Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 262526 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #600 on: February 27, 2015, 06:55:01 AM »
I admit compared to most of you I am a dabbler in this repertory.  But I have listened to a lot of it over a long stretch of time.  I find it a little odd that your opinions of the Hilliard group's recording of Ockeghem is so negative.  Apparently the very things I love about their performance, you dislike, e.g. "cold and clinical", which I would describe as clean, restrained and entirely suited to the music.

 :-\


Offline The new erato

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #601 on: February 27, 2015, 08:25:47 AM »
I admit compared to most of you I am a dabbler in this repertory.  But I have listened to a lot of it over a long stretch of time.  I find it a little odd that your opinions of the Hilliard group's recording of Ockeghem is so negative.  Apparently the very things I love about their performance, you dislike, e.g. "cold and clinical", which I would describe as clean, restrained and entirely suited to the music.

 :-\
I like it gritty, as in sung by real people, not angels. Which is also an effect of using a smaller number of voices in an more intimate acoustic. A personal preference and view I've come to after listening to this music for 40 years. Which doesn't mean you have to agree. But after hearing this music sung by Singer Pur, Capella Pratensis, The Sound and Fury, Cinquecento etc the traditional English choral style just seems mostly dull to me in this strictly polyphonic music, beautiful, but lacking sentiment.  And it also blurs the sense of the polyphonic lines so important in this music.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 08:27:34 AM by The new erato »

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #602 on: February 27, 2015, 08:35:07 AM »
I like it gritty, as in sung by real people, not angels. Which is also an effect of using a smaller number of voices in an more intimate acoustic. A personal preference and view I've come to after listening to this music for 40 years. Which doesn't mean you have to agree. But after hearing this music sung by Singer Pur, Capella Pratensis, The Sound and Fury, Cinquecento etc the traditional English choral style just seems mostly dull to me in this strictly polyphonic music, beautiful, but lacking sentiment.  And it also blurs the sense of the polyphonic lines so important in this music.

Understood.  Of the groups you mention, only The Sound and Fury are unknown to me, and do not seem to be on Spotify.  Singer Pur is the the most recent new group I've  listened to.  Can't say I'm overwhelmed yet.  But, I prefer all male groups.  I also have an ongoing interest in the Hilliard Ensemble because of their performance outside of the Early Music repertory.

Thanks for your comments, I do consider myself while not an outright novice regarding music from these periods, at least not anywhere near as expert as you and Que, and others who contribute to this topic.

Offline North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #603 on: February 27, 2015, 08:41:15 AM »
I like it gritty, as in sung by real people, not angels. Which is also an effect of using a smaller number of voices in an more intimate acoustic. A personal preference and view I've come to after listening to this music for 40 years. Which doesn't mean you have to agree. But after hearing this music sung by Singer Pur, Capella Pratensis, The Sound and Fury, Cinquecento etc the traditional English choral style just seems mostly dull to me in this strictly polyphonic music, beautiful, but lacking sentiment.  And it also blurs the sense of the polyphonic lines so important in this music.
Agreed, but I'm not sure 'gritty' is the right word. The sound of one voice per part ensembles (or the odd great ones with two voices) is more direct of course, with the ensemble being more together and not making every dynamic change gradual.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #604 on: February 27, 2015, 08:47:38 AM »
Actually, I guess The Sound an Fury are on Spotify, but from the CD covers I thought they were different band with the same name; a punk rock band.

 ;D

Offline North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #605 on: February 27, 2015, 08:55:06 AM »
Actually, I guess The Sound an Fury are on Spotify, but from the CD covers I thought they were different band with the same name; a punk rock band.

 ;D
:laugh:
Yeah, those covers are really something.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #606 on: February 27, 2015, 09:19:29 AM »
Agreed, but I'm not sure 'gritty' is the right word. The sound of one voice per part ensembles (or the odd great ones with two voices) is more direct of course, with the ensemble being more together and not making every dynamic change gradual.

If I am not mistaken, The Hilliard do utilize OVPP for most of their early recordings, and I am pretty sure their recording of the  Ockeghem Requiem is OVPP.  The recording was made in a church, and quite reverberant, this can undermine the clarify of each voice, but does enhance the ensemble blend.

Offline North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #607 on: February 27, 2015, 09:36:52 AM »
If I am not mistaken, The Hilliard do utilize OVPP for most of their early recordings, and I am pretty sure their recording of the  Ockeghem Requiem is OVPP.  The recording was made in a church, and quite reverberant, this can undermine the clarify of each voice, but does enhance the ensemble blend.
'Ensemble blend' - apart from timing - isn't necessarily a good thing though, if it means that the individual lines can't be followed. In any case, I wasn't commenting on the Hilliard recording, and instead took what Erato said on a more general level.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #608 on: February 27, 2015, 09:42:09 AM »
I suppose it comes down to what we are looking for in the performance of this music.  For me, I prefer a meditative and ephemeral sound that serves to quiet the mind - I am seeking the music to be an inducement to the spiritual, which is how I understand the music to have been written. 

To the extent an ensemble wishes to make the music "gritty", it probably will not appeal to me.

Offline North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #609 on: February 27, 2015, 10:06:50 AM »
I suppose it comes down to what we are looking for in the performance of this music.  For me, I prefer a meditative and ephemeral sound that serves to quiet the mind - I am seeking the music to be an inducement to the spiritual, which is how I understand the music to have been written.
I'm sure that's a part of why I listen to early music as well.
Quote
To the extent an ensemble wishes to make the music "gritty", it probably will not appeal to me.
'Gritty' is not something I look for either.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #610 on: February 28, 2015, 01:30:28 AM »
I suppose it comes down to what we are looking for in the performance of this music.  For me, I prefer a meditative and ephemeral sound that serves to quiet the mind - I am seeking the music to be an inducement to the spiritual, which is how I understand the music to have been written. 

To the extent an ensemble wishes to make the music "gritty", it probably will not appeal to me.

I would say earthy or more human than angelic. There is more to the issue about some of British ensembles than just OVPP. It is about the choral/ ensemble sound, particularly the male voices - both low and high, it is about phrasing, diction. Music is usually transposed upwards to accomadate the taste for a higher , more "angelic" sound of choirs with larger propotions of female voices and male altos. (Just listen to the grumbling basses in  the Huelgas ensemble in comparison) It is simply not always idiomatic or authentic....

Please don't mind me and enjoy nonetheless,  I am simply pointing out that there is more out there and it might be of interest to you. :)
Ockeghem by the French Ensemble Musica Nova or Ensemble Organum, or De la Rue by the Flemish ensemble Capilla Flamenca can be a very satisfying experience.

Q

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #611 on: February 28, 2015, 05:08:24 PM »
I would say earthy or more human than angelic. There is more to the issue about some of British ensembles than just OVPP. It is about the choral/ ensemble sound, particularly the male voices - both low and high, it is about phrasing, diction. Music is usually transposed upwards to accomadate the taste for a higher , more "angelic" sound of choirs with larger propotions of female voices and male altos. (Just listen to the grumbling basses in  the Huelgas ensemble in comparison) It is simply not always idiomatic or authentic....

Please don't mind me and enjoy nonetheless,  I am simply pointing out that there is more out there and it might be of interest to you. :)
Ockeghem by the French Ensemble Musica Nova or Ensemble Organum, or De la Rue by the Flemish ensemble Capilla Flamenca can be a very satisfying experience.

Q

I only have heard Dufay by Ensemble Musica Nova (like it a lot), but I heard a fairly significant mount from Ensemble Organum, which I also enjoy.  I have heard Capilla Flamenca on this compilation set:



I was not trying to argue for the Hilliard Ensemble as much as trying to gain an insight as to your and other's reasons for being negative. 

Thanks for your post.

Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #612 on: March 01, 2015, 12:41:40 AM »
I was not trying to argue for the Hilliard Ensemble as much as trying to gain an insight as to your and other's reasons for being negative. 

Thanks for your post.

You are welcome. :)

The British deserve a lot of credit for being pioneers  in the Early Music scene and had a great tradition to build on. But practices and perceptions have shifted since those days. Some ensembles have adapted their ways when performing certain repertoire, singing in smaller forces, using more authenic diction and refrain from transposing the music upwards. But its seems to be complicated to deciphere what is what. Keep an eye on the reviews by Giordano Bruno on Amazon, he is well informed. :)

Q

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #613 on: March 01, 2015, 01:18:04 AM »
Nice discussion! This is opening my eyes to some extent. I went straight for the British stuff because that was what I had heard of, and is most readily available.  I suspect that the homogeneity, and hence my tendency to only like the music in smaller doses (as I mentioned in an earlier post), is exactly due to the criticisms voiced.  It is lovely and very well done, but (for me anyway) is like a really sweet beverage--at first sip I'm delighted, but soon want something else to actually satisfy my thirst. 
It's all good...

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #614 on: March 01, 2015, 12:56:08 PM »
I like this a lot - curious about other views


Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #615 on: March 03, 2015, 11:17:07 AM »
De Fevin : Requiem d'Anne De Bretagne
Doulce Memoire


Offline aligreto

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #616 on: March 03, 2015, 02:57:33 PM »
I am relatively new to this board and I am delighted to have discovered this thread. I like Early Music but I really do not know a lot about it relative to other eras. I therefore look forward to spending some time reading this thread in order to enlighten myself and further educate myself in the beauties of this sound world.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #617 on: March 03, 2015, 04:00:18 PM »
I like this a lot - curious about other views



I do not have that Ciconia disc, but I love that ensemble on the basis of this special disc by them (appropriately containing (Italian) Ars Nova):



Q

Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #618 on: March 03, 2015, 04:05:50 PM »
De Fevin : Requiem d'Anne De Bretagne
Doulce Memoire



I am jealous!  ??? :) That has on my shopping list forever.... ::)
Just in case you don't already have, it a recommendation of a set with two of their other reocrdings:



Q


Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #619 on: March 03, 2015, 04:52:04 PM »
Q,

Thanks for the other recommendations;  both recordings are on Spotify, as well as this one of Landini:



 :)