Author Topic: Golijov's Gatehouse  (Read 12175 times)

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M forever

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2008, 10:52:32 AM »
Ooh controversy, - did he say why? I haven't heard of Wendy Sutter - I will look her up. I think the central movement is just too long, and aside from the arresting opening figure, it just meanders too much, but maybe a better performance might make it more convincing.

Yes, he did, but I don't remember exactly what he said. I have to ask the concertmaster, he was there when we talked about that, too, maybe his memory is better than mine. I am getting old.  ::)

The performance was also filmed and will be broadcast by UCSD-TV in February. I think that program will also contain comments by Glass and Sutter, and the conductor, Steven Schick. Dunno if the basses can be seen well in the video, but we did have a camera point at us from the other side of the podium, so maybe you can also see the M and its bass section in action. There are actually some very nice passages for the basses in there. So it was definitely a lot of fun to play. Apart from that, I also liked to listen to the music because for me it has a very strong personal voice. It is fairly simple and plain but doesn't sound trite or kitschy to me at all, in fact, it sounds somehow "modern", of our time, but there is a personal element and an expressiveness in there that I miss from a lot of modern pieces.

Offline Guido

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2008, 02:16:58 PM »
I hope someone records it and puts it on Youtube. I live in England, so won't be able to get that channel.
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M forever

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2008, 11:15:21 PM »
I was thinking of getting a copy for myself. I don't know yet if I will pas it on though, that depends on whether I look god in it or not.  ;D

btpaul674

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2008, 08:34:23 PM »
So I met Golijov today as the Contemporary Music Festival has begun this year at OSU. I will provide a very detailed account of what when on through the festival, including many notes from a small seminar he gave to a handful of OSU composers, myself included. What to expect: Insight into his film scoring, personal notes on his Cello Concerto, and what's ahead for Mr. Golijov. I'll post again here after the festival concludes.

Offline andy

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2008, 02:32:42 PM »
So I met Golijov today as the Contemporary Music Festival has begun this year at OSU. I will provide a very detailed account of what when on through the festival, including many notes from a small seminar he gave to a handful of OSU composers, myself included. What to expect: Insight into his film scoring, personal notes on his Cello Concerto, and what's ahead for Mr. Golijov. I'll post again here after the festival concludes.

Right on. I'm looking forward to hearing about it!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2008, 02:39:47 PM »
Right on. I'm looking forward to hearing about it!

Sounds great--I'd be interested to hear about it, too.

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btpaul674

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2008, 01:34:25 PM »
So at The Ohio State University School of Music this past week has been the Contemporary Music Festival featuring guest composer Osvaldo Golijov. The festival is comprised of a series of concerts performing faculty composer works as well as Golijov's chamber, vocal, and orchestral works.

I first met Golijov in a small composer's seminar meeting where he was invited to answer our questions and listen to his music as he shares insight. We first started talking about his soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth which is for strings, percussion, squeezebox (accordion if you will), cimbaloms, and celeste. Woodwinds and brass are absent from the soundtrack. We went listening through most of the tracks, and often Golijov would cite Herrmann and Korngold as influences, and stealing harmonies from Bizet for the love theme. He was also influenced by Messiaen's Illuminations of the Beyond and Bartok's Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta as influences for the track named Powers. He cites Strauss' Metamorphosen for Dr. Rudolph's Dream. As for scoring for films, Golijov was very careful in discerning that he is not a film score composer, just someone who adds sound tracks. He adds,

"Film allows you to explore things I wouldn't explore otherwise."

also,

"a lot of things you think matter a lot in film scoring really don't matter."

In talking about writing a catchy melody for the love theme, he was asked about its possible commercial success. Golijov meandered into jokingly saying,

"I take everything very seriously. If I could write a successful pop song and go away I would, but I am not that talented."

The next topic covered in the seminar was his Cello Concerto Azul which was premiered recently. He brought in his own live recording of Yo-Yo Ma with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The material in his string quartet Tenebrae was the source of the material for Azul. I am aware that this concerto is not yet commercially recorded (I think) but let me tell you, this concerto was intense! It was riddled with beautiful melodies, haunting Golijovian atmospheres, and what he described the ending to be the "End of the Universe." The first movement was a Passacaglia that he desribed "grew organically." We did not listen to the 2nd movement. The third movement is a cello, accordion and percussion scherzo/dance in G Lydian. Golijov describes the piece as if the bowing of the cello were flying, never stopping, and never landing. Golijov jokingly added,

"However I have vertigo, so I would never want to fly myself."

It was a hell of a concerto. Not intended to show virtuosity.

A short question/answer portion rounded out the seminar with questions from the other composers.

Q: Do you ever use a certain methodology when you compose?
A: No, I really don't, but I always know what is going on in the music. For example in the concerto, the use of gravity and modulation of energy, I translated that into notes.

Q: "What is your opera going to be about?"
A: It's a secret.

We do know its going to be premiered in London in '10 and at the Met in '11.

Q: "Can you sum yourself up in a certain phrase like some composers do? (i.e. neo-romantic, mystic, etc)
A: No. I am not molded to any aesthetic." He adds later, "[In music] you can have or add anything you want, its just how you use it. We meandered in conversation a bit and he cited René Leibowitz's article Sibelius: The worst composer ever. Golijov says, Now, well all know who Sibelius is. Hardly anyone here has heard of Leibowitz!

Q: "Will you accept my friend request on myspace?"
A: "I don't have myspace! This, (points to self and general area) is my space!"

Thus ended the seminar.

In part 2 of my posting, I will describe the large convocation Golijov had where I was a panelist at a round-table discussion and an open-mic question/answer session for the entire OSU school of music. Also, the concerts where Yiddishbbuk, Mariel, Levante, Tenebrae, Demos Gracias from La Pasion segun San Marcos , Coral del Arrecife from Oceana, and Lullaby and Doina were performed. Lastly, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra performing Last Round and Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, sung by Jessica Rivera replacing the ill Dawn Upshaw.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 02:04:25 PM by btpaul674 »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2008, 01:42:00 PM »
Thanks, very enjoyable reading.  You must have been very excited to have such a lengthy exchange.  (Love the MySpace comment...)

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Offline knight66

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2008, 03:30:38 AM »
I have been listening to the latest Golijov offering from DG. Oceana.


There are three pieces on the disc. I want to set the title cantata aside for the moment.

The remaining two works are, on their own, worth the entrance price. 'Tenebrae' is in two movements for string quartet, here performed by The Kronos Quartet. Deeply reflective and moving. Seemingly the piece was partly inspired by the famous Couperin Tenebrae setting.  Both movements are slow, the second one has a main theme coming through that is reminiscent of Handel or Bach. If you like Part, you will probably enjoy this piece.

There then follow three orchestrated songs, also tinged with the lachrymose. He is being channeled by Dawn Upshaw as usual, she sounds to be in good voice and deals with the varied vocalisations and languages he asks for. There is Klemzer in the mix, vocalise, lots of Glass-like ostinato. They are very beautiful.

Now, the title piece. This has full orchestra flamenco, kids chorus and an adult chorus who herald in 'Oceana' in the way of RVW's 'Behold the Sea!' There is a deal of counterpoint choral writing followed in the second movement by extended unison. The tone is pretty intense and I feel a bit battered by the piece which to be honest I cannot make much sense of as a narrative; not in terms of words but from the shape of it. It comes across as a number of dispirate movements jammed together, assemble them in any order. The flamenco follows the choral movements, then they all join together for the Third Wave and as everything has been intense, it continues in that vein without there seemingly being anywhere further to go. Eventually we get an aria with just guitar, then his old favourite the tube of seeds being tipped up and down to emulate water. Some of this reminds me of the St Mark piece and that is not a compliment. This moves into chant, then a restatement of the guitar arpeggios from the preceding movement with the soprano again uttering. The final movement opens with those damned seed pipes again and is mainly an exhausted, quiet choral movement with a drifting a'capella finish.

I will continue to listen to it to see if I can get to grips with it. But, really, I know I will be getting a lot more out of the other two pieces on the disc. Again, a bit of a mixed reaction.

BTW, I seem to have lost my much loved Ainadamar disc! I don't suppose any of you guys have seen it have you?

Mike
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 07:37:32 AM by knight »
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Offline Grazioso

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2008, 03:12:49 AM »
After listening to Ainadamar and finding it moderately interesting and enjoyable despite some major problems, I tried Oceana. The title piece struck me as rather pathetic and I shelved the disc in boredom. Guess I should try the other pieces.

So far, Golijov's eclecticism strikes me as rather contrived and hokey, and since that seems to be the most salient feature of his work, based on what I've heard and what I've read about his other pieces, that doesn't bode well.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline knight66

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2008, 05:53:57 AM »
As indicated, I find him a hit or miss composer with nothing in between. He strikes me as being a figure who will polarise, people will go for his stuff big time, or consider it to be rubbish.

Mike
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Offline Grazioso

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2008, 02:26:07 AM »
As indicated, I find him a hit or miss composer with nothing in between. He strikes me as being a figure who will polarise, people will go for his stuff big time, or consider it to be rubbish.

Mike

Well, I found Ainadamar to fall between those extremes :) I think another poster summed it up best: Golijov seems to write sophisticated pop music more than serious classical music in the received tradition.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline jhar26

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2010, 12:26:33 AM »
Many of his compositions are quite appealing, even catchy. Does he worry that this will hurt his classical cred?
Maybe that's the problem with contemporary classical music, or at least with how it's perceived or what's expected of it. The idea that it has to be UN-appealing and that it's creators have to come up with something that's incomprehensible to 99.9% of people in order to be taken seriously by the self-proclaimed judges of what's relevant and what isn't. The mixed reception that Golijov's music gets from these people doesn't come as a surprise to me. They always do a lot of complaining that contemporary music should get more attention, but whenever a living composer has achieved a certain level of success they argue that the composer in question isn't all that he's cracked up to be. They are happy that contemporary music is getting some publicity, but of course the bulk of it shouldn't go to Golijov who's a composer that the average person with an interest in music can appreciate, but to composers who are plink-plonking away in obscurity and who's music is incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't have a masters degree in composition him/herself and who therefore are unlikely to find a substantial audience to begin with.

But anyway - I LOVE Golijov's music, the few things I've heard so far anyway. I liked Ainadamar so much that I immediately pushed the repeat button after my first listen of the cd. Maybe my favorite work (so far) is Three Songs which is included with the Oceana disc. I've ordered Yiddishbbuk a few days ago and La Pasion segun San Marcos is on my wish list.  :)
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2010, 12:46:16 PM »
Maybe that's the problem with contemporary classical music, or at least with how it's perceived or what's expected of it. The idea that it has to be UN-appealing and that it's creators have to come up with something that's incomprehensible to 99.9% of people in order to be taken seriously by the self-proclaimed judges of what's relevant and what isn't.

Rubbish. The complaint I've heard voiced about Golijov's music isn't that it is accessible, but that it is shallow. That is to say, it might entertain audiences during a night's programme, but it has no staying power. Contemporary repertoire is full of pieces that are accessible to the general public but have proven lasting -- Golijov's recent music is often compared unfavourably to Berio's Folk Songs, for example.

See reviews of recordings of Golijov's recent music at Amazon.com. Even ordinary music fans who want accessible, tonal repertoire have felt that some of these pieces are a little too cute.

Quote
They are happy that contemporary music is getting some publicity, but of course the bulk of it shouldn't go to Golijov who's a composer that the average person with an interest in music can appreciate, but to composers who are plink-plonking away in obscurity and who's music is incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't have a masters degree in composition him/herself and who therefore are unlikely to find a substantial audience to begin with.

I love twelve-tone serialism, and yet I don't have any degree in composition. My knowledge of music theory came only after I fell in love with high modernism and wanted to know what made it so special. On the forums dedicated to Darmstadt-type music that I frequent, people with any formal training in music are a distinct minority. Knock it off this slander that modernist composers only appeal to other composers.

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2011, 06:21:50 PM »
I only have The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind played by the Kronos Quartet. On hearing it for the first time I was completely amazed. But, unfortunately, that first impression wore off pretty quickly on repeat listening. I still find the opening of that piece very moving but the rest seems quite forgetable (in fact, the more I listen to it the less I remember ;D).

Just heard this piece on CBC Radio Two today, and I was pretty impressed by it.  Perhaps like you though, it may not stand as well upon repeated hearings?

The performance I heard was Alexander Fiterstein on the Klezmer Clarinet and the Vogler Quartet.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #55 on: January 25, 2011, 05:45:35 AM »
What I found necessary to really enjoy St. Mark's Passion and Ainadamar is to edit them.  The St Mark's does really pick up in the last third, but I can't listen to the whole thing without my mind wandering.  I  agree that Ainadamar is more effective-- at least to my ears.

When I cull away the stuff I don't care for as much, I find it very enjoyable, and moving in spots.

I guess this leaves me on the fence, but I certainly can't say I don't see value in his work.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2011, 03:06:20 PM »
Maybe that's the problem with contemporary classical music, or at least with how it's perceived or what's expected of it. The idea that it has to be UN-appealing and that it's creators have to come up with something that's incomprehensible to 99.9% of people in order to be taken seriously by the self-proclaimed judges of what's relevant and what isn't. The mixed reception that Golijov's music gets from these people doesn't come as a surprise to me. They always do a lot of complaining that contemporary music should get more attention, but whenever a living composer has achieved a certain level of success they argue that the composer in question isn't all that he's cracked up to be. They are happy that contemporary music is getting some publicity, but of course the bulk of it shouldn't go to Golijov who's a composer that the average person with an interest in music can appreciate, but to composers who are plink-plonking away in obscurity and who's music is incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't have a masters degree in composition him/herself and who therefore are unlikely to find a substantial audience to begin with.

I know this post was made in 2008, but jhar26 (if you ever come back) you've made some valid points except that I think people who don't have degrees in music can appreciate a composer like Schoenberg, Dutilleux, or Ligeti. It's all a matter of what you're views of music are to begin with. If you're open to music, then only naturally can you enjoy some music that somebody who is more conservative wouldn't enjoy. The main reason an open-minded person can enjoy a wide variety of styles and genres is because they don't come to the music with some pre-conceived notions of what the music should or shouldn't do, they simply sit back and let the music speak to them. Sometimes someone might not like a piece of music right away. This is completely understandable, but I think the implication you're making that people can't comprehend contemporary music because it's "too complex" or listener unfriendly is off-the-mark. Again, it all stems from how open you are to new sounds and ideas that go beyond your expectations.
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Offline jowcol

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2011, 06:18:30 AM »
I know this post was made in 2008, but jhar26 (if you ever come back) you've made some valid points except that I think people who don't have degrees in music can appreciate a composer like Schoenberg, Dutilleux, or Ligeti. It's all a matter of what you're views of music are to begin with. If you're open to music, then only naturally can you enjoy some music that somebody who is more conservative wouldn't enjoy. The main reason an open-minded person can enjoy a wide variety of styles and genres is because they don't come to the music with some pre-conceived notions of what the music should or shouldn't do, they simply sit back and let the music speak to them. Sometimes someone might not like a piece of music right away. This is completely understandable, but I think the implication you're making that people can't comprehend contemporary music because it's "too complex" or listener unfriendly is off-the-mark. Again, it all stems from how open you are to new sounds and ideas that go beyond your expectations.

I would say, however, that the composer needs to be honest with his or her self about the degree to which they are trying to reach an audience.  To say that the audience doesn't matter and at the same time complain about not getting enough listeners strikes me as a bit hypocritical.   Also, I'd say that some people who make a point of seeking complexity may be just as closed to new sounds as someone who has been raised on pop music.
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2012, 12:33:00 AM »
A little scandal has erupted because in fulfilling a 35-orchestra commission, Golijov bought a ready-made piece from another composer and presented it as his own. And apparently he's been doing this back to the beginning of his career. See here and here.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 12:35:21 AM by CRCulver »

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Golijov's Gatehouse
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2012, 02:29:25 AM »
A little scandal has erupted because in fulfilling a 35-orchestra commission, Golijov bought a ready-made piece from another composer and presented it as his own.

How amateurish. You're not supposed to buy; you're supposed to steal.
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