Author Topic: Chez Stravinsky  (Read 202191 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1340 on: April 13, 2021, 11:55:47 AM »
Before wading into it, though, I am making my way again through the Sony box.  There must be some redundancy, but I haven't decided if I care
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1341 on: April 14, 2021, 02:14:09 AM »
I own a few Stravinsky Järvi recordings and, to be honest, it’s like oil and water. The two just don’t go together. It’s been so long since I’ve listened to any of his Stravinsky, but I get the impression that his performances of the earlier works are better than the middle and late period works. He doesn’t do ‘cool detachment’ really well and especially in the Neoclassical works, you have to be careful and not let things get heated up to the point where emotion is more important than allowing the clean lines to come through unfettered. So, no, I never thought of him as a good Stravinskian.

I've been thinking more about your "oil and water" remark.  Not specifically regarding Jarvi/Stravinsky or these particular works since, as I said I don't know them except through this disc.  But I think I disagree with the basic premise of your comment.  If I interpret you correctly, it seems that you feel the only or at least preferable approach to neo-classicism is "cool detachment".  While I'd agree that is a legitimate/prevalent approach I do not think it should be the only way.  To my mind that risks too neatly compartmentalising a musical genre/style.  Surely there will always being multiple ways of approaching any piece and for me part of the interest is where the genre boundaries blur. 

So if you take neo-classicism I like the way that very different composers arrived at that common ground - whether Zemlinsky from his Post-Romantic standpoint, Roussel from Impressionism or Stravinsky himself.  But surely each also brings a legacy of their earlier style too?  If that is the case, an interpreter can legitimately bring out that legacy so perhaps Jarvi can rightly point to elements in Stravinsky's earlier music that 'allows' his emotional approach in these later works too...?  Of course there is a counter argument that Stravinsky was a master at reinventing himself as a composer almost as a lizard will shed a skin....

Anyway, it gave me an interesting cause to reflect on this thought.......

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1342 on: April 14, 2021, 04:27:10 AM »
MI's post seems to indicate that he is specifically describing Stravinsky's neoclassical works as sounding cool and detached not neoclassicism as a whole.  You're making sweeping generalizations that MI never committed to.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1343 on: April 14, 2021, 06:54:45 AM »
I've been thinking more about your "oil and water" remark.  Not specifically regarding Jarvi/Stravinsky or these particular works since, as I said I don't know them except through this disc.  But I think I disagree with the basic premise of your comment.  If I interpret you correctly, it seems that you feel the only or at least preferable approach to neo-classicism is "cool detachment".  While I'd agree that is a legitimate/prevalent approach I do not think it should be the only way.  To my mind that risks too neatly compartmentalising a musical genre/style.  Surely there will always being multiple ways of approaching any piece and for me part of the interest is where the genre boundaries blur. 

So if you take neo-classicism I like the way that very different composers arrived at that common ground - whether Zemlinsky from his Post-Romantic standpoint, Roussel from Impressionism or Stravinsky himself.  But surely each also brings a legacy of their earlier style too?  If that is the case, an interpreter can legitimately bring out that legacy so perhaps Jarvi can rightly point to elements in Stravinsky's earlier music that 'allows' his emotional approach in these later works too...?  Of course there is a counter argument that Stravinsky was a master at reinventing himself as a composer almost as a lizard will shed a skin....

Anyway, it gave me an interesting cause to reflect on this thought.......

Stravinsky’s style (or ‘brand’ if you will) of Neoclassicism is that if you force your emotions on these particular works, there’s bound to be an imbalance in the music and, thus, for me at least, will make for a strange listening experience. Of course, Neoclassicism in general, can approached and has been approached in a myriad of different ways, but with Stravinsky it seems that he had a certain sound in mind. Am I saying that if you overheat these Stravinsky Neoclassical works that it will ruin the performance? Yes, but sometimes it can be pulled off, but it does seem that the way Stravinsky conducted these particular works is how they’re supposed to sound. You simply can’t pull a Kondrashin on Orpheus for example. It just doesn’t work and will never work, IMHO. Anyway, that’s my own take on Stravinsky Neoclassical interpretations and why I mentioned Neeme Järvi as being a prime candidate to ruin the flow of these works which would most certainly rob it of its jewel-like opulence. Järvi could get away with his usual, heart-on-sleeve approach in Le Sacre or The Firebird because these are works that call for more emotional and musical heft from the conductor/orchestra. The interpretation can be more on the lax side. And yes, Stravinsky was one of classical music’s greatest chameleons.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 06:58:59 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline ritter

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1344 on: April 14, 2021, 08:37:00 AM »
As my appetite was whetted by the images Rafael was posting on the Stravinsky anniversary, this looked too good not to fetch in.  It has landed, in all its magnificence
Hope you enjoy this set as much as I do, Karl:)

It’s  worthy presentation of the recorded legacy of one of the great composers of all time and, as I already said, one of the glories of the history of recorded music (even if some individual recordings are far from perfect—e.g., the mono Pulcinella from Cleveland verges on the disastrous IMHO).
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 08:47:20 AM by ritter »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1345 on: April 14, 2021, 12:02:03 PM »
Hope you enjoy this set as much as I do, Karl:)

It’s  worthy presentation of the recorded legacy of one of the great composers of all time and, as I already said, one of the glories of the history of recorded music (even if some individual recordings are far from perfect—e.g., the mono Pulcinella from Cleveland verges on the disastrous IMHO).

Cheers, Rafael!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chez Stravinsky
« Reply #1346 on: April 16, 2021, 05:58:42 AM »
Cross-post

Stravinsky

CDs 16 & 17
The Rake’s Progress


My feeling for this has been that I admire it more than love it (although there are passages, of course) Not ready to etch that in stone, but the needle did not move, this week.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot