Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 49906 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #220 on: March 19, 2017, 06:47:29 AM »
Debussy's Trio for harp, viola and flute.+ Nocturnes

Haven't heard either in a while and HOLY SHIT they're good!! Debussy was such a pioneer, he's so overlooked in that regard. There is so much of Varese (albeit not with the percussion or block form) and later texturalism/spectralism encoded in his music.
He was so radical, even more than Schoenberg in my experience. He pretty much threw out all traditional forms out the window (unlike Schoenberg, but the point isn't to compare).

The orchestration is so free to float but so tightly strung. I'm about to have another Debussy phase ain't I?  ;)

I’m not sure if I agree that Debussy was overlooked as an innovator. He’s acknowledged all over the world as someone who broke new ground and tore down barriers. By dissolving the musical influence of Wagnerism and going his own way, his music has impacted the 20th and 21st Centuries like he never would have imagined.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #221 on: March 19, 2017, 06:59:48 AM »
Strauss' tome poem, Macbeth. Not a new piece to me by any means, but considering the output of great tome poems, operas, concertos, etc. from Strauss I think this one gets overlooked, even by me. Composed when Strauss was between the ages of 22-24 years old, the piece doesn't reach the level of orchestral brilliance as some of his later works, but I'm really impressed with the eclectic colors and styles that young Strauss injected in this work.

Listened to a new purchase of Macbeth the other day, performed by Maazel/Vienna, and was truly affected. It had been too long since I listened to it.

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #222 on: March 19, 2017, 08:35:05 PM »
This is so awesome

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/vcEeN9qAVmw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/vcEeN9qAVmw</a>

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #223 on: March 19, 2017, 08:44:18 PM »
I’m still shook up after revisiting one of my musical hero’s works for string orchestra: Bartók’s Divertimento.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/fEhacfM2S-U" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/fEhacfM2S-U</a>
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline Todd

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #224 on: March 20, 2017, 11:41:41 AM »



This is the year of Marie-Luise Hinrichs for me.  Her two discs of Padre Antonio Soler are brilliant, with fantastically nuanced playing.  As great as they are, they didn't really prepare me for this disc of a dozen piano transcriptions of pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, five short pieces by Armenian composer and spiritualist/mystic George Gurdjieff, and one brief original work by the pianist.  Ms Hinrichs has entered the realm of Michel Block's best work with this disc.  Hinrichs writes in the liner notes that she only discovered Hildegard von Bingen in 2005, and soon thereafter transcribed pieces during a very spiritual time for her.  She states that she transcribed with God's help and that while working she sensed a second voice that was not hers.  I'm not spiritual myself, but the results point to the absolute sincerity of what she writes.  The Bingen pieces display a very serious, very devout, and very loving spirituality.  There's just no other way to describe it. 

The music is often simplicity itself, with beautiful monophonic melodies throughout.  Hinrichs fleshes the music out for piano wonderfully, and never overdoes it.  The transcriptions are not about virtuosic showmanship, but rather they focus on musical truth.  And they allow Hinrichs to display an amazing, soft variability of touch.  Piano and pianissimo come in many shades, and in a few pieces she achieves pianissimo as delicate and quiet as anything I've heard from Yaeko Yamane or Julian Gorus.  Hinrichs achieves some of this with generous una corda use, but sometimes she seems to be barely nudging the keys.  But there's much more than that.  Though generally quiet and spiritual, Hinrichs infuses the playing with delicately nuanced and perfectly judged rhythmic vitality.  Her rhythmic acumen is even more on display in the Gurdjieff pieces, which evoke the Orient in a hazy, sometimes languid, but always intensely appealing way.  As with fellow German pianist Ragna Schirmer, Hinrichs weaves pieces from seemingly disparate sources very well.  Indeed, I'd say Hinrichs does a better job here than Schirmer does in her traversal of Liszt's Annees.  Hinrichs' one original composition very much fits in with the conception of the disc as a whole.  I suppose it might be possible to find the strumming of the piano strings that start a few pieces, and a couple string plucks, to be a bit kitschy, and I usually find such devices unnecessary, but even those work splendidly here.  The music is so captivating, though in a very calming and reassuring way, that when I first spun the disc, I did something I almost never do: I played it twice, back to back.  The disc offers an hour of radiant serenity. 

Sound is inside-the-piano close, with pedal noise and damper noise.  It does not detract in the least, and it is less obvious through headphones, which offer an even more enveloping experience than speakers.

One of my purchases of the century.


(YouTube has some video of Hinrichs playing some of the music live in small settings, as well as what appears to be all the individual tracks from this disc, but they ultimately do not do full justice to the music.  It deserves to be heard in full resolution through decent headphones or standard gear for optimum effect.)
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #225 on: March 20, 2017, 11:51:43 AM »



This is the year of Marie-Luise Hinrichs for me.  Her two discs of Padre Antonio Soler are brilliant, with fantastically nuanced playing.  As great as they are, they didn't really prepare me for this disc of a dozen piano transcriptions of pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, five short pieces by Armenian composer and spiritualist/mystic George Gurdjieff, and one brief original work by the pianist.  Ms Hinrichs has entered the realm of Michel Block's best work with this disc.  Hinrichs writes in the liner notes that she only discovered Hildegard von Bingen in 2005, and soon thereafter transcribed pieces during a very spiritual time for her.  She states that she transcribed with God's help and that while working she sensed a second voice that was not hers.  I'm not spiritual myself, but the results point to the absolute sincerity of what she writes.  The Bingen pieces display a very serious, very devout, and very loving spirituality.  There's just no other way to describe it. 

The music is often simplicity itself, with beautiful monophonic melodies throughout.  Hinrichs fleshes the music out for piano wonderfully, and never overdoes it.  The transcriptions are not about virtuosic showmanship, but rather they focus on musical truth.  And they allow Hinrichs to display an amazing, soft variability of touch.  Piano and pianissimo come in many shades, and in a few pieces she achieves pianissimo as delicate and quiet as anything I've heard from Yaeko Yamane or Julian Gorus.  Hinrichs achieves some of this with generous una corda use, but sometimes she seems to be barely nudging the keys.  But there's much more than that.  Though generally quiet and spiritual, Hinrichs infuses the playing with delicately nuanced and perfectly judged rhythmic vitality.  Her rhythmic acumen is even more on display in the Gurdjieff pieces, which evoke the Orient in a hazy, sometimes languid, but always intensely appealing way.  As with fellow German pianist Ragna Schirmer, Hinrichs weaves pieces from seemingly disparate sources very well.  Indeed, I'd say Hinrichs does a better job here than Schirmer does in her traversal of Liszt's Annees.  Hinrichs' one original composition very much fits in with the conception of the disc as a whole.  I suppose it might be possible to find the strumming of the piano strings that start a few pieces, and a couple string plucks, to be a bit kitschy, and I usually find such devices unnecessary, but even those work splendidly here.  The music is so captivating, though in a very calming and reassuring way, that when I first spun the disc, I did something I almost never do: I played it twice, back to back.  The disc offers an hour of radiant serenity. 

Sound is inside-the-piano close, with pedal noise and damper noise.  It does not detract in the least, and it is less obvious through headphones, which offer an even more enveloping experience than speakers.

One of my purchases of the century.


(YouTube has some video of Hinrichs playing some of the music live in small settings, as well as what appears to be all the individual tracks from this disc, but they ultimately do not do full justice to the music.  It deserves to be heard in full resolution through decent headphones or standard gear for optimum effect.)

Immediately headed to my wish list. Thank you for the greatly detailed post, Todd.

Offline North Star

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #226 on: March 20, 2017, 11:56:42 AM »
Immediately headed to my wish list. Thank you for the greatly detailed post, Todd.
+1
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Offline Todd

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #227 on: March 24, 2017, 05:50:53 AM »



The final disc of Olivier Vernet's traversal of Liszt's organ music is a duo disc where he and pianist Laurent Cabasso play re-transcriptions of four of Liszt's symphonic poems: Mazeppa (the non-transcendental form), Les Preludes, Orpheus, and Prometheus.  On paper, this does not necessarily seem as though it should work all that well.  In practice, it most certainly does.  The works end up sounding like over the top, gothic piano concertos.  The piano is more forward physically, and sounds slightly stage right, and instead of an orchestra backing the pianist, the organ generates a wall of sound behind the puny piano.  Vernet and Cabasso keep things very well balanced, with the piano getting plenty of attention.  Sometimes, when the massive bass pipes fire off, the piano sounds as though it is an instrument emerging from - escaping, even - the gaping maw of a giant musical beast; the low frequencies seem to emanate from all around, all at once, and the effect is dazzling.  No, this is not deep, profound music being delivered as solemn as a mass, or anything like that, but it is an outstanding scaling up of Liszt's most fantastically glitzy tendencies.  Completely unexpectedly, it ends up the most exciting and captivating disc of this already excellent set.  I'd love to hear something like this in person, though I doubt I ever get the chance.  A great good time.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #228 on: March 28, 2017, 05:14:23 AM »
Jacob van Eyck - Engels Nachtegaeltje (the English Nightingale)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ZvDb5EmhfZI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ZvDb5EmhfZI</a>

This is good but the performance by Erik Bosgraaf on this 3-CD set is indeed mindblowing.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline some guy

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #229 on: April 02, 2017, 11:51:59 AM »
This is so awesome

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/vcEeN9qAVmw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/vcEeN9qAVmw</a>

Couldn't agree more. I just spent two very happy hours on his Soundcloud feed. Magical!!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #230 on: April 02, 2017, 01:40:07 PM »
Not a new piece to me but I was blown away last night by how aggressive Schoenberg's Five pieces for orchestra is at times, then how serene Farben is

Schoenberg’s Five Pieces has long been a favorite of mine. The tapestry of sound and drama pulls one in from beginning and keeps the listener gripped until the end. It’s like we’re witnessing someone who’s tearing themselves apart trying to decide what they truly want.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 01:42:56 PM by Mirror Image »
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline arpeggio

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« Reply #231 on: April 02, 2017, 06:55:20 PM »


I submitted a post about the above in the "Purchases Today" thread.

I am listening to the second CD in the set.  There is some great music here.


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #232 on: April 04, 2017, 05:44:22 PM »
Tabakova’s Cello Concerto has me utterly blown away. The slow movement, Longing, had me in tears the other night.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aQRRrWEY1OE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aQRRrWEY1OE</a>
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #233 on: April 05, 2017, 05:02:30 AM »
Robert Schumann - Abendmusik (Bunte Blätter op. 99 No. 12)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_csAaW31UmE#" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/_csAaW31UmE#</a>

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #234 on: April 08, 2017, 05:37:58 PM »
I’m always blown away whenever I hear Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #235 on: April 08, 2017, 06:30:17 PM »
Kilar: Requiem for Father Kolbe

Very emotional.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #236 on: April 08, 2017, 11:42:02 PM »
Tabakova’s Cello Concerto has me utterly blown away. The slow movement, Longing, had me in tears the other night.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aQRRrWEY1OE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aQRRrWEY1OE</a>
Very Gorecki/Part.  Let your inner minimalist bloom John! You know it's right!   >:D
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #237 on: April 09, 2017, 12:53:57 AM »
Rachmaninoff's The Miserly Knight. I've always loved this opera but the last time I listened to it was just magical.

And while on the subject of Rachmaninoff, Prince Rostislav as well.

Pretty much every work I've heard from Rachmaninoff has blown me away more or less.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #238 on: April 09, 2017, 02:06:37 AM »
Pretty much every work I've heard from Rachmaninoff has blown me away more or less.

+ 1
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #239 on: April 09, 2017, 04:07:07 AM »
Very Gorecki/Part.  Let your inner minimalist bloom John! You know it's right!   >:D

Oh, I love Gorecki and Part. I just don’t like the American Minimalists.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu