Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 127845 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #780 on: April 13, 2019, 06:33:29 AM »
Earlier today, on radio in the car:

Boccherini - Symphony No. 26 in C Minor, Op. 41, G. 519, Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin

Sturm und Drang Boccherini --- blew me away!

This --- the second movement, Pastorale lentorello, is to die for.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #781 on: April 21, 2019, 09:49:33 AM »
Besides the astounding Mosolov's Piano Concerto No. 1, this Holy Week has brought to me two rather mainstream works, which incredibly I never hadn't listened to before:



Messiah is a quite charming oratorio, and now I know why it's regarded as a masterpiece from the baroque era. It's endlessly lovely, thoroughly life-enhancing and with some very moving moments (especially the ones on the part II). I'm not a fan of historical instruments performances, I much prefer a warmer and brighter sound, so this recording completely fulfilled those requirements. It's a majesticly radiant rendition, bringing the work in all its glory. Despite its length (a bit more than two hours and a half), I didn't feel tired by it, I might listen to it many times.

Cavalleria Rusticana is one of those kind of operas that appeals to me enormously. Man, this is simply fantastic! This music melted my heart from the very beginning, what soaring melodies!! This represents, undoubtedly, a vivid Italian scenery from the 19th century, with the most possible endearing music. I read somewhere that Mascagni had discarded the Intermezzo, but his wife made him change his mind and very fortunately he included it on the work. One can't get tired of such moving miniature. Yet another outstanding Italian opera, along with those by Puccini, my favorites so far.

Offline André

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #782 on: April 22, 2019, 04:38:26 AM »
The Easter Hymn in Cavalleria never fails to lift the spirits. I always think of it as a red-blooded italian version of the Pump and Circumstance march no 1.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #783 on: April 22, 2019, 11:38:50 AM »
Messiah is a quite charming oratorio, and now I know why it's regarded as a masterpiece from the baroque era. It's endlessly lovely, thoroughly life-enhancing and with some very moving moments (especially the ones on the part II). I'm not a fan of historical instruments performances...

You should try the Colin Davis recording as well, which always seems to come out top of the non-HIP pops:



I have both this and the Andrew Parrott, and return to both with equal, although different, pleasure.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #784 on: April 22, 2019, 12:13:27 PM »
the 1966 Davis and the early 70s? Marriner/Decca are my favorite non-HIP-Messiah-recordings. The Marriner uses a somewhat uncommon edition though with a few pieces slightly different than in most recordings.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #785 on: April 22, 2019, 01:03:42 PM »
You should try the Colin Davis recording as well, which always seems to come out top of the non-HIP pops:



I have both this and the Andrew Parrott, and return to both with equal, although different, pleasure.
Not a piece I normally listen to but I like this version as I find most of the HIP versions rather dull:


Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #786 on: April 22, 2019, 05:59:38 PM »
The Easter Hymn in Cavalleria never fails to lift the spirits. I always think of it as a red-blooded italian version of the Pump and Circumstance march no 1.

It's really uplifting indeed! And your comparison certainly makes sense.


You should try the Colin Davis recording as well, which always seems to come out top of the non-HIP pops:



I have both this and the Andrew Parrott, and return to both with equal, although different, pleasure.

the 1966 Davis and the early 70s? Marriner/Decca are my favorite non-HIP-Messiah-recordings. The Marriner uses a somewhat uncommon edition though with a few pieces slightly different than in most recordings.

Not a piece I normally listen to but I like this version as I find most of the HIP versions rather dull:



I'll be investigating your suggestions. Thank you.

Offline Irons

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #787 on: April 22, 2019, 10:34:07 PM »
My first posting on this thread for good reason that until I came across William Wordsworth's 5th string quartet I have not listened to any new work that qualifies. I love the three Britten quartets which hold a special place, so when I say the Wordsworth 5th is like stumbling across a Britten 4th it is the highest possible praise. Paul Comway writes this work is suggestive of Egon Wellesz, which possibly it is, but for me the association is with Britten. I have not heard Wordsworth's symphonies but read they can be like the man himself, dour. The 5th quartet is not dour in any shape or form, but a work full of life and invention. The recording by Bob Auger is superb. It is criminal that as I believe this recording has not been issued on CD.

The familiar rat-a-tat of enemy machine-guns joined the melee. It was like an orchestra from hell, it’s tune being played out by the instruments of death. - The Sun Will Always Shine, John R McKay.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #788 on: April 23, 2019, 05:00:50 PM »
My first posting on this thread for good reason that until I came across William Wordsworth's 5th string quartet I have not listened to any new work that qualifies. I love the three Britten quartets which hold a special place, so when I say the Wordsworth 5th is like stumbling across a Britten 4th it is the highest possible praise. Paul Comway writes this work is suggestive of Egon Wellesz, which possibly it is, but for me the association is with Britten. I have not heard Wordsworth's symphonies but read they can be like the man himself, dour. The 5th quartet is not dour in any shape or form, but a work full of life and invention. The recording by Bob Auger is superb. It is criminal that as I believe this recording has not been issued on CD.



Interesting. I only know his 4th Symphony on a relatively new Toccata release and I rather liked it. I wish these quartets were on CD. Hopefully, Toccata label will record them, or Chandos might take the task.

Offline Irons

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #789 on: April 23, 2019, 10:29:55 PM »
Interesting. I only know his 4th Symphony on a relatively new Toccata release and I rather liked it. I wish these quartets were on CD. Hopefully, Toccata label will record them, or Chandos might take the task.

This is one of the few occasions where an LP collector is spoilt for choice compared to his CD counterpart. The third, fifth and sixth string quartets are available but as far as I am aware not one symphony. For obvious reasons searching for William Wordsworth on the net is a nightmare. 
The familiar rat-a-tat of enemy machine-guns joined the melee. It was like an orchestra from hell, it’s tune being played out by the instruments of death. - The Sun Will Always Shine, John R McKay.

Offline Christo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #790 on: April 23, 2019, 11:27:07 PM »
string quartets are available but as far as I am aware not one symphony
Apart from the new Toccata CD with his Fourth and Eight symphonies - which I don't know yet, but apparently Cesar does - there are recordings of the First, Second, Third and Fifth symphonies. I love the Lyrita CD with his Second and Third, that I received as a present from forum member Dundonnell (Colin) on his visit to Utrecht, ten years ago.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Irons

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #791 on: April 24, 2019, 02:13:18 AM »
Apart from the new Toccata CD with his Fourth and Eight symphonies - which I don't know yet, but apparently Cesar does - there are recordings of the First, Second, Third and Fifth symphonies. I love the Lyrita CD with his Second and Third, that I received as a present from forum member Dundonnell (Colin) on his visit to Utrecht, ten years ago.


I do not buy many CDs but I rather like the look of those. I will order one or perhaps all three. Thanks.
The familiar rat-a-tat of enemy machine-guns joined the melee. It was like an orchestra from hell, it’s tune being played out by the instruments of death. - The Sun Will Always Shine, John R McKay.

Offline André

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #792 on: April 24, 2019, 12:07:37 PM »
I do not buy many CDs but I rather like the look of those. I will order one or perhaps all three. Thanks.

I recommend all three discs without hesitation  :).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #793 on: April 24, 2019, 12:13:37 PM »
I do not buy many CDs but I rather like the look of those. I will order one or perhaps all three. Thanks.
I agree with Christo that the CD with Symphony 2 is a great place to start. I don't know the Toccata disc.
"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 Irons

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #794 on: April 24, 2019, 11:08:08 PM »
I have ordered yesterday the Lyrita CD of symphonies 1 & 5 on eBay at a very good price brand new. The other Lyrita which Jeffrey recommends was even cheaper but second-hand and the condition did sound iffy. I will look for a new copy.

Listened to the 3rd String Quartet last night. A deep work which is not as immediately accessible as the 5th.
The familiar rat-a-tat of enemy machine-guns joined the melee. It was like an orchestra from hell, it’s tune being played out by the instruments of death. - The Sun Will Always Shine, John R McKay.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #795 on: April 29, 2019, 03:10:06 AM »
I knew I'd seen a bit of conversation about Wordsworth somewhere. Well, it's inspired a listen to Symphony No. 3, which I have on the Lyrita British Symphonies box. The middle movement in particular is magnificent, with the haunting celesta solo in the middle, and the gong-enforced climaxes.

Offline pjme

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #796 on: April 29, 2019, 04:24:00 AM »
Karol Szymanowski: Stabat Mater

1961 recording with Stefania Woytowicz (sop.), Krystyna Szczepanska (alto), Andrzej Hiolski (bar.), Warsaw Nat. PhO and chorus / Witold Rowicki.

Sumptuously beautiful!!!

"However, and this should be strongly emphasised, the external, at times ascetic severity of the musical shape and manner of expression are exquisitely combined with the inner warmth and subtle tenderness of the content. It is perhaps exactly that special, attractive combination of apparent oppositions – severity of form and tenderness of expression – which so easily moves the listener and makes audiences react to Stabat Mater with greater warmth than to any other of Szymanowski’s works."
Source: http://www.karolszymanowski.pl/watch-listen/voices-and-orchestra/stabat-mater-for-soprano-alto-baritone-mixed-choir-and-orchestra-op-53-1914-1916/

Amen.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #797 on: April 29, 2019, 05:31:57 AM »
Karol Szymanowski: Stabat Mater

1961 recording with Stefania Woytowicz (sop.), Krystyna Szczepanska (alto), Andrzej Hiolski (bar.), Warsaw Nat. PhO and chorus / Witold Rowicki.

Sumptuously beautiful!!!

"However, and this should be strongly emphasised, the external, at times ascetic severity of the musical shape and manner of expression are exquisitely combined with the inner warmth and subtle tenderness of the content. It is perhaps exactly that special, attractive combination of apparent oppositions – severity of form and tenderness of expression – which so easily moves the listener and makes audiences react to Stabat Mater with greater warmth than to any other of Szymanowski’s works."
Source: http://www.karolszymanowski.pl/watch-listen/voices-and-orchestra/stabat-mater-for-soprano-alto-baritone-mixed-choir-and-orchestra-op-53-1914-1916/

Amen.

Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater is one of his finest works, IMHO. So far, the only part of Szymanowski’s oeuvre that I don’t like is his solo piano music, which comes across as a meandering and unmemorable.
“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 pjme

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #798 on: April 29, 2019, 09:13:41 AM »
I'm not familiar with his pianoworks. I have Piotr Anderszewski's Métopes, sonata nr 3 + Masques, but haven't played it in ages....
Harnasie is another great favorite, and so is Symphony nr 4.

Peter

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #799 on: April 29, 2019, 10:09:22 AM »
I'm not familiar with his pianoworks. I have Piotr Anderszewski's Métopes, sonata nr 3 + Masques, but haven't played it in ages....
Harnasie is another great favorite, and so is Symphony nr 4.

Peter

I suppose I’ll just list my favorite Szymanowski works since it’ll be a lot easier for me:

String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
Mythes
Symphony No. 3, “Song of the Night”
Symphony No. 4, “Symphonie concertante”
Harnasie
Stabat Mater
Litany to the Virgin Mary
King Roger
Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Three Fragments from Poems by Jan Kasprowicz
Love Songs of Hafiz


One of the more fascinating aspects of Szymanowski is in his use of ever-changing harmony. There always seems to be a restless and feeling of unease in his music. Of course, this isn’t to say that the music doesn’t have moments of consonance that help bind these more unsettled harmonies and melodies. This has always been intriguing for me and I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the harmonic structures of his music only to be turned around and slapped in the face with a chord I didn’t even expect.
“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