Author Topic: Frank Martin  (Read 24567 times)

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2010, 01:04:47 PM »
Martin conducted a later recording of the Petite Symphonie Concertante which I'm pretty sure is in stereo:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Frank-Martin-Kammermusik/hnum/5890841

EDIT: review here: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2004/July04/Martin_Martin.htm

There's also a Stokowski recording in stereo (though not very naturally miked) that was issued on an EMI CD.

http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-3-Mathis-Maler-Toch/dp/B00000DCLA

(Ignore the stupid review there.)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 01:11:43 PM by Daverz »

Scarpia

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2010, 02:21:43 PM »
Thank you for the highly perceptive and helpful comment regarding the mono versus stereo recordings of the Petite Symphonie!  I will have to pursue a stereo version, as I have the Ansermet recording!

Also, note that there is a Bamert recording, which is stereo, but which is a transcription of the piece for soloist and conventional orchestra.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2010, 09:06:51 PM »
I heard PSC first on a scratchy Ansermet LP, which hightened the creepy effect, and even the cd didn't match that first reaction. Currently I enjoy Wand on RCA, who comes closet in the old-fashioned goodness dept.
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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2010, 11:05:39 PM »
I really like Martin's Mass for Double Choir, a work combining influences of early Christian church music and his trademark tonal vagueness. This masterpiece was composed in the 1920's, and the composer saw it purely as a personal offering to god, so it was not publicly performed until the 1950's. I like all the parts of this mass, but the resurrecit has this happy, simple, childlike quality. I would love to see this work live here in Sydney, but it is still a comparatively obscure work...

Offline The new erato

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2010, 11:10:41 PM »
I really like Martin's Mass for Double Choir, a work combining influences of early Christian church music and his trademark tonal vagueness. This masterpiece was composed in the 1920's, and the composer saw it purely as a personal offering to god, so it was not publicly performed until the 1950's. I like all the parts of this mass, but the resurrecit has this happy, simple, childlike quality. I would love to see this work live here in Sydney, but it is still a comparatively obscure work...
At least it is available on quite a number of recordings, the Requiem OTOH......

I would have loved Chandos to have continued their series with Bamert, I have 3 of the available 4 (IIRC) dics (have played both the symphony and the Ballades disc during the last week), and would gladly buy more if they recorded more of his less recorded stuff (the one disc in the series I don't own, is the one with the PSC).
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 11:21:16 PM by erato »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2010, 02:10:51 PM »
BUMP!!! :D
 
Frank Martin isn't a new composer to me, but he was a composer I dismissed a year or so ago for no reason. Anyway, I'm happy to announce that I bought 6 recordings of his music: all of the Bamert discs on Chandos and both volumes of the concertos on the MDG label. Can't wait to dig into this composer's music.
 
I've been looking at several of his other works and the choral work Golgotha looks quite interesting to me. There are two versions on CD that I'm interested in: one on Harmonia Mundi and the other on Hanssler Classics. Have any of you heard these recordings? Also, have you heard any of the recordings I bought that I mentioned above? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2010, 02:28:20 PM »
Schneiderhan also recorded the Violin Concerto in good stereo with the composer conducting.  This would be my choice for the VC over the mono with Ansermet (stereo really helps in this work) and the Michael Erxleben recording.  The CD transfer on the Jecklin label was a little harsh, though.  It's worth hunting down the Vox/Candide Lp.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2005/Oct05/Martin_violin_JD6322.htm

I should mention that the reason this CD sounded harsh at the time was that my CD player does not do de-emphasis, and this CD has pre-emphasis.  Played back with de-emphasis, it sounds fine.  So highly recommended if you can find a copy.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2010, 07:42:08 PM »
I should mention that the reason this CD sounded harsh at the time was that my CD player does not do de-emphasis, and this CD has pre-emphasis.  Played back with de-emphasis, it sounds fine.  So highly recommended if you can find a copy.

Daverz, have you heard the Bamert/Chandos recordings? I was just curious what you think about them. Thanks in advance.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2010, 07:51:58 PM »
I would actually appreciate anyone who has experience with Martin's music and enjoys his music answer this question: what is the first Martin work you heard that made you become a lifelong fan?
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2010, 08:24:53 PM »
It's also surprising that, given the quality of the conductors who have performed & recorded his music, it is still much underrated. Perhaps part of the reason is because he comes from Switzerland, a country without a long musical tradition?

I'm not sure if his country of birth has much to do with him being underrated. After all, Martin spent a lot of time in the Netherlands. Perhaps had he lived in say Paris, Berlin, or Vienna, he might have become better known? Unfortunately, none of us can turn back time to tell Martin to go live in one of those cities. :D Anyway, I look forward to digesting some of his music over the next few weeks.
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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2010, 08:43:15 PM »
I would actually appreciate anyone who has experience with Martin's music and enjoys his music answer this question: what is the first Martin work you heard that made you become a lifelong fan?

Well, I got the EMI Gemini 2 cd set some time last year, and that's what I own of his stuff on cd (it doesn't appear to be on Amazon - yet another thing). Anyway, this set has a good selection of his works. My favourites are the Petite Symphonie Concertante - which marries neo-classicism with atonality - and the Mass for Double Choir - in which he was deeply influenced by ancient Christian church music, combining that with his trademark "vagueness" of tonality. There are also two of the many Ballades on the set, a genre which Martin virtually singlehandedly resurrected after decades of neglect. I also like Yehudi Menuhin's performance of the late work Polyptyque, no wonder it's so good, becuase he was the dedicatee. You could probably find these works on many other recordings, but if you want an inexpensive introduction to a wide variety of his music, this is the set to get as a good starter (the set also includes another choral work, a solo guitar work - the first piece in which he experimented with serialism - and the superb song-cycle Six Monologues from Everyman).

Quote
'm not sure if his country of birth has much to do with him being underrated. After all, Martin spent a lot of time in the Netherlands. Perhaps had he lived in say Paris, Berlin, or Vienna, he might have become better known? Unfortunately, none of us can turn back time to tell Martin to go live in one of those cities. :D Anyway, I look forward to digesting some of his music over the next few weeks.

Well, in the interwar period (which were Martin's younger days), Paris was in the grips of neo-classicism and Vienna and Berlin in the throes of the emergence of atonality and serialism. I don't think that his music strictly fit into either camp, it was much like a combination of the two. So it probably wouldn't of mattered where he had decided to live. & later, towards the end of his life, these trends had kind of reached their used-by date anyway, so I can hazard a guess that many people might have seen him as a conservative rather than a progressive. Like the music of the Second Viennese School, Martin's music has a turn of the century feel about it, it's like he stayed exploring directions that came up in the first half of the century rather than the second...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 08:47:58 PM by Sid »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2010, 08:55:21 PM »
Well, I got the EMI Gemini 2 cd set some time last year, and that's what I own of his stuff on cd (it doesn't appear to be on Amazon - yet another thing). Anyway, this set has a good selection of his works. My favourites are the Petite Symphonie Concertante - which marries neo-classicism with atonality - and the Mass for Double Choir - in which he was deeply influenced by ancient Christian church music, combining that with his trademark "vagueness" of tonality. There are also two of the many Ballades on the set, a genre which Martin virtually singlehandedly resurrected after decades of neglect. I also like Yehudi Menuhin's performance of the late work Polyptyque, no wonder it's so good, becuase he was the dedicatee. You could probably find these works on many other recordings, but if you want an inexpensive introduction to a wide variety of his music, this is the set to get as a good starter (the set also includes another choral work, a solo guitar work - the first piece in which he experimented with serialism - and the superb song-cycle Six Monologues from Everyman).

Well, in the interwar period (which were Martin's younger days), Paris was in the grips of neo-classicism and Vienna and Berlin in the throes of the emergence of atonality and serialism. I don't think that his music strictly fit into either camp, it was much like a combination of the two. So it probably wouldn't of mattered where he had decided to live. & later, towards the end of his life, these trends had kind of reached their used-by date anyway, so I can hazard a guess that many people might have seen him as a conservative rather than a progressive. Like the music of the Second Viennese School, Martin's music has a turn of the century feel about it, it's like he stayed exploring directions that came up in the first half of the century rather than the second...

Thanks for the post and recommendation, Sid. I'll have to track down that 2-CD set on Decca at some point, but I have already bought 6 CDs of Martin's music. You can go the "Latest Purchases" thread to see what I bought if you're at all curious.
 
I suppose Martin was in the same boat as a composer like Ernst Bloch who is very hard to pindown with a classification. It's interesting that two of my absolute favorite composers were Swiss by birth: Bloch and Honegger. Martin's music sounds like it's right up my alley. I like composers who were influenced by a lot of different kinds of music and tried to combine these influences into something cohesive and original and from what I've heard of Martin's music, thanks to Naxos Music Library, he sounds like one of these composers.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2010, 09:10:33 PM »
Yes, it's kind of ironic MI that just over a year ago we were arguing about the merits of composers like Frank Martin, Varese & the Second Viennese School and others, and now you've overtaken me in the amount of recordings you've heard of them! I suppose no one could convince you of their merits, you had to convince yourself. This is a thing that occurs to many of us in life generally, so I can understand that. Will your next step be guys of the next generation, like Xenakis, Stockhausen, Boulez, etc? I've began to get into these guys music over the past few months, and it's pretty interesting...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2010, 09:36:39 PM »
Yes, it's kind of ironic MI that just over a year ago we were arguing about the merits of composers like Frank Martin, Varese & the Second Viennese School and others, and now you've overtaken me in the amount of recordings you've heard of them! I suppose no one could convince you of their merits, you had to convince yourself. This is a thing that occurs to many of us in life generally, so I can understand that. Will your next step be guys of the next generation, like Xenakis, Stockhausen, Boulez, etc? I've began to get into these guys music over the past few months, and it's pretty interesting...

 ???   ;) :P   8)
 
Yeah, you know I just had to buy some recordings for myself and listen to the music and quit being so narrow-minded. Apart of this transformation occured when I had bought the Berg VC recording with Mutter/Levine. When I first heard this work, I listened to it 11 times! Now I can go from Vivaldi to Schoenberg to Ligeti to Arvo Part with no problem. I've become much more accepting of music and while I still have got some issues with this newer contemporary avant-garde music, which doesn't seem all that appealing to me right now, I'm hoping, in time, it will be a hurdle I can jump, but right now I'm still absorbing all of this music I dismissed in the past. What a remarkable discovery all of this has been!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 07:22:33 PM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2010, 09:58:31 PM »
Yeah, for me it has always been about developing my perceptions of the music at hand. To get back to Martin, and the piece I briefly mentioned above called Polyptique for violin solo and two string orchestras (if I remember correctly). Initially I found this work very dark and lacking in colour or contrast, but one day I remember putting it on months later & somehow the romantic undertones of the music became apparent. Like a number of Martin's later works, it is based upon a religious subject (Christ's final hours, I think?). But often, with c20th & 21st music, how I react to the music really depends on what mood I am in. Like last night, at a live performance of a Schoenberg piece here at the Con, I felt overwhelmed. How we react to certain types of music possibly depends less on the music and more on how we feel at the time. My reaction to the music of Martin or Schoenberg are cases in point...

Offline The new erato

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2010, 11:27:01 PM »

Daverz, have you heard the Bamert/Chandos recordings? I was just curious what you think about them. Thanks in advance.
I have 3 of them (Symphony, Ballades and In Terra Pax) and they are great. His oratorios are masterpieces, the Golgatha on HM are very fine but not finer than the older recording on Erato/Warner IIRC. The Le Vin Herbe (on the Trisan & Iseulth myth) on HM is even better IMO. The one essential FM recording for me however is "Der Cornet" on Orfeo, one of my 5 desert Island discs.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2010, 02:04:37 AM »
Daverz, have you heard the Bamert/Chandos recordings? I was just curious what you think about them. Thanks in advance.

I don't think I have all of them, but the ones I do have are excellent.  The series seems to have petered out and become OOP.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2010, 09:23:42 AM »
I have 3 of them (Symphony, Ballades and In Terra Pax) and they are great. His oratorios are masterpieces, the Golgatha on HM are very fine but not finer than the older recording on Erato/Warner IIRC. The Le Vin Herbe (on the Trisan & Iseulth myth) on HM is even better IMO. The one essential FM recording for me however is "Der Cornet" on Orfeo, one of my 5 desert Island discs.

Sounds like you've spent some time getting to know his music, which is a good thing. He's been a composer that I have put on the backburner for too long. Once I've digested the recordings that I have coming, I will give his oratorios a listen. Thanks for your help.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2010, 09:28:14 AM »
I don't think I have all of them, but the ones I do have are excellent.  The series seems to have petered out and become OOP.

Actually, Daverz, there are 4 out of 5 Frank Martin recordings on Chandos that are still in-print. I'm about to go pickup the one that's out-of-print for around $12.
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Re: Frank Martin
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2010, 09:42:58 AM »
I don't think I have all of them, but the ones I do have are excellent.  The series seems to have petered out and become OOP.

I have a number of them.  They were good, but I didn't find that they surpassed the old Ansermet recordings (the 2CD Decca set) and the Chailly recordings. 

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