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Thread: Classical Listening

  1. #1516
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    He was one of a long line of great conductors that seems to have ended with Karajan.

    Emil... you may be right with regard to the tradition of German/Italian/French and even Scandinavian composers of the Romantic, Post-Romantic/early Modern era... and I know this is your oeuvre. I would disagree with you when it comes to other oeuvre. Jordi Savall, John Eliot Gardiner, Rene Jacobs, William Christie, Harry Christophers, Masaki Suzuki, Marc Minkowski, Valery Gergiev, etc... all all equally brilliant conductors specializing more in the realm of Baroque and "Early Music", the Classical Era, and in the instance of Gergiev, Russian music... especially Russian opera. These are all areas where Karajan, Furtwangler, etc... were not necessarily the strongest.
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  2. #1517
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    There aren't enough great English language songs in classical music. I envy Italian and Germans that they can hear so much great music in their native language. Diggin' this tune by Purcell lately (Sound the Trumpet).



    Also, this might straddle the line between popular and classical, but I've been listening to this song by the Jacobean minstrel Philip Rosseter "When Laura Smiles."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svN6RCDtSCk

    Rosseter was somewhat popular in his own day, but would probably be forgotten if he weren't the best friend of Thomas Campion. I didn't know that Campion's poems were meant to be played with a lute and he was trying to do some sort of merger of music and poetry like Pound did centuries later. Anyway, Rosseter helped him set tunes to his poetry, published with him, and when Campion died he was the sole beneficiary of Campion's estate. Here's what Campion's songs sound like:

    "Shall I Come, Sweet Love, To Thee"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKClQ-Kevjg

    It reminds me of that other great English language poet Robert Burns who wrote several hundred popular songs. Everyone has heard "Auld Lang Syne" sung at New Years, but have you heard "A Man's A Man For A' That"?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ZraF0AYKg
    Last edited by mortalterror; 08-03-2015 at 12:12 AM.
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  3. #1518
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    He was one of a long line of great conductors that seems to have ended with Karajan.

    Emil... you may be right with regard to the tradition of German/Italian/French and even Scandinavian composers of the Romantic, Post-Romantic/early Modern era... and I know this is your oeuvre. I would disagree with you when it comes to other oeuvre. Jordi Savall, John Eliot Gardiner, Rene Jacobs, William Christie, Harry Christophers, Masaki Suzuki, Marc Minkowski, Valery Gergiev, etc... all all equally brilliant conductors specializing more in the realm of Baroque and "Early Music", the Classical Era, and in the instance of Gergiev, Russian music... especially Russian opera. These are all areas where Karajan, Furtwangler, etc... were not necessarily the strongest.
    Point taken. I agree that there are other conductors working in fields that require a different technique to those schooled in music of the period you have mentioned. I would, however, disagree with the view that Russian music might not be conducive to great performances by conductors who traditionally are thought of as belonging to the Germanic school of romantic and post-romantic composition. Mengelberg's 1929 recording of Tchaikovsky's 4th with the Concertgebouw is as stunning as one could possibly wish for.
    "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.

  4. #1519
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Of course you are right about performances of Russian Music. That's why I stressed opera. A good many of Gergiev's finest recordings are of Russian operas that have been long ignored of underrated: Rimsky-Korsakov's, Prokofiev's, Shostakovitch', etc... Beyond Mengelberg there was also Kiril Kondrashin, Evgeny Mravinsky, Igor Markevitch, and one would have to include Von Karajan considering his recordings of Tchaikovsky's symphonies. Then you have Bernstein, Robert Craft, Pierre Monteux, Ernest Ansermet, etc... as master conductors of Stravinsky.
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  5. #1520
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    For English-Language songs check out Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Ned Rorem, Jake Heggie, Charles Ives, and many English composers: give a listen to Ian Bostridge' The English Songbook for a good introduction. Is the oeuvre of English classical song equal to that of the Austro-Germans? Of course not. But perhaps only the French come close.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  6. #1521
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Rattle & Bostridge's Britten orchestral song recording is a beauty, as well.

  7. #1522
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Of course you are right about performances of Russian Music. That's why I stressed opera. A good many of Gergiev's finest recordings are of Russian operas that have been long ignored of underrated: Rimsky-Korsakov's, Prokofiev's, Shostakovitch', etc... Beyond Mengelberg there was also Kiril Kondrashin, Evgeny Mravinsky, Igor Markevitch, and one would have to include Von Karajan considering his recordings of Tchaikovsky's symphonies. Then you have Bernstein, Robert Craft, Pierre Monteux, Ernest Ansermet, etc... as master conductors of Stravinsky.
    Yes we are privileged to have recordings of the great conductors of Russian music but, as great as they are, the acid test comes in actual performance. I was fortunate to see Mravinsky conduct the Leningrad Philharmonic at a red carpet concert in London many years ago: the Albert Hall actually shook with the fortissimo passages in Tchaikovsky's 4th in a performance never to be forgotten.
    "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. #1523
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    What about Bach? Magnificent beauty... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lNyKPV65t4o

  9. #1524
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Bach and Fabio Biondi. Great pairing. Biondi is one of the current Baroque maestros.

    I'm currently listening to Stravinsky's Firebird with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic on BIS:



    This is a marvelous recording... and as always BIS' sound quality is absolutely stunning.
    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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  10. #1525
    Wow that sounds interesting, will try to have a look at that stlukes.

    Just listening to an old favourite:

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

    Mozart Piano Concerto 23, which reminded me to check in on here and this thread in particular!

    All the best, Neely.

  11. #1526
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Some recent listening

    ]








  12. #1527
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I took that Lutosławski disc to my studio this afternoon. Unfortunately, I didn't get to listen to it... or much else... due to noise from the neighbors.

    Right now I've returned home to Bach... Karl Münchinger's good "old school" recordings of the choral works.



    Listening to the Mass in B-minor right now. I usually lean toward the "Historically Informed Performances" (HIP) but this recording is something else: a wall of sound... massed strings... massed voices... all gorgeous!
    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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  13. #1528
    Registered User North Star's Avatar
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    Noisy neighbors are a pain. A homecoming of sorts for me as well, as I plan to revisit all the Beethoven sonatas from François-Frederic Guy's cycle.


  14. #1529
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    This 20th century masterpiece never fails to impress. I am, of course, referring to the concerto.


    https://youtu.be/_HM19vEelDw
    "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.

  15. #1530
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Why did I know Yuja Wang would make an appearance here?

    I spent today listening to Haydn:



    Haydn is one of those great composers that are underrated due to living in the shadow of a larger genius (Mozart... and later Beethoven). The man literally solidified the common form of the symphony, composing 104 of them... including endless brilliant examples. He is the acknowledged father of the string quartet and one of the greatest practitioners of the piano sonata. This, combined with his choral music, places him near the top of the classical pantheon.

    Currently listening to the "Theresienmesse" (Mass for Empress Maria Theresa) performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was an admitted Modernist/Romantic. He was a masterful conductor of Mahler, Beethoven, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Shostakovich, Schubert... and of course, his own music as well. I would have never picked him as a great conductor of Haydn had it not been for a number of recommendations from trusted members at the musical site that Brian and I frequent. At the time, I believe, I got this 12 disc box set for a ridiculous price... something like $20 US. It is easily worth 3 times that much or more. These recordings are among my favorite of Haydn's music.

    After the "Theresienmesse" I popped in disc 6: Symphonies 100, 102 & 104 from the "London Symphonies". Again... marvelous stuff beautifully performed.
    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
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