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Bill Baldwin
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Bill Baldwin

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Very similar to the tune of "Three Little Maids" in The Mikado. Arthur Sullivan wrote that 15 years earlier. I wonder if Fučík was familiar with the piece.
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I only know that song because of Sideshow Bob.
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Bill Baldwin

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Wow! Just finished listening to all four movements. If you'd asked me what I wanted in a Beethoven's 7th, I don't think "raucous" and "rollicking" would have made the list--especially not for movement 2. But like all great interpreters, Brüggen is utterly convincing. I don't think I could listen to C. Kleiber (another favorite for this symphony) right now. He would just sound wrong. I don't mean to say Brüggen has spoiled me for other interpretations. Kleiber will sound right again tomorrow--a different sort of right. For now, I just want to bask.

This was joyous music-making. Every instrument was so clear, so perfectly balanced, and so obviously played by a performer committed to a shared vision. I've never heard a 7th with a stronger PULSE. Or if I have, it was probably too much and sounded forced. Here, Beethoven's forward-driving rhythms take center stage (or share it, perhaps) in a way that catches you up into the music. You can't help coming along for the ride.

I think that's why this performance succeeded for me in one way that others mostly don't. The symphony has never quite struck me as a WHOLE before. My youthful indolence and mercurial temperament from 30+ years ago probably exacerbated the problem. I was often too lazy to get up and flip the record over! And when I did get up, my mood had changed, so I put something else on. As a result, I became intimate with every nook and cranny of the first two movements. With the last two, I had a passing acquaintance. I didn't love them nearly as much. Perhaps I played them less because I loved them less. Perhaps vice versa. All I know is, they never quite seemed to flow out of the first two in that natural, inevitable way. They were always good music but also, if I was honest, a bit of a letdown.

Until today. Brüggen made me feel the pulse of the first two movements. He never let me forget it was there. Suddenly, the more obvious pulse of the final two sounded right and appropriate and necessary. The whole thing came together. Now that I've heard it, hopefully I won't be able to UNhear it. It will still be there for me when another conductor presents the case more subtly. Thanks, Frans. And bravo.
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Is this the one from the 90s? Were you listening to a re-issue?
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Bill Baldwin

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Brilliant. This is the original 12/8 version. I have no idea how the 4/4 version became the default. I can't go back to it after hearing this.
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that was fantastic.
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Bill Baldwin

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Zarathustra Unleashed! I've always loved this tone poem's bravura opening and lost interest as the piece developed. This is the first performance to keep my attention and persuade me that the composition is a musical whole, and a great one. I tend to think of Strauss as more structured and conservative and buttoned-down than his more "romantic" contemporaries. Maybe in part I've felt that way because other conductors have fed him to me that way. (A similar phenomenon happens with Ravel vs. Debussy or Stravinsky. I believe this even happened in Ravel's lifetime and he found it frustrating.) Tennstedt's Mahlerian/Brucknerian approach lets the music breathe and develop organically from one passage to the next. So much of this sounds like a portion of some missing Mahler symphony--bubbling then raucous then bombastic then sweet and gentle, all flowing from one to the next so that dividing the work into sections would be a destructive act or at best a temporary pedagogical expedient.
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Have him in circles
62 people
Michael O'Shea's profile photo
Jason Milfred's profile photo
Bob Ellingson's profile photo
Barbara Lancaster's profile photo
Veronique Chez Sheep's profile photo
Chad Richard Bresson's profile photo
Mary Featherston's profile photo
Mary Abraham's profile photo
Opus Penguin's profile photo
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