Author Topic: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)  (Read 12890 times)

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snyprrr

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2014, 06:15:48 AM »
I need to get my Vox set back out and give this symphony a spin. The symphonies that stick out in my memory are the 1st, 2nd, and the 4th. I really wish these symphonies would get recorded again. Where's John Neschling or Giselle Ben-Dor when you need them?

Edit: BTW, for better performances of Symphonies 1 & 4 then you need to turn to Enrique Batiz on ASV (later reissued in a set by Brilliant Classics titled Musica Mexicana) and for Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2) I recommend Mata's performance on the Dorian label.

But, we're all so used to the sound of the VoxBox- something better sounding might ruin the whole thing, haha!!

I'd suggest waiting for a 'weather' day for Chavez.- I can barely recall the differences between 3-6, they're all quite overheated Romantic hothouse flowers- I wouldn't listen to them all in one sitting. Hmm, when was that- June? The VoxBox is still sitting here on the Peavey- the whole time. I look at it and go... eh. not tpday...

do you have the Piano Concerto? I really really like it, though it is quite the nugget to digest- it sounds real nice...

...always curious about that Batiz...

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2014, 08:12:02 AM »
But, we're all so used to the sound of the VoxBox- something better sounding might ruin the whole thing, haha!!

I'd suggest waiting for a 'weather' day for Chavez.- I can barely recall the differences between 3-6, they're all quite overheated Romantic hothouse flowers- I wouldn't listen to them all in one sitting. Hmm, when was that- June? The VoxBox is still sitting here on the Peavey- the whole time. I look at it and go... eh. not tpday...

do you have the Piano Concerto? I really really like it, though it is quite the nugget to digest- it sounds real nice...

...always curious about that Batiz...

Yep, I own the Piano Concerto and don't really care for it. Some problems for me are its duration which would be different if it had enough variation and contrasts to keep it interesting and the fact that it doesn't really go anywhere. In a concerto, I think there should be some kind lyrical narrative happening and I don't really hear that in this work. I love Chavez's music, though, but like any composer, there are some works which I simply don't enjoy.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

snyprrr

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2014, 08:22:38 AM »
Yep, I own the Piano Concerto and don't really care for it. Some problems for me are its duration which would be different if it had enough variation and contrasts to keep it interesting and the fact that it doesn't really go anywhere. In a concerto, I think there should be some kind lyrical narrative happening and I don't really hear that in this work. I love Chavez's music, though, but like any composer, there are some works which I simply don't enjoy.

yes, I mean, it's a beastly, overblown Neo-Romantic- as if Penderecki's Violin Concerto had been turned into Hoffmann operetta- for me it works great as background music- no, you wouldn't really need to pay attention- but I will sort of agree that it's a hot mess- like a hot drunk girl in cutoffs and a tee-... uh,... so, what was it you didn't like? I reminds a little of the first movement of Lou Harrison;s PC- that typical 'Stravinskyian Neo-Classic Major 7th... with a 9th...

Violin Concerto? I don't recall liking that one.

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #63 on: September 30, 2014, 04:54:24 PM »
yes, I mean, it's a beastly, overblown Neo-Romantic- as if Penderecki's Violin Concerto had been turned into Hoffmann operetta- for me it works great as background music- no, you wouldn't really need to pay attention- but I will sort of agree that it's a hot mess- like a hot drunk girl in cutoffs and a tee-... uh,... so, what was it you didn't like? I reminds a little of the first movement of Lou Harrison;s PC- that typical 'Stravinskyian Neo-Classic Major 7th... with a 9th...

Violin Concerto? I don't recall liking that one.

Hmmm...I already explained what I didn't like about the Chavez PC in my response to you above. :)
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

snyprrr

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) CHAVEZ GETS HAMMERED
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2016, 05:10:59 PM »
Anything new on the Chavez front?

I'm doing a Chavez reassessment, and it's not coming up all roses. :(

Symphonies 3-6

I forced myself through Symphonies 6, 5, and 4, in that order (from the MataVox), and, I came away a little congested, somewhat bloated and puffy. Though I still do apprciate Chavez's melos here, somewhat overheated Hindemith, it's so dated that I think I've had enough. And, if I have to, I always go to the 6th first.

Then I went to No.3, which I couldn't tell you a thing about now. That's Four Symphonies that pretty much sound a lot alike, in a manner that others did a bit better, forgive me. We all have the set and know for yourselves.

Symphony No.2 'India

I still like it. Who doesn't? So, here I'll just lay out the, I believe, three recordings:

1) Chavez/NY Stadium Orch. (Everest, and others): this is the most clinically symphonic of the lot. It's good, but others have more recorded atmosphere. Maybe too fast?

2) MataVox: I now find this the least expressive of the lot.

3) Is there a Mata on Dorian as well? I haven't heard this one...

4) Batiz/ASV: a bit more recessed recording than the others, the most atmospheric, the percussion isn't as loud as in others, but still has punch. I kind of like this one now. It's quick, yet poetic, the perfect tempo. Slow buildup very good.

5) MTT: a little slower and metrical sounding next to the Batiz, but still has great percussion and slow part buildup.

Symphony No.1 'Antigone'

1) Chavez: good, atmospheric, very upfront recording of the style.

2) MataVox: good percussion, ok version.

3) Batiz/ASV: slower than its rivals, this one milks every drop to perfection. Again, particular ASV recording, but percussion comes off well. This is my choice, and one of his most original works.


3 Concertos

As of today i have dismissed all three concertos.


'Horse Power' Ballet (Dorian, w/ Villa-Lobos & Ginastera)

Today I found it dull light music.

Toccata, Paisajes? Mexicanas, The Hija de Coledeeca?, Baile (ASV)

This is the Batiz/ASV disc devoted to lesser Chavez, and yesterday I found nothing I wanted to hear again. 'La Hija' is on the ASV re-issue with Symphonies 1-2/4, and 'Baile', so, that's the disc that I'm recommending as my TopChoice, I suppose, next to the Dorian below.


Frankly, besides the first two, highly original, Symphonies, and maybe the occational 'La Hija...', I am ready to say goodbye to Orchestral Chavez. And, I'd go for the Batiz re-issue for that.




Tambuco, Toccata, Xochipilli, 'La Hija de Colchis', Energia (Dorian)

THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST CHAVEZ EVER PRODUCED. STOP.



String Quartets 1-3, Fuga, Invencion II (Urtext)

The late String Trio 'Invencion II' may be the only thing of interest to some. I find a slight bit to enjoy in No.3, but I find most all of Chavez's "normal" Chamber Music to be hopelessly old-fashioned, which id not want I want to hear from him.

Complete Chamber Music (Cambria 4CDs)

The one with the odd pieces with interesting instrumentation (Hexagonos??), I think I mentioned it above, would be the only necessity here. The 2CD set of String Quartets & Sonatas bore me to tears, maybe not you. You may also like the 'Soli' and 'Inventions', but it is a pity there are not together- perhaps someone else will remedy that.

Though I comment the participants, many of the revelations here are not positive ones. Chavez can be somewhat old-fashioned, like Roy Harris's Chamber Music.

Piano Music

This, too, is all available, and put me to sleep. Maybe you'll feel differently.





So, really, my Essential Chavez boils down to:

1) ASV- Symphonies 1-2 & 4, 'La Hija de Colchis', Baile

2) Dorian Chamber Music disc

3) select pieces of the Cambria Complete Chamber Muisc (including the 'Soli' and 'Invencions', and the avant songs 'Hexagonos?') I'd stay away from the String Chamber Music.




It may seem harsh, but I myself was disappointed, having "loved" Chavez for so long. Oh well, I still what's listed.



Offline vandermolen

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2016, 09:32:21 PM »
I like the 'Antigone' and 'India' symphonies, although I want to give No.6 a go too. I have the Vox set plus some on ASV. 'Antigone' reminds me, in its craggy way, of Havergal Brian and also the fine Symphony by Robin Orr.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2016, 12:18:58 PM »
I do like the Violin Concerto played by Szeryng.  The Piano Concerto, while not ingratiating, is worth an occasional outing. 

Symphony No. 4 sounds like an obvious homage to the Piston Symphony No. 4, and is one of my favorites of the Chavez symphonies, particularly the Everest recording.

Not sure what musical meaning I should take from what sound like allergies and sleep problems.

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2016, 04:33:40 AM »
 but I will sort of agree that it's a hot mess- like a hot drunk girl in cutoffs and a tee-... uh,... so, what was it you didn't like? I reminds a little of the first movement of Lou Harrison;s PC- that typical 'Stravinskyian Neo-Classic Major 7th... with a 9th...

[/quote]
Great description! I love much of Chavez's symphonic music and will check out the hot drun...I mean Piano Concerto

snyprrr

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #68 on: June 11, 2016, 05:34:12 AM »
but I will sort of agree that it's a hot mess- like a hot drunk girl in cutoffs and a tee-... uh,... so, what was it you didn't like? I reminds a little of the first movement of Lou Harrison;s PC- that typical 'Stravinskyian Neo-Classic Major 7th... with a 9th...


Great description! I love much of Chavez's symphonic music and will check out the hot drun...I mean Piano Concerto

Again, like the Harrison, it's basically good for the big first movement... then it gets kind of... "normal"...


Yea, I won't argue about Chavez. Others may like what they hear more, i'm just not finding him as exciting as his fellows- Hindemith, Villa-Lobos, Malipiero, Bloch, Gerhard,... even Revueltas... BUT, I FIND CHAVEZ TO BE A "GOOD GUY" AND I LIKE HIM ALL THE SAME!!

I mean, he's still pretty hip with all those avant portraits of him...and to think that he's MEXICAN... and that we actually got someone who tried to make some Aztec music... (yea, and pleez dont read too much into that word "MEXICAN"... oy vey, dont want to get slapped with a hatespeech rap or sumptin)

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)
« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2018, 09:54:18 AM »
I picked up the LSO/Mata set of Complete Symphonies today. Really enjoying them so far, especially the epic No. 6. No. 1 is now the shortest symphony in my collection, "beating" Havergal Brian's 12th by about 30 seconds or so...I think. I know they were contemporaries, but I can definitely hear traces of Villa-Lobos in these symphonies.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2018, 03:22:40 AM »
I picked up the LSO/Mata set of Complete Symphonies today. Really enjoying them so far, especially the epic No. 6. No. 1 is now the shortest symphony in my collection, "beating" Havergal Brian's 12th by about 30 seconds or so...I think. I know they were contemporaries, but I can definitely hear traces of Villa-Lobos in these symphonies.

He's an underrated composer I think. Some of his music (Antigone Symphony) reminds me of Havergal Brian and also the fine 'Symphony in One Movement' by Robin Orr. I must give Symphony 6 another listen.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

snyprrr

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) (((SYMPHONY NO.6)))
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2018, 04:34:59 AM »

e Aztec music... (yea, and pleez dont read too much into that word "MEXICAN"... oy vey, dont want to get slapped with a hatespeech rap or sumptin)

two years later and this has become an absolute reality,... wow, we are heading into it big time here in this world today!!


As for Chavez's Symphony No.6,... I still remember the last time I listened to 3-6 and thought it all sounded like Hindemith... for me, it's good for nostalgic reasons... try 'Energia' for some Avant-Chavez...

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Carlos Chavez (1899-1978)
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2018, 07:45:50 AM »
I finished off listening to the rest of the symphonies this morning. No. 5, for strings alone, has some incredible sounds in it, at the end of the first movement (violins in highest register), and then the finale has an incredible energy to it, which runs into overdrive for the closing bars. I didn't realise music for string orchestra alone could be so thrilling!