Author Topic: Music in the Time of Coronavirus  (Read 944 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« on: March 21, 2020, 07:30:22 AM »
According to your opinion and taste, which music is best suited to the times we're living through?

For me, first and foremost Schubert. I really know of no other composer who, while experiencing the deepest depths of misery and suffering, kept composing one after another some of the most song-like, dance-like, life-affirming musical works ever penned. Chopin and Schumann come closest.

Second place: Vivaldi's sacred music.

Third place: Haydn, Mozart, Rossini and Offenbach.

And any time between them, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

How about you, folks?




"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline ritter

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 07:52:37 AM »
Good day, Andrei.

I’m trying to listen to music that I usually don’t listen to (or, more exactly, I used to listen to but haven’t done so in a long time—and the CDs remain in my collection). Today it was Prokofiev piano sonatas (OK, I do listen to Prokofiev every now and then).  I might even spin some DSCH CDs.

Much of my listening will probably just be background music to my reading (reading a lot during confinement being  my main aim).

As four your list, is it any different to what you listen to in normal times? It looks to me like a list of your favourite composers.  ;)

Cheers,
ritter
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« Et tandis que nous roulerons, à pleins poumons nous chanterons: 'Muguet! Muguet! Joli muguet, par toi l'on reprend confiance' »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 09:28:14 AM »
Hola, don Rafael! I do hope everything's fine with you and all your loved ones!

As four your list, is it any different to what you listen to in normal times? It looks to me like a list of your favourite composers.  ;)

Most of them yes but the ordering is quite different! Besides, Haydn, Rossini, Offenbach and Vivaldi are usually not among my most listened to composers.

In my turn I'm greatly surprised by your gross betrayal of Wagner:laugh:
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline ritter

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 09:33:36 AM »
Wagner is always, will always be there for me.... :). But he’s not really suitable for background listening, is he?  ;)
ritter
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« Et tandis que nous roulerons, à pleins poumons nous chanterons: 'Muguet! Muguet! Joli muguet, par toi l'on reprend confiance' »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 09:38:44 AM »
Wagner is always, will always be there for me.... :). But he’s not really suitable for background listening, is he?  ;)

No composer who's not really suitable for background listening will ever be among my favorites.  ;)
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 01:26:33 PM »
These days I've been in the mood for my favorite musical form: symphonies. It's been so fruitful, I've done great rediscoveries and reassessing my views on them. Works that previously I didn't have in high esteem now are growing on me significantly.

Offline Holden

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 01:29:36 PM »
Relative to the 'panic' buying epidemic I think that the 3rd movement of Shostakovich's 8th symphony would be very appropriate.
Cheers

Holden

Online vandermolen

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 11:23:36 PM »
Nice thread idea Andrei, which I considered starting myself.
I think that although Sibelius is not my absolute favourite composer he is about the only one whose music I can listen to regardless of how I am feeling. Something to do with the elemental power of nature I think. As for appropriate individual works I'd say Symphony No.3, the complete music for 'The Tempest' and 'Tapiola' - also Symphony No.2. I've recently greatly enjoyed the two violin concertos by Castelnuovo-Tedesco on Naxos. The first one 'Italiano' is very lyrical and the second one 'Prophets' has more of a (to me) spiritual side to it which is inspiriting at the moment. As my wife and I are cooped up together in the house at the moment I try to find something that she might enjoy as well, which is a rather restricted area of my collection. However, the recently purchased CD of  rather poetic chamber music by Dorothy Howell would, I think, come into this category. I think I should also listen to Vitezslav Novak's 'The Storm' as well. After epic tribulations it arrives at a spiritual catharsis of great eloquence - just what I need to hear at this time.  :)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 11:26:54 PM by vandermolen »
"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 Maestro267

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2020, 01:53:21 AM »
Tbh, I'm only now beginning to mentally adjust to this new normal. My brain has not cooperated with me in terms of both deciding what I want to listen to, and then getting through that piece without being distracted. Hopefully I'll settle down eventually.

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2020, 06:29:54 AM »
I am opting more for switching off and losing myself in the void of Scelsi.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2020, 06:44:48 AM »
I am opting more for switching off and losing myself in the void of Scelsi.

Feldman in my case, but otherwise, well said.  8)

Offline pjme

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2020, 07:05:15 AM »
I can lose myself in the voice of Divna Ljubojevic ( alas, her more recent videos are kitsch):

https://youtu.be/F_U6WS3L-7E

And this concerto (that would benefit from a new recording) / Ljubica Maric:

https://youtu.be/Rpj2CjoAhTY
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 07:16:14 AM by pjme »

Offline Spineur

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2020, 12:57:30 AM »
In 1837, the poet/playwriter Pushkin was locked down during a plague epidemy in Russia.  During this time, he wrote a short play "A feast in the time of the plague", where people were having a banquet while the plague was raging outside.  César Cui made a one act opera out of this play.



So you can read Pushkin or listen to Cesar Cui, this seems pretty appropriate as we are in a similar situation.

Offline pjme

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2020, 02:44:39 AM »
Hmmm, there must be more works inspired by the plague or other catastrophies.
I think of:
E.A.Poe/ Caplet: Conte fantastique "d'après une des Histoires extraordinaires d'Edgar Allan Poe "Le Masque de la Mort rouge"
Roberto Gerhard: La peste , oratorio after Camus
K.A. Hartmann: Gesangsszene for baritone and orchestra "zu Worten aus "Sodom und Gomorrha" von Jean Giraudoux"
Symphony nr. 1: Versuch eines Requiems.
"The prevailing mood of the poems selected from Walt Whitman’s famous collection Leaves of Grass can hardly be more disheartening and desperate, and Karl Amadeus Hartmann could not have found any more appropriate texts to describe his view of his own country in the year 1935. ‘I sit and look out on all the plagues of the world and the entire distressing and humiliating situation […]’ he wrote in his introduction. By this point in time, Hartmann had been long convinced that the seizure of power on the part of the National Socialists would lead to war and horrifying crimes. He himself was defamed and his works banned, meaning that he would not experience the first performance of this composition until 1948. The work, which had subsequently undergone substantial revision, received its final title Versuch eines Requiems [Attempt at a Requiem] in 1956 and reveals Hartmann as a self-avowed humanist like no other, as an intermediary between tradition and modernity, as the illustrator of internal and external musical processes and as a composer capable of taming extreme emotion in accomplished form."

And: Honegger's La danse des morts, Frank Martin's Jedermann and Ein Totentanz zu Basel 1943. Gabriel Pierné's l'An mil.

Any other suggestions?



Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2020, 05:48:06 AM »
Eric Burdon & The Animals: The Black Plague.

Offline j winter

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2020, 06:22:47 AM »
Like many, I imagine, my initial instinct has been to put on music that's comfortable and familiar -- things that I can enjoy without too much mental strain (enough of that on other fronts).  So at first lots of Mozart concertos, Beethoven symphonies, Chopin, Schubert, Bach, Bruckner.  A lot of looking over the shelves and pulling down an old favorite.

I've since been branching out a bit, but still into fairly traditional things that I've enjoyed in the past but feel I haven't really given their due -- Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn... nothing too adventurous, but a bit less familiar (for me, at least).  For instance, today I'm listening to Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto, which is perennially popular but with which I've never really clicked -- so I'm trying a few versions, let's see what happens.  :) 

Same with other music.  I've listened to a lot of The Band, some Beatles albums, some Bill Evans, and a lot of Tom Petty's Buried Treasure on Sirius XM.

I suppose at some point I shall rage against the plague and crank up some Shostakovich to eleven... but I'm not there yet... 
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Florestan

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2020, 07:54:18 AM »
Like many, I imagine, my initial instinct has been to put on music that's comfortable and familiar -- things that I can enjoy without too much mental strain (enough of that on other fronts). 


For me it shouldn't be necessarily familiar, but comfortable, cheerful and fun. For instance, this is a good time to listen to all those Offenbach, Kalman and Lehar operettas that I have amassed during these years but never gave them one single complete spin.  :)
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Online Kaga2

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2020, 08:26:15 AM »
I noticed I am, without doing it explicitly, avoiding old favorites. I have lots of little heard discs, so that’s not an inconvenience. Might have to do with incipient cabin fever and a quest for novelty.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2020, 11:20:13 AM »
On a day where the news is dominated by how humanity's remained as selfish as it's always been, I'm returning to old favourites for the stability that is lacking in life. Tchaikovsky's 3rd Symphony (Berlin/HVK) will always sound as incredible as it always has done to me.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Music in the Time of Coronavirus
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2020, 12:56:09 PM »
Caplet, The Masque of the Red Death



Not sure what color is the most appropriate for Covid-19, but I'm going with "Orange Death".