February 02, 2005

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

The local Voice of Brussels affiliate is airing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony at the moment, a performance by Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic (CBS/Sony 36711).

As cliched as the first movement of this piece has become, I've always felt that it justly deserves its fame. But one thing in this particular performance caught my attention - Maazel doesn't take the repeats. In my humble opinion, one absolutely has to. Otherwise, the movement is over too quickly and the whole piece comes unbalanced.

Just remember that next time you find yourself conducting a performance.

UPDATE: Maazel's treatment of the second movement is too mushy.

UPDATE DEUX: Third movement not so bad - crisper. But there's still a certain listlessness to it.

UPDATE TROIS: Fourth movement is okay, but still has those periods of listlessness, like the orchestra's just going through the motions. I suppose this is a trap for any performer. How do you summon up the energy to make something sound bright and fresh when you've done it 500 times already?

Oh, it's a live performance. That explains much - I couldn't see the record label putting out a studio performance like that.

UPDATE, UH, LE FOUR: Talk about bright and fresh, I popped in one of my favorite CDs - a set of six Telemann Trio Sonatas for Recorder, Oboe and Basso Continuo performed by Camerata Koln. It's a Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Edito Classica recording (77017-2-RG). I did a quick search over at Tower Records and couldn't seem to find it. However, and here is one of the reasons I love the Internet so much, I stumbled across this list of recommended (primarily) Baroque chamber music recordings by one L.D. Lampson. I have no idea who this is, but his/her list is quite comprehensive. Also, I recognize many of the performers he/she cites. If you're thinking about exploring a Baroque CD library, this looks like a pretty good list to work with.

UPDATE CINQUE: Welcome INDCent Bill fans! Care for some brie?

Posted by Robert at February 2, 2005 02:35 PM

What in Hell are you blabbering about?

Posted by: Bill from INDC at February 2, 2005 03:56 PM

Back in my old music major days in college, there were occassions when there would seem to be some subtle pressure put on performers (the ultimate origins of which I'd never thought to explore) to 'skip the repeats' in what I'd always assumed was someone's interest of keeping the presumptively-unwashed-and-ADD-ridden audience mollified and squirm-free. I was seldom in favor of such practices, but the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth seems to me to be one of the worse choices for such a strategy I can imagine for the very reason you pointed out...

Posted by: LDH at February 2, 2005 04:06 PM

The brie isn't runny is it? Bill always serves runny brie, and his taste in pate' is risible.

Posted by: Sobek at February 3, 2005 10:11 AM

The brie is pretty firm although the camenbert's a bit runny.

Posted by: Robert the LB at February 3, 2005 12:18 PM
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