GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: kyjo on October 18, 2013, 05:38:49 PM

Title: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 18, 2013, 05:38:49 PM
This thread is meant for discussion of all music composed in an exotic vein. Apart from the usual suspects (Rimsky, Borodin, Khachaturian etc.), here are some lovely slices of exotica I have discovered:

Karayev: Seven Beauties and In the Path of Thunder (ballet suites)
Szymanowski: Symphony no. 3 Song of the Night; Harnasie; Love Songs of Hafiz
Amirov's "symphonic mughams" and PC
Ranjbaran: Persian Trilogy
Villa-Lobos' symphonic poems
Griffes: The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan; Five Poems of Ancient China and Japan
Holst: Beni Mora; Japanese Suite
Schierbeck: The Chinese Flute (song cycle)
Ludolf Nielsen: Lackschmi
Monasypov: Violin Sonata (on YT)
Kuzhamyarov: Symphony no. 3 (on YT)
Schmitt: La tragedie de Salome
Lehmann: Violin Concerto
Lyapunov: Hashish (symphonic poem)
Ippolitov-Ivanov: Caucasian Sketches: Suites 1 and 2; Turkish Fragments
Bantock: Omar Khayyam
Liadov's short orchestral works
N. Tcherepnin: Le Royaume enchantee; La Princesse lointaine
A. Tcherepnin: Symphony no. 3 Chinese
Aho: Chinese Songs
Fernstrom: Ro-Nai-Nai's Songs
Chisholm: Piano Concerto no. 2 Hindustani
Ireland: The Forgotten Rite; Mai-Dun
Most of Kamran Ince's music
Rabuad: Marouf (opera)
And, of course, the Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto and The Yellow River Piano Concerto

Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: some guy on October 19, 2013, 03:24:26 AM
And to all the Chinese and Japanese and Iranians on the board, it's Haydn's London symphonies that are exotic.

And Copland's Appalachian Spring.

And Gerhard's New York symphony.

And Mendelssohn's Scottish symphony.

Perhaps only Vaughan-Williams' seventh will seem exotic to everyone....
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 19, 2013, 03:40:21 AM
Perhaps only Vaughan-Williams' seventh will seem exotic to everyone....

 ;D :D ;D  ....unless we have a few music loving penguins among us.

Sarge
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Octave on October 19, 2013, 03:43:24 AM
But the term "exotica" (cf. David Toop's book) does kind of account for a Western (dis)(ad)vantage point and gross (i.e. fascinating) "misreading", doesn't it?  I think Kyjo knows that.  The wrongness or strangeness or inaccuracy of these works as anthropology is part of what makes them fascinating as music, right?  When it's "concert" music written from the vantage point of someone from the ethnic/regional group that produced the "exotic" (sic) content, then it's the presentation as ~Western concert music that is exotic, unless you are not from that ~ethnic group, in which case it's the ~exotic content that is ~exotic.  Duck-rabbit!
I think it's kind of useful to have a thread that takes stock of some of these inspirations and oddities.  I was thinking of Rimsky-Korsakov just yesterday in this vein, so fresh input is welcome.

A couple 'gimmes':
Lou Harrison (a bunch...the gamelan pieces in terms of instrumentation)
Christopher Adler (all I know are the pieces on the album EPILOGUE FOR A DARK DAY [Tzadik, 2004])


Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: North Star on October 19, 2013, 04:13:09 AM
Jenny Lin's Chinoiserie is an entire disc devoted to 'Chinese' music written by people from the west - the Tcherepnin etudes were written in China, and are quite 'Chinese', though, most of them being influenced by different Chinese instruments.

Here are a few others that ought to qualify:

Britten: The Prince of the Pagodas
Ravel: Chansons madécasses
Mozart: Rondo all Turca
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dax on October 19, 2013, 05:33:20 AM
But the term "exotica" (cf. David Toop's book) does kind of account for a Western (dis)vantage point and gross (i.e. fascinating) "misreading", doesn't it?

Quite so. Given the pejorative use of the word in some quarters, some kind of definition would be useful here.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 19, 2013, 01:33:32 PM
By "exotica" I am referring to music of, pertaining to, or influenced by the modes and harmonic patterns of music from Eastern (non-Western) countries.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: jochanaan on October 19, 2013, 02:37:57 PM
By all rights, one should include Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker in the "usual suspects." :)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 19, 2013, 02:46:16 PM
I shouldn't have forgotten Respighi's Belkis, Queen of Sheba, with its thrilling War Dance!
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Mirror Image on October 19, 2013, 07:38:32 PM
I shouldn't have forgotten Respighi's Belkis, Queen of Sheba, with its thrilling War Dance!

Hell yes! That War Dance movement is outstanding. The Geoffrey Simon performance is the one to hear, although Eiji Oue's is a sonic blockbuster too!
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: listener on October 19, 2013, 11:32:09 PM
3 operas:
MOZART``The Abduction from the Seraglio
GLUCK`Le Cinesi
CORNELIUS: The Barber of Bagdad
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: some guy on October 19, 2013, 11:52:58 PM
By "exotica" I am referring to music of, pertaining to, or influenced by the modes and harmonic patterns of music from Eastern (non-Western) countries.
Yes, we know.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Octave on October 20, 2013, 02:52:03 AM
Yes, we know.

How obnoxious.

By "misreading" above, btw, I meant (in conjunction with the nod the more negative connotations of the term "excotica") something like iirc Harold Bloom might have meant, also something like cross-pollination and mutation the way jazz has always done since before it was 'jazz'.  [EDIT: I'm just trying to re-emphasize the felicity of ~Western appropriations and narcissism...exciting distortions and accidents etc.  Otherwise the requisite hesitations just sound like the policing anthropology beached itself on for quite a while; still, perhaps.]
Anyway, I hope Kyjo and others will keep this thread going. 

OT, several years ago I read a book that didn't focus on music (literature is his real subject though the scope of the book is rather wider than that), but seems relevant.  For whatever it's worth; I'm sure there are wheelbarrow fulls of stuff on this subject even just in musicology.  The Kontje book was my glancing blow, and it was interesting.  (EDIT: In addition to the famous Edward Said books, which I'm pretty sure almost everybody gets to first of all.)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gVcJ6IOlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Todd Kontje: GERMAN ORIENTALISMS (Univ Michigan, 2004)

Any genealogy of how any idea or place or tradition becomes the "middle/center" of anything is probably relevant to my own anxieties about what survives and what I spend time with.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: some guy on October 20, 2013, 03:39:42 AM
How obnoxious.
Yes, that was my point.

Any genealogy of how any idea or place or tradition becomes the "middle/center" of anything is probably relevant to my own anxieties about what survives and what I spend time with.
But this is what I'm really interested in. If you can get past your perception of me, could you explain why you have anxieties about what survives and how that relates to what you spend time with. (I took this as meaning something beyond the bluntly practical--if something has not indeed survived, then it's not available to spend time with.)

Not necessarily this thread, of course. A new thread? A PM?
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Lisztianwagner on October 20, 2013, 04:20:55 AM
Johann Strauss II: Persischer-Marsch, Egyptischer-Marsch and Tausend und eine Nach-Walzer.
Respighi: Brazilian Impressions.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 20, 2013, 05:57:13 AM
Yes, we know.

Obviously you didn't, as you were the one who first questioned the definition of the word. ::)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Octave on October 20, 2013, 06:22:11 AM
Some Guy, yes, I overreacted.  I need to take a weekend away from the web and de-crank.  We'll talk, though.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: some guy on October 20, 2013, 10:27:59 AM
OK, cool.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Superhorn on October 20, 2013, 12:29:21 PM
    Albert Roussel : Evocations .  Opera/Ballet Padmavati . 
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 20, 2013, 12:38:46 PM
    Albert Roussel : Evocations .  Opera/Ballet Padmavati .

Indeed! Love those works by the way! Which brings to mind.....Ibert's Escales.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Sean on October 20, 2013, 08:30:32 PM
Roussel travelled to India I think to Rajastan in the northwest, but the Padmavati story is from Andhra Pradesh in the southeast. She's an avatar of Lakshmi, consort to Vishnu.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Padmavati_Devi_Walkeshwar_Jain_Temple.jpg) (http://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu223/yogeshcin/DSC00582.jpg)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: listener on October 21, 2013, 12:22:40 AM
more from deep recesses of memory
Colin McPHEE  Tabu-Tabuhan
GODOWSKY  Java Suite
and Abram CHASINS: 3 Chinese Pieces (I've encountered only Rush Hour in Hong Kong on record)
and oddly in the DOPPER 6th Symphony ("Amsterdam") the 3rd (?) movement was inspired by Vancouver's Chinatown!
the 4th of the Four Movements for Chamber Orch. by BLOCH - China
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Sean on October 21, 2013, 12:52:47 AM
Holst Hymns from the Rig Veda Sets 1-3, which aren't very exotic

Messiaen Turangalila and other works- Indian tala rhythms

Glass Satyagraha after the life of Gandhi, also with Indian music influences

Shankar Sitar concertos...

Stravinsky The Nightingale, Chinoiserie

Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Brian on October 21, 2013, 06:16:45 AM
Jean Cras' string trio has a pretty fantastic Moroccan/Algerian section. It's non-European enough to be jarring.

Reza Vali also deserves a plug here, as an actual Iranian composer. In fact, why don't I just plug this entire CD:



Gabriela Lena FRANK (b.1972)
Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout (2001) [21:12]
Peruvian-inspired music by an American composer of Peruvian-Chinese-Lithuanian parentage

Lou HARRISON (1917-2003)
String Quartet Set (1978-79) [25:29]
Contains an evocation of Ottoman janissary bands

José EVANGELISTA (b.1943)
Spanish Garland, 12 Folk Melodies (1993) [10:29]
Very rustic Spanish music, Moorish/Arabic in roots

Reza VALI (b.1952)
Nayshaboorák, Calligraphy No. 6 (2005-06) [12:03]
Iranian quartet with instruments tuned to traditional scales

Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b.1957)
Fast Blue Village 2 (2007) [5:16]
Uzbek-Australian minimalism
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 21, 2013, 06:20:52 AM
;D :D ;D  ....unless we have a few music loving penguins among us.

Sarge

All right, buddy . . . .
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 21, 2013, 06:27:36 AM
Thread Duty, with a sort of cannot-believe-these-haven't-been-mentioned-until-page-2-of-the-thread eye-roll  ;)   8)   0:)
 
Nielsen, Aladdin
Schuller, Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee, "Arab Village"
Wuorinen, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
(okay, hardly anyone else would have thought of this one)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: listener on October 21, 2013, 11:04:59 AM
just listened to Richard STRAUSS  Arab Dance from the 2 Pieces for Piano Quartet AV.182
rather in imitation of Hindemith's Mini-Max,
and I think no one has mentioned SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto no. 5 - "Egyptian"  and Africa, and the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah or his Caprice Arabe (piano 4-hands)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on October 22, 2013, 04:43:47 AM
From Wiki:

Maurice Delage (13 November 1879 – 21 September 1961) was a French composer and pianist.

Delage was born and died in Paris. A student of Ravel and member of Les Apaches, he was influenced by travels to India and the East. Ravel's "La vallée des cloches" from Miroirs was dedicated to Delage.

Delage's best known piece is Quatre poèmes hindous (1912–1913). His Ragamalika (1912–1922), based on the classical music of India, is also significant in that it calls for prepared piano; the score specifies that a piece of cardboard be placed under the strings of the B-flat in the second line of the bass clef to dampen the sound, imitating the sound of an Indian drum.

His 4 poèmes hindous are just ravishing. Go for Anne Sophie von Otter on DGG or Janet Baker .

Much music by John Foulds was inspired by India : Indian suite, Three Mantras for orchestra ,etc.

In Belgium, some composers were inspired by the Congo - there's a Congo symphony by Jean de Middeleer and Congolese dances for piano and percussion by Flor Alpaerts. Arthur Meulemans set texts by Rabindranath Tagore. Karel Candael's ballet "Het hooglied" / the song of Solomon" has been described as "Respighian".
In France composers were inspired by the" départements d'outre-mer ". The oratorio "l'Ile rouge"/ Madagascar") by Pierre Capdevielle, Rapsodie malgache by Raymond Loucheur, André Jolivet's pianoconcerto Uses as a basis the typical elements of traditional music from Central Africa, the Far East and Polynesia, André Jolivet conjures up the ritualistic origins of this music.
There's a Symphonie japonaise by Raymond Gallois-Montbrun (1918-1994) and in the works of Charles Koechlin, of course, you'll find plenty of exotical examples. Koechlin's  Suite javanaise/Transcriptions de gamelans(1910) is scored for the combination of flute, celeste,harp, organ,piano and gong.
Florent Schmitt's score for Salammbô ( recorded by Jacques Mercier)  for large orchestra and chorus should please to all Respighi-lovers.

P.

Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 22, 2013, 11:09:39 AM
Many thanks for that informative post, pjme! Shame on me for forgetting Foulds and Koechlin! :-[
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: jochanaan on October 22, 2013, 06:11:00 PM
...Shankar Sitar concertos...
Hardly exotic to the estimable Ravi Shankar, born in India, master of ragas...
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Sean on October 22, 2013, 06:45:57 PM
pjme, thanks for the tip- I don't know Delage.

jochanaan, some of the most haunting sitar-sarood music is called Gandharvaved, examples on Youtube.

Doesn't the sitar capture the spirit of a culture like no other instrument?
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on October 23, 2013, 03:49:51 AM
Adolphe Biarrent may appeal to lovers of Franck and d'Indy/


From Wiki:

Adolphe Biarent (16 October 1871 – 4 February 1916) was a Belgian composer, conductor, cellist and music teacher.
Biarent studied at the conservatories of Brussels and of Ghent, and was a pupil of Émile Mathieu. He won a Belgian Prix de Rome with his cantata Oedipe à Colone in 1901, after which he remained near his home in Charleroi, composing, conducting and teaching (or more accurately, engaging in pedagogy, for example the writing of manuals as well) (in which subject he had, for teacher, Fernand Quinet [1]).[2]
Although still little known now, Biarent composed music that successfully combines "the structural solidity" of César Franck and Vincent d'Indy with "something of the orchestral brilliance and clarity" of Emmanuel Chabrier.

His “Contes d’orient” is a substantial orchestral fantasy – think of Sheherazade meets Cesar Franck.
“Le réveil d’un dieu” for cello and orchestra is based on a (grandly pompous) poem by José-Maria de Hérédia :

La chevelure éparse et la gorge meurtrie,
Irritant par les pleurs l'ivresse de leurs sens,
Les femmes de Byblos, en lugubres accents,
Mènent la funéraire et lente théorie.

Car sur le lit jonché d'anémone fleurie
Où la Mort avait clos ses longs yeux languissants,
Repose, parfumé d'aromate et d'encens,
Le jeune homme adoré des vierges de Syrie.

Jusqu'à l'aurore ainsi le choeur s'est lamenté,
Mais voici qu'il s'éveille à l'appel d'Astarté,
L'Epoux mystérieux que le cinname arrose.

Il est ressuscité, l'antique adolescent !
Et le ciel tout en fleur semble une immense rose
Qu'un Adonis céleste a teinte de son sang.

(http://c3.cduniverse.ws/resized/250x500/music/073/1129073.jpg)

Or You Tube.

Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: kyjo on October 23, 2013, 11:10:00 AM
Thanks for bringing Biarent up-a shamefully neglected composer indeed! I have that CD you mention and enjoy it greatly, but, to me, the two discs pictured below are even greater finds:

   



Each one of the works on both CDs is a masterpiece, and I (try to) use that debatable term judiciously! The orchestral works reflect the influences of Wagner, the Russian Five, and Biarent's French contemporaries, which are assimilated masterfully. The two chamber works are epic and passionate-reflecting the influence of Franck, but often surpassing him in terms of sheer power. What puts Biarent a cut above many other lesser-known Romantic composers is that he is able to crank out truly memorable melodies and his music skillfully avoids any longueurs. Definitely one of my most impressive discoveries!
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Roy Bland on November 07, 2020, 07:59:53 PM
Uzbekistan orchestral works
http://orkestr-uz.narod.ru/audio/audio.htm
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on November 08, 2020, 02:55:19 AM
Picture postcard exotica in all sizes and often mellifluous forms...

https://www.youtube.com/v/QUHA0T3AId4
Nabil Benabdeljalil Symphonie Marocaine

https://www.youtube.com/v/v0eSbxd90qU
Fragments from Mogador (Symphonie Concertante pour piano et Orchestre) by Jaloul Ayed,

https://www.youtube.com/v/xXamCj8ZZ0U
Peter Ritzen: Chinese requiem

https://www.youtube.com/v/CDDezzUg0Go
Peter Ritzen :  Scherzo from Transcedental Symphony Heavenely Peace 'Ancient China'

Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on November 09, 2020, 07:23:07 AM
Arif Melikov. Piano Concerto.



https://youtu.be/soNjJllE4HM
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2020, 08:41:55 AM
Sculthorpe: Music for Bali

https://www.youtube.com/v/ml324-L5eaA
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Roy Bland on November 09, 2020, 06:33:14 PM
Luis Sandi from Mexico
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THtrg1iXcx8
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on December 14, 2020, 02:02:59 PM
Exotic Dances, Eiji Oue/Minnesota. Enjoyable collection of music and decent performance.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Roy Bland on December 15, 2020, 02:02:24 AM
Salikh Saydashev's military march
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAl158aWbNE
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on December 21, 2020, 02:04:42 AM
Alexander Rahbari on Naxos - symphonic poems.

https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.574064

(https://media.s-bol.com/qxYgVZ3249wD/550x545.jpg)
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: ritter on December 21, 2020, 02:12:00 AM
For a second. I had read "The eRotica thread", and thought a whole new world of possibilities had opened up on GMG.  :D

Good day, Peter!
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on December 21, 2020, 03:07:04 AM
And a good day from grey, rainy, far too warm Belgium.

Exotica, erotica...the difference is marginal....

Scriabin, of course...

https://www.youtube.com/v/YR00FO9vKgw

And (fun) DADA risqué... Erwin Schulhoff's Sonata erotica . Tender souls could be shocked, I suppose....
"Performance of the piece – written for a non-existent instrument called the ‘Solo-Muttertrompete’ (Solo-Mothertrumpet) and suitable, according to Schulhoff, ‘for men only’ – requires a certain daring and lack of inhibition. Not least at the end, where the prescribed sanitary activities may present a particular challenge to the performer. If this is so, the solution we would suggest is that the performer withdraws behind a screen or offstage to pour water into a zinc bucket, with or without amplification."
YT has at least 3 versions.....You are warned....
http://www.ebonyband.nl/en/library/detail/naam/schulhoff/title/sonata-erotica/


Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Florestan on December 22, 2020, 12:56:21 PM
For a second. I had read "The eRotica thread", and thought a whole new world of possibilities had opened up on GMG.  :D

I see where you're coming from, I experienced the same reading and thought several times when this thread popped up in the unread topics list.

Tbh, I have no doubt that such a thread would be as contentious, conflictual and divisive as any political thread.  :D
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on December 28, 2020, 10:07:37 AM
Alexander Rahbari on Naxos - symphonic poems.

https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.574064

(https://media.s-bol.com/qxYgVZ3249wD/550x545.jpg)

Lovely disc.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 05, 2021, 07:01:32 PM
Technically western music. Still these works sound very exotic and amazing.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Roy Bland on March 05, 2021, 07:19:49 PM
Malaysan symphony
https://youtu.be/16eO8d9RWoc
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on March 06, 2021, 12:27:20 AM
Technically western music. Still these works sound very exotic and amazing.

It is ... surprising (strange, weird, fun) to see some of Flanders most conservative late - Romantic composers, inspired by Richard Strauss, Ravel & Debussy, César Franck, d'Indy and the Russian 5, turn up in this Exotic thread.
Apart from Van Hoof's symphony, written in 1941 and thus inspired by the war, the other works are sunny, lyrical
honest, quite "simple" evocations of Belgian / Flemish/Kempish landscapes - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campine.
There are no palm trees, camels, belly dancing, scantily clad houris or peris to be seen in the province of Antwerp...
Meulemans symphony ("Swan fen") refers to a park near the city of Turnhout and the village of Arendonk, close to the Dutch border: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwaneven


On cd 1 (music by Benoit, Mortelmans and de Vocht) there's more sturdy historicizing, praying & religious suffering and a great romantic cello concerto dating from 1955.

With a view to clarifying his concerto, De Vocht wrote the following text:

‘The first movement, Allegro deciso, expresses the urge for decisive, strong-willed innovation from which an enthusiastic lyricism originates. The principal theme, an energetic exhortation on the four notes a-d-e-a becomes, in adapted form, the cornerstone of the last movement too.

The key motif of the Lento, initially hesitant and recurring with more urgency each time after pauses of silence, is followed by a melancholy but passionate cantilena, such as a cello is eminently suitable to express. Then again the painful melancholy is dissolved by the violins, acting like a ray of sunshine. Everything now becomes emotion, flowing into a serene final hymn, in which the principal theme, now with a merry touch, is being elaborated as a canon.

The Allegro vivace – Presto is the stream of vital fullness that the two main elements of the work are drawn into, intertwined in a discharge of joy.’

Belgian composers, of course, didn't escape the lures of exoticism.
Karel Candael (1883-1948) wrote a biblical ballet on the Song of songs and M'bali, a piano piece inspired by Africa. Flor Alpaerts (1876-1954) wrote two large symphonic poems "Cyrus" and "Psyche", Jean De Middeleer (1908-1986) a "Congo-symphony", Jean Absil (1893-1974) a Brazilian rhapsody, Robert Herberigs (1886-1974) Anthony and Cleopatra, August de Boeck a Dahomeyan rhapsody, Norbert Rosseau (1907-1975) Rousslane for orchestra, Edgar Tinel (1854-1912), a Polyeucte suite ....etc.

Flor Alpaerts' Salome is a very well behaved girl: "Dinner is ready, sir". :D

https://www.youtube.com/v/JO7nbbMV0GM(https://conchigliadivenere.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/salome.jpg)


Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on March 06, 2021, 06:30:48 AM
from "The History of Aboulhassan Ali Ebn Becar," : Schemselnihar, a ballet by Leo Smit.
First performance by Pierre Monteux and the Koncertgebouw Orchestra in 1929.
A superb score!

https://www.youtube.com/v/ZYbuzJWrqMQ

"'It was long before my companions and I could recall her to her senses. At length her conciousness returned. I then said to her, 'Are you resolved, lady, to suffer yourself to die, and to make us die with you? I conjure you in the name of the Prince of Persia, in whom you are so interested, to endeavour to preserve your life. I entreat you to hear me, and to make those efforts which you owe to yourself, to your love for the prince, and to our attachment to you.' 'I thank you sincerely,' returned she, 'for your care, your attention, and your advice. But, alas! how can they be serviceable to me? We are not permitted to flatter ourselves with any hope; and it is only in the bosom of the grave that we may expect a respite from our torments.'
"'One of my companions wished to divert our lady's melancholy ideas by singing a little air to her lute; but Schemselnihar desired her to be silent, and ordered her, with the rest, to quit the room. She kept only me to spend the night with her. Heavens! what a night it was! She passed it in tears and lamentations, calling continually on the name of the Prince of Persia. She bewailed the cruelty of her fate, which had thus destined her for the caliph, whom she could not love, and had deprived her of all hope of being united to the Prince of Persia, of whom she was so passionately enamoured."
 
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 07, 2021, 07:18:22 PM
It is ... surprising (strange, weird, fun) to see some of Flanders most conservative late - Romantic composers, inspired by Richard Strauss, Ravel & Debussy, César Franck, d'Indy and the Russian 5, turn up in this Exotic thread.
Apart from Van Hoof's symphony, written in 1941 and thus inspired by the war, the other works are sunny, lyrical
honest, quite "simple" evocations of Belgian / Flemish/Kempish landscapes - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campine.
There are no palm trees, camels, belly dancing, scantily clad houris or peris to be seen in the province of Antwerp...
Meulemans symphony ("Swan fen") refers to a park near the city of Turnhout and the village of Arendonk, close to the Dutch border: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwaneven


On cd 1 (music by Benoit, Mortelmans and de Vocht) there's more sturdy historicizing, praying & religious suffering and a great romantic cello concerto dating from 1955.

With a view to clarifying his concerto, De Vocht wrote the following text:

‘The first movement, Allegro deciso, expresses the urge for decisive, strong-willed innovation from which an enthusiastic lyricism originates. The principal theme, an energetic exhortation on the four notes a-d-e-a becomes, in adapted form, the cornerstone of the last movement too.

The key motif of the Lento, initially hesitant and recurring with more urgency each time after pauses of silence, is followed by a melancholy but passionate cantilena, such as a cello is eminently suitable to express. Then again the painful melancholy is dissolved by the violins, acting like a ray of sunshine. Everything now becomes emotion, flowing into a serene final hymn, in which the principal theme, now with a merry touch, is being elaborated as a canon.

The Allegro vivace – Presto is the stream of vital fullness that the two main elements of the work are drawn into, intertwined in a discharge of joy.’

Belgian composers, of course, didn't escape the lures of exoticism.
Karel Candael (1883-1948) wrote a biblical ballet on the Song of songs and M'bali, a piano piece inspired by Africa. Flor Alpaerts (1876-1954) wrote two large symphonic poems "Cyrus" and "Psyche", Jean De Middeleer (1908-1986) a "Congo-symphony", Jean Absil (1893-1974) a Brazilian rhapsody, Robert Herberigs (1886-1974) Anthony and Cleopatra, August de Boeck a Dahomeyan rhapsody, Norbert Rosseau (1907-1975) Rousslane for orchestra, Edgar Tinel (1854-1912), a Polyeucte suite ....etc.

Flor Alpaerts' Salome is a very well behaved girl: "Dinner is ready, sir". :D

https://www.youtube.com/v/JO7nbbMV0GM(https://conchigliadivenere.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/salome.jpg)

Thank you for the informative review. It is insightful and very helpful. Also, I liked the music of Salome.
I must be a lunatic to call the music exotic, but exoticism could be based on subject as well as object.
I will check out works by the composers you mentioned while I am listening to works by de Boeck, van Hoof, etc. now.
Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on March 08, 2021, 12:02:22 AM
"Thank you for the informative review. It is insightful and very helpful. Also, I liked the music of Salome.
I must be a lunatic to call the music exotic, but exoticism could be based on subject as well as object.
I will check out works by the composers you mentioned while I am listening to works by de Boeck, van Hoof, etc. now.
Thanks a lot."

You're not lunatic at all! Belgium can be, in spite of its size, geography and history, (often entertainingly) exotic, indeed surrealistic.
As for the composers I mentioned: it will be difficult to find recordings. National radio (VRT & RTBF) disbanded the broadcasting orchestras and choirs years ago and the focus has shifted to Renaissance and Baroque music.
The NIR/BRT/BRTN/VRT  (Flemish radio & TV) orchestra continues as the Brussels Philharmonic, the RTBF (French/Walloon national Radio & TV) orchestra doesn't exist anymore.
As in many other European countries, romantic, late-romantic, "impressionistic and expressionistic" composers (that are, admittedly, not Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Schoenberg....) fell out of favor in Belgium.
In the 20th century, conductors such as Daniel Sternefeld, Franz André , André Cluytens, André Vandernoot, René Defossez and Fernand Quinet conducted and recorded the music of their contemporaries.
The Antwerp SO started some years ago (then Antwerp Philharmonic) a (modest) cd series with music by Flemish composers, but I fear that it is discontinued.
The Phaedra label offers a quite impressive collection of Belgo-flemish music. it is now distributed by Dutch Music Works.
https://phaedra-inflandersfields.bandcamp.com/
On YT, there's a "crazy" guy, Remus Platen who has a huge collection of old radio broadcasts . He has some music by Defossez, Brenta, Meulemans, Herberigs, Pelemans, Peeters etc.

Meulemans pianoconcerto nr. 1 : https://youtu.be/0m-c35AsA3g
Defossez pianoconcerto nr. 1: https://youtu.be/udHa9eWFRGo
Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: pjme on March 08, 2021, 03:00:27 AM
Belgian musical surrealism:

Belgium is a bilingual country. Today even, with a very small German speaking community, officially trilingual. I’ll spare you the more complicated details. Read more at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Belgium#Postwar_Belgium

In 1930 Belgian National Radio becomes a (bilingual) reality. The N.I.R. /I.N.R. is created: the National Institute for Radio broadcasting /  Institut National de Radiodiffusion.
The BBC serves as a model.
From Februari  1931 on,  three conductors are installed: Franz André, Jean Kumps and Arthur Meulemans. Apparently, Désiré Defauw acts also as “artistic advisor” .
Three orchestras are formed: a Symphony Orchestra, a Radio Orchestra and  the “Klein Orkest”, a small orchestra.
After many problems, changes and quarrels a Large Symphony Orchestra of the N.I.R.-I.N.R. is created in 1935 , with Franz André as conductor:
Inspired by Paul Collaer, the Large S.O. expands its repertoire and performs numerous contemporary compositions: Krenek, Malipiero, Milhaud, Bartok, Schönberg, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Koechlin. And, of course, many works by Belgian composers: Marcel Poot, Arthur Meulemans, Paul Gilson, August Baeyens, Karel Albert, Karel Candael, Michel Brusselmans, Jef Van Hoof, Edgard Tinel, Jules Strens etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Collaer
Franz André retires in 1958, but conducts regularly as guest.
In 1960 the broadcasting institute is split and the stations become respectively BRT and RTB ( Belgian Radio and TV / Radio et Tv Belge).
In 1957 Daniel Sternefeld becomes chief conductor of the  (combined) BRT-RTB Groot Symfonisch Orkest (Grand Orchestre Symphonique de la RTB-BRT). He remains  untill 1971. He is followed by Irwin Hoffman [1973-76].
The Large Orchestra is split.
In 1977 RTB becomes RTBF (F= Français). The Nouvel Orchestre Symphonique de la RTBF is created. Edgard Doneux is chief conductor. In 1984 this orchestra is renamed Orchestre Symphonique de la RTBF and Alfred Walter becomes chief.
In 1978 the BRT orchestra is renamed as BRT Filharmonisch Orkest.
In 1988 Alexander Rahbari becomes chief –conductor.
In 1991 BRT becomes BRTN (N= Nederlands= Flemish) In 1997 BRTN becomes VRT, Vlaamse Radio en Televisieomroep.
Also in 1991 the Orchestre Symphonique de la RTBF is definitively dismantled.
In 1998 the BRTN orchestra is renamed as Vlaams Omroeporkest (VRO / Flemish Broadcasting Orchestra) and Yoel Levi becomes its chief conductor.
In that same year the orchestra is detached from the broadcasting organisation and restarts –in 2008 - as Brussels Philharmonic. Michel Tabachnik is followed by Stéphane Denève.

Marcel Poot: Légende épique : https://youtu.be/KXiZORdGWuw
Bohuslav Martinu: Double concerto, piano, strings & timpani : https://youtu.be/RD8LzvwcBNs
And - because it is International women's day:
Nini Bulterys (1929-1989): pianoconcerto https://youtu.be/ZGWxNmUnbNw








Title: Re: The exotica thread
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on March 08, 2021, 08:31:49 AM
Some names sound familiar. Now I am listening to albums of the Anthology of Flemish Music series (Marco Polo) and In Flanders’ Fields series (Phaedra).
Great, and again exotic, music.