Started by Sean, February 22, 2009, 03:13:18 PM
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Quote from: MDL on February 25, 2012, 07:55:26 AMSomewhere, hidden in the dusty, neglected bowels of my CD collection, along with unloved Gramophone compilations and those BBC Magazine freebies (baroque music, anything by Haydn) that will never get played, is a CD of three Segerstam symphonies that I bought, second-hand, almost two decades ago. Don't ask me which CD it is. Honestly, the den looks like somebody's emptied a skip into it, and I can't find anything these days. I remember quite liking each symphony for the first few minutes, but losing interest in and patience with each one as it went on.But I'm curious now and want to give Segerstam another try, so I'll have to face the disaster zone that is my CD collection and root out that long-forgotten recording. I may be gone awhile.
Quote from: MDL on February 26, 2012, 02:54:32 AMActually, I was wrong. It's two symphonies and another orchestral piece:I still haven't found it. I'd post a photo of the junk yard that is the den, but I would have to shoot myself afterwards. I've listened to samples on Amazon and am surprised by how clear my memories of each piece are.
Quote from: springrite on February 26, 2012, 04:09:37 AMThat is the one (and only one, thankfully) that I have.
Quote from: kentel on February 27, 2012, 12:26:28 PMI'd like somebody to tell why he does not like it using arguments, so that we could have a decent discussion.
Quote from: Sergeant Rock on February 27, 2012, 12:37:27 PMI don't like it because "there's no melody, no perceptible rhythmic pulsation, all the interest lies in the orchestral colors and in the organisation of the orchestral masses." I'm not being sarcastic. For music to be interesting to me, it needs at least three of those four things...and preferably, all four.Sarge
Quote from: kentel on February 27, 2012, 01:29:27 PMAt least, that's clear However, you've definitively locked the door to much of the musical production of the 20th and 21st centuries...
Quote from: kentel on February 27, 2012, 12:26:28 PMThis is a music which focuses on orchestral effects, there's no melody, no perceptible rhythmic pulsation, all the interest lies in the orchestral colors and in the organisation of the orchestral masses.
Quote from: kentel on February 27, 2012, 12:26:28 PMI do find the result very impressive with its magmatic and heavy masses of basses (double-basses, cellos, tubas, trombones etc.), its concentrated and colourful flows of winds, and its sparkling sounds of bells, flute, violin, etc on the top. It sounds to me like a musical landscape which I find very poetic and evocative.
Quote from: some guy on February 27, 2012, 08:43:25 PMGood idea.
Quote from: some guy on February 27, 2012, 08:43:25 PMI listen to a lot of music. I listen to a lot of music I don't like.
Quote from: some guy on February 27, 2012, 08:43:25 PMOne thing I've found is that I do tend to prefer music that that has no melody or perceptible rhythmic pulsation.
Quote from: some guy on February 27, 2012, 08:43:25 PMAnd so I feel I should be enjoying Segerstam much more than I do. But I don't. I don't know how valuable my not liking him is, however. Or why. I know his music bores me. And I think I know why: the orchestral colors are ones I've heard a bazillion times already and the masses don't seem at all organized, nor do they seem disorganized in any exciting, dangerous, risky way--just sloppy.
Quote from: some guy on February 27, 2012, 08:43:25 PMHaving said that, however, I have to say that I still find comments like this much, much more useful:
Quote from: kentel on February 28, 2012, 03:12:45 PMThanksI understand that.Me too. I especially enjoy the idea of "musical worlds", descriptive music which evokes landscapes of all sorts. Tonal music is generally unable to do that. The melody unfolds itself like a story that you need to follow, while atonal/non pulsative is generaly static. Moreover, since the attention cannot focuse on the melodic line nor on the pulse either, it requires a great inventivity on the behalf of the composer, who has to capture the listener's attention exclusively by means of orchestration's and harmonic skills. There's a breath in such music that you cannot find in tonal music, and this is not only the case with Segerstam, Maxwell-Davies and others, it's also the case if you listen to traditional Japanese or Aborigenal music, f.ex. If we stay within the frame of western classical music, I think that everything began with Wagner. When Wagner's operas were first heard in Paris, where he expected fame and glory, the critics litteraly assasinated his music for exactly these reasons : no melody, almost no tonality and a focus on the power of orchestral evocation. For those guys who were used to Meyerbeer, Auber, Boeildieu and even Berlioz, that was something absurd. But, compared with Wagner, the orchestra of the other romantic composers is extremely unimaginative and flat : see even great geniuses like Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, etc. Actually they don't need to take care of the orchestra, because their music focuses on melodic and tonal aspects which are sufficient to catch the listener's attention. Well, you have in fact Berlioz and Liszt (who, incidentally, were good friends). And Rimsky, but is Rimsky a romantic, I don't think so.I also enjoy listening to tonal stuff, but even if I appreciate the genius of many composers, I always feel like my imagination is much more restrainted. Thank you for raising the standard of debate, that's much interesting. Even if I'm fond of Segerstam's music, I agree with most of your comments. I'll just react to the two most relevant (to me) :1- the masses don't seem at all organized nor disorganized 2- the orchestral colors are oneBoth assertions are true IMO : 1- they are organized in flows, of "flux", I don't know how to call that. Within a flux of, say violin + flute + harp, many things happen, that's for the disorganized. The score is written like that, for groups of instruments, each improvising upon the composer's instructions, each within the limits of a specific range, and probably each at its own pace (like with Carter, but I'm not sure of that) . However, the flux is static and does not vary very much, giving a feeling of "not so disorganized" and leading to 2- the monotony of the orchestral colors. The general impression is that the orchestral color is one, in fact it is not in the details. This impression is even stronger if you consider several symphonies : they all look similar, and they are if you consider the general move.My feeling is that Segerstam's orchestration is built upon 3 main flux corresponding to 3 main ranges : bass (always abyssal and magmatic), medium (the central axis) and high (always glittering). It's like when you look at the foliage of a tree in summer : you generally perceive 3 colors : dark green/green/light green, and the painter uses 3 colors to paint it (that's a rule). The perfect balance. It also looks monotonous, it also has many nuances, but the fact is, that you perceive only 3 nuances of a single color. Segerstam's symphonies are exactly that, at least to me : 3 nuances of a same color, each symphony having the same subject. It's just like a guy painting trees all the time; trees are similar if you consider their general visual impact, but in fact they are not.That's good to hear, thanks for that
Quote from: snyprrr on February 28, 2012, 08:16:46 PMI checked the Amazon, and it appears that 'every' Symphony from say 6-21 has been recorded, along with later ones, and then numerous 'Orchestral Dairies',... and 'Thoughts'. So, I'm curious, who knows what's 'better' than?I used to have the first Ondine disc, seems I enjoyed it. Please help me out, we have BIS, Ondine, and Kontrapunkt...
Quote from: kentel on February 28, 2012, 03:12:45 PMI especially enjoy the idea of "musical worlds", descriptive music which evokes landscapes of all sorts. Tonal music is generally unable to do that.
Quote from: eyeresist on February 29, 2012, 04:38:46 PMSibelius? Vaughan Williams?
Quote from: kentel on March 01, 2012, 02:32:48 AMYes, you're right; I'll have to improve my argumentation...
Quote from: kentel on February 29, 2012, 02:16:18 PMI can possibly tell you why if you're not totally bored reading to my unending posts.
Quote from: some guy on March 01, 2012, 07:01:41 PMMy first Segerstam CD was an Ondine. So there are at least three Ondine recordings of his music. This one has symphonies 21 and 23.The other one I have is the Ondine with Leif doing his Father Christmas pose.
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