Author Topic: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968  (Read 17576 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2013, 03:04:43 PM »
The Leifs series on BIS:







The only one I don't own is the recording of the solo piano music, which is very expensive.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2013, 03:12:39 PM »
The earliest composition of Leifs' is Trilogia piccola, Op. 1 and this work already has his stylistic elements in place. A very primitive sounding work like many of his later compositions. This work was written in the early 1920s. I think, and, again, this is just a guess, that he worked long and hard to forge his own style before he was happy with any of it which means that he could have written music early on that he wasn't particularly proud of so threw the music in the garbage until he was satisfied. It should be noted that many of his works were never even premiered until after his death. I could be wrong and getting some dates messed up of course. This is why I need to go read through those BIS liner notes since there's not a lot of information on the composer's oeuvre.

Thank you for the feedback, John. I believe that Trilogia piccola is also featured on the cd with Geysir which I am planning to get, so I shall look forward to getting that.

I'd be interested in hearing all of those BIS recordings so hope to get them at some point! It's great that a lot of his music is on youtube, although I would love to hear those climaxes on proper sound systems! ;)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2013, 03:19:40 PM »
Thank you for the feedback, John. I believe that Trilogia piccola is also featured on the cd with Geysir which I am planning to get, so I shall look forward to getting that.

I'd be interested in hearing all of those BIS recordings so hope to get them at some point! It's great that a lot of his music is on youtube, although I would love to hear those climaxes on proper sound systems! ;)

No problem, Daniel. Yes, Triloga piccola is featured on the Geysir recording along with another early work Icelandic Folk Dances. The whole series as I have mentioned before is an essential acquisition for anyone who wants to explore a 20th Century composer with singular style and sound-world. All of those tone poems: Hekla, Dettifoss, Hafis, and Geysir should be required listening in a 20th Century course at universities, but, like as mentioned, his other music shouldn't be ignored either. That work I sent you Réminiscence du Nord (written for string orchestra) is as powerful and evocative as any of those large tone poems.

As always, enjoy the music!
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2013, 03:21:56 PM »
Thank you very much, John! Very excited to continue exploring his music! :)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2013, 03:48:25 PM »
Wait until you hear Baldr, Daniel. Described as a choreographic drama in two acts for tenor, chorus, organ, and large orchestra. There really isn't much singing at all and this has to be counted as some of the most brutal, primal music of the 20th Century. Le Sacre du Printemps and Miraculous Mandarin are walks in the park compared to Baldr.
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Offline Fafner

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2013, 04:11:36 PM »
I just listened to Hekla on BIS and I am definitely intrigued. I will give this Leifs guy a try. :)
I should certainly get a pair of better speakers though.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2013, 04:14:52 PM »
I just listened to Hekla on BIS and I am definitely intrigued. I will give this Leifs guy a try. :)
I should certainly get a pair of better speakers though.

Hekla is a great work. Do you own the Leifs BIS series? I bought mine all pretty much at the same time, but only recently have been able to acquire the Works for Voices and Orchestra and Edda recordings for a decent price.
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Offline Fafner

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2013, 04:23:34 PM »
Hekla is a great work. Do you own the Leifs BIS series? I bought mine all pretty much at the same time, but only recently have been able to acquire the Works for Voices and Orchestra and Edda recordings for a decent price.

I don't own any of the discs, but I have a Naxos streaming subscription and on top of the entire Naxos catalogue it also includes production of other small labels. BIS is just one out of many and they are adding more all the time.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2013, 04:26:07 PM »
I don't own any of the discs, but I have a Naxos streaming subscription and on top of the entire Naxos catalogue it also includes production of other small labels. BIS is just one out of many and they are adding more all the time.

That's definitely one advantage of having a paid subscription to NML. I'm still an old-fashioned collector and prefer CDs over anything streamed or downloaded.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2013, 04:27:28 PM »
By the way, Fafner, have you by chance been a member of any other online classical forum?
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Offline Fafner

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2013, 04:30:54 PM »
By the way, Fafner, have you by chance been a member of any other online classical forum?

Not really. I may have registered at Classical Music & Opera Forums some time ago, but I certainly was not active.
"Remember Fafner? Remember he built Valhalla? A giant? Well, he's a dragon now. Don't ask me why. Anyway, he's dead."
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2013, 04:32:42 PM »
Well, I'm certainly glad you're here on GMG. The only reason I asked if you had been a member of any other classical forum is because I used to be pretty good friends with someone in the Czech Republic on the TalkClassical forum.

GMG is a great forum and, though, I've certainly isolated myself from some of the people on this forum for one reason or another, there are many knowledgeable, friendly people here. I may clash with some of them from time to time, but that's going to happen anywhere you go. A person certainly can't 'play it safe' all the time.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 04:35:05 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Fafner

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2013, 04:47:53 PM »
That's definitely one advantage of having a paid subscription to NML. I'm still an old-fashioned collector and prefer CDs over anything streamed or downloaded.

I prefer physical CDs over streaming and downloads as well, but it is great to be able to sample a much wider spectrum of music before you really commit.
"Remember Fafner? Remember he built Valhalla? A giant? Well, he's a dragon now. Don't ask me why. Anyway, he's dead."
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2013, 04:52:06 PM »
I prefer physical CDs over streaming and downloads as well, but it is great to be able to sample a much wider spectrum of music before you really commit.

YouTube can be used for this as well. It will at least give you an idea of the music.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2013, 05:38:47 PM »
Getting back to Leifs, those that have heard Edda, what do you think about it? I sampled some of it on BIS' website before buying it and it sounded great. All of those Leifs' trademarks are there: the pounding rhythms, the icy silences which seem to evoke vast, desolate plains, and lots of Nordic rage.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:27:17 PM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2013, 06:50:39 PM »
I only have the quartets. So it seems I only have the quite Leifs.

John, you are costing me more money.


Again.


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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2013, 06:58:56 PM »
I only have the quartets. So it seems I only have the quite Leifs.

John, you are costing me more money.


Again.


I know, I know. I have done that to you as well.

Lol...:D

You'll really get a kick out of Leifs' orchestral works, Paul. Like I've said many posts back, his quieter, more intimate side is remarkable too (this includes many orchestral works outside of the SQs).
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Christo

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2013, 12:42:55 AM »
A few questions:

1. How did Leifs arrive at his compositional voice? It's so singular and unique.

2. Does anyone know where I could find a copy of the film Tears of Stone? I'm quite interested in watching this film.

3. Does anyone own the Chandos recording with Petri Sakari? Is it any good? I own all the BIS recordings, so I'm now looking at performances outside that stellar series.

Thanks.

Great to read your enthusiasm for a 'new' composer here popping up in a whole series of posts that really trigger us to explore him again.  ;) I didn't play his music for over ten years and missed the newer installments by BIS, but am at the moment listening to Fine II, representing his 'other' (thoughtful) style.

Re 2: I own the film in the (European) VCH format, but didn't like it at all; a melodrama that doesn't learn us much about the composer, IMHO.

Re 3: You know the answer, no doubt. :-) It's very good but no longer indispensable, since all five pieces have been recorded by BIS as well (I always lived with these version by Sakari and don't know how they compare, but Sakari is fine).
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2013, 08:45:46 AM »
Great to read your enthusiasm for a 'new' composer here popping up in a whole series of posts that really trigger us to explore him again.  ;) I didn't play his music for over ten years and missed the newer installments by BIS, but am at the moment listening to Fine II, representing his 'other' (thoughtful) style.

Re 2: I own the film in the (European) VCH format, but didn't like it at all; a melodrama that doesn't learn us much about the composer, IMHO.

Re 3: You know the answer, no doubt. :-) It's very good but no longer indispensable, since all five pieces have been recorded by BIS as well (I always lived with these version by Sakari and don't know how they compare, but Sakari is fine).

Thanks for the feedback, Christo! It's a shame Tears of Stone isn't a standard documentary about his life. That would have been much more interesting then simply watching a movie about his life with actors/actresses and so forth. That wouldn't appeal to me. I prefer factual information and from hearing from people that knew the man whether positive or negative. Leifs is a composer I've come to appreciate over a period of time. I didn't take to his idiom that quickly, but once I heard a variety of works from him, I had a newfound respect for the music. His music isn't all fire and brimstone, it has so much more going for it like those lamenting string works that reveal an inner sadness not heard through his more 'public' works. Good to see you've been listening to him again.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Tears of Stone: Jon Leifs 1899-1968
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2013, 11:04:41 AM »
Wait until you hear Baldr, Daniel. Described as a choreographic drama in two acts for tenor, chorus, organ, and large orchestra. There really isn't much singing at all and this has to be counted as some of the most brutal, primal music of the 20th Century. Le Sacre du Printemps and Miraculous Mandarin are walks in the park compared to Baldr.

:o Is that really possible? ;)  This is a work I will have to hear!! :D
Will hope to listen to some more Leifs this evening. :)
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