Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 237305 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1540 on: July 05, 2021, 06:51:33 PM »
Jean Huré (1877-1930): Piano Quintet (1913)



https://youtu.be/OTPuNfkVV6Q

*MASTERPIECE ALERT!!!* I had listened to this work before a few years ago, and my very positive memories were reinforced yesterday. Words fail me as to how a work of this stature should be so utterly unknown?! My God, this has to be one of the most ineffably beautiful, life-affirming works in the chamber music repertoire. It's in one single movement with multiple sub-sections, lasting a total of half an hour. The pastoral opening conjures up images of the French countryside on a bright, breezy summer morning; it's so incredibly evocative with really cool pizzicato and col legno effects in the strings. Towards the middle of the work, the music becomes much more dramatic and sometimes mysterious, and in the sunset-like coda, the music of the opening returns in a most touching way. Huré really creates a sense of "journey" throughout the work and the end feels like a true "homecoming".

Sacrilege, perhaps, but I prefer this work to - say - Fauré's two revered works in the medium, both of which I still find quite elusive. I am dying to hear more of Huré's music - his worklist includes, amongst other things, three symphonies, a concerto each for violin and cello, four cello sonatas, and two string quartets - but there is nothing available besides the accompanying Violin Sonata on this disc (which I have yet to hear) and one of the cello sonatas on another. This is a situation that needs to be rectified immediately - are you listening, record companies?? On the evidence of this Quintet alone, Huré is clearly a major composer who demands rediscovery. As I've said in another post, I've tried to be more critical in my listening recently to determine which works are truly deserving of being called a "masterpiece" and/or "unjustly forgotten" - words that tend to get "thrown around" a lot. But, IMO, in the case of Huré's magnificent Quintet, both of these descriptors are quite warranted! :)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 07:11:09 PM by kyjo »
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Brewski

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1541 on: July 05, 2021, 07:02:58 PM »
Thanks, I had a spare minute, am listening now, and I agree, it's gorgeous.

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Offline Irons

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1542 on: July 05, 2021, 11:42:33 PM »
Ideal listening for a rainy morning.

Frightening how much gorgeous music of composers I have not heard of! Thanks for posting, Kyjo.
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Offline André

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1543 on: July 06, 2021, 07:03:58 AM »
Ideal listening for a rainy morning.

Frightening how much gorgeous music of composers I have not heard of! Thanks for posting, Kyjo.

+1

Another one to keep an eye for !

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1544 on: July 06, 2021, 07:23:10 AM »
It's lovely Kyjo!  A bit surprised though to read that Fauré's works haven't yet clicked with you.  I have one with Domus which I really like.  Have you heard those recordings?  Also, do you like any other Fauré pieces of music?

PD

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1545 on: July 06, 2021, 07:46:01 AM »
Jean Huré (1877-1930): Piano Quintet (1913)



https://youtu.be/OTPuNfkVV6Q

*MASTERPIECE ALERT!!!* I had listened to this work before a few years ago, and my very positive memories were reinforced yesterday. Words fail me as to how a work of this stature should be so utterly unknown?! My God, this has to be one of the most ineffably beautiful, life-affirming works in the chamber music repertoire. It's in one single movement with multiple sub-sections, lasting a total of half an hour. The pastoral opening conjures up images of the French countryside on a bright, breezy summer morning; it's so incredibly evocative with really cool pizzicato and col legno effects in the strings. Towards the middle of the work, the music becomes much more dramatic and sometimes mysterious, and in the sunset-like coda, the music of the opening returns in a most touching way. Huré really creates a sense of "journey" throughout the work and the end feels like a true "homecoming".

Sacrilege, perhaps, but I prefer this work to - say - Fauré's two revered works in the medium, both of which I still find quite elusive. I am dying to hear more of Huré's music - his worklist includes, amongst other things, three symphonies, a concerto each for violin and cello, four cello sonatas, and two string quartets - but there is nothing available besides the accompanying Violin Sonata on this disc (which I have yet to hear) and one of the cello sonatas on another. This is a situation that needs to be rectified immediately - are you listening, record companies?? On the evidence of this Quintet alone, Huré is clearly a major composer who demands rediscovery. As I've said in another post, I've tried to be more critical in my listening recently to determine which works are truly deserving of being called a "masterpiece" and/or "unjustly forgotten" - words that tend to get "thrown around" a lot. But, IMO, in the case of Huré's magnificent Quintet, both of these descriptors are quite warranted! :)

Thanks for the heads-up - a completely unknown (to me) name.  Interested to see on IMSLP there are 2 String Quartets and a Cello Sonata(!) too and the Piano Quintet coupling on this disc can be heard on YouTube as well (the 2nd violinist ignores nearly all the dynamic and expressive markings in the opening - but plays beautifully!)

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1546 on: July 06, 2021, 04:36:31 PM »
I remember hearing the Huré long ago. It's absolutely enchanting. I had to listen to it again on the strength of what Kyle and others have posted. Lovely stuff.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1547 on: July 06, 2021, 06:15:41 PM »
It's lovely Kyjo!  A bit surprised though to read that Fauré's works haven't yet clicked with you.  I have one with Domus which I really like.  Have you heard those recordings?  Also, do you like any other Fauré pieces of music?

PD

It's mainly Fauré's two piano quintets that haven't quite clicked with me yet; don't get me wrong, I don't dislike them at all, and they do have some beautiful and memorable moments. However, I do find them harmonically elusive and emotionally quite subdued - which is not a bad thing at all, as it's probably what Fauré intended. They are certainly works that require attentive listening and cannot be used as background music. (I have heard the Domus and a few other recordings.) I do have a great affection for several of Fauré's other works, particularly the Requiem, both piano quartets (especially the first), the Piano Trio, and both violin sonatas.

P.S. Pleased to read that the Huré was a hit with so many of you! :)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 06:18:11 PM by kyjo »
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1548 on: July 06, 2021, 06:39:06 PM »
Foss: Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2



The music of Lukas Foss doesn't receive much mention on this forum, much less anywhere else, but he was definitely a significant composer if these two piano concerti from early in his career are any indication. I've read that his later style is much more "difficult" and avant-garde, but these two concerti are fabulously attractive and inventive works written in a very personal neo-classical style - they really don't particularly sound like anyone else. IMO, they can stand in the company of the greatest 20th century piano concerti. Here's Amazon reviewer G.D.'s assessment of the music, which I very much agree with:


"Although these piano concertos may not be entirely representative of the composer - they are both relatively early works - they are marvelous creations, brimful of ideas and inventive twists and turns. The first concerto was originally composed for clarinet in 1939 (when the composer was seventeen) and reworked for piano in 1943. While not the most original work of its time - Hindemith looms large - it is nevertheless delightful. The first movement is very much reminiscent of Prokofiev's somewhat ambiguously smiling neo-classicism, thematically memorable and exuberant, flowing over with ideas. The slow movement is simply beautiful despite (or because of) its often spicy harmonies. The finale is ebullient, bright and colorful, full of brilliant virtuoso passages; at the time of the culmination one has to conclude that Foss's concerto doesn't contain a single passage that is less than hugely enjoyable and attractive.

The second concerto dates from 1950, and by this time Foss has moved toward a more personal style - indebted to Stravinsky, to be sure, but still recognizable as an individual voice. It is more ambitious than the first concerto, and also more complex, but no less rewarding. The opening movement is dramatic, painted with bold strokes yet full of dazzling virtuoso passages. While the first movement tends toward the romantic, the slow movement is more obviously detached (in the manner of Stravinsky); yet it makes a deep impact, as does the vital, vivacious finale, the most "American"-sounding of the movements. Overall, this is again a superbly engaging work, imaginative, colorful, and memorable.

The performances are scintillating, and both soloists (Jon Nakamatsu in the first, Yakov Kasman in the second) turn in brilliant, even thrilling, handlings of the solo parts. They are excellently accompanied by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra under Carl St. Clair. "
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline André

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1549 on: July 07, 2021, 05:42:23 AM »
+1 to everything you wrote, Kyle !  :)

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1550 on: July 11, 2021, 03:39:53 PM »
Yesterday I was on a mini-marathon listening to some first symphonies, and I stumbled upon two rediscoveries of a high caliber. These are not first listens to these works, of course, but I have to say I was blown away by these symphonies:

Wellesz: Symphony No. 1

I can't believe I didn't have memories of this astounding work. It has some echoes of Mahler, yet this piece has more fierceness and more edge. It's in three movements, where the first two contain the energy and drive (btw, the ending of the 1st movement is tremendous), whilst the 3rd one is the slow movement of significant depth, to the point of being touching.




Scriabin: Symphony No. 1 in E major

What spectacularly ravishing it is!!! I swear I didn't know why I didn't have this work in higher esteem. Something to indulge yourself, to wallow in sheer opulence and gorgeous lyricism. This performance does full justice to the greatness of this majestic work. I enjoyed the slow movements the most. The most fascinating music is in them.

Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1551 on: July 14, 2021, 05:56:57 AM »
Yesterday I was on a mini-marathon listening to some first symphonies, and I stumbled upon two rediscoveries of a high caliber. These are not first listens to these works, of course, but I have to say I was blown away by these symphonies:

Wellesz: Symphony No. 1

I can't believe I didn't have memories of this astounding work. It has some echoes of Mahler, yet this piece has more fierceness and more edge. It's in three movements, where the first two contain the energy and drive (btw, the ending of the 1st movement is tremendous), whilst the 3rd one is the slow movement of significant depth, to the point of being touching.




Scriabin: Symphony No. 1 in E major

What spectacularly ravishing it is!!! I swear I didn't know why I didn't have this work in higher esteem. Something to indulge yourself, to wallow in sheer opulence and gorgeous lyricism. This performance does full justice to the greatness of this majestic work. I enjoyed the slow movements the most. The most fascinating music is in them.



The final movements of both of those symphonies are the highlights for me. That of the Wellesz is quite moving in a neo-Brucknerian/Mahlerian sort of way, and that of the Scriabin is an ecstatic paean to life.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1552 on: July 24, 2021, 08:40:05 AM »
Khachaturian: Symphony no. 1 (LSO/Tjeknavorian)

https://youtu.be/DE6t0E5WCSw

WOW! I had previously only heard Tjeknavorian’s recording with the Armenian Philharmonic on ASV, which is certainly not as great as this one with the LSO. Jeffrey/vandermolen has been absolutely right in saying it’s a travesty that this performance has never been reissued on CD - so thank you Rodders for uploading it to YT!

As for the work itself, the first movement is so utterly magnificent that the following two movements, fine as they are, don’t quite live up to it IMO. The finale does, undoubtedly, have a rather start-and-stop feel at times. But, my God, that first movement!! It contains some of the most intoxicatingly colorful, rhythmically vital, and thrilling music I know, building up a real head of steam as it progresses. I also noticed that the work lacks the occasional crude bombast that can infiltrate many of K’s later works - much as I enjoy them. I cannot understand why - despite Khachaturian being a reasonably well-known composer - this magnificent symphony of his has only received one CD recording!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 08:44:59 AM by kyjo »
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1553 on: July 24, 2021, 10:06:17 AM »
Khachaturian: Symphony no. 1 (LSO/Tjeknavorian)

https://youtu.be/DE6t0E5WCSw

WOW! I had previously only heard Tjeknavorian’s recording with the Armenian Philharmonic on ASV, which is certainly not as great as this one with the LSO. Jeffrey/vandermolen has been absolutely right in saying it’s a travesty that this performance has never been reissued on CD - so thank you Rodders for uploading it to YT!

As for the work itself, the first movement is so utterly magnificent that the following two movements, fine as they are, don’t quite live up to it IMO. The finale does, undoubtedly, have a rather start-and-stop feel at times. But, my God, that first movement!! It contains some of the most intoxicatingly colorful, rhythmically vital, and thrilling music I know, building up a real head of steam as it progresses. I also noticed that the work lacks the occasional crude bombast that can infiltrate many of K’s later works - much as I enjoy them. I cannot understand why - despite Khachaturian being a reasonably well-known composer - this magnificent symphony of his has only received one CD recording!

It's not the only CD recording. There is this too:



I heard a bit of that video on YouTube, but it has some clicks that somehow annoy me.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1554 on: July 24, 2021, 03:43:17 PM »
It's not the only CD recording. There is this too:



I heard a bit of that video on YouTube, but it has some clicks that somehow annoy me.

Thanks Cesar - I wasn’t aware of that one! I’ll be giving it a spin soon.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff