Author Topic: Gurn's Classical Corner  (Read 569821 times)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #140 on: March 07, 2009, 08:10:29 AM »
I've read beginners guides that assert chamber music is the thornier listen and to go for the larger forces first. I'm not sure why.

I'm not sure, Dave, on what they base their logic. It is true, chamber music is rather more intricate. But you only have a few voices, 4 or 5 usually, and I found that I was able to distinguish them and follow what they were saying far more easily than I could (and still can) in an orchestral work. If you want to follow the cello's voice through a string quartet, it is a lot easier to do (for me, at least) than following the whole section of cellos in a symphony. Although what he has to say may be a bit more complicated... but then, that's the whole point of a string quartet, so you just have to go with that. :)

8)

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #141 on: March 07, 2009, 08:12:14 AM »
I'm not sure, Dave, on what they base their logic. It is true, chamber music is rather more intricate. But you only have a few voices, 4 or 5 usually, and I found that I was able to distinguish them and follow what they were saying far more easily than I could (and still can) in an orchestral work. If you want to follow the cello's voice through a string quartet, it is a lot easier to do (for me, at least) than following the whole section of cellos in a symphony. Although what he has to say may be a bit more complicated... but then, that's the whole point of a string quartet, so you just have to go with that. :)

Must be an assumption that newbies are more used to symphonic music and would be scared away by a quartet. Perhaps chamber music also has a reputation as being stuffier.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #142 on: March 07, 2009, 08:18:47 AM »
Must be an assumption that newbies are more used to symphonic music and would be scared away by a quartet. Perhaps chamber music also has a reputation as being stuffier.

You're probably right on both counts, but IMO, chamber music can also be far more unbuttoned than orchestral music (take Haydn's SQ's, for example). And I suppose that more people start with symphonies, although in my case it was concertos, violin concertos specifically, and they present their own problems when it comes to picking out structure. I think I was probably fortunate to discover violin sonatas very early on, and they not only provided excellent music, but a great opportunity to get a feel for how the parts came together to make a whole work. From there, it was a short step to piano trios and string quartets... :)

8)
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Offline Sorin Eushayson

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #143 on: March 07, 2009, 12:35:20 PM »
I dunno, there's just something with large orchestral pieces that appeals so directly to our modern ears... Can't place my finger on it.  Maybe it's because they're generally a composer's most thought-out and elaborate works?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when people think "Classical" music they think "symphony?"  Or maybe people nowadays are more familiar with orchestral music via movies, so they already feel somewhat familiar with it...  ???  I started out what might be considered "textbook" style: Symphonies --> Concerti --> Chamber Music --> Dramatic/Choral works --> Opera --> Songs.  To this day when I try out a new composer I - out of habit - try their orchestral pieces first.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 12:44:52 PM by Sorin Eushayson »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #144 on: March 07, 2009, 02:04:34 PM »
I dunno, there's just something with large orchestral pieces that appeals so directly to our modern ears... Can't place my finger on it.  Maybe it's because they're generally a composer's most thought-out and elaborate works?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when people think "Classical" music they think "symphony?"  Or maybe people nowadays are more familiar with orchestral music via movies, so they already feel somewhat familiar with it...  ???  I started out what might be considered "textbook" style: Symphonies --> Concerti --> Chamber Music --> Dramatic/Choral works --> Opera --> Songs.  To this day when I try out a new composer I - out of habit - try their orchestral pieces first.

Well, maybe it is all what we're used to. I round up the symphonies lastly (of the purely instrumental works) without fail. Not even consciously, AFAIK. For me it is chamber > keyboard > concerti > symphonies > vocal. I think it has to do with intimacy, getting to know the composer on a personal level before moving on to the big, public works. :-\

8)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #145 on: March 07, 2009, 02:11:05 PM »
In keeping with the idea of listening to chamber and keyboard works first, I would like to start a series on different classical composers which presents a list of works by each which I consider to be good places to acquaint yourself with that composer. I will only recommend works, not performances. If you have favorite performers, then by all means choose their recording. No matter that someone else doesn't think highly of it, or even if it is the single most recommended disk in the world. The point is getting to hear the music. :)  In addition, I will try to list things in an order from "good place to start" through "quite advanced". Depending on your personal tastes, your mileage may vary... :)

8)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #146 on: March 07, 2009, 02:20:38 PM »
A recommended list of works: Mozart

The keyboard sonatas
The later violin sonatas
The 6 piano trios
The "Haydn" String Quartets
The serenades and divertimentos for winds
The last 10 Piano Concertos
The Violin Concertos
The Requiem
The last 6 symphonies
The 3 Da Ponti Operas and "The Magic Flute"

All of these works are readily available in many good recordings. They will provide a solid basis for branching out into the many more masterworks that Mozart left for us. Of course, you can start with the operas too if you want, nothing written in stone here! But if you become familiar with the works in this list, you will then know what to expect in whichever particular genre of Mozart that appeals to you. :)

8)


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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #147 on: March 07, 2009, 03:37:47 PM »
I will collaborate with the series, Gurn, if you're not against. ;) I will remark personal favourites that, in my opinion, should be useful as "first introduction" to the composer.

A recommended list of works: Krommer/Kramář (1759-1831)

  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 37
  • Symphony in D major, op. 40
  • Bassoon quartets in B flat major and E flat major, op. 46
  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 52
  • Partita for winds in F major, op. 57
  • Partita for winds in E flat major, op. 71
  • Harmonie for winds in C major, op. 76
  • Clarinet concerto in E minor, op. 86
  • Concerto for two clarinets in E flat major, op. 91
  • Flute quartet in D major, op. 93
  • Clarinet quintet in B flat major, op. 95
  • String trio in F major, op. 96
  • Flute quintet in G major, op. 101
  • Symphony in C minor, op. 102

Yes, Krommer wrote delightfully for wind instruments! This list considers - naturally - just recorded works and it could - naturally - be extended or modified by the discovery of other works.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 04:15:52 AM by Gabriel »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #148 on: March 07, 2009, 05:29:03 PM »
I will collaborate with the series, Gurn, if you're not against. ;) I will remark personal favourites that, in my opinion, should be useful as "first introduction" to the composer.

A recommended list of works: Krommer/Kramář (1759-1831)

  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 37
  • Symphony in D major, op. 40
  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 52
  • Partita for winds in F major, op. 57
  • Partita for winds in E flat major, op. 71
  • Harmonie for winds in C major, op. 76
  • Clarinet concerto in E minor, op. 86
  • Concerto for two clarinets in E flat major, op. 91
  • Flute quartet in D major, op. 93
  • Clarinet quintet in B flat major, op. 95
  • String trio in F major, op. 96
  • Flute quintet in G major, op. 101
  • Symphony in C minor, op. 102

Yes, Krommer wrote delightfully for wind instruments! This list considers - naturally - just recorded works and it could - naturally - be extended or modified by the discovery of other works.

Against? I'm delighted. I already see a few new (to me) works to go hunting for, and that's the point, after all. I will also add the Op 46 Bassoon Quartets (Bassoon and String Trio) to your list, since they are exceptionally nice, and good representatives of a particularly Classical genre.

8)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #149 on: March 07, 2009, 05:46:47 PM »
Since Jan Dussek was under discussion a few pages back in this thread, today I received a wonderful Harp & Fortepiano disc in the mail - quite interesting listening - posted first in the Dussek Tread, but thought that a repeat here would be of interest - this harpist is indeed special - check out her link below in the quote -  :)

Quote
Just acquired a Dussek disc recommended highly by another GMG member:

Grand Desserts - World of Jan Ladislav Dussek - the title & the cover art are completely unrevealing unfortunately, but a series of CDs devoted to this era and played on period instruments.

Basically, harp music of Dussek, both solo but most w/ fortepiano - performers are Masumi Nagasawa & Richard Egarr - Nagasawa plays a single-action original harp from 1815 & Egarr an original fortepiano from 1804; the sound the the harp is wonderful, much more delicate than a modern concert harp (but more forceful that a Celtic variety, that my wife plays) - Nagasawa has an excellent Website HERE which has plenty of information of these period harps and the 'gourmet' series of recordings she is doing - take a look!  :D

P.S. Gurn Alert - think that this disc will be on your 'radar screen' (of course, if not already owned!) -  ;)  Dave





Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #150 on: March 07, 2009, 06:02:41 PM »
Since Jan Dussek was under discussion a few pages back in this thread, today I received a wonderful Harp & Fortepiano disc in the mail - quite interesting listening - posted first in the Dussek Tread, but thought that a repeat here would be of interest - this harpist is indeed special - check out her link below in the quote -  :)


Ah, thanks for that, Dave. I know the harp is a favorite of yours, and I am hoping to make it one of mine too. Dussek, Spohr, Kraus and a few others wrote nice music for harp, not to mention the famous Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto. I was scratching my head over the Kraus just this evening. It might be my first choice, but the Dussek could well be in the same shopping cart... :)

8)

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Offline jhar26

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #151 on: March 08, 2009, 03:58:24 AM »
But he did continue to use some Mannheim standard devices, like the "Mannheim Rocket" which the French called the premiére coup d'archet. It shows up in several of his later works, and still pleases today. :)

8)
What's the "Mannheim rocket"? Is that when the orchestra seemingly from nowhere and unexpected builds towards a very loud crescendo?

I'm only on page two, but the "classical corner" is a great idea for a thread since so many interesting composers from this era are totally overshadowed by the holy trinity of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Well done, Gurn.
Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #152 on: March 08, 2009, 04:06:53 AM »
What's the "Mannheim rocket"? Is that when the orchestra seemingly from nowhere and unexpected builds towards a very loud crescendo?

I'm only on page two, but the "classical corner" is a great idea for a thread since so many interesting composers from this era are totally overshadowed by the holy trinity of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Well done, Gurn.

Yes, that quite close, it is a long arpeggio/crescendo in the orchestra. It was a surprising development in its time because it requires good ensemble playing by the orchestra, which was virtually unknown before Stamitz' tenure in Mannheim. I guess he was the Toscanini of his time... :)

I am delighted that you joined us here, and hope you will feel free to contribute. I agree with you, this was long overdue. Even though the "Holy Trinity" are my 3 favorite composers, they didn't spring from nowhere, and it's interesting to see who their contemporaries were. :)

8)

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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #153 on: March 08, 2009, 04:12:27 AM »
Against? I'm delighted. I already see a few new (to me) works to go hunting for, and that's the point, after all. I will also add the Op 46 Bassoon Quartets (Bassoon and String Trio) to your list, since they are exceptionally nice, and good representatives of a particularly Classical genre.

Thanks, Gurn! :)

And as I don't know op. 46, they will increase the suggested repertoire. I will edit the previous list to add them.

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #154 on: March 08, 2009, 05:28:11 AM »
A recommended list of works: Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)

  • Piano trio in E flat major, op. 12
  • Fantasia for piano in E flat major, op. 18
  • String quartets in C major, G major and E flat major, op. 30
  • Variazioni alla Monferrina for piano and cello in D minor, op. 54
  • Piano trio in G major, op. 63
  • Septet for piano, winds and strings in D minor, op. 74
  • Piano sonata in F sharp minor, op. 81
  • Piano trio in E major, op. 83
  • Piano concerto in A minor, op. 85
  • Quintet for piano and strings in E flat minor, op. 87
  • Piano concerto in B minor, op. 89
  • Offertorium: Alma virgo, op. 89a
  • Piano trio in E flat major, op. 93
  • Piano trio in E flat major, op. 96
  • Variations for oboe and orchestra, op. 102
  • Cello sonata in A major, op. 104
  • Piano sonata in D major, op. 106
  • Fantasia piccola for piano in A flat major, "La contemplazione", op. 107 n. 3
  • Missa in D major, op. 111
  • Septet for piano, winds and strings, op. 114
  • Mandolin concerto in G major, S. 28
  • Trumpet concerto in E major, S 49
  • Te Deum in D major, S. 70
  • Ballet music for "Die Zauberglöckchen", S 206

Offline Sorin Eushayson

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #155 on: March 08, 2009, 06:50:08 AM »
A recommended list of works: Mozart

The keyboard sonatas
The later violin sonatas
The 6 piano trios
The "Haydn" String Quartets
The serenades and divertimentos for winds
The last 10 Piano Concertos
The Violin Concertos
The Requiem
The last 6 symphonies
The 3 Da Ponti Operas and "The Magic Flute"
I might add to that list K. 427, the "Great Mass."  ;)

Offline jhar26

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #156 on: March 08, 2009, 10:49:18 AM »
An opera recording I like is Jordi Savall's recording of "Una Cosa Rara" from Vicent Martin i Soler which was a very popular work at the time. Now it's best known because Mozart quotes one of it's tunes in the banquet scene at the end of Don Giovanni. But it's a lovely work in my opinion - well worth hearing.



Sorry for the big picture. I didn't find one of more appropriate dimensions.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 11:42:11 AM by jhar26 »
Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #157 on: March 08, 2009, 11:02:59 AM »
An opera recording I like is Jordi Savall's recording of "Una Cosa Rara" from Vicent Martin i Soler which was a very popular work at the time. Now it's best known because Mozart quotes one of it's tunes in the banquet scene at the end of Don Giovanni. But it's a lovely work in my opinion - well worth hearing.



Sorry for the big picture. I didn't find one of more appropriate dimensions.



I have heard much about this opera. The libretto is by Da Ponti too, like "Figaro", the opera which it replaced on the stage in Vienna (its other claim to fame). I have heard elsewhere that it is very good, I would love to hear it. :)
Thanks,

8)

PS - If you quote my post just to look, you can see how I made the picture a little smaller. It's so easy, I can do it! :D


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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #158 on: March 08, 2009, 11:06:26 AM »
Oops, forgot, it won't show in the quote. Anyway, when you have the image set, go to the first [ img ] brackets and change it to [ img height=xxx ] and it will automatically proportion itself.

8)


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Offline jhar26

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #159 on: March 08, 2009, 11:44:49 AM »
Ok, thanks for the tip, Gurn.  :)
Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips.