Author Topic: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.  (Read 1571 times)

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Offline Irons

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The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« on: December 23, 2021, 07:52:23 AM »
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2021, 10:37:45 AM »
I did have a hunch it was going to be Elgar's Cello Concerto, but for me that work pales in comparison with Schnittke's Cello Concerto No. 1 and Pettersson's Violin Concerto No. 2 in terms of sadness and deep sorrow and even demonstrations of physical pain. Now, they are incredibly sad!
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2021, 10:47:14 AM »
I watched that video a few days ago (Youtube's algorithms did figure out I might be interested.  0:)
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2021, 11:40:45 AM »
https://youtu.be/Scba4avQ-t0
Thank you for posting that Irons.  I know that I've mentioned it before, but that concerto really gets to me.  NPR often play it during their fund drives (du Pré one) which always brings me to tears.  The Finzi one too often effects me this way probably in part to also knowing that he was struggling with his own health battles.  :'(

I did have a hunch it was going to be Elgar's Cello Concerto, but for me that work pales in comparison with Schnittke's Cello Concerto No. 1 and Pettersson's Violin Concerto No. 2 in terms of sadness and deep sorrow and even demonstrations of physical pain. Now, they are incredibly sad!
I don't know Schnittke's Cello Concerto No. 1 nor the Pettersson VC No. 2.  Will have to check them out.   :) or should that be  :( ?

PD

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2021, 05:15:31 PM »
I don't know Schnittke's Cello Concerto No. 1 nor the Pettersson VC No. 2.  Will have to check them out.   :) or should that be  :( ?

PD

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Offline Irons

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2021, 01:44:33 AM »
Thank you for posting that Irons.  I know that I've mentioned it before, but that concerto really gets to me.  NPR often play it during their fund drives (du Pré one) which always brings me to tears.  The Finzi one too often effects me this way probably in part to also knowing that he was struggling with his own health battles.  :'(
I don't know Schnittke's Cello Concerto No. 1 nor the Pettersson VC No. 2.  Will have to check them out.   :) or should that be  :( ?

PD

The work's association with du Pre adds poignancy.

Like you PD I have not heard the Schnittke and Pettersson works - I know Jeffrey has championed the latter in the past. I am sure there are many others, but sadness takes many forms. The Pettersson pieces I have heard are sadness tinged by personal bitterness. Where I think the Elgar may be unique is a lighter more melancholy sadness. Which I realize goes against the video's title.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 01:50:20 AM by Irons »
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2021, 11:03:53 AM »
Pettersson VC No.2
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2021, 12:45:43 PM »
Pettersson VC No.2
So, now the vote is 2-2 (though to be fair, S.A. didn't pick one specifically  :D ).

PD

Offline amw

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2021, 01:26:59 PM »
It's hard for me to think of any "sad" concertos offhand—I would not name the Elgar or the Pettersson (and probably not the Schnittke either). I've found Elliott Carter's Piano Concerto and Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto quite moving at times, but partly because they go through a variety of moods with only the endings being tragic. By comparison, among Schnittke's pieces the Concerto for Mixed Choir is his most demonstratively sad piece, but the overall effect ends up being quite cathartic, and this is true of most pieces that are "sad" from the very beginning, I think. Possibly the most archetypical example I can think of is Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2: sadness as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and a final variation that transcends all human emotion or experience.

A choice that does very strongly depend on the manner of performance is Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503 (also No. 27, K. 595). This is sadness as a kind of endless melancholy, smiling through tears and putting on a brave face for the world and having a stiff upper lip and whatever, but if you chop either piece up into its component four-bar phrases with too much attention paid to surface details and not enough to the long line, you can trivialise them into the china doll faux-naïveté that most people want out of their Mozart.

Offline Jo498

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2021, 04:33:11 AM »
Hartmann: Concerto Funebre
although this is a bit more "public" like Shostakovich's 8th quartet or so.
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Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline Cato

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2021, 07:56:33 AM »

Hartmann: Concerto Funebre

although this is a bit more "public" like Shostakovich's 8th quartet or so.


My first thought!


Followed by...(although some might consider it more cathartic than "the saddest"...)



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cQeP7GH9ZEk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cQeP7GH9ZEk</a>


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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2021, 09:16:45 AM »
My first thought!


Followed by...(although some might consider it more cathartic than "the saddest"...)



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cQeP7GH9ZEk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cQeP7GH9ZEk</a>

Great choice, Cato! I LOVE the Berg Violinkonzert!
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Offline JBS

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2021, 09:23:36 AM »
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto Number 2 KV unknown

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2021, 07:51:46 AM »
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto Number 2 KV unknown

This is a sad one  :-\

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2021, 01:05:28 PM »
My pick would be Shostakovich's 1st VC. A haunting work tinged with heartbreak, but also despair.
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Offline The new erato

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Re: The Saddest Concerto of All Time.
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2021, 02:11:55 PM »
My pick would be Shostakovich's 1st VC. A haunting work tinged with heartbreak, but also despair.
lndeed. Add the Schnitke and Pettersson mention ed earlier, though the first may be more desperate, and the second ending with a ray of hope.