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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Ken B on Today at 11:44:05 PM »
Interesting. Im not at all familiar with the scholarship. What sort of things does she get wrong?
She relies pretty much entirely and uncritically on traditional Muslim sources, which are of course all late. Just as one example, Patricia Crone has shown there was no trade route through the Medina/Mecca region at that time. That's a huge hit for any claim of historicity. She makes, as I recall from my reading of her, no mention of the problems with isnads and ahadith, nor the early variants of the Koran, the theories it has origins nearer Syria, bupkis, and so on. Just religious apologetics.

Aside from warraq as I recommended, Andrew Rippin has a good book on Islam that discusses this. The Oxford short intro to the Koran is excellent.

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The Jazz Lounge / Re: What Jazz are you listening to now?
« Last post by king ubu on Today at 11:39:05 PM »
Re: Miles boxes ... I have a very soft spot for the first one, the complete Miles/Gil sessions ... true, most of the (huge number of) new tracks are alternates, rehearsals etc., but to me that's endlessley fascinating stuff! Also there is a rehearsal of the "Adagio" from Rodrigo's concerto, with Miles not playing (but sitting in the studio, listening, and I guess reading the score) ... there are spots where you get the idea to be the fly on the wall.

But generally indeed the electric period boxes have more to offer (beginning with the second quintet box, which in its last third roughly starts piecing together the music session by session). The BB box is full of new stuff, the IASW not so much, but it has the terrific and prev. unreleased "Ghetto Walk"!

Anyway, when the box with Gil was released, I was still in high school ... I remember how I saved my pocket money to buy the first three or so sets from that (later I was at university, with some part-time jobs along, so buying music got easier).

Thread duty - in concert last night:

Jacques Schwarz-Bart ts, Malcolm Braff p/rhodes/synth, Laurent David elb, Stéphane Galland d

This got pretty loud and intense ... I mostly went because I love Braff. In the first set he got too few spots I found (but he was always present in the overall sound mix). Schwarz-Bart wasn't always convincing I found, but he had some quite amazing moments, too, when he got out of his post-bop licks and into the groove ... wasn't aware Galland is the drummer of Aka Moon, but that makes sense ... the entire mix often sounded more like prog or something than jazz - which is not quite my cup of tea actually ... but it was great fun!
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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening to now?
« Last post by kyjo on Today at 11:06:01 PM »
Schuman's Symphony no. 8:



This is dark, gritty, sometimes frightening music. We are a very long way from the populism of Copland or the warm Romanticism of Hanson here. Schuman does lighten things up a bit in the finale, but not much. Bernstein and the NYPO give a fantastically committed performance, as always.


Griffes' The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan:



Intoxicating, atmospheric music. It's a real shame Griffes died so young.
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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening to now?
« Last post by Que on Today at 10:53:10 PM »
Morning listening:



Bob van Asperen on a roll with music from around Europe composed in the 16th and 17th century during the Thirty Years' War (1618 - 1648) and the Eighty Years War (1568 - 1648).

Q
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Composer Discussion / Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Last post by kyjo on Today at 10:48:44 PM »
Rather unfortunately, the first works of Maxwell Davies I encountered were his Naxos Quartets nos. 1 and 2 and his Symphony no. 1, which I found to be grey, uncompromising, and frankly rather uninteresting works. I was delighted to find that he has a much more approachable, lighter side, as exemplified by his glitzy tone poem Mavis in Las Vegas and the touchingly simple Farewell to Stromness for solo piano. Can any members comment on whether his later symphonies are more approachable than the 1st? I have a feeling that they are.
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Composer Discussion / Re: Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
« Last post by kyjo on Today at 10:41:37 PM »
While there are certain movements of the Turangalîla-Symphonie and Quatuor pour la fin du temps that I really like, I have trouble truly appreciating the works as a whole. The movements of the Turangalîla-Symphonie that I enjoy are the first, the fifth (Joie du Sang des Étoiles - thrilling), and the last; the movements of Quatuor pour la fin du temps that I enjoy are the fifth (Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus - simply one of the most transcendent pieces of music I know), sixth (Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes), and the last (Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus). Like John, my overall favorite Messiaen piece that I know is the early L'ascension, with its thrilling, dance-like third movement and its transcendent final movement.
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Composer Discussion / Re: Camille Saint-Saëns
« Last post by kyjo on Today at 10:30:21 PM »
Listened today to Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No 3. In its form, it could be characterized as an absolutely standard 19th century piano concerto - not a work that paves a new path, but full of beautiful melodies, compelling harmonies and orchestration, and perfectly managed structure.

I listened to Ciccolini/Baudo on EMI. It is an analog recording from the mid-70's. Not the sort of recording you would use to demonstrate your stereo system, but an honest concert hall perspective which is satisfying. Ciccolini gives a non-flashy but masterful performance. Baudo is a conductor whose skill is often overlooked. He does a superb job here. He accomplishes the difficult task of keeping the trombones in control is their dramatic passages in this work.

Yes, it's a great work and I like it every bit as much as the more famous 2nd and 5th concerti. The gorgeous opening theme always reminds me of the opening of Schubert's "Great" C major symphony. The slow movement is beautifully nocturnal and the finale is really rousing, with a harmonically adventurous opening.
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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by SimonNZ on Today at 09:41:26 PM »
Interesting. Im not at all familiar with the scholarship. What sort of things does she get wrong?
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The Diner / Re: What are you eating?
« Last post by Ken B on Today at 09:34:54 PM »
Danish food. I made Danish meatballs in sour cream dill sauce, and braised cabbage with balsamic, fennel and caraway seeds.
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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Ken B on Today at 09:32:20 PM »
Also picking away at this on audiobook at about one disc per day,and finding it very good:



A dreadful book. It is deeply unreliable. Armstrong is either unaware of,or ignores the large corpus of modern historians and their work on the sources. Cf ibn Warraq, The Quest for the Historical Mohammed.
Even Robert Spencer's extremely hostile and tendentious book is better than Armstrong's.
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