Author Topic: What were you listening to? (CLOSED)  (Read 8235987 times)

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Sid

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84700 on: May 07, 2011, 06:09:41 PM »
Last night when I got home from a fairly busy/strenuous Saturday, I listened to an LP which I just got for $2 from a store near my place -

LISZT
Dante Symphony
Margit Laszlo, soprano
Budapest PO & Budapest Radio Choir/Gyorgy Lehel
Recorded at Coronation Church Budapest in August 1961 for Liszt's 150th anniversary (released in the West 1962)
Westminster LP (mono)

This was my first time listening to Liszt's Dante Symphony & I enjoyed every minute. This work was inspired by Dante's "Divine Comedy" and it comprises two parts - the first "Inferno" and the second "Purgatorio & Magnificat" (the Magnificat includes chorus and a brief soprano solo). This work is the second of Liszt's two symphonies, the first being A Faust Symphony. The Dante Symphony began it's life as a stage work in 1845 but reached it's present form by the time Liszt finished it in 1856. It was published the following year, dedicated to Wagner, and premiered in 1858. The dedication to Wagner was apt because Liszt had conducted the world premiere of Lohengrin at Weimar in 1852. The LP notes say that Wagner was influenced by some of Liszt's ideas when composing Lohengrin, and in turn Liszt was influenced by Lohengrin as he worked on this symphony. An interesting aspect of this work is that it includes a solo harpist, who was placed at the front of the orchestra when this recording was made (but s/he is not credited).

The first part of this work sounded quite dramatic and complex for me, it was hard to break down, ideas just came at me one after the other. Some of Liszt's tone poems came to mind as well as the Faust Symphony. But the second part came across as more approachable, it is made up of distinct parts that come together at the end. The Purgatorio starts of slowly and quite mysteriously, with woodwind solos that sounded similar to things like Sibelius' Swan of Tuonela. Then there is a fugue that starts of quietly and slowly, but increasingly becomes more intense and agitated. Coming towards the end of this section, there are a number of passages for the strings, their hymn like melodies reminding me very much of Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia. I'd hazard a guess that Liszt might well have been influenced by guys like Palestrina, whose harmonies are very close to this passage. This segues neatly into the concluding Magnificat with the vocals, which sounds again like Renaissance music given the full Romantic treatment. The soprano solo appears briefly in the middle of all of this, kind of acting like a "pivot," and then we have a blazing conclusion. This ending is pretty stunning and lifted me to the heavens, a bit like Handel's choral music.

I have read comments about the Dante Symphony judging it as being somewhat inferior to the Faust Symphony. Now that I've heard both, I think these opinions are utter rubbish. Both of these are amazing and very innovative works. I also don't agree with some people's opinions that Liszt was not a good orchestrator, or at least not as good as some others of his time. This is preposterous, especially considering that he influenced guys like Wagner, R. Strauss & Debussy in this regard. He could really equal them all, and then some. The last words I will give to another great composer of the time, Saint-Saens (quoted in the LP notes) who said at the time when he conducted an all-Liszt orchestral programme in Paris "The programme was comprised entirely of the orchestral works of Franz Liszt whom the world calls a great pianist in order to avoid acknowledging as one of the greatest composers of our time..."

Sid

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84701 on: May 07, 2011, 06:15:15 PM »
Ockeghem was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century.  Most of the recordings of his works I have were performed by English ensembles and some continental European members of this forum have some misgivings about their performances.  It is what it is.  Unfortunately, I do not see many choices offered by any continental European ensembles.

Thanks for that. I might have to buy something like that Virgin/Veritas disc, as I've just looked at Sydney City Library's catalogue & they don't have any Ockeghem! It's good that you posted, it gives me something to aim at when I eventually do go to order/purchase something by him. As I said, I'm steadily getting into the major choral/vocal works - eg. lately it's been Monteverdi & soon I plan to borrow Haydn's The Creation (& hopefully see it live here in Sydney at the end of this month) & J. S. Bach's Mass in B minor is also a big priority for me now. I always like reading your posts - you definitely know & obviously love this repertoire very much! I don't think I'll get to that high level, but I at least want to know and appreciate some of the key works/composers in this field of all eras...

Conor71

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84702 on: May 07, 2011, 06:41:23 PM »
Now Playing:



Franck: Violin Sonata
Debussy: Violin Sonata
Chausson: Poeme


Love these works - an excellent recording too!.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84703 on: May 07, 2011, 06:45:30 PM »
Pärt - Variationen zur Gesundung von Arinuschka
Vasks - Three Poems by Czeslaw Milosz
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84704 on: May 07, 2011, 06:58:29 PM »
More early music, now playing CD1 from the following set for a first listen ...



which is the same CD as the one below


Offline listener

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84705 on: May 07, 2011, 08:20:33 PM »
MOZART Piano Concertos  17 in G, K.453      27 in Bb, K.595
Walter Klien, piano      Minnesota Orch.      Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, cond.
Beautiful playing of the slow movements.
NIELSEN Symphony 4, op. 29  "Inextinguishable"
Royal Danish Orchestra,     Igor Markevitch, cond.
and...Virgil THOMSON conducting his abridged version of FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS
recorded in 1947, avoids some of the longueurs of the full score (available on Nonesuch), and seems to have discovered more humour in it.
  Compère: Repeat First Act.
   Commère: A pleasure April Fool's day a pleasure.
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

Offline Mirror Image

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    ...Mist floating above the water...
Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84706 on: May 07, 2011, 08:52:10 PM »
Now:



A new acquisition. Listening to Roussel's Symphony No. 3. Wow...just wow...Bernstein tore this one up. :)
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online Que

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84707 on: May 07, 2011, 10:47:28 PM »


I'd whish this first complete series of Weiss' London manuscript would become available again... :-\

Which reminds me that I should make a mail to Brilliant Classics about this - they would have a scoop over Naxos! And I would prefer, though only by a small margin, Michel Cardin over Robert Barto.

Good morning! :)

Q

Offline Lethevich

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    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84708 on: May 08, 2011, 12:00:12 AM »
.

Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84709 on: May 08, 2011, 01:25:20 AM »
Koechlin Piano Quintet




Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84710 on: May 08, 2011, 01:41:27 AM »
.



Barber: Excursions
Amy Rubin: American Progressions
Martin Scherzinger: When One Has the Feet of Wind
Adams: China Gates
Bolcom: The Garden of Eden - Four Rags
Jelly Roll Morton: Finger Buster
Swigger: Four Improvisations

Outstanding.

Online Que

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84711 on: May 08, 2011, 01:51:16 AM »


Q

DavidW

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84712 on: May 08, 2011, 03:41:26 AM »
Last night some brilliant playing by Egarr of a few of my favorite Bach concertos:



This morning some of my favorite chamber works of Mozart:


Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84713 on: May 08, 2011, 03:50:10 AM »
Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Symphony #1 C minor, Norrington, RSO Stuttgart




Sarge

« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 03:52:41 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Conor71

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84714 on: May 08, 2011, 04:06:43 AM »
Now Playing:



Elgar: Symphony No. 1 In Ab Major, Op. 55

Online The new erato

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84715 on: May 08, 2011, 04:21:01 AM »
Koechlin Piano Quintet




Sarge
Is it good? I never was very impressed with the disc with quartets 1&2, thinking the medium didn't fire his imagination like the orchetra did, but this follow up disc somehow never seems to have surfaced in the UK webshops I usually use.

Offline Mirror Image

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    ...Mist floating above the water...
Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84716 on: May 08, 2011, 07:23:03 AM »
Continuing my RVW symphony marathon...



Listening to A London Symphony right now.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline listener

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84717 on: May 08, 2011, 08:20:03 AM »
John OGDON Piano Concerto 1,    SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto 2
John Ogdon,  piano     Royal Philharmonic Orch.    Lawrence Foster, cond.
Ogdon's concerto is traditional, tonal, and written to show his keyboard skill and power.  Well orchestrated, a relatively easy listen.
STRAVINSKY:   Scherzo à la Russe,  Petrouchka  (1947 version)
Philharmonia Orch.     Michael Tilson Thomas, cond.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 08:22:21 AM by listener »
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

DavidW

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84718 on: May 08, 2011, 08:24:02 AM »
Harnoncourt: Beethoven's 6th and 8th.  The sixth is simply not sweet enough, first disappointment in the Harnoncourt set.  The 8th is outstanding!

Offline Coopmv

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #84719 on: May 08, 2011, 09:37:23 AM »
John OGDON Piano Concerto 1,    SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto 2
John Ogdon,  piano     Royal Philharmonic Orch.    Lawrence Foster, cond.
Ogdon's concerto is traditional, tonal, and written to show his keyboard skill and power.  Well orchestrated, a relatively easy listen.
STRAVINSKY:   Scherzo à la Russe,  Petrouchka  (1947 version)
Philharmonia Orch.     Michael Tilson Thomas, cond.

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ogdon's Liszt recording on Testament I ordered at Presto.  He was a great pianist ...