Author Topic: Your Worst Purchase of 2018  (Read 1698 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2018, 03:49:56 AM »
Harbison has a tough time bc he doesn't write pretty melodic music, but also doesn't do anything remotely avant-garde. This results in music that is traditionalist, refuses to break new ground, but also has little surface appeal. I do find his music worthwhile though, at least sometimes, and there are a couple of pieces that I return to with some frequency—the first Piano Sonata (as played by Ursula Oppens) and the Oboe Concerto (as played by Herbert Blomstedt).

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/8qqZxBe4ccg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/8qqZxBe4ccg</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/bWd_XN7MCHU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/bWd_XN7MCHU</a>
Good to know. I read good reviews of the symphony although it just didn't appeal to me.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2019, 06:45:39 PM »
Harbison has a tough time bc he doesn't write pretty melodic music, but also doesn't do anything remotely avant-garde. This results in music that is traditionalist, refuses to break new ground, but also has little surface appeal. I do find his music worthwhile though, at least sometimes, and there are a couple of pieces that I return to with some frequency—the first Piano Sonata (as played by Ursula Oppens) and the Oboe Concerto (as played by Herbert Blomstedt).

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/bWd_XN7MCHU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/bWd_XN7MCHU</a>

Yes, I recall the Oboe Concerto, now, as more interesting than the Symphony.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2019, 10:29:49 PM »
An enjoyable thread.
I regret no CD purchases in 2018. I made no CD purchases in 2018.

My experience of Turnage is pretty much like everyone else's here. I apologize for not starting a thread years ago, Turnage's Turds to warn people. Harbison has never impressed me much either positively or negatively. Listenable but unmemorable. I break out in hives even looking at a recording of Bernstein's Mass.

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2019, 10:53:38 AM »

My experience of Turnage is pretty much like everyone else's here. I apologize for not starting a thread years ago, Turnage's Turds to warn people.

That bad, eh? I quite like his symphony Speranza, which I re-listened to recently.

I didn't buy much last year, and it was mostly old, non-classical LPs. So I can't say I had a worst purchase.
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Online Brian

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2019, 01:23:47 PM »
Based on Hardy Rittner's excellent HIP Brahms, I was tricked into buying his HIP Chopin Études, only to discover that they are loud and clattery and unmusical due to an almost complete inability to tell the difference between main line and accompaniment and an inability to differentiate them by, say, playing one of them more softly than the other.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2019, 01:29:47 PM »
Based on Hardy Rittner's excellent HIP Brahms, I was tricked into buying his HIP Chopin Études, only to discover that they are loud and clattery and unmusical due to an almost complete inability to tell the difference between main line and accompaniment and an inability to differentiate them by, say, playing one of them more softly than the other.

I wonder how it could be that someone who was so excellent in Brahms could be so shit in Chopin. Maybe he had a bad day - but you’d have thought someone would have mentioned it. Or maybe he’s hurt his hand or his brain or something. Anyway I’m sorry you wasted your money.
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Online Brian

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2019, 01:36:51 PM »
I wonder how it could be that someone who was so excellent in Brahms could be so shit in Chopin. Maybe he had a bad day - but you’d have thought someone would have mentioned it. Or maybe he’s hurt his hand or his brain or something. Anyway I’m sorry you wasted your money.
Could also be the use of a very different piano (60 years older) without much time to learn it and adjust approach?

Online Mandryka

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2019, 01:54:40 PM »
Could also be the use of a very different piano (60 years older) without much time to learn it and adjust approach?

Yes, though you’d have thought he’d have practised more or someone at MDG would have said. It’s like you’re saying that a professional musician produces something unmusical because he can’t control his instrument and a not insignificant record company release it. Maybe it’s more likely that he just had a totally wonky conception of what this music should sound like . . . mind you, we’re talking about Chopin Etudes here, I guess he’s been playing them since he was a kid, so he must have thought about it, discussed it with experts etc.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 02:08:28 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2019, 11:07:58 AM »
Based on Hardy Rittner's excellent HIP Brahms, I was tricked into buying his HIP Chopin Études, only to discover that they are loud and clattery and unmusical due to an almost complete inability to tell the difference between main line and accompaniment and an inability to differentiate them by, say, playing one of them more softly than the other.





Could also be the use of a very different piano (60 years older) without much time to learn it and adjust approach?


Here's what Rittner says in the booklet about his instrument and his interpretation.

Quote
Thoughts on the Selection of the Instrument and the Interpretation

Chopin's strong preference for the pianoforte by Pleyel is widely known. Against this background it must be sur-prising that I have selected a Conrad Graf grand piano (244 cm, 6.5 octaves) from around 1835 in connection with the pres-ent repertoire. While I in fact would have decided in favor of a Pleyel in almost all of Chopin's other works, in the etudes two essential arguments speak in favor of the Graf instrument:

 - Its dynamic breadth, which despite its conservative building style, enables a surprisingly great amount of brilliance and sound volume. At the same time the exis-tence of a moderator pedal and a double moderator pedal, with which many other instruments of this time were no longer equipped, enables a most highly individual and poetic presentation of even colors of the greatest tenderness.

- The historical plausibility: the instru-ment is in its construction identical to earlier Graf grand pianos and thus corresponds precisely to those pianoforte that Chopin encountered during his stays in Vienna and about which he enthusiastically expressed himself as follows: »Things go the best for me when I have played to my satisfaction on a wonderful Graf piano [..•]« (Chopin to his family, 22 December 1830).

As in my previous projects, the prepa-ration of the Chopin etudes on a period instrument offered extremely valuable insights pertaining to the understanding and realization of the composer's musical ideas. I would like to name one example of this:

For quite some time I had asked myself what the peculiar accents in the bass part of the E major etude (op. 10,3) might mean; they seem to be detrimental to the bril-liance of the upper voice and (perhaps for this reason) are practically never observed.

It relatively quickly became clear to me that these accents make sense as sound elements only when they are »prefelt,« i.e., played with some hesitation, in order in this way to represent the idea of a multidimensional sound picture. By reason of their frequent occurrence the danger of a permanent dragging of the tempo, one that would also be too schematically uniform, was linked to this — which would not at all have corresponded to Chopin's very flowing metronome markings, of whose realization the Graf instrument nevertheless is capable because of its slender sound. I finally found a convincing solution in a smaller or larger accent-delay comportment, differentiated in keeping with the particular phrasing situation, with accelerations contrasting to it in the direction of Chopin's tempo mark-ings. The result was the knowledge that the initially seemingly irritating accents not only capture a sound idea but at the same time are to be regarded as a call to strong »Tempo rubato« playing, whose timing can be organized by way of the design of those accents, over which the naturalness and the singing as superordinate characters of course must not be lost.

Since further remarks of this kind would exceed the limits of a booklet text, here it should also merely be mentioned that I was particularly interested in real-izing Chopin's pedal markings, which on close examination reveal the composer's extreme accuracy and detailed reflection (e.g., in op. 10,11). Many pedal tappings (e.g., in op. 25,4) are perceptible only when they receive support from deliberate timing, with the result that the knowledge obtained in connection with the accents —depending on the particular situation — is also valid for the pedal markings.

Hardy Rittner Translated by Susan Marie Praeder



In fact I listened to the 10/3. It is indeed true that the left hand is as clear as the right in  terms of volume at the start, but it doesn't follow that it's undifferentiated -- the timbres of the piano serve to differentiate the voices. This is I guess a place where those pedals he's so excited by help. So he has ideas about textures. I was also very impressed by the explosion!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 11:27:17 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Brian

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Re: Your Worst Purchase of 2018
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2019, 11:36:06 AM »


In fact I listened to the 10/3. It is indeed true that the left hand is as clear as the right in  terms of volume at the start, but it doesn't follow that it's undifferentiated -- the timbres of the piano serve to differentiate the voices. This is I guess a place where those pedals he's so excited by help. So he has ideas about textures. I was also very impressed by the explosion!
I should have mentioned, 10/3 is my favorite performance in the set. I didn't keep notes but I think the real danger zones were etudes which are already at risk of not being interpreted as music rather than exercise.