Author Topic: The Classical Chat Thread  (Read 328480 times)

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Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2009, 06:47:41 AM »
      Been browsing through the early Shostakovich string quartets lately, via the original Borodin Quartet. You know, as much as people admire the late quartets for their unique expressive language, I find the early quartets just as impressive. Where the late quartets are almost symphonies for string quartet, the early quartets, while more conventional, are very tightly constructed, and well voiced (with the exception of the 3rd quartet).
      On another note, I've really begun to appreciate these Borodin recordings more than the Fitzwilliam Quartet recordings, which was my first set. Somehow, it sounds more Russian to me.

ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2009, 08:21:45 AM »
      Been browsing through the early Shostakovich string quartets lately, via the original Borodin Quartet. You know, as much as people admire the late quartets for their unique expressive language, I find the early quartets just as impressive. Where the late quartets are almost symphonies for string quartet, the early quartets, while more conventional, are very tightly constructed, and well voiced (with the exception of the 3rd quartet).
      On another note, I've really begun to appreciate these Borodin recordings more than the Fitzwilliam Quartet recordings, which was my first set. Somehow, it sounds more Russian to me.

Dana, I agree on what you are saying regarding the early quartets.  SQ# 4 has just recently blown me away, now one of my faves.

Although I only have the Eder/Naxos set, by far the set I've enjoyed listening to the most is the Fitzwilliam set, more so than either the Emersons or Borodins.  I do also really love the Eder set I have.

Bulldog

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2009, 08:32:02 AM »

It is perhaps useful to note that the recording I'm talking about is NOT from the newer issue, it's a reissue of an older.  What do you look for in a performance of Bach cantatas?

More than anything else, I look for a celebration of God, not supplication.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2009, 11:09:03 AM »
Has it always been standard practice to price solo instrumental and orchestral releases the same? It seems to have always been the case for CDs at least. I can sort of see how orchestras often being nationally subsidised to some extent can allow some of the recording costs negated, but it can't be the whole story (among non-"superstar" musicians). Are pianophiles effectively underwriting the 'greedy' people who only listen to symphonies? ;)
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2009, 03:10:05 PM »
Well I'm sure most of the performer's pay just goes to the conductor anyway. ;D  Those large symphony orchestras perform ALOT though, so hopefully the musicians aren't starving. :-\

I hope Jo, one of our resident musicians, will pipe up and tell us what's going on. :)

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2009, 07:17:30 PM »
Well I'm sure most of the performer's pay just goes to the conductor anyway. ;D  Those large symphony orchestras perform ALOT though, so hopefully the musicians aren't starving. :-\

I hope Jo, one of our resident musicians, will pipe up and tell us what's going on. :)
I couldn't say; I have next-to-no experience with studio recording, at least not for classical music.  But I would guess that, first, orchestral recordings sell a lot more than soloist recordings, and second, the record companies get most of the money anyway. ::)
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2009, 07:21:09 PM »
More score study: Sibelius Symphonies #4 and #7, and Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead. 8)  The Sibelius scores are pretty easy to read, but it's eye-opening to see exactly what rhythms he wrote.  Those places where it seems the melodic rhythm just sort of flows naturally without strict time--they're actually written very precisely but with lots of offbeat entrances, syncopations and other rhythmic peculiarities; some sections of these symphonies actually remind me of Varèse in their avoidance of a strong downbeat. :D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Opus106

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #67 on: August 27, 2009, 10:39:52 AM »
A new found admiration for Mahler's 6th.

When I caught the performance somewhere in the middle of the first movement, on T.V., it was about a quarter-of-an-hour past eleven P.M.* I did not want stay up too late watching it for that might have some not-so-good repercussions in the morning, but it was infectious. I somehow made it to the andante, and what glorious music it was! (I've always had a special spot for that movement. Oh, and it was Scherzo-Andante, BTW.) Now I had to watch the hammer blows 0:), so I stayed up and watched and listened until the last note faded away. (Actually, some fellow began shouting "Bravo" even before that could happen. ::))

Usually when I listen to this symphony or some other equally long work, I'm working at the computer sitting in the same chair. But this time, I was able to concentrate completely on the symphony in the comfort of the living room. It yielded a lot of good things. And close to midnight, which is likely not the hour for Mahler when you have neighbours around, I switched to headphones. It was just me and the music. Incredible! And surprisingly, I never felt the exhaustion associated with a Mahler symphony.



*Orchestre de Paris; Christoph Eschenbach. This was the same concert I saw a year or two ago, prior to my listening of Mahler's symphonies. Then, I followed, or at least tried to do so, from the middle of the andante and was wondering what a Dr. Evil-look-alike was conducting. And why was this madman at the back of the stage wielding a hammer?! It would be a few months before I would discover the 'Resurrection.'
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 10:43:44 AM by opus106 »
Regards,
Navneeth

Online Brian

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2009, 12:17:53 PM »
More score study: Sibelius Symphonies #4 and #7, and Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead. 8)  The Sibelius scores are pretty easy to read, but it's eye-opening to see exactly what rhythms he wrote.  Those places where it seems the melodic rhythm just sort of flows naturally without strict time--they're actually written very precisely but with lots of offbeat entrances, syncopations and other rhythmic peculiarities; some sections of these symphonies actually remind me of Varèse in their avoidance of a strong downbeat. :D
I've actually recently finished a superb book by David Hurwitz (of all people) about the way that Sibelius wrote for orchestra. Hurwitz was actually a marvelous and very perceptive guide; he pointed out Sibelius' fondness for bizarre phrase lengths and tunes comprised of irregular numbers of bars, used as means to keep the music rhythmically interesting and always unexpected. He also talked about the way that phrases overlap or "interlock" in Sibelius' music, such that you can't tell where one begins and the other ends. His example here was the first entrance of the trombone in the Seventh Symphony, in which the soloist's first note is sustained for so long behind the string section before taking the forefront that, although they're very obviously playing two different ideas, the whole thing seems of a piece. Really fascinating...  :)

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2009, 01:13:38 PM »
      More Shostakovich Quartet listening, the 12th with the Fitzwilliam Quartet. My quartet put a recital on with another University of Michigan quartet last December, and this was our half of the recital. This late Shostakovich repertoire is beastly in a way no other repertoire I've encountered is. With his late quartets to find a perfect unity of form. Observe - 12 is a two movement work in which the first is basically a prologue to the second movement, 13 is in a single movement, and 15, six movements all played continuously, almost like a baroque sonata. These attempts to unify the string quartet in a Wagnerian sense makes them absolute behemoths to play, and they require a lot of endurance to get through, both as a performer, and as a listener.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2009, 01:22:48 PM »
I've actually recently finished a superb book by David Hurwitz (of all people) about the way that Sibelius wrote for orchestra. Hurwitz was actually a marvelous and very perceptive guide; he pointed out Sibelius' fondness for bizarre phrase lengths and tunes comprised of irregular numbers of bars, used as means to keep the music rhythmically interesting and always unexpected. He also talked about the way that phrases overlap or "interlock" in Sibelius' music, such that you can't tell where one begins and the other ends. His example here was the first entrance of the trombone in the Seventh Symphony, in which the soloist's first note is sustained for so long behind the string section before taking the forefront that, although they're very obviously playing two different ideas, the whole thing seems of a piece. Really fascinating...  :)
Yes.  And having finished the "checking out from the library," I am also very impressed by how sensitively Sibelius writes dynamic markings.  On any number of occasions he uses ppp or sometimes even pppp, but rarely do you see ff for the brass, and many times, as in Mahler, different instruments are playing completely different dynamics.  In both symphonies, Sibelius indicates fff exactly once! :o All a conductor has to do is to tell the orchestra to play exactly what's written, and you have a very, very dynamic and perfectly voiced performance. 8)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2009, 12:25:40 PM »
More scores:

Poulenc: Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings
Varèse: Ionisation.

If anybody still thinks Poulenc is a lightweight, I'd recommend this concerto; serious, well-crafted, and with an overall feeling of sorrow that prefigures Dialogues des Carmelites. 8)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #72 on: September 17, 2009, 07:42:32 PM »
      I've been listening to the romantic nationals lately, and am struck by just how frank and enjoyable it is. Aside from the anticipation of the Sibelius smorgasbord which will occur as soon as my Maazel cycle arrives (tomorrow? Please?), I've been listening to Grieg orchestral music through the ears of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and Dvorak chamber music. I'm playing the op.77 Bass Quintet with a chamber group in Rochester, which has been a very pleasant surprise. Dvorak really deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Brahms more often, especially when it comes to chamber music. It's really nice to listen to music that doesn't care whether or not it matters, it just wants to be good.

karlhenning

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #73 on: September 19, 2009, 02:28:23 AM »
Dvorak really deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Brahms more often

QFT

WI Dan

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #74 on: September 19, 2009, 10:26:12 AM »
     I've been listening to the romantic nationals lately, and am struck by just how frank and enjoyable it is. Aside from the anticipation of the Sibelius smorgasbord which will occur as soon as my Maazel cycle arrives (tomorrow? Please?), I've been listening to Grieg orchestral music through the ears of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and Dvorak chamber music. I'm playing the op.77 Bass Quintet with a chamber group in Rochester, which has been a very pleasant surprise. Dvorak really deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Brahms more often, especially when it comes to chamber music. It's really nice to listen to music that doesn't care whether or not it matters, it just wants to be good.

Well said.

Na zdravi! :D


ChamberNut

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2009, 05:34:00 PM »
There is nothing quite like Bruckner's Adagios.  0:)

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2009, 05:50:52 PM »
There is nothing quite like Bruckner's Adagios.  0:)

And there is also nothing like Bruckner's Te Deum, it is truly one of a kind. 0:)

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #77 on: September 20, 2009, 03:47:16 PM »
So I listened to Bach's Cantatas bwv 198 and 110.  The first is a pretty terrific work, but those lutes were just so overwhelming in the recording that I listened to that I felt really pushed out of my comfort zone. :-\  Anyway and then the second one started and I was like WOW! :o  I know this!  It's an orchestral suite!  What the heck is it doing here? ;D  And I looked it up afterwards to see that it was #4.  And Leusink played it so slow that it sounded regal like a Handel suite.  And for once I wasn't offput by the singing, the whole thing worked and I will grudgingly accept a slow tempo in this case. :)

You know I like the sound of the lute, by how they did it in that recording, where it was so forward miked that it overwhelmed everything else was really off putting.  Don't ya just hate that?

Dana

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #78 on: September 20, 2009, 08:09:00 PM »
      PS I'm hearing a LOT of Beethoven Op.132 in the opening movement of the Dvorak bass quintet. There are sudden pangs of dissonance, it sticks really hard, and there is formal de-composition (yes, I made up that term) going back into the recapitulation. It's like Dvorak was channeling his inner Beethoven.

DavidW

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Re: The Classical Chat Thread
« Reply #79 on: September 21, 2009, 02:04:43 AM »
I think you've motivated me to give that bass quintet a fresh listen Dana. :)