Listenin' to Classical Music and Conversation

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bluemooze, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    Caution: It may induce a desire for popcorn.

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  2. ToddBD

    ToddBD Forum Resident

    When I was looking for that LP in the wild a few years ago (I worship the CSO brass section, so this is a "must have" record), it seemed like I ran into almost every other released version of the Franck symphony. I picked up a nice clean copy of this one, and like it very much...Guido Cantelli, NBC Symphony.
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    Dan C, bluemooze, Wolfspaw and 3 others like this.
  3. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
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    Absolutely exquisite playing by both Bezuidenhout and the Barockorchester under Müllejans. It's like I'm hearing these concertos for the first time. There is so much depth here.

    I think I'm beginning to like Mozart :sweating::kilroy:
     
  4. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    That is an excellent reading of the Franck Symphony.
    Surprisingly good sonics, too.
     
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  5. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Better late than never. ;)
     
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  6. andolink

    andolink Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Andreas Dohmen: a doppio movimento for electric guitar, harp, piano and large orchestra (2016/17)
    Yaron Deutsch, electric guitar
    Andreas Mildner, harp
    Nicolas Hodges, piano
    SWR Symphonieorchester
    Ilan Volkov, conductor

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  7. andolink

    andolink Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    • Rebecca Saunders: Stirrings Still II (2008), for six players: alto flute, oboe, clarinet in A, crotales, piano and double bass
    • Riot Ensemble
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  8. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    CD 3.

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    Disc 3
    All praise to Lyrita for having recorded Sir Lennox Berkeley’s Third Symphony within just a few years of its completion – and with the authority of the composer on the rostrum. Paul Conway’s description – “gritty and compact” – is right on the money. I must say that as a matter of personal taste I prefer the first two symphonies but the Third is, like them, a notable work. The composer’s French sympathies are often remarked upon and so I learned with interest from the notes that although the symphony was premiered in the heart of England – at Cheltenham – its interpreters on that occasion were French: the Orchestre National de l’ORTF and Jean Martinon.

    Another composer-conducted symphony follows and by coincidence William Alwyn’s Fifth is similarly in one movement. This is a fine piece and Alwyn’s own direction of it is very authoritative and dynamic. Short the work may be, but it’s conceived on a big scale. The imposing, eloquent slow ending with its repetitive chiming bell is especially impressive. If you don’t know Alwyn’s symphonies this is an excellent way to start and will, I hope, lead you to hear his own recordings of the First and Fourth, and the Second and Third.

    New to me was the Second Symphony of Grace Williams. It’s a fine work. There’s a good deal of tension in the first two movements – the second movement, Andante sostenuto, strikes me as particularly searching. I like Paul Conway’s description of the “flinty resolve” of the scherzo. The finale starts in a very serious – and impressive – vein but then at 5:31 the music becomes much more agitated and we return to the combative mood that characterised much of the first movement. I wondered why none of the symphonies of Daniel Jones were included in this compilation – perhaps because none of the recordings in the Lyrita catalogue were made by the label itself – but Grace Williams proves to be an excellent representative of Welsh symphonism. Her cause is well served by Vernon Handley and what was then the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra.

    As a delicious little dessert after the three preceding substantial symphonies we get Malcolm Arnold’s Sinfonietta no.1. This may not be too serious a work in its tone but it’s definitely a work to be taken seriously. The finale is full of gaiety. The work is only a few seconds longer than the finale of the Grace Williams symphony but I’m delighted that room was found for it.

    British Symphonies LYRITA SRCD.2355 [JQ] Classical Music Reviews: January 2017 - MusicWeb-International

    Two single-movement works begin CD3; first Lennox Berkeley’s Symphony no.3 of 1969, then William Alwyn’s Symphony no.5 of 1973. Interesting also that these two are the most recently composed works in this collection, and each is conducted here by its composer. Berkeley’s symphony, which is a fairly late work, is generally quite dark in character, with elements of serialism in its thematic organisation. Its 15-minute span falls into three sections, quick-slow-quick, and though terse and compact, it has many moments of magical scoring and harmonic originality, especially in the beautiful slow central section. Berkeley’s handling of the single-movement structure is masterly, as is the colourful orchestration, with judicious use of tuned percussion.

    ‘Hydriotaphia’, the sub-title of William Alwyn’s Fifth Symphony, is the title of an important book by Sir Thomas Browne (author of ‘Religio Medici’). This work of 1658 is a philosophical discourse on the nature of death, prompted by the discovery of Bronze Age burial urns in Norfolk. If this seems a somewhat arcane source of inspiration – which it is – it clearly found a powerful response in Alwyn’s imagination. He was a great admirer of Browne, who, like Alwyn himself, was a polymath with wide-ranging interests and talents. The symphony seems to contrast nightmarish visions with an oppressive solemnity. The passages with deep brass chords underpinning the funereal tolling of tubular bells are unforgettable. The piece ends quietly, with a clear woodwind chord of E major, compromised by a persistent C natural in the horns. This interests me; that tonal conflict mirrors closely the enigmatic ending of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (though differently scored). Make of that what you will – this is a marvellous symphony which made the strongest impact on me of any of the works in the set.

    Grace Williams, born in Barry in 1906, was one of the few women of her generation to be able to forge a reputation and a career as a composer. Symphony no.2 dates from 1956, and is a tense, nervy work, with important material announced in the opening bars by solo trumpet followed by woodwind. The slow movement grows from an expressive oboe solo, while the explosive scherzo revisits those important themes from the first movement. The finale is a sustained Largo, a lament of considerable emotional intensity.

    If Williams’s work seems more conventional in its profile after the Berkeley and Alwyn pieces, it is still a deeply felt and impressive utterance. One reservation - she had a great love of the trumpet (and wrote a fine concerto for it), so that sometimes the ear does tire of that instrument’s sound, especially in the first movement, where it not only starts things off but seems to dominate throughout.

    After these three rather unforgivingly dark symphonies, it was a nice idea to complete this disc with Malcolm Arnold’s delightful and entertaining Sinfonietta no.1 of 1955. Typical of its composer, this is skilfully scored for its small orchestra, and ends with a deliciously daft finale – huge fun, reminding us of those splendid St.Trinian’s film scores.

    British Symphonies LYRITA SRCD.2355 [JQ] Classical Music Reviews: January 2017 - MusicWeb-International
     
  9. ShallowMemory

    ShallowMemory Classical Princess

    Location:
    GB
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    CD6: Adam: Giselle with V.P.O

    A longstanding penguin three star recording, this one really has depth on the analogue to digital mastering here, positively enchanting having played it the other evening.
    An amazing box!
     
  10. Dvorgrle

    Dvorgrle New Member

    Location:
    Melbourne
    Rachmaninoff.

    Always works well.
     
    Wes H likes this.
  11. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Listening to CD 5 from "The Hilliard Ensemble - Ockeghem, Josquin Desprez, De La Rue & Lassus" on Virgin Classics.

    CD 5 - Pierre De La Rue

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  12. andolink

    andolink Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Charpentier’s Méditations pour le Carême is my favorite of all his sacred music and this performance from 1985 holds up very well indeed.

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  13. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Strongly :agree:

    I cannot say I have been the biggest Mozart fan but he is one of the great composers and I like him a lot more than I do Mahler, whose symphonies I only grudgingly started to collect a few years ago. Just because I do not like Mahler that much, he is still a somewhat important composer and should not be completely ignored by any serious collector ...
     
  14. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    First listen to CD 8 from the "Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings" box on Decca.

    Elgar - Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra led by Sir Georg Solti.

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  15. Wugged

    Wugged Forum Resident

    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    Hello ! From a not serious collector ................. :D
     
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  16. JuniorMaineGuide

    JuniorMaineGuide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I wasn't happy with any of the cover art available online for the Stratas/Boulez Lulu CD (the first release, not the later DG Originals one) so I made one:

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    Anyone here is welcome to use it as well :)
     
  17. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Do you collect music by Mahler?
     
  18. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    I guess I'm not a "serious collector" either since I wouldn't spend a dime on music I don't like, no matter how important other people say it is.
     
  19. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    No "modern" classical music in my collection for sure ...
     
  20. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    First listen to CD 7 from "Constantin Silvestri - The Legendary Conductor" on Warner.

    Prokofiev - The Love For Three Oranges Wiener Philharmoniker
    Khachaturian - Gayaneh - Suite No. 1 Wiener Philharmoniker
    Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5 [I][I]Wiener Philharmoniker[/I][/I]


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  21. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    But many people consider them important.
     
  22. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    I will spin my Beatles or Rolling Stones instead. Those are my "modern" classical music ...
     
  23. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    BBC Music Magazine CD. The real star here is the Clarinet Trio by Louise Farrenc. I've listened to a lot of her music in the last year or so, and I consider her an excellent composer with a gift for beautiful melodies.

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  24. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davis, CA
    Op.130/133. Superb.

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  25. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    My point was you said you collect Mahler even though you don't like him much because he's considered an important composer.
    Why not collect, Berg, Bartok, Webern, etc?
    I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm genuinely curious as to why you do this.
     

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