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Thread: Classical Listening

  1. #1501
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Yes, in all likelihood the Silent Songs are Silvestrov's greatest work.

    You might want to consider getting the whole box of Hyperion's Brahms chamber music, even if you have other recordings of some of it.

  2. #1502
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    That set looks quite good, but honestly I have solid recordings of almost all of Brahms' chamber works with the exceptions of the Quintets and Sextets:





    I'm looking at the Talich recording of the Sextets... and the Alexander Quartet... whose recordings of Beethoven I quite like... for both the String Quintets and Sextets.

    What IS particularly nice about that box set is that it is not limited to a single ensemble. I tend to prefer to collect various the interpretations of various artists/ensembles/orchestras before I set about purchasing box sets of a complete oeuvre by a single artist/ensemble/orchestra.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  3. #1503
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    That set looks quite good, but honestly I have solid recordings of almost all of Brahms' chamber works with the exceptions of the Quintets and Sextets:

    I'm looking at the Talich recording of the Sextets... and the Alexander Quartet... whose recordings of Beethoven I quite like... for both the String Quintets and Sextets.

    What IS particularly nice about that box set is that it is not limited to a single ensemble. I tend to prefer to collect various the interpretations of various artists/ensembles/orchestras before I set about purchasing box sets of a complete oeuvre by a single artist/ensemble/orchestra.
    It's a good idea to pick the single discs of Raphael Ensemble's sextets and quintets if you don't want the whole box.

    Time to spin Sibelius's Wood Nymph (Vänskä & Lahti SO)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7tLqZXFMNo
    Last edited by North Star; 04-25-2015 at 06:21 PM.

  4. #1504
    Not classical strickly speaking, probably, but for the last year or more I have been enjoying the occaisional bout of Glenn Miller.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92ATE3IgIs

    And all of the usual favourites...

    Then just tonight I only thought of reading a little about him, from which I discovered that he died in 1944 when his plane went missing over the English channel while abroad going to entertain the troops. Well I didn't know this, very sad.

  5. #1505
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    I have been learning to play this piece in a simpler arrangement without the introduction but, even so, it's unlikely that it will ever sound as good as this:

    https://youtu.be/Coa1XaGQuz0
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  6. #1506
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    A marvelous work, Emil! Exquisite transcription of an achingly beautiful passage by Wagner.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
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  7. #1507
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    A marvelous work, Emil! Exquisite transcription of an achingly beautiful passage by Wagner.
    Yes it's such a seemingly simple melody but amazingly constructed through a series of modulations that create the beauty of the piece. It's unlike anything I have played before.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  8. #1508
    Registered User UlyssesE's Avatar
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    This thread is a treasure. Keep em coming!

  9. #1509
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Having such a large number of You tube videos in my favourites box, I decided to delete some of them but this one's staying.
    I have on occasion passed through the village of Limpsfield where Delius is buried next to his wife. Fittingly, Sir Thomas Beecham is also buried in the churchyard which I visited to pay my respects to the composer and a great conductor.

    https://youtu.be/004hhSukj80
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  10. #1510
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Delius is one of those composers along with Rachmaninoff, Copland, Puccini... and to a lesser extent, Richard Strauss... who are often reviled by the sworn self-appointed champions of Modernism. Honestly, I can't understand how anyone would rather listen to almost anything by Schoenberg, Webern, or Xenakis than Delius. Then again, I'm admittedly a sensualist and I turn to the arts for pleasure, not for shock and unsettling innovation.

    I've been listening to Sibelius recently... another great Late/Post-Romantic whose music was dismissed by the Modernists to such as extent as to reportedly have resulted in his near abandonment of composing or even talking about his music during his later life. Theodor Adorno suggested that if Sibelius is "good" this invalidates the standards of quality from Bach to Schoenberg, while the composer, theorist and conductor René Leibowitz went so far as to describe Sibelius as "the worst composer in the world" in the title of a 1955 pamphlet.

    Really?

    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  11. #1511
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Beecham also championed Sibelius and Richard Strauss who praised Beecham's performances of his music.
    He was one of a long line of great conductors that seems to have ended with Karajan. I recently purchased a Japanese company's remastered version of Mengleberg's 1924 performance with the New York Philharmonic playing Stauss's Ein Heldenleben that is simply mind blowing in its scope. The sound is phenomenal for its time and if it cannot match the sound quality of Karajan's version with the BPO, it surpasses it in performance: something I never thought conceivable.
    Here is an example of the stunning intensity that the giants of the past brought to their conducting: I'm just blown away by the Koussevitzky Boston Symphony rehearsal of Beethoven's Egmont overture ( at 18:36) where the dynamics and precision playing are extraordinary and unmatched by anything I have come across in recent times.

    https://youtu.be/LYnqU4AJvtA
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 08-02-2015 at 02:57 PM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  12. #1512
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Delius is one of those composers along with Rachmaninoff, Copland, Puccini... and to a lesser extent, Richard Strauss... who are often reviled by the sworn self-appointed champions of Modernism. Honestly, I can't understand how anyone would rather listen to almost anything by Schoenberg, Webern, or Xenakis than Delius. Then again, I'm admittedly a sensualist and I turn to the arts for pleasure, not for shock and unsettling innovation.

    I've been listening to Sibelius recently... another great Late/Post-Romantic whose music was dismissed by the Modernists to such as extent as to reportedly have resulted in his near abandonment of composing or even talking about his music during his later life. Theodor Adorno suggested that if Sibelius is "good" this invalidates the standards of quality from Bach to Schoenberg, while the composer, theorist and conductor René Leibowitz went so far as to describe Sibelius as "the worst composer in the world" in the title of a 1955 pamphlet.

    Really?
    I'm a big fan of Schoenberg and like some Xenakis, but otherwise I am in complete agreement over Delius, well, and arts in general as a source of sensual pleasure instead of uncomfort. Delius wrote some very fine music indeed - and was a pioneer in fusing African American music and European classical music.


    As for Sibelius, I'm a huge fan - and not just because we're both Finns. I think you are wrong in thinking that the modernists were responsible for Sibelius's silence, though. He had health (and family) issues and needed to stop drinking alcohol, which had been for a very long time his medication for tremor. Additionally, he may have very well served his artistic goals in the last works as well as he ever would have.

    Regarding Sibelius's innovations, his handling of time and development, or rather non-development, and textures and harmony, his influence was crucial to Feldman, minimalists and spectralists (along with the French, of course). I recently dug a few relevant passages from the Cambridge Companion to Sibelius and posted them in the relevant thread on another forum (where you are a member as well).


    I've listened to a good bit of Osmo Vänskä & Sinfonia Lahti recordings of Sibelius symphonies and tone poems lately, as well as Erich Hoeprich & Nachtmusique's recording of Mozart's Gran Partita. All first rate.

  13. #1513
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Star View Post
    I've listened to a good bit of Osmo Vänskä & Sinfonia Lahti recordings of Sibelius symphonies and tone poems lately, as well as Erich Hoeprich & Nachtmusique's recording of Mozart's Gran Partita. All first rate.
    I do not like Schoenberg's ludicrous attempt to create a new kind of music based on excessive use of modulated notes and/or chords as used with discretion by Wagne'. i.e twelve tone music. It was a dead-end leading nowhere because it abandoned the prerequisite of harmony.
    The Osmo Vänskä & Sinfonia Lahti recordings have received critical acclaim as Sibelius performances but I ask you to listen to the 1950 recording with the Boston Symphony of the 2nd symphony under Serge Koussevitsky, which, among my other recordings of the work, is the perfect example of maintaining the line from the beginning of the music's development to the most stunning finale that currently exists on record.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  14. #1514
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    The poet, Randall Jarrell, speaking on the limitations of Abstract Expressionism, suggested, "perhaps painting can do without the necessity of imitation, but can it do without the possibility of distortion?" This question seems apt when addressing Schoenberg and his heirs and "atonality". Dissonance brings to bear a powerful emotional impact when employed by Biber, Bach, Rebel, Mozart (the "Dissonance Quartet") Wagner, etc... as these passages stand out in powerful contrast to the tonality of the whole. In this sense it is like the expressive distortions of Michelangelo, Bronzino, Ingres, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, etc... which strike me as having far more potential than absolute abstraction.

    Again, there are exceptions. I like Berg's Lyric Suite... and a few other works. With few exceptions, Xenakis just irritates me. I far prefer Giacinto Scelsi or Tristan Murail... but then their works are very much "tonal"... or even "modal" like Medieval music:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H__4F3t4IxE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4EIx0XzPzg

    I'm also quite fond of Toru Takemitsu who builds more upon late Debussy (and even Brahms' chamber works) than Schoenberg:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjvkYQgFbL4

    Today I was listening to Furtwängler Conduct Richard Strauss & Bedrich Smetana:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-F42vkGuAc



    If only Furtwängler had lived a bit later and been able to take advantage of the improved recording technology. Nevertheless, this recording is marvelous.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  15. #1515
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    My "go to" for Sibelius is Barbirolli:



    ... but this Beecham recording is stunning!



    I must credit it with really turning me onto Sibelius.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

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