Author Topic: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble  (Read 1744 times)

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Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:38:11 PM »
There is something about music for string orchestra or large string ensemble that I find very visceral, dramatic, and often uplifting--similar in some ways to a capella choral music, chant, etc. The sound is so pure and intense. Without the full color of the orchestra, the listener is focused on other aspects of the music. Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen is one of the greatest pieces of music in existence IMO, one of my top ten at least. I also never tire of pieces like Vaughan-Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Grieg's Holberg Suite, or Elgar's Introduction and Allegro.

I am looking to expand my listening to this genre, so am currently accepting only your best submissions.  :laugh: 20th Century works are also of great interest. (Bloch's Concerti Grosso are great but don't quite fit the definition)

 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 10:47:54 PM by XB-70 Valkyrie »
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 11:07:45 PM »
Claude Vivier, Zipangu
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 11:10:58 PM »
Thank you. I always enjoy reading your posts and recommendations.
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 11:13:05 PM »
Looking on Amazon, I find it interesting that "Customers who bought this also bought"

this one, from another genre of music entirely, which is also on my wish list.

If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline Jo498

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 11:33:37 PM »
Suk: Serenade (not quite as good as the Dvorak, but very nice)
Bartok: Divertimento
Britten: Bridge variations
Tippett: Corelli fantasia, Concerto for double string orchestra
Martin: Polyptyque
sometimes more like a musical joke, but worth a try: Shchedrin: Carmen-Suite (has percussion in a few movements, I think)

If one admits a few additional instruments, there is a lot more. Basically all the stuff ever commissioned by Paul Sacher for his chamber orchestra, e.g. Martin's petite symphonie concertante for harp, harpsichord and strings.

(Several of Shostakovich's string quartets were arranged as "string symphonies", I don't care for such arrangements but some people like 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 North Star

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 12:43:00 AM »
Leifs: Réminiscence du Nord Op. 40, Elegy Op. 53
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9
Hindemith: Trauermusik for viola and string orchestra
Stravinsky: Concerto in D
Vaughan Williams: Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus' for string orchestra & harp (or harps), Partita for double string orchestra
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Offline ritter

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 01:43:25 AM »
Igor Stravinsky: Apollon musagète
Pierre Boulez: Livre pour cordes
Ernst Krenek: Symphonic Elegy
Alberto Ginastera: Concerto per corde
Eduard Toldrà: Vistes al mar
George Enescu: Octuor à cordes (I don't know if 8 is large enough to qualify).
Juan Bautista Plaza: Fuga romántica & Fuga criolla (these are really off the beaten track, by a Venezuelan composer of the mid 20th century--available on YouTube).
Cristóbal Halffter: Pourquoi (for 12 strings), Fantasie über einen Klang von G.F. Händel
Charles Wuorinen: Grand Bamboula
Hans Werner Henze: Fantasia für Streicher
Goffredo Petrassi: Quarto concerto, per orchestra d'archi
Claude Debussy: Danses, sacrée et profane (if the presence of a harp doesn't disqualify this)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 03:23:33 AM by ritter »
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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 01:50:33 AM »
Claude Vivier, Zipangu

I love that piece, Viver is an underappreciated spirit. Sad he went so young, "Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele" is also really scary  ???

Offline Biffo

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 02:06:14 AM »
Dvorak and Tchaikovsky both wrote fine String Serenades and Tchaikovsky's String Sextet 'Souvenir de Florence' has been arranged for string orchestra. Scoenberg's string sextet Verklaerte Nacht has been arranged for string orchestra; he also wrote a Suite for String Orchestra. Another arrangement - Walton's String Quartet as Sonata for Strings. Also:

Britten - Simple Symphony, Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra
Purcell - Chaconny in G minor

Probably lots of others when I have had more time to think about.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 02:57:46 AM »
Othmar Schoeck's Sommernacht is rather lovely in a Straussian and (to my British ears) Elgarian way.
"Just because I like something, it doesn't mean it's any good."

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 03:27:06 AM »
I love that piece, Viver is an underappreciated spirit. Sad he went so young,

Yes but you know, take consolation in this thought

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline amw

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 03:47:34 AM »
Mendelssohn's 13 string symphonies
Penderecki: Threnody & Emanationen
Takemitsu: Requiem
Xenakis: Syrmos, Aroura, Shaar
Arnold: Symphony for Strings
KA Hartmann: Symphony No.4
Ligeti: Ramifications
Lutosławski: Preludes & Fugue
Scelsi: Natura renovatur
Veress: Musica concertante
G Coates: Music on Open Strings
L Andriessen: Symphony for open strings
(the differences between these last two works, ostensibly based on the same concept, may be instructive)

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 04:36:59 AM »
Toru Takemitsu ~ Dorian Horizon (for seventeen strings)
A very fine (and gorgeous imho) piece.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/x4hMYQ_D7GQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/x4hMYQ_D7GQ</a>

John Adams ~ Shaker Loops, for seven strings (original version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQJaJuMTouE
& the Composer's later String Orchestra version (the work is in four contiguous movements played without pause... this is link 1 of 4 here)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cccepyf26LI

Alfredo Casella ~ Concerto per quartetto d'archi op.40b (arranged for string orchestra) -- on this playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHGCEY9BAI0&index=34&list=PLhQHlPG4E3Cy9blwlpqwNutUz3sQh8259

Irving Fine ~ Serious Song, a Lament for String Orchestra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEuXZXj-mQA

Lou Harrison ~ Suite for Symphonic Strings
1. Estampie
2. Chorale
3. Double Fugue
4. Ductia
5. Lament
6. Canonic Variations
7. Little Fugue
8. Round in Honor of Hermes
9. Nocturne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gKKb30QQXE

Alberto Ginastera - Concerto per corde, Op. 33
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rrUH1_TULk

Pierre Boulez - Livre pour cordes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rHw5_9LSoM

Shostakovich, an early work, his Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11 (the second movement is completely zippy, fantastic)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt5B4hjHH7Q
 
Two widely known and popular:
Dag Wirén ~ Serenade for Strings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bKlWxFSpTI
I doubt if near to anyone has missed this one, but if you have...
Grieg ~ Holberg Suite
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ6AaBArhRw

Seconding also the two already listed:
Stravinsky
Concerto in D
Apollo (revised version... Always the Revised Version whenever it comes to Stravinsky!)


Best regards.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 04:46:28 AM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 04:50:41 AM »
I disagree.  Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920), e.g., is preferred, imo.  There may be others, but I'd have to look.  Off the top of my head, I'd guess I would feel just the opposite of you, i.e. the original version is preferred.  My impression is that Stravinsky revised the scores in order to acquire copyright protection in the U.S.

Maybe, just maybe, I could quibble w you re: Symphonies of Wind Instruments.  Yes, sometimes he only changed a few bar-lines to regain copyright lost to the Soviet non-copyright policy, but any that were changed, even a bit beyond mere metric notation, were invariably, imo, clarified and improved.  The 1947 Petrushka is, apart from the reduction of the double wind sections (something lost / something gained), altered, with other significant changes and additions to the piano part, especially.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 05:04:07 AM »
Prompted by this thread I just listened to livre pour cordes for the first time, it's warm and cuddly.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 05:20:55 AM »
Prompted by this thread I just listened to livre pour cordes for the first time, it's warm and cuddly.

 ;D
+1
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2017, 10:10:01 AM »
A few of my candidates:

Vaughan Williams: Partita, Five Variants on ‘Dives and Lazarus’, Concerto Grosso
Bartók: Divertimento
Martinů: Double Concerto (hopefully, the inclusion of the piano and timpani doesn’t disqualify this candidate)
Tippett: Double Concerto
Sibelius: Rakastava
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Silvestrov: Elegie
Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht
Takemitsu: Requiem
Hartmann: Symphony No. 4
Berg: Three Pieces from ‘Lyric Suite’
Pärt: Summa
Debussy: Danses sacrée et profane
Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
Stravinsky: Apollo
Lutosławski: Musique funèbre


“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2017, 12:23:35 PM »
These two:




Offline Maestro267

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2017, 12:55:37 PM »
Along with plenty of the works already listed, another string orchestra piece I enjoy is Granville Bantock's Celtic Symphony, for string orchestra and six harps.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Music for string orchestra or large string ensemble
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2017, 08:59:30 AM »
Along with plenty of the works already listed, another string orchestra piece I enjoy is Granville Bantock's Celtic Symphony, for string orchestra and six harps.

A magical piece, I have the recording from Vernon Handley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra