Author Topic: The French Music Exploration thread  (Read 5859 times)

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Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #120 on: September 18, 2020, 01:42:44 PM »
Yeah yeah. I already explained to you how I'm not in the target demographic for rescuing mythical women.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #121 on: September 18, 2020, 11:59:31 PM »
Okay, I'm not loving the Sauguet.

I lasted with Symphony No.3 for only a couple of minutes before thinking no, that's not what I want right now.  So I switched to String Quartet No.3, and while I've had it on for a bit longer I'm not feeling inspired. I can hear some of the same uninteresting qualities. Sure, it could be the performers (there's only 1 to choose from on Primephonic in each case)... or it could be that the music is a bit dull.

Switching to that Melodies album... hmm, could I find the words somewhere? That'd help me. But see, now I have to work out if it's the music that's flat or only the singer. Because the singer is definitely not impressing me.

I'd really like... a spark of energy somewhere. And I can't be certain whether this is just a run of flat performances or whether the music itself is flat.

They list his songs here but at a glance, not many have the lyrics. Some have.

https://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_settings.html?ComposerId=2462

I already struggle with songs in French but there were also too much "mannerism" in the singing, that really put me off.
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #122 on: September 19, 2020, 01:33:22 AM »
Different day, different reaction.

Didn't click at all with Sauguet's symphonies No.3 & 4. Sampled about half of Les Forains ballet music as well. Bit underwhelmed too.
Trying his String quartets right now.

Oh well.

Olivier

Offline some guy

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #123 on: September 19, 2020, 09:51:13 AM »
The following is a long gloss on "Different day. Different reaction," which is, I think, key for not only enjoying music but for talking about it as well.

As some of you know, I have been spending my cancer treatment exile in Southern California ripping every unripped CD in the four DJ boxes I left with my best friend when I moved to Europe in 2012. I have visited him a couple of times since then, each time ripping a few CDs that I thought I'd want to have. As I have been finding, in my current frenzy of ripping all of the remaining CDs, there was a problem with the idea expressed in the words "that I thought I'd want to have."

That has turned out, embarrassingly enough, to have been not only a mistake but a stupid mistake. CD after CD of music I was either indifferent to when I first bought it, or even that I simply didn't like, has turned out in my current listening to be at the very least music I enjoy and at the very most music that I find essential. Not all of them, but many.

The music hasn't changed. Those zeroes and ones baked into those plastic discs spin at the same speed and in the same order as ever before. Only I have changed. I have always managed to be pretty open to most kinds of music. But, sadly, I have also always managed to bring expectations to all of my encounters with new music (new as in new as well as new as in new to me). Or perhaps it's desires. The first electroacoustic music I heard that really grabbed me was Varèse's Poème électronique. For years afterwards, my favorite pieces of that type were things that were like the Varèse. So my favorite Xenakis, at first, was naturally Orient-Occident. I didn't dislike any of the other pieces. But I didn't listen to many of them very often. It took a long time to appreciate Bohor, which is a real stunner. And now essential.

My conclusion was that I was going about it all wrong. I would hear things that I liked, and then I would search out things that were like the things that I liked. Seems sensible, right? There's only so much time, after all. Why spend it listening to things you don't like?

Well, that's easy. Dispense with the whole like/dislike model. Learn to listen for what's there not for what you want to be there. It is a hard lesson, I know. It has taken me many years (around fifty) to learn this lesson, and I still fail. But there is a lot of truth to Cage's comment that everything in the world is asking you one question, "What makes you think you don't like me?" And the delightful irony of dispensing with the like/dislike model is that since you end up able to appreciate things you would never have thought you'd appreciate, you end up liking more things.

If you listen to something and it doesn't grab you right away, so what? Listen to something else. If you listen to something and like it at first but then it doesn't grab you any more, so what? Happens to everyone. That focus is always on you and how the music affects you. That focus is, I have become convinced, a big hindrance. It's not the music, it's not some putative quality inherent to the music that's at issue. It's the strategy that's at issue. The question that is usually asked is "What does this music do for me?" Well, it might do nothing for you. It might do something for you one day and something else another day. It's all so capricious, no? And inconsistent.

But the music is just the same from day to day. (I'm side-stepping the performance issue, you notice.) What changes is you. So that's easy. What can you do to make your experiences more consistent? Ask a different question: "What is this music doing?" Not what can it do for you but simply what is it doing. Or, even better, don't ask any questions at all. Don't listen to music for what you need. If you listen without needs, you might find--I have found, anyway, over and over again--that music you would never have considered desirable, that you may already have rejected, over and over again, is perfectly delightful.

In short, if you have no needs, all your needs will be met.

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #124 on: September 19, 2020, 02:31:25 PM »
In short, if you have no needs, there are other more useful things you can do with your time than sitting around using machinery to produce sound waves that have no utilitarian value whatsoever. FFS.

Music exists for the benefit of people. Not people for music. If you're not listening to music with the hope of getting something out of the experience, then all that's happening is intellectual wankery of the highest order. It's the auditory equivalent of chewing cardboard for the fibre content. Actually not even for that, if you "have no needs" then you don't need to chew anything. You'd just be chewing cardboard because some bloke on the internet reckoned that it was a good way to understand the qualities of the cardboard.

The fact that people have different needs on different days is not a bug, it's a feature. It's not a fault to be corrected. It's a reason to have a music library with a range of options. For the same reason that most normal people don't eat the exact same thing every day.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 02:47:28 PM by Madiel »
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Offline aligreto

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #125 on: September 20, 2020, 12:58:10 AM »
I have been doing some exploratory listening to Sauguet’s music over the last couple of days as I also know nothing of this composer. I started with the Sauget thread, Sauget’s Sanctum, started by Jeffrey when he was a young man.  ;D  In the opening post Jeffrey offers a link to the opening of Symphony which I found that I very much like. I like its noble grandeur, its rich but bleak musical language and the wonderful harmonies that it employs. I will certainly follow up on this one.

The Piano Concerto I thought was a very fine work. I like the wistfulness of both its nature and tone. 

I have also sampled his guitar music and from what I have heard I find it engaging if not completely compelling.

I then sampled his Garden’s Concerto for harmonica which I duly abandoned.

Finally, I discovered the String Quartets. These, I found to be a delight. I liked the melodic and harmonic structure of these intriguing works. No. 3, in particular, demanded my attention. I found it very challenging but I know that I will ultimately find it very rewarding.


Just like Varese earlier, these are two composers to whom I have had no previous exposure. However, that has obviously changed and I will definitely pursue both of these further.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #126 on: September 20, 2020, 02:09:56 AM »
Nice one Fergus. Glad you found something of interest.

Went out of my comfort zone with organ music this morning. I have always struggled with that particular instrument and sound (I think I only own one organ CD, with Leonhardt I think).

Listened to fair chunks of the below: half of the Naxos and the whole organ symphony No.3 by Widor. Still a struggle to get used to this sound. Saying that, it took me a very long while to get used to Harpsichord and yet I eventually made a full run through the Scarlatti/Ross box to great enjoyment. So maybe, one day, organ music will get its recognition from me too.

 
Olivier

Offline aligreto

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #127 on: September 20, 2020, 03:17:54 AM »
Nice one Fergus. Glad you found something of interest.

Went out of my comfort zone with organ music this morning. I have always struggled with that particular instrument and sound (I think I only own one organ CD, with Leonhardt I think).

Listened to fair chunks of the below: half of the Naxos and the whole organ symphony No.3 by Widor. Still a struggle to get used to this sound. Saying that, it took me a very long while to get used to Harpsichord and yet I eventually made a full run through the Scarlatti/Ross box to great enjoyment. So maybe, one day, organ music will get its recognition from me too.




Well this is one pathway of French music that I will not be following you down, Olivier. I have that Apex 2 CD set for many years so I have done my penance in that regard. Alain was a very fine instrumentalist but I simply could not warm to these works at all. Perhaps someone will tell us that they are not representative of his work at all. I admit that I have not explored further but the issue was the musical language was inaccessible for me. Perhaps I may attempt to listen to some of his chamber music.

Incidentally, there are many others here far more qualified to talk to you in this field, but I for one would not be recommending Widor as an introduction to the world of organ music [not that you are]. If one was doing that one would need to be very appreciative of the musical language involved in this music.
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Offline Scion7

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #128 on: September 20, 2020, 04:06:13 AM »
I then sampled his Garden’s Concerto for harmonica which I duly abandoned.

Did you hear this (Sauguet) in the version for oboe?
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Offline aligreto

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #129 on: September 20, 2020, 04:21:56 AM »
Did you hear this (Sauguet) in the version for oboe?

No, with the harmonica....


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2j4Fqsm3qa4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2j4Fqsm3qa4</a>


....although I could see how it might work for oboe. The voicing might make a difference all right.
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Offline Scion7

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #130 on: September 20, 2020, 04:53:24 AM »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline aligreto

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #131 on: September 20, 2020, 06:57:20 AM »
try this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSYiyHyeBqE

Thank you. I will investigate with no preconceptions  :)
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Offline Scion7

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #132 on: September 20, 2020, 07:07:49 AM »
the oboe is infinitely better for classical music!
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Offline aligreto

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #133 on: September 20, 2020, 08:20:33 AM »
the oboe is infinitely better for classical music!

Infinitely is a very good choice of words here  ;D
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Offline pjme

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #134 on: September 21, 2020, 01:58:20 AM »
Some forgotten symphonies:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Xc_bemPQ99k" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Xc_bemPQ99k</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/imuNzTXRrng" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/imuNzTXRrng</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/N9N_rwjhpKU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/N9N_rwjhpKU</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GeAqwEpNDsU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/GeAqwEpNDsU</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/gNxnyQ9Yk2k" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/gNxnyQ9Yk2k</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/yPnUkjjfpp0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/yPnUkjjfpp0</a>


« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 03:05:58 AM by pjme »

Offline pjme

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #135 on: September 21, 2020, 02:53:22 AM »
...and some forgotten concertos:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/mdhcbsVs7BA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/mdhcbsVs7BA</a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qdtC-llH2Hc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qdtC-llH2Hc</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/clGRdiqdNKQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/clGRdiqdNKQ</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GfF6nCJ6dEM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/GfF6nCJ6dEM</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/E7JESeDWUS4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/E7JESeDWUS4</a>
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 03:07:17 AM by pjme »

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #136 on: September 21, 2020, 04:00:47 AM »

Well this is one pathway of French music that I will not be following you down, Olivier. I have that Apex 2 CD set for many years so I have done my penance in that regard. Alain was a very fine instrumentalist but I simply could not warm to these works at all. Perhaps someone will tell us that they are not representative of his work at all. I admit that I have not explored further but the issue was the musical language was inaccessible for me. Perhaps I may attempt to listen to some of his chamber music.

Incidentally, there are many others here far more qualified to talk to you in this field, but I for one would not be recommending Widor as an introduction to the world of organ music [not that you are]. If one was doing that one would need to be very appreciative of the musical language involved in this music.

Thank you for your view, Fergus. Maybe I'll keep organ music for another project in 2022...or later  ;D
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #137 on: September 21, 2020, 04:02:14 AM »
Some forgotten symphonies:

thank you very much, all saved for later perusal.

...and some forgotten concertos:

And again.  :)
Olivier

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #138 on: September 21, 2020, 04:02:51 AM »
I, too, decided French organ music was something I could skip. Organ music generally not being something I'm fond of, so any composer with a range of non-organ repertoire would be best approached by some other method.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #139 on: September 21, 2020, 04:14:47 AM »
My French exploration of the day is Thierry Escaich (1965-). I think i picked up his name from the Top 10 thread, Brian had him in his list I believe ?

I have listened to this one in full earlier:



If this comment makes sense, his music stays on the right side of modernism and dissonance for my own tastes. it is hovering on "that" line. The "baroque song" was challenging but intriguing. The "concerto for clarinet and orchestra" and the "Suite symphonique de Claude" were very interesting. Ones I think i will revisit.

Now playing this one at the moment:



Feels quite a bit like a light-ish Schnittke. Still intriguing but probably in smaller doses.

I see that he has done some organ music as well. I might have a go later on to see what a modern take on on this sounds like  ;D
Olivier