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Discussion: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies - Masur

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Post by Ken_P December 8, 2006 (11 of 15)
Windsurfer said:

I have just added a couple words to the post you quoted to make clear that I wasn't complaining about Madisonear's review. I certainly did not find it in any way offensive. I find your concerns troubling in that you express a lack of tolerance toward another person's viewpoint so much so as to call it offensive. I think "Offensive" is a word we should reserve for direct attacks on people not for viewpoints. If something in his review troubles you, say that rather than imply that his review was offensive. We will last a lot longer as a group if we respect each other's opinions while we disagree with them.

Lack of tolerance is what I was talking about. I have no problem with anybody liking anything over something else. I have a problem when that something else has to be demeaned and degraded to make the point. Maybe the problem is that I'm hearing inflection that isn't supposed to be there, but the tone of madisonears review strikes me as incredibly negative. Does "dilettantes who endorse the ridiculously fast and lightweight performing styles" come across as respectful to you? How about "mincing, dainty or otherwise prissy"? I can't help but hear these phrases as being spoken with a particularly disdainful sneer. That's what I was reacting to, and I hope I overreacted, but language like that usually indicates otherwise.

Post by Windsurfer December 8, 2006 (12 of 15)
Ken_P said:

Does "dilettantes who endorse the ridiculously fast and lightweight performing styles" come across as respectful to you?



How about "mincing, dainty or otherwise prissy"? I can't help but hear these phrases as being spoken with a particularly disdainful sneer. That's what I was reacting to, and I hope I overreacted, but language like that usually indicates otherwise.

Stupid me ... but I can't resist jumping in with both feet as if I had just spoken with Madisonears and really knew what he was thinking when he wrote the offending words.

I expect Madisonears was thinking of Hurwitz when he wrote "dilettante who ..." He was not referring to anyone in particular here for heaven's sake! He obviously was upset with Hurwitz'e review and was venting.

As for "mincing, dainty, or otherwise prissy" that was in reference to a performing style he apparently dislikes. I have often expressed my distaste for "hip" performances, especially on "original instruments" although never so creatively. (It's the "whining" strings that get me.) I would allow the man freedom to express that much without reprimand.

If you identify with Hurwitz, I can see why you are annoyed. But obviously Madisonears was annoyed with him and regards him a dilettante. Now I am at disadvantage here not having read the Classics Today review in question, but I am quite sure that if Madisonears was being intolerant of Hurwitz' opinion it was because it was itself demeaning of what Madisonears regards as a very special Beethoven set.

Post by Peter December 8, 2006 (13 of 15)
Oops - got the wrong end of the stick. Never mind, having read both reviews, I see one as a retort to the other.

However, it should be possible to write a positive review of Masur's cycle and not use that review to have a rant at Dave Hurwitz who is, by the way, far from being a dilettante; he simply doesn't enjoy Masur's take on Beethoven.

By the way, DH was no ruder about Masur than madisonears was about Vonk and his Brahms recording.

PS If madisonears is offended by DH's review, perhaps he ought to tell DH rather than us!

Post by Polly Nomial December 8, 2006 (14 of 15)
Couldn't have put it better myself Peter.

Post by Windsurfer December 8, 2006 (15 of 15)
Peter said:

Dave Hurwitz is, by the way, far from being a dilettante; he simply doesn't enjoy Masur's take on Beethoven.

I sort of thought that there must be a better term to describe whatever it was Madisonears was thinking. I have an idea, but discretion is the better part of valor and I will resist the urge to express it.

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