Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 149422 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #960 on: October 27, 2019, 08:15:50 AM »
A recent revisitation of Martinů’s Viola Sonata really has impressed me to no end. What a magnificent piece of music.
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Offline DaveF

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #961 on: October 27, 2019, 11:16:57 AM »
Not a first listen, but Sibelius' Symphony No. 7 has moved me in a way that is difficult to explain. To be honest, it's one of the most beautiful works I've heard in my life. Period.

I've been playing timps in rehearsals of it (a "proper" timpanist is probably going to turn up for the performance >:() and, yeah, it's like discovering it afresh.  A poorly-expressed thought that occurred to me while standing there desperately counting 28 slow 3/2 bars' rest (with no cues) was that the piece is at the same time the most masterly exercise in transition ever composed, and yet each episode, and each bar, seems utterly self-contained and poised within itself, without the least hint of striving to get anywhere other than where it is.  (Told you it was poorly expressed.)  How is this contradictory miracle possible?  I dunno.
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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #962 on: October 27, 2019, 01:03:59 PM »
I've been playing timps in rehearsals of it (a "proper" timpanist is probably going to turn up for the performance >:() and, yeah, it's like discovering it afresh.  A poorly-expressed thought that occurred to me while standing there desperately counting 28 slow 3/2 bars' rest (with no cues) was that the piece is at the same time the most masterly exercise in transition ever composed, and yet each episode, and each bar, seems utterly self-contained and poised within itself, without the least hint of striving to get anywhere other than where it is.  (Told you it was poorly expressed.)  How is this contradictory miracle possible?  I dunno.

Interesting appreciation and I don't think it's poorly expressed. I don't know how to read scores, but somehow what you say reflects the 'behaviour' and development of that work, its construction seems succinct, condensed, even austere to some extent, but that is one of its most remarkable features, all what Sibelius wanted to express is there and nothing is missing. That miracle was possible because Sibelius was a genius and knew his stuff. There may be other more sophisticated explanations, but I sum up it that way.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #963 on: October 30, 2019, 08:04:00 AM »
Not really sure where to post this, but I was really blown away by this orchestral rendition of Sergio Ortega's El pueblo unido in front of the Basílica de los Sacramentinos in Santiago. One almost forgets how unifying music can be. Such a beautiful moment.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #964 on: October 30, 2019, 12:23:48 PM »
Not really sure where to post this, but I was really blown away by this orchestral rendition of Sergio Ortega's El pueblo unido in front of the Basílica de los Sacramentinos in Santiago. One almost forgets how unifying music can be. Such a beautiful moment.

Here's the full performance:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/VAfXvacUC88" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/VAfXvacUC88</a>

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #965 on: November 02, 2019, 07:27:20 PM »
I'm blown away by the bravery and tenacity of the Latin American countries.

Offline Cato

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #966 on: November 04, 2019, 09:48:16 AM »
I've been playing timps in rehearsals of it (a "proper" timpanist is probably going to turn up for the performance >:() and, yeah, it's like discovering it afresh.  A poorly-expressed thought that occurred to me while standing there desperately counting 28 slow 3/2 bars' rest (with no cues) was that the piece is at the same time the most masterly exercise in transition ever composed, and yet each episode, and each bar, seems utterly self-contained and poised within itself, without the least hint of striving to get anywhere other than where it is.  (Told you it was poorly expressed.)  How is this contradictory miracle possible?  I dunno.

Interesting appreciation and I don't think it's poorly expressed. I don't know how to read scores, but somehow what you say reflects the 'behaviour' and development of that work, its construction seems succinct, condensed, even austere to some extent, but that is one of its most remarkable features, all what Sibelius wanted to express is there and nothing is missing. That miracle was possible because Sibelius was a genius and knew his stuff. There may be other more sophisticated explanations, but I sum up it that way.

Think of the bars of music in the Sibelius Seventh Symphony as tiles in a mosaic: individually, the tile may not seem like much, but as your eyes put all the tiles together to create a picture, you begin to sense the cohesion among all of them.  And suddenly, ta-DAAA, the picture e.g. of a tiger leaps forth into your consciousness.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #967 on: November 06, 2019, 04:19:51 PM »
I have to say that I was rather enthralled today with my revisitation of Sibelius second symphony. I listened to the Berglund/Bournemouth set (from a newly acquired hybrid SACD set) and it truly felt like I was listening to the work for the first-time. Either it’s been so long since I’ve heard it or Berglund’s convincing and powerful performance swayed me, I’m not sure, but I was blown away by the whole musical experience.
"The old idea of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for sleeping.” - Benjamin Britten

Offline andolink

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #968 on: November 15, 2019, 11:01:21 PM »
Pictures of an Exhibition (Iconosonics III) by Clemens Gadenstätter (b.1966) from this 3 disc set - -

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Offline some guy

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #969 on: November 17, 2019, 08:14:52 AM »
Hey andolink,

I'm intrigued. It's a fun piece and all, whimsical and full of energy, but why did it blow you away?

It's OK if you can't really explain. I thought of a couple of things that have blown me away, and I don't think I could explain why about any of them. They just did is all.

Otherwise, I've had a love/hate relationship with Kairos for a long time. They put out that exceptional (away blowing) set of Francisco López in 2009, which I bought immediately. But then I started my usual routine of buying anything of Kairos I saw. And the López began to seem more and more of an anomaly, their focus being mainly on safe, central European "avant garde." Which is OK, I guess. I was more interested in dangerous, central European avant garde, I guess. Still, there's the Andre, too, which I quite like. And a few others....

Offline DaveF

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #970 on: November 17, 2019, 01:12:10 PM »
Think of the bars of music in the Sibelius Seventh Symphony as tiles in a mosaic: individually, the tile may not seem like much, but as your eyes put all the tiles together to create a picture, you begin to sense the cohesion among all of them.  And suddenly, ta-DAAA, the picture e.g. of a tiger leaps forth into your consciousness.

That's OK as far as it goes - isn't it something Sibelius said himself? - and it beautifully encapsulates the idea of apparently unrelated parts fitting together into a whole, but for me misses the dynamic nature of music as opposed to visual art.  A completed mosaic is static, whereas Sibelius 7, or any other piece of music that is intended to progress somewhere, moves from somewhere to somewhere else (or back to where it started).  The way that Sibelius manages this while working with predetermined chunks of material is beyond my comprehension.  (Just come back from (sitting through) the performance, hearing a much better timpanist than me romp through it, and heart and mind are full of it just now.)

(I knew I'd seen that Sibelius quote - it's MI's strapline.)
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Offline Cato

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #971 on: November 17, 2019, 01:51:24 PM »

That's OK as far as it goes -isn't it something Sibelius said himself? ...
(I knew I'd seen that Sibelius quote - it's MI's strapline.)



I honestly never noticed!  0:)


Anyway, yes, the analogy is not perfect, since pictorial art (non-animated at least) is static.  Perhaps to make the analogy better, one can think of the mosaic pieces as drops of thick liquid, slowly flowing together to create an image - and then flowing apart to destroy it and form a new image.
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Offline andolink

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #972 on: November 18, 2019, 01:28:55 AM »
Hey andolink,

I'm intrigued. It's a fun piece and all, whimsical and full of energy, but why did it blow you away?

It's OK if you can't really explain. I thought of a couple of things that have blown me away, and I don't think I could explain why about any of them. They just did is all.

Otherwise, I've had a love/hate relationship with Kairos for a long time. They put out that exceptional (away blowing) set of Francisco López in 2009, which I bought immediately. But then I started my usual routine of buying anything of Kairos I saw. And the López began to seem more and more of an anomaly, their focus being mainly on safe, central European "avant garde." Which is OK, I guess. I was more interested in dangerous, central European avant garde, I guess. Still, there's the Andre, too, which I quite like. And a few others....

There are certain pieces that, upon first listening, intrigue me without my understanding what's going on in them.  This one did that.  My second listening, maybe I was in a particularly receptive mood or something, I felt like I was now clearly seeing what the composer was doing and it was revelatory to me because I'd never before heard a piece do the things I was hearing in this one and when a piece of music jolts me into a different place than what I'm familiar with, and it works, that's always wonderful to me.  And your descriptors (fun, whimsical, full of energy) are spot on for me too and are very good things for music to be.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 01:47:38 AM by andolink »
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Offline amw

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #973 on: November 18, 2019, 02:05:15 AM »
Otherwise, I've had a love/hate relationship with Kairos for a long time. They put out that exceptional (away blowing) set of Francisco López in 2009, which I bought immediately. But then I started my usual routine of buying anything of Kairos I saw. And the López began to seem more and more of an anomaly, their focus being mainly on safe, central European "avant garde." Which is OK, I guess. I was more interested in dangerous, central European avant garde, I guess. Still, there's the Andre, too, which I quite like. And a few others....
I look to Kairos for a few things—one is reference recordings of core 20thC rep, which they have provided quite a few of (Grisey's Quatre chants and Les espaces acoustiques, Lachenmann's string quartets & Das Mädchen, Sciarrino's Luci mie traditrici & various orchestral and vocal works, Messiaen's Éclairs, Nono's La lontananza, etc). The other one is their relationship with established composers who I already like (Rebecca Saunders, Olga Neuwirth, Chaya Czernowin etc) and who act kind of as their house stable. I don't expect anything exceptionally countercultural or nonacademic.

Their one-off composer portraits series are obviously going to be pretty hit or miss, but I enjoy a few of the composers I've discovered that way—Gadenstätter, Alwynne Pritchard, Pierre Jodlowski, Stefan Węgłowski, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Mark Andre (although I already knew him from soundcloud). Others are more.... generic conservatory music. But that's the price of taking a chance.

The Francisco López box set was definitely an aberration, but of course Kairos licenced all those recordings in order to reissue them—they're not Kairos "originals"—and it definitely did a great service to those of us who were, say, six years old when the originals were in print.

Offline some guy

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #974 on: November 18, 2019, 03:01:26 AM »
There are certain pieces that, upon first listening, intrigue me without my understanding what's going on in them.  This one did that.  My second listening, maybe I was in a particularly receptive mood or something, I felt like I was now clearly seeing what the composer was doing and it was revelatory to me because I'd never before heard a piece do the things I was hearing in this one and when a piece of music jolts me into a different place than what I'm familiar with, and it works, that's always wonderful to me.
Nicely put. Indeed, I'm humiliated that I've never, in all my many years of listening (in all my years of writing), been able to express things so well. Consider my hat to be permanently off to you!

I don't expect anything exceptionally countercultural or nonacademic.
Yes, this is exactly it. My expectations. Expectations are indeed the very devil.

But that's the price of taking a chance.
Again, yes. And I shouldn't have to be reminded that in engagements with the arts, particularly the newer things, taking a chance is never too costly.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #975 on: November 21, 2019, 01:10:51 AM »


Liszt --- Grosse Concert-Phantasie ueber spanische Weisen S 253

An astonishing blend of virtuosity and tunefulness that will make you ask yourself whether what you've just heard was real, or even possible.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/B2qWUPejJA4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/B2qWUPejJA4</a>
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 01:15:58 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #976 on: November 21, 2019, 07:30:53 AM »
This:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/J0w0t4Qn6LY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/J0w0t4Qn6LY</a>

If you have headphones, then please give this a listen. An exceptional performance from Hahn. Mikko Franck is also a fine Sibelian.
"The old idea of a composer suddenly having a terrific idea and sitting up all night to write it is nonsense. Nighttime is for sleeping.” - Benjamin Britten

Offline jess

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #977 on: November 23, 2019, 02:58:24 AM »
My latest recent discovery which has made such an impression on me that I wanted to immediately hear it again was this piece:

Eva Reiter (*1976)
Wächter, for bass flutes and pipe orchestra (2019)

Michael Schmid (flute)
Eva Reiter, Susanne Fröhlich (paetzold-flute)
Deutscher Kammerchor
SWR Symphonieorchester
Tito Ceccherini (conductor)

World Premiere, 20 October 2019, Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/lEXhWF0A78k" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/lEXhWF0A78k</a>

A richly sonorous work with great use of air sounds and sustained chords that grow and swell like waves out on the ocean. There's a really good sense of pacing that works with the forward propulsion the composition has, and the performance is polished and has an emotional drive that takes the listener into the unique aural universe Reiter creates without any blemishes that removes one from the total experience. I do think the piece seems to sag around the 12:40 mark with the introduction of what sounds like a drum kit used in a totally conventional way. It isn't an idea which is picked up later in the piece or has a huge amount of precedence in what Reiter has already managed to set up. But the piece overall is really attractive.

Offline some guy

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #978 on: November 23, 2019, 04:43:53 AM »
Wow. Yes.

And not only a new composer, for me, but a few seconds on Google led to the Festival Archipel, which I didn't know about, and then to Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, whom I had also never heard of, but who has a nice Vimeo presence. Her clips there are mostly way way too short. But oh well.

Fun times. Gadenstätter. Reiter. Papalexandri-Alexandri. My ears haven't been this happy since I first heard, and met, Andrea Neumann.

Music is just delightful, no?

(https://vimeo.com/124423722)

Offline jess

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #979 on: November 23, 2019, 08:57:42 AM »
Music is delightful indeed! ;D