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Author Topic: I Hear A Symphony: A "classical" music topic?  (Read 45835 times)
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« Reply #250 on: November 28, 2019, 02:35:00 AM »

Right now I couldn't name one composer I'm ambivalent about in all genres. It's something to ponder while I'm out walking the dog...

Nope, not one. I just got soaking wet--that may or may not be significant. Grin

Well that's Beethoven out of the way! LOL The next candidate beginning with a B might as well be Brahms. My favourite Brahms symphony is the autumnal #3, with #1 breathing heavily down its neck. Combine it with the Double Concerto and the Tragic Overture (linked below) and you have, to my mind, a perfect Brahms programme. (You might substitute the Alto Rhapsody for the concerto.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ixfKBIkz1U

JH, if you see this (and assuming you don't hate Brahms), perhaps you have a favourite interpreter of his Alto Rhapsody...
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« Reply #251 on: November 30, 2019, 06:59:55 AM »

These are my three B's these days. Brahms used to be one of them until Buxtehude muscled in on the scene:

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« Reply #252 on: November 30, 2019, 07:13:08 AM »

I don't hate Brahms, but he's another fellow I feel less than ardent feelings about.

Berg, I like.  Berlioz I usually very much enjoy.  Buxtehude and pretty much all the Bachs I love.  Byrd is glorious.  Bellini, yes.  Milton Babbitt: interesting to listen to once.  Bernstein: like him more as a conductor than a composer.  Sam Barber: yes please.

So many Bs!
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« Reply #253 on: November 30, 2019, 10:22:29 AM »

I don't hate Brahms, but he's another fellow I feel less than ardent feelings about.

Berg, I like.  Berlioz I usually very much enjoy.  Buxtehude and pretty much all the Bachs I love.  Byrd is glorious.  Bellini, yes.  Milton Babbitt: interesting to listen to once.  Bernstein: like him more as a conductor than a composer.  Sam Barber: yes please.

So many Bs!

There are indeed. I agree about Byrd. I've tried Babbitt--that's about the best I can say about him. Smokin

I don't know Bernstein that well as a composer. I love the overture to Candide and West Side Story is full of exciting music. But he's one of my favourite conductors. As for Barber, I recently heard a wonderful Violin Concerto and was delighted to find out it was his. Maybe you have some ideas about what else of his I should hear.
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« Reply #254 on: November 30, 2019, 02:44:26 PM »

I don't hate Brahms, but he's another fellow I feel less than ardent feelings about.

In fact all the B's are fellows! That will never do.

Luckily there is at least one great lady composer whose name fits the bill: Lilli Boulanger, who died tragically young at age 24.

This is D'un soir triste, a sumptuous if brooding work composed in the last year of her life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OERJAjoHRY



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lili_Boulanger
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« Reply #255 on: December 01, 2019, 04:15:56 AM »

Well, it's a bit early to be in the Christmas spirit, I suppose but two of Buxtehude's more adventy numbers are among my most treasured:

Das Neugeborne Kindelein

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRi8c1FO_PI


In Dulci Jubilo

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

Well, they're not out of season now. Wink
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« Reply #256 on: December 01, 2019, 10:20:05 AM »

I don't hate Brahms, but he's another fellow I feel less than ardent feelings about.

In fact all the B's are fellows! That will never do.

Luckily there is at least one great lady composer whose name fits the bill: Lilli Boulanger, who died tragically young at age 24.

This is D'un soir triste, a sumptuous if brooding work composed in the last year of her life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OERJAjoHRY



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




Amy Beach!
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« Reply #257 on: December 01, 2019, 10:22:25 AM »

Well, it's a bit early to be in the Christmas spirit, I suppose but two of Buxtehude's more adventy numbers are among my most treasured:

Das Neugeborne Kindelein

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRi8c1FO_PI


In Dulci Jubilo

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

Well, they're not out of season now. Wink


Yes, and a blessed Advent to all who await.
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« Reply #258 on: December 01, 2019, 02:51:36 PM »

I don't hate Brahms, but he's another fellow I feel less than ardent feelings about.

In fact all the B's are fellows! That will never do.

Luckily there is at least one great lady composer whose name fits the bill: Lilli Boulanger, who died tragically young at age 24.

Amy Beach!

Oh dear. Ms Beach is an American composer I'm even less familiar with than Mr. Barber. JH, I'd be most grateful if you could suggest a work (or two) of hers I should hear. Until then I'll stick with my European candidate.

More B's came to mind today...

You've mentioned Boulez as a conductor (I think I prefer him that way too). I own a couple of his compositions on vinyl from the days when I was into Messiaen's "difficult" work (e.g. Chronochromie, Sept haïkaï), namely Le Soleil des eaux and Le Marteau sans maître, which you're probably familiar with (I remember enjoying the explosion of gongs in the last movement).

Then there's Alexander Borodin, whose colourful orchestral work includes the exquisite miniature In the Steppes of Central Asia.

I finally "got" Benjamin Britten when "my" choir worked on his Hymn to St Cecilia. That paved the way for an appreciation of his stunning War Requiem.

Anton Bruckner wrote some great cathedral-like symphonies (I'm a big fan of the unfinished Ninth) as well as some gorgeous motets, such as this "Os Justi":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov-OAmpcRfw
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« Reply #259 on: December 03, 2019, 07:40:09 AM »

Here's the man of the moment, Nicolai Gedda, singing Britten's hallucinatory Serenade. I've posted it here in the wake of all those B's rather than in the opera or choral music threads.

JH, if you should see this: As a singer and as a Gedda fan, what do you make of the longer YouTube comment and more particularly the reply to it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxNqo4QcIu4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenade_for_Tenor,_Horn_and_Strings
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« Reply #260 on: December 04, 2019, 01:10:32 PM »

Here's the man of the moment, Nicolai Gedda, singing Britten's hallucinatory Serenade. I've posted it here in the wake of all those B's rather than in the opera or choral music threads.

JH, if you should see this: As a singer and as a Gedda fan, what do you make of the longer YouTube comment and more particularly the reply to it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxNqo4QcIu4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenade_for_Tenor,_Horn_and_Strings

Interesting.  I guess, English can be a tricky language to sing in even for English speakers.  I really don't love opera in English in general; my mother tongue just seems to much of a big, clumsy hippo for song. 

I think Gedda does pretty much fine!  But I understand the comment-replier's sense of something ineffable lacking from his reading.
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« Reply #261 on: December 05, 2019, 12:46:21 PM »

Interesting.  I guess, English can be a tricky language to sing in even for English speakers.  I really don't love opera in English in general; my mother tongue just seems too much of a big, clumsy hippo for song. 

I've been laughing about that last remark of yours all day. I'm not sure if I agree, but I am sure I'm no fan of operas being translated into languages other than the one they were written in.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'd say Britten and Purcell are the main British operatic composers that use English libretti, unless you count the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. Peter Grimes is pretty gripping, what I've heard of it, but I've ventured no further into Britten's operas.

Quote
I think Gedda does pretty much fine!  But I understand the comment-replier's sense of something ineffable lacking from his reading.

I dug out this interview with Gedda about Italian technique...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-xJpWOzF0A

...in which he speaks of a Russian singer, Paola Novikova, who as a very young girl worked with the Italian baritone Mattia Battistini, here singing a Bellini aria you can probably dream:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFDk21a7gmw

Strange--I never thought I'd ever find myself in this part of the musical world. Ironically, my father had a keen interest in singers of a bygone age...
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« Reply #262 on: December 09, 2019, 04:48:15 AM »

Still with the B's...

This is my latest Bach discovery, The Well-Tempered Clavier (book one) played by Pierre Hantaï, a harpsichordist recommended to me by JH, for which many thanks!

It's probably a combination of PH's touch and the instrument he's playing but the sheer sound of this recording is stunning. And I find myself actually listening to what Bach is doing!! I couldn't have envisaged that happening a month ago. Smokin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0ufknMW0FI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well-Tempered_Clavier
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« Reply #263 on: December 10, 2019, 01:43:21 AM »

[Buxtehude and] pretty much all the Bachs I love.

This is where I'm completely at sea. To me they've always just been the sons of... that fellow. LOL

Next time you look in, JH, perhaps you can point me at a son or two (and maybe a work or two). I'd be most grateful, as I have absolutely no idea where to start!!
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« Reply #264 on: December 10, 2019, 12:11:22 PM »

[Buxtehude and] pretty much all the Bachs I love.

This is where I'm completely at sea. To me they've always just been the sons of... that fellow. LOL

Next time you look in, JH, perhaps you can point me at a son or two (and maybe a work or two). I'd be most grateful, as I have absolutely no idea where to start!!

Well I'll tell you what my gateway to C.P.E. was:

The third movement of his Cello ( slash flute slash keyboard ) Concerto in A major:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1r3HQmi4Kw

Twas that very recording, too.  The "head" is so playful!  I heard it on some sort of radio situation and immediately had to have it forever.
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« Reply #265 on: December 10, 2019, 01:12:08 PM »

Well I'll tell you what my gateway to C.P.E. was:

The third movement of his Cello ( slash flute slash keyboard ) Concerto in A major:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1r3HQmi4Kw

Twas that very recording, too.  The "head" is so playful!  I heard it on some sort of radio situation and immediately had to have it forever.

Thank you! That movement was a theme tune on Dutch TV! I've located the two previous movements of that recording and will play all three in succession.

(That is, once my head has settled down after what I've just heard in the "General On-Topic Discussions"--chills-down-the-spinesville!)
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« Reply #266 on: December 12, 2019, 04:06:05 AM »

Well I'll tell you what my gateway to C.P.E. was:

The third movement of his Cello ( slash flute slash keyboard ) Concerto in A major:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1r3HQmi4Kw

Twas that very recording, too.  The "head" is so playful!  I heard it on some sort of radio situation and immediately had to have it forever.

It's a lovely work all the way through! And reading up on young CPE I noticed that he arguably wrote the very first symphonies--arguably, as there is only one middle movement. Would you agree?

These are his four Orchester-Sinfonien mit zwölf obligaten Stimmen (and wonderful they are too): 

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

And... I checked out Amy Beach and noted she'd written a Gaelic Symphony. Aha! I'm big on symphonies (largely because they're great to get lost in, probably not the best of criteria for liking them) but I get the impression you're not a fan (thinking of poor Beethoven and Brahms!). 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-o2eciYbpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic_Symphony
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« Reply #267 on: December 16, 2019, 01:52:30 AM »

Berg, I like.  Berlioz I usually very much enjoy.  Buxtehude and pretty much all the Bachs I love.  Byrd is glorious.  Bellini, yes.  Milton Babbitt: interesting to listen to once.  Bernstein: like him more as a conductor than a composer.  Sam Barber: yes please.

So many Bs!

And here's one more B who somehow got lost in the shuffle. I became familiar with Bartók's pantomime/ballet The Miraculous Mandarin through the Suite conducted by Antal Dorati back in '53 (I bought it in '66). Here's another big B conducting it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhr_QJGzLjg
 
The lurid plot suits Bartók's most barbaric score perfectly (see the wiki page). The quarter-tone passage in the solo cello at 22:27 represents the mandarin poking his head out from under the cushion with which the villains desperately try to smother him. (Like Rasputin, the mandarin refuses to die!) Another dramatic moment is at 26:46 when the choir joins in wordlessly. The mandarin has been hanged (in vain!) and starts to glow eerily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miraculous_Mandarin
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« Reply #268 on: December 18, 2019, 02:15:52 PM »

How I never got to hear this suite years ago I do not know--unless I was put off by the opera connection.

This is super! Strauss could write magnificently for the French horn. (Ah, I see his father was the principal horn player at the Court Opera in Munich.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yXvoJEOpCc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Rosenkavalier
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« Reply #269 on: December 20, 2019, 10:03:17 AM »

Elgar originally intended Sospiri to be a companion piece for the lightweight Salut d'Amour. As it happened, the new piece for string orchestra, harp (with piano as an option) and harmonium (with organ as an option, although neither seem to have been used in recordings) was simply too dark and brooding. And this was 1914. The dedicatee was Elgar's great friend W.H. "Billy" Reed.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ5-jyoBX2I



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Henry_Reed
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« Reply #270 on: December 27, 2019, 02:12:05 PM »

This aria, "Tief gebückt und voller Reue", from Bach's cantata Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, is the most recent in a long line of wonderful musical discoveries I've made (with much help) over the past couple of months. It is sung here by Magdalena Kožena:     

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gke8B778jA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mein_Herze_schwimmt_im_Blut,_BWV_199
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« Reply #271 on: December 30, 2019, 12:28:27 PM »

Yesterday they telecast a compilation of the best from this year's performances on a cool Dutch classical TV show. To my great joy it included a version sung by Dutch counter-tenor Maarten Engeltjes of Dieterich Buxtehude's Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfarth (Departure enriched by Peace and Joy), BuxWV 76.

The irony is that at the time of the original telecast in October I must have thought "Oh no! Not more xoxoxoxox Baroque!!"  LOL

This is for JH, who has so much to answer for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3rX1kH3d5U0
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« Reply #272 on: January 01, 2020, 04:36:09 AM »

I see harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï played a concert in NL in September. I only learned of his existence two months ago, at a time when my musical landscape changed totally. He's my main man now where JSB's keyboard music is concerned. Here he is performing (in two parts) Bach's English Suite No.2 (BWV 807). I see he has just one Paris gig lined up for now--hopefully he'll get back to the land of tulips, windmills and wooden shoes before too long. Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw3PNMJo3BM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw7x4Te1bJY
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« Reply #273 on: January 03, 2020, 06:16:22 AM »

The British soprano Lucy Crowe will be starring in Handel's Rodelinda shortly in my neck of the woods. I won't be going, awful stick-in-the-mud that I am.

Instead, I'll link this video of her singing (with Elizabeth Watts) "Jerusalem" from the third of Couperin's three Leçons de ténèbres pour le mercredi saint for two high voices and basso continuo. The three "readings" together take something like three quarters of an hour to perform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azn6AASjX1c

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leçons_de_ténèbres_(Couperin)
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« Reply #274 on: January 04, 2020, 05:00:07 AM »

Back in the mid '70s I used to work in the Amsterdam docks (this was before I learnt Dutch and could get something better). Of course it meant I was fit for nothing in the evenings. I remember being taken one evening to a harpsichord concert by Jaap Spigt. All I can recall is seeing his cherubic face as he bowed after each piece--the rest of the time I was asleep. LOL

This home video was probably made not long before his death in 1999. May he rest in peace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz-T_9v_gUU

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