The collectors' dilemma

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RE: The collectors' dilemma

This thread reads like true confessions in one of those lurid mags you see behind supermarket checkouts. A shrink would have a field day with all of us.

For me, an eyebrow-raiser is the number of personal holy grail recordings being mentioned by others: the Mavrinsky Tchai 5 (add 4 and 6 to that), Kondrashin’s Shostakovich cycle (still, 40 years later, no recording of the 4th comes within light years of his), Jochum’s Bruckner and Kempe’s Brahms symphonies (add his Deutsches Requiem). All of these I discovered early, so the search is long over. Walton 1, on the other hand, has me stymied. Previn comes close to my ideal but he loses his grip in the slow movement, and there are problems with every one of the other six recordings I own or have listened to closely.

I’m with Troyen on opera. Such a multi-faceted art (hush, Parla) that the ideal is all but impossible to realize. Just when you think you have the perfect performance here comes one that tells you your ace Marcello, or Rosina, or Pogner, or Shabby Peasant, or director, or production, or conductor, or orchestra, just wasn’t up to snuff. I’ve got so many Rigoletto’s I’m starting to break out in a sweat when my wife runs her eyes over our opera shelves.

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Collecting CDs is not about any sort of "holy grail", since perfection in performance is as elusive as the air around us. We feel, breath, enjoy but never conquer it.

Different performances on different recordings and different reeditions is a pursuit for a true collector who has to "conquer" as many new areas in his "empire". However, the collector has to know that empires have their rise and their fall.

As for the Opera, I never contested it is a multi-faceted art; I just added it is the most popular form of Classical Music and the art of singing is the key to its success. I, as closer to German Operas, have almost all the major (and most of the so called minor) recordings of all Wagner' s gesamtwerke (he didn't called them Operas). The more I listen to the variety of the recordings, the more perplexed I become, having the sense that each one has something to offer and none can bring you to the "perfect" one.

So, maybe,, collecting is quite close to addiction. You may always believe that, now, I'm close to stop. I have enough, but, there you are. Something new emerges and you feel the urge you have to explore further.

Never-ending story till either you find your financial barrier or your health reality check.

Parla

RE: The collectors' dilemma

parla wrote:

As for the Opera, I never contested it is a multi-faceted art;

Parla

Oh no? Then which Parla was this posting on January 25th of this year in the Kaufmann thread?

For clarification's reasons, I wish to reiterate that what I know is that Opera is neither a multi-faceted and definitely not an "incredibly complex art form".

Or have you been spending time on the road to Damascus recently?

As for your first paragraph, some would agree with you some, including me, wouldn't. You would of course acknowledge (is he on crack? - I hear someone say) that your statement is a personal opinion, not the incontrovertible fact as which you present it?

RE: The collectors' dilemma

The way you present my statement looks like a clear contradiction, but if you read it carefully, I said the key phrase "what I know". Besides, the context was on the importance of the voices in Opera, so I tried to underscore what I was taught to that effect. While I don't contest the multi-faceted nature of Opera, I believe that there are certain aspects of it that count more than others (voices, orchestra, conductor, venue). Practice has indicated that great voices could save a performance more than any other aspect.

As for the first paragraph, those who don't agree will call my statement an "opinion", while those who agree they might easily claim that's the truth. However, for your info, I haven't heard any musician of any kind (soloist, conductor), producer or scholar to state that there is a "perfect" performance. Even the reviewers in the magazines we know, they refer to "benchmark" or definitive (so far) recordings, but not for the perfect ones. If we consider that the magazines claim their own "benchmark" recordings, which, normally, does not coincide with the others, we realise the relativity of the perfect performance. Besides, how can you prove a performance is perfect, particularly in musical terms?

When, once, I asked an unsung hero Asian pianist, who practised for about half an hour a passage of one bar of Mozart's Piano Sonata in a minor, whether she was looking for perfection, she answered: If there was a perfection in performing a classical music work, that would mean the end of music. I'm just trying to justify my performance!..

Parla

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Doncha just love it when he ties himself in knots in his rush to backpedal.

Opinions on opera from an individual who has never heard of Glyndebourne (I wonder if he's Googled it yet).

What is a multi-faceted opera, anyway?

Just kidding;-)

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Shall we get into an argument about opera? The only thing worse than an opera fan is a ballet fan 8)

Re Collecting, I occasionally have to remind myself, "I am not an archivist." My collection is a resource only for myself, and to be brutal, no-one will look at it after I die and say "What a genius this man was! We must preserve this work forever!" No, face it, after I'm gone, it'll all go down the charity shop (if it doesn't end up as landfill). The important thing is to enjoy the music NOW.

The search for the Holy Grail is the best reason to collect. Sadly, I don't think I'll ever hear the Prokofiev symphonies done the way I can imagine them in my head, but on the other hand I was lucky enough to find Friedmann's recording of Kalinnikov's 1st, not perfect but probably as close to the ideal as I'll find in my lifetime.

'Art doesn't need philosophers. It just needs to communicate from soul to soul.' Alejandro Jodorowsky

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Fair enough, eyeresist. You are perfectly clear. The problem starts, whether you become an archivist or not, when your collection gets larger and larger, even by purchasing what you think you need to have. The more you have the more an "investment" you create. So, to send it to a "charity shop" might be an option, but to end it up in a landfill...It's, somehow, pity. The CDs are not necessarily expendable.

As for the "best reason" to collect, the "Holy Grail" might be a thrilling motivation but, in the best possible case, it might end up in reaching your Holy Grail. If you may mention only a "definitive" recording of a Symphony of a very marginal composer, you may figure out how elusive might be to reach a perfect performance of let's say the Symphonies of Weber or the Piano Quintet of Brahms or the String Quartet of Faure or the Violin Sonata of Franck, etc.

Troyen, it's not that I don't know what Glyndenbourne is (actually, I have quite a few recordings from there). I don't live in UK and I'm not supposed to know what's going on there, as you're not supposed to be aware of what's happening in the "Egg" theatre of Beijing or the Opera-Comique in Berlin or in the Opera-Bastille of Paris or the Opera-Theatre de Saint-Etienne and so on.

Parla

 

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Oh this wretched handwringing, the guilt, the absolute guilt, woe, woe I say.

Look if you are so concerned about your pathetic collection, some of you, then achieve redemption by sending it to me (think of the postage cost as an element of your redemption) and I will pack off the rubbish and stuff I've already got to musicmagpie and give the rest a home and promise, tongue in cheek, to play them more than you ever could in what remains of your tragic existence.

Parla, I don't believe you unless you have suddenly popped out over the top to grab as many Glydebourne recordings as you can find (is The Rakes Progress among them?).

Do those that have problems with opera like the Barockery? I bet they do, sad sods.

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Well, I didn't mean to ruin anyone's day, but the issue of 'what happens after ...' is a moot point when you don't have anyone on whom to bestow your collection. I am in this position. No one I know shares my tastes. No one would want my collection. How utterly tragic that my discs of Aho, Pettersson, Bentzon, Schnittke, etc will be ... no, it's too sad for words.

Buy, hey, let's brighten up here. I am a happy collector, and have many happy times ahead, even if it is in solitude.

Now, actually getting that solitude is another kettle of fish. And the issue of what do you do if you want to play Schnittke 5 knowing you are going to antagonise could be the subject of another thread. 

 

 

RE: The collectors' dilemma

Maybe my "investment" is pathetic but not my collection. Not at all, Mr. Troyen. It's an archive of almost anything (available or not) a musician, collector, scholar etc. might wish to have access to.

The rest of your post doesn't deserve any response. Keep it for yourself.

If you "don't believe me", it's your business. I cannot and you cannot prove anything in this forum. However, if I claim I collect for some decades all the possible CDs and, more recently SACDs, I'm supposed to have several recordings from Glydebourne (including The Rake's Progress) as well.

Let's stop here. Enough is enough, Troyen.

Parla

 

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