Author Topic: Richard Danielpour(1956-)  (Read 4953 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« on: November 03, 2008, 12:03:46 PM »
Taking a brief respite from obscure British composers ;D

Does anyone have any opinions on this American composer's music?

I have never heard a single note of Danielpour but what I have read(though mixed) sounds interesting.

I have ordered his Concerto for Orchestra and his Cello Concerto.

What should I expect? Are there other Danielpour works worth hearing?

Anyone?

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 02:02:43 PM »
The worst kind of populist schlock. And it's not just me. My friends who like the more accessible contemporary repertoire find his music embarassingly banal. I recall reading sales and attendence figures a couple of years back that revealed that Danielpour, in spite of trying really hard to reach the average concertgoer, was in fact less successful than a good many modernists.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 03:05:15 PM »
Oh :o

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 03:07:04 PM »
The worst kind of populist schlock. And it's not just me. My friends who like the more accessible contemporary repertoire find his music embarassingly banal. I recall reading sales and attendence figures a couple of years back that revealed that Danielpour, in spite of trying really hard to reach the average concertgoer, was in fact less successful than a good many modernists.

What he said.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Catison

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 03:31:42 PM »
I played his Toward the Splendid City in my youth orchestra.  There were so many needless metric changes, it was hard to make sense of it all, but I think in the right hands, his music can have a lot of energy.
-Brett

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 05:41:15 PM »
I started liking his music a lot (the Delos disc with his 3rd symphony IIRC), but other purchases yielded less interest. I still think it's good music, though. But it's a good 5 years I haven't pulled them off the shelves.

Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 05:49:15 PM »
The only piece I've heard is the cello concerto, which could hardly be described as populist, nor do I think it schlocky. It's a pretty special work actually.

Thinking about it, I have heard the second cello concerto actually, which is in fact more tonal, and far less memorable. Hmm... which are the purported schlocky works?
Geologist.

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gomro

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 06:22:54 PM »
Taking a brief respite from obscure British composers ;D

Does anyone have any opinions on this American composer's music?

I have never heard a single note of Danielpour but what I have read(though mixed) sounds interesting.

I have ordered his Concerto for Orchestra and his Cello Concerto.

What should I expect? Are there other Danielpour works worth hearing?

Anyone?


I like Danielpour quite a bit, when I'm in the mood for it, but know ye this: if there had been no Rite of Spring, Danielpour would be a shortorder cook somewhere.  He's made a career out of early Stravinsky, but he does it well, so I'm ok with that. Not everyone has to be an innovator. 

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 06:35:44 PM »
Anyone heard the 'American Requiem'?

It good quite a good right up on Musicweb.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 06:40:11 PM »
The only piece I've heard is the cello concerto, which could hardly be described as populist, nor do I think it schlocky. It's a pretty special work actually.

Thinking about it, I have heard the second cello concerto actually, which is in fact more tonal, and far less memorable. Hmm... which are the purported schlocky works?

Gosh, I didn't know he had written two cello concertos :) It is the one coupled with the Christopher Rouse which is somewhere over(or maybe under ;D) the Atlantic on its way to me :)

Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 06:56:15 PM »
The second concerto is very unlike the first, and vastly insuperior in my estimation, so don't worry!
Geologist.

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Offline Senta

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2008, 08:28:46 PM »
I played his Toward the Splendid City in my youth orchestra.  There were so many needless metric changes, it was hard to make sense of it all, but I think in the right hands, his music can have a lot of energy.

:D I always really liked that piece, a nice modern orchestral fanfare. I even have the score to it. Actually that disc with Celestial Night and Urban Dances is the only one of his I own. Fun music and absolutely splendid performances by the Philharmonia too.

His pieces are actually well-crafted, well-orchestrated and thought out, but I have been disappointed to discover that a lot, or even most, of his orchestral works sound quite similar.

The Cello Concerto is different though, more dark and introspective. There is a Yo-Yo Ma disc which has it, as well as concertos by Rouse and Kirchner which are also really good:



His Violin Concerto (called 'A Fool's Paradise") is rather skippable though, again, it sounds too much like some of his other work.

Some of his chamber music is interesting, though I can't remember what of it I heard and liked at the moment. Two works I would like to hear out of curiosity are the American Requiem and the opera Margaret Garner.

His style, at least certainly for his uptempo orchestral pieces, is pretty much a mashup of Bernstein and Stravinsky, and abounds with catchy tunes and ample percussion.

Populist in that it appeals to the masses, but still nice music, better than a lot of stuff out there.

I do listen with a bit of a guilty conscience though, as I'm reminded of a phrase a professor of mine coined in a music education class - that some music is simply "junk food", ie. like eating potato chips and candy. Do we like it? Yes! But it's not nutritious or sustaining.

I'm afraid some of his music falls into that category, (as does much new music).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 04:51:29 AM »
Oh well, the Cello Concerto(No.1) did arrive by airmail from the US this morning-so I shall find what it sounds like soon ;D

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 06:03:32 AM »
The second concerto is very unlike the first, and vastly insuperior in my estimation, so don't worry!

"Insuperior"?  ??? Are you praising the piece or condemning it?
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2008, 06:17:44 AM »
I was assuming that Guido meant 'inferior' ;D

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 09:45:52 AM »
Or was it 'supraferior' ? :D

I own 4 discs:

Piano Concerto ( + works by Perle) on Harmonia Mundi
Celestial Night, Urban Dances etc - a Sony disc.
First Light. Symphony 3 and The Awakened Heart -that's my favourite, on Delos.
Concerto or Orchestra, + Anima Mundi - on Sony

IIRC the piano concerto is a hoot, but the works on the two Sony discs are more conventional, slightly turgid and too flashy. I'll give these a listen to refresh my memory.

Offline Guido

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2008, 10:04:01 AM »
Yes I did.
Geologist.

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2008, 08:29:55 AM »
I have just finished listened to the Sony disc with Yo-Yo Ma playing the Danielpour Cello Concerto(No.1), Christopher Rouse's Cello Concerto and Leon Kirchner's Music for Cello and Orchestra.

I have to say that the Danielpour is not a bad work, the sort of cello concerto Leonard Bernstein might have composed but without Bernstein's greater flair.

The Rouse Cello Concerto however is a strange piece, convincing me further that Rouse is a schizophrenic sort of composer :)
A dissonant, frenetic, angry first movement marked 'combattimento-svolazzante' followed by a poignant, lyrical, Adagiati second movement which quotes from both William Schuman(who died the year Rouse wrote the concerto) and Monteverdi. Rouse hops between styles in an incredibly disconcerting fashion!

First impressions only, of course! Will now wait to hear the Danielpour Concerto for Orchestra before coming to any further conclusions about him.

pjme

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 11:43:22 AM »


Piano Concerto ( + works by Perle) on Harmonia Mundi

IIRC the piano concerto is a hoot, but the works on the two Sony discs are more conventional, slightly turgid and too flashy. I'll give these a listen to refresh my memory.

I took that disc out today and listened to "Metamorphosis" for piano & orchestra.( 1989-90/rev.1993) . Three ambitiously named movements :
Annunciation - Deciso, con energia
Atonement - Lento e triste
Apotheosis - con moto , un poco adagio

Michael Boriskin pulls of "torrents of sixteenths, emotional turmoil, explosive recollections, a delirium and a fusillade of octaves"..... ;D

It's not really "bad" though ,rather impersonal, with plenty of extravert virtuosity. I listened in vain for poetry or heartfelt drama. Supposedly the composer was inspired by " the memory of a child and Van Gogh's Starry night" .

Danielpour's is coupled with George Perle's second concerto - it is clean, spiky & fresh - balanced.

P.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Richard Danielpour(1956-)
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2008, 03:38:22 PM »
I just picked up the Sony Disc with Celestial Night and the Urban dances recently-- I liked it a great deal, but I'm a sucker for gratuitous meter changes! I'm not sure if it would match my definition of schlock-- I would say it is accessible and friendly to the ears-- but it's a long way from "Hooked on Classics!"
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington