part why timings must then be given undue significance - its an easy way to call a version "slow"/"rushed".  Of course, none of the above means that conclusions reached will be "wrong" - especially since in the midst of his sweeping generalisations there are grains of truth and insight.  However, they have to be just that - sweeping generalisations.  So as ever, it is "listener/watcher/buyer beware" (if I knew Latin I'd write the equivalent!)

I find it hard to believe he listens in depth to all the recordings especially boxed sets he recommends. Yesterday we had the 12 greatest boxed sets in existence, today it's 6 fabulous conductor boxes. Of his 12 boxed sets, I have two (Stravinsky and Haydn symphonies), and it took months to go through each. Does the man just listen 10 hours a day? Does he have time to eat and sleep?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on October 17, 2020, 05:59:14 AM
Caveat emptor (buyer) is the classic phrase, I think. Cave hominem unius disci. Or maybe sometimes also the man with too many musical discs. I'd grant Hurwitz that with some music he has a huge experience that even statements from memory or brief refreshings of memory are not without value. Strauss tone poems or Sibelius symphonies might be pieces where this is true. But I doubt that this is the case with Mozart PC and the constraint to never repeat performers makes such a list more dubious. As does the fact that he is referring to the pieces by number, not Köchel number. ;)

In all the years I’ve read music periodicals I’ve rarely seen K or D numbers used in american publications. Must be a question of habit, or a choice between different possibilities.

For me, identifying Schubert’s sonata D 850 by its D number is more practical than by its tonality (in D). No confusion possible. When it comes to Bach, though, I rarely use BWV numbers. Trio sonata no 5, not BWV 529 for me, please.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 17, 2020, 08:27:37 AM
It's pure habit but in many cases I have to think a few seconds or even count backwards to identify the piece if only the genre number is mentioned without the key. Because the Mozart piano concerti numbering is awkward, the first real concerto has #5 and the 2 and  3 piano concerti are not counted separately, I much prefer the K numbers here. Similarly the Schubert sonatas are a mess because of the many fragments, so I'd prefer D (although I don't know the numbers well before D 664).
OTOH if someone referred to Beethoven's or Brahms' symphonies mainly by opus number it would seem a bit mannered (Not for string quartets, trios or piano sonatas, in all of which I prefer opus numbers.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 17, 2020, 03:06:20 PM
I find it hard to believe he listens in depth to all the recordings especially boxed sets he recommends. Yesterday we had the 12 greatest boxed sets in existence, today it's 6 fabulous conductor boxes. Of his 12 boxed sets, I have two (Stravinsky and Haydn symphonies), and it took months to go through each. Does the man just listen 10 hours a day? Does he have time to eat and sleep?

I would have thought it blindingly obvious that he hasn't listened to all of the material between, say, that video and the previous video.

But I would also find it very weird to make any assumption that that is what he's remotely claiming in these comparisons. It's completely different to when a single new release album is reviewed.

We're frequently talking about performances that are DECADES old. Hell, the classical music industry is perfectly happily to regurgitate and re-release recordings that are older than I am. So there has been plenty of time for a music reviewer of long standing to get to know those performances.

And every day here on GMG, you get people expressing opinions about which recordings they prefer of repertoire, including giving advice on box sets. And yet I cannot remember ever, EVER having an opinion challenged by someone saying "when's the last time you listened to it?". People just accept that other posters are familiar with the recording they are talking about.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 17, 2020, 07:03:00 PM
I would have thought it blindingly obvious that he hasn't listened to all of the material between, say, that video and the previous video.

But I would also find it very weird to make any assumption that that is what he's remotely claiming in these comparisons. It's completely different to when a single new release album is reviewed.

We're frequently talking about performances that are DECADES old. Hell, the classical music industry is perfectly happily to regurgitate and re-release recordings that are older than I am. So there has been plenty of time for a music reviewer of long standing to get to know those performances.

And every day here on GMG, you get people expressing opinions about which recordings they prefer of repertoire, including giving advice on box sets. And yet I cannot remember ever, EVER having an opinion challenged by someone saying "when's the last time you listened to it?". People just accept that other posters are familiar with the recording they are talking about.

Yes, I understand perfectly well what's "blindlngly obvious." Yet some of Dave's recent recs are for large box sets of recently released new material, like that huge CPE Bach set and the huge HM Opera Baroque compilation. These are not recordings that are older than either of us, and that's what prompted my comment. Of course I recognize we can all comment on recordings we've lived with for years, even decades.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 17, 2020, 11:39:38 PM
I actually find the boxes recommendations despite them being huge, slightly more plausible than the supposedly "best" among a series of pieces with a huge discography. Hurwitz wrote a book about Haydn more than 10 years ago and he probably lived with the Dorati recordings for 40 years. He also didn't claim that it is the absolute best Haydn, just that the box as a whole is worthwhile. In case of the CPE Bach, it could also be that he was involved in writing booklets, he did some for Hänssler in the past. And here there is also the fact that there is not that much competition, so if one thinks that the box is overall very good and CPE Bach deserving of a huge edition it is the only game in town for many pieces and auto-recommendation.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 18, 2020, 12:58:34 PM
Haydn's Paris symphonies favs

below
written
in
white
to
avoid
spoilers
may
still
be
visible
depending
on
settings



82 Karajan
83 Sanderling
84 Fey
85 Vegh (live)
86 Harnoncourt
87 Bernstein

Bernstein and Harnoncourt are the set favorites with Fey getting honorable mention


Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 18, 2020, 07:29:58 PM
Haydn's Paris symphonies favs

below
written
in
white
to
avoid
spoilers
may
still
be
visible
depending
on
settings

Easily visible if you just drag your mouse over the white, which inverts the colors. I'll stay with Bernstein and Brüggen myself.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 18, 2020, 10:31:50 PM
Is this just going to become a thread where we save people the bother of reading or seeing reviews for themselves?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 18, 2020, 11:09:24 PM
Easily visible if you just drag your mouse over the white, which inverts the colors. I'll stay with Bernstein and Brüggen myself.
Sure, this is the way to "resolve" the spoiler. But depending on the sharpness of one's eyes and some settings the white on light blue is readable without highlighting.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 18, 2020, 11:11:20 PM
Sure, this is the way to "resolve" the spoiler. But depending on the sharpness of one's eyes and some settings the white on light blue is readable without highlighting.

Yeah, when it's quoted it pops right out.  I think there is a spoiler tag available for this forum software, but it's an extra.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 19, 2020, 12:14:17 AM
Is this just going to become a thread where we save people the bother of reading or seeing reviews for themselves?

More like where people discuss Hurwitz's faves and reviews while pretending they ignore him.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 19, 2020, 12:18:15 AM
More like where people discuss Hurwitz's faves and reviews while pretending they ignore him.

Well, if they actually DID discuss them, that might be something. That's kind of my point. Recently the thread seems to have devolved into a copy/paste exercise.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Herman on October 19, 2020, 12:26:38 AM
I think one could do much worse than watching his YT videos.

Disagree.

I could imagine just listening to music without worrying what this clown constantly laughing at his own old-man jokes says is a much better way to spend one's time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 19, 2020, 12:31:29 AM
Well, if they actually DID discuss them, that might be something. That's kind of my point. Recently the thread seems to have devolved into a copy/paste exercise.

Yep, verily. My point is that pretty much everybody here seem to dislike Hurwitz yet many of them seem quite interested in his faves and preferences.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 19, 2020, 12:37:02 AM
Disagree.

I could imagine just listening to music without worrying what this clown constantly laughing at his own old-man jokes says is a much better way to spend one's time.

Who says I worry?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: aukhawk on October 19, 2020, 04:53:33 AM
Ooooh, I've gotta get that Ormandy Dance of the Seven Veils right now!

That's an image that's not going to go away easily ...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Todd on October 19, 2020, 05:25:07 AM
Who says I worry?


Note that Hurwitz is younger than Herman.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on October 19, 2020, 12:46:58 PM
Ooooh, I've gotta get that Ormandy Dance of the Seven Veils right now!

The best Dance of the Seven Veils was by Maria Ewing.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: MN Dave on October 20, 2020, 09:36:30 AM
What do you watch on YouTube when you’re not watching the Hurwitzer?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on October 20, 2020, 10:45:28 AM
The best Dance of the Seven Veils was by Maria Ewing.

I met her as she was the mother of a girl that I once taught (the actress Rebecca Hall).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on October 30, 2020, 07:07:59 AM
Can anyone elaborate on Hurwitz's insistence that they used vibrato in baroque/early classical era? I have heard him mention it once maybe twice but I don't think I caught any elaboration why he thinks this other than some comment about academics being idiots. I do listen to these in the car and sometimes my screaming flat 6 does drown out his squeaking  0:). I've tried searching and came up with nothing.

It's fine to have opinions and if he personally likes vibrato in that era more power to him, but I'm more curious as his proclamation was stated as a fact.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Biffo on October 30, 2020, 07:35:06 AM
Can anyone elaborate on Hurwitz's insistence that they used vibrato in baroque/early classical era? I have heard him mention it once maybe twice but I don't think I caught any elaboration why he thinks this other than some comment about academics being idiots. I do listen to these in the car and sometimes my screaming flat 6 does drown out his squeaking  0:). I've tried searching and came up with nothing.

It's fine to have opinions and if he personally likes vibrato in that era more power to him, but I'm more curious as his proclamation was stated as a fact.

I am sure we have discussed this at length somewhere in this forum. From what I can remember vibrato was used in the periods you mentioned but very sparingly - it was a decoration, not something applied with a trowel.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 30, 2020, 08:22:54 AM
Hurwitz has at least two major obsessions. One is with percussion, especially tam tam because he played this in the orchestra. From the earliest days of classicstoday this one was obvious because his reviews were uncommonly detailed on percussion.
The second that was apparently triggered by Norrington's "anti-vibrato" stance is the history of vibrato. He actually got a publication on this into a real musicological journal (I think).
There are some more minor obsessions I had not been aware of before he started the video series, namely his dislike of most earlier/alternative versions of e.g. Bruckner symphonies (and Mahler 1st) and his even more exaggerated dislike of the musicologists who do such editions/reconstructions.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on October 30, 2020, 10:27:40 AM
Another pet peeve of his is the british musical establishment, especially their musical critics. Gramophone is a favourite target. :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 31, 2020, 12:49:59 AM
But this is not a Hurwitz speciality. In the mid-1990s I encountered both international internet discussions on classical music and the Penguin/Gramophone guides for the first time and people on the internet made fun of the British bias and general old-fashioned character of these publications.
While there was no opportunity in his written reviews, in the videos he also loves to mangle foreign languages despite claiming (probably correctly so) to understand/speak them. But with the either sloppy or deliberate mispronunciations he is exactly in line with cliché US boorishness in this regard.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on October 31, 2020, 04:32:59 AM
Yes, I've rather winced at his efforts with foreign names. Not because he does them awkwardly, but because he then acts as if it doesn't matter at all whether he makes a decent effort or not.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on October 31, 2020, 07:50:21 AM
It's a strange discrepancy. In one video he claimed being able to speak a whole bunch of languages (certainly French, German and Italian) and then he seems to deliberately make a Chaplinesque mess out of some musician's name or title of a piece or aria in German. Sure, it might be funny ONCE or when it is about Nazi caricatures but in Bach passions or even in Wagner it's quite unnecessary.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on October 31, 2020, 08:55:47 AM
He also said "cum grano salis*, as we say in Yiddish". I don't know if it was a deliberate joke or a genuine mistake --- you never know with Hurwitz.

*actually 'twas another Latin expression, I can't remember it otomh so I replaced it with the first that came to my mind
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 31, 2020, 12:00:02 PM
It's a strange discrepancy. In one video he claimed being able to speak a whole bunch of languages (certainly French, German and Italian) and then he seems to deliberately make a Chaplinesque mess out of some musician's name or title of a piece or aria in German. Sure, it might be funny ONCE or when it is about Nazi caricatures but in Bach passions or even in Wagner it's quite unnecessary.

I think he was a grad student in European history at one time, which means he needed to be able to read those languages, but not necessarily speak them.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Artem on November 19, 2020, 07:11:43 AM
Is there somebody on youtube doing similar enthusiastic videos of more contemporary repertoire and record labels?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vandermolen on November 24, 2020, 01:42:58 AM
I enjoyed his survey of recordings of 'Job' by Vaughan Williams last night as well as his enthusiasm for the Madetoja symphonies.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Artem on November 24, 2020, 11:54:58 AM
Ideal Chopin Works video was enjoyable to watch.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on November 24, 2020, 08:37:49 PM
It's really surprising that this guy has ever talked about composers different to the hardcore Austro-German repertoire on his videos. Actually it's a miracle. But what the heck, I'm eager to watch Bach's cantatas, round 2, or Mahler's ideal cycle, volumes 2 and 3.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 15, 2020, 04:24:42 PM
His Youtube videos are so cool. Started watching them a few days ago. His mannerism is my drug. Tam tam!! Funny man.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 15, 2020, 04:29:24 PM
His Youtube videos are so cool. Started watching them a few days ago. His mannerism is my drug. Tam tam!! Funny man.

Wow...you really need to get out more.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: flyingdutchman on December 15, 2020, 08:36:54 PM
Well, at least Hurwitz isn't Don Vroon.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 15, 2020, 10:47:16 PM
Well, at least Hurwitz isn't Don Vroon.

I had to look up Don Vroon. Never heard of him. I think I might have heard of the American Record Guide, but, honestly, I confess to have no knowledge of Vroon’s work. Not that it matters one way or another since I don’t actually make it a habit of reading ‘professional’ music criticism nor actually caring about they think.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 16, 2020, 02:43:51 AM
Was taken aback seeing Hurtwitz's mug at Presto.  It's an entertaining podcast with Hurwitz and Paul Thomas of Presto exchanging their favorite American and UK composers:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3689--presto-music-podcast-episode-10-across-the-pond-with-david-hurwitz

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 16, 2020, 02:49:45 AM
I had to look up Don Vroon. Never heard of him. I think I might have heard of the American Record Guide, but, honestly, I confess to have no knowledge of Vroon’s work. Not that it matters one way or another since I don’t actually make it a habit of reading ‘professional’ music criticism nor actually caring about they think.

I subscribed to ARG for many years, but gave up a decade ago.  Vroon is embarassing, but that didn't prevent him from hiring some good writers.

I've also decided to give up on Fanfare.  Too many Dentley Hunt (AKA Santa Fe Listener) reviews.  I note that his Santa Fe Listener byline at a Amazon has now been replace by his "professional" name.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on December 16, 2020, 07:35:06 AM
Was taken aback seeing Hurtwitz's mug at Presto.  It's an entertaining podcast with Hurwitz and Paul Thomas of Presto exchanging their favorite American and UK composers:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3689--presto-music-podcast-episode-10-across-the-pond-with-david-hurwitz
Gonna listen to this while wrapping Christmas presents. I so hope Hurwitz gets into his encounters with George Lloyd.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 16, 2020, 07:59:20 AM
He can be very funny. He really can. Take a look at his videos on Carl Orff box sets and his preferred Wagner operas. On the other hand one has to slog through a half-hour of drivel to get to his top recommendations, one really does, so I often just fast-forward to the last five minutes. I really do. Sometimes he surprises by saying good things about music one wouldn't expect from him, like Renaissance polyphony. He really does. But his comments on Lieder and the music of Pierre Boulez were puerile. They really were.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 16, 2020, 09:18:21 AM
He can be very funny. He really can. Take a look at his videos on Carl Orff box sets and his preferred Wagner operas. On the other hand one has to slog through a half-hour of drivel to get to his top recommendations, one really does, so I often just fast-forward to the last five minutes. I really do. Sometimes he surprises by saying good things about music one wouldn't expect from him, like Renaissance polyphony. He really does. But his comments on Lieder and the music of Pierre Boulez were puerile. They really were.

Hurwitz seems to have this principle of "subjective" and "objective" facts. He doesn't mind if you have different "subjective" facts such as a little different favorite cycle of something etc., but then there's "objective" facts such as certain recordings being so bad nobody should like them. I support this kind of thinking.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on December 16, 2020, 09:52:15 AM
But Hurwitz is not very consistent. His silly behavior concerning some topics can fall into the clearly objective realm, such as the examples Sforzando mentioned or a bunch of others (and I would include some of his comments on Wagner also among the puerile stuff). And his antics and also the very fact that he spends his life reviewing and ranking recordings give the lie to the claim that most of such distinctions are merely subjective.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: PaulThomas on December 16, 2020, 09:57:37 AM
Was taken aback seeing Hurtwitz's mug at Presto.  It's an entertaining podcast with Hurwitz and Paul Thomas of Presto exchanging their favorite American and UK composers:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3689--presto-music-podcast-episode-10-across-the-pond-with-david-hurwitz

Glad you enjoyed it!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: PaulThomas on December 16, 2020, 09:59:04 AM
Gonna listen to this while wrapping Christmas presents. I so hope Hurwitz gets into his encounters with George Lloyd.

He sure does!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on December 16, 2020, 10:22:11 AM
He sure does!
Loved learning that Lloyd is extremely bad at sending mail! Good, fun show.

He really can. ...one really does.... I really do. .... He really does. ...They really were.
Oof, this is so true. (Less so on the Presto podcast for some reason - there are only one or two - maybe because he was prompted with questions rather than having to fill all the time himself?) It's one of several vocal mannerisms which remind me (dare I say it?) (I really do) of a certain current president. Is it a New York thing? Or just a guy who likes talking thing? Of course, this is one of the reasons I prefer writing to speaking...you can edit out the dumb bits before anyone else is exposed to them.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 16, 2020, 10:32:21 AM
I subscribed to ARG for many years, but gave up a decade ago.  Vroon is embarassing, but that didn't prevent him from hiring some good writers.

I've also decided to give up on Fanfare.  Too many Dentley Hunt (AKA Santa Fe Listener) reviews.  I note that his Santa Fe Listener byline at a Amazon has now been replace by his "professional" name.

Ah yes, I’ve had several run-ins with Santa Fe Listener and I find him to be laughable about best. I mean I know we all have our biases, but I really don’t like when a critic takes it to the extreme. It just makes for bad reading, which is why, as I mentioned, I don’t read reviews anymore. It’s become a podium for tirades and diatribes and not actually getting to the root of why this person likes/dislikes the composer, work or recording in question.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 16, 2020, 12:40:16 PM
He can be very funny. He really can. Take a look at his videos on Carl Orff box sets and his preferred Wagner operas. On the other hand one has to slog through a half-hour of drivel to get to his top recommendations, one really does, so I often just fast-forward to the last five minutes. I really do. Sometimes he surprises by saying good things about music one wouldn't expect from him, like Renaissance polyphony. He really does. But his comments on Lieder and the music of Pierre Boulez were puerile. They really were.

This is gold.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 16, 2020, 01:10:20 PM
Was taken aback seeing Hurtwitz's

Did I really write "Hurtwitz"?  I really did.  Freudian slip!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 16, 2020, 02:21:00 PM
Oof, this is so true. (Less so on the Presto podcast for some reason - there are only one or two - maybe because he was prompted with questions rather than having to fill all the time himself?) It's one of several vocal mannerisms which remind me (dare I say it?) (I really do) of a certain current president. Is it a New York thing? Or just a guy who likes talking thing? Of course, this is one of the reasons I prefer writing to speaking...you can edit out the dumb bits before anyone else is exposed to them.

No, no, my dear Texan friend! It is a Hurwitz thing, just as "a little bit" is a Lydia Bastianich thing, if you've ever been exposed to her cooking shows. (And if you haven't, please don't rectify, as she seems to me a wretched cook.) Hurwitz just can't shut up. He really can't. His latest installment, on of all things clarinet concertos, repeats the phrase five times that I counted despite all my fast-forwarding. And he takes a full five minutes to tell us that Spohr (pronounced correctly as Shpore) is a terrible composer - before telling us what recording to buy of his clarinet concertos. I will pass on those. I really will.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 16, 2020, 04:23:41 PM
No, no, my dear Texan friend! It is a Hurwitz thing, just as "a little bit" is a Lydia Bastianich thing, if you've ever been exposed to her cooking shows. (And if you haven't, please don't rectify, as she seems to me a wretched cook.) Hurwitz just can't shut up. He really can't. His latest installment, on of all things clarinet concertos, repeats the phrase five times that I counted despite all my fast-forwarding. And he takes a full five minutes to tell us that Spohr (pronounced correctly as Shpore) is a terrible composer - before telling us what recording to buy of his clarinet concertos. I will pass on those. I really will.

Karl Leister was a really good clarinetist, so I wouldn't avoid these recordings based on Hurwitz's recommentation.  Spohr's symphonies are tedious, but the clarinet concertos seem to bring out his best side, as does some of his chamber music with winds.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 16, 2020, 04:39:06 PM
Just watched the clarinet concerto video. Nobody makes me as excited than him. I like his "there's plenty of good recordings of this piece - pick one and enjoy" attitude. It's the right way. Not the "has to have the ABSOLUTE BEST performance on this ultra obscure East-European label which has been OOP for 532 years and there's one copy of it on eBay for $777+shipping or you have to cry because the Naxos version sucks" attitude which takes all the enjoyment away.

Of all the works he talked about I only have/own Mozart (3 performances), Finzi and Nielsen. 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on December 17, 2020, 01:11:21 AM
But this is another one of his inconsistencies. If he claims that there are plenty of good recordings and one can really do nothing wrong, I get the suspicion that he does not care all that much about the music and its details. Of course, it is very probably true that even in pieces recorded many times like the Mozart clarinet concerto the range of interpretations is hardly comparable with Brahms' or Mahler's symphonies. But still there are differences, not the least in tone and aesthetic (e.g. vibrato) of clarinet playing.

The claim that all this hardly matters is in a way as extreme as the obsession with "the best" or the hyperbolic claims that hardly any recording does a certain music full justice or how absolutely terrible some highly regarded musicians or recordings supposedly are.

re: Spohr I agree with Daverz. He wrote some pretty good chamber music and if one likes clarinet concertos, his are probably at least as good as Weber's (a bit later and a bit more weighty). I'd rather listen to a Spohr clarinet concerto than to a Paganini violin concerto (although I will even listen to the latter for the fireworks every other year or so).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 17, 2020, 05:37:27 AM
But this is another one of his inconsistencies. If he claims that there are plenty of good recordings and one can really do nothing wrong, I get the suspicion that he does not care all that much about the music and its details. Of course, it is very probably true that even in pieces recorded many times like the Mozart clarinet concerto the range of interpretations is hardly comparable with Brahms' or Mahler's symphonies. But still there are differences, not the least in tone and aesthetic (e.g. vibrato) of clarinet playing.

The claim that all this hardly matters is in a way as extreme as the obsession with "the best" or the hyperbolic claims that hardly any recording does a certain music full justice or how absolutely terrible some highly regarded musicians or recordings supposedly are.

re: Spohr I agree with Daverz. He wrote some pretty good chamber music and if one likes clarinet concertos, his are probably at least as good as Weber's (a bit later and a bit more weighty). I'd rather listen to a Spohr clarinet concerto than to a Paganini violin concerto (although I will even listen to the latter for the fireworks every other year or so).

I think he means that if a work has been recorded 30 times, perhaps 10 of those are good, 10 are passable and 10 are bad and one can select anything from those 10 good ones and be happy. This kind of mindset indicates he cares about the music.

I don't know Spohr's music at all so I don't comment on that. Why don't I just check out his clarinet concertos? Because theres a million of other things to check out and I don't know where to start!! Bartok's Piano Concertos? Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas? Tippett's Piano Concerto (Hurwitz says it great)? When do I have the time when all I do is watch Youtube about PRN going against Anthony Fantano!  :P
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 17, 2020, 07:05:32 AM
I think he means that if a work has been recorded 30 times, perhaps 10 of those are good, 10 are passable and 10 are bad and one can select anything from those 10 good ones and be happy. This kind of mindset indicates he cares about the music.

I don't know Spohr's music at all so I don't comment on that. Why don't I just check out his clarinet concertos? Because theres a million of other things to check out and I don't know where to start!! Bartok's Piano Concertos? Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas? Tippett's Piano Concerto (Hurwitz says it great)? When do I have the time when all I do is watch Youtube about PRN going against Anthony Fantano!  :P

To the bolded text, you can have the time if you make the time. If you’re on YouTube watching one video after another, it’s your own fault.

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 17, 2020, 08:08:59 AM
To the bolded text, you can have the time if you make the time. If you’re on YouTube watching one video after another, it’s your own fault.

Yes, it's definitely my own fault. Before Youtube/internet came along it was MUCH easier to make the time and even my non-existing skills were adequate.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 17, 2020, 03:42:27 PM
I think he means that if a work has been recorded 30 times, perhaps 10 of those are good, 10 are passable and 10 are bad and one can select anything from those 10 good ones and be happy. This kind of mindset indicates he cares about the music.

I don't know Spohr's music at all so I don't comment on that. Why don't I just check out his clarinet concertos? Because theres a million of other things to check out and I don't know where to start!! Bartok's Piano Concertos? Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas? Tippett's Piano Concerto (Hurwitz says it great)? When do I have the time when all I do is watch Youtube about PRN going against Anthony Fantano!  :P

Of those, you definitely need to hear the Bartok Piano Concertos toot suite.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 17, 2020, 03:42:52 PM
Yes, it's definitely my own fault. Before Youtube/internet came along it was MUCH easier to make the time and even my non-existing skills were adequate.

Why are you always playing the victim, 71 dB? I mean you could easily pull yourself away from YouTube and the internet if you truly wanted to, but I guess you’d rather complain about the fact that you believe you can’t. :-\
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 17, 2020, 10:14:23 PM
Why are you always playing the victim, 71 dB? I mean you could easily pull yourself away from YouTube and the internet if you truly wanted to, but I guess you’d rather complain about the fact that you believe you can’t. :-\

Maybe you are not a Youtube junky, but let me tell you the addiction is most powerful!  ??? However, I was able to listen to Rodrigo's Harp Concerto today...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 17, 2020, 10:18:30 PM
Of those, you definitely need to hear the Bartok Piano Concertos toot suite.

Okay then. I have explored Bartok very little. I got his string quartets, but never really warmed up to them...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 17, 2020, 10:22:13 PM
Okay then. I have explored Bartok very little. I got his string quartets, but never really warmed up to them...

Yeah, not the place to start with Bartok.   You want to start with the late works like the Concerto for Orchestra and the Piano Concerto No. 3.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 17, 2020, 11:22:27 PM
Maybe you are not a Youtube junky, but let me tell you the addiction is most powerful!

I suggest, not for the first time, that you try listening to the podcast Rabbit Hole.  Addiction is an appropriate word.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 05:28:42 AM
Yeah, not the place to start with Bartok.   You want to start with the late works like the Concerto for Orchestra and the Piano Concerto No. 3.

Of course Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta are familiar and I have the Rahbari Naxos of those. I like those works. I also liked Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion when I borrowed it from a friend, but that seems to be a rarely recorded piece for some reason*. The String Quartets (Takács Quartet) didn't do good for my enthusiam to explore Bartók further. Now I listened to the Piano Concertos on Spotify (Géza Anda/Ferenc Fricsay) and they were ok. I liked the second most, followed by the third while the first one contained the most "Bartok weirdness." Ironically the first concerto sounds most modern and the last the most romantic, but I guess that's Bartók for you: A strange man.  :P

* David Hurwitz praised the Martha Argerich on DG, but when I checked it on Amazon the asked price was no less than £1.200! I got depressed.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 18, 2020, 05:42:19 AM
Of course Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta are familiar and I have the Rahbari Naxos of those. I like those works. I also liked Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion when I borrowed it from a friend, but that seems to be a rarely recorded piece for some reason*. The String Quartets (Takács Quartet) didn't do good for my enthusiam to explore Bartók further. Now I listened to the Piano Concertos on Spotify (Géza Anda/Ferenc Fricsay) and they were ok. I liked the second most, followed by the third while the first one contained the most "Bartok weirdness." Ironically the first concerto sounds most modern and the last the most romantic, but I guess that's Bartók for you: A strange man.  :P

* David Hurwitz praised the Martha Argerich on DG, but when I checked it on Amazon the asked price was no less than £1.200! I got depressed.

Piano Concertos 2 & 3 are my favorite as well, particularly for the middle movements, spooky in 2 and serene in 3.

The Argerich/Freire Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion is easy to find streaming or as a download.  A physical disc can probably found in some Argerich box.  Presto has a reasonable price on a single CD, but I believe it's a CDR:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8077250--bartok-ravel-works-for-2-pianos-and-percussion

It sounds like you've hit all the Bartok highlights except for the Violin Concerto.  I'd add Bluebeard's Castle, Dance Suite, the Divertimento, Contrasts, and The Miraculous Manadarin (full ballet).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on December 18, 2020, 06:13:14 AM
With the Bartok quartets, start with #4 or #5, or even the melancholy #6.

I think Hurwitz referred to an early Kovacevich/Argerich recording or the 2P&P sonata, if this exists? There is also the Kontarskys and others who are pretty good. (I like it but not quite as much as the piano concertos.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Todd on December 18, 2020, 06:45:49 AM
I think Hurwitz referred to an early Kovacevich/Argerich recording or the 2P&P sonata, if this exists?


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41QkNSikrdL._SY355_.jpg)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 07:17:41 AM
Maybe you are not a Youtube junky, but let me tell you the addiction is most powerful!  ??? However, I was able to listen to Rodrigo's Harp Concerto today...

If I get on YouTube, it’s usually to watch a documentary about a composer or some kind of interview with a musician I like or simply to sample a piece of music from a recording I’m interested in acquiring. But let me tell you that it’s NOT an addiction unless you allow it to be.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 09:10:49 AM
Piano Concertos 2 & 3 are my favorite as well, particularly for the middle movements, spooky in 2 and serene in 3.

I totally agree with this. The slow movements of 2 and 3 are the "reason" to listen to these.  :)

The Argerich/Freire Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion is easy to find streaming or as a download.  A physical disc can probably found in some Argerich box.  Presto has a reasonable price on a single CD, but I believe it's a CDR:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8077250--bartok-ravel-works-for-2-pianos-and-percussion

It's actually "only" £14.29 + shipping (condition good) on Amazon.co.uk, but even that is a bit high, especially as I haven't even heard the CD. I can stream it on Spotify, althout tonight I will watch snooker on tv. I avoid downloads. I am a physical media guy. I looked for some Argerich boxes, but didn't find this one, maybe because this is DG and those boxes where Warner.

It sounds like you've hit all the Bartok highlights except for the Violin Concerto.  I'd add Bluebeard's Castle, Dance Suite, the Divertimento, Contrasts, and The Miraculous Manadarin (full ballet).

Oh, okay. Thanks for the list of works to check out. I actually have the Divertimento on a Naxos disc of 20th century string music.  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on December 18, 2020, 09:14:05 AM
71db,

I'll chime in to recommend Bartok's 'The Wooden Prince' before 'The Miraculous Mandarin'.

Both are great, but I believe Wooden Prince is the more accessible of the two.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 09:35:02 AM
If I get on YouTube, it’s usually to watch a documentary about a composer or some kind of interview with a musician I like or simply to sample a piece of music from a recording I’m interested in acquiring. But let me tell you that it’s NOT an addiction unless you allow it to be.

You have not found the "evil" addictive stuff on Youtube. Many Youtube content creators are geniuses in hooking people and making them subscribe and watch their videos. That's how they can have hundreds of thousand or even millions of subscribtions. That's their way of making their living. I am warning you. Keep watching only boring* composers documents if you don't want to become a Youtube junky, but be aware! Youtube keeps recommending all kind of videos and anyone of them may HOOK you depending on your taste, preferences and weaknesses. If you accidentally watch one of those videos Youtube begings recommending other similar videos and you are doomed!  ???

* Yes, "boring" in the sense they don't give you an addiction.

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 09:55:24 AM
71db,

I'll chime in to recommend Bartok's 'The Wooden Prince' before 'The Miraculous Mandarin'.

Both are great, but I believe Wooden Prince is the more accessible of the two.

Thanks! I wrote myself a list of these recommended works Kept in my Naxos Bartók CD jewel box so it won't get lost:
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 11:47:50 AM
You have not found the "evil" addictive stuff on Youtube. Many Youtube content creators are geniuses in hooking people and making them subscribe and watch their videos. That's how they can have hundreds of thousand or even millions of subscribtions. That's their way of making their living. I am warning you. Keep watching only boring* composers documents if you don't want to become a Youtube junky, but be aware! Youtube keeps recommending all kind of videos and anyone of them may HOOK you depending on your taste, preferences and weaknesses. If you accidentally watch one of those videos Youtube begings recommending other similar videos and you are doomed!  ???

* Yes, "boring" in the sense they don't give you an addiction.

The only geniuses I see on YouTube are the composers of whom I watch these ‘boring’ documentaries. Those are the real geniuses in my mind. I wouldn’t be caught dead watching one of those videos you watch on that site, because 1. I’m not brain-dead and 2. I’m not easily lead (i. e. gullible) into believing the propaganda in which you subscribe.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on December 18, 2020, 11:51:36 AM
The only geniuses I see on YouTube are the composers of whom I watch these ‘boring’ documentaries. Those are the real geniuses in my mind. I wouldn’t be caught dead watching one of those videos you watch on that site, because 1. I’m not brain-dead and 2. I’m not easily lead (i. e. gullible) into believing the propaganda in which you subscribe.
Uh, did I miss something, maybe in another thread? I saw 71dB describing "evil" propaganda but never saw him say that he believes any of it.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 12:01:54 PM
Uh, did I miss something, maybe in another thread? I saw 71dB describing "evil" propaganda but never saw him say that he believes any of it.

I’m not sure about actual quotes from 71 dB saying he believed in the propaganda or not, but my point, more or less, was that he’s wasted a lot of time watching junk, which is fine if that’s what he wants to do, but the way he’s talking about it sounds like he’s a fallen victim to these types of YouTube videos and that he has no control over what he’s actually watching and this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 18, 2020, 02:11:20 PM
I totally agree with this. The slow movements of 2 and 3 are the "reason" to listen to these.  :)

It's actually "only" £14.29 + shipping (condition good) on Amazon.co.uk, but even that is a bit high, especially as I haven't even heard the CD. I can stream it on Spotify, althout tonight I will watch snooker on tv. I avoid downloads. I am a physical media guy. I looked for some Argerich boxes, but didn't find this one, maybe because this is DG and those boxes where Warner.

Yeah, there's an Argerich "Complete DG Recordings" box.  Not many such boxes have such a high hit/miss ratio (well, at least for Argerich fans).

If you don't want to get the complete DG box, there's a "chamber ensemble" box with the Bartok Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion with Freire:

https://www.amazon.com/Martha-Argerich-Collection-Chamber-Ensembles/dp/B003W16TBS

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 03:17:53 PM
The only geniuses I see on YouTube are the composers of whom I watch these ‘boring’ documentaries. Those are the real geniuses in my mind. I wouldn’t be caught dead watching one of those videos you watch on that site, because 1. I’m not brain-dead and 2. I’m not easily lead (i. e. gullible) into believing the propaganda in which you subscribe.

I don't think you know what kind of videos I watch on Youtube. A small portion of those have been about US politics which is what I believe you are preferring to when you mention "the propaganda." By "evil" I mean the videos are addictive. For example Dan Bell documents dying/dead shopping malls in a genius way utilizing the psychological aspects of "liminal spaces" and nostalgia. The only political propaganda in those videos is "People shop online these days so shopping malls in areas where people's income level is dropping are really struggling." Or how about recreational math? There is hardly anything political about calculating fancy integrals and the only propaganda is "Math is cool!" Even if we talk about the US politics videos I watch I have said a million time people are much better believing the likes of TYT, Secular Talk, David Pakman, The Humanist Report, Christo Aivalis, etc. than the corporate media. I wish we could drop this negativity already and concentrate on positive things.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 03:22:03 PM
Yeah, there's an Argerich "Complete DG Recordings" box.  Not many such boxes have such a high hit/miss ratio (well, at least for Argerich fans).

If you don't want to get the complete DG box, there's a "chamber ensemble" box with the Bartok Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion with Freire:

https://www.amazon.com/Martha-Argerich-Collection-Chamber-Ensembles/dp/B003W16TBS

Thanks for the link. The 6 CD box might be too much and the backcover photo is out of focus so it's hard to see what's in the box...  :P
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 03:30:19 PM
I don't think you know what kind of videos I watch on Youtube. A small portion of those have been about US politics which is what I believe you are preferring to when you mention "the propaganda." By "evil" I mean the videos are addictive. For example Dan Bell documents dying/dead shopping malls in a genius way utilizing the psychological aspects of "liminal spaces" and nostalgia. The only political propaganda in those videos is "People shop online these days so shopping malls in areas where people's income level is dropping are really struggling." Or how about recreational math? There is hardly anything political about calculating fancy integrals and the only propaganda is "Math is cool!" Even if we talk about the US politics videos I watch I have said a million time people are much better believing the likes of TYT, Secular Talk, David Pakman, The Humanist Report, Christo Aivalis, etc. than the corporate media. I wish we could drop this negativity already and concentrate on positive things.

To the bolded text, this would’ve made a lot of sense if you hadn’t had written all of that other stuff before you wrote that last sentence. In any case, fair enough. I won’t bother you any longer about this. My point has been made.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on December 18, 2020, 03:51:11 PM
Can we stop trying to micromanage other people's time management, please?  When someone complains they don't have time for things, I usually just take it as small talk.  Taking someone to task for it seems a bit gormless to me.

For example Dan Bell documents dying/dead shopping malls in a genius way utilizing the psychological aspects of "liminal spaces" and nostalgia.

While truly dead malls are depressing, those dying mall videos (I usually watch the Retail Archeology ones), with their big, almost empty indoor spaces, can be so restive.   8)

I probably watch more SaveAFox videos than anything else.  I don't have cable, so YT makes up most of my video watching.  I do subscribe to some video streaming services, but I should stop as I've been barely using them lately, finding most movies and TV series not holding my interest anymore.

Hmm, it seems the political YT I watch is more radical than what 71dB is watching.  I do not like TYT and don't care much for Pakman, but at least it's not Jimmy Dore.  For a daily "current events" show, I usually watch The Majority Report.    Most of my favorite "breadtube" channels have not been very productive lately: Contrapoints, Shaun, Three Arrows, Innuendo Studios, Big Joel, Timbah.On.Toast, LonerBox, Jonas Čeika, Bad Empanada.







Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 04:15:11 PM
Anyway...back to Hurwitz. Goodness, this guy never shuts up. Watching him is the equivalent of walking into a room of screaming babies. His voice is irritating and I really can’t stand how he spends so much time on enunciation of composers and then says “Ah, who really cares how it’s pronounced.” He wastes a lot of time beating around the bush instead of just getting on with it and saying what he wants. I read on some forum (maybe this one?) that someone actually met him and he was the nicest guy and that’s all well fine and all, but his videos need either trimming down or he should start thinking about adding in some graphics, because as it stands right now, they’re a slog to get through.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 04:37:48 PM
While truly dead malls are depressing, those dying mall videos (I usually watch the Retail Archeology ones), with their big, almost empty indoor spaces, can be so restive.   8)

Wow, someone else on GMG watching dead malls videos on Youtube!  0:) Related to these I also watch Urbex videos (The Proper People is my favorite, but there are so many to choose from.) Btw, "restive" was completely new english word for me. I suppose it's used VERY seldom?

I probably watch more SaveAFox videos than anything else.  I don't have cable, so YT makes up most of my video watching.  I do subscribe to some video streaming services, but I should stop as I've been barely using them lately, finding most movies and TV series not holding my interest anymore.

Yeah, foxes are supercool animals. I watch TYR the White Fox, but also other fox channels (pun intented) occationally. I have "cable" meaning about 2 dozen free tv channels + maybe 200 pay channels which I don't subscribe to. Youtube rules for me. Sometimes I watch something from tv, but most of it is uninteresting garbage. I use Blu-ray a lot to watch movies.

Hmm, it seems the political YT I watch is more radical and anti-capitalist than what 71dB is watching.  I do not like TYT and don't care much for Pakman, but at least it's not Jimmy Dore.  I usually watch The Majority Report.    Most of my favorite "breadtube" channels have not been very productive lately: Contrapoints, Shaun, Three Arrows, Innuendo Studios, Big Joel, Timbah.On.Toast, LonerBox, Jonas Čeika, Bad Empanada.

I used to watch Jimmy Dore in the beginning when I got into US politics in 2017, but I kind of got fed up with his "stand-up" style of politics. So, it's more of "how" he says than "what" he says. Sam Seder's laconic style isn't my style either. Of the other channels you mention I only know Contrapoints, althou I only watch a few of her videos couple of years back. There's just so many serious content creators! That's why everyone can discover their own favorites and that's why they are do addictive.

The political channels I watch tend to favor social democracy which is anti-crony-capitalist rather than anti-capitalist. As far as I know The Majority Report is also in this group more or less.

TYT gets to the nerves of some people, but I tolerate them and acknowledge their massive size and influence. They are very important in the realm of US lefty media.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 18, 2020, 04:59:46 PM
His voice is irritating and I really can’t stand how he spends so much time on enunciation of composers and then says “Ah, who really cares how it’s pronounced.”

I find his voice fun to listen to. In one video he pronounced Einojuhani Rautavaara quite well (maybe 88 % correctly) for an English-speaker. That's the kind of Finnish name that gets often butchered fiercely by people who are not native Finnish speakers.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 18, 2020, 05:44:36 PM
Anyway...back to Hurwitz. Goodness, this guy never shuts up. Watching him is the equivalent of walking into a room of screaming babies. His voice is irritating and I really can’t stand how he spends so much time on enunciation of composers and then says “Ah, who really cares how it’s pronounced.” He wastes a lot of time beating around the bush instead of just getting on with it and saying what he wants. I read on some forum (maybe this one?) that someone actually met him and he was the nicest guy and that’s all well fine and all, but his videos need either trimming down or he should start thinking about adding in some graphics, because as it stands right now, they’re a slog to get through.

I still prefer the written reviews for much this reason. And indeed, the contents of many of the videos (about the best recording of a work, etc) essentially end up reflecting the written reviews anyway. Not least because it's a standard part of Classics Today to list what they consider the reference recordings. There's been a few times when that sort of information has enabled me to know what is in an 'Insider' review without subscribing (though I've considered subscribing lately to access everything, I can probably afford to do so).

It's one of the interesting things about the internet is that many people don't seem to realise the importance of editing, when the medium itself doesn't force them to edit. I don't know whether it's partly a factor of this COVID year in Hurwitz' case, where it really is just him sitting at home and talking. But he'd still be better off doing editing or retakes or just planning his script a lot more tightly.

And the whole "who cares how it's pronounced" shtick really needs to go. It's rude. It would actually be better to just get it wrong, and maybe admit that, than to say "who cares".
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 05:58:40 PM
I still prefer the written reviews for much this reason. And indeed, the contents of many of the videos (about the best recording of a work, etc) essentially end up reflecting the written reviews anyway. Not least because it's a standard part of Classics Today to list what they consider the reference recordings. There's been a few times when that sort of information has enabled me to know what is in an 'Insider' review without subscribing (though I've considered subscribing lately to access everything, I can probably afford to do so).

It's one of the interesting things about the internet is that many people don't seem to realise the importance of editing, when the medium itself doesn't force them to edit. I don't know whether it's partly a factor of this COVID year in Hurwitz' case, where it really is just him sitting at home and talking. But he'd still be better off doing editing or retakes or just planning his script a lot more tightly.

And the whole "who cares how it's pronounced" shtick really needs to go. It's rude. It would actually be better to just get it wrong, and maybe admit that, than to say "who cares".

Some good points here. I especially like the idea of sticking to a script, which helps eliminate the dead weight. He posts so many of these videos that I think the idea of trimming them down or doing any sort of editing isn’t important, especially when people are kissing his ass with comments like “Great video!” or “Keep them coming!” I mean it would nice to actually read one comment on one of his videos that complain about the actual content and the way it’s presented, but, alas, I have yet to see one, but then again, it’s not like I’m looking for those comments either or can be bothered to sift through the congratulatory bullshit in order to find one comment that actually criticizes his way of going about making these videos.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 18, 2020, 06:02:37 PM
You could always write one...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2020, 06:03:59 PM
You could always write one...

I’m afraid my comment won’t be nice and I don’t want to end up sounding like I’m insulting the man, which I’ve already done plenty of here. :P
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: knight66 on December 19, 2020, 07:26:11 AM
Sure. As long as you stop posting garbage like this:

Since this probably won’t happen, I think I’m allowed to call someone else out on their self-pity posts. But it’s quite alright as 71 dB never actually reads responses --- he just keeps writing and writing and writing ad nauseam.

Can I just remind folks to be careful, try not to step on one another’s toes please.

Knight
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 19, 2020, 12:40:43 PM
In the Haydn Symphony Crusade (no. 6), we don't just get "I really don't," but "I really, really don't." Beat that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0ytKqcODGE, 5:43.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 21, 2020, 03:04:17 PM
"One of the bitchiest, most mean-spirited essays in musical history," sez Dave. What is he talking about? That 25-second video where he threw the complete works of Pierre Boulez in the air and called them "garbage"? Mais non! In fact, courtesy of an essay supplied by our good friend and esteemed colleague Brian Reinhart, Dave is talking about a man "who taught a whole generation of composers we all despise," that is - René Leibowitz, sez Dave, bitchily relishing his impeccable pronunciation of Leibowitz's French-German name. (Never mind that Boulez quarreled fiercely with Leibowitz, writing that "the academism of his (RL's) analysis and so on was unbearable to me." And never mind that this "whole generation of composers we all despise" has been championed and recorded by such non-entities as Charles Rosen, Robert Craft, Maurizio Pollini, Allan Gilbert, Claudio Abbado, David Robertson, usw.)

Leibowitz was totally wrong about Sibelius. But lots of composers are wrong about others ("Beethoven is ready for the madhouse," said Weber of the 4th symphony; "that giftless bastard Brahms," said Tchaikovsky, whose opinion was echoed by Britten decades later), and if ever a pot called a kettle black, it was Mr. Hurwitz on this occasion. It really was.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 12:31:41 PM
"Beethoven is ready for the madhouse," said Weber of the 4th symphony;

It was actually the 7th and it was actually one of Schindler's countless fabrications.

Quote from: Wikipedia
The oft-repeated claim that Carl Maria von Weber considered the chromatic bass line in the coda of the first movement evidence that Beethoven was "ripe for the madhouse" seems to have been the invention of Beethoven's first biographer, Anton Schindler. His possessive adulation of Beethoven is well-known, and he was criticised by his contemporaries for his obsessive attacks on Weber. According to John Warrack, Weber's biographer, Schindler was characteristically evasive when defending Beethoven, and there is "no shred of concrete evidence" that Weber ever made the remark.[14]
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 01:32:20 PM
It was actually the 7th and it was actually one of Schindler's countless fabrications.

Ah yes. I was mixing up two Weber reactions. But he said this for sure about the 4th:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenocstuff/weber-on-beethoven-s-fourth-symphony
"First a slow movement full of short disjointed unconnected ideas, at the rate of three or four notes per quarter of an hour; then a mysterious roll of the drum and passage of the violas, seasoned with the proper quantity of pauses and ritardandos; and to end all a furious finale, in which the only requisite is that there should be no ideas for the hearer to make out, but plenty of transitions from one key to another."

And this detail does not rebut my main point, i.e. that some judgments against composers are preposterously unjust. Why, some folks have been known to inveigh against Havergal Brian!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 22, 2020, 01:38:37 PM
People have tastes.

People are horrified that other people have tastes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 01:50:45 PM
Ah yes. I was mixing up two Weber reactions. But he said this for sure about the 4th:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenocstuff/weber-on-beethoven-s-fourth-symphony
"First a slow movement full of short disjointed unconnected ideas, at the rate of three or four notes per quarter of an hour; then a mysterious roll of the drum and passage of the violas, seasoned with the proper quantity of pauses and ritardandos; and to end all a furious finale, in which the only requisite is that there should be no ideas for the hearer to make out, but plenty of transitions from one key to another."

But, but, but, dear Mr. Sforz, this source is just as untrustful as Schindler:

In 1809, Carl Maria von Weber published a biting satire on Beethoven's Fourth Symphony. It was summarized by Sir George Grove in his 1896 book, "Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies." Let's not forget that this same Weber was supposed to have pronounced Beethoven "ripe for the madhouse" upon hearing the Seventh Symphony! Anyway, here's Sir George:

Say what? Instead of a link to that original 1809 biting satire Weber supposedly published (at the very least, we should have been told which journal, which issue and which page) we are offered a "summary" by Sir George Grove, and a reminder that Weber "was supposedto have pronounced Beethoven "ripe for the madhouse" upon hearing the Seventh Symphony".

Sir George Grove is dead and burried; so is Weber; so is Schindler. Who is going to shed light upon this strange case, I wonder?

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 01:51:42 PM
People have tastes.

People are horrified that other people have tastes.

The tragedy and downfall of GMG in a nutshell.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 01:57:14 PM
Sir George Grove is dead and burried; so is Weber; so is Schindler. Who is going to shed light upon this strange case, I wonder?

Hurwitz?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 02:04:57 PM
Hurwitz?

Hah!  :D

Is he even remotely related to Emanuel Hurwitz, I wonder.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 02:16:01 PM
Is he even remotely related to Emanuel Hurwitz, I wonder.

One can only hope.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 02:22:08 PM
One can only hope.

I think you're being too harsh to him, Mr. Sforz. He's a human being, ergo he's deeply flawed --- but I can think of much worse ways of being deeply flawed than his.

Seriously now, what amuses me no end is people not caring for, or even despising, David Hurwitz yet who keep posting about he said or did.

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 03:17:58 PM
I think you're being too harsh to him, Mr. Sforz. He's a human being, ergo he's deeply flawed --- but I can think of much worse ways of being deeply flawed than his.

Seriously now, what amuses me no end is people not caring for, or even despising, David Hurwitz yet who keep posting about he said or did.

I don't despise him - not by a long shot - but he is "deeply flawed" to say the least. He definitely knows his recordings, he's very funny, and he says useful things about the music in a non-technical way. What I most dislike are his tolerance for some (in my view) mediocre 20th-century modern tonal composers, and his corresponding contempt for the high points of the atonal avant garde (Stockhausen, Boulez, Carter, among others). Real blind spots (or should I say deaf spots) there, as well as his blanket dismissal of the whole genre of the art song. That would be one thing if it were one of us casual listeners, quite another from a professional critic whose opinions are published and can be expected to carry greater weight.

Fair enough, Andre?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on December 22, 2020, 03:24:56 PM
Ah yes. I was mixing up two Weber reactions. But he said this for sure about the 4th:

"First a slow movement full of short disjointed unconnected ideas, at the rate of three or four notes per quarter of an hour; then a mysterious roll of the drum and passage of the violas, seasoned with the proper quantity of pauses and ritardandos; and to end all a furious finale, in which the only requisite is that there should be no ideas for the hearer to make out, but plenty of transitions from one key to another."
Really that quote sounds remarkably similar to Leibowitz on Sibelius! I guess a certain sort of bad review never changes.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 03:30:19 PM
I don't despise him - not by a long shot -

I didn't imply you do.


Quote
he is "deeply flawed" to say the least.

Welcome to the club!

Quote
He definitely knows his recordings, he's very funny,

Yep!

Quote
he says useful things about the music in a non-technical way.

I wonder how many musical critics qualify...

Quote
What I most dislike are his tolerance for some (in my view) mediocre 20th-century modern tonal composers,

Such as...?


Quote
his corresponding contempt for the high points of the atonal avant garde (Stockhausen, Boulez, Carter, among others).

I couldn't care less about them myself but I don't hold them in any contempt --- they do nothing for me, yet more power to those who enjoy them!


Quote
his blanket dismissal of the whole genre of the art song.

Yes, in this respect he is guilty of an unqualified cultural crime. Unqualified, I tellya!

Quote
Fair enough, Andrei?

Absolutely faiir, Larry!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on December 22, 2020, 03:57:50 PM
Such as...?
A lot of post-Mahlerian romantics. Back when I was in college, I wasted a lot of time seeing a new CT review of an obscure composer like Sigmund von Hausegger or Joly Braga Santos, checking the disc out of the college library, and discovering that the music was (to me) super boring. Not to say they ALL were. I found people like Dag Wiren that way whom I still enjoy. But Hurwitz definitely has a thing for big gloopy orchestral stuff.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 04:06:26 PM
A lot of post-Mahlerian romantics. Back when I was in college, I wasted a lot of time seeing a new CT review of an obscure composer like Sigmund von Hausegger or Joly Braga Santos, checking the disc out of the college library, and discovering that the music was (to me) super boring.

Hah!

I listened to the first two Braga Santos symphonies upon enthusiastic GMG reviews--- only to discover they are precisely the doom&gloom stufff that I can't stand even when paid in gold!

Never heard  a note of Hausegger but if it's anything like Braga Santos, then I'll pass!

Give me Mozart, Schubert and Chopin any time of the day or of the night, call me a philistine and thank you!



Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 04:47:05 PM
I couldn't care less about them myself but I don't hold them in any contempt --- they do nothing for me, yet more power to those who enjoy them!

Where he crossed the line, imo, is in referring to Leibowitz as a man "who taught a whole generation of composers we all despise." And that's a direct quote. And coming from someone in a position of authority, whose opinions which some (judging by the comments) take at face value, that's a bad slip. It really is. He's purporting to speak for everybody, he dismisses this music out of hand, and I think his judgment on Leibowitz's remarks is colored by his contempt for the avant-garde generation. I quote the complete text of his video on the music of Boulez:

"Hello friends! This is Dave Hurwitz, executive editor of Classics Today, here to talk about the very best of Pierre Boulez the composer! Ah, who am I kidding? (throws CDs away) It's all garbage! There is no best of Pierre Boulez the composer. End of video! Keep on listening to anything else! Bye-bye!"

And of course the comments mostly applaud Dave for his great insights and perspicacity, with the occasional exception:
COMMENT: Respectfully disagree.
HURWITZ: Respectfully don't care.

COMMENT: Boulez, like Elliott Carter, took the Boulanger technical work to heart, and produced wonderful fastidious scores of great beauty. The Boulez complete works on DG is one of my keep for life boxes. I'm currently working through Per Norgard's work, and find wonderful things in this derived seemingly from non-musical ideas. I suppose the ravishing Xenakis is also out of bounds? How about the collected Ligeti split between two labels?
HURWITZ: Nothing is out of bounds, including criticizing any of the above for producing crap.

Pot-kettle-black, as I said above. Geez, you'd think we were talking about Braga Santos here.  ;D Hurwitz is just making himself look bad.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 05:06:02 PM
Where he crossed the line, imo, is in referring to Leibowitz as a man "who taught a whole generation of composers we all despise." And that's a direct quote. And coming from someone in a position of authority, whose opinions which some (judging by the comments) take at face value, that's a bad slip. It really is. He's purporting to speak for everybody, he dismisses this music out of hand, and I think his judgment on Leibowitz's remarks is colored by his contempt for the avant-garde generation. I quote the complete text of his video on the music of Boulez:

"Hello friends! This is Dave Hurwitz, executive editor of Classics Today, here to talk about the very best of Pierre Boulez the composer! Ah, who am I kidding? (throws CDs away) It's all garbage! There is no best of Pierre Boulez the composer. End of video! Keep on listening to anything else! Bye-bye!"

And of course the comments mostly applaud Dave for his great insights and perspicacity, with the occasional exception:
COMMENT: Respectfully disagree.
HURWITZ: Respectfully don't care.

COMMENT: Boulez, like Elliott Carter, took the Boulanger technical work to heart, and produced wonderful fastidious scores of great beauty. The Boulez complete works on DG is one of my keep for life boxes. I'm currently working through Per Norgard's work, and find wonderful things in this derived seemingly from non-musical ideas. I suppose the ravishing Xenakis is also out of bounds? How about the collected Ligeti split between two labels?
HURWITZ: Nothing is out of bounds, including criticizing any of the above for producing crap.

Pot-kettle-black, as I said above. Geez, you'd think we were talking about Braga Santos here.  ;D Hurwitz is just making himself look bad.


Does it even matter? I mean, David Hurwitz trashing Boulez on YouTube! Unheard of! Crime! Assassin!

Oh, pulleeaaseee, Larry!


Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 22, 2020, 05:44:23 PM

Does it even matter? I mean, David Hurwitz trashing Boulez on YouTube! Unheard of! Crime! Assassin!

Oh, pulleeaaseee, Larry!

Of course it doesn't matter! But why else do we have an Internet?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 05:49:33 PM
why else do we have an Internet?

Ask my wife!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on December 22, 2020, 06:35:02 PM
Seriously now, what amuses me no end is people not caring for, or even despising, David Hurwitz yet who keep posting about he said or did.

One of the bigger non-politically related head scratchers of this forum.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 22, 2020, 07:15:12 PM
Seriously now, what amuses me no end is people not caring for, or even despising, David Hurwitz yet who keep posting about he said or did.

I only post about him because of what I think are outrageous opinions like those videos I posted on the Elgar thread. I mean this Elgar video is just beyond baffling to me:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0

To me, it's like saying Beethoven’s best work is the Leonore Overture or something along these lines. I mean he’s free to believe and say what he wants, but by the same token, I think it’s perfectly valid for anyone to criticize his opinion or, in this case, what I view as a lapse of judgment.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on December 22, 2020, 07:46:17 PM
Hah!

I listened to the first two Braga Santos symphonies upon enthusiastic GMG reviews--- only to discover they are precisely the doom&gloom stufff that I can't stand even when paid in gold!

Braga Santos' first two symphonies are anything but "doom&gloom". Clearly you listened to the last two (which are superb too, above all No. 5).  ;)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 23, 2020, 01:20:33 AM
When it comes to written reviews, those of Hurwitz (and everyone else on his site) are models of clarity and concision compared to what you find on Musicweb International.

People might complain about Hurwitz's opinions, but at least you know what the hell they are.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on December 23, 2020, 01:31:53 AM
Never heard  a note of Hausegger but if it's anything like Braga Santos, then I'll pass!
I am not sure I ever consciously listened to anything by either composer, but von Hausegger is supposed to be similar to Bruckner (he was a famous Bruckner conductor as well).

I think it is fairly easy why people love to discuss and hate Hurwitz. In my case, I often find his reviews entertaining and informative, as I share some of his enthusiasms (e.g. Haydn) or at least the general thrust that some music deserves more attention (e.g. some of Mendelssohn, shorter concert pieces with piano). One problem is that he often explicitly claims that as a professional reviewer he does and can fairly review music he does not particularly care about. And sometimes he does that.
But it seems that far more frequently he gleefully indulges in tearing up (or throwing into garbage) his bêtes noires, both certain artists (Horenstein, Rattle, Furtwängler) and composers (almost all non-tonal avantgarde after the first generation, not sure about his stance on Schönberg, Berg, Webern, but also late romantics like Reger and Pfitzner and probably more I forgot about), areas of musicological research (Bruckner symphony versions) or whole genres (Lieder, which he didn't throw into the garbage but claimed that any claim they could be serious classical music and not "basically the same" as pop songs was pretentious elitism).

Spicing up reviews occasionally with tantrums about how bad something is, is one thing, but the extent is unprofessional and often more annoying than amusing. To reject in a sophomoric way the items I just listened is in direct contradiction to the professional fairnesses he professes elsewhere. And by this he also exhibits the very same parochialism he makes fun of elsewhere.
This was more understandable 70 years ago when composers and critics like Leibowitz fought tooth and nail for the avantgarde music they loved (and keep in mind that some composers of interwar avantgarde had barely escaped physical annihilation (or not) which is hardly conducive to fair evaluation of opponents) and didn't shy from unfair attacks on popular favorites (and Sibelius was an ironical case because he had "dropped out" already in 1930). But Hurwitz does not have such excuses, he only does it for fun or spite.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on December 23, 2020, 03:00:59 AM
I am not sure I ever consciously listened to anything by either composer, but von Hausegger is supposed to be similar to Bruckner (he was a famous Bruckner conductor as well).

I think it is fairly easy why people love to discuss and hate Hurwitz. In my case, I often find his reviews entertaining and informative, as I share some of his enthusiasms (e.g. Haydn) or at least the general thrust that some music deserves more attention (e.g. some of Mendelssohn, shorter concert pieces with piano). One problem is that he often explicitly claims that as a professional reviewer he does and can fairly review music he does not particularly care about. And sometimes he does that.
But it seems that far more frequently he gleefully indulges in tearing up (or throwing into garbage) his bêtes noires, both certain artists (Horenstein, Rattle, Furtwängler) and composers (almost all non-tonal avantgarde after the first generation, not sure about his stance on Schönberg, Berg, Webern, but also late romantics like Reger and Pfitzner and probably more I forgot about), areas of musicological research (Bruckner symphony versions) or whole genres (Lieder, which he didn't throw into the garbage but claimed that any claim they could be serious classical music and not "basically the same" as pop songs was pretentious elitism).

Spicing up reviews occasionally with tantrums about how bad something is, is one thing, but the extent is unprofessional and often more annoying than amusing. To reject in a sophomoric way the items I just listened is in direct contradiction to the professional fairnesses he professes elsewhere. And by this he also exhibits the very same parochialism he makes fun of elsewhere.
This was more understandable 70 years ago when composers and critics like Leibowitz fought tooth and nail for the avantgarde music they loved (and keep in mind that some composers of interwar avantgarde had barely escaped physical annihilation (or not) which is hardly conducive to fair evaluation of opponents) and didn't shy from unfair attacks on popular favorites (and Sibelius was an ironical case because he had "dropped out" already in 1930). But Hurwitz does not have such excuses, he only does it for fun or spite.

This is a fair assessment.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 23, 2020, 03:20:32 AM
I only post about him because of what I think are outrageous opinions like those videos I posted on the Elgar thread. I mean this Elgar video is just beyond baffling to me:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0

To me, it's like saying Beethoven’s best work is the Leonore Overture or something along these lines. I mean he’s free to believe and say what he wants, but by the same token, I think it’s perfectly valid for anyone to criticize his opinion or, in this case, what I view as a lapse of judgment.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 23, 2020, 03:52:49 AM
He regularly resorts to telling people he was being funny. It's one of his least impressive qualities.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 23, 2020, 04:47:16 AM
He regularly resorts to telling people he was being funny. It's one of his least impressive qualities.

What I find less impressive quality is lack of critical thinking skills. Whenever something someone says doesn't make sense to you stop for a few seconds to think if it's because the other person was possibly joking about it. It's also good to remember Youtube video titles tend to be clickbaity / provocative because that's how you get more views! If someone is known for regularly joking about things don't take everything that person says seriously.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 23, 2020, 12:03:57 PM
What I find less impressive quality is lack of critical thinking skills. Whenever something someone says doesn't make sense to you stop for a few seconds to think if it's because the other person was possibly joking about it. It's also good to remember Youtube video titles tend to be clickbaity / provocative because that's how you get more views! If someone is known for regularly joking about things don't take everything that person says seriously.

Disagree completely. He resorts to the “I was only joking” defence when he gets challenged on things when it’s pretty clear he meant exactly what he said but knows it was provocative.

You want to talk about critical thinking skills? Critical thinking includes being aware of the long history of “I was only joking” and “why can’t you take a joke?” as responses when a certain kind of little bullying misfires.

He’s done it to me by the way. I can’t even remember what the topic was, but his response to something was a nasty little remark, and then it became how I didn’t have a sense of humour.

He wraps lots of little nasty remarks as “humour”. But if your “humour” regularly consists of attacking other people, you’re not actually being funny. You’re employing a tactic to get away with being nasty.

A reviewer, of all people, should not be constantly claiming they didn’t really mean it.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on December 24, 2020, 02:31:34 AM
Disagree completely. He resorts to the “I was only joking” defence when he gets challenged on things when it’s pretty clear he meant exactly what he said but knows it was provocative.

You want to talk about critical thinking skills? Critical thinking includes being aware of the long history of “I was only joking” and “why can’t you take a joke?” as responses when a certain kind of little bullying misfires.

He’s done it to me by the way. I can’t even remember what the topic was, but his response to something was a nasty little remark, and then it became how I didn’t have a sense of humour.

He wraps lots of little nasty remarks as “humour”. But if your “humour” regularly consists of attacking other people, you’re not actually being funny. You’re employing a tactic to get away with being nasty.

A reviewer, of all people, should not be constantly claiming they didn’t really mean it.

I have noted a strange mannerism. He says something half-jokingly - take it how you will, and in an instant his head drops and his face takes on a serious pose. He then isn't playing to the crowd but saying what he really thinks.

It was said back in the thread that he was professional reviewer. Don't know how true but told yesterday he worked in real estate? 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 24, 2020, 02:43:52 AM
I have noted a strange mannerism. He says something half-jokingly - take it how you will, and in an instant his head drops and his face takes on a serious pose. He then isn't playing to the crowd but saying what he really thinks.

Hurwitz seems to be a VERY extrovert person. Being familiar with his mannerism is clearly beneficial in understanding what he means. Maybe that's why I enjoy watching his videos. For a dull introvert person like me that kind of colourful "show" of body language and facial expression is magic.  :D

It was said back in the thread that he was professional reviewer. Don't know how true but told yesterday he worked in real estate?

Real estate ??  ??? WHAAAT?!? Must be one of his jokes!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on December 24, 2020, 02:50:57 AM
For a dull introvert person like me that kind of colourful "show" of body language and facial expression is magic.  :D

For many introverts, a person who is showy is a total turnoff.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on December 24, 2020, 03:01:16 AM
For many introverts, a person who is showy is a total turnoff.

Yes, if it's about mutual communication, but I don't communicate anything to Hurwitz so his ability or lack thereof to understand me doesn't matter. Also introverts are fact-based so Hurwitz's SUBJECTIVE opinions about classical music don't matter and there is even the fact that he doesn't try to make the audience feel good. He states his opinion and if you disagree that's your own problem! Introverts are similar and speak to tell something, not to make other people feel good. So, the subject matter makes it suitable for introverts. Maybe if he talked about climate change or calculus, I would get annoyed in 5 seconds.  ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on December 24, 2020, 07:57:14 AM
Hurwitz does not rub me up the wrong way, I don't find him as annoying as others. The enthusiasm he feels shines through which is more important then what he actually says in my book. He reckons Slatkin is better then Boult in Vaughan Williams maybe, maybe not. I take enough notice to purchase a Slatkin CD (minimal cost) to find out but would never take his word.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 24, 2020, 08:50:21 AM
I only post about him because of what I think are outrageous opinions like those videos I posted on the Elgar thread. I mean this Elgar video is just beyond baffling to me:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0

To me, it's like saying Beethoven’s best work is the Leonore Overture or something along these lines. I mean he’s free to believe and say what he wants, but by the same token, I think it’s perfectly valid for anyone to criticize his opinion or, in this case, what I view as a lapse of judgment.

Yes I agree, John, and I have to conclude he was making an inept joke. Or maybe he was sincere. Who knows. I'm not a devout Elgarian, but there are some wonderful works - the Enigmas, In the South, the Cello Concerto, violin sonata, piano quintet - that lift him into the major composers in my book, and are far better than that March of the Moguls or whatever it is.

He doesn't always bother me. He really can be funny (that video on boxed sets of Carl Orff is a classic). Sometimes he has really good things to say about musical construction too, as when he analyzes phrase structures in Janacek's Sinfonietta or the Haydn C major op. 50 quartet. But his wholesale dismissal of what he calls "the avant-garde, academic, serial nightmare" is just a facile, thoughtless re-hashing of clichés long ago proposed by Henry Pleasants and Terry Teachout. It's not only short-sighted but wrong. Boulez and Stockhausen were anything but academic; Elliott Carter (whose Concerto for Orchestra and Third Quartet are for me two of the top 5-10 works of the 20th century) wasn't a serialist at all. And to dismiss Boulez, Norgard, Xenakis, Ligeti when he will then enthuse about a mediocrity like Don Gillis, whose Symphony 5 1/2 you can find on YouTube. (I thought the piece was a cringe-worthy 15 minutes without a single interesting idea. If you want an American neo-classic symphony with plenty of charm and imagination, try instead Meyer Kupferman's Little Symphony.)

Hurwitz is not important in himself, but his presence looms large on the Internet and he's got a large following. He has plenty of good things to say, but he ought to edit himself and plan his improvised chats for greater conciseness. And watch the blanket dismissals. Fine if you don't care for Boulez's music, many don't, but to call works like Rituel or Pli Selon Pli "garbage" is unprofessional in my opinion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on December 24, 2020, 08:53:33 AM
Hurwitz does not rub me up the wrong way, I don't find him as annoying as others. The enthusiasm he feels shines through which is more important then what he actually says in my book. He reckons Slatkin is better then Boult in Vaughan Williams maybe, maybe not. I take enough notice to purchase a Slatkin CD (minimal cost) to find out but would never take his word.
I watched that video a few days ago.  I haven't heard any VW with him conducting but am intrigued.  I'll ask in the VW thread if anyone else here has heard those recordings.

PD

p.s.  And yes, I do (like you) appreciate his enthusiasm and the delight that he takes in music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on December 25, 2020, 07:31:22 AM
Yes I agree, John, and I have to conclude he was making an inept joke. Or maybe he was sincere. Who knows. I'm not a devout Elgarian, but there are some wonderful works - the Enigmas, In the South, the Cello Concerto, violin sonata, piano quintet - that lift him into the major composers in my book, and are far better than that March of the Moguls or whatever it is.

He doesn't always bother me. He really can be funny (that video on boxed sets of Carl Orff is a classic). Sometimes he has really good things to say about musical construction too, as when he analyzes phrase structures in Janacek's Sinfonietta or the Haydn C major op. 50 quartet. But his wholesale dismissal of what he calls "the avant-garde, academic, serial nightmare" is just a facile, thoughtless re-hashing of clichés long ago proposed by Henry Pleasants and Terry Teachout. It's not only short-sighted but wrong. Boulez and Stockhausen were anything but academic; Elliott Carter (whose Concerto for Orchestra and Third Quartet are for me two of the top 5-10 works of the 20th century) wasn't a serialist at all. And to dismiss Boulez, Norgard, Xenakis, Ligeti when he will then enthuse about a mediocrity like Don Gillis, whose Symphony 5 1/2 you can find on YouTube. (I thought the piece was a cringe-worthy 15 minutes without a single interesting idea. If you want an American neo-classic symphony with plenty of charm and imagination, try instead Meyer Kupferman's Little Symphony.)

Hurwitz is not important in himself, but his presence looms large on the Internet and he's got a large following. He has plenty of good things to say, but he ought to edit himself and plan his improvised chats for greater conciseness. And watch the blanket dismissals. Fine if you don't care for Boulez's music, many don't, but to call works like Rituel or Pli Selon Pli "garbage" is unprofessional in my opinion.

Some good points. I, too, find his reviews or videos dismissing avant-garde music as ‘garbage’ to be really uncalled for and shows zero insight into actually making an attempt to understand and enjoy this music. I also found it distasteful when he continuously referred to Strauss’ tone poems as trash. I mean he does seem to like this music, but insulting your way through a review only confuses the reader/viewer. He also mentioned how there’s no profundity in any of these tone poems, which is an ignorant statement as there are moments that reveal a depth of emotion that I guess he doesn’t or can’t allow himself to feel. Anyway, it’s Christmas and I’m done talking about this guy.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Todd on February 06, 2021, 07:48:25 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/PSXwzHIqzRA


So Hurwitz dislikes the Honeck Ninth.  That's OK.  What is not OK is the fit of that shirt.  Seriously.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 06, 2021, 07:57:04 AM
Well there is 27 pages here so this has probably mentioned... but my problem is when he personally attacks musicians.  He accused period instrument performers of just being day job workers with no passion.  You wouldn't believe the things that he has said about Norrington in particular.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on February 06, 2021, 09:20:53 AM
The video on Dvorak's Fifth Symphony was unusually focused on the music and musical examples. If you're wondering why he spends 30 minutes choosing his top 5 recordings, it's because he spends the first 25 minutes analyzing the music (and pondering its influence on Brahms) before the obligatory list of Kubelik, Kertesz, Neumann (analog), Jansons, and another I forgot.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Christo on February 06, 2021, 09:26:41 AM
Hurwitz does not rub me up the wrong way, I don't find him as annoying as others. The enthusiasm he feels shines through which is more important then what he actually says in my book. He reckons Slatkin is better then Boult in Vaughan Williams maybe, maybe not. I take enough notice to purchase a Slatkin CD (minimal cost) to find out but would never take his word.
+1
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Biffo on February 06, 2021, 09:43:35 AM
The video on Dvorak's Fifth Symphony was unusually focused on the music and musical examples. If you're wondering why he spends 30 minutes choosing his top 5 recordings, it's because he spends the first 25 minutes analyzing the music (and pondering its influence on Brahms) before the obligatory list of Kubelik, Kertesz, Neumann (analog), Jansons, and another I forgot.

How much of the analysis is silly voices and lame jokes?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 06, 2021, 09:44:36 AM
btw if you want a youtuber that is passionate about music, but also insightful and not particularly abrasive or odd... try David Bruce.  He is a composer that has a channel with plenty of interesting videos.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/davidbrucedotnet (https://www.youtube.com/user/davidbrucedotnet)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on February 06, 2021, 10:34:47 AM
Well there is 27 pages here so this has probably mentioned... but my problem is when he personally attacks musicians.  He accused period instrument performers of just being day job workers with no passion.  You wouldn't believe the things that he has said about Norrington in particular.

So what? More power to him! Especially in this age of ours when one is increasingly becoming afraid of saying "It's a fine day today!" just because someone somewhere might be in so bad a mood as to consider sunshine a personal offence.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 06, 2021, 10:45:06 AM
in this age of ours when one is increasingly becoming afraid of saying "It's a fine day today!" just because someone somewhere might be in so bad a mood as to consider sunshine a personal offence.

If this is how you perceive the world around you, you are living in a fantasy land!  This is not at all an apt description of the state of rhetoric in 2021.  Social media is always blowing up with ad hominem attacks and insane outrage over anything and everything.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on February 06, 2021, 10:55:50 AM
insane outrage over anything and everything.

Which only proves my point --- and that's the last you'll ever hear from me on this very (non-Hurwitz related) topic.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on February 06, 2021, 11:21:18 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/PSXwzHIqzRA


So Hurwitz dislikes the Honeck Ninth.  That's OK.  What is not OK is the fit of that shirt.  Seriously.

I'll give you the fit, yet the necktie is impeccable ton-sur-ton. Seriously.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on February 06, 2021, 05:25:32 PM
I often keep thinking he can be too insolent at times. Nevertheless, he knows a lot of stuff and technique about what he's talking about, and I think his message is well directioned or transmited to his viewers. And dry, too, frequently responds barely what people ask him. But let's not forget how warm and enthusiastic he looks like. He shares our love for classical music, which must be handled by expert and sensitive performers in excellent recordings.

Note: I'm getting kind of tired of his Haydn Crusades, yet his educational style appeals a lot too.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2021, 08:10:58 PM
I often keep thinking he can be too insolent at times. Nevertheless, he knows a lot of stuff and technique about what he's talking about, and I think his message is well directioned or transmited to his viewers. And dry, too, frequently responds barely what people ask him. But let's not forget how warm and enthusiastic he looks like. He shares our love for classical music, which must be handled by expert and sensitive performers in excellent recordings.

Note: I'm getting kind of tired of his Haydn Crusades, yet his educational style appeals a lot too.

I’m getting more tired by how much stock some people put into his reviews. He’s no more knowledgeable than someone with a broad interest in this music who has been listening for 30+ years, which applies to many members here.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on February 07, 2021, 03:40:52 AM
So what? More power to him! Especially in this age of ours when one is increasingly becoming afraid of saying "It's a fine day today!" just because someone somewhere might be in so bad a mood as to consider sunshine a personal offence.
If this is how you perceive the world around you, you are living in a fantasy land!  This is not at all an apt description of the state of rhetoric in 2021.  Social media is always blowing up with ad hominem attacks and insane outrage over anything and everything.

Weirdly, I agree with both statements above equally! You cannot say boo to a goose to someone's face for fear of insult and a keyboard warrior under the cloak of anonymity writes the most disgusting drivel. Strange world! 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 07, 2021, 06:42:45 AM
Weirdly, I agree with both statements above equally! You cannot say boo to a goose to someone's face for fear of insult and a keyboard warrior under the cloak of anonymity writes the most disgusting drivel. Strange world!

Just to be straight, I don't have a problem with him expressing certain performance styles and musical genres are not for him.  It is just when he takes it a step further and personally attacks musicians.  That is the problem.  Not saying that DH shouldn't speak critically about something he doesn't like, just that he doesn't have to disparage composers and performers while doing so.  I don't consider that a stepping on egg shells thing, just common courtesy.  DH would not be a good critic at all if he held back on negative opinions.  But there is certainly a way in which they can be expressed, and saying all of Boulez's music is trash, Furtwangler's lvb 9 has no merit, Norrington is not an artist etc. etc. is just not it.

And I say that as someone who enjoys his reviews and his videos.  Now if you look at say his Mahler vids you can see he does a much better job because he focuses on the music and clearly articulates the pros and cons specific performances have in detail.  He doesn't say something is trash or great.  He would say something like "well in this passage the brass section is expected to run on stage then run back and Bernstein decided to just hire two different groups of performers but so and so just kept them backstage and they failed to have the required presence in the next passage".  And that kind of insightful criticism is fantastic.

I think that whenever any one tries to precisely articulate in detail what they like or not like and avoid sweeping generalities not only is it more helpful to the reader/audience but ad hominem attacks tend to simply go away because the critic was forced to think more analytically about what they were trying to convey.  When DH forces himself into that more critical, thoughtful mode he is on fire.  When he is just waving his hands and praising and putting down artists excitedly it is not only insulting, it is mostly a waste of time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 07, 2021, 09:21:12 AM
Gotta admit his piece on Grainger was hilarious, though there are few things I want less to acquire than a box of Grainger's complete music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 07, 2021, 03:17:12 PM
The video on Dvorak's Fifth Symphony was unusually focused on the music and musical examples. If you're wondering why he spends 30 minutes choosing his top 5 recordings, it's because he spends the first 25 minutes analyzing the music (and pondering its influence on Brahms) before the obligatory list of Kubelik, Kertesz, Neumann (analog), Jansons, and another I forgot.

Brian, that video on the 5th was excellent and sets a standard I wish he'd achieve more often. (I myself have Kertesz and Belohlavek, whom Hurwitz doesn't mention, and that's good enough for me.) But too often he clowns around without saying much useful about the music. Take today's Massenet piece, for example. Massenet = fluff, for sure. Bruckner = Spam? Doesn't he get what Spam means? (Maybe Bruckner = a crown roast of pork.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 09, 2021, 09:13:45 AM
I've enjoyed watching several of his videos over the last couple of weeks and will continue to listen to them. I find them entertaining.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Leo K. on February 16, 2021, 02:15:43 PM
I'm a big fan of his videos and it's my favorite channel on YouTube. I don't have to agree with him to enjoy these discussions, (i.e., Roger Norrington is one of my top conductors). My feelings are not precious or hurt if he hates what I like.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 16, 2021, 04:29:07 PM
I'm a big fan of his videos and it's my favorite channel on YouTube. I don't have to agree with him to enjoy these discussions, (i.e., Roger Norrington is one of my top conductors). My feelings are not precious or hurt if he hates what I like.

Same here. A really big fan of his videos.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2021, 06:53:13 PM
I'm a big fan of his videos and it's my favorite channel on YouTube. I don't have to agree with him to enjoy these discussions, (i.e., Roger Norrington is one of my top conductors). My feelings are not precious or hurt if he hates what I like.

My favorite channel on YouTube is Samuel Andreyev’s:

https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured (https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured)

The reason I love his channel so much is the way he breaks down pieces of music in his analysis videos. He doesn’t talk down to his audience and he lays everything out in a clear, precise manner that is quite easy to follow.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on February 17, 2021, 12:43:45 AM
Same here. A really big fan of his videos.

Here too.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Leo K. on February 17, 2021, 11:10:39 AM
My favorite channel on YouTube is Samuel Andreyev’s:

https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured (https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured)

The reason I love his channel so much is the way he breaks down pieces of music in his analysis videos. He doesn’t talk down to his audience and he lays everything out in a clear, precise manner that is quite easy to follow.

Great recommendation, thank you for the heads up!!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2021, 11:26:22 AM
Great recommendation, thank you for the heads up!!

My pleasure, Leo. 8)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on February 17, 2021, 12:48:38 PM
I'm a big fan of his videos and it's my favorite channel on YouTube. I don't have to agree with him to enjoy these discussions, (i.e., Roger Norrington is one of my top conductors). My feelings are not precious or hurt if he hates what I like.


It appears that he says the Carmen Suites by Igor Markevitch is performed by an authentic Spanish orchestra. But I think it is performed by a French orchestra (Lamoureux). Am I mixed up?

Plus, why would it be considered authentic even if the orchestra were Spanish and even if the composer were Spanish.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on February 18, 2021, 12:48:32 AM
I think Hurwitz got mixed up. Markevitch did record an LP with "Spanish favorites" with a Spanish radio orchestra but the Carnen and Arlesienne Suites are with the Lamoureux.

https://www.discogs.com/de/Orchester-Des-Spanischen-Rundfunks-Igor-Markevitch-Liebeszauber-Espa%C3%B1a-Catalonia-Danzas-Espa%C3%B1olas/release/5159840
https://www.discogs.com/de/Bizet-Igor-Markevitch-Lamoureux-Orchestra-Paris-Carmen-Suites-Nos-1-2-LArl%C3%A9sienne-Suites-Nos-1-2/release/6228101
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: ritter on February 18, 2021, 02:18:06 AM
I think Hurwitz got mixed up. Markevitch did record an LP with "Spanish favorites" with a Spanish radio orchestra but the Carnen and Arlesienne Suites are with the Lamoureux.

https://www.discogs.com/de/Orchester-Des-Spanischen-Rundfunks-Igor-Markevitch-Liebeszauber-Espa%C3%B1a-Catalonia-Danzas-Espa%C3%B1olas/release/5159840
https://www.discogs.com/de/Bizet-Igor-Markevitch-Lamoureux-Orchestra-Paris-Carmen-Suites-Nos-1-2-LArl%C3%A9sienne-Suites-Nos-1-2/release/6228101
Yes, I think that is the case. Markevitch was the first music director of the Spanish National Radio and Television Orchestra when it was founded in 1965, but his tenure was very brief.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 18, 2021, 09:58:27 AM
My favorite channel on YouTube is Samuel Andreyev’s:

https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured (https://www.youtube.com/user/temporalfissure/featured)

The reason I love his channel so much is the way he breaks down pieces of music in his analysis videos. He doesn’t talk down to his audience and he lays everything out in a clear, precise manner that is quite easy to follow.

I want to look into these. They seem promising.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 18, 2021, 10:05:03 AM
Sometimes he drives me nuts, as when he talks up some forgotten composer or other and then he plays a few clips that prove what a mediocrity that composer really is. (Honestly, Julius Röntgen anybody? Even worse, Don Gillis?) His snooty dismissal of the music of Pierre Boulez is all the more disheartening, as it's just another tiresome knee-jerk reaction against the avant-garde that will prevent even more people from discovering the music for themselves.

But his recent video on "Conductors Behaving Badly" is very worth hearing, and says a lot about the state of music performance today. (Theater people could do a parallel "Directors Behaving Badly.")
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2021, 08:32:59 PM
I want to look into these. They seem promising.

I think you’d enjoy them. Andreyev knows his stuff that’s for sure.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2021, 08:37:09 PM
Sometimes he drives me nuts, as when he talks up some forgotten composer or other and then he plays a few clips that prove what a mediocrity that composer really is. (Honestly, Julius Röntgen anybody? Even worse, Don Gillis?) His snooty dismissal of the music of Pierre Boulez is all the more disheartening, as it's just another tiresome knee-jerk reaction against the avant-garde that will prevent even more people from discovering the music for themselves.

But his recent video on "Conductors Behaving Badly" is very worth hearing, and says a lot about the state of music performance today. (Theater people could do a parallel "Directors Behaving Badly.")

Anyone who dismisses the avant-garde just because they don’t like it but uses their influence to get people not to listen to this music, deserves to have their channel taken down. He is doing a disservice to classical music, IMHO. He’s no better than those 70-80 yr. old people who go to a concert just to hear Beethoven or Mozart, but leave before Ligeti or Nono is performed.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on February 18, 2021, 09:08:04 PM
Sometimes he drives me nuts, as when he talks up some forgotten composer or other and then he plays a few clips that prove what a mediocrity that composer really is. (Honestly, Julius Röntgen anybody? Even worse, Don Gillis?) His snooty dismissal of the music of Pierre Boulez is all the more disheartening, as it's just another tiresome knee-jerk reaction against the avant-garde that will prevent even more people from discovering the music for themselves.

But his recent video on "Conductors Behaving Badly" is very worth hearing, and says a lot about the state of music performance today. (Theater people could do a parallel "Directors Behaving Badly.")

I like Röntgen and Gillis.   Why do you need to counter him by being a snob?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 18, 2021, 10:17:58 PM
I like Röntgen and Gillis.   Why do you need to counter him by being a snob?

Why do you feel a need to label me? Like whatever you like, and I will do the same. I am simply a private citizen expressing my opinion on these composers. I am not a professional critic whom others look up to as an expert, trying to get a few yucks out of calling a highly respected composer "garbage" and tossing his work into the trash bin in a 30-second video, without bothering to make a reasoned case for his assertion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2021, 10:33:00 PM
Why do you feel a need to label me? Like whatever you like, and I will do the same. I am simply a private citizen expressing my opinion on these composers. I am not a professional critic whom others look up to as an expert, trying to get a few yucks out of calling a highly respected composer "garbage" and tossing his work into the trash bin in a 30-second video, without bothering to make a reasoned case for his assertion.

Ah, yes:

https://www.youtube.com/v/h3VDGnxq8sk

Quite frankly, I don’t see the reason for even making this video. It’s one thing to dislike a composer, which we all do and will continue to do, but it’s another matter when you do something childish as making a video of yourself ‘throwing out the trash’ like Hurwitz has demonstrated here. The reality of the matter is pretty simple: I dislike a lot of the fourth-rate/fifth-rate composers that he puts up on a pedestal like they’re some kind of buried treasure, but I’m not going to use my status as a critic with whom many people are watching/reading to tell someone else that what they like is garbage. I agree with you that he has a following and I think he uses videos such as this one on Boulez as a way of forcing his opinions on people who may, otherwise, like the composer. One thing you don’t want to do as a critic is alienate your readers/viewers by subjecting them to your own tirades. If you have something informative and that’s well-reasoned as to why you dislike something, then there’s nothing wrong with that, but, for me, this video on Boulez is a bridge too far. And no, I don’t see the humor in at all. I like Boulez’s music and I think anyone with an ear for these post-war avant-garde composers will too if they stop listening to people like Hurwitz and use their own ears.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on February 18, 2021, 11:44:54 PM
Hurwitz's flippant dismissal of Boulez says more about Hurwitz than it does about Boulez.  I suspect his attitude has little to do with the actual music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on February 19, 2021, 03:15:20 AM
Hurwitz's flippant dismissal of Boulez says more about Hurwitz than it does about Boulez.  I suspect his attitude has little to do with the actual music.

The trick is to learn to take the opinions of other people in a realistic manner. Whatever opinions Hurwitz had, he would always disagree with some people. Personally I am not into Boulez at all so I happen to be on the same side with Hurwitz on this, but there are certainly things I disagree with Hurwitz. I don't take that too seriously. He has got his taste and he knows some stuff much better than I do so I might learn something from him.

That said, I haven't watched a single video of his this year. I got a new Mac mini recently and turns out Youtube recommends videos based on cookies so my new browser doesn't know I watched Hurwitz on my old computer/browser and doesn't know to recommend them to me. So, I have been watching videos by a Finnish guy "Aleksi Himself" walking around Helsinki burping and collecting superchat money from foreigners.  ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Artem on February 19, 2021, 04:39:39 AM
Hurwitz seems like a great entertainer. I think if there were more people like him on youtube, there'd be more interest in classical music, perhaps. I don't watch all his videos, but the ones he does about my favourite composers I find useful and enjoyable.

As much as I like Samuel Andreyev's videos and learn a lot of things from them even more than from Hurwitz, I often feel like taking a nap during them.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Biffo on February 19, 2021, 04:46:25 AM
Hurwitz seems like a great entertainer. I think if there were more people like him on youtube, there'd be more interest in classical music, perhaps. I don't watch all his videos, but the ones he does about my favourite composers I find useful and enjoyable.

As much as I like Samuel Andreyev's videos and learn a lot of things from them even more than from Hurwitz, I often feel like taking a nap during them.

Thanks for the mention of Samuel Andreyev, I have bookmarked one of his videos (Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire) for later listening and as a way in to some of the others.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2021, 04:50:30 AM
To complicate things Hurwitz has praised some of Boulez's compositions in his reviews. Maybe he likes to a troll a bit in his videos. $:)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on February 19, 2021, 06:28:19 AM
Thanks for pointing out the Conductors Behaving Badly video - I had assumed it was about harassment claims, but really it turned out to be very interesting, smart, one of DH's best videos. Even if I maybe agreed with 85% of it, the occasional disagreement only made it more interesting to listen to, since he was actually discussing and not just yelling. Heck, even MI might like it.

I am always intrigued by sound samples of Röntgen, because they are so genial, cheery, and tuneful, and then I listen to the complete work and it is always devoid of any structure or drama. The only pieces of his that I totally recommend so far are the string trios, which are totally unpretentious little salon pieces of about 15 minutes each that you'd be happy to have played by friends in your salon, if you had one.

To complicate things Hurwitz has praised some of Boulez's compositions in his reviews. Maybe he likes to a troll a bit in his videos. $:)
Quarantine is boring after all, and trolling is fun!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 19, 2021, 06:48:11 AM
To complicate things Hurwitz has praised some of Boulez's compositions in his reviews. Maybe he likes to a troll a bit in his videos. $:)

Maybe?  :laugh:
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 07:21:19 AM
Hurwitz seems like a great entertainer. I think if there were more people like him on youtube, there'd be more interest in classical music, perhaps. I don't watch all his videos, but the ones he does about my favourite composers I find useful and enjoyable.

As much as I like Samuel Andreyev's videos and learn a lot of things from them even more than from Hurwitz, I often feel like taking a nap during them.

Truth be told, I get more out of Andreyev than I ever did out of Hurwitz. Honestly, I’m not looking to be ‘entertained’ but I want to come away from a video having learned something I didn’t know before and this is why I like Andreyev’s videos. I never felt bored when watching Andreyev and I can hear the passion he has for this music in every video he posts. All I get from Hurwitz is that he dislikes this or loves that, but I dislike it when he goes off on a tangent about something that I have absolutely no desire in listening to and the Boulez video has completely turned me against him. There’s just no sense in posting something like that and I don’t care if he was trying to be funny or not. I don’t find it amusing in the slightest.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: steve ridgway on February 19, 2021, 07:49:40 AM
Anyone who dismisses the avant-garde just because they don’t like it but uses their influence to get people not to listen to this music, deserves to have their channel taken down. He is doing a disservice to classical music, IMHO. He’s no better than those 70-80 yr. old people who go to a concert just to hear Beethoven or Mozart, but leave before Ligeti or Nono is performed.

True, it’d be more helpful to recommend some well selected avant-garde compilations that would give listeners an overview of the music. And as Ligeti and Nono were born a mere 90 odd years ago they’d be far too young for 70-80 year olds to have any interest in. ::)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 07:54:27 AM
True, it’d be more helpful to recommend some well selected avant-garde compilations that would give listeners an overview of the music. And as Ligeti and Nono were born a mere 90 odd years ago they’d be far too young for 70-80 year olds to have any interest in. ::)

I honestly doubt this troll is even capable of such a list. I certainly wouldn’t take him seriously if did post something like that. I think these videos have actually done his site ClassicsToday a great disservice as we now get to see what a goon he truly is. I’ll stick to MusicWeb for real classical reviews, although Jens Laurson is writing for ClassicsToday now, so there is hope for that site yet.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Leo K. on February 19, 2021, 08:07:57 AM
It's funny, I almost disagree with everything Mr. Hurwitz says. I don't believe the HIP movement has destroyed the passed down tradition of orchestral playing. I don't believe that Roger Norrington is the evil of all evils. I don't believe you can truly objectively say a recording is great. The list can go on! But it sure is fun.

Regarding Boulez's music, any publicity is good publicity. I often listen to something a critic blasts and find I dearly love it, haha!

Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 08:28:34 AM
It's funny, I almost disagree with everything Mr. Hurwitz says. I don't believe the HIP movement has destroyed the passed down tradition of orchestral playing. I don't believe that Roger Norrington is the evil of all evils. I don't believe you can truly objectively say a recording is great. The list can go on! But it sure is fun.

Regarding Boulez's music, any publicity is good publicity. I often listen to something a critic blasts and find I dearly love it, haha!

Again, I’m not looking to be entertained. I mean there’s a time and place to be funny, but there’s nothing funny about Hurwitz, tbh. I’m more interesting in learning than being entertained, although there obviously is nothing wrong with being able to pull off both simultaneously, but Hurwitz fails on both points.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on February 19, 2021, 08:54:27 AM
Mirror Image, by my count you have posted on this thread 23 times in the last 60 days. I question why you continue to contribute given that all 23 of the posts carry the same message ("I don't like his videos, I don't like his voice, I don't like his opinions, I don't like that other people watch him"). If you feel that way, maybe a more productive and healthy attitude - both for those of us who like to talk about the videos in this thread, and for your own time and energy! - would be to just ignore Hurwitz and ignore this discussion.

Of course, the purpose of this is not to censor you. But your opinion has already been made clear, many times, and surely you would be happier and healthier if you moved on to some other topic. Put it another way. I, like Dave, have a blind spot (perhaps unfortunate) when it comes to Boulez. Would you like me to find the Boulez thread and write 23 posts repeating that I don't like his compositions?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 19, 2021, 09:18:33 AM
Mirror Image, by my count you have posted on this thread 23 times in the last 60 days. I question why you continue to contribute given that all 23 of the posts carry the same message ("I don't like his videos, I don't like his voice, I don't like his opinions, I don't like that other people watch him"). If you feel that way, maybe a more productive and healthy attitude - both for those of us who like to talk about the videos in this thread, and for your own time and energy! - would be to just ignore Hurwitz and ignore this discussion.

Of course, the purpose of this is not to censor you. But your opinion has already been made clear, many times, and surely you would be happier and healthier if you moved on to some other topic. Put it another way. I, like Dave, have a blind spot (perhaps unfortunate) when it comes to Boulez. Would you like me to find the Boulez thread and write 23 posts repeating that I don't like his compositions?

Amen!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: ritter on February 19, 2021, 09:39:33 AM
Would you like me to find the Boulez thread and write 23 posts repeating that I don't like his compositions?
Over my dead body!  :D ;D ;)

Good day, Brian!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on February 19, 2021, 11:12:20 AM
Over my dead body!  :D ;D ;)

Good day, Brian!
Hello! Good point, maybe I should name a different composer. New example: Ludovico Einaudi  ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 19, 2021, 11:28:51 AM
I just listened to his "Do it yourself guide to Renaissance Polyphony" video and enjoyed it. A subject I know absolutely nothing about, but I wanted to see the video to learn a little about this subject.

A great topic for someone with little experience or knowledge about this era of music that so many people overlook (probably even more than the avant-garde stuff).
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Leo K. on February 19, 2021, 12:32:53 PM
I am happy to say that thanks to Hurwitz's videos I have gained some more favorite works and composers:

Sibelius - a real REVELATION
Carl Nielsen - WOW
Janacek's Sinfonia (where has this been all my life!)
Villa Lobos complete symphonies- OMG
Shostakovich - YES - a slow burn but now AMAZING
Prokofiev - SUBLIME

 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 19, 2021, 12:35:44 PM

Janacek's Sinfonia (where has this been all my life!)


Marvelous, infectious work. Isn't it?  :)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: 71 dB on February 19, 2021, 01:00:47 PM
("I don't like his videos, I don't like his voice, I don't like his opinions, I don't like that other people watch him").

It's completely okay to not like someone's videos, voice or opinions, but to be bothered about other people liking those things is frankly quite stupid.  :-\
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 19, 2021, 01:05:06 PM
Mirror Image, by my count you have posted on this thread 23 times in the last 60 days. I question why you continue to contribute given that all 23 of the posts carry the same message ("I don't like his videos, I don't like his voice, I don't like his opinions, I don't like that other people watch him"). If you feel that way, maybe a more productive and healthy attitude - both for those of us who like to talk about the videos in this thread, and for your own time and energy! - would be to just ignore Hurwitz and ignore this discussion.

Of course, the purpose of this is not to censor you. But your opinion has already been made clear, many times, and surely you would be happier and healthier if you moved on to some other topic. Put it another way. I, like Dave, have a blind spot (perhaps unfortunate) when it comes to Boulez. Would you like me to find the Boulez thread and write 23 posts repeating that I don't like his compositions?

He also introduced us to Samuel Andreyev. That deserves some points.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: not edward on February 19, 2021, 01:29:45 PM
He also introduced us to Samuel Andreyev. That deserves some points.
Is this the same Samuel Andreyev who's had a couple of discs of chamber music recently released on Kairos?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2021, 02:29:52 PM
I am happy to say that thanks to Hurwitz's videos I have gained some more favorite works and composers:

Sibelius - a real REVELATION
Carl Nielsen - WOW
Janacek's Sinfonia (where has this been all my life!)
Villa Lobos complete symphonies- OMG
Shostakovich - YES - a slow burn but now AMAZING
Prokofiev - SUBLIME

Leo were you just not listening to 20th century before?  I'm just asking because these are not exactly esoteric works.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Leo K. on February 19, 2021, 02:54:59 PM
Leo were you just not listening to 20th century before?  I'm just asking because these are not exactly esoteric works.

I love 20th Century composers but I had a few blind spots, haha :) Also, I knew these were blindspots and I had better get into the conversation!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on February 19, 2021, 03:32:46 PM
Also, I knew these were blindspots and I had better get into the conversation!

Yeah or MI will come after you!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on February 19, 2021, 04:30:38 PM
Is this the same Samuel Andreyev who's had a couple of discs of chamber music recently released on Kairos?

Yes

https://www.youtube.com/v/WgvDbf3UZrM
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 08:16:48 PM
Mirror Image, by my count you have posted on this thread 23 times in the last 60 days. I question why you continue to contribute given that all 23 of the posts carry the same message ("I don't like his videos, I don't like his voice, I don't like his opinions, I don't like that other people watch him"). If you feel that way, maybe a more productive and healthy attitude - both for those of us who like to talk about the videos in this thread, and for your own time and energy! - would be to just ignore Hurwitz and ignore this discussion.

Of course, the purpose of this is not to censor you. But your opinion has already been made clear, many times, and surely you would be happier and healthier if you moved on to some other topic. Put it another way. I, like Dave, have a blind spot (perhaps unfortunate) when it comes to Boulez. Would you like me to find the Boulez thread and write 23 posts repeating that I don't like his compositions?

Point taken, but have you posted a 30 second video telling everyone that Boulez’s music is trash? Anyway, if you want to go over to the Boulez thread and trash his music that’s your prerogative, but bear in mind, that you don’t have as much of an influence as he does. Hurwitz currently has 5.86K subscribers, so that’s 5.86K people who might have seen his Boulez video. As you mentioned, my opinion on Hurwitz is well-established at this juncture, but can you honestly say that the Boulez video was in good taste?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 08:22:47 PM
Yeah or MI will come after you!

Indeed! >:D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2021, 08:24:48 PM
He also introduced us to Samuel Andreyev. That deserves some points.

Hah! The moment I get any kind of kudos from Brian would be a cold day in hell.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 15, 2021, 07:10:17 AM
One thing I had not realized was just how many books that David Hurwitz has written.

I am considering maybe getting his book on Dvořák.

Alternatively, does anyone have any recommendations on a good book, comprehensive on Dvořák that is written hopefully in less technical music language, for the layman?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on May 15, 2021, 09:39:43 AM
One thing I had not realized was just how many books that David Hurwitz has written.

I am considering maybe getting his book on Dvořák.

Alternatively, does anyone have any recommendations on a good book, comprehensive on Dvořák that is written hopefully in less technical music language, for the layman?
I'd love to hear those too!  :)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on May 15, 2021, 06:20:06 PM
One thing I had not realized was just how many books that David Hurwitz has written.

I am considering maybe getting his book on Dvořák.

Alternatively, does anyone have any recommendations on a good book, comprehensive on Dvořák that is written hopefully in less technical music language, for the layman?

I own his book on Shostakovich and, honestly, the whole book just felt like a general overview and didn’t go into depth. In other words, I didn’t learn anything from it. I suspect his Dvořák is given similar treatment.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: kyjo on May 19, 2021, 08:28:43 AM
I generally like Hurwitz, but not his recent obsession with reviewing mega conductor-centric boxes. I find this stuff pretty pointless. I mean, what’s the use in getting a 100CD box when you can find better recordings of 80% of the repertoire featured in it (as he himself admits)? My favorite videos of his - naturally - are the one where he spotlights lesser-known composers - but those seem to be becoming fewer and farther between these days.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on May 19, 2021, 09:37:40 AM
I generally like Hurwitz, but not his recent obsession with reviewing mega conductor-centric boxes. I find this stuff pretty pointless. I mean, what’s the use in getting a 100CD box when you can find better recordings of 80% of the repertoire featured in it (as he himself admits)? My favorite videos of his - naturally - are the one where he spotlights lesser-known composers - but those seem to be becoming fewer and farther between these days.

I really enjoyed the 90 minute review of the 120 CD Ormandy box.  The preceding takedown of the Grammophone review was great, too.

By the way, there are some classic recordings of lesser known composers in that box.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on May 19, 2021, 10:09:20 PM
90 minute long review?

I could watch the movie in the same amount of time...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on May 20, 2021, 12:08:48 AM
90 minute long review?

I could watch the movie in the same amount of time...

No need to watch it.  It's the kind of thing you listen to while doing housework.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on May 20, 2021, 02:50:09 AM
No need to watch it.  It's the kind of thing you listen to while doing housework.

That’s what MUSIC is for! Or podcasts.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on May 20, 2021, 04:16:13 AM
That’s what MUSIC is for! Or podcasts.
I used to listen to comedy podcasts while doing house chores. While working from home due to covid lockdown I might listen to a Hurwitz while brushing teeth and so forth. Now, my day job leadership is behaving erratically, morale is low, apathy is high, and I listen to DH/podcasts on headphones at my desk while doing tasks that can appear productive to outsiders...  :P
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on May 20, 2021, 04:19:18 AM
I used to listen to comedy podcasts while doing house chores. While working from home due to covid lockdown I might listen to a Hurwitz while brushing teeth and so forth. Now, my day job leadership is behaving erratically, morale is low, apathy is high, and I listen to DH/podcasts on headphones at my desk while doing tasks that can appear productive to outsiders...  :P

I've never tried podcasts while at work, listening to words is too distracting. I'm subscribed to... I think it's around 30. The episode queue is scary though I have a strategy to gradually curtail it (I tend to go back to the beginning of new discoveries, which in a couple of extreme cases added over 100 episodes to the queue).

I haven't done much in the way of comedy podcasts, but have you ever tried Wooden Overcoats? Or Everything Is Alive?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Symphonic Addict on May 20, 2021, 02:53:19 PM
I generally like Hurwitz, but not his recent obsession with reviewing mega conductor-centric boxes. I find this stuff pretty pointless. I mean, what’s the use in getting a 100CD box when you can find better recordings of 80% of the repertoire featured in it (as he himself admits)? My favorite videos of his - naturally - are the one where he spotlights lesser-known composers - but those seem to be becoming fewer and farther between these days.

My thoughts exactly. I miss the videos where he talks about non-mainstream repertoire. Some of his last videos have been quite funny, though.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: kyjo on May 26, 2021, 06:29:59 AM
My thoughts exactly. I miss the videos where he talks about non-mainstream repertoire. Some of his last videos have been quite funny, though.

Yeah, like the "Inappropriate Music" videos. The Ibert and Shostakovich examples had me in stitches! :laugh:
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on May 26, 2021, 07:04:09 AM
I used to listen to comedy podcasts while doing house chores. While working from home due to covid lockdown I might listen to a Hurwitz while brushing teeth and so forth. Now, my day job leadership is behaving erratically, morale is low, apathy is high, and I listen to DH/podcasts on headphones at my desk while doing tasks that can appear productive to outsiders...  :P
Oh, my!

I do like the idea of listening to comedy podcasts....whilst doing housework (and maybe gardening).  The one or two times that I tried using an armband with a slit in it to hold an old iPod Touch, I found it to be quite awkward.  I'll have to find an appropriate thread to ask what you guys like to use.

Listened to Hurwitz's youtube upload comparing versions Janacek's string quartets (which I was quite pleased to see that he also loves):  most of the ones that he liked, I don't own (some of them have been on my wish list for a while).  The only thing that surprised me, he mentioned briefly that he liked the ones by the Pavel Haas Quartet but then said that he was really going to be including them in his survey here as he was focusing on discs which had both quartets on them.   :(  I love them myself and enjoy the other works on the two CDs, so I think that it wasn't necessary for him to exclude them.  Anyhoo...

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Biffo on May 26, 2021, 07:26:06 AM
Ironing is the only household chore when I listen to music and then I play Spotify through my hi-fi. I choose a suitable album and just let it run. Baroque orchestral is my usual choice.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on May 26, 2021, 07:32:22 AM
Oh, my!

I do like the idea of listening to comedy podcasts....whilst doing housework (and maybe gardening).  The one or two times that I tried using an armband with a slit in it to hold an old iPod Touch, I found it to be quite awkward.  I'll have to find an appropriate thread to ask what you guys like to use.

Listened to Hurwitz's youtube upload comparing versions Janacek's string quartets (which I was quite pleased to see that he also loves):  most of the ones that he liked, I don't own (some of them have been on my wish list for a while).  The only thing that surprised me, he mentioned briefly that he liked the ones by the Pavel Haas Quartet but then said that he was really going to be including them in his survey here as he was focusing on discs which had both quartets on them.   :(  I love them myself and enjoy the other works on the two CDs, so I think that it wasn't necessary for him to exclude them.  Anyhoo...

PD

PD:  if you like the Janacek quartets try and hear this disc (perhaps Hurwitz mentioned it - I've no idea)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51K9hzVNwoL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_SCLZZZZZZZ_FMpng_BG255%2C255%2C255.jpg)

Not only were these the first recordings of a new critical edition of the quartets - with several terrifyingly hard passages reinstated on the "original" instruments, but also the filler is a brilliantly idiomatic transcription of movements from "On an Overgrown Path" for quartet.  Its nearly as good as having a third quartet by Janacek!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on May 26, 2021, 07:37:47 AM
on the "original" instruments
i.e. viola d'amore where called for?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on May 26, 2021, 07:49:30 AM
PD:  if you like the Janacek quartets try and hear this disc (perhaps Hurwitz mentioned it - I've no idea)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51K9hzVNwoL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_SCLZZZZZZZ_FMpng_BG255%2C255%2C255.jpg)

Not only were these the first recordings of a new critical edition of the quartets - with several terrifyingly hard passages reinstated on the "original" instruments, but also the filler is a brilliantly idiomatic transcription of movements from "On an Overgrown Path" for quartet.  Its nearly as good as having a third quartet by Janacek!
No, he didn't mention them.

I have heard a recording with the Mandelring Quartet on Audite; it's from 2010.  When is yours from?  I must admit, that it didn't send me, but I was dying to hear it!  Wonder if that's the same edition?  I had thought at the time that this (the Mandelring recording) was the first time that someone had done a recording with the viola d'amore?

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on May 26, 2021, 01:13:08 PM
No, he didn't mention them.

I have heard a recording with the Mandelring Quartet on Audite; it's from 2010.  When is yours from?  I must admit, that it didn't send me, but I was dying to hear it!  Wonder if that's the same edition?  I had thought at the time that this (the Mandelring recording) was the first time that someone had done a recording with the viola d'amore?

PD

Here is a quote from a review of this disc - it was recorded in  2014

As to the significance of the 'original' editions to my ear that is more of interest than necessity.  Slightly frustratingly the liner alludes to the differences without actually specifying them.  Apparently they are mainly in the 2nd Quartet "Intimate Letters" so it has been a case of following the standard score while listening to this version and spotting the differences - a less than perfect scenario!  Using my all-too fallible ear it appears that nearly all of the changes are practical/performance related ones - this is not a case of major compositional reworkings.  The leader of the Moravian Quartet who gave the work's premiere in 1928 - a month after the composer's death - was František Kudláček and he instigated many of the amendments that were incorporated into the published score.  The two main ones transplant stratospheric viola writing into the more manageable violin register. The first such passage is in the 3rd movement - figures 1-3 in the 'standard' UE score [around the 1:00 minute mark - track 17] - the viola has the melody lead which passes to the second violin at figure 2.  Not here; the viola keeps playing going up to a G sharp two and a half octaves above middle C.  The other main passage is the very end of the work where the 'top' line again stays in the viola whereas 'normally' it has passed to first violin.  The viola of the Quartetto Energie Nove, Ivan Vukčević, plays these challenging passages quite superbly - the tone of the instrument in this register more cutting than a 'sweeter' violin.  Elsewhere the differences seem to be more use of pizzicato either to mark passages more clearly or to give a folksier character.  Most telling is the very opening to the 4th movement which has a aptly stamping rumbustious character from all the players which the heavy pizzicati chords reinforce.

In other words "original" refers to Janacek's "original" disposition of the musical lines, NOT the use of a viola d'amore
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on May 26, 2021, 01:29:24 PM
Here is a quote from a review of this disc - it was recorded in  2014

As to the significance of the 'original' editions to my ear that is more of interest than necessity.  Slightly frustratingly the liner alludes to the differences without actually specifying them.  Apparently they are mainly in the 2nd Quartet "Intimate Letters" so it has been a case of following the standard score while listening to this version and spotting the differences - a less than perfect scenario!  Using my all-too fallible ear it appears that nearly all of the changes are practical/performance related ones - this is not a case of major compositional reworkings.  The leader of the Moravian Quartet who gave the work's premiere in 1928 - a month after the composer's death - was František Kudláček and he instigated many of the amendments that were incorporated into the published score.  The two main ones transplant stratospheric viola writing into the more manageable violin register. The first such passage is in the 3rd movement - figures 1-3 in the 'standard' UE score [around the 1:00 minute mark - track 17] - the viola has the melody lead which passes to the second violin at figure 2.  Not here; the viola keeps playing going up to a G sharp two and a half octaves above middle C.  The other main passage is the very end of the work where the 'top' line again stays in the viola whereas 'normally' it has passed to first violin.  The viola of the Quartetto Energie Nove, Ivan Vukčević, plays these challenging passages quite superbly - the tone of the instrument in this register more cutting than a 'sweeter' violin.  Elsewhere the differences seem to be more use of pizzicato either to mark passages more clearly or to give a folksier character.  Most telling is the very opening to the 4th movement which has a aptly stamping rumbustious character from all the players which the heavy pizzicati chords reinforce.

In other words "original" refers to Janacek's "original" disposition of the musical lines, NOT the use of a viola d'amore
Quite interesting...thank you for posting this.  In order not to waylay the thread, I had posted a comment (re your comments, etc.) in the Janacek thread.  I would love you to copy this over there so that everyone who is interested in Janacek can find it.  :)

Best wishes,

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: kyjo on May 29, 2021, 07:12:46 AM
I really enjoyed the 90 minute review of the 120 CD Ormandy box.  The preceding takedown of the Grammophone review was great, too.

By the way, there are some classic recordings of lesser known composers in that box.

I listened to the Ormandy box review - it just annoyed me a bit how he would often skim over the discs containing lesser-known repertoire by just saying generic statements like “it’s very good”, “it’s very beautiful”, etc. instead of actually describing the style, character, background etc. of the music in question. I guess he was just eager to get through the box!

On a more positive note, he featured Braga Santos’ Encruzilhada (Crossroads) in the most recent installment of “The World’s Most Beautiful Melodies”!

https://youtu.be/D3KlttFhzh0
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 04, 2021, 01:54:45 AM
In a certain way my admiration for Hurwitz grows.  He undoubtedly has a skill for speaking off the cuff at considerable length with litle or no editing and rarely taking breath.  But in the last couple of weeks alone he has "reviewed" the best Mahler & Bruckner cycles AND The Ring.  There are simply NOT enough hours in the day to have revisited and reconsidered opinions reached in all probability some time ago and then filtered through memory and the passage of time.  Yet he will speak with seeming complete authority this version is great, that one is bad etc.  I admire the confidence he has in himself to apparently remember with such certainty huge rafts of repertoire and their associated recordings.  I can't say I violently disagree with his overall assessments - although I dislike his often disparaging dismissal of versions he does not like (I'd still back any of the conductors/orchestras he damns to be finer more considered musicians than he is) - but I can't regard them as anything except bar-room generalisations.  But I still watch them - so who's the idiot there! (no answers required - I know its me)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 04, 2021, 02:42:40 AM
Opinions might well be filtered through memory and the passage of time, but they are also readily filtered through written notes.

Mostly in the form of all of the reviews he has posted.

Besides, don't we all constantly post our opinions of recordings based on memory rather than relistening to them again? When I ask for people's recommendations for a work or their opinion on a particular recording, I don't expect everyone to go scurrying off to play it before answering, precisely because people don't have that much time.

So if we all do that, I don't see why it's a problem for Hurwitz to do the same. If we all can say what our favourites are, so can he.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 04, 2021, 03:14:50 AM
Opinions might well be filtered through memory and the passage of time, but they are also readily filtered through written notes.

Mostly in the form of all of the reviews he has posted.

Besides, don't we all constantly post our opinions of recordings based on memory rather than relistening to them again? When I ask for people's recommendations for a work or their opinion on a particular recording, I don't expect everyone to go scurrying off to play it before answering, precisely because people don't have that much time.

So if we all do that, I don't see why it's a problem for Hurwitz to do the same. If we all can say what our favourites are, so can he.

Because Hurwitz is a critic who makes his money by providing his opinions.  Also, direct comparison at the point of reviewing does provide different perspectives.  Differences in recordings, tempi, style etc are thrown into a sharper contrast which isolated memory does not.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 04, 2021, 03:41:56 AM
Because Hurwitz is a critic who makes his money by providing his opinions.

There's an underlying assumption that this somehow changes the basic process, and I don't agree with that assumption. It doesn't miraculously grant him more than 24 hours in the day.

The skill in professional reviewing consists in making your opinions engaging - it's about whether you can write or speak in an interesting way. When it comes to the listening side, if anything the skill he'd have to develop is to become more efficient in his listening.

I actually find MusicWeb International reviews, where many reviewers spend 3/4 of the time revisiting their old favourite recordings for a comparison and then telling you about the comparison in detail, to be frequently really really boring to read.

EDIT: And that kind of comparison is frequently wrong-headed as well. That isn't how 'normal' listeners will actually listen to the music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 04, 2021, 04:16:50 AM
Because Hurwitz is a critic who makes his money by providing his opinions.
That is relatively recent. I believe his day job is at a bank.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 04, 2021, 07:55:56 AM
That is relatively recent. I believe his day job is at a bank.

that I did not know!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 04, 2021, 08:16:05 AM
There's an underlying assumption that this somehow changes the basic process, and I don't agree with that assumption. It doesn't miraculously grant him more than 24 hours in the day.

The skill in professional reviewing consists in making your opinions engaging - it's about whether you can write or speak in an interesting way. When it comes to the listening side, if anything the skill he'd have to develop is to become more efficient in his listening.

I actually find MusicWeb International reviews, where many reviewers spend 3/4 of the time revisiting their old favourite recordings for a comparison and then telling you about the comparison in detail, to be frequently really really boring to read.

EDIT: And that kind of comparison is frequently wrong-headed as well. That isn't how 'normal' listeners will actually listen to the music.

Horses for courses - personally I like comparative reviews but then I choose to own multiple versions of works so the comparison is useful

EDIT;  Entertainly and with commendable self-deprecation Hurwitz has JUST released a video where he relates reviewing the same disc twice (in a re-release) without realising and giving vastly differing opinions.  But that rather supports my view that relying on your own recall (or even notes!) of a performance from before is potentially flawed.  To say at any given time "X is best" you have to have done comparisons at the same time in the same listening conditions (and preferably the same mood!!).  Otherwise there are too many variables.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on August 04, 2021, 09:56:51 AM
That is relatively recent. I believe his day job is at a bank.

that I did not know!

In one of his youtube postings, he talked about how he got into music, doing reviews, etc., and like Brian, I recall him saying something about that he couldn't make a decent living doing reviews and ended up working in finance of some sort.

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 04, 2021, 12:51:00 PM
Horses for courses - personally I like comparative reviews but then I choose to own multiple versions of works so the comparison is useful
When I did MWI reviews my intention with comparisons was to help collectors understand whether they'd like a new recording (what it's similar to etc), not to slap down all of today's artists with remarks about how all the great old artists were better.

I wonder if Hurwitz does blind listening games like we used to do at GMG. We need to bring those back! Maybe a project for me when I have some free time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 04, 2021, 01:35:43 PM
The fact is, expecting someone to relisten to Mahler or Bruckner cycles before making a statement about which are the better or best cycles is ruling out anyone ever making such a post.

Do the maths. Work out how many weeks you’re asking someone to devote to that one post or video. Plus consider how they’re even going to remember clearly by the end of that process what was happening near the start of that process.

I’m working my way through every recording of Shostakovich op.87 at the moment, and that’s quite hard enough - less than 3 hours and a lot fewer recordings than Mahler symphonies. And I doubt the process would be greatly sped up if I was doing nothing else, because my brain would just melt.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 04, 2021, 06:28:07 PM
I’m working my way through every recording of Shostakovich op.87 at the moment, and that’s quite hard enough - less than 3 hours and a lot fewer recordings than Mahler symphonies. And I doubt the process would be greatly sped up if I was doing nothing else, because my brain would just melt.
Yeah, I decided to do this for complete Dvorak symphonies I own - not even all of them! - and have put it on hiatus for a few months to prevent burnout. Even having nine works to choose from and bounce around. I simply have to trust that my values will remain consistent over these months of break time.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on August 05, 2021, 05:55:43 AM
The fact is, expecting someone to relisten to Mahler or Bruckner cycles before making a statement about which are the better or best cycles is ruling out anyone ever making such a post.

I agree, but I also don't think it would be possible DH or for anyone to hold thirty different recordings in his head at once.  Our aural memory is limited to a few seconds anyway.  All one can really do is read back over detailed notes and observations made about each recording.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 05, 2021, 08:49:56 AM
EDIT;  Entertainly and with commendable self-deprecation Hurwitz has JUST released a video where he relates reviewing the same disc twice (in a re-release) without realising and giving vastly differing opinions.  But that rather supports my view that relying on your own recall (or even notes!) of a performance from before is potentially flawed.  To say at any given time "X is best" you have to have done comparisons at the same time in the same listening conditions (and preferably the same mood!!).  Otherwise there are too many variables.

(* chortle *)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on August 05, 2021, 09:22:48 AM
Horses for courses - personally I like comparative reviews but then I choose to own multiple versions of works so the comparison is useful

EDIT;  Entertainly and with commendable self-deprecation Hurwitz has JUST released a video where he relates reviewing the same disc twice (in a re-release) without realising and giving vastly differing opinions.  But that rather supports my view that relying on your own recall (or even notes!) of a performance from before is potentially flawed.  To say at any given time "X is best" you have to have done comparisons at the same time in the same listening conditions (and preferably the same mood!!).  Otherwise there are too many variables.
It could also be a case of 1) as you suggested, ones mood could be different--the pandemic has certainly been effecting mine  ::) and/or 2) ones tastes often changes over the course of ones life (and not just regarding music), and/or 3) ones knowledge about the music/the composer/the work, etc. might have changed/increased over time too.  Just some thoughts.  :)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on August 05, 2021, 10:16:56 AM
It could also be a case of 1) as you suggested, ones mood could be different--the pandemic has certainly been effecting mine  ::) and/or 2) ones tastes often changes over the course of ones life (and not just regarding music), and/or 3) ones knowledge about the music/the composer/the work, etc. might have changed/increased over time too.  Just some thoughts.  :)

PD

I find that all of those change my takes on music.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 05, 2021, 11:26:54 AM
I find that all of those change my takes on music.

Indeed!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Jo498 on August 05, 2021, 10:57:55 PM
Anecdotally, I recall that maybe 15 years ago I noticed that one and the same recording (of some music like a Beethoven sonata or quartet I knew fairly well) seemed rather slow and rather fast within a few days or weeks, probably depending on time of the day or how relaxed/stressed I was (e.g. listening via headphone shortly before going to sleep already in the dark lying on the bed). This has made me quite wary of my own impressions.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 06, 2021, 02:25:17 AM
Anecdotally, I recall that maybe 15 years ago I noticed that one and the same recording (of some music like a Beethoven sonata or quartet I knew fairly well) seemed rather slow and rather fast within a few days or weeks, probably depending on time of the day or how relaxed/stressed I was (e.g. listening via headphone shortly before going to sleep already in the dark lying on the bed). This has made me quite wary of my own impressions.

It can also depend very much on what you were listening to beforehand, or doing beforehand. Human perception is far more attuned to changes in things rather than absolutes - when it comes to speed, we can tell "slower" or "faster" way better then we can measure what the speed is.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 06, 2021, 03:04:58 AM
It could also be a case of 1) as you suggested, ones mood could be different--the pandemic has certainly been effecting mine  ::) and/or 2) ones tastes often changes over the course of ones life (and not just regarding music), and/or 3) ones knowledge about the music/the composer/the work, etc. might have changed/increased over time too.  Just some thoughts.  :)

PD

Exactly so!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 06, 2021, 05:41:35 AM
Anecdotally, I recall that maybe 15 years ago I noticed that one and the same recording (of some music like a Beethoven sonata or quartet I knew fairly well) seemed rather slow and rather fast within a few days or weeks, probably depending on time of the day or how relaxed/stressed I was (e.g. listening via headphone shortly before going to sleep already in the dark lying on the bed). This has made me quite wary of my own impressions.
I can "play" many whole pieces through in my mind, like a mental radio, after memorizing them. And late at night, they tend to play much more slowly, as I get tired and slower tempos become much more appealing in the same works which might have been more fun faster at lunchtime.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on August 06, 2021, 10:42:09 AM
I can "play" many whole pieces through in my mind, like a mental radio, after memorizing them. And late at night, they tend to play much more slowly, as I get tired and slower tempos become much more appealing in the same works which might have been more fun faster at lunchtime.
That's a cool talent!   8) Trust that you have now tossed out your iPod?  ;)

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Florestan on August 06, 2021, 10:51:24 AM
I can "play" many whole pieces through in my mind, like a mental radio, after memorizing them. And late at night, they tend to play much more slowly, as I get tired

...and as you get asleep. Allargando sognando... ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vers la flamme on August 06, 2021, 11:54:36 AM
This man needs a blepharoplasty.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 06, 2021, 01:24:24 PM
This man needs a blepharoplasty.

Among other things.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 06, 2021, 06:07:55 PM
That's a cool talent!   8) Trust that you have now tossed out your iPod?  ;)

PD
Hah, no, it's a lot harder cognitively as I get older, I've been working on a few pieces like Nielsen 4 and the Paganini Rhapsody for over a year now. It takes many, many listens to get from "earworm" to complete piece. Just yesterday got very close on the Paganini but two of the 24 variations appeared twice to make 26, so gotta iron that out and make sure all the transitions are right. Most recent "acquisition" was Also sprach Zarathustra.

It does enable me to try out interpretive ideas, speeding up, slowing down, etc. Bruckner 7 track timings for me - about 16/19/8/11. I use my own mental cadenza for the first Tchaikovsky concerto, that kind of thing. Did once get to ask a professional composer about this and learned that it is not at all normal - growing up of course thought it was completely normal!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 06, 2021, 06:15:13 PM
What's the equivalent of a photographic memory? A phonographic memory?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Irons on August 06, 2021, 10:44:00 PM
What's the equivalent of a photographic memory? A phonographic memory?

For a moment I missed the (h) there.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on August 07, 2021, 04:26:04 AM
Hah, no, it's a lot harder cognitively as I get older, I've been working on a few pieces like Nielsen 4 and the Paganini Rhapsody for over a year now. It takes many, many listens to get from "earworm" to complete piece. Just yesterday got very close on the Paganini but two of the 24 variations appeared twice to make 26, so gotta iron that out and make sure all the transitions are right. Most recent "acquisition" was Also sprach Zarathustra.

It does enable me to try out interpretive ideas, speeding up, slowing down, etc. Bruckner 7 track timings for me - about 16/19/8/11. I use my own mental cadenza for the first Tchaikovsky concerto, that kind of thing. Did once get to ask a professional composer about this and learned that it is not at all normal - growing up of course thought it was completely normal!
Have you ever tried acting before?  If so, does it apply to lines or other things that you read?

But the bigger question:  Can you remember your *wedding anniversary?

Obviously, this applies only if you are married...sorry, but I couldn't remember!   :-[

PD
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 07, 2021, 10:45:08 AM
Have you ever tried acting before?  If so, does it apply to lines or other things that you read?

But the bigger question:  Can you remember your *wedding anniversary?

Obviously, this applies only if you are married...sorry, but I couldn't remember!   :-[

PD
Not nearly as good at words - in fact, if you told me to sing karaoke with 100% accuracy on penalty of death, I would only have maybe "Happy Birthday" and 2-3 Beatles songs to choose from!

I am the one out of the pair who remembers the anniversary in our relationship, yes  ;D ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 08, 2021, 05:24:19 AM
Heck of a putdown here: he calls Kirill Petrenko's Mahler 7 (https://www.classicstoday.com/review/petrenkos-munich-mahler-7th-boulez-without-the-warmth/) "Boulez without the warmth." Ouch!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on August 08, 2021, 06:14:40 AM

I wonder if Hurwitz does blind listening games like we used to do at GMG. We need to bring those back! Maybe a project for me when I have some free time.

It's my intent to start one for one of the Chopin Ballades, my preference is to do it for the F major but I'll leave it up to people to decide. I'll start the thread towards the end of September, so many discs I need to find and rip.

This man needs a blepharoplasty.

He has multiple sclerosis, though I'd usually associate ptosis with myasthenia gravis.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vers la flamme on August 08, 2021, 06:22:19 AM
He has multiple sclerosis, though I'd usually associate ptosis with myasthenia gravis.

Ah, indeed. I suppose it's not unheard of for MS to cause neurogenic ptosis, though of course that is one of the textbook symptoms of myasthenia gravis. Poor bastard, MS is a hell of a disease to live with.

(You must be in the medical field; I am a lowly tech at an ophthalmology practice, studying to eventually become an optometrist. Ocular—and neurological—disease is fascinating to me.)
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 08, 2021, 07:04:13 AM
He has multiple sclerosis. . . .

Do you have evidence for this?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 08, 2021, 07:45:39 AM
Heck of a putdown here: he calls Kirill Petrenko's Mahler 7 (https://www.classicstoday.com/review/petrenkos-munich-mahler-7th-boulez-without-the-warmth/) "Boulez without the warmth." Ouch!

Like Norman Lebrecht before him, he has succeeded in monetizing being a prick, which, of itself, is no great distinction.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 08, 2021, 08:07:23 AM
Do you have evidence for this?

Many years ago (like, around the year 2000) he mentioned it in one of his Classics Today editorials. That's what I remember, anyway.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Brian on August 08, 2021, 08:12:12 AM
Do you have evidence for this?
This review: https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-15258/
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Daverz on August 08, 2021, 10:22:38 AM
Heck of a putdown here: he calls Kirill Petrenko's Mahler 7 (https://www.classicstoday.com/review/petrenkos-munich-mahler-7th-boulez-without-the-warmth/) "Boulez without the warmth." Ouch!

It got a very positive review from Dentley Hunt at Fanfare ("Santa Fe Listener" to those who remember his Amazon reviews.  He is IMO Fanfare's worst writer.) 

"Without a doubt this performance rises to the top tier of Mahler Sevenths on disc."

I was very impressed with Kirill Petrenko's Suk recordings on CPO. 
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on August 08, 2021, 11:25:38 AM
This review: https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-15258/

That would seem to be definitive.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on August 08, 2021, 06:05:10 PM
It got a very positive review from Dentley Hunt at Fanfare ("Santa Fe Listener" to those who remember his Amazon reviews.  He is IMO Fanfare's worst writer.) 

"Without a doubt this performance rises to the top tier of Mahler Sevenths on disc."

I was very impressed with Kirill Petrenko's Suk recordings on CPO.

I never knew that the Santa Fe listener worked for Fanfare!  And people complain about British reviewers...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: T. D. on August 08, 2021, 06:16:31 PM
I never knew that the Santa Fe listener worked for Fanfare!  And people complain about British reviewers...

Wow, that's a surprise. I recall reading some of S F L 's reviews; gave the impression of being knowledgeable and opinionated, but our tastes seemed to differ considerably (the same could be said of Hurwitz).
I rarely bother to read Amazon reviews any more. Their database is so unbelievably FUBAR that any displayed reviews probably pertain to a completely different recording than the one (presumably) being examined.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on August 09, 2021, 03:21:49 AM
Wow, that's a surprise. I recall reading some of S F L 's reviews; gave the impression of being knowledgeable and opinionated, but our tastes seemed to differ considerably (the same could be said of Hurwitz).
I rarely bother to read Amazon reviews any more. Their database is so unbelievably FUBAR that any displayed reviews probably pertain to a completely different recording than the one (presumably) being examined.

Some Amazon reviewers start by mentioning what disc they will be talking about, just to make sure readers won’t be misled. Amazon’s carelessness is legendary.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on August 09, 2021, 06:57:50 AM
Ah, indeed. I suppose it's not unheard of for MS to cause neurogenic ptosis, though of course that is one of the textbook symptoms of myasthenia gravis. Poor bastard, MS is a hell of a disease to live with.

(You must be in the medical field; I am a lowly tech at an ophthalmology practice, studying to eventually become an optometrist. Ocular—and neurological—disease is fascinating to me.)

I'm an MD but not a neurologist. This was reaching way back to my M3/M4 days (what are the other things I remember- Marcus Gunn pupils, optic neuritis... you can tell me the last eye finding I'm forgetting :laugh: ), though I did admit a woman with an acute flare up as an M4 and that case was seared in my mind, completely agree with you on that, I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

I don't read ClassicsToday aside from occasionally Googling Jed Distler reviews, Hurwitz made a video on his channel where he was receiving IVIG and he said it's because of his MS.

Not singling you out, your posts have always come off as cordial, it's just one of the things I find annoying is when people poke fun of someone's medical issues.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 09, 2021, 08:12:15 AM
Not singling you out, your posts have always come off as cordial, it's just one of the things I find annoying is when people poke fun of someone's medical issues.

Aye.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: vers la flamme on August 09, 2021, 03:43:29 PM
I'm an MD but not a neurologist. This was reaching way back to my M3/M4 days (what are the other things I remember- Marcus Gunn pupils, optic neuritis... you can tell me the last eye finding I'm forgetting :laugh: ), though I did admit a woman with an acute flare up as an M4 and that case was seared in my mind, completely agree with you on that, I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

I don't read ClassicsToday aside from occasionally Googling Jed Distler reviews, Hurwitz made a video on his channel where he was receiving IVIG and he said it's because of his MS.

Not singling you out, your posts have always come off as cordial, it's just one of the things I find annoying is when people poke fun of someone's medical issues.

I do apologize if my cheeky post caused any offense or annoyance; I assure you that despite my irreverent tone, it came from a place of concern. I mean, the poor guy can barely open his eyes, and from what I understand ptosis is an easy fix if myogenic/age related.

None of the MDs I work with care about music at all—it's cool to see a practicing doctor who's passionate about classical music.

P.S. Not sure what the last eye finding you're thinking of is with MS; nystagmus, with complaint of diplopia, perhaps?
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 28, 2021, 07:03:14 AM
Just watched the Hurwitzer's Music Chat: Really BAD Symphonists (1) Kurt Graunke and then listened to Graunke's Seventh Symphony, the first movement. And god help me, I liked it! Proving what?...that either I have really bad taste or that Hurwitz grossly exaggerates. Still too early to come to a conclusion. I need to listen to more of his music before deciding.

Sarge
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: VonStupp on August 28, 2021, 08:51:32 AM
Just watched the Hurwitzer's Music Chat: Really BAD Symphonists (1) Kurt Graunke and then listened to Graunke's Seventh Symphony, the first movement. And god help me, I liked it! Proving what?...that either I have really bad taste or that Hurwitz grossly exaggerates.

Proving you should love what you love, like what you like, and dismiss what you don't want to hear, but still explore what sounds interesting to you. This is why I have a stable of reviewers that I have gotten to know over the years so I can decipher what their superlatives and snubs exactly translate into for me. In the end, I am the only reviewer that matters for me, as I have been (and still will be) led astray in music and recordings from reviewers I trust.

At their least, reviewers will give us a starting point in order to make our own conclusions and start a conversation. Happily, it doesn't make any of us wrong.

VS
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: André on August 28, 2021, 08:58:14 AM
Just watched the Hurwitzer's Music Chat: Really BAD Symphonists (1) Kurt Graunke and then listened to Graunke's Seventh Symphony, the first movement. And god help me, I liked it! Proving what?...that either I have really bad taste or that Hurwitz grossly exaggerates. Still too early to come to a conclusion. I need to listen to more of his music before deciding.

Sarge

+1.

The clip of that 9th symphony posted in another thread made me listen with interest. And yet when you read the YT comments all there is is deference for Hurwitz’ taste  ::) and omniscience. Practically everybody write that they certainly won’t listen to Graunke… ???.  Hurwitzism has become a cult.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Mirror Image on August 28, 2021, 06:37:06 PM
Just watched the Hurwitzer's Music Chat: Really BAD Symphonists (1) Kurt Graunke and then listened to Graunke's Seventh Symphony, the first movement. And god help me, I liked it! Proving what?...that either I have really bad taste or that Hurwitz grossly exaggerates. Still too early to come to a conclusion. I need to listen to more of his music before deciding.

Sarge

I mean the fact that he centered an entire video around someone being a ‘bad’ symphonist is reason enough to give them a listen. People seem to hang on his every word and take what he says as gospel, which Andre rightfully pointed out. I can imagine the next video will be him on a ledge somewhere holding a list of “the do’s and don’ts of classical music listening” where a crowd of people are just looking at him with a glazed, empty look on their face and then he receives thunderous applause when he’s done reading the list. ;D
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: flyingdutchman on August 28, 2021, 09:32:40 PM
It got a very positive review from Dentley Hunt at Fanfare ("Santa Fe Listener" to those who remember his Amazon reviews.  He is IMO Fanfare's worst writer.) 

"Without a doubt this performance rises to the top tier of Mahler Sevenths on disc."

I was very impressed with Kirill Petrenko's Suk recordings on CPO.

It's Huntley Dent.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 28, 2021, 10:06:36 PM
Hurwitzism has become a cult.

Around here anti-Hurwitzism is well on its way to the same status.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 28, 2021, 11:17:52 PM
Around here anti-Hurwitzism is well on its way to the same status.

A cult needs a leader - "anti-Hurwitzism" is simply a shared opinion.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 29, 2021, 01:23:28 AM
Lol. Right, so when people share an opinion with Hurwitz it's a "cult", though?

I feel an irregular verb coming on. You mindlessly agree with someone, I independently happen to share an opinion with another person...
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: DavidW on August 29, 2021, 05:18:52 AM
The clip of that 9th symphony posted in another thread made me listen with interest. And yet when you read the YT comments all there is is deference for Hurwitz’ taste  ::) and omniscience. Practically everybody write that they certainly won’t listen to Graunke… ???.  Hurwitzism has become a cult.

That is an artifact of the YouTube algorithm.  It is really good at presenting to viewers only what aligns with their interests and opinions.  And then his videos are so long if you're not a fanboy you're not going to watch them (I know I don't).  What is sad is that most of those commenters will not support him by paying the small subscription fee at Classics Today.



Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: hvbias on August 30, 2021, 01:38:55 PM
I do apologize if my cheeky post caused any offense or annoyance; I assure you that despite my irreverent tone, it came from a place of concern. I mean, the poor guy can barely open his eyes, and from what I understand ptosis is an easy fix if myogenic/age related.

None of the MDs I work with care about music at all—it's cool to see a practicing doctor who's passionate about classical music.

P.S. Not sure what the last eye finding you're thinking of is with MS; nystagmus, with complaint of diplopia, perhaps?

Woops, sorry just seeing this now. I'm not sure what I was thinking of then, I thought it was something CN III/IV/VI or PPRF related.

I don't know any people that are into classical music, I know several people I worked with or currently working with that are big music fans, usually the music they grew up with; U2, Stones, Beatles, etc. I'm the youngest among my partners so this is all music of another era for me. One of my friends in another field was a huge Phish fan and planned his vacations around seeing as many shows as he could.

That is an artifact of the YouTube algorithm.  It is really good at presenting to viewers only what aligns with their interests and opinions.  And then his videos are so long if you're not a fanboy you're not going to watch them (I know I don't).  What is sad is that most of those commenters will not support him by paying the small subscription fee at Classics Today.

I'm not a fanboy but I listen to them all the way through. One of my car's screaming natural flat-6 plus tire/road noise is too loud to listen to music in  ;D I used to listen to Boston sports radio but you can really only take so much whining from entitled Boston fans despite 20 years of probably the greatest sports success in the entire world.

I might have posted this when his channel first started; for me the main benefit of his channel is learning about new recordings. Most online forums are filled with people discussing the same oldies over and over, it's like people got stuck with their record collection of the 70s and never moved on. GMG is much better in that regard. I like Hurwitz's attitude that classical music didn't die off decades ago. I've never made a blind buy based off what he or most other people have said. I have streamed some of what was new to me and disagreed with him about as much as I've agreed with him, so the usual coin toss of opinion just like other critics or what individuals post.

I ignore the nonsense about things like him writing off Boulez in the most juvenile way, his grudge against certain conductors, distaste of pre-war recordings, etc.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 30, 2021, 02:13:56 PM
Just watched the Hurwitzer's Music Chat: Really BAD Symphonists (1) Kurt Graunke and then listened to Graunke's Seventh Symphony, the first movement. And god help me, I liked it! Proving what?...that either I have really bad taste or that Hurwitz grossly exaggerates. Still too early to come to a conclusion. I need to listen to more of his music before deciding.

Sarge

Measured, sober cultural reflection doesn't goose the internet traffic!
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 30, 2021, 02:16:08 PM
Around here anti-Hurwitzism is well on its way to the same status.

Sobriety is not a cult. You're welcome.
Title: Re: David Hurwitz
Post by: Madiel on August 30, 2021, 03:52:01 PM
Sobriety is not a cult. You're welcome.

Temperance movements and prohibition?