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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mandryka on December 20, 2020, 09:44:10 AM

Title: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2020, 09:44:10 AM
Does anyone know of anything they think is special?
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2020, 12:28:41 PM
(https://www.propermusic.com/media/catalog/product/cache/770f7f65d519370eea7ae1a9215d2a64/4/2/42238.jpg)

What is a set of variations? I have no idea, presumably there’s something constant that’s being varied here but it’s not audible to me consciously, at a level I can articulate. But Shapey’s 21 variations for modern piano do sound amazingly coherent, and interesting, tight music over half an hour. And maybe what is most interesting is that somehow he has managed to produce something in what is, evidently, in an uncompromisingly modernist style and yet is full of consolation, grandeur - romantic in fact. All tones have pitches, all the playing is conventional, the pianist isn’t ask to use his voice or body percussion, so it’s safe.

It’s not really at the cutting edge of today’s avant garde at all, which is what this thread is hopefully going to explore. Very nice though and a bit of inspiration to dig a bit deeper into the repertoire for this “challenging” instrument.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on December 21, 2020, 06:44:41 AM
This reminds me...
Not new, definitely experimental and improv/free rather than classical, but after Cor Fuhler passed away someone recommended his Stengam for solo (heavily) prepared piano. Title is Magnets spelled backward, which gives an indication. I enjoyed the samples I heard (on US vendor Squidco site), but then forgot. Will have to follow up. This seems to have been released only as a physical CD (Potlatch label in France) and I couldn't find any downloads.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 21, 2020, 09:16:08 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/db/g8/iz6esh8s7g8db_230.jpg)

Stockhausen’s Mantra is just a set of variations on a melody (the mantra.) It is for two pianos, the piano tones are passed through a ring modulator which serves to bring out some of their overtones, creating a more varied timbre. There is also some occasional use of little cymbals, and woodblocks which mark the main structural junction - all done by the piano players. And occasionally the musicians have to make a sound with their vocal chords.  I love it, I think it is a masterpiece. But it’s not really avant garde any more - it’s half a century old! Roll over Stockhoven.

(https://www.col-legno.com/pics_db/20237_poppe_cover.jpg)

However IMO Stockhausen is one of the chief influences on the music of today, and I think a good example of his influence here is in Enno Poppe’s Rad, also for two piano like keyboards, which produce a piano like sound, this time dissonances are produce by microtones rather than a modulator. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Rad is as systematically composed as Mantra, but I’m not sure.




Anyone know any other avant garde music for two pianos?
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Leo K. on December 21, 2020, 09:46:32 AM
This is not a recording but here is a link to the score for my piano sonata (no.2), titled:

"There are examples from John Kirkpatrick's 1975 edition of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano (1949) that are either printed individually or printed alongside examples of Henry Cowell's 1949 and/or Mary Joyce's 1970 editions of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano in order to be compared in regards to "score realization" (Shelton, 1985, p. iii), "formal structures" (Shelton, 1985, p. iv), "serial procedures" (Shelton, 1985, p. v), "melodic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vi), "harmonic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) and "aesthetic appreciation" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) on pages 13, 19-24, 26-31, 35-62, 64-70, 74-75, 77, 78, 81, 85-87, 88, 90, 95, 100-116, 118-120, 124-141, 143-149, 152-153, 156-159 and 167. There are examples from Henry Cowell's 1949 edition of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano (1949) that are either printed individually or printed alongside examples of John Kirkpatrick's 1975 and/or Mary Joyce's 1970 editions of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano in order to be compared in regards to "score realization" (Shelton, 1985, p. iii), "formal structures" (Shelton, 1985, p. iv), "serial procedures" (Shelton, 1985, p. v), "melodic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vi), "harmonic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) and "aesthetic appreciation" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) on pages 13, 19-24, 26-31, 35-45, 47-50, 52-62, 64-65, 67-70, 76, 85-87, 110-111, 113, 118, 127-131, 134-135, 140, 141, 143, 144, 146-147, 149, 152-153, 165 and 167. There are examples from Mary Joyce's 1970 edition of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano (1949) that are printed alongside examples of John Kirkpatrick's 1975 and/or Henry Cowell's 1949 editions of Charles Ives's Three-Page Sonata for Piano in order to be compared in regards to "score realization" (Shelton, 1985, p. iii), "formal structures" (Shelton, 1985, p. iv), "serial procedures" (Shelton, 1985, p. v), "melodic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vi), "harmonic analysis" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) and "aesthetic appreciation" (Shelton, 1985, p. vii) on pages 20, 26-28, 35, 37-40, 46-47, 51 and 53."

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ctxz3i235rymzln/piano_sonata_02_revised.pdf?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ctxz3i235rymzln/piano_sonata_02_revised.pdf?dl=0)

(https://toddwinkels.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/0/9/12090266/p119.png)
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 21, 2020, 11:56:06 AM
And there’s another piece which seems to me obviously influenced by Mantra - Manoury’s Le Temps mode d’emploi for two pianos and real time electronics. Someone told me that Manoury said that he decided to become a composer after hearing Mantra - that’s what made me think of it,

(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ckHZTV9kL._AC_UL600_SR600,600_.jpg)

Just listening to it now after listening to Mantra, it’s almost too similar! Is there a mantra, a melody from which all the rest of the composition was derived? Not sure. Stockhausen could be either flattered or angry! But he’ll certainly have a feeling of déjà vu.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 21, 2020, 12:32:07 PM
This reminds me...
Not new, definitely experimental and improv/free rather than classical, but after Cor Fuhler passed away someone recommended his Stengam for solo (heavily) prepared piano. Title is Magnets spelled backward, which gives an indication. I enjoyed the samples I heard (on US vendor Squidco site), but then forgot. Will have to follow up. This seems to have been released only as a physical CD (Potlatch label in France) and I couldn't find any downloads.

I have managed to get hold of it, let me know if you want the files.

It raises interesting questions because prima facie it sounds nothing like a piano, it is just not pianistic in any way shape or form. It sounds much less like a piano than this, for example

https://www.youtube.com/v/sVHl-pqaIYM
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: not edward on December 21, 2020, 01:06:42 PM
And there’s another piece which seems to me obviously influenced by Mantra - Manoury’s Le Temps mode d’emploi for two pianos and real time electronics. Someone told me that Manoury said that he decided to become a composer after hearing Mantra - that’s what made me think of it,

(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ckHZTV9kL._AC_UL600_SR600,600_.jpg)

Just listening to it now after listening to Mantra, it’s almost too similar! Is there a mantra, a melody from which all the rest of the composition was derived? Not sure. Stockhausen could be either flattered or angry! But he’ll certainly have a feeling of déjà vu.
I think it might be even more similar to Boulez's sur Incises, though I'm aware comparing Manoury to Boulez is the one of the most predictable critical moves out there.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 22, 2020, 09:20:16 AM
Well I must admit that I’m finding it a challenge to find music which is for modern piano in its vanilla state, unmodified by electronics or prepared à la Cage, maybe in the world post spectralism the pure tones of the modern piano get in the way of imaginative composing. But it’s not as if the overtones aren’t there, and there’s a technique called sforzato - holding a note  down silently while playing another note hard to make the wires released by the first note resonate.

And then, like a miracle I remembered that Stockhausen wrote for the instrument, a sequence of some 20 or more Klavierstücke, some of the later ones exploring resonances and overtones, and today I’ve been enjoying the most romantic, cantabile, emotional  one I know, Sabine Liebner’s Klavierstuck X - almost 40 minutes in her hands.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91hCDcLnaLL._AC_SL1429_.jpg)

And what a fabulous writer for modern piano Stockhausen was. Enormous vistas! Rich colours! This piece is, IMO, as much a piano masterpiece as anything by Liszt or Beethoven.

Liebner’s is rather unusual, I think, because it’s so long, I’ll listen to some other performances (and there are many of them) later. One thing I’d say about the Liebner is that it’s refined, the loud moments are not violent, they’re too subtle for violence. And that it’s coherent - nothing seems gratuitous and it’s certainly not too long.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: steve ridgway on December 24, 2020, 05:44:49 AM
Is today’s Avant Garde such in the sense that it would shock the Stockhausen et al of fifty years ago with its radical innovations, or has the term just become a genre label for the same sort of music?
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2020, 06:17:36 AM
Is today’s Avant Garde such in the sense that it would shock the Stockhausen et al of fifty years ago with its radical innovations, or has the term just become a genre label for the same sort of music?

Well I think if you look at instruments other than piano then there’s lots of boundary pushing exploration and experimentation happening now,  think of, just off the top of my head,  Beat Furrer or Richard Barrett or Liza Lim or Bernhard Lang. The world is not short of bold and creative composers. It’s just that, as far as I can see, inspired new music for vanilla modern piano is quite hard to come by - as is inspired new songs for voice and piano. It’s as if the piano is the killer.

But you meantion Stockhausen, and that gives me a problem because I think he was a genius major proportions, and what Furrer etc are doing may well only be possible because of the new ground he broke.

It’s remarkable to me how so many fantastic modern composers have been completely defeated by piano. Rihm IMO is an example.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: steve ridgway on December 24, 2020, 06:34:26 AM
It’s just that, as far as I can see, inspired new music for vanilla modern piano is quite hard to come by - as is inspired new songs for voice and piano. It’s as if the piano is the killer.

I’d think it’s very hard to come up with new ideas for vanilla modern piano with its fixed notes. As compared say with all the sounds Ligeti could get out of an organ. I wonder if anyone tried multiple pianos tuned slightly differently so they’d give microtones or beat interference?
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2020, 06:40:18 AM
I’d think it’s very hard to come up with new ideas for vanilla modern piano with its fixed notes. As compared say with all the sounds Ligeti could get out of an organ. I wonder if anyone tried multiple pianos tuned slightly differently so they’d give microtones or beat interference?

I don’t know if the pianos in Mathias Spahlinger’s Faben Der Frühe are tuned differently - there are seven pianos and it’s rather good. Julius Eastman is another one to think about - Crazy Nigger is doable on four pianos, but I don’t know about the tuning.

But the pure tones of a modern piano needn’t be a limitation because there’s sfortato. Once again Stockhausen leads the way in Naturliche Dauern and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2020, 07:11:13 AM
By the way, I want to add something. There’s no shortage of really large ambitious piano pieces by modern composers, especially British ones. Think Finnissy’s History of Photography, Dillon’s Book of Elements, Simon Holt’s Book of Colours. I’m sure that one day soon I’ll listen to them properly, see whether I can make more out of them. Finnissy has done a lot for piano which I like very much (but not so far History of Photography in Sound!)

Radulescu is another I should revisit, and Lachenmann.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: steve ridgway on December 24, 2020, 07:21:48 AM
Oh OK, I’m glad to hear people are still being creative.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Leo K. on December 24, 2020, 09:04:54 AM
I've been thinking about Morton Feldman, his "For Bunita Marcus" for piano - I haven't hear the whole work but seems beautiful and epic.

Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 31, 2020, 08:24:34 AM
I've been thinking about Morton Feldman, his "For Bunita Marcus" for piano - I haven't hear the whole work but seems beautiful and epic.

What is it? I mean, is it a set of variations on a theme? It's interesting because its form is so elusive, and yet so graspable.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 31, 2020, 12:11:14 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/h1vPotNKDTM&ab_channel=ImriTalgam

Enno Poppe Theme with 840 Variations

Another elusive possible set of variations. I think the theme is just two notes. Is this a step back to the sort of music that Boulez wrote in Notations 1 -- music where the form is indiscernible to the ear even though there is one discernible from analysing the score? One obvious step forward in the Poppe is that there's a bit of relief. But basically Poppe has taken an ultra conservative structure -- theme and variations -- and dragged it kicking and screaming into modernity.

There are lots of them on youtube, the one above seemed to be the most nuanced. Imri Talgam has made a commercial recording of it and he has lots of stuff on youtube -- a pianist to watch maybe.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on December 31, 2020, 02:41:43 PM
Cynthia Zaven put an untuned piano on the back of a truck in New Delhi. She then improvised a piano concerto with the noise of the traffic.

https://www.youtube.com/v/8r3FPCrT6uQ&ab_channel=anaisJinn
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 01, 2021, 05:18:37 AM
Simon Steen Anderson's Rendered is for six hands. The video on this production turns it into a circus act.

https://www.youtube.com/v/ztcNP77ADL4&ab_channel=nadarensemble
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 06, 2021, 11:20:26 AM
Everyone knows that aporia is THE central concept in Beckett - I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on, as the unnamed in  The Unnamable says. This aporia was a strong influence on the music of Bill Hopkins, a Barraqué student who died young leaving very few works, Evans’s Etudes were released by Nicolas Hodges last year. These piano pieces are supposed to be the musical embodiment of the fragility of aporia,  every time they appear to be doing something, getting somewhere, making a point, they break off, they fail. A faltering life force, Hodges calls it.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71yEosTBt0L._SL1202_.jpg)

Three books, cahiers for some reason, some rather substantial. The Etudes in the recording are each given a word and together they make a sentence

One may know grief in her white involute portal.

What are we to make of that I wonder. Maybe someone who has the booklet can help cast some light on this mystery. Hodges article on Hopkins, which you can find on Jstor, doesn't seem to make it clear (unless I missed it, I've only skimmed.)
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 06, 2021, 02:22:31 PM
Everyone knows that aporia is THE central concept in Beckett - I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on, as the unnamed in  The Unnamable says. This aporia was a strong influence on the music of Bill Hopkins, a Barraqué student who died young leaving very few works, Evans’s Etudes were released by Nicolas Hodges last year. These piano pieces are supposed to be the musical embodiment of the fragility of aporia,  every time they appear to be doing something, getting somewhere, making a point, they break off, they fail. A faltering life force, Hodges calls it.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71yEosTBt0L._SL1202_.jpg)

Three books, cahiers for some reason, some rather substantial. The Etudes in the recording are each given a word and together they make a sentence

One may know grief in her white involute portal.

What are we to make of that I wonder. Maybe someone who has the booklet can help cast some light on this mystery. Hodges article on Hopkins, which you can find on Jstor, doesn't seem to make it clear (unless I missed it, I've only skimmed.)

I bought this recording not long after release, very early this millennium IIRC, didn't like it but still own it. Sorry, but don't have the patience to wade through that gobbledygook right now (such writing helped turn me away from new music).
I can send you scans if you PM me with delivery instructions.

The point seems to be that, if a performer wants to perform a selection of etudes, she must choose a set whose key words form a syntactically meaningful statement. Further, "...III:VI:VIII constitutes a species of sonata; but only the full cycle (I-IX, or perhaps V-IX...I-IV) can correspond to the composer's special and complete vision of the collection as a single work".

Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 06, 2021, 03:45:42 PM
Here's a partial scan; hope it's intelligible...
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 01:40:45 AM
Thanks, it is indeed intelligible.

I’m taking a break this morning from the cutting edge and going back to old skool Berio - very charming six encores here played in predictably “piano beautiful “ way by Lucchesini 

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71OMaosMQPL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)

And then to Franco Evangelisti’s Proiezioni Sonore as an antidote. 
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 03:35:04 AM
Not really avant garde, but gorgeous I think, and rare -- Hans van Sweeden's Drei Nachtstücke

https://www.youtube.com/v/lbes5tnL90Y&ab_channel=miclu2011

And no less rare, Henri Pousseur's variations,  Apostrophe et six réflexions

https://www.youtube.com/v/nL6i6NNVYxo&ab_channel=MarcelCominotto
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 03:58:18 AM
And another mid century modern, as they say on ebay, and this is another rare gorgeous one, Gennady Banshchikov's Piano Sonata no.3. This is a bit special. Spacious music.

https://www.youtube.com/v/YJzfCCRkRGM&ab_channel=hu
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 07, 2021, 06:08:58 AM
Thanks, it is indeed intelligible.
...

Good.
Your post (Bill Hopkins solo piano perf. Nic Hodges) brought back some sad memories. Going back to the days when I was active on rec.music.classical.contemporary (and r.m.c.r.), I believe Nic Hodges mailed me (from overseas!) a free copy of the recording. Super generous, I was extremely grateful. But the music just wasn't to my taste. And not attributable to serialism; I love Barraqué's Piano Sonata, for instance.

Interesting aside: the first piece on the disc, Sous-Structures, was dedicated to Hopkins's teacher Edmund Rubbra.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 08:52:25 AM
Good.
Your post (Bill Hopkins solo piano perf. Nic Hodges) brought back some sad memories. Going back to the days when I was active on rec.music.classical.contemporary (and r.m.c.r.), I believe Nic Hodges mailed me (from overseas!) a free copy of the recording. Super generous, I was extremely grateful. But the music just wasn't to my taste. And not attributable to serialism; I love Barraqué's Piano Sonata, for instance.

Interesting aside: the first piece on the disc, Sous-Structures, was dedicated to Hopkins's teacher Edmund Rubbra.

I'll be interested to know what you make of  Manoury's second sonata that I posted. I think it's probably rather good, not experimental enough for my tastes, but in truth I find the piano sound on youtube starts to wear after about 15 minutes so a long sonata wears out its welcome.



Apparently Hopkins studied with Barraque obviously, Rubra as you say, but also Nono.

Generally I'm not as keen on Nick Hodges as you are, though I certainly prefer him to Ian Pace (but I prefer anyone to Ian Pace!) You know he's just released a Beethoven/Birtwistle CD?

One thing I do think is that all piano music, experimental or not, needs colour and tone. For this reason I'm appreciating Sabine Liebner more and more, despite some quirky interpretation decisions in a rather limited repertoire.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2021, 09:11:02 AM
Oh, I didn't post the Manoury! Here

https://www.youtube.com/v/OOg_jIn6S9Y
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 07, 2021, 09:17:15 AM
I'll be interested to know what you make of  Manoury's first sonata that I posted. I think it's probably rather good, not experimental enough for my tastes, but in truth I find the piano sound on youtube starts to wear after about 15 minutes so a long sonata wears out its welcome.



Apparently Hopkins studied with Barraque obviously, Rubra as you say, but also Nono.

Generally I'm not as keen on Nick Hodges as you are, though I certainly prefer him to Ian Pace (but I prefer anyone to Ian Pace!) You know he's just released a Beethoven/Birtwistle CD?

One thing I do think is that all piano music, experimental or not, needs colour and tone. For this reason I'm appreciating Sabine Liebner more and more, despite some quirky interpretation decisions in a rather limited repertoire.

Thanks. This is my busiest season at work, won't be able to listen carefully for a little while.
I regret saying this, but though I enjoyed online discussions with Nic H., I have not liked his recordings I've heard to date, though it may be repertoire rather than performance related. I know of the recent B / B, don't want to purchase but will look for clips.
Agreed on Ian Pace, prolific (online at least) writer but I wrote him off as a performer after a couple of listens.
Not to stress the negative, but Joanna Macgregor is my pianistic bête noire; I violently disliked what I heard of her contemporary repertoire, can't speak of her standard repertoire performances but have no desire to listen.
Will have to explore Liebner, she seems to record mostly on Wergo which is not a convenient (i.e. inexpensive) label for me.

[Added] On a first/distracted Youtube listen, the Manoury sonata is impressive. Further listening slated.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 10, 2021, 03:45:47 AM
Now here's a homage to Beethoven, Daniel Moreira's Ludvan ven Beethowig first on two toy pianos

https://www.youtube.com/v/Zvz0FZDzddU&ab_channel=DanielMoreira

And a version for a piece of furniture (less interesting, obvs.)

https://soundcloud.com/daniel_moreira_composer/complete-track-rhythmic-study
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 11, 2021, 01:13:07 PM
(https://www.forcedexposure.com/App_Themes/Default/Images/product_images/close_up/s/SR352CD_CU.jpg)

Stefan Prins's Etude Interieure is for piano. Inside of a piano, the piano is basically used as a resonator, marbles used to attack the strings inside, keys are not used at all  - hence interieure. And marbles. Really nice on the above CD which is streaming everywhere. But unfortunately no video of a performance that I can find -- which is a shame because I'm sure it would be bizarre and fun to watch those marbles roll.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 15, 2021, 10:36:02 AM
Thanks. This is my busiest season at work, won't be able to listen carefully for a little while.
I regret saying this, but though I enjoyed online discussions with Nic H., I have not liked his recordings I've heard to date, though it may be repertoire rather than performance related. I know of the recent B / B, don't want to purchase but will look for clips.
Agreed on Ian Pace, prolific (online at least) writer but I wrote him off as a performer after a couple of listens.
Not to stress the negative, but Joanna Macgregor is my pianistic bête noire; I violently disliked what I heard of her contemporary repertoire, can't speak of her standard repertoire performances but have no desire to listen.
Will have to explore Liebner, she seems to record mostly on Wergo which is not a convenient (i.e. inexpensive) label for me.

[Added] On a first/distracted Youtube listen, the Manoury sonata is impressive. Further listening slated.

I just found myself enjoying quite a long solo piano piece on this, Folklore II

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk1NDE4OS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6MzAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI1NzN9)

And I said to myself that maybe I’d been unfair about Pace. But no, Finnissy’s playing. It’s worth catching when you’re in the mood for that sort of thing. It’s such a shame that Finnissy didn’t play any of The History of Photography.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 27, 2021, 01:57:07 PM
Over lunch today I played a friend who knows nothing about classical music Boulez’s second sonata. She commented that parts of it sound like the free improvisations of Cecil Taylor. And here they are and they are rather good, even the “passagework” is thrilling!

(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3486018489_5.jpg)

I can’t say that anything I’m hearing reminds me of Boulez though!

What happens in music like this is interesting. It’s an outpouring from the pianist. Somehow the pianist’s burning intensity is communicated through the music. This is mostly through playing fast and playing quite brutally. It is not unlike a lot of mainstream classical music in that respect - visceral Beethoven like the Grosse Fugue is the obvious thing, except it’s nothing like a fugue! Maybe the Schumann toccata - but it’s much better than that! Richard Barrett once mentioned it positively and it’s very much like stuff he has done - a lot of notes!

If only I could find someone who plays the Boulez sonata like that!
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 28, 2021, 01:15:09 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/SUoUcY4c3mJNITRoader3TlA5ys=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-12348619-1533440349-6683.jpeg.jpg)

Philp Manoury's essay on the origin of his first piano sonata

Quote
STROLLING IN THE CITY WITH MUSIC IN THE HEAD.


Prague (, October 2001. Nocturnal walks in  the old quarter of Mala Strana. Everything is dark. One edifice seems embedded in the next. To the left, a lane running into a square. From there. a staircase leads to a street t er-head that skins a group of houses. I have e no sense of direction. Nor do I have a map. This route does not seem to he taking me anywhere. But what do I know? Perhaps it suffices to continue walking a few metres more to arrive at a spot where I'll have a view of the whole. After a moment, in the distance I make out a halo of lights shrouded in fog. That seems like a possible goal to me. At one barely distinguishes the new colours in which this city is decked out. For me, Prague was old black-and-white photos dating from before the previous century.  A silent, black city.

My head does not stop resonating with a haunting musical motif. Although it breaks off long enough for me to conteplate an ornate facade, it reappears imperturbably at the spot where it left off. It is not, strictly-speaking, a theme but rather a series of harmonies. After a few hesitations, I identify it: it comes from the Liszt Sonata. Whilst continuing my nocturnal stroll — and as if to free myself from this sound obsession I mentally run through this whole sonata from the very beginning. I then give myself over to one of my faourite pastimes: synchronising in my memory the sounds and images that I perceived, as if having to put together a film score. It is a matter. for example. of reconstructing what 1 had before my eves when I heard the descending scales of the beginning and evaluating the distance covered during thew whole exposition of the first theme, or else observing the street I had just walked down and remembering the fragment of music that accompanied this journey. The stairs were in D major, the large house with yellow walls was decorated with trills'... This experience always leads to the same observation: inevitably, the two times arc not synchronised. The sound time and the visual time are governed by two distinct clocks. There remains only a face sculpted in a wall that was watching me when I again arrived at this harmonic series with which I continue to struggle.


During this mental distraction, I did not however stop walking. I must have gone past that square bathed in the pale light of street lamps. I must have crossed three or four small intersections, perhaps even more. This city is one that hides another. I am as lost in that quarter as in the sonata. Only chance can put me back on the road home. But it is too soon for that. I am between the Sonata and the city.

I succeed in ridding myself of that harmonic sequence in the most expeditious way by going straight to the fugue. Mentally, I run through it from start to finish. It is filled with promises. The contrapuntal texture comes at just the right moment to give new constructive momentum. Everything in it fits together and is linked in an extremely organic drive. The two subjects that were clashing since the beginning of the work are henceforth meant to get on with each other. But. like every other time I listen to it, the same question returns: why did Liszt interrupt it so soon? What was being organised in such an obvious way, in a construction that seemed to renew itself at every instant, now makes for more or less heroic episodes of virtuosity. That produces a certain effect, but it has always given me the impression of a machine turning without gripping, This fugue barely exceeds two minutes! Why not have repeated it further on? Did Liszt lack technique? Did the rigour of the writing bore him? For me, these questions are still unanswered at the moment I glimpse the outcome of my walk. I seemed to have already seen this elevated portico between two houses. Now I've retraced my steps! In this sense, the street does not at all resemble what I had seen the first time. How to be sure of my memory? Perhaps it is another street with two identical bridges built by the same architect. The further I plunge into the city. the more the images are superimposed in my mind. I notice that I had not paid the slightest attention to the few persons I had encountered. I remained blind and deaf between stone and sound. I go back to try to again see the perspective of this series of buildings, which,  the first time. had certainly not escaped my notice. This time. I have proof. I return to the same place, and yet it is not the same. I see the same houses, but everything seems new. Between these two strollsin the same street, a quantity of places has filed past my eves. One form disappeared and was followed by others,  then the first returned, but backwards.

That makes me think irremediably of musical forms. This time, of Berg. The retrograde motion of Act II of Lulu. The music starts over again. descending, returning to the same sound landscapes that had initially been perceived as rising, but in reverse order; or else the delayed forms that Berg adopts for Act I. when the exposition and development of a sonata are distributed in non-concomitant moments, in two different scenes. Since I've been walking. it might well he that I've passed the same place several times with out noticing. On the way home. I stop on the Carolus Bridge from which I contemplate the heights of the Lema quarter where I had lived a few days previous summer, There a large pendulum marks a time devoid of meaning where, in the past. the immense statue of Stalin had stood. Leaving the bridge. a discotheque down below is spewing forth the final effluvia of a music that is nonetheless powerless to kill the silence. Heading towards my residence. I begin to elaborate the plan of my new composition.

Upon returning to Paris. at the end of the month, after much trial and error and several pages of sketches, I finally orient the work towards what will be its definitive form. Yet this form will evolve continually up until the end of the composition in February 2002. The set of themes is partially derived from diverse materials that I had developed for my opera K. Here the elements spread out round an empty centre,  made up of a vast silence, at the end of which all the music makes the reverse itinerary. A retrograde: way in which one comes back on the same forms taken up again where I had abandoned them but following an itinerary strewn with false symmetries. Six levels of structuring. including two fugues, three toccatas and six melodic meditations represent the sound landscapes on which one comes back with entrance and exit points, which are different every time. The fugues, interrupted as in Liszt, reappear according to the principle of delayed forms, The toccatas construct and deconstruct levels of harmonic resonance. The melodic meditations are moments of metamorphosis: an element embeds itself in another until it supplants it.

I gave this abstract construction the title La Ville (The City.), with the subtitle (...first sonata...)'. My stroll in that old quarter of Prague, the memory of the Liszt Sonata and Bergian forms were the preambles.

The City is dedicated to Jean-Francois Heisser, who gave the first performance at the 'Piano aux Jacobins' festival in Toulouse (which had commissioned the work ). on 13 September 2002.

Philippe Manoury Paris. February 2004
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: ritter on January 28, 2021, 02:05:48 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/SUoUcY4c3mJNITRoader3TlA5ys=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-12348619-1533440349-6683.jpeg.jpg)

Philp Manoury's essay on the origin of his first piano sonata
I have that CD, and remember enjoying the piece, but must revisit it soon.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 28, 2021, 03:04:00 AM
I have that CD, and remember enjoying the piece, but must revisit it soon.

He has a second sonata, which is on YouTube, also well worth hearing.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 12:31:17 PM
TD -- do you have the booklet for this?

(https://img.discogs.com/GC494z43DxOE1dnpmh3Up0VlVwM=/fit-in/600x526/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-5411033-1392710035-8395.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 29, 2021, 12:54:10 PM
TD -- do you have the booklet for this?

(https://img.discogs.com/GC494z43DxOE1dnpmh3Up0VlVwM=/fit-in/600x526/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-5411033-1392710035-8395.jpeg.jpg)

No, sorry. After being less than enamored of a couple of Nic Hodges's recordings (as mentioned above in some other thread), I haven't made any more purchases.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 12:59:10 PM
No, sorry. After being less than enamored of a couple of Nic Hodges's recordings (as mentioned above in some other thread), I haven't made any more purchases.

Yes, Redgate is Ferneyhough-esque.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on January 29, 2021, 01:27:35 PM
Yes, Redgate is Ferneyhough-esque.

Well, that'd explain it.  ;) Nothing against New Complexity, I heard a few pieces I like (for instance La Chute d'Icare and Lemma-Icon-Epigram by Ferneyhough, Spleen by Dillon), but far more that weren't to my taste, so I stopped exploring the field. So much music, so little time...
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2021, 08:56:13 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/26Zj_dVONgs

Rain piece for three pianos, Peter Ablinger, like it, don’t know how it’s made, presumably a transcription of rain. On this CD

(https://www.soundohm.com/data/products/020/peter-ablinger-regenstucke-vol-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 12, 2021, 02:19:07 PM


Stockhausen’s Mantra is just a set of variations on a melody (the mantra.) It is for two pianos, the piano tones are passed through a ring modulator which serves to bring out some of their overtones, creating a more varied timbre. There is also some occasional use of little cymbals, and woodblocks which mark the main structural junction - all done by the piano players. And occasionally the musicians have to make a sound with their vocal chords.  I love it, I think it is a masterpiece. But it’s not really avant garde any more - it’s half a century old! Roll over Stockhoven.

Glad to see a mention of Mantra. I find it a lot more comprehensible than other Stockhausen I've listened to. Almost catchy, a bit jazzy. I've got the Naxos recording and I'm listening to it right now!

Quote
(https://www.col-legno.com/pics_db/20237_poppe_cover.jpg)

That's a hell of a picture. Is that supposed to be Enno Poppe?
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 13, 2021, 11:04:25 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/jC9Qr29IrsU&ab_channel=ccrmalite1

In Part A Alvin Lucier's Nothing is Real, for piano, amplified teapot, tape recorder and miniature sound system. the pianist plays some familiar tunes, which are recorded. In Part B the recording is played back through a teapot, and the pianist opens and closes the lid so the sound escapes like steam. It is gorgeous.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 13, 2021, 11:07:07 AM
Glad to see a mention of Mantra. I find it a lot more comprehensible than other Stockhausen I've listened to. Almost catchy, a bit jazzy. I've got the Naxos recording and I'm listening to it right now!

That's a hell of a picture. Is that supposed to be Enno Poppe?

Have a listen to his lectures on it on youtube.


That's a hell of a picture. Is that supposed to be Enno Poppe?


Booklet doesn't say.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 14, 2021, 05:02:37 AM
(https://www.jazzmessengers.com/46686-large_default/christopher-fox-music-for-piano.jpg)

This expensive, hard to find CD from a relatively unknown composer and a relatively unknown jazz piano player is well worth the pain of purchasing it for the sound. The piano is like, really here! Both in terms of music and playing it’s the most enjoyable for me by far of any piano cd of Fox’s music.

Christopher Fox is a musician with a cult following. There’s even a festschrift for him. It is true that his minimal, restrained music though initially underwhelming has really gotten under my skin. One of the long pieces on this CD, The Calm of the Mountains, is the closest thing I’ve heard to music directly influenced by The Well Tuned Piano - it’s only 14 minutes though!  So that must show something - not sure what it shows, but it shows something.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on February 14, 2021, 05:52:10 AM
(https://www.jazzmessengers.com/46686-large_default/christopher-fox-music-for-piano.jpg)

This expensive, hard to find CD from a relatively unknown composer and a relatively unknown jazz piano player is well worth the pain of purchasing it for the sound. The piano is like, really here! Both in terms of music and playing it’s the most enjoyable for me by far of any piano cd of Fox’s music.

Christopher Fox is a musician with a cult following. There’s even a festschrift for him. It is true that his minimal, restrained music though initially underwhelming has really gotten under my skin. One of the long pieces on this CD, The Calm of the Mountains, is the closest thing I’ve heard to music directly influenced by The Well Tuned Piano - it’s only 14 minutes though!  So that must show something - not sure what it shows, but it shows something.

John Snijders? Relatively unknown jazz pianist?
He's recorded with the relatively well-known (NL modern classical) Ives ensemble, I have his For John Cage recording.
Stuff on discogs looks "classical" to me: https://www.discogs.com/artist/847140-John-Snijders
And USA dealer Squidco offers the physical CD (I think ezz-thetics is the successor label to Hatology) on discogs at their standard price, US$ 17.95 not really expensive for such things.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 14, 2021, 06:04:43 AM
John Snijders? Relatively unknown jazz pianist?
He's recorded with the relatively well-known (NL modern classical) Ives ensemble, I have his For John Cage recording.
Stuff on discogs looks "classical" to me: https://www.discogs.com/artist/847140-John-Snijders
And USA dealer Squidco offers the physical CD (I think ezz-thetics is the successor label to Hatology) on discogs at their standard price, US$ 17.95 not really expensive for such things.

Just testing to see if anyone was reading.

It's difficult to get in the UK, you have to pay to get it imported from Holland, or pay a premium to Amazon,  odd given that Fox is based in the UK I think.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: T. D. on February 14, 2021, 10:31:20 AM
More Snijders credits:
https://www.discogs.com/artist/847140-John-Snijders?type=Credits&subtype=Instruments-Performance&filter_anv=0
He's also performed with the Nieuw Ensemble and Schönberg Ensemble.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2021, 06:10:19 AM
Very good and well recorded performance of Alvin Curran’s Inner Cities 9 by its dedicatee here. Enjoyed it very much. I think it has what Stockhausen called Moment Form.

(https://assets.boomkat.com/spree/products/587834/product/193483694245.jpg)

and while we’re talking Alvin Curran, there’s an extraordinary long performance of For Cornelius by Kees Wieringa here , not sure if it's really successful

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41bvpG91VyL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 18, 2021, 09:54:18 AM
(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODExMjU5Ny4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1Mjk5OTQ4MTh9)

There are some incredible, astonishing, things on this one -- the best new discovery for a long time. Traces for piano and live electronics, Fantasy for piano, Less than Two. This is a magnificent album.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 19, 2021, 10:05:11 AM
(https://d42bo2445p9pu.cloudfront.net/assets/uploads/2017/03/14005137/cover77501.jpg)

This is, IMO, a major, serious, important contribution to “traditional” piano music. What I mean by traditional is that it’s using techniques which are basically those found in Liszt and Beethoven and Debussy - the piano player does not wear maracas on his wrists or gloves on his hand or sing, he doesn’t play with his elbows or stroke the insides of the instrument, there’s no electronics.

Listening to the whole thing over the past few weeks it’s clear to me that expressively this is a match for the greatest cycles of piano music.

But there’s a huge problem which, I think, is preventing its acknowledgement for the work of genius it is. You can only hear it through Ian Pace’s performance with sound which is, in my opinion, poor. Poor dynamic range, poor capture of timbre and attack - poor in all the things which matter for piano. The sound is dead.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 19, 2021, 10:54:04 AM
And this shows how good Ian Pace can sound when he's well recorded -- I'm talking about the seven Dusapin etudes

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/411hmjoSnDL._SY355_.jpg)


There's another recording of these agreeable pieces, by Vanessa Wagner -- I much prefer Pace in every important way: sensitivity to nuance and quality of tone. Pace can come up with the goods sometimes.
Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 22, 2021, 01:50:50 AM
(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2004117285_16.jpg)

More from Nicolas Horvath, who was the pianist in Alvin Lucier’s Music for Piano XL I have enjoyed so much. This is in the same vein, but if anything even more interesting. Denis Johnson’s November was a big inspiration for La Monte Young when he composed The Well Tuned Piano. Here it’s enhanced by a moody electronic background, with a piano part (which sounds to me as though it’s sometimes been processed in some way) in counterpoint. Like it!

November has been recorded before, by Jeroan van Veen, and I’ve just found a recording by R Lee Andrew which I’ll try to hear soon.



Title: Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
Post by: Mandryka on February 22, 2021, 02:48:42 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61GR1e47kcL._SL1324_.jpg)


I've got it now, and it turns out to be about as long as The Well Tuned Piano  :o


Very good essay by Kyle Gann on it -- and it also makes sense of the word "deconstructed" in the title of the Lustmord CD

https://recordings.irritablehedgehog.com/album/dennis-johnson-november-2