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Author Topic: I Hear A Symphony: A "classical" music topic?  (Read 7465 times)
JK
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« Reply #100 on: January 06, 2017, 11:52:42 AM »

Another death, I'm afraid. On the positive side, the conductor Georges PrÍtre reached the ripe old age of 92. Although it seems he was best known for his interpretations of opera, I have a wonderful LP of orchestral music by Debussy under his baton.

Here's the maestro together with another legend, the soprano Victoria de los Ńngeles, in a 1963 performance of "L'invitation au voyage" by Henri Duparc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1yEoHjkV1k

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_PrÍtre

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_de_los_Ńngeles
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« Reply #101 on: January 09, 2017, 01:02:45 AM »

It's that day again (although it seems Shostakovich was in fact depicting the Soviet Union's brutal suppression of the then recent Hungarian Uprising):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EqjseZX4vM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._11_(Shostakovich)
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« Reply #102 on: February 21, 2017, 03:19:28 AM »

Maxim Shostakovich conducted us in his father Dmitri's The Execution of Stepan Razin, a wild and wonderful piece with a surprising, macabre ending.

This version under Kondrashin may well be the definitive recording. I discovered it a week or so ago.

Spine-tingling stuff. Vitali Gromadsky's bass is out of this world!  

https://youtu.be/H0wSxjy3Kyo
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« Reply #103 on: February 21, 2017, 06:13:25 PM »

Thank you for posting the link.
Stepan Razin is incredible. Love the wacky ending when his severed head starts laughing!  LOL
I remember Maxim S talking to us. There was a little section after the execution where the chorus sings that people should dance. This is followed by jolly music. This was confusing to me. Maxim S explained that the soldiers/police had guns pointed at the crowd: "Dance or die." His explaining things to us really made the piece come alive.

When Maxim S returned for another season as Music Director, there were t-shirts made available that said "Max is back!" Wish I had gotten one of them. There was a gala for the Symphony, and the folk ensemble that I was in performed. Got so nervous when I and a couple of other singers/musicians stood right in front of him and sang a couple of Russian folk songs. Kept thinking, "please don't screw up the pronunciation too much!" He smiled at us and nodded - did he like the songs (did he understand  the words) or was he just being polite? Anyway, everything I saw about him indicated that he was a Class Act.
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« Reply #104 on: February 21, 2017, 07:10:38 PM »

It's that day again (although it seems Shostakovich was in fact depicting the Soviet Union's brutal suppression of the then recent Hungarian Uprising):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EqjseZX4vM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._11_(Shostakovich)


Very powerful and moving. The buildup, then all of a sudden, quiet.
Interesting that he was depicting the Hungarian uprising. Even in the post-Stalin era he had to be very careful.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 07:11:31 PM by NOLA BB Fan » Logged

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« Reply #105 on: February 22, 2017, 04:11:37 AM »

When Maxim S returned for another season as Music Director, there were t-shirts made available that said "Max is back!" Wish I had gotten one of them. There was a gala for the Symphony, and the folk ensemble that I was in performed. Got so nervous when I and a couple of other singers/musicians stood right in front of him and sang a couple of Russian folk songs. Kept thinking, "please don't screw up the pronunciation too much!" He smiled at us and nodded - did he like the songs (did he understand  the words) or was he just being polite? Anyway, everything I saw about him indicated that he was a Class Act.

I'm hoping he'll pay our concert hall another visit sometime. This time I'll have the score of his father's Fourth Symphony with me, hopefully for signing! There's a fantastic description of this wayward masterpiece in Ian MacDonald's book The New Shostakovich
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« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2017, 10:19:18 AM »

Max Reger is hardly a household name, yet he wrote music that is eminently listenable. Perhaps his interest in academic musical forms, fugues and the like, make his music seem "difficult" or "dry", particularly when placed among that of his Late Romantic peers. His Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart should dispel that image:

https://youtu.be/-mVQxR9Ll9U

http://www.maxreger.org/max_reger_biography.html
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 10:28:21 AM by JK » Logged

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« Reply #107 on: February 27, 2017, 10:19:58 AM »

While I'm here, there is a wonderful Reger anecdote. One critic was persistently scathing in his reviews of Reger's music. On one occasion, the composer's response was:

"I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me."  LOL  
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 10:28:56 AM by JK » Logged

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« Reply #108 on: March 04, 2017, 02:26:14 PM »

The 2nd movement of Beethoven's ninth is music at it's best:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwIvS4yIThU
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« Reply #109 on: March 04, 2017, 03:17:11 PM »

I'm enough of an old hag to remember that second movement as the "Huntley-Brinkley theme" (US news program way back in the day)

Always thought it a bit funny when, at the 1:20 mark, Beethoven just stops it suddenly and decides to do it all again.

Great music!
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« Reply #110 on: March 04, 2017, 03:27:13 PM »

I'm hoping he'll pay our concert hall another visit sometime. This time I'll have the score of his father's Fourth Symphony with me, hopefully for signing! There's a fantastic description of this wayward masterpiece in Ian MacDonald's book The New Shostakovich

That book looks really interesting.

I'm presently reading a book about the Siege of Leningrad (which will take a while as the siege lasted a long time  Sad )
Then I'll read "Symphony for the City of the Dead - Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad."
Then will listen to his Symphony No 7 "Leningrad" written in honor of his beloved city.
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« Reply #111 on: March 06, 2017, 06:55:13 AM »

I'm presently reading a book about the Siege of Leningrad (which will take a while as the siege lasted a long time  Sad )
Then I'll read "Symphony for the City of the Dead - Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad."
Then will listen to his Symphony No 7 "Leningrad" written in honor of his beloved city.

Enjoy!

That monstrous mechanical advance by the German Army in the Leningrad reminds me of the faceless (and remorseless) Teutonic Knights in Alexander Nevsky, both in Eisenstein's visuals and in Prokofiev's music, where they're accompanied by a meaningless Latin chant:     

https://youtu.be/-x5grdx3g_8
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« Reply #112 on: March 06, 2017, 07:27:17 AM »

This is quite an earful: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau accompanied by none other than "our" Leonard Bernstein in "Um Mitternacht" from Mahler's RŁckert-Lieder:

https://youtu.be/h9661ev8-Qc

 
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« Reply #113 on: March 08, 2017, 02:50:54 AM »

Sticking with Herr Fischer-Dieskau, here he is in Schubert's unbeatable song cycle Winterreise accompanied by Alfred Brendel, another favourite of mine, who recently retired from performing.

I'm not sure whether this performance is definitive----it's certainly up there among the very best.

Ignore the orchestra tuning up at the onset----it's piano and voice only. Enjoy!
    
https://youtu.be/dfLGYDBVnYM
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 02:51:48 AM by JK » Logged

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