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 Posted:   Dec 26, 2021 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

As you all so much love David Hurwitz, I have some great news for you.

David has just launched his new series of chats on film music as he plans to go much deeper into this field during the coming year. Yesss.

Starting the series now with the repertoire rambling on

The WORST and BEST Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica (Symphony No. 7)





Covering the recordings by Haitink, Slatkin, Boult (1 and 2), Previn and a couple of others. Find out which one he's considering the best.

 
 Posted:   Dec 26, 2021 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

I have watched this and it is an excellent talk. (I am happy to say that I have two of his top choices.) It is a great symphony.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 26, 2021 - 7:56 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Yesss.


Noooooo ...

Year 2022 will need enough aid as it is without a Hurwitz YouTube gong show.

I actually watched this particular segment and it's not bad. However, the Hurwitz focus on assessing music albums as good or poor by contrasting multiple versions against each other does not bode well (for me, anyway) as film music reviews. As we FSMers know well, many soundtracks are sourced from studio recording sessions only. Some of these are mono only or not genuine stereo. There aren't going to be multiple conductor interpretations upon the musical material. I love Andre Previn's conducting on Hugo Friedhofer's Above and Beyond, but this is the ONLY recording we can hear. There are not going to be any versions of this by Boult, Davis, Slatkin, Thomson, etc.

My concern regarding this new series of film music videos by Hurwitz is that his approach to evaluating film scores is being filtered via their concertized suites produced by classical music labels and not by the actual elements that accompany their films.

Will Hurwitz review Mandel's jazzy I Want to Live, I wonder? Will he even consider a synthesizer keyboard soundtrack?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 2:07 AM   
 By:   Katsoulas   (Member)

No, definitely no. I watch him all the time and I like the reviews his doing. BUT he doesn't have the slightest idea for film music. I watch him speak about the box set of Bernard Herrmann and he said that film music repeats all the time the main themes and it's boring. So in film music only suites have value. I respect his opinion but the film scoring has many details that probably ignore

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

We don't yet know what Hurwitz will discuss and review.
My guess is that he will focus on re-recordings, as he has in the past.

You may disagree with his views or with him in general - that's all OK.

As far as I know, he hasn't reviewed or talked about any original recordings, with the possible exception of Herrmann's Obsession, and there he wasn't quite on top of things, not knowing that the complete OST wasn't the one included in the box set, and that it had also been re-recorded by Tadlow Music.

From that point of view, I see no reason to be upset, but rather a cause for rejoicing that someone like Hurwitz will explore the subject in an entertaining and honest way.

For me, the most important thing is that David Hurwitz is basically very sympathetic to film music and - as a connoisseur of classical music - does not condescend towards the genre from a high horse.

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

Here are the film music related Hurwitz talks from the past.



Review: Charles Gerhardt conducts Classics Film Scores





Review: Glorious Herrmann in Phase 4





Review: Revelatory Herrmann from the PostClassical Ensemble

"world premiere of Whitman, a radio play by Norman Corwin"





Repertoire: The BEST Holst--The Planets

Review of Herrmann's recording, starting at 9:05...





Review: Naxos' Malcolm Arnold Symphonies Are Back In A Box!

Film music is mentioned briefly.




See also this thread "The Malcolm Arnold centenary":
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145520



Repertoire: The BEST Honegger Symphony Cycle





Review: Fine Antheil First Symphony from Storgårds





Then I opened a thread about his chat about Nino Rota. H. talks extensively about Rota's film music work:

https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=146169



Music Chat: Nino Rota's "Serious" Side





Review: Muti conducts Italian Masters, Splendidly



The Rota review starts at 11:40 -- but it's also worth watching the whole review. -- Do you want to know why Sony acquired Columbia?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Bill Cooke   (Member)

He also talks about Steiner's transcription of Bach for THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS and plays a clip from the the Marco Polo album.

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 4:17 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

When I listen (or read) some of David Hurwitz' reviews, ironically the first thing that comes to my mind is that this guy knows diddly-squad about classical music, which of course is not true. I know he knows and cares quite a bit, and that's cool. He's just coming from a completely different perspective to the same music than I do. So while I enjoy classicstoday and remember Hurwitz from Usenet days, he and I often (though by no means always or even "most of the time") have very different opinions about what constitutes a "good recording" or even what constitutes "good music". Which, of course, is also just ok in my book. I still very much enjoy his reviews and regularly consult his site, though I don't subscribe.

It's actually great to hear him put so much enthusiasm to a composer like Ralph Vaughan Williams. (For the longest time, I considered British (classical) composers to be more or less completely boring. But then, some time down the road, I started to enjoy Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Simpson, and, interestingly, even RVW.)

I agree with him on Dennis Russel Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which may be the first Vaughan Williams CD I ever had in my collection: it is underplayed, strangely distant, and not particularly recommendable.
However, Haitink's version (and his RVW cycle) is a completely different story: that set is beautifully played and the "Antarctica" symphony is excellent. (As you note: I enjoy RVW nowadays... just not necessarily exactly the same as Hurwitz.)

I might try to get the Slatkin set based on his review though, that sounds interesting. Seems either hard to find or expensive though.

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 4:28 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Though I just LOVE what Hurwitz says about Bernstein's recording of the Enigma variations, which -- altogether -- is exactly how I feel about it. (Starts at about 6:40)

 
 Posted:   Dec 27, 2021 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

I agree with him on Bernstein's Enigma Variations recording and he's the first reviewer I've seen in quite some time to point out the virtues of Karajan's 1962 Planets, which is my personal favorite.

So while I take him (and all reviewers and critics) with a grain of salt I really enjoy his videos.

 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2021 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

He also talks about Steiner's transcription of Bach for THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS and plays a clip from the the Marco Polo album.


Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that. Here it is:


Review: Bach Meets The Beast With Five Fingers!!!





Not to forget his brief mentioning of Franz Waxman's Taras Bulba while discussing Leoš Janácek's work.


Repertoire: The BEST and WORST Janácek Taras Bulba



See thread here: https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145965


There might be more film music related references in his other talks and reviews, for instance those Russian guys, Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

I'm pretty sure he will have enough to talk about next year without the need to find synclavier soundtrack releases from the 1980s.



And just for the fun of it, here's a review he did of a Beethoven box set that I think is simply hilarious - and so justified:

"Review: The STUPIDEST, MOST CONFUSING, OVERPRICED Beethoven Box EVER!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKmzGInL-Ls

 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2021 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

Entertaining - and in many cases useful - reviews, for sure, but as much as I enjoy watching (and reading) them, my mind inevitably keeps coming back to this:

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so..."
______________________



cool

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2021 - 7:59 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so..."


Hans Zimmer called The Wind a piece of sh!t.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2021 - 9:50 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Is there anyone needier than this guy? Of course he's starting a new series - he's running out of other stuff to bloviate about. I cannot stomach him or his voice or his persona. When he first decided to become King of YouTube because he was no longer getting any attention on his website, I watched with a certain amusement. He's also thoroughly obnoxious to anyone who posts anything that isn't lauding him.

He frequently gives reference recording status to Naxos CDs because they allow him to play excerpts - well, c'mon - NAXOS? It is to laugh. Some of his choices are fine because at some point a great performance can't be ignored, but some of his choices are absolutely inane. His dissertations on music are pedantic, overlong, and, at times, downright peculiar. And now, his trying to sell his merchandise at the top of every video is sooooo grating.

Other than that, he's okay smile

EDIT: Raise your hands if you're surprised that one of his top choices is - Naxos. An average performance in the usual Naxos mediocre sound. Color me surprised.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 5:17 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

well, c'mon - NAXOS?.

It's about to become 2022, not 2002.

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Yeah, Naxos has some of the best recordings out there. I know, I remember, when Naxos started, they were the budget label with no-name orchestras and conductors, but times really have changed.

Some Naxos recordings are not just good but outstanding and can compete with the best.

Just a few examples:

The Barber Cycle with Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra is among the finest out there. If I could keep only one, it would be this one.

The Turangalila Symphony conducted by Antoni Wit is second to none I have ever heard, it is one of the best out there.

Antoni Wit is an outstanding conductor in other repertoire as well, he is one of the finest working conductors. His Penderecki recordings are also on a level with the best out there, his choral recordings of Penderecki are the reference recordings in this repertoire for me.

The Aaron Copland cycle with Leonard Slatkin is also exceptionally good.

It's true, when Naxos started, there was no need to pick up some of their middle of the road recordings of often covered repertoire, as the major labels had many superior recordings to offer. But by now, they can compete with the best. That does not mean all Naxos recordings are great (which is not suprising, considering the enormous vastness of their output), but neither are the recordings of any other major classical label.
But Naxos is always worth a look. It used to be "this is a good recording for its price", but no longer. The recordings I mentioned up there can stand alongside the best from any other record label, and those are just from the top of my head.

Not familiar with any of the Ralph Vaughan Williams recordings on Naxos though, so I can't comment on those.

Unlike Hurwitz, I enjoy Haitink's Vaughan Williams recordings though.

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

to add to the list above:
The Naxos recordings of

Slatkin's Rachmaninov's Symphony Cycle
Deneve's Roussel Symphony Cycle
Batiz's Respighi's Roman Trilogy
are considered among the best.

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

...Unlike Hurwitz, I enjoy Haitink's Vaughan Williams recordings though.


I have Haitink's recording of RVW Sea Symphony -- I haven't heard another version of that work. As much as I love VW's music, this one left me uninterested. I found it boring - BTW, I'm trying to resell it for cheap. So far, no one buys it.



Angela wrote:
"You have bitched so many times about the Haitink's Vaughan Williams that I am getting tempted to buy it. You should have included it in your bitchfest since your British colleagues consider the cicle so great."

"Please do buy it. I love when people buy crap just to do the opposite of what I suggest. It keeps the industry alive."
-- David Hurwitz

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


I have Haitink's recording of RVW Sea Symphony -- I haven't heard another version of that work. As much as I love VW's music, this one left me uninterested. I found it boring - BTW, I'm trying to resell it for cheap. So far, no one buys it.


Well, no one buys CDs anymore anyway, and of all RVW sets, Haitink's is the most easily available, having been re-issued several times. It's more or less never been OOP. (Unlike Previn's or Slatkin's.) So you can get it new for cheap. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2021 - 1:57 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)



"Please do buy it. I love when people buy crap just to do the opposite of what I suggest. It keeps the industry alive."
-- David Hurwitz


And that's the spirit. smile

 
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