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The Polling Station / Re: Six favourite last symphonies.
« Last post by Christo on Today at 12:40:04 AM »
S̶e̶g̶e̶r̶s̶t̶a̶m̶ ̶#̶3̶0̶9̶
Finished looooong ago, in 2016; this Summer vacation no doubt inspired another dozen.
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The Polling Station / Five exceptionally fine first symphonies
« Last post by Christo on Today at 12:31:45 AM »
... showing the mastery of an accomplished symphonist:

Havergal Brian 1926
Kaljo Raid 1944
Joly Braga Santos 1947
Arnold Cooke 1947
Ahmet Adnan Saygun 1953
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Great Recordings and Reviews / Re: New Releases
« Last post by Christo on July 20, 2017, 11:37:52 PM »
I never understand why, with a 'complete' disc like this, they don't put the works in numerical order. It's not like they have to place them in a different order to fit them onto two discs.
Also depends on the logic of the published numerical order, which might be very different from the order in which they were composed.
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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by ritter on July 20, 2017, 11:23:00 PM »
Trajan I will allow you, but Constantine had a long and illustratious use in the Greek speaking Roman Empire, and then a prominent use in Russia. If nought else: an older brother, son, and grandson of Tsar Nikolai I Pavlovich were all named Constantine, all of course related to the great granddaughter of Nikolai who happened to marry King Ferdinand of Romania.  That name had much closer sources of propogation
And at the other end of the Roman world, Hispania (now known as Spain), the name Constantino, if not very widespread, is not uncommon by any means. And as of late, the name Adrián has become very popular (but that is a new development).

I get a feeling that the "romanness" of the Eastern part of the empire (as opposed to the West)  is being slightly exaggerated here.... ::)
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The Diner / Overseas/long distance travel
« Last post by XB-70 Valkyrie on July 20, 2017, 11:14:46 PM »
We're (my wife and I) going to Ireland for three weeks later this summer and are very excited. (We live in the HELL A area) My ancestry is mostly Irish, and I will be very interested to see all of it... From what I've seen, Ireland is hard to beat for natural beauty and history.

BUTT, it is really taking up a lot of time to plan it--researching and reserving flights, hotels/BBs in six different cities/towns, rental cars ($$$$ in Ireland), reservations to see certain historic sites and museums, buying new luggage (we're overdue for this in any case), travel accessories etc, etc. When you figure a few days packing/getting ready, three weeks there, then probably a week to overcome jetlag (always waaaaay worse on the way back)--it takes up a huge chunk of our summer. I'm off from teaching university and am left with research and writing on a when-and-if-I-feel-like-it schedule, so it's not a huge deal. And, this is to say nothing of the money. Ireland is pretty reasonable cost-wise,  but still, hotels, flights, meals, taxis, incidental expenses, entertainment, etc add up--to a lot!  (Needless to say, the dollar has been on a descent into oblivion vs the Euro since we decided to go!!),

I love travel of pretty much any kind, despite the current state of air travel in this country. I even enjoyed a couple of fairly recent business trips to Phoenix Arizona--a place I basically dislike a lot, in no small part because of the weather! We watch either Tony Bourdain or Rick Steves nearly every week, and much of my "fun" (i.e., not peer-reviewed literature) reading is travel writing.

With the state of my job, we are going to try to go overseas most years. We're pretty frugal with most things, and I have summers to do a whole lot of whatever (although I do spend time on research and writing)

On the list after Ireland is: another trip to see what we missed the first time in Ireland, Austria, Japan, Tibet, New Zealand, Italy a second time (north of Rome) etc, etc. We want to see it all before we become too old!

How often do you travel overseas/long distance? Is it a priority for you? Is the time and expense a huge obstacle? Any tips for saving money, time? 




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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Jo498 on July 20, 2017, 11:13:20 PM »
This book sounds interesting and I already seem to agree with most of its claims. What is not mentioned in the review linked (so I don't know how much the book says about it) is the obvious connection with fossil fuels powering that growth. This fact might be one explanation why it speeded up in the century from ca. 1860 - 1960. The peak everything crowd would point out the use of fossil fuels as the most salient factor, not invention.

And it has been fairly clear since a few decades that real invention and growth have slowed. The fastest practical airplane travel speed has not changed for decades. The fastest practical trains (TGV, Shinkansen) are ca. 1980 technology. In these two fields it is also interesting that more advanced technology was tried and practically abolished because the modest gains were not worth the expense (Concorde and magnetic monorail trains). With automobiles it is even worse because heavier and more luxurious cars eat up all the savings from more efficient engines and jammed traffic makes faster cars moot anway.
Space tech has basically stagnated since then as well.
It is only computers and communications that have advanced since the 1980s. And a lot of this goes into fairly silly stuff, basically entertainment, while some other applications (like fast computer-based stock trading) might actually be more of a problem than a gain.
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Opera and Vocal / Re: Modern/contemporary opera, youtube/DVD/CD
« Last post by ritter on July 20, 2017, 11:10:08 PM »
Yet another major living operatic composer not mentioned so far in this thread: Péter Eötvös.

He's written quite a few stage works, most of the based on rather well known literary works (e.g., Tony Kushner's Angels in America or Jean Genet's Le balcon). AFAIK, three have been recorded and released on CD (I just bought Lilith yesterday).


Three Sisters (based on Chekhov, and sung in Russian) was very successful when premiered in Lyon in the late 90s under Kent Nagano (the years this man was at the helm of the Lyon Opéra were very productive, and documented un many quite wonderful recordings). This is a mysterious, fascinating piece. Both releases are of the same recording (DG licensed it to the Budapest Music Center).


This is based on Gabriel García Márquez's novel, and was a commission from the Glyndebourne festival. Perhaps mor conventionally operatic, and not as stunning as the previous one, but still quite effective. The composer presented the CD edition here in Madrid (the night before he conducted a concert of Kontra-Punkte, the first two Improvisations sur Mallarmé and two of his own works, Steine and Sonata per sei--a wonderful program!!!!), and he was kind enough to inscribe a copy of the CDs to me.  :)


This Paradise Reloaded [Lilith] is a reworking of an earlier opera called Die Tragödie des Teufels, and turns the mythical first wife of Adam into the leading rôle. I'lll report once I've listened to it.



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Composer Discussion / Re: Northern Irish Composers
« Last post by Christo on July 20, 2017, 11:02:39 PM »
Nice to see Hamilton Harty considered 'Norhern Irish' in retrospect, unlike Protestant Dubliners like John Field and Stanford.
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Buxtehude's "Abendmusik" took place in church although they were basically concerts without a service. At such and similar occasions even long and elaborate pieces could be played.
Shorter Toccatas (or the like) could be played as "intrata" before the church service began and at the end. And while many festive occasions had even choral music (like Bach's cantatas for the inauguration of the new city council, "Ratswechselkantaten") I think that there were other festive services where one would not bother with a whole cantata but be happy about any additional splendour an organ could give to the occasion.
There are so many fairly big organs even in small towns and villages all over (northern/central) Europe. This was a considerable expense for the community, so I think they found many ways to make use of them.
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Composer Discussion / Re: Northern Irish Composers
« Last post by vandermolen on July 20, 2017, 10:49:35 PM »
The only one I know of is Archibald (A.J.) Potter who was a student if Vaughan Williams. I also have a Northern Irish
university friend called Derek Bell but I'm sure that he's not a composer!

There was a fine CD of Potter's music on Marco Polo including his uncharacteristically dark Sinfonia 'De Profundis' rather in the spirit of VW'4th and 6th symphonies. Unfortunately I can no longer find a trace of that CD online. Here is a link to one of the shorter and rather touching folk-music inspired works:
https://youtu.be/19vd0qSuLYA

PS I found the CD on the American Amazon site:
.

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