I've never really,really listened to this, although I love most of the RS I know well. I wonder if anyone mentioned my CD from BBCMM Vol 1 no.5. by Jansons and the BBC Welsh SO? I shouldn'tthink so. Must listen on Momday.
I enjoyed William Mival's analysis. From the extracts he chose, I heard what he meant about the Karajan. I'm cross, actually... I was sure I had that CD, with its classic cover... but I find that I don't seem to have it (unless I've lent it to someone and forgotten )
To my surprise I do have the Thielemann (must have read a good review... it's unlike me to buy a new full-price CD like that). I shall give it a whirl shortly.
I also have the Blomstedt, which a search of this thread suggested no-one had mentioned but a manual search shows was listed by EA and endorsed by Rolmill in message #39. (The 'search thread' facility seems to recognise "Blomstedt's" but not "Blomstedt" :doh
I must listen to Blomstedt again, because I remember it as tremendous and indeed I see Michael Kennedy's Gramophone review placed it up on the podium alongside HvK/ BPO and Haitink/Concertgebouw:
Blomstedt certainly didn't get a look in on BAL so maybe it is unavailable (but then, ditto the Haitink which made the final cut despite being unavailable)
Do EA or Petrushka (possessors of 11 versions apiece ) have the Blomstedt and if so what's the expert opinion?
PS I didn't miss the storm sequence in the analysis - I don't think that section is going to provide any crucial interpretative distinctions between versions... a wind machine's a wind machine's a wind machine, I would have thought...
"The isle is full of noises... Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not"
The Tempest, Act III scene 2 ll 148-9
I was interested by the reference to the orginal title (which I've now forgotten ) and the referrence to Nietzsche. Any comments EA (on Nietzsche, not my memory, please)?
Looking at the review in more detail, I did notice a couple of mini-howlers:
Karajan's EA may well have been the first classical CD to have been pressed, but it was first issued in March 1983, along with many others, not in 1981 (which was probably the issue date for the LP).
Strauss scored the work for 20 French horns, not 8.
I did agree with the suggestion that in the Kempe recordings, it sounds as though a herd of cows is crossing the stage. I thought that when I first heard the RPO version . Indeed, I used to play it to my fellow students, and it made them smile.
On "effects" in general, we had the excerpt from the waterfall sequence, which does at least have the water falling in the right direction, rather than uphill as Smetana's Vltava appears to defy gravity.
The Masur excerpt convinced me to investigate this version too.
I wasn't quite sure why Thielemann didn't reach the final shortlist - the idea of the VPO strings sounding "grey" seems to come from a parallel universe. But it nearly made it.
Lovely offstage horns in the Bohm recording - nice and distant.
In a work such as this, the best recording quality is, I think, more important than normal. It's such a huge score that it only works either live or in real high fidelity sound, which is one of the reasons I gave away the Karajan. However, the remixed version currently available does sound much better. It was the overclose strings in the "descent" passage that really grated. I wonder whether this has been remedied.
And for light relief, does anyone else, brought up on LP versions, still expect there to be a refreshment break at the summit, when turning the record over? Being able to hear the work without a break at this climactic point was one of the great advantages of the coming of the CD.
Yes, but on the score, there's no indication of how it should be played. So it's open to more interpretation than other percussion instruments. It's much the same in VW's Sinfonia Antartica. Therefore, it's interesting to compare versions.... a wind machine's a wind machine's a wind machine, I would have thought...
This is the one aspect of Strauss that most disturbs me. I'd rather think of Strauss climbing a great mountain than be tied down to one of the influences on the Third Reich.I was interested by the reference to the orginal title (which I've now forgotten ) and the reference to Nietzsche.
Agreed - it reminded me, of course, of Zarathustra. There was no reference to why he changed the title of the piece, as I recall... one aspect of Strauss that most disturbs me. I'd rather think of Strauss climbing a great mountain than be tied down to one of the influences on the Third Reich.