Author Topic: Musical Imprint.  (Read 311 times)

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Offline Irons

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Musical Imprint.
« on: September 02, 2020, 10:20:18 AM »
If old enough it is said the whole world can recall the moment they first heard of the assassination of JFK.

Can the first encounter of a musical work leave a similar imprint?

I have three -

In the 1960's sitting alone half watching "Juke Box Jury" on an early Saturday evening David Jacobs introduced "Little Red Rooster" by the Rolling Stones. I was transfixed in jaw dropping wonder. I can recall the moment if it were yesterday.

Ten years later I was into Hi-Fi, a interest I have had all my life. I had no knowledge of Classical music - some may say nothing has changed - but purchased some records for the sound, the first was Barenboim conducting Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony which as a starter is OK. Bored at work I slipped away to a record shop up the road and as I say didn't have a clue, so just bought a LP with the most striking cover - Ormandy conducting Shostakovich's 5th Symphony. Placing it on the turntable on reaching home I was blown away and from that moment on well and truly hooked on Classical music.

Another ten years and on a visit to the HMV flagship store in Oxford Street, now sadly gone, I purchased my first Sibelius recording, the 2nd Symphony conducted by Gibson on Chandos. Again an unforgettable musical  "high".

So mine are Little Red Rooster, Shostakovitch 5 and Sibelius 2. Which are yours?
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online some guy

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2020, 11:43:10 AM »
Ten years later I was into Hi-Fi, a interest I have had all my life.
This pulled me up short. Part of a whole = the whole.

Well, I dunno how you pulled that particular trick off, but I do remember some first encounters. It's interesting to me that some of the more memorable first encounters--Rachmaninoff's prelude in c#, Sibelius symphony #2, Brahms symphony #1--did not survive years of listening, while others--Beethoven's fourth piano concerto, Brahms first piano concerto, Varèse's Arcana--have retained their pristine charm.

The real earth shatterers, however, like Janáček's Taras Bulba and Xenakis' Persepolis, have grown even more charming as time goes on. What's more, pieces that have not impressed at first, or have even repelled, have grown into favorites--Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev's Semyon Kotko, Marc Behrens' Final Ballet.

Offline Irons

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2020, 11:03:25 PM »
This pulled me up short. Part of a whole = the whole.

Well, I dunno how you pulled that particular trick off, but I do remember some first encounters. It's interesting to me that some of the more memorable first encounters--Rachmaninoff's prelude in c#, Sibelius symphony #2, Brahms symphony #1--did not survive years of listening, while others--Beethoven's fourth piano concerto, Brahms first piano concerto, Varèse's Arcana--have retained their pristine charm.

The real earth shatterers, however, like Janáček's Taras Bulba and Xenakis' Persepolis, have grown even more charming as time goes on. What's more, pieces that have not impressed at first, or have even repelled, have grown into favorites--Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev's Semyon Kotko, Marc Behrens' Final Ballet.

You are right, doesn't make sense. To explain, the interest was always there but during the 1960's I listened to music on an old valve radiogram, a gift from a relative. By the early 1970's my financial position had improved enough to build a decent system.

I too seldom listen to Sibelius 2 now. It is sad when the thrill has gone, bit like losing an old friend. Pieces do grow on you but I'm more thinking of light bulb moments.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online some guy

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2020, 10:18:10 AM »
We seem to have a similar trajectory. My first radio was a strange, cheap thing that you clipped onto the bedsprings. It was highly unsatisfactory and magical. My first "stereo" was a cheap, strange thing that lasted me until I was in my thirties. It was highly unsatisfactory.

I had assembled a decent system by 33, and it was strange. All those frequencies I'd never heard before. Well, never in my home. I'd heard them in concert halls, at least.

The most significant "light bulb" moment in my life was the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra. The Reiner recording. That changed my life. I had heard some twentieth century pieces before, and liked them (the Janáček was one of them), but the Bartók opened up a whole new world for me. That was March of 1972. In July, I attended a Balletafton in Stockholm that included Stravinsky's Les Noces, still a great favorite. In October, I found a Carter lp that puzzled me, but shortly afterwards I was devouring Stockhausen and Xenakis and Oliveros and others. Berio's Visages stands out as the only thing I couldn't "take," no matter how often I tried. (Oh, it's nice, now.) A disc of the Michigan crowd (Sonic Arts Union) was rough going, too, but I knew that this was the real thing. And Hornpipe I played over and over again. In 1976, I met John Cage. Amazing how quickly I had developed. (Amazing what a glutton I was.

Am.)

Ahhh. Good times!

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 10:57:21 AM »
A couple of moments spring to mind:

- Vivaldi's 4 seasons (non-descript version) being played on an averagely-driven Sennheiser HD650 and yet hearing so many details. That's when it hit me that there was more to this classical music than just phone line waiting music. My classical journey started there.

- The whole of Mahler's 4th with Reiner/Della Casa/Chicago SO. This was absolute perfection filling my ears and one of my major breakthroughs in Mahler's world. I don't listen often to it but I still get proper tingles when the intro of that version kicks off.

- Some live sounds are also imprinted in my memory in their "mind blown" ways: the live sound of a string quartet, sitting from just a few meters away (Quatuor Mosaïque), the live sound of a solo cello (Queyras), the live sound of a human voice singing Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (Baritone Florian Boesch - this was was an unexpected concert as he replaced Matthias Goerne at the last minute. Goerne was due to sing Winterreise and Boesch replaced him with a fantastic Loewe lieder programme, new to me at the time. The Mahler lied was his encore. I was in the last row. This one hit me hard, I properly welled up).     
Olivier

Offline Irons

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2020, 12:47:22 PM »
We seem to have a similar trajectory. My first radio was a strange, cheap thing that you clipped onto the bedsprings. It was highly unsatisfactory and magical. My first "stereo" was a cheap, strange thing that lasted me until I was in my thirties. It was highly unsatisfactory.

I had assembled a decent system by 33, and it was strange. All those frequencies I'd never heard before. Well, never in my home. I'd heard them in concert halls, at least.

The most significant "light bulb" moment in my life was the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra. The Reiner recording. That changed my life. I had heard some twentieth century pieces before, and liked them (the Janáček was one of them), but the Bartók opened up a whole new world for me. That was March of 1972. In July, I attended a Balletafton in Stockholm that included Stravinsky's Les Noces, still a great favorite. In October, I found a Carter lp that puzzled me, but shortly afterwards I was devouring Stockhausen and Xenakis and Oliveros and others. Berio's Visages stands out as the only thing I couldn't "take," no matter how often I tried. (Oh, it's nice, now.) A disc of the Michigan crowd (Sonic Arts Union) was rough going, too, but I knew that this was the real thing. And Hornpipe I played over and over again. In 1976, I met John Cage. Amazing how quickly I had developed. (Amazing what a glutton I was.

Am.)

Ahhh. Good times!

While you are scaling the musical heights I'm trudging the foothills! A line in the sand which my musical sensibilities will not allow me to cross. I am good with Berg and OK with Schoenberg, although I do find some of his pieces dry. I also purchased a Carter LP just a few years ago, I think a string quartet on the Nonsuch label if I remember correctly. That crossed the line! Perhaps I should have persevered. I don't know what you think of Henze? I have him conducting five symphonies on a pristine double LP set in excellent sound. Again line crossed.

After the radiogram, which never let me down incidentally, I purchased my first "proper" system around 1972-73 which consisted of a Fons CQ30 turntable, a Chinnon receiver and KLH speakers.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Irons

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2020, 01:04:09 PM »
A couple of moments spring to mind:

- Vivaldi's 4 seasons (non-descript version) being played on an averagely-driven Sennheiser HD650 and yet hearing so many details. That's when it hit me that there was more to this classical music than just phone line waiting music. My classical journey started there.

- The whole of Mahler's 4th with Reiner/Della Casa/Chicago SO. This was absolute perfection filling my ears and one of my major breakthroughs in Mahler's world. I don't listen often to it but I still get proper tingles when the intro of that version kicks off.

- Some live sounds are also imprinted in my memory in their "mind blown" ways: the live sound of a string quartet, sitting from just a few meters away (Quatuor Mosaïque), the live sound of a solo cello (Queyras), the live sound of a human voice singing Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (Baritone Florian Boesch - this was was an unexpected concert as he replaced Matthias Goerne at the last minute. Goerne was due to sing Winterreise and Boesch replaced him with a fantastic Loewe lieder programme, new to me at the time. The Mahler lied was his encore. I was in the last row. This one hit me hard, I properly welled up).   

The 4 Seasons are like a right of passage, Olivier. We have all been there, and after all it is a great piece(s). It says a lot for you that as many magical moments are live as recorded.

I have only owned one pair of headphones again Sennheiser which I purchased at Laskys - do you remember the store? I recall they had bright yellow foam over the ear pieces.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2020, 01:36:17 PM »
I can't exactly remember the moments I heard these works, but they certainly imprinted much fascination the first time I had the opportunity to appreciate them, and that fascination is still with me:

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass. I had heard some masses by Haydn, Mozart and the Beethoven's Missa Solemnis before the Janacek, so I was kind of expecting something similar. That wasn't so at all! The sound world of that unique piece just amazed me in a degree that I left speechless. A revolutionary work on that time to me (12 years ago IIRC). The recording I listened to was the one with Chailly and the Vienna Philharmonic on Decca.

Bruckner's 4th Symphony: That was the first symphony ever I heard by Bruckner. Those brass chorales, deep lyrical moments, epic passages and lengthy movements knocking into shape a huge structure made a strong impression on me. I think that was decisive to find fascination with big works. Afterwards several Mahler symphonies came and I digested them pretty well I must say. That experience was 14 years ago.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2020, 01:17:18 PM »
Quote
In the 1960's sitting alone half watching "Juke Box Jury" on an early Saturday evening David Jacobs introduced "Sherry" by the Four Seasons. I was transfixed in jaw dropping wonder. I can recall the moment if it were yesterday.

But yeh, Little Red Rooster was good too.  RIP Brian Jones.

My other formative moments would include listening to John Coltrane's My Favourite Things in a local record store crammed in a booth with a leggy blonde bimbo I hardly knew - just coming up to 60 years since that classic track was recorded.  And Sibelius' 7th (cond. Beecham) on a noisy AM radio with overlaid static interference from next door's vacuum cleaner - I recorded that broadcast (and static) and it was my only reference for years.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 01:36:15 PM by aukhawk »

Online some guy

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2020, 08:14:11 PM »
While you are scaling the musical heights I'm trudging the foothills!
One unanticipated consequence of enjoying (it's all about the enjoying) music by living composers is that you can have a beer with them. Or wine. Or whiskey. Or stay in their houses. Or embark on limitless email threads with them. As things have shaken out in my life, some* of my dearest friends are composers.

Oh, it's fun!

*Some are math teachers and film makers and grocery clerks and ski instructors and psychologists, too. Friends are good.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2020, 05:11:16 AM »
I was thirteen years old, sitting in the passenger seat of a 59 Plymouth driven by my father, fiddling with the radio when I stumbled upon a fiercely exciting orchestral work. When it finished the announcer went straight to commercial without giving the name of the piece. Frustrated I asked my dad if he knew what it was (having little hope--he was not a classical music buff). As luck would have it he did know it. His best friend  was an audiophile who had demonstrated his new system to my dad by playing Ride of the Valkyries. So began my lifelong love of Wagner.

Skip ahead thirteen years to June 1975 and I'm playing pool in the army recreation center at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim Germany, and listening to Armed Forces Radio, when a kick-ass song began, sung by a woman with a unique voice. It was stylistically a combination of bluegrass and rock. This time the announcer gave me the name: "Bluebird Wine" by Emmylou Harris. I fell instantly in love, drunk on Bluebird Wine, and bought her first album the next day. She's still my favorite pop/country/rock singer/songwriter.

Sarge

« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 05:14:55 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2020, 05:32:24 AM »
- The whole of Mahler's 4th with Reiner/Della Casa/Chicago SO. This was absolute perfection filling my ears and one of my major breakthroughs in Mahler's world. I don't listen often to it but I still get proper tingles when the intro of that version kicks off.

My Mahler revelation was the Resurrection, Klemperer conducting, heard when I was 18 in the spring of 1967. A record from the library played on my cheap stereo in my bedroom. Talk about being blown away!

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline André

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2020, 06:40:20 AM »
I was 13-14, reading late at night and wanting some background music. My parents had a tiny collection of Lps, and any of these made a deep impression on me (can’t remember which one was first, it became a ritual for me as proper music listening often stopped my reading). I went to Discogs to find pics of the original art covers as I remember them:




Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2020, 06:55:21 AM »
My Mahler revelation was the Resurrection, Klemperer conducting, heard when I was 18 in the spring of 1967. A record from the library played on my cheap stereo in my bedroom. Talk about being blown away!

Sarge

Nice one Sarge. The Sturmisch Bewegt of Maazel's M1 would have been another strong contender for my list in terms of one of the first Mahler movements that really hit me.

As a whole though, the Reiner M4 would just edge it in terms of overall impact. 
Olivier

Offline DaveF

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2020, 11:17:03 AM »
An incident that came to mind recently as a result of some listening: When I was, probably, 10 years old, my class in school had a student teacher of whom I remember little except that she had long hair and wore long flowing clothes (hey, this was 1969).  But I remember nothing of her teaching except that on one occasion, probably on a Friday afternoon, she asked the class what sort of music we liked best.  While I was considering whether to say "Tchaikovsky" or "Mozart" (I was a strange ten-year-old) the rest of the class, apparently with one voice, shouted "Pop!"  (This was possibly the first time, although certainly not the last, when I felt completely estranged from my fellow human beings.)  In response to this, she said, "Well, I'm going to play you something, it's not really pop, but I'd like to see what you think."  And she put an LP on, and it certainly wasn't Tchaikovsky or Mozart, but it was one of the most gripping things I'd ever heard in my short life, because of the music, the poetry of the lyrics and the unique vocal style of the singer.  Whether there were any "learning outcomes" from this, whether we really were asked what we thought, whether anyone thought anything, I don't remember.  I do remember that I'd pretty well committed the entire song to memory on one hearing and went away from school singing "Won't you / come see me / Queen Jane" (yeah, that's what it was, as I'm sure you were all dying to know).

I had previously gone home from school, having heard bits of music played there (the school had 2 records, one of somebody singing Die Forelle and one of somebody else, almost certainly Myra Hess, playing Jesu, Joy...), sung them to my parents and been told what they were. No chance they would have known this one, although my older sister probably would, but memory is again vague as to whether I actually asked anyone.

So, whenever Highway 61 gets revisited, as it does fairly frequently, I think of that student teacher and how she introduced me to Dylan.  And I do wonder whether any of my classmates and their Pop! also fell in love with him forever on the spot.  Probably not - I was, after all, a very strange ten-year-old.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Irons

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2020, 10:36:34 PM »
An incident that came to mind recently as a result of some listening: When I was, probably, 10 years old, my class in school had a student teacher of whom I remember little except that she had long hair and wore long flowing clothes (hey, this was 1969).  But I remember nothing of her teaching except that on one occasion, probably on a Friday afternoon, she asked the class what sort of music we liked best.  While I was considering whether to say "Tchaikovsky" or "Mozart" (I was a strange ten-year-old) the rest of the class, apparently with one voice, shouted "Pop!"  (This was possibly the first time, although certainly not the last, when I felt completely estranged from my fellow human beings.)  In response to this, she said, "Well, I'm going to play you something, it's not really pop, but I'd like to see what you think."  And she put an LP on, and it certainly wasn't Tchaikovsky or Mozart, but it was one of the most gripping things I'd ever heard in my short life, because of the music, the poetry of the lyrics and the unique vocal style of the singer.  Whether there were any "learning outcomes" from this, whether we really were asked what we thought, whether anyone thought anything, I don't remember.  I do remember that I'd pretty well committed the entire song to memory on one hearing and went away from school singing "Won't you / come see me / Queen Jane" (yeah, that's what it was, as I'm sure you were all dying to know).

I had previously gone home from school, having heard bits of music played there (the school had 2 records, one of somebody singing Die Forelle and one of somebody else, almost certainly Myra Hess, playing Jesu, Joy...), sung them to my parents and been told what they were. No chance they would have known this one, although my older sister probably would, but memory is again vague as to whether I actually asked anyone.

So, whenever Highway 61 gets revisited, as it does fairly frequently, I think of that student teacher and how she introduced me to Dylan.  And I do wonder whether any of my classmates and their Pop! also fell in love with him forever on the spot.  Probably not - I was, after all, a very strange ten-year-old.

A ten year old with impeccable taste.

I played Dylan's Hurricane in the car on a regular basis for years. The CD still resides there.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Musical Imprint.
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2020, 06:16:31 AM »
A few recollections (in no particular order):

Listening to the Nutcracker Suite with Stokowski on my parents' 78s over the holidays (and years) on an old Magnavox console record player/radio

Purchasing a CD (recommended by music friends) of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Cortot and Barbirolli and being moved to tears...

Listening to Janet Baker singing (watching a youtube video) 'When I am Laid in Earth' [another rec] at about 10 a.m. one morning (same as above)

Sitting in front of my computer in 2008 after having become interested in Janacek's music and hearing his Sinfonietta for the first time:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00d0cs6 (also his Mass for the first time too)....remember the feeling of my jaw dropping and eyes popping wide open

Sometime after the last-mentioned:  on the advice of some folks, purchased a CD of Kodaly's Sonata for Solo Cello--initial listening was put off by it (not certain if I even made it all the way through it or not?).  Put it on again several months later and my jaw hit the ground....Wow!