GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: some guy on July 02, 2008, 12:22:18 PM

Title: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on July 02, 2008, 12:22:18 PM
I just noticed a reissue of Gerhard's Symphony no. 4 on the new release wall of my corner music store here in Portland, and thought this might be a propitious time to rekindle some interest in the Catalan/British composer in hopes that our collective appetite will encourage record companies to reissue all those classic LPs by Dorati and Prausnitz and Davis. (This reissue is one by Davis.) And maybe even, dare we hope?, encourage the BBC to release all that electroacoustic music--no performers to pay or halls to hire for them to record in....*

It's odd about Gerhard. His music, to my ears, is endlessly fascinating, whether it's the early Pedrell symphony and ballets or the later, numbered symphonies and concerti and chamber works. (The later works are easier to listen to over and over again, but the easier, more tonal early works have enough quirks and complexities to keep them interesting with repeated listenings.) But even though there are a number of fine recordings, only a few so-so ones, and only one real stinker that I know of, Gerhard never seems to have caught on to the extent that his quite engaging music would suggest he would.

*What? Big record executives do NOT monitor these classical forums? Damn.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Brewski on July 02, 2008, 12:29:58 PM
There are definitely a few Gerhard fans on this board, so thanks for starting this thread.  In the last year or so I've been listening to the two Chandos CDs of his Symphonies No. 3 and 4, and just love them.  (Don't have much of his output yet other than those two, but am eager to hear more.)

Great sense of color (a sort of Catalan version of Dutilleux?) and I keep wondering why you don't see any of his works in the concert hall (at least in New York).  Granted, the ones with electronics are perhaps slightly more difficult to coordinate, but still...

Don't know any of his early tonal work at all, and of course I'm curious: what's the "real stinker" of a CD? 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: MDL on July 02, 2008, 01:04:47 PM
The only Gerhard piece that I know well is The Plague. Dorati's Washington recording scared the shit out of me when I first heard it in the early 1980s.
I've not heard any of his symphonies. Of the Chandos recordings, which should I go for? Collages or the New York?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on July 02, 2008, 01:16:13 PM
what's the "real stinker"

L'infantament meravellos de Schahrazada

I don't think it's all that easy to find, fortunately. (And if this has only served to pique your curiosity, so that you try to find it, and you hate it, then don't come here yelling at me. Only people who have this and love it can yell at me.)

MDL, I would say go for both, of course. But since the contents of the new Lyrita reissue are the same as the Chandos (symphony no. 4 and violin concerto), I'd say your real choice is between the Lyrita and the Chandos recording of the symphony no. 3 (with the concerto for piano and strings and the Epithalamion).

Further than that I cannot say!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Brewski on July 02, 2008, 01:41:17 PM
Not to worry: if I don't like it I won't yell at you, I'll just come burn down your house.  ;D  Seriously, that might place it further down the list, but I'm usually interested to hear less-than-successful pieces by composers I like.  And so far, pretty much everything I've heard by him has been a "wow." 

I'd echo the "either or all" summary, too, although I haven't heard any other recordings of these pieces, just the Chandos.  (I notice the huge series on Auvidis Montaigne, as well, many of which seem to be out of print, but I see them at used stores.)  You might consider how you feel about electronics (some people I know can't stand any), which appear in the Third Symphony.  But as some guy says, you really can't go wrong with either.

PS, I've heard from others that The Plague is a pretty ferocious piece.  I've noticed this in the store, and even the cover is scary.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HV50M5MJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: greg on July 02, 2008, 02:44:50 PM
Quote
Gerhard's Gazebo
wait, have you realized what you've done?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: mn dave on July 02, 2008, 02:55:32 PM
wait, have you realized what you've done?

There isn't room in this gazebo for the both of ya.  8)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on July 02, 2008, 03:01:15 PM
MDL, the coupling for Bamert's Chandos recording of Gerhard's symphony no. 4 is the Pandora Suite, not the violin concerto, as I mistaken reported earlier. On Chandos, the violin concerto is coupled with the symphony no. 1.

The Pandora Suite that's to die for, I think, is the one on Harmonia Mundi, with Alegrias, Cancionero de Pedrell, and the very quirky Sept Haiku.

(It's a pretty big gazebo. The salesman told me it was the biggest one ever made.)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: gomro on July 02, 2008, 03:35:16 PM
I just noticed a reissue of Gerhard's Symphony no. 4 on the new release wall of my corner music store here in Portland, and thought this might be a propitious time to rekindle some interest in the Catalan/British composer in hopes that our collective appetite will encourage record companies to reissue all those classic LPs by Dorati and Prausnitz and Davis. (This reissue is one by Davis.) And maybe even, dare we hope?, encourage the BBC to release all that electroacoustic music--no performers to pay or halls to hire for them to record in....*

It's odd about Gerhard. His music, to my ears, is endlessly fascinating, whether it's the early Pedrell symphony and ballets or the later, numbered symphonies and concerti and chamber works. (The later works are easier to listen to over and over again, but the easier, more tonal early works have enough quirks and complexities to keep them interesting with repeated listenings.) But even though there are a number of fine recordings, only a few so-so ones, and only one real stinker that I know of, Gerhard never seems to have caught on to the extent that his quite engaging music would suggest he would.

*What? Big record executives do NOT monitor these classical forums? Damn.

I first heard Gerhard in the late 70s, the Angel recording of the Third Symphony, with the electronic sounds WAY too loud in the mix. The Chandos recording is far better.  His work is closer to Varese than Schoenberg, but really it sounds like no one but himself. I often take the 3rd or 4th symphonies with me for the long commute to work...
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: MDL on July 03, 2008, 12:23:55 AM

PS, I've heard from others that The Plague is a pretty ferocious piece.  I've noticed this in the store, and even the cover is scary.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HV50M5MJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce

That's the version to get. Don't buy the Disques Montaigne version released in the '90s. The excellent work of the chorus and orchestra is ruined by a comically dreadful narrator. "I was perturbed" becomes "I was pertoobed" etc. He sounds dubbed. Perhaps this recording could be reissued with a different narrator.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 22, 2009, 10:15:59 PM
BUMP
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: donaldopato on January 17, 2010, 09:24:37 AM
I have been away for a while from here, no reason in particular, just can't be everywhere on the net!

Anyway, just seeing this thread about one of my favorite 20th century composers. Been familiar with his music since the LPs of the symphonies in the 70's.

The Chandos Symphony set is excellent but the 4th seems to have been deleted.

I picked up the Lyrita release of the first recording of the 4th by Colin Davis and the BBC SO coupled with the Violin Concerto with Yfrah Neaman as solo. A valuable recording from ca 1970 when this music was fresh and probably intimidatingly new.

The Dorati "Plague", as mentioned, is the way to hear this fascinating, depressing work.

My 2 cents for the day.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on January 17, 2010, 12:15:54 PM
You know, I was just thinking about this thread the other day, probably because I was giving those exquisite string quartets of his a long overdue spin. They really are fresh and delightful. Not Kagel, not Lachenmann, but in the same world. The same kind of delight.

BBC still hasn't seen fit to issue his electroacoustic music sitting in their vault. I don't know why. It'd be dead cheap to do, no performers to pay, just a technician or two, one at the tape deck and one at the cd burner. Easy!

I'd buy it, for sure. Or them. Hopefully, it would be several CDs!!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on January 17, 2010, 09:29:18 PM
You know, I was just thinking about this thread the other day, probably because I was giving those exquisite string quartets of his a long overdue spin. They really are fresh and delightful. Not Kagel, not Lachenmann, but in the same world. The same kind of delight.

BBC still hasn't seen fit to issue his electroacoustic music sitting in their vault. I don't know why. It'd be dead cheap to do, no performers to pay, just a technician or two, one at the tape deck and one at the cd burner. Easy!

I'd buy it, for sure. Or them. Hopefully, it would be several CDs!!

I've been getting pretty close to finally getting the SQs (they have been the very last mid century transitional SQs on my list for a long time). I suppose you have the Kreutzer, which is such a short time cd, but, oh well.

All I have right now is the Stradivarius disc with the Piano Trio, Cello Sonata, and a couple of the late pieces. The SQs would be perfect foil.

I still haven't got around to the symphonies, either. Gerhard is truly the last man on the list, haha.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on January 18, 2010, 12:03:06 AM
The Kreutzer, yes.

And another different kind of yes for the four symphonies.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: gomro on January 18, 2010, 05:04:37 AM
The only Gerhard piece that I know well is The Plague. Dorati's Washington recording scared the shit out of me when I first heard it in the early 1980s.
I've not heard any of his symphonies. Of the Chandos recordings, which should I go for? Collages or the New York?

Collages is one of my favorite pieces for orchestra and tape -- much better than the more well-known Deserts or Kraanerg, imho -- and this performance is balanced better than the one I heard years ago, on vinyl, wherein the taped sounds were WAY too loud.  I would recommend it as Intro to Gerhard Symphonies 101, but the New York symphony is essential listening, too.  If you don't like electronics, go for it.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 19, 2010, 11:27:55 AM
Well, Gerhard represents the very last mid-century composer whose SQs I haven't heard, just heard about. I heard No.1 was a Schoenbergian masterpiece (Skalkottas was the other Schoenberg disciple who wrote about 5 SQs). No.2, written in the '60s, was supposed to be more in the Penderecki camp.

Well, as we all know, there is only one recording, the Kruetzer on Metier. Even the violinist, in the liner notes, makes mention of this fact, that there is no tradition.

No.1's first mvmt. was written in 1950, a mvmt, which, to my ears, sounds like an exact, Spanish-composed, take on Schoenberg's SQ No.4. Gerhard even utilizes Schoenberg's ba-ba-ba-ba/ba-ba-ba-ba type rhythm. Listening to this mvmt makes me think that Schoenberg's method really only worked within the context of Viennese Classicism as the expression of extreme emotional states (hysteria, for one). Gerhard sounds a lot less hysterical, but still, the uneasy. noctural angst comes through. As a representation of Schoenberg's method, Gerhard's mvmt is a total success, but it also brings up what appears to be a dead end limitation of the method, that it always seems to lead to these Munchian emotional states.

The next three mvmts were written in 1955, and, some have made something of an apparent stylistic disjunct between the SQs two parts (1 vs 2-4). I'm not so close to it that I can pick it up like that.

Either way, the slow mvmt is truly inspired in it's noctural musings. I will be coming back here. The final feeling I got from the first two listens bordered on the "ok, it's nice, but...", but, I have a feeling I will end up feeling very nostalgic towards this piece later.



No.2 is a completely different story. From the get-go, I have been eagerly awaiting the day that I would finally hear this "missing link" in the developmental chain of the post-war avant-garde. I kept hearing about the Penderecki/Lutoslawski type sound connections, and so forth. Then, I read the Amazon review (who is this Scarecrow Ginz guy,... is that you "some guy"?, haha), where No.2 was criticized for being a bit too fragmentary for it's own good (same as with Berio's Sincronie (1964)).

So, I'm listening, and,.... mmm, eh,... ok, it's from the '60s, but I'm having a time trying to get into it. Part II (out of VII) starts out with some nice effects (which are reproduced in Paul Griffith's book "The String Quartet"), but, there does not seem to be all that much cohesion between the 7 mvmts. I had about the same reaction to this SQ as I did to another "must hear" from the '60s, Husa's No.3 (Pulitzer Prize 1967). That SQ, too, had quite a reputation, that, upon initial listening, proved much less trail blazing than had been expected. So far, Holliger, Hiller, Lachenmann, Ligeti, and the whole bunch, hold the top seats at the Wildest SQ Party. I will, however, wear this cd out in the hopes of being converted. ;D



A note on the recording. I got two Metier/Kruetzer cds here (along with their Finnissy), and, it appears that Metier Sound & Vision (shades of ASV?) is a one man operation, David Lefeber. I must say that the Gerhard recording in particular is pretty unspectacular, and, for this reason along could use a new recording (what happened to the Arditti here?). I enjoyed the Kreutzer's Gloria Coates cd, and yet here there is a feral feeling to the proceedings here (which, actually works). The actual sound recording quality, though, does leave something to be desired (especially in the sound heavy No.2).

Honestly, having heard the final missing link at this point in my research was a little disappointing. I think I bilt them up a bit, though, the Amazon reviewer dampened my fantasy a bit (which was a good thing). I needed to hear these pieces, but, now I'm scratching my head. I'm going to have to get my Strad disc of chamber works and have a Gerhard evening soon. I still haven't heard the syms yet, but I do have the feeling that I won't have any problems there (though, I can tell you, that his syms have truly been blown up by all as some pretty good stuff,... and I do believe you all). I'm not holding this disappointment against Gerhard.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on February 19, 2010, 12:54:47 PM
(who is this Scarecrow Ginz guy,... is that you "some guy"?, haha), where No.2 was criticized for being a bit too fragmentary for it's own good (same as with Berio's Sincronie (1964)).
Nope, not me. I would never criticize anything for being too fragmentary. Most things are not fragmentary enough for my tastes!!

I think you'll probably warm to these quartets. Maybe not. But I do want to put in a word for expectations. For not having any. Expectations in my experience are the very devil. Many a time I've had expectations and then had to put the thing aside, sometimes for several years, before I could come back to it and enjoy it simply for what it is.

Good luck, anyway, with Gerhard. I've liked him ever since that first LP of the Symphony no. 3, which I don't think is badly balanced at all--I think it's the best balanced: tape and orchestra equal partners. In the other two, the CD versions, the tape sounds weak and apologetic, as if the engineers didn't really want all those strange sounds interfering with the nice flutes and such. Having said that, the Bamert is by far the better of the two CD versions, in every way. And if you know only that, you know something very fine and satisfying indeed.

Too bad Chandos stopped with that series. I talked to some guy there (some other guy than me, "some guy") who said they might pick it back up, again. Hope so, but that was years ago, and there's been nothing since. It'd be nice to have a decent performance of the ballet Don Quixote, one that snaps and crackles like that LP of the suite (Dances from Don Quixote). Was that with Dorati? I've lost my notes to that album, that or I never made any when I burned that.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Brewski on February 19, 2010, 01:35:31 PM
Thanks for the comments on these quartets, which I don't know at all.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 19, 2010, 11:33:15 PM
I just listened to No.2 again before reading your take on "expectations". I remember thinking just now, listening, that if you had told me this SQ was written in 1989 by someone born in 1963, I would have said yes.

I think I have heard soooooooooo

oooooooooooooooo

                                                   ooooooooooooooooooo many SQs that have taken Gerhard's almost idiot-savant approach (dada?) to it's logical conclusion: the "taken for granted" sound that seems to have been bequeathed to a generation of composers who dare to be born after Kennedy's Assassination.

A little scratch here,... a little glissando there,... a little integrated serialism,... a little irrational "shouting",...

Hey, not that I don't looove this stuff, don't get me wrong. Back to Gerhard...



I really don't want to fault the Kreutzer any. The violinist's notes, however, to me, almost seem to make excuses for the performers, that, this is uncharted territory. That is fine, but what would the Arditti have made of it?

SQ No.2:
I Lento 1'56
II          1'26
III        1'38
IV         0'30
V           4'28
VI         2'22
VII       1'58

@14'30

II, IV, VI, & VII contain lots of interesting effects. Bowing behind the bridge, Gliss, Bartok Pizz, ColAmStLegnoplex... though nothing reaching into true radicalism. It's more as if Webern had been Debussy. I keep sensing that Primitive aspect,... the ostinato effect is here in places. I feel like I should be trippin'... I know I just need to get my time frame. I can dig it!

Honestly, there are a lot of interesting harmonic turns after the slow mvmt (late Schoenberg), V, but, this is where a better detailed recording would really bring some stuff out more. My advice would be for the Kreutzer to re-record for Naxos, eh!!!??!!!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 19, 2010, 11:35:29 PM
Sorry, that last post was a rambling mess,... like much else I write, haha! :P :-* 8) ;D
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: The new erato on February 20, 2010, 04:18:42 PM
Rambling on.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biaQyFxzIi0 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biaQyFxzIi0)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 21, 2011, 01:14:30 PM
Sorry, that last post was a rambling mess,... like much else I write, haha! :P :-* 8) ;D

Oh dear! How do I Delete stuff? :-[ ;D
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 21, 2011, 01:31:18 PM
Nope, not me. I would never criticize anything for being too fragmentary. Most things are not fragmentary enough for my tastes!!

I think you'll probably warm to these quartets. Maybe not.


Actually, that SQ cd has been very much played since I got it,...hmm,... just this time last year. There is something about the Schoenberg-meets-Spain thing that makes No.1 so evocative to me,... maybe I just have Spain fantasies (never been)? This four mvmt. work seems to me very typical of the 'searching' '50s (Bloch, V-L, Malipiero, Chavez, Hindemith, Martinu, etc.,...). Gerhard's take sounds very much to me like Schoenberg's SQs 3-4 (especially 4, with the bells and whistles) filtered ever so slightly to sound less,... well,... hysterical (forgive me).

(also, I'm listening to Saint-Saens SQ No.1 now, so,...  ::))

Maybe it's the fact that this cd is only 38mins. that makes it so much of a snack? I can always include it in an evening's recital time and have plenty left over for,... well,... what to compare Gerhard's changing style (from '40s serialism to early '60s experimentalism)? Karel Husa? Samuel Adler? Ginastera?

I wonder about those Composers whose, let's say, SQ No.1 is in the more 'traditional' line (Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Hindemith, etc.,...), and their SQ 2-3 begins to sound more like Ligeti, or Penderecki, or other, later, Composers? (yes, that's not grammatical)

Anyhow, this disc of Gerhard SQs does remind me of the Husa disc of SQs, maybe the grittiness. I like grittiness!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on February 21, 2011, 05:25:47 PM
Glad to hear it.

And you remind me I've not listened to that disc myself for many months. In the dozens of months.

Gerhard's one of those people I get easily hooked by. That is, if I listen to one piece by him, I find that I don't rest until I've played all the CDs of his music that I have.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: mjwal on February 22, 2011, 10:18:16 AM
Nope, not me. I would never criticize anything for being too fragmentary. Most things are not fragmentary enough for my tastes!!

I think you'll probably warm to these quartets. Maybe not. But I do want to put in a word for expectations. For not having any. Expectations in my experience are the very devil. Many a time I've had expectations and then had to put the thing aside, sometimes for several years, before I could come back to it and enjoy it simply for what it is.

Good luck, anyway, with Gerhard. I've liked him ever since that first LP of the Symphony no. 3, which I don't think is badly balanced at all--I think it's the best balanced: tape and orchestra equal partners. In the other two, the CD versions, the tape sounds weak and apologetic, as if the engineers didn't really want all those strange sounds interfering with the nice flutes and such. Having said that, the Bamert is by far the better of the two CD versions, in every way. And if you know only that, you know something very fine and satisfying indeed.

Too bad Chandos stopped with that series. I talked to some guy there (some other guy than me, "some guy") who said they might pick it back up, again. Hope so, but that was years ago, and there's been nothing since. It'd be nice to have a decent performance of the ballet Don Quixote, one that snaps and crackles like that LP of the suite (Dances from Don Quixote). Was that with Dorati? I've lost my notes to that album, that or I never made any when I burned that.
I haven't been listening to Gerhard recently, but when I originally bought the Bamert that was exactly my reaction: the tape sounds fail to come over with any strong sense of definition. So I am keeping my LP, though the PM Davies on the other side has been reissued on CD. As to The Plague, I taped a (German) performance from the radio years ago but can't find the tape - I remember it as a very disturbing piece (like the novel, really). I meant to go and hear it in London a few weeks ago, when I was in England, but I couldn't get my act together.  :'(- - still, I just found it (Dorati version) on Amazon.de for €4,80, hoorah. I thank all of you writing on this thread for the inspiration to look. - Wouldn't I love to hear that incidental music for King Lear mentioned on Wikipedia... - I remember hearing the Zodiac pieces far back in the day - anybody know the Nieuwenensemble versions?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on February 22, 2011, 06:18:49 PM
Thanks for bringing this up, mj. I had the Nieuwenensemble disc back when it was new (or nieuw), and I didn't like any of these pieces.

I grew to like all of them, eventually, in other performances. For some reason, I never pulled this back out until today to give it a listen.

Wow. This seems altogether just as perfect as it's possible to be. Inspired and inspiring performances. Crisp and precise but never "playing it safe." Everything wild and under perfect control. I'm so glad I kept this CD in my collection.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on February 22, 2011, 07:14:31 PM
I'll throw in another good word for the disk with the Nieuw Ensemble (this is the correct spelling). It's the same idiom as the 3 later symphonies, but a bit more accessible to my ears. It really leaves you wanting more after you hear it, and the Nieuw Ensemble is really spot on. They're an ensemble that always seems to play great, interesting pieces, given how idiosyncratic their ensemble is.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: mjwal on February 23, 2011, 04:47:45 AM
Thanks for the recommendations, chaps, and for the correction - I had sloppily misread the name of the Nieuw Ensemble from Amazon's listing. I shall definitely order this recording of the horoscope pieces.
Anybody else enjoy the Violin Concerto as much as I do? It certainly one of my favourite "post-SchoenBergian" violin concertos, with the Skalkottas and the Frankel (to mention only two...) I wish I had it here - most of my CDs are elsewhere until April.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Amfortas on June 24, 2011, 04:50:44 PM
Wondering if anyone recorded Gerhard's THE PLAGUE in this performance narrated by Paul McGann:

http://www.cefc.org.uk/concert-calendar/roberto-gerhard-the-plague-and-john-adams-harmonium/ (http://www.cefc.org.uk/concert-calendar/roberto-gerhard-the-plague-and-john-adams-harmonium/)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: mjwal on June 25, 2011, 02:48:59 AM
Wondering if anyone recorded Gerhard's THE PLAGUE in this performance narrated by Paul McGann:

http://www.cefc.org.uk/concert-calendar/roberto-gerhard-the-plague-and-john-adams-harmonium/ (http://www.cefc.org.uk/concert-calendar/roberto-gerhard-the-plague-and-john-adams-harmonium/)
I believe not. I was in England at the time and a friend of mine in London who sings in CEFC told me about the concert, for which I would have had to travel from Lancaster to London at an awkward time - I couldn't make it and emailed later that I hoped there was a recording (as there so often is), but was disappointed to gather that he had seen no signs of recording at the concert.
But the McCowen/Dorati version is so good that one's disappointment is mitigated.
To return to the controversial subject of the tape sounds in Symphony #3 - some guy and I for, all others apparently against the balance in the Prausnitz recording - all those who do not have the LP can check this out by going to The Music Parlour blog and clicking on Prausnitz in the list of conductors. Listening to this again (my LP is elsewhere) I find it difficult to understand why the tape sounds should be quieter; the Chandos CD (also elsewhere) sounded undernourished in this respect, though I cannot make a close comparison at the moment. Yes, it sounds so 60s - well, it was.Looking at it from a "period instrument" point of view, those home-made sounds have a certain shock effect that has been ironed out in the Bamert performance. Try it and see. And take note: the symphony has a name, Collages, which should be taken seriously. Gerhard was around for performances by Schwarz and then Prausnitz, for whom he prepared the stereo version of the tape.For an interesting report on Gerhard's work with tape-mixed sounds, see
http://www2.hud.ac.uk/roberto-gerhard-archive/downloads/15-Karman.pdf
- please please please, one wants to scream, issue the 1963/64 BBC recording of Graves's Anger of Achilles (with a full score by Gerhard), which won the Prix Italia in 1965.
P.S. This too from that Gerhard archive: http://www2.hud.ac.uk/roberto-gerhard-archive/downloads/Carlos-Duque.pdf
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Amfortas on June 25, 2011, 05:28:40 AM
@mjwal: Thanks for that information. I agree the McCowen one is good (better than the one with Lonsdale on Auvidis), but there is always room for another, and Paul McGann would likely do a great job. It's probably too much to hope for a commercial recording with McGann



Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: not edward on June 25, 2011, 06:22:38 AM
@mjwal: thanks for those links; great to find commercially unavailable material like the Prausnitz 3rd and the Del Mar Concerto for Orchestra.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Amfortas on June 25, 2011, 06:34:00 AM
@mjwal: thanks for those links; great to find commercially unavailable material like the Prausnitz 3rd and the Del Mar Concerto for Orchestra.

I can second that recommendation, they are fine performances. That site does a real service to music lovers
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: UB on June 25, 2011, 07:51:19 AM
The LP of Dorati - Plague in excellent condition is being offered in a couple of places for about $140 US but no bids. The only one that I can find that was actually sold was in 2009 for $80 US plus $40 shipping from Switzerland. Guess I will be careful the next time I play mine.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Amfortas on June 25, 2011, 09:16:32 AM
The LP of Dorati - Plague in excellent condition is being offered in a couple of places for about $140 US but no bids. The only one that I can find that was actually sold was in 2009 for $80 US plus $40 shipping from Switzerland. Guess I will be careful the next time I play mine.

the recording has been issued on CD
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DEL6WS5bL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on June 25, 2011, 10:40:12 AM
[P]lease please please, one wants to scream, issue the 1963/64 BBC recording of Graves's Anger of Achilles (with a full score by Gerhard), which won the Prix Italia in 1965.
QFT!!

And thank you very much for the García-Karman article. Pure gold. The more I learn about Gerhard, the cooler he seems.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: mjwal on June 25, 2011, 12:54:30 PM
QFT!!

And thank you very much for the García-Karman article. Pure gold. The more I learn about Gerhard, the cooler he seems.

Just checked that abbr. on Urban Dictionary - either "The branch of quantum physics that is concerned with the theory of fields; it was motivated by the question of how an atom radiates light as its electrons jump from excited states" or alternatively "Quoted For Truth. Generally used on internet forum after quoting someone to make sure they cannot go back and change what they've already posted. Sometimes used to express you agree with the opinion. "QFT, brutha." is different from "QFT you fucking bitch!". Remain slightly puzzled ;-)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on June 25, 2011, 03:27:59 PM
Don't be puzzled, brutha!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: techniquest on June 26, 2011, 11:31:36 AM
I would like to echo what has been previously said regarding 'The Plague'. Definitely go for the Dorato recording - it is terrifying; a fascinating piece....don't listen to it alone... :o
I'd also like to mention the piece that first got me into Gerhard back when I was about 15 - The Concerto for Orchestra. I grew up with the BBCSO / del Mar vinyl recording and although I have the BBCSO/ Bamert recording on Chandos (coupled with the Symphony No.2), I still prefer del Mar's rendition. If you've not heard the concerto, I'd highly recommend it!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on September 15, 2011, 06:48:07 AM
bump
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on September 17, 2011, 12:33:50 PM
I just heard Gerhard's Violin Sonata Gemini, and I'm just bowled over. I remember thinking the opening of Stravinsky's Duo Concertant was original sounding, but Gerhard's sword fighting intensity is unlike anything I've ever heard for this combination. It reminds me slightly of Xenakis's Dikhthas, but this piece is even much more extreme. It's as if the Xenakis piano piece Herma was being played with the violin piece Mikka. Is anyone as impressed with this piece as I am?

It's on the Largo disc 'Portraits & Horoscopes', along with three Late pieces for ensemble. Gerhard's very last piece, Leo, for ensemble, is very incisive, reminding me of Boulez, and Castiglioni, with maybe a bit of Maderna's freedom. It seems as if only one instrument plays at a time in its 20min. span, but this is not the case, as Gerhard deftly handles his forces to strikingly individual and progressive results. Gerhard seems to be a bit ahead of his peers in the last ounce of sheen in the AvantGarde.

I have also now become addicted to the cd of the two SQs. I hear the Ardittis have a recording in the can, so, that should be interesting.

I believe I have most all of his Chamber Music, and, he certainly progressed light years between '59-'69. I have held off on the Symphonies, but not anymore. Gerhard just has that winning disposition, no?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on November 01, 2011, 07:42:53 AM
Well, it looks like Gerhard's Symphonies are coming up fast on The List.

I'll look over the Thread, but, what's the skinny between Chandos and Auvidis (and Davis in No.4... especially concerning the tape integration)? I can't believe the Chandos No.4 is so expensive on Amazon, yikes!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: not edward on November 01, 2011, 08:57:18 AM
Well, it looks like Gerhard's Symphonies are coming up fast on The List.

I'll look over the Thread, but, what's the skinny between Chandos and Auvidis (and Davis in No.4... especially concerning the tape integration)? I can't believe the Chandos No.4 is so expensive on Amazon, yikes!
Davis in #4 isn't competitive in my opinion. He doesn't seem comfortable in the idiom, and I'd rank his recording a long way behind either the Chandos or Auvidis versions.

In general, I prefer the Chandos recordings over Auvidis; though the Auvidis recordings are sympathetically interpreted the Chandos discs have a clear edge sonically and in performance terms (the Tenerife orchestra's string sections seem a little lacking in weight and numbers at times, too). However, the Auvidis 2nd is still essential as they use Gerhard's incomplete revision from the end of his life (Chandos uses the original version of the work); the single-disc version of this comes with the 4th, which I'd regard as the strongest of Pablo Perez's readings and fully worth acquiring on its own grounds.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on November 01, 2011, 10:36:31 AM
To what are you referring with the words "the tape integration"?

If it's to a tape part, then that's symphony no. 3 "Collages". But something else?

Generally speaking, I think Bamert gets Gerhard pretty well, though I far prefer Benet's Pandora, and while Bamert balances the tape and instrument parts of Collages better than Pérez did, but neither get things done as well as Prausnitz did on a recording back in LP days. (Your mileage may vary. People who don't like tape music prefer Pérez, as he mutes the tape part pretty far, but everyone prefers Bamert's handling of the orchestra. I think Prausnitz did better in both.)

I like Davis' 4th, but I haven't listened to all three recordings of that back to back, so now I'm curious....
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 01, 2011, 10:51:56 AM
Quote
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food

Quote
We are the 99%
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on November 01, 2011, 11:27:32 AM
To what are you referring with the words "the tape integration"?

If it's to a tape part, then that's symphony no. 3 "Collages". But something else?

Generally speaking, I think Bamert gets Gerhard pretty well, though I far prefer Benet's Pandora, and while Bamert balances the tape and instrument parts of Collages better than Pérez did, but neither get things done as well as Prausnitz did on a recording back in LP days. (Your mileage may vary. People who don't like tape music prefer Pérez, as he mutes the tape part pretty far, but everyone prefers Bamert's handling of the orchestra. I think Prausnitz did better in both.)

I like Davis' 4th, but I haven't listened to all three recordings of that back to back, so now I'm curious....
Davis in #4 isn't competitive in my opinion. He doesn't seem comfortable in the idiom, and I'd rank his recording a long way behind either the Chandos or Auvidis versions.

In general, I prefer the Chandos recordings over Auvidis; though the Auvidis recordings are sympathetically interpreted the Chandos discs have a clear edge sonically and in performance terms (the Tenerife orchestra's string sections seem a little lacking in weight and numbers at times, too). However, the Auvidis 2nd is still essential as they use Gerhard's incomplete revision from the end of his life (Chandos uses the original version of the work); the single-disc version of this comes with the 4th, which I'd regard as the strongest of Pablo Perez's readings and fully worth acquiring on its own grounds.

Thanks guys.

btw- I had the tape thing mixed up,... 3, not 4. But you clarified my concern, thanks.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on November 01, 2011, 11:27:59 AM


Hmmm! ;)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on November 18, 2011, 06:35:10 AM
Just got the Chandos with No.3, Epithalamion, and the PC.

I really enjoyed the 'anti-symphony' Epithalamion, a very substantial piece, and am waiting for the morning drive to hear No.3.

I hear the PC recording here is 'bad', so, I'm not even going to listen. Perhaps Naxos?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on November 18, 2011, 09:02:31 AM
The recording of the piano concerto on Naxos is superb. The Chandos recording is subpar, but only because the first movement is played far too slowly and with no 'pop' to it. The other movements are fine, though.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on November 18, 2011, 02:52:10 PM
The recording of the piano concerto on Naxos is superb. The Chandos recording is subpar, but only because the first movement is played far too slowly and with no 'pop' to it. The other movements are fine, though.

I will shun this PC then!

Listened to Symphony No.3 for the first time. Very nice, and yes, it does remind me a little of Varese (only in certain atmospheres),... Gerhard certainly seems to be writing the kind of stuff the Boulez Generation wouldn't write until the mid-'70s. Still, it wasn't the MOST mind blowing thing I've ever heard, but I'm sure it will grow on me. I did like the Epithalamion better though.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: some guy on November 19, 2011, 12:21:49 AM
Yeah, ya really gotta have the Prausnitz to get that "blown away" feeling.

And even then, it might just be too late in the day for that. The piece is from 1960, after all.

Still, if it's gonna blow you away, it's pretty much gonna have to be the Prausnitz.

I made a couple of burns of that LP for myself. I can copy those CDs for anyone who wants them.

If some enterprising company decides to put that out there in a digital copy, you have to promise to buy it, though!

Anyway, I just today did that listening to the three performances of the fourth back to back. Davis' clearly comes in third, it's true. I still like it, but it's not really echt Gerhard, it's true. The other two, though. Yeah, baby!! They are good. I prefer the Perez over the Bamert, but they're still both good.

I have two recordings of the piano concerto, the Bamert (with the 3rd symphony and that spectacular Epithalamion piece) and one with Foster on an Auvidis CD that also has the harpsichord concerto (a sweet piece) and the Nonet (another sweet piece). I have to listen to those back to back now, too. Just because. And then, when my corner store (yes, I still have a corner store in my neighborhood) gets the Naxos of that in, I'll buy that. Just because.

I've listened to the two Epithalamion recordings I have back to back, years ago. They are both fine. They are very different from each other. (I'd like one that includes the goodnesses of both of those into one performance.)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on November 19, 2011, 10:18:42 AM
The harpsichord concerto is a really cool piece. I've heard both the Naxos and Auvidis recordings (along with the piano concerto) and both are satisfying. You'll never hear a harpsichord concerto like this one! I wish Gerhard had written more for keyboard instruments in his lifetime. He had a real knack for writing for it, even in his symphonies and orchestral works. I've taken a look at the score for the piano concerto, and it definitely shows the work of someone who knew the piano inside and out, especially in the middle movement (believe it or not).
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 02, 2011, 07:55:43 AM
Symphonies 2 & 4 (Montaigne)

Everyone was recommending this issue for No.4, and the fact that No.2 here the revision, whereas the Chandos is the original. Some have said the sound here (especially the strings) isn't as good as the Chandos, and it's not as lush as Chandos, but has a fine sound as it is.

I must have had so many expectations over No.4 that I was kind of taken aback at what I finally heard. I just wasn't expecting what I got, even though it doesn't sound any different than what I expected.

I know my initial reaction to No.4 was correct, because, as soon as I heard No.2, I was boweled over. THIS immediately became my favorite. I don't really know what it was, but  No.2 made a very strong impression: will have to get the Chandos to compare.

After a few listen, No.4 came into focus mo Let's start over with that!! ;) I must say, that this Montaigne disc has more Avant sounds, pound for pound, than many better known examples. Frankly, the sheer proliferation of ideas come at you at such a speed that Gerhard certainly gets points for not being lazy in the note writing department! Good stuff!
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 02, 2011, 08:09:20 PM
Symphonies 2 & 4 (Montaigne)

Everyone was recommending this issue for No.4, and the fact that No.2 here the revision, whereas the Chandos is the original. Some have said the sound here (especially the strings) isn't as good as the Chandos, and it's not as lush as Chandos, but has a fine sound as it is.

I must have had so many expectations over No.4 that I was kind of taken aback at what I finally heard. I just wasn't expecting what I got, even though it doesn't sound any different than what I expected.

I know my initial reaction to No.4 was correct, because, as soon as I heard No.2, I was boweled over. THIS immediately became my favorite. I don't really know what it was, but  No.2 made a very strong impression: will have to get the Chandos to compare.

After a few listen, No.4 came into focus mo Let's start over with that!! ;) I must say, that this Montaigne disc has more Avant sounds, pound for pound, than many better known examples. Frankly, the sheer proliferation of ideas come at you at such a speed that Gerhard certainly gets points for not being lazy in the note writing department! Good stuff!

On the second day of listening No.4 has come into full relief. Yes, it is dizzyingly bubbly: the sections where it sounds like the xylophone is an up/down escalator are amazingly put together. Gerhard's 'math' is certainly very precise, in a Messiaen way, very chiseled and delineated.

The Montaigne recording is very 'fresco' like, sounding like a relief, very bracing and fresh, though I could imagine a more 'spectacular' recording. I'm sure the Chandos sounds better, but I hear this one's performance way take the edge? Since the Chandos No.4 is a bit expensive anyway, I went ahead and ordered No.2 to complement the Montaigne (since one is a resvision blah blah).

Gerhard is a very 'precise' Composer, no? I'm noticing this now. Lots of tight attacks, followed by strings or winds. Anyhow, I'm really really impressed with these two pieces; overall, Gerhard is quite the Total Package when it comes to the '60s.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 09, 2011, 03:26:36 PM
Symphony 2 & Concerto for Orchestra (Chandos)


I'm really at a loss as to how the two versions of No.2 differ (Montaigne claims the revision, Chandos not). I still hear the interesting 'rain drop' theme (in the woodblocks) at the beginning of the slow movement, I still hear percussion punctuating what seems to be every other phrase, the whole Symphony still ends in the most enigmatic, just stops, way. I really like Gerhard's way here, but I'm not 'getting it' too well.

The Concerto for Orchestra, also, defied my expectations. This one too I am left scratching my head. I think I liked the Epithalamion better. Anyhow, I'm pretty overwhelmed with Gerhard's output here; it's going to take some listens to get through the maze of No.2.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 20, 2012, 10:15:58 AM
FINALLY!! :o ;D

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-String-Quartets-Gerhard/dp/B009SCVJ7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1356027231&sr=1-1&keywords=arditti

Probably means the Complete Ferneyhough SQs set is next?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on December 20, 2012, 12:00:28 PM
I'm usually not a string quartet guy, but after recently doing a quick survey of his 4 symphonies and some of his chamber music, I'd now really like to hear those string quartets. His serial music is some of the most"listenable" to me, and he really had a knack for writing for small ensembles. Shame they weren't recorded sooner.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Brewski on December 20, 2012, 12:08:01 PM
FINALLY!! :o ;D

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-String-Quartets-Gerhard/dp/B009SCVJ7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1356027231&sr=1-1&keywords=arditti

Probably means the Complete Ferneyhough SQs set is next?

Thanks, that looks like a great disc. I've heard a lot of Gerhard's orchestral music, but none of his chamber works.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 20, 2012, 01:57:21 PM
I'm usually not a string quartet guy, but after recently doing a quick survey of his 4 symphonies and some of his chamber music, I'd now really like to hear those string quartets. His serial music is some of the most"listenable" to me, and he really had a knack for writing for small ensembles. Shame they weren't recorded sooner.


Thanks, that looks like a great disc. I've heard a lot of Gerhard's orchestral music, but none of his chamber works.

--Bruce

The SQs, and I believe all his Chamber Music, is on the Metier label. The SQs are with the Kreutzer SQ. The SQs proper are truly of High Quality (tee hee), and sooo different from one another. No.1 is the most perfect Scheobergian SQ I think I've heard, and No.2 has all the bells and whistles of early-'60s Avant Garde (Penderecki-meets-Berio-meets-Lutoslawski). The sound on the Metier disc is of major eh quality (flat and dullish), I am so sure this new recording will bring out the burnished tones of the instruments much better.

Yes, this news is worthy of an adult diaper! ;D Gerhard infused his Avant tendencies with a flair 15 years ahead of his time.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Brewski on December 20, 2012, 02:11:43 PM

The SQs, and I believe all his Chamber Music, is on the Metier label. The SQs are with the Kreutzer SQ. The SQs proper are truly of High Quality (tee hee), and sooo different from one another. No.1 is the most perfect Scheobergian SQ I think I've heard, and No.2 has all the bells and whistles of early-'60s Avant Garde (Penderecki-meets-Berio-meets-Lutoslawski). The sound on the Metier disc is of major eh quality (flat and dullish), I am so sure this new recording will bring out the burnished tones of the instruments much better.

Yes, this news is worthy of an adult diaper! ;D Gerhard infused his Avant tendencies with a flair 15 years ahead of his time.

Yes, I have a few Metier CDs, and good as the performances are, I wish the sound were just a bit cleaner. (PS, just looked at Aeon's website, since I thought I had some of their recordings - apparently not, and the catalog is quite interesting.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on December 22, 2012, 11:06:12 AM
Yes, I have a few Metier CDs, and good as the performances are, I wish the sound were just a bit cleaner. (PS, just looked at Aeon's website, since I thought I had some of their recordings - apparently not, and the catalog is quite interesting.)

--Bruce

Yea, between Aeon and Neos, it's easy to get confused, haha! Both very cool labels, along with Kairos. This Gerhard release is really a breath of fresh air, which highly complements the Arditti's Cycles of SQs by Halffter, and recent other issues of Spanish SQs (Marco, Posadas, Rueda).
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on May 06, 2013, 12:46:48 PM
Thanks, that looks like a great disc. I've heard a lot of Gerhard's orchestral music, but none of his chamber works.

--Bruce

Did you get the Arditti yet? Anyone?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on April 12, 2014, 08:06:24 AM
Piano Concerto

Tell me again how essential it is the have the Naxos recording of the PC as opposed to the Chandos. Everyone says the sound is off on the Chandos: I've had this disc for years and have NOT listened to it for this reason, such an ascetic! Well, do I haaave to get the Naxos to hear this piece correctly?
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on April 12, 2014, 08:11:05 AM
Piano Concerto

Tell me again how essential it is the have the Naxos recording of the PC as opposed to the Chandos. Everyone says the sound is off on the Chandos: I've had this disc for years and have NOT listened to it for this reason, such an ascetic! Well, do I haaave to get the Naxos to hear this piece correctly?

It is very essential. The Donohoe recording is actually played in a way that it doesn't sound sightread. There are also some wrong notes in the Chandos that stick out like a sore thumb (to me, at least). Donohoe plays it much faster (at tempo, really, check the score) and with more articulation. Tozer was usually quite the pianist, but this is one of his recordings that misses the mark. Perhaps the only thing that Donohoe did "wrong" was that he did not take as much time in the slow movement as I would have liked him to.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: not edward on April 12, 2014, 08:43:53 AM
It is very essential. The Donohoe recording is actually played in a way that it doesn't sound sightread. There are also some wrong notes in the Chandos that stick out like a sore thumb (to me, at least). Donohoe plays it much faster (at tempo, really, check the score) and with more articulation. Tozer was usually quite the pianist, but this is one of his recordings that misses the mark. Perhaps the only thing that Donohoe did "wrong" was that he did not take as much time in the slow movement as I would have liked him to.
My "go-to" recording for the Gerhard keyboard concerti (IMO it's much better than the Chandos in the harpsichord concerto as well) has always been the Montaigne one:



Any comparisons between Donohoe and this? (I'd expect Donohoe to come out ahead; not really sure why I don't have his recording other than my lack of interest in the other music on the disc.)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: lescamil on April 12, 2014, 03:20:41 PM
My "go-to" recording for the Gerhard keyboard concerti (IMO it's much better than the Chandos in the harpsichord concerto as well) has always been the Montaigne one:

Any comparisons between Donohoe and this? (I'd expect Donohoe to come out ahead; not really sure why I don't have his recording other than my lack of interest in the other music on the disc.)

The harpsichord concerto on the Montaigne one is very good, too. I actually like Tozer for it, too, but the Montaigne is better. Donohoe still comes out ahead for the piano concerto, but the pianist on the Montaigne (name escapes me) still does a nice job. It is just a little slow.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on April 12, 2014, 06:52:42 PM
The harpsichord concerto on the Montaigne one is very good, too. I actually like Tozer for it, too, but the Montaigne is better. Donohoe still comes out ahead for the piano concerto, but the pianist on the Montaigne (name escapes me) still does a nice job. It is just a little slow.

I forgot there was a third option... exxxcellent!! But, I'm sure it costs an arm and a leg. :( Frankly, I did not enjoy that Ferguson PC on YT- it was just a snoozer for me, so, if Montaigne isn't too much, let's see... yea, no, it's $620 New and $40-60 Used. :'( Well, maybe on the Naxos, but it seems like a waste for just the one piece (thanks, though, I'm glad I never listened to Tozer).

Should I complete the Symphonies with No.1 and the Violin Concerto? Both seem to cast an immediately strong spell from the opening bars- but then I might feel obliged to get the PC too. Oh, it looks as though I won't ever be getting the Harpsichord Concerto, and that sure sounds like a wonderful work. :( So much sadness and expense in the Gerhard Discography.

Is he like head and antlers above a lot of mid-century Composers? He just seems to have a reserve of "cool sounds" no matter what era, that others don't seem to?

That new Neos disc seems to only copy that old Largo disc, btw...
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: not edward on April 13, 2014, 06:00:18 AM
Should I complete the Symphonies with No.1 and the Violin Concerto?
Absolutely. As far as I'm concerned, the Violin Concerto is the pinnacle of his tonal period, while the First Symphony is the pinnacle of his straight serialist period.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on April 13, 2014, 09:23:45 AM
Absolutely. As far as I'm concerned, the Violin Concerto is the pinnacle of his tonal period, while the First Symphony is the pinnacle of his straight serialist period.

Loud and clear! ;) People not messin' around here!!...
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on April 17, 2014, 10:58:41 AM
It is very essential. The Donohoe recording is actually played in a way that it doesn't sound sightread. There are also some wrong notes in the Chandos that stick out like a sore thumb (to me, at least). Donohoe plays it much faster (at tempo, really, check the score) and with more articulation. Tozer was usually quite the pianist, but this is one of his recordings that misses the mark. Perhaps the only thing that Donohoe did "wrong" was that he did not take as much time in the slow movement as I would have liked him to.

Piano Concerto

Yes, so I finally heard the piece from Donohoe today, and, yes!, judging by the glittering intro, I can see how a bad take could spell disaster here. So, I was very impressed with the first movement, and I liked the 'Minimalism' repeated downward passage in the middle- in all, a very aggressive Expressionism. The piano part is very nice and involved, with a particular melodic curve suggesting excitement.

The slow movement was very interesting in how the octaves were just allowed to become the point of the piece, a very odd atmosphere that Gerhard takes to the end. The Finale was what it was for me, simply a rousing Finale, somewhat not quite the profile of the first two, perhaps?

Still, Gerhard really impresses here, with a real manly building up of ideas. I do want to know, though,- can one listen to the slow movement of Tozier, or does that suffer as well- I thought it was 'noctural' enough to withstand bad treatment, but I'll defer to your wisdom here. The sound on the Naxos was pretty good, but I can certainly imagine  that Chandos sound! what a shame for Tozier :(

Symphony 1 and the Violin Concerto up next.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Scion7 on February 18, 2017, 12:35:27 AM
Chamber
=====================
 Sonatine a Carlos, Piano, 1914,
 Piano Trio no.1, 1918 or before (lost)
 String Quartet, 1918  (lost)
 Piano Trio no.2, 1918
 2 apunts, Piano, 1921–2
 3 Piano Trios, c1923–4, (unfinished)
 Divertimento, wind qnt, 1926, 2 versions,  (unfinished)
 Suite, wind, strings, Piano, 1927,  (lost)
 El conde sol, trumpet, horn, bassoon, violin, Cello, Piano, ?1927,  [possibly part of Suite, 1927]
 String Quartet, ?1927–8 (unfinished)
 Sonata, clarinet, Piano, 1928 (unfinished)
 Wind Qnt, 1928 [with opt. t sax part, inc.]
 Andantino, cl, Violin, Piano, ?1928
 Sardana no.1, cobla (12 insts), 1928–9, arr. brass band, 1940, arr. 11 wind, perc, 1956
 Sardana no.2, cobla, insts, 1928–9
 Sevillana, fiscorn, Bassoon, string trio, ?1936
 Alegrías, suite, 2 Piano, 1942 [from ballet]
 Pandora, suite, 2 Piano, perc, 1944 [from ballet]
 Dances from Don Quixote, Piano, 1947 [from ballet]
 Sonata, Viola, Piano, 1948, withdrawn, reworked for Cello, Piano, 1956
 Capriccio, fl, 1949
 3 Impromptus, Piano, 1950
 String Quartet no.1, 1950–55
 Sardana no.3, 8 wind, perc, 1951, unpubd [from film score Secret People, 1952]
 Sonata, Cello, Piano, 1956
 Nonet, wind quintet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, accordion, 1956–7
 Fantasia, guitar, 1957
 Chaconne, Violin, 1959
 Soirées de Barcelone, suite, Piano, 1950s [based on ballet]
 String Quartet no.2, 1961–2
 Concert for 8, flute, clarinet, mandolin, guitar, accordion, perc, Piano, double-bass, 1962
 Hymnody, flute, oboe, clarinet, Horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, 2 perc, 2 Piano, 1963
 Gemini (Duo concertante), Violin, Piano, 1966
 Libra, flute + piccolo, clarinet, guitar, perc, Piano, Violin, 1968
 Leo, fl + pic, cl, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, 2 perc, Piano + celeste, Violin, Cello, 1969

Orchestral
======================================================
 Concertino, strings, 1927–8 [version of Str Qt, ?1927–8]
 Albada, interludi i dansa, 1936
 Violinn Conc., 1940, inc., destroyed
 Sym. ‘Homenaje a Pedrell’, 1940–41, [3rd movt performable separately as ‘Pedrelliana (En memoria)’]
 Don Quixote, suite no.1, small orch, 1941 [based on ballet]
 Soirées de Barcelone, suite, 1940s, inc. [based on ballet]
 Alegrías, suite, 1942 [based on ballet]
 Violin Conc., 1942–3
 Pandora, suite, 1944–5 [based on ballet]
 Don Quixote, sym. suite, 1947 [based on ballet]
 Piano Conc., 1951
 Sym. no.1, 1952–3
 Harpsichord Conc., 1955–6
 Lamparilla Ov. 1956 [based on themes by F. Barbieri]
 Sym. no.2, 1957–9
 reworked as Metamorphoses, 1967–8, last movt inc., perf. edn arr. A. Boustead, 1973
 Dances from Don Quixote, 1958 [from ballet]
 Sym. no.3 ‘Collages’, orch, tape, 1960
 Concerto for Orch, 1964–5
 Epithalamion, 1965–6, rev. 1968
 Sym. no.4 ‘New York’, 1967, rev. 1968
 Sym. no.5, 1968–9 (unfinished)

Also several operas, ballets, "tape" electronic pieces . . .


from The New Grove:

Catalan composer, active in England. The most significant figure of the generation after Falla, he continued and extended the folkloric vein of his predecessors, while also internationalizing it through his firm commitment to an altogether more broadly based European modernism, and through his relocation to Britain after the civil war. Establishing a wider reputation only in the 1950s, he displayed an increasingly radical and exploratory outlook and until his death contributed energetically to the development of serial and electronic composition, and to timbral and textural innovation.


Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Scion7 on February 18, 2017, 12:42:40 AM
http://www.robertogerhard.com/biography/  - 

Roberto Gerhard was born in 1896 in Valls, Spain. Initially he studied piano with Granados and composition with Felipe Pedrell. When Pedrell died in 1922, Gerhard moved to Vienna as a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg. Returning to Barcelona in 1928 he became a central figure in the Catalonian avant-garde, befriending such figures as Pablo Casals and Joan Miró. Identified with the Republican cause throughout the Spanish Civil War, Gerhard was forced to flee to France in 1939 and later that year settled in Cambridge, England. Once in England, Gerhard produced a series of orchestra and stage works that would establish his international reputation. The Symphony (in memory of Pedrell), the ballet Don Quixote, First String Quartet, and the opera The Duenna followed in quick succession. In the 1950s Gerhard developed his musical style, synthesizing Schoenbergian serialism with catalan folksong. These years also marked him out as the first composer in England to engage seriously with electronic music. Gerhard worked extensively at the newly formed BBC Radiophonic Workshop producing a series of abstract electronic works as well as electronic music for stage – most notably his score for the 1955 Royal Shakespeare Production of King Lear. The last decade of his life saw Gerhard’s musical language evolve still further and the composition of late masterpieces such as the Symphony nos 3 and 4, the chamber symphony – Leo and the masterly Concerto for Orchestra.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: snyprrr on February 18, 2017, 07:28:46 AM
'Gerhard's Gazebo' Thread is already here somewhere :-*


Otherwise, everything I've heard is excellent! ;)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: cilgwyn on February 18, 2017, 07:33:32 AM
Great to hear Gerhard has a 'Gazebo'?!! I think the worst one is Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon!! ??? :o ::)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo - search routine broken?
Post by: Scion7 on February 19, 2017, 10:58:13 PM
I searched on the name and only got "mentions" in other threads before I created the topic, so there is a problem . . . .
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo - search routine broken?
Post by: snyprrr on February 20, 2017, 08:41:50 AM
I searched on the name and only got "mentions" in other threads before I created the topic, so there is a problem . . . .

"No Thread... no problem"
                                            Stalin
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: ritter on June 26, 2018, 01:58:13 AM
Bump...

Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Roberto Gerhard’s Harpsichord Concerto, with soloist Ursula Dütschler and Lawrence Foster conducting the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41043RVWVML.jpg)

This is a magnificent piece by this student of Schoenberg. In general, it’s very stern and one can easily detect its from the 1950s. But then, in the concluding vivace spiritoso things become, well, very spiritoso  ;); the movement starts with a quotation from the prelude to Ruperto Chapí’s zarzuela La revoltosa (music that I’d say every single Spaniard knows, and that by coincidence I listened to live in concert last Sunday at the Teatro Real). Later in, we also get a quote from the sixth (“Canción”) of Falla’s Seven Popular Spanish Songs. It’s quite wonderful to listen to Gerhard’s homage to music of his native Spain within his twelve-tone idiom, and this movement is great fun.

The interaction of the harpsichord with the orchestra (just strings and percussion) is very well crafted. All in all, a very enjoyable concerto.  :)

I see this CD has been lauded on above, and rightly so.

Concerning the quotations in the third movement of the Harpsichord Concerto, here it is (unfortuantely in the IMO less successful Chandos recording):

http://www.youtube.com/v/MuCG0fQjVkw&list=OLAK5uy_mP27HxfZlUHg-zhdVoO8SqRFahhcOh0Js

The prelude to Chapí’s La revoltosa, which appears at the beginning...

https://youtu.be/EMbeAduw0rk

...and Falla’s Canción, which is quoted at 3’40” of Gerhard’s piece:

https://youtu.be/3shCMFui5Ag
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2019, 06:00:43 PM

The SQs, and I believe all his Chamber Music, is on the Metier label.

Umm...not hardly. Have you seen all of the chamber music he composed? The work list is quite extensive. The Metier label has only released two chamber recordings of Gerhard’s music.

Old post I know, but since snyprrr is nowhere to be found, this felt like the perfect opportunity for a sneak attack. ;D
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 09, 2019, 04:39:26 PM
Earlier I was having my first meetings with all his symphonies. In spite of Gerhard is widely known as an avant-garde composer, those works drawn my attention, except the 2nd Symphony, which is overtly serialist/dodecaphonic (sorry, I don't get the differences yet). The best of the bunch was the 1st Symphony, a pretty radical piece in comparison with his early attempt Homage to Pedrell. The more modern Nos. 3 and 4 have terrific effects and weird atmospheres. Lately I'm realizing I'm feeling more empathy with this kind of works.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: André on January 09, 2020, 06:47:16 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread

Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51mFfZabr4L.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41KzzDqss6L.jpg)

There’s a huge difference in sound reproduction between the Chandos disc and the Auvidis one (symphony no 1). And between the Chandos and the Lyrita (violin concerto) which I listened to yesterday. They are musically different as well, but not all that much. In the concerto Bamert/Charlier’s tempi are more spacious (about 3 minutes longer, mostly in the first movement), but violinist Olivier Charlier makes the most of his opportunity to spin a gorgeous singing line and pure, scintillating high register. As for the orchestra, it blooms gorgeously, which is not a characteristic I associate with the sound world of Roberto Gerhard. The ascending scales on the piano for example (concerto, first movement) are striking on Lyrita, whereas they are but one element of a lush, Douanier Rousseau-like backdrop on Chandos. It’s not a matter of loudness, but the result of a natural, neutral engineering philosophy from the Lyrita team. That being said, I think I prefer the Chandos version because of Charlier’s peerless beauty of tone - not inappropriate since the concerto is one of Gerhard’s most approachable scores.

The first symphony was recorded by the Auvidis team in 1993, in pellucid, ideally balanced sound. The soundscape is wide, with great antiphonal rendering of the orchestral layout and a wide dynamic range. The clarity achieved serves the music wonderfully. I definitely prefer this to the more colourful, reverberant Chandos sound. Orchestra and conductor are hugely involved and offer a splendid performance.

In the third symphony, Gerhard uses a magnetic tape to great effect - superbly integrated in the sound mix, midway between a soloistic prominence and a more blended instrumental layer. It is a very different work, more modern in tone, mosaic-like as the title implies. One of Gerhard’s most interesting scores. The Auvidis boxes of the symphonies and ballets are among the treasures of the gramophone. The total package (performances and sound) present the works in the best possible light.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: André on January 09, 2020, 07:45:47 PM
Listened to today, 3 oldies - among the first recorded performances of Gerhard’s orchestral music, all performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra:

- symphony no 3 (1960) cond. by Frederik Prausnitz (1968), from an EMI lp

- concerto for orchestra (1965), cond. by Norman del Mar (1967), from an Argo lp

- symphony no 4 (1967), cond. by Colin Davis (1968), from the Royal Festival Hall UK premiere broadcast.

All of the above are from youtube.

The sound in symphony no 3 is not up to snuff, as the transcript carries with it the usual assortment of clicks, pops and distortion which affects the electronic tape part. The source must be an old, worn LP. In these conditions I find it hard to assess the performance, but the tape part seems to be coming from a 1950s monster movie. In any case the Tenerife version under Pérez satisfies me fully on all accounts, with a particularly successful balance of all sections which does wonders to elucidate the score’s intricacies.

The Concerto for orchestra comes across much better, the recording benefiting from the wonderful acoustics of London’s Kingsway Hall. It would be nice to have a cd reissue.

The 4th symphony has been recorded by the same team on Lyrita in 1970. This performance dates from December 12, 1968 and is from a BBC Radio 3 re-broadcast of September 24, 2007 (I wonder what was the occasion?). I find it quite well recorded, but in a clinical, two-dimensional way. It is certainly quite characterful, with the percussion well to the fore. Still, I prefer the Pérez/Tenerife performance for its transparence and sophistication. Not to be neglected either is the fact that, in this kaleidoscopic score there are 13 clearly marked sections (andante, poco rallentando, subito allegro, flessible, etc) that are cued separately by Auvidis (the BBC and the Lyrita disc offer a single 26 minute track). Plus the fact that the work as a whole and each of its sections are superbly annotated in the Auvidis booklet. This IMO adds immeasurably to the understanding and enjoyment of the symphony. It is not easy music, but when presented in this way one can grasp the horizontality (continuity) of the music much better.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: André on January 10, 2020, 11:13:15 AM

Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:

Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81jWrJHneRL._SL475_.jpg)

The fourth symphony is simply fantastic. The subtitle refers exclusively to the fact that it was a NYPO commission. It is purely abstract music. Pérez, the orchestra and the Auvidis team surpass themselves here. Métamorphoses, presented here in its revised version is Gerhard at his most pointillistic and austere. It is my least favourite among the symphonies.

I have read  some critics and comments to the effect that the Tenerife orchestra’s strings sound undernourished (in comparison with the BBCSO on Chandos). My opinion is that this is exactly how they should sound. They are not thin or meagre, but just right in terms of balancing their sound with that of the important winds, brass and especially percussion. The result is a clear, transparent soundstage allowing for the score’s verticality to register fully.
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: André on January 10, 2020, 05:36:24 PM

Ross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:

Quote
(https://img.discogs.com/cKjeTzBM5bm0LlZwExQMtTOaJak=/fit-in/500x500/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-3161066-1485104479-2821.jpeg.jpg)

These are late works of Gerhard’s, scored for small ensemble. They are strictly serial/dodecaphonic. Gerhard became more and more ‘modern’ as he aged. Although born in Spain, his parents were a Swiss and an Alsatian. He spoke German fluently, studied in Germany before coming back home to Spain, corresponded regularly with Schönberg, studied with him in the 1920s, and became his close friend. In 1931-32 Schönberg lived in the Gerhards’ household where he composed most of Moses und Aron. Gerhard organised a modern music event in 1936 in which Webern and Scherchen participated. It seems that after the death of Webern and Schönberg he returned increasingly to his modernist roots, his studies with Pedrell (and the folk influences in his music) vanishing completely from his musical language.

A friend and admirer of the painter Joan Miró, the latter’s enigmatic and snazzy paintings seem to find an echo in these three colourful compositions. A musical kinship with this maybe:

(https://d5wt70d4gnm1t.cloudfront.net/media/a-s/artworks/joan-miro/28497-737837705946/joan-miro-letoile-matinale-800x800.jpg)(https://www.reproduction-gallery.com/catalogue/uploads/1516516020_large-image_joan-miro-garden-lg.jpg)
Title: Re: Gerhard's Gazebo
Post by: ritter on June 24, 2021, 11:27:10 AM
Managed to attend the second performance (the premiere was, fittingly, last night) of the reconstructed ballet La nuit de Saint Jean or Les feux de la Saint Jean (“Midsummer Night” or “The Midsummer Night Bonfires”) by Roberto Gerhard. The production is being presented (invitation only) here in Madrid by the Juan March Foundation, and will travel to the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona in the fall.

This ballet, which remained unperformed until now, has a chequered history. It started as a prospective commission in 1936 by Colonel de Basil’s Ballets Russes de Montecarlo for a Spanish-themed ballet, with music by Gerhard, scenario by Ventura Gassol, choreography by Léonide Massine and sets by Joan Junyer. The outbreak of the Spanish civil war (the outcome of which forced Gerhard, Gassol and Junyer into exile), followed by WW2, prevented any real progress to be made on the work, and in the meantime Colonel de Basil’s company had folded.

The composer rescued some numbers for the suite Soirées de Barcelone (which exists in solo piano and orchestral versions—both available on CD), but the whole ballet is, at around one hour, four times as long as the suite. Pianist Miguel Baselga, in a post-performance colloquium (more about that later  >:() explained how reconstructing the whole score was not easy, as the unpublished numbers were only available in a score not meant for performance (but rather as a base for the never to be completed orchestration) and had no dynamic markings, etc. In any case, he did a splendid job, and brought out every nuance in this substantial score, which is clearly derived from Catalan folk music (one of the most beautiful balletic moments included the catalan circle dance sardana, and one of the typical human towers castell), but some numbers are clearly by Gerhard the pupil of Arnold Schoenberg.

The single set and the costumes were based on the original sketches, but apparently no trace has survived of the choreography Massine had intended for the work, so Antonio Ruz (the mastermind of the whole project) worked from scratch, but did so very effectively IMHO. The only weak point was that the (otherwise splendid) ballerina playing Cupid would recite some passages from the scenario before each of the three tableaux, and that was unnecessary, sounded really kitschy, and cheapened the whole show a bit.

The three tableaux are i) the bonfires of midsummer night (an age old tradition in Spain, particularly on the east coast), ii) a dreamlike love scene in a forest after the bonfires, and iii) a wedding on the next day. Nicely varied and beautifully danced, fitting perfectly with the musical material. The fact that the music was piano only was not a real problem, but the ballet would be really something in full orchestral garb (which I suppose would not be that complicated—apart from the financial effort, of course—as good chunks are already available in orchestral score in the Soirées suite).

As mentioned above, there was a colloquium with the performers and artistic director of the whole enterprise  Ruz after the show. As mentioned above, Miguel Baselga (who may by known to some for having recorded the complete piano music of Albéniz on the BIS label) talked about the music, the dancers introduced themselves and expressed their joy at the project, and then questions or comments from the audience were taken. Unfortunately, the second audience member to speak was some bloke who started saying how happy he was, having just arrived from Barcelona at noon, to be able to attend this performance, particularly after having been yesterday  outside Lledoners prison to cheer and welcome the convicted Catalan separatist leaders upon their release—thanks to a controversial governmental pardon—.  This threatened to degenerate into an unnecessary and completely misplaced political diatribe. It’s unbearable how these people try to contaminate every aspect of life (not only in Catalonia, but elsewhere in Spain) with their political fixation. As I hadn’t gone to the performance to listen to such gibberish, and even less to engage in any sort of argument with strangers, I (and several other members of the audience) quietly but conspicuously rose and left the hall. O ciel, che noia!   ::)

Here a couple of scenes from the ballet:

(https://imagenes.elpais.com/resizer/M00eP407d3yNxKbKh0glzOZQM98=/1960x0/cloudfront-eu-central-1.images.arcpublishing.com/prisa/2B5IPPBC6RACZMVXIFIS36ORIA.JPG)

(https://scherzo.es/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/La-noche-de-San-Juan.jpg)

And for those not familiar with them, here’s the typical formation of the sardana, and a group of castellers (of course, concerning the latter, what we saw in the ballet—with only six dancers—was rather more modest  ;)):

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Ensayo_y_calentamiento_previo_a_la_danza.jpg)

(https://www.unihabit.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/castellers-2.jpg)