Monday, May 2, 2011
5/2 An "Eroica" Round-Up
The video below will take you through 9 excerpts from the Eroica 1st movement conducted by:
1. Fritz Reiner
2. Wilhelm Furtwangler
3. Arturo Toscanini
4. Hermann Scherchen
5. Jascha Horenstein
6. Jordi Savall
7. Herbert von Karajan
8. Pierre Monteux
9. Leonard Bernstein
Linklist (80 min)
And here's a few of my observations (which may change tomorrow, who knows):
Precise, but measured. Brass and timpani are quite prominent, the orchestra is tightly controlled.
Slower than Reiner, more of a flowing and organic style, phrases seem to connect to each other more.
Tight, coiled. More of a motoring feel, at times with a sense of effortless dancing.
Probably one of the most expressive from a tempo stand point. The pulse seems to change from phrase to phrase - suddenly fast, then slow.
Opening chords are like massive fists -but then it gets balletic and has a floating quality - until the sforzandos strike which again land like massive slabs of sound.
HIP (Historically Informed Performance) - Light, wiry, very fast. Orchestration is very transparent (instruments very clear). Possibly closest to what B originally intended.
Herbert von Karajan
Velvety sound, virtually flawless articulation. Almost too good. Possibly bloodless at times, but still awe-inspiring.
A heavier approach, yet the pulse is so solid it has an inevitability to it. Wide sweeping arcs with phrases which are not afraid to stand up and be counted. Monteux of course conducted the famous first Stravinsky "Rite of Spring" with the riot and all that....
Powerful, emotive, Lenny feels it and wants us to feel it. Not as precise as Reiner, he doesn't mind a little glow around the accents.
Here's another video from andantekit which uses the "Funeral March" 2nd movement as a ruler for comparison featuring Giulini, Abbado and von Karajan).
1. Giulini and the Los Angeles Philharmonic 1979 (00:00 - 2:25)
2. Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic 2000 (2:26 - 4:36)
3. Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic late 1960s (4:37 - 6:52)
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Giulini, Abbado, Karajan