Started by Todd, April 06, 2007, 07:22:52 AM
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Quote from: Grazioso on November 14, 2008, 04:03:24 AMOne of the great large-scale Late Romantic symphonies, from c. 1950
Quote from: Todd on December 02, 2008, 04:38:40 PMJoseph Canteloube was not a composer I was looking to explore. But I noticed that one of my favorite singers, Véronique Gens, recorded a disc of his music for Naxos a few years back. So I figured why not? Canteloube is a "modern" composer in that he lived from 1879 to 1957, but the works for voice and orchestra presented in these excerpts from Chants d'Auvergne sound decidedly old-fashion. All of the works are influenced by folk-music, but all are original. Apparently, in the north of France, there were still a lot of stories about sheppards and, especially, sheppardesses early in the 20th Century, and there was a lot of focus on love songs (which I'd buy), as well as frequent use of words like la and lo. Okay, so the song texts aren't necessarily Profound, but they don't necessarily need to be. And indeed, when one listens to the music, profundity would be out of place. The music is generally light, bright, and clean, with delicious wind writing. Indeed, the flute, oboe, and clarinet all get their chance to shine in different songs, and the overall orchestration is usually breezy and always beautiful. Also always beautiful is Ms Gens' singing. Her command of French is absolute, of course, and she knows just how to deliver the words, whether strongly or with a tantalizing breathiness. I just can't get enough of her voice. Jean-Claude Casadesus and the Orchestre National de Lille lend a satisfying Gallic touch to the music, and sound is good, but a bit brighter and glassier than Ms Gens gets from Virgin engineers. A delightful disc.
Quote from: Todd on December 27, 2008, 07:59:55 AMSergey Tanayev isn't a new composer for me. I'd heard one work by him before – the Suite de concert for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 28 from the Oistrakh Edition a few months ago. So this is something of a Tanayev year for me. Anyway, this star-studded disc from DG, anchored by Mikhail Pletnev at the piano, seemed like a nice enough disc to sample. After listening to the Suite and these two works, one word comes immediately to mind: Brahms. The liner notes go to great lengths to point out how Tanayev isn't merely a "Russian Brahms," but that is in fact how the music often sounds. That's not necessarily a bad thing.Both the Piano Quintet and Piano Trio are cut from the same musical cloth. The quintet is the bigger, longer work, and the opening Adagio mesto hints at all the music to come. It's grand in scale – it's reminiscent of some Brahms chamber music if you will – and rich and luxuriant, and rigorous and formal, too. The Scherzo is appropriately clever and fun, and displays some sparkling piano writing which Pletnev delivers quite nicely. The grand Largo is powerful, and perhaps just a tad overly emotive (which is taste-dependent, of course), yet retains rigorous formality. The Finale is somewhat predictable in that it is large, lush, romantic and rigorous. If this all reads like faint praise, it isn't meant to. Much the same can be written about the trio, though here there's a variation movement thrown in, and some of the playing sounds almost schmaltzy at times.
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