Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Faustian bargain


Are there any pieces of classical music that you would not lose any sleep if you never heard again? There are very few that I can think of. But, I was reminded by a chance hearing on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday that Franz Liszt's A Faust Symphony falls into that category for me. Strange that Pierre Boulez refuses to conduct Tchaikovsky, but opened his tenure at the New York Philharmonic with a season of Berg and Liszt.

Header image is not a Boulez CD. It is the first release by DJ Faust and features 'twenty-seven monsterous (sic) scratching tracks'. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

6 comments:

Pliable said...

I guess it is not surprising that Leonard Bernstein was a great champion of A Faust Symphony.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=145160

Pliable said...

Actually, thinking about it, there is at least one other Liszt work that falls into the 'not lose any sleep if I never heard it again' category - Les Préludes.

Sergio said...

For me ANYTHING by Puccini. If I was held captive by enemy agents and they wanted me to talk, all they have to do is put La Boheme and I'll tell everything

Anonymous Soprano said...

I could very happily live without having to hear a great deal of Victorian era music again -- particularly that of a liturgical vein. The overly sentimental just doesn't do it for me.

(Yes, Mssrs Balfe and Sullivan, I am indeed looking at you. I will excuse Grainger and Quilter, however. Some absolutely lovely moments, there.)

Henry Holland said...

I think it's unfair to say Pierre Boulez "refuses" to conduct Tchaikovsky, it's like he said in an interview once "I listen to Sibelius and Tchaikovsky for pleasure, but I have no desire to conduct it". I think we've all heard conductors do stuff that they have no interest in and it benefits no one.

I simply wish Mr. Boulez had spent his years conducting MORE stuff, instead of staying pretty much with the same core of works + new music, often recording them 2 or 3 times.

Pliable said...

There is a response to Henry's comment here -

http://www.overgrownpath.com/2009/02/i-hate-tchaikovsky.html