Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 310389 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1940 on: June 13, 2022, 06:23:54 AM »


Disc 1

Bernard Henrik Crusell: Sinfonia Concertante Op. 3 in B-flat major for clarinet, horn, bassoon and orchestra

Georg Abraham Schneider: Sinfonia Concertante Op. 19 in D major for violin, viola and orchestra

Franz Danzi: Sinfonia Concertante Op. 41 in B-flat major for flute, clarinet and orchestra

Three splendid works in crackerjack performances. I can't even put it in enough, or proper, words, how much pleasure and enjoyment I had in listening to them. Highly recommended.

Honestly, during this bloody pandemic years and this bloody Russian invasion of Ukraine the Late Classical / Early Romantic era has been the one I've enjoyed the most. Its essentially cheerful and life-affirming nature, tinged with just the right amount of melancholy, nostalgic or sad overtones, its formal and emotional balance, its making no heavy demands on the listener's part and its unassumingly and unpretentiously offering a welcome respite from the stress-and-storm of daily life make it the ideal listening for me. In a world replete with suffering, violence and incertitude, this joyful, genial and reliable music is exactly what I need to preserve my sanity.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline DizzyD

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1941 on: June 19, 2022, 05:43:24 PM »
Wagner's Die Walküre. Except for orchestral excerpts here and there, I had pretty much ignored Wagner for a long time. I think probably we know too much about him. Anyway I'm putting in the time and attention to listen to his Ring cycle, and have listened to the first two of the four, and so far it's been stunning. However repellent the man may have been, there's no denying his crazy genius.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 06:45:36 PM by DizzyD »

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1942 on: June 20, 2022, 05:23:35 PM »
Wagner's Die Walküre. Except for orchestral excerpts here and there, I had pretty much ignored Wagner for a long time. I think probably we know too much about him. Anyway I'm putting in the time and attention to listen to his Ring cycle, and have listened to the first two of the four, and so far it's been stunning. However repellent the man may have been, there's no denying his crazy genius.

I agree. Wagner's sense of drama made of him a consummate artist. I just wish he would had composed more orchestral music besides operas. Some mature symphonies and tone poems would have been more than welcome!
Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.

I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.

Carl Nielsen

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1943 on: June 20, 2022, 06:49:54 PM »
Wagner's Die Walküre. Except for orchestral excerpts here and there, I had pretty much ignored Wagner for a long time. I think probably we know too much about him. Anyway I'm putting in the time and attention to listen to his Ring cycle, and have listened to the first two of the four, and so far it's been stunning. However repellent the man may have been, there's no denying his crazy genius.

Wagner was no doubt a genius composer. Absolutely brilliant and thrilling. My biggest problem, and granted it's my problem, is his operas are just too long and I rarely have the time to indulge in a 4 hr. opera. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your journey. What Ring cycle will you be listening to?
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

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


Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1944 on: June 20, 2022, 09:09:26 PM »
I agree. Wagner's sense of drama made of him a consummate artist. I just wish he would had composed more orchestral music besides operas. Some mature symphonies and tone poems would have been more than welcome!

It would have certainly been marvelous! But Wagner did that on purpose, since he was reluctant to compose works outside the sacred sphere of drama, which was for him the best way to reveal the deep, true essence of everything. He also said: "The most urgent and strongest need of the perfect and artist man is to communicate himself - in all the fullness of his nature - to the whole community. And it can't go that far except in the drama"
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1945 on: June 20, 2022, 09:15:42 PM »
Upon my revisitation of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen from the Mackerras recording, I have to say how amazed I am by this opera. The plot is actually rather interesting and the music itself is Janáček at his finest. It has a folkish, fairy-tale sound-world that I was drawn into from the first measure. An unequivocal masterpiece.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

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


Offline DizzyD

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1946 on: June 21, 2022, 12:50:18 AM »
Wagner was no doubt a genius composer. Absolutely brilliant and thrilling. My biggest problem, and granted it's my problem, is his operas are just too long and I rarely have the time to indulge in a 4 hr. opera. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your journey. What Ring cycle will you be listening to?
I'm listening to the Solti/VPO et al set, the 2012 reissue I believe.

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1947 on: June 21, 2022, 01:00:43 AM »
I'm listening to the Solti/VPO et al set, the 2012 reissue I believe.

A most excellent choice, though, personally, I prefer Stewart to Hotter as Wotan.
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline DizzyD

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1948 on: June 21, 2022, 06:49:45 AM »
A most excellent choice, though, personally, I prefer Stewart to Hotter as Wotan.
Yeah I've read that Hans Hotter was past his prime at the time of the recording, and he does sound at times as if he's struggling. Birgit Nilsson though was in fine form. Wow, what a powerful voice she had.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1949 on: June 21, 2022, 08:32:25 AM »
I'm listening to the Solti/VPO et al set, the 2012 reissue I believe.

My favorite Wagnerian will forever be Karajan.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

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


Offline DizzyD

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1950 on: June 21, 2022, 09:57:17 AM »
My favorite Wagnerian will forever be Karajan.
I honestly haven't heard very much of Karajan's Wagner. After I get through the Solti I'll have to listen to Karajan and compare. He's certainly my favorite interpreter of Bruckner.

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1951 on: June 21, 2022, 10:30:17 AM »
My favorite Wagnerian will forever be Karajan.
I honestly haven't heard very much of Karajan's Wagner. After I get through the Solti I'll have to listen to Karajan and compare. He's certainly my favorite interpreter of Bruckner.

Absolutely agreed, Solti's Ring Cycle is amazing, but Karajan's is even better, it would be highly recommended as well as his other recordings of Wagner's operas if you wanted to continue your journey through Wagner's music. But for me, about Karajan, you break through an open door.....
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Online Papy Oli

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1952 on: June 22, 2022, 07:13:54 AM »
Hearing the Queen of the Night's Aria "Der Hölle Rache.." in full, for the first time beyond the famous titbit, also in the context of the whole opera earlier today was quite something!

The whole opera is actually quite something !
 
Olivier

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1953 on: June 27, 2022, 08:14:10 PM »
Over the past few weeks:

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta



Obviously, neither of these pieces are new to me, but this absolutely fantastic recent recording of them helped me gain a newfound appreciation of them, particularly the CfO which I had previously thought was a rather overrated work. These performances bring the folksy and lyrical elements of Bartok's music to the fore (especially in the CfO), a marked contrast to older recordings like the highly praised CSO/Reiner which I find rather cold and sterile. The Helsinki Philharmonic under Susanna Malkki play with stupendous virtuosity and spirit, and BIS' sonics are just second to none. As far as orchestral recordings go, BIS has the best sound quality bar none IMO - the clarity their engineers achieve make orchestral recordings from most other labels sound fuzzy and washy by comparison. You really feel as though you are right there in the hall in front of the orchestra! Simply remarkable.


Eino Tamberg (1930-2010): Johanna Tentata - Suite from the Ballet, Symphonic Dances, Concerto Grosso



Discoveries like this are a reason I'm firmly in the pro-Hurwitz camp. Without his advocacy, I may have never discovered this wonderful Estonian composer (he also recommended the above Bartok/Malkki disc). This has got to be some of the most purely enjoyable and brilliantly orchestrated music from the 2nd half of the 20th century. The Symphonic Dances and Concerto Grosso, both early works from the 1950s, are overflowingly tuneful, ebullient, witty, and are notable for their prominent writing for saxophone. The star of the disc, though, is probably the suite from his ballet Johanna Tentata (1970), in which Tamberg now incorporates passages of dark, almost nightmarish dissonance to contrast with the more tonal, melodic material. Simply thrilling stuff! The Residentie Orkest Den Haag under N. Jarvi play the hell out of this music, and once again BIS' sonics are exemplary. I really wish Jarvi would record more by Tamberg, but for now I'll try to content myself with the few other recordings out there of his music.


Amilcare Zanella (1873-1949): Piano Trio no. 2 in G minor (1928)



I try to be critical when listening to totally unknown music such as this, looking for reasons why it might have been forgotten by posterity. And in a good number of cases, there are understandable reasons why a certain composer or work has been forgotten. But, while listening to this absolutely remarkable trio, I realized that there was not a single reason why this should not be considered a masterpiece and be played regularly around the world. Where to begin to describe this work? Well, the style is basically late-romantic, but with plenty of excursions into "spicy" harmonies, jazzy rhythms, and impressionistic textures. Quite simply, it sounds like no-one else, and is memorable and entertaining at every turn. Take the extremely catchy opening theme - it almost sounds like something straight out of a Piazzolla tango a few decades before the fact!! The atmospheric slow movement has a humorously chattering middle section, and the finale has as much passion and brio as one could ask for. (BTW, the Piano Trio no. 1 is a pleasant but not nearly as remarkable work. It also receives a less convincing performance than the 2nd trio does.)


Harty: With the Wild Geese



Quite simply, this is as fine as any other tone poem in the repertoire. In its unabashedly melodic, folk-influenced style it recalls Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies, but, truth be told, it's even better than any of those works IMO (I also prefer it to Harty's Irish Symphony). There's just so many gorgeous tunes throughout and the music builds to several passionate climaxes. And the performance is exemplary!


Braga Santos: Prelude to the opera Viver ou Morrer (1952)



Braga Santos wrote music that speaks directly to the heart and soul (well, to mine, anyway), and for that I consider him a great composer. This substantial (13 min.) prelude possesses a tragic nobility and lyrical sweep that makes me long to hear the whole opera! Hint, hint, Naxos? ;)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 08:18:13 PM by kyjo »
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Mapman

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1954 on: June 28, 2022, 09:00:07 AM »
Over the past few weeks:

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra; Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta

Obviously, neither of these pieces are new to me, but this absolutely fantastic recent recording of them helped me gain a newfound appreciation of them, particularly the CfO which I had previously thought was a rather overrated work. These performances bring the folksy and lyrical elements of Bartok's music to the fore (especially in the CfO), a marked contrast to older recordings like the highly praised CSO/Reiner which I find rather cold and sterile. The Helsinki Philharmonic under Susanna Malkki play with stupendous virtuosity and spirit, and BIS' sonics are just second to none. As far as orchestral recordings go, BIS has the best sound quality bar none IMO - the clarity their engineers achieve make orchestral recordings from most other labels sound fuzzy and washy by comparison. You really feel as though you are right there in the hall in front of the orchestra! Simply remarkable.

Harty: With the Wild Geese

Quite simply, this is as fine as any other tone poem in the repertoire. In its unabashedly melodic, folk-influenced style it recalls Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies, but, truth be told, it's even better than any of those works IMO (I also prefer it to Harty's Irish Symphony). There's just so many gorgeous tunes throughout and the music builds to several passionate climaxes. And the performance is exemplary!

The Concerto for Orchestra is great! There's an interesting video which investigates the overtone relationships between the pairs of instruments in the second movement, and how that affects the sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buoYqHWHqNQ

I acquired a couple Harty discs recently, so I'll check out With the Wild Geese soon (although a different recording, on Chandos)!

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1955 on: June 28, 2022, 03:31:52 PM »
Eino Tamberg (1930-2010): Johanna Tentata - Suite from the Ballet, Symphonic Dances, Concerto Grosso



Discoveries like this are a reason I'm firmly in the pro-Hurwitz camp. Without his advocacy, I may have never discovered this wonderful Estonian composer (he also recommended the above Bartok/Malkki disc). This has got to be some of the most purely enjoyable and brilliantly orchestrated music from the 2nd half of the 20th century. The Symphonic Dances and Concerto Grosso, both early works from the 1950s, are overflowingly tuneful, ebullient, witty, and are notable for their prominent writing for saxophone. The star of the disc, though, is probably the suite from his ballet Johanna Tentata (1970), in which Tamberg now incorporates passages of dark, almost nightmarish dissonance to contrast with the more tonal, melodic material. Simply thrilling stuff! The Residentie Orkest Den Haag under N. Jarvi play the hell out of this music, and once again BIS' sonics are exemplary. I really wish Jarvi would record more by Tamberg, but for now I'll try to content myself with the few other recordings out there of his music.


Amilcare Zanella (1873-1949): Piano Trio no. 2 in G minor (1928)



I try to be critical when listening to totally unknown music such as this, looking for reasons why it might have been forgotten by posterity. And in a good number of cases, there are understandable reasons why a certain composer or work has been forgotten. But, while listening to this absolutely remarkable trio, I realized that there was not a single reason why this should not be considered a masterpiece and be played regularly around the world. Where to begin to describe this work? Well, the style is basically late-romantic, but with plenty of excursions into "spicy" harmonies, jazzy rhythms, and impressionistic textures. Quite simply, it sounds like no-one else, and is memorable and entertaining at every turn. Take the extremely catchy opening theme - it almost sounds like something straight out of a Piazzolla tango a few decades before the fact!! The atmospheric slow movement has a humorously chattering middle section, and the finale has as much passion and brio as one could ask for. (BTW, the Piano Trio no. 1 is a pleasant but not nearly as remarkable work. It also receives a less convincing performance than the 2nd trio does.)

Oddly enough I was less impressed by the Joanna Tentata Suite and found the other works more engaging instead.

Never heard of Zanella before. Sounds like a cool work.
Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.

I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.

Carl Nielsen

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1956 on: July 01, 2022, 05:21:57 AM »
Oddly enough I was less impressed by the Joanna Tentata Suite and found the other works more engaging instead.

Never heard of Zanella before. Sounds like a cool work.

Odd - I thought the Johanna Tentata Suite would be right up your alley, Cesar! ;)

Please do give a listen to the Zanella trio when you get a chance and let me know what you think. Quite a remarkable find from a composer so obscure that I don’t believe he’s ever been mentioned on GMG before!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1957 on: July 05, 2022, 01:22:15 PM »
Rochberg: String Quartet No. 3

Now, this is what I call an intense experience, profoundly moving, not apt for everybody I guess. What a journey of a piece. The kind of suggestions I like to find in comments by others on videos like Hurwitz's.

Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.

I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.

Carl Nielsen