One offs

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some guy
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One offs

Post by some guy » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:14 pm

First off, let me say that I think that having multiple recordings of the same piece is a good thing. I almost think that you don't really know a piece until you've heard different performances of it. Almost.

But I also think that concentrating on performances leads away from the music. And instead of just complaining, I'd like to do something positive to counteract that, or at least to counterbalance it. Hence I propose a new series to stand over against the Taking Stock series, One offs, where we could put up for discussion or admiration or even commiseration pieces that have only been recorded once.

The rules can be simple: a piece that was recorded once on LP, say, an LP that went out of print and is almost impossible to find, and then recorded again on CD in a different performance is OK. Something like Mussorgsky's Sorochinsky Fair, which I had on an unplayable LP, and which I just got in the mail on CD. It's not echt Mussorgsky, of course, being a patch job that took many different people over many years to get into a producible form. But the result does sound pretty authentic nonetheless, and besides, it's just as charming as all get out.

A performance that's been reissued counts, too, naturally. It's one recording.

Fixed media pieces are OK, too.

And recordings of live improvisation.

As soon as I need another break from my real job, I'll post a One off. But don't feel you have to wait for me. I'm sure everyone's got one offs in their collection. Perfectly wonderful and enjoyable pieces that for one reason or another have only been recorded once. I can't wait to hear about them.
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THEHORN
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Re: One offs

Post by THEHORN » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:06 pm

Is that Sorochinsky Fair recording the one one which was on EMI/Melodiya with the Moscow Radio orchestra and chorus conducted by the late Yuri Ahronovitch?
I remember it fondly from the LP era when it was in my local library.
I agree.This opera is a lot of fun,and ought to be performed more often.
Possibly Valery Gergiev and the Maryinsky could give us a recording.That would be very welcome. And by all means get this if you can find this on CD,any one here who loves Russian opera.

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Re: One offs

Post by piston » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:49 pm

A majority of M. Weinberg's works are limited to one recording or to defunct labels. There's even the curious situation in the case of his symphony in memory of Dmitri Shostakovich (1975-76) of a 1982 recording on Melodiya LP that never was transferred on CD while the 1979 recording directed by Maxim Shostakovich only appeared on CD, first on a Russian Disc CD (out of print) and then on the Olympia label (long gone!). In other words, two recordings out there but not readily available. Most of Weinberg's quartets have only recently been recorded on CPO.
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Re: One offs

Post by John F » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:05 pm

The back catalogue of Melodiya, the record label once owned by the Soviet government, is full of one-off recordings - operas, symphonies, chamber music, songs, etc. Many of the former Soviet, now independent republics are represented by at least one opera performed by local forces, under sponsorship from Moscow. And politically favored composers like Tikhon Khrennikov were also favored in the recording studios, while others (Alfred Schnittke comes to mind) were pointedly neglected. I expect few of these will ever be recorded again.

More generally, opera recordings beyond the standard repertoire are often one-offs because of the expense involved. And if you exclude unauthorized live recordings distributed on what used to be called pirate labels, such as the Golden Age of Opera (EJS), many one-offs become none-offs.
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Re: One offs

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:36 am

THEHORN wrote:Is that Sorochinsky Fair recording the one one which was on EMI/Melodiya with the Moscow Radio orchestra and chorus conducted by the late Yuri Ahronovitch?
I remember it fondly from the LP era when it was in my local library.
I agree.This opera is a lot of fun,and ought to be performed more often.
Possibly Valery Gergiev and the Maryinsky could give us a recording.That would be very welcome. And by all means get this if you can find this on CD,any one here who loves Russian opera.
There is a very good 1996 Recording of the complete Opera by the Yekaterinburg National Academic Opera Theatre of Russia Conducted by Yevgeny Brazhnik...it's on Ural...
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some guy
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Re: One offs

Post by some guy » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:32 pm

When I bought mine last week from Amazon, it said there was one. For 29 USD.

I just looked. There is supposedly one available, from the same seller. I wonder. Does he just make his stock of dozens available one at a time? Or do I really have the last one?

Worth a try, anyway. The site says there's one available. And it came to me very quickly, too, and was in perfect condition and all that. Plus it's a spiffy little opera.

(Oh, and it's not the same performance as the one on LP.)
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
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Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
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Re: One offs

Post by John F » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:22 pm

There were actually three LP recordings of "The Fair at Sorochinsk," one in mono by the Slovenian National Opera in Ljubljana, made by Philips and published in the US on Epic, and two different stereo versions made in Moscow by Melodiya, one of them published in the west by EMI. Now there's yet another version on CD, recorded in Ekaterinburg aka Sverdlovsk. So this is hardly a one-off. Nice opera, though.
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Re: One offs

Post by premont » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:24 pm

some guy wrote:But I also think that concentrating on performances leads away from the music.

No, concentrating on performances (multiple collecting) leads straight to the music, because individual performances are seen in the light of the other performances. In this way you will find out, that no performance is "definitive", and you are so to say forced to look at the music from different angles and to acquire a more differentiated point of view upon the music. For somone who does not read music, this is the only way to go. Even for those who can read music (myself included) the studying of different performances is valuable for the same reasons, and because it is inspiring and stimulating for the musical imagination.

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Re: One offs

Post by Donaldopato » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:26 pm

Benjamin Lees' wonderful Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra has had one recording, Igor Buketoff and the Royal Philharmonic (?) with the Sessions 3rd on RCA.

I have not heard this recording in years and it has not been reissued on CD. My LP was damaged beyond repair in a flood and was discarded years ago. Would love to hear it again as it is an interesting, colorful and quite accessible work. It was commissioned by the Kansas City Philharmonic (the previous iteration of my local band the KC Symphony) in 1964 and premiered by them and the Paganini Quartet in 1965.

Supposedly one of the most played of Lees' works, but just not the most recorded.
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Re: One offs

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:54 pm

John F wrote:Now there's yet another version on CD, recorded in Ekaterinburg aka Sverdlovsk. So this is hardly a one-off. Nice opera, though.
Where is Ekaterinburg aka Sverdlovsk, I had never previously heard of it... :?
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Re: One offs

Post by John F » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:07 am

Me neither. Wikipedia says it's a major city in central Russia, east of the Ural Mountains, and I don't suppose many westerners ever go there or have reason to. I went down the list of notable Ekaterinburgians and didn't recognize a single name until the next to last: Boris Yeltsin.
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Re: One offs

Post by stenka razin » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:43 am

I once had an LP many, many moons ago of a rather astounding piece of 'music' by one Alfred Mendelssohn(1910-1966). It is his 'The Destruction of Doftanas'. Truly a one off....... :wink:


Are any of our fellow CMGers familiar with this 'monsterpiece'? :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: One offs

Post by maestrob » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:12 pm

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Speaking of Russian one-offs, this disc is a treasure-trove of choral excerpts from Mussorgsky's unfinished operas. If it's not in your collection already, grab this before it disappears: it features some of Abbado's finest work, and includes some of the most profound and beautiful choral singing I've ever heard.

http://www.amazon.com/Claudio-Abbado-Co ... 944&sr=1-7

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Re: One offs

Post by stenka razin » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:38 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

Speaking of Russian one-offs, this disc is a treasure-trove of choral excerpts from Mussorgsky's unfinished operas. If it's not in your collection already, grab this before it disappears: it features some of Abbado's finest work, and includes some of the most profound and beautiful choral singing I've ever heard.

http://www.amazon.com/Claudio-Abbado-Co ... 944&sr=1-7

Yes, I second your enthusiastic recommendation, my friend. Heady stuff from the young Abbado. 8)
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Re: One offs

Post by rogch » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:05 pm

The label BIS and concuctor Osmo Vänskä have really searched through the Sibelius catalogue to find hidden gems. They have recorded plenty of works i have never heard about, and they claim some of them are world premiere recordings. Amongst them are some vocal works (i believe) on the album "Sibelius, spirit of nature". A couple of them have been recorded by others later. But i can only find this recording of I Natten, opus 38, no.3. There are also two allegrettos for piano trios completed by other composers, i can't find other recordings of those. These probably aren't the only ones, it takes a while to look through all of BIS' Sibelius recordings.

Since there is a huge interest in early music and baroque music these days, i am sure there are many premiere recordings. But they were more difficult to find than i expected. But i own one record myself with works rarely recorded, i can't find other recordings of any of them. It is a collection of choral works by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer with the Il Concerto Barocco on the small label Aliud. Schmelzer is a very interesting composers, but there aren't too many recordings available, at least not on discs with Schmelzer's music alone. Some of his pieces can be found on compilations. The ensemble Romanesca made a fabolous disc with violin sonatas by Schmelzer, but for some strange reason it seems to be out of the catalogue now.
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Chung
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Re: One offs

Post by Chung » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:38 pm

The complete singspiel of Hary Janos by Kodaly should fit the bill. To my knowledge it has appeared in its entirety in audio only on Hungaroton's set of 3 LPs (SLPX 12187-9) and later on 3 cassettes, which I had the good fortune to snag.

What's available now on CD omits the Hungarian libretto and even a few of the musical numbers.

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From a limited point of view, this French production of Hary Janos may be the nearest to complete on CD since it has about 95% of the musical numbers and accompanying dialogues. However the libretto is expressed in French (!), thus taking away from the authenticity. It's a turn-off to hear Hungarian songs interspersed with nothing but dialogue in French translation.

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Hungaroton's issuance on CD of Hary Janos has only music (and just 95% of it) even though it didn't have a problem issuing the entire thing on LP and cassette as I had mentioned at the top of this post. The dialogues in the CD-version have been omitted entirely for some unfathomable reason. At least Hungaroton didn't skimp on the liner notes since you do get the lyrics printed in Hungarian and English and so you can follow the songs along in the original.

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Decca's issuance on CD of Hary Janos is similar to Hungaroton's version by including about 95% of the music. However Peter Ustinov gives loose (and sometimes cheesy) paraphrases in English of the Hungarian dialogue between the musical numbers which does offer a better understanding to the listener of what's going on. However it's still a poor substitute for having the Hungarian libretto. Decca also didn't bother to include texts of the lyrics (at least in the "Double-Decca" version that I bought), so you can't follow the songs along. It's possible that Universal's reissuance of Hary Janos as part of the new budget-box of Kodaly's orchestral works may include texts of the lyrics but I doubt it since those budget-boxes that are made to resemble postal packages are part of the trend in issuing boxes with old recordings on the cheap.

Bottom line: "Hary Janos'" one-off-nature has been magnified by its absence on CD.

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Re: One offs

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:46 pm

Like Weinberg, most of Sergei Taneyev's music has only been recorded once, especially the Chamber Music...
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Re: One offs

Post by StephenSutton » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:53 pm

rogch wrote:.

Since there is a huge interest in early music and baroque music these days, i am sure there are many premiere recordings. But they were more difficult to find than i expected.
oops, time for a plug: John Garth Cello Concertos, Charles Avison Concerti Grossi and
Trio/Keyboard Sonatas, Galuppi Piano SOnatas, etc etc - all from a little Vermont record label I shan't mention....
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Re: One offs

Post by StephenSutton » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:03 pm

ps. a composer I had not been aware of (I am sure some you will know him) until we recorded his work is Giacomo Facco (contemporary of Vivaldi in Venice). Not brilliant but most enjoyable stuff, we have 2 or 3 CDs in mind the first one having just two Facco Concerti and a few Vivaldis
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Re: One offs

Post by THEHORN » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:03 am

Any one interested in the music of Taneyev must get the superb DG recording of two of his chamber works with pianist/condctor Mikhail Pletnev and several distinguished string players, a quartet and a quintet.

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Re: One offs

Post by absinthe » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:47 pm

About 65-70% of my commercial CD holdings are one-offs. If I add in the radio and bootlegs, about 95%. As things move on though, what were one-offs say 20 years ago now have multiple recordings.

The recent batch of downloads from the old Louisville subscription series was quite a find. Likewise the reissue of the Lyrita and CRI catalogues though New World has some way to go to complete the CRI series.

I was overjoyed to find a couple of Paul Ben-Haim recordings once on Louisville have reappeared as downloads by a company called "soundmark". I can find nothing of their programme though - the Louisville catalogue contained over 200 titles - the 100th (LP) release was celebrated either in 1970 or 1971. There are still many more to be released. Sometimes the re-releases are dedicated to composers, sometimes to countries, sometimes just a mix.
Last edited by absinthe on Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: One offs

Post by Prometheus » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Josef Suk-Praga-Libor Pesek.

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Re: One offs

Post by John F » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:16 pm

Irving Fine is pretty much forgotten nowadays, I suppose, but a while ago someone persuaded me to pick up the recordings of his symphony, "Serious Song," and Toccata Concertante with the Boston Symphony as reissued on CD by Phoenix, and I like them all very much.
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Re: One offs

Post by absinthe » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:18 pm

John F, there are so many perfectly good composers falling into neglect in America as well as the UK and elsewhere no doubt. Thankfully, good folk here and there, come up with reissues for those who love this period of (particularly American) music.

Another of those Louisville reissues (for which I am eternally thankful) was:
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Though (the Australian) Sculthorpe's Sun Music III has been recorded on CD (after the original Louisville) so I can't speak about that, the Lawrence Widdoes is one-off: a rather beautiful impression of the night blue just before first light when it is like no other blue. It works for me and almost comes as a retort to Sculthorpe. "React to that!" Sculthorpe might have said and Widdoes came with this beautil work with all the skin tingling chill of that very blue few minutes.

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Re: One offs

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:04 pm

Prometheus wrote:Josef Suk-Praga-Libor Pesek.
Yes, that's true, not only has nobody else recorded it, Pesek has recorded it twice, in 1982 and 1992... :wink:
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Re: One offs

Post by rogch » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:39 am

Grace Williams is an interesting composer who is seldom recorded. Her Ballads for orchestra was on a BBC Music Magazine CD, that is how i heard about her. There is a commersial recording of the work too, on Lyrita. I don't know if the magazine cd counts, if it does there are two recordings. But other works by Williams have only been recorded once, her second symphony is one example.
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Re: One offs

Post by THEHORN » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:01 am

WQXR occaisionally plays the music of Irving Fine, a gifted American composer who passed away prematurely. What I've heard of it shows
marked Stravinskian influence. I don't know if he wrote other works with an unmistakable personal stamp,or would have developed one if he had lived longer. He was a Tanglwood alumnus,and Koussevitzky was a mentor and played some of his music.
Interestingly,some of the recordings were by the Moscow Symphony under a conductor whose name I don't recall offhand.

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Re: One offs

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:15 pm

Magnard's Chant funebre is a deeply moving 15 minutes, recorded only once by Plasson as a companion piece to his recording of Magnard's Fourth Symphony, it epitomizes the French/Wagnerian style of the period.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnard-Orchest ... 378&sr=1-1

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Re: One offs

Post by stenka razin » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:37 pm

rogch wrote:Grace Williams is an interesting composer who is seldom recorded. Her Ballads for orchestra was on a BBC Music Magazine CD, that is how i heard about her. There is a commersial recording of the work too, on Lyrita. I don't know if the magazine cd counts, if it does there are two recordings. But other works by Williams have only been recorded once, her second symphony is one example.

Speaking of Grace Williams, I have a complete performance of her 'Fantasia on Welsh Nursery Tunes' linked below.

If you love Dvorak's 'Scherzo Capriccioso' or Humperdinck's 'Hansel and Gretel', for example, one hearing of this enchanting work will make you remember it forever.

I first heard the Welsh Nursery Fantasy in 1955, as I was getting ready for school, on WQXR in NYC. The recording was a Decca(London) 78 RPM that was being played that morning. The melodies are instantly hummable and the piece is extraordinarily catchy. Please listen....I promise you a treat that will have you wanting the entire 10 minute compostion in your possession..........Happy listening my fellow CMGers:


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Re: One offs

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:33 am

stenka razin wrote:I first heard the Welsh Nursery Fantasy in 1955, as I was getting ready for school, on WQXR in NYC. The recording was a Decca(London) 78 RPM that was being played that morning. The melodies are instantly hummable and the piece is extraordinarily catchy. Please listen....I promise you a treat that will have you wanting the entire 10 minute compostion in your possession..........Happy listening my fellow CMGers:
I was born in Wales that year, Mel... :wink:
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Re: One offs

Post by stenka razin » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:52 am

Chalkperson wrote:
stenka razin wrote:I first heard the Welsh Nursery Fantasy in 1955, as I was getting ready for school, on WQXR in NYC. The recording was a Decca(London) 78 RPM that was being played that morning. The melodies are instantly hummable and the piece is extraordinarily catchy. Please listen....I promise you a treat that will have you wanting the entire 10 minute compostion in your possession..........Happy listening my fellow CMGers:
I was born in Wales that year, Mel... :wink:

Chalkie, you are just a young lad, with so many more years to listen to music. :wink:
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