Rolling Classical 2018

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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 (nine 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 (nine months ago) Permalink

To kickstart the year, here is, uh, Helmut Lachenmann's Marche fatale:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6QWUHbNHAw

(Yes, this is an actual piece by Helmut Lachenmann.)

pomenitul, Monday, 8 January 2018 23:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

haha wow thanks

anatol_merklich, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 09:20 (nine months ago) Permalink

Haha wtf

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 13:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

He penned a little note (in German) explaining (?) his thought-process:

https://operstuttgart.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/so-klingt-vielfalt-helmut-lachenmann/

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 (nine 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 (nine months ago) Permalink

Done!

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 (nine 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_CRlw
It's the last three tracks.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 18:35 (nine 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 (nine months ago) Permalink

Op. 26.

I need to look for the second one ASAP

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:26 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tavr3B9SbK8

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:08 (nine 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 (nine months ago) Permalink

I don't recall those being any good but it's been a while.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:54 (nine 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 (nine 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD0ORIm6bGw

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 January 2018 19:51 (nine 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 (nine 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:

https://vimeo.com/83864301

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 January 2018 20:43 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine months ago) Permalink

Right, there it is

https://vimeo.com/188813653

anatol_merklich, Thursday, 18 January 2018 23:45 (nine 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight months ago) Permalink

don't neglect cello cto 2 as well!

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 16:41 (eight 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 (eight months ago) Permalink

absolutely otm

the 14th symphony is my favorite thing he ever did

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 16:47 (eight months ago) Permalink

you missed Execution of Stepan Razin on that list btw!

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Friday, 19 January 2018 16:47 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yep, that's a good one too.

pomenitul, Friday, 19 January 2018 19:39 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's definitely a major factor.

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:33 (eight 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 (eight 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.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-robin/a-russian-rite-revisiting_b_3315248.html

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:44 (eight months ago) Permalink

My view was informed by Gergiev's – a reassessment more than anything:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/9260665/Valery-Gergiev-why-Igor-Stravinsky-was-Russian-to-the-core-interview.html

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:46 (eight 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 (eight months ago) Permalink

For curiosity's sake, I checked out the Bolshoi Theatre's upcoming shows. Par for the course:

https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/timetable/

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:

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 January 2018 17:11 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight months ago) Permalink

I didn’t know about those until quite recently. I had been working my way through the series on the Timpani label (which I think originally came out on a different label). I’d say my favorite piece atm is Office des Oracles.

when worlds collide I'll see you again (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 12 April 2018 22:45 (six months ago) Permalink

If memory serves, the Timpani series also features some of his very last works, so it's probably a better way to get acquainted with his different periods than the Erato recordings. Both leave out his etudes for piano, which are characteristically unusual in that the final two include a part for percussion. I have a version with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (one of my favourite Debussyans) lying somewhere and should dig it up. There's also his string quartets, which I haven't explored at all. The Quatuor Psophos, whose Debussy/Ravel/Dutilleux disk impressed me last year, recorded the Ohana set back in 2004 and I'm sure they make for fine guides throughout.

Too bad I'm still furiously struggling to catch up with the (mostly non-classical) stuff I missed out on last year… I'll get there eventually.

pomenitul, Thursday, 12 April 2018 23:20 (six months ago) Permalink

I have the Etudes by Symeonidas (sp) - would like to hear bavouzet. I had better buy it from iTunes before you can’t buy things from iTunes anymore.

when worlds collide I'll see you again (Jon not Jon), Friday, 13 April 2018 02:35 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

With all the harp talk going on now, I thought I'd note that I've really been enjoying this new quasi-minimalist harp quartet by John Gordon Armstrong. It's on the accessible, energetic end but I don't think it's fluffy at all, really:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51pfUV28nBg

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 22 May 2018 17:44 (four months ago) Permalink

Some highlights from the MusCan contemporary music concert on Thursday night:
Edgar Sulski - Polaris-Nocturne:
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMusCanSoc%2Fvideos%2F1839983359393468%2F&show_text=0&width=560"; width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 26 May 2018 16:06 (four months ago) Permalink

Illkim Tongur - Old Shaman:

https://www.facebook.com/MusCanSoc/videos/1840024262722711/

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 26 May 2018 16:11 (four months ago) Permalink

Gabriel Dharmoo - the fog in our poise:

https://www.facebook.com/MusCanSoc/videos/1840043936054077/

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 26 May 2018 16:12 (four months ago) Permalink

Fantastic new Nick Omiccioli piece called "The Haunted Sea" for amplified soprano and string quartet. Nice evocation of wind and water sounds with extended vocal and string timbres: https://soundcloud.com/nicholas-omiccioli/haunted-seas-2018-for-amplified-soprano-string-quartet

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 17:44 (four months ago) Permalink

"Haunted Seas", sorry

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 17:50 (four months ago) Permalink

Thanks for these, Sund4r. I've too little time to properly listen to them at the moment but they haven't gone unnoticed!

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 18:42 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four 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 (four months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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 (two 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 (two 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 (two 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 (two 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 (two months ago) Permalink

Sounds v cool but this is in California?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 27 July 2018 15:46 (two months ago) Permalink

yup

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Friday, 27 July 2018 18:54 (two 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 (two 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 (two 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 (two months ago) Permalink

Who’s conducting?

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Friday, 10 August 2018 22:13 (two months ago) Permalink

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shelley

Know him?

jmm, Saturday, 11 August 2018 00:53 (two 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 (two 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 (two months ago) Permalink

Otm

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 11 August 2018 21:38 (two months ago) Permalink

A review of Tim Rutherford-Johnson's Music After the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989, by Alex Ross:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/27/the-sounds-of-music-in-the-twenty-first-century

pomenitul, Monday, 20 August 2018 20:37 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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 (three weeks 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 (three weeks 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 (three weeks 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 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Kukuruz Quartet: Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations

^^^

this is blowing me away rn, awesome.

calzino, Wednesday, 26 September 2018 09:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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 (five days ago) Permalink

Wanderer is amazing, need to get some more L C Smith in my life.

calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:19 (five days 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 (five days ago) Permalink

keyboard fail!
...got quite a big rep in recent years.

calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:34 (five days ago) Permalink

the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival that is.

calzino, Saturday, 13 October 2018 10:35 (five days 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 (five days 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 (five days 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 (five days ago) Permalink


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