Author Topic: Chez Stravinsky  (Read 92593 times)

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karlhenning

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Chez Stravinsky
« on: April 09, 2007, 08:24:18 AM »

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 08:38:27 AM »
All right, I was lured into continuing with Dostoyevsky, and now I cannot put Crime & Punishment down (or at least, there are days when I don't pick it up, but I won't pick up any book other until I've finished this re-read).

But once I get to the end of that novel, I'm taking back up:

Stravinsky
A Creative Spring: Russia and France 1882–1934

by Stephen Walsh

Greta

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 10:45:26 PM »
I dearly love Stravinsky. ;D I was limited far too long to The Rite of Spring and Firebird, and once I expanded beyond he quickly became one of my very favorites. His music is quite modern and daring, yet appealing and catchy.

My favorite Stravinskians are Salonen and Boulez, they both get it right on clarity and passion, and really "get" Stravinsky's complex rhythmic writing.

I'm currently in love with the Violin Concerto (Cho-Liang Lin/Salonen), it's irresistable, right from the jaunty beginning it just enchants you and doesn't let go. Witty, fresh, breezy...divine.

I love that lighter side of Stravinsky and definitely have to explore more!

I'm primarily familiar with his big orchestral work, some of the ballets, Symphony in Three Movements. (A real gem!)

Any "lighter side" recommendations?  :D
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 10:56:57 PM by Greta »

Offline knight66

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 11:12:42 PM »
There is also this thread on Oedipus Rex.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4130.0.html

Mike
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Offline val

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2007, 04:56:02 AM »
Le Sacre, Petrushka, Noces, Renard, Cantata, In memoriam Dylan Thomas, Symphony in three movements are among the absolute masterpieces of the XX century.

An extraordinary master that, in the XX century can only be matched with Debussy and Schönberg. 

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 05:01:06 AM »
I'm currently in love with the Violin Concerto (Cho-Liang Lin/Salonen), it's irresistable, right from the jaunty beginning it just enchants you and doesn't let go. Witty, fresh, breezy...divine.

I love that lighter side of Stravinsky and definitely have to explore more!

I'm primarily familiar with his big orchestral work, some of the ballets, Symphony in Three Movements. (A real gem!)

Any "lighter side" recommendations?  :D

Hi Greta!

Concerto per due pianoforti (a piece for two pianos, sans orchestra, N.B.)
Mavra (opera buffa in one act, after Pushkin)
Symphonies pour instruments à vent
Concerto for piano and wind instruments

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 10:20:05 AM »
Also, it is hard to think of his last ballet Agon as light, but there is something of that lightness and transparency of scoring in this harp- and mandolin-infested, occasionally serial, work based on French courtly dances (appropriate for the '50s when Stravinsky had begun to look back at very early music and Schoenberg/Webern [esp sharing Webern's interest in early music]). Detailed complex imitative counterpoint, often with lines overlapping themselves  in a way that hypnotizes me because although you can hear every note, you (and by 'you' I mean 'I') can't take in all at once, I speak in particular of the Gaillarde, in whose thrall I am perpetually.

A thoroughly enchantin work, Egbdf!

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2007, 07:21:56 AM »
That last one is more like Igor Magoo . . . .

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 11:53:54 AM »
The Mass ain't gettin' no love here.

Offline edward

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 12:01:34 PM »
The Mass ain't gettin' no love here.
It does with me: I find its crystalline clarity and restraint help make it one of Stravinsky's most personal utterances.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 12:09:13 PM »
The performance we heard of the Mass in Maryland was a little too cushiony (I think the group had its hands full, and the Agnus Dei nearly defeated them).

But I like all three four recordings I have of it.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 04:15:03 PM »
Karl doesn't need to know that I was also there. We talked afterwards. But for the rest of you, I was there and I can say that Maryland performance was OK, but it was missing something. They were trying to put some kind of finesse into it that didn't really have anything to do with the music. Too much legato, too much smoothness. Stravinsky wanted articulation. You can tell from his own recording. He didn't want his music to be all mushed up like it was Mendelssohn or Brahms.

The wind players blended nicely and their harmonies were very beautiful. The oboes and bassoons had a little bit of trouble with the extreme high notes that Stravinsky calls for.

This was the University of Maryland's Concert Chorale, with a group of student wind players.

Offline edward

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 05:09:44 PM »
Karl doesn't need to know that I was also there. We talked afterwards. But for the rest of you, I was there and I can say that Maryland performance was OK, but it was missing something. They were trying to put some kind of finesse into it that didn't really have anything to do with the music. Too much legato, too much smoothness. Stravinsky wanted articulation. You can tell from his own recording. He didn't want his music to be all mushed up like it was Mendelssohn or Brahms.

The wind players blended nicely and their harmonies were very beautiful. The oboes and bassoons had a little bit of trouble with the extreme high notes that Stravinsky calls for.

This was the University of Maryland's Concert Chorale, with a group of student wind players.
Thanks for that description, which makes me feel like I know exactly what was wrong with the performance.

I think this is one of the rare cases where I prefer Stravinsky's own recording to the others I've heard. It brings out the wonderful icy-clear sound of the work more even than Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonia's winds.

I must manage to hear it live some time. :P
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2007, 04:41:12 AM »
Karl doesn't need to know that I was also there. We talked afterwards. But for the rest of you, I was there and I can say that Maryland performance was OK, but it was missing something. They were trying to put some kind of finesse into it that didn't really have anything to do with the music. Too much legato, too much smoothness. Stravinsky wanted articulation. You can tell from his own recording. He didn't want his music to be all mushed up like it was Mendelssohn or Brahms.

The wind players blended nicely and their harmonies were very beautiful. The oboes and bassoons had a little bit of trouble with the extreme high notes that Stravinsky calls for.

This was the University of Maryland's Concert Chorale, with a group of student wind players.

Only thing to add, perhaps, is that the performance was led by a doctoral conducting student.

Certainly a brave effort, but most significantly held back by the tendency towards the cushiony.

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2007, 04:41:51 AM »
Did I mention, Edward, that Mark was there, too?  8)

Don Giovanni

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2007, 09:39:15 AM »
Recent Stravinsky listening:

"Ebony" Concerto
"Dumbarton Oaks"
8 Instrumental Miniatures

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2007, 07:56:19 PM »
Did I mention, Edward, that Mark was there, too?  8)

Oh, and by the way, you know that concert of the University of Maryland chorus?
Yeah, that one with the Stravinsky Mass.
That was me up there in the balcony.

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2007, 07:52:00 AM »
Ramuz, who worked with Stravinsky in Switzerland, and wrote the libretto for L’histoire du soldat, leaves us this picture postcard of the composer:

Quote
Stravinsky’s writing desk resembled a surgeon’s instrument tray;  now the order which the surgeon there sets out is one last chance he gives himself in his struggle against death.  The artist too (in his way) is engaged in a struggle with death.  These bottles of different-colored inks, each in its hierarchical place, play small part in a grand affirmation of a superior order.  They keep company with different sorts and shapes of rubber and every kind of glinting steel object:  rulers, scrapers, knives, pens, not to mention that particular wheeled instrument which Stravinsky himself had invented for the drawing of staves.  One may recall St Thomas’s definition:  beauty is the splendor of order.

In his notes, Stephen Walsh adds:

Quote
The “wheeled instrument” was the so called Stravigor — a several-sized wheeled stavewriter (rastrum), which Stravinsky had invented in about 1911 and had tried to patent through Nikolai Struve before the war. It figures first in his sketches for The Rite of Spring.  Thereafter he usually drew his own staves on blank paper, filling in gaps at angles to avoid waste.

Drasko

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2007, 10:06:21 AM »
           

It seems Sony 22 CD Stravinsky Edition is finally due for reappearance. So far only jpc is listing it for pre-order and the price looks right.

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7985870/rk/classic/rsk/novelties

karlhenning

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2007, 10:08:41 AM »
Oh, that will be a sore temptation when it becomes available here.

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