Author Topic: Toch Talk  (Read 23997 times)

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #140 on: May 21, 2018, 07:32:23 PM »
I can chalk up one positive experience, the Steinberg recording of the 3rd symphony. Symphonies 2, 3 (Francis) 6, 7, confirmed fails. I'll give it a decade and see if another brave soul tries to record a Toch symphony.

Toch wrote the bulk of his output before the rise of the Nazis (before the entire artistic milieu which had sustained him was destroyed, in other words).  I would sample from his earlier music.

Offline amw

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #141 on: May 21, 2018, 07:40:41 PM »
The symphonies are all late works composed in America post 1940ish. He was already in his seventies by that point I think. I have a fair amount of chamber music by Toch, which is generally good, & also the Cello Concerto and Tanz-Suite on CPO, which are also good.

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #142 on: May 22, 2018, 07:30:00 AM »
Ok, it turns out I have that disc with the Tanz Suite and Cello Concerto and have some vague memory of listening to it with some enjoyment. So I put it on.

Starting the Tanz Suite, it starts with an attractive movement with quick, jaunty counterpoint. Cute. I remember liking this. Then comes the second movement. It starts nicely enough, a slow movement, but by the end I am listening to an extended passage which is a duet between clarinet in high register and contrabass playing in low register, playing not just lento, or molto lento, but lentissimo. Really? Two point counterpoint between two voices separated by more than 5 octaves? Is this an ear training exercise? Maybe I can tell the difference between a major 3th and a minor 3th, but can I tell the difference between a major 51st and a minor 51st? This guy has no sense. It is the familiar experience with an obscure composer where you are twiddling thumbs through the failed parts, waiting anxiously for a good bit to come up. I remember the same feeling watching Mets games in the old days, waiting and waiting for Darryl Stawberry to come up, and wondering whether he will hit a homer or strike out, as he more frequently did.

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #143 on: May 22, 2018, 07:30:39 AM »
Maybe you Toch admirers should consider whether it is to your advantage to encourage me to listen to more Toch. :)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #144 on: May 22, 2018, 07:37:40 AM »
Um . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #145 on: May 22, 2018, 07:41:38 AM »
You have to admit, I'm giving you material you can use. Maybe you have been searching for a piece with clarinet/contrabass counterpoint at 6 octaves. That would be what, Contrapuntus MDCCLXVI in Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge, if only he had lived that long...
:)

Offline Brian

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #146 on: January 08, 2020, 07:49:17 AM »
Just wanted to make sure this anecdote from André Previn was here:

https://vimeo.com/140204929

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #147 on: January 08, 2020, 08:11:03 AM »
Just wanted to make sure this anecdote from André Previn was here:

https://vimeo.com/140204929

That’s great, Brian. Thanks for sharing!
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #148 on: January 08, 2020, 12:58:04 PM »
Just wanted to make sure this anecdote from André Previn was here:

https://vimeo.com/140204929

Interesting; and good on Mr Preview.
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 Daverz

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #149 on: January 09, 2020, 05:08:55 AM »
Just wanted to make sure this anecdote from André Previn was here:

https://vimeo.com/140204929

Wait, so Toch was wrong?  8)

Online Maestro267

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #150 on: June 16, 2020, 05:16:42 AM »
Bumping as the complete symphonies set I ordered has arrived. I've started with No. 2, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #151 on: June 16, 2020, 01:14:25 PM »
Bumping as the complete symphonies set I ordered has arrived. I've started with No. 2, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Excellent!
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 Mirror Image

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #152 on: June 16, 2020, 01:18:37 PM »
Okay, Toch fans, what is it about this composer that you like so much? Is there a particular work that could be considered a masterpiece? Are the chamber works better than the orchestral works? Inquiring minds want to know...

I’ve struggled with Toch in the past, but I’m more than open to suggestions.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #153 on: June 16, 2020, 02:03:06 PM »
Okay, Toch fans, what is it about this composer that you like so much? Is there a particular work that could be considered a masterpiece? Are the chamber works better than the orchestral works? Inquiring minds want to know...

I’ve struggled with Toch in the past, but I’m more than open to suggestions.

Let me revisit and marshal my thoughts.
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 Mirror Image

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #154 on: June 16, 2020, 03:18:38 PM »
Let me revisit and marshal my thoughts.

Sounds good, Karl. 8)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 04:05:00 PM by Mirror Image »
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #155 on: June 17, 2020, 03:20:17 AM »
Listening to No. 1 now. These symphonies are definitely in the soundworld that I really enjoy. The constant activity in the high strings in several places during the first movement, and the martial outburst on percussion near the end of the second movt, are standout moments for me so far.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #156 on: April 28, 2021, 03:27:54 PM »
Today I stumbled upon the SQ No. 6 from the set below. I'm currently listening to the 1st movement. Wow, I didn't expect such a level of beauty and sheer sophistication. Eugen d'Albert's masterful SQ No. 1 came to my mind on hearing the Toch, there is a certain similarity between both. Supremely marvelous music. Hopefully the other quartets will be as fine or even better.

A pity the first five quartets are not recorded, probably due to they're lost.

Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #157 on: May 14, 2021, 01:54:15 PM »
Toch's masterful string quartets have meant hours of intense pleasure to these ears. There is no any bad or dull quartet. The consistency of the music is astonishing. I could separate the works in these 3 groups: Nos. 6-8 are imbued with intense romanticism and late-Romanticism, Nos. 9-11 have more harmonic wealth and quirkiness, and Nos. 12 and 13 seemed somewhat more introspective.

This set has been my most important discovery of this year thus far.

Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Cato

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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #158 on: May 16, 2021, 01:17:28 PM »
Toch's masterful string quartets have meant hours of intense pleasure to these ears. There is no any bad or dull quartet. The consistency of the music is astonishing. I could separate the works in these 3 groups: Nos. 6-8 are imbued with intense romanticism and late-Romanticism, Nos. 9-11 have more harmonic wealth and quirkiness, and Nos. 12 and 13 seemed somewhat more introspective.

This set has been my most important discovery of this year thus far.



Today must be Great Chamber Music Day!   8)  I just wrote about the great Louis Vierne's chamber music (q.v.) and now, let me also recommend Toch's string quartets.
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Re: Toch Talk
« Reply #159 on: May 16, 2021, 01:42:33 PM »
Those SQs were real finds to me. I can't recommend those works enough. Hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as I did!
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen