Author Topic: Pieces that have blown you away recently  (Read 197194 times)

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Offline relm1

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1260 on: September 25, 2020, 03:36:31 PM »
I really loved this recording I just listened to.  Gorgeous music from start to end, full of drama, atmosphere, and intrigue all finely recorded.  Are the rest of his symphonies this good?


Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1261 on: September 25, 2020, 06:54:47 PM »
Well, that symphony is certainly his most dramatic and lush (and tragic to some extent), so I would say the others don't possess such level of intensity but they're more than good. The 2nd and 4th symphonies are my favorites by him, although I like all of them.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1262 on: September 25, 2020, 09:46:32 PM »
I really loved this recording I just listened to.  Gorgeous music from start to end, full of drama, atmosphere, and intrigue all finely recorded.  Are the rest of his symphonies this good?



In my view that one is the best but the others are enjoyable.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1263 on: September 25, 2020, 10:12:18 PM »
In my view that one is the best but the others are enjoyable.

+1 - all are definitely worth a listen but No.4 is probably best of the bunch.  I think overall I prefer this Naxos series to Jarvi on BIS.  With the latter, for all the brilliance of the playing and recording (great fun Swedish Rhapsodies for example) just that nagging doubt that Jarvi is pushing on through the music too often......

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1264 on: September 26, 2020, 07:22:13 AM »
I really loved this recording I just listened to.  Gorgeous music from start to end, full of drama, atmosphere, and intrigue all finely recorded.  Are the rest of his symphonies this good?



Actually, my personal favorite of Alfvén’s symphonies is the 3rd. It’s very different from the dramatic 4th, though! It’s an unabashedly optimistic, bucolic work which could be characterized as a Swedish take on Dvorak with some lush Straussian harmonies thrown in. Most importantly, it is absolutely filled to the brim with memorable tunes, and the slow movement is just sublimely beautiful beyond words. This recent CPO recording is particularly excellent:



As far as Alfvén’s other symphonies go, the 1st very much sounds like a first symphony - it’s quite awkward-sounding at times and not always engaging, but the opening, in particular, is quite remarkable in its unusual orchestration choices. The 2nd is a very solid late-romantic symphony; my one gripe is that I feel like too much of the slow movement is written at a loud dynamic - I would’ve preferred some more reflective, lyrical music there. The late 5th boasts an excellent, dramatic first movement but the rest is rather variable in quality. I’d say after the 3rd and 4th symphonies, the next place to go with Alfvén is his magnificently colorful and exciting ballet Bergakungen:

« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 07:12:23 PM by kyjo »
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1265 on: September 26, 2020, 11:19:59 AM »
This IMO is the stand-out recorded performance of Symphony No.4
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1266 on: September 26, 2020, 03:24:36 PM »
Actually, my personal favorite of Alfvén’s symphonies is the 3rd. It’s very different from the dramatic 4th, though! It’s an unabashedly optimistic, bucolic work which could be characterized as a Swedish take on Dvorak with some lush Straussian harmonies thrown in. Most importantly, it is absolutely filled to the brim with memorable tunes, and the slow movement is just sublimely beautiful beyond words. This recent CPO recording is particularly excellent:

Oh yes, that's the definitive performance of Alfvén's 3rd IMO.

Offline arpeggio

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1267 on: October 01, 2020, 06:22:01 AM »
I am a big fan of Hovhaness.  I noticed that I had recordings of most of the symphonies that have been recorded so I decided to fill our my collection.

I just received the last of the ones I purchased:



Normally listening to Hovhaness is gratifying but the Third Symphony was awesome.  Sadly the recording is out of print but I found a used one on Amazon.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1268 on: October 06, 2020, 07:43:08 PM »
Bruch: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2



These works greatly exceeded my expectations. Passionate, exciting, imaginative music from the young Bruch that avoids the stifling academic nature found in some string quartets of this period. The 1st quartet, in c minor, possesses Beethovenian drive and power in the outer movements and a true lyrical poignancy in the slow movement. The 2nd, in E major, is not quite the relaxed pastoral idyll we'd expect given the key. There are striking passages throughout, not least in the vigorous, memorable scherzo. What's also remarkable is how concise both works are, there's no "waste" whatsoever. And what marvelous advocates the Diogenes Quartett are, playing up the music's vigor and dynamism without skimping on the lyrical moments. Highly recommended to lovers of Romantic chamber music! (I haven't listened to the Quartet in c minor, op. posth. yet, but it's apparently very good too.)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1269 on: October 07, 2020, 06:39:06 AM »
That's an interesting take, given how I personally found Bruch's symphonies to be the very definition of emotionless academia.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1270 on: October 07, 2020, 06:41:33 AM »
I am a big fan of Hovhaness.  I noticed that I had recordings of most of the symphonies that have been recorded so I decided to fill our my collection.

I just received the last of the ones I purchased:



Normally listening to Hovhaness is gratifying but the Third Symphony was awesome.  Sadly the recording is out of print but I found a used one on Amazon.
I have that recording and share your admiration for this composer.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1271 on: October 07, 2020, 09:04:19 AM »
Bruch: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2



These works greatly exceeded my expectations. Passionate, exciting, imaginative music from the young Bruch that avoids the stifling academic nature found in some string quartets of this period. The 1st quartet, in c minor, possesses Beethovenian drive and power in the outer movements and a true lyrical poignancy in the slow movement. The 2nd, in E major, is not quite the relaxed pastoral idyll we'd expect given the key. There are striking passages throughout, not least in the vigorous, memorable scherzo. What's also remarkable is how concise both works are, there's no "waste" whatsoever. And what marvelous advocates the Diogenes Quartett are, playing up the music's vigor and dynamism without skimping on the lyrical moments. Highly recommended to lovers of Romantic chamber music! (I haven't listened to the Quartet in c minor, op. posth. yet, but it's apparently very good too.)

Two works to revisit, I don't remember them at all. Do you know his String Octet? Another striking piece. The CPO recording brings all the greatness of the work in full display.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1272 on: October 07, 2020, 07:08:42 PM »
That's an interesting take, given how I personally found Bruch's symphonies to be the very definition of emotionless academia.

Worry not, I find them to be much stronger works than the symphonies. ;) But then again, you're not much of a chamber music guy, if I'm not mistaken.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1273 on: October 07, 2020, 07:09:56 PM »
Two works to revisit, I don't remember them at all. Do you know his String Octet? Another striking piece. The CPO recording brings all the greatness of the work in full display.

For some odd reason, the Octet didn't make too big of an impression on me (I listened to the CPO recording too). Maybe I was just in a bad mood that day. :D
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Pieces that have blown you away recently
« Reply #1274 on: October 09, 2020, 06:40:25 AM »
Worry not, I find them to be much stronger works than the symphonies. ;) But then again, you're not much of a chamber music guy, if I'm not mistaken.

Afraid so. I was just intrigued by that response, given my lacklustre impression of the symphonies. I enjoy the 1st Violin Concerto, although it's not in my regular rotation. I kinda have the impression that all his worthy works are popular and the rest can largely be ignored without feeling like I'm missing out on a neglected masterpiece.