Author Topic: Monthly Focus  (Read 6872 times)

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Offline OrchestralNut

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2021, 07:41:54 AM »
Nice, Andrei. The work obviously made an impression on you at that time.

Yes, it did. (Tchaikovsky does that to me, usually). I should revisit it asap and see if that impression still stands.
"Melody is the essence of music."  --- Mozart

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2021, 07:43:31 AM »
Yes, it did. (Tchaikovsky does that to me, usually). I should revisit it asap and see if that impression still stands.

I might do the same.  :D

Offline aligreto

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2021, 03:35:42 AM »
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 [Borodin Quartet]





The opening movement of this work is a very fine piece of writing. The musical language is on the edge; it is a touch dissonant and always exciting with great forward momentum, drive and energy; indeed, frantic in parts. Emotionally, it is highly charged and it is very well delivered here; quite exhilarating in places, I find. The first movement is a complete entity and is self possessed. The second movement, Scherzo, is a tense and agitated affair throughout. It is well driven and delivered here with great tension and urgency. I like the musical language of the slow movement in terms of its questioning and probing nature. It is emotionally very challenging and demanding but ultimately very rewarding in the delivery of its message. There is terrific emotional turmoil and conflict here which strives for and finds a resolution of sorts. The final movement is an altogether different affair. It is confident and assertive in its message which is robustly delivered here. This is a terrific performance of this wonderful and emotionally powerful work.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2021, 03:55:31 AM »
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 [Borodin Quartet]





The opening movement of this work is a very fine piece of writing. The musical language is on the edge; it is a touch dissonant and always exciting with great forward momentum, drive and energy; indeed, frantic in parts. Emotionally, it is highly charged and it is very well delivered here; quite exhilarating in places, I find. The first movement is a complete entity and is self possessed. The second movement, Scherzo, is a tense and agitated affair throughout. It is well driven and delivered here with great tension and urgency. I like the musical language of the slow movement in terms of its questioning and probing nature. It is emotionally very challenging and demanding but ultimately very rewarding in the delivery of its message. There is terrific emotional turmoil and conflict here which strives for and finds a resolution of sorts. The final movement is an altogether different affair. It is confident and assertive in its message which is robustly delivered here. This is a terrific performance of this wonderful and emotionally powerful work.

Fergus, this must be a later Borodin recording than the one I have (on Chandos Historical). Although the liner notes strangely don't indicate the recording dates, but I am assuming late 1950's.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2021, 04:12:56 AM »
Yes, my Teldec set was recorded in 1993.
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2021, 09:58:32 AM »
What an unusual, interesting and wonderful choice. I would like to know what prompted that decision.

The only version that I have is the wonderful version from one of the Supraphon Dvorak box sets with Neumann conducting Milos Sadlo on cello and the ever wonderful Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.





This recording is very powerful and has a great presence.

I don't recall ever having heard this concerto before; I do love his later one, so will have to look into it!  :)

Offline aligreto

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2021, 10:14:11 AM »
I don't recall ever having heard this concerto before; I do love his later one, so will have to look into it!  :)

Definitely worth your time.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2021, 10:19:11 AM »
I could never do a ‘monthly focus’ on a piece of music for the reason that I think variety is the spice of life and even if you absolutely love a piece of music, it can become something that you wouldn’t want to listen to for a long-time. Plus, there are too many composers to have a monthly focus anyway.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline Irons

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2021, 10:47:55 PM »
Fergus, this must be a later Borodin recording than the one I have (on Chandos Historical). Although the liner notes strangely don't indicate the recording dates, but I am assuming late 1950's.

I think maybe the Chandos set is the same that EMI released (LP) under licence from Melodiya. They were all recorded between 1965 - 1969. This set had Dubinsky as first violin who was later to defect.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 10:49:57 PM by Irons »
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Offline Que

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #70 on: May 12, 2021, 11:29:36 PM »
Fergus, this must be a later Borodin recording than the one I have (on Chandos Historical). Although the liner notes strangely don't indicate the recording dates, but I am assuming late 1950's.

There are three different recordings. The Chandos is, according to its website, recorded in 1964 by the original members of the quartet. Never heard that recording, it is bound to be fascinating. The line up of the quartet changed in 1974, and the Melodiya-EMI recordings were made between 1978 and 1980. I think those are from a technical and artistic point of view superior to the 1993 Teldec recording, never mind the better recording technique.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 11:34:35 PM by Que »

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2021, 01:56:22 AM »
Well, this month it's Tchaikovsky SQ no 2. Love the no 1 but not so familiar with this one and want to know it better.  Recording is by Endellion SQ🎻🎻🎼🎼
I don't know his string quartets Judith.  How are you enjoying the second one?  And out of curiosity, about how often do you listen to a work over the course of a month?  And besides listening to it, do you do much research about it and/or follow along with a score?  I can't read music myself but do envy those who can.  :)

I could never do a ‘monthly focus’ on a piece of music for the reason that I think variety is the spice of life and even if you absolutely love a piece of music, it can become something that you wouldn’t want to listen to for a long-time. Plus, there are too many composers to have a monthly focus anyway.
I imagine that she listens to other music over the course of the month too.  ;)  But to each his/her/their own.  I admire her ability to focus on a work and get to know it better myself.

Definitely worth your time.
Will do Fergus!

PD


Offline Judith

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #72 on: June 01, 2021, 11:00:41 PM »
Well, said goodbye to Tchaikovsky SQ and it's hello to Faure Violin Sonata no 1.
Don't know if it's me but find in some of his works, there are elements of Schumann including this one. Was one influenced by the other?
Using a lovely performance by
Joshua Bell
Jean-Ives Thibaudet

To answer questions on how I do this,  I listen to the same work until it sticks so it may be every day (depending on time) but at least 3 or 4 times a week that month.
Can't read music so wouldn't be able to follow score but do find info about it!

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #73 on: June 02, 2021, 12:33:55 AM »
Thank you for a helpful thread. I tend to listen to composers in focused blocks, and certainly do that when discovering something new. Hearing a new work repeatedly is the only way I can access, remember, appreciate and partly understand it. Focus on one set of symphonies, quartets, etc., at a time also works with my personal quirks. 

For me, last week and this one will be Alla Pavlova, and fixing Bax/Arnold symphonies in my head, and probably Miaskovsky after that.

Thanks for setting me thinking.
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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Offline André

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #74 on: June 02, 2021, 04:24:45 AM »
I, too, listen by blocks. Same composer, same work in multiple versions, same artist etc. Repeated exposure is a well known aid to understanding a subject.  :)

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #75 on: June 02, 2021, 09:03:41 AM »
I, too, listen by blocks. Same composer, same work in multiple versions, same artist etc. Repeated exposure is a well known aid to understanding a subject.  :)

Nice to know I'm not alone 🙂
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #76 on: June 03, 2021, 02:42:30 AM »
The Fauré Violin Sonata in A Op. 13 is indeed a wonderful work. To me the first movement reminds me of a slight boat, the violin, flitting along over a heavy sea, the piano. There are two different independent elements at work here whose synergy works very well. The slow movement is also atmospheric but, obviously, in a more restrained and meditative way but which is not melancholy. The third movement flits about wonderfully on both instruments in a joyous and playful way like two small birds on a light wind. The final movement is more grounded but it still has great energy and forward momentum. The piano line in this movement is worth keeping one’s ear tuned to. It is very fluid indeed.


Here are the only two versions of this work that I own:


   


When I was initially building my collection Grumiaux was a soloist whom I always sought to hear in works that I was interested in or wanted. I don't think that he has ever disappointed me with any performance. Crossley is also a very fine musician and the two work very well together. I have honestly never felt the need to go beyond this presentation.

Both Barbizet & Collard are also two fine musicians but they are not as successful, in my opinion, as Grumiaux and Crossley in this work. Grumiaux and Crossley are lighter in touch fleeter of tempo. If one heard the Barbizet & Collard version in a stand alone situation one would be quite satisfied, I think, with the interpretation. However, when one hears the Grumiaux and Crossley presentation one gets a sense of a different dimension in this work; they bring it to another level altogether, to my mind/ear anyway.

Both delivery times, incidentally are almost identical both for individual movement times and overall time [obviously]. The EMI recording is also made in a more dry acoustic. This is only by way of recording comparison as it makes no appreciable difference to the interpretation issue which I have discussed.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #77 on: June 07, 2021, 05:58:24 AM »
You know what, I’ve decided to do a monthly focus that will take much longer than a mere month, but I will be rediscovering the music of the following composers: Vaughan Williams, Holst, Elgar, Arnold, Langgaard, Nielsen, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, Glazunov, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. I’ve already started to listen to more Shostakovich and Glazunov lately.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 06:00:41 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #78 on: June 07, 2021, 06:01:33 AM »
You know what, I’ve decided to do a monthly focus that will take much longer than a mere month, but I will be rediscovering the music of the following composers: Vaughan Williams, Holst, Elgar, Arnold, Langgaard, Nielsen, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, Glazunov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. I’ve already started to listen to more Shostakovich and Glazunov lately.

That's a lot of composers to focus on in just one month. I notice twelve composers listed. Time well spent, regardless of the actual time frame.  :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Monthly Focus
« Reply #79 on: June 07, 2021, 06:27:22 AM »
That's a lot of composers to focus on in just one month. I notice twelve composers listed. Time well spent, regardless of the actual time frame.  :)

Well, I did mention it’ll take longer than a month, which there’s no doubt that it will. ;)
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók