Author Topic: Elgar's Hillside  (Read 85157 times)

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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #80 on: September 23, 2007, 05:26:22 AM »
Thanks for the explainations. I'm listening to the 2nd symphony now and It does have rich, thick textures. I'm still trying to decipher what Elgar coded, though.

No problem!

Have fun deciphering.  ;)
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Hector

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #81 on: September 24, 2007, 06:12:46 AM »
Ah, that's my problem. Not subtle enough. I'm only fit for unsubtle things like late Beethoven quartets.  :D

And out one of them pops, as if on cue!  ;D

There is so much going on in Elgar's orchestra and the ear needs to not only ascertain the different strands but put them together to form a coherent symphonic movement.

I admit that those unused to Elgar's way with the orchestra may find the result 'chaotic.' Persevere, is all that I can offer.

I would recommend the recent Lyrita issue of Boult conducting both the 1st and 2nd symphonies, a double CD for the price of one.

I have never heard a recording, or performance - not even from Boult, that lays out the orchestration or structure so lucidly.

His lighter music demonstrates what a master orchestrator, and melodist, he was.


karlhenning

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #82 on: September 24, 2007, 06:24:49 AM »
I admit that those unused to Elgar's way with the orchestra may find the result 'chaotic.' Persevere, is all that I can offer.

I read Mark's use of the adjective as descriptive, and not derisive/negative.

I'm sure if he dislikes the symphonies, it's for some reason other than the 'chaos'  8)

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #83 on: September 24, 2007, 06:38:52 AM »
And out one of them pops, as if on cue!  ;D

And I would suggest you refrain from the personal insults. Those of us who have reservations concerning Elgar are not necessarily stupid, insensitive, unsubtle, careless, or whatever epithets you choose to fling. I have given Elgar's symphonies a number of tries through the years and I continue to find aspects of them overblown and even vulgar (e.g., the way the return of the main themes in #2, outer movements, are punctuated by big chords on the brass and cymbal crashes). It is precisely the lack of subtlety at such moments that alienates me from this strain in Elgar, and his tendency towards grandiosity without irony that makes those pieces less than first-rate in my opinion. It's precisely the subtler works - perhaps above the string quartet, the cello concerto, and Falstaff - that have most won me over. In the first two especially, there is an elegiac tone that is more subtle and moving to me than most anything in the symphonies. There are other works of Elgar I truly admire - the Intro and Allegro, the Cockaigne Overture with its bracing good spirits, and In the South.

The latter of these reflects yet another problem I have with Elgar - trying to hear a distinctive personality that makes his work instantly recognizable. For example, in the first movement of the Piano Quintet I hear a lot of Brahms, especially those quarter-quarter-quarter-eighth note triplet rhythms; and I've referred to In the South as one of my favorite pieces by Richard Strauss. (The music depicting ancient Rome about 6 minutes into the piece is not Straussian, however, and those 3-4 minutes sound both highly original and one of the most powerful passages I know in all of Elgar.)

Mark

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #84 on: September 24, 2007, 09:55:53 AM »
I read Mark's use of the adjective as descriptive, and not derisive/negative.

I'm sure if he dislikes the symphonies, it's for some reason other than the 'chaos'  8)

Correct, Karl: descriptive not derisive. ;)

And it's not at all that I don't like Elgar's symphonies - his First is a triumph, in my ears. The Second simply poses problems for me. Which lines to follow? Where do we go from one theme to another? The first movement particularly jangles my nerves to such an extent that I'm left ill-prepared to appreciate what beauty and complexity there is to enjoy in the remainder of the work.

karlhenning

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #85 on: September 24, 2007, 10:48:48 AM »
Some of the music I like is chaotic, and I like the chaos  0:)

So maybe some Elgar (or another composer, too) is too . . . orderly for me, I dunno . . . .

karlhenning

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2007, 10:50:11 AM »
. . . and I've referred to In the South as one of my favorite pieces by Richard Strauss. (The music depicting ancient Rome about 6 minutes into the piece is not Straussian, however, and those 3-4 minutes sound both highly original and one of the most powerful passages I know in all of Elgar.

Dang, wonder if I still have a copy of In the South somewhere . . . .

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #87 on: September 24, 2007, 11:51:33 AM »
The originator of this thread indicated that he was seeking opinions on some of the less well known works by Sir Edward Elgar.

I would suggest one of Elgar's last choral works "The Spirit of England". This is a most beautiful and moving work, written during World War One and setting words by the poet Laurence Binyon. The third and last part of the work is a setting of Binyon's "For the Fallen" and
it used to be the custom for a performance on Armistice Day. I suspect that the title has led some people to imagine that this is a flag-waving example of English Edwardian imperial self-confidence and has deterred proper appreciation of what is, in my opinion, along with the Cello Concerto one of Elgar's late masterpieces.

On the (very early) Chandos CD of "The Spirit of England" conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson the coupling is a work much more in the 'imperial style'-the Coronation Ode of 1902 composed for the coronation of King Edward VII. This is, however, really great fun if taken as a work of its own time. It ends with the choral version of 'Land of Hope and Glory' which is a really splendid conclusion(although I fully appreciate that many may have some difficulties with it!!)

Mark

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #88 on: September 24, 2007, 12:01:08 PM »
The originator of this thread indicated that he was seeking opinions on some of the less well known works by Sir Edward Elgar.

I did indeed. :)

Quote
I would suggest one of Elgar's last choral works "The Spirit of England". This is a most beautiful and moving work, written during World War One and setting words by the poet Laurence Binyon. The third and last part of the work is a setting of Binyon's "For the Fallen" and it used to be the custom for a performance on Armistice Day. I suspect that the title has led some people to imagine that this is a flag-waving example of English Edwardian imperial self-confidence and has deterred proper appreciation of what is, in my opinion, along with the Cello Concerto one of Elgar's late masterpieces.

Excellent. Just the kind of recommendation I like: one which gives me something new to explore. ;)

Quote
It ends with the choral version of 'Land of Hope and Glory' which is a really splendid conclusion(although I fully appreciate that many may have some difficulties with it!!)

As an Englishman, part of whom still harbours a half-affection for all that Imperial nonsense (just so long as we treat it as a part of our history and DON'T return to it), I rather enjoy belting out the pompous, arrogant words to 'Land of Hope and Glory'. I also appreciate that this will not find favour with some here (and elsewhere in the world), but I'd be hypocrite to say otherwise.

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #89 on: September 24, 2007, 12:29:03 PM »
(1) I did indeed. :)

(2) As an Englishman, part of whom still harbours a half-affection for all that Imperial nonsense (just so long as we treat it as a part of our history and DON'T return to it), I rather enjoy belting out the pompous, arrogant words to 'Land of Hope and Glory'. I also appreciate that this will not find favour with some here (and elsewhere in the world), but I'd be hypocrite to say otherwise.

(1) "The originator of this thread indicated that he was seeking opinions on some of the less well known works by Sir Edward Elgar."

And he also implied that any works by this composer were open for discussion:

"Now, let me say from the outset that I sincerely hope we can have a thread to discuss the life and works of this composer (as we do for so many others)."

(2) By all means, belt away. Sometimes it is nice to know sound travels only a limited distance . . . .  :D

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #90 on: September 24, 2007, 12:38:01 PM »
I would suggest one of Elgar's last choral works "The Spirit of England".

That's a very good suggestion! Another less known work I am very fond of is "The Music Makers"
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.

Kullervo

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #91 on: September 24, 2007, 12:43:58 PM »
That's a very good suggestion! Another less known work I am very fond of is "The Music Makers"

Immortalized in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! :)

Offline sound67

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #92 on: September 24, 2007, 12:45:03 PM »
And I would suggest you refrain from the personal insults. Those of us who have reservations concerning Elgar are not necessarily stupid, insensitive, unsubtle, careless, or whatever epithets you choose to fling. I have given Elgar's symphonies a number of tries through the years and I continue to find aspects of them overblown and even vulgar (e.g., the way the return of the main themes in #2, outer movements, are punctuated by big chords on the brass and cymbal crashes). It is precisely the lack of subtlety at such moments that alienates me from this strain in Elgar, and his tendency towards grandiosity without irony that makes those pieces less than first-rate in my opinion.

A most unsophisticated comment.
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Offline sound67

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #93 on: September 24, 2007, 12:46:52 PM »
I would suggest one of Elgar's last choral works "The Spirit of England". This is a most beautiful and moving work, written during World War One and setting words by the poet Laurence Binyon. The third and last part of the work is a setting of Binyon's "For the Fallen" and
it used to be the custom for a performance on Armistice Day. I suspect that the title has led some people to imagine that this is a flag-waving example of English Edwardian imperial self-confidence and has deterred proper appreciation of what is, in my opinion, along with the Cello Concerto one of Elgar's late masterpieces.

Exactly. An unfortunate choice of title. Had Elgar called the whole work "For the Fallen", it would long have been a classic.
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

karlhenning

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #94 on: September 24, 2007, 12:47:51 PM »
At the time, I am sure, the title did not strike anyone as unfortunate.

Mark

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #95 on: September 24, 2007, 12:50:57 PM »
(1) "The originator of this thread indicated that he was seeking opinions on some of the less well known works by Sir Edward Elgar."

And he also implied that any works by this composer were open for discussion:

My dear Larry, a misunderstanding has eventuated, I'm sure. My 'Indeed I did' remark shouldn't be seen by anyone as me being disapproving of discussion of Elgar's output other than his lesser-known works. As you rightly observed, I welcomed discussion of ALL of Elgar's music from the outset. :)

Offline knight66

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #96 on: September 24, 2007, 12:53:04 PM »
The originator of this thread indicated that he was seeking opinions on some of the less well known works by Sir Edward Elgar.

I would suggest one of Elgar's last choral works "The Spirit of England". This is a most beautiful and moving work, written during World War One and setting words by the poet Laurence Binyon. The third and last part of the work is a setting of Binyon's "For the Fallen"
On the (very early) Chandos CD of "The Spirit of England" conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson the coupling is a work much more in the 'imperial style'-the Coronation Ode of 1902 composed for the coronation of King Edward VII. This is, however, really great fun if taken as a work of its own time. It ends with the choral version of 'Land of Hope and Glory' which is a really splendid conclusion(although I fully appreciate that many may have some difficulties with it!!)

I agree, it really is a beautiful piece, Teresa Cahill sounds Strausian in the way she spins the soprano solo lines. I was in that recording as a chorister, it was done with not much rehearsal.

Mike
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Offline BachQ

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #97 on: September 24, 2007, 12:54:56 PM »
I was in that recording as a chorister

By God!  We have a celebrity in our very midst ........

Offline knight66

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #98 on: September 24, 2007, 12:55:49 PM »
That's a very good suggestion! Another less known work I am very fond of is "The Music Makers"

I don't agree, it comes across as a patchwork of quotes sewen together. Although I quite like it, I don't rate it as one of his best works.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #99 on: September 24, 2007, 12:57:02 PM »
Teresa Cahill sounds Strausian in the way she spins the soprano solo lines.

Do you mean Straussian?

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