Saxbabe

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About Saxbabe

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  • Birthday December 28

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  1. Got my shipping notice early this evening! Says estimated delivery on Saturday.
  2. The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

    Man y'all posted all the good stuff while I was away from this thread! Seems like a lot of us here like exactly the same composers. Guess that shouldn't be a surprise for film music lovers! Oh Finlandia! Rousing but yeah I'd put it way down in my favorites of Sibelius works, too many better ones. With the Centenary a great choice for Last Night of Proms though! ...And now y'all done made me fall down the hole of early Sibelius works here, which is always super dangerous...some of his most fiery, sexy, groovy, entrancing, unabashedly heart-on-the sleeve writing If you're not familiar with these two key early Sibelius works below, you REALLY MUST LISTEN TO THESE. Because they are so epic/filmic/programmatic and flipping great, and just hard not to adore if you love film music. To me these are basically his "Symphony 00" and "Symphony 0". The Lemminkainen Suite ("Four Legends from the Kalevala"), written around 1895 and based on the crazy adventures of the Kalevala hero Lemminkainen, has 4 parts - often played all together but just as often played separately, with "The Swan of Tuonela" by far the most well-known and played, followed by "Lemminkainen's Return", I rarely if ever see the first two played on their own. The first "Lemminkainen and the Maidens of Saari" is my favorite! I definitely hear Wagner influence in this one, the whole thing is one long slow extremely romantic build (reminds me of Tristan's Liebestod), all dripping with turns and gracenotes and delayed gratification (eventually he does romance the maids). There should be links off of this vid if you want to hear the other Legends too. They are all awesome. Next - now this work came even before Lemminkainen, this is about the equally crazy and extremely tragic adventures of Kullervo (who's also from The Kalevala, the Finnish national epic) and it was written around 1892, for full orchestra and also male choir. Yeah! This also has 5 parts, sometimes the 3rd movement is performed alone, it's like a mini choral symphony itself and definitely can stand on its own. The 3rd mvmt is all about how Kullervo has a lot of travels, meets some nice girls, then hits it off with one, woos her into the hay, and the next morning they get chatting and discover oh SURPRISE, you're my long-lost sister! (And then she offs herself.) But anyway, it's AMAZING music! It's in 5/4 yeah!! That movement is one of my favorite things in all of Sibelius. There is just not much that beats a whole bunch of red-blooded guys singing Finnish - definition of epic. I can't help always singing along with the choir. Yes, I know the words in Finnish! I'm a total nerd Here is a great great performance of the whole piece (I have several recordings and this is a big favorite, the interpretation, detail and playing is so spot on) - Timings for each movement: Introduction 0:00 Kullervo's Youth 13:50 Kullervo and His Sister 28:50 (the choir comes in at 30:25, if you want to jump to that I don't blame you I also won't blame you if you jump to 39:27 to hear some of the most explicit classical music ever written) Kullervo Goes To War 53:06 Kullervo's Death 1:02:55 There's just SO much good Sibelius, oodles and oodles, all better than Finlandia
  3. Hey jazz experts! Input needed!

    This is great!! Awesome combo. There is a ton of good swing/latin combo jazz out there, I think much of that would be up your alley. I just listened to the first about 8 minutes so far, but immediately thought of Eddie Daniels, one of my favorite jazz clarinetists, definitely look up his stuff - And Paquito d'Rivera - Just a couple to start off - I may come add more later There are SO many great groups!
  4. I love and adore this thread! This is so incredibly gorgeous, wow. Have heard a few snippets of Schinittke before, but not this. Would definitely agree with the below! My (first) contribution: Check this out from POA, then listen to the finale of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony below (ironically, starting at 1:40 in each is best to hear the affinity) - Mostly in the woodwinds and general rhythm/flavor. but undeniable (though likely unintentional) influence. Several others in mind I may post sometime (some being obvious well-known temp track situations) - will have to revisit this thread soon
  5. JWFan Hurricane Party

    Alright, starting up the JWFan Hurricane Party for Hurricane Harvey - who's in? Everyone's invited - you don't even have to be in the path, just come party with us in solidarity I think we'll be fine at our residence, but may be stuck here a while if everything floods around us...predicting 30-40 inches of rain. Good thing we have food, alcohol, and copious amounts of DVDs/CDs! Just hoping we don't lose power. Who else is getting rained on from this thing? Roll call!
  6. Eagerly awaiting this!! Huge favorite of mine from JNH that truly needed this kind of release. Still among the best music he's ever written, legendary as well for the tight time he did it in - mindblowing really. I always marvel at how he found such incredible inspiration out of such a dumpster fire!
  7. John Williams YouTube tributes thread

    This vid was included in the Harvard honorary degree thread, but deserves mention here too - Here is the Harvard "Din and Tonics" acappella group with a super cute and creative JW medley!
  8. So jealous of those going to this!! Very, very tempting to go to Chicago again I would happily sit and listen to the Chicago Symphony play anything with a big cheesy grin on my face. Making the pilgrimage to hear them live is one of the best decisions a music lover could ever make!
  9. The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

    I love, LOVE this piece!! Got to see her perform it live with MTT/SFSO last fall - incredible (and she wore the same lovely dress!) With phenomenal principal trumpet as well...both soloists and the orchestra have to be really "on" for it to be stellar. Heard it live a few times now with different groups, such a fav of mine.
  10. The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

    Awesome thread - lot in here I wasn't that familiar with and am really enjoying discovering Any Reich fans here?? Been into his Double Sextet lately, found this incredible performance - favorite moment? 18:30 to the end! Those suspensions y'all. Bliss. And the modulation at 19:55 - ahhh...I'm ready to float away like a balloon. Love, love this piece. And this - um....YES. Tim, you have great taste One of THE composers of our time (and of course, conductors!) Big favorite of mine, even went to the world premiere of the new Cello Concerto, simply amazing piece. Below is the first work of his that really grabbed me, Foreign Bodies - one of my favorite openings EVER along with Adams' Harmonielehre which it calls to mind. Infectious rhythms and wildly colorful orchestration! I would honestly recommend pretty much any of his music...but foremost probably L.A. Variations, Wing on Wing (for the opening of Disney Hall)...also definitely the Violin Concerto, and the Gershwin-esque Piano Concerto for something a bit different and rather filmic.
  11. Hans Zimmer's DUNKIRK

    Saw this Friday - honestly would say it's the most visceral film I've ever experienced. Kind of felt like I'd been punched in the gut afterward! I agree with this review 100%: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/450001/dunkirk-horror-movie I don't have the right words to describe seeing this film...not having personally fought in war, I can't even begin to fathom what that's truly like, but I feel this movie gives a glimpse. Certainly tough to get through at times - in the best, most necessary way. For me, it's probably going to go in the pile of: War Horse, Schindler's List, The Book Thief to some extent - what these have in common is, I've only seen them once (well, maybe twice), because they just tear at me too much to actively want to see them again. High praise - indeed, but Dunkirk has some shortcomings, already mentioned by others in the thread. Did go to the biggest nicest IMAX in town (not 70 mm sadly), seen so many films here, I know the theater's characteristics well - previously the loudest film I've seen here was probably Interstellar (though it was more of an awestruck overwhelming wow in that case.) This time..was far different. Dunkirk made anything else I ever thought was loud totally PALE in comparison. Actually had to cover my ears a few times, incredibly uncomfortable - could feel every shot ring out through the body, chair vibrating wildly through large swathes of the movie. Found myself wondering if the real Dunkirk battles were even that loud actually - if so, then fair enough! But I did feel like this theater had everything set on 11! Tell me - how was the sound level for all the rest of you who saw this, compared to say, Interstellar or other movies? Was it ridiculously loud? Two couples even walked out, one after only ten minutes, the other about halfway through....both were older, of an age that I wondered if they could possibly be veterans. I can absolutely see how it would just be too much. The scene inside the small ship with the shots being fired was the most difficult for me, yet I couldn't look away...omg, just so intense. The score: It was pretty interesting to hear that cue "The Mole" above because I simply couldn't hear much of it in the movie - the first time I remember noticing the time-dilated Nimrod was when the fleet of small boats was coming in. I did like how that scene was scored, one of only a few musical moments that really stood out. Did anyone see this? About his use of the "Shepard tone": The score did add much to the tense atmosphere, but a lot of it seems to be grand sound design/effects - and usually either obscured by how loud the rest of the movie is, or rearing up as overkill in certain scenes. Do agree with this - I so wish it hadn't been mostly synth, it just doesn't fit well with this particular film. I find myself suddenly remembering Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World which I really adore, of course it was tracked with mostly classical music - I wouldn't be sad if Dunkirk had similar treatment. Why not just play the actual Nimrod and be done with it? Would have been incredible!
  12. Harry Potter - Live to Projection Concerts

    On Saturday, we saw HPSS live with the Houston Symphony (and Chorus)! It was so, SO incredibly good, omg. We truly, thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A few weeks ago, we also saw them do Jurassic Park (for my friend's birthday, with a big group), and we sat far back but in the very middle, really a perfect spot visually and sonically in that hall. And it was absolutely wonderful - in fact I even got all teared up...such memories, then hearing that majestic theme live...it was just overwhelming how, like, utterly thankful I was in that moment for the sheer existence of John Williams and his music. (Gah, soo sappy. But c'mon I know you've all had the same thoughts!!) This time - we were in the primo seats, about Row 10, off to the left, which was also great, though not necessarily better, just different in the elements that stand out. (Honestly I waited a bit long to get tickets, so the most expensive seats were all that remained!) The orchestra did THREE performances of this one (vs two for Jurassic Park), and apparently all three were sold-out, which bodes extremely well for more of these performances. (Friday night, Sat. afternoon, and Sat. night...brass must've been icing the lips down in-between, jeez!) We went to the Saturday matinee, with I would assume the largest kid attendance, and actually LOVED it! It was totally a giddy atmosphere, with little (and big) witches and wizards excited all over the place in their house colors with wands, so freaking adorable. In addition to the usual drink stations, they even had a special featured station for Butterbeer y'all! (Non-alcoholic though) Sadly we didn't get any Butterbeer though because it was totally mobbed (and we rathered adult beverages anyway), but still, super cool. As others have described, the conductor (lovely Australian chap, Nicholas Buc), did encourage everyone to cheer on their favorite characters, which was fun, it really didn't bother me as I thought it might. Once it all got underway, for the most part everyone including those of tender age were rapt as if "under a spell" (har, har), and listening quite intently, especially during the heaviest-scored sections. One awesome thing I got to see being up-close this time, was the sync system - I was very fascinated with watching it and figuring out how it functioned For anyone who hasn't seen it well yet, I took a zoomed-in clip below as they reach Diagon Alley - you may want to zoom full-screen, here you will see the yellow streamer, and big blinky circle indicating tempo, and in the top right, the counter showing the measure number and beat (ex. 38/1, measure 38, beat 1) The streamer bars come in red, yellow, and green - it appears Yellow indicates "get ready", so right before the beginning of a cue and then right before transitions of tempo/time signature, Green is for the beginning of the cue, and Red is for the end of cue. (For anyone here who actually participates in film scoring etc., please correct me on any parts of that which are wrong!) Couldn't have hoped for a better performance all-around - sometimes I would actually forget to pay attention to the orchestra as they sounded so natural and perfect as the soundtrack! I was also so very happy the Chorus was there, they sounded marvelous and add so much to the score. The musicians looked to be enjoying themselves immensely, the cutest was on the "Fluffy's Harp" cue, when the harpist flawlessly played her feature solo, and at the end just beamed like "yes, I loved that!" Lots of smiles on players' faces, and of course in their rest periods were also watching the film I dearly love the JW HP scores, so it was all a dream to hear live, but wow, Quidditch and Wizard Chess were definitely high points!! I've heard these scores so many, many times, and the writing is still just stunning in how richly detailed, complex, and challenging it is, while also seeming to be very idiomatic and just flat out fun to play. Hearing live, I really noticed particularly the involved percussion parts in many cues, so much neat stuff going on that is harder to hear on recording! They did indeed play the full End Credits, and almost everyone stayed - here is a little vid! I have heard the Houston Symphony probably dozens of times, and they were really in tip-top form at both the JW films we attended, sounding as great on this clip as anything I've ever heard from them - style, phrasing, articulation, perfect. The brass were to DIE for here, chills!! I think after this doing #2 and #3 are no-brainers...they also did E.T. earlier this year and have done Star Trek etc., these always sell well, many of my friends who don't go to the symphony even went and loved it. Any JWFan here who has a chance to go at all, do it!!
  13. Mike - wow, great writing, love these pieces!! Will second what Karelm said, and add that yes the wind ensemble world is definitely it's own "thing", and it's kind of a big small world, if that makes sense Having grown up in Texas bands I am a bit biased, but honestly our state has always been a hotbed of wind ensemble activity - here a few ideas that come to mind which may be helpful - University Wind Ensembles - you may want to send tapes/scores out to many universities for consideration, to become a regular composer on that circuit is certainly a win (if they like your music who knows they may even commission a piece someday) Most noted in TX: UNT (Univ of North Texas), UT Austin, U of H (Univ of Houston), Baylor, and many more - most of the college top ensembles are pretty stellar, even at mid-size schools. Definitely seek out CDs of all the above! Many recordings out there including the best of both old and new wind music, certainly of the composers listed above in thread. UIL PML (Prescribed Music List) - Do you want to have your music played by high schools? For contest? If that interests you, either for concert band (or for adaptation to the marching field) then you want to try to get on this list: https://www.uiltexas.org/pml-submissions/overview The best high school bands are mindblowingly good these days and can absolutely play higher-level music, so don't worry too much about difficulty...I think your pieces could work well! (I believe other states also have similar governing music bodies for contest music, but it varies state by state) Professional groups - There aren't a ton of professional wind ensembles, but the Dallas Wind Symphony is a big one to know about, any of their CDs are awesome, and definitely any/all of the military branches' bands, they also record all the best new/classic wind ensemble music (Air Force Band, Marine Band "President's Own", Navy Band, West Point Band etc) Conferences! - This is a big one if you want to forge relationships and get to hear these groups/meet directors in person, most every state has a state Music Educator conference yearly, here it's TMEA and it's always in February in San Antonio. GO. It's amazing. Go to Midwest - https://www.midwestclinic.org/ Go to CBDNA - http://www.cbdna.org/ Composers - Soooo many good ones! Many mentioned already. Definitely John Mackey! Boomba reminds me a little of Michael Daugherty, he has a ton of great wind ensemble pieces as well as his orchestra stuff. Frank Ticheli. Eric Whitacre. John Corigliano. Karel Husa....and so many other masters. And speaking of this topic, I was just surfing and happened upon this gorgeous vid of Chris Martin and the UT Wind Ensemble - Good luck Mike! Your pieces are excellent - I know I would love to play them!
  14. Harry Potter - Live to Projection Concerts

    Just heard Houston Symphony is doing HPSS! Three performances over July 21-22. This plus Jurassic Park in the same summer...such yay!
  15. Glad to hear these have been satisfying experiences for those that have gone so far! The Houston Symphony is doing this on June 15th and 16th and they just started selling tickets, we are planning to go! Not sure why they're not listed on the site yet. Also, I see it's coming to the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, and Pacific Symphony in summer too! http://filmconcertslive.com/movies/jurassic-park/