Rolling Classical 2019

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I've been fascinated with Fausto Romitelli's music since I first heard Professor Bad Trip, an unusually successful attempt at spectralist psychedelia. Romitelli studied under Gérard Grisey and Hugues Dufourt, but he was no less a pupil of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. As a result, he is – to my knowledge – one of the few noted European composers of his generation (1963-2004) to have cast the electric guitar in a leading role. I've often listened to the solo Trash TV Trance, which has spawned a remarkable amount of performances on YouTube (of which I think I like this one the best) but wasn't familiar with his output for acoustic guitar, which was recently recorded for the Italian Stradivarius label alongside Trash TV Trance and two other works (one for flute and guitar, the second for solo flute). There's even a Highway to Hell from 1984 which, while more subdued than his later material for the electric guitar, gives a good sense of his overall intentions.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 January 2019 03:14 (eight months ago) link

I have 12 nominations left for the ILM poll if anyone has used up their noms and wants more classical (or jazz or avant stuff) on the ballot.

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Friday, 4 January 2019 19:35 (eight months ago) link

If you've ever wondered what a YT-ready video of contemporary notated music might look like, this is pretty cool:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFEGSLRvV9U

pomenitul, Friday, 11 January 2019 14:45 (eight months ago) link

Enjoyed the piece a lot.

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Friday, 11 January 2019 16:14 (eight months ago) link

Listening to ILX Listen: 2019

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:45 (eight months ago) link

i'm iffy on spectralism as a whole (well, grisey mostly), but i did like professor bad trip!

The Elvis of Nationalism and Amoral Patriotism (rushomancy), Thursday, 17 January 2019 02:16 (eight months ago) link

Happy to hear it! If you're in the mood for more, his disc of orchestral works, Audiodrome (with Peter Rundel conducting), is also very much worth delving into.

pomenitul, Thursday, 17 January 2019 12:03 (eight months ago) link

Rebecca Saunders wins this year's Ernst von Siemens prize. Undoubtedly well-deserved!

https://www.rhinegold.co.uk/classical_music/ernst-von-siemens-prize-awarded-rebecca-saunders/

pomenitul, Thursday, 17 January 2019 13:33 (eight months ago) link

Ah yes, was gonna ask, afaik I have never heard a note of hers, is anyone up to suggesting a primer C60 or Rough Guide or something of Spotify-available Saunders?

anatol_merklich, Friday, 18 January 2019 01:07 (seven months ago) link

Re: electric guitar in new music, Pierluigi Billone is another composer. Two recordings of electric guitar works on Kairos.

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Friday, 18 January 2019 06:45 (seven months ago) link

I'm not much of a playlist guy, unfortunately, but I do think Saunders's first monograph for Kairos – QUARTET, Into the Blue, Molly's Song 3 – shades of crimson, dichroic seventeen, all played by musikFabrik – makes for a fine introduction. It should be available on Spotify.

pomenitul, Friday, 18 January 2019 10:38 (seven months ago) link

Readymade playlist is more than fine; thanks, pomenitul! :-)

anatol_merklich, Friday, 18 January 2019 14:24 (seven months ago) link

Nice to see the latest cd from Danish String Quartet got nominated in the album poll. Prism I, the first of five albums which will each include a late Beethoven quartet, and something else related to it. On the first it's Shostakovich Quartet no 15, and it's pretty amazing. Great album, snuck into the lower part of my ballot.

Frederik B, Friday, 18 January 2019 14:47 (seven months ago) link

I liked Wood Works a lot less than I thought I would but I love the Danish String Quartet. They used to call themselves the Young Danish String Quartet, right? Their Nielsen recordings are almost definitive as far as I'm concerned.

pomenitul, Friday, 18 January 2019 14:52 (seven months ago) link

Speaking of Nielsen, it's such a shame that Thomas Dausgaard never officially recorded Nielsen's six symphonies with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra during his tenure. He started a cycle with the Seattle Symphony a couple of years ago but either he's run out of ideas or the orchestra has little feel for the music (admittedly a bit of an acquired taste) because I found his 3rd and 4th surprisingly listless.

pomenitul, Friday, 18 January 2019 15:00 (seven months ago) link

I liked Wood Works a lot less than I thought I would but I love the Danish String Quartet. They used to call themselves the Young Danish String Quartet, right? Their Nielsen recordings are almost definitive as far as I'm concerned.

― pomenitul, 18. januar 2019 15:52 (thirty-eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, they were called the Young Danish String Quartet when they were younger. When the old Danish String Quartet retired they took over the name.

Frederik B, Friday, 18 January 2019 15:31 (seven months ago) link

Full concert - Terry Riley live at Koerner Hall in Toronto's Royal Conservatory, with Tracy Silverman and his son Gyan. Really good show, based on this: https://livestream.com/accounts/3811338/events/8517853/videos/186015720

(Posted to post-minimalist thread as well)

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Monday, 21 January 2019 04:02 (seven months ago) link

Barbara Hannigan awarded the Sonning Award for 2020! I'd really thought she'd miss it, as they gave it to Hans Abrahamsen in 2019 and made Hannigan and 'Let Me Tell You' the centerpiece of the galla concert, but nope. So incredibly deserving!

Frederik B, Friday, 1 February 2019 11:42 (seven months ago) link

Excellent news! Every bit of praise lavished upon her is utterly deserved.

pomenitul, Friday, 1 February 2019 11:45 (seven months ago) link

Guys are there two of these threads or is my hangover psychosis worse than I thought?

Also yes great win

Brex Avery (Noodle Vague), Friday, 1 February 2019 11:46 (seven months ago) link

I've been clamouring for the gods mods to delete the duplicate but they've yet to respond to my bootless pleas.

pomenitul, Friday, 1 February 2019 11:48 (seven months ago) link

what's the other one? might as well use it while i got it.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 1 February 2019 12:34 (seven months ago) link

found it, got it.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 1 February 2019 12:35 (seven months ago) link

Barbara Hannigan awarded the Sonning Award for 2020!

― Frederik B

this is cool but unfortunately thanks to ilx i will always believe in the back of my mind that the Sonning Award is given for outstanding performance in a twitter beef

The Elvis of Nationalism and Amoral Patriotism (rushomancy), Friday, 1 February 2019 14:44 (seven months ago) link

lol

pomenitul, Friday, 1 February 2019 14:45 (seven months ago) link

On Saturday I heard Jonathan Biss and the Seattle Symphony play Caroline Shaw's new piano concerto Watermarks, which was sort of playfully and delightfully in stylistic tension between the romantic and the contemporary. Highlights include a theme for the soloist in the second movement that almost but not quite resolves into the sound of a pop melody and a recurring gag in the third movement. Part of Biss' project to commission new concerti in response to those of Beethoven.

Norm’s Superego (silby), Monday, 4 February 2019 17:50 (seven months ago) link

Sounds interesting. I've been disappointed by a lot of Shaw other than Partita but I'd definitely be interested to hear it.

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 5 February 2019 13:40 (seven months ago) link

man, i wish i were free for this tonight and recommend it strongly to New Yorkers who are:
http://roulette.org/event/the-voices-of-erin-gee/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbVIUt-YtaM

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 8 February 2019 18:13 (seven months ago) link

Holy shit:

https://youtu.be/gzodB0Sp6ZI

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 13:03 (seven months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzodB0Sp6ZI

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 13:03 (seven months ago) link

Aargh! I've seen that shared easily over 10 times in the past week. It annoys me tbh. The idea is cute and a lot of work probably went into it but the ol' atonal music was NOT about favouring intellect over emotion. (Maybe some postwar serialist music was but Schoenberg and Berg certainly weren't.) Cage's 4'33" isn't really what I think of as an atonal composition, either, although you could possibly make a case.

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:22 (seven months ago) link

I completely agree with you (there's nothing even remotely unemotional about Schoenberg's 2nd quartet or Berg's Lyric Suite, to say the least), but my expectations when it comes to pop culture discourse about this stuff are so low as to be nonexistent.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:29 (seven months ago) link

That said, if his dad really was a composer of 12 tone music and it's not just a fictive spin on country tropes, he should definitely know better.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:31 (seven months ago) link

Yeah I enjoyed the song and video but my mind was screaming foul at all the inaccuracies and generalizations

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:35 (seven months ago) link

Cage's 4'33" isn't really what I think of as an atonal composition, either, although you could possibly make a case.

I somehow doubt he is trying to be historically accurate.

I really liked that atonal solo in the middle of it. Its just nerdy internet stuff but I'd like to think passers by might be horrified/mystified and curious enough to check it out.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:38 (seven months ago) link

The solo really clinches it. Wouldn't be a worthwhile meme otherwise.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:41 (seven months ago) link

No point to this kind of thing if it's not well-informed imo. Otherwise, it comes closer to being a put-down (of something that probably doesn't need to be taken down).

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:59 (seven months ago) link

(Solo is the best part.)

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:01 (seven months ago) link

To be fair, this is how most people perceive it. I've taken friends/relatives to several such concerts, made them listen to recordings and 'cold, forbidding complexity' remains their takeaway to this day. I frankly gave up a long time ago.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:03 (seven months ago) link

Even early 20th century abstract painting elicits less incomprehension, no doubt because it's less time-consuming.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:05 (seven months ago) link

Yeah, that's sort of why I dislike this.

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:06 (seven months ago) link

I don't imagine that modern literature fans would eagerly share a comedy song about pining for the emotionless, incomprehensible writing of modern authors like Joyce, Woolf, Beckett, and cummings (but maybe they would).

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:25 (seven months ago) link

I probably would tbh. But I've abandoned all hope of ever turning more than a pinch of people on to 'modernist' art. And when it does happen, it's usually an accident.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:28 (seven months ago) link

It would have to be a comedy short story

imago, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:30 (seven months ago) link

Even early 20th century abstract painting elicits less incomprehension, no doubt because it's less time-consuming.

There's a whole book about this phenomenon - the subtitle is something like Why Do People Like Rothko But Not Schoenberg? I've always meant to read it.

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:40 (seven months ago) link

Here it is; it's called Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don't Get Stockhausen

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:42 (seven months ago) link

That sounds interesting. I'd need to be convinced of the premise first, though.

jmm, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:45 (seven months ago) link

I'll have to check it out, thanks. Too bad there's no matching phenomenon for poetry (haikus notwithstanding).

xp

pomenitul, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:45 (seven months ago) link

The book is an OK read. Idk if it really arrives at a satisfying answer to that question and it turns into a kind of historical overview. Hard to deny that more people know Picasso and Dali than Schoenberg and Cage, at the least. I used to have my late 20th c avant-garde classes debate the question. Alex Ross and Philip Ball have also written about it (taking v different positions).xp

silent as a seashell Julia (Sund4r), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:52 (seven months ago) link

Just looking at the blurb, I'm not sure that this indicates much about popular enthusiasm for modern paintings; it's more about the extravagant amounts of money being moved around: "Works by 20th century abstract artists like Mark Rothko are selling for record breaking sums at auction, while the millions commanded by works by Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon make headline news."

jmm, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:55 (seven months ago) link

Mattei's Winterreise isn't the grimmest or most frostbitten (barring a handful of nameless self-parodic attempts, I'm tempted to grant that title to Matthias Goerne's first recording with Graham Johnson) but it's quite theatrical and isn't afraid to go for broke. Mostly I just love Mattei's voice – his disc of Mahler's orchestral Lieder with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra also blew me away when it came out four years ago. But yeah, Winterreise in any way, shape or form just guts you.

pomenitul, Monday, 9 September 2019 17:43 (one week ago) link

I saw Roderick Williams and Christopher Glyn performing an English translation a couple of years ago and altho I have my doubts about lyrics in translation this was really well done, it worked for and Williams is a lovely, intimate singer

a wagon to the curious (Noodle Vague), Monday, 9 September 2019 17:50 (one week ago) link

I've come around – there's no cause to shoot such attempts down on principle. Looks like a recording is available, so I'll check it out soon.

pomenitul, Monday, 9 September 2019 18:00 (one week ago) link

You're not wrong about Mattei's voice. I'm liking this a lot four tracks in. The recording is also very pleasant-sounding.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 9 September 2019 18:02 (one week ago) link

Don’t forget Hans Zender’s ‘composed interpretation’ of Winterreise when you really want to flip your wig.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 9 September 2019 19:07 (one week ago) link

All rankings are worthless and arbitrary, etc., etc., no doubt about it, but it's still an amusing exercise that contemporary classical isn't often afforded:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/sep/12/best-classical-music-works-of-the-21st-century

pomenitul, Friday, 13 September 2019 09:08 (four days ago) link

16 of the 25 greatest classical works of the 21st century were written by anglophone composers. 🤔

pomenitul, Friday, 13 September 2019 09:13 (four days ago) link

I was scrolling through the list getting angrier and angrier that they left off 'Let Me Tell You'... Which of course was also written for, and after an idea by, an anglophone performer.

Frederik B, Friday, 13 September 2019 09:35 (four days ago) link

Thanks: stuff to check out. But omg their critics love vocal music. The top 7 are either operas or song cycles (and I think six of those are operas)!

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 13 September 2019 11:05 (four days ago) link

That might partly explain the anglophone slant (?), although tbf a 64% anglo share is much lower than what you would find on a list of greatest pop or jazz releases in an English-language paper. Tbh, the majority of the contemporary composers I like probably are anglophones, tbh. Always happy to learn more.

But an even greater percentage of the new notated music I see consists primarily of solo or chamber music (or of makeshift versions of larger ensembles, e.g. guitar orchestras). Who tf writes operas??

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 13 September 2019 12:38 (four days ago) link

I think a lot of people write chamber operas? I liked the discussion I saw recently of what was the best long full orchestra piece, 45 min+. It was kinda hard to make a list (though Andrew Normans Play is obviously missing from the Guardian list).

Frederik B, Friday, 13 September 2019 12:43 (four days ago) link

which you'd guess based on the sub-Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer orchestral writing and programmatic attempt at erasing the 20th century from living memory (except for Strauss and Mahler and maybe Florent Schmitt). I'd be curious to hear some of his earlier works, which are reportedly arch-modernist in idiom.

― pomenitul

fucking hell, florent schmitt is about the only composer i'd argue _should_ be erased from living memory (not for artistic reasons, admittedly)

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Friday, 13 September 2019 13:23 (four days ago) link

I'd be happy to erase him from living memory and consign his works to anonymity. They would still be played but no one would know who wrote them. One can dream…

pomenitul, Friday, 13 September 2019 13:34 (four days ago) link

The proms had a new choral piece by John Luther Adams, btw. It's for 600+ singers. Not as good as Canticles of the Holy Wind to me, a bit kitschy, but it's also quite beautiful. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00088y5

Frederik B, Friday, 13 September 2019 13:47 (four days ago) link

I'd be happy to erase him from living memory and consign his works to anonymity. They would still be played but no one would know who wrote them. One can dream…

― pomenitul

I actually have been thinking further on him since your mention of him and I have further thoughts, which I don't have time to write up right now. I will attempt later.

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Friday, 13 September 2019 14:14 (four days ago) link

Take your time – this is an adagio thread for the most part.

pomenitul, Friday, 13 September 2019 14:17 (four days ago) link

Who tf writes operas?

My inkling is that they're more popular on this side of the pond.

pomenitul, Friday, 13 September 2019 14:19 (four days ago) link

i know a bunch of opera writers but i think that's a lol nyc thing

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 13 September 2019 19:00 (four days ago) link

wait lol the david moss in olga neuwirth's lynch opera is the same david moss who I have demolishing the human throat on an old LP with Tom Cora? Man I totally forgot about him! Downloading!

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Friday, 13 September 2019 20:59 (four days ago) link

I wrote something up today during a catastrophic system outage but I feel like leaving it more as background for myself.

I kind of take a different tack towards the issue than you. I think Florent Schmitt, the man, should be remembered, but if given the opportunity I think that I should destroy every note that he ever wrote, as a counter-proposal to the theory that one can "separate the art from the artist".

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:49 (three days ago) link

I'm all for such experiments.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 08:14 (three days ago) link

Obv someone is writing these operas but ime most composers don't have as much access to orchestras or operas, especially if they are younger/less-connected/less-conservative, so it's not where I usually see the most activity in new music. I'll freely admit, though, that I don't spend that much time seeking out new operas and mostly prefer solo or chamber music anyway, so my gauge could be off.

In any event, I'm listening to Let Me Tell You for the first time and liking it fairly well so far.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 14 September 2019 14:53 (three days ago) link

The notion that operas are, well, the magna opera of the classical tradition as a whole irritates me to no end (like when literature is assumed to be synonymous with narrative, at the expense of poetry), so my go-to stance is correctively anti-operatic. Which isn't to say that I dislike the form (I am currently listening to Pascal Dusapin's Penthesilea and am finding it quite excellent so far) but, like you, I tend to prefer solo and chamber music as well.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:16 (three days ago) link

Seeing Barbara Hannigan sing Let Me Tell You from the third row was one of the bigger musical experiences I've had lately.

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:18 (three days ago) link

Prism II, new ECM from Danish String Quartet, has Well Tempered Clavier, Beethoven's String Quartet #13 and String Quartet #3 by Alfred Schnittke (who i won't pretend I know). seems lovely on first spin

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:38 (three days ago) link

Yeah, it's wonderful. The first instalment is worth hearing as well.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:40 (three days ago) link

Oh, didn't know it was out yet! Yeah, really looking forward to hearing that. Also, as I'm bragging about concerts I've been to, hearing the last night of the Beethoven cycle the Danish String Quartet did last fall was pretty incredible. Even if 16 is a bit of an anticlimax coming after 14.

Would anyone be up for a poll of the Guardian list, btw? I only really know three of the pieces, but I'd try and check some more of it.

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:49 (three days ago) link

Not crazy about most of their picks tbh but why not? I look forward to Noodle Vague's spinoff.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:52 (three days ago) link

Yeah, that would definitely be the best part.

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:55 (three days ago) link

Anyways, I'll try and set it up later.

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:56 (three days ago) link

Sounds good. Thanks!

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:57 (three days ago) link

i don't know how i'd go about generating the entries for a spin-off because there's no equivalency to sales, except obviously i'd add Gaz's Quatuor pour la fin du Trumps

a wagon to the curious (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:08 (three days ago) link

Make it all André Rieu, Max Richter and John Williams. Oh, and Sting.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:11 (three days ago) link

Trans Siberian imo

And “Two Steps to Hell” or whatever those trailer guys call themselves

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:18 (three days ago) link

Number one is clearly Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to Dunkirk.

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:19 (three days ago) link

Yesssss! Two Steps from Hell iirc.

xp

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:19 (three days ago) link

Come to think of it, Jeremy Soule would also be a good fit.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:20 (three days ago) link

True but not lol enough

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:25 (three days ago) link

You're right, not to mention needlessly edgy in light of recent events.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:31 (three days ago) link

Top opera = The Black Parade

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:40 (three days ago) link

Maybe too raucous, actually. Not calm and relaxing like classical music is supposed to be. xp

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:42 (three days ago) link

Ah, that chart: that's real music right there.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:43 (three days ago) link

At a first pass, I'm tempted to go with The Priests.

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:45 (three days ago) link

bingo

a wagon to the curious (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:46 (three days ago) link

Never forget:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVAp7e5zFaM

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:48 (three days ago) link

Oh look, Norman Lebrecht has an opinion again. He disagrees with The Guardian's top 25, which only overlaps with his own top 20 by about 8 composers.

https://slippedisc.com/2019/09/best-works-of-the-21st-century/

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:33 (three days ago) link

Poll: New Cat Power

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:14 (three days ago) link

wtf...

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:14 (three days ago) link

Credit where due, lebrecht’s 20th century music guide was a helpful starting point for me when I started digging in in 1996, but he really is a crank.

Titanic is legit the best thing on that linked top 20 (tbh despite some hella cornball opuses Horner was the real deal and certainly makes most film composers working now look like ants)

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:54 (three days ago) link


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