Author Topic: "New" Music Log  (Read 100938 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #440 on: October 27, 2019, 10:07:55 AM »

What's this now, a mass from Rossini?  I mean, come on, it's Rossini.*  Well, here it is, the Petite Messe Solennelle.  'Cept it ain't petite.  Nor solemn.

Such a special piece of music!  :)
If you'd like to try  another performance, this is the best I've come up with sofar:


Q

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #441 on: October 27, 2019, 10:18:30 AM »
Such a special piece of music!  :)
If you'd like to try  another performance, this is the best I've come up with sofar:


Q


I've already snagged two others - Dijkstra and Scimone - so I couldn't possibly need a fourth.  Right?  I mean, if I go for a fourth, it might make sense to consider Ceccherini as a fifth, and see if I can't hunt down that Sawallisch, and, ah crap, I'm going to end with at least a half dozen versions, aren't I?
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #442 on: November 17, 2019, 06:49:35 AM »



A disc that portends good things for the future.  Both the conductor and soloist were in their twenties when this recording was made, and they remain in their early thirties now.  Sebastian Bohren is not new to me.  I picked up a closeout of his Op 2 disc, which includes Mendelssohn (the unfamous concerto), Hartmann (soft-edged; more on that later), Respighi, and Schubert.  Conductor Luca Bizzozero is new to me.  The disc isn't really since I noticed it upon release, but I saw no reason to buy at full price.  Upon listening, maybe I should have.

Neither Johann Baptist Vanhal and Ignaz Pleyel are new to me, though I can hardly be said to have large collections of their works, and all these works are new to my collection.  With the Vanhal and Pleyel symphonies that would have to be the case since these are world premiere recordings.  Both are quite delightful classical era pieces.  If one can hear the influence of Haydn, in particular, one is neither surprised nor displeased.  Both works are brief, crisp, attractive and fun.  The Pleyel sounds a bit snappier, a bit more refined, a bit more streamlined, but both works delight.  Mr Bizzozero does creditable work directing the chamber orchestra. 

The draw on this disc is the last work, the big work, the well north of a half-hour Pleyel Violin Concerto.  And Mr Bohren is the reason why.  To be sure, Bizzozero does generally good work as one expects by this point, but Bohren's playing is so incredibly beautiful, his upper registers so smooth, and not hampered by too much or too little vibrato, that it beguiles - most especially in the gorgeous Adagio cantabile.  As with his Hartmann, one can say Bohren's playing sounds soft-edged, but here it fits.  The recording technique makes sure he gets a lot of love, though not to the point of making his violin sound as large as even the reduced first desk.  That's OK, that's what one wants here.  Even though this work is new to me, one gets the sense, coming after the more vibrant symphony and in the context of the concerto itself, that the fiddling should be more vigorous, but one just doesn't care, not one iota.  The whole thing is carried by that playing.  I can't say whether it is note perfect, but it sounds just swell.  After the first listen, I perused for more recordings from the violinist, and he has some solo Bach.  The Gramophone review is interesting in that in praises the substantial aural beauty and basically states that's the draw.  After hearing this, I understand why.  I may have to get it.

Overall, very nice playing and superb sound.  Sony's Central European branches keep cranking out the good stuff.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #443 on: November 30, 2019, 06:44:02 AM »



Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla knocked it out of the park in her DG debut of Weinberg symphonies, and the good folks at UMG know it.  Here's a quick follow up.  It's an all-Lithuanian ladies special, with works by the composer Raminta Šerkšnytė, and with not just the estimable MGT waving a stick, but also the even younger Giedrė Šlekytė getting her shot at Yellow Label glory. 

The recording has three works, MGT leading the first two with the Kremerata Baltica, and Šlekytė leading the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, with choir, in the disc closer.  Vasarvidžio giesmė, or Midsummer Song, from 2009, for string orchestra and slight percussion, is up first.  Yet another woman's name pops into mind while listening, and that's Gloria Coates, because of the extensive use of glissando.  That written, Šerkšnytė's piece is more my speed in its uncompromising modernisn, with no real tunes or center, but rather a sort of textural and colorful unfolding of musical ideas through the roughly thirteen minute length.  MGT and her strings do the work full justice, and it strikes me as a piece perfectly suited to Carlos Kalmar, who routinely programs exactly this type of thing in his concerts.  Perhaps I should write him a letter encouraging advocacy of the composer.  Pairing it with a healthy sized check might be more potent.  Sort of like the De Profundis, from 1998, that follows.  Spikier, more intense, and with some very affecting, even gorgeous passages, especially in the Andante rubato section, Šerkšnytė delivers what might be considered an updated, refined, more modern take of something Honegger would have written.  Good stuff.

Saulėlydžio ir aušros giesmės, or Songs of Sunset and Dawn, from 2007, closes out the recording.  A sorta cantata-oratorio (apparently, the composer hates the oratorio form as it is typically understood) based on Indian raga structures and utilizing poetry by Rabindranath Tagore, it opens with Day, Evening, and one hears a wonderful blend of influences that result in something new.  Take the perfumed excess of Szymanowski, the harmonic daring of Debussy, some slight hints of Wozzeck just before the murder, and an aleatoric feel mixed with solo and choral parts that bring to mind Martinů's The Epic of Gilgamesh, along with something that comes close to sounding like Mongolian throat singing, and, well ladies and gentlemen, this here's the shit.  It's as lush and beautiful as one could hope for, but also simultaneously very post-post-modern and/or avant-garde-y.  And that's just the first movement.  The second piece, Night, offers an updated take on "night music" (duh) and introduces updated and refined Ligetian influences.  How about that?  As nicely as Lina Dambrauskaitė sings her part - and it is very nice indeed - I couldn't help but wonder what Isabel Bayrakdarian might do with the part, I mean other than reduce me to a puddle of goo.  The instrumental introduction to Morning, Eternal Morning has a Rossinian flair to it - as in William Tell, of course - though with unabashedly modernist sound, and the final piece itself has that Martinůesque feel to it, and the flute work seduces the ear.  The spectral violin writing and delicate percussion adds a sense of staying in a dreamlike state rather than awaking from one.  If the name dropping makes the music sound derivative, it is not meant to; rather, it is the easiest way to describe the formidable music Ms Šerkšnytė hath wrought.  On the strength of just this piece and recording, Ms Šlekytė emerges as another young talent to watch.  And Ms Šerkšnytė joins Vivian Fung as a contemporary female composer of no little interest to me.  I love recordings like this.

I went the hi res download route, and as in MGT's debut, sound is tip top.  DG had best not dally in getting something else from their new stars out to the public.   
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #444 on: December 07, 2019, 05:28:45 AM »



I'll just get it out of the way and admit up front that the only reason I even contemplated buying this recording is because Jamina Gerl plays the works.  Prior to seeing that she had released not one, but two new recordings at the same time, I'd neither heard of nor seen the name Ferdinand Pfohl.  Mr Pfohl was a music author and critic first, and a composer only second, somewhat like Gustave Samazeuilh, covered previously in this thread.

Turns out there are reasons Pfohl is better remembered in German speaking lands as a critic than he is remembered anywhere as a composer.  The piano music just isn't really that great.  It's not awful, or anything, but it's often fairly heavy and thick and modestly adventurous.  Some of the time, the music sounds like something Brahms may have eked out when hungover one Sunday morning before realizing that it was not up to snuff and duly tossing the paper in the fire.  Other times it sounds like what Brahmsian impressionsim might have sounded like - or rather what early, discarded attempts at Brahmsian impressionism would have sounded like.  At still other times, it sounds like Brahms and Grieg got together to mashup ideas for four-hands works, and then Brahms reedited them to standard solo fare.  And this is not just because one of the works is based on a theme of Grieg's.  If the gentle reader gets the impression that Brahms looms large, it's because he does.  It's sort of like how one can't help but notice the massive influence of Debussy on Samazeuilh, though the Frenchman ended up crafting better works. 

Ms Gerl is a fine advocate of this music, and possibly the best the composer will receive, sort of along the lines of the great Ragna Schirmer's advocacy of Clara Schumann.  Indeed, in her uncompromising, often hard-hitting, and never dainty approach, Ms Gerl very much reminds me of her older fellow countrywoman.  This recording, along with her two other, better efforts, is something to tide me over until she records something else.  She's already got Op 111 under her belt and on YouTube, so she really ought to just get down to business and record a big old slug of her fellow Bonner's music for 2020.  Maybe all 32.  She needs to hurry; I am understandably impatient.

Sound is what one expects nowadays and the 86 minute playing time is, if anything, too generous.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General