What are YOU listening to today?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

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Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:32 pm

Image

Dmitri Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 3

Borodin Quartet
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:52 am

Image

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 7

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

karlhenning
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:29 am

Seán wrote:Image

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 7

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.
I need to listen to that one . . . I avoided it all this time because of the notorious cuts ; )

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
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Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:29 am

Image

Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 9

Cleveland Orchestra
George Szell conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:56 am

karlhenning wrote:
Seán wrote:Image

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 7

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.
I need to listen to that one . . . I avoided it all this time because of the notorious cuts ; )

Cheers,
~k.
Hi, Karl. :)

The notorious cut is during the development of the first movement, made so that the music could fit on one side of an LP record. I agree that it's now unnecessary due to the length of CDs, but this was the first commercial stereo issue of the 7th Symphony, and the cut does not IMHO detract from the emotional power of the march. The other movements are untouched. While Bernstein's Chicago recording is exemplary, his NY is a historical necessity in any collection, and magnificently played. It was my first exposure to Shostakovich's mighty work, and remains high in my estimation.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:16 am

Image

Maurice Ravel
1. Boléro
2. Shéhérazade: Ouverture de féerie
3. Rapsodie espagnole
4. Menuet antique
5. La Valse

Orchestre de Paris
Jean Martinon conducting.


Ravel's briliiant orchestrations are deliciously portrayed on these CDs by the Parisians led by Martinon, recommended.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

karlhenning
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:00 am

maestrob wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
Seán wrote:Image

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 7

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.
I need to listen to that one . . . I avoided it all this time because of the notorious cuts ; )
Hi, Karl. :)

The notorious cut is during the development of the first movement, made so that the music could fit on one side of an LP record. I agree that it's now unnecessary due to the length of CDs, but this was the first commercial stereo issue of the 7th Symphony, and the cut does not IMHO detract from the emotional power of the march. The other movements are untouched. While Bernstein's Chicago recording is exemplary, his NY is a historical necessity in any collection, and magnificently played. It was my first exposure to Shostakovich's mighty work, and remains high in my estimation.
Most interesting, thanks! Yesterday, I listened to the Kitayenko recording of the Ленинградская, and it is wonderful . . . I am gradually making my way through the Lenny Symphony box, and I do look forward to that recording of the Op.60.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:34 pm

Image

Joseph Haydn
String Quartet No. 28 Op. 20, No. 1, 5 &
6
Quatuor Mosaïques


Brilliant!
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:04 am

Image

Franz Schubert
Octet D 803 in F major
Octet D 72 in F major

Schubert Ensemble, Budapest


These are two gorgeous performances by a splendid ensemble.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:14 pm

Six versions of N. Myaskovsky's short symphony no. 21, in F-sharp minor, a commission composed in 12 days, in 1940, for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Observe the different performance times, quite considerable for such a short work, and how the old American versions, often preferred to others are by far the fastest:

Morton Gould, Chicago S.O., RCA Victor (30 Jan., 1968): 14:17
Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia O., Columbia (released in 1947, possibly recorded in 1944): 15:06
Fairly recently, Leonid Nikolaev also produced a very fast version for a Russian artist, on Audiophile Classics: 15:10
British conductor David Measham led the New Philharmonia O. at a more moderate pace in a 1973 recording for Unicorn: 16:19
But the two Russian classic interpretations are much slower:
Nathan Rachlin, USSR State O., 78 Compass Album (1941 recording): 17:04
E. Svetlanov, Russian Federation Academic S.O. (1991-1993): 18:15

This four-minute difference between Gould and Svetlanov is consequential. Gould's version is dynamic, of course, but it takes away some of the work's "nobility." And Svetlanov's tired and impoverished musicians in 1991-93 may not sound as fabulous as Ormandy's orchestra but they could still be more faithful to the composer's intent (of conveying such nobility).
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:01 am

piston wrote:Six versions of N. Myaskovsky's short symphony no. 21, in F-sharp minor, a commission composed in 12 days, in 1940, for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Observe the different performance times, quite considerable for such a short work, and how the old American versions, often preferred to others are by far the fastest:

Morton Gould, Chicago S.O., RCA Victor (30 Jan., 1968): 14:17
Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia O., Columbia (released in 1947, possibly recorded in 1944): 15:06
Fairly recently, Leonid Nikolaev also produced a very fast version for a Russian artist, on Audiophile Classics: 15:10
British conductor David Measham led the New Philharmonia O. at a more moderate pace in a 1973 recording for Unicorn: 16:19
But the two Russian classic interpretations are much slower:
Nathan Rachlin, USSR State O., 78 Compass Album (1941 recording): 17:04
E. Svetlanov, Russian Federation Academic S.O. (1991-1993): 18:15

This four-minute difference between Gould and Svetlanov is consequential. Gould's version is dynamic, of course, but it takes away some of the work's "nobility." And Svetlanov's tired and impoverished musicians in 1991-93 may not sound as fabulous as Ormandy's orchestra but they could still be more faithful to the composer's intent (of conveying such nobility).
Of the six mentioned above I only have one recording: the Svetlanov / Russian Federation SO and it is very good.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:02 am

This is my last day of leisure before returning to work tomorrow so earlier this morning I got the day off to a great start by revisiting this gorgeous set once again. It really is splendid.

Image

Joseph Haydn
Piano Trio in F major Hob 40
Piano Trio in G major Hob 41
Piano Trio in A major Hob 9
Piano Trio in B flat major Hob 8
Piano Trio in E flat major Hob 10

Van Swieten Trio

Sixty minutes of pleasure.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:17 am

Image

Nikolai Miaskovsky
Symphony No. 21

Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:39 am

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata in D major, K448

Martha Argerich - Piano
Alexandre Rabinovitch - Piano
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:56 am

Seán wrote:Image

Nikolai Miaskovsky
Symphony No. 21

Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov conducting.
For the faster Morton Gould version, try here:
http://classic-online.ru/ru/listen/42928
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:24 pm

piston wrote:
Seán wrote:Image

Nikolai Miaskovsky
Symphony No. 21

Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov conducting.
For the faster Morton Gould version, try here:
http://classic-online.ru/ru/listen/42928
Thank you.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:25 pm

Image

Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 5

Weiner Philharmoniker
Lorin Maazel conducting.


Hugely enjoyable.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:47 pm

Image

Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 5 & 6

London Symphony Orchestra
Colin Davis conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:16 pm

Lots of Ippolitov-Ivanov! I am trying to better appreciate that "Silver Age" generation that immediately followed the "Mighty Five," most of whom where trained by Rimsky-Korsakov. Except for Glazunov, they're not particularly outstanding. Does that reflect negatively on R-K's teaching?

Of Liadov, there's little else to say than he was a miniaturist with a tiny artistic output but clear evidence of real potential.

M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov similarly was deemed to have potential at first, as exemplified in his first orchestral suite of Caucasian Sketches, and particularly in his famous, often recorded, Procession of the Sardars.

What happened?!

I won't go into a biographical exploration here. Do note, however, that he did not compose for the solo piano. Nor did he compose much other chamber music. And he didn't do concertos either (of his three works for soloists and orchestra, two are for singers who only emerge late in each of the two works).

Beyond songs and choral music, the latter being good but not especially creative, he produced programmatic orchestral works, that never measured up to his first orchestral suites, and operas that have, to my knowledge, never been recorded.

As I listened to these less famous orchestral works, I was struck by the image of the arch-conservative composer who basically wrote light ethnic, athmospheric music, pleasant enough, but never deep, and completely disconnected from the musicological trends of his time. His symphony does have some striking "classical" moments, a la Haydn and Mozart, but nothing one could call neo-classical.

M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov was an institution-builder and a teacher who had nothing especially distinctive to offer to his audience. Does that say anything about R-K's teaching? I don't know.

op. 1 Yar-Khmel, Spring Overture (1881), Donald Johanos, Slovak Radio S.O. (9:45);
op. 2 Symphonic Scherzo (1881), D. Johanos, Slovak Radio S.O. (7:20);
op. 10 Caucasian Sketches, Suite No. 1 (1894), Nikolay Malko, Philharmonia O., 1948 recording (15:19);
op. 20 Romantic Ballad, suite for violin and piano (1898) (5:58);
op. 39 Pythagorean Hymn to the Rising Sun, for choir, 10 flutes, two harps, and organ (1901)(4:45);
op. 42 Caucasion Sketches, Suite no. 2, "Iveria" (1895) Arthur Fagen, National S.O. of Ukraine (23:34);
op. 43a Vespers, Boris Ablain, Lege Artis Chamber Choir (24:17);
op. 48 Armenian Rhapsody on National Themes (1895), Loris Tjeknavorian, Armenian S.O. (6:53);
op. 54 Mtsiri, symphonic poem for soprano and orchestra (1923-24), Tjeknavorian, Armenian S.O. (19:45);
op. 55 Turkish March (1926) Fagen, NSO Ukraine (4:55);
op. 56 Three Songs of Ossian, Musical Pictures for large orchestra (1925), Johanos, Slovak Radio S.O. (19:44);
op. 61 An Episode from the Life of Franz Schubert, symphonic pictures for tenor and orch. (1928) Johanos (10:12);
op. 62 Turkish Fragments (1930) Fagen, N.S.O. Ukraine (16:48);
op. 67 Jubilee March for the 15th Anniversary of the Revolution (1932) Johanos, Slovak Radio SO (6:00);
op. 69a An Evening in Georgia for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and harp (5:00) The Hexagon Ensemble.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:59 pm

It's now possible to "patch" together nearly all of Sergei Lyapunov's solo piano works and in the last two days or so I have been listening to them from the opus 1 "Three Pieces" to the opus 27 Sonata in F minor.

Interpreters include Florian Noack who has recorded the 8 Mazurkas, 3 Valse-impromptus, Tarentelle, and Valse pensive on Ars Production (2013):
Image
There's quite a bit of overlap between that record and Margarita Glebov's selection of Lyapunov piano pieces for Toccata Classics, also released in 2013, but she offers the opus 1, the Sonatina, and the Scherzo:
Image
The older Marco Rapetti recordings of the Seven Preludes, opus 7, for Dynamic (1998) fills that gap:
Image
And the older yet performance of Dorothy E. Schechter, on Marco Polo, includes the otherwise unavailable Reverie du soir, opus 3, and Chant d'Automne, op. 26:
Image
The magnificent performance of Anthony Goldstein, first recorded for Olympia (2001), includes the Nocturne, opus 8, the Sonata in F minor, Fetes de Noel, and short Variations on a Gregorian Theme. It is now available on Divine Art:
Image
And last but not least, Lyapunov was first known mostly, here at CMGF and elsewhere, for his Twelve Etudes d'Execution Transcendante, op. 11, which massive work has led not a few to view him primarily as a child of Liszt (quite erroneous if you listen to his other piano music). This time around I listened to Malcolm Binns in a 1993 recording for Pearl:
Image

Not much is being left out when you combine these different records, an Impromptu, op. 5, a Novelette, and a few more minor works.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:34 pm

Choral music and an oratorio by Vadim Salmanov.

Most impressive is the oratorio "Twelve," based on a controversial work Alexander Blok wrote during the Russian Revolution. The twelve in question are the twelve Red Guards who were patrolling the city of St. Petersburg during the winter of 1918, between the Revolution and the Civil War. No propaganda music here:
Twelve, which caused great poetic controversy, has no poetic unity. It consists only of flying fragments: bits and pieces from the Orthodox liturgy and revolutionary songs, from vulgar rhymes and popular ditties, from lamentations, the calls of looters, and even prostitutes’ solicitations. Many of these fragments shock the ear in their juxtapositions. The language of Twelve is alternately elevated and vulgar, archaic and modern, serious and mocking. It describes a whirling, topsy-turvy world caught in a cataclysm that is linguistic and historical and philosophical and meteorological. Man and nature and art are bound together in one crucial historical moment, in the storm of Revolution.
Most controversial of all, for the forthcoming Soviet regime, is the final scene where, in the midst of a blizzard raging through the city streets, the Red Guards vaguely detect a man carrying a bloodly flag. They try to catch up to him, to no avail. The man is ... Jesus Christ showing the way through the storm.
This 45-minute work, completed in 1957, offers not only Salmanov's experienced hand as a successful choral music composer in post-Stalin USSR but also episodes of magnificent orchestral composition, under the direction of Karl Eliasberg. I presume, by the quality of the sound that this is a late fifties recording.

A word about Eliasberg, somewhat neglected in Soviet discography and, consequently, on CMGF. Second to Mravinsky in Leningrad's pantheon of famous orchestral directors, he spent much of his career working as the delegated Leningrad conductor ("invited conductor") to dozens of less notable Soviet orchestras in need of improvement, perhaps as many as forty of them. He also was the only conductor left to lead the Leningrad orchestra once the long Nazi siege began, in 1941, with Mravinsky being moved to a safer area. He saw it all, musicians killed, dying of starvation, and had the unenviable role of keeping things going somehow. So, I am not surprised at all that a Google Image search, in both English and Russian, reveals no LP image of the recording of this oratorio. He served a different purpose, as some kind of brilliant "assistant" and orchestra builder, for the USSR, with obvious consequences in terms of making records. In short, he never was given the chance to make many records for Melodiya.

Salmanov composed 29 choral pieces grouped in six works. While I enjoyed all of them, the "Concerto for Choir no. 1," translated as "Swan," "Hen Swan," "Fair Swan," etc., and the no. 2, translated as "Octaves. Choruses on Poems by Rasul Gamzatov," are the most original and fascinating. Gregoriy M. Sandler, a veteran of WWII (like Salmanov) who was twice seriously wounded and participated in the liberation of Leningrad, recorded all 29 pieces with the Leningrad Radio and Television Choir, at some point in the 1980s. The names that follow are from Google translate and may be pretty far off the mark. As this recording was solely intended for a Russian market, I have not been able to find a good translation of these works:

1. Swan: Concerto for Choir
-Hi there, whether high (4:08);
-Violent Winds (2:07);
-Mists (3:29);
-They took our Girlfriend (2:00);
-Sea Swan Drinking Water (4:29).

2. Three Russian Folk Songs
-I'll go with grief (5:05);
-Sidor Polikarpovich (2:52);
-Bela blush (4:08).

3. Russia. Lyric Choruses on Verses of Russian Poets.
-Russia (2:49);
-Swallows (1:34);
-Night (2:54);
-Spring (1:45);
-Dawn (1:25);
-Autumn (1:57);
-Housewarming (1:58).

4. Fives Choruses on Poems by Czech Poets
-Bayonets and Helmets for Remelting (2:56);
-Autumn (2:47);
-Poetry (2:01);
-Blues of her Tears (3:06);
-Guitar (2:48).

5. Three Choruses on Poems by Nikolay Rubtsov.
-Old Road (2:55);
-First Snow (1:08);
-Souls (2:14).

6. Octaves. Choruses on Poems by Rasul Gamzatov.
-Book of Life (1:43);
-You want to know (2:06);
-An Old Friend (3:04);
-How can you live? (1:29);
-Where? (2:09);
-Summit or Peak (2:45).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxNuK9c ... j8VbI_LtiU
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:59 am

And back to two old favourites:

Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 3
Piano Concerto No. 4

Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
Yefim Bronfman - Piano
David Zinman conducting.


I never tire of listening to Beethoven's music; each recorded performance seems to bring something new and refreshingly different to the listener. This is no different, it is gorgeous music-making.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:00 am

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quintet No. 2 in C major, K.515
String Quintet No. 3 in G minor, K.516


This is great music, beautifully played from a wonderfully set that should have been in my collection years ago, at least I have it now.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:23 am

Beautiful Bach:

Image

Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata BWV 207, 'Vereinigte Zweitracht der wechse'
Cantata BWV 214, 'Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschalle'

Collegium Vocale Gent
Philippe Herreweghe conducting.


So good I played them twice.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:55 am

Image

Albert Roussel
Symphony No. 3

Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
Georges Tessler - Violin
André Cluytens conducting.


Marvellous!
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:18 am

Image

Albert Roussel
Piano Trio in E flat major, opus 2

Jet Röling - Piano
Jean-Jacques Kantorow - Violin
Herre-Jan Stegenga - Cello


The piano trio was only Roussel's second composition and it is reported that we was heavily influenced by D'Indy at this stage of his career and had not yet found his own distinctive voice. That said, this is a lovely work performed beautifully her by Röling et al.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:03 pm

Image

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 7

Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks Baden-Baden
Hans Rosbaud conducting.


The Seventh was recorded in February 1957 so the recording quality is not all it might be. However, that does not in any way take from the pleasure of the performance, it is superb, I LOVE it.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:57 pm

Image

Gabriel Fauré
Quintette pour piano & cordes No. 1

Jean-Phillippe Collard - Piano
Jacques Parrenin & Jacques Ghestem - Violin
Gérard - Viola
Pierre Pénassou - Cello


Lovely.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:09 pm

Seán wrote:Image

Albert Roussel
Piano Trio in E flat major, opus 2

Jet Röling - Piano
Jean-Jacques Kantorow - Violin
Herre-Jan Stegenga - Cello


The piano trio was only Roussel's second composition and it is reported that we was heavily influenced by D'Indy at this stage of his career and had not yet found his own distinctive voice. That said, this is a lovely work performed beautifully her by Röling et al.
He did study under d'Indy until 1908 (when he was also teaching there to students like Satie) but several of his other early works, including the first symphony (1904-06) are clearly influenced by impressionism. One difficulty in detecting an influence in that trio, opus 2, is that it was revised by the composer in 1927, well after his impressionistic period and into his neo-classical one.

BTW, I have been listening to quite a number of Roussel's early songs, piano and orchestral works today. :)
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:17 pm

Works from the first stage of Albert Roussel's composing life, from 1898 to 1913, that is, from his 29th year of age to his 44th! Roussel, the only child from a broken family of a prosperous textile industrialist, in Roubaix, French Flanders, came late into the world of French classical music for a variety of reasons, including the death of his father, when he was 1, of his mother, when he was 7, of his grand-father who took on his care, when he was 10. Roussel eventually found his family in the French navy but he had health issues and eventually resigned from that family in his mid-twenties.

The story goes that this student of d'Indy found his own idiom on a honeymoon trip to India and Cambodia, beginning in September 1909, when he was 40. From there, we are told, he emancipated himself from both the Schola Cantorum (Franckist school focused on the "basics" of Palestrina, Bach, etc.) and Debussy's impressionism.

I never could make a whole lot of sense of that story because, as a navy man, Roussel visited the world (Lisbon, Greece, the Caribbeans, Dakar, Cambodia, etc.) in his late teens and early twenties. So why would a honeymoon journey from Bombay to Calcutta, in the fall of 1909, have affected him so much?! A scholar who has examined his sketchbook during that journey finds that he "discovered" almost nothing that was original "eastern" music. Rather, she refers to his findings as plain "western" folk songs (melodies populaires). That curious finding has led this scholar to conclude that he either was not given access to the temples, etc., where Indian classical music was performed or he was not really interested in finding such music. She states that his sketchbook reveals a greater desire to compose, on the basis of his impressions of India, than to collect classical Indian music...

And when you think about it, his colorful Evocations, op. 15, 1910-1911, has little to do with eastern Indian classical music! It's impresionistic music, in the same sense than his first symphony, the seasonal poem to the forest (very Debussy like) and his real hit during this period, the Spider's Banquet, which is more Ravel like. The difference with Evocations is that it is his own, travel-related, impressionism.

So, I believe that World War I is the great source of aesthetic declension in his case, not the honeymoon. The record is not wholly clear here but he did serve something like three years either as an ambulance driver or as a personel and material driver to the front, at the Somme and in Verdun. And he saw a lot of that tragic war, more so than RVW, Ravel, Schonberg, etc.

That is when he was working, mentally if not physically, on his famous opera, on an Indian story, Padmavati (1914-1918). That is also when he was in search of his own polytonal and polymodal language. The subject of that opera may have been inspired by the honeymoon in India, but the language that came out was related to a European war.

I have listened to the seventeen catalogued works he produced between the ages of 29 and 44, when he was far less prolific than in the two decades ahead.

The early songs, opus 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, and all others, were recorded in 2001 by these dedicated artists on Timpani:
Marie Devellereau (Soprano), Yann Beuron (tenor), Laurent Naouri (baritone), Billy Eidi (piano), Étienne Plasman (flute), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean-Yves Ossonce (conductor)
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(But, if you're interested, some of them were recorded in 1928 or 1929, by Claire Croiza with Roussel at the piano).

The early chamber works --the piano trio, opus 2, divertimento for wind quintet, opus 5, and first (catalogued) sonata for violin and piano, op. 11, were recorded together on Olympia, in 1994, and have been reissued on Brilliant Classics:
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The early piano music, including Des heures passent, opus 1, Conte à la poupée (no opus number), Rustiques, op. 5, Suite, op. 14, and Sonatina, op. 16, receive an inspired performance by Desiré N'Kaoua, on the Polymnie label:
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His less popular early orchestral works than the Spider's Banquet (Le marchand de sable qui passe is a rather "flat" impressionistic work, in my opinion) were recently conveniently combined on a single Naxos CD featuring Stephane Deneve and the Royal Scottish Orchestra:
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The honeymoon related Evocations, op. 11, is performed by M. Plasson on EMI:
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AND the excellent ballet-pantomime music to The Spider's Banquet, being his first great recording success, begins with a recording by Roussel himself, in 1929, on a Pathé record, and includes a whole pantheon of great conductors such as Munch, Martinon, and Rozhdestvensky. You have the choice between the 16-minute Suite or the 31-minute complete music.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:14 pm

This listening session on Roussel's early music made me think about how unusual this composer was in his creative work. A man of the sea, he never really wrote any work about the sea. A well known composer who could have found a way out of WWI (like Berg and Schonberg) for real health reasons, he stuck in there but never wrote anything clearly and explicitly about that terrible war, no war symphony, no war anything.

What he did say is that art would survive that conflict and that there was no greater demonstration of art, virtually impossible to express in music, than these men sacrifying themselves in such a foolish, bloody war. The final scene of Padmavati involves such a human sacrifice.
Padmâvatî joins him on his funeral pyre rather than giving herself to Alaouddin.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:11 pm

In addition to Padmavati, Roussel composed two other operatic works. The Birth of the Lyre, from the 1920s, is impossible to find on CDs and all virtual media I can think of. It was recorded in 1952, on an old French record, directed by E. Bour which included some really good singers such as Denise Duval, Jean Gireaudeau and Camille Mauranne but not citizen of France has posted it anywhere. It's another "Greek" work in Roussel's opus.

But the Testament de la Tante Caroline (The Will of Aunt Caroline) is an absolutely hilarious comic opera which, of course, has not been much recorded because it's a comic opera, a dying genre in this day and age.

It's a classic story of a very wealthy aunt who gained her fortune in somewhat immoral circumstances and who his childless. Her potential heirs include sisters and their nieces and their nieces' husbands, but the nieces are also without child (a reminder here that Roussel and his very pretty wife (by any time standards) were childless).

All converge of Aunt Caroline's home following her death and begin to take control of the situation, such as firing the 22 year old chauffeur, because he will not use the estate's three automobiles during the mourning period, and cutting down expenses. They want to know what fortune Aunt Caroline has hidden in her safe but the charming, innocent female domestic claims not to remember the combination.

Enter the notary, Mr. Raven, who annouces that Caroline has left a will and draws everyone's attention. She was immensely wealthy, in money, real estate, jewelry, etc. This fortune is available to the first child born from her nieces, who are childless, within a one year period from her death. Despair from her surviving sisters; commotion from two of her nieces and their spouses who have not given birth to a child because of infertility... Aunt Caroline is an immoral being, a whore, a cruel person.

Enter a neglected, extremely Catholic, third niece who served as a domestic in Caroline's household. In her early twenties, she once was drawn into the "net" of a fisherman who drove her to sin by gently taking her by her hips, on his fishing boat. The child born from this sinful union was given away to an orphanage with a half torn piece of a Eiffel Tower postcard tied around his neck. The other half of that postcard was officially included in her will documents previously submitted to Mr. Raven.

And the winner is ... the 22 year old chauffeur summarily dismissed by the sisters and nieces when they took control of the premises.

The music is almost Poulenc like and the whole work made me laugh on numerous occasions:

Le Testament de la Tante Caroline
Henri Gallois, Choeurs et Nouvel Orchestre de Radio France

Singers: Isabelle Poulenard, Magalie Damonte, Rita Gorr, Jean-Pierre Chevalier, Louis Hagen-William, Christine Chateau, Henri Gui, Maurice Sieyes, Armand Arapian, Therese Cedella.

Auditorium of Radio France, Paris, 20 November, 1981 (59:34)

Blanche Roussel was 28 when she married Albert. Tell me, why would no man in his right mind want to court a woman who looks like this?! She was beautiful and, yet, an aging spinster. Much mystery surrounds this woman:

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In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:29 pm

Image


Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio No. 7 in B flat major op. 97. "Archduke"

Beaux Arts Trio


Great music, beautifully played.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:45 pm

And on the subject of great sets:

Image


Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio In D major (after Symphony No. 2)

Beaux Arts Trio


This is Beethoven's Second Symphony rewritten by the great man himself for the piano trio. This is just fantastic.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:53 am

Seán wrote:Image

Gabriel Fauré
Quintette pour piano & cordes No. 1

Jean-Phillippe Collard - Piano
Jacques Parrenin & Jacques Ghestem - Violin
Gérard - Viola
Pierre Pénassou - Cello


Lovely.
And he knew how to sport neckwear!

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:03 am

karlhenning wrote:
Seán wrote:Image

Gabriel Fauré
Quintette pour piano & cordes No. 1

Jean-Phillippe Collard - Piano
Jacques Parrenin & Jacques Ghestem - Violin
Gérard - Viola
Pierre Pénassou - Cello


Lovely.
And he knew how to sport neckwear!

Cheers,
~k.
:lol: :lol: :lol: he did indeed Karl.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:11 am

Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Trio in B flat Opus 97 "Archduke"

Borodin Trio: Rostislav Dubinsky - Violin; Luba Edlina - Piano; Yuli Turovsky -Cello

Lovely performance.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:04 am

This is a FANTASTIC box set from Membran. I bought it for a tenner in Tower Records in 2011.

Image

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet in F major

Quartetto Italiano


This is a superb recorded radio performance from September 1968. The Italian Quartet recorded a Mozart, Dvorak and Ravel SQ on the same day in September. This is marvellous, it is full of energy, emotion, subtlety and tenderness; it is a wonderful musical performance.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:25 am

Image

Antonin Dvořák
String Quartet No. 12 in F major opus 96 "The American"

Quartetto Italiano


I really must get more recordings of Dvořák chamber music, this is great music. Any recommendations?
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:37 am

And then it was back to Ravel:

Image

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet in F major

Quatuor Ebène
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:51 am

Image

Sean: Your images inspired me to pull this excellent set off the shelf this morning: First-rate!

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:56 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

Sean: Your images inspired me to pull this excellent set off the shelf this morning: First-rate!
Thank you maestro. I must get a copy of that cd.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:56 pm

Image

Claude Debussy
String Quartet in G minor

Quarteto Italiano


What better way is there to celebrate Debussy's birthday than in the incomparable company of Quartetto Italiano.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:44 pm

Image

Claude Debussy
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Nocturnes
La mer
Images – Ibéria

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:30 am

Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 7 in F major op. 59 "Razumovsky" no. 1

Budapest String Quartet
Seán

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:17 am

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Flute Quartet in D, K 285
Flute Quartet in A, K 298

Grumiaux Trio & William Bennett - Flute
Seán

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:31 am

Followed of course by more Mozart:

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sinfonia concertante, K. 364

Bettina Gradinger - Violin
Esther Haffner - Viola
Manuel Hernández Silva conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:57 pm

Image

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Ernest Ansermet conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:38 pm

Seán wrote:Image

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Ernest Ansermet conducting.
Fascinating coincidence, Seán: I've been listening to the Pathétique this weekend in three recordings: NY Phil/Lenny (1964), BSO/Monteux, and Munich/Celi.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Len_Z » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:33 pm

Seán wrote:I really must get more recordings of Dvořák chamber music, this is great music. Any recommendations?
I am very partial to the recordings made by the Pavel Haas Quartet

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