NB: Spectropol Records of Bellingham, WA, is having a half-price sale that ends tomorrow: https://spectropolrecords.bandcamp.com . I just bought Bruce Hamilton's Lanes, the Frets of Yore comp, and the last Marco Oppedisano. Some interesting EA and new chamber music stuff.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 7 January 2018 21:19 (eleven months ago) Permalink
Prediction: This will be the year Barbara Hannigan wins the Sonning Prize. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm fairly confident.
― Frederik B, Sunday, 7 January 2018 21:33 (eleven months ago) Permalink
To kickstart the year, here is, uh, Helmut Lachenmann's Marche fatale:
(Yes, this is an actual piece by Helmut Lachenmann.)
― pomenitul, Monday, 8 January 2018 23:39 (eleven months ago) Permalink
haha wow thanks
― anatol_merklich, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 09:20 (eleven months ago) Permalink
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 13:03 (eleven months ago) Permalink
He penned a little note (in German) explaining (?) his thought-process:
My German is too limited to fully grasp what he's getting at but he's mostly interested in raising new questions, which is thoroughly in keeping with his persona. Not to mention Lachenmann literally means 'the laughing man'.
― pomenitul, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 13:35 (eleven months ago) Permalink
hello classical music friends -- if you have a little extra time/goodwill, please bookmark my thread:
help me with my class?
you wouldn't have to do anything more than contribute your existing knowledge :)
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:33 (ten months ago) Permalink
This morning: walking to train, the weather was right on the razor's edge between rain and snow and I watched it change from one to the other and back again while listening to Enescu's Cello Sonata which I just noticed yesterday is completely killer.
Other ecstasies from the past few days:
Norgard - Voyage Into the Golden Screen - could not believe my ears at several points during this.Pehr Henrik Nordgren - symphony op. 20 - grabbed me by the collar, bold and arresting. Radio recording downloaded from the Symphonyshare google group.Prokofiev Symphony 2 - A pet piece of mine for a couple of decades now, why are this and his 3rd so undervalued? Big feral modernist engines with unbelievable orchestration. #2 formally modeled upon beethoven's Op. 111 supposedly? Op. 111 has come down with rabies, it seems.Liszt Symphonic Poems, early 1950s Westminster LP, Dean Dixon conducting the Royal PO - Dixon was the first well-known african-american conductor and he spent most of his career leading german radio orchestras. Very underrecorded. This is my first hearing of any of his work. Right here is one of the best Liszt orchestral albums ever put down. A shame it was a few years too early for stereo or its rep would surely be higher. Very good mono sound though, heard in a transfer which can be downloaded for free from the ReDiscovery Records website.Beethoven sonatas 5-7 Op. 10 - Alfred Brendel (from his first Philips cycle) - please be careful never to overemphasize late beethoven. Early beethoven is no less unique and rich and slays just as much, albeit more swashbucklingly. Confirming for the milionth time that Brendel owns this trilogy (same for op. 32).
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 17:51 (ten months ago) Permalink
Oh, speaking of Nørgård, my choir is doing his Wie Ein Kind, it's pretty amazing. Spotify-link to an album with my choir singing it (though I wasn't in the choir then): https://open.spotify.com/album/6zljyLhSJwYXSlgZJ6dms5?si=r-zmnK3XT_SFwlYRf_CRlwIt's the last three tracks.
― Frederik B, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 18:35 (ten months ago) Permalink
There can never be too much Nørgård. Every single one of his periods is incredible in its own right.
Btw Jon, which of Enescu's cello sonatas are you referring to? The first is Brahmsian and big-boned; the second is less immediate but utterly spellbinding once you've taken it in. Few things move me as much as Enescu's late music.
― pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:08 (ten months ago) Permalink
I need to look for the second one ASAP
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:26 (ten months ago) Permalink
They're both op. 26, heh (an Enescu quirk: he tended to gather compositions of a given type under the same opus number).
Laura Buruiană and Martin Tchiba's Naxos disc pairing the two sonatas is pretty solid, with a major caveat: the recording is uncharacteristically imbalanced. Valentin Răduțiu and Per Rundberg on Hänssler are worth hearing as well.
― pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:43 (ten months ago) Permalink
Buruiana appears to have also recorded that piece (but not the other sonata) in a mixed recital on Avie, maybe that one is better engineered?
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:00 (ten months ago) Permalink
The one with Alexandra Silocea? I think it only contains a fragment from an unfinished cello sonata that he worked on prior to op. 26/1.
There's also this live performance of op. 26/2, which I haven't heard yet:
― pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:08 (ten months ago) Permalink
On eMusic, I'm also seeing both of the Op. 26 by Alexandre Dmitriev and Alexandre Paley on the french label Saphir.
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:35 (ten months ago) Permalink
I don't recall those being any good but it's been a while.
― pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:54 (ten months ago) Permalink
Fiancée just texted that she just saw Braunstein play the Shostakovich Violin Concerto and it was amazing. Envious.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 01:51 (ten months ago) Permalink
I assume it was the first (it's always the first). The second is painfully undersung, perhaps because very few violinists actually pull it off. I love Oistrakh's take on it (goes without saying) but every other recording I've heard falls short. Too bad, as I think I prefer the second to the first, all things considered.
― pomenitul, Thursday, 18 January 2018 19:51 (ten months ago) Permalink
the second violin concerto and second cello concerto both suffer from neglect and both RULE, imo
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 18 January 2018 20:05 (ten months ago) Permalink
Speaking of live video recordings and underperformed 20th century works, I recently stumbled on this amazing version of Wilhelm Stenhammar's second symphony, with Herbert Blomstedt at the helm:
― pomenitul, Thursday, 18 January 2018 20:43 (ten months ago) Permalink
Yeah, I meant Violin Concerto no. 1, which is a monster, sorry.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 21:01 (ten months ago) Permalink
xp Ooh, I've seen Blomstedt conduct Stenhammar in that very hall! Second piano concerto though, last year.
Fascinating concert hall, btw -- rather than the seats rising in a steepish staircase toward the back, it felt like most of the audience were sitting below or level with the stage. Also, gf & me were impressed with the "resolution", or clarity of strands in the music. I don't know to what degree these two are connected.
― anatol_merklich, Thursday, 18 January 2018 23:42 (ten months ago) Permalink
Right, there it is
― anatol_merklich, Thursday, 18 January 2018 23:45 (ten months ago) Permalink
Lucky you! I'll check it out in a bit. I'm always happy to hear more Stenhammar.
― pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 00:43 (ten months ago) Permalink
I’ve never listened to Stenhammar! Probably due to some comment I read in some record guide during the first year I was getting into classical music
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 00:52 (ten months ago) Permalink
If you're curious, I'd say that video I posted today happens to make for a great introduction. His string quartets are also quite wonderful, especially nos. 4-6 as performed by the aptly named Stenhammar Quartet.
― pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 01:08 (ten months ago) Permalink
Wow, I never listened to Shostakovich's second violin concerto before tbh. That video is pretty striking. I'll be listening more.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 19 January 2018 02:56 (ten months ago) Permalink
don't neglect cello cto 2 as well!
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 16:41 (ten months ago) Permalink
And the violin sonata! And the viola sonata! And the string quartets nos. 12-15! And the 14th and 15th symphonies! And the Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok! And the Michelangelo Suite! And the Six Poems by Maria Tsvetaeva! Late Shostakovich is best Shostakovich, imho.
― pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 16:46 (ten months ago) Permalink
the 14th symphony is my favorite thing he ever did
― Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 16:47 (ten months ago) Permalink
you missed Execution of Stepan Razin on that list btw!
Yep, that's a good one too.
― pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 19:39 (ten months ago) Permalink
And I completely agree with you regarding the 14th symphony – it's the purest expression of his vision. And there have been so many tremendous recordings of it in recent years: Currentzis, Petrenko, even Kremer.
― pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 19:45 (ten months ago) Permalink
Just listened to the vimeo of Stenhammar's second piano concerto that anatol_merklich posted upthread. Wonderful stuff, as expected. I really wish Blomstedt would give us studio recordings of Stenhammar's complete works for orchestra (concertos included), as he has a much better grasp of this idiom than most other conductors I've heard, Stig Westerberg excepted.
As a side note, it's odd how sensitive I am to the performance variable when it comes to pre-WWII composers (in the broadest possible sense). For instance, Soviet-era takes on Shostakovich are almost systematically more convincing than what came after: you can feel the nerve-wracked wiriness behind the first Borodin Quartet's partial set (1-13), whereas the Emerson Quartet just sounds phony. Likewise, certain performances of Sibelius's symphonies do absolutely nothing for me, even as Vänskä's cycle with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra is one of my favourites of all.
By contrast, audibly different though they may be, I love most versions of Le marteau sans maître I've listened to, and I can't think of a single recording of Ligeti's violin concerto that I dislike, even though some strike me as more persuasive than others. Of course, there are also composers such as Richard Barrett who include extended improvisations in their scores, which means that no two performances are ever quite the same, but even there, due to the music's endlessly proliferating, often disorienting strata, it can be hard to tell the improvised sections apart from the composed ones, which I assume is part of the point.
Maybe there is a correlation between the scarcity of performances and the availability of 'authoritative' recordings? Newer music doesn't remain long (if at all) in the limelight, so a given composition will often only be associated with a particular musician or ensemble forevermore. It goes without saying that there are far fewer recorded performances of Saariaho's Près than of Bach's cello suites, in part because we assume that Anssi Karttunen, the cellist who premiered Près (as well as the closely related concerto Amers) 'perfected' (the French verb parachever is closer to what I'm getting at here) the work, since Saariaho explicitly dedicated it to him. Perhaps if we could hear the original Schuppanzigh Quartet's interpretations of late Beethoven, there would be (slightly) fewer sets available today (only 'slightly', though, because the more time goes by, the less performers feel compelled to respect the composer's supposed wishes). That said, LPs of Shostakovich's string quartets actually make for a good counter-example here, though I assume a relative dearth of availability in the West up until the 1990s, as well as lo-fi engineering, are partly to blame.
A final hypothesis: a relative increase in compositional complexity may also have diminished performers' agency. Merely 'getting the notes right' is sometimes a feat in and of itself, whereas in a musical paradigm intent on expressivity, that worships virtuoso figures such as Liszt, Paganini, Alkan, etc., but whose repertoire is comparatively 'simpler' (mark the scare quotes), there's more leeway to compress or distend the phrasing whichever way one deems fit, rubato-style.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 15:40 (ten months ago) Permalink
hmmmm. i was thinking something somewhat similar just this week regarding "authoritative" recordings.
i am not sure the presence of an "authoritative" recording is a factor of the number of recordings, myself. my thoughts were regarding the rite of spring. i'd argue that the "authoritative" recording there was bernstein's 1958 recording, which took place 45 years after its premiere. since then, pretty much all recordings have followed that one, reducing the latitude for interpretation. before bernstein's, one hears the rite performed in all sorts of ways, many of which would be thought of as "wrong" today
so i would argue, really, that the absence of an "authoritative" recording in a difficult work gives one _more_ latitude for interpretation, insofar as one person's "interpretation" is another person's "fuckup". i find that the most difficult works tend to sound far more different between versions, at least in part for precisely this reason. (how many different ways has "scarbo" been played?)
― Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Saturday, 20 January 2018 15:51 (ten months ago) Permalink
To be fair, I doubt Bernstein's Rite of Spring was ever viewed as authoritative in Russia. Authoritativeness varies quite a bit from place to place.
As for 'Scarbo', it's a fiendishly difficult piece within that paradigm, sure, but is it harder to play than, say, Carter's Night Fantasies or Michael Finnissy's solo piano pieces? It doesn't sound that way to me, a layman, so I'd be curious to hear a pianist's thoughts on this.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 15:57 (ten months ago) Permalink
By contrast, audibly different though they may be, I love most versions of Le marteau sans maître I've listened to,
Boulez was loosening up compared to his earlier work but surely this piece is still more strictly notated than virtually any pre-war music?
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:31 (ten months ago) Permalink
Yeah, that's definitely a major factor.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:33 (ten months ago) Permalink
oh lord, i'm not a pianist but i wasn't ever intending to make a direct comparison between "gaspard de la nuit" and "english country-tunes"! i mean there's a lot of other stuff going on there that makes a direct comparison of those scores in terms of "technical difficulty", i would argue, counterproductive. these are works which were created, and exist, in entirely different sociocultural contexts!
is stravinsky in general thought of highly in russia? i have a wonderful russian recording of "les noces" but stravinsky doesn't really seem to have been celebrated in russia as a "russian".
― Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:37 (ten months ago) Permalink
My bad, Bernstein apparently played a major role in the Rite's Russian reception:
The Rite of Spring had a very different trajectory in Russia than it did in Western Europe. Though conceived in St. Petersburg by a trio of Russians - choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, with a libretto and set design by Nicholas Roerich, and music by Stravinsky - the famous original ballet was never performed in Russia itself. Serge Koussevitsky gave performances of the concert work in 1914 in St. Petersburg, and afterwards the ballet had a spotty Russian history. Stravinsky never found the favor in Soviet Russia that Prokofiev or Shostakovich did. When Leonard Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic in The Rite on a tour to Moscow in 1959, it was the first time the work had been performed in the city in thirty years.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:44 (ten months ago) Permalink
My view was informed by Gergiev's – a reassessment more than anything:
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:46 (ten months ago) Permalink
clearly stravinsky was russian - outside of russia one can hardly help but think of him in this way - but he was never soviet, and whatever russia is under putin, he wasn't that either. at some point the russians may "rediscover" him as one of their own... but he currently has no apparent value as a cultural symbol to the russian oligarchs.
― Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Saturday, 20 January 2018 17:00 (ten months ago) Permalink
For curiosity's sake, I checked out the Bolshoi Theatre's upcoming shows. Par for the course:
I love how La Traviata, Manon Lescaut, Billy Budd and The Taming of the Shrew, among others, are billed as for 'adults only'.
The Mariinsky Theatre is considerably more adventurous and incidentally features The Rite of Spring (along with a lecture) and Petrushka:
― pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 17:11 (ten months ago) Permalink
Just bought tickets to see Adès conduct the Ligeti violin concerto (as well as Beethoven 8, an Adès piece, and a Stravinsky piece) this weekend.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 03:25 (ten months ago) Permalink
Good program, though I have little experience with Adès as a conductor beyond his own music, which strikes me as relatively hit-or-miss.
― pomenitul, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:05 (ten months ago) Permalink
It was spectacular to see the violin concerto live, with those microtones ringing in Boston's Symphony Hall. Hadelich's playing was beautiful, really precise and clean compared to the Astrand recording I'm familiar with. The third and fourth movements were especially intense and the aria movement was poignant. I admit to drifting a little in the fifth, not sure if it was just because I'd already been through the rest or because Astrand's approach may have worked better for me with that one; still, one of the best live music experiences.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 28 January 2018 16:37 (ten months ago) Permalink
Also, that was my first time at the BSO and the first time I've actually experienced a classical audience that seems as posh as the stereotype. Different from what I'm used to and a bit weird. A surprising number of people were talking and sometimes even laughing at moments during the Ligeti.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 28 January 2018 16:40 (ten months ago) Permalink
Also, I've had something playing in my head that I kept trying to place for the last couple of days. I finally realized maybe five minutes ago that it's the opening of Bartok's 4th string quartet.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 28 January 2018 16:42 (ten months ago) Permalink
the fourth has some great earworms, maybe my favorite of his quartets
― Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Sunday, 28 January 2018 17:40 (ten months ago) Permalink
Wtg Grammy winner Hannigan! I should remember to purchase Crazy Girl Crazy. I haven't listened to the Higdon viola concerto yet, although I did enjoy "All Things Must Pass".
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Monday, 29 January 2018 18:20 (ten months ago) Permalink
Luis Aracama's take on Mompou's Música callada is sounding quite perfect at the moment. I'm liking it even more than Herbert Henck's, partly because it hasn't been filtered through Manfred Eicher's proverbial reverb (which I usually love btw).
― pomenitul, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 22:07 (six months ago) Permalink
I’ve never heard any performance but henck’s, and it’s been many years I should revisit
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 5 June 2018 23:46 (six months ago) Permalink
Finally got around to those pieces Sund4r posted upthread. As expected, I really liked Omiccioli's Haunted Seas – based on this and Field Well, I'd love to hear a monograph of his work. Armstrong's Burst! was pleasant, but I doubt I'll return to it any time soon. I didn't much care for any of the MusCan pieces, unfortunately, except perhaps, and only in parts, for the Suski and Dharmoo.
― pomenitul, Monday, 11 June 2018 22:26 (six months ago) Permalink
RIP Gennady Rozhdestvensky: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jun/17/gennady-rozhdestvensky-obituary
His recording of Gubaidulina's sole Symphony is still one of my favourite things ever.
― pomenitul, Sunday, 17 June 2018 16:54 (five months ago) Permalink
Insanely wide repertoire. There’s a download release via iTunes emusic etc from melodiya, in their newer remasters program, of rozhdy leading all the Prokofiev ballets. Wonderful performances of course, and though Romeo and Cinderella are earlier recordings in rough sound quality, all the obscurer ballets now sound just gorgeous compared to older melodiya versions - this digital box set is cheap and invaluable.
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Monday, 18 June 2018 14:36 (five months ago) Permalink
― pomenitul, Thursday, 19 July 2018 12:33 (four months ago) Permalink
Saw that on the news group yesterday definitely gonna download it I have some classical thoughts from my last couple weeks listening but I’m too frayed to type them rn
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 19 July 2018 22:56 (four months ago) Permalink
I wanted to love the pieces because the reviewer came off as a dick but they feel pretty underwritten and forgettable tbh. "Valencia" from last year's Jasper String Quartet album was better. I sometimes wonder if she's actually fairly limited as a composer and just managed to hit the jackpot when she wrote Partita for Eight Voices.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 20 July 2018 15:01 (four months ago) Permalink
This year's Chamberfest looks a little less exciting than usual but I'm very excited about two concerts: Angela Hewitt playing all of WTC, Bk 1, and a performance of Le marteau sans maitre, neither of which I have seen performed live in their entirety before.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 26 July 2018 16:16 (four months ago) Permalink
LMsM seems like it would be super fun to see live Speaking of festivals, Barbara Hannigan is curating next year’s Ojai festival. She’s going to sing Grisey’s Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold (which I just heard for the first time last week and are INCREDIBLE) and Schoenberg’s Op. 10 quartet plus other stuff I gotta go I think
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 26 July 2018 22:08 (four months ago) Permalink
Sund4r siren!!! During the 2019 Festival, Barbara Hannigan will conduct works by Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Vivier.
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 26 July 2018 22:13 (four months ago) Permalink
Sounds v cool but this is in California?
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 27 July 2018 15:46 (four months ago) Permalink
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Friday, 27 July 2018 18:54 (four months ago) Permalink
Speaking of Vivier, there's a p decent recording of his "Pour guitare" by Steve Cowan, one of the dudes I'm writing for rn, on this album he made of contemporary Canadian guitar music: http://www.fredsrecords.com/site/shop/steve-cowan-pour-guitare/ . Some of the other pieces are p nice too, esp Jason Nobles's "Shadow Prism", which is mostly in harmonics in an alternate tuning. All the pieces are available on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSOLEA26J9mTG40WVXb38vw/videos .
Hewitt's performance of WTC1 was really magical. Followed the whole thing with the scores. The hometown audience sang "Happy Birthday" to her beforehand! Some good stuff at the New Music Now concerts too. Only four movements from Le marteau were performed but they were excellent. The musicians really connected and brought out the delicate timbres and angular rhythms. First time it's been played in Canada since 1991 apparently! The new Scott Good piece also v good.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 August 2018 14:53 (four months ago) Permalink
Wish I could have been in town for Hewitt.Is there anything coming up in Ottawa that you're looking at attending? I was just looking at the September Beethoven concerts at the NAC, trying to decide what I want to see.
― jmm, Thursday, 9 August 2018 15:03 (four months ago) Permalink
I wound up getting tickets to the last four nights, symphonies 4 to 9. Very excited. I've never been to a symphony.
― jmm, Friday, 10 August 2018 16:59 (four months ago) Permalink
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Friday, 10 August 2018 22:13 (four months ago) Permalink
― jmm, Saturday, 11 August 2018 00:53 (four months ago) Permalink
Hey jmm, I haven't looked at the NAC listings yet. I'd def be interested in some of the Beethoven symphonies but I'm mot sure what September will be like yet. Hopefully, I'll be working a lot of evenings.
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 11 August 2018 14:01 (four months ago) Permalink
Never heard of Alexander Shelley but I'm excited for you, jmm! Going to see/hear a symphony always feel like an event, and Beethoven never gets old in my book.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 11 August 2018 14:21 (four months ago) Permalink
― cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 11 August 2018 21:38 (four months ago) Permalink
A review of Tim Rutherford-Johnson's Music After the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989, by Alex Ross:
― pomenitul, Monday, 20 August 2018 20:37 (three months ago) Permalink
Ross to Rutherford-Johnson: 'but AMERICAAA' (already a leitmotiv in The Rest Is Noise). Your pop culture took over the world long ago, give it a rest now.
― pomenitul, Monday, 20 August 2018 20:51 (three months ago) Permalink
Where do I begin…
― pomenitul, Friday, 31 August 2018 15:50 (three months ago) Permalink
The plan was dropped, at least in part because of this atonal protest concert that drew 500: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/aug/31/art-shouldnt-be-weaponised-the-atonal-concert-championing-berlins-homeless
My FB comment when the plan was first announced, anticipating a prospective outcome: "The experiment was not entirely successful, with local drug users describing Kontakte as 'extra trippy' and Le Marteau as 'intense on mescaline'."
― The inexorable rise of identity condiments (Sund4r), Friday, 31 August 2018 16:50 (three months ago) Permalink
Listening to Hahn's disc of Mendelssohn's and Shostakovich's violin concerti over and over in the van these days.
― The inexorable rise of identity condiments (Sund4r), Saturday, 1 September 2018 20:07 (three months ago) Permalink
I wasn't overly keen on Linda Catlin Smith's previous releases, but Wanderer is definitely doing it for me. Bits of it remind me of Mark Hollis's S/T shorn of the man's voice. I should give Dirt Road and Drifter another go, I probably wasn't paying enough attention.
― pomenitul, Monday, 24 September 2018 12:43 (two months ago) Permalink
My crush Víkingur Ólafsson has a Bach piano solo album out. Turns out Bach is great!
― faculty w1fe (silby), Monday, 24 September 2018 15:18 (two months ago) Permalink
I saw a wonderful performance of Beethoven's Ninth this weekend. The festival was great, though I'm sad to have missed all of the string quartets.
― jmm, Monday, 24 September 2018 15:25 (two months ago) Permalink
Missed it all.:( I'll probably start going to more concerts again when I get more work hours.
― The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Monday, 24 September 2018 16:26 (two months ago) Permalink
Kukuruz Quartet: Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
this is blowing me away rn, awesome.
― calzino, Wednesday, 26 September 2018 09:21 (two months ago) Permalink
I've often wondered why some performers approach fin de siècle French chamber music in a deliberately cloying, saccharine way, minimising its modernity as much as possible (actually, I think I know why). Debussy and Ravel generally survive such opulence, but I can't say the same about Fauré, especially his later, more harmonically prickly pieces. Few things are as refreshing, then, as hearing Pierre Fouchenneret, Raphaël Merlin and Simon Zaoui's takes on Fauré's works for strings and piano (quartets and quintets notwithstanding). They remind us that, despite appearances to the contrary, this isn't Parisian salon music, except, perhaps, as painted by the Nabis (Pierre Vuillard, Edouard Bonnard, Maurice Denis). I haven't listened to many new classical releases this year, but I'm absolutely loving this one (titled Horizons), which also features a pitch-perfect performance, by David Lefort, of the brief song cycle L'Horizon chimérique.
I've also been listening to Mihai Ritivoiu's first recorded recital, showcasing works for piano by Enescu (who was Fauré's pupil), Franck and Liszt. The album's title is Transcendence, and I daresay he gets there without resorting to tired tricks such as slowing the tempo down to a crawl. Enescu's first sonata is the highlight as far as I'm concerned, and I hope Ritivoiu will record the rest of his output for solo piano, as well.
Speaking of Romanian composers, NEOS just put out an Hommage à Horațiu Rădulescu, gathering all of his works for piano (including the concerto) in performances by Ortwin Stürmer, to whom Rădulescu dedicated several scores, including the 'Lao Tzu' sonatas, which contain metaphysically bumbling titles such as 'settle your dust, this is the primal identity' or 'like a well… older than God'. Most of this material was already available elsewhere, but it's nice to have the sixth sonata on disc, as well as a few odds and ends, all of which are quite fascinating due to the collision between the piano's limited microtonal range (at least when played conventionally) and Rădulescu's spectralist aspirations, which tend to imply the use of string instruments. Somewhat surprisingly, the concerto reins in the strings somewhat so as to remain in 'tune' with the piano. It's definitely one of his most conventional efforts – a tribute to Brahms, as it were. As a side note, I really hope Mode will be able to continue its piano sonatas and string quartets cycle with Stephen Clarke and the JACK Quartet. That first disc was incredible.
I haven't listened to much living contemporary music, however, aside from the aforementioned Wanderer by Linda Catlin Smith and Bent Sørensen's meltingly beautiful Pantomime; Rosenbad, the second and third parts of his Schumann-esque Papillons trilogy (the first instalment, Mignon, came out in 2016). There is still time to catch up, I suppose, and I'll no doubt switch back to an almost exclusively classical diet once I get bored with the rest anyway (I go through cycles).
― pomenitul, Saturday, 13 October 2018 09:49 (two months ago) Permalink
Wanderer is amazing, need to get some more L C Smith in my life.
― calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:19 (two months ago) Permalink
She actually did a concert in the cultural dead-zone that is my neck of the woods last year, but tbf our contemporary music has got q
― calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:34 (two months ago) Permalink
keyboard fail!...got quite a big rep in recent years.
the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival that is.
― calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:35 (two months ago) Permalink
The HCMF sounds amazing indeed. I should like to check it out now that I live, well, less than 300km away, but I doubt I could afford to spend ten days there, which is the amount of time I'd need to see both musikFabrik and the Arditti Quartet. I'm also an idiot for not having a driver's licence.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:45 (two months ago) Permalink
(On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that 'driver's licence' is a Canadian shibboleth: neither 'driving licence' nor a 'driver's license'.)
― pomenitul, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:49 (two months ago) Permalink
I've been a Canadian composer or composition student for 20 years and I never knew until now that Linda Smith's middle name is not "Caitlin".
― The nexus of the crisis (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 October 2018 14:31 (two months ago) Permalink
György Kurtág's opera adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Endgame is currently playing at La Scala, in Milan. I didn't think he'd ever finish it, to be honest, especially since he was apparently too ill (he's 92) to attend the premiere. Anyhow, it has effectively become his largest work – perhaps an unexpected way to cap a career almost entirely dedicated to wisps and fragments.
Someone posted a radio recording to YouTube:
― pomenitul, Monday, 19 November 2018 14:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink
holy crap a kurtag opera?
― valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 19 November 2018 17:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink
My fiancée has given it a thumbs-up half an hour in.
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink
I think it's the lyricism.
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Monday, 19 November 2018 18:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink
That Beckett should have exerted such a pervasive influence on contemporary notated music is testimony to his understanding of literature's inherent musicality. Kurtág's works often spring from linguistic elements even as he gives voice to the difficulty of turning speech into song, so it's a natural pairing that rests on a similar conception of lyricism as a necessary and salutary object of desire that punishes the speaker/singer by placing him/her under duress. Kurtág has had considerable time to practice before Fin de partie, incidentally: pas à pas… nulle part and Samuel Beckett: What Is the Word, from the 1990s, are both incredible settings in their own right.
― pomenitul, Monday, 19 November 2018 18:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink
Reposting from EOY lists thread:
Listening to the Frederic Hand album from the Textura list and this is definitely up my alley. I have to say, though, that I'm a little intrigued by Textura's love of Hand. They listed him in 2016 too. I never see other classical guitar albums on their EOY lists. I think e.g. John Gordon Armstrong's album from last year and Steve Cowan's from 2016 were really good and more envelope-pushing. William Beauvais had a decent album in 2016 in an accessible style not that far removed from Hand's.
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Friday, 14 December 2018 16:12 (yesterday) Permalink
which is to say, I think, are there any good eoy classical lists? I'd be happy to wait until the year is actually over but everyone seems to be publishing them now. I'm especially interested in recs of more 'difficult' compositional music (atonal, complex, spectral, ...), just because it's harder to find as much on it. I saw a lot of good concerts this year and ofc that's the primary medium for the tradition but it's always a good thing to have recordings to listen to on a day-to-day basis.
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Friday, 14 December 2018 16:16 (yesterday) Permalink
I've mostly put classical music on the back burner this year, so I can't help you as much as I would like. I haven't looked for classical EOY lists either, partly because I'm already burnt-out on non-classical ones… That said, here's some of the stuff I enjoyed among this year's releases (late 20th/early 21st century only):
Alexander Knaifel - LukomoriyeAnna S. Þorvaldsdóttir - AequaBent Sørensen - Rosenbad; PantomimeBrian Ferneyhough - La terre est un hommeGérard Pesson - Blanc méritéHeinz Holliger - Choral UtopiaHorațiu Rădulescu - Complete Piano WorksJörg Widmann - Viola ConcertoJulian Anderson - The Comedy of Change; Heaven Is Shy of EarthLinda Catlin Smith - WandererOctavian Nemescu - ApokatastasisOndřej Adámek - Sinuous VoicesStefano Gervasoni - Pas perduToivo Tulev - Magnificat
It's not much, but it's a start. I definitely plan on checking out 5against4's list when it comes out.
― pomenitul, Friday, 14 December 2018 18:05 (yesterday) Permalink
OK, wow, I haven't listened to any of those, except the online excerpts from LCS. Thanks! New album from Ferneyhough!
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Friday, 14 December 2018 18:46 (yesterday) Permalink
i'm not a real serious classical head but here are the 2018 releases in my library tagged classical:
alexander melnikov - four pianos, four piecescharlie looker - simple answersensemble orchestral intercontemporain - adamek: sinuous voicesgyorgy kurtag - fin de partieipek gorgun - ecce homojohn bence - killlinda catlin smith - wanderertanya ekanayaka - 12 piano prisms
also, sorry for not appropriately crediting, but i copied and pasted this list of works from another thread earlier this week and they're on my "to listen" list:
Anna S. Þorvaldsdóttir - AequaCassandra Miller - Just So: String QuartetsEva-Maria Houben - Breath for OrganLaura Schwendinger - QuartetsLinda Catlin Smith - WandererSarah Nemtsov - Amplified ImaginationSéverine Ballon - InconnaissanceSuzanne Farrin - La dolce morte
― errang (rushomancy), Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:49 (eighteen hours ago) Permalink
I didn't know Fin de Partie had been recorded!
― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:56 (eighteen hours ago) Permalink