Rolling Classical 2012

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JELZ of your Nancarrow festival, that is *so cool*.

xp o. nate check out the original two pianos version for interest. Ravel's orchestration is real cool, landmark even, but it over-emphasizes the stylistic disparities between each movement. As a piano piece I think it's untouchable.

I have four recordings of "Concord Sonata" (John Kirkpatrick, Aloys Kontarsky, Gilbert Kalish, Manfred Reinelt) and I'm listening to them all today to decide if anybody did better than Kirkpatrick (so far no but I still have Kalish to go)

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:16 (five years ago) Permalink

I really like the different colors that Ravel gets out of the orchestra, but it would be interesting to compare the piano version. I'll look for it. Thanks.

o. nate, Monday, 12 March 2012 20:18 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to them all today to decide if anybody did better than Kirkpatrick (so far no but I still have Kalish to go)

the objective answer to this is no, no one did it better than Kirkpatrick

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 20:20 (five years ago) Permalink

Owen have you heard the newish Jeremy Denk one? I have an mp3 of him playing it live a few years ago and it's quite good...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:23 (five years ago) Permalink

re: Pictures, O Nate, everyone everywhere will tell you to go to Richter live in Sofia for this, and they're right, but be ready for dire sound quality.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 20:25 (five years ago) Permalink

jon you are a mensch, but i should be able to get a copy of that via internets assuming it doesnt get an official release

it's seemingly a live recording from wales from a concert which got 4/5 from thegraun

re verklärte, i prefer the string orch arrangement because i really like that heavy lugubrious austrogerman heaviness in the early movements
(levine's siegfried idyll is pellucid and supple tho)

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:25 (five years ago) Permalink

tonight I start learning movements 4 & 5 from Bach cantata 32


thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:33 (five years ago) Permalink

DJP I thought you were a baritone? @ Jon: I'll check it out! I lucked out, I live next to a classical vinyl store and got three copies of Concord in one pull (all the non-Kirkpatrick ones, I had to eBay the Kirkpatrick).

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 21:58 (five years ago) Permalink

v psyched to get to see some Saariaho performed next month for the first time(her Bergman tribute, Lanterna Magica)! The rest of that evening's program, well... I am totally up for Shostakovich's 6th but I have a feeling Franz Welser-Most is a conductor who is best pitted against bristlingly difficult post-wwii fare and might not bring the goods in dsch. And Brahms 2nd piano concerto would excite me too except yefim bronfman, meh.

Also next month Crumb's two orchestral colossi Starchild and Echoes Of Time And The River in one night! He's been performed a LOT in nyc the last several years which is great for me cause I love him. The downside: Leon Botstein conducts...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:12 (five years ago) Permalink

Fuuuuck I wish I could be in NYC for that.

[selfish] I'm flying to London today to oversee rehearsals for my violin concerto. It's my first one. I'm so, so excited. [/]

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:17 (five years ago) Permalink

the fact that the stereo Kirkpatrick is still not available on CD is a painful act of negiligence on Columbia's part.

Last year I got a copy of the original mono Kirkpatrick, but it's so scratchy I almost couldn't listen. I am saving the transfer & cleanup for a rainy day.

I saw Henry Brant's orchestration of the Concord Symphony at SF Symphony with Tilson Thomas on Wednesday night. It's easier than ever to follow certain melodies when you break them across instrumental groups. But at times it becomes almost too transparent, some of those lines are supposed to be inextricable instead of underlined, and the slow, increasingly quiet spiral of the last movement comes across differently when it's 60-80 people following a very tightly wound score. It's far more of a Brant piece than an Ives one; still had a wonderful time but I've been mainlining my favorite recordings of it in the week since.

The pre-concert talk was in fact two actors recreating John Kirkpatrick's initial encounter with Ives, rehearsing the Concord for him in Ives' attic; played up to the hilt, with all the dialogue sourced directly from Cowell's book and Ives' Memos. But the guy playing Kirkpatrick could play pretty well, and the music made it all work; hundreds of people were there by the end of it and you can tell when the Davies crowd likes something; they are completely silent during the music

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 22:18 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost congrats on violin concerto mr. owen

Milton Parker, Monday, 12 March 2012 22:19 (five years ago) Permalink

i was reading botstein's essay in 'franz liszt & his world' which was slightly tendentious and dull, rest of book skimmed but seems rich

congrats ówen!

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Monday, 12 March 2012 22:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Really looking forward to hearing your violin concerto on Friday.

I have to admit that over the last couple of years I've found contemporary classical music so much more rewarding to listen to than the other stuff I used to listen to. However, there's so much to explore and so little time!

Moon Fuxx (Jill), Monday, 12 March 2012 23:41 (five years ago) Permalink

owen that's fantastic! Which one of London's bazillion 1st class orchs are you working with?

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:04 (five years ago) Permalink

DJP I thought you were a baritone?

I am. 4 & 5 are S/B duets with enough Es in the B part to make a bass angry.

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:12 (five years ago) Permalink

ps re: the violin concerto: baller

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:13 (five years ago) Permalink

Ha, thanks DJP. It's Britten Sinfonia, Pekka Kuusisto is playing it. Thanks for well-wishes!

Can anybody recommend me a Wyschnegradsky?

an elk hunt (Ówen P.), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:20 (five years ago) Permalink

I still haven't cracked the Concord Sonata — I always fall asleep after the first movement.

I'm listening to Berlioz's Requiem (Inbal, RSO Frankfurt) again.

tanuki, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Going to see Giuseppe Ettorre play Bottessini with a chamber orchestra in a couple hours. New territory for me.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Schubert Sonata D958, Leif Ove Andsnes. This is finally the rendition of this sonata I've been looking for. With the instincts of a snake charmer Andsnes nails the balance between mysterious distance and sudden assertion and achieves terribilitas. The finale's death-dance some serious head-nod shit.

Which reminds me, we were discussing Mussorgsky's solo piano Pictures yesterday; if you have an aversion to 1950s bootleg sound quality, Andsnes is a good hi-fi alternative to Richter (very different interpretation of course).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 16:52 (five years ago) Permalink


More my scene.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:14 (five years ago) Permalink

I've been getting into Arbiter Classical reissues lately - they just have great taste, and seem to do really nice remastering (assuming there's some kind of remastering going on), plus I love the covers (other than the annoying elephant logo):

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:11 (five years ago) Permalink

That Paul Jacobs album is INCREDIBLE. I wish there was more of him on record.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:10 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's so fucking good! And I had never heard of him before I discovered it.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

You should check out the iren marik stuff - I think you will like her if you like Jacobs.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:12 (five years ago) Permalink

Get yourself Jacobs' Debussy recordings without the slightest delay! Esp the Preludes. He is the king of dry-point Debussy playing (Bavouzet is the king of wet-brush Debussy playing). His Schoenberg disc is wonderful too.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:17 (five years ago) Permalink

Other recommended Arbiters:

Arbiter 116: Tiegerman: The Lost Legend of Cairo

Arbiter 139: Hindemith as Interpreter · The Amar-Hindemith Quartet

Arbiter 157: Scriabin chez Scriabin

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Just noticed that both Decca and EMI have released Delius boxes. Any opinions on either?

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Monday, 19 March 2012 13:44 (five years ago) Permalink

EMI offers the wider selection of repertoire but the Decca is largely composed of Mackerras' recordings which are uniformly excellent and superbly recorded. There isn't really any top-tier Delius missing from the Decca set IMO (except the tone poem Eventyr), making it a better introduction to my man. But if you're already obsessed with Delius the EMI is a real feast of rarer stuff. I know I want to get it at some point even though I already have the Beecham and Barbirolli material.

BTW, the Danish conductor Bo Holten has now released three geographically-themed Delius discs ('Danish Masterworks', "Norwegian Masterworks" and the new "English Masterworks") which are all fantastic; he may some to supplant Mackerras as the Delius master of the digital era. The Norwegian one is especially killer: Eventyr and Song Of The High Hills on one disc!

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 19 March 2012 14:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Get yourself Jacobs' Debussy recordings without the slightest delay! Esp the Preludes. He is the king of dry-point Debussy playing (Bavouzet is the king of wet-brush Debussy playing). His Schoenberg disc is wonderful too.

― Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:17 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That sounds good! I am finding myself increasingly drawn to dry-brush pianists in general, and the concept of dry-brush Debussy is interesting.

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Monday, 19 March 2012 15:50 (five years ago) Permalink

dry-point rather

the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Monday, 19 March 2012 15:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Part of it, of course, is how he's recorded-- that wonderful Connoiseur Society E. Alan Silver type sound where the attack of each note is like a sweet 'ping'. See most everything recorded by Ivan Moravec before the digital era.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Monday, 19 March 2012 16:07 (five years ago) Permalink

Thanks again - sounds like Mackerras is my man!

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:29 (five years ago) Permalink

A further word-- I don't know if you like your Delius on the lively end (a la mono-era Beecham) or on the languorous wallowy end (a la Barbirolli)-- I prefer the former, and that's what Mackerras brings (but unhurried and with plenty of rubato).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:35 (five years ago) Permalink

Persephone. The one big Stravinsky piece that just fell through the cracks of popularity somehow. But so great. Elliott Carter called it 'the humanist Rite of Spring'. Elliott Carter OTM. It's got so much charm. Maybe it never caught on because it has a narrator.

All-time I don't think there have been more than 5 or 6 commercial recordings of it. My favorite isn't even one of them-- it's a radio broadcast from the BBC I downloaded off a new group, Andrew Davis conducting. Right now I'm listening to the work's second recording-- Andre Cluytens conducting, mono, a vinyl rip off a dude's blog a couple of years ago.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 20:14 (five years ago) Permalink

so beautiful:

Battalia à 10 D-dur, C.61 (1673)
01:43 - 2. Allegro: "Die liederliche Gesellschaft von allerey Humor"

Biber's Battalia (1673) is a rare precedent, with its quodlibet of eight different folksongs in five different keys, representing the songs of the soldiers encamped before the battle.

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Wow! A precedent for Ives, yeah? I've been seeing references to this piece for years but never heard it til now (though I have listened to the Rosary Sonatas).

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:10 (five years ago) Permalink

The more I listen to Biber, the more I flip out, this guy was centuries ahead. the alternative tuning work in the Rosary Sonata, the extended technique to emulate Bird & Frog songs in 'Sonata Representiva', and... now this completely bonkers Ives moment

and of course when he plays it straight, which is most of the time, it is just transcendental, been listening to 'Rosary Sonatas' a lot this last year

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:17 (five years ago) Permalink

& posting this to watch it from home later

Milton Parker, Thursday, 22 March 2012 03:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Tony Conrad is a huge Biber enthusiast.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Thursday, 22 March 2012 06:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Now THAT is interesting...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:30 (five years ago) Permalink

that is wonderful, ty milt

i know only hb's violin work

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Thursday, 22 March 2012 22:06 (five years ago) Permalink

Justin Heinrich Ignatz von Bieber

tanuki, Friday, 23 March 2012 01:12 (five years ago) Permalink


mom in the woods (Ówen P.), Friday, 23 March 2012 01:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Interview grabs from the internets:

Further research into the baroque violin repertoire led him to the “Mystery Sonatas” of Heinrich Biber, whose bold scordatura tunings had a marked effect on the young man: “I perceived Biber’s music as having been constructed according to timbre, not melody.... Biber had completely reformulated the basis for music composition, around timbre.”


A chance discovery of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Bibers’s “Mystery Sonatas” with their inventive constructions around timbre as opposed to melody had a transformative effect. “For the first time, my violin sounded truly wonderful. It rang, and sang, and spoke in a rich soulful voice – the timbre of the instrument… My body merged with the body of the violin; our resonances melted together in rich dark colors, harsh bright headlights. Slower; slower.”

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Friday, 23 March 2012 09:51 (five years ago) Permalink

for the sandbox execrable classical cd covers thread:

tanuki, Monday, 2 April 2012 16:53 (five years ago) Permalink

The justly lauded Kertesz/London one has had a ton of different reissues-- see which one has a libretto and get that,is my advice.

this update fixes the following known sugs (Jon Lewis), Monday, 29 October 2012 17:22 (five years ago) Permalink

liking this,2,3,4

also this ed. of sonatas and interludes by cage

apparently there's another out this year too..

j., Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Franck's harmonic sensibilities rarely work for me.

Hmmm. Do you like any of the late chamber pieces? Franck is one my favorite composers - would recommend the String Quartet in D and the Quintet in F minor.

timellison, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:32 (five years ago) Permalink

the constant roving chromaticism can make his music seem restless but that doesn't preclude my enjoyment

happy little (clouds), Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:40 (five years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend a recording of bartok's 'bluebeard's castle'? i'd quite like one that includes the libretto....

Get a dvd! Easier to watch than read.. I recommend this one

glumdalclitch, Tuesday, 30 October 2012 01:40 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

i got the kertesz/london recording of "bluebeard's castle" (with libretto), as recommended by jon; it's amazing. the first time i've enjoyed opera. hoping it's maybe a gateway...

cb, Thursday, 15 November 2012 11:30 (five years ago) Permalink

can anyone recommend a good recording of Delius' powerful joyous climactic choral stuff which I have seen a couple of times on TV programmes but never taken down the name of the pieces ?
All I can find on spotify is more pastoral ( cartoon deer prancing through woods with bluebirds, that kinda thing)
hopefully someone who knows something can advise.

thomasintrouble, Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:00 (five years ago) Permalink

requiem, a mass of life, sea-drift, songs of sunset (look for the vernon handley recordings)

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 21:05 (five years ago) Permalink

ace, thank you so much. I'll do some youtube digging and then look for the recording you recommend.

thomasintrouble, Thursday, 15 November 2012 22:44 (five years ago) Permalink

It's hard to know what you heard; Delius deployed chorus in a variety of ways. Was it chorus unaccompanied or orchestra with chorus? Here are some stabs in the dark:

Appalachia - This is a long orchestral work in variation form which brings in the chorus for a big finale ("Honey I am goin' down the river in the mornin'/Hey-oh hey-oh down the mighty river..."). It's based on a spiritual tune from the american south. I recommend Mackerras or Barbirolli for this.

Song Of The High Hills - Probably the most sublime, mysterious & evanescent thing Delius ever did. The apex of his pantheist mode. Mostly orchestral; the chorus is used as a wordless element of the instrumental fabric a la Debussy's Nocturnes. Recommend Mackerras, Fenby or Bo Holten for this.

A Mass Of Life - This is much more choral-centered in the oratorio style. Big and lumbering, with text drawn from Nietzsche's Zarathustra, it was supposed to be a kind of atheist's mass. I've never clicked with this piece. People usually recommend Hickox for it.

Songs of Sunset/Songs of Farewell - These are structured like songs but the chorus carries a lot of the weight. Extremely chromatic, to a fault if you ask me, but they include some heart-piercing moments. Hickox with Bryn Terfel and Sally Burgess is a good choice for these.

Sea Drift - Included on the same Hickox disc with the previous item, this is a fantastic setting of a Whitman poem about sad seagulls for solo voice plus chorus and orchestra. Definitely deserves its status as a greatest hit.

Also, to roll with Delius at all you're gonna have to come to grips with the pastoralist thing. Replace the cartoon deer and bluebirds with the real thing and get inside their skins; this kind of aural nature poetry was not a quaint picture postcard thing for Delius but a subject of the deepest intensity.

(By the way C I think you mean Hickox not Handley? Handley did his share of Delius but not much of the choral stuff iirc?)

multiple decades of jazz (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 November 2012 22:48 (five years ago) Permalink

ha yes, you're right. was mixing up my chandos regulars.

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:11 (five years ago) Permalink

and your post is wonderfully informative. will have to do some delving.

C:\GAMES\KEEN\KEEN4E.EXE (clouds), Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:12 (five years ago) Permalink

my love for the Arbiter label is strong - every time I put on something from them, it's the right thing, hiss and all.

too many encores (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:19 (five years ago) Permalink

Webern, Beethoven, Kurtag

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Cesar Franck continues to frustrate and confound us

a funny thing happened on the way to the forum (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 24 November 2012 20:27 (five years ago) Permalink

The last 1:30 of the last movement of Shostakovich's last symphony: one of my favorite passages of music ever.

my other pug is a stillsuit (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 29 November 2012 22:04 (five years ago) Permalink

there is some shitty programme about westminster abbey on tv and all the choirboys are auditioning for the soloist in allegri's miserere and oh god this kid's voice just cuts out for the high c

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Monday, 10 December 2012 23:50 (five years ago) Permalink

same programme had zadok the priest all over it and now i can't stop playing zadok the gd priest so i downloaded a couple of oratorios but none of them remotely approximate that awed stately plaintively phasing intro or or the sudden choral exultation (the second half of zadok is no good)

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Friday, 14 December 2012 01:22 (five years ago) Permalink

will try to find that

clouds, Friday, 14 December 2012 01:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Recs for watching Don Giovanni on Netflix DVD or streaming?

Johnny Hotcox, Saturday, 15 December 2012 15:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Just got a CD of Philip Glass music - "Metamorphosis" and some selections from Glassworks and the score to The Hours performed on harp by Lavinia Meijer. Pretty nice. Here's a bit of it:

誤訳侮辱, Saturday, 15 December 2012 17:38 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

To bring this thread (almost) full cycle - this is out a week today:

Terabytes of FLACS of screaming (Call the Cops), Monday, 31 December 2012 12:06 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh that's great! Cheap too! Shame they are not including Kullervo but that Bournemouth recording has already been available for a while.

The Berglund/Bournemouth team is almost always worth hearing. Their Shostakovich 10 and 11, Vaughan Williams 4 and 6, and sibelius Kullervo are all close to top choices IMO. So I'll want to hear these Sib symphonies.

~farben~ (Jon Lewis), Monday, 31 December 2012 15:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Is there a new thread? (long time reader, first time poster)

flag this post and die (roxymuzak), Sunday, 6 January 2013 20:29 (five years ago) Permalink

the 'an attempt at a...' thread is v active right now and for the last couple weeks!

~farben~ (Jon Lewis), Monday, 7 January 2013 17:31 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Rued Langgaard's Music Of The Spheres for the first time--a new recording is out conducted by Dausgaard--and was bowled over

from the bowls of ILM, I resurrect this thread to say this is indeed an amazing piece. Watched a youtube of Per Norgard saying he'd slipped this score to Ligeti in 1968, without L's knowledge of Langgaard's music, and Ligeti immediately confessed to a sudden realization of seemingly having been "influenced" by it. Tone clusters, weird, repetitive motifs, harmony that goes even further than Debussy in its total disregard for typical tension/release. The only thing that really gives it away as being a kind of Romantic tone poem is Strauss-y/Wagnerian orchestration. (It also reminds me a bit of Sibelius' later stuff which might support further Norgard connections)

Dominique, Wednesday, 2 December 2015 23:05 (two years ago) Permalink

Is it OK if I c&p this to the thread I just started: Rolling Classical (Late 2015-)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 5 December 2015 20:29 (two years ago) Permalink

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