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The Illustrious Jerry

What is the last piece of classical music you listened to?

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The Prelude is quite nice. The suite as a whole is top-notch Grieg.

 

Today:

SHOSTAKOVICH

Symphony No. 2 in B major

 

That was quite something. Very unique sound environment to open, and some great classic Shostakovich moments before the choir takes the piece away.

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Strange beast, that one. Patchwork as it is, it's still neat to hear Shostakovich, in his formative years, trying to define his voice. 

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Enjoy! His symphonies get much more rewarding past his third. Large range in style and ambition for you resonate to. The 5th, 8th, 10th and 11th are especially fantastic.

 

Shostakovich has a very comprehensive body of work to explore. Lots of great stuff in there. The real gems of his repertoire, in my opinion, lie in his string quartets though.

 

His second cello concerto is a particular favourite of mine:

 

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I just listened to Shostakovich's sixth. Quite different in comparison to the second, much more defined. Third movement is a brilliant Scherzo that's bursting with Shostakovich's rhythm and melody. First movement experiments and tinkers around with different relationships between instruments. Very nice.

 

 

I'll also give the fifth a spin before 10,11, and 12 tomorrow.

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For some reason I have never actually listened to Beethoven's 5th. I think I have just forgotten that I didn't.

Now I heard it and... I am just at loss. I guess it might have something to do with the fact that I never liked Beethoven, considering him not that much interesting, overrated and inferior to Mozart, and only now did I understand. I recalled all the anecdotes about his all too real pianist's and compositional superiority, his reportedly heroic biography, the descriptions of his innovations, all the while seeig his defiantly immortalized face looking at me from all the "suggested videos". For a moment I didn't want to touch the piano, reading scores or any other musical education ever again. 

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Ma Vlast - the Kubelik/BSO recording:

 

 

Like Also sprach Zarathustra, this is commonly reduced to a single piece (the overture in Strauss' case, and Vltava in Smetana's), but the whole cycle is just as good, and sadly rarely performed in full.

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On 2/13/2019 at 7:46 AM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Personally, I love his piano concertos, especially the second.

 

 

Yea, that second movement is a real beauty:

 

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@KK you took the words right out of my mouth. Absolutely. One of my all time favourite pieces. I really love the whole concertos, but that movement alone has a big influence over that.

 

Yesterday:

BORODIN: Symphonies No. 1-3 

Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

 

Again, another few of my favourite all time compositions. I've listened to Borodin's symhponies tens of times, but this time the slower, more reflective movements, the andantes and adagios, stand out for me, whereas the allegros are masterful as always. If there was one piece I could give my highest of recommendation, it would be probably be Borodin some way or another. Essentially my favourite composer.

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On 2/19/2019 at 8:57 PM, Loert said:

My favourite performance of this classic:

 

 

 

Have you heard Hamelin's recordings of Alkan's piano symphony? Magnificent!

 

6 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

IMG_20190216_202038.jpg

 

IMG_20190220_213401.jpg

 

You need a larger concert hall! ;)

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27 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Criminy! Seems like I can't make a comment about organs anymore without someone twisting it to be sexual!

 

:pfft:

But this is classical humor! After all, J.S. Bach played the organ so much, that he managed to sire 20 children... (7 with his first wife, and after she died, 13 with the second one)

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1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Criminy! Seems like I can't make a comment about organs anymore without someone twisting it to be sexual!

 

:pfft:

Forget it Jerry, it's JWFan. 

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6 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Criminy! Seems like I can't make a comment about organs anymore without someone twisting it to be sexual!

 

:pfft:

 

It's the John Williams way!

 

4 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

I thought it was only Bespin's little jest.

 

Looks like I need to pick a new favourite instrument.

 

I know what you should choose. Bes would love it!

 

H7iqoW7.jpg

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The Ring Cycle (orchestral parts) by Wagner, for the first time bringing myself to listen to all of them, a mission which I aborted multiple times in the past. I found his sound hollow and unusually uninteresting, and themes crude, although I did like the thematic development in the Valkyries opera. I will be returning to try some smaller compositions of his, or maybe his earlier works, but I do not expect much of it... 

 

I played some random track from ROTS afterwards and there is no way this guy was better than Williams is. Or better than Berlioz, or even Shore (in all of the latter's occasional simplicity). Wagner doesn't sound well to me compared to those before him or those after him (like golden era hollywood). Any reasons why would he deserve higher praise?

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3 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

He had the greatest ego.

“Certainly Beethoven would have shunned [Hollywood]"---Williams joked---"but Wagner would have had his own studio out there in Burbank with a water tower with a big W on it”.---2016

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15 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Love that quote. Awesome @Fabulin!

I just adore reading what do and did the greats think of each other. I like to imagine, that Williams, studying the sheets by great composers of the past alone and in silence, and learning about them, more than once imagined them as colleagues and made some sort of a bond with them. I am not a believer, but poetically I can say that for all hard work he has done in his life, they already await him upstairs...

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5 hours ago, Fabulin said:

The Ring Cycle (orchestral parts) by Wagner, for the first time bringing myself to listen to all of them, a mission which I aborted multiple times in the past. I found his sound hollow and unusually uninteresting, and themes crude, although I did like the thematic development in the Valkyries opera. I will be returning to try some smaller compositions of his, or maybe his earlier works, but I do not expect much of it... 

 

If you look for "smaller compositions" in Wagner, you might be disappointed :lol:

 

If you find his full operas too heavy, you might try the (few) portions of them that can be considered closed stand-alone pieces, such as the beautiful prelude to Lohengrin, or the prelude to Tristan und Isolde (an important turning point in the history of harmony), or the overture to Tannhauser (both versions). However, Wagner can be "difficult", no doubt. Do you know what Rossini said once about his operas?

 

 

 

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