Sheherazade recommendation

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knotslip
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Sheherazade recommendation

Post by knotslip » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:45 pm

I just recently heard this and I really liked it and was wondering if someone here could recommend a real good performance/recording on SACD, LP or CD for me to pick up. I have it on Seraphim (I think that's the label) and it's okay. What can I expect for $2.97? :-)

Thanks.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:00 pm

I'm not exactly sure what you're expecting out of this piece that you have not already gotten for $2.97. Unless there is something obviously acoustically wrong with that recording, what you hear with regard to this piece is what you get. It is an immensely hackneyed work, and if you listen to classical radio, your problems will be solved because it will be broadcast at least every other day.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

knotslip
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Post by knotslip » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:10 pm

Not expecting too much...Maybe the $2.97 CD I have is good enough. It just doesn't have very good sonics. Sounds a bit thin.
I'll give it another listen and see if maybe I can be content with it.

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Re: Sheherazade recommendation

Post by Lance » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:39 pm

knotslip wrote:I just recently heard this and I really liked it and was wondering if someone here could recommend a real good performance/recording on SACD, LP or CD for me to pick up. I have it on Seraphim (I think that's the label) and it's okay. What can I expect for $2.97? :-)

Thanks.
Who is the conductor/orchestra on the Seraphim LP?

My first recommendation for Rimsky's Scherezade is the one conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham on EMI - with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The catalogue number is 47717, though I believe it is now available in EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" series at mid-price, and obviously with a different catalogue number. Outstanding alternates would be with Leopold Stokowski conducting on RCA (Royal Philharmonic) [7743], Testament (Stokowski's Symphony Orchestra) [1139] or Decca-London (Royal Philharmonic) [417.753], as well as the one with Pierre Monteux conducting [Decca-London 421.400, or even a more recent catalogue number], and another splendid one with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner [my copy is an RCA 68168, which may still be available with the catalogue number]. Please let us know which one you go with. All of these renditions have conductors who were superb colorists and were able to extract the very best out of their orchestras in this demanding score.
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:47 pm

Lance's classic suggestions are probably about as good as it gets. Apparently you do have an acoustic problem with what you own (I'm not a CD jock, but I've known it to happen, too.) Go with any of those--you cannot miss if Lance is recommending them. Just don't go with all of them. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by knotslip » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:47 pm

Thanks for the recommendations Lance. My CD is with conductor Andrew Litton and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It's on Seraphim and catalog # 69030.

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Post by slofstra » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:52 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Lance's classic suggestions are probably about as good as it gets. Apparently you do have an acoustic problem with what you own (I'm not a CD jock, but I've known it to happen, too.) Go with any of those--you cannot miss if Lance is recommending them. Just don't go with all of them. :wink:
I understand that this is one of your favourite pieces by a composer with a hyphenated name.

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Post by Justin » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:15 pm

We are playing this piece right now in our university orchestra! It's not the type of music I can really love, but I find it enjoyable once in a while to let myself get swept along with it, and it's certainly a lot of fun to play all those melodies. Our conductor's favourite recording is Valery Gergiev with the Kirov Theater Orchestra. I don't like this recording too much, but you may disagree.

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Post by Barry » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:23 pm

This piece is a huge favorite of mine. I've listened to a ton of recordings of it and my favorite is Stokowski/London Symphony on either Decca or Cala (I have the latter with an equally fine Marche Slav as a filler). It's such a sensuous performance.

There is a tape out there of a Scheherazade Stokowski conducted in the early 60s during one of his return visits to Philadelphia that may be even better.
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:26 pm

slofstra wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Lance's classic suggestions are probably about as good as it gets. Apparently you do have an acoustic problem with what you own (I'm not a CD jock, but I've known it to happen, too.) Go with any of those--you cannot miss if Lance is recommending them. Just don't go with all of them. :wink:
I understand that this is one of your favourite pieces by a composer with a hyphenated name.
Stravinsky, his pupil, always called him Rimsky. Now you're telling me that this was not his given name? :shock: Next, what about Vaughan?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:27 pm

Barry Z wrote:This piece is a huge favorite of mine.
Mine too. We used to have a repertory movie house in DC that always used it as filler waiting for the movie to start. That's the first time I can remember paying attention to "the longest pedal point" - the violin note at the end of the last movement. Still think it's glorious.
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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:42 pm

Kirill Kondrashin conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam on Philips. Beautiful violin work by Herman Krebbers.
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Post by dirkronk » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:51 pm

As Lance indicates, there are plenty of good performances. For me, however, only two occupy the highest realms:

Reiner/Chicago (RCA)--the controlled phrasing and pacing, the power of the interp and the virtuosity of the musicians must all be heard to be believed, and the sonics are clear and wideranging, impressive even after 40+ years. Classic and utterly superb.

Kondrashin/Concertgebouw (Philips)--powerful and emotional Russian interp, orchestral virtuosity every bit as good as the Chicago, excellent sonics though with the trademark Concertgebouw resonance (so its clarity isn't quite as great as the Reiner), but this one has a secret weapon: Herman Krebbers, the concertmaster whose solo violin in the Scheherazade parts is so achingly beautiful and so perfectly judged that I doubt that I shall ever hear it surpassed.

I cannot and will not choose between them. My advice: get both.

Yes, I have the Monteux, the Beecham, two different Stokowskis, and several others, all very good, but I urge you to hear and assess both Reiner and Kondrashin.

Happy comparison listening...
:wink:

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Post by dirkronk » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:55 pm

Wow, Haydnseek...you snuck in there with the advice fast while I was waxing WAY too poetic.
:lol:

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Post by Chalkperson » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:35 pm

Fritz Reiner and Velery Gergiev are available on SACD...then there is Beecham on EMI, or Charles McKerras on Telarc...

Get the first two, but, don't buy more than two...Go for Beecham's Peer Gynt next, followed by his La Boheme with Victoria De LosAngeles and Jussi Bjorling, i'm sure others would agree...

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Post by anasazi » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:34 am

Although I have not tried more than a handful of recordings, one I have that I particularly like is with Mariss Jansons conducting the London Philharmonic (on EMI). Jansons seems to have a way with getting me to listen to overplayed warhorses like this piece, or perhaps "Finlandia" once more with new ears.
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Post by david johnson » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:58 am

Reiner and Mackerras (both in my library) are great...so many good ones out there!

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Post by Febnyc » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:12 am

I would recommend the London Symphony Orchestra/Charles Mackerras on Telarc. Excellent performance by an often underrated conductor, and astounding sound.

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Post by Gary » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:20 am

I would recommend the one by the Concerts Arts Symphony Orchestra, led by Erich Leinsdorf on EMI. Sadly, it's out-of-print.

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Post by Heck148 » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:59 am

dirkronk wrote:Reiner/Chicago (RCA)--the controlled phrasing and pacing, the power of the interp and the virtuosity of the musicians must all be heard to be believed, and the sonics are clear and wideranging, impressive even after 40+ years. Classic and utterly superb.
another vote for Reiner - a great recording -
the last movement was done on one take...straight thru, no edits!!

for an historical one - Stokowski/Philadelphia from 1927 -

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Post by knotslip » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:39 am

Wow, thanks for all of the great replies. I'm going to the music store today and I'm taking all of these recommendations with me. It will most likely come down to which ones I can actually find.

Thanks again - I'll be sure to let you all know which one I end up getting.

My Dvorak symphonies 1-9 box set should be here any day so I'll have lot's of listening to do. :-)

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Post by Lance » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:55 am

knotslip wrote:Wow, thanks for all of the great replies. I'm going to the music store today and I'm taking all of these recommendations with me. It will most likely come down to which ones I can actually find.

Thanks again - I'll be sure to let you all know which one I end up getting.

My Dvorak symphonies 1-9 box set should be here any day so I'll have lot's of listening to do. :-)


What Dvorak box did you actually decide on, Knotslip?
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Post by knotslip » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:00 am

Well, the poll was a dead tie so I ended up ordering the Kertesz set on Decca. I figured that with so many knowledgable folks highly recommending both sets that I couldn't go wrong...so I let price choose for me between the two. I may some day end up with both sets, but this will be a good start.

Thanks.

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Post by slofstra » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:09 am

jbuck919 wrote:
slofstra wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Lance's classic suggestions are probably about as good as it gets. Apparently you do have an acoustic problem with what you own (I'm not a CD jock, but I've known it to happen, too.) Go with any of those--you cannot miss if Lance is recommending them. Just don't go with all of them. :wink:
I understand that this is one of your favourite pieces by a composer with a hyphenated name.
Stravinsky, his pupil, always called him Rimsky. Now you're telling me that this was not his given name? :shock: Next, what about Vaughan?
I understand that Rimsky was actually the town in which he was born, but Nikki's mother entered it into the wrong box on the birth form.

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Post by hassid » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:02 pm

If what you look for in particular of that piece are the violin's parts.
I recommend Alexander Gauk with URSS Radio SO, with David
Oistrakh as concertino (1938). Sound badly and the version isn't
good, but the Oistrakh's solos are absolutely extraordinary. Oistrakh
recorded the work twice, but I've not the other one.

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Post by slofstra » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:41 pm

I have the utmost respect for the various opinions expressed here, perhaps you all know better than I, and maybe it was the particular version I was listening to this afternoon (Karajan), but Scheherazade strikes me as dreck. Mind you the third movement wasn't too bad, and I didn't even get to the fourth today before we went out. So this is largely based on two movements.

The first movement sounds like warmed over Wagner. I kept picturing two flies waltzing then being flattened TWICE by a big fly swatter, over and over again. And those over-the-top pizzicato violin plucks in the opening.
The second movement seems to outflank Tchaikovsky on the saccharine side.

The orchestration is magnificent, and the themes are grand, but I just don't hear enough invention going on in the music.
Perhaps we can just blame it on the version.

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Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:05 pm

slofstra wrote: Perhaps we can just blame it on the version.
Or maybe the Conductor, Herr Karajan...

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Post by knotslip » Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:30 am

Thanks again for all of these suggestions...I think I'm leaning towards the Mackerras or Reiner CD. Adding them all to my ever-growing list of classical music to buy though. :-)

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Post by Holden Fourth » Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:22 am

knotslip wrote:Thanks again for all of these suggestions...I think I'm leaning towards the Mackerras or Reiner CD. Adding them all to my ever-growing list of classical music to buy though. :-)
Avoid the Mackerras at all costs. While the Telarc sonics are just out of this world, I find the performance somewhat sterile and lacking in romance. My favourite is the already mentioned Stokowski/LSO but the Reiner is also exceptionally good. However, one that has not been mentioned is the Karajan/BPO with Michel Schwalbe's exquisite violin as the voice of Scheherazade. It's the antithesis of the Mackerras where the violinist (Loveday I think) is just unimaginitave.

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Post by knotslip » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:25 am

Thanks Holden. I'll defintely add Stokowski - he gets a lot of mentions as well. I've been listening to my Andrew Litton version and it is, to me, quite good. I just wish it was better recorded. It's not horrible or unlistenable but it's not great either. It's on the Seraphim label which may be reflective of the quality as I never here the label mentioned.

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Post by Barry » Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:05 am

Holden Fourth wrote: ...However, one that has not been mentioned is the Karajan/BPO with Michel Schwalbe's exquisite violin as the voice of Scheherazade. It's the antithesis of the Mackerras where the violinist (Loveday I think) is just unimaginitave.
The Karajan had been my favorite before hearing Stoki/LSO. The sound of the BPO, especially in the opening movement, is simply gorgeous; absolutely perfect for that music.
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Post by Fugu » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:28 am

Reiner on SACD and Stokowski on Cala. Those are the two I recommend.

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Post by moldyoldie » Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:50 am

Another very fine, though perhaps alternative version of Scheherazade is found in the early '90s Denon release featuring Emmanuel Krivine and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Jean-Jacques Kantorow is the violinist. I played it just two days ago and was thoroughly taken by the understated and dramatic performance. There was nothing cloying nor sappy to be heard. The pairing is another popular favorite, Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain.

It's out-of-print, but I see there are currently two "Used - Like New" copies going for $3.99 +s&h at Amazon Shoppes.

Reiner and Beecham are my others.

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Post by rogch » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:04 am

I second the recommendation for Kondrashin and the Concertgebouw orchestra. And Enrique Batiz and the Philharmonia orchestra on Naxos is a good alternative at budget prize.

Has anyone heard Celibidache in this work? It wouldn't surprise me if he played this music well.
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Post by knotslip » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:40 pm

Thanks everyone.
I have added all of these great rcommendations to my ever-growing list. I have decided to purchase the Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra version on 200Gram LP. I'm sure it will be great and I can add another LP to my collection. :-)

Thanks again to everyone...I'll be sure and let you all know how I like it.

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Post by mickey » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:50 pm

the peabody symphony orchestra has a recording available for free download

http://www.peabody.jhu.edu/584

give it a listen. its enjoyable
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Post by knotslip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:43 am

Great, thanks. Lots of stuff there tp listen to for a newb like myself.

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Post by Yi-Peng » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:50 am

I know my recommendation may be out of print, and I know it may not be one you've heard before, but I'd gladly like to recommend the Mercury Living Presence recording of the work with Antal Dorati conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. This propulsive recording still finds room for colour and nuance, and it is an exciting recording with white-hot intensity, similar to the Mercury recording of the 1812 overture.

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Post by Chalkperson » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:50 pm

slofstra wrote:I have the utmost respect for the various opinions expressed here, perhaps you all know better than I, and maybe it was the particular version I was listening to this afternoon (Karajan), but Scheherazade strikes me as dreck. The orchestration is magnificent, and the themes are grand, but I just don't hear enough invention going on in the music.
Perhaps we can just blame it on the version.
Henry, I played Sheherezde again this week, you are dead right, it aint so great...

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Post by knotslip » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:49 pm

Henry-
I can see how someone who has listened to this music for a while might find it dreck, as you say...but to a newb like myself, it is refreshing, soothing and relaxing and not to mention, easy to follow. So much of the music is complex with very soft sounds barely audible followed by extremely loud sounds and so on and so forth. I am finding that I prefer music (classical) that has a melody throughout or a rhythm of sorts.

I think as one listens to this type of music more and more, you might get bored with what intially turned you on to it and want to move to the more obscure, more complex sounds it has to offer. I believe this happens in all genres. As someone who loved metal, I started by listening to black Sabbath, Judas Priest AC/DC and Iron Maiden...then moved on to Metallica, Pantera and Slayer...Then moved on to even more obscure and different sounding bands. I think this all results from boredom...You can't listen to the same thing all the time....Your brain craves more and as a result you seek it out in the form of a different type of sound within the same genre of music.

Eventually, I to, may bore of Scheherazade and The Planets and the other rather simple sounding, rather popular pieces - but for now, it is all new to me and my brain (or ears) haven't had the chance to grow tired or bored of any of it.
I do appreciate the comments and recommendations though :-)

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Post by Wallingford » Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:40 pm

Yi-Peng wrote:I know my recommendation may be out of print, and I know it may not be one you've heard before, but I'd gladly like to recommend the Mercury Living Presence recording of the work with Antal Dorati conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. This propulsive recording still finds room for colour and nuance, and it is an exciting recording with white-hot intensity, similar to the Mercury recording of the 1812 overture.
One of the local libraries has that version, which I'll hafta borrow--you're talking of the STEREO Mercury recording? It's Dorati 3: his first was in the 78 era with the LPO, the second in the first Mercury years during the mono-LP era. I've got THAT ONE: a jimdandy! Dorati's one of the only ones who keeps things percolating, especially in the "Kalendar Prince" movement with those ad-lib woodwind curlicues over an interminable vamp. Dorati knew the real secret to making this exciting. THis second recording was with the Minnesota Orchestra too.
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Post by slofstra » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:14 pm

knotslip wrote:Henry-
I can see how someone who has listened to this music for a while might find it dreck, as you say...but to a newb like myself, it is refreshing, soothing and relaxing and not to mention, easy to follow. So much of the music is complex with very soft sounds barely audible followed by extremely loud sounds and so on and so forth. I am finding that I prefer music (classical) that has a melody throughout or a rhythm of sorts.

I think as one listens to this type of music more and more, you might get bored with what intially turned you on to it and want to move to the more obscure, more complex sounds it has to offer. I believe this happens in all genres. As someone who loved metal, I started by listening to black Sabbath, Judas Priest AC/DC and Iron Maiden...then moved on to Metallica, Pantera and Slayer...Then moved on to even more obscure and different sounding bands. I think this all results from boredom...You can't listen to the same thing all the time....Your brain craves more and as a result you seek it out in the form of a different type of sound within the same genre of music.

Eventually, I to, may bore of Scheherazade and The Planets and the other rather simple sounding, rather popular pieces - but for now, it is all new to me and my brain (or ears) haven't had the chance to grow tired or bored of any of it.
I do appreciate the comments and recommendations though :-)
Well, if you do like it, you are in good company, from what I see here. That is, there are individuals with far more experience than I have that do like it. It may also have been that particular recording, but I'm not going to be exploring whether that's true anytime soon.

I will probably never stop liking the Planets, the Four Seasons or the 'New World' to name a few audience favourites.

But your general comments about a progression in taste are well taken. However, one can pursue different lines through the repertoire so there may be some variability from one individual to another. Also, you'll find that your interest will run in cycles to some extent. I listened to quite a bit of Mahler 20 years ago, and have been digging out a little more of it lately.

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Post by rogch » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:05 am

Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna have recorded Scheherazade on period instruments. Sounds like a crazy idea, if it was Gardiner or (God forbid) Norrington i wouldn't go near it. But van Immerseel is such a good musician i am a little tempted to check it out.
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:42 am

slofstra wrote: I, and maybe it was the particular version I was listening to this afternoon (Karajan), but Sheherazade strikes me as dreck..
You know, Henry, if I made such an absolute statement I would have to put a plexiglass bubble over my house because people would be sending missles of, er, dreck at me from every city in the world where anyone here lives You're a braver man than I, but since you ventured it, I do in fact agree. Crowd pleasers that have all of of orchestration and nothing of musical interest are not exactly unknown on the modern concert program, and Scheherezade is certainly a prime example.

We had an eccentric but not entirely unlikeable poster here before your time you thought that Rimsky was the greatest Romantic composer. It is probably indeed the case that he wrote better things than the S work, but that just does rather make my point, doesn't it? I discussed this with Karl Henning when we met, and if you have to program Sheherezade, or the William Tell Overture, or whatever, because people expect to hear them and you have to draw in the cash, you are bumping aside many other important possibilities.

While I'm in the current episode of my recent series of rants, many people would name works like Beethoven's Fifth in the same breath with the two I just named. There is a cliche, and then there is a cliche. A timeless masterpiece has to be programmed regularly; a minor work that draws lthe lower percentile of the audience that also has money does not. I do encounter works that are outside my alleged sphere of preference, usually via radio broadcast, that do impress me, but while they may be represented in recording, they are probably never performed live anytime, anywhere in the world. Sheherezade is more important.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Chalkperson
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Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:55 am

rogch wrote:Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna have recorded Scheherazade on period instruments. Sounds like a crazy idea, if it was Gardiner or (God forbid) Norrington i wouldn't go near it. But van Immerseel is such a good musician i am a little tempted to check it out.
I would ignore that disc...it is far from one of his best..

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Post by slofstra » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:24 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
slofstra wrote: I, and maybe it was the particular version I was listening to this afternoon (Karajan), but Sheherazade strikes me as dreck..
You know, Henry, if I made such an absolute statement I would have to put a plexiglass bubble over my house because people would be sending missles of, er, dreck at me from every city in the world where anyone here lives You're a braver man than I, but since you ventured it, I do in fact agree. Crowd pleasers that have all of of orchestration and nothing of musical interest are not exactly unknown on the modern concert program, and Scheherezade is certainly a prime example.

We had an eccentric but not entirely unlikeable poster here before your time you thought that Rimsky was the greatest Romantic composer. It is probably indeed the case that he wrote better things than the S work, but that just does rather make my point, doesn't it? I discussed this with Karl Henning when we met, and if you have to program Sheherezade, or the William Tell Overture, or whatever, because people expect to hear them and you have to draw in the cash, you are bumping aside many other important possibilities.

While I'm in the current episode of my recent series of rants, many people would name works like Beethoven's Fifth in the same breath with the two I just named. There is a cliche, and then there is a cliche. A timeless masterpiece has to be programmed regularly; a minor work that draws lthe lower percentile of the audience that also has money does not. I do encounter works that are outside my alleged sphere of preference, usually via radio broadcast, that do impress me, but while they may be represented in recording, they are probably never performed live anytime, anywhere in the world. Sheherezade is more important.
You have to tell the system administrator that you really like Buxtehude, actually like him a lot, and then any brickbats in your direction will be screened by the firewall. :) (Where is she, anyway?)

I noticed a couple of days ago that Scheherazade is on the program for the 2008-9 season of our local symphony. I don't know if you saw the thread I put up on our new conductor - not exactly of earthshaking import I imagine. He apprenticed under MTT and the San Francisco Symphony. Still if it puts more bums in seats I'll go along with it. I don't have to like everything.

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Post by Barry » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:34 pm

It's become one of my favorite pieces in the past few years, but I had never heard it live until two or three seasons ago. Caught it again last season. I don't think it was programmed here in Philly for a handful of years during the 90s and early part of this decade, unless I just missed it one year.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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