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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: Purchases Today
« Last post by Spotted Horses on Today at 12:14:41 PM »
Just landed from BRO. The last time I ordered from them prior to this consignment, I couldn't say—but FWIW, they were still in Massachusetts.

The Tasnman took some time to grow on me, and I think I still find his chamber symphonies more fun.
The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by k a rl h e nn i ng on Today at 12:12:27 PM »
Of these only Huckleberry Finn and The Three Musketeers could be classified as adventure novels and I'd say that Huck Finn is more of a picaresque (like Quixote). The two others aren't even novels and while I probably read some children's version of a few Arabian Nights tales (like Sindbad's travels) around the same time in elementary school, the originals are usually too adult.

The good thing about Treasure Island is that it is not as historically loaded as Scott or Dumas (and not as long either...). I suspect that Stevenson got a bit more into that Scott Tradition with Kidnapped/Catriona (while keeping a teenager as main character) and I liked the first (although I read it much later as an adult) I don't think it is as good as Treasure Island.

BTW, for those who like the Arabian Nights, I highly recommend the "The Manuscript found in Saragossa" by Count Jan Potocki. The guy's life was stranger than many novels and that novel is a crazy wild ride (and the book had a strange fate as well).

The MS. Found in Saragossa is marvelous! Our Cato put me on to that.


This is a re-read, but I first read it as a teenager, and I remembered nothing of either of the first two stories.
Sonatas for trumpet / horn / cello / double bass / tuba / trombone & piano
Kalle Randalu et al.

The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by T. D. on Today at 11:38:15 AM »
Continuing my traversal of Schnittke’s symphonies:


Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No 2 is based on the composer’s personal experience in the Austrian collegiate church of St. Florian, which he visited during a trip with friends to the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival in 1977. Schnittke describes this experience and his symphony’s origin and conception as follows:

"We reached St. Florian at dusk, when Bruckner’s grave was already closed. The cold, dark baroque church had something mysterious about it. Somewhere in the church a small choir was singing the evening mass: a 'Missa invisibilis'. On entering the church, each of us went in a different direction – to let the cold and powerful size of the building affect each of us alone.

A year later, I received a commission from the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a concert programme which was to be conducted by Gennadij Roshdestvensky. First of all my thoughts turned to a piano concerto; Roshdestvensky however put it to me that I should compose a work dedicated to Bruckner. As I had no ideas on this subject, Roshdestvensky said: 'How about something connected with St. Florian?' That was precisely the right answer. I immediately thought of an 'invisible mass' – a symphony against a choral background.

The movements of the Symphony No 2 follow the traditional order of the mass, and in the choral sections liturgical melodies are quoted. Can a form that ends with the words 'Dona nobis pacem' – give us peace – ever be surpassed?

All the harmony in this symphony is constructed according to the principle of a cross, as too is the form. How, though, can one build up a chord according to the principle of a cross? In this case it results in two chords intermingling; they are not symmetrical, but their intermingling produces a symmetry against which a horizontal motion reacts, so that visually, on the page of the score, a cross appears. I have pursued this thoroughly. It was very important for me to find such a principle of construction, especially for the Credo.

This symphony may at the same time be a mass, but there is less of the mass than of the symphony about it, because the elements which refer to the mass are mostly confined to the beginnings of the movements. A Gregorian hymn is quoted (or two, or one in canon with itself), and then orchestral material is added which is mostly independent and has nothing to do with the chorales – but which is an extension of the chorale. In the process everything vertical is strictly controlled. Everything must accord with the principle of the cross."

[Article taken from Universal Edition]
Composer Discussion / Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Last post by SonicMan46 on Today at 11:34:29 AM »
Well, I'm still reading the British Music book (nearly 500 pages, bottom row left) and about two-thirds through, just finishing the section on Arthur Bliss - I've gone through much of this thread and my really modest collection, i.e. just the top 4 CDs below - seems to be some 'mixed' feelings on some of his works, esp. A Colour Symphony, which I listened to yesterday and liked.  In fact, enjoyed nearly all of the works in my collection and decided to order two additional discs (bottom row).  Thanks for all of the useful and sometimes conflicting comments on Bliss.  Dave :)

General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening 2 now?
« Last post by ritter on Today at 11:25:10 AM »
Sticking to piano music tonight, but moving forward several decades: Roger Woodward plays Jean Barraqué’s Sonate.

Found this picture of the instrument used by Planès on a Dutch website:

It is an extralarge ('Modèle puissant') Pleyel nicknamed 'Grand Patron' from Spain.
The reviewer is BTW happier with the instrument and the way it is recorded then with the interpretations.

PS From the booklet:

The 1836 Pleyel concert grand (labelled ‘Modèle puissant’) that was used for this recording is larger in size than a
standard model (2.40 m). Housed in a Brazilian rosewood case (Pleyel also used mahogany, another rare wood),
it has an eighty-note keyboard with ivory and ebony key tops; carved feet ‘en torchon’; and a Greek-pattern pedal
lyre with two brass pedals, the soft one on the left and the sustaining one on the right. Mercury-gilded brass
fleurons and lock fittings are also adorned with Greek fret. Nicknamed the ‘Grand Patron’, the instrument was
described by its manufacturer as being constructed according to ‘a new principle of sound production unlike any
conventional notions’. Indeed, instead of a standalone soundboard, the one in pine is here glued to a second one,
in mahogany, so that their wood grains run perpendicular to each other. ‘Unexpectedly, the effect was a twofold
increase in volume,’ allowing the new model to rival the English-made pianos of the time. In fact, the instrument, in
its original state, already produced a volume comparable to that of a modern piano. It has three distinct registers:
a treble that is light and harp-like, a velvety middle register, and a bottom register with round and clear bass notes
– sonorities which combine together better than on the more evenly voiced pianos of today.

Thanks Que for the booklet link and the description above - so, an original Pleyel (restoration state?) - well, the Planès recording is already on Spotify, so will take a listen soon!  Dave :)

Well this simpleton will check that live 6th out, but I slightly over-listened to that symphony not so long ago, so I may need to let the planet spin a few times before wading back in.

A good thing to do for sure. I try not to overdose on Mahler and I love his music dearly.
It is a delicate work with an appealing beauty, very welcome in the confusing times in which we live.
The performance I listened to is with the Schönberg Ensemble with Reinbert de Leeuw
Rosemary Hardy Soprano-Ian Bostridge Tenor.

I have that recording, as well!
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