Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Fretless, Dec 6, 2009.
La Mer is good but for my money I prefer the Nocturnes. La Mer sounds slightly gimmicky to me in places (ie the last movement).
Well, take into consideration that I only spent 4$ on each disc at my second hand music store. I couldn't say no. That said, Nuages is amazing. I haven't heard the rest of Debussy, but I love Prelude a l'apres midi, and his piano works. I figure it'll be a natural fit.
As for Bruckner, he is good so far. I find your description, Eric, to be spot on with the fourth. A great melodic sense, and sometimes it tends to either flutter away or get slightly weighed down, but he's a romantic. Mahler was far more guilty of these things and some would say that without them, he isn't himself. Either way, the recording I have is excellently played with a really clear sound.
I agree with you about Mahler being guiltier of this stuff. But it's funny that everyone and their brother loves Mahler and no one likes Bruckner.
I like Bruckner and Mahler. I happened to be listening to Bruckner's Masses (Jochum) as I opened this thread, actually!
Yeah, Bruckner sounds great so far. But the real discovery in that buy for me was Shostakovich. After hearing the Fifth, I bought Petrenko's other two releases, 11 and 8. They should be here from Amazon soon. Then I heard the Ninth and any doubts I had abut investing my money into a composer I had heard so little of was immediately gone. Especially at 6.99 a disc for the Naxos label. The recording sound and the orchestra are so well done you would not believe at all that it was Naxos. I strongly recommend this set to anybody. Vasily Petrenko and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic doing Shosty 5, 8, 9, or 11.
FUCK! Melbourne is getting The Ring cycle spread over 4 nights in 2013.
Leads played by:
Susan Bullock (Brunnhilde)
Juha Uusitalo (Wotan)
Gary Lehman (Siegfried)
John Wegner (Alberich)
Wow. I only hope I'm not travelling/out of the country then. Sounds like it's gonna be amazing.
I'm super jealous. We've got Lohengrin this year, but Lohengrin isn't the Ring.
The Met Opera is doing the Live HD broadcasts into cinemas doing the Ring over this year and next with Bryn Terfel as Wotan and James Levine conducting. Don't remember any other names atm.
It's being conducted by Richard Mills.
It would take Levine two years to conduct the Ring, given his tempi.
I listened to Strauss' Don Juan today for the first time in a long while. I think Tod und Verklarung is much better but it's nice to hear something else for a change.
I listened to Act 1 of Parsifal over the last two days. It's just amazing music.
Lately I've got a hankering to sit down with Brahms' 4th, so I think I'll do that tomorrow.
Tomorrow I basically have a completely free day, so I think I'm going to listen to a bunch of classical music all day.
So far I have lined up:
Brahms - Symphony #1 (Solti/CSO)
Barber - Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Leontyne Price/Schippers/ Philharmonia Orchestra)
Varese - Deserts
Corigliano - Sonata for Violin and Piano (Ida Bieler and Nina Tichman)
Prokofiev - Violin Concerto #2 (Stern/Bernstein/NY Phil)
Petr Eben - Sonata Semplice (Jiri Hurnik and Petr Eben)
Schoenberg - Verklaerte Nachte (orchestral version, Boulez/NY Phil)
We'll see how far I get, haha.
Shostakovich's Symphony No.5 is fucking awesome. Mainly the one with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogJFXqYEYd8"]YouTube - Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5,Bernstein[/ame]
Playing timpani for Shostakovich 5 is the most fun I've ever had performing music.
verkartle nacht's fun with the score. it's like one giant suspension.
Try the Mitropoulos if you can find it. I have it on vinyl, so it may be rare, dunno!
Bernstein takes that last movement impossibly fast. I nearly fell out of my seat when I heard it. I dig the record I have of it. It's Vasily Petrenko/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Speaking of Bernstein, I just started my rehearsals for West Side Story. I'm playing all the vibes/xylo/tambourine/castanets. Which basically means I have the most fun. I hadn't really paid a lot of attention to Bernstein the composer (with the exception of Chichester Psalms which is one of my favourite pieces ever with a choir). But it's actually really good. I really do come extremely close to a heart attack during Cool and the Rumble and all that shit, because the parts are so exposed. Either way, I've been looking to get a recording of the piece, as I've only really heard the Symphonic Dances. Anybody know an actual good record?
I just have the film soundtrack on vinyl - http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/various_artists_f2/west_side_story_f8/
I've been comparing Wagner tenors singing Parsifal using youtube and historical recordings of "Nur eine Waffe taugt," which is at the end of Act III.
Some of these include the the full end of the opera, some of them just the 4 minutes of Parsifal singing before the choir and orchestra bring it to a close. The whole thing is about the best 9 minutes of all of music.
Pistor in 1928 with Muck:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onPUZsDJEKs"]YouTube - Wagner - Parsifal - Nur eine Waffe taugt[/ame]
Melchior in 1938 with Ormandy:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U7zrgYL36k"]YouTube - Lauritz Melchior - Parsifal - "Nur eine Waffe taugt"[/ame]
Vinay in 1953 with Krauss and an awful chorus:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35tpMlLcQqk"]YouTube - RAMON VINAY "NUR EINE WAFFE TAUGT" Parsifal 1953[/ame]
Kollo in 1972 with a directionless Solti:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbaBW2JOZHg"]YouTube - RenÃ© Kollo Richard Wagner Parsifal "Nur eine Waffe taught"[/ame]
Vickers in 1981 with Stein:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma6VNvfAeSQ"]YouTube - Jon Vickers "Nur eine Waffe taugt" PARSIFAL[/ame]
Jerusalem in 1981 with Stein:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2xe07RFX0o"]YouTube - Parsifal Act 3: Nur eine waffe taugt (5 of 5)[/ame]
Elming in 1997 with Sinopoli:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5oZH_wzEJo"]YouTube - Poul Elming "Nur eine Waffe taugt" PARSIFAL[/ame]
Domingo in 2005 with a very fast Thielemann EDIT - and on second listen very slow at times, wow, is he ever inconsistent on the tempi:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABd7kpsOFko"]YouTube - Parsifal[/ame]
Thoughts: Elming is by far the lightest tenor of the lot here, and while it's a little less impressive, to me, that's what Parsifal is. He isn't Tristan, who conquered Ireland's toughest bitch; he isn't Siegfried, who conquered a demigod. He's a fool.
But Melchior and Vickers sure do have some huge voices, don't they? Melchior in particular just sounds absolutely massive for a tenor, and I think that he still seems to get at the character quite well. Vinay and Pistor are pretty close in heft to Melchior, but they're both a bit unrefined compared to him.
This is the first I've heard Placido Domingo singing Parsifal, and I'm not sure why, but he sure doesn't sound right for the part. It might be that his German accent isn't convincing, or it might be that he's rushed through the part by a hasty conductor. EDIT - And that set sucks, too. It's so much cooler to see a huge stage almost devoid of stuff, because it points to the characters rather than the box that the Grail comes out of.
I couldn't find video of the two Wagner tenors I'm most familiar with, Jess Thomas and Wolfgang Windgassen, singing this part.
Overall, my favorites from this list are probably Melchior, Jerusalem, and Elming, all for different reasons. Take a listen through the first minute of each clip and see what you think. It's amazing to hear how different music can sound when a different man is singing the same words.
Also, I'm now listening to Ives' Three Places in New England for the second time. He kind of reminds me of a musical Thomas Pynchon or something.
Also, listening to Debussy's Printemps for the first time tonight. Debussy is a guy I'm only vaguely familiar with, but this is some great stuff. I'll have to keep an eye out for me.
Busy night of classical music tonight.
I am really tired but just posting so this thread doesn't turn into Eric's twitter page.
Gonna do some chorus for Ruddigore in January, whee.
This piece is amazing:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5PiYZAKB5o"]YouTube - 3A - SensemayÃ¡ - Silvestre Revueltas - Dudamel y la FilarmÃ³nica de BerlÃn[/ame]
The Nocturnes. Ahhhhh. The Nocturnes. I love the first movement Nuages. Essential Debussy listening.
I got my box set of Mahler and am now dissecting it slowly. There are some fantastic performances on this set. 16 discs at 45$ was a goddamn steal. The Kindertotenlieder here is crushingly beautiful.
And onto another really different thing, I mentioned a piece earlier called Chichester Psalms by Bernstein, anybody heard it? I truly think it's one of the least distracting choral/orchestral works I've ever heard. It's so good, catchy, inspiringly beautiful, while being ridiculously jazzy, but so incredibly classically 'symphonic' all at the same time. Its great by's, check 'er out if ya can.
I just looked through the CSO program for this season. The only two things I'm super interested in are Bruckner's 4th, and then about a month later, Brahms' 4th. Haitink is conducting Brahms, which should be cool. Muti is the new music director in town, but he's in and out for most of the season.
EDIT - Mahler 7 and 9 are being played late in the season, too, so perhaps by then I'll be into Mahler more than I am right now. Time will tell.
I got some Saint-Saens piano concerti based on somebody's recommendation in here. I've been listening to #5 a lot and it can be so beautiful. The melody that comes in about halfway through the second movement (after a long pause that basically makes it seem like a separate movement) literally makes my heart ache.
I listened to Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto (the piece in the movie Shine) on headphones at work last week and by the last movement I was headbanging and flailing my arms around and didn't give a fuck who was looking at me. That concerto is Romantic as fuck, and not in the hopelessly melodramatic way that Mahler and Holst and those types can be.
I've listened to Moses und Aron yesterday and my mind was blown. (Even though it's missing the final act because Arnold died or something. >_>)
I'm a classical noob though, what's some entry level stuff....Or stuff way left-field?
Entry level? Watch Fantastia and Fantasia 2000 and pay attention to which composers do the most for you and go from there.
Or just listen to Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto over and over and over until you know where every note goes.
Try listening to Brahms' 4 symphonies. I like the Georg Solti/CSO versions, though I suppose Eric and Fretless will have something to say about that. I used to hate Brahms but now I think he's a brilliant mix looking backward to forms of centuries past and also anticipating the future.
I've got Szell doing Brahms' 4th in a really great recording, but I also really like the full cycle with Toscanini that you can get for under $20 on Amazon.
Fake EDIT - Well, nix that. They seem to be out. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Four-Symphonies-Symphony-Orchestra/dp/B00000JPCE/ref=pd_sim_m_1"]Amazon.com: Brahms: The Four Symphonies (NBC Symphony Orchestra Vol. IV): Johannes Brahms, Arturo Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra: Music[/ame]
If you can stomach late Karajan, he's got a cycle for under $20. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Complete-Symphonies-Karajan-Berlin/dp/B000007ODY/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285121876&sr=1-2"]Amazon.com: Brahms: The Complete Symphonies / Karajan, Berlin PO: Johannes Brahms, Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Music[/ame]
Klemperer's cycle is over $30, but it might be worth a look. I've not heard it but everything he's done that I've heard was great. Kleiber's 4th is amazing from what I've heard of it. Szell's 4th is really good and under $7. You can also get a disc of him conducting 2 and 3 for under $7, and another of the 1st and the Haydn variations for under $7. So you could piece together a Szell/Cleveland set for $21 or so. That's probably what I'd do, based on the strength of his 4th.
You want an introduction to classical music for noobs? [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Symphonies-Toscanini/dp/B0000CNTLU/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285122165&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Ludwig van Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies - Arturo Toscanini / NBC Symphony Orchestra: Ludwig van Beethoven (Composer), Arturo Toscanini (Conductor), NBC Symphony Orchestra: Music[/ame]
Good (edit - well, decent mono) sound quality, all 9 Beethoven symphonies, great performances, $27. I've got other versions of Beethoven I listen to a lot now, but this was a great, great starting point for me, and I still listen to the set pretty often.
EDIT - For an introduction to symphonic music, I think Beethoven is the best bet. So many of the themes are so recognizable that the symphonies don't seem as foreign as most others. Other things to check out that tend to appeal to neophytes: Holst's Planets suite, Stravinsky's Rites of Spring and Firebird suites, perhaps Dvorak's 9th symphony, perhaps Shostakovich, even though he hasn't spoken to me yet.
If I were shopping for $50 worth of classical music for someone totally new, I'd say get:
the $27 Beethoven set,
this super cheap Wagner set ([ame="http://www.amazon.com/Wagners-Greatest-Richard-Classical-Wagner/dp/B00003XAFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285122735&sr=1-2"]Amazon.com: Wagner's Greatest: Richard [Classical] Wagner, London Symphony Orchestra: Music[/ame]) for $5,
this Stravinsky recording ([ame="http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Rite-Spring-Firebird-Suite/dp/B0001ENYLM/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285122828&sr=1-2"]Amazon.com: Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite (1919): Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev, Leonard Bernstein, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic: Music[/ame]) that's $10 but can be found without the bonus tracks in every used CD shop in the country for half the price,
this Planets suite ([ame="http://www.amazon.com/Holst-Planets-Gustav/dp/B000050AQC/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285122968&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Holst: The Planets: Gustav Holst, John [Film Composer] Williams, Zubin Mehta, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra: Music[/ame]) for $8,
and this Brahms' 4th ([ame="http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Symphony-Academic-Festival-Overture/dp/B00000276D/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1285123003&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Academic Festival Overture; Tragic Overture: Johannes Brahms, George Szell: Music[/ame]) for $7.
That's $52 worth of music, just over $5 a disc, with lots of stuff that appeals to new listeners. Go ahead, go put all this in an amazon cart right now, or better yet, go support your local used shop and find what you can there before ordering the rest.
EDIT 2 - All this Brahms talk made me want to listen to him, so I listened to the 1st symphony, and I just finished listening to String Sextet #1, which is really cool, though I think #2 is better.
Brahms is a terribly boring symphonist.
If you dug Moses Und Aron, check out (all Schoenberg) A Prisoner from Warsaw, Verklarte Nacht, Piano Suite op. 25, The Book of the Hanging Gardens, Pierrot Lunaire, Second String Quartet.
Also, Berg's Wozzeck is supposedly good. His violin concerto is fan-fucking-tastic. And if you like that Violin concerto check out Thomas Ades' violin concerto. It's on amazon for 3$ or something. It's absolutely brilliant.
Then try Messiaen Turangalila Symphonie.
That's the dumbest fucking shit I've ever heard.
Meh, I just don't like him as much as I like other composer's symphonies. He's not as bad as I say, as I have a tendency to lean towards over exaggeration. He's not terribly boring, but I just don't find myself drawn to him like I am with Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovich, and Sibelius. I also don't subscribe to the notion that certain composers are 'great' no matter what though, so if somebody actually really holds that opinion then fuck you they can think what they like.
Brahms' symphonies are anything but boring, but they are extremely difficult to pull off well. Brahms' symphonies are legitimately recognized as being some of the best symphonic music ever composed and it's not just because "no matter what." I find most of the fault lying with recordings where conductors and orchestras utterly fail in helping the listener hear the layers, structure, and internal rhythms and lines. Perhaps someday you will hit upon the right listening mood and recording at the same time and you'll really hear what makes them indispensable.
How you can't be drawn to this is beyond me:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCaaPaQx5zg"]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZGWB93-mmI"]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyixZraAIG8"]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]
Jesus christ man, you must have no soul. Every single note that is emitted from a Brahms symphony radiates so much emotion.
Of course, I never appreciated them until I played them. I've now played all with the orchestra aside from his second.
Yeah, I didn't really like Brahms's symphonies that much either, until I had to analyze them. Then I grew really enamored with them.
Now, believe me, I love Brahms, I just haven't gotten into the symphonies. His Requiem is by far one of the most gorgeous pieces of music written (especially the first and second movements) and his Chorus/Orchestra work, Schicksalslied. They're such emotional powerhouses. And his string quartets are probably my favourite string quartets. I guess I just haven't listened to the symphonies closely enough, and I'll rescind my initial statement if I find that I enjoy them. Though, I just recently started working on the Brahms 1 excerpt (the first movement, timp) with my teacher, and having to listen to it really closely has made that movement stick to me. And I've actually always loved the fourth movement of that symphony. I've got a Berlin Phil recording of the whole cycle, maybe I'll take a break from Mahler and start spinning it. Which do you recommend I start with (besides the fourth, I like leaving composers' last symphonies for last)?
The third. The first is too much of a monster to appreciate at first, and I'm the least familiar with the second.
Interesting reading old replies. Sometimes I'm kind of an asshole.
I fell in love with the fourth symphony first. My preference probably goes 4-2-1-3, though as one of my old conductors said to an audience when we were playing the 3rd, she sees them as "four faces of God" and they're all an honor to play.
The first is indeed a monster. Reading Gunther Schuller's analysis and reaming of the conductors who basically murder it in a hundred different ways is enlightening and helped me appreciate it on a whole new level. I have a recording with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Halle Orchestra that's pretty great, especially the ending where the quiet chorale from the beginning comes back in massive FF after the huge buildup. Such a hair-raiser.
I think Brahms's symphonies are all growers but the third grows quickest. It has probably the catchiest melodies he ever wrote (except the First Violin Sonata, of course).
Any fans of Arthur Honeggen? This guy's a beast from what I've heard
Hmm. Well, since I was studying the first movement of the first symphony, I decided to check out the rest. I love it, absolutely phenomenal, which is weird because I have listened to it before and nothing clicked, but I like everything about it now. I'll chalk it up to realizing that a lot of the themes were actually used by my prof in our melodic dictation class so I immediately clicked onto them and recognized their developments almost instantly. Also, upon recognizing how it develops and paying attention to how it's presented, the Beethoven-esque theme in the final movement is a lot less cheesy and more amazing. Moving to the third next.
So. I was wrong, at least for now.
I also have his Symphonies 2 & 4 along with Cantate de Noel, played by L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and it's pretty great. I need to get the rest of his stuff.
this whole damn thread was started as an introduction to Honegger
Well who really is going to go trawling through fourteen pages of this?
Separate names with a comma.