Author Topic: The Barber Chair  (Read 48371 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #220 on: May 31, 2018, 06:13:40 AM »
Thanks for this, Jeffrey. I’ve only listened to the 2nd Symphony in the Alsop recording on Naxos, and I didn’t have a very positive reaction to it. I’ll be sure to listen to the Järvi recording at some juncture. At least on first listening, the 2nd Symphony seems closer to the hard-edged style of William Schuman than to Barber’s own lyrical, neo-Romanic idiom, interestingly enough. I do like the angry, percussive climax of the first movement.

That's true Kyle although it has a very poetic slow movement as well, which Barber thought highly enough of, after withdrawing the symphony, to make into a separate stand-alone work 'Night Flight' after the book by Saint-Exupery, who happens to be one of my favourite authors. There's a fine recording of Barber's 'Night Flight' conducted by the sadly missed David Measham, who made a number of interesting recordings (Miaskovsky, Kabalevsky, Goossens) on the old Unicorn label.
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Offline kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #221 on: September 13, 2018, 05:44:26 AM »
My university's orchestra is putting on a wonderful program this weekend which includes three Barber works - the Violin Concerto, Overture to The School for Scandal, and the Second Essay (along with Respighi's Feste Romane and the world premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra). I've always loved Barber's music, but having the opportunity to play these three masterful works has taken my admiration for it to another level. In particular, I've found the Second Essay to be a really satisfying, dramatic, ingenious, and ultimately redemptive work.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 05:46:24 AM by kyjo »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #222 on: September 13, 2018, 05:56:57 AM »
My university's orchestra is putting on a wonderful program this weekend which includes three Barber works - the Violin Concerto, Overture to The School for Scandal, and the Second Essay (along with Respighi's Feste Romane and the world premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra). I've always loved Barber's music, but having the opportunity to play these three masterful works has taken my admiration for it to another level. In particular, I've found the Second Essay to be a really satisfying, dramatic, ingenious, and ultimately redemptive work.
How exciting!
The Second Essay for Orchestra, despite its rather 'academic' title is perhaps my favourite work by Barber (although Symphony 1 and 2 and Knoxville rank very highly as well). I think that the conclusion of the Second Essay is even more effective than the conclusion of Roy Haris's legendary Third Symphony - it is indeed a 'redemptive' ending.

I hope that the concert goes well Kyle.
 :)
"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 Madiel

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #223 on: September 13, 2018, 01:12:02 PM »
My university's orchestra is putting on a wonderful program this weekend which includes three Barber works - the Violin Concerto, Overture to The School for Scandal, and the Second Essay (along with Respighi's Feste Romane and the world premiere of a work by Roberto Sierra). I've always loved Barber's music, but having the opportunity to play these three masterful works has taken my admiration for it to another level. In particular, I've found the Second Essay to be a really satisfying, dramatic, ingenious, and ultimately redemptive work.

Nice.

What instrument do you play?
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Offline Christo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #224 on: September 15, 2018, 05:20:48 AM »
In particular, I've found the Second Essay to be a really satisfying, dramatic, ingenious, and ultimately redemptive work.
Amen. First heard in on the radio when I was 15 - David Measham conducting, I guess. It was during a hot afternoon in August, ending with a thunderstorm. Recorded it, played it again and fell under its spell forever.
… 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 vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #225 on: September 16, 2018, 10:16:12 AM »
Amen. First heard in on the radio when I was 15 - David Measham conducting, I guess. It was during a hot afternoon in August, ending with a thunderstorm. Recorded it, played it again and fell under its spell forever.
And that David Measham performance is very fine as was his recording of Miaskovsky's poetic and eloquent 21st Symphony and Goossens Symphony 1 ( never released on CD  >:D >:D)
"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 kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #226 on: September 16, 2018, 06:49:09 PM »
How exciting!
The Second Essay for Orchestra, despite its rather 'academic' title is perhaps my favourite work by Barber (although Symphony 1 and 2 and Knoxville rank very highly as well). I think that the conclusion of the Second Essay is even more effective than the conclusion of Roy Haris's legendary Third Symphony - it is indeed a 'redemptive' ending.

I hope that the concert goes well Kyle.
 :)

Thanks, Jeffrey! Just played the concert earlier tonight and it was a wonderful experience.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #227 on: September 16, 2018, 06:49:32 PM »
Nice.

What instrument do you play?

Cello!  :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Maestro267

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #228 on: September 19, 2018, 06:39:02 AM »
On a whim, I've decided to listen to all three Essays for Orchestra together.

Offline kyjo

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #229 on: September 20, 2018, 10:52:53 AM »
On a whim, I've decided to listen to all three Essays for Orchestra together.

All three are superb works and among Barber's finest achievements IMO.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #230 on: September 20, 2018, 09:34:23 PM »
All three are superb works and among Barber's finest achievements IMO.
No.2 in particular is a magnificent work - that ending is very special and very moving.
"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 Brian

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #231 on: May 22, 2019, 08:59:43 AM »
Conversation with the girlfriend last night as I played Previn's recording of "Excursions":

"This is awful. What is this?"

"American piano music."

"It's terrible. Who is it by?"

"Samuel Barber."

"Okay, for future reference, I hate everything by Barber."

"I think you'll like the violin concerto if we ever see it live."

"...uhhhh... well, just so you know, you can't play this CD when I'm in the house."

 ;D

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #232 on: May 22, 2019, 07:07:58 PM »
Conversation with the girlfriend last night as I played Previn's recording of "Excursions":

"This is awful. What is this?"

"American piano music."

"It's terrible. Who is it by?"

"Samuel Barber."

"Okay, for future reference, I hate everything by Barber."

"I think you'll like the violin concerto if we ever see it live."

"...uhhhh... well, just so you know, you can't play this CD when I'm in the house."

 ;D

Your girlfriend may rule what’s played on the stereo (or wherever), but Excursions is a fine piece by Barber. One work you should never play her is Ives’ Concord Sonata. She may end up leaving you. ;) :D (FYI, I love Ives’ Concord Sonata as well.)
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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #233 on: May 22, 2019, 08:04:35 PM »
Conversation with the girlfriend last night as I played Previn's recording of "Excursions":

"This is awful. What is this?"

"American piano music."

"It's terrible. Who is it by?"

"Samuel Barber."

"Okay, for future reference, I hate everything by Barber."

"I think you'll like the violin concerto if we ever see it live."

"...uhhhh... well, just so you know, you can't play this CD when I'm in the house."

 ;D

This is why headphones were invented. :)

Offline springrite

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #234 on: May 22, 2019, 09:15:18 PM »
Conversation with the girlfriend last night as I played Previn's recording of "Excursions":

"This is awful. What is this?"

"American piano music."

"It's terrible. Who is it by?"

"Samuel Barber."

"Okay, for future reference, I hate everything by Barber."

"I think you'll like the violin concerto if we ever see it live."

"...uhhhh... well, just so you know, you can't play this CD when I'm in the house."

 ;D
When I wanted to dump a girlfriend but did not want to have the guilt of being the person to terminate the relationship, I'd play some music that she'd hate. It worked several times.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #235 on: June 16, 2019, 11:12:42 AM »
A cool photo of these composers:


Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #236 on: June 17, 2019, 12:02:36 AM »
A cool photo of these composers:


Is that Menotti on the far right? If so I've recently been enjoying his 'Apocalypse'.
"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).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #237 on: June 17, 2019, 09:49:06 AM »
Is that Menotti on the far right? If so I've recently been enjoying his 'Apocalypse'.

Yes, he is. Apocalypse is the only work I know by him and I like it too.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #238 on: June 17, 2019, 09:52:26 AM »
Yes, he is. Apocalypse is the only work I know by him and I like it too.
Thanks Cesar.
 :)
"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 vers la flamme

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Re: The Barber Chair
« Reply #239 on: November 04, 2019, 03:26:19 PM »
Bump for Sam Barber, a great composer...?

I am getting into his music slowly, here and there. I have not heard many of his pieces, but those I have heard I do like much. The Piano Concerto is probably my favorite of his works, the slow movement is amazing. I also quite like the first symphony, which I heard he modeled after Sibelius' 7th, and I can see it (there is something of Sibelius in almost every American and English composer who came after him). I just heard and enjoyed the tone poem Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance. And then I really like Excursions as played by Vladimir Horowitz, though I need to hear it in more modern sound. The works I am most curious to hear next are the violin concerto, Knoxville, and the string quartet(s?) – I think he is a very talented and perhaps underlooked composer. There is something of Ravel in him. He really understands the value of beauty and purity in music. He is one of few American composers that I have a serious interest in. I'm looking to up that number, being that I am an American myself, but I will start where I already have some footing.

Anyway, recommendations for good recordings of the violin concerto and Knoxville would be appreciated. Has anyone been listening to Sam Barber lately?