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The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

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6 hours ago, Omen II said:

From yesterday's Last Night of the Proms, something that @Incanus, @hornist and any other resident Finns might enjoy - Sibelius's Finlandia with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Singers.

 

 

 

This is a candidate for the most popular worst piece by a great composer. 

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Well it is more than just a worst piece of a composer. There is a story behind it. The performance was also part of the 100th anniversary celebration 

of Finland

 

Goosebumps and tears. Kudos that the choir had learnt it in finish!!

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I would like to

21 hours ago, hornist said:

Well it is more than just a worst piece of a composer. There is a story behind it. The performance was also part of the 100th anniversary celebration 

of Finland

 

Goosebumps and tears. Kudos that the choir had learnt it in finish!!

 

But I am speaking purely musically here.  Did Sibelius even like it?  “everyone else cheers what, compared with my other work, is this relatively insignificant piece.”  I am in agreement with Sibelius on this.  Don't get me wrong, I adore Sibelius - he is one of my top five favorite composers.  This work is not the reason why. 

 

I would like to present the work of the very fine composer Derek Bourgeois who sadly passed away this week at the age of 75.  Derek was the most prolific British symphonist having composed 116 symphonies and works in every genre.  Unfortunately, only his first seven symphonies were performed by orchestra by some of the most distinguished conductors including Sir Adrian Boult, Vernon Handley, Sir Charles Groves, and others. He held the same position of Music Director at Saint Paul's Girls School that Gustav Holst held (in fact had the same office and desk).  Like Holst who wrote Saint Paul's Suite for Strings for that school, Derek wrote works for them.

 

 

Derek was a John Williams fan as well.  A good review of his body of work up to 2009 can be read here:  https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/feb/09/derek-bourgeois-symphonies

 

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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!

 

On 9/10/2017 at 1:15 PM, Omen II said:

From yesterday's Last Night of the Proms, something that @Incanus, @hornist and any other resident Finns might enjoy - Sibelius's Finlandia with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Singers.

 

 

wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

 

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  :lovethis:

 

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 :D

 

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 ;)

 

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Last night, while reading through the music credits after watching Song to Song (which is mostly tracked with an eclectic mix of existing pop and classical selections, in addition to some new Hanan Townshend stuff) I discovered this incredible Ravel piece:

 

 

The ending reminds me of the ending of Howard Hanson's Symphony #2, which is probably my favorite symphony.

 

So that's another plus from the film! :)

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2 minutes ago, Will said:

Last night, while reading through the music credits after watching Song to Song (which is mostly tracked with an eclectic mix of existing pop and classical selections, in addition to some new Hanan Townshend stuff) I discovered this incredible Ravel piece:

 

The ending is kinda Christmas-y, no? :) 

 

If you liked that then you might also like the last movement of Mahler's 3rd Symphony - more harmonically conservative than the Ravel, but it always brings a tear to my eye.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Loert said:

 

The ending is kinda Christmas-y, no? :) 

 

If you liked that then you might also like the last movement of Mahler's 3rd Symphony - more harmonically conservative than the Ravel, but it always brings a tear to my eye.

 

 

 

Just listened to that - great stuff. :)

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5 hours ago, Loert said:

The ending is kinda Christmas-y, no? :)

 

No.  Do you define this as christmas y? 

 

All of Ravel's Ma Mere l'oye is glorious and sublime music. 

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14 hours ago, Loert said:

 

No, not really. 

It's the combination of "bells" and harp which makes it sound Christmas-y to me. Stuff like this or this or this.

Hmm, ok, none of your examples sounded christmasy to me.  So I think it is just you.  To me, the most christmasy music is Nutcracker and this Christmas sequence from Arthur Bliss's sci-fi epic "Things to Come" because the bells play the scale of the christmas tune where the bells actually play part of the theme of a Christmas choral I forget which one:

 

Don't associate bells with Christmas, they can also be associated with doom or resurrection as was done in Mahler or in Shostakovich.  It can be a potent and devastating representation of death too.

 

Do you find Borus Godinov coronation scene christmasy? 

 

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Was recently introduced to this when I read it was the temp track for Witt's death in The Thin Red Line:

 

 

Beautiful. Sounds a little similar to Zimmer's terrific "Light" cue, specifically the part that plays during the "wife flashbacks" scene while the character walks through the trees. The final music used for Witt's death in the film does not sound similar at all, however. 

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Not sure whose recording this is, but it's a wonderful performance of such a fun little arrangement by Shostakovich.

 

EDIT: I believe it's the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, so of course it's good ;) 

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Cowell was a bit of an eccentric, musically speaking. Who would've thought to represent crashing waves against the cliffs by pressing your left arm on the keyboard?

 

That said, my "favourite" piece of his I've heard is this:

 

 

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Eric is an extraordinarily sensitive and deeply human composer, criminally written off by some as just another muzak/pseudoclassical guy.  Utter lunacy to think he should even be mentioned with some of the usual suspects of that ilk like Karl Jenkins.

 

That said, the BYU performance you linked has awful, awful, awful, awful diction.  Can't stand their pronunciations.  Recommend his own group's performance, with much more refined diction, clarity of tone, and far more tasteful vibrato than any wholly American choir seems capable of.

 

Here, and with score so you can appreciate the very fine part writing.

 

 

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Music to inspire reflection for later today.

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « fellner clavier bach www.amazon.com »

 

Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings (Slatkins, St. Louis SO)

 

 

M. Ravel - Intégrale de l'oeuvre pour piano (Tharaud)

 

 

G. Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (Klemperer, 1967)

 

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For its season opener this past weekend, the New York Philharmonic performed Philip Glass’s "Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra."

 

Amazingly, it is the first time ever that the NY Phil has performed a piece by Glass.  I shouldn't be shocked, but for some reason I am.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/arts/music/new-york-philharmonic-jaap-van-zweden-philip-glass-mahler.html?rref=collection%2Fspotlightcollection%2Fclassical-music-reviews

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A very special and very soft recording.  The signer died of cancer shortly after this recording.

 

Ich habe genug (original: Ich habe genung, English: "I have enough" or "I am content"), BWV 82

Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (English: My heart swims in blood) BWV 199

 

 

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