Author Topic: Gurn's Classical Corner  (Read 569659 times)

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Offline knight66

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #360 on: April 05, 2009, 11:48:22 AM »
Ah, very informative, thanks. I had no idea about the Mozart triple piano concerto being reworked. I did wonder if it might be a reasonably widespread practice, knowing how many composers would rework good ideas. At least sometimes they must have been feeling that some excellent ideas were not being allowed to fly.

I suppose that as well as providing plenty of four in the bar, they would have to avoid certain keys.

Mike
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #361 on: April 05, 2009, 11:53:03 AM »
Ah, very informative, thanks. I had no idea about the Mozart triple piano concerto being reworked. I did wonder if it might be a reasonably widespread practice, knowing how many composers would rework good ideas. At least sometimes they must have been feeling that some excellent ideas were not being allowed to fly.

I suppose that as well as providing plenty of four in the bar, they would have to avoid certain keys.

Mike

Yes, you'll find that the 2 piano version requires a bit more from the performers, especially Piano #2 than the 3 piano version does.

Well, I don't see a lot of b flat minors in there... :)   More C, D and Eb than anything else I guess. Minors and oddly keys seem to be used for the more personal music. :)

8)

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Offline knight66

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #362 on: April 05, 2009, 12:09:46 PM »
Yes, it goes to the heart of the difference between performing music for other people and playing it for ones self without audience of any kind. I think largely we have lost that distinction as not many homes contain reasonably trained musical people who come together just to please themselves. Once upon a time many homes would have had a piano and so much music making would have centred round it. When I read about such families or groups of friends, I am envious.

Did composers provide their own simple editions of their chamber pieces for domestic consumption? Or was that really done by publishers paying arrangers? I have for example seen a simplified version of the Moonlight Sonata....not arrranged by Beethoven.

I heard it played in a hotel lounge and one of the musicians I was with, at the end, said very loudly, and I thought unkindly. 'Oh, Beethoven wrote something like that'

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #363 on: April 05, 2009, 12:16:09 PM »
Yes, it goes to the heart of the difference between performing music for other people and playing it for ones self without audience of any kind. I think largely we have lost that distinction as not many homes contain reasonably trained musical people who come together just to please themselves. Once upon a time many homes would have had a piano and so much music making would have centred round it. When I read about such families or groups of friends, I am envious.

Yes, I am envious too. People like Schubert, for example, wrote his first 8 or 9 string quartets for his father, himself and his 2 brothers to play at home. And the cello part is rather weaker because Papa wasn't quite as good on the cello as the lads were on their instruments. But it strikes me as a great growing up, and in his case, certainly influenced his entire career.

Quote
Did composers provide their own simple editions of their chamber pieces for domestic consumption? Or was that really done by publishers paying arrangers? I have for example seen a simplified version of the Moonlight Sonata....not arrranged by Beethoven.

I heard it played in a hotel lounge and one of the musicians I was with, at the end, said very loudly, and I thought unkindly. 'Oh, Beethoven wrote something like that'

Mike

I think it was mainly the publishers who ran that little scheme. They wanted to be able to sell the sheets to as many people as possible so you could buy the real deal or "play by the numbers" or anything in between. Publishing was the only place that the real money was back then. Composers made crap. :-\

8)
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Offline knight66

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #364 on: April 05, 2009, 12:43:09 PM »
I imagine that if we lived in a world where there was no recorded music; more of us would have been driven to learn to play. Our great fortune in being able to hear almost anything in a superb performance surely must have made us at least a bit lazy in getting into the guts of music by learning it at first hand.

All that at-home chamber playing would have been a great preparation for turning up at orchestral concerts, where one would automatically be following the structure of even a new piece.

I remember in choir in one piece I overheard the singer next to me refer to the recapitulation we were rehearsing; the person he was speaking to looked puzzled and said something to the effect that, he thought the music seemed a bit familiar.

 ::)

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #365 on: April 06, 2009, 09:36:26 PM »
"Sometimes the keyboard makes all the difference!", said Gurn in some post.

Those words brought to my mind the following notes included with the Chopin’s Etudes played on fortepiano by John Khouri (Music&Arts Programs of America). There the performer explains the relation between the Chopin’s generation and the previous one: 

“By 1830, the pupils of Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven were beginning to face a new breed of virtuoso. Paradoxically weaned on their technical innovations, the new school gradually overtook and smothered the old. Hummel, Ries, Cramer, Field, Kalkbrenner and many others, were to see their achievements eclipsed by new-comers who exhibited a ferocious command of the keyboard. The older generation had trouble at first comprehending the new pianists. Cramer, for example, told von Lenz, “I don’t understand him (Chopin), but he plays beautifully and correctly. Oh! Very correctly; he doesn’t let fly like other young people; but I don’t understand him”. When John Field first heard the young Liszt in Paris in 1832, he quipped to another audience member “does he bite?”. Not only did Liszt bite, but he proceeded to devour not only Field, but many others of his contemporaries. It is not surprising that Cramer disliked Liszt intensely. By 1830, Hummel’s supremacy as the continent’s greatest pianist was being seriously challenged and J.B. Cramer, Britain’s finest virtuoso, was beginning to look distinctly old-fashioned. And so, Schumann superceded Dussek, Liszt replaced Clementi, Mendelssohn become more appealing than Cramer and Chopin preferred to Field. As the 1840s dawned, the achievements of great pianist born in the 18th century faded into obscurity and their compositions began to gather dust. The new school of Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Henselt and Alkan had well and truly arrived”.

 :)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 09:43:31 PM by Antoine Marchand »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #366 on: April 07, 2009, 04:29:27 PM »
"Sometimes the keyboard makes all the difference!", said Gurn in some post.

Those words brought to my mind the following notes included with the Chopin’s Etudes played on fortepiano by John Khouri (Music&Arts Programs of America). There the performer explains the relation between the Chopin’s generation and the previous one: 

“By 1830, the pupils of Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven were beginning to face a new breed of virtuoso. Paradoxically weaned on their technical innovations, the new school gradually overtook and smothered the old. Hummel, Ries, Cramer, Field, Kalkbrenner and many others, were to see their achievements eclipsed by new-comers who exhibited a ferocious command of the keyboard. The older generation had trouble at first comprehending the new pianists. Cramer, for example, told von Lenz, “I don’t understand him (Chopin), but he plays beautifully and correctly. Oh! Very correctly; he doesn’t let fly like other young people; but I don’t understand him”. When John Field first heard the young Liszt in Paris in 1832, he quipped to another audience member “does he bite?”. Not only did Liszt bite, but he proceeded to devour not only Field, but many others of his contemporaries. It is not surprising that Cramer disliked Liszt intensely. By 1830, Hummel’s supremacy as the continent’s greatest pianist was being seriously challenged and J.B. Cramer, Britain’s finest virtuoso, was beginning to look distinctly old-fashioned. And so, Schumann superceded Dussek, Liszt replaced Clementi, Mendelssohn become more appealing than Cramer and Chopin preferred to Field. As the 1840s dawned, the achievements of great pianist born in the 18th century faded into obscurity and their compositions began to gather dust. The new school of Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Henselt and Alkan had well and truly arrived”.

 :)

Yes, Antoine, one generation succeeded the previous one, and brought with them a whole new idea about music. Among other things, this became the Age of the Virtuoso, which was something that was very much frowned upon by the Classicists. Even though such as Cramer, Hummel, Dussek and Field were indeed extraordinary players, they didn't let their talent overshadow the music. With the advent of that generation, with the exception of Chopin (who was a virtuoso, but not a showoff), the quality of the music became subordinate to the opportunities for showing what they could do at the piano.

8)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #367 on: April 07, 2009, 04:59:30 PM »
Ensemble Chamber Playing - Part II - String Quartets

In Part I of this essay, I shared some thoughts I have concerning chamber music with keyboard. We talked a bit about amateurs and professionals and how keyboard chamber music composition was driven by amateurs. Now I would like to take a very brief history of string quartets and show how they came from a very different gene pool.

The string quartet as we know it today traces back in direct fashion to Haydn's Op 9 of 1771. To be sure, there was music being written for this combination of instruments before that, Haydn wrote at least 12 works, and many other composers had jumped on the bandwagon during the 1760's. But the finished article, a 4 movement work with a sonata-allegro first movement and significant independence of the parts is Haydn's contribution to the party. From that point on, he grew more and more diversified in his incorporation of styles (e.g. - fugues in Op 20) and more and more changes in the superiority of the instruments.

How does this differ from keyboard music? Well, we saw that keyboard music started out just the opposite. In a trio, for example, the keyboard could even play alone, or with only a violin doubling the right hand, or an added cello doubling the left. In string quartets, although there is some occasional doubling as a musical necessity, it is equally likely that the viola and 2nd violin will be playing independently. And a new theme could be introduced by the 2nd violin or the cello too. It was to be many years before the piano trio achieved this sort of internal structure.

So why did the string quartet start out differently from the piano trio? It is their intended audience. The trio was a social vehicle for amateurs. The quartet was written for professionals! To be sure, amateurs were a leading force in the development of music in the mid/late 18th century, but there were plenty of professionals around too. And Haydn originally developed the quartet as a vehicle for the private amusement of him and his friends. Something for them to play when they had leisure time. A way for him to actually enjoy music for his own gratification and not someone else's. He didn't write any easy parts, even in his early quartets. Didn't condescend to the patron's taste or musical handicaps. And he used them for experiments in music, much in the way Beethoven used the piano sonata as his laboratory.

As the population of good, professional musicians grew, the string quartet became more popular, became played in public, became a paragon of musical virtue. But the picture I have in my mind, of the "little quartet party" that Michael Kelly wrote about in his diary, where he described an after dinner evening at a friend's apartment "we were entertained with quartets. The players were not the greatest at their craft, but there was some science between them:
First Violin - Haydn
Second Violin - Dittersdorf
Viola - Mozart
Cello - Vanhal"   

If you lived in 1784 in Vienna, this was the cream of the crop. I would have loves to be a fly on the wall. :)

8)
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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #368 on: April 07, 2009, 08:24:49 PM »
Let's remember, however, that specially in French music, a duality survived into the nineteenth century: the quatuor brillant opposed to the quatuor concertant. While in the first there was a clear hegemony of one of the instruments (in string quartets, normally the first violin), the second followed the patterns of equality between them described by Gurn.

The evolution towards the quatuor concertant seems obvious, judging from our time the music of that period. However, there was quite a struggle and - perhaps - it is even more noticeable when considering genres other than the string quartet; for example, in chamber music for winds and strings. In a clarinet quintet - for example - the temptation of writing for "clarinet + strings" instead of writing for "clarinet + violin + violin + viola + cello" could be very strong. The influence of Rejcha and Krommer in this evolution was, to my opinion, of considerable importance: as Haydn and Beethoven didn't show a great interest in this kind of works, they were the composers with the highest technical knowledge of their time to deal directly with this problem (I think of Spohr as an alternative, but I don't know his music enough as to analyze his influence: perhaps Gurn or some other illustrated member could make a comment about his music).

And here I arrive to a point of - perhaps - anticipating a third post by Gurn: the most impressive equality achieved by Rejcha in his wind quintets. These works are a major musical as well as historical achievement. While the string quartet shows three kinds of instruments, they are mutatis mutandis of a same nature, and so, their equal treatment can be regarded as quite natural; but to treat equally a horn, an oboe, a clarinet, a flute and a bassoon, and to do it remarkably as Rejcha did with works of the highest musical excellence, is more than just something to be noticed as an anecdote in some forgotten pages of musical history.

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #369 on: April 08, 2009, 05:28:09 AM »
Yes, Antoine, one generation succeeded the previous one, and brought with them a whole new idea about music. Among other things, this became the Age of the Virtuoso, which was something that was very much frowned upon by the Classicists. Even though such as Cramer, Hummel, Dussek and Field were indeed extraordinary players, they didn't let their talent overshadow the music. With the advent of that generation, with the exception of Chopin (who was a virtuoso, but not a showoff), the quality of the music became subordinate to the opportunities for showing what they could do at the piano.

I think there are other exceptions, namely Alkan who rarely sacrificed virtuosity for substance and who became a recluse, Mendelssohn and also his sister who was forced to remain an 'amateur'. Schumann injured his hand couldn't be a virtuoso so there are few excesses in his music either. His wife Clara was one of the best virtuosos of the time but unfortunately had to use that skill to earn a crust so her oeuvre is small. Listz did in later years cast off his excesses, in fact I would hardly say he was showing off in his Sonata.
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #370 on: April 08, 2009, 05:52:53 AM »
I think there are other exceptions, namely Alkan who rarely sacrificed virtuosity for substance and who became a recluse, Mendelssohn and also his sister who was forced to remain an 'amateur'. Schumann injured his hand couldn't be a virtuoso so there are few excesses in his music either. His wife Clara was one of the best virtuosos of the time but unfortunately had to use that skill to earn a crust so her oeuvre is small. Listz did in later years cast off his excesses, in fact I would hardly say he was showing off in his Sonata.

I was referring mainly to the people on Antoine's list, which was why I excepted Chopin. In truth, I don't know much about Alkan since he worked/played in a later period than my interest, but I have heard a few of his works played, and they sound pretty virtuosic to me.

And I wouldn't include Schumann in the "showoff" list either. Nor Brahms if you want to continue down that line. I find it hard to leave off Liszt though. He lived so damned long that he went through any number of phases, but the Age of the Virtuoso occurred early in his career which is the period we are talking about.

8)
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #371 on: April 08, 2009, 05:54:41 AM »
Ensemble Chamber Playing - Part II - String Quartets

....Now I would like to take a very brief history of string quartets and show how they came from a very different gene pool.

.....The string quartet as we know it today traces back in direct fashion to Haydn's Op 9 of 1771........

....As the population of good, professional musicians grew, the string quartet became more popular, became played in public, became a paragon of musical virtue.

Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #372 on: April 08, 2009, 12:16:11 PM »
Let's remember, however, that specially in French music, a duality survived into the nineteenth century: the quatuor brillant opposed to the quatuor concertant. While in the first there was a clear hegemony of one of the instruments (in string quartets, normally the first violin), the second followed the patterns of equality between them described by Gurn.

Interesting that you should mention Spohr a bit later, Gabriel. His evolution is a microcosm of this phenomenon. Spohr was a violin virtuoso, his early works were mainly violin concerti which he toured with and made his name. And his earlier string quartets were in the brillant tradition, where the other 3 instruments were supporting him as the lead fiddler and constituted a virtual tutti to his solo violin. But later on (he wrote 36 of them IIRC) he tended more and more to the concertante style. He was on record as stating that it was his fondest desire to be able to write a Haydnesque or Mozartian type of quartet. :)  If you get a chance and want to hear a master of brillant string quartets, you really should have a try at... Paganini! Talk about a mini-concerto!! :o

Quote
The evolution towards the quatuor concertant seems obvious, judging from our time the music of that period. However, there was quite a struggle and - perhaps - it is even more noticeable when considering genres other than the string quartet; for example, in chamber music for winds and strings. In a clarinet quintet - for example - the temptation of writing for "clarinet + strings" instead of writing for "clarinet + violin + violin + viola + cello" could be very strong. The influence of Rejcha and Krommer in this evolution was, to my opinion, of considerable importance: as Haydn and Beethoven didn't show a great interest in this kind of works, they were the composers with the highest technical knowledge of their time to deal directly with this problem (I think of Spohr as an alternative, but I don't know his music enough as to analyze his influence: perhaps Gurn or some other illustrated member could make a comment about his music).

Yes, and it must have been particularly difficult for such specialists as you mention, along with others like Danzi and Devienne, all 4 of whom were wind instrument specialists. And yet they pulled it off to some degree, moreso than, say Kreutzer who was French and to whom the brillant style was more natural and accepted. As I have posted on this forum many times in the past, the chamber combination(s) of wind instrument and string trio or quartet is one of my very favorite genres. Pity that, as you say, Beethoven didn't evince much interest in it. If he had, then the multitude that followed him in the 19th century might have kept it nicely alive (at least Brahms wrote a little bit). As for Spohr, I am not aware of his having written anything in this category. He did write a nice little piano & wond quintet ala Mozart & Beethoven though. :)


Quote
And here I arrive to a point of - perhaps - anticipating a third post by Gurn: the most impressive equality achieved by Rejcha in his wind quintets. These works are a major musical as well as historical achievement. While the string quartet shows three kinds of instruments, they are mutatis mutandis of a same nature, and so, their equal treatment can be regarded as quite natural; but to treat equally a horn, an oboe, a clarinet, a flute and a bassoon, and to do it remarkably as Rejcha did with works of the highest musical excellence, is more than just something to be noticed as an anecdote in some forgotten pages of musical history.

Well, I indeed would like to go there, but other than being aware of the issues of balance of tone and volume, I don't know enough about the context of the wind quintets to write about. I know that Reicha was teaching at the Paris Conservatory when he wrote them, and I seem to recall that there is some element of academic exercise to them, but finding solid information about these works has proven difficult (without a good library close by). So it goes. :)

8)


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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #373 on: April 08, 2009, 12:23:55 PM »
Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave

Thanks, Dave. As you say, Boccherini and Haydn were seemingly well-aware of each other's work. At the same time (1761-ish) Haydn was also writing "quartets", but his Op 1 & 2 were in 5 movements rather than 3. And I know that Haydn called his (and considered them to be) divertimentos, and I think that maybe Boccherini's could be classed as such too. Neither of them had yet achieved the concision that would eventually mark the string quartet as we know it. But even then, the works had a target audience, and it was musicians, so the hypothesis still holds true. I definitely plan on expanding my Boccherini string quartet collection. Right now I don't have many, and they are all rather later (Op 36 and up). :)

8)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #374 on: April 08, 2009, 12:25:59 PM »
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Ideas?

8)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #375 on: April 08, 2009, 01:03:32 PM »
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Ideas?



Gurn - the only disc of Vanhal's SQs that I own is shown below - Kubin Quartet on a label called 'MusicSonic' - nothing at BRO currently, but that must have been the place for me?  Will have to give it a spin soon -  :)

Boccherini wrote a bunch of String Quartets - listed HERE; at least 90+, maybe a 100!  I just have 2 discs of his SQs - the Op. 2 works mentioned previously, then one CD on Capriccio - must look into acquiring some more!  But, I do have a lot more of the String Quintets, which he did so well! - Dave



Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #376 on: April 08, 2009, 01:15:22 PM »
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Thanks, Dave, for showing that CD. I didn't know any Vanhal string quartet recordings. In what keys are they written?

Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave

Thanks for recalling Boccherini, Dave. Boccherini is a name that is usually forgotten and he has really stupendous music. I'm not deeply acquainted by his music, but it strikes me as sounding very different from the "Austrian" line. What I remember instantaneously about his excellent string quartets and quintets is that they show textures not to be found in the great Viennese composers. There must be more interesting features, but I recall specially this one.

I feel quite motivated today, because I bought the new Boccherini CD recorded by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for Virgin Classics. I have the two previous releases and they are nothing less than extraordinary. I hope this one (which I have not listened to yet) will keep on the same level. They play one trio (D major, op. 14/4, G. 98), one quartet (C minor, op. 41/1, G. 214), one quintet (C minor, op. 45/1, G. 355) and one sextet (F minor, op. 23/4, G. 457). Quite a proliferation of minor-key works! (Unfortunately my headphones collapsed yesterday and today I didn't have time for buying a replacement, so any comment will have to wait at least until tomorrow).

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #377 on: April 08, 2009, 02:06:34 PM »


Gurn - the only disc of Vanhal's SQs that I own is shown below - Kubin Quartet on a label called 'MusicSonic' - nothing at BRO currently, but that must have been the place for me?  Will have to give it a spin soon -  :)

Boccherini wrote a bunch of String Quartets - listed HERE; at least 90+, maybe a 100!  I just have 2 discs of his SQs - the Op. 2 works mentioned previously, then one CD on Capriccio - must look into acquiring some more!  But, I do have a lot more of the String Quintets, which he did so well! - Dave




Ah, so that is the one they had on Amazon (no picture) that is OOP. Pity, it looks good.

Yes, there is no shortage of Boccherini quartets, thankfully. I was a little bit bewildered about where to start, actually. I have quite a few quintets too. Very fine works. Luigi is among the most underrated composers, not only of the Classical Era, but of any era!

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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #378 on: April 08, 2009, 02:11:32 PM »
Yes, there is no shortage of Boccherini quartets, thankfully. I was a little bit bewildered about where to start, actually. I have quite a few quintets too. Very fine works. Luigi is among the most underrated composers, not only of the Classical Era, but of any era!

I fully agree, Gurn.

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #379 on: April 08, 2009, 02:13:01 PM »
Thanks, Dave, for showing that CD. I didn't know any Vanhal string quartet recordings. In what keys are they written?

Thanks for recalling Boccherini, Dave. Boccherini is a name that is usually forgotten and he has really stupendous music. I'm not deeply acquainted by his music, but it strikes me as sounding very different from the "Austrian" line. What I remember instantaneously about his excellent string quartets and quintets is that they show textures not to be found in the great Viennese composers. There must be more interesting features, but I recall specially this one.

I feel quite motivated today, because I bought the new Boccherini CD recorded by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for Virgin Classics. I have the two previous releases and they are nothing less than extraordinary. I hope this one (which I have not listened to yet) will keep on the same level. They play one trio (D major, op. 14/4, G. 98), one quartet (C minor, op. 41/1, G. 214), one quintet (C minor, op. 45/1, G. 355) and one sextet (F minor, op. 23/4, G. 457). Quite a proliferation of minor-key works! (Unfortunately my headphones collapsed yesterday and today I didn't have time for buying a replacement, so any comment will have to wait at least until tomorrow).

Gabriel,
I have their disk of string quintets, Op 25. I quite agree, it is first rate. I haven't seen either of the others though, guess I need to hunt them down. Thanks for pointing it out. For those who might not have it, I would also add that this one, by Savall et al is a very fine disk too. :)



8)

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Listening to:
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