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Jilal

The Official Strictly Non-Williams Favourite Short Musical Moments Thread™

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2:05 till the end, reminds me of something I wrote long ago before studying romantic period music. I remember when discovering Debussy I thought "hey, this guy sounds a lot like me."

 

 

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Inspired by the recent thread i asked Spotify for the re-recording of 'The Chairman' and voilá (the recording is good enough and the theme still a wonderfully cheesy approximation of ancient China):

 

 

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The climax of the second movement of Copland's 3rd (aka my best friend).  The movement is so perfectly constructed it's like an out-of-body experience when it all pays off for this magnificent pinnacle where every instrument is playing triple forte like their lives depended on it.

 

The low brass and timpanis in sync like the world's most badass rhythm section, answering in a call-and-response with the trumpets and strings doubling each other while the woodwinds breathlessly bleat out 6 eighth notes per bar like a metronome from hell, if they can even be heard above the din made by the fiery trombones.  ROCK. AND. ROLL.

 

6:54 - 7:32

 

 

Made all the more satisfying because its a return of the theme introduced earlier in the movement by a lovely solo oboe

 

(3:37)

 

I love this movement so much it makes me bounce up and down.  This recording by Eduardo Mata is probably my favorite.

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This section of Copland's 3rd can move me to tears if I'm in the right mood.

 

Deeply reverent and spiritual but not solemn or dour, a tricky balance to carry I think.

 

(6:42 - 8:38)

 

 

Alternate non-geo restricted link but from a less preferred (but still fine) recording

(36:24 - 38:09)

 

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Here to end: 

 

 

Just discovered this cue this evening (and have listened to it about 15 times on repeat over the last hour - no joke). So joyful and exuberant. :woop: Feels very "modern," you can feel how North influenced more recent scoring. 

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Stunning.  The conception of modernism, right there.

5 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

9:45 to 10:19. Some of the most spine-tingling music I've ever experienced, it's incredible that just four instruments are capable of producing that sound. It's so ahead of its time and never fails to move me.

 

 

 

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The Piano Fantasy is probably the single least approachable, most challenging piece of music Copland ever wrote.  Something like "Connotations" at least has the varying timbres of orchestration to engage the listener, where as the Fantasy is a half-hour of hard-hitting solo piano.

 

I'm an obsessive devotee of his music and I feel I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of it.  It will probably be the last of his music that I will ever feel I've mastered just listening to, understanding and following from beginning to end, if I ever get there.

 

That said, this section is Copland at his most joyously introverted.  Clangorous and moody, but in that way where you almost enjoy being alone and melancholy if that makes sense. 

 

(5:51 - 6:23)

 

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11 minutes ago, SteveMc said:

Some of the best Copland I've ever heard.  Will have to check the whole piece out.

 

And it's not all as portentous and somber as that.  The middle of the piece is him in his always fun "Stravinsky + Jazz = Copland" mode.

 

 

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1 minute ago, SteveMc said:

What is especially impacting me are the quite angular lyrical passages, like around the 3rd and 9th minutes.  Delicious stuff.

 

Yes, Copland had this amazing ability to write music that feels beautifully still, the kind where you suddenly realize that you've been holding your breath, like the entire world just stopped except for the music you were hearing.

 

For more of that quality, I highly recommend the 3rd movement of his Piano Sonata, which is a masterpiece!

 

 

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From my favorite section of Piston's The Incredible Flutist, "Dance of the Merchant's Daughters"

 

One bar, a truly short moment!  Would that be described as alternating major and minor thirds?

 

(8:55 - 8:59)

 

 

image.png

 

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1 minute ago, Nick Parker said:

It's mostly major thirds for the exception of two notes: the Bb and Db on 2, and Ab and F on 3, which sneaks back in on the "uh" of 4.

 

Yeah, I should refrain from the theory talk probably.  Either way, it's a great example of the wit and charm he brings to the ballet overall, no matter how unlike the rest of his oeuvre it may be.

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8 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

Yeah, I should refrain from the theory talk probably.  Either way, it's a great example of the wit and charm he brings to the ballet overall, no matter how unlike the rest of his oeuvre it may be.

 

Hey you weren't that far off!

 

 

 

A lot of great moments in this number, but I'll start with this. I love how sneaky and groovy it sounds, I could see a Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal in an alley type thing going on here. It always evoked this for me:

 

 

 

 

 

Soon after you have those low brass bwomps that Rota and Elfman loved to use, and then...this:

 

 

 

 

 

Those strings? Oh, that's right, baby, lay it on me, Strav. Pour that honey into my ears.

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These big, FAT, bluesy chords are kinda sexy IMO.

 

(8:11 - 8:29)

 

"Emblems" is yet another very underrated piece by Copland.  It's a striking and witty piece of Americana, much more ironic in tone than his late 30s/early 40s inspirational Americana music. The rousing fanfare that begins and ends the piece is in more familiar territory but much of music between I think is more than a bit sarcastic. Lots of blue notes that make the piece seem almost woozy, some of it is like a drunk choir attempting "Amazing Grace".  And the light scherzo-like middle section is a ton of fun.  I love how this is almost the irreverent opposite of his reverential take on Simple Gifts.  It's Copland at his most Ivesian.

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On 6/3/2019 at 2:11 AM, Docteur Qui said:

9:45 to 10:19. Some of the most spine-tingling music I've ever experienced, it's incredible that just four instruments are capable of producing that sound. It's so ahead of its time and never fails to move me.

 

Hmmm... it's clear Beethoven was way ahead of his time, but I'm not into a lot of his stuff personally/aesthetically--the classical sound to me is a bit humdrum and plain, a lot of its purpose appears to be experimenting with basic note combinations instead of creating truly great aesthetics and themes. Beethoven pushed us forward on the latter, but nowadays there is much more beautiful and imaginative thematic development. I admit sometimes Beethoven is totally awesome with stuff like Symphony 3, I never understood why Sym 9 would be his best, I don't think it's superior-sounding in any way!

 

Anyway just wanted to give my take.

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