Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm going to repost what Jeff said in here:

"I have some pre-Boston Bops recordings of Fiedler in which he conducts Mozart Divertimenti. In these performances you find a conductor who is as dedicated to perfection and minute detail as a Reiner or a Toscanini. We tend to remember the friendly old man from the album covers and TV broadcasts, but Fieldler could be an absolute tyrant on the podium. Not that I'm complaining. The final products were worth all the trouble. The performances glow and glimmer, excellence gleaming through the limited recording technology of the era."

I always had the feeling that Fiedler was like that. I mean, after all, the Boston Pops
is "America's Orchestra," and it probably wouldn't look so great to have a modern incarnation of a musical Hitler up at the podium. It's nice to know that he could be like that, though. I get the feeling, however, that Williams and Lockhart are the same way: nice guys, fantastic musicians and composers...but don't cross them in rehearsal. Sure, they're nice guys in the PR sense but I wouldn't mess around with them, that's for sure.

I've been listening to a lot of slow, contemplative piano lately. And there's nothing that fits that description better than Erik Satie's "Gymnopédies." I like 1 and 3, two never really grew on me. It's the sort of thing you listen to when it's raining outside. Or you're just feeling lazy. Which, let's face it, most of the time, I am. They're just really good songs to have on in the background. I mean, sure, they're nice to listen to on their own but they're so minimalist that there's not necessarily all that muc there to "listen" to. I think of them as the type of song that you absorb, rather than make a conscious effort and listen. Which is one of the things that makes Satie so great, is that they make great pieces just on their own but you don't have to go out of your way to listen, you can kind of just absorb them, almost with like osmosis or something. And for the terminally lazy, that's a great composer...;)

And just for fun...

See, he LOOKS like a nice guy...

...till someone gets it in the eye with the baton...;)


Blogger Daniel said...

Oddly enough we've been listening to the Ravel Piano Conerti, and, as usual, I am amazed by the serenity of the slow movement in the G Major Concerto.

7/16/2005 10:09 AM  

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