Author Topic: The Classical Chat Thread  (Read 188715 times)

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Elgarian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2009, 12:31:06 AM »
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.

That's a perfect description of how I felt when I listened to Immerseel's 5th a couple of days ago.

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2009, 05:43:13 AM »
BEETHOVEN | Symphony No 7 [....]

Outstanding contribution, Brian!

The Seventh was an instant favorite . . . and then, from time to time I would hear a recording broadcast on the radio, and I'd think, How can they suck all the juice out of this great piece, like that?

Incidentally, I am a little nonplussed at all the love the Fifth is not getting these days . . . but it's another piece I have an ineradicable sentimental attachment to;  first I knew of it was not the ta-ta-ta-TAA 'Fate' bit, but—curiously—the last movement, which we played in transcription in my junior high band (heavily edited, it must have been, of course).  So the Opus 67 has always been joy and energy, to me.

The other (much later) sentimental tie to the Fifth is:

At Wooster, each year we had an end-of-year drop-the-needle test (somewhere, I may possibly still have the run-down of the required listening for each year . . . essentially, a list of "what pieces from the literature would it be a complete embarrassment to send a music graduate out into the world, without his familiarization?").  Needless to say, we music majors in general (and we hot music jocks in particular) couldn't be bothered to do any more than 'remedial' listening to the list (you see Mendelssohn's 'Italian', and you check it right off, e.g.)

For the test, you were played a minute (I think) of each, and you were asked to identify (1) piece, (2) composer, (3) genre, and (4) period.  And if recollection serves, if you correctly identified genre and period for all ten, and perhaps piece and/or composer for at least half, you passed (reasonably easy threshold, which was another reason not to invest more time than strictly necessary in the listening lab).  Nonetheless, as easy as a 'pass' would be to earn, there was a geeky contingent among us who would scorn any of the others who missed a piece ident (all in fun).

The list for Freshman year was especially cake-ish, so my buddy (fellow composition student) Wayne and I probably did next to zero listening;  and true to expectations, as we sat down to the test, piece by piece went by which were an effortless breeze to identify.

Except one.  It was slow and quiet, nothing stood out as a telltale identifier.  Wayne and I glanced at one another, we were each puzzled.  Then there was a crescendo, and the teacher pulled off the needle just before the big chord at the downbeat—and both Wayne's pencil and mine sprang to the page in at-last-knowledgeable relief.  For that chord that we just missed hearing, we both knew for the fortissimo C major chord at the start of the fourth movement of the Beethoven Fifth.

And we both really enjoyed the teacher's coy tricksiness in playing such an obscure passage from such an obviously well-known work.

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2009, 08:08:21 AM »
The answer is, unequivocally, yes. Thomas Dausgaard's recording with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra

The entire cycle sounds (reads rather, I haven't heard any of it) great. Most of the discs are rated 10/10 at the Hurwitzer's place. But this slight slight has me worried (because I love the horn):

The horns, so important in this music, are not so forward as they are in recordings by Wand, Bernstein, and Barenboim (and this tells at the end of the first movement), but you do hear them play entire tunes (including the first movement's main theme) when they get them, not just "highlights", as with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan or Abbado.

So, Brian, are the horns really that backward in the mix (I'm a huge fan of Barenboim's recording)? Something I should worry about?

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2009, 08:48:52 AM »
Incidentally, I am a little nonplussed at all the love the Fifth is not getting these days . . .

Overexposure? Familiarity breeds contempt? I know when I want to hear a Beethoven symphony I'm more likely to play 2, 4 or 8 rather than 5, 6, 7, 9. I can still enjoy them but seldom feel the need to listen: maybe I've heard them once too often? Especially the Fifth, which is drilled into all our heads from infancy  ;D  The Eroica never grows old, though...perhaps because that was the one symphony I struggled with for so long.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2009, 08:51:49 AM »
Overexposure? Familiarity breeds contempt?

Bet you're right there, Sarge.  Happily, the Opus 67 is fiery enough, that it's one piece WCRB (the soundtrack to dentists' waiting rooms in Boston) never overplays  8)

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2009, 08:54:33 AM »
Happily, the Opus 67 is fiery enough, that it's one piece WCRB (the soundtrack to dentists' waiting rooms in Boston) never overplays  8)

 ;D :D ;D

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2009, 12:42:59 PM »
The entire cycle sounds (reads rather, I haven't heard any of it) great. Most of the discs are rated 10/10 at the Hurwitzer's place. But this slight slight has me worried (because I love the horn):

The horns, so important in this music, are not so forward as they are in recordings by Wand, Bernstein, and Barenboim (and this tells at the end of the first movement), but you do hear them play entire tunes (including the first movement's main theme) when they get them, not just "highlights", as with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan or Abbado.

So, Brian, are the horns really that backward in the mix (I'm a huge fan of Barenboim's recording)? Something I should worry about?

Sarge
Ah, good, an excuse to listen again.  ;D

The horns sound like they're in the back, to be sure, but they're also dead center in the 'sound picture'. This is a chamber orchestra, and really their part, like everyone else's, is crystal clear - one feels like, with this size ensemble and this recording, one can hear everything. Just putting on Barenboim for comparison - the big capping horn call at the very end of the movement is definitely more of a standout on Barenboim's, but that's really about it.

For what it's worth, Barenboim is a favorite of mine too. Absolutely love his cycle - would have to take both Barenboim and a HIPster to my desert island, though.  8)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 12:47:54 PM by Brian »

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2009, 04:00:44 AM »
Well I made my way through the box set of Handel's orchestral works performed by Pinnock and the English Concert in record time, about a week.  Every morning I ended up starting it with one of the cds in the set.  It was an inexpensive way to hear some great works again.  The set is mostly concerned with Handel's Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and the Op 6 Concertos.  Some might disagree, but I feel that they are great works even if are not at the same level of sheer artistry exemplified in Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, and they don't have the light, rhythmic drive of Vivaldi's numerous concertos.  It was wonderful to reacquaint myself with these exceptional works of Handel.

But, the thing is that the performances disappoint.  Whenever a beautiful melody presents itself the phrasing is just screwed up.  It's played through emphasizing the wrong elements, and then it just falls apart.  It's as if Pinnock is attempting to force Handel to have that same sprightliness that Vivaldi has, but he goes about it all wrong.  Now Handel can sound lively yet still retain that beautiful, austere sound.  I've heard it in Manze.  I've heard it in other recordings as well.  I just don't think that the Pinnock set has the magic. 


Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #48 on: July 28, 2009, 12:31:48 AM »
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.

      This is interesting, because I've been reading a textbook recently, and one of the aspects of classical era composers it touches on is the size of the orchestra, and especially how they enjoyed it when they had a larger orchestra than usual. Mozart, for example, once wrote home about how thrilled he was when there were twenty first violins, and double wind parts at a particular performance of his. While composers certainly expected their music to be played by smaller ensembles, I question whether or not they wrote specifically with a chamber sound in mind, and whether that affects balance and subtle color issues as much as people think, given anecdotes like the one above Yet most conductors today go for a reduced orchestration in Mozart and Beethoven, even when they have the forces available to put on a big performance.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 12:35:48 AM by Dana »

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2009, 12:38:13 AM »
      Listened to Brahms Clarinet Quintet by the Borodin Quartet and Mozgovenko last night. I never used to play favorites, but after two years of knowing this work, I gotta say that if I could only listen to one work of music for the rest of my life on continuous loop, this would be it, especially the 2nd and 4th movements. I wonder if this work (especially the ending) is a result of Brahms' relationship with Clara Schumann?

secondwind

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2009, 02:35:17 AM »
The Brahms Quintet is a ravishingly beautiful work.  (Of course, as a clarinetist, I'm a little biased. ;))  What do you think of this particular rendition?

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2009, 04:20:31 AM »
     Listened to Brahms Clarinet Quintet by the Borodin Quartet and Mozgovenko last night. I never used to play favorites, but after two years of knowing this work, I gotta say that if I could only listen to one work of music for the rest of my life on continuous loop, this would be it, especially the 2nd and 4th movements.

Great.....thanks a lot Dana.  Now I have to listen to the Clarinet Quintet today.  ;D  I brought it along with me at work when I read your post this morning.  :)

Performance:  Amadeus Qt w/ Karl Leister, clarinet

BTW - the four late clarinet works by Brahms are all beautiful, wonderful works (Trio and two sonatas).
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 04:23:50 AM by ChamberNut »

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2009, 05:22:21 AM »
Chambernut, that recording of the Clarinet Quintet I listened to just two days ago! :D

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2009, 07:48:49 AM »
BTW - the four late clarinet works by Brahms are all beautiful, wonderful works (Trio and two sonatas).

I know, thank God for Muhlfeld, right? ;D

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2009, 09:08:07 AM »
I know, thank God for Muhlfeld, right? ;D

No doubt!  :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2009, 08:08:13 AM »
Does anyone feel that there is some sort of "connection" between Mozart's C minor string quintet (No. 2) and Beethoven's piano concerto in the same key (No. 3)? The last movements especially. I was playing the quintet (Movt. III) in my head this afternoon -- yes, it's started to work again, though not as prodigiously as it used to -- and subconsciously the music transitioned into Beethoven's.

I have read that B. modelled his concerto after Mozart's No. 24, but I have never come across anything about the quintet in this regard.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 08:18:13 AM by opus106 »
Regards,
Navneeth

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2009, 09:04:45 PM »
      There's certainly a lot of similarity between the two works in terms of the way they treat the key - with an incredible amount of gravity that one rarely finds anywhere else in their music. Also, in the thematic treatment in the first movements - both opening simply enough with a presentation of the minor triad: simple, and to the point. I can't comment on the specifics though, since it's been years since I was acquainted with the quintet.

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #57 on: August 04, 2009, 03:37:22 AM »
Does anyone feel that there is some sort of "connection" between Mozart's C minor string quintet (No. 2) and Beethoven's piano concerto in the same key (No. 3)? The last movements especially. I was playing the quintet (Movt. III) in my head this afternoon -- yes, it's started to work again, though not as prodigiously as it used to -- and subconsciously the music transitioned into Beethoven's.

I have read that B. modelled his concerto after Mozart's No. 24, but I have never come across anything about the quintet in this regard.

Did you also know that the string quintet is actually a reworking of the Serenade for Winds in C minor, K.388?  :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #58 on: August 04, 2009, 04:56:28 AM »
      There's certainly a lot of similarity between the two works in terms of the way they treat the key - with an incredible amount of gravity that one rarely finds anywhere else in their music. Also, in the thematic treatment in the first movements - both opening simply enough with a presentation of the minor triad: simple, and to the point. I can't comment on the specifics though, since it's been years since I was acquainted with the quintet.

Thanks for the input, Dana. :)

Did you also know that the string quintet is actually a reworking of the Serenade for Winds in C minor, K.388?  :)

Yes, sir. 
Regards,
Navneeth

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2009, 04:55:42 PM »
This week I've listened to Bach's Cantatas bwv 140 and 147 several times and it's great music by Bach... but... the performance is a too drab, kind of romantic style phrasing and very poor microphone placement, the arias (which has some of the best musical parts) sound muted while the choruses are WAY TOO LOUD.  I am happy to have the music to listen to, but overall dissatisfied with the recording.

I decided to cross post on here since I posted actual thoughts and not just a picture. Roll Eyes

It is perhaps useful to note that the recording I'm talking about is NOT from the newer issue, it's a reissue of an older.  What do you look for in a performance of Bach cantatas?


Edit: I'm talking about Gardiner/Monteverdi.

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