Making a Stand against Sterility

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Making a Stand against Sterility

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This chapter focuses on the new Transfiguration CD performed by the Smithsonian Chamber Players and conducted by the cellist Kenneth Slowik. Slowik supplements his own performance of the slow movement from Mahler's Fifth Symphony with an excerpt from Willem Mengelberg's 1926 Concertgebouw recording along with another one performed by Bruno Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic. He has also reprinted a few lines of incontestably hideous doggerel that Mengelberg inscribed in his conducting score for the Adagietto. The chapter also criticises his performance of Mahler's 1898 string-orchestra arrangement of Beethoven's Quartet in F minor in the CD by calling it a bloated “modern” reading which fails to convey the expressive content of the music.

Keywords: Transfiguration; Kenneth Slowik; Smithsonian Chamber Players; Willem Mengelberg; Bruno Walter; Vienna Philharmonic

Chapter.  1779 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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