Author Topic: The Roger Sessions  (Read 10082 times)

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Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2013, 06:50:47 PM »
Piano Concerto

We all know this piece by way of a classic old NewWorld recording. Being on a Sessions roll, I pulled it out today.

My what a delicate piece. It's like Schoenberg's in its chamber-like quality, but the melody and rhythm have been totally liberated from the older forms. The piece is quite transparent, and has an almost magical garden feel to it (though, it's by no means Szymanowski!). It begins with the classic Sessions 'rocking' motion that I love so much, and grows fairly organically. One is drawn to its complexity, and follows the argument fairly easily. Melody has been most turned into dramatic gesture, percolating bubbles from the piano, dramatic shards tossed of only to wilt into the tapestry.

I might have to rate this my single favorite PC of the War Generation.
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2013, 08:51:42 AM »
I'm not going to let you ignore Sessions, haha! :laugh:
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2013, 04:22:12 AM »
Thanks for the nudge.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #43 on: May 23, 2013, 04:45:25 AM »
Piano Concerto

We all know this piece by way of a classic old NewWorld recording.

There's also a recording led by Jimmy (same soloist, Robert Taub), which ought to be better still. Agreed, an outstanding piece!

On its strength, I've run not walked to download the Symphonies nos. 6, 7 & 9.

Sorry to be late, but it's a heck of a party, innit?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2013, 06:23:08 AM »
There's also a recording led by Jimmy (same soloist, Robert Taub), which ought to be better still. Agreed, an outstanding piece!

On its strength, I've run not walked to download the Symphonies nos. 6, 7 & 9.

Sorry to be late, but it's a heck of a party, innit?


I just saw the Levine/Taub yesterday. Yes, lots of good stuff there. The PC IS a very delicate piece.

ALSO checked the samples for his Violin Concerto. WoW!, it's quite something beautiful. I'd go with Zukofsky.
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Sean

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2013, 09:12:22 AM »
Sessions is American swagger and spirit added to serial fecklessness.

Not to be too dampening guys but he's another talent as going back to Schoenberg signing up with the wrong crowd.

Best, Sean

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2013, 09:17:01 AM »
I just saw the Levine/Taub yesterday. Yes, lots of good stuff there. The PC IS a very delicate piece.

ALSO checked the samples for his Violin Concerto. WoW!, it's quite something beautiful. I'd go with Zukofsky.

When you're right, you're right. Nice to see Gunther Schuller on his game!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Octave

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2013, 09:17:46 AM »
Sessions is American swagger and spirit added to serial fecklessness.

Sign me up!
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2013, 09:22:26 AM »
And the low-fi YouTube edition:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/HZwndZGzTPM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/HZwndZGzTPM</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2013, 09:38:03 AM »
I love little bits like, the five notes of an ascending minor scale in the unison brasses at 06:19
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2013, 10:00:37 AM »
I'd officially call the Vn Cto a keeper, what do you say, snypsss?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2013, 11:15:35 AM »
A little trippy, isn't it, that both Ives and Sessions studied with Horatio Parker?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2013, 01:34:50 PM »
I'd officially call the Vn Cto a keeper, what do you say, snypsss?

Yea, I'm listening, and, EVERYBODY should love this one. Stack it up against Prokofiev, Bartok, Berg, Shosty, etc.,... not to mention Barber,... I mean, this thing is American Gothic! Not quite the intensity of Ruggles, which is good! Yea, the bell needs to be rung on this one. The 1st String Quartet is also wonderfully dark (you have that old Koch disc?).

If you hate Sessions, try the Violin Concerto.


I had the Argo disc (6, 7, & 9) in the car today. One of the Amazon Reviewers wasn't too kind to this performance, but, I'm not gonna hear it. I concentrated on 6: there are some felicitous moments of orchestration that reveal Sessions's ear for detail. This Argo disc is a monster!

I also listened to the slow movement of No.3 (CRI). You have this one Karl? No.3 is really a huge Symphony, very well balanced. It also has some of the American Gothic (which I think Sessions lost in the '60s). Sessions's 3rd ranks up there with me.

I might need to pull the Piano Sonatas next...
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2013, 02:14:59 PM »
Getting ready to take the Concerto for Orchestra (Hyperion) for a spin.
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Offline lescamil

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2013, 03:18:09 PM »
Getting ready to take the Concerto for Orchestra (Hyperion) for a spin.

The Panufnik Sinfonia Votiva is well worth your time as well! It makes for a nice breath of fresh air after the Sessions.
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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2013, 12:01:13 AM »
Snyprrr, the Concerto for orchestra is a memorable work in its own way, as indeed with much of Session's stirring output; however its logic's been rightly described as easier to sense than follow, ie intellectually manufactured rather than tonally intuitive. No bun fights though- it's very nice to know someone into this repertory.

By the way Naxos has a recording of the Divertimento- d'you know without me researching how significant a work it is, if I find time to invest for it?

Getting ready to take the Concerto for Orchestra (Hyperion) for a spin.


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2013, 02:55:11 AM »
... By the way Naxos has a recording of the Divertimento- d'you know without me researching how significant a work it is, if I find time to invest for it?

Dude, just listen to it! ; )

I don't know how significant it is, but I listened to the first movement yesterday, and it is a piece I'll return to.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline snyprrr

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2013, 07:15:01 AM »
Snyprrr, the Concerto for orchestra is a memorable work in its own way, as indeed with much of Session's stirring output; however its logic's been rightly described as easier to sense than follow, ie intellectually manufactured rather than tonally intuitive. No bun fights though- it's very nice to know someone into this repertory.

By the way Naxos has a recording of the Divertimento- d'you know without me researching how significant a work it is, if I find time to invest for it?

That's the line from The Penguin Guide, isn't it?? I remember that, haha!!
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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2013, 11:51:03 AM »
Karl, indeed one should just listen- couldn't agree more; I guess I was just wondering if it's a particularly well thought of effort...

Snyprrr, yes that's right. I first bought the 1984 Penguin and still like the books.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Roger Sessions
« Reply #59 on: May 25, 2013, 07:29:10 AM »
Nor do I believe that easier to sense than follow maps onto intellectually manufactured rather than tonally intuitive. In fact, the phrase seems to me to suggest that the composer succeeded in creating music which the listener can perceive, without requiring the 'road map'.

snypsss, I do think the Vn Cto is more successful than the Schuman (and largely, I think the Schuman a fine, fine piece).
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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