The Dahl Concerto - Page 2

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  1. #21

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    mike s,

    You are quite right. The bootleg floating around that is being made available from Honduras is abysmal and does no justice to the original recording that SMR use to play at his workshops. This is exactly why he and his family have always been wary about lending them out before they could be properly produced. None of the recordings of SMR offered by Mr. Kendall are properly produced and I can't help but question his motives. Also those people to whom Mr. Rascher entrusted with copies from his private library should be ashamed of themselves for distributing these recordings so recklessly and against Mr. Rascher's wishes. What Mr. Kendall is doing now is just the thing SMR and his family feared would happen.

    There's a much better master of that Univ. of Colorado performance and with any luck, one day a responsible individual will be found who will treat these masters with the respect that they deserve.

    Beck
    Last edited by Beck; 01-04-2006 at 04:00 AM.

  2. #22
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    But that cuts both ways, Beck. Those recordings have been around forever and if Rascher or his family wanted them properly released they've certainly had ample opportunity to get that done. After all, this is Sigurd Rascher we are talking about - there must be some label out there that would be interested in releasing his stuff.

    As for Bryan Kendall's CD-R "re-issues", the Dahl is indeed atrocious. The rest of the Rascher solo recordings are transfers from decent LP copies and I don't think there's much basis to complain about the sound quality of them. I haven't heard his Coronet quartet and ensemble CD-Rs.

  3. #23
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownjazz
    But that cuts both ways, Beck. Those recordings have been around forever and if Rascher or his family wanted them properly released they've certainly had ample opportunity to get that done.
    Very true. But see below.

    After all, this is Sigurd Rascher we are talking about - there must be some label out there that would be interested in releasing his stuff.
    I know I've said this before, but after all the ridicule and bad blood in the sax community over the years, the Rascher community really may not be interested in letting this stuff be heard by a wider public at all – properly produced or not. Last I heard, the idea was for a "society" to be organized and CDs sold only to members (very probably with some sort of agreement language not to use them in certain ways).

    I don't think we can overestimate how private and protective the feeling is around Rascher's legacy. It's to the point where he is probably never going to get his due recognition from the modern music world at large. And I sometimes have the feeling that his people are all right with that, that they'd rather see him not appreciated at all than appreciated on anyone else's terms.

  4. #24

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    I sincerely hope that that doesn't end up being the case. There are some great recordings that have been made of him. When I attended Sigurd Rascher's memorial service, they played a tape of him. I was blown away at the quality of the recording and even more so by the tone quality. I have heard just about all of the recordings of him that are floating around and none compare to what I heard at the memorial.

    (Sorry for the slightly off topic post)

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl
    ...I don't think we can overestimate how private and protective the feeling is around Rascher's legacy. It's to the point where he is probably never going to get his due recognition from the modern music world at large. And I sometimes have the feeling that his people are all right with that, that they'd rather see him not appreciated at all than appreciated on anyone else's terms.
    Probably true, but I still don't get it. Let's take a some unrelated examples from the jazz world - say Ornette Coleman or Thelonious Monk. In their early days those guys took abuse by the boatload. But somehow they had the guts to persevere and while there are still doubters, the strength of their vision won out and the overwhelming mass of public opinion is on their side. That's not to say Rascher didn't persevere because he did, but rather to say that I don't think you should respond to artistic criticism by becoming insular.

    Now that I think about it, John-Edward Kelly is an example of a Rascher student who, at least through his recordings, has thrown down the gauntlet, recording a pile of challenging new works for the world to chew on while remaining true to the Rascher style. It will be interesting, 20 or 30 years down the road (gulp, I hope I'm still on earth that long!), to see where his legacy stands.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl
    Very true. But see below.

    I know I've said this before, but after all the ridicule and bad blood in the sax community over the years, the Rascher community really may not be interested in letting this stuff be heard by a wider public at all – properly produced or not. Last I heard, the idea was for a "society" to be organized and CDs sold only to members (very probably with some sort of agreement language not to use them in certain ways).

    I don't think we can overestimate how private and protective the feeling is around Rascher's legacy. It's to the point where he is probably never going to get his due recognition from the modern music world at large. And I sometimes have the feeling that his people are all right with that, that they'd rather see him not appreciated at all than appreciated on anyone else's terms.


    @Paul

    I do not know where you get your "facts" from, but they are quite covered in crap. The idea of the foundation has not a thing to do with creating a "secret Rascher society". Either you need new sources or you need to stop speculating about things that you clearly know nothing about.

    Carina Rascher has no interest in hiding anything that she or her father have accomplished. If you have any questions about her legacy or her father's, then call her up. She is pretty helpful and even eager to share what she knows. It seems to me that doing this would be much more accurate and appropriate than engaging in mindless speculation.

    @Chitownjazz,

    As to the SMR masters not being available for so long; have you ever dealt with recording companies? Do you have any idea of the costs that are involved? It is not like you can just call up Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips etc. and come away with a contract for a historical-recordings series. It will happen eventually but it may take some time and SMR's family are prepared to wait until the right people for the job are found. Mr. Kendall's carelessness in distributing (against the family's wishes, by the way) unprofessionally reproduced copies of SMR's private recordings collection should prove that he is not the man for the job.

    If you know about the "ample opportunity" that SMR's family has had to properly release these recordings, then I would be interested to know what you know. I suspect that Mr. Rascher's family would as well.

    Sorry for the rant and no offense is meant.

    Beck
    Last edited by Beck; 01-04-2006 at 04:03 AM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck
    ...
    @Chitownjazz,

    As to the SMR masters not being available for so long; have you ever dealt with recording companies? Do you have any idea of the costs that are involved? It is not like you can just call up Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips etc. and come away with a contract for a historical-recordings series. It will happen eventually but it may take some time and SMR's family are prepared to wait until the right people for the job are found. Mr. Kendall's carelessness in distributing (against the family's wishes, by the way) unprofessionally reproduced copies of SMR's private recordings collection should prove that he is not the man for the job.

    If you know about the "ample opportunity" that SMR's family has had to properly release these recordings, then I would be interested to know what you know. I suspect that Mr. Rascher's family would as well.

    Sorry for the rant and no offense is meant.

    Beck
    No offense taken on my part - at least my facts aren't covered in crap

    Admittedly I know little about the classical label world, somewhat more about the jazz label world. I'm sure you are right about the major labels of the world. They know or care as much about Sigurd Rascher as they do Peetie Wheatstraw. Things should be different with independent labels. There are literally hundreds of small jazz labels with more added by the week. Unlike the majors, they actually care about music and not just making money - I would guess many if not most of them are money losers. And they don't refer to recordings as "product". So no, of course I don't know about specific opportunities - my point was that if Rascher or his family had been determined to get this stuff out over the past five decades or so, they could have found a way to do it, just as you insist that Carina will find a way to do it now that she has turned more of her attention to it.

  8. #28
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck
    @Paul

    I do not know where you get your "facts" from, but they are quite covered in crap. The idea of the foundation has not a thing to do with creating a "secret Rascher society".
    "secret" = your word, not mine. And why so defensive? I just wonder how - and to whom - the family wants his recordings to be available. I've been curious to hear some of them for years, but up to now, the feeling I get is that one has to be vetted, ie: be engaged in studying these works with a recognized teacher.

    That's not something I can do; I've never been on the virtuoso track or dedicated exclusively enough to this one idiom. I just love great saxophone music and want more of it around for us all to hear. After all the trash talk over the years, would it be going too far for me to speculate that Rascher's people might not be anxious to give present-day writers and critics a chance at him? And if they did - what's to be afraid of?

    As to the SMR masters not being available for so long; have you ever dealt with recording companies? Do you have any idea of the costs that are involved? It is not like you can just call up Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips etc. and come away with a contract for a historical-recordings series.
    What chi said. Why major-label or nothing? That's just as good as saying, "Better not do it at all." Small labels have been doing fantastic things with historical and/or obscure music. Maybe the problem is admitting that this music is obscure?

    It just seems there's more going on here than people want to talk about.

    Sorry for the rant and no offense is meant.
    Telling someone they're spouting doo-doo is a little ways off from "no offense," old boy.
    Last edited by paulwl; 12-16-2005 at 04:15 PM.

  9. #29

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    Dear Paul,

    In words of the late President Reagan; “There you go again.” Defensive, no. Aggravated, yes. As you said earlier you have often commented about the “protective” nature of SMR’s students. I have many times read these comments from you and can’t help but shake my head. You do indeed miss the point of the proposed SMR foundation wide, and I can only assume that you are basing your comments on false speculation.

    If I am preparing something that I were to perform at some point, then not knowing you, I would be skeptical of playing it for you before I knew that it was 100% ready. SMR’s and his family’s attitude about his private recordings is probably similar. There is no plan that I know of to distribute these to an “illuminated few” with agreements as to how they will be used. Mr. Rascher may indeed have asked people with whom he shared recordings to not pass them around indiscriminately and his reasons for this were not cultish. Knowing how picky he was about anything he published or said in print, I can safely assume that his mind-set regarding those recordings was the same: if they were going to be re-mastered, released and distributed, then it should be done properly or not at all. This is a quite reasonable inclination on his part and that of his family’s and there is nothing secret or sinister about it.

    Paul, you may continue to believe what you wish, but if you share your thoughts with the world, then it is entirely fair to have them questioned and, if your estimations are inaccurate, to have them corrected. I do know that comments and posts such as yours have made it to Carina’s desk in the past and that she shakes her head in frustration and bewilderment.

    If you have tried to acquire copies of SMR’s recordings and have run into some walls, then it might be fair, rather than deem the reasons to be part of a mass conspiracy, to take people’s explanations at face value. The reasons are less baleful than you seem to think.

    I am sincerely sorry if the “crap” comment offended you young man. However if it walks like a duck…

    @ Chitown

    I doubt that SMR’s recordings will ever be released on a major label, as even these companies are experiencing grave financial woes these days. Also I am sure that a “major” label is not a stipulation of their release. Plus Mr. Rascher was never snobby about which label he worked with. Coronet was basically run out of a man’s living room and garage, yet SMR was happy to work with him for many recordings. Still, even an independent label is going to have to invest a lot of time energy and money into this project. We can only hope that the right people will soon be found.

    Beck
    Last edited by Beck; 12-16-2005 at 07:49 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck
    Dear Paul,

    In words of the late President Reagan; “There you go again.” Defensive, no. Aggravated, yes. As you said earlier you have often commented about the “protective” nature of SMR’s students. I have many times read these comments from you and can’t help but shake my head. You do indeed miss the point of the proposed SMR foundation wide, and I can only assume that you are basing your comments on false speculation.
    Just the tone of voice, that's all. The tenor of the discussion. Hell, maybe I'm misreading that, too. I've only spent limited time with classical musicians, and I often perceive them as overly formal, standoffish, hot-headed, etc., when they don't necessarily mean to be that way.

    Mr. Rascher may indeed have asked people with whom shared recordings to not pass them around indiscriminately and his reasons for this were not cultish. Knowing how picky he was about anything he published or said in print, I can safely assume that his mind-set regarding those recordings was the same: if they were going to be re-mastered, released and distributed, then it should be done properly or not at all.
    Absolutely. I'm still most concerned that it should be done.

    I do know that comments and posts such as yours have made it to Carina’s desk in the past and that she shakes her head in frustration and bewilderment.
    I'm truly sorry if that's the case.

  11. #31
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    We seem to have hijacked this thread completely. Are we supposed to be taking this elsewhere (like out to the back alley )?

    I assume one thing we would all agree on: we would like to get these recordings (not even sure exactly what "these" refers to, but anyway) out there for ourselves and other interested parties to hear. I would assert (I can hear the guns cocking already) that the majority of Rascher's commericially released recordings do not do the man's legacy justice. The apex in terms of performance quality is probably the first, the Concert Hall LP from the early 1950s. Considering that Rascher had hundreds of original works written for him and performed with hundreds of orchestras, one might reasonably have hoped that there would be dozens of releases filled with masterful performances of original works with top accompanists and ensembles (just throwing out my wish list here).

    Soooo.... assuming Carina's got access to recordings that would fill this wish list, let me try to turn the discussion in a more constructive direction. What can we do to help bring about the release of this material? I assume there ought to be something more that we can do than the occasional moaning on this forum. Maybe help with fundraising ideas? Contact record companies? Help build a Rascher website? Email Carina and offer our encouragement? Just throwing out ideas here in the hopes that we aren't still having these same frustrated discussions ten or twenty years from now.

  12. #32
    Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011 awholley's Avatar
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    What about the Arizona University recordings? They did the Millenium Tribute series. It would seem to me that they should be interested and willing to take a careful approach to all of it.

    People are willing to buy the bootleg stuff because that's all that is available, and they want to study the performances of the man who brought much of our repertoire into being.

  13. #33

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    This thread really needs to be renamed, so we can get more people involved. This is an important topic. How do we do that? Message a moderator?

  14. #34

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    another wish for 'it could be done if the family wanted it done'

    the technology is there, the 'raw material' exists, and one has to think some market abounds (just check the threads on Bueschers to see how many seek that dark sweet tone)

    I've been thinking about the idea that SMR 's music/persona is 'obscure' - that's not been my experience...I knew there was a French school and a German school by the time my kids were into private sax lessons...once you have connection with a Rascher based school or studio or sound, obscurity is saved for, say, the Japanese school (think Noda...joke, joke) geez some days Selmers are obscure when one has 'Bueschers to the left of me, Bueschers to the right of me'

  15. #35
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    LoLa, In places where Rascher is important, he's all important. In places where he isn't known, he's far less important than he deserves.

    Jeremy, SOTW doesn't retitle threads, but anyone's free to start a new one.
    Last edited by paulwl; 12-17-2005 at 04:14 PM.

  16. #36

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    yes, Paul
    you are right

    he is ALL important

    but there is no reason to treat SMR differently than any other incredible saxophonist

    which, he was

    it saddens me that I am bidding a silly amount on Rascher quartet vinyl, for heaven's sake
    when the Rascher family could just take pity on us and somehow get us all into the twenty-first century

    honestly, I resent having to go through all this rigamarole just to get music I am willing to pay for to enjoy
    mho

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoLa
    ...I've been thinking about the idea that SMR 's music/persona is 'obscure' - that's not been my experience...I knew there was a French school and a German school by the time my kids were into private sax lessons...once you have connection with a Rascher based school or studio or sound, obscurity is saved for, say, the Japanese school (think Noda...joke, joke) geez some days Selmers are obscure when one has 'Bueschers to the left of me, Bueschers to the right of me'
    Right, I knew about Rascher by junior high at the latest, and Lancaster County Pa. ain't exactly a center of interest in classical saxophonistry. Took a few more years until I had actually heard a recording of the guy though - that was when I read the old Schwann catalog from cover to cover to dig out all the saxophone recordings I could find (gee won't this make a great story for my daughter some day - kind of like my Dad telling me how thrilled he is to this day whenever he turns on a light switch), order them from the local record shop, and pay for them with the proceeds from my newspaper route. The Debussy Rhapsody LP was still in print then - not exactly a great example of Rascher but at least it was something - and the Coronet LPs were coming out around that time. Come to think of it, it may be more than is available at this moment - I think the only think left in print may be the 1937 Coates' Saxo-Rhapsody that Berkshire Record Outlet stocks.

  18. #38

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    Hi I was reading this thread and was wondering if there were any legal recordings (cd's or cassette tapes) of Rascher. I have never heard him and I think I am missing out because of it.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownjazz
    I read the old Schwann catalog from cover to cover to dig out all the saxophone recordings I could find
    You mean I'm not the only person to have done that? I guess saxophonists really are a special breed (that's one way of putting it, anyhow)...

  20. #40

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    I don't mind saying this, because it's already past what I could bid on it, but there are three vinyl Rascher quartet recordings on eBay up shortly - the auction isn't done yet at close to eighty bucks. For vinyl, for heaven's sake. Which would likely have to be transferred to a contemporary medium anyhow. I don't understand the thought that the interest or the market re:SMR isn't out there

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