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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten months ago) link

Enjoyed the piece a lot.

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

Listening to ILX Listen: 2019

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

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

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

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

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

found it, got it.

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

lol

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

Holy shit:

https://youtu.be/gzodB0Sp6ZI

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

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

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

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

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

(Solo is the best part.)

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

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

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

It would have to be a comedy short story

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

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

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

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

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:45 (two months ago) link

bingo

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

Never forget:

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

pomenitul, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:48 (two months 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 (two months ago) link

Poll: New Cat Power

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:14 (two months ago) link

wtf...

Frederik B, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:14 (two months 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 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I really enjoyed this performance of Debussy's Six Epigraphes antiques:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08WYwr4eUsg

pomenitul, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 17:12 (one month ago) link

Giving concerts this week with some of the best choral music I have ever sung. Or at least, it's some of the most fun to sing ever, I don't know how it feels to listen to. Per Nørgårds Wie Ein Kind. Listen to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7Lvkc0I4Ak
So much fun. I want to learn it by heart and sing it at bars.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 17:52 (one month ago) link

Just listened to the new recording of Aaron Jay Kernis's Flute Concerto, which is pretty fun and energetic. Three of the four movements are based on old dance rhythms (barcarole, pavan, tarantelle) and the other is a pastorale. I'd want to listen more to break down more of what's going on harmonically but it was an enjoyable casual first listen. Kernis credits Jethro Tull as an influence on the fourth movement! Idk how well I heard it.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 18:55 (one month ago) link

I just ordered the Philip Thomas 5CD box of Morton Feldman solo piano music from the Another Timbre label and they sent me a download link for a FLAC file of Triadic Memories, which is 90 minutes long and thus split between discs 3 and 4. So they're good folks and I recommend purchasing this set from them if you want one. (It's actually a little cheaper on their website than on Bandcamp.)

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:25 (one month ago) link

It’s excellent, but I think I’m burnt out on Feldman at this point.

pomenitul, Friday, 11 October 2019 08:30 (one month ago) link

https://jessicapavone.bandcamp.com/album/brick-and-mortar

this is a rather beautiful two violins, two violas quartet.

calzino, Friday, 11 October 2019 09:50 (one month ago) link

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Btw, Hannes Kerschbaumer's first Kairos monograph is thoroughly worth investigating as well:

https://www.kairos-music.com/cds/0015060kai

pomenitul, Friday, 11 October 2019 09:54 (one month ago) link

'Schraffur' is an interesting term and a very apt description of his sound world. I'm not well versed in artistic techniques at all but it apparently means 'hatching' in English:

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

pomenitul, Friday, 11 October 2019 09:58 (one month ago) link

I have no idea why Andris Nelsons is touted as the greatest living conductor, but his Beethoven cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic is a solid return to the MOR approach of the 1960s and 1970s, somewhere between Böhm, Szell and Karajan, I guess, which isn't a bad thing, since it comes with the added benefit of modern engineering.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 14:14 (one month ago) link

i saw the pavone quartet live last week; i may be a rube but it was so minimal and muted (and weirdly lit! they played in the dark with only stand lights) that i made at least two "are they done tuning yet?" gag whispers to my plus one. the moments where melody crested up to swirl about a bit and then get sucked back down were quite nice but after forty minutes it didn't offer a lot more than what i heard in the first five.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 15:40 (one month ago) link

I'll give that Nelsons set a try; the only Beethoven cycle I own is the Chailly box on Decca, and that gets pretty symphonic power metal at times. I might like something a little more settled.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 15:48 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I don't get Chailly's aesthetic at all. Abbado's second (live) BPO set has similar aims and blows it out of the water.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 15:50 (one month ago) link

Fun excerpt on how 'out' Bach was in his own time, from Gioia's new book:

“They never learned about Bach pulling a knife on a fellow musician during a street fight. They never heard about his drinking exploits.” https://t.co/4t8HuyaorK

— Jeff Beck (@jeffnbeck) October 16, 2019

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Thursday, 17 October 2019 02:22 (one month ago) link

Heh, I had no idea.

pomenitul, Thursday, 17 October 2019 10:05 (one month ago) link

Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir is giving a solo performance at Scandinavia House in NYC on Thursday night. I'm thinking about going; I interviewed her back in June, and her album Vernacular is great.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Sunday, 20 October 2019 15:17 (four weeks ago) link

Album was alright, a little too conservative for my money.

pomenitul, Sunday, 20 October 2019 15:21 (four weeks ago) link

Anybody interested in a series of decade-by-decade polls, starting in the 1800s? Just the works, curated by yours truly – we can discuss our preferred recordings as we go along. I was initially planning on doing albums, but it's too much of a hassle in the context of classical music.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 09:48 (two weeks ago) link

Yes me interested

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:24 (two weeks ago) link

Well, as long as there's two of us… :)

I'll get started on it very soon.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:06 (two weeks ago) link

I'll vote as well, if I know the things :)

Frederik B, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:07 (two weeks ago) link

It'll be chockfull of 19th and early 20th century warhorses. It's gonna get trickier post-1945, but that's just part of the fun.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:09 (two weeks ago) link

Starting point? 1820s?

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:43 (two weeks ago) link

Here for it, mostly to learn

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:46 (two weeks ago) link

I say we start in the 1800s, lest we miss out on Beethoven’s middle period.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:56 (two weeks ago) link

Ballot polls or poll threads?

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:25 (two weeks ago) link

We did this once, for anyone who missed it: POLLERO!: ILM's Top 100 Notated Pieces of Music Since 1890

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:26 (two weeks ago) link

Oh, cool, I had no idea. Thanks.

I was thinking poll threads (one per decade), which I assume we haven't done before.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:29 (two weeks ago) link

Nice idea. I'm happy to be schooled.

jmm, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:29 (two weeks ago) link

Poll threads sound great. I was a little nervous about doing that many ballot polls. :)

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:33 (two weeks ago) link

Understandably so! I'm going to do it pfunkboy/Michael B-style, which means there are bound to be some grave omissions, for which I'll profusely apologize in each thread.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 14:42 (two weeks ago) link

I have to say, I mostly know about choral works...

Frederik B, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

Starting with 1800-1810 is fine by me! Op. 32 is one of my favorite things Beethoven ever did. I was just thinking that once you get to the 1820s you get some Beethoven vs Schubert suspense whereas for the 00s and 10s you've got Beethoven and... everyone else (well Rossini tbf)

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

You're right, of course. Beethoven will undoubtedly dwarf everyone else in the 00s but papa Haydn was still around (The Seasons, the final two Masses) and some minor masterpieces were penned around that time, such as Boieldieu's Harp Concerto. I'll try my best to make it a little less obvious…

pomenitul, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 15:35 (two weeks ago) link

I greatly anticipate this educational experience; I look forward to campaigning heavily for Quartet for the end of time 15 polls in

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 16:04 (two weeks ago) link

I suspect there's be a good excuse to listen to the late quartets again. And then I'll definitely vote for Symphonie Fantastique :)

Frederik B, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 16:47 (two weeks ago) link

Best 'first symphony' in classical music history tbh

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 18:32 (two weeks ago) link

OK wow I just paid attention to Poulenc for the first time today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V87wGyfUQiQ

the 1810s thread has me digging into augustin hadelich. he's far too "shreddy" for my tastes. the recording of ligeti's violin concerto from this year is not bad- ligeti being a fairly astringent composer anyway - but this new cadenza by thomas ades, what the fuck, it is so bad and not in keeping with the rest of the piece. well i guess one can just stop listening after the fourth movement...

tantric societal collapse (rushomancy), Monday, 11 November 2019 15:36 (one week ago) link

special mention of note has to go out to the really hideous cover art as well

tantric societal collapse (rushomancy), Monday, 11 November 2019 15:37 (one week ago) link

Shreddy, really? I don't get that sense from Hadelich's Paganini at all. If anything, he gives the Caprices their due as proper music, which may or may not be a good thing.

Agree about the Adès cadenza, however. I could do without Adès's music altogether tbh, it's thoroughly mediocre.

pomenitul, Monday, 11 November 2019 15:40 (one week ago) link


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