Author Topic: The Classical Chat Thread  (Read 210858 times)

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Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2009, 10:46:06 AM »
Bruce, as we have discussed before, Boreyko is returning for a guest conductor performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, for Shostakovich's 10th in the 2009/10 season.  I can't wait!  :)
JEALOUS! How much are plane tickets to Winnipeg these days?  :P

Offline Brewski

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2009, 10:56:58 AM »
AND...just looked at the rest of the program--excellent!

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Andrey Boreyko, conductor
Gwen Hoebig, violin

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

And actually the entire season is pretty impressive.  Mickelthwaite is offering some unusual programming, including a 7-night contemporary music festival in February, in addition to better-known fare like Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Haydn's The Creation.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2009, 11:00:34 AM »
Great program! Road-trip!

Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2009, 11:01:52 AM »
AND...just looked at the rest of the program--excellent!

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Andrey Boreyko, conductor
Gwen Hoebig, violin

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
Wow ... what day was this again?  ;D ;D

EDIT: Rice professor alert! Looks like Cho-Liang Lin is opening the WSO season with the Sibelius concerto in a really terrific program!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 11:04:14 AM by Brian »

Offline Brewski

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2009, 11:03:58 AM »
The concerts are Feb. 19 and 20.  We should have a "GMG Meet-Up!"  (And/or, storm Ray's house.  ;D)

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2009, 11:05:59 AM »
The concerts are Feb. 19 and 20.  We should have a "GMG Meet-Up!"  (And/or, storm Ray's house.  ;D)

--Bruce
Maybe I'll pilfer his Ormandy/Shostakovich CDs while we're there.  ;D

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2009, 11:06:46 AM »
While we're plying him with Stoli!  :D

Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2009, 11:09:21 AM »
Wow, Ray, the WSO season looks terrific. I'd happily go to just about every concert! And there's even a great kids' program narrated by Lemony Snicket, called "Who Killed the Composer?" in which every orchestra member is a suspect ... adorable!

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2009, 11:16:45 AM »
Had to be the second bassoonist!

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2009, 11:40:24 AM »
...One thing I've heard attributed to the 4th is that it's the closest to being Mahlerian.  I never really understood that.  In sheer length maybe?  It's not exactly hysterical like a Mahler symphony would be.  Is it in the harmony?  Or maybe a just a melody? ???
It's more in the overall construction and his methods of theme development.  The orchestra is actually very Mahlerian in size and proportion, and the first movement follows a Mahlerian version of sonta-allegro form.  Other Mahler-like touches include the third movement's opening funeral march and the bird calls from high clarinet and solo violin in the first movement.  Its ending is very like the ending of Das Lied von der Erde, even down to the celesta arpeggios.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2009, 02:09:27 PM »
Maybe I'll pilfer his Ormandy/Shostakovich CDs while we're there.  ;D

B, you'll have to wait until I pilfer the copy from the Library first.  ;D

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2009, 02:14:34 PM »
And actually the entire season is pretty impressive.  Mickelthwaite is offering some unusual programming, including a 7-night contemporary music festival in February, in addition to better-known fare like Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Haydn's The Creation.

--Bruce

The WSO's New Music Festival is popular, especially by some of the younger audience, which is a great thing!  Some of the music isn't necessarily "brand new" per se, but music that hasn't been performed in Winnipeg before (ie. Messaien's Turangilia Symphony last year).

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2009, 04:43:42 PM »
It's more in the overall construction and his methods of theme development.  The orchestra is actually very Mahlerian in size and proportion, and the first movement follows a Mahlerian version of sonta-allegro form.  Other Mahler-like touches include the third movement's opening funeral march and the bird calls from high clarinet and solo violin in the first movement.  Its ending is very like the ending of Das Lied von der Erde, even down to the celesta arpeggios.

Thanks for the insight, with that in mind I'll give the symphony a fresh listen! :)

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2009, 07:29:47 AM »
Well I'm not really into the Wuorinen (that I recently purchased).  SQ #2 is not bad, in fact I like the first movement, that goofy tune amused me and following it's transformation and splitting across the movement is pretty neat.  But that's still not a gut emotional reaction to the music.

I didn't know if it was an anti-contemporary music, not in the mood, my time of the month, I have a headache sort of reaction ;D so I popped in Carter string quartets, but that music was so powerful, tense, driven so I don't know.  But I feel like there is no tension in Wuorinen's music, nor is it really rhythmically driven.

How does one get into and enjoy the new music anyway?  I still can't help but think that it's my failing.  My listening gear needs to be recalibrated as Karl would say.

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2009, 12:43:07 PM »
I'm going to pull a Paulb and say that Wuorinen's music is growing on me, I'll take back what I said before.

Offline Brewski

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2009, 01:08:34 PM »
How does one get into and enjoy the new music anyway?  I still can't help but think that it's my failing.  My listening gear needs to be recalibrated as Karl would say.

Noticed your three posts on Wuorinen and Carter, and I'd offer one small friendly correction: replacing the word "failing" with something like "unfamiliarity with the language."  If you are exploring, to me that is hardly failing, it's just...exploring!

When I was baffled by Carter--and I've been a contemporary music fan for some 40 years--I decided to take just one piece and listen to it over and over.  To make the exercise easy, I chose a short one, Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux (1984) for flute and clarinet, just 4 minutes long.  I'd heard it live once, maybe twice, but just didn't get it.  So I listened to it once, twice, four times, ten times...and somehow, finally, it just "clicked."

There must be something in the brain that begins to make sense out of complex systems after awhile, if a listener a) is exposed to them in a healthy dose, and b) keeps an open mind to allow reactions to occur in whatever way they happen, without passing judgement.  (PS, I am reading a book chosen specifically because it may shed some light on this process, called Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation by David Huron.) 

Just your second reaction to the Wuorinen is, to me, a sign that something happened in your head that helped you make some sense out of the piece, even if you have no idea what that is at the moment.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2009, 05:16:03 PM »
Strangely, I have never actually heard any of Wuorinen's music.  I think I'm going to have to remedy that lack ASAP! ;D

My next score-study project: Mahler 6. :D I've read through the first movement and Scherzo.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2009, 05:31:01 PM »
That's good advise Bruce, I'm doing just that now (well earlier today and soon later this evening).  I've narrowed my focus to just SQ #2.  It's opening up more for me.  I guess I just got too cocky about feeling like I would warm up to a piece with one careful listen, this is not Clementi here! :D

Offline Brewski

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2009, 05:43:01 PM »
I guess I just got too cocky about feeling like I would warm up to a piece with one careful listen, this is not Clementi here! :D

Sometimes that happens--a piece strikes you immediately on first hearing, and it's good to be open to that possibility--but sometimes it takes more time.  I have yet to warm up to Milton Babbitt, although I'm cracking the code to a few of his pieces.  A composer friend helped me by drawing a diagram on a napkin: a square filled with dozens of squiggly lines.  He said, "You don't need to start at any specific point, just enter the square and the (musical) lines wherever you want."  Somehow that really helped.  It released me from having to experience Babbitt the same way he or anyone else did.  (Which of course, is really true for experiencing the work of any composer.)

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2009, 09:24:30 PM »
BEETHOVEN | Symphony No 7

Performed by whom, you might ask? Good question. First I did back-to-back movement-by-movement auditions of John Eliot Gardiner and Christopher Hogwood, first playing Gardiner's take on each movement and then Hogwood's. Kind of an interesting experience having everything repeated. Gardiner's performance is with a bigger band in much more "present" sound, but I found that, when I cranked the volume up for Hogwood, it did indeed reveal a more individual, colorfully period-instrument sound. The problem was that I also felt in Hogwood as if there was a rather rustic, rough-and-ready touch: the orchestral details that get highlighted often seem to be accidental, as if the horn player just spontaneously decided to pipe up or the oboes just felt like getting their spunk on for a minute. Gardiner's orchestra is a polished, professional group, no doubt about it. But I think my previous inclination toward Gardiner was not really a product of his life-force really so much as the fact that the recording doesn't require a volume jolt.

Now, however, I've put on a third recording of the Seventh. It is one I have championed here before, but since have gone several months without listening to it. The big question: was it anything as good as I remembered?

The answer is, unequivocally, yes. Thomas Dausgaard's recording with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra is a "HIP Hybrid" - olden stylings on modern instruments. And it is stunning. The funny thing about this recording is that after I listened to it once, back in March, it instantly adopted a mythical status in my brain. Since then I have returned each time with some skepticism, as if it can't be so, or I must have just been in a particular mood. Why the doubt? Not sure. This listen has been just as riveting as the prior ones: music-making that totally bankrupts my ability to throw adjectives at it. It is big, bold, driven, powerful, propulsive, intimate, chamber-like, immediate, it's in my room here with me; it's charming, stern, eternal, mortal, alive, fantastical, earthy, and, if I can use the word again, mythical. That's a soup of contradictions. But this performance is no soup of contradictions.

When I first posted about it here, I used a phrase that may have hinted at what I'm trying and failing spectacularly to say. Here it is: listening to this Dausgaard recording of the Beethoven Seventh, I really feel not merely as if I am listening to this music for the first time - but as if it is being played for the first time.

The timpani is pounding out the big drum rolls in the third movement trio right now. And now the bass' last line before the scherzo explodes back onto the scene - strictly in tempo. This music is alive. Wow.

DISCLAIMER: This was written after midnight, so it may contain fancies and flights of purple prose.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 09:27:10 PM by Brian »

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