Author Topic: Chez Stravinsky  (Read 151054 times)

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Turner

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1200 on: December 02, 2017, 08:56:05 AM »
Stumbled over this painting of IS I've not seen before.

Artist was Jacques Emile Blanche, painted in 1915.
Interesting background too. Men crippled by the war, among other things.

snyprrr

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Re: Chez Stravinsky HAVING ISSUES WITH 'THE FLOOD'
« Reply #1201 on: December 02, 2017, 09:06:21 AM »
'The Flood'


I'm losing at around the time Lucifer starts singing... the opening music is pretty ominous, tho...


ALEEEN- I don't know what you're hearing here that's so great... maybe this just falls under my "snyprrr rejects recitation" junctum. Maybe it's the English singing?

"Oh, LORD, Thy Will shall ever be wrought"

 ::)


Yea, I'm just not "getting it"... ithe music can be cool, but then some maaan has to start singing...


I do like the 'Building of the Ark' orchestral interlude...

BUT THEN COMES THE "COUNTING OF THE ANIMALS", OY VEY!!!


madness, I tell u

snyprrr

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1202 on: December 02, 2017, 09:08:43 AM »
"The earth is overflowed with... flood" ::)

You did it

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1203 on: December 02, 2017, 02:06:48 PM »
Yeah the singing isn't what gets me, the music is amazing


You did it

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1204 on: December 02, 2017, 03:19:20 PM »
Ok, so the Flood:

Music - ✓
Choir - ✓
Narrator - ✓
Solo voice parts - ❌

Still, the lesser parts certainly don't overweigh how great it is  8)

Offline relm1

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1205 on: January 13, 2018, 05:31:05 PM »
This CD is excellent:

It is now on spotify and I love it.  To me, the Chant Funebre in its debut recording is like Rachmaninoff's "The Rock" in terms of style, quality, and significance.  Though it might not have much in common with the composer's later more famous works, it is clearly cut from the same cloth and show cases a vivid early imaginative composer at full display.  The rest of the CD is excellent.  All early works prominently showing the Rimsky-Korsakov and French/Debussy influences.  Chant Funebre is very French and very Russian full of mythology, pathos, and atmosphere.  This CD is pure Stravinsky proto Firebird plus Rite of Spring all wonderfully performed and recorded.  Don't miss this release!!


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1207 on: January 15, 2018, 08:35:36 AM »
Classical CD Of The Week: Some Like It Plush;
Riccardo Chailly In Early And Rediscovered Stravinsky


https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/01/15/cd-of-the-week-some-like-it-plush-riccardo-chailly-in-early-and-rediscovered-stravinsky/#43c9bb243e63


I can’t really see myself buying that recording for the simple fact that there are already too many Le sacre performances on the market and I own almost all of them. ;) I listened to Chant Funebre and it’s a nice enough work, but not worth plunking down x amount of dollars just to own it. If only this new Chailly recording had a more enticing program.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 10:32:31 AM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

snyprrr

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1208 on: January 16, 2018, 08:22:52 AM »
If only this new Chailly recording had a more enticing program.

"If only" indeed ::)


A lot of GMG boils down to this, eh? ahhh...

Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1209 on: August 28, 2018, 05:31:03 AM »
Something I've always wondered: is there a reason Boulez never really recorded Stravinsky's late works? He was so dismissive of the older composer's neoclassical period, one would think that the later serial adventures could've pleased him. I love many of his Stravinsky recordings, especially those he made for DG; if only he had taken up Threni, the Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Agon...

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1210 on: August 28, 2018, 05:58:33 AM »
Something I've always wondered: is there a reason Boulez never really recorded Stravinsky's late works? He was so dismissive of the older composer's neoclassical period, one would think that the later serial adventures could've pleased him. I love many of his Stravinsky recordings, especially those he made for DG; if only he had taken up Threni, the Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Agon...

He helped prepare rehearsals of Threni, and it was an unmitigated disaster.  Boulez blamed Stravinsky for being a poor conductor (true, he was not a great one), and Robert Craft certainly placed the blame on Boulez (you'll note Craft never conducted Boulez after those early Columbia recordings).

Boulez, for his part, said that Stravinsky's late works were just retreading ground that Webern had covered far better.  It's a shame, because those works have needed champions like Boulez, who could bring out their many beauties.

Like the American works of Schoenberg, the influence of Stravinsky's late works has been felt primarily in the US.  In Europe, the 12-tone method was deemed passé.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 06:04:02 AM by Mahlerian »
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1211 on: August 28, 2018, 06:32:26 AM »
It's a shame, because those works have needed champions like Boulez, who could bring out their many beauties.

Amen. Thanks for your quick and informative reply! It's a shame Boulez thought the way he did about late Stravinsky, but let us not forget the huge service he did to Webern's music, literally making it more accessible to generations of musicians. There are (and will be) people who will champion Stravinsky's late works in a similar manner.

I'm so intrigued by the Movements of Piano and Orchestra. It's such a dense work, lasting only about ten minutes, but still so full of ideas and wit. I'm constantly in total awe when I listen to Stravinsky's serial works, he really made the idiom his own; it's unmistakably Stravinsky. It's infuriating how people still keep repeating the old story of Stravinsky only turning to serialism in order to fit in with the times.


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1212 on: August 28, 2018, 06:47:46 AM »
Well, artists will often be rather . . . temperamental, and possibly even flighty.
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 ritter

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1213 on: August 28, 2018, 09:59:37 AM »
Something I've always wondered: is there a reason Boulez never really recorded Stravinsky's late works? He was so dismissive of the older composer's neoclassical period, one would think that the later serial adventures could've pleased him. I love many of his Stravinsky recordings, especially those he made for DG; if only he had taken up Threni, the Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Agon...
As a complement to Mahlerian’s comments in reply to your question, Ainsi la nuit, here is my reply when our fellow GMGer Abuelo Igor addressed the same issue some years ago:


The relationship between Stravinsky and Boulez must have been a very complex one, characterised I venture to say by mutual admiration and even love, but also mistrust, and a sort of father-son component (but also with Oedipical aspects  ::)). For instance, Jésus Aguila, in his book on the Domaine Musical, points out that the only composer Boulez called a "genius" in any of the program notes he wrote for that concert series over so many years was Igor Fyodorovich. But, Boulez has never hidden his preference for the early, Russian Stravinsky (up to Les Noces, I'd say) and his dislike for the neo-classical (with the exception perhaps of Pulcinella, about which he wrote some very touching words in the program notes for a Stravinsky memorial concert when he was at the helm of the NYPO). This dislike for middle-period Stravinsky came to the forefront when the Boulez groupies (he himself apparently was not in the audience) booed the Danses concertantes and the Four Norwegian moods at a concert led by Manuel Rosenthal in Paris right after WWII (well, I for one can't blame them for disliking the Four Norwegian moods  ;D ). But that is another story...

As far as the serial Stravinsky is concerned, Stephen Walsh (in the second volume, The Second Exile, of his wonderful biography of the Russian composer) sums it up quite cleverly: "It is not the least irony of these late pieces that they were generally rejected by that avant-garde which they seemed primarily designed to please. Fortunately, this is not necessarily any reflection on their intrinsic quality". This statement puts Boulez within the Zeitgeist of the post WW-II avant-garde, but perhaps since Boulez was an increasingly visible conductor from the 60s onwards, his relative  neglect of late Stravinsky was more noticeable. Anyway, it is strking that in the index to the third volume of his writings (Leçons de musique, i.e. the lectures over many years at the Collège de France) not one single late Stravinsky work is mentioned.

As for Boulez's thoughts on late Stravinsky, Walsh quotes a letter to Lawrence Morton in which Boulez says that he finds the "Variations for orchestra less aggravating than Abraham and Isaac", the story of which he found "repellent".  ;D. He then concludes that he "prefers Webern".

In concerts, Boulez did conduct or program late Stravinsky at the Domaine, sometimes triumphantly (the European première of Agon under the composer), sometimes disastrously (the famous Threni incident). There was also the Canticum Sacrum and the Vom Himmel hoch variations (under Robert Craft, I believe).  Jésus Aguila interestingly points out that Boulez was attacked both by the traditionalists and the avant-gardists for bringing Stravinsky to the Domaine. The conservative Bernard Gavoty wrote something to the effect that Stravisnky was being used to lure audiences to the Domaine concerts under false pretenses, while the notoriously fundamentalist Antoine Goléa on the other hand would say that offering these "bad" (late) Stravinsky works in the Salle Pleyel meant that better music could not be offered at the Salle Gaveau.  >:(. It thus cannot be ruled out that some musical Realpolitik had an influence in Boulez's attitude. Yet, even after the Threni fiasco, in his 80th birthday tribute to Stravinsky in 1961--one year early  ::)--, Boulez conducted (along with earlier music) the Three Songs from Shakespeare and In memoriam Dylan Thomas.

One work Boulez has conducted a couple of times at least (and as late as in 1996 with the LAPO, at the Ojai Festival IIRC) is Agon (but, alas, he's never recorded it).

Finally, as far as recordings are concerned, we have the late songs on DG, A Sermon, a narrative and a prayer live from the Théatre des Champs-Elysées on the defunct Montaigne label, The Flood (in German!  :( ) on a Col Legno issue from Munich (Musica Viva series) and then, on a long OOP Stradivarius CD, the "repellent"  ;) Abraham and Isaac (with Scipio Colombo, a well known Scarpia in his day) and the Elegy for J.F.K. with Cathy Berberian, live from Rome in 1965. That's all there is, AFAIK.

 

EDIT: Since writing this,  I've found out that Boulez did conduct Threni at least once (in Munich, in Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Musica Viva series, in 1959).

Here's the short paean to Stravinsky published by Boulez in the program to the NYPO's memorial concert in 1971 (with the Requiem Canticles on the program):






It should be noted that the erratum (stemming from the original mansucript  ::) ) that describes Pétrouchka as the piece with an "unusual mixture of vigor, aggressiveness, poetry...", when Boulez is clearly thinking of Pulcinella, was corrected when this text was reproduced in the 2nd volume of Points de repère (Regards sur autrui).

Regards to all from a short holiday in Alsace, after some days in Bayreuth (where I saw a Meistersinger which will remain I my memory as long as I live—simply stunning!!  :) ).
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 10:39:59 AM by ritter »
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Offline ritter

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1214 on: May 31, 2019, 10:38:38 AM »
As a complement to the previous post (very little activity in the IS thread as of late  :(), this new release:

A recording of Stravinsky’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, with Boulez conducting the EIC and no less a figure than Sviatoslav Richter at the keyboard has just been released (live from 1985, I understand).


The disc also includes the Capriccio with the same forces, plus Debussy’s Fantaisie conducted by Barenboim, plus solo pieces  by Rachmaninov and Scriabin.

EDIT:
Prospective buyers beware!
"In high fidelity sound" my foot!  >:( Tape hiss galore, assorted clicks, etc. The expectation of hearing these two great artists perform Stravinsky (one neoclassical piece, one serial--both new to the Boulez discography) together is shattered by the dismal sound and sloppy transfers. For completists (of either artist) only.  :(
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 05:45:46 AM by ritter »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1215 on: May 31, 2019, 01:15:35 PM »
As a complement to the previous post (very little activity in the IS thread as of late  :(), this new release:

A recording of Stravinsky’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, with Boulez conducting the EIC and no less a figure than Sviatoslav Richter at the keyboard has just been released (live from 1985, I understand).


The disc also includes the Capriccio with the same forces, plus Debussy’s Fantaisie conducted by Barenboim, plus solo pieces  by Rachmaninov and Scriabin.

Very nice. I’d say I’m much more of an admirer of the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments than Movements or Capriccio.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1216 on: June 04, 2019, 01:43:04 PM »
As a complement to the previous post (very little activity in the IS thread as of late  :( ), this new release:

A recording of Stravinsky’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra, with Boulez conducting the EIC and no less a figure than Sviatoslav Richter at the keyboard has just been released (live from 1985, I understand).


The disc also includes the Capriccio with the same forces, plus Debussy’s Fantaisie conducted by Barenboim, plus solo pieces  by Rachmaninov and Scriabin.

Très interessant!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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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: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1217 on: June 04, 2019, 01:54:14 PM »
Whereas Schoenberg's relatively few words represent his deepest convictions about serious matters, Stravinsky's many verbal expressions reflect a restless, changeable, volatile figure who accepts the fluctuations of his personality apparently without difficulty.In the foreword to his autobiography he acknowledged his infidelities: "As I call my recollections to mind, I shall nearly be obliged to speak of my opinions, my tastes, my preferences, and my abhorrences. I am but too well aware of how much these feelings vary in the course of time. This is why I shall great care not to confuse my present reactions with those experienced at other stages of my life.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[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 ritter

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1218 on: June 05, 2019, 02:16:04 AM »
Very interesting, Karl. I didn't remember that passage from when I read the Chroniques de ma vie years ago. Reading Stephen Walsh's biography of dear old Igor Fyodorovich, one gets a clear picture of these changes in opinion. For instance, his view of Mahler improved temendously, from being called "Malheur" in the 40s, to be parised in the books he wrote with Craft (even if that praise does seem to be given mainly to attack Richard Strauss). Likewise, Walsh quotes letters praisng Parsifal (which Stravinsky saw in Monte Carlo in 1913) through the roof, but by the 1930s (not to mention the conversation books) Wagner had become a sort of bête noire. Actually, there's one incendiary article from the 1930s (in an anthology of IS's writings from those years--published by Actes Su--that I do not have at ahnd right now) damning all German music (except for Bach). IS's opinions on other composer genearlly give the impression that he has some axe to grind, and I think must be taken with some caution.  ;)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1219 on: June 05, 2019, 04:54:08 AM »
It all really boils down to this: all major composers like Stravinsky or Wagner have said nasty things of other composers. I don’t find these types of opinions very interesting because they don’t do anything to elevate the composer in any way, it’s their music that does the elevation. What this or that composer thought of another composer doesn’t interest me one bit. I have come to the conclusion that knowing extramusical facts about a composer doesn’t actually change nor enhance my appreciation of said composer. The human being is such a complicated entity and this entity lives through their music, so knowing who they were married to or what their opinion of another composer is doesn’t matter in the end. I do rather enjoy reading about the genesis of works that I love or how this work came to be, but even this doesn’t matter when you’re actively listening to a composer’s music.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy