"Blind Spot" Pieces

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ichiro
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"Blind Spot" Pieces

Post by ichiro » Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:46 am

Excellent thread by Jack, and I too want to ask the similar question: which acknowledged masterpieces leave you cold?

For me Dvorak Cello Concerto, the Prokofiev 5th symphony, and the Bruckner 7 (especially inpenetrable) don't do much for me.

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Re: "Blind Spot" Pieces

Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:46 am

ichiro wrote:Excellent thread by Jack, and I too want to ask the similar question: which acknowledged masterpieces leave you cold?

For me Dvorak Cello Concerto, the Prokofiev 5th symphony, and the Bruckner 7 (especially inpenetrable) don't do much for me.
Thank you, Ichiro---for the nice words.

I agree that Dvorâk's 'Cello Concerto is a bit overlong, but it's charming and a fine challenge to the soloist. I prefer the Schumann in A Minor.

The Prokofiev Fifth has been called "the most important (Soviet) symphony to appear in the last 30 years" (written circa 1960). If you don't like THAT one, how much Prokofiev do you like?!

And Bruckner's Seventh----with that amazingly poetic adagio---is one of my favorite late-19th century works! Make sure you have a good recording.

Oh, well. If you don't like Bruckner---there's still Schumann, Brahms, Dvorâk and Tschaikowsky....

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

ichiro
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Post by ichiro » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:43 am

Regarding Prokofiev, I actually really like most of his music, especially the 2nd Piano Concerto. It's just I havent been excited by the fifth. I still like the piece, as I do of 99% of every classical piece I listen to, the enthusiasm is just not there

That said, all great pieces need to be constantly re-examined for full understanding. I listened to it a year ago, so I need to listen to it sometime soon.

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:19 am

ichiro wrote:Regarding Prokofiev, I actually really like most of his music, especially the 2nd Piano Concerto. It's just I havent been excited by the fifth. I still like the piece, as I do of 99% of every classical piece I listen to, the enthusiasm is just not there.
You mean, the Fifth Piano Concerto? It is a peculiar little piece. It was not until I followed along with a score, listening to Vladimir Krainev's recording, that the piece "came unlocked" for me. (I like the Béroff recording, too.)

I have a feeling that if I had heard the piece live, the first time, that I would always have liked it.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:23 am

Oh, you meant the Fifth Symphony. Can't help you there! That's one piece I've just always liked from first hearing it . . . so it is hard for me to know how to advocate the piece to one who doesn't "get" it.

I mean, apart from taking my paulb tablets, and decreeing that people who fail to appreciate the Prokofiev Fifth Symphony are rigid academic/historic/traditionalists who oppose The Individual in 2006 :roll:

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:00 am

Symphonies by Beethoven - tiresome in the extreme.
Symphonies by Tchaikovsky, especially the last 3 - nobody could be THAT unhappy
Bach cantatas, suites for orchestra, oratorios, all his organ works - I don't like them, I won't listen to them, and you can't make me by telling me what a genius he was.
Brahms orchestral works except for a spare few
Schubert symphonies - way overdone by orchestras that should try a few Handel overtures instead
Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade - heard it once too often. Orchestras ought to give Ravel's a try just to break the monotony.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:15 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Symphonies by Beethoven - tiresome in the extreme.
Symphonies by Tchaikovsky, especially the last 3 - nobody could be THAT unhappy
Bach cantatas, suites for orchestra, oratorios, all his organ works - I don't like them, I won't listen to them, and you can't make me by telling me what a genius he was.
Brahms orchestral works except for a spare few
Schubert symphonies - way overdone by orchestras that should try a few Handel overtures instead
Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade - heard it once too often. Orchestras ought to give Ravel's a try just to break the monotony.
Gosh, Corlyss---that's quite a confession! I won't mention Schumann since I'm sure you REALLY wouldn't be prepared for him!

GOOD LISTENING!

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

val
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Post by val » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:46 am

Regarding isolated works, I have some blind spots, although I have some difficulty to understand why.

Among them, Beethoven's 5th piano Concerto, Mahler's 5th Symphony, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, Debussy "Images" for orchestra, are works that never impressed me. And I have listened to them many times.

Schönberg's Pélleas et Melisande is another blind spot, but here I think I know why: the work is very long and I cannot understand it's structure. I never know "where I am", when I listen to it.

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Post by Länzchen » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:44 am

val wrote: Schönberg's Pélleas et Melisande is another blind spot, but here I think I know why: the work is very long and I cannot understand it's structure. I never know "where I am", when I listen to it.
eh, I never thought Schönberg was completely comfortable in the structural elements of this piece....the Gurrelieder show much more confidence, even Verklärte Nacht is a bit more solid in my opinion, but the Chamber Symphony from a few years later---finally he abandons his adoption of Wagner's leitmotif usage---is altogether the work of a much more mature composer.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:33 pm

As I believe I posted implicitly before, a blind spot is a contraditiction in terms. It means that one intellectually understands the greatness of a work but cannot appreciate it in his heart of hearts. A lot of what has been posted here is (justified, in my opinion) simply not appreciating something because it is overrated in the first place. An exception would be the post of Corlyss, and sorry, hon, but those really are weird opnions that not many here are likely to share.

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Post by Barry » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:27 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Symphonies by Beethoven - tiresome in the extreme.
Symphonies by Tchaikovsky, especially the last 3 - nobody could be THAT unhappy
Bach cantatas, suites for orchestra, oratorios, all his organ works - I don't like them, I won't listen to them, and you can't make me by telling me what a genius he was.
Brahms orchestral works except for a spare few
Schubert symphonies - way overdone by orchestras that should try a few Handel overtures instead
Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade - heard it once too often. Orchestras ought to give Ravel's a try just to break the monotony.
Gawd. I think it's safe to say that your taste and mine are about as polar opposite as it gets. I can't imagine life without the orchestra works of Beethoven and Brahms, and those last three Tchaikovsky symphonies, as well as the last two by Schubert and the R-K Scheherazade are also huge favorites of mine. I can do without the earlier Schubert symphonies however.

Most of Mozart is a blind spot for me, and I know he's a big favorite of yours. So we're sticking with the pattern here :wink: .
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Post by RebLem » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:35 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Symphonies by Beethoven - tiresome in the extreme.
Symphonies by Tchaikovsky, especially the last 3 - nobody could be THAT unhappy
Bach cantatas, suites for orchestra, oratorios, all his organ works - I don't like them, I won't listen to them, and you can't make me by telling me what a genius he was.
Brahms orchestral works except for a spare few
Schubert symphonies - way overdone by orchestras that should try a few Handel overtures instead
Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade - heard it once too often. Orchestras ought to give Ravel's a try just to break the monotony.
Dear Ms. Drinkard,

I just acquired my 19th complete set of the Beethoven symphonies because I definitely do not find them in the least bit tiresome. Also have 3 complete sets of the Bach organ music, which I also love. To tell the truth, when I acquired the hanssler Bach CBE, I was a little worried that it might become something of a chore plowing through all those cantatas. But the more I listen to them, the more eager I am the listen to the next CD in the series. The consistent beauty of these works is awesome and overwhelming.

Yes, ppl can be that unhappy--besides, I think its only the Pathetique that is unhappy. He committed suicide, fer Crissakes! Do you have any clinical experience with patients who report suicidal ideation? As a public aid caseworker who worked for 6 years at Cook County Nursing Home Service, I can tell you I have, and yes, lots of people are that unhappy.

The Brahms orchestral works? Well, I'm not terribly fond of the First Piano Concerto or, to a lesser extent, the two middle symphonies, but otherwise they're wonderful. The First Symphony, in particular, lends itself to all manner of alternative interpretations. The Bohm 1960 BPO recording (not the later VPO recording which was part of a set of all 4) is, to me, the greatest MOR performance ever recorded, and should, IMO, be everyone's 1st recording. Its unavailable in the USA, but I got it for under $7 from Buywell. Furtwangler is ruminative, contemplative, philosophical, and as sad as Tchaikovsky's Pathetique. Solti is extroverted, dramatic, almost operatic. Toscanini (at least in the most widely circulated NBC set from the 1950's) is fleet, lithe, and lyrical. Szell emphasizes, as always, rhythm, pulse, and inner instrumental voices.

As for Schubert Symphonies, I really love 1-6, and the 9th seems to me to presage Bruckner. I have never particularly cared for his most popular symphony, the Unfinished. What I have a hard time with is the songs, and a fair amount of the solo piano music. I have a theory as to why they are so popular. For many people who have had some musical training, particularly piano, Schubert is the first really great composer they encounter. Before that, its musical batting by Clementi and suchlike. For some, its also the last great composer they encounter before they give up, so for the rest of their lives, they relate to him. But his songs? I have the same reaction to them (almost) that you have for Tchaikovsky's last 3 symphonies. Yes, people can be that depressed, but I don't see why anyone who is not depressed wants to wallow in it. A 45 minute symphony? That's one thing. But 30-40 CDs of sadsack Schubert songs? Quite another, it seems to me.

As for Rimsky's Scheherezade and Ravel's Sheherezade, I don't see why it has to be either/or. I do agree that the latter deserves to be heard more often, however.
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Post by PJME » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:53 pm

Fifth Piano Concerto? It is a peculiar little piece. It was not until I followed along with a score, listening to Vladimir Krainev's recording, that the piece "came unlocked" for me. (I like the Béroff recording, too.)

I have a feeling that if I had heard the piece live, the first time, that I would always have liked it.
When I was a teenager I listened to this work over and over again. Such drive, unexpected turns and twists, steely & glittering, the very unusual ending! The very russian ,sad slow movement - was Prokofiev home sick??!
It reminded me aswell of Art deco , tall buildings,Sonia Delaunay paintings. There is a fascinating fragment in a documentary on Sviatoslav Richter ,where he explains how difficult the work is....

Oh yes, I have blind spots for Bruckner, Wagner, some belcanto...
ImageSonia Delaunay

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