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 Posted:   Oct 25, 2001 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Laurent WATTEAU   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by JJH:
I like the Royal Concertgebouw.

but that's me.


Indeed, that's one of the greatest.

 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2001 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   Laurent WATTEAU   (Member)

I also loved the sound of the Münchner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sergiu Celibidache. Just listen to the superb CELIBIDACHE EDITION from EMI Classics. His Wagner and Bruckner are especially wonderful.

[This message has been edited by Laurent WATTEAU (edited 25 October 2001).]

 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2001 - 12:04 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Marian Schedenig:
The Berliners are of course excellent, and Karajan is one of my favourite conductors, but I have yet to hear something by Abbado that impresses me.

Abbado is a somewhat controversial conductor, but there are recordings by him that are outstanding and excelling in every way. Among them are:

Serge Prokofiev's Classical Symphony with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. There has never been a finer and more spirited recording of this work. It's on DG coupled with a top notch Peter and the Wolf a.o.

His recording of Bartok's The Miraculous Mandarin with the LSO (also on DG) is superbly fierce and menacing, again I can't think of any better recordings (though perhaps one or two that are up to par). But if given a choice, Abbado is a stonger voice here than such lauded rivals as Simon Rattle with the BSO on EMI or Boulez with the CSO on DG.

Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, again with the LSO. One of the most ravishing accounts this score has ever received. (DG)

And his recordings of Brahms' symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic are also outstanding. I haven't heard a more fulfilling 4th since Carlos Kleiber's account with the VPO, and Abbado's 2nd may well be the best I have ever heard. (All on DG)

And these are just from the top of my head. I vouch for any one of these as being outstanding performances in every way and top buying choices.
[This message has been edited by Nicolai P. Zwar (edited 26 October 2001).]

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2001 - 4:01 AM   
 By:   Marian Schedenig   (Member)

quote:
Originally posted by Laurent WATTEAU:
I also loved the sound of the Münchner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sergiu Celibidache. Just listen to the superb CELIBIDACHE EDITION from EMI Classics. His Wagner and Bruckner are especially wonderful.

The Münchner Philharmoniker and Celibidache recorded what has to be the definitive version of Bruckner's 7th. The 4th is also very good, though I do have problems with their 8th.

I have yet to hear some of their Wagner, but I recently saw excerpts of a Celibidache-conducted Till Eulenspiegel on TV. The recording was from the 50's or so, so it was before his time with the Münchners, but it was amazing. I think the same recording is available on CD, but it's in mono. There's a later Celibidache recording of Till with a Swedish orchestra on Deutsche Grammophon, I wonder how that one sounds like, and if it's much slower than that earlier interpretation (which was quite fast).

Thanks for the Abbado info, Nicolai. I once saw him life with the Vienna Philharmonic performing Bruckner's 9th, but I didn't have any expectations. That's not to say Abbado was particularly bad, but I've heard few satisfying Bruckner symphonies by non-Bruckner conductors.

 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2001 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

This, of course, is highly subjective; but I (and countless others), have always thought rather highly of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2001 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Neil S. Bulk   (Member)

quote:
The Philadelphia Orchestra


Agreed, but I'm probably a little biased. I've been going to their concerts for over 20 years. http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/smile.gif">

Neil

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2001 - 4:22 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has really moved up to the highest ranks during the last five years or so, too. Varase had the right nose when they hired them back then for their recording projects. They have a marvellously polished sound and their various musical sections blend extraordinarily well.

NP: Bela Bartok Piano Concerto No. 1
City of Birmingham Orchestra/Donohue/Rattle

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2001 - 3:22 AM   
 By:   aposjf12   (Member)

This is a difficult question to answer. First - I strongly believe that during the 1960's, there was no finer an orchestra in America than the Cleveland Orchestra under Geroge Szell. In Europe at that time - It would have to go to Berlin with Karajan as their conductor. Presently my list would look the same as most we have seen already. But if I must choose - I will choose one for Europe and one for the US. As much as I love the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Symphony, and the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, I still must choose the Berliner Philharmoniker. Now they have Simon Rattle conducting. That will be hard for him to follow - first it was Karajan - then Abbado - that orchestra is so beautiful sounding!! But it is very very close with the Vienna Philharmonic. As for the US. That would have to go to the New York Philharmonic. I am not saying this becuase I live here in New York City. I truly belive them to be the finest orchestra. Now - over the past 10 years they have had, in my opinion, a sluggish conductor, Kurt Masur. But if Masur's style was your style then no more needs to be said about him. Now they are picking up Lorin Maazel. I think he is a fantastic conductor. Especially with the music of Richard Strauss. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra has a very rich, old sound to it. Their string section has been famous for decades. One of the finest Bruckner 7th recordings I have is the opening concert with Masur. Just listen to the strings and woodwinds. Gorgeous Sound!! And I just mentioned how I am not crazy about Masur so that shows how good this recording would have to be for me to like it this much. Anyway, I have said more than I needed to. Very Very close by the way in America, the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

NP: MAHLER - Symphony No. 9 - Berliner Philharmoniker - Sir John Barbirolli conducting

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2001 - 5:27 AM   
 By:   bIG kEN lIttLE   (Member)

I don't know about the best in the world, but I'm afraid the best orchestra in Canada is the one in my hometown. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is, in my humble opinion, the finest orchestra in Canada and matches well against any I've listened to and seen worldwide. If you ever get the opportunity, lay your hands upon the CBC records recording of Concerto de Arjuanez, forgive my spelling, with the WSO under the baton of Kazuhiro Koizumi, our former music director. Also highly recommended and available on the CBC label is the world premiere recording of Victor Davies "Revelations Oratorio" with the Winnipeg Mennonite Choir, and the WSO conducted by Bramwell Tovey.big grin

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 12:42 PM   
 By:   General Kael   (Member)

1) London Symphony Orchestra
2) Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
3) City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
4) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
5) Hans Zimmer's Philharmonic Computer wink

This is just my opinion of course and it's admittedly based a lot on what they've recorded soundtrack-wise.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Wow this is a thread from the past!

In my classical mania days of the 70s and early 80s, I would say without hesitation the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan. Many of my fellow music school students and professors agreed on that at the time. He created a one of a kind orchestral sound and perfection with that orchestra that I've never found a rival for to this day. Since then however, I've strayed from the classical world quite a bit and couldn't say currently. I wouldn't even be able to tell you who the great conductors are today since much has changed since the days of the superstar conductors like Karajan and Solti. Bottom line, I'm no help for the here and now!

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

- Berlin Philharmonic
- Vienna Philharmonic
- Royal Concertgebouw
- London Symphony
- Staatskapelle Dresden

Pick any of the five and you're not wrong.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

I think I have to amend my comment from 2001: The Royal Concertgebouw is the best.

Abbado is a somewhat controversial conductor, but there are recordings by him that are outstanding and excelling in every way.

RIP

And his recordings of Brahms' symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic are also outstanding. I haven't heard a more fulfilling 4th since Carlos Kleiber's account with the VPO, and Abbado's 2nd may well be the best I have ever heard. (All on DG)

Anybody looking for a fantastic reading of Brahms' symphonies should check out the recent Chailly cycle on Decca with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig... The performances are superb and the engineering is like we've been transported back to Kingsway Hall in the 1970s, but without any tape hiss or rumble from the underground. http://www.deccaclassics.com/gb/cat/4785344

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   WJF   (Member)

My guess would be Chicago, but there are just SO many great musicians everywhere.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 3:38 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

It's hard to argue against ANY of the orchestras mentioned above, plus the Halle, the CBSO and others, but I want to put a word in for one of my favourites; The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Nobody could claim that they're the best, but for raw talent, freshness and enthusiasm, you just can't beat them.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

It's hard to argue against ANY of the orchestras mentioned above, plus the Halle, the CBSO and others, but I want to put a word in for one of my favourites; The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Nobody could claim that they're the best, but for raw talent, freshness and enthusiasm, you just can't beat them.



BTW, since you've mentioned the NYO of GB, anyone wanting to know what a Youth Orchestra can achieve MUST listen to Junge Deutsche Philharmonie's recording of Mahler's 5th under Rudolf Barshai - one of the best 5ths ever!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:03 PM   
 By:   iain   (Member)

If you're talking session recording it has always been L.A., by a long shot, for a long time.

Just like L.A. is the Olympics for good looking people that's stood true for young people who wanted to be great session musicians. And competition was/is fierce.

Unfortunately, that's changing fast. If it's not already London it will be very soon.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 6:33 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

I work in classical music. I think film music is a different deal for a few reasons:

The studio ensembles, under any name, are free lance contracted musicians. So the "Hollywood Studio Symphony" isn't an actual orchestra. The name appears here and there, but it's not a real ensemble playing together all the time.

The Hollywood orchestras also never perform live in front of an audience. They probably all play in other LA ensembles. In classical music the factors are tradition, money, and the halls. It's no mistake that the best orchestras usually perform in the best halls. Philadelphia Orchestra was known for the "Philly Strings" because in the old Academy of Music the strings had trouble being heard so the musicians played out. Same story with the Chicago brass.

The Concertgebouw in Holland and the Musikcerein in Vienna are the best concert halls in Europe. They have had a certain tradition of playing, always had money, and it's the same roster of players playing together year after year.

This goes the other way too. The Vienna Phil, while it does do opera and therefore is very flexible, they don't work with click tracks. They are great musicians but probably wouldn't make a good ensemble to record a film score.

I'm fr Boston and the BSO is a great orchestra, possibly the most European of the American orchestras. But Euro orchestras are better. I had the chance to hear Philip Glass' Ninth Symphony played by the bruckner orchestra of Linz, then New york by the free lance American composers orchestra, the. In LA with the LA Phil. The LA Phil is the highest paid orchestra in the country...they didn't sound nearly as good as the Linz orchestra, and Linz is the size of Topeka Kansas.

I've heard all these orchestras, London, SF Symphony, Chicago, Mariinsky Orchestra, NY Phil, Oslo Phil...right now I'd say Chicago with Ricardo Muti is the best I've heard. They've got all the stars aligning with excitement over Muti, Muti himself, interesting repertoire.

For film music I'd say its hard arguing against the London symphony. They are a world Top Ten orchestra that also does film music.

 
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