Started by Mandryka, December 20, 2020, 08:44:10 AM
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Quote from: Mandryka on January 06, 2021, 10:20:26 AMEveryone knows that aporia is THE central concept in Beckett - I must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on, as the unnamed in The Unnamable says. This aporia was a strong influence on the music of Bill Hopkins, a Barraqué student who died young leaving very few works, Evans's Etudes were released by Nicolas Hodges last year. These piano pieces are supposed to be the musical embodiment of the fragility of aporia, every time they appear to be doing something, getting somewhere, making a point, they break off, they fail. A faltering life force, Hodges calls it. Three books, cahiers for some reason, some rather substantial. The Etudes in the recording are each given a word and together they make a sentence One may know grief in her white involute portal. What are we to make of that I wonder. Maybe someone who has the booklet can help cast some light on this mystery. Hodges article on Hopkins, which you can find on Jstor, doesn't seem to make it clear (unless I missed it, I've only skimmed.)
Quote from: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 12:40:45 AMThanks, it is indeed intelligible. ...
Quote from: T. D. on January 07, 2021, 05:08:58 AMGood.Your post (Bill Hopkins solo piano perf. Nic Hodges) brought back some sad memories. Going back to the days when I was active on rec.music.classical.contemporary (and r.m.c.r.), I believe Nic Hodges mailed me (from overseas!) a free copy of the recording. Super generous, I was extremely grateful. But the music just wasn't to my taste. And not attributable to serialism; I love Barraqué's Piano Sonata, for instance.Interesting aside: the first piece on the disc, Sous-Structures, was dedicated to Hopkins's teacher Edmund Rubbra.
Quote from: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 07:52:25 AMI'll be interested to know what you make of Manoury's first sonata that I posted. I think it's probably rather good, not experimental enough for my tastes, but in truth I find the piano sound on youtube starts to wear after about 15 minutes so a long sonata wears out its welcome. Apparently Hopkins studied with Barraque obviously, Rubra as you say, but also Nono. Generally I'm not as keen on Nick Hodges as you are, though I certainly prefer him to Ian Pace (but I prefer anyone to Ian Pace!) You know he's just released a Beethoven/Birtwistle CD? One thing I do think is that all piano music, experimental or not, needs colour and tone. For this reason I'm appreciating Sabine Liebner more and more, despite some quirky interpretation decisions in a rather limited repertoire.
Quote from: T. D. on January 07, 2021, 08:17:15 AMThanks. This is my busiest season at work, won't be able to listen carefully for a little while.I regret saying this, but though I enjoyed online discussions with Nic H., I have not liked his recordings I've heard to date, though it may be repertoire rather than performance related. I know of the recent B / B, don't want to purchase but will look for clips.Agreed on Ian Pace, prolific (online at least) writer but I wrote him off as a performer after a couple of listens.Not to stress the negative, but Joanna Macgregor is my pianistic bête noire; I violently disliked what I heard of her contemporary repertoire, can't speak of her standard repertoire performances but have no desire to listen.Will have to explore Liebner, she seems to record mostly on Wergo which is not a convenient (i.e. inexpensive) label for me.[Added] On a first/distracted Youtube listen, the Manoury sonata is impressive. Further listening slated.
QuoteSTROLLING IN THE CITY WITH MUSIC IN THE HEAD. Prague (, October 2001. Nocturnal walks in the old quarter of Mala Strana. Everything is dark. One edifice seems embedded in the next. To the left, a lane running into a square. From there. a staircase leads to a street t er-head that skins a group of houses. I have e no sense of direction. Nor do I have a map. This route does not seem to he taking me anywhere. But what do I know? Perhaps it suffices to continue walking a few metres more to arrive at a spot where I'll have a view of the whole. After a moment, in the distance I make out a halo of lights shrouded in fog. That seems like a possible goal to me. At one barely distinguishes the new colours in which this city is decked out. For me, Prague was old black-and-white photos dating from before the previous century. A silent, black city.My head does not stop resonating with a haunting musical motif. Although it breaks off long enough for me to conteplate an ornate facade, it reappears imperturbably at the spot where it left off. It is not, strictly-speaking, a theme but rather a series of harmonies. After a few hesitations, I identify it: it comes from the Liszt Sonata. Whilst continuing my nocturnal stroll — and as if to free myself from this sound obsession I mentally run through this whole sonata from the very beginning. I then give myself over to one of my faourite pastimes: synchronising in my memory the sounds and images that I perceived, as if having to put together a film score. It is a matter. for example. of reconstructing what 1 had before my eves when I heard the descending scales of the beginning and evaluating the distance covered during thew whole exposition of the first theme, or else observing the street I had just walked down and remembering the fragment of music that accompanied this journey. The stairs were in D major, the large house with yellow walls was decorated with trills'... This experience always leads to the same observation: inevitably, the two times arc not synchronised. The sound time and the visual time are governed by two distinct clocks. There remains only a face sculpted in a wall that was watching me when I again arrived at this harmonic series with which I continue to struggle. During this mental distraction, I did not however stop walking. I must have gone past that square bathed in the pale light of street lamps. I must have crossed three or four small intersections, perhaps even more. This city is one that hides another. I am as lost in that quarter as in the sonata. Only chance can put me back on the road home. But it is too soon for that. I am between the Sonata and the city. I succeed in ridding myself of that harmonic sequence in the most expeditious way by going straight to the fugue. Mentally, I run through it from start to finish. It is filled with promises. The contrapuntal texture comes at just the right moment to give new constructive momentum. Everything in it fits together and is linked in an extremely organic drive. The two subjects that were clashing since the beginning of the work are henceforth meant to get on with each other. But. like every other time I listen to it, the same question returns: why did Liszt interrupt it so soon? What was being organised in such an obvious way, in a construction that seemed to renew itself at every instant, now makes for more or less heroic episodes of virtuosity. That produces a certain effect, but it has always given me the impression of a machine turning without gripping, This fugue barely exceeds two minutes! Why not have repeated it further on? Did Liszt lack technique? Did the rigour of the writing bore him? For me, these questions are still unanswered at the moment I glimpse the outcome of my walk. I seemed to have already seen this elevated portico between two houses. Now I've retraced my steps! In this sense, the street does not at all resemble what I had seen the first time. How to be sure of my memory? Perhaps it is another street with two identical bridges built by the same architect. The further I plunge into the city. the more the images are superimposed in my mind. I notice that I had not paid the slightest attention to the few persons I had encountered. I remained blind and deaf between stone and sound. I go back to try to again see the perspective of this series of buildings, which, the first time. had certainly not escaped my notice. This time. I have proof. I return to the same place, and yet it is not the same. I see the same houses, but everything seems new. Between these two strollsin the same street, a quantity of places has filed past my eves. One form disappeared and was followed by others, then the first returned, but backwards. That makes me think irremediably of musical forms. This time, of Berg. The retrograde motion of Act II of Lulu. The music starts over again. descending, returning to the same sound landscapes that had initially been perceived as rising, but in reverse order; or else the delayed forms that Berg adopts for Act I. when the exposition and development of a sonata are distributed in non-concomitant moments, in two different scenes. Since I've been walking. it might well he that I've passed the same place several times with out noticing. On the way home. I stop on the Carolus Bridge from which I contemplate the heights of the Lema quarter where I had lived a few days previous summer, There a large pendulum marks a time devoid of meaning where, in the past. the immense statue of Stalin had stood. Leaving the bridge. a discotheque down below is spewing forth the final effluvia of a music that is nonetheless powerless to kill the silence. Heading towards my residence. I begin to elaborate the plan of my new composition. Upon returning to Paris. at the end of the month, after much trial and error and several pages of sketches, I finally orient the work towards what will be its definitive form. Yet this form will evolve continually up until the end of the composition in February 2002. The set of themes is partially derived from diverse materials that I had developed for my opera K. Here the elements spread out round an empty centre, made up of a vast silence, at the end of which all the music makes the reverse itinerary. A retrograde: way in which one comes back on the same forms taken up again where I had abandoned them but following an itinerary strewn with false symmetries. Six levels of structuring. including two fugues, three toccatas and six melodic meditations represent the sound landscapes on which one comes back with entrance and exit points, which are different every time. The fugues, interrupted as in Liszt, reappear according to the principle of delayed forms, The toccatas construct and deconstruct levels of harmonic resonance. The melodic meditations are moments of metamorphosis: an element embeds itself in another until it supplants it. I gave this abstract construction the title La Ville (The City.), with the subtitle (...first sonata...)'. My stroll in that old quarter of Prague, the memory of the Liszt Sonata and Bergian forms were the preambles. The City is dedicated to Jean-Francois Heisser, who gave the first performance at the 'Piano aux Jacobins' festival in Toulouse (which had commissioned the work ). on 13 September 2002. Philippe Manoury Paris. February 2004
Quote from: Mandryka on January 28, 2021, 12:15:09 AMPhilp Manoury's essay on the origin of his first piano sonata
Quote from: ritter on January 28, 2021, 01:05:48 AMI have that CD, and remember enjoying the piece, but must revisit it soon.
Quote from: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 11:31:17 AMTD -- do you have the booklet for this?
Quote from: T. D. on January 29, 2021, 11:54:10 AMNo, sorry. After being less than enamored of a couple of Nic Hodges's recordings (as mentioned above in some other thread), I haven't made any more purchases.
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