Performers out of fashion

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Performers out of fashion

I would be interested in view of my fellow forum members as to why some performers go out of fashion. At the moment I have a bee in my bonnet over the fact that it is next to impossible to get Karl Richter's Bach cantata recordings anywhere on CD; the series has fallen out of the DG catalogue (despite the fact that secondhands are selling at £300 on the internet!).

I have a similar problem with Sandor Vegh's recordings with Camerata Academica. His recordings are available but it is difficult to track reviews - on Gramophone anyway.

These performers were both prominent conductors at one stage (to me they still sound fresh which is obviously why I have an issue).

Why do they fall out of fashion - have our ears changed?

RE: Performers out of fashion

Some performers go out of fashion, especially after their deaths, and others, often not as good, still get plenty of publicity, especially if they were colourful personalities or a bit cranky - or both. I suppose Karl Richter's big romantic approach to Bach is now considered old-fashioned but he was marvellous in the "Saint matthew Passion" - as was Karl Munchinger, whose entire discography seems to have disappeared. 

Adrian

RE: Performers out of fashion

I suspect that it is because they were never in fashion in the first place.

Vegh is, perhaps, a good example in that he and his colleagues recorded the Beethoven quartets twice but it is always the ABQ that gets all the recommendations.

Personally, I believe Vegh to be one of the great musicians of the last century.

One to track down is the Music for Strings, percussion and celesta recorded live but truly outstanding (especially if you find his fellow Hungarian, Reiner, a tad cool).

RE: Performers out of fashion

Fashion and changes in taste certainly play a part. Hype and its inevitable backlash push artists into and out of the limelight. Appetite for the constant self-promotion necessary to stay ‘at the top’ wanes with age, if it was ever there in the first place. Some talent has to be present, but it’s debatable how important that is in the complete recipe for fame.

Many artists who don’t make the radar world-wide are quietly and successfully beavering away somewhere. Being front-and-centre in London, NYC, Berlin or one of the other much-reported musical hubs isn’t the pinnacle of aspiration for all musicians, neither is having a long-term recording contract. It’s interesting to google people you think have long snuffed it, and find they’re doing very well, thank you, still making music.

RE: Performers out of fashion

It astonishes me that the classical music record companies have not begun releasing their back catalogues on download only.  Sandor Konya, Cristina Deutekom, Sherrill Milnes and Edda Moser are just four singers who have superb recitals that have never seen the light of day on CD (to my knowledge).  I am not sure about whether it's fashion or not.  I just get the sense that the record companies feel comfortable putting out the same old "sure things" albeit in different guises.     

RE: Performers out of fashion

Deutekom din't make that manny (solo)records, here Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini aria's are (once) on the Philips label.(2cd)

Even the famous volume 8 from Philips wit the even more famous portrait of did see the shelfs.

On Hmv Christ on the Mountain of Olives, for a while even the highlight from Un Ballo on also HMV
Also on HMV (Dutch) the famous Mozart aria's with some extra's from operette .

In the mid 90 ties she made here last recording , The Tudor Queens final scenes and I do have that on to.

The problem is Philips recordings are sold to Decca so perhaps in the futhure who knows.
As for Milnes , I dont even start , go to Arkiv Music and search under his name and you be suprised (161 hits) I must admit most of them complete opera recordings.

RE: Performers out of fashion

I once Googled a number of musicians, mainly conductors, who were active in the recording studios in the late fifties and sixties when I first started collecting records and one never hears of these days.

None were still alive but many had died fairly recently in their late nineties.

One had, I assumed, left the podium in favour of teaching and/or mentoring and could cite Abbado and C. Kleiber on his CV.

RE: Performers out of fashion

I think each generation acquits a different taste of style - for instance I find it hard to listen to richter's bach as it just sounds heavyladen and massive to me. I have the same problem with klemperer's st matthew passion. having found my way to bach via the HIP interpretations of people like gardiner I cannot get my ear around richter (even though he has some amazing soloists).

also when it comes to singers it happens that styles date ... for instance late recordings of schwarzkopf or late recordings of fischer-dieskau (i find the szell recording of strauss four last songs or mahlers des knaben wunderhorn with schwarzkopf or schwarzkopf and fi-di make a point of that ... for me this way of interpretation is a big no-no) - their interpretations sound far too overelaborated for some ears nowadays. it is art for arts sake and in my opinion missing a point: of course artistry is needed but if it sounds like artistry for artistry's sake it becomes mannered.

but then there are others whose singing never goes out of style, for instance elisabeth grümmer, as she achieved a near perfect blend between sounding natural and sounding arty ;)

... und die seele unbewacht
will in freien flügen schweben
um im zauberkreis der nacht
tief und tausendfach zu leben
HERMANN HESSE

RE: Performers out of fashion

Karajan seems out of fashion now but I am amazed he was ever in fashion. It seems some people will buy any old dross so long as it has three layers of varnish on it, a picture of 'the father' on the front and a big yellow badge on it.

RE: Performers out of fashion

I follow with some morbid interest this ill-conceived thread: Classical versus fashion. If something is classical does not need fashion norms and those who are "blessed" to perform classical music do not have to fear "fashion" vicissitudes.

The fact that Karajan or K. Richter do not sell as before is an obvious response of labels, who have to promote and, if possible, to establish new names. However, no matter what, a Callas or a Sutherland can never be equaled or even approached by any efforts of the different labels. So is the case for Karajan, K. Richter (or even S. Richter), Gilels, etc.

In short, "Classic" means, by definition, perennial and eternal.

Parla

RE: Performers out of fashion

Long live Mackerras (Richter et al) !!

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