Rolling Classical 2012

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Nakh, here is where I reveal that the copy of BBC Mag i bought had doubles of the cover disc included for some reason. If you haven't/don't get a copy let me know and I can send you my extra one. It's a stunner.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 19:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Have not heard that LP, Nakh - love all of those pieces. Don't think I've ever heard an orchestral version of Verklarte that I liked more than the chamber arrangement, though!

Turangalila, Monday, 12 March 2012 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've been getting into Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" lately. Packs a lot into 30 minutes.

o. nate, Monday, 12 March 2012 20:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^if you ain't heard the solo piano original, get hold of it post-haste!

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost Yes on Verklarte Nacht the shimmery bits toward the end are so much more palpable in the chamber version.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

JELZ of your Nancarrow festival, that is *so cool*.

xp o. nate check out the original two pianos version for interest. Ravel's orchestration is real cool, landmark even, but it over-emphasizes the stylistic disparities between each movement. As a piano piece I think it's untouchable.

I have four recordings of "Concord Sonata" (John Kirkpatrick, Aloys Kontarsky, Gilbert Kalish, Manfred Reinelt) and I'm listening to them all today to decide if anybody did better than Kirkpatrick (so far no but I still have Kalish to go)

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

I really like the different colors that Ravel gets out of the orchestra, but it would be interesting to compare the piano version. I'll look for it. Thanks.

o. nate, Monday, 12 March 2012 20:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to them all today to decide if anybody did better than Kirkpatrick (so far no but I still have Kalish to go)

the objective answer to this is no, no one did it better than Kirkpatrick

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Owen have you heard the newish Jeremy Denk one? I have an mp3 of him playing it live a few years ago and it's quite good...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

re: Pictures, O Nate, everyone everywhere will tell you to go to Richter live in Sofia for this, and they're right, but be ready for dire sound quality.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

jon you are a mensch, but i should be able to get a copy of that via internets assuming it doesnt get an official release

it's seemingly a live recording from wales from a concert which got 4/5 from thegraun

re verklärte, i prefer the string orch arrangement because i really like that heavy lugubrious austrogerman heaviness in the early movements
(levine's siegfried idyll is pellucid and supple tho)

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

tonight I start learning movements 4 & 5 from Bach cantata 32

eek

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

DJP I thought you were a baritone? @ Jon: I'll check it out! I lucked out, I live next to a classical vinyl store and got three copies of Concord in one pull (all the non-Kirkpatrick ones, I had to eBay the Kirkpatrick).

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

v psyched to get to see some Saariaho performed next month for the first time(her Bergman tribute, Lanterna Magica)! The rest of that evening's program, well... I am totally up for Shostakovich's 6th but I have a feeling Franz Welser-Most is a conductor who is best pitted against bristlingly difficult post-wwii fare and might not bring the goods in dsch. And Brahms 2nd piano concerto would excite me too except yefim bronfman, meh.

Also next month Crumb's two orchestral colossi Starchild and Echoes Of Time And The River in one night! He's been performed a LOT in nyc the last several years which is great for me cause I love him. The downside: Leon Botstein conducts...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Fuuuuck I wish I could be in NYC for that.

[selfish] I'm flying to London today to oversee rehearsals for my violin concerto. It's my first one. I'm so, so excited. [/]

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

the fact that the stereo Kirkpatrick is still not available on CD is a painful act of negiligence on Columbia's part.

Last year I got a copy of the original mono Kirkpatrick, but it's so scratchy I almost couldn't listen. I am saving the transfer & cleanup for a rainy day.

I saw Henry Brant's orchestration of the Concord Symphony at SF Symphony with Tilson Thomas on Wednesday night. It's easier than ever to follow certain melodies when you break them across instrumental groups. But at times it becomes almost too transparent, some of those lines are supposed to be inextricable instead of underlined, and the slow, increasingly quiet spiral of the last movement comes across differently when it's 60-80 people following a very tightly wound score. It's far more of a Brant piece than an Ives one; still had a wonderful time but I've been mainlining my favorite recordings of it in the week since.

The pre-concert talk was in fact two actors recreating John Kirkpatrick's initial encounter with Ives, rehearsing the Concord for him in Ives' attic; played up to the hilt, with all the dialogue sourced directly from Cowell's book and Ives' Memos. But the guy playing Kirkpatrick could play pretty well, and the music made it all work; hundreds of people were there by the end of it and you can tell when the Davies crowd likes something; they are completely silent during the music

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 22:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost congrats on violin concerto mr. owen

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was reading botstein's essay in 'franz liszt & his world' which was slightly tendentious and dull, rest of book skimmed but seems rich

congrats ówen!

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Really looking forward to hearing your violin concerto on Friday.

I have to admit that over the last couple of years I've found contemporary classical music so much more rewarding to listen to than the other stuff I used to listen to. However, there's so much to explore and so little time!

Moon Fuxx (Jill), Monday, 12 March 2012 23:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

owen that's fantastic! Which one of London's bazillion 1st class orchs are you working with?

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

DJP I thought you were a baritone?

I am. 4 & 5 are S/B duets with enough Es in the B part to make a bass angry.

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

ps re: the violin concerto: baller

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ha, thanks DJP. It's Britten Sinfonia, Pekka Kuusisto is playing it. Thanks for well-wishes!

Can anybody recommend me a Wyschnegradsky?

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I still haven't cracked the Concord Sonata — I always fall asleep after the first movement.

I'm listening to Berlioz's Requiem (Inbal, RSO Frankfurt) again.

tanuki, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Going to see Giuseppe Ettorre play Bottessini with a chamber orchestra in a couple hours. New territory for me.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Schubert Sonata D958, Leif Ove Andsnes. This is finally the rendition of this sonata I've been looking for. With the instincts of a snake charmer Andsnes nails the balance between mysterious distance and sudden assertion and achieves terribilitas. The finale's death-dance some serious head-nod shit.

Which reminds me, we were discussing Mussorgsky's solo piano Pictures yesterday; if you have an aversion to 1950s bootleg sound quality, Andsnes is a good hi-fi alternative to Richter (very different interpretation of course).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've been getting into Arbiter Classical reissues lately - they just have great taste, and seem to do really nice remastering (assuming there's some kind of remastering going on), plus I love the covers (other than the annoying elephant logo):


the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

That Paul Jacobs album is INCREDIBLE. I wish there was more of him on record.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's so fucking good! And I had never heard of him before I discovered it.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

You should check out the iren marik stuff - I think you will like her if you like Jacobs.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Get yourself Jacobs' Debussy recordings without the slightest delay! Esp the Preludes. He is the king of dry-point Debussy playing (Bavouzet is the king of wet-brush Debussy playing). His Schoenberg disc is wonderful too.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Other recommended Arbiters:

Arbiter 116: Tiegerman: The Lost Legend of Cairo

Arbiter 139: Hindemith as Interpreter · The Amar-Hindemith Quartet

Arbiter 157: Scriabin chez Scriabin

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just noticed that both Decca and EMI have released Delius boxes. Any opinions on either?

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Monday, 19 March 2012 13:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

EMI offers the wider selection of repertoire but the Decca is largely composed of Mackerras' recordings which are uniformly excellent and superbly recorded. There isn't really any top-tier Delius missing from the Decca set IMO (except the tone poem Eventyr), making it a better introduction to my man. But if you're already obsessed with Delius the EMI is a real feast of rarer stuff. I know I want to get it at some point even though I already have the Beecham and Barbirolli material.

BTW, the Danish conductor Bo Holten has now released three geographically-themed Delius discs ('Danish Masterworks', "Norwegian Masterworks" and the new "English Masterworks") which are all fantastic; he may some to supplant Mackerras as the Delius master of the digital era. The Norwegian one is especially killer: Eventyr and Song Of The High Hills on one disc!

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 19 March 2012 14:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Get yourself Jacobs' Debussy recordings without the slightest delay! Esp the Preludes. He is the king of dry-point Debussy playing (Bavouzet is the king of wet-brush Debussy playing). His Schoenberg disc is wonderful too.

― Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:17 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That sounds good! I am finding myself increasingly drawn to dry-brush pianists in general, and the concept of dry-brush Debussy is interesting.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Monday, 19 March 2012 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

dry-point rather

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Monday, 19 March 2012 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Part of it, of course, is how he's recorded-- that wonderful Connoiseur Society E. Alan Silver type sound where the attack of each note is like a sweet 'ping'. See most everything recorded by Ivan Moravec before the digital era.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 19 March 2012 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thanks again - sounds like Mackerras is my man!

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

A further word-- I don't know if you like your Delius on the lively end (a la mono-era Beecham) or on the languorous wallowy end (a la Barbirolli)-- I prefer the former, and that's what Mackerras brings (but unhurried and with plenty of rubato).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Persephone. The one big Stravinsky piece that just fell through the cracks of popularity somehow. But so great. Elliott Carter called it 'the humanist Rite of Spring'. Elliott Carter OTM. It's got so much charm. Maybe it never caught on because it has a narrator.

All-time I don't think there have been more than 5 or 6 commercial recordings of it. My favorite isn't even one of them-- it's a radio broadcast from the BBC I downloaded off a new group, Andrew Davis conducting. Right now I'm listening to the work's second recording-- Andre Cluytens conducting, mono, a vinyl rip off a dude's blog a couple of years ago.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 20:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

so beautiful:

Battalia à 10 D-dur, C.61 (1673)
01:43 - 2. Allegro: "Die liederliche Gesellschaft von allerey Humor"

Biber's Battalia (1673) is a rare precedent, with its quodlibet of eight different folksongs in five different keys, representing the songs of the soldiers encamped before the battle.

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wow! A precedent for Ives, yeah? I've been seeing references to this piece for years but never heard it til now (though I have listened to the Rosary Sonatas).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

The more I listen to Biber, the more I flip out, this guy was centuries ahead. the alternative tuning work in the Rosary Sonata, the extended technique to emulate Bird & Frog songs in 'Sonata Representiva', and... now this completely bonkers Ives moment

and of course when he plays it straight, which is most of the time, it is just transcendental, been listening to 'Rosary Sonatas' a lot this last year

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

& posting this to watch it from home later

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 03:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Tony Conrad is a huge Biber enthusiast.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Thursday, 22 March 2012 06:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Now THAT is interesting...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend the go-to recordings of the prokofiev symphonies?

toto coolio (clouds), Sunday, 28 October 2012 16:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 - Too many choices
2 - The one on Chandos or the Gergiev
3 - Abbado on London/Decca or Gergiev
4 - Kuchar on Naxos
5 - I like Ormandy/Sony for this one but many many choices
6 - Mravinsky on Praga (probably reiss on other labels)
7 - Smetacek on Praga

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Sunday, 28 October 2012 16:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

there is no wholly awesome one-stop box set.

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Sunday, 28 October 2012 16:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

incidentally listening to kuchar's 3 and 7 while typing that post

toto coolio (clouds), Sunday, 28 October 2012 17:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

Love #3 sooooo much, 2 and 3 both hella underrated aggro-modernism.

The Leinsdorf recordings are supposed to be v good as well, but I don't have those.

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Sunday, 28 October 2012 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend a recording of bartok's 'bluebeard's castle'? i'd quite like one that includes the libretto....

cb, Monday, 29 October 2012 15:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hmmm. The only one of the 3 I own which came with libretto was the Haitink/EMI. But it's not my favorite (though not bad).

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Monday, 29 October 2012 16:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

thank you!

cb, Monday, 29 October 2012 16:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

The justly lauded Kertesz/London one has had a ton of different reissues-- see which one has a libretto and get that,is my advice.

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Monday, 29 October 2012 17:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

liking this

http://www.pacificaquartet.com/recordings.php?albumName=shostakovich%201,2,3,4

also this ed. of sonatas and interludes by cage

http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/7442

apparently there's another out this year too..

j., Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Franck's harmonic sensibilities rarely work for me.

Hmmm. Do you like any of the late chamber pieces? Franck is one my favorite composers - would recommend the String Quartet in D and the Quintet in F minor.

timellison, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

the constant roving chromaticism can make his music seem restless but that doesn't preclude my enjoyment

happy little (clouds), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend a recording of bartok's 'bluebeard's castle'? i'd quite like one that includes the libretto....

Get a dvd! Easier to watch than read.. I recommend this one
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluebeards-Castle-London-Philharmonic-Orchestra/dp/B0011WMWWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1351561144&sr=1-1

glumdalclitch, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

i got the kertesz/london recording of "bluebeard's castle" (with libretto), as recommended by jon; it's amazing. the first time i've enjoyed opera. hoping it's maybe a gateway...

cb, Thursday, 15 November 2012 11:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend a good recording of Delius' powerful joyous climactic choral stuff which I have seen a couple of times on TV programmes but never taken down the name of the pieces ?
All I can find on spotify is more pastoral ( cartoon deer prancing through woods with bluebirds, that kinda thing)
hopefully someone who knows something can advise.

thomasintrouble, Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

requiem, a mass of life, sea-drift, songs of sunset (look for the vernon handley recordings)

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

ace, thank you so much. I'll do some youtube digging and then look for the recording you recommend.

thomasintrouble, Thursday, 15 November 2012 22:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's hard to know what you heard; Delius deployed chorus in a variety of ways. Was it chorus unaccompanied or orchestra with chorus? Here are some stabs in the dark:

Appalachia - This is a long orchestral work in variation form which brings in the chorus for a big finale ("Honey I am goin' down the river in the mornin'/Hey-oh hey-oh down the mighty river..."). It's based on a spiritual tune from the american south. I recommend Mackerras or Barbirolli for this.

Song Of The High Hills - Probably the most sublime, mysterious & evanescent thing Delius ever did. The apex of his pantheist mode. Mostly orchestral; the chorus is used as a wordless element of the instrumental fabric a la Debussy's Nocturnes. Recommend Mackerras, Fenby or Bo Holten for this.

A Mass Of Life - This is much more choral-centered in the oratorio style. Big and lumbering, with text drawn from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, it was supposed to be a kind of atheist's mass. I've never clicked with this piece. People usually recommend Hickox for it.

Songs of Sunset/Songs of Farewell - These are structured like songs but the chorus carries a lot of the weight. Extremely chromatic, to a fault if you ask me, but they include some heart-piercing moments. Hickox with Bryn Terfel and Sally Burgess is a good choice for these.

Sea Drift - Included on the same Hickox disc with the previous item, this is a fantastic setting of a Whitman poem about sad seagulls for solo voice plus chorus and orchestra. Definitely deserves its status as a greatest hit.

Also, to roll with Delius at all you're gonna have to come to grips with the pastoralist thing. Replace the cartoon deer and bluebirds with the real thing and get inside their skins; this kind of aural nature poetry was not a quaint picture postcard thing for Delius but a subject of the deepest intensity.

(By the way C I think you mean Hickox not Handley? Handley did his share of Delius but not much of the choral stuff iirc?)

multiple decades of jazz (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 November 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha yes, you're right. was mixing up my chandos regulars.

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

and your post is wonderfully informative. will have to do some delving.

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

my love for the Arbiter label is strong - every time I put on something from them, it's the right thing, hiss and all.

too many encores (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Webern, Beethoven, Kurtag

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Cesar Franck continues to frustrate and confound us

a funny thing happened on the way to the forum (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 24 November 2012 20:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

The last 1:30 of the last movement of Shostakovich's last symphony: one of my favorite passages of music ever.

my other pug is a stillsuit (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 29 November 2012 22:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

there is some shitty programme about westminster abbey on tv and all the choirboys are auditioning for the soloist in allegri's miserere and oh god this kid's voice just cuts out for the high c

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Monday, 10 December 2012 23:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

same programme had zadok the priest all over it and now i can't stop playing zadok the gd priest so i downloaded a couple of oratorios but none of them remotely approximate that awed stately plaintively phasing intro or or the sudden choral exultation (the second half of zadok is no good)

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Friday, 14 December 2012 01:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

will try to find that

clouds, Friday, 14 December 2012 01:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

Recs for watching Don Giovanni on Netflix DVD or streaming?

Johnny Hotcox, Saturday, 15 December 2012 15:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

Just got a CD of Philip Glass music - "Metamorphosis" and some selections from Glassworks and the score to The Hours performed on harp by Lavinia Meijer. Pretty nice. Here's a bit of it:

誤訳侮辱, Saturday, 15 December 2012 17:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

To bring this thread (almost) full cycle - this is out a week today: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sibelius-Complete-Symphonies-Tapiola-Finlandia/dp/B0091JQH2Q/

Terabytes of FLACS of screaming (Call the Cops), Monday, 31 December 2012 12:06 (1 year ago) Permalink

Oh that's great! Cheap too! Shame they are not including Kullervo but that Bournemouth recording has already been available for a while.

The Berglund/Bournemouth team is almost always worth hearing. Their Shostakovich 10 and 11, Vaughan Williams 4 and 6, and sibelius Kullervo are all close to top choices IMO. So I'll want to hear these Sib symphonies.

~farben~ (Jon Lewis), Monday, 31 December 2012 15:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

Is there a new thread? (long time reader, first time poster)

flag this post and die (roxymuzak), Sunday, 6 January 2013 20:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

the 'an attempt at a...' thread is v active right now and for the last couple weeks!

~farben~ (Jon Lewis), Monday, 7 January 2013 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink


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