Started by karlhenning, June 12, 2007, 04:21:16 AM
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Quote from: bhodges on November 06, 2007, 10:58:00 AMI also love the Janacek (and like you, haven't heard it in awhile) but alas, don't know the Nyman at all. There appear to be at least two recordings, by the Lyric and Balanescu quartets. Is the one you like one of these? --Bruce
Quote from: lukeottevanger on June 12, 2007, 04:21:16 AMIn other words, it is a stark, spare, stripped-down piece where every note speaks volumes. That was always Janacek's ideal; he achieves it more than any other composer I know
Quote from: Thom on December 08, 2007, 07:28:31 AMI haven't heard that much by Janacek but this disc is a favourite of mine. Especially the On an Overgrown Path Suite (on this cd for string orchestra, originally it was written for solo piano I think) is a wonderful piece. Very dear to me indeed.
Quote from: Thom on December 08, 2007, 07:28:31 AMEspecially the On an Overgrown Path Suite (on this cd for string orchestra, originally it was written for solo piano I think) is a wonderful piece. Very dear to me indeed.
Quote from: lukeottevanger on December 08, 2007, 03:21:29 PMThe Overgrown Path pieces - or at least the five at the core of them - were in fact originally written for harmonium. You can hear them in that form, played on Janacek's own harmonium in Hukvaldy, on the Supraphon Unknown Janacek disc, which includes some stunning rarities, operatic 'deleted scenes', Janacek's last fragment recorded on both harmonium and piano (by Firkusny) etc.! It should be emphasized that the string orchestra versions on the Chandos disc are arrangements, not original Janacek (though tastefully done by Jarmil Burghauser). Though the harmonium originals may be a little clunky for some tastes, their homespun intimacy fits this most intimate and confessional of cycles perfectly IMO; also, when on hears things like the Virgin of Frydek (with its passionate organ-like outburst in the middle) in their original form, they make even more sense.
Quote from: lukeottevanger on March 19, 2008, 02:14:43 PMBTW, the love and infatuation was on Janacek's side. Kamila's feelings were less ardent, in any case!
Quote from: Muriel on March 19, 2008, 02:47:53 PM She was 38 years younger,he must have seemed like a grandfather to her.I suppose she must have been flattered by his declarations ,or else why wound she have replied,kept the letters and then been at his side when he died?
Quote from: Muriel on March 19, 2008, 02:47:53 PM I did find the letters and the String Quartets,it helps when one spells the composes name correctly. I'll read the Vogel and get back to you,Leos was quite naughty with the gals ,his poor long suffering wife must have anguished with every new singer that walked through the stage door.
Quote from: lukeottevanger on June 12, 2007, 04:47:36 AMQuote from: LukeI haven't posted on this thread until now, and, as the forum's self-appointed Janacek geek/obsessive, this may seem peculiar. The simple fact is I haven't been able to until now as I have been away this weekend.The fact is, I was attending the funeral of my much-loved grandmother, and I mention this simply because her history, and her family, are among other things an important part of my closeness to Janacek. She was Czech, and her family was rooted in artistic and intellectual circles (Franz Werfel, Hanna Fuchs-Robettin of the Lyric Suite fame, VPO lead cellist Friedrich Buxbaum....). Amongst these was the uncle of her husband (my grandfather), the writer (and sometime composer) Max Brod, [in]famous as an all-important friend of Kafka's, and only slightly less so for his pivotal impact on Janacek's career. Through Max Brod, my grandfather met Janacek on one single occasion - my grandfather must can only have been in his teens. Knowledge of this meeting always makes me shiver.So, yes, there are family roots to time and place and even to Janacek personally; his musical style speaks directly to my heart; there is no other composer whose every note seems to me to be so right and so potent - but my adoration of Janacek is deeper rooted than that. When I was at university I wrote my final year's dissertation tracing the course of Janacek's aesthetic stances throughout his life, as revealed in his letters, his theoretical writings and of course his music. This course can be summed up in one or two words: Integration, and Truth. The latter was of prime importance to Janacek - truth to the characters of his operas, psychological truth and musical truth. He believed, IMO rightly, that all this could only follow from absolutely scrupulous truth to himself, and his music is marked by an ever greater Integration (his word, but an appropriate one) by means of which he strips his music of all inessentials and non sequiturs until all that is left, every note, absolutely drips with 'truth' (as he said of Wozzeck - 'every note drips with blood'). No other composer I know of pursued this course with the zeal Janacek did - he was quite to happy to accept certain sorts of 'imperfection', even to welcome them, in the pursuit of the goal of directness and honesty. As a composer of sorts myself, his example is the greatest possible inspiration to me, and I have been striving to follow it, in my own way, these last few years. Any success I have had in my pieces I attribute solely to the soul-searching this has entailed, and I suppose, indirectly at least, to the unique way in which Janacek made a virtue of what are traditionally seen as musical vices, by realising the deeper musical truths that lay beneath them. In brief, he discovered that if one means every note of what one says, understanding the implications from every angle, one can turn the worn-out ruts of musical habit and inclination into routes straight to the heart.Naturally, I love almost all his works, but FWIW the ones which I revere above all others are:Operas: the big five (Broucek, Makropulos, Katya, Vixen and House of the Dead, especially the last three)intimate Letters QuartetDiary of One Who Disappeared (these last two pieces are top of the list, in fact)In the MistsBezruc ChorusesThe Fiddler's Child
Quote from: Christo on March 20, 2008, 12:54:47 AMBtw, I remember I also went to Brno to find a copy of the (more or less locally distributed, if I remember well) recordings of his Moravian and Slovak folk music phonograph recordings 1909-1912, combined with a well documented book (booklet). Did you ever pay attention to that rather Bartók-like side of his career?
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