Author Topic: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)  (Read 36164 times)

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Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2012, 03:49:54 AM »
It's interesting what that person says about an interesting title encouraging you to explore a piece.  That can definitely be true, something about time, stars, oceans, night, mirrors or some other huge or enigmatic subject can encourage a listen.  :D
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 03:53:07 AM by starrynight »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2012, 05:30:34 AM »
Quote from: starrynight on Today at 12:49:54
It's interesting what that person says about an interesting title encouraging you to explore a piece.  That can definitely be true, something about time, stars, oceans, night, mirrors or some other huge or enigmatic subject can encourage a listen.  :D



Just as a person named Starrynight can encourage you to read his (her?) posts.  ;D
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 06:52:58 AM »
What a relief that at least three other people like 'The Mystery of Time' ;D

I was beginning to think that I was alone in the world ;D

Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2012, 02:42:34 PM »
Perhaps I can make my point a bit clearer - Kabelac's Passacaglia is a bit like Ravel's Bolero, it draws its effect from a steady intensification. But what I like about the chaconne and passacaglia as a form is that it offers the composer the possibilty to create variations 'on top' so to speak, whilst the bass remains the same. A passacaglia is a frame, like the sonnet form, and it's up to the composer/poet to 'enrich' that as much as possible. That's why I do think that in this case comparisons are valid. To my ears Kabelac's Passacaglia lacks variety and that's why I can't be as enthusiastic.... Those things happen!

I think that's an interesting comparison to Ravel.  Ravel's piece has a quite memorable melodic idea with quite a lot of character.  This piece in comparison doesn't have that really, the ideas feel duller and possibly blunt the impact of the more dramatic episodes as well.  I'm not saying it's a terrible piece, just that I think the musical ideas limit its appeal somewhat.  And remembering that we have Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic here who are digging out every bit of atmosphere and texture they can from this piece I wonder if another performer could really do any better than this.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 02:46:02 PM by starrynight »

Online vandermolen

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 01:18:20 AM »
I am currently listening to 'Mystery of Time' which I've been forced to dig out of my ever growing CD collection (Ancerl/Supraphon) as a result of this interesting discussion. Yes, it is a fine and compelling work which I like very much.  The doleful opening reminded me a bit of the opening of Shostakovich's 11th Symphony, with the muffled timpani in the background. As Colin says it would be great to hear this work in modern sound. I also played Symphony No 4 today and enjoyed its somewhat grim and unsmiling countenance. There is a bleak integrity about Kabelac's music which, in a way, reminded me of the appeal (for me at least) of Kokkonen's music.

I found the end of 'Mystery of Time''when it all winds down to be very moving.

Thanks Colin to alerting me to how good this work is.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 01:29:51 AM by vandermolen »
"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).

Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2012, 03:37:37 AM »
I don't disagree about the integrity, he doesn't go for cheap effects.  The drama of the piece is subdued though, and it feels to me that the ideas don't fulfill the dramatic potential.  Sometimes he just keeps on at an idea like from 17.20 onwards, just bludgeoning us with it and it feels a bit stolid.  Maybe other music from around this time can feel like that too from more famous composers, but I'm not afraid to criticise that either.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2012, 03:58:31 AM »
I don't disagree about the integrity, he doesn't go for cheap effects.  The drama of the piece is subdued though, and it feels to me that the ideas don't fulfill the dramatic potential.  Sometimes he just keeps on at an idea like from 17.20 onwards, just bludgeoning us with it and it feels a bit stolid.  Maybe other music from around this time can feel like that too from more famous composers, but I'm not afraid to criticise that either.

An interesting point. I agree about the not going for cheap effects. I've just listened to it three times consecutively - as soon as I got to the end I wanted to listen again. But next time I'll take note at 17.20 and see what I think.
"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).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2012, 05:48:54 AM »
An interesting point. I agree about the not going for cheap effects. I've just listened to it three times consecutively - as soon as I got to the end I wanted to listen again. But next time I'll take note at 17.20 and see what I think.

"........three times consecutively" ;D

I am delighted that you have taken to the work again, Jeffrey :)

I admit that I too had not listened to the work for some time, despite my great liking for it, and playing it again reminded me of how much impact it has :) In a way it seems to be a precursor of the techniques used by some of the minimalists decades later: the slow, deliberate working up of a cumulative effect to a massive climax, followed by the winding-down following that climax. And yes, there certainly is that same Shostakovich-like sense of growing menace at the beginning.

One swallow does not a summer make and one or two works do not immediately qualify Kabelac as a great composer but this evidence, as I said in my initial post, suggests that his other music would merit further investigation.

snyprrr

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2012, 07:27:00 AM »
I have a piece for six percussionists,... will check.

Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2012, 07:38:41 AM »
One swallow does not a summer make and one or two works do not immediately qualify Kabelac as a great composer but this evidence, as I said in my initial post, suggests that his other music would merit further investigation.

I'm not sure I care if someone qualifies as 'great' (however that happens anyway, I'm not sure it's always that objective).  All that matters to me is whether I enjoy the music.  And I think his music could warrant more investigation (to find something better though). 

Your remarks earlier make me think you seem to want confirmation from others here rather than simply trusting your own judgement.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2012, 10:05:50 AM »
"........three times consecutively" ;D

I am delighted that you have taken to the work again, Jeffrey :)

I admit that I too had not listened to the work for some time, despite my great liking for it, and playing it again reminded me of how much impact it has :) In a way it seems to be a precursor of the techniques used by some of the minimalists decades later: the slow, deliberate working up of a cumulative effect to a massive climax, followed by the winding-down following that climax. And yes, there certainly is that same Shostakovich-like sense of growing menace at the beginning.

One swallow does not a summer make and one or two works do not immediately qualify Kabelac as a great composer but this evidence, as I said in my initial post, suggests that his other music would merit further investigation.

I think that you are right Colin about the proto-minimalist aspects of the 'Mystery of Time'. The sense of looming threat at the start is very compelling - and the end deeply moving.  I was also reminded of Ross Edwards's monothematic Symphony 'Da pacem Domine'.
"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).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2012, 11:38:35 AM »
And yes, there certainly is that same Shostakovich-like sense of growing menace at the beginning.

Which is probably why I like it so well. ;) :D
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2012, 11:41:40 AM »
Your remarks earlier make me think you seem to want confirmation from others here rather than simply trusting your own judgement.

I'm not Colin and I can't speak for him, but I think that's an error on your part. Mystery of Time is a fantastic work IMHO. Colin knows this and he's simply sharing his love for the music, so what's wrong with that? If it weren't for his enthusiasm, I wouldn't have even known about it! My blatant enthusiam for Koechlin for all those months wasn't because I was insecure with my own opinion of his music, but rather I wanted other people to give him a chance too.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 11:46:22 AM by Mirror Image »
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2012, 12:21:30 PM »
Mystery of Time is a fantastic work IMHO. Colin knows this

In your opinion.  And Colin shares your opinion.  Some others may not.  :D
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 12:23:12 PM by starrynight »

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2012, 01:57:03 PM »
I'm not Colin and I can't speak for him, but I think that's an error on your part. Mystery of Time is a fantastic work IMHO. Colin knows this and he's simply sharing his love for the music, so what's wrong with that? If it weren't for his enthusiasm, I wouldn't have even known about it! My blatant enthusiam for Koechlin for all those months wasn't because I was insecure with my own opinion of his music, but rather I wanted other people to give him a chance too.

OT

I've just got hold of a copy of 'Persian Hours' (orchestral version) - it's wonderfully atmospheric. I think that it's you I have to thank for introducing me to the magical 'Vers la voute etoilee'. Now back to Kabelac!
"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).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2012, 03:28:32 PM »
OT

I've just got hold of a copy of 'Persian Hours' (orchestral version) - it's wonderfully atmospheric. I think that it's you I have to thank for introducing me to the magical 'Vers la voute etoilee'. Now back to Kabelac!

Thanks, Jeffrey. What version did you get of Persian Hours? Segerstam or Holliger?
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2012, 03:36:44 PM »
I'm not sure I care if someone qualifies as 'great' (however that happens anyway, I'm not sure it's always that objective).  All that matters to me is whether I enjoy the music.  And I think his music could warrant more investigation (to find something better though). 

Your remarks earlier make me think you seem to want confirmation from others here rather than simply trusting your own judgement.

The references in my posts to hoping that others would like the work were, as has already been suggested on my behalf, intended to convey the genuine desire I have to share my enthusiasms for certain composers and certain compositions. As I know full well, and have acknowledged, not everyone will be convinced and some may be totally antipathetic to the music I recommend. That's fine :) As I said, you can't win 'em all.

The post in which I said that it was a 'relief that at least three other people liked the work' and that 'I was not alone in the world' was wholly and entirely jocular. In the event that I was indeed the only member of this site who enjoyed 'The Mystery of Time' I would, I admit, be disappointed but it would not by one iota change my perception of the work or my judgment of its worth :)

Offline Luke

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2012, 04:55:03 PM »
Don't worry, you can add me to the list too. And whilst I'm here, a word for the Eight Preludes for piano (op 30 I think, I can't find the score right now). Some of these also feature that kind of proto-minimalist writing, or a similar kind of litany-technique which is very effective. Supposedly these are his finest piano pieces, and they are, IMO, some of the best music in the Czech piano repertoire.

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2012, 06:05:01 PM »
I just listened to the Passacaglia, thanks to the fact that I like many of the same composers as the OP, and wow, I'm blown away completely. Is his other music like this?

Offline starrynight

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Re: Miloslav Kabelac(1908-79)
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2012, 09:48:33 PM »
The references in my posts to hoping that others would like the work were, as has already been suggested on my behalf, intended to convey the genuine desire I have to share my enthusiasms for certain composers and certain compositions. As I know full well, and have acknowledged, not everyone will be convinced and some may be totally antipathetic to the music I recommend. That's fine :) As I said, you can't win 'em all.

The post in which I said that it was a 'relief that at least three other people liked the work' and that 'I was not alone in the world' was wholly and entirely jocular. In the event that I was indeed the only member of this site who enjoyed 'The Mystery of Time' I would, I admit, be disappointed but it would not by one iota change my perception of the work or my judgment of its worth :)

I think it's always likely you will find someone else who will find the positive aspects of a piece prominent on first listen, just like some will find the negative aspects prominent.  It would be interesting if some change their opinion after several listens as well.  I still don't get why you talk about someone qualifying as a great composer though.  If he was simply a good composer wouldn't that be alright?  I can recognise some good things in the music, but also some not so good.  That doesn't mean I have judged him and placed him in some category though, I have simply given an opinion on a couple of pieces, like others.