The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

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dulcinea
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The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:35 am

choral music.
Music since LE SACRE has endeavored to renovate and refresh the entire range of Kunstmusik, as well as pop music. Why then has most modern choral music been a regression to that most blah and uninteresting muzak, plainchant and gregorian chant? I can't stand that Hellbegotten claptrap!
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by diegobueno » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:11 am

I have no idea what you're talking about. Could you be more specific?
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erato
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by erato » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:38 am

Probably the Rutter rut.

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:20 pm

diegobueno wrote:I have no idea what you're talking about. Could you be more specific?
Choral music is most impressive with solisti and orchestra, as demostrated by the Baroque and Classical. However the style followed in most choral compositions of today is clearly copied from the imitators=parodists of Palestrina from Bruckner's time--a singularly untalented gaggle with whom AB was not impressed.
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some guy
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by some guy » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Choral societies are generally groups that sing quite a lot of old music. If you dig voices, and who doesn't now and again, and want to have a choral group sing your stuff, you face probably the most recalcitrant group of performers in all of music. There are tons of instrumental groups who play new music. Choral groups? Not so much.

And the composers whose idea of a good time is big, fat open harmonies are very naturally drawn to choral societies.

But there are some groups that do new music; the situation's not totally dire. Often the choral groups associated with symphony orchestras will be familiar with new choral and vocal techniques and not be so resistant to singing new stuff.

And there are composers who enjoy all the other kinds of sounds that voices can make. From Messiaen's Cinq rechants and Stockhausen's Momente to .... Well, I was going to stick some stuff in there from recent times, but everything I found in a brief check of my CDs was from the 80s. I think I have some recent stuff, but I couldn't find it. Or put it this way, the recent stuff I have, stuff from this century, is either opera or solo voice.

Seems like every time I put a CD on, there's some vocal or choral music on it, but when a thread like this comes up, I can't find anything. Pfffft.
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dulcinea
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:10 pm

When young I was in my church choir. Except for Xmas, most of the muzak we performed was neither inspired nor inspiring. We had several pieces from the time of those Bruckner contemporaries who thought they could emulate Giovanni Pierluigi; I am not surprised at discovering that AB agreed with our opinion that all those motets sounded exactly the same. Listening for the first time to the MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI was ecstasy to me; I at last learned that there is indeed REAL RELIGIOUS MUSIC. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by Jared » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:24 pm

^^ You'll no doubt be pleased to learn that I've had an entire afternoon in the company of your friend Giovanni Pierluigi.. :D

Missa Benedicta es
Missa Nasce la gioja mia
Missa Assumpta est Maria in caelum
Missa Sicut lilium inter spinas
and of course..
Missa Papae Marcelli
Stabat Mater

all wonderful stuff imho.. 8)

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by karlhenning » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:29 pm

Quite a substantial part of the music I have written, is choral.

I do not believe that that music is at all my "weak spot."

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:06 pm

dulcinea wrote:When young I was in my church choir. Except for Xmas, most of the muzak we performed was neither inspired nor inspiring. We had several pieces from the time of those Bruckner contemporaries who thought they could emulate Giovanni Pierluigi; I am not surprised at discovering that AB agreed with our opinion that all those motets sounded exactly the same. Listening for the first time to the MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI was ecstasy to me; I at last learned that there is indeed REAL RELIGIOUS MUSIC. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Ordinary music for church choirs, which exists in great abundance at various levels of artistry below serious art, is not a phenomenon of classical music at all but, at best, a utilitarian offshoot of it, as is, for instance, some concert band music. It is a separate phenomenon, and should not be used to exemplify a supposed inferior place of choral music among modern serious compositions. One may (or may not) find a good reason to question the relative importance of the chorus to the best contemporary composers, but the existence of choral shlock which they would not touch with a ten foot pole is not that reason.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

dulcinea
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:55 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote:When young I was in my church choir. Except for Xmas, most of the muzak we performed was neither inspired nor inspiring. We had several pieces from the time of those Bruckner contemporaries who thought they could emulate Giovanni Pierluigi; I am not surprised at discovering that AB agreed with our opinion that all those motets sounded exactly the same. Listening for the first time to the MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI was ecstasy to me; I at last learned that there is indeed REAL RELIGIOUS MUSIC. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Ordinary music for church choirs, which exists in great abundance at various levels of artistry below serious art, is not a phenomenon of classical music at all but, at best, a utilitarian offshoot of it, as is, for instance, some concert band music. It is a separate phenomenon, and should not be used to exemplify a supposed inferior place of choral music among modern serious compositions. One may (or may not) find a good reason to question the relative importance of the chorus to the best contemporary composers, but the existence of choral shlock which they would not touch with a ten foot pole is not that reason.
So whom would you recommend as creators of a choral music, particularly religious, which reflects well on recent styles? Hindemith demonstrated that music for use has value; did he also write music for chorus, SATB and orchestra?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by John F » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:16 pm

dulcinea wrote:choral music.
Music since LE SACRE has endeavored to renovate and refresh the entire range of Kunstmusik, as well as pop music. Why then has most modern choral music been a regression to that most blah and uninteresting muzak, plainchant and gregorian chant? I can't stand that Hellbegotten claptrap!
I've recently heard performances of Britten's War Requiem and Shostakovich's Symphony #13. I recommend them both to you.
John Francis

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by absinthe » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:31 pm

Hmm. Radio 3 right now is broadcasting a performance of Cornelius Cardew's "The Great Learning" - the opening at least is very choral and nothing like 16th C polypony. It's there but you have to go look for it. Earlier I was listening to Elizabeth Lutyens' Motets and Connolly's Verse for SSAATTBB. Then, grudgingly I admit they are hardly modern works - tail end of last century.


(Sheesh! The dab or MP3 of Radio 3 is ba-a-ad! There's a dynamic compressor on it - presumably to limit - keeps pumping the sound in and out. I've had to turn over to FM. dab is not good.)

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by IcedNote » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:19 pm

Durufle's Requiem
Szymanowski's Symphony III: Song of the Night

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by slofstra » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:38 pm

dulcinea wrote:choral music.
Music since LE SACRE has endeavored to renovate and refresh the entire range of Kunstmusik, as well as pop music. Why then has most modern choral music been a regression to that most blah and uninteresting muzak, plainchant and gregorian chant? I can't stand that Hellbegotten claptrap!

So are you referring to composers like Part and Tavener, whose roots run rather deep?

dulcinea
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:50 pm

slofstra wrote:
dulcinea wrote:choral music.
Music since LE SACRE has endeavored to renovate and refresh the entire range of Kunstmusik, as well as pop music. Why then has most modern choral music been a regression to that most blah and uninteresting muzak, plainchant and gregorian chant? I can't stand that Hellbegotten claptrap!

So are you referring to composers like Part and Tavener, whose roots run rather deep?
Have they written for chorus, SATB and orchestra? I blurily remember a Magnificat of Part that will NEVER take the place of Jack Sebastian's.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by RebLem » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:36 pm

Part of the problem is that there is no tradition of communal hymn singing in the Catholic Church, except in monasteries. As Garrison Keilor has said, "Listening to Catholics sing hymns is like watching spastics play basketball."

And where is Karl Henning now that we really need him? :wink:
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:50 pm

RebLem wrote:Part of the problem is that there is no tradition of communal hymn singing in the Catholic Church, except in monasteries. As Garrison Keilor has said, "Listening to Catholics sing hymns is like watching spastics play basketball."

And where is Karl Henning now that we really need him? :wink:
Anybody who advocates Catholic hymn singing deserves excommunication. PROFESSIONAL SINGERS and PROFESSIONAL INSTRUMENTALISTS are the name of the game!!!
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by diegobueno » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:43 am

dulcinea wrote:
slofstra wrote:
So are you referring to composers like Part and Tavener, whose roots run rather deep?
Have they written for chorus, SATB and orchestra? I blurily remember a Magnificat of Part that will NEVER take the place of Jack Sebastian's.
Both have written prolifically in the genre of sacred music for chorus and orchestra, and neither of them harbors any illusion of taking the place of J.S. Bach. What composer in his right mind would even desire such a thing? The goal is to add to the repertory, not replace it.

You can see for yourself at these two sites, which list the works of Pärt and Tavener.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wo ... _P%C3%A4rt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tavener#Key_works
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by Sator » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:41 am

I think Wolfgang Rihm's Départ is an absolutely riveting work.

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by hangos » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:28 pm

absinthe wrote:Hmm. Radio 3 right now is broadcasting a performance of Cornelius Cardew's "The Great Learning" - the opening at least is very choral and nothing like 16th C polypony. It's there but you have to go look for it. Earlier I was listening to Elizabeth Lutyens' Motets and Connolly's Verse for SSAATTBB. Then, grudgingly I admit they are hardly modern works - tail end of last century.


(Sheesh! The dab or MP3 of Radio 3 is ba-a-ad! There's a dynamic compressor on it - presumably to limit - keeps pumping the sound in and out. I've had to turn over to FM. dab is not good.)
Sheesh kedab, sheesh kebad!!!!! Sorry, couldn't resist it :shock:
Martin

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by absinthe » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:19 pm

:lol: :lol:

Ok! As long as I get the music baksheesh...

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:44 pm

diegobueno wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
slofstra wrote:
So are you referring to composers like Part and Tavener, whose roots run rather deep?
Have they written for chorus, SATB and orchestra? I blurily remember a Magnificat of Part that will NEVER take the place of Jack Sebastian's.
Both have written prolifically in the genre of sacred music for chorus and orchestra, and neither of them harbors any illusion of taking the place of J.S. Bach. What composer in his right mind would even desire such a thing? The goal is to add to the repertory, not replace it.

You can see for yourself at these two sites, which list the works of Pärt and Tavener.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wo ... _P%C3%A4rt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tavener#Key_works
If I recall properly there are no women's parts in the Russian Orthodox tradition which has inspired both composers. So much for SATB. But the Kanon Pokajanen is a glorious extended canon for male choir. From what you have posted in the past, dulcinea, I am quite confident you would like this recording on ECM.
I should listen to more Tavener myself, and I'm overdue to play the two recordings of his in my collection.
I'm not sure where modern begins and ends in your view. Should we include Holst, Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Finzi and all the great English vocal works of the first part of the 20th C? If you've already taken in all of Vaughan Williams then Finzi's Intimations of Immortality is an obvious next step.
What about Rachmaninoff and Mahler? Do you exclude these as moderns, perhaps just because you like them?

I should add that we have a very impressive local small choir that does only 20th century stuff .. virtually. I thought every town had one of these, but maybe not.
http://www.dacapochamberchoir.ca/current_season

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:40 pm

slofstra wrote:
diegobueno wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
slofstra wrote:
So are you referring to composers like Part and Tavener, whose roots run rather deep?
Have they written for chorus, SATB and orchestra? I blurily remember a Magnificat of Part that will NEVER take the place of Jack Sebastian's.
Both have written prolifically in the genre of sacred music for chorus and orchestra, and neither of them harbors any illusion of taking the place of J.S. Bach. What composer in his right mind would even desire such a thing? The goal is to add to the repertory, not replace it.

You can see for yourself at these two sites, which list the works of Pärt and Tavener.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wo ... _P%C3%A4rt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tavener#Key_works
If I recall properly there are no women's parts in the Russian Orthodox tradition which has inspired both composers. So much for SATB. But the Kanon Pokajanen is a glorious extended canon for male choir. From what you have posted in the past, dulcinea, I am quite confident you would like this recording on ECM.
I should listen to more Tavener myself, and I'm overdue to play the two recordings of his in my collection.
I'm not sure where modern begins and ends in your view. Should we include Holst, Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Finzi and all the great English vocal works of the first part of the 20th C? If you've already taken in all of Vaughan Williams then Finzi's Intimations of Immortality is an obvious next step.
What about Rachmaninoff and Mahler? Do you exclude these as moderns, perhaps just because you like them?

I should add that we have a very impressive local small choir that does only 20th century stuff .. virtually. I thought every town had one of these, but maybe not.
http://www.dacapochamberchoir.ca/current_season
Has anybody tried an style that further develops that of Orff's? The popularity of the CARMINA trilogy shows that their exuberance is widely appealing; exuberance is certainly a quality that I cherish much.
I want to congratulate Sven-David Sandstrom for his glorious setting of the Mass. :D :D :D :D :D
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by PJME » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:06 pm

You could try Guillaume Connesson' "Athanor" a 2004 extended cantata for soprano, baritone, chorus & orch. ( ca 43 mins.)
Athanor = the name given to an alchemist's furnace.
The choral text was adapted by the composer and inspired by a poem by Oscar Vladislas de Lubicz Milosz ( ca 1922), second century alchemist's texts (in Greek) and 17th century alchemists texts (in Latin.)

3 parts: Melanosis, Leukosis and Iosis

It has drive (and some pomp) - but you will never mistake it for an Orff score. Connesson is an intruiging composer, a "neo-tonaliste".

Good (live) perf. on Densité 21 disc / Radio france 8-22186 02604 5
Virginie Pesch, sopr., Nigel Smith, bar.
National Orch. france + radio Chorus / Jonathan Darlington

on the same disc: Supernova for orch.- a brillant orchestral tone poem ( think of Dutilleux).

On the British Lyrita label : Gordon Crosse's "Changes" and Alun Hoddinott's Sinfonia fidei. Very approachable music, brillantly orchestrated, gripping.
Last edited by PJME on Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:50 am

Image

Image

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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by dulcinea » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:40 pm

Since its start early this year, WSMR-FM--unlike WUSF-FM, which was terrified of playing anything other that the MISERERE of Allegri--plays choral music every day, of which a lot is of the 20th and 21st centuries. Unfortunately most of the contemporary choral music it plays are sluggish and somnolent imitations of the diabolical lullaby of death perpetrated by that notorious blasphemer and perpetrator of some of the most epicene and dessicated muzak in history, the pansy Gabriel Fairye. :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

PJME
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by PJME » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:22 pm


StephenSutton
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Re: The Glaring Weak Spot of Modern Music:

Post by StephenSutton » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:13 pm

cant resist a plug here for 'Madrigali: Fire and Roses' (divine art dda25094) which is out next month in UK and USA and on our website now. For a capella small-choir music, a dsic of which we are very proud and have made our CD of the year. Several original madrigals from 16th-17th century by the masters Monteverdi, Gesualdo and some lesser known gems, short works by Holst and James Macmillan, and the main items, cycles by Paul Mealor (including the original version of the Royal Wedding piece so mch better than Rutter's - the one heard in this performance by the PRince and personally chosen)' also a wonderful set by Morten Lauridsen. Performed by Paul Mealor's own Con Anima Chamber CHoir.

We are doing a lot of modern music both avant garde and 'traditional' in form but try to avoid like the plague anything bland or boring. THere is a big distinction! The new British Lyrical Chamber Music series aims to address this area in particular
Stephen Sutton
Divine Art Recordings Group

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