Author Topic: George Tsontakis?  (Read 2290 times)

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Offline monafam

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George Tsontakis?
« on: August 07, 2009, 02:11:57 AM »
I did a quick search of Mr. Tsontakis, but I did not see any threads about this particular composer.   I only own one album -- it has his four orchestral quartets** ("Other Echoes," "Perpetual Angelus," "The Dove Descending," "Winter Lightning").  I find the music to be pretty interesting and enjoyable.

Does anyone else know this composer, or have any other recommendations?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

**This may place me in the "classical stupidities" thread, but what is an "orchestral quartet?"   Does each "typicial" orchestra instrument have 4 representatives (i.e. 4 violins, 4 trumpets, 4 etc, etc.)?

Thanks!   

Lilas Pastia

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 06:36:48 PM »
I have a sampler disc in which there are two movements from his Four Orchestral Quartets. Enough to whet the appetite and make me wish that Koch disc was available - at a decent price of course !

snyprrr

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 07:25:07 AM »
I have been tempted recently to try Tsontakis. I suspect he's in the Harbison/Thorne/Ricker camp of neo-Romanticism, one of the myriad of the NewWorld label stable of composers. Do not the cd notes clarify what is meant by "orchestral quartet"? I suspect it's either: a) the fact that's there's four pieces, b) the pieces are written with four lines of music, c) they are orchestral transcriptions of some kind of "quartet" (string, or otherwise).

For me, the problem of checking out Tsontakis would, for me, open up a can of composers I would be willing to try, and NewWorld has a gigantic roster of semi-known demi-gods; and, generally I am extremely suspicious of U.S. composers of the late-'70s-'90s. Tsontakis, though, comes off fairly sincerely. Maybe you have tipped my curiosity!

Lilas Pastia

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 01:07:04 PM »
From the samples I heard, he's definitely worth hearing. There's substance in abundance. I can't tell about quality or originality, but it seems to be good red meat.

Offline monafam

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2009, 07:18:12 PM »
I have been tempted recently to try Tsontakis. I suspect he's in the Harbison/Thorne/Ricker camp of neo-Romanticism, one of the myriad of the NewWorld label stable of composers. Do not the cd notes clarify what is meant by "orchestral quartet"? I suspect it's either: a) the fact that's there's four pieces, b) the pieces are written with four lines of music, c) they are orchestral transcriptions of some kind of "quartet" (string, or otherwise).

For me, the problem of checking out Tsontakis would, for me, open up a can of composers I would be willing to try, and NewWorld has a gigantic roster of semi-known demi-gods; and, generally I am extremely suspicious of U.S. composers of the late-'70s-'90s. Tsontakis, though, comes off fairly sincerely. Maybe you have tipped my curiosity!

Sadly, I'm not familiar with the other composers you mentioned (but I probably should be).  I happened upon this as an MP3 so no liner notes for me to address the other question. 

I really like these pieces.  They range from a more "modern" feel, to a more romantic beauty as well.  Might be worth a listen. 

kyjo

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 03:57:17 PM »
I stumbled across Tsontakis' name while browsing Amazon a while ago, and have since been interested in investigating his music. The recordings of his music have gotten rave reviews. I've seen his music described as meditative yet expressive and Messiaen-esque. One reviewer likened him to the French spectralist school, which put me off a bit, since my attempts to get to grips with the composers from this school have not been too successful. I'm considering these recordings of his orchestral music, but I'd like to receive some input on what Tsontakis' style is like and whether it would appeal to my tastes or not. Thanks in advance. :)

   


Offline torut

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 02:57:17 PM »
I stumbled across Tsontakis' name while browsing Amazon a while ago, and have since been interested in investigating his music. The recordings of his music have gotten rave reviews. I've seen his music described as meditative yet expressive and Messiaen-esque. One reviewer likened him to the French spectralist school, which put me off a bit, since my attempts to get to grips with the composers from this school have not been too successful. I'm considering these recordings of his orchestral music, but I'd like to receive some input on what Tsontakis' style is like and whether it would appeal to my tastes or not. Thanks in advance. :)



Tsontakis is my recent favorite composer of Neoromanticism, and I am now listening to this album with great enjoyment. Accessible and melodious, but never boring. His chamber works are also quite nice. Probably I want to check out all the recordings of his music (which are not so many.)

List of his works and recordings
http://www.presser.com/Composers/info.cfm?Name=GEORGETSONTAKIS

I have been tempted recently to try Tsontakis. I suspect he's in the Harbison/Thorne/Ricker camp of neo-Romanticism, one of the myriad of the NewWorld label stable of composers. Do not the cd notes clarify what is meant by "orchestral quartet"? I suspect it's either: a) the fact that's there's four pieces, b) the pieces are written with four lines of music, c) they are orchestral transcriptions of some kind of "quartet" (string, or otherwise).

The work is based on the Four Quartets of T. S. Eliot.

Offline torut

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 09:31:36 PM »
String Quartets Nos. 3 & 4, American String Quartet



String Quartet No. 4 (1988) starts with a choral melody, then gradually builds up Beethovenean complexities, mixed with dissonance and atonalities, then ends quietly. Full of memorable melodies, intriguing through the whole movements. It gives a feeling of more integration than String Quartet No. 3 (1986) in which I feel a strong influence of Ives. String Quartet No. 1 & 2 are said to have been composed before his transition to Neoromanticism, but I couldn't find any recordings. No. 5 & 6 have been composed but not recorded yet, I believe.

Offline torut

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 04:28:05 PM »
Third Piano Quartet (2005) 1st movement
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/r7yipGqZdHg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/r7yipGqZdHg</a>

There are not so many audio/video clips of Tsontakis's music. I really want to hear the rest of the piece following this beautiful first movement.

Offline torut

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Re: George Tsontakis?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 08:56:27 PM »
Let the River be Unbroken (1994)
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Iobf1a5rx4w" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Iobf1a5rx4w</a>

This is an enjoyable, very Ivesian piece. Filled with lots of folk music, country songs, hymns; out of tune dance music; different tunes played simultaneously; sudden bang; injected dissonance, etc. Then, the music ends with a country fiddle fading out ...