Seiji Ozawa (1935-2024).

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  • richardfinegold
    replied
    In my first post on this thread I alluded to the revelation that S.O. longevity in Boston was largely due to having Japanese Corporate money to sustain him. He was there approximately 30 years. The feeling was after a decade or so he was played out. There were stories of him being the jet setting conductor who would show up at the last minute to pick up the baton, after assistants had done the rehearsals ,and tell the Orchestra lets play it safe today. Older players complained of standards slipping. I don’t remember reading a positive review of any of his recording or a concert from that latterly period .
    Frankly, I’ve been surprised at the amount of love bestowed upon him in this thread

    Leave a comment:


  • oliver sudden
    replied
    Originally posted by Maclintick View Post
    At least as harsh as Barry Millington's appraisal, IMHO
    Indeed so, and to be honest I wouldn’t have printed that as an obituary either…although it appears to be a revival of an article from 2019!

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  • Maclintick
    replied
    Originally posted by oliver sudden View Post
    Is it just me or did anyone else also think the Grauniad obituary was a bit harsh?
    I haven't heard nearly enough of SO’s work in the concert hall or recordings to be able to comment on Barry Millington's obit, but it seems that Andrew Farach-Colton's verdict in the Gramophone feature posted by Bluestateprommer paints a similar mixed-bag picture..

    "Not a musician who's driven by deep intellectual curiosity" (Hmmm --I'm not sure this is relevant to conductorial prowess...discuss)

    "I can’t say there are very many wholly satisfying interpretations"

    "Sadly, there are quite a few such duds in this collection"

    "Ozawa recorded with Karajan’s Berlin Philharmonic, too, though what’s documented here is largely disappointing"

    "His genteel and prettified cycle of the seven Prokofiev symphonies completely mystifies me"

    "The remaining concerto recordings are yet another mixed bag"

    At least as harsh as Barry Millington's appraisal, IMHO
    Last edited by Maclintick; 28-02-24, 14:17.

    Leave a comment:


  • Roger Webb
    replied
    Originally posted by pastoralguy View Post

    I really don’t understand why it’s so difficult to take care of CDs! I’ve always felt that to disrespect the cd is to disrespect the music it contains.
    When I ran my CD shop I had many customers bringing back CDs that wouldn't play. On examination the CDs always looked worse for wear - some had traces of food stuck to them. On advising that they needed looking after I was usually told that CDs were 'indestructable', I blame early press reports for this misconception....and a misguided Tomorrow's World! The industry never claimed
    such a thing - mind you the subsequent 'self-destruct' scandal which coincided with the 'CDs are overpriced' campaign by the press didn't help customer relations.....we CD shop owners were lucky to get away with a tar and feathering!

    Leave a comment:


  • oliver sudden
    replied
    Originally posted by pastoralguy View Post

    I really don’t understand why it’s so difficult to take care of CDs! I’ve always felt that to disrespect the cd is to disrespect the music it contains.
    No idea what the previous owner got up to with it, or the owner before that, but accidents happen…

    I didn’t discover until a few years ago that the foam layers that used to go between the CDs in old school multi-CD boxes eventually stick to the discs. An afternoon of removing such foam bits from my entire collection ensued. I don’t think there were any serious casualties but lots of them still have the traces.

    Anyway, Ozawa. Any other fans of the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet? I didn’t get around to listening to it until last year. Some striking resemblances between it and the BPO/Abbado, although fortunately Ozawa did the whole thing. (Abbado’s selection is…problematic in many respects.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Barbirollians
    replied
    Originally posted by pastoralguy View Post

    I really don’t understand why it’s so difficult to take care of CDs! I’ve always felt that to disrespect the cd is to disrespect the music it contains.
    The only trouble I tend to have is with Cds that are in the car - they tend to get less respect

    Leave a comment:


  • pastoralguy
    replied
    Originally posted by oliver sudden View Post
    Is it just me or did anyone else also think the Grauniad obituary was a bit harsh?

    I have long had the CD of the premiere of St François d’Assise but alas with various scratches (I acquired a copy a friend was offloading) to the point of skipping, and scratched on both sides so no repair possible. Replacement CDs have now arrived.
    I really don’t understand why it’s so difficult to take care of CDs! I’ve always felt that to disrespect the cd is to disrespect the music it contains.

    Leave a comment:


  • Barbirollians
    replied
    Pleased to have picked up the Swan Lake and Midsummer's Night Dream CDs cheaply even though sadly directed to them only by his death . Both are delightful and Judi Dench is terrific as a narrator in the Mendelssohn.

    Leave a comment:


  • oliver sudden
    replied
    Is it just me or did anyone else also think the Grauniad obituary was a bit harsh?

    I have long had the CD of the premiere of St François d’Assise but alas with various scratches (I acquired a copy a friend was offloading) to the point of skipping, and scratched on both sides so no repair possible. Replacement CDs have now arrived.

    Leave a comment:


  • bluestateprommer
    replied
    Netherlands Radio 4 has this 1971 archival concert with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Ozawa:

    De Japanse dirigent Seiji Ozawa dirigeert in 1971 het Concertgebouworkest in een mooie combinatie van nieuw en oud met werken van onder andere Toru Takemitsu - Charles Ives en Ludwig van Beethoven


    Andrew Farach-Colton has this appraisal from the Gramophone website:

    Leave a comment:


  • Pulcinella
    replied
    Originally posted by HighlandDougie View Post

    Despite my slight obsession with the Ravel (wonderful music), I'd never heard this CD - and I then remembered that (ashamed to admit the fact), I had the Sony Leon Fleisher box gathering dust. I couldn't put it better than MacL's description. A great performance from pianist, conductor and the Boston SO. So, I am delighted - finally - to have listened to the CD, albeit saddened by SO's demise being the reason for it.

    See the new thread I launched: Exclusive rights of the commissioner.
    Wittgenstein has a lot to answer for.
    There are still far too few recordings of Britten's Diversions (imho).

    Leave a comment:


  • HighlandDougie
    replied
    Originally posted by Maclintick View Post

    The Britten "Diversions" is the item I most often return to -- superior to BB's piano concerto, IMHO, esp. as played here. The Ravel LH is a sharply delineated reading in which there is no mistaking the tragic import of the composer’s vision, Fleisher stately, overflowing with lamentation at the outset, ineffably tender in the second solo passage, though not as angry as some in the final cadenza — resigned, rather. Ozawa a perfect foil in releasing the tragic dimension, & sticking to Fleisher like a limpet. A great recording.
    Despite my slight obsession with the Ravel (wonderful music), I'd never heard this CD - and I then remembered that (ashamed to admit the fact), I had the Sony Leon Fleisher box gathering dust. I couldn't put it better than MacL's description. A great performance from pianist, conductor and the Boston SO. So, I am delighted - finally - to have listened to the CD, albeit saddened by SO's demise being the reason for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick Armstrong
    replied
    Originally posted by Maclintick View Post

    The Britten "Diversions" is the item I most often return to -- superior to BB's piano concerto, IMHO, esp. as played here.
    Me too, I couldn’t agree more!

    Leave a comment:


  • Maclintick
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick Armstrong View Post

    Ooh yes, I’ve had that CD for years, I’d forgotten it was SO conducting. The Britten was a revelation
    The Britten "Diversions" is the item I most often return to -- superior to BB's piano concerto, IMHO, esp. as played here. The Ravel LH is a sharply delineated reading in which there is no mistaking the tragic import of the composer’s vision, Fleisher stately, overflowing with lamentation at the outset, ineffably tender in the second solo passage, though not as angry as some in the final cadenza — resigned, rather. Ozawa a perfect foil in releasing the tragic dimension, & sticking to Fleisher like a limpet. A great recording.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick Armstrong
    replied
    Originally posted by Maclintick View Post
    I often return to this CD, which demonstrates what a fine concerto accompanist SO was.


    Ooh yes, I’ve had that CD for years, I’d forgotten it was SO conducting. The Britten was a revelation

    Leave a comment:

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