Author Topic: Sorabji's Sandcastle  (Read 23919 times)

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Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #80 on: March 08, 2017, 03:52:35 AM »
SORABJI: NEW FILM DOCUMENTARY AND PERFORMANCES

Organist Kevin Bowyer recently gave the US première of Sorabji’s Organ Symphony No. 2 in University of Iowa where he had been invited to inaugurate its concert hall’s new Klais organ following a disastrous flood in 2008 that destroyed the venue and its previous organ. Kevin’s performance of this massive three movement work, more than eight hours in duration, was received with great enthusiasm.

Kevin devoted thousands of hours over many years to the preparation of the world première that he gave in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2010. He has since created magnificent typeset critical editions of all three Sorabji organ symphonies, of which copies are available from The Sorabji Archive (see www.sorabji-archive.co.uk ), along with all of Sorabji’s other scores and literary writings,.

A crowd-funded film documentary about the organ symphonies project, with especial reference to the second symphony, is being made in Iowa, of which details and a link may be found on the Sorabji Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KaikhosruShapurjiSorabji/posts/983423815092737?comment_id=986688958099556 ; to quote:
"A remarkable story rich with cinematic potential: the deluge of 2008, the effort to rebuild, the musical palace that rose forth, the remarkable organ placed at its heart, the magician (Kevin Bowyer) called upon to give it life, and the 8 1/2 hour Sorabjian incantation.

Please consider making a contribution to help assist in the funding effort to produce this film:

Sorabji in Iowa: A documentary

Help GOLDrush raise $8,000 for the project: Sorabji in Iowa: A documentary. Your gift will make a difference!"

The link to donate is goldrush.uiowa.edu . So far, almost 50% of the required sum has been raised, so yes, do please give generously towards this historic project!




Pianist Jonathan Powell will be touring what is still Sorabji’s most famous work, Opus Clavicembalisticum, this year. To date, six performances have been confirmed, as follows:

050517 Brighton, UK:              St. Michael’s Church

090517 London, UK:                Rosslyn Hill Chapel

130517 Oxford, UK:                 Jacqueline du Pré Music Building                                                                 

011017 Karlsruhe, Germany:   Musentempel

061017 Glasgow, Scotland:   Concert Hall, University of Glasgow

251017 Brno, Czechia:      Concert hall JAMU (Janáček Academy)

Other dates and venues are in the pipeline.

This seminal work will never have received so many performances within a single year!

Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #81 on: May 18, 2017, 12:52:48 AM »
Last Saturday, 13 May, at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Jonathan Powell gave what was probably the finest performance that Sorabji's monumental Opus Clavicembalisticum has ever received. It was only its 17th performance since the composer's own world première in Glasgow in 1930.

After an unsettled and rather rushed brief opening Introito, the ensuing Preludio Corale occasionally exhibited similar issues but, once Jonathan launched into the first of the four fugues in the work, he was on top form and remained there throughout. There were some devastating moments of fulminating virtuosity alongside the most sensitively shaped phrasing in the fugues whose essential bel canto qualities he brought to the fore and without which they can risk sounding rather like rigorous intellectual exercises. The reticence and pervasive stillness of the mesmerising Adagio that comes around two-thirds of the way through the work was another high point. Jonathan held the audience's rapt attention throughout its near 4½ hours, a not inconsiderable feat in itself; the audience response and glowing comments after it testify to the great success of his achievement.

The page turner was also excellent!

Jonathan had given two performances of the work in the previous 8 days and has at least four more this year, in Karlsruhe, Glasgow, Brno and Tianjin. It is fair to say that the piece has never had so much exposure.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2017, 01:27:59 AM »
That made me really happy to hear about! Sorabji in general and Opus Clavicembalisticum are important to me, it is exciting to see works such as this getting some more wider exposure. Thanks for letting us know Ahinton  :D

Also I've been reading Paul Rapoport's book "A Critical Celebration", which provides quite a good overview of Sorabji's life. Have you read it? (I would presume) and if you have, what do you think?  8)
Have I read it? I contributed two chapters as well as various research material to it!

Although it doesn't displace what remains a most valuable source of information, Marc-André Roberge's Opus Sorabjianum, first published in 2013, reveals the benefit of much research undertaken since publication of Paul Rapoport's book in 1992; it's available for free online at http://www.mus.ulaval.ca/roberge/srs/07-prese.htm (where you'll find download instructions) and is updated from time to time. If you've enjoyed reading the Rapoport (to which Roberge also contributed), you' be sure to enjoy reading this!

Offline Dax

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #83 on: May 18, 2017, 06:03:36 AM »
Last Saturday, 13 May, at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Jonathan Powell gave what was probably the finest performance that Sorabji's monumental Opus Clavicembalisticum has ever received. It was only its 17th performance since the composer's own world première in Glasgow in 1930.

After an unsettled and rather rushed brief opening Introito, the ensuing Preludio Corale occasionally exhibited similar issues but, once Jonathan launched into the first of the four fugues in the work, he was on top form and remained there throughout. There were some devastating moments of fulminating virtuosity alongside the most sensitively shaped phrasing in the fugues whose essential bel canto qualities he brought to the fore and without which they can risk sounding rather like rigorous intellectual exercises. The reticence and pervasive stillness of the mesmerising Adagio that comes around two-thirds of the way through the work was another high point. Jonathan held the audience's rapt attention throughout its near 4½ hours, a not inconsiderable feat in itself; the audience response and glowing comments after it testify to the great success of his achievement.

The page turner was also excellent!

Jonathan had given two performances of the work in the previous 8 days and has at least four more this year, in Karlsruhe, Glasgow, Brno and Tianjin. It is fair to say that the piece has never had so much exposure.
I attended the Oxford performance also and mighty impressive it was too.
As before, Jonathan put a great deal of effort making the fugues sound persuasive, particularly successfully with regard to the last one. The opening was certainly fast, approaching Yonty Solomon tempo - I rather like that approach. Also memorable was the Fantasia - which had never particularly struck me before. Most memorable of all was the brief Quasi Tambura section in the Passacaglia which featured an unusual and most extraordinary piano sound.

Not only was the page turner excellent, but he stood for the whole performance!

snyprrr

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #84 on: July 17, 2018, 06:53:26 AM »
Chopin-Scriabin-Debussy-Messiaen-Szymanowski....

So, now, I've landed on the shores of Sorabji. And, I'll limit myself to the 'Nocturnes'...

Is Sorabji EndAll/BeAll of this kind of Music? coming from Chopin, through Debussy/Scriabin and into the Rudhyar(?)/Sorabji/ "over written" Piano Music?


I just keep coming around "the Best Piano Music was written c.1891-1917"... I like the "build-uo to" and the "flowering", but, afterwards, there just seems to be too much "scent" (which I thought I liked)... either you get "rigid" (Messiaen), or "decomposing tendrils" (Sorabji)... and then you get Boulez, Xenakis, et al,...

So, where IS the "Super Mystery Music" for Piano after Scriabin? Roslavets gets too angular and "not floral enough", whereas Sorabji suffocates me with the sickly sweet scents of his blooming/rotting greenhouse...

GOLDILOCKS SEEKS PERFECT MYSTERY MUSIC

Offline Roy Bland

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #85 on: October 24, 2019, 02:41:48 PM »

Offline hvbias

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #86 on: January 06, 2020, 01:42:44 PM »
CD box will be coming out in a month, available for streaming now:


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #87 on: January 06, 2020, 05:12:19 PM »
It is high time I listen to the Opus Clavicembalisticum
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #88 on: January 06, 2020, 05:13:11 PM »
CD box will be coming out in a month, available for streaming now:



Zowie!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #89 on: January 10, 2020, 08:20:44 AM »
I believe this was originally going to be released on Toccata Classics. Looks like that fell through. Thankfully Piano has taken it on.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2020, 02:42:27 PM »
CD box will be coming out in a month, available for streaming now:



I just looked at the timing of this piece: 8h 23min!!!!!

I mean, this is beyond insane!!!!! Is there any longer piece than this one in the whole repertoire? What the hell was Sorabji thinking of when wrote it???  :o ???

Offline hvbias

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #91 on: February 26, 2020, 05:42:37 PM »
I just looked at the timing of this piece: 8h 23min!!!!!

I mean, this is beyond insane!!!!! Is there any longer piece than this one in the whole repertoire? What the hell was Sorabji thinking of when wrote it???  :o ???

The longest recording of Sorabji's music, maybe some Sorabji scholars will have to chime in if there are longer works not recorded yet. As for what the hell he was thinking I think all pianists are wondering this  :D

I don't think I've heard any Sorabji (including Opus Clavi) that has a movement longer than Hammerklavier (which I'm happy to listen to in one go actively not doing anything else) so it's not too bad listening to it in chunks, I know people perform it in one go, but I just never treat it listening to it like that.

Musically there is a lot of interesting things in his works. John Ogdon playing Opus Clavi would be one of my desert island selections.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 05:47:33 PM by hvbias »

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2020, 06:16:59 PM »
The longest recording of Sorabji's music, maybe some Sorabji scholars will have to chime in if there are longer works not recorded yet. As for what the hell he was thinking I think all pianists are wondering this  :D

I don't think I've heard any Sorabji (including Opus Clavi) that has a movement longer than Hammerklavier (which I'm happy to listen to in one go actively not doing anything else) so it's not too bad listening to it in chunks, I know people perform it in one go, but I just never treat it listening to it like that.

Musically there is a lot of interesting things in his works. John Ogdon playing Opus Clavi would be one of my desert island selections.

I haven't heard a single note of this composer yet, and certainly these lengthy works, somehow, draw my attention, they're like a challenge for the listener, and of course for the pianists. I hope I'll have patience and stamina enough to listen to this and his other music in the near future.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #93 on: February 26, 2020, 07:48:14 PM »
I haven't heard a single note of this composer yet, and certainly these lengthy works, somehow, draw my attention, they're like a challenge for the listener, and of course for the pianists. I hope I'll have patience and stamina enough to listen to this and his other music in the near future.

They're a real challenge if you intend to listen to them as single pieces, which for me would be nearly impossible to do for just active without doing anything else type of in the zone listening. They are no doubt an extreme challenge for the pianist.

Anyway jump in anywhere :) There is a lot on Spotify except for some smaller labels and Hyperion. In the pop music world for me the music is like the equivalent of Scott Walker's The Drift or Tilt; dark, complex and reveals more to me with each listen. Or sticking with classical it's like a horror baroque with the dense counterpoint and clashing harmonies.

I think a pattern I see with people that really love Sorabji is they all play piano.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #94 on: February 26, 2020, 07:51:22 PM »
I am very fond of the Sorabji I've heard. I'm not any pianist, though.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Roy Bland

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #95 on: April 01, 2020, 04:51:12 PM »

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #96 on: April 01, 2020, 11:53:51 PM »
Looks like Sanchez-Aguilera is scheduled for another performance of Toccata Seconda in October, according to the Sorabji Archive. And of course assuming all of [gestures at world] this sorts itself out by then.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #97 on: April 02, 2020, 12:55:58 AM »
Sorabji is rambling but very athmospheric IMO. It does little harm listening to his long works in manageable chunks.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #98 on: April 02, 2020, 04:34:07 AM »
Sorabji is rambling but very athmospheric IMO. It does little harm listening to his long works in manageable chunks.

I do enjoy the experience.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Klaze

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #99 on: October 04, 2020, 12:44:33 PM »
Looks like Sanchez-Aguilera is scheduled for another performance of Toccata Seconda in October, according to the Sorabji Archive. And of course assuming all of [gestures at world] this sorts itself out by then.

Well, I can confirm Sanchez-Aguilera played the Toccata Seconda for an audience of 9 people today, and I was among those lucky people present. It was a great experience! My first real listen to Sorabji; although I was familiar with the name I had never gotten around to listening to him. If i understood correctly the pianist is currently preparing for the premiere of the third Toccata.