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The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

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Those of you who are history buffs might enjoy this new "war" symphony by the grandson of the famous Soviet composer, Tikhon Khrennikov who was a thorn on Shostakovich's and Prokofiev's side during the Stalin years since Khrennikov served as president of the Composers Union who frequently ostracized famous composers for not being conformist enough with Soviet propaganda and ideologies.  Flash forward to 2018.  This work "Only Light Remains" features a "Battle of Stalingrad" sequence which is a very important and prominant part in history as well as Shostakovich's great Symphony No. 7 written in Stalingrad (aka Leningrad (aka St. Petersburg)) during the siege itself.

 

"I tried to look into the past and into the future,” says composer Tikhon Khrennikov Jr. - The symphony “Only light remains ...” begins in 2018, then returns to 1941, 1942 and 1943. The last part is the year 2043, one hundred years after the end of the Battle of Stalingrad. If you look even from the point of view of the musical canvas, then in the fifth and last part all previous topics are collected. All material is a symphony. This means that even in a century nothing will be forgotten, and the memory will be eternal."

 

 

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A moving work from a composer I had never heard of before.  Lilian Elkington's "Out of the Mist" (1921) is a World War 1 piece about caskets coming through from the mist of WW1. 

 

More about her here: https://bachflipclassical.com/2018/05/28/quick-take-the-mysterious-case-of-lilian-elkington/

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New York Times:

 

Steve Reich Talks About His First Orchestral Work in 30 Years

 

Importantly, the article includes audio samples from the premiere of “Music for Ensemble and Orchestra” in Los Angeles.

 

He mentions The Desert Music in that interview, I'd completely forgotten how much I used to love that piece.  It brought it all back to me.  It's brilliant.

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I wouldn't have the knowledge to write one, but if I were allowed to title a book whose subject was Copland's musical style, I would title it With Simple Expression: The Music of Aaron Copland.  It's the performance direction in the title of the first movement of his third symphony, and it practically describes his entire ethos in three words.

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Gustav Holst: St. Paul's Suite: III. Intermezzo

 

Yes, yes. If you're anybody who's anybody you've probably heard the St. Paul's Suite before. However, while the most recognizable melody is rooted in the finale, I find the Intermezzo very intriguing. I love the pizzicato underscore for the sweeping strings. Heard this on the radio today and decided to bring it forward.

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On 11/8/2018 at 7:32 AM, Disco Stu said:

New York Times:

 

Steve Reich Talks About His First Orchestral Work in 30 Years

 

Importantly, the article includes audio samples from the premiere of “Music for Ensemble and Orchestra” in Los Angeles.

  

He mentions The Desert Music in that interview, I'd completely forgotten how much I used to love that piece.  It brought it all back to me.  It's brilliant.

 

WOAH!! I'd heard about the article but never guessed there was actual music embedded therein.

 

Piece sounds GREAT! Classic Reich. Nothing too new but absolutely lovely as always. Really tough to hear the samples end. 

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12 hours ago, publicist said:

 

Cheers for this.

 

I definitely like elements of it. Though I don't know how well it sustains itself or serves its premise. Plays a bit too much like cinematic wallpaper.

 

Look to John Luther Adams for a more interesting take on this kind of writing.

 

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28 minutes ago, KK said:

Look to John Luther Adams for a more interesting take on this kind of writing.

 

I have truly made a concerted effort over the years with several of his pieces, and he's just not for me, sadly.  I've no issue with the lavish praise he receives, though.

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This will not be to everyone's taste, but Deerhoof are one of the weirdest, coolest, most interesting rock bands of the century and here they are performing a noisy, scuzzy version of "Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta" that I kinda love.

 

It's so cool to hear Bartok seriously re-interpreted through the lens of experimental noise-rock.  In another life, I'm quite a fan of this kind of stuff (Sonic Youth is an all-time favorite group).

 

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18 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I have truly made a concerted effort over the years with several of his pieces, and he's just not for me, sadly.  I've no issue with the lavish praise he receives, though.

 

Totally fair. His work takes an acquired taste too.

 

In which case, I'd revise my statement to look to Goldenthal or even Shore instead. ;)

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If anybody else likes Chopin, here DG's complete edition at the bargain price of 14 Euros:

 

https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/B002NFCHBA

 

Act fast - only valid today.

 

On 11/18/2018 at 1:11 AM, Disco Stu said:

 

I have truly made a concerted effort over the years with several of his pieces, and he's just not for me, sadly.  I've no issue with the lavish praise he receives, though.

 

I really like a few of his earlier stuff, such as Nixon in China, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, and Harmonielehre (which Don Davis of course ripped off for The Matrix). Of his newer works, I can only think of Dr. Atomic catching my interest.

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Who here is familiar with Valentyn Silvestrov?  I am in love with this piece.  He would have made a fine film composer, but at any rate, this is pretty much peak post-modernism.

 

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Randomly, I've been getting super into Henry Purcell music the past month or so.  It's weird, because in the past I've never connected much with baroque era music.

 

I'm neither Anglican, nor Christian really, but I've fallen in love with Purcell's settings of the Te Deum and Jubilate Deo prayers.

 

This music is alive and engaging and approachable!  Doesn't sound stuffy or boring at all to my ears.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I love this vintage recording of The Fairy Queen, especially the overture:

 

Every recording I've heard of The Fairy-Queen took important pieces (like the Rondeau) waaaaaaay too fast.  So I bought a used CD of the out-of-print recording by The Deller Consort.  I love it!

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

Purcell's King Arthur opera (or semi-opera or whatever) is seriously a masterpiece.

 

 

Indeed. One of the greatest arias ever:

 

And of course, he also wrote one of the most heartbreaking tunes of all time:

 

 

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6 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Randomly, I've been getting super into Henry Purcell music the past month or so.  It's weird, because in the past I've never connected much with baroque era music.

 

I often don't find real access to old music just by listening to it. Singing it with the choir is an altogether different matter though. One of the best concerts we've done consisted mostly of Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary.

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1 minute ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I often don't find real access to old music just by listening to it. Singing it with the choir is an altogether different matter though. One of the best concerts we've done consisted mostly of Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary.

 

Great piece.  The Book of Job is depressing as fuck.

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1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I often don't find real access to old music just by listening to it. Singing it with the choir is an altogether different matter though. One of the best concerts we've done consisted mostly of Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary.

 

The March from Funeral Music for Queen Mary is one of my favorite pieces of music. So simple, yet so powerful.

 

 

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On 11/20/2018 at 3:55 PM, Jurassic Shark said:

 

The March from Funeral Music for Queen Mary is one of my favorite pieces of music. So simple, yet so powerful.

 

 

Purcell is quite fantastic indeed.  Definitely had the touch.

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17 minutes ago, InTheCity said:

Hey Jwfans.

 

I've been working on two classical music albums releasing in the next month or two.

Here is a preview of one of the tracks I wrote for the second album 

(me playing too)

 

https://youtu.be/-wfJ9hgIFF0

I do indeed like it.  Has life. 

 

(wrong thread, though, @Jay or @Incanus will move it to the Composer's Thread)

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A World Requiem Op. 60 by John Foulds. A long time favorite of mine among compositions of it's size (requires 1250 instrumentalists and singers). Post-apocalyptically mournful while still expressing the remaining bits of dignity. Funeral dignity, maybe; decorum which was sadly right for the aftermath of The Great War. 

After tremendous popularity in the 1920s, the memory of the work suffered through over 80 years of silence. Then came this wonderful 2007 recording of the BBC Symphony Orchestra with 4 Choirs and 4 soloists:

And it sounds very British.

 

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The 9th (all four movements of it) is full of remarkable moments. This is actually the first time I've listened to Bernstein conducting Bruckner. Giving his eccentric nature (and how often Bruckner has been mutilated even by acclaimed conductors), I was wary - but it's actually a really good performance!

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Ernest Bloch's Concerto Symphonique (1947-9) which is basically a huge piano concerto.  I've loved this piece since I first discovered it while a kid.  It is turbulent, darkly lyrical, and dramatic occupying a place between the fantastic concertos of Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev with some Arnold Bax and Alexander Scriabin mixed in with the thick orchestration and harmonies.  Though he was Swiss, shout out to his fellow California Bay Area roots.  He was the director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and professor at UC-Berkeley (not to be confused with Boston's Berklee college of music) while this very fine music was composed thought it was premiered in Scotland.  Bloch exhibits some of the qualities I most admire in a composer - long form and taught structure.  To me, this music feels far shorter than it is because every note makes sense and isn't wasted even though there are alot of them.  The version here is for piano and large orchestra lasting 44 minutes but there is also a version for two pianos and orchestra.  I also find there is something of a mid century Biblical epic quality to Bloch's music such as what you might hear in a 1950's Rozsa epic.  I don't know if this is because much of Bloch's music is influenced by Respighi or his overt Judaic references which influenced those Biblical epics.

 

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I've been listening to quite a lot of British composer Joby Talbot lately and his Tide Harmonic score in particular.  I have a very strong fondness for the last track "Confluence".  It's very cinematic and would love to see it used in a piece of film some day.

 

 

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