Author Topic: William Schuman (1910-1992)  (Read 72330 times)

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Offline The new erato

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2009, 10:07:29 PM »
Myself - I consider Schuman's & Rochberg's (the original version) to be the two greatest.

How does Rochberg's concerto rate with you?
I've scrambled the Naxos disc of it for a relisten tonight - do't know what version that is, however. Bernsteins serenade is my 2nd favorite, I'll see what I think after the relisten.

The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.

Offline Guido

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2009, 10:34:05 PM »
I don't think the Zukovsky has been reissued though, and the Naxos is meant to be better than the one above.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2009, 03:55:56 AM »
I'm looking forward to the Naxos release of Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great work - described by one critic as 'A Requiem for the 20th Century'.
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karlhenning

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2009, 04:00:19 AM »
I'm looking forward to the Naxos release of Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great work - described by one critic as 'A Requiem for the 20th Century'.

Will this be a new recording, or a reissue, do you know?

snyprrr

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2009, 05:51:56 AM »
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities. I remember hearing the Ormandy years again and loving the piece, but when I heard the Naxos cd I was horrified-the misterioso intro was still there that I rememered, but the rising sense of hysteria-that brass in the horror movie vein, the shrieking strings-
can anyone compare the two recordings? Is there that much of a difference between them that one could be considered a masterpiece and the other a tragedy? Is it the music, or just the performance....or me?
however, sym. 6-7, and for that matter, all the other sym., I can't say enough about. just all around really great composer.

Offline drogulus

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2009, 02:59:59 PM »


     

     I'll be listening to the classic Ormandy recording of the Schuman 6th tonight, along with the Harris 7th and Piston 4th. The Schuman was recorded in '53, so I'm looking forward to the Naxos.
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Offline J

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2009, 03:39:17 PM »
I've scrambled the Naxos disc of it for a relisten tonight - do't know what version that is, however. Bernsteins serenade is my 2nd favorite, I'll see what I think after the relisten.

The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.

Yes.

Offline Guido

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2009, 04:28:44 PM »
The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.

Hmm, I think it really depends on who plays it - but I agree it can easily be played as such. I think the most convincing version on record is Takezawa's account - her tone is ravishing, phrasing a delight, and she is also able to make the whole satisfying, and not just two adagios with a presto stuck on the end. The formal design has never bothered me, but then I am willing to forgive Barber most things - this was an early work, all three of his later concertos are masterful.

Anyway, looking forward to getting this CD - do tell me what you think of the Naxos disc.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2009, 05:55:27 PM »
Sorry to be coming to this recent discussion a little late-I have been otherwise engaged for the last 48 hours!.

I am delighted to see that others have such a high regard for Schuman's music. The symphonies are particularly fine works although they are quite tough works too and there is an abrasive side to Schuman's most serious music which can be a little tiring at times.
Gerard Schwarz is obviously a great admirer of Schuman and deserves a great deal of credit for championing the music when very few other contemporary conductors appear to be terribly interested in doing so. The incomplete Naxos series contains worthy and, sometimes, very good performances but there is no doubt that Schwarz and the Seattle orchestra cannot match the electricity generated by the ferocious intensity of Ormandy/Philadelphia or Bernstein/NYPO.

Since, however, we cannot resurrect these gentleman, Schwarz will have to do meantime ;D

Regarding the Violin Concerto-I agree that it is one of the finest of all American Violin Concertos, and that the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).

As for the Barber Violin Concerto.......I used to listen to it repeatedly as a late teenager(a year or two ago ;D) and used to think that it contained just about the most heartbreakingly beautiful music ever composed. Perhaps I simply overdosed on the work...or just got less romantic as I aged(?)...but its 'sweetness' (as erato has commented) got too much for my palate. It is a work that I can go back to but it will probably never have quite the same meaning and resonances as it had when I was a lad ;D

Offline Daverz

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2009, 08:33:42 PM »
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities. I remember hearing the Ormandy years again and loving the piece, but when I heard the Naxos cd I was horrified-the misterioso intro was still there that I rememered, but the rising sense of hysteria-that brass in the horror movie vein, the shrieking strings-
can anyone compare the two recordings? Is there that much of a difference between them that one could be considered a masterpiece and the other a tragedy? Is it the music, or just the performance....or me?
however, sym. 6-7, and for that matter, all the other sym., I can't say enough about. just all around really great composer.

I have my transfer of the Ormandy around here somewhere.  I'll upload it for you.  I've tricked out my 'table since then, and I also found another copy of the Lp, but I won't have a chance to do another transfer until the end of next week.  I think this one sounds pretty good, though.

Edit: Here's an MP3 with VBR ~ 250K.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 09:37:32 PM by Daverz »

Offline The new erato

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2009, 11:15:43 PM »
Hmm, I think it really depends on who plays it - but I agree it can easily be played as such. I think the most convincing version on record is Takezawa's account - her tone is ravishing, phrasing a delight, and she is also able to make the whole satisfying, and not just two adagios with a presto stuck on the end. The formal design has never bothered me, but then I am willing to forgive Barber most things - this was an early work, all three of his later concertos are masterful.

Anyway, looking forward to getting this CD - do tell me what you think of the Naxos disc.
Did listen last night - and indeed it is a very powerful, as well as moving, work. And large-scaled, perhaps a little too much? And I remember being impressed by it on the couple of other occasions I have played it. But to pronounce on its quality one need to live with the music for some time, the Schumann I have lived with for 30 years. So I'll leave it at that and will return to it.

And yes, the Pistons are very fine. And, if we go south of the border, I like Manuel Ponce's concerto a lot too.

snyprrr

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2009, 11:19:34 PM »
thanks to daverz

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2009, 03:36:15 AM »
the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).


Second this. The first Piston is such an appealing work on first listen, I'm puzzled why it hasn't become better known. Although after knowing both of them, I now think the second is a deeper and more subtle piece.

This thread is a reminder to listen to the Rochberg, which I've only done once before (I have the uncut version on Naxos).
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Offline DavidRoss

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2009, 04:12:40 AM »
Regarding the Violin Concerto-I agree that it is one of the finest of all American Violin Concertos, and that the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).
Seconded.  I still like Barber's VC and recommend Shaham's recording coupled with Korngold's.  I also like Glass's VC and John Adams's, recommending Kremer's recordings of both, and Adams's new cto for electric violin, The Dharma at Big Sur--only recording is with Tracy Silverman.  It's nice that EMI have reissued the Slatkin Schuman VC recording but I'd like to see DGG do the same with their MTT/Zukovsky recording.  I heard Gil Shaham play this with MTT/SFS a couple of years ago and it was terrific--wish I could buy a recording of that performance.  I also wish the Piano cto were better known with more recordings available.  And as long as I'm wishing, might as well throw in world peace.
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pjme

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2009, 04:26:37 AM »
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities.

from Wikipedia:
The Fosse Ardeatine massacre (Italian: Eccidio delle Fosse Ardeatine) was a mass execution carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome.

Subsequently, the Cave Ardeatine[1] (also known as the Fosse Ardeatine[2]) became a National Monument and a Memorial Cemetery open daily to visitors. Every year, on the anniversary of the slaughter and in the presence of the senior officials of the Italian Republic, a solemn State commemoration is held at the monument in honour of the fallen.
....................
Popular notions of the Fosse Ardeatine are numerous, and often false. Foremost among these is the notion that the Partisans who attacked at the Via Rasella should have turned themselves in. This stems from a belief (still cultivated by neo-fascist propaganda) that the Nazis gave warning to the Roman public that a retaliation was imminent. The concept of 'ten Italians for one German' is also frequently applied to this argument, as if the Partisans could or should have realized that their attack would cost 330 Italians their lives. In fact, there were arguments among the Nazi leadership in Rome as well as between Hitler and his commanders as to whether 10, 30, or 50 Italians should be killed for every German.

Although it may be expected (and is frequently claimed) that the victims of the Fosse Ardeatine were predominantly Jewish, this is not so; only 75 of the 335 victims were Jews. Although this was one criterion for the selection of victims the main concern was simply to fill the quota; many of the prisoners at Via Tasso and Regina Coeli prisons who had the misfortune to be in Nazi hands at that moment were also included. Some of these prisoners had simply been residents of Via Rasella who were home at the time of the partisan attack; others had been arrested and tortured for suspected Resistance and other anti-fascist activities. Others had been casually picked up on the streets or arrested at their homes after fascist informants tipped the Germans. Not all of the partisans killed were members of the same group. Members of the GAP, the PA and Bandiera Rossa, in addition to the Clandestine Military Front were on the list of those to be executed. The largest group among the murdered were members of Bandiera Rossa, a Communist military Resistance group. The youngest victim was 15 years old.

The scale and even the occurrence of this retaliation was unprecedented. Since the start of the Nazi occupation of Rome (which had begun on 9-10 September 1943), anti-Fascists and members of the Resistance (including many Italian Military officers) had been organising and practicing intense guerilla warfare against the occupiers.

Ormandy's version is ( still?) available on a (Japanese import) CD - coupled with Penderecki's Utrenja. Ormandy's version has more bite and power than Schwarz's. I'd love to hear ( and see!) that work in a concert hall...
P.

karlhenning

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2009, 04:59:19 AM »
Sorry to be coming to this recent discussion a little late-I have been otherwise engaged for the last 48 hours!

There is real life; we've all heard of it  8)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2009, 06:40:45 AM »
How odd, Peter! I have a Japanese import cd with Penderecki's 'Utrenja'(or at least Part I of 'Utrenja'-'The Entombment') but the coupling-and indeed the reason I bought the cd-is not Schuman's 9th Symphony but Persichetti's 9th 'Sinfonia Janiculum' which was the coupling on the original LP many, many years ago.

Karl.....indeed, there is life outside GMG :o When friends visit and one sits up all night chatting GMG has to take a back seat ;D

karlhenning

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2009, 06:43:40 AM »
Ah, to sit up all night chatting!

pjme

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2009, 07:38:25 AM »
How odd, Peter! I have a Japanese import cd with Penderecki's 'Utrenja'(or at least Part I of 'Utrenja'-'The Entombment') but the coupling-and indeed the reason I bought the cd-is not Schuman's 9th Symphony but Persichetti's 9th 'Sinfonia Janiculum' which was the coupling on the original LP many, many years ago.

Karl.....indeed, there is life outside GMG :o When friends visit and one sits up all night chatting GMG has to take a back seat ;D

My mistake ! Indeed Persichetti, not Schuman. however, the original LP had the Schuman 9th...sorry!

Peter

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2009, 01:59:45 AM »
Will this be a new recording, or a reissue, do you know?

Karl,
I thought that Naxos were doing a whole new cycle - but maybe they are simply reissuing old Delos recordings - in which case Symphony No 6 may not appear as there was no Delos version, as far as I know.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).