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Your Favourite Orchestras

Your Favourite Orchestras  

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I think Cleveland and/or Philadelphia have fallen off the list, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra are further up it. Leipzig Gewandhaus should be on there, and as was said at the time, Concertgebouw should have been near the top. Berlin Phil falls down the list as they've basically been rubbish under Rattle :minikev:

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Agree re the Berlin Phil and Rattle. Some decent recordings (the Symanowski Stabat Mater) but otherwise ordinary.

The Liverpool Phil, however, are really firing. My dad goes to a lot of the concerts and they are generally superb.

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Berlin Phil falls down the list as they've basically been rubbish under Rattle

I disagree - they sounded just fine under Rattle the only times I heard them live. The interesting point though was that they played exactly as they did under Karajan. I went home and immediately played the Karajan recordings of two of the works I had just heard to confirm my suspicion. The only time that Rattle seems to make a personal impression is in his misguided Mahler. As a result I have none of his BPO Mahler recordings - he went downhill after his fine Bournemouth 10th.

The finest live concert I ever heard was the Czech Philharmonic under Karel Ancerl, in the early 1960s. I checked them again a couple of years ago (pun intended) but they had fallen back into the very good category. Second-best was the RCO/Chailly in the magnificent Concertgebouw. I lived in the USA during the late 1960s and heard most of their major orchestras. I have no doubt - the best then was the immediately post-Szell Cleveland.

Like tennis and cricket rankings for what little they are worth, musical rankings change by the generation.

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How on song an orchestra is, at a particular era, depends a lot on who is its chief conductor. The Rattle-led BPO hasn't churned out any recordings that makes me hear them in a new light. In retrospect, the Abbado years are a marvellous epoch now.:P

Chailly has become a conductor of such considered intelligence that he is now the successor to his mentor Abbado as one of the great Italian maestros. Two decades ago, I'd have thought Muti was the chosen one.:PAs such, the Leipzigers have moved up the list to join the Royal Concertgebouw and Vienna Philharmonic.

David Zinman has done a lot of good with the Zurich Tonhalle.:^ I'd never have rated this one that highly ten years ago.

SS

ps: How do wammers feel about the Bolivar ensemble under that Dudamel dude?:whistle:

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Bolivar orchestra have an unusual verve and spirit to their playing, which is not surprising considering their history. They have ceased to be purely a youth orchestra recently, so they will probably mature/deteriorate into a more conventional band in years to come.

It's a bit pointless to try to list the top ten, or even twenty, orchestras. There are far more than that in the world who on their day can produce a world class performance. So one has to plump for the most consistent, and for that there remains a large European rump if one goes for only ten.

My 10 would therefore be, not in strict order - Concertgebouw, Berlin Phil, London Symphony, Vienna Phil, Chicago, Leipzig, Maritzburg, St Petersburg Phil, Zurich, Dresden.

A very 'safe' list admittedly. My next ten would be much more adventurous!

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