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The Official "Best Performance" Thread

 
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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: The Official "Best Performance" Thread Reply with quote

Conductor: Osmo Vanska
Orchestra: Toronto Symphony
Work: Symphony No. 5
Date: Winter 2000

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Having listened to numerous recordings, I was looking forward to my first live hearing of this piece. I was especially interested in how a good conductor would pace the final movement so that there was a definite sense of direction and conclusion. Vanska, conducting without a score, did just that. He put the orchestra on his shoulders and effortlessly carried them to the "Finnish" line. And that was the most interesting part about it: I wouldn't describe the performance as "Powerful" or even "Strong"... it was simply effortless, ethereal and yet so very purposeful.

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Ainola
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Vanska with TSO Reply with quote

Not only was that my favourite Sibelius concert, it's up there with my favourite concerts ever. I don't think I've seen someone in absolute control of the orchestra in every way as Vanska did with Toronto Symphony.

On the other spectrum was watching Jorma Panula conduct the 7th Symphony with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. It was good don't get me wrong but as opposed to control, he guided the players and stayed out of their way.
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Ainola
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Performance, not so good. Reply with quote

Conductor: Jukka Pekka Saraste
Orchestra: Toronto Symphony
Work: Symphony No. 5
Date: Winter 2004? (I think)

This was one of the more disappointing Sibelius performances I've heard. A Finnish conductor with an orchestra he worked with for years and it was terrible. There were times where it was pulling apart, there was no excitement, intonation problems and the split notes in the horns!!

It seemed Saraste was angry, and later I found out there was some tension between him and the orchestra. Nonetheless, these things shouldn't affect professionals trying to produce quality music. After all, it is about the music.

It was unfortunate because the the last time Saraste was a guest in Toronto he did Mahler 5 with a broken arm and he and the orchestra were fantastic!
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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Performance, not so good. Reply with quote

Ainola wrote:
It seemed Saraste was angry, and later I found out there was some tension between him and the orchestra. Nonetheless, these things shouldn't affect professionals trying to produce quality music. After all, it is about the music.

How I wish this were true. But after many years with one orchestra, it is often impossible to set aside differences, even during a performance, if there happens to be a heated debate going on in the wings. After 2 years with one orchestra, I really feel (especially in rehearsals) that I am conducting people and not just the music.

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arenan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurkikohtaus has a point there.. I bet there are zero PROFESSIONAL orchestras in the world consentrating purely on music. It would be inhumane. It is a job, a dream come true for some, a dream gone wrong for others. And here I mean a steady paid orchestra position. There is some wisdom there to conduct the people, not the music. Eventually the people do make the music. Conductor sounds like "WIFF WIFF" at most. But of course there are orchestras like Eu-youth orchestra and Mahler orchestra but they are youth orchestras with hi paid coaches. Conduct the people and let them do the music I say.
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arenan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aarre Merikanto (1893 – 1958) : Juha

Savonlinna Festival / Saraste / summer 2003

This is a superb masterpiece. Merikanto developed somekind of fusion of Nationalistic and cosmopolitan styles.. There seems to be no right comparsion. Juha was composed 1920-1922. And the performance was just splendid. And the music is on the "suicider" level if you get the naive point.
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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

arenan wrote:
Conductor sounds like "WIFF WIFF" at most.

Cool Haha Cool

The conductor also makes crying sounds very often from his dressing room after performances with crazy soloists.

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3/4player
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked hehe Shocked

I think I actually saw my band teacher *cry* after a winter concert, when one of the Clarinets screwed up their solo(Im innocent Cool )
He got too "expressive" that the audience started to burst into laughter! Embarassed

3/4player

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conductor : Sergiu Celibidache

Orchestra : Swedish Rado Symphony

Work : Sibelius Symphony No. 5

Date : March 1973

The finest performance of this mighty work that I have heard to date. Everything unfolds naturally and with an inevitability. The way that the music miraculously transforms itself into a scherzo around the half way point in the first movement. Every detail down to the final Six widely spaced hammar blows reveal the maestro at the service of the composer.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the only Sibelius performance that I've listened to live (and not been in) other than the disastrous Lexington Philharmonic performance I've alluded to many a time was one a couple of years ago... I can't remember the exact date, sorry (it was winter-ish, I think)!

Soloist: Joanna Binford (viola)
Work: Rondo in D minor

---

This is another pivotal performance in my addiction to Sibelius (and made me really want to play the piece, which I am happily going to play this July in a recital!). I don't remember much about the performance itself (technicalities and such) because I had not been playing very long back then and didn't know what to listen for. It was memorable enough, however, to make me want to play it!
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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic news - good luck for July Smile

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