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Discussion: Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie - Shipway

Posts: 62
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Post by bissie September 10, 2012 (11 of 62)
gonzostick said:

Three problems...

The organ in Sala Sao Paulo is electronic and very poorly voiced for the hall. Most fine digital instruments are balanced by the factory to really fill the air volume of the hall...


The other problem with this orchestra is that the trombone section cannot play in tune, due to embouchure problems and poor slide technique. They sound like Spike Jones trombones, but playing serious music... UGH

The string section in this orchestra has some ensemble/intonation problems and SACD/DSD mercilessly reveals that, while this might be the best orchestra in Brazil, it is NOT a world-class orchestra, but only one accessible by cheap recording rates...

With you, there is only one problem: you condemn an orchestra and an SACD without having heard either in this repertoire. UGH indeed! It is to cure such poss. problems that one has a Producer, and we do.

But I will give you one point: also this orchestra is really awful, when it comes to playing pizzicato chords that aren't in the score. You never answered or conceded that one, much less apologized, you supercilious humbug!

Robert von Bahr

Edit: I do in my turn apologize to everyone else, I don't really usually express me so untemperedly, but that person really gets to me, with his so-called expertise, which he doesn't use for any other purpose than to, by putting down everyone else, show how much (he thinks) he knows, spreading one negative thought after another. And when he does get caught out, he isn't man enough to concede it.. Triple UGH!!

Post by Polly Nomial September 10, 2012 (12 of 62)
bissie said:

With you, there is only one problem: you condemn an orchestra and an SACD without having heard either in this repertoire. UGH indeed! It is to cure such poss. problems that one has a Producer, and we do.

But I will give you one point: also this orchestra is really awful, when it comes to playing pizzicato chords that aren't in the score. You never answered or conceded that one, much less apologized, you supercilious humbug!

Robert von Bahr

Edit: I do in my turn apologize to everyone else, I don't really usually express me so untemperedly, but that person really gets to me, with his so-called expertise, which he doesn't use for any other purpose than to, by putting down everyone else, show how much (he thinks) he knows, spreading one negative thought after another. And when he does get caught out, he isn't man enough to concede it.. Triple UGH!!

Oh, it's not you who should apologise Robert - plink!

Post by gonzostick September 10, 2012 (13 of 62)
I have no argument with Robert von Bahr...

I really think he is an artist with a microphone, but poor orchestra playing is still poor orchestra playing, no matter how much insults want to be hurled by a producer, who has a financial interest in selling discs, no matter what. I just happens the emperor's clothes are sometimes lacking...

I really think it is a tragedy of modern orchestra life that the first-rate ensembles in the world are not available to a man who makes phenomenal recordings of repertoire no one would support, and also records mainstays of the repertoire.

The insults really don't matter, because they don't fix the bad orchestra playing. Since I paid for the discs, my opinion as consumer is as valid as that of everyone else. My ears do not lie.

The problems noted above should have been in a review of the Hindemith disc by the same orchestra, so maybe they are in the wrong discussion, but that still won't turn that orchestra into something worth buying on an SACD.

Post by Polly Nomial September 10, 2012 (14 of 62)
gonzostick said:
"I have no argument with Robert von Bahr..." but you do with facts & scores.

"My ears do not lie" - perhaps not but your fingers have.

Post by Cicero September 10, 2012 (15 of 62)
gonzostick said:

... The problems noted above should have been in a review of the Hindemith disc by the same orchestra, so maybe they are in the wrong discussion, but that still won't turn that orchestra into something worth buying on an SACD.

Just to make that clear: you are not referring to this new recording, but to the orchestra's recording of the Hindemith? You have probably not heard this new recording? You are generalizing from one recording which you found disappointing - one recording that may, or may not, exhibit the flaws you are insisting on?

I have recordings in my collection where the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan displays intonation problems, from which I am not inferring that the Berlin Philharmonic in general is an orchestra with intonation problems.

Ah well, to each his own.

Post by gonzostick September 10, 2012 (16 of 62)
I have purchased a number of releases with this same orchestra, and I hear the same issues with the trombones.

Also, having a record producer insult me will not make his orchestra play any better.

Post by Euell Neverno September 10, 2012 (17 of 62)
gonzostick said:

I have purchased a number of releases with this same orchestra, and I hear the same issues with the trombones.

Also, having a record producer insult me will not make his orchestra play any better.

If you find this orchestra so disappointing, why do you keep purchasing its recordings? Seems a non sequitur or the definition of insanity. Or, are you just doing research?

Post by bissie September 10, 2012 (18 of 62)
gonzostick said:

I have no argument with Robert von Bahr...

I really think he is an artist with a microphone, but poor orchestra playing is still poor orchestra playing, no matter how much insults want to be hurled by a producer, who has a financial interest in selling discs, no matter what. I just happens the emperor's clothes are sometimes lacking...

I really think it is a tragedy of modern orchestra life that the first-rate ensembles in the world are not available to a man who makes phenomenal recordings of repertoire no one would support, and also records mainstays of the repertoire.

The insults really don't matter, because they don't fix the bad orchestra playing. Since I paid for the discs, my opinion as consumer is as valid as that of everyone else. My ears do not lie.

The problems noted above should have been in a review of the Hindemith disc by the same orchestra, so maybe they are in the wrong discussion, but that still won't turn that orchestra into something worth buying on an SACD.

Yes, Mr. gonzostick, you do have an unresolved argument with me. You wrote a diatribe about another SACD, where you complained that the orchestra didn't play some pizz chords that Grieg didn't compose and were not in any score. You were caught out, but you refused to concede the point and apologize. That makes you, in my book, not a worthy partner for discussion. You lack integrity.
You are absolutely right, though, that insults don't a better orchestra make, and, again, I do have a vested interest in the result of the selling of the SACD. But, Mr. gonzostick, I also have integrity, something one cannot buy in a shop and which I care about intensely, and I can both concede points against my interest and I can apologize. Which latter I do now: I shouldn't have called you a humbug. That was out of line (but I slept better last night than in some time). The question you should put yourself is the following: would I, Robert von Bahr, say something is good against my better knowledge, just because I want to sell it? The answer is a resounding NO. I would lose all credibility I have worked 40 years to achieve. If I think something we recorded is truly not good enough, it ends up in the refusal bin and the result is given free of charge to the artist - and, Mr. gonzostick, usually ends up with another label, even very big and very famous ones, with the one condition that BIS is not mentioned anywhere. THAT is artistic integrity, because it costs a lot to scrap a recording and give it away.

Now, I happen to think that the OSESP actually is a really good orchestra, with extremely good international reviews, (especially when being produced by our producers), but I am willing to agree that they are not the very best in the world, a destiny that is shared by ALL other orchestras in the world except the Very Best One. I have a big problem to believe that even the Very Best Orchestra in the world would have played Villa-Lobos as idiomatically, interestingly and rhythmically precisely as OSESP, but that is a discussion of several another records, which does not belong here.
Which, Mr. gonzostick, neither do your comments. That you listen to a Hindemith SACD (which may not be among their best) and from that infer that the Strauss (which is) is badly played is not professional, Mr. gonzostick, something that you, in my view erroneously, claim to be.

Finally, if what you say is right, then noone should record but the very best in each field. So would the musical life in Brazil be better, if OSESP didn't record? Would the world and the quasi endless string of Brazilian repertoire that BIS has recorded with them - basically World Première Recordings - be better off, if it had to wait in the endless line for the recording by the Very Best Orchestra in the world? What is the point of and purpose with your - generally - intemperate and ugly diatribes? To serve music or to show off?

I just don't get it.

Robert von Bahr

Post by Polly Nomial September 10, 2012 (19 of 62)
bissie said:

I just don't get it.

If you saw him conducting on YouTube, you would...

Post by sibelius2 September 11, 2012 (20 of 62)
gonzostick said:

The other problem with this orchestra is that the trombone section cannot play in tune, due to embouchure problems and poor slide technique.

The problems noted above should have been in a review of the Hindemith disc by the same orchestra.

After reading this, I pulled out my recordings of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler. I was curious to hear just how bad it could be. The opening trombone chorale is frequently used at the final round of auditions, to see how well each of the candidates is able to fit in with the section they hope to join. Hindemith's writing in this excerpt leaves no place to hide.

The Sao Paolo section plays it just about perfectly, even using a very soft articulation more commonly heard in Central and Eastern Europe rather than the Americas. They clearly adjusted their style of playing to suit the composition in front of them.

The only recording in my collection which featured noticeably bad trombone playing was a 1995 recording of the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado. The Berliners are not only frequently out of tune, but do not end notes together and make no attempt at musical phrasing. There's even a point where one player clearly both rushes and glissandos between notes.

Of course, I'm a professional trombone player, so how could I possibly have any idea what I'm talking about?

Gonzostick is entitled to his opinions. But I, for one, will be ignoring them from now on.

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