Author Topic: The Barber Chair  (Read 25459 times)

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Online snyprrr

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #200 on: January 03, 2017, 01:08:58 PM »
Let me add that Barber's Capricorn Concerto is a great work.

Awright... let's break out the Clark... around here... somewhere...
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Offline Rons_talking

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Re: The Barber Chair PIANO SONATA, hEY, THIS THING ROCKS?!?!!!
« Reply #201 on: January 03, 2017, 01:42:36 PM »
Piano Sonata

Heard it for the first time today. Hey, not at ALL what I expected. "American Romantic",... uh,....NO!! And I wasn't expecting the two quick movements to be so angular and bleepy/bloopy,... in all I was quite impressed! It just sounded "modern" to me, but it is obviously of a conservative modernism, but, it sure isn't Rachy or anything, or Copland and such. It seemed very thoughtful, though I felt it was a bit rushed as a Composition, like he wanted to get it over with or something, a bit short to be the Big American Piano Sonata. But, it has a sheen, sports car American Academic, thoughtful, sincere, with some turbo charging- Barber doesn't really sissy out here, and I say again that I was pleasantly surprised. I might even give the whole SQ a go (Tokyo SQ;RCA).

So, is my assessment correct?- a bit more badass than I had a right to expect?,... or, I just didn't know Sammy?

In my opinion, it's one of Barber's masterworks. He certainly isn't fooling around! It's as if he read remarks asserting his style was all soft, pretty and lyrical and he responded, saying "hum this!" The power in the semitone motive as well as the cascading fourths and down-right audacious change of phrase, mood and register makes it one of my favourite "power sonatas." Another is Session's 2nd PS written around the same time. The Barber Sonata is a thrill to hear...I'm surprised more pianists don't perform it. But that's another story.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #202 on: January 03, 2017, 07:38:38 PM »
Awright... let's break out the Clark... around here... somewhere...

Let me know what you think about once you've revisited it.
"Why should I put on boots and climb mountains for Mexican folklore if I have the spirit deep within me?” - Silvestre Revueltas

Online snyprrr

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Re: The Barber Chair CAPRICORN CONCERTO
« Reply #203 on: January 05, 2017, 05:09:20 PM »
Let me know what you think about once you've revisited it.

1) I always remember the impact of the opening of the Mercury recording, very alive, but I haven't had that one around...

2) So, I have it as an "also-ran" on the Albany/TROY recording with Keith Clark conducting. Now, all items here, Barber, Copland, and Harris, I believe were recorded at different times and locations,... I believe,... and, of course, it works great for the Harris, but, and I remember having this issue the last time I listened to the Barber, is, the sound here isn't as sumptuous as one might hope for: it's fine and all, but a little wanting in that "alive" factor I recall from the Mercury.

So, then, the music has to do the trick. I noticed the principles are all famous musicians (Plog on trumpet!, DeTullio, flute...), so, the playing is fine.

Well...

OK, there's that "Neo-Classical", "concerto grosso", Stravinsky=Copland kind of opening (I also heard some Harrisness towards the end of the piece). And it's off,... but, and I was really paying attention and all, but I was starting to,.. to,.. to,... oy, it's only 11mins., I've got 7 to go!!

So, first off, at 18mins., it just seemed a little long. As a Neo-Classical piece, I would have loved if Igor had perhaps looked it over and said he liked it but here's where you can make some cuts... and, at this point in my listening, that opening figure just grates on me as a typical Igor-ism. BUT- I do surely have a feeling that the Mercury might change my mind. Hold on, let me YT it...


(later)


OK, so, even the opening of the Mercury emits blazing energy, which I don't get from Clark. And the sound is in your face good.

So, that screws my whole..... is this piece really 18mins. long??


Eh,.. sorry, John, whatever the piece's merits, I think there's something up with the Clark. Can someone else tell me what's up here- just a energy draining recording??

The music seems instantly likable in the Mercury guise, seems to drag on in the Albany?


I waaas surprised by Copland's 'Prairie Radio Music'. I wasn't expecting "real" music here, but, it sounds like one of his best pieces, imo. Huh.


So, yea, there was other music on that Harris gettysburg CD, LOL!! :laugh:
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #204 on: August 18, 2017, 07:25:56 AM »
As all the local record shops have sadly closed down and the musical instrument shop has sold off all their remaining CDs (I purchased five  >:D) I only have the local HMV shop whose classical selection ('Mozart's a Greatest Hits' etc) diminishes with each visit. Therefore I was delighted to find this CD, unknown to me, on their shelves today. Frankly it is sensational in regard to all three works. The Randall Thompson is a very nice life-affirming score with a highly memorable opening movement and it should be much better known. When I heard that young Samuel Adams ( born 1985) incorporated electronic elements in his music I was not expecting much but I loved his 'Drift and Providence' and found it much more approachable and tonal and memorable than anticipated. It is a musical depiction of the Pacific Ocean and lies IMHO on a spectrum between John Luther Adams's 'Become Ocean' and Alan Hovhaness's 'And a God Created Great Whales' - I really enjoyed it (for full orchestra, electronic devices and the composer on his laptop 😀). Best of all was the sensational performance of Barber's First Symphony - the most moving I have heard, especially the way that the final section is played slower than usual. The best performance since William Strickland with the Japanese PO and much better recorded.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 07:47:07 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #205 on: May 14, 2018, 03:51:01 AM »
Just finished this documentary after spreading it out over a two-day period (it’s around 2 hrs. in duration):



Let me just say that for anyone with any interest in this composer owes it to themselves to see this film. It may very well be the best composer documentary I’ve ever seen and really gets to the heart of the composer. One of the most rewarding features of this film is how it takes you through works from the very beginning until the end of the composer’s life. Two parts of this film I found particularly interesting were the discussions of the Cello Sonata and Cello Concerto. Two, IMHO, underrated works in Barber’s oeuvre. A must see!

Just a note that this landed a few days ago.  I am saving it for a treat to watch when I am done with Deep Breath.
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 Mirror Image

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #206 on: May 14, 2018, 05:05:15 AM »
Just a note that this landed a few days ago.  I am saving it for a treat to watch when I am done with Deep Breath.

Great stuff, Karl. 8)
"Why should I put on boots and climb mountains for Mexican folklore if I have the spirit deep within me?” - Silvestre Revueltas

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #207 on: May 14, 2018, 05:38:58 AM »
I'm looking forward to it!
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.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #208 on: May 14, 2018, 06:08:29 AM »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #209 on: May 14, 2018, 06:42:22 PM »
As all the local record shops have sadly closed down and the musical instrument shop has sold off all their remaining CDs (I purchased five  >:D) I only have the local HMV shop whose classical selection ('Mozart's a Greatest Hits' etc) diminishes with each visit. Therefore I was delighted to find this CD, unknown to me, on their shelves today. Frankly it is sensational in regard to all three works. The Randall Thompson is a very nice life-affirming score with a highly memorable opening movement and it should be much better known. When I heard that young Samuel Adams ( born 1985) incorporated electronic elements in his music I was not expecting much but I loved his 'Drift and Providence' and found it much more approachable and tonal and memorable than anticipated. It is a musical depiction of the Pacific Ocean and lies IMHO on a spectrum between John Luther Adams's 'Become Ocean' and Alan Hovhaness's 'And a God Created Great Whales' - I really enjoyed it (for full orchestra, electronic devices and the composer on his laptop 😀). Best of all was the sensational performance of Barber's First Symphony - the most moving I have heard, especially the way that the final section is played slower than usual. The best performance since William Strickland with the Japanese PO and much better recorded.



I've listened to the Thompson symphony on this recording (which is great) but not yet the Barber - on the basis of your praise I simply must!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #210 on: May 14, 2018, 10:35:01 PM »
I've listened to the Thompson symphony on this recording (which is great) but not yet the Barber - on the basis of your praise I simply must!
Well, I hope that you enjoy the rest of the CD as much as I did Kyle! It was great to actually find this CD unexpectedly on the shelves of my local HMV shop. Let us know what you think of the rest of the CD.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #211 on: May 15, 2018, 10:34:16 AM »
Was just listening to the Cello Concerto (Ma/Baltimore/Zinman on Sony) and was enjoying it much more than I had previously. However, I find that the finale, like that of the Violin Concerto, often succumbs to rather empty virtuosity and lacks the soulful lyricism of the first two movements.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #212 on: May 15, 2018, 05:34:37 PM »
Was just listening to the Cello Concerto (Ma/Baltimore/Zinman on Sony) and was enjoying it much more than I had previously. However, I find that the finale, like that of the Violin Concerto, often succumbs to rather empty virtuosity and lacks the soulful lyricism of the first two movements.

I find nothing wrong with either concerto and love them both dearly. Also, Ma/Zinman isn’t a great performance by any stretch. My preferences here are Gastinel/Brown (on Naive) and Poltera/Litton (on BIS). I’ve heard almost all of the performances of the Cello Concerto.
"Why should I put on boots and climb mountains for Mexican folklore if I have the spirit deep within me?” - Silvestre Revueltas

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #213 on: May 15, 2018, 09:02:52 PM »
Was just listening to the Cello Concerto (Ma/Baltimore/Zinman on Sony) and was enjoying it much more than I had previously. However, I find that the finale, like that of the Violin Concerto, often succumbs to rather empty virtuosity and lacks the soulful lyricism of the first two movements.

I like both but probably prefer the Cello Concerto, which I knew before the VC. I agree that the first two movements of the VC are wonderful but prefer the Cello Concerto as a whole. I came across it on an old Decca Eclipse (them again!) LP in my youth, unususually coupled with Alan Rawsthorne's fine Piano Concerto 2 ( my first encounter with that excellent work as well).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).