Author Topic: Gaping holes  (Read 3209 times)

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2017, 02:01:20 PM »
The ones you picked out are probably closer to the order that I will take, not that I set a plan in stone. Certainly the Mendelssohn (interesting that you underlined the trios but not the quartets) and Schumann.
You said you had the a minor quartet which is probably my favorite of Mendelssohn's. IMO all the quartets are worth listening to although opp. 12,13 and 80 are better than the sometimes a little shallow op.44. The two string quintets are not so well known but also very good. I underlined the trios because the first trio is probably the secondmost famous chamber piece by Mendelssohn (after the octet) and one of the most recorded trios in the repertoire (and the second one is as good although far less popular). Similarly, Schumann's first trio is far more present than 2 and 3.

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The Dvořák was surprising to me since I do have a lot of his chamber music. Even so, there may be another omission or two. I need to check that.
The 3rd trio is one of the most sombre and serious pieces by Dvorak and more impressive than the more famous "Dumky"

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I was mistaken about the Ravel quartet. I do have it. I may not have the Debussy quartet in my collection, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it.
They are both so popular and so often on one disk together that I would be surprised if you did not have them.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Pat B

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2017, 05:52:00 AM »
You said you had the a minor quartet which is probably my favorite of Mendelssohn's. IMO all the quartets are worth listening to although opp. 12,13 and 80 are better than the sometimes a little shallow op.44. The two string quintets are not so well known but also very good. I underlined the trios because the first trio is probably the secondmost famous chamber piece by Mendelssohn (after the octet) and one of the most recorded trios in the repertoire (and the second one is as good although far less popular). Similarly, Schumann's first trio is far more present than 2 and 3.

Thanks for this. I do have the quintets and especially love the 1st.

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They are both so popular and so often on one disk together that I would be surprised if you did not have them.

My recording of the Ravel quartet is not one of the conventional recommendations. It's by the Borodin Quartet on BBC Legends (coupled with Shostakovich 8 and Borodin 2). The intersection of Debussy and chamber music is a likely gap for me. I think I have most of his other major works, but I wouldn’t say he’s a favorite.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2017, 06:24:03 AM »
There is an interesting CD by the Kuijken family with the quartet and the most famous chamber music by Debussy. I admittedly am not a great fan of Debussy's orchestral music but I like the little chamber music there is and also most of the piano music. The chamber music is less "impressionist" than some other Debussy and the string quartet is also comparably early. It is a fairly unique and great piece, I think.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2017, 05:37:54 PM »
In the past 12 months a few holes were plugged in my collection:

- my first ever listening to Britten's Peter Grimes. Since then I've heard Billy Budd. Suggestions for further acquaintance are welcome !
- also by Britten: the War Requiem. I now have 4 versions. Funny that I have known Britten's string 4tets and Cello suites a decade or two before that.
- Mozart's Entführung entered my collection with a bang: 5 versions in quick succession. Love at first hearing. Prior to that I had never heard it beside the most famous arias.

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- in the realm of opera: only L'Orfeo from Monteverdi. No Il Ritorno, no L'Incoronazione. I'm biding my time. I just can't seem to decide on what approach would suit my taste.

- I have but one recording (for small orchestra) of The Art of Fugue. I find it dreary. I probably need a fix.

- Mozartwise, no Hoffmeister Quartet, no Prussians either. I used to have them on lp, never liked the Prussians. The guilt almost sent me in a depression  :(. I've always had the impression Mozart left his melodic genius in the closet when composing them  ???. No Idomeneo, no Clemenza di Tito either.

- I have a big EMI Maria Callas box. Buried in it are recordings of Rossini's Il Barbiere and Il Turco in Italia and, no doubt, a few more plums. I've never had them in my collection in 45 years. Thanks to the Met's indefatigable advocacy I know Il Barbiere almost inside out. Maybe I'm suffering from overexposure. But who knows ? With Trump's new budget maybe such goodies will disappear forever  ???.

Art of Fugue:. I have always liked the Emerson String Quartet recording.
Mozart Operas:. Anything from Rene Jacob's series.
Callas recordings:. Turco in Italia was heavily cut and meddled with, in accord with the practice of that time.  The Abbado recordings are a safe bet.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2017, 12:59:04 AM »
- Mozart's Entführung entered my collection with a bang: 5 versions in quick succession. Love at first hearing. Prior to that I had never heard it beside the most famous arias.
It is maybe another piece that does not travel all that well. In Germany and Austria it is hugely popular and people have arranged children's versions (so naturally without some of the famous arias) so it can be done with children, teenagers and maybe a few music students for some of the major roles. Of course it can also be read as a rather dark piece (sex trafficking etc.) according to some more recent stagings. The music is great and it is almost as daring a mix of styles as the Magic Flute.

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- I have but one recording (for small orchestra) of The Art of Fugue. I find it dreary. I probably need a fix.
Most will agree that it is a tough piece. I love some of the fugues and by now have no problem to listen two a whole disc in one go. But I do not recommend this. The piece was not meant to be performed as a whole but more of a collection. It is much better to pick a few fugues and listen to them. And try different interpretations although a chamber orchestra version should in theory be more diverse than one for piano or harpsichord only. There are VERY different interpretations out there. If you can find them (maybe youtube), try Scherchen's "expressionist" orchestral version or the entertaining one on Arte Nova with "4 quartets" (viola da gamba + recorders, string quartet, modern woodwinds, "Jazz ensemble" with piano, vibraphon, bass).

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- Mozartwise, no Hoffmeister Quartet, no Prussians either. I used to have them on lp, never liked the Prussians. The guilt almost sent me in a depression  :(. I've always had the impression Mozart left his melodic genius in the closet when composing them???
Really? While I can understand this impression of the last quartet, I found the first two "Prussian" (K 575 and 589) among the most melodically appealing (one of them actually quotes a song "Das Veilchen" (the violet) in the slow? movement) among Mozart's quartets. They are not as dramatic as some of the ones dedicated to Haydn, though.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 01:22:51 AM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline André

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2017, 11:25:08 AM »
Thanks all for the suggestions !

Myversion of Art of the Fugue is by the Collegium Aureum. I usually love what they do, but somehow the work falls flat on its face here. I'll try something else (keyboard) and sip instead of trying to bobble it all down  ;D

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2017, 11:45:43 AM »
- I have but one recording (for small orchestra) of The Art of Fugue. I find it dreary. I probably need a fix.

The Art of Fugue is not a "work." It's a pedagogical anthology for the keyboard, and Bach would never have expected it to be played or heard as an entity. That said, the only time it has worked for me as a work is in the orchestration by William Malloch called The Art of Fuguing. On a Sheffield CD directed by Lukas Foss, it is bracing, invigorating, and even funny. Highest recommendation.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Laece

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2017, 08:09:46 AM »

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2017, 08:21:54 AM »
The Art of Fugue is not a "work." It's a pedagogical anthology for the keyboard, and Bach would never have expected it to be played or heard as an entity. That said, the only time it has worked for me as a work is in the orchestration by William Malloch called The Art of Fuguing. On a Sheffield CD directed by Lukas Foss, it is bracing, invigorating, and even funny. Highest recommendation.
I like the Art of Fugue, but I find it very very hard to listen to the entire work in one sitting...

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »
The Art of Fugue is not a "work." It's a pedagogical anthology for the keyboard, and Bach would never have expected it to be played or heard as an entity.

Much the same can be said about the WTC, and it is often performed at least one book at a time in its entity.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2017, 04:19:34 PM »
Much the same can be said about the WTC, and it is often performed at least one book at a time in its entity.

Doesn't make the statement any less true. I only hope both books are not performed at one time as an entity.

Honestly, the one time I sat through recitals of WTC 1 and 2 (separate nights), after a while I just found myself doing math in my head: 6 down, 18 to go; 13 down, 11 to go; F# major, another X number of keys left, etc. I love every bit of it individually, but the "work" has no unifying architecture, and it makes no aesthetic sense to hear all the preludes and fugues in succession.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline amw

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2017, 04:23:41 PM »
Yes pretty much. Plus "ok I know this tempo for the B-flat minor fugue is very sad and expressive but can you PLEASE hurry it up because we've been sitting here for 2 hours"

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2017, 05:12:48 PM »
Doesn't make the statement any less true. I only hope both books are not performed at one time as an entity.

Honestly, the one time I sat through recitals of WTC 1 and 2 (separate nights), after a while I just found myself doing math in my head: 6 down, 18 to go; 13 down, 11 to go; F# major, another X number of keys left, etc. I love every bit of it individually, but the "work" has no unifying architecture, and it makes no aesthetic sense to hear all the preludes and fugues in succession.

But AoF does have an underlying architecture, marred by the great incomplete fugue with which it ends, but certainly present: everything is in some fashion a permutation of the opening theme.

I myself have always found that keyboard versions of AoF are less successful than multi-instrument versions. The voices need to be timbrally different in my view. My two favorite versions are Emerson SQ and Musica Antiqua Koln.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2017, 06:39:26 PM »
But AoF does have an underlying architecture, marred by the great incomplete fugue with which it ends, but certainly present: everything is in some fashion a permutation of the opening theme.

I myself have always found that keyboard versions of AoF are less successful than multi-instrument versions. The voices need to be timbrally different in my view. My two favorite versions are Emerson SQ and Musica Antiqua Koln.

point 1: Yes, but that does not mean the fugues create a listenable whole. If anything, because they're all a permutation of the same theme all in the same key, monotony easily sets in when listening to all in succession.
point 2: And yet many musicologists such as Gustav Leonhardt and Charles Rosen argue that it is in fact a keyboard work, the use of open score being common in complex contrapuntal music.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Jo498

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2017, 12:11:55 AM »
I think it is fairly obvious that neither WTC nor AoF nor Christmas Oratorio or b minor mass were supposed to be performed in one concert. (Despite some recollections of Bach pupils that the master sometimes played the WTC for them instead of a "real lesson" I seriously doubt that it can be inferred that he played the whole book I - and this would still not be a concert setting but a private occasion)
But it is also hard to deny that they have been performed in this fashion quite successfully for about a hundred years or so... So some people got used to it and it seems to work in practice.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2017, 12:52:21 AM »
Frankly I think it's impossible to avoid gaping holes with classical music.
There is so much of it and not all of it can ever be to everyone's liking.
Even Harry must have gaping holes!

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2017, 01:47:47 AM »
Frankly I think it's impossible to avoid gaping holes with classical music.
There is so much of it and not all of it can ever be to everyone's liking.
Even Harry must have gaping holes!

I do not think deliberate omissions should be called gaping holes.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2017, 02:03:55 AM »
point 1: Yes, but that does not mean the fugues create a listenable whole. If anything, because they're all a permutation of the same theme all in the same key, monotony easily sets in when listening to all in succession.

The unfinished fugue excepted (was it meant to be part of the work?) the AoF constitutes IMO an integrated whole, counterpoint I - XI in particular but even the mirror fugues creating variation and increasing tension, and I have no problems in listening to it in one sequence. The canons may be seen as a kind of appendix, like the duets in CU III.

And actually the AoF is often performed at concerts in one sequence.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2017, 02:24:56 AM »
I do not think deliberate omissions should be called gaping holes.

I don't have J. S. Bach's Easter Oratorio. Somehow only recently I realised such work exists. Must be a minor work.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Gaping holes
« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2017, 03:22:25 AM »
I don't have J. S. Bach's Easter Oratorio. Somehow only recently I realised such work exists. Must be a minor work.
It is basically a festive cantata like a few others and at about 40 minutes it is only a little longer than similar festive cantatas for the other major feast days. The "ascension oratorio" BWV 11 is catalogued among the "ordinary" cantatas.
While not comparable in scale to the Passions etc. they are certainly worth listening to but I would not put them above many of the "ordinary cantatas" (which says more about the high quality of the latter than about any "faults" of the Easter and Ascension pieces).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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