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View Full Version : 'Namensfeier' Overture (op115)


Rod
09-04-2000, 09:35 PM
Does anyone know of a good (eg lame-free tempo) recording of this universally lambasted work? I have one on Naxos (Overtures vol2) that is played with such lack-lustre that it doesn't even sound like Beethoven. No wonder its the least (if ever!) performed overture by B if this is the typical vision of it by conductors! Give me that batton, I'll show 'em!!!

Rod

Peter
09-04-2000, 09:49 PM
I have a recording with Kurt Masur conducting the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - there are 9 Beethoven overtures on the CD (Philips) and the performances are all lively and energetic, although I find the opening tempo of the 'Consecration of the house' to be too quick - it destroys the stately Handelian quality.Although 'Namensfeier' is not B's greatest overture, it is still very enjoyable and deserves more performances - as we've said before, Beethoven is a victim of his own greatness.

Rod
09-04-2000, 10:23 PM
For a superb (and Handelian) 'Consecration' look for the disk of overtures by the Hanover Band on Nimbus. Overall, this is the best recording of B overtures (interestingly it does no include op115) I have heard, by a considerable margin. The 'Hungarian' overtures (King Stephen, Ruins of Athens) expecially are transformed into something like their true form on this recording.

Rod

Michael
09-05-2000, 03:52 AM
Robert Simpson said of the "Namensfeier" or "Name-Day" overture that it was "a splendid piece, wrongly neglected".
The Kurt Masur set is generally very good but I agree with Peter totally that the opening of "The Consecration of the House" is ruined by being taken too fast, and most recordings seem to do that. My favourite version of this is an old one by the Orchestre Lamoureux, Paris conducted by Igor Markevitch where the opening is very slow and stately. They also do the "Namensfeier" Although the "French" french horns might upset the purists, I think they suit this piece.
Michael

Peter
09-05-2000, 09:59 PM
Sketches for this overture are spread over a period of 5 years and in 1812 Beethoven had toyed with the idea of giving it choral parts and setting Schiller's 'Ode to Joy'.It was written for the Emperor's name-day and first performed on Christmas day 1815 with no title ,though it was published in Paris under the title of 'La Chasse' - according to Roger Fiske, it was possibly the first non theatrical overture ever written.

Rod
09-09-2000, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
My favourite version of this is an old one by the Orchestre Lamoureux, Paris conducted by Igor Markevitch where the opening is very slow and stately. They also do the "Namensfeier" Although the "French" french horns might upset the purists, I think they suit this piece.
Michael

What do you mean by "'French' french horns"?

Rod

Michael
09-10-2000, 03:14 AM
Originally posted by Rod:
What do you mean by "'French' french horns"?

Rod



On certain recordings of French orchestras, the french horns have a totally different sound from their counterparts in other orchestras. I became aware of it with the very first recording I ever bought of the “Eroica” with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra conducted by Schuricht. It was the first time I had ever heard the symphony so, when I bought a stereo version about a year later, I was intrigued and initially rather disappointed to find the horns sounded “different”. In fact, the later recording was the normal sound of the french horn and the mystery wasn’t cleared up until I read a review of the Schuricht “Eroica” which said: “The performance starts out with the obvious disadvantage of French french horns with their whining saxophone noise and in many places this noise is distracting.”
The “Namensfeier” overture I was referring to is by the Orchestre Lamourex, Paris and it dates from 1959 and it has that “saxophone” sound which is very noticeable just after the start where the horns have a prominent part. I wouldn’t describe them as whining but they do have a plaintive sound akin to that produced in Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite, and I rather like them in this one Beethoven piece.
Again, it’s all a matter of taste like the question of tempo which is being discussed elsewhere in this forum. I wonder could ultimate preferences in this area be related to one’s own pulse rate or body-clock? Just a thought.
Michael

Peter
09-10-2000, 10:52 AM
Again, it’s all a matter of taste like the question of tempo which is being discussed elsewhere in this forum. I wonder could ultimate preferences in this area be related to one’s own pulse rate or body-clock? Just a thought.
Michael

Well Michael, I think you may have something there ! I recall a comment by Herbert Von Karajan who was stopped for speeding in his Porsche - "You try driving slow whilst listening to the 3rd movement of Beethoven no.7" !

Rod
09-10-2000, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
The “Namensfeier” overture I was referring to is by the Orchestre Lamourex, Paris and it dates from 1959 and it has that “saxophone” sound which is very noticeable just after the start where the horns have a prominent part. I wouldn’t describe them as whining but they do have a plaintive sound akin to that produced in Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite, and I rather like them in this one Beethoven piece.
Again, it’s all a matter of taste like the question of tempo which is being discussed elsewhere in this forum. I wonder could ultimate preferences in this area be related to one’s own pulse rate or body-clock? Just a thought.
Michael



It sounds to me that these 'French' French horns may simply be the valveless models used typically by authentic instrument ensembles. They can have a more biting rasping sound, great for the likes of Beethoven and Handel (in the right hands!). If this is not the answer, I'm still none the wiser about these French French horns.

Regading your interesting body clock theory, you may be right. If one considers the metabolic rate of a firery individual like Beethoven is likely to be high, then it would explain his taste for brio and vivace allegros for instance. The theory would work in my case!

Rod

Johan
04-11-2005, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Does anyone know of a good (eg lame-free tempo) recording of this universally lambasted work? I have one on Naxos (Overtures vol2) that is played with such lack-lustre that it doesn't even sound like Beethoven. No wonder its the least (if ever!) performed overture by B if this is the typical vision of it by conductors! Give me that batton, I'll show 'em!!!

Rod

This overture is so GREAT! I like it besides all the three Leonore-overtures and Coriolan.

Hofrat
04-12-2005, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Does anyone know of a good (eg lame-free tempo) recording of this universally lambasted work?

Sorry, but my Dover score does not have any Metronome Markings. Beethoven's tempi are as follows:

Introduction: Maestoso (in 4/4 time).
Main body: Allegro assai vivace (in 6/8).
Everything in the key of C including all the transposing instruments!

I hope that helps. It is one of my favorite overtures by Beethoven though undeservedly neglected.


Hofrat

Rutradelusasa
04-12-2005, 06:57 PM
Why are you up-ing such an old topic? Start one yourselves.

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"Wer ein holdes weib errungen..."

Rutradelusasa
04-12-2005, 07:02 PM
Peter, Chris, do people get banned here? My guess is that this guy simply looked for the oldest topic around (this was it, the second oldest is from 9/10/2000) to give it a bump. That should not be tolerated.

Sorry if I'm rude, bad morning here...

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"Wer ein holdes weib errungen..."

Rod
04-12-2005, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Rutradelusasa:
Peter, Chris, do people get banned here? My guess is that this guy simply looked for the oldest topic around (this was it, the second oldest is from 9/10/2000) to give it a bump. That should not be tolerated.

Sorry if I'm rude, bad morning here...



I disagree, increadible as it may seem the guy may actually like the overture.

In any case some of the old topics are more interesting than some of the newer ones.




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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
04-12-2005, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by Rutradelusasa:
Peter, Chris, do people get banned here? My guess is that this guy simply looked for the oldest topic around (this was it, the second oldest is from 9/10/2000) to give it a bump. That should not be tolerated.

Sorry if I'm rude, bad morning here...



I'm sorry Rutradelusasa but I agree with Rod. Johan has done nothing to violate forum rules, in fact your own post does that more I'm afraid. Members are perfectly entitled to resurrect any of the old topics if they like. In any case it would have been better to discuss this by email or in the Comments and suggestion forum.

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 04-12-2005).]