Author Topic: Unpopular Opinions  (Read 199806 times)

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Online North Star

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1520 on: March 20, 2017, 04:26:15 AM »
Revising my opinion, thanks to orfeo's insightful advice:

There is a greater amount of possibilities when a composer is combining the more traditional and purely acoustic instruments with electronics (live or an accompanying electroacoustic track) and I tend to find that these compositions have the potential of being more interesting to me than compositions for the same instrument or ensemble without the electronic element. For example: I prefer Anthèmes II to Anthèmes I.
It shouldn't be an unpopular opinion but an obvious fact that there are more possibilities with a greater variety of instruments at your disposal.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1521 on: March 20, 2017, 04:41:42 AM »
He was perhaps correct to say "middle Verdi" is better than the Ring, but he is wrong to say "middle Verdi" is better than "late Verdi".  I happen to think Otello and Falstaff are among the best operas ever.  In part because of the libretti by Boito/Shakespeare, which gave Verdi characters and situations​ to write about , in part because Verdi in a way took Wagner's ideas and distilled them into something closer to Italianate theater.

Yes.

And underscoring my point that, if Wagner had only submitted to an editor, he could have been one of the greats  8)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1522 on: March 20, 2017, 04:42:24 AM »
there are more possibilities with a greater variety of instruments at your disposal.

I beg to differ. The number or variety of instruments is of no importance to the "interesting-ness" of music. Chopin was severely limited in this respect and (some of) Beethoven's best works involve at most three instruments.
Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren? - Ludwig Tieck

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1523 on: March 20, 2017, 04:44:00 AM »
I beg to differ. The number or variety of instruments is of no importance to the "interesting-ness" of music. Chopin was severely limited in this respect and (some of) Beethoven's best works involve at most three instruments.

Yet, you have not really gainsaid Karlo's statement (There are more possibilities with a greater variety of instruments at your disposal.)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1524 on: March 20, 2017, 04:47:47 AM »
Yet, you have not really gainsaid Karlo's statement (There are more possibilities with a greater variety of instruments at your disposal.)

My intention was actually to gainsay jessop's statement (Instrumental music is automatically way more interesting with electronics added.) but I quoted the wrong post.
Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren? - Ludwig Tieck

Nu mă-ncântați nici cu clasici,
Nici cu stil curat și antic ­—
Toate-mi sunt de o potrivă,
Eu rămân ce-am fost: romantic. - Mihai Eminescu

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1525 on: March 20, 2017, 04:48:38 AM »
My intention was actually to gainsay jessop's statement (Instrumental music is automatically way more interesting with electronics added.) but I quoted the wrong post.

Ah.
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 Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1526 on: March 20, 2017, 04:56:43 AM »
I have no time to read the longer Stravinsky essays. But it is obvious polemics against Wagner, the Wagnerians (and more generally against "German" high/late romanticism).
Which is perfectly fine for a composer who to a large extend stylistically defined himself in reaction against this very tradition. But it is not at all helpful for recognition or analysis of e.g. Wagner.
And if one has something to say against "endless [better "infinite"] melody" one should not criticize the term but show where and why it is a problem in Wagner that melodies have no beginning or end. (Obviously many musicians and listeners don't think so and even more obvious the very term "unendliche Melodie" is hyperbolic because in fact Wagner's pieces do begin and end somewhere ;)  it's not that the music just begins and stops.)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 06:08:45 AM by Jo498 »
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Offline GioCar

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1527 on: March 20, 2017, 05:46:29 AM »
^^^ I agree, that series of lectures actually says much more on Stravinsky's aesthetics and music than on Wagner's, Verdi's, Gounod's and of the others mentioned there.
They remind me his well-know quote on Vivaldi, that one taken from his conversations with Craft.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 05:48:13 AM by GioCar »

Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1528 on: March 20, 2017, 07:19:32 AM »
Instrumental music is automatically way more interesting with electronics added.
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Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1529 on: March 20, 2017, 07:21:40 AM »
It shouldn't be an unpopular opinion but an obvious fact that there are more possibilities with a greater variety of instruments at your disposal.
Hence the continuing conundrum, why isn't the whoopee cushion used more?
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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1530 on: March 20, 2017, 08:33:54 PM »
And if one has something to say against "endless [better "infinite"] melody" one should not criticize the term but show where and why it is a problem in Wagner that melodies have no beginning or end. (Obviously many musicians and listeners don't think so and even more obvious the very term "unendliche Melodie" is hyperbolic because in fact Wagner's pieces do begin and end somewhere ;)  it's not that the music just begins and stops.)

"The trouble with Wagner is he talks all the time. No one talks all the time." ~ Clara Schumann
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1531 on: March 20, 2017, 08:45:01 PM »
"The trouble with Wagner is he talks all the time. No one talks all the time." ~ Clara Schumann

 :P Yeah, Wagner seemed like he could ramble on endlessly without ever considering the fact that whoever he’s talking to has already fallen asleep. :)
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1532 on: March 21, 2017, 01:38:35 PM »
I actually do to, I barely listen to it but there is something mesmerizing about that piece. In tradition with it's folklore too, it
d be a fun piece to...umm....have sex to..... :P

The movie "10" beat you to it.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1533 on: March 21, 2017, 01:40:05 PM »
:P Yeah, Wagner seemed like he could ramble on endlessly without ever considering the fact that whoever he’s talking to has already fallen asleep. :)

When Wagner met Schumann, he complained that he couldn't have a conversation with a man who never opened his mouth. Schumann complained that he couldn't get in a word edgewise.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 01:45:46 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1534 on: March 21, 2017, 01:43:16 PM »
The whole thing here:

Stravinsky knew and appreciated Wagner in his Russian youth, while as an old man his favorite Verdi operas were Rigoletto and the very late Falstaff.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1535 on: March 21, 2017, 01:45:05 PM »
I beg to differ. The number or variety of instruments is of no importance to the "interesting-ness" of music. Chopin was severely limited in this respect and (some of) Beethoven's best works involve at most three instruments.

Some of Beethoven's best piano sonatas involve only one.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1536 on: March 21, 2017, 01:48:40 PM »
Is there anything more absurd than this Tristan guy, who has just been stabbed to death, singing for almost an entire act (an act of Wagnerian length, mind you)?  ;D ;D ;D

Also, take a look here, you might find something suitable to your taste.  :)

The 10 Silliest Operas...that you really need to hear

I, for one, love opera no matter how silly the libretto, which I rarely follow anyway while listening. My top five: Carmen, Der Freischuetz, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro., La sonnambula.

Au contraire, I see nothing in the least silly in the beautifully constructed libretto to Figaro. I'll give you Freischuetz.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1537 on: March 21, 2017, 01:49:54 PM »
It IS his best piece.

Except for all the others as good or even better.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1538 on: March 21, 2017, 08:37:11 PM »
:P Yeah, Wagner seemed like he could ramble on endlessly without ever considering the fact that whoever he’s talking to has already fallen asleep. :)

Clara's quip was an analogy criticizing Wagner's music for its 'endless melody' (music with little or no aspiration) i.e an endless stream of music without the 'punctuation' of comma, period, or any breathing spaces.  In more contemporary parlance, a "Non-breather," lol.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 09:07:54 PM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #1539 on: March 21, 2017, 08:53:55 PM »
Clara's quip was an analogy criticizing Wagner's music for its 'endless melody' (music with little or no aspiration) i.e and endless stream of music without the 'punctuation' of comma, period, or any breathing spaces.  In more contemporary parlance, a "Non-breather," lol.
In a way that is what I find appealing in his music: you think you just reached a climax, but he takes you to one even higher, and yet there is an even higher one after that.  The result: you just got drained emotionally, to the point that you cant listen to anything else for quite a while.  This is impressive.