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 on: August 16, 2018, 11:45:09 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
Yes, I understand that there is a distinction between High German and the language as used by ordinary Germans in everyday speech or writing. Whether this applies to van den Hoogen or not I could not say. The problem is not his musical analysis per se but his digression into extended and often fanciful discussion of the wider German cultural context within which a composer lived and worked.

Sadly my ability to read Latin is superior to my German and there are precious few cd booklet notes written in Latin! I do have a certain familiarity with German political and military terminology. Indeed I have several reference books written in German and can negotiate these reasonably well. The interesting thing to me is the way German can use one very long word to composite complex ideas which would require several words in English. Gleichschaltung is an example.........but I digress!

 on: August 16, 2018, 09:35:31 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by calyptorhynchus
Could also be a problem of 'literary German' versus real German, I understand that an increasingly small and ageing population of academics insist on writing in a style of German which is incomprehensible to most German speakers, even well-educated ones. And presumably this translator thinks she needs to create an equivalent English!

Frequently I come across absurdities in CD liner notes, back in the 1980s I bought a cassette of Bruckner's First Symphony where the note writer opined that the slow movement was a "conflict between nature and God" [sic].

What I want in accompanying notes is a blow-by-blow account of the music, especially for C20 music, so I can follow it on first listening and get an idea of the structure of the work.

 on: August 16, 2018, 09:21:04 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
Thanks for your comments, Holger.

I think that the fault probably lies equally between CPO- which as the commissioning publisher has ultimate authority- van den Hoogen for his flights of fancy and Ms Praeder for rendering her translations literally rather than idiomatically.

 on: August 16, 2018, 06:45:47 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Holger
First of all, I do understand the problem very well, though of course, if I read the liner notes I won't care about the English version.

However, I can of course comment a little on the German originals. Eckhardt van den Hoogen is, to say the least, a very special case. I know a good deal of persons musicologists who opinions I respect a lot included who pretty much like his style. I must admit that I don't, and I seldom read one of his essays in total. It is all very much over the top in my view, quite the opposite of being prosaic. You already described the content of his notes pretty well, and about the same could be said about the German he uses. He often seems to burst with enthusiasm and then has a soft spot for all sorts of ornaments, images, metaphors, quotes, complicated constructions and related stuff. It is certainly written on a high level of language but at the same time very much at the border of sounding mannered.

I see the problem about Susan Marie Praeder's translations, and of course the sentences you quoted should have never been translated like that. On the other hand, when you talk about rather translating the "sense" of the original, it is also true that the original is overloaded with images and all sorts of extras, and a good deal of van den Hoogen's writing is actually very much about finding just these images (kaleidoscopes etc.). It already sounds a little strange or, say, special in German, and translating it is probably a very hard task.

Personally I do prefer a more sober and fact-oriented approach, and this would certainly be a lot easier to translate.

 on: August 16, 2018, 04:47:18 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
Holger might care to comment?

 on: August 16, 2018, 04:46:49 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
I am listening to the "new" CPO release of the Walter Braunfels Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, Two Horns and String Orchestra (coupled with an arrangement for string orchestra of the String Quintet). I say "new" because the recording was actually made in 2009 but only now released.

We owe CPO an incredible and ongoing debt for making so much previously unrecorded and neglected music available. The Braunfels Sinfonia Concertante is a substantial and most impressive piece.

But our obligation to and admiration for CPO should not blind us to another of its problems. The company has claimed-on occasions-that delays in the release of particular cds are due to the time it takes to obtain the cd booklet notes from their authors. That may be so but there are two further problems for those who buy CPO cds.

The first is that it is almost impossible for those of us with aged eyesight to read the notes without a magnifying glass. This issue is not, of course, confined to CPO. Other companies publish similarly minute typescript.

The other is the notes themselves. For German music (a very substantial part of CPO's output) the company frequently use Eckhardt van den Hoogen. Mr. van den Hoogen's notes are extremely lengthy (no bad thing in itself) and extraordinarily discursive (which can be tedious if one simply wishes to learn about the music as opposed to following extended quasi philosophical musings on the composer, his life, his times and matters which seem to have little real bearing on any of these!).

However.......CPO then get Susan Marie Praeder to translate Mr. van den Hoogen into English. This is where it gets almost impossibly difficult. Ms Praeder seems to believe that a translation should be as literal as possible, that van den Hoogen's rambling prose should be translated word for word into what she, presumably, thinks is a faithful English version (as opposed to turning the "sense" of the original into readable English).

What results is far too often a disaster. Thus, the notes on the Braunfels contain sentences such as:

"This certain someone who turned the kaleidoscopic tube was of course the same person who looked in on one side and on the other marveled at the fantastic manifoldness in order to make creative use of it."


"In any case, as I see it, the burly gait of boisterous landler or waltzes, the brusque thematic development, and the stamping groundings bubble forth from the same source that used to offer liquid refreshment not only to the residents of Bohemian villages."

This is incomprehensible gibberish! Google Translate would produce something like this. One should not expect it from someone who is presumably paid to translate German into English, not German into Double Dutch!!

I know a number of Germans who can speak and write flawless English; there are no doubt millions who can do this. Sadly Ms Praeder seems to not be one of them. I am very sorry for her. She must have an extraordinarily difficult job with Mr. van den Hoogen's ornate, baroque, prose, his extraordinary allusions and his literary diversions.

......but, come on, must do better!!!!!

 on: August 15, 2018, 11:25:21 pm 
Started by rkhenderson - Last post by Latvian
Thank you for bringing this up, Colin. I should have addressed this issue as well in my post(s).  Indeed, unless you are absolutely certain of the safety of such links, DO NOT click on them. A couple of points:

We have no control over the content of banner ads. If it were up to me they wouldn't show up at all, given the possibility of malicious links. However, I'm sure the forum host wants them there for revenue from click-throughs, and if they wind up linking to malware due to other malware present on any user's computer, I'm sure the owner assumes no responsibility.

Probably not everyone sees the same ads. What I'm currently getting are eBay links.


 on: August 15, 2018, 11:14:08 pm 
Started by rkhenderson - Last post by Dundonnell
When I access the site the annoying Banner Ad which previously read "Download" and "Play Now" has been replaced by one which reads "Check out this special offer: Click Here".

All I can say is DON'T !! It MAY be-and probably is- harmless advertising but, as Maris has said, if you don't know where the link comes from or where it is taking you then ignore it!!

 on: August 15, 2018, 10:38:51 pm 
Started by rkhenderson - Last post by rkhenderson

 on: August 15, 2018, 09:40:19 pm 
Started by rkhenderson - Last post by the Administration
After consultation with co-moderator Dundonnell, the original links posted in this thread have been removed. With apologies to rkhenderson, the original poster, who I am certain had no idea these links would cause subsequent problems.

For the record, I examined the URLs for the links and they appeared to be perfectly normal YT links with no additional redirects or other other links embedded. I also tested them with no adverse effects.

The only guess I can hazard to explain the problems some encountered would be that those individuals unknowingly had some sort of malware or other Trojan on their computers which was activated by these links, or some part of them. Again, just a guess, based on sad personal experience in the past, and please be clear I am making no accusations. If anyone has a better explanation, please let me know privately.

Suspicious links quoted in subsequent posts in this thread have also been deleted, to avoid the possibility of anyone accidentally clicking on them, resulting in further harm.

Thanks to all for their patience and understanding, and let me again recommend in the strongest possible terms, if you see a link that seems suspicious in any way, DO NOT click on it. Instead, please inform the Administration and we will investigate.


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