Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, May 29, 2015.
Now enjoying CD 01 (Symphony one) from the newly released (at last) Barbirolli Brahms set.
Philippe Sarde’s masterpiece
La petite apocalypse (full album)
Really like that set I got them in the 90s on, dirt cheap, Royal Classics, a bargain.
Nice, I just enjoyed a listen to the second CD from my set, which contains symphonies 2 and 3.
Yesterday was my first time in my favorite local used shop looking for SACDs (I have a new (my first) SACD player) and I decided on these two. Now enjoying the Chopin SACD.
Calling all classical SACD fans - Your Favorite Classical SACDs
You inspired me to put on the Rene Jacobs version. Have you heard that one @royzak2000 ? Original 1762 version but with a mezzo-soprano (gorgeously sung by Bernarda Fink) instead of a countertenor. Works incredibly well! That Gardiner is a favourite as well. Actually I have a lot of versions of this, but Jacobs is my go-to.
NP: Gluck - Orfeo & Euridice (1762) directed by Rene Jacobs with Bernarda Fink (Orfeo), Veronica Cangemi (Euridice) and Maria Cristina Kiehr (Amore). Recorded 2001.
Attractive Symphonies from 1894 & 1908. No.1 recorded 5/88, Bucharest. Producer: Javier Lavilla Berganza. No. 2 recorded 8/89, Košice, Slovakia. Producer: Gecza Toperczer. First issued on Marco Polo in 1989.
Recorded 12/7-12/92, House of Arts, Košice, Slovakia. Producer: Karol Kopernicky. Engineer: Otto Nopp.
I've been enjoying both of these very much recently. I wasn't even a big fan of Schumann's quartets until hearing this, and the Mozart K 387 on the first CD is just awesome. Highest recommendation for both.
Quatuor Akilone: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert. Mirare
Schumann: String Quartets Op. 41 Nos. 1 and 3. Quatuor Renoir, Zig-Zag Territoires.
Now enjoying a first listen to this SACD. Munch's Ravel is more boisterous than other interpretations I have heard. The Debussy is playing now and it is lovely.
LINO LIVIABELLA - Antigone (1942, Libretto by Emidio Mucci)
Orchestra e Coro di Milano della Radiotelevisione Italiana / Ottavio Ziino
(Recording: Milano 1956) (on LP)
GEORG FRIEDRICH HANDEL - Messiah
Gabrieli Consort & Players / Paul McCreesh
I have a question for all of you Classical music experts as I am a newbie trying to educate myself and explore this massive area of music that I have essentially ignored most of my life. I have read so much about the different interpretations of any given piece of music recorded by various conductors and performers. I am sorry if the following question is elementary and silly but I have no technical background or understanding of music from any academic or performance standpoint. I am just a guy with a pair of ears who has loved listening to music his whole life.
My understanding is that a given piece of "Classical" music is written down or transcribed in musical notation. I have always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this written information included all of the relevant data: the notes played, which instruments play which parts of the music and when, tempo or rhythm, dynamics and areas of emphasis, etc. Where is there room for a conductor or performer to interpret this written data? Does he or she ignore part of what is written and take personal liberties with the music or is there enough ambiguity or missing info in what is written than interpretation is a necessary and inherent part of performing an written piece of music? I am very curious about this.
OK, so you have all the equipment you need! (And I'm not joking about that.)
Well, your assumption has a grain of truth but isn't quite right. Classical scores may contain quite a variable amount of the relevant information, and the farther back you go, the less of it they tend to have. For instance, written music of the so-called Baroque era (the 100 years or so leading up to J.S. Bach) can be very sketchy, riddled with shortcuts and omissions that the composers assumed any practicing musician would know how to fill, like "figured bass"--rather than writing out the bass line in precise notation, a laborious process done by hand with quill pens, composers would simply write some numbers indicating the chords; it was up to the performer(s) to interpret them in performance. Music notation before that period becomes even more open to question, and by the time you get back to the medieval period any performance you hear probably reflects scholarly (or not-so-scholarly) conjecture more than anything authoritative drawn from a piece of paper.
Even later music has its imprecisions for the performer to decide. Take the simple matter of tempo, of how fast or slow a piece should be. The indications are traditionally in Italian, the most common ones being largo, adagio, andante, allegro, and presto, meaning very slow, pretty slow, moderate, fairly quick, and very fast, respectively. Mind you, any of those can be modified by other Italian terms to give things like andante con moto (not too quick but moving along), allegro moderato (moderately quick), andante con gran espressione (moderate with great expression) and the like. Its up to the performer to decide how fast "fast " is, how "slow" slow is, and, in a work with several movements, each marked with a different term, how they relate to each other. Beethoven started the practice of specifying speed by reference to a wonderful new invention by his buddy Maelzel, the metronome. Composers following him often have followed suit. Even Beethoven's marks call for decisions, because many performers consider them unworkable in performance. And many others consider them quite doable. Even those who adhere to them agree they are good only for the first few measures if a performance is to avoid being stiff and boring.
OK, there are some basic matters. There are loads of additional decisions to be made about things like what to bring out and what to de-emphasize, how loud is "loud" and how soft is "soft" (yeah, more indistinct Italian, running from forte down to piano), whether to play up accents or play them down or even smooth them over into a seamless flow (called "legato), and on and on.
Maybe the best way to look at a score: it's like a blueprint for a house. Yes, it give you the general shape and structure, but it tells you very little about what color siding the house will have, what sort of flooring will go in, the sort of lighting each room will end up with, etc.
I hope that helps a bit. Welcome to some of the world's art treasures and also to some of its most raucous fun--please enjoy exploring!
[Edit: Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention: in concerti, there's often a segment, called the "cadenza," in each of the faster movements that quite deliberately isn't written out. You'll know it when, near the end of the movement, the orchestra plays a big chord and then the soloist takes off in a bunch of solo display work, lasting a minute or two or maybe three, at which point the orchestra comes back in. Up until the end of the capital-C-Classical era (the time of Mozart and Haydn and into Beethoven, basically from a little after the end of the Baroque I mentioned earlier until the early 19th century), it was expected the performer would improvise during that interval, showing off his own skill at manufacturing pleasing/exciting music for an audience on the basis of what the composer had written out earlier. At that time, improvising was very much part of every self-respecting musician's arsenal. Later, as improvising fell out of fashion, others would write out cadenzas to fit into these locations. Among the most famous are those a violinist named Fritz Kreisler, much celebrated in the early 20th century, wrote for Beethoven's violin concerto; today, most, albeit by no means all, performances you hear will include them.]
That explanation was fantasitic! Very helpful. Thank you.
You're most welcome! (I just added a bit--once your get me going, I just won't shut up )
I love it. I am trying to soak up and learn as much as possible.
Just bought these two boxes:
HILARY HAHN - The Complete Sony Recordings
I already have some of the cds, but the price was inviting and I didn't resist
SERGEI RACHMANINOV - The 4 Piano Concertos/Piano Works/The 3 Symphonies/Orchestral Works (8 cds)
Nikolai Luganski / LSO - Andre Previn / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra - Sakari Oramo
I have become a Rachmaninov fan in the last years (I don't know why his music is not much appreciated in Italy). Previn is a great musician, both in classical and in jazz music and he's not new to me, while it's my first listening to Lugansky: in the Concertos the impression is highly positive.
Separate names with a comma.