Old music that "sounds modern"

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IcedNote
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Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:55 am

You know those pieces that you hear and think, "Wow, I can't believe this was written 300 years ago!"? (Is that punctuation correct? I can never remember...) I know I've heard some pieces from the Renaissance that had surprisingly dissonant harmonies. Well, name your favorite examples. :)

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:01 am

Clement Janequin comes to mind...so does Bach...listen to the Swingle Singers or Jacques Cousteau...

Sorry, maybe I meant Jacques Loussier... :mrgreen:
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rogch
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by rogch » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:28 am

Some of Biber's music belongs in this category. The Battalia sounds very weird at times.
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Heck148 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:32 am

Gesualdo

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by diegobueno » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:21 am

Le Greygnour Bien by Matteo da Perugio has some of the most complex polyrhythms this side of Elliott Carter.



Modernistfan
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:05 pm

Definitely, Biber. I remember the first time I heard "Battalia"; I heard it on the radio and just missed the introduction and assumed that it was another parody of Baroque music written in the late 20th Century by someone like Alfred Schnittke. I nearly fell off my seat when I found out it was written in 1695 by a composer who died in 1704!

Another composer who should be mentioned is Jan Dismas Zelenka. Zelenka is one of the first composers of whom I am aware who used Eastern European folk music as a basis for composition. Some of his trio sonatas for two oboes, bassoon, and continuo almost sound like klezmer music (not really all that much of a stretch when one considers the geographic areas involved).

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:37 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Clement Janequin comes to mind...so does Bach...listen to the Swingle Singers or Jacques Cousteau...

Sorry, maybe I meant Jacques Loussier... :mrgreen:
Jacques Cousteau is famous for his rendition of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles."

The first time I heard one of the four-voice organa of Pérotin I couldn't believe it had ever been written. However, it does not take long for the ear to recognize the archaic in the archaic, or the mannered in the mannered, and I never confuse either with the modern.

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

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by RebLem » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:24 pm

Haydn's Symphony # 72, a symphony which, as far as I know, has only been recorded by those who have recorded them all. The first movement sounds like it could have been written by Edward Elgar.

Many of Purcell's Odes and Welcome Songs sound like they come from a much later era as well.
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Wallingford » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:28 pm

IcedNote wrote:You know those pieces that you hear and think, "Wow, I can't believe this was written 300 years ago!"? (Is that punctuation correct? I can never remember...) -G
Hey, if it's good enough for MAD Magazine's editors, so goes for anyone else.
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Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by diegobueno » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:34 pm

jbuck919 wrote: The first time I heard one of the four-voice organa of Pérotin I couldn't believe it had ever been written. However, it does not take long for the ear to recognize the archaic in the archaic, or the mannered in the mannered, and I never confuse either with the modern.
Was that the recording of "Sederunt Principes" in the old Archiv LP series (the discs with the silver labels and thin yellow sleeves)? That recording was my introduction to Perotin, ca. 1972, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. I sought out a score to this in the music library and found an old German edition from the early 20th century. It was all full of dynamic markings, phrasings, tempo indications, and even indications of instrumentation (ob., vln. etc.) often found in reductions of orchestral works. Plus they had transposed it down a step to "C minor", from the original notation, as I found when I saw a later, more scholarly edition. I came to realize it was that old German edition that had been used for the recording (minus the orchestration), and so that lush romantic rendering I had grown to love probably was not the way the music was intended to go. That was "Old music that sounds modern" in a different sense.

Early music is so totally dependent on the performers for its effect. I've heard other recordings of this that jerk the rhythm in the most beastly fashion. I like the recording by the Hilliard Ensemble, though.

BWV 1080
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:54 pm

Webern's Five Pieces for Orchestra sounds pretty modern for being 100 years old

THEHORN
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by THEHORN » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:25 pm

Smetana's piano piece "Macbeth and the Witches", later orchestrated by some one else I can't recall at the moment,
sounds like something right out of a horror movie score of the present day . Truly amazing for its time .
I have a recording on the Urania label , I believe reissued from an old Supraphon recording with Vaclav Smetacek and
I believe the Prague symphony, not the more famous Czech Philharmonic .
I don't know if there are any other recordings, and will check arkivmusic.com shortly. This is by far the best place on the internet for hard-to-find classical CDs. I remember a review of a recording of the original piano version from several years ago somewhere .

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by dulcinea » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:24 am

The clarinet solo that starts the second movement of the 1st Suite of Chaikovskij reminded a commentator of









COPLAND.
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:39 pm

dulcinea wrote:The clarinet solo that starts the second movement of the 1st Suite of Chaikovskij reminded a commentator of
COPLAND.
Reminds me of a very brilliant but headstrong student I once had whose English teacher informed me that he had written a paper about Freud's influence on Shakespeare.

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

Teresa B
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Teresa B » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:46 pm

I have sometimes thought the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto #4 had whiffs of the 20th century in it.

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Donaldopato » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:56 pm

Rebel's "Les élémens. Written in 1737, the opening "Representation of Chaos" begins with a tone cluster that would make Ives or Cowell proud.
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by dulcinea » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:55 pm

RebLem wrote:Haydn's Symphony # 72, a symphony which, as far as I know, has only been recorded by those who have recorded them all. The first movement sounds like it could have been written by Edward Elgar.
Indeed!; that first movement has the kind of majesty so much associated with the author of FROISSART.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

moreno
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by moreno » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:21 pm

The Overture from Zaïs, by Rameau.

ravel30
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by ravel30 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:30 pm

I am not as knowledgeable as some of you (but still consider that I know a lot) and my choice may be debatable but I always found the Symphonie Fantastique of Berlioz to be ahead of his time. Sure, melodically it is well within its time but the orchestration is top notch. It was composed in 1830 but sounds like a piece from the end of the 19th century (in my opinion).

Matt.

IcedNote
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by IcedNote » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:46 pm

Donaldopato wrote:Rebel's "Les élémens. Written in 1737, the opening "Representation of Chaos" begins with a tone cluster that would make Ives or Cowell proud.
Ha! That's glorious! :D

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Guitarist » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:21 pm

IcedNote wrote:You know those pieces that you hear and think, "Wow, I can't believe this was written 300 years ago!"? (Is that punctuation correct? I can never remember...)-G
It's an exclamation, not a question, so drop the question mark.

Beethoven's Grosse Fuge Op.133 sounds rather modern--but it's not quite that old.

IcedNote
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:38 pm

Guitarist wrote:
IcedNote wrote:You know those pieces that you hear and think, "Wow, I can't believe this was written 300 years ago!"? (Is that punctuation correct? I can never remember...)-G
It's an exclamation, not a question, so drop the question mark.
But I'm asking a question: "You know those pieces...?" --> "Do you know those pieces...?" :?

-G
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by Guitarist » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:43 pm

IcedNote wrote:
Guitarist wrote:
IcedNote wrote:You know those pieces that you hear and think, "Wow, I can't believe this was written 300 years ago!"? (Is that punctuation correct? I can never remember...)-G
It's an exclamation, not a question, so drop the question mark.
But I'm asking a question: "You know those pieces...?" --> "Do you know those pieces...?" :?

-G
Oh, right--I was focusing on the quoted part! So, yes, it's correct as it stands.

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by living_stradivarius » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:45 pm

Paganini Violin Concerto 1's orchestra score sounds like band music (due to cymbals, imo).
Image

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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:30 pm

living_stradivarius wrote:Paganini Violin Concerto 1's orchestra score sounds like band music (due to cymbals, imo).
There's an earlier, somewhat more celebrated piece that strives for the same effect. :wink:

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

jbuck919
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Re: Old music that "sounds modern"

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:36 pm

Guitarist wrote:Beethoven's Grosse Fuge Op.133 sounds rather modern--but it's not quite that old.
I would say out of its time rather than modern, as was much of Beethoven in its day. The difference between the Grosse Fuge and, say, the first movement of the Eroica is that the former was never subsumed into what the modern ear hears as representative of the classical norm.

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

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