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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: Gordo 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: Gordo 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: Gordo 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).