Author Topic: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)  (Read 528552 times)

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Lilas Pastia

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #600 on: April 15, 2008, 04:17:21 PM »
That's the second time now within just a few posts that you go "this guy knows a lot about classical music, so he must be right" and "I don't think these people were wrong". The point of a discussion forum is to share and discuss *your* opinions, not report those of others.

I may be wrong, but I think a lot of first-timers form an opinion out of some sort of consensus. First reaction is often to open the morning papers to find out what the professional critic wrote. And eventually buy a Penguin guide or something similar. Useful, but ultimately not conducive to helping forge an informed opinion. It can take years to shake these habits.

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #601 on: April 16, 2008, 05:58:21 AM »
Tomorrow night:

eighth blackbird
Susan Marshall, Stage Direction

Steve Reich: Double Sextet (NY Premiere, Co-commissioned by The Carnegie Hall Corporation
David Lang/Michael Gordon/Julia Wolfe: singing in the dead of night (NY Premiere; with stage direction by Susan Marshall)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

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Offline Brian

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #602 on: April 17, 2008, 08:10:37 PM »
Just opened my school's newspaper to see what kind of edits my opera review was subjected to. Mostly they left what I had written intact, but for some reason half of the final sentence got cut off, so that the whole conclusion is completely nonsensical.

Original final sentence:

"Music lovers who have never seen an opera before should take warning before hearing her [soprano Ana Maria Martinez]: they might just fall in love."

New final sentence:

"Music lovers who have never seen an opera before should take warning before hearing her:"      [that's it, no period even]

Ha! Ha! Uh ... is that funny?  ??? I prefer to think of it as postmodern absurdism.

Offline toledobass

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #603 on: April 18, 2008, 03:40:41 AM »
Ouch, Brian.....

guess she's not gonna be able to use that in here bio materials!!!!


Allan

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #604 on: April 18, 2008, 05:03:08 AM »
Just opened my school's newspaper to see what kind of edits my opera review was subjected to. Mostly they left what I had written intact, but for some reason half of the final sentence got cut off, so that the whole conclusion is completely nonsensical.

Original final sentence:

"Music lovers who have never seen an opera before should take warning before hearing her [soprano Ana Maria Martinez]: they might just fall in love."

New final sentence:

"Music lovers who have never seen an opera before should take warning before hearing her:"      [that's it, no period even]

Ha! Ha! Uh ... is that funny?  ??? I prefer to think of it as postmodern absurdism.

Well isn't that ridiculous!  Sorry that your well-designed structure got torpedoed... :(

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #605 on: April 18, 2008, 05:09:23 AM »
"Music lovers who have never seen an opera before should take warning before hearing her:"      [that's it, no period even]

Ha! Ha! Uh ... is that funny?  ??? I prefer to think of it as postmodern absurdism.

I hope they correct that in the next edition. Your editor is an idiot.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #606 on: April 18, 2008, 11:58:51 AM »
Tomorrow night, this all-Stravinsky evening.  Repertoire aside, the interesting thing is the venue: the vast Park Avenue Armory (check the photo gallery!).  I've never been to a concert there, so I have no idea what the sound will be like. 

Stravinsky Festival

Vox Vocal Ensemble
Gotham City Orchestra
George Steel, conductor

Symphony of Psalms (1930)
Mass (1944-48)
Requiem Canticles (1965-66)
Variations (Aldous Huxley in memoriam) (1963-64)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline edward

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #607 on: April 18, 2008, 12:47:26 PM »
Tomorrow night, this all-Stravinsky evening.  Repertoire aside, the interesting thing is the venue: the vast Park Avenue Armory (check the photo gallery!).  I've never been to a concert there, so I have no idea what the sound will be like. 

Stravinsky Festival

Vox Vocal Ensemble
Gotham City Orchestra
George Steel, conductor

Symphony of Psalms (1930)
Mass (1944-48)
Requiem Canticles (1965-66)
Variations (Aldous Huxley in memoriam) (1963-64)

--Bruce
OK, I'm envious. Three of my favourite Stravinsky works on one concert.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Daedalus

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #608 on: April 20, 2008, 02:03:55 AM »
Tonight I am seeing Valery Gergiev conduct the LSO at the Barbican in a performance of Strauss' Metamorphosen and Mahler's Symphony No. 2.  8)

I don't know much about the former piece of music, which I have just downloaded to have a quick listen to before I go, but I cannot wait to hear Symphony No. 2!

So far Gergiev's Mahler cycle has been hit (great 7th and 1st) and miss (average 5th). I think I will find out just how good a Mahler interpreter Gergiev is tonight with the fantastic and complex 2nd.

Anyone else going?

D.


M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #609 on: April 20, 2008, 08:45:29 AM »
I wouldn't mind going but I am in Boston right now, that's kind of a long drive. Although I wouldn't be too keen to go to a concert at the Barbican, that hall totally sucks. Metamorphosen and Mahler 2? There may be a vague connection there between the two pieces because both are about loss and all that, but I think the symphony itself is quite enough. I haven't heard any Mahler conducted by Gergiev yet, but I am downloading the 3rd symphony right now a friend gave me a recording of the 3rd, so I guess I will listen to that later.

Daedalus

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #610 on: April 20, 2008, 02:22:30 PM »
Although I wouldn't be too keen to go to a concert at the Barbican, that hall totally sucks.

What have you got against the Barbican?  ???
I love that place!  :) It's my nearest major arts centre and the nearest place for me to get to see classical music live!
I don't actually live in London but I travel in by train and it's really the closest place for me to get to. Plus, the LSO are fantastic.

Quote
Metamorphosen and Mahler 2? There may be a vague connection there between the two pieces because both are about loss and all that, but I think the symphony itself is quite enough.

I think the connection between the pieces is a juxtaposition of darkness and light, plus despair and hope.
Metamorphosen is a doleful, melancholy piece for 23 strings expressing a great sadness at the end of WW2 and particularly of the death of culture and arts in Germany due to the atrocities. I have to say I really enjoyed this piece of music, having only listened to it twice before hearing it played at the concert.

Symphony no. 2 was just superb in my opinion. The first movement and third movement were excellently orchestrated by Gergiev in particular. I felt it nearly lost its way towards the end. But otherwise, there were many spine tingling moments for me and I felt that the LSO got everything just right (how I like it anyway!)

The only negative was the large amount of people coughing in the audience and not even waiting for a break between movements or a loud bit! Just coughing during the most heart-rendering parts. I wanted to throw them all out!  >:(
London crowds, eh?  ::)

D.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 02:25:48 PM by Daedalus »

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #611 on: April 20, 2008, 02:51:15 PM »
What have you got against the Barbican?  ???

The Barbican Centre as such is pretty nice and the hall has an OK athmosphere, too, but the acoustics are pretty bad, rather dry and muffled, if you sit further away from the orchestra, the music also happens quite far away. There are certainly worse halls, but there are also much better ones.

Metamorphosen is a doleful, melancholy piece for 23 strings expressing a great sadness at the end of WW2 and particularly of the death of culture and arts in Germany due to the atrocities.

It's really more about the widespread destruction of the country and most of its artistic institutions, especially the opera houses in Dresden and Munich during the war. I find it a little eerie when I go to concerts in Boston because Symphony Hall is modelled after the old Gewandhaus in Leipzig - which is gone, like almost all the old opera houses and concert halls. Although the Nazis did indeed also do very massive damage to German culture and art in general, they didn't cause its death - it's still there and alive! And most of the arts institutions have been reconstructed or built new, so Germany still is the country with by far the greatest density of opera houses and concert venues.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 02:54:39 PM by M forever »

Daedalus

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #612 on: April 21, 2008, 12:18:54 AM »
The Barbican Centre as such is pretty nice and the hall has an OK athmosphere, too, but the acoustics are pretty bad, rather dry and muffled, if you sit further away from the orchestra, the music also happens quite far away. There are certainly worse halls, but there are also much better ones.

I'd have to disagree with both of those statements and, in fact, reverse them.  :)
I find the atmosphere to be pretty bad and dry - London audiences often seem apathetic to me.
However, the acoustics are excellent as far as I am concerned and I don't experience any problems when sitting right at the back of the hall (although I prefer to sit somewhere in the middle but prices can dictate   ;D )

Quote
It's really more about the widespread destruction of the country and most of its artistic institutions, especially the opera houses in Dresden and Munich during the war.
Yes, that's pretty much what I said it was about  ;)
But you are absolutely right - the destruction of the artistic institutions, in particular, appears to have been the main motivation behind the dolorous nature of the piece. The quotation in the programme notes was something along the lines of 'Metamorphosen is a threnody for German musical life'. Strauss wrote the words 'In Memoriam!' underneath the score during the grief striken second theme. There is where Gergiev made the link to Symphony No. 2, I believe.

Another interesting point about the piece is that Strauss took the title from Goethe, who used the word metamorphosen to describe his mental development and his evolving complete works.

As I said before, I was rather charmed with the piece.  :)

D.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 12:26:56 AM by Daedalus »

Offline edward

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #613 on: April 21, 2008, 08:16:16 AM »
I wouldn't mind going but I am in Boston right now, that's kind of a long drive. Although I wouldn't be too keen to go to a concert at the Barbican, that hall totally sucks. Metamorphosen and Mahler 2? There may be a vague connection there between the two pieces because both are about loss and all that, but I think the symphony itself is quite enough. I haven't heard any Mahler conducted by Gergiev yet, but I am downloading the 3rd symphony right now a friend gave me a recording of the 3rd, so I guess I will listen to that later.
It's probably a fairly banal observation, but I think the best pairing I've ever heard for Mahler 2 was on the original Double Decca reissue of Mehta's WP recording: preceding it with Schmidt's 4th symphony (one of the most profoundly gloomy yet non-theatrical pieces I know) really does generate a powerful "darkness to light" narrative.

But of course that would be way too long for an actual concert.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #614 on: April 21, 2008, 11:43:57 AM »
However, the acoustics are excellent as far as I am concerned and I don't experience any problems when sitting right at the back of the hall (although I prefer to sit somewhere in the middle but prices can dictate   ;D )

Have you ever been to a really good hall like the Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin? If not, then I can promise you a very, very pleasant surprise about just how good some halls can sound. Not just in terms of timbre, but also dynamic response. You will be overwhelmed by just how much "bigger" that sound can be. The Barbican (and also the Royal Festival Hall) are well known and feared for their mediocre acoustics which is why all the live recordings made in the Barbican are extemely closemiked and very dry (which gives them rather good and clean definition, but also an unpleasant dry boxiness without much athmosphere).

Another interesting point about the piece is that Strauss took the title from Goethe, who used the word metamorphosen to describe his mental development and his evolving complete works.

Interesting observation. I wasn't aware of that reference.

Strauss wrote the words 'In Memoriam!' underneath the score during the grief striken second theme.

I haven't seen the score in many years, but IIRC, those words appear in the score at the end where the lower strings play the funeral march theme from the Eroica which is alluded to throughout the piece, but only appears in its complete original shape there at the end.



Daedalus

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #615 on: April 21, 2008, 12:18:45 PM »
Have you ever been to a really good hall like the Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin? If not, then I can promise you a very, very pleasant surprise about just how good some halls can sound.

No, I must say that I have not been to any of the concert halls you mention.
I do visit different venues, however like I said before, the Barbican is the easiest venue for me to get to. I always enjoy the sound there - it is good enough for me!  ;D
I understand your point but you won't convince me to the contrary because I believe that you must always support your local venue!  ;) 

Quote
Interesting observation. I wasn't aware of that reference.

Yes, apparently Strauss set himself a project to read through his entire works before writing this piece. It's another interesting observation and one that might add to the interpretation of the piece when one considers Strauss's age at the time of composing Metamorphosen. Also, how about the way that the music gradual evolves itself?

Quote
I haven't seen the score in many years, but IIRC, those words appear in the score at the end where the lower strings play the funeral march theme from the Eroica which is alluded to throughout the piece, but only appears in its complete original shape there at the end.

Yes, I noted the Beethoven reference.
I have no doubt you are right about where it is marked upon the manuscript. I was quoting from the programme notes and I may well have got that detail wrong.

Thank you for your comments about Metamophosen. As I said in my opening post, the piece was new to me prior to the concert and I can now turn to it with new knowledge and unlock new meanings.  :)

D.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 12:24:19 PM by Daedalus »

Offline Brian

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #616 on: April 21, 2008, 01:06:47 PM »
I hope they correct that in the next edition. Your editor is an idiot.

Sarge
Update, there is no next edition - it was the last newspaper of the year.  ;D  I've had a lot of people ask me what the sentence was supposed to be...

But, I hope the editor's not an idiot. While they were working on the paper I stopped by and brought them cookies, so I hope I didn't waste any precious dessert materials.  >:( :D

This weekend I am looking forward to seeing a live re-creation of the album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, employing 40 Houston-area musicians, including sitarists, tablas, and more.  8) 8) 8)

Haffner

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #617 on: April 21, 2008, 03:20:48 PM »
I hope I didn't waste any precious dessert materials.  >:( :D



I hate it when that happens!

Lilas Pastia

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #618 on: April 21, 2008, 05:48:52 PM »
Have you ever been to a really good hall like the Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin? If not, then I can promise you a very, very pleasant surprise about just how good some halls can sound. Not just in terms of timbre, but also dynamic response. You will be overwhelmed by just how much "bigger" that sound can be.

I have been many, many times to Montreal Symphony concerts in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier. A huge, ungainly hall where the sound expands grandly, yet fails to fill the expanses with what you imagine should be a tremendous dynamic range (of which the orchestra is certainly capable). Conversely, the somewhat smaller sounding Orchestre Métropolitain fills the church surroundings where it usually plays with almost overwhelming sonic presence. It really is a major factor. One of the most surprising things about attending a concert in one of those great halls (like the Concertgebouw) is that even the tiniest pp sounds project with such a purity of tone and presence that you never feel you're straining to hear even the smallest details. And when they let the stops go, there is a sense of saturation without sonic overload that is simply awesome.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 05:52:49 PM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline stingo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #619 on: April 23, 2008, 06:24:41 AM »
A Musical Space Odyssey
April 12, 2008    ( Sat, 8:00 PM )
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski,  conductor
Nikolaj Znaider,  violin
LIGETI  Atmosphères
BRAHMS  Violin Concerto
R. STRAUSS  Also sprach Zarathustra
J. STRAUSS  "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" Waltz

This was the last concert I heard, but Mr Jurowski was unable to attend due to illness. Roberto Minczuk filled in and did a great job. To be honest, I was really looking forward to hearing Zarathustra live (Dawn was amazing), but I found that the piece I enjoyed hearing the most was the Ligeti. I'm not sure I'd like it as much on a recording, but in the concert hall it really set the mood. Znaider played the Brahms brilliantly, excellently balanced with the orchestra too. Rounding out the program, the Blue Danube waltz was a good way to send people off humming and in good spirits. At the start of each section though, Minczuk had the orchestra start at a slow tempo which quickened to more standard waltz tempo, almost like a music box starting up. I'm not sure if that's in the score, but it was a curious effect. At any rate, a very good evening out. Next up - Mahler's 8th.