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   Home » Musical Discussions » My new favorite "New World" (Karel Ancerl/Czech Philharmonic, on Supraphon) (15 posts, 1 page)
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11-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5844
Reply to: 5844
My new favorite "New World" (Karel Ancerl/Czech Philharmonic, on Supraphon)

What a superb performance, not to mention the fact that it's also a great stereo recording.  I have heard this symphony just mailed in so many times that I was not only surprised but pinned to my seat for the entire symphony.  Bravo.

Sure, I should know this one, but there are no liner notes on the cheapie Euro jacket, so I don't know anything other than what I can decipher from the Czech label.

Can someone add something here?

I will certainly keep an eye out for this cunductor and this label.

Best regards,
Paul S

11-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5845
Reply to: 5844
This is one of the works that should be appreciated “live” only.
Hm, this is funny you are ask because I spinning now Toscanini 1953 play in Carnegie Hall with NBC. The “New World”…

The “New World” is well celebrated work and everyone played it. Here are a few memorable that came to my mind: (with no order)

Stokowski with Kids Orchestra
Rozhdestvensky with Russian Radio
Kertesz with London and Vienna
Neumann with Czechs
Kabasta with Munich

They all are different… The Karel Ancerl with Czech Philharmonic sure would be atop of this list. Still very atop of my list would be Rafael Kubelik with Berlin in 1973. I do not remember the story correctly – I think he conducted for BPO give him a new “Alfa Romeo”, or something like this… Rafael Kubelik was kind of mercenary conductor but when he did what he did he did it very well. His 9th, along with his 8th with BPO in 1966 were very good.  Sure, BPO in 1973 will not have that psychedelic Czech Philharmonic tone for which I am willing to give up an inch of own penis but still they BPO did very well and the Kubelik reading of the piece is nothing short of astonishing. Rafael Kubelik kind of one of the very few people who was able to play the “New World”…   fast and slow at the same time  - an amassing play…

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-23-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 6762
Reply to: 5845
Kubelik/Vienna, 1965; 3 Words
Masterful;                  Sophisticated;               Uncanny

I have been watching for Berlin, '73, found this.  Glad I did.

Hard to imagine anyone could get an established orchestra like VPO into such a collective trance.

Simply amazing, about as coherent as a large orchestra can be.

Kubelik knows the score and directs the VPO to great effect.

I will also keep a lookout for Kubelik with Czech Phil.


Best regards,
Paul S
02-23-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 6764
Reply to: 6762
Berlin in 1973, Kubelik is not Karajan
Interesting. London pressed the Treasure series where they had most of Kubelik with VPO in 60s. I have all those records, so I am pretty sure I have the recording you mention. I can’t not recall how the “New Word” was from that series, I will listen it sometimes… I have to admit that Kubelik made Berlin in 1973 to sound much different then the Berlin sounded with Karajan in 70s.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-24-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 8957
Reply to: 6764
Still better? Yes!
fiogf49gjkf0d

The Karl Ancerl/Czech Phil version turns out to be even better than I thought when I first heard it.  Now that I have (finally!) developed an empirical method for finding/setting VTA (accompanied by cooler weather!), I was rewarded today by play even more advanced in many more ways.  How joyous to "mine" great performances of great music!

One thing that was really clear today was KA's sensitivity to and control over texture, which he gets by minutely bringing up and/or down the levels of various sections, like strings against woodwinds, etc.  He also gets phenomenal ambience from his long strings without in any way sacrificing melody, harmony, theme or pace from them.  The phrasing and the juxtapositioning of phrases among and between sections must be heard to be believed. Also, KA's sense of the "mood" of the piece entire versus the "mood swings" within the composition are exemplary.  I have never heard a more complementary rendition of this piece as a "composition"; in fact, I have never heard a version of NWS that sounded so like a complete, complex and totally coherent symphonic composition by a mature master of the genre.  Romy especially mentioned the CPO "psychadelic tone", and I absolutely agree; it is mind-blowing, if you've not heard it before (and also if you have...).

I am always delighted and gratified when there is so much depth to a performance without it taking away from the proper-to-the-piece "dignity", and this performance has wonderful "integrity" on this level, not just as a musical composition, but also as an artistic "statement" in the Spiritual sense.  IMO this alone qualifies the performance as Great; but how it gets to this level is also a very rare treat.

As for sonics: I have long (far too long) been eye-balling records to guess their relative thickness/VTA.  Well, this record is for reasons unknown to me fairly heavy, and I think this played with my sense of its "thickness" that I previously used as a starting point.  Actually measuring, it turns out to be among my very thinnest LPs.  Withal, appropriate tracking also reveals it to be one of my best LPs in terms of surface quality and overall mechanical quality of playback.

Of course, Supraphon engineers ride the gain knobs, just like all orchestra recordists.  They just do a better job of it than most of the other guys.  Also, miking and mixing are very nice.  The sonic results make it well worth some trouble to find a copy of this LP, IMO, not to mention a drop-dead performance of one of our truly great symphonies.

Paul S

11-24-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 8958
Reply to: 8957
Dvorak’s and New World, Rodzinski and Boston, McCain and Prague
fiogf49gjkf0d

Hm, it is like a déjà vu. I am listening now  my WHRB that is playing Westminster LP with “Artur Rodzinski who died in Boston November 27, 1958” lading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (at that time  “Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London”) with the Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 and suddenly get this email from site.

The Ancerl is good, very good but his PLAY of the work too creamy; ironically as creamy to my taster the Czech Philharmonic might be sometimes.  Perhaps I a wrong but I do not think that VTA adjustment might be anything with it.

 Paul S wrote:
…especially mentioned the CPO "psychadelic tone", and I absolutely agree; it is mind-blowing, if you've not heard it before (and also if you have...).

Anyhow, let have some fun with Czech Philharmonic tone. Here is homework for the site readers: can you build a mental association between the Czech Philharmonic‘s tone and republican nominee in 2008 John McCain? It is not a joke BTW…

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-24-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 8960
Reply to: 8958
A Different Sort of Tension
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, Romy, one might say, "creamy," in that it is nuanced rather than sharply drawn on that level; not a whole lot going on just for "show", and certainly precious little for the unwashed masses.  It's more like the sort of differentiation I hear from some great pianists when they are somehow getting all the "range" inside a "restrained" expression.  And yet it does not seem "subdued" to me.  In other words, I do feel "enough" tension is being generated, though it might in fact take close tracing/tracking to get at it...  I take the restraint here as insightful "respect" for the composition, or at least as part the artistic means (tricks) for the interpretation, into which I have obviously bought.

But your remarks are funny, too, in that I just listened to the newly posted Rostropovich and was liking it but still wishing he'd used a little more rosen...  We're a picky lot, aren't we?

Anyway, I find the KA/CPO/NWS texture and the temporal interplay both to be extremely interesting, involving and rewarding on many levels, and - "professionalism" notwithstanding - I cannot presently recall better musicianship, overall, from a whole orchestra.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-24-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 8962
Reply to: 8960
Czech Philharmonic‘s tone and John McCain
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
But your remarks are funny
Actually, there was absolutely nothing funny in my remarks. They very convoluted and playful but very serious. I wonder if someone would establish the connection.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-25-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 8963
Reply to: 8962
No, not that...
fiogf49gjkf0d
I did not think you were joking about the McCain comparison, and I did not take that as as funny.  (And I don't know what you are looking for.)

Rather, I thought it was funny (ironic) that you were talking about deja vu and picking at the CPO's texture a little just as I happened to be thinking Rostro needed some rosen...

Best,
Paul S
11-26-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 8977
Reply to: 5845
An old "From the New World"
fiogf49gjkf0d
Surprised no one's mentioned the Vaclav Talich, certainly a benchmark performance. Actually he made two recordings and I've never had the opportunity to compare.

As for Kertesz, the first recording (VPO) way outclasses his second.

As for the best I've ever heard, that honor must go to the St. Louis SO under Slatkin, maybe 15 years ago. It was by taped delay, and I heard it on WHRB. My oh my! Wish I'd had the recorder running...

clark
11-26-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 8978
Reply to: 8977
Can you elaborate?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Clark, what made the performance stand out for you?

My next door neighbor for 10 years had played with SLSO and she had quite a few of their recordings.

I can't say that much Slatkin/SLSO has stuck with me, and I am sure I do not have the recording in question.

But I love the symphony, and I'm always up for another nice rendition.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-26-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 8979
Reply to: 8978
Not a recording!
fiogf49gjkf0d
That was the whole point. It was a taped live performance. Recordings suck!

This one had all the spontaneity and freshness of a real new world.

clark
10-31-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 13
Post ID: 12103
Reply to: 8979
Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy
fiogf49gjkf0d
Columbia ML 5115 (mono LP; sounds best in mono)

This one took a while to sink in. For one thing, it starts out with the "elite orchestra", as usual, confident in its abilities to the point where it almost sounds like a rehersal. If you listen, you can hear Ormandy catching the hot-rod musicians again and again with too little bow on a string or too little air in the lungs, and this, apparently, without Ormandy "going for broke" or anything so crass as that, but rather just holding a note here and there a little longer, or starting a little sooner than the musicians "expected".

Fortunately, the musicians decide to rise to the occasion, and the occasion becomes an Occasion. The reading is "different", sounding somewhat like Beethoven 5 or something, but not like you might dread. Rather, it's the way the sound is layered that brings Beethoven to mind, and the way the orchestra's tone is developed and used. This version is also unique to me thematically, since the way the tone is utilized actually makes for a different development of the narrative aspect of this symphony.

I have not always liked Ormandy because he has in the past seemed too conservative and cautious to me.  Here, he still seems conservative, but in a way that suggests a certain comfortable insight into the score and the orchestra, both.

The LP is a 6 Eye, and it is a good one.

Paul S
06-11-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 13743
Reply to: 5844
A wonderful Chicago Symphony “Beyond The Score” presentation on Dvorak 9.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Nine parts are  available. Here is the past one. Follow the links for he rest.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-16-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ghpicard
Posts 12
Joined on 12-15-2008

Post #: 15
Post ID: 13773
Reply to: 13743
What about Pavel Urbanek and the Prague Fantasy Orchestra version?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Do you have impressions on this CD (I know it's probably on another league than the ones you mentioned above) or perhaps you can suggest your "Romy's choice for Dvorak's New World Symphony record"? I don't own a turntable and given the cost of a good one plus the records' I doubt much I'll ever own one so if you can suggest a CD, it'll be much appreciated. Regards    Gaston
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