Started by karlhenning, April 02, 2008, 12:44:20 PM
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Quote from: Mirror Image on December 30, 2019, 04:53:41 PMOne of my all-time favorite works is Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra. For me, it is better than anything that has come before and after in his oeuvre. I'm a huge fan of this middle period or as it's been called 'free atonal period' where there's no rules and is completely up in the air as far as where the music goes. Five Pieces for Orchestra resonates deeply for me because you can hear a composer that knows he can no longer accept the German/Austrian tradition (even though he never truly abandoned it and, ironically, felt he was a part of the same lineage as Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, etc.). Schoenberg, of course, never fully turned his back on tonality and many of his works embraced it. He's actually not difficult to crack at all, but he does require much listening in order to fully assimilate everything that is happening in his music. I, too, prefer the string sextet arrangement of Verklärte Nacht, but I like the string orchestra arrangement as well.
Quote from: Mirror Image on December 30, 2019, 05:03:33 PMThis is the image I used for my Schoenberg t-shirt:
Quote from: vers la flamme on December 30, 2019, 05:13:28 PMThis is the other one I got:[asin]B00000JYTV[/asin]Have yet to hear it, but the Schoenberg on there is pretty damn solid!
Quote from: vers la flamme on December 30, 2019, 05:13:28 PMPerhaps not in a general sense, but for me, he is, especially compared to supposedly "difficult" composers like Webern and Boulez who came to me very easily. It's much the same way that I feel about Brahms. His music is a constantly rewarding challenge, a puzzle for my brain to work together. It's all so layered, dense, and contrapuntal, and there is always so much going on as you allude to. For this reason it is extremely rewarding to repeated listens. I feel the same way about late Webern, but again, I find it much more simple on a fundamental level.Speaking of late Webern, I got two CDs today that contain recordings of the piano variations. I'm listening to one of them now...:[asin]B000001GQK[/asin]Pretty damn good recording, I think. More fiery than my preferred recording, from a young Idil Biret. This is the other one I got:[asin]B00000JYTV[/asin]Have yet to hear it, but the Schoenberg on there is pretty damn solid!
Quote from: Leo K. on October 06, 2022, 08:08:55 AMBeen listening to various recordings of Webern's Symphony, Op.21. Perhaps my favorite symphony of all time, or close.
Quote from: Mandryka on October 16, 2022, 08:26:05 PMYes I can understand why you might say that. Did you see that Heinz Holliger released a recording of it a couple of months ago? I'm not sure I like what he makes of it but maybe . . .
Quote from: Mandryka on October 17, 2022, 01:22:12 PMHolliger really slows things down. It's extraordinary how fresh the music sounds in all its uncomfortable strangeness. Timeless I guess. There's an early recording by Craft which I like very much.
Quote from: Leo K. on October 20, 2022, 10:39:52 AM It seems Eliahu Inbal stretched the first movement out too (on the Denon label) - very transfixing account, like walking in Kafka's world. Yes I love the strangeness and the almost-reference to Mahler's 9 (the beginning) so it looks backward too.
Quote from: Atriod on May 28, 2023, 07:07:42 AMRobert Craft is getting a big Sony mega box of recordings. I wrote this box off based off my impressions of the 4 CD Webern set which I immediately ordered without streaming given the lack of Webern recordings. My first (and only) impression was not so favorable, Craft is a literalist almost to a fault. Contrast this to Boulez on DG that would paint these sparse, haunting images in pieces like the cantatas that made me immediately fall for Webern. I'm open to revisiting this Craft set again. Someone on another board says the Schoenberg is the main highlight of the upcoming 44 disc Craft box and up until now these have never been on digital so I'd only be able to hear them if someone transferred their LP and uploaded it to you Youtube. I find Craft a fine conductor of Schoenberg and Stravinsky on Naxos and enjoyed two of his books on Stravinsky, he is clearly someone that understands this music.
QuoteWebern's Passacaglia makes an ideal coupling with Pelleas. Composed some five years later, it plumbs and reveals a similar psycho-emotional territory, despite important differences in approach. Both works are products of considerable intellectual discipline, but while Schoenberg's displays a Straussian robustness, opulence, and generosity, Webern's is brief highly concentrated, a kaleidoscopic sequence of emotional states of exquisitely horrifying intensity. A brilliant product of the sort of sensibility that used to be termed "neurasthenic," the work conveys a feeling of hysterical anxiety in dread of imminent catastrophe that often suggests late Mahler who was writing his Ninth Symphony at the time). In fact, the Passacaglia often sounds as if it were Mahler's Eleventh Symphony condensed into fourteen minutes. As someone who firmly believes that the works of Webern's maturity represent one of the most inauspicious dead-ends in all of music, I nevertheless feel that this Op. 1, written when the composer was twenty-five, is a masterpiece of the period. Both these works are truly of their time — a time when the fundamental emotions underlying and motivating human behavior were addressed by the arts with greater insight and sensitivity than they had been before or have been since Eschenbach's readings are both highly expressive and deeply analytical, although the Houston Symphony may not project the sense of spiritual authenticity as thoroughly as do Karajan's recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic (now available only within a three-disc set). But these are meticulously executed, subtly nuanced interpretations, which benefit significantly from a recording technique that provides extraordinary transparency of detail without compromising richness of sonority, thus enabling striking orchestral effects to be heard more clearly than they usually do on recording, let alone in live performances, where they are usually lost completely. Steve Smith's intelligent and informed program notes are a further enhancement. This disc is strongly recommended to aficionados of late-romantic music who might have avoided these works because of a reflexive aversion to the composers' names.
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