Author Topic: What are you listening to now?  (Read 6240217 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92100 on: June 07, 2017, 01:29:44 PM »



Disc two, possibly the best ever Second and a none too shabby Third.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92101 on: June 07, 2017, 04:39:03 PM »
Bach
48 (Book 1)
Schiff
ECM

Offline The Fish Knows...

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92102 on: June 07, 2017, 06:50:10 PM »
Erkin: Symphony No. 2, Violin Concerto & Dance Rhapsody "Köçekçe"


"There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it." – Emmanuel Radnitzky (Man Ray)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92103 on: June 07, 2017, 09:16:06 PM »


Cambini Paris play Mozart's Spring Quartet, really impressive dynamic contrasts in the minuet.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92104 on: June 07, 2017, 09:22:00 PM »
Morning listening:


Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92105 on: June 07, 2017, 10:14:02 PM »


Matthias Pintscher's Shirim - Bo Skovhus, baritone, Christoph Eschenbach, cond.

World Premiere, 6 February 2017, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52TzxnqiTNA

Offline anothername

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92106 on: June 07, 2017, 10:38:01 PM »


Murray Perahia : Songs without words.

Online jessop

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92107 on: June 07, 2017, 10:48:05 PM »


Matthias Pintscher's Shirim - Bo Skovhus, baritone, Christoph Eschenbach, cond.

World Premiere, 6 February 2017, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52TzxnqiTNA

I'll check this out when I have time on the weekend. What do you think of it?

Offline Harry's corner

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92109 on: June 08, 2017, 12:40:40 AM »


I've been listening to a few recordings of the Hunt Quartet, really trying to see who makes it work less by pace, more by responsiveness, the drama that comes from the feeling that the players are listening to each other in the moment. This one from the Leipzig Quartet is exceptional. I also like the taut wiry sound they make, which seems to bring them closer to a period instrument.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Harry's corner

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92110 on: June 08, 2017, 02:52:58 AM »
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

pjme

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92111 on: June 08, 2017, 03:58:09 AM »
Interesting:  https://toccataclassics.com/discovering-henry-cotter-nixon/


DISCOVERING HENRY COTTER NIXON

POSTED BY DAVID BROWN · 1 OCTOBER 2015 ·

Given my long involvement with The Havergal Brian Society – I was its Secretary and Newsletter editor from 1976 to 1992 and Chairman from 1994 to 1998 – I can’t start without thanking Martin Anderson for the reissue in Toccata Classics’ early days of Brian Rayner Cook’s and Roger Vignoles’ pioneering disc (still mostly unsurpassed) of Brian songs (TOCC0005), and more recently the two marvellous CDs of non-symphonic Brian orchestral works (TOCC0110 and TOCC0113), complementing the ongoing series of symphony recordings on Naxos and Dutton. But they are not the main reason for this blog entry.

At an Annual General Meeting of the Brian Society (in either 1990 or 1991), after the main business was over, an elderly, white-haired gentleman came over to introduce himself. Anthony Nixon’s name was familiar to me from the Society’s membership records and from some earlier correspondence about Brian, but we’d not previously met in person. Had he, asked Mr Nixon, ever mentioned that his grandfather had been a composer? Er no, I replied (probably slightly warily, wondering what was coming). Straight out came the facer – that his grandfather had written the first symphonic poem by a British composer. Back I came with the standard Grove-sourced retort that ‘surely William Wallace…?’ – but Mr Nixon had heard that before and was ready. A good ten years before Wallace wrote his first symphonic poem, The Passing of Beatrice (1892), Henry Cotter Nixon (1842–1907) had composed Palamon and Arcite, its narrative source being John Dryden’s reworking of The Knight’s Tale from Chaucer. I was duly corrected, and very intrigued.

Some months later Mr Nixon sent me a photocopy of the manuscript, and Palamon and Arcite proved to be no overture manqué, as I had half-wondered it might be, but a five-movement orchestral epic on the scale of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (though completely different in idiom), that would probably take over three-quarters of an hour in performance. Clearly dated 7 April 1882 on the final page, it includes numerous quotations from Dryden’s poem. A further parcel of photocopies of HCN manuscripts showed that Palamon and Arcite was far from being his only orchestral work, though none had ever been published, and several apparently never performed. Palamon and Arcite had been, though – only once, in 1888, under the baton of the composer, as the main item in a tribute concert organised for him by the Hastings & St Leonards Orchestral Society (long since defunct), of which he had been the music director for twelve years.

All this further stimulated my interest and desire to ‘do something about HCN’ on behalf of his grandson, who had taken over stewardship of what was a very considerable quantity of manuscripts after his father (Henry Cotter’s son) died, and as well as storing them carefully had catalogued the collection and done as much research as he could into his grandfather’s life and professional career. (In 1993, very wisely, Mr Nixon presented the whole archive plus his documentation to the Royal College of Music Library for permanent safe keeping.) Accordingly I talked to a conductor then active in recording some of Brian’s works and sent him the photocopy of Palamon and Arcite. He was interested enough to get the BBC involved, and eventually sessions were scheduled for a recording (for broadcast) by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1995. But this undertaking was ill-fated: the parts for a work by Parry to be recorded in the same sessions proved to be so problematic that only two movements of Palamon and Arcite were taped before time ran out; for whatever reason, they were never edited, and thus never broadcast.

For various reasons, ‘doing something about HCN’ never progressed further at that time, though Mr Nixon and I subsequently met a couple of times for lunch and continued to correspond intermittently (with me also the cc’d recipient of letters from him to various august bodies, including New Grove, politely but firmly correcting the canard that Wallace was the first-British-symphonic-poem pioneer). Then late in 1998 he suffered a severe stroke, and the following year he died. Though it is a permanent sadness that Anthony Nixon didn’t live to see the fruits of the continuing endeavours to bring his grandfather’s music to life, there is some consolation in that he was able to be present at the BBC sessions, and thus heard the one and only modern performance to date of at least parts of the symphonic poem.

So why a Toccata Classics blog about Henry Cotter Nixon? I hope by now two and two are starting to get put together. By the time Anthony Nixon died, Toccata Press was well established and I knew Martin was already envisaging the creation of a sibling CD label when time and resources allowed. HCN intermittently came up in conversation in following years, continuing by e-mail after I relocated permanently to the USA in 2004. But though Toccata Classics got under way in 2005, only in 2014 did an HCN recording start to get seriously talked about. The first thing that had occurred to me – as an easier place to begin than orchestral works – was a disc coupling the two Piano Trios (though they are of such Schubertian amplitude that it would more likely have been a twofer). However, most surprisingly, the first of them was recorded in 2012 by the London Piano Trio on Guild (the first and so far only recorded Nixon, since nothing ever appeared on 78 or LP), and so we went back to the idea of Palamon and Arcite, plus suitable filler(s).

In January this year Martin introduced me by e-mail to Paul Mann, conductor of the centenary Leif Solberg disc (TOCC0260) and the three-disc survey of the complete orchestral music of Charles O’Brien (Vol 1: TOCC0262). I am tempted to say that ‘the rest is history’ except that we, Paul in particular, are still making it, and the best is definitely to come! In April I took advantage of the time that retirement at last allows and spent a couple of days in the RCM Library, looking at and making notes about as many of the HCN manuscripts as possible. At my request the RCM had photocopied several of the orchestral MSS a few years ago for another (abortive) attempt to get an HCN performance off the ground, and these were retrieved and forwarded to Paul. This time around I asked the RCM also to scan most of the remaining orchestral pieces, and send these scans to Paul, too, so that he had as much as possible from which to form an opinion on Nixon’s œuvre as a whole.

I am not enough of a score-reader to get much idea of the sound or quality of an unheard work, and so I anxiously awaited Paul’s verdict. I was prepared to hear that, while the inarguable historical importance of Palamon and Arcite justified a recording, it would be politic just to add the least worst of the other pieces as filler for a one-off disc and leave it at that. This was emphatically not Paul’s view. Though conservative even for its day in its Mendelssohnian/Schumannesque idiom, Nixon’s music was, in his opinion, definitely worth performing. I don’t want to trespass on the detailed account of his editorial work on the scores that I hope Paul will write for a follow-up blog post, but we very rapidly went from that one-off disc to envisaging the complete extant Henry Cotter Nixon orchestral works on two discs… and equally rapidly, when Paul started detailed work on the manuscripts and began to think about adding editions of those works for which only parts have survived or were not completely orchestrated, the project upped from two to three discs — a Toccata Classics set to match the O’Brien already in the can.

It would be outside the scope of this blog to say much about the other pieces, but I can’t resist ending with a mention of one of those partially orchestrated ones — The Gay Typewriters. This head-swivelling title refers not to ‘homosexual word-processing machines but jolly secretaries’, to quote Anthony Nixon’s immortal words from one of his letters. HCN completed the vocal score of this ‘operatic farce’ on late-Victorian office life in 1895, but only orchestrated half of the Prelude before discontinuing work on the score for unknown reasons. Paul Mann’s realisation of the irresistibly Sullivanian Prelude is just one of the treats to look forward to in this edition.

One last thing: in his notes on his grandfather’s life and career, Anthony Nixon mentions several photographs of the composer, but none of these has been found in the material deposited at the Royal College of Music Library. There seem to be no surviving Nixon family members to which they might have been bequeathed, and the ‘usual suspects’ have already been approached as to whether their composer photo collections include any of HCN. If anyone can help, we would be very grateful!

P.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 04:00:08 AM by pjme »

Offline Harry's corner

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92112 on: June 08, 2017, 04:11:16 AM »
I was aware of this article, so I expected a lot, but unfortunately the music has not much substance. Hence my disappointment.
On the other hand I bought all three volumes of Charles O'Brien. and listen already to the first. And although I had some issue with this music too, it is on a much higher level as Nixon's music, and I enjoyed it. Looking forward to volume 2 and 3.
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92113 on: June 08, 2017, 04:50:46 AM »
Man, I do wish the clarinetist had played better that day, though . . .

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7RhH161HhlA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7RhH161HhlA</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Todd

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92114 on: June 08, 2017, 04:52:47 AM »



Second listen.  This was the last thing I listened to yesterday, too.  For the first listen, I did something I have not done in many years: I listened to all of the Nocturnes in one sitting.  Huangci's playing is outstanding throughout.  She tends not to dawdle, and in only a few instances does she play in a manner that might be considered to be pushing things.  The faster portions of 15/1 may be too hasty for some, and 37/2 sounds very Mazurka-y at the beginning, while the trills in 62/1 sound a bit excited.  In no case, though, is the overall effect ruined.  The set even includes a nice little encore of the Etude 25/7 with Tristan Cornut on cello.  Huangci's dexterity, clarity (or occasional purposeful lack thereof), dynamic shading, and tonal variety are superb.  Sonics for the 24/96 files are superb, and I suspect that 16/44.1 sounds essentially identical. 

I hope Huangci doesn't dawdle when it comes to making new recordings, and I hope she manages to make it here for a proper recital or concert soon.  She played in Spokane a couple months back.  Spokane!  Aside from being the birthplace of Thomas Hampson, what has that town done for classical music?  Worst case, I'll make the dreadful seven hour drive to hear her if she plays there again.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Harry's corner

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92115 on: June 08, 2017, 05:03:27 AM »
http://walboi.blogspot.nl/2017/06/vasks-peteris-1946-vox-amoris-works-for.html?spref=tw

Finally started listening to all the CD'S I bought from this composer.

You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Offline HIPster

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92116 on: June 08, 2017, 05:15:44 AM »
Morning listening ~



Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92117 on: June 08, 2017, 07:16:56 AM »
Man, I do wish the clarinetist had played better that day, though . . .

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7RhH161HhlA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7RhH161HhlA</a>

I enjoyed hearing this. Thanks.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92118 on: June 08, 2017, 07:20:44 AM »
Thank you.
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

millionrainbows

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Re: What are you listening to now?
« Reply #92119 on: June 08, 2017, 07:41:45 AM »




The Roger Sessions quartet, from 1951, is an example of chromatic thinking in a thematic way. There is an opening theme stated in the beginning, which is repeated in fugue-like fashion. The lines are melodic, and have a long enough flow to them to be recognized as melodic themes. The music holds together and has long-form unity due to these linear themes. Don't listen for tonality, though; there is none. The harmonic aggregates we hear are not derived harmonically, and serve only to color and embellish the thematic elements. Rhythmically, the quartet is rather 'normal,' and there are no surprises.

The next, Stephan Wolpe's String Quartet from 1969, is an example of 'pseudo-thematic' writing. The lines are more angular, and contain greater leaps. This demonstrates more of a a 'disregard' for melodic unity and flow, and shows more allegiance to pitch as a more abstract idea. The lines are drawn from a tone-row, and are less 'thematic' than Sessions. It's a harder-edged approach, which shows a desire to be more objective about the material.

With Babbitt's String Quartet No. 4, we have entered a world of fragmentation. No longer are there thematic considerations; the material seems fragmented, and only 2 to 4-note 'entities' are perceived. This makes it seem more motivic, as if we are microscopically zooming-in on the separate elements of the row. It is further fragmented by the way Babbitt uses sustained bowed notes mixed with pizzicato notes. If there are long lines, they still seem fragmented by this technique. The rhythm is more random, less flowing, less recognizable as phrasing.

As in all atonal and chromatic music, don't listen for tonality. We take for granted how much of our listening is assuming this tonal reference. With this music, you have to consciously and willfully let all of that go. The net result is that, instead of the built-in tonal unity one is used to hearing is replaced by a moment-to-moment acceptance of whatever harmonic consequences are presented to us. Sounds are just sounds, except these are pitched and harmonic, not simply 'sound' as such. Thus, more than electronic music, we have to listen 'musically' to this, and appreciate its reference, however tenuous, to our normal tonal fare. The experience is worthwhile, with many rewards, once you master this way of listening.