Author Topic: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)  (Read 49777 times)

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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2009, 08:11:35 PM »
Your suspicion i wrong, Actually they are pretty ordinary and slightly dull.

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karlhenning

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Re: Charles Koechlin (1867-1950)
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2009, 03:42:36 AM »
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Koechlin will sort well with First-Listen Fridays . . . .

And this is the day.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 07:00:51 PM »
The more I hear of this guy, the more I like.  I've just fallen for the "Jungle Books" Double CD and the Persian Hours.  He's got a very personal sound with some really creative orchestration.   And I haven't dipped into the piano music yet, but that is bound to happen.
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Offline jowcol

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2009, 01:12:00 PM »
Seems like Koechlin needs another bump.  I've just gotten into the piano works--- Paysages et Marines and the Old Country House(in English)  have thrilled me more than any sets of solo piano music since Debussy's Preludes.  Very impressionistic, but willing to go a bit further.  (Imagine a dash of what Messiaen had with his preludes).  I've picked up the Persian Hours in the orchestral version-- it didn't really resonate with me, but I KNEW I had to hear the piano version, and I was right-- it's some amazing stuff, and frankly, I'm not sure if it was a good a choice for orchestration as some of his other tone poems.

The etudes for Piano and Saxophone didn't do the same for me.

I've read up a bit more on him-- fascinating character.  It seems that in his later works he needed to work out the rhythms first, and was more of polymeter fiend than Debussy was. +-
"If it sounds good, it is good."
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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2009, 01:55:46 PM »
Still ringing the bells for Koechlin's SQs, 1-2 of which are available from the Ardeo Qrt. (at an astronomical $29 on amazon). I suspect they may be the greatest thing since sliced cheese.

I've this CD. It's amazing how different are those pieces. The first
is romantic and rather oldfashioned. The second is dark, chromatic and impressionist. I like both very much.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2009, 02:27:56 PM »
Well, felt that I had posted in this thread on Koechlin - own about a half dozen discs of his music and enjoy; my most recent purchase is shown in the quote below, which I left in the Listening Thread a few days ago - no responses, so thought that I would simply repeat my comments - this is just a wonderful disc - nothing else to say -  :D

Quote
Koechlin, Charles (1867-1950) - Le Saxophone Lumineux w/ Federico Mondelci on saxophone (mostly alto but also tenor) & Kathryn Stott on piano - these works are Op. 180 & 188 of Koechlin's oeuvre written when he was in his mid-70s and in 1942-43 during the German occupation of Paris in WWII!  :o

Despite the times, this is absolutely a wonderfully relaxing performance (completely contrary to what would be expected!) - we listened to this disc during dinner and were completly enthralled - if you like the combination of piano w/ a 'wind' instrument, then I would strongly encourage a listen to some 'audio snippets' - a highly recommended purchase!   :D


Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950) SQs
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2009, 08:20:54 AM »
One of the great guys here sent me a copy of the SQs 1-2 by the Ardeo. This cd is going for a ridiculous amount on Amazon, so I was overjoyed when I saw what he had sent me.

From the moment I saw that they were available, I had been eagerly awaiting, though I must say the price was way out of my league. Then, I believe "erato" said earlier in this thread that they were just plain boring, and that, hey, Koechlin was a very uneven composer, so what might one expect?

So, it was with baited breathe that I began listening. The SQ No.1 (out of three, btw: the third one was written a couple of years after the first two) is @19mins and reminds me a smidge of the Saint-Saens SQs, which I also happened to receive on the same day. It's fairly straighforward and inoffensive, like the Saint-Saens, but also it didn't leave me with all that much. I can't remember any particularities (like the Saint-Saens :P), and, so,...eh... what am I going to say? It's ok, but nothing special. He does have a certain "atmosphere" that is very "impressionistic", like from the English Pastoral School, and this feeling spills over into

SQ No.2, which is a 42min monster in comparison. The mood is generally the same, but much more "rarified", as they like to say, very much starting to get into Faure territory, but seemingly much more adventurous.

Honestly, No.2 is the most "impressionistic" work I think I've ever heard (in that hazy, languid way). It starts with a rocking chorale-like slow figure that sets the stage for everything else. There is MUCH stopping to smell the roses here! The first mvmt. is 11mins, and the fourth is 17!!! As I was listening, I felt that this was religious gardening music. It certainly creates its own little world of hazy half-hues... I definitely consider this "daytime" music, though of a very rarified atmosphere.

I'm going to say what it reminds me of, but take this "spiritually". It sounds to me like Philip Glass, WITHOUT the minimalism. Anyone who like Glass' SQ album by the Kronos knows how SQ No.5 sounds so very French, and that is close to what I'm getting here with the Koechlin: somehow this music is verrry modern sounding, but in the "neo-tonal/romantic" way of the 1980s. Yes, this music sounds to me to have been written in the 1980s! I also here traces of that "tropical" Henry Cowell, or Lou Harrison sound (McPhee). There are a few places in here where I hear, exactly, the melody from Carters 1946 Elegy, not to mention fleeting reminders of Barber's Adagio. Yes, the tropical sound is there, but let me rather call it a "muggy mediterrainianness"! It's definitely hot and thick in this garden: sometimes the music oozes out like molasses.

The first time I listened to these pieces I wasn't bowled over as much as I was just taken into this muggy garden. The second SQ, being so long, really draws you into its world. This is not exactly what I'd been expecting from Koechlin's "modal" reputation (there is LOTS of modal stuff here, just not quite as fifths/fourths dominated, as, say, Hindemith), but when you listen closely, you begin to hear it. Ultimately, this really sounds like "French Impressionism", but different than, say



Milhaud, who wrote his first two SQs around the same time (1916). At first, I thought i was clearly going to give the nod to Milhaud. Milhaud's first two are much different than his later output: these are long, Impressionistic, yet lively works (more lively than the Koechlin here). Milhaud's themes are more clear cut, and there is no gratuitous loitering in the Milhaud: they sound like normal French classical music of the Debussy/Chausson SQ mold. The Koechlin is so much more stagnant, like a Petri dish slowly spawing the green, like a garden in the shade on a quiet day. There are also slight reminders of Szymanowski in the lush harmonies that Koechlin favors, and this is what gives Koechlin his special sound.

Once again, I don't know if it's the super lush recording and playing, but the SQ No.2 just doesn't sound like it could have been written in the middle of WWI. It really wasn't until the 1980s that people started to write likethis again (though, like I said, the Pacific Rim composers like Harrison, Cowell, McPhee, etc., paved the way), which gives this SQ a very strange, "sore thumb" kind of appeal that's very elusive. One could say that this SQ has a lot in favor with Faure's later 1924 SQ, though Koechlin is much more in the modal camp. The atmosphere is similar.
I'm serious when I say that I would just about almost put this cd in the 1980s section of the library.

I can only imagine, with such a vast output, that if much of Koechlin sounds like this, you may have found your perfect wallpaper! I'm wondering if his Quintets for flute, harp, and SQ (the typical Frech invention) take this feeling to its logical conclusion?

I really needed to hear these pieces to fill out my understanding of the young French generation at the time. These two pieces offer interesting foil to the Milhaud SQs (1-2), though, I resist calling No.2 a masterpiece.

And if anyone has seen how loose I am with the word masterpiece, then you know I must be right, haha! ;D No, these are highly interesting, thought provoking, lazy and aimlessly beautiful pieces to accompany a French day in the garden, or rowing through some water lilies.

There!
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2009, 09:59:23 AM »
I will listen again, but without a french garden with waterlilies anywhere in sight, I don't hold my hopes high.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2009, 12:07:51 PM »
I greatly admire the poetically atmospheric 'Vers la Voute etoilee' which I have snapped up from a recommendation here - lovely work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2009, 01:32:58 PM »
I greatly admire the poetically atmospheric 'Vers la Voute etoilee' which I have snapped up from a recommendation here - lovely work.

That wasn't my doing was it? :D

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2009, 01:52:23 PM »
Thanks for that description, snyprrr.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2009, 01:57:41 PM »
That wasn't my doing was it? :D

Not sure - but if so thank you.  I have played the luminous 'Vers la Voute etoilee' about eight times today! Next stop 'The Burning Bush'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

pjme

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2009, 01:59:12 PM »
Recently, Holliger has added "Offrande musicale " to his recordings (Stutgart). It's coupled with "Les Bandar Log"






Let's hope he continues with the symphonies.

P.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2009, 07:44:54 AM »
I greatly admire the poetically atmospheric 'Vers la Voute etoilee' which I have snapped up from a recommendation here - lovely work.

I'd hurry to pick up the Jungle Book Set.  Spring in the Forest is really fine-- some of the most brilliant orchestral coloring.  Burning Bush is solid.  Dr. Fabricus is a bit overwhelming, but deep stuff.  I thought the Persian hours worked better on solo keyboard.  (His solo keyboard works can be AWESOME. )  The Seven Stars Symphony is  winner.

Corey cannot recommend this guy enough.  I want to know why I didn't know about him 20 years ago....
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2009, 08:50:37 AM »
Recently, Holliger has added "Offrande musicale " to his recordings (Stutgart). It's coupled with "Les Bandar Log"






Let's hope he continues with the symphonies.

P.

Thanks, I somehow missed that one. I am drooling for the symphonies as well, especially No. 2 which I think you've describe elsewhere before. Anything with multiple ondes Martenots is an instant "want" for me. ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2009, 04:16:19 AM »
I'd hurry to pick up the Jungle Book Set.  Spring in the Forest is really fine-- some of the most brilliant orchestral coloring.  Burning Bush is solid.  Dr. Fabricus is a bit overwhelming, but deep stuff.  I thought the Persian hours worked better on solo keyboard.  (His solo keyboard works can be AWESOME. )  The Seven Stars Symphony is  winner.

Corey cannot recommend this guy enough.  I want to know why I didn't know about him 20 years ago....

I like this composer more and more. Having played Vers la Voute etoilee almost continuously since buying it (thanks to recommendations here) I have now moved on to the other piece on the CD Le Docteur Fabricius - also wonderful! Haunting, poetic atmospheric music with impressive use of the Ondes Martenot. I thought that I had the Jungle Book, but I don't so have just ordered that. I hope that The Burning Bush will arrive soon. Great discovery - one of the nice things about GMG Forum. My family is starving but I have lots of great CDs  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2009, 12:34:56 AM »
I'd hurry to pick up the Jungle Book Set.  Spring in the Forest is really fine-- some of the most brilliant orchestral coloring.  Burning Bush is solid.  Dr. Fabricus is a bit overwhelming, but deep stuff.  I thought the Persian hours worked better on solo keyboard.  (His solo keyboard works can be AWESOME. )  The Seven Stars Symphony is  winner.

Corey cannot recommend this guy enough.  I want to know why I didn't know about him 20 years ago....

I found the Jungle Book, second hand on Amazon (RCA, Zinman) but have not so far gone beyond the first track on the CD 'Seal Lullaby' from 'Three Poems' which I keep playing over and over again - a beautiful work like Cantaloube's 'Songs of the Auvergne'. Koechlin has been a great discovery for me.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline jowcol

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2009, 12:32:03 PM »
I have not tracked this book down yet, but it seems to be an insanely comprehensive book on Koechlin.

http://books.google.com/books?id=vkwm4NnRuA4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Something I REALLY like about him was the fact that when he sketched out his later tone poems, he felt the need to sketch out the rhythmic scheme before anything else.  A LOT of shifting time measures, but still a much more French feel than you would get from a Bartok or Stravinsky.,

There is a great two disc set of works he did for voices/chorus and orchestra that I will listen to more when I get over the obsession for some of his other orchestral works and his solo piano stuff.  It's amazing how much of his works are still NOT recorded!

Just the kind of thing for us obsessive-compulsives to lose sleep over.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline listener

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2009, 06:07:54 PM »
Music for flute on Hyperion CDA 66 414
14 pieces op.157; Sonata op 52; Morceau de lecture op.218; 4 pieces from op.149; L'Album de Lilian I op.139 hor flute and piano
Sonata for 2 flutes op. 75

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Koechlin(1867-1950)
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2009, 12:16:02 AM »
Music for flute on Hyperion CDA 66 414
14 pieces op.157; Sonata op 52; Morceau de lecture op.218; 4 pieces from op.149; L'Album de Lilian I op.139 hor flute and piano
Sonata for 2 flutes op. 75


Ordered this the other day - it's now on the budget hyperion label (Dryad).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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