Rolling Classical 2021

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A recording of Bach's six Cello Suites by ex-Arditti Quartet cellist Rohan de Saram came out yesterday. 2021's off to a promising start.

Speaking of the Ardittis, I also look forward to their studio recordings of Georg Friedrich Haas's 4th and 7th String Quartets for NEOS.

pomenitul, Saturday, 2 January 2021 19:09 (two months ago) link

this Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken/Trondheim Voices collaboration is beautiful.

calzino, Friday, 15 January 2021 11:37 (one month ago) link

Love me some new Hubro.

pomenitul, Friday, 15 January 2021 13:23 (one month ago) link

This video is labelled as audio of Villa-Lobos playing his first Prelude, which I've never heard before. He did it much slower than I'm used to, assuming it's legitimate! Some images of him playing guitar, although I don't think it's the same piece.

Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Sunday, 17 January 2021 05:35 (one month ago) link

Hilary Hahn describes her new album:

In the meantime, here’s some info on the pieces and album. ❤️

Earrings (mine) by @satelliteparis.

— Hilary Hahn (@violincase) January 25, 2021

Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Monday, 25 January 2021 01:41 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Might as well xpost the classical titles from the rolling favourite tracks and albums 2021 thread:

Behzod Abduraimov – Debussy, Chopin, Mussorgsky [two warhorses and a half, Children's Corner, 24 Preludes and Pictures at an Exhibition, incredibly well played by this young Uzbek pianist]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Well-Tempered Clavier (Piotr Anderszewski) [just a single disc: excerpts from Book II, played piecemeal and out of order yet oh so well]

Ludwig van Beethoven – Missa solemnis (René Jacobs, et al.) [a notoriously impossible work, yet Jacobs, a countertenor-turned-conductor, pulls it off because he gets that it's all about the balance of voices]

Marc Monnet – En pièces (François-Frédéric Guy) [supposedly a jokey composer yet most of these piano etudes are light-absorbing, with a predilection for the lowest registers]

Olga Neuwirth – Solo (Klangforum Wien) [all solo works, duh, including one for flute and typewriter; best album I've ever heard by this Austrian composer who once turned Lost Highway into an opera]

Thibaut Roussel, et al. – Le Coucher du roi. Musiques pour la chambre de Louis XIV [Renaissance ambient music for the Sun King to go to bed to; a bit weird, because some of it is more upbeat than you'd expect]

A few extras:

Alfred Schnittke – Works for Violin and Piano (Daniel Hope & Alexey Botvinov)

Elliott Carter – La musique (Swiss Chamber Soloists)

Florent Boffard – Beethoven, Berg, Boulez

Johann Sebastian Bach – Partitas, Part 1 (Evgeni Koroliov)

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Sol Gabetta & Camerata Bern – Plaisirs illuminés

Stefano Gervasoni – Muro di canti (Monica Bacelli, Aldo Orvieto, Alvise Vidolin, Marco Liuni)

Toshio Hosokawa – Solo (Klangforum Wien)

Vagn Holmboe – String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Nightingale Quartet)

pomenitul, Thursday, 11 February 2021 03:21 (three weeks ago) link

You had me at "flute and typewriter". I see Klangforum Wien is releasing five 'solo' thingies in total?!? Sciarrino, Saunders and Aperghis too.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:18 (three weeks ago) link

Saunders and Sciarrino are two of my favourite living composers but I found their sets a bit disappointing, alas. The Aperghis is quite good, however, and I probably should have included it, I’m just a bit biased because I don’t love the rest of his output.

pomenitul, Thursday, 11 February 2021 14:41 (three weeks ago) link

This seems like it's actually serious:

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Thursday, 11 February 2021 17:12 (three weeks ago) link

This seems like it's actually serious:🕸

melodic classical music that is full of passion


Mosholu Porkway (Boring, Maryland), Thursday, 11 February 2021 20:38 (three weeks ago) link


The first and only festival of its kind in the world with the mission to promote and showcase high-quality orchestral music that is tuneful, accessible, universally appealing and created by a diverse number of living composers attending the events.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Thursday, 11 February 2021 20:44 (three weeks ago) link

I've listened twice to Abduraimov's recording of the Chopin Preludes. I've been conditioned by Pollini and Argerich to expect v expressive rubato interpretations of these so Abduraimov's comparative restraint and precision was almost disorienting at first. On the second listen, though, I could appreciate the elegance of how he was letting the lines and the pulse speak for themselves.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Friday, 12 February 2021 14:16 (two weeks ago) link

Interesting. I wasn’t particularly struck by his restraint – he seems to have taken his cues from the Russian school above all – but now that I think back on Pollini’s and (especially) Argerich’s recordings, I see what you’re saying.

pomenitul, Friday, 12 February 2021 16:01 (two weeks ago) link

You know it sucks that people with corny-ass taste in music are still banging the (obviously incorrect) drum that “academia and the classical music Establishment is trying to shove atonal noise down audiences’ throats.” It may have had a grain of truth once in the 50s-70s (and at that, manly in Europe but definitely not North America or the UK where the warhorses are beaten into a pulp anew every subscription season). But the most popular living classical composers today are mostly melodic and tonal, and audiences seem to react well to the somnambulant Post-Minimalism that is being churned out by the yard these days, so I don’t know what those “let’s bring good music back” chuckleheads are reacting against unless they think like Nico Muhly or Jake Heggie is too avant-garde or something.

Mosholu Porkway (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 12 February 2021 16:34 (two weeks ago) link

It’s been all downhill since the tritone imo.

pomenitul, Friday, 12 February 2021 16:45 (two weeks ago) link

Happy birthday Fernando Sor!

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Sunday, 14 February 2021 01:31 (two weeks ago) link

Anyone who misses the arch-high modernist complexity of old should check out contemporary British composer Sam Hayden's piano works as played by the indefatigable Ian Pace. Disc 1 is devoted to a fittingly protean recent cycle, Becomings, that sustained my interest throughout despite my somewhat waning interest in the subgenre, while disc 2 focuses on older, more approachable yet equally relentless works, including one, Piano Moves (1990), that engages with post-minimalism.

pomenitul, Sunday, 14 February 2021 22:10 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not averse to minimalism or even post minimalism it's just very easy to become car commercial music.

Mosholu Porkway (Boring, Maryland), Sunday, 14 February 2021 22:12 (two weeks ago) link

Definitely, and Sam Hayden manifestly agreed as far back as 1990: Piano Moves sounds like post-minimalism for people who hate post-minimalism (my feelings towards it are not as belligerent, I just think it takes up way too much cultural space). Anyway, the other pieces are all at the furthest possible remove from US-style minimalism.

pomenitul, Sunday, 14 February 2021 22:16 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks for the recommendation will check out.

Mosholu Porkway (Boring, Maryland), Sunday, 14 February 2021 22:19 (two weeks ago) link

it's just very easy to become car commercial music.

Haha. I once found myself uttering "Can we switch to something else? We appear to have entered a merchant banking advertisement" while being driven through a deserted business district to a soundtrack of... not exactly sure now, some CD of numbingly circular orchestral music. It was too real.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Sunday, 14 February 2021 23:55 (two weeks ago) link

I listened to the seven movement piece "Becomings". Oddly, I found myself more able to get into it after a couple of drinks, when I could let myself fall into the space of the piece(s) and give time to all the dynamics and textures without trying too hard to pick out the formal logic. I'm still not sure I completely have a handle on it but it's interesting and there's a lot happening, a bit like some of the early Boulez integral-serialist piano works.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Monday, 15 February 2021 04:23 (two weeks ago) link

We were listening to Thomas Demenga's 2017 ECM recording of the six Bach cello suites this morning. The dark and smooth tone he got by using historically-informed instruments (18th- and 17th century cellos, apparently, Baroque-style bow, unwound gut strings tuned down a whole tone; not that much vibrato, compared to what I usually expect) is really pleasing, esp with the ECM recording.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Monday, 15 February 2021 04:43 (two weeks ago) link

Glad you enjoyed the Hayden! I tend to approach self-consciously complex notated music in much the same manner as free improv (and composers/performers like Richard Barrett have explicitly sought to bridge that gap) so the moment-to-moment energy is what draws me in first and foremost. The underlying theory comes later, provided I’m even able to grasp its logic, which is almost never the case beyond the basics and, occasionally, the extramusical material that Inspired the work.

As for Demenga, that set was a pleasant surprise when it came out. I had enjoyed his previous series for ECM, pairing Bach with various contemporary composers, and found his takes on the latter as persuasive as his readings of the former were not. The re-recordings are something else entirely, just marvellous stuff.

pomenitul, Monday, 15 February 2021 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

As a final addendum to 2020, two albums I missed out on last year:

David Chaillou’s Légendes as played by Laura Mikkola, a beautiful piano cycle that melds post-minimalism (that word again!) with the post-Debussyan French tradition, so you’ll hear echoes of Dutilleux and, to a lesser extent, Grisey. Lovely and accessible yet never simplistic.

Four recordings from the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019 that only just popped up on streaming services despite their official (physical) release last October: works by Mark Andre, Johannes Boris Borowski, Eva Reiter and Alberto Posadas. Andre – a French (ex-French?) student of Lachenmann’s who makes residually ‘religious’ music inspired by his Lutheran faith and his fascination with etymological word-fragments – and Posadas – a Spanish post-spectralist with a gift for poetically imaginative writing – are among my favourite living composers, so this one was a no-brainer for me, but all contributions here are very much worthwhile if you care for the continental European scene.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

I listened to the Chaillou disc in the background. It seemed pretty and well-crafted but didn't make an extremely strong first impression - that's not necessarily a bad thing, though. I will come back to it since it's the kind of thing I've been wanting more of.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 20:53 (two weeks ago) link

It’s nothing earth-shattering but I’m partial to this idiom and Chaillou does justice to it, I think. Also, fwiw, I liked my second encounter with it better – my first was closer to your assessment (and, who knows?, perhaps my third as well).

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 21:11 (two weeks ago) link

György Kurtág just turned 95!

To mark this, a new recording of The Saying of Péter Bornemisza, with Tony Arnold and Gábor Csalog, was released today.

BMC records, the Hungarian label, is hosting a four-day Kurtág festival:

Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw and Pierre-Laurent Aimard will also be streaming several works of his:

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 17:14 (one week ago) link

Livestream concert at 8:30 Eastern time by Twin Cities new music org 113 Composers:

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Saturday, 20 February 2021 23:05 (one week ago) link

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