Author Topic: "New" Music Log  (Read 113582 times)

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Online 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?
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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.
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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.   
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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.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #445 on: April 26, 2020, 10:41:31 AM »



I figured I might as well go local again, this time employing the choral forces of the local commuter college.  The work needed something more spacious than Lincoln Hall on the campus of PSU can offer*, so it was recorded in St Stephens in the Hawthorne District, just off Cesar Chavez Blvd (39th to old timers).  Sound quality assessment will be more important than normal since no less than John Atkinson, Editor in Chief of Stereophile, performed engineering duties.  Eriks Ešenvalds is new to my collection, and had this disc not been brought to my attention when it came out a few years back, I would probably not have heard of him yet.  When I found the 24/88.2 download available for a whopping $3.60, I nibbled.

The short disc is comprised of four works written between 2005 and 2015.  The opener, The First Tears, is based on an Inuit creation story reimagined by the composer.  Set in English, and throwing in Native American flute, percussion, and Jew's harp, Ešenvalds evokes something of a modern Eastern European sound (as in Pärt or Górecki or Gubaidulina), though it is quite distinctive.  And the composer has his forces create a wonderful, blended sound from which the soloists emerge clear as day.  The use of percussion teeters on the verge of being too much at the end, but the use of drums in a mid-sized venue results in some satisfying heft.  The second work, Rivers of Light, including Sámi folk songs and a blend of other sources, is brief, colorful, and both measured of tempo and yet somehow swift, focused yet centerless.  A Drop in the Ocean follows, blending the Lord's Prayer, St Francis, and Mother Theresa in another brief and effective work.

The main work is the composer's setting of the Passion, Passion and Resurrection, blending soprano soloist, vocal quartet, choir, and string orchestra.  Mixing biblical passages, Byzantine liturgy, and Responsories, it's a compact, continuously unfolding work spanning about half an hour, and again it offers a blended sound, augmented very nicely by strings.  The composer uses dissonance most effectively, though listeners who rarely venture beyond the 19th Century may like it less than I do.  This is a major, or at least near-major work from this century.  No, it doesn't have the same elevated impact as the great liturgical works of the baroque era, let alone the Renaissance, but it shows there are still musical gems to be mined from the source material.

To sound, this is probably the best engineered recording I've heard from Mr Atkinson.  There are no recording hardware artifacts as in Robert Silverman's Diabellis, and the sound isn't too close, with too small a hall as in Robert Silverman's LvB sonatas or some of the Stereophile discs.  The sound is exceedingly natural and clear, when the composition allows it to be so.

It turns out that the same forces on this disc have just recently released a second disc of Eriks Ešenvalds' music entitled Translations.  They changed venues to St Mary's in Mt Angel for the new disc, which means they were just down the road from where they must record at some point: Mt Angel Abbey.  I'll probably buy the new disc, too.



* The large auditorium in Lincoln Hall is where I hear most visiting pianists.  It is near ideal for a Steinway B, with nary a bad seat in the house.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 12:37:19 PM by Todd »
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Offline Brian

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #446 on: April 26, 2020, 10:51:49 AM »
They changed venues to St Mary's in Mt Angel for the new disc, which means they were just down the road from where they must record at some point: Mt Angel Abbey.  I'll probably buy the new disc, too.
I had a trip booked to Oregon in March so my girlfriend could run a half marathon on a tulip farm, and our plan was to visit Mt Angel Abbey immediately afterwards and drink all the beer that the monks brew onsite. Alas, the world had other plans. We will try again next spring.

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #447 on: April 26, 2020, 10:56:41 AM »
Alas, the world had other plans. We will try again next spring.


If you make it out, and if you like chocolate, might I suggest visiting Amity, Oregon across I5.  The Brigittine monks there make sinfully good truffles.  The Raspberry and Orange are the best: https://www.brigittine.org/gourmet-chocolate/chocolate-truffles
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #448 on: May 03, 2020, 04:37:03 AM »



Whilst Qobuz had its Naxos sale, I took the opportunity to pick up this recording, in hi-res, for a whopping $3.60.  I always mean to get more Harrison, but I never do.  The only other recording I own is the Concerto for Organ and Percussion under the baton of MTT, and it's a doozy.  This disc is a bit less of doozy, but then Organ Concertos have a certain scale factor.  The Violin Concerto, pairing violinist Tim Fain with a gamelan orchestra, has many of the same features as the larger scale work, and it is just as successful.  Rhythmically incisive, bright, necessarily colorful, the lyrical string offers a stark and effective contrast to the clangorous but effective support.  It's unlike any other non-Harrison concerto in my collection, and it is something.  The Grand Duo for Violin and Piano from the late 80s, at about a half hour, is another beast.  It can best be described as a marriage of Prokofiev and Ives.  I happen to like such a musical marriage, though obviously others might not.  It would likely fall fairly easy on the ear of any 20th Century chamber music fan, and if maybe Fain uses a bit too much vibrato at times, such thoughts are fleeting.  Michael Boriskin's accompaniment is just dandy here.  The disc closes with Double Music with Harrison teaming up on compositional duties with John Cage.  It's a brief, repetitive swirl of percussion.  It's hardly a masterpiece, but it is nice enough for an occasional listen.  Performances and sound are all up to snuff.  It would be swell if Naxos did a complete Harrison collection.  It would force me to buy more. 
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #449 on: May 09, 2020, 04:34:11 AM »



It's been a while since I last bought a new Leonardo Balada recording, so this hot off the presses one seemed like as good a recording as any.  With the Hipgnosisesque cover, it actually looked better than most.  The brief disc contains three brief works for clarinet.  Ivan Ivanovs plays the clarinet throughout.  The first work, Caprichos No 7, "Fantasies of La Tarara", is a chamber concerto where right from the outset the soloist must explore the upper reaches of his instrument, play some demanding sounding trills, and otherwise have, at minimum, kick-ass chops to pull off.  The accompaniment is standard Balada fare.  A mash-up of folk influences and every modern compositional technique under the sun, the music unfolds in an orderly, very highly structured way, with every section seeming both inevitable and yet almost aleatoric at times.  Balada blends so many influences and techniques so fluidly that one doesn't even notice the dissonance, the potentially disorienting soundworld, the lack of pretty much any hummable tune.  It's like easy listening and off-kilter Elliot Carter at once.  Caprichos No 6 for Clarinet and Piano follows, and this quite brief four-movement work sounds knottier than the chamber work, sounding more potentially forbidding and uncompromising.  Yet even so, as the pianist works his way up an down the keyboard, and the clarinetist soars uneasily above it, the music creates a sort of Darmstadt School meets psychedelic music vibe.  Nice.  The closing work, a chamberfied version of the Double Concerto for Oboe and Clarinet, here for flute, clarinet, and piano, ends up perhaps the most surreal of all.  The sharper, tangier sound of the clarinet is offset by the warmer, at times delicate flute, with some occasionally groovy piano playing.  (I don't have the liner notes, but the piano sounds like a detuned upright.)  It moves beyond a fantasy into a musical dreamscape, changing moods, palettes, and rhythmic structures in almost cartoonish manner, all while sounding very un-cartoon-like.  The use of Mexican folk-tunes, some many or most listeners have heard, sort of enhances the dream-like state.  It's probably the most accessible work overall, though I doubt the bluehair donor crowd would go wild for it.  Once again, Balada's music hits the spot.  He's remarkably consistent qualitatively.   

Mr Ivanov is also an academic at UNLV and has written on Balada's surrealistic composition style, so he's spent more than a little time on these scores, and it shows.  Everyone else involved in the project does good work, too.

I went the hi res download route for this recording, and sound is SOTA.  Sounds like Carnegie Mellon has a bitchin' recording studio. 
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #450 on: May 23, 2020, 03:46:07 AM »



Until I bought this recording, I had zero (0) Harmonica Concertos in my collection. How could that be? Well, David Hurwitz's very enthusiastic review, and Qobuz's bargain basement price, made me give this Villa-Lobos recording a go. It is something. The first listen offers one of those "What the hell is this?" type listening experiences. The structure of the work is conventional - fast, slow, fast - and the orchestral support has that Villa-Lobos rhythmic sensibility and colorful orchestration, though it also sounds informed by Korngold, but it also offers a weighty background against which the closely recorded harmonica contrasts. And wouldn't you know it, but Jose Staneck is a super-virtuoso on the instrument, at times making it sound almost like an accordion - and I mean that as a compliment! It's almost like a cowboy went to Juilliard, learned flute, then decided he just couldn't quit harmonica and applied all he learned to the instrument. It's remarkable and unique and fun.

It's the third work on the disc, though. The disc starts with the Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra, and here the orchestral support sounds even more like what is on offer in the composer's symphonies, and the guitar is placed very forward so one can hear every note with clarity. Perhaps too much so, and it does become a bit too large in scale, with the low notes sounding almost like pizzicato cello notes on occasion, but otherwise it is as fine a Guitar Concerto as I have heard, which is not too terribly many. It turns out, though, that as good as the Harmonica Concerto is, it's the chamber music works that are the real draws. Both offer unique, not to say bizarre, instrumental combinations. The Sexteto Mistico does as good a job at creating a mystical soundworld I have heard in its brief, just under eight minute duration. Better yet, which is saying something, is the Quinteto Instrumental that closes the disc. Bright, colorful, light, open, eminently tuneful and achingly beautiful in parts, it entrances. Again, there's nothing quite like it.

All performers do high-end work. I am not wild about the sound. It is incredibly detailed, to be sure, and it is close, which is fine, but it is also airless and sort of "artificial" sounding, and seemingly rolled in the highs. But that's a quibble. Wow!
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #451 on: June 06, 2020, 03:44:58 AM »



Always on the lookout for some snazzy Renaissance liturgical music, Antoine Brumel's Missa Et ecce terrae motus caught my eye when I found it cheap.  The fact that the work was recorded by Paul van Nevel and the Huelgas Ensemble sort of made it seem like a mandatory purchase.  Brumel is either new to my collection, or I have something by him buried deep inside a big box and forgot about it.  The main work is something a bit different: a mass with twelve parts.  Having listened to a good amount of polyphonic music from the era, I had expectations.  The expectations were not really met; they were rather handily exceeded.  Rather than rely on intricate, endlessly beautiful, intertwined melodies, the work seems to rely on interlocked melodic blocks that combine to create unearthly harmonies that at times almost undulate like heavenly waves of music.  It's dense yet ethereal.  It's almost like Brumel prefigured aspects of minimalism by a few hundred years, too, with some repeated musical patterns that enhance the impact of the music.  It's beautiful and elevated and moving and, yes, quite snazzy. 

The disc also includes the Sequentia "Dies Irae Dies Illa", with the famous Dies Irae music used so many times by so many composers.  Here, the singers are joined by some olde tyme brass in this Requiem bleeding chunk which only makes me want to here the whole thing, though it is more conventional in sound and approach. 

Since I first started listening to ancient liturgical music spanning the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, the twin colossi Claudio Monterverdi and Cristobal de Morales have emerged as my favorites for the unbridled creativity and vitality of the Italian's music and the unsurpassed and unsurpassable beauty of the Spaniard's music.  Cipriano de Rore sort of came out of nowhere as offering something nearly as singular as those two, and now, at least with the big work, Brumel joins him.  I will be investigating more music by the composer.

Nevel and crew do exceedingly fine work.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #452 on: June 13, 2020, 03:05:46 AM »



Why not more Brumel?  Here, the the big work is the Missa Berzerette Savoyenne, modeled on a chanson by Josquin des Prez, which opens the disc.  It takes a bit of daring to take a chanson involving a bit of wooing and then weave that into a mass.  The piece lacks the intricate, unearthly beauty of Morales, but Brumel's music sounds unfailingly beautiful, with a beautiful top melody mostly audible throughout, and wonderful harmonies.  It's sort of punchy, in an a cappella sort of way, and gripping without being overwhelming or all-consuming.  The accompanying motets are superb, as well.  They may even be better than the main work.

Chanticleer is the greatest all-male choir in the history of the world, and as such even the counter-tenors fill parts to perfection.

I went a rare route to buy this recording, buying directly from Chanticleer in order to guarantee maximum income to the ensemble.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #453 on: June 20, 2020, 04:31:38 AM »



More from Chanticleer.  This time it's some music from the New World.  Ignacio de Jerusalem wrote his Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1764 while residing in Mexico City.  That's the extent of the New World influence.  Ignazio Gerusalemme was Italian and changed his name, making it even easier to live under Spanish rule.  This is my first exposure to his music, and it basically sounds like one of Handel's Italian Cantatas blended with Haydn.  That's a pretty heady blend, and it's not surprising that he doesn't quite match up to either.  That written, this work just sort of nonchalantly nestles right in with high end later baroque and early classical works qualitatively.  That's noteworthy, and the music's almost unfailingly sunny sound, excellent part writing and choral writing, and small scale orchestral support, make it joy to listen to.  But of course, the reason one buys or listens to a Chanticleer recording is for the ensemble, and as usual, they do not disappoint.  More here, more than even in the Brumel, the high voices are most excellent, probably because they blend in more and stand out less.  But every singer has his part dialed in just so, and the result is executive excellence of the highest order.  As expected.  The catalog does not exactly burst with recordings of Jerusalem's works, but maybe I will buy one of the few others some time.  Another Chanticleer recording is more likely in my near future.

I bought this directly from the ensemble again, just because.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #454 on: June 27, 2020, 05:21:56 AM »



In this grand Beethoven year I finally did something I never thought I'd do when I bought the Naxos complete Beethoven set.  To be sure, I've purchased complete oeuvres of composers before.  I've got the DG Webern edition, which is handy, and I have not one, but two complete sets of Decaux's output, but I never thought I'd go for a big old set of Beethoven, and then not from lowly Naxos.  But then it turned out that Naxos offered the best mix of price and repertoire, including rarities.  And Covid helped since I am bored, working from home, and able to listen to music all day long from my main rig.  And so now I am in the enviable position of being able to listen to a whole boatload of Beethoven that is new to me. 

Determining where to start was easy enough.  I've never heard the oft maligned Wellington's Victory before, so it got to go first.  For this box, Naxos did a repackaging, so the image posted shows the original release of this much booed piece.  The disc included pieces recorded between 1989 and 2019 by four conductors.  Ondrej Lenárd gets does the duties for the main attraction, but it's the disc closer.  Prior to that the listener gets to listen to Oliver Dohnányi direct 12 Menuette, WoO from 1795.  They are nice enough trifles that sound like more somber Strauss family works than the most famous Beethoven orchestral music, as does the 6 Menuette WoO 10 conducted by Leif Segerstam that follows.  (Though recorded three decades apart, the sonic differences are not as pronounced as one might expect.  I wonder if Naxos remastered/re-equalized the older recordings.)  Stanisław Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra make a just under four minute appearance in the Gratulations-Menuet, which is much more distantly recorded and set at a lower level, but it sounds nice enough.  And then it's the big show.  The snare drum opener gives way to a fanfare and then popular tunes.  The set up of the orchestra, with timps and bass drums on alternate sides of the stage exchanging musical fusillades is mildly entertaining.  The second movement is filled with more exciting, middle period Beethoven music in its most triumphalist form, and in the inclusion of God Save the King, it's most patron-pleasing form.  Now, I've heard it, and I can say I hear where Tchaikovsky got his inspiration for his even more awful 1812 Overture.  Overall, the work is not as bad as I had feared, but I predict I listen to it in its orchestral guise perhaps once more in my life. 
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Offline Dowder

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #455 on: June 30, 2020, 02:44:03 PM »
Now, I've heard it, and I can say I hear where Tchaikovsky got his inspiration for his even more awful 1812 Overture.
Hey, that’s a fun, over the top piece of music, like Marche Slav. Not great but enjoyable maybe?
”But what is government but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”~~James Madison, Federalist 51

Offline Jo498

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #456 on: June 30, 2020, 10:50:28 PM »
Both Wellington's victory and the "1812" were among the pieces that got me into classical music as a teenagers. So I retain some fondness for them. They were on one LP with Karajan (I think with the silly choir in the 1812) but I also had another version of "1812", actually the one I heard first that had the "Soviet version" with a different hymn at the end, this was an anthology with Marche Slave and Capriccio italien.

For some reason, probably the 1984 Olympics and some other mid-80s sports events, I got interested in National anthems and my father had bought an LP with 20 or so of the best known ones. When I encountered Classical music more seriously a few years later, I guess, it was nice to get the familiar tunes in these battle pieces.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #457 on: July 03, 2020, 04:49:51 AM »
Not great but enjoyable maybe?


I can't stand the piece.  YMMV.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #458 on: July 04, 2020, 04:47:39 AM »





These seven discs represent one of the main draws of the Naxos Beethoven edition.  Here are seven discs spread across two releases that I likely would never have purchased otherwise.  I have a reasonably nice collection of art songs, but it is dominated first by Schubert (very rightly so), and then by various French composers (also rightly so).  Until this set, I had acquired only a handful of Beethoven songs sung by Heinrich Schlusnus in one volume of the prior DG Beethoven Edition, which was purchased expressly for the Annie Fischer and Ferenc Fricay recording of the C Minor concerto, and only one measly complete disc of Beethoven songs from the L'Oiseau-Lyre classical era big-box which was purchased expressly for the Malcolm Binns sonata cycle.  (Those evil transnational corporations literally forced me to buy a doorstop box.  I may never forgive the shifty execs who ran the company at the time.)  For this collection, even Mr Heymann didn't opt to commission all new recordings, instead opting to license a blob of them from Brilliant Classics.  (And another blob from Capriccio, coming later.)  Whatever works. 

Anyway, there are too many small songs spread across too many discs to really do an in-depth summation.  Rather, I can just report that Beethoven, author of some of the most radical and revolutionary music, music that smashed the strictures and limits of forms of the day in works like Op 55, and the visionary genius who pointed the way to the future in works like Op 131 while transcending feeble human limits of musical expression, also penned nifty, tuneful miniatures.  Having not listened to pretty much any of these works, and not reading any liner notes or anything online, I came in expecting serious and weighty songs for piano and vocalist, but instead I was greeted by something novel - and not coronavirus: Beethoven set his renditions of folk tunes mostly for soloist and piano trio.  How about that?  And wouldn't you know - and really you should - the combination works splendidly.  Beethoven provides lovely support from the piano, but the strings add an additional lightness, an additional sweetness in places, and an additional sense of subdued prankishness in places.  The tunefulness approaches Schubertian goodness in places, too.  The music is unmistakably Beethoven's, as some common figurations, phrasing, key choices, and so forth make their appearance, but it is lighter, funner Beethoven.  And how great is it to hear Beethoven's music supporting English texts, very ably sung and very easily understandable on top of all of that, including a proper setting of Auld Lang Syne?  It's pretty freakin' great, that's how great it is. 

Recordings involve many artists over decades, so sound quality varies, but that's perfectly fine.  Here's a big chunk of music that justifies the purchase all by itself.
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 Florestan

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #459 on: July 04, 2020, 06:43:22 AM »
Beethoven set his renditions of folk tunes mostly for soloist and piano trio.  How about that?  And wouldn't you know - and really you should - the combination works splendidly. 

Nothing new under the sun. Ask one Joseph Haydn.  ;D
"Melody is the essence of music." --- Mozart