Rolling Classical 2017

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I think the fact that the culture isn't based around recordings is what makes it difficult. I could point to several important new recordings from the last few years (Hans Abrahamsen - Let Me Tell You, Andrew Norman - Play, John Luther Adams - Become Ocean, Caroline Shaw - Partita) but it only provides a skewed introduction to what's going on. Still, that's as good as it gets, I think, and it's good enough for me.

Frederik B, Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:34 (three years ago) link

If you want to be as cutting edge as the rolling metal thread, you probably need to be a musician and/or composer yourself, and even that will only allow you to keep up with what's happening in your neck of the woods due to the privilege still granted to live concerts over recordings, at least in this particular field.

I'm not a journalist so I don't care about being a couple of years late. Does it even matter when it comes to so-called classical music? Even 'contemporary' is taken to mean something like 'the past thirty-odd years' or 'notated music made by living individuals.'

Anyway, relatively old-fashioned methods are still effective as far as I'm concerned: I check out various blogs, newspapers and magazines, as well as the catalogues of specific record labels (Aeon, Neos, Wergo, Kairos, Harmonia Mundi, ECM, Dacapo, BIS, Ondine, DG, HatHut, Mode, etc.). I tend to use Bandcamp when I want to hear more music by composers I'm already familiar with but who are underrepresented on record.

This approach probably wouldn't suffice if I were a professional, but it's good enough for me, especially since I listen to lots of other kinds of music as well.

pomenitul, Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:46 (three years ago) link

Aren't we all overwhelmed, though, regardless of the genres we favour? Opening the 2017 end-of-year lists thread is a vertiginous experience for me despite the fact that it narrows the set by focusing primarily on pop music (in the broad sense).

pomenitul, Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:54 (three years ago) link

Honestly, the general failure (dotted with myriad specific counterexamples) of "classical culture" to come to terms with the existence of recorded music is a pretty strong argument against the perpetuation of "classical culture" as distinct from "popular culture". At the same time I genuinely love many forms of classical music and would not like to see the classical idiom become a "dead language", particularly now that it finally has the opportunity to be something other than a male dominated nationalist/colonialist enterprise.

That's why I care about being able to know what's going on now. Because "classical music" is going the way of Latin. Only the most elite even know how to read it anymore. Nobody writes it. I love a lot of the different kinds of music that's out there today, but I think that music would be even better if more people knew how to write fugues.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Sunday, 26 November 2017 18:05 (three years ago) link

Most people don't care about such art forms, especially not in North America. Some things just aren't meant to be popular, and that's okay. It just decreases the likelihood of making a living out of it but that's just a function of late capitalism.

pomenitul, Sunday, 26 November 2017 18:34 (three years ago) link

Honestly, the general failure (dotted with myriad specific counterexamples) of "classical culture" to come to terms with the existence of recorded music is a pretty strong argument against the perpetuation of "classical culture" as distinct from "popular culture".

Maybe it's not a failure?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Monday, 27 November 2017 02:55 (three years ago) link

Also, the new music world has definite problems but there's not really a shortage of composers or performers (or even scholars for that matter), unless I'm misunderstanding "only the most elite can read it; no one writes it".

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Monday, 27 November 2017 02:57 (three years ago) link

Anyway, I do actually agree that I'd like to have more contemporary classical recordings in my mix, and/or I sometimes wish there was more going on compositionally in a lot of other music, so yeah idk maybe.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Monday, 27 November 2017 03:15 (three years ago) link

Well, this years winner of the Grawemeyer award, Bent Sørensens L’Isola della Città, can be heard on NYT. Second Danish winner in three years btw 8)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/arts/music/grawemeyer-award-bent-sorensen.html

Frederik B, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:17 (three years ago) link

Also, the new music world has definite problems but there's not really a shortage of composers or performers (or even scholars for that matter), unless I'm misunderstanding "only the most elite can read it; no one writes it".

― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r)

well it seems like there's this very nearly open hostility from some corners towards the notion that people who aren't musicians trained in the classical tradition might want to listen to composed music. i understand that the (continuing) popular rejection of serialism probably hurt many people deeply, but i'm not sure forming essene communities is the best reaction to this.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:17 (three years ago) link

Congrats to Sørensen! I haven't heard that particular piece yet, but his music never disappoints.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:55 (three years ago) link

The Sørensen piece sounded good on first (slightly distracted) listen. The integration of contemporary techniques with more Romantic material was satisfying.

Rushomancy, I have a lot more exposure to people who i) desperately want a broader audience and strain to try to find one or ii) have resignedly given up. I really don't come across the "who cares if you listen?" attitude all that much from North American composers and musicians under 45 in the present day. Maybe with some more examples, I'd see what you're talking about. Are you thinking mainly of New Complexity types?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Wednesday, 29 November 2017 21:48 (three years ago) link

Come to think of it, Sørensen is an excellent example of a living neo-Romantic who doesn't elicit any skepticism on my part.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 21:57 (three years ago) link

Rushomancy, I have a lot more exposure to people who i) desperately want a broader audience and strain to try to find one or ii) have resignedly given up.

I mean, also a bunch of iii) people who are happy with the audience they have, regardless of their educational background.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Wednesday, 29 November 2017 23:29 (three years ago) link

i'm not talking about the composers themselves! i'm talking about the _scene_. so many really great people but at the same time so much scenester bullshit :(

bob lefse (rushomancy), Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:26 (three years ago) link

I honestly can't think of a single musical genre for which that statement doesn't hold true.

pomenitul, Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:30 (three years ago) link

Meh.

That said, props for listing Barbara Hannigan, György Kurtág and Maria Lettberg.

pomenitul, Thursday, 30 November 2017 17:08 (three years ago) link

I wish I could come up with a counter-playlist but I always forget whether the 'classical' stuff I listened to this year came out, well, this year or in times of yore.

pomenitul, Thursday, 30 November 2017 17:11 (three years ago) link

Thanks, ulysses! I was planning to listen to a bunch of those. Esp curious about the Higdon piece. Listening to Hannigan's take on the Berio vocal sequenza now.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 30 November 2017 17:26 (three years ago) link

Her Lulu Suite is equally exquisite. What an incredible musician.

pomenitul, Thursday, 30 November 2017 17:28 (three years ago) link

I'll listen to that. There's this famous one, too, of course.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:28 (three years ago) link

Ugh x2

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 3 December 2017 15:22 (three years ago) link

Rumors have been around forever, knew it was him as soon as I saw the link that was posted in the Weinstein thread.

For awhile a year or two ago, there were a lot of predators being unveiled around the classical and early music world in the UK, most of it was written about on ian pace’s blog. Philip Pickett comes to mind

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:59 (three years ago) link

a work by Kajsa Magnarsson “for strap-on and electric guitar”

After watching, I think I preferred Anvil's take on this concept.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 7 December 2017 02:05 (three years ago) link

“Modernism was about removing the body from art,” says festival director Igor Toronyi-Lalic. “About removing personal identity and prioritising science, abstraction and objectivity.

Also, this is emphatically not what the Second Viennese School did imo.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 7 December 2017 02:20 (three years ago) link

Yeah that statement does not ring true for me at all

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 7 December 2017 02:53 (three years ago) link

Favorite records of 2017 I should consider checking out before doing my ILM EOY list? Potentials for me are Canticles of the Wind by John Luther Adams, Last Leaf by the Danish String Quartet and Crazy Girl Crazy by Barbara Hannigan.

Frederik B, Thursday, 14 December 2017 12:39 (three years ago) link

Ten personal favourites, in no particular order:

Arturo Fuentes - Broken Mirrors; Liquid Crystals; Ice Reflection; Glass Distortion
György Kurtág - Complete Works for Ensemble and Choir
Tõnu Kõrvits - Moorland Elegies
Bent Sørensen - Mignon
Pascal Dusapin - Quatuor VI « Hinterland »; Quatuor VI « OpenTime »
Alberto Posadas - Sombras
Michael Jarrell - …mais les images restent…
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Kaspars Putniņš - Schnittke: 'Psalms of Repentance'; Pärt: 'Magnificat' & 'Nunc dimittis'
Quatuor Psophos - Constellations
Chaya Czernowin - Hidden

pomenitul, Thursday, 14 December 2017 16:50 (three years ago) link

Shit I need that Kurtag. I keep forgetting.

Noticed the Jarrell on eMusic yesterday. Thinking about it. His orchestration of a few of the Debussy Etudes was brilliant.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 14 December 2017 18:04 (three years ago) link

Not saying it's aoty but I got this recently and am getting a lot out of it, as more Canadian solo guitar stuff goes (gnarlier than most of the Victoria disc):
http://www.johngordonarmstrong.com/my-new-cd/

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 December 2017 22:34 (three years ago) link

really enjoying that Last Leaf album, thanks for that!

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:42 (three years ago) link

For those compiling your year-end lists, this playlist includes all the available tracks on this thread, organized roughly chronologically in order of mention:

ILM's 2017 Rolling Classical Thread Spotify Playlist

it's worth noting that this thread (along with electronic and jazz) is where the spotify catalog gets a bit punchy.

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:44 (three years ago) link

The Danish Quartet (Mk 4) is great, yeah. Also notable is their Carl Nielsen sq cycle (for Dacapo).

pomenitul, Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:57 (three years ago) link

Will check that out, thanks!

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 17:02 (three years ago) link

After James Levine, Charles Dutoit:

http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/musique/515974/allegations-d-inconduite-sexuelle-contre-le-chef-d-orchestre-charles-dutoit

(Link is in French.)

pomenitul, Thursday, 21 December 2017 16:40 (three years ago) link

Wow, damn.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 21 December 2017 18:48 (three years ago) link

I've had "Tjønneblomen" off that Last Leaf album on repeat for like a half hour; what a lovely song

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 21 December 2017 19:18 (three years ago) link


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