Author Topic: George Flynn and Ralph Shapey  (Read 2178 times)

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Online Mandryka

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George Flynn and Ralph Shapey
« on: October 02, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »
George Flynn was chair in Musicianship and Composition at DePaul University, Chicago. He directs“New Music Depaul” as well as Chicago’s “New Music at the Green Mill”

Here's wiki

Quote
George Flynn is a distinguished American composer and pianist. Born in Montana in 1937, he grew up in Montana and Washington. He studied and taught at Columbia University, New York City, and from 1977 to 2001 headed the Department of Composition at DePaul University in Chicago. His works cover a wide range of genres, from symphonies to electronic compositions. His 114-minute piano cycle Trinity was described in Tempo in 2005 as a ‘masterpiece’. It consists of three very large piano pieces, Kanal, Wound and Salvage, each performable on its own. The work has been recorded by the pianist Fredrik Ullén.

His style in the pieces I know so far is very melodic and passionate, and yet seems to not be mawkish because it sounds harmonically modern. The hint of acidity in the glass of Sauternes.

Flynn worked in Chicago, and also Shapey. Am I right to think that there is a distinctive Chicago style?

« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 10:47:13 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 08:20:19 PM »
Trinity is a long piece for solo piano. It's divided into three sections. Kanal, the first, according to Flynn, is based on a film of the same name about Polish resistance fighters in WW2. The second, Wound, is a particularly corruscating musical reaction to the Vietnam War. The third, Salvage, is I think inspired by The Dry Salvages (Eliot.) It ends with three meditations which always remind me of that poem


For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.

Frederik Ullen recorded Trinity, and there's an earlier recording by Flynn himself. I would like to hear the latter (can someone share?)

 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:45:36 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 08:23:36 PM »
I only started listening American Summer (on spotify)  quite recently, but I find it completely arresting. It's a piano trio.  Like Trinity it's very expressive emotionally. Does anyone know anything about it? Is it associated with events and ideas like Trinity?

« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:28:55 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline NorthNYMark

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 09:05:24 PM »
I only started listening American Summer (on spotify)  quite recently, but I find it completely arresting. It's a piano trio.  Like Trinity it's very expressive emotionally. Does anyone know anything about it? Is it associated with events and ideas like Trinity?



Can't help with any info, as I've just begun streaming this due to your recommendation here.  But it is quite lovely indeed, so thanks for bringing it to our collective attention.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 05:13:32 AM »
Never heard of this composer. Did he compose any orchestral music that happen to also be available on disc?
“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” - Jean Sibelius

Offline torut

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2014, 03:04:39 PM »
I have not heard of the composer before. I just listened to Remembering today. Cool, modern, and beautifully lyrical. Thanks to Mandryka for starting this thread.

I am also interested in Shapey. (We need another thread.)

Frederik Ullen recorded Trinity, and there's an earlier recording by Flynn himself. I would like to hear the latter (can someone share?)
It is uploaded on youtube. I created a playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfp_G_-JF2fL3fmlTd5ZWndfJ9aS77P5z. (Does this work?)
Also, I found it on classicalconnect.com. http://www.classicalconnect.com/Piano_Music/Flynn/Trinity/2276 (I am not a member, so I haven't listened to it there.)

Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 08:53:57 PM »
I have not heard of the composer before. I just listened to Remembering today. Cool, modern, and beautifully lyrical. Thanks to Mandryka for starting this thread.

I am also interested in Shapey. (We need another thread.)
It is uploaded on youtube. I created a playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfp_G_-JF2fL3fmlTd5ZWndfJ9aS77P5z. (Does this work?)
Also, I found it on classicalconnect.com. http://www.classicalconnect.com/Piano_Music/Flynn/Trinity/2276 (I am not a member, so I haven't listened to it there.)

There's a huge amount of stuff on classic connect. I've started to listen to American Rest, a quartet for clarinet, viola, cello and piano. It's long and challenging, with a Vietnam war subtext.

There is a Shapey thread - Shapey's Ship. I've been listening to the 21 variations for piano, I wish someone would record the Fromm Variations better than Robert Black.

Who else was/is part of this Chicago musical mafia?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 09:42:47 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 08:54:32 PM »
Never heard of this composer. Did he compose any orchestral music that happen to also be available on disc?

No
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 09:20:40 PM »
No

Ah, shucks. According to Wikipedia, he composed quite a few orchestral works (incl. concertante works).
“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” - Jean Sibelius

Offline torut

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2014, 05:46:25 AM »
There's a huge amount of stuff on classic connect. I've started to listen to American Rest, a quartet for clarinet, viola, cello and piano. It's long and challenging, with a Vietnam war subtext.

There is a Shapey thread - Shapey's Ship. I've been listening to the 21 variations for piano, I wish someone would record the Fromm Variations better than Robert Black.

Who else was/is part of this Chicago musical mafia?
Shulamit Ran studied with Shapey. She is the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music of the University of Chicago and was composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Lyric Opera. So, she may belong to Chicago tradition. Her music is atonal and abstract, very nice. Anthony Braxton was the first name that came to my mind as a Chicago composer, but maybe unrelated? His works are also abstract. I'll check Shapey thread.

Regarding Flynn's orchestral works, an album called "American City" includes The Density Of Memory for clarinet trio and orchestra (1997). (The others are a choir work and a wind ensemble piece.)

Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2014, 09:37:43 AM »
I have not heard of the composer before. I just listened to Remembering today. Cool, modern, and beautifully lyrical. Thanks to Mandryka for starting this thread.

I am also interested in Shapey. (We need another thread.)
It is uploaded on youtube. I created a playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfp_G_-JF2fL3fmlTd5ZWndfJ9aS77P5z. (Does this work?)
Also, I found it on classicalconnect.com. http://www.classicalconnect.com/Piano_Music/Flynn/Trinity/2276 (I am not a member, so I haven't listened to it there.)

The sound on that Classical Collect upload of American Rest is so bad it was hard for me to appreciate the music. Anyway, I'll  upload the commercial recording in good sound to symphonyshare later today.
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Online Mandryka

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Re: George Flynn and Richard Shapey
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2016, 10:46:45 PM »


I've started to explore Ralph Shapey's Evocations for piano, percussion and cello, really through this recording with Gilbert Kalish and Joel Krosnick. Does anyone know anything about the music - the relation of the evocations to the songs of life for example? You can hear the influence of Carter I think, very strongly, but there's a distinctive melodic character which is what maybe characterises these Chicago composers.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 11:09:42 PM by Mandryka »
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