Author Topic: What were you listening to? (CLOSED)  (Read 8186467 times)

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Online Que

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85980 on: May 25, 2011, 08:57:56 PM »


This set of organ and harpsichord toccatas leaves nothing to be desired. Two beautiful instruments, a luxurious recording and a perfect rendition by Leon Berben, both as an organist and as a harpsichordist. The whole thing is amazingly crystal clear and Berben always sounds fluent and natural even hidding to some extent the extremely virtuosistic traits of this music. It's not easy to recall a performance of the harpsichord toccatas more rhythmically compelling than this one. Without any doubt this set will occupy a place with my favorite performances of these pieces (Watchorn, van Asperen and Jaccottet), especially because they are not so frequently played as the organ toccatas. A great achievement of Mr. Berben, a keyboardist who for years I placed directly in the hell of the worse Baroque harpsichordists. A superb case of musical redemption!

Thanks (: premont :) and  ~ Que ~!

 :)

Antoine, I'm sooo glad you took a chance on it...and like it! :) :)

The harpsichord disc is simply perfect IMO. The organ disc nearly so, though superb. I feel Berben has still a tiny bit of growth left in Bach's organ works (Yes, it still works ;D): and is in style and approach not 100% settled yet - it feels though he is still experimenting and playing around a bit (in an exilerating and brilliant way). :)

Q
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 08:59:46 PM by ~ Que ~ »

Sid

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85981 on: May 25, 2011, 08:59:12 PM »

I belive other admirers and promotors of the set include Antoine and (new) Erato.
(Sid, this set has your name on it! 8))


Thanks for quoting & bringing that earlier post to my attention. I think I just missed that because the cover is just one colour & I missed it as I was scrolling quickly. But as the saying goes "don't judge a book by it's cover!" I've noted the details of that set. It looks to be the right size as well - 15 discs is not too large a number. But if I do finally buy it, it'll be the largest set of CD's in my collection by far! The most I have is a 3 disc set of Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras & a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 4 set compilation of the famous orchestral highlights. I'll definitely keep this in mind, I have never felt this excited about hearing music that's new to me since my teenage years, re-discovering earlier music has been so reinvigorating and refreshing...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85982 on: May 25, 2011, 09:00:04 PM »
Tomorrow, I'm going to try and make time for listening to Robert Simpson. I have had this set of symphonies for awhile and he's one tough nut to crack! I'm also going to try to listen to some Arvo Part and will listen to a work that never fails but to haunt me long after I've listen to it -- Miserere. Also, more Koechlin will be in the forecast with some lovely sonic slivers from Pettersson (more like sonic chunks), Martinu, and Berg.

Good night everybody.
“Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.” - Jean Sibelius

Online Que

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85983 on: May 25, 2011, 09:08:20 PM »
Thanks for quoting & bringing that earlier post to my attention. I think I just missed that because the cover is just one colour & I missed it as I was scrolling quickly. But as the saying goes "don't judge a book by it's cover!" I've noted the details of that set. It looks to be the right size as well - 15 discs is not too large a number. But if I do finally buy it, it'll be the largest set of CD's in my collection by far! The most I have is a 3 disc set of Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras & a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 4 set compilation of the famous orchestral highlights. I'll definitely keep this in mind, I have never felt this excited about hearing music that's new to me since my teenage years, re-discovering earlier music has been so reinvigorating and refreshing...

Sid, for your convenience click HERE for a previous post by erato on the Van Nevel Labyrinth set with a list of its content. :)

Q

Antoine Marchand

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85984 on: May 25, 2011, 09:30:34 PM »
Antoine, I'm sooo glad you took a chance on it...and like it! :) :)

The harpsichord disc is simply perfect IMO. The organ disc nearly so, though superb. I feel Berben has still a tiny bit of growth left in Bach's organ works (Yes, it still works ;D): and is in style and approach not 100% settled yet - it feels though he is still experimenting and playing around a bit (in an exilerating and brilliant way). :)

I totally agree with your comment, Q. I am highly impressed by this recording and I have planned to listen to this set several times during this week... And probably after that, I will listen to another Ramée disc by Berben (which I purchased some months ago, but still in cellophane), where he plays music by Hassler on the Franciscus Patavinus harpsichord (1561!  :o) in the Deutsches Museum (Munich)... BTW, Berben is our exact contemporary (he was born in 1970).  :)   

Online Que

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85985 on: May 25, 2011, 09:35:10 PM »
[...] another Ramée disc by Berben (which I purchased some months ago, but still in cellophane), where he plays music by Hassler on the Franciscus Patavinus harpsichord (1561!  :o) in the Deutsches Museum (Munich)... BTW, Berben is our exact contemporary (he was born in 1970).  :)

Ooooohhh! :o I wasn't aware of that one - please keep me posted! :)

Q

Sid

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85986 on: May 25, 2011, 09:39:20 PM »
Sid, for your convenience click HERE for a previous post by erato on the Van Nevel Labyrinth set with a list of its content. :)

Q

Thanks very much for that also. It's good to have some members here who are really clued up about this area of early classical. I am only familiar with the names Brumel & Lasso (Lasssus) on the track listing. I'm highly impressed by the Brumel mass for 12 voices, as I have talked about previously. I haven't heard about the other pieces/composers. Are the other items on this set highly regarded parts of the repertoire of that time? Are they generally representative of the eras? Basically is this set a good introduction or kind of "lauchpad" into this repertoire for newcomers like myself? I'm kind of looking less for "definitive" performances, I'm more interested in "defining" works of those times...

Antoine Marchand

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85987 on: May 25, 2011, 09:49:07 PM »
Ooooohhh! :o I wasn't aware of that one - please keep me posted! :)

Q

I will do... BTW, what a charming label is Ramée!  :)




Sid

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85988 on: May 25, 2011, 10:53:18 PM »
This is last night's listening, but I haven't had time to post it till now -

Chants sacrés de l'Orient (tradition melchite)
Sister Marie Keyrouz, arrangements and vocals
Male choir "de la Paix"
Harmonia Mundi (white label)

ANDRE RIEU (arranger) - Album "You'll Never Walk Alone"
Various vocal and instrumental soloists/Johann Strauss Orch. & Chorus/Andre Rieu, lead violin & direction
Universal Australasia

J.S. BACH
The Well Tempered Clavier (Nos. 9-17)
Wanda Landowska, harpsichord
Stereo Tape CC-697 (no date)

I have to be brief, as I'm out of time.

Sister Keyrouz's album is highly impressive not only in terms of her technique but her ability to deliver the strongest of emotions. Hearing this twice in a row was interesting, some of the differences between her chants became clearer. Eg. one of them features a short duet between her and one of the guys; the final song lasts almost 10 minutes and her voice just goes higher and higher into the stratosphere.

Andre Rieu's arrangements come across to me as being highly sensitive to and faithful to the gist of the originals. He knows these scores well, whether they be classical, show tunes or movie themes. His blending of various soloists with the orchestra is excellent. I think he can easily be compared to the great Canteloube, arranger of the "songs of the Auvergne."

Finally, the J. S. Bach floored me, particularly the ones in the minor keys. Landowska's playing was rich and powerful. She had tonnes of authority and a really unique voice. I now can't dispute the emotion in Bach's music, it's just as strong as that of Mahler. Amazing!!!


Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85989 on: May 25, 2011, 11:15:44 PM »
I'd call Rochberg's 2nd symphony spectacular, personally. (I blow rather more hot and cold on the rest of his output, but I think that's unquestionably one of the Great American Symphonies.)

Much as I like the 2nd, it was displaced for me when I heard the 1st, an amazing kitchen-sink anarcho-symphony (somewhat similar to Shostakovich 4 in spirit, though the obvious influences are Stravinsky and Schoenberg). It's kind of a shame Rochberg didn't develop this freewheeling in-yer-face style further in his career.
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85990 on: May 25, 2011, 11:20:41 PM »


Symphony No.14 'Morning' - a work that I rarely listen to
Symphony No.8 'Memories at Amalienborg'
Symphony No.11 'Ixion'
Symphony No.12 'Hélsingeborg'
Sphynx

Edit: well, it's 4am, so I suppose that "Morning" does qualify. I'm hoping that I feel as waltzy as the third movement later, but certainly not yet.


Symphony No. 14 - wonderful work, though in this performance the outer (choral) movements are rushed and the Danish is atrocious (those poor Poles).
Symphony No. 8 - A few successful things are in there, but sometimes the music is cloyingly sentimental.
Symphony No. 10 - Great piece.
Symphony No. 11 - A laugh, really. The same motif repeated over and over again, with four Wagner tubas in a star role.
Symphony No. 12 - Likable piece, but too short. At the end, in the score, it reads: The composer explodes. (!)
Symphony No. 15 - In two movements, the first instrumental, the second a setting of a poem. The first movement is the best (IMO), a gripping, Expressionist piece. The Polish chorus, again, shouldn't attempt Danish. But I don't like the movement in itself, either...
Sphinx - Atmospheric tone-poem. But it goes nowhere.


I love Langgaard. But not all his utterances are compelling.  ;)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85991 on: May 25, 2011, 11:47:20 PM »
I own the Arte Nova recordings (with Mandeal and "George Enescu" Bucharest Phil.) and they are pretty decent, but pale in comparison with the Rozhdestvensky. I wish Rozhdestvensky would have continued his series with this composer though.

For a terrific performance of Enescu's first Romanian Rhapsody check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXE_pW1vnrw

Celibidache conducts the "George Enescu" Bucharest PO in a legendary concert from 1971.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85992 on: May 26, 2011, 12:19:29 AM »
Oh yeah! :D  I had to go to the radio's website since I don't have a good memory for that kind of thing... and they got that wrong, they also misspelled Enescu as Enesco.  Well they try. :)

Actually that's not quite a misspelling, but the French spelling: George Enescu became Georges Enesco; same transformation with Eugen Ionescu, who was turned into Eugène Ionesco.  :)

But the confusion Budapest / Bucharest is very frequent --- and quite annoying for both Romanians and Hungarians.  A famous rocker whose name I can't remember once hailed the audience of his Bucharest concert with "Hello, Budapest!" but, after being admonished by a stage technician, made amend. :)

« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 12:21:15 AM by Florestan »
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Lethevich

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85993 on: May 26, 2011, 12:23:05 AM »
Symphony No. 14 - wonderful work, though in this performance the outer (choral) movements are rushed and the Danish is atrocious (those poor Poles).
Symphony No. 8 - A few successful things are in there, but sometimes the music is cloyingly sentimental.
Symphony No. 10 - Great piece.
Symphony No. 11 - A laugh, really. The same motif repeated over and over again, with four Wagner tubas in a star role.
Symphony No. 12 - Likable piece, but too short. At the end, in the score, it reads: The composer explodes. (!)
Symphony No. 15 - In two movements, the first instrumental, the second a setting of a poem. The first movement is the best (IMO), a gripping, Expressionist piece. The Polish chorus, again, shouldn't attempt Danish. But I don't like the movement in itself, either...
Sphinx - Atmospheric tone-poem. But it goes nowhere.

I love Langgaard. But not all his utterances are compelling.  ;)

Aside from the best one of the lot (No.10), the ones I like most in this collection are 11 and 15 :-* *hides*

I keep trying to search for groupings in his work - I like the pairing of 5 and 6, as landbased and skybased, and 10 and 13 as a stormy and clear cloudscape, although the main tune of the 13th still sets my teeth on edge - I don't know why, it must contain magical curses.
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85994 on: May 26, 2011, 01:25:27 AM »
Aside from the best one of the lot (No.10), the ones I like most in this collection are 11 and 15 :-* *hides*

I keep trying to search for groupings in his work - I like the pairing of 5 and 6, as landbased and skybased, and 10 and 13 as a stormy and clear cloudscape, although the main tune of the 13th still sets my teeth on edge - I don't know why, it must contain magical curses.


Hm, the main theme of No. 13 derives from No. 7. Don't you like it there, either? I think he develops it very well in No. 13, which is one of my favourite Langgaard symphonies! Perhaps for clarity's sake, the symphonies I like best are 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 16. Stupel is my preferred choice, because Dausgaard is too sensible and precise a chap for this kind of music. In 14 I like Schönwandt best, and in 4 and 5 Järvi.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85995 on: May 26, 2011, 01:30:48 AM »
I own the Arte Nova recordings (with Mandeal and "George Enescu" Bucharest Phil.) and they are pretty decent, but pale in comparison with the Rozhdestvensky. I wish Rozhdestvensky would have continued his series with this composer though.


I have the symphonies under Andreescu and Mandeal. Mandeal I still have to listen to, but Andreescu did the trick of converting me to Enescu's music, so he mustn't be too bad... I have read conflicting opinions about the Rozhdestvensky readings, by the way (on musicweb, to be precise).
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85996 on: May 26, 2011, 02:40:27 AM »
Listening to Tallis, English Anthems




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Offline Lethevich

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85997 on: May 26, 2011, 02:49:40 AM »
Hm, the main theme of No. 13 derives from No. 7. Don't you like it there, either? I think he develops it very well in No. 13, which is one of my favourite Langgaard symphonies! Perhaps for clarity's sake, the symphonies I like best are 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 16. Stupel is my preferred choice, because Dausgaard is too sensible and precise a chap for this kind of music. In 14 I like Schönwandt best, and in 4 and 5 Järvi.

Neither - it's the amount of times I hear it over the cycle because of the re-use (and especially the repetitions in the 13th). It's so Disney cheerful that it makes me feel very grumpy - it reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where a worker at the Warner Bros themepark had become unhinged from hearing the Looney Tunes theme on repeat over the tannoys for months ;) If it wasn't for that, the 13th would be a favourite, as it's one of the composer's most admirably constructed and least weird symphonies. Less dead space than the 10th, although that doesn't come across as a flaw during listening to the latter.

I too prefer Stupel - Dausgaard's analytical style kills the inherent plushness and surge of a lot of the music, although I am grateful for the alternatives. Even given the choral problems, I prefer Stupel even in the 15th because of the sheer swell and heft that the orchestra offers. I feel somewhat lacking in Langgaardian credentials when I can only offer nos.5, 6, 10 and 15 as enduring favourites (although the others all offer much joy during my regular listens). I constantly struggle with 2-4, which are full of the composer's weirdness, but lacking some of the radical nature of the later ones - listening feels a bit like a visit to grandma's house (if I had one :P), but I hope that my impression of this changes at some point.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85998 on: May 26, 2011, 02:52:04 AM »

I have the symphonies under Andreescu and Mandeal. Mandeal I still have to listen to, but Andreescu did the trick of converting me to Enescu's music, so he mustn't be too bad... I have read conflicting opinions about the Rozhdestvensky readings, by the way (on musicweb, to be precise).

Andreescu and Mandeal are still the best conductors of their generation, but they have completely different personalities.

Mandeal is introvert and "serious"; he did an excellent traversal of Bruckner's symphonies with Bucharest PO and in general is very good with Late Romanticism, Brahms included. He has been the principal conductor of Bucharest PO for years; he quit recently because of a bad conflict with the musicians in the orchestra.

Andreescu, who is the principal conductor of the Romanian NRO, is extrovert and "playful". His Mozart and Haydn recordings are very good. He's also extremely succesful in conducting Russian music and an enthusiast promoter of Romanian contemporary music.

Anyway, they both know Enescu's music inside out and I think they did a good job.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

karlhenning

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Re: What are you listening to?
« Reply #85999 on: May 26, 2011, 02:59:14 AM »
. . . because Dausgaard is too sensible and precise a chap for this kind of music.

Now, wait just the one minute which picks cotton . . . ; )

In what ways, really, does (pick a symphony, any symphony) Dausgaard disappoint you, Johan?  I find that my mind squirms with some discomfort when precise is mis-employed as a sort of musical vice. (I see Jeff Bridges as The Dude, crying, "Well, okay, if you actually want to hear what the composer notated, fine!")  And I've seen precision and accuracy cited as "reasons" why (e.g.) Haitink "isn't really any good" in the Vaughan Williams symphonies and the Emerson Quartet "aren't really any good" in the Shostakovich string quartets — and these are two of my favorite boxes.

I'll readily admit that I need to spend more time with the Langgaard symphonies set, so probably I haven't earned the right to an opinion. But all through my initial survey, I didn't find that precision was in any way a flaw on Dausgaard's part . . . .