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The Illustrious Jerry

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

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BARTOK: Violin Concerto No. 1-2

Isabella Faust, violin

Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

 

BACH: Keyboard Concertos No's. 1, 2, 4

Murray Perahia and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

 

 

Page 3 of the thread. Keep up the listening!

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On 2/21/2019 at 10:19 AM, 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... 

 

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?

 

Neither Williams nor Shore have written this:

 

The natural problem with the Ring Cycle is its verbosity. The highs are absolutely magnificent, and Wagner knows how craft and imbue moments with great emotional clout. It's why his work is essentially so operatic. He was the original "cinematic composer" of sorts. But yes, sitting through the entire Ring Cycle in one sitting will test anyone's patience (like a Desplat album riddled with too much lesser underscore). 

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4 hours ago, Fabulin said:

What about it? Sounds aimless to me

 

If a focused 4 minute buildup on a single chord sounds aimless to you, you might be beyond convincing, but just for good measure, a few of the punchier parts:

 

 

<- 5:06 introduces the salvation motif when Sieglinde (gorgeously sung here by Janowitz) finds out that she's pregnant. That motif returns a the very climax of the whole cycle (last clip below)

 

 

 

 

 

But the thing about the Ring is that it's really much more than just a collection of cool orchestral bits. It's the narrative and leitmotivic structure that makes it, and that really only comes through when listening to the whole thing (i.e. at least one full opera at a time) and not just sampler, especially one that sticks to just the orchestral parts and leaves out the entire narrative. It helps of course to understand the lyrics so you can not just follow the action but also understand why the leitmotifs appear when they do. You can only begin to really appreciate Siegfried's funeral march when you realise how many motifs it's actualy made of. And seeing a live performance of a good staging helps even more to keep you focused. There's a reason why the finale (last clip above) rarely fails to make me cry.

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BACH: Goldberg Variations

Played by Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.

 

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 9

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2

DELIUS: La Calinda

BIZET: L'arlesienne Suite No. 1

SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Concerto No. 1

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20

HOLST: A Winter Idyll

 

RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Piano Concerto No. 1-2

All from the great album "Favourite Rachmaninoff", with Vladimir Ashkenazy on piano and Andre Previn conducting the LSO. Naturally, I listened to this after I learned of Previn's death.

 

A great selection of music.

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On 3/7/2019 at 5:38 PM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

@Bespin looks like the '55 recording. Amazing how good the sound quality is for the time. It's a great album and Gould is a masterful pianist.

 

I don't really know or like him for other works than the Goldberg variations. This work is a kind of work where the musician really "make" the magic, by showing his vision.

 

And Gould shine in both versions he recorded, 1955 and 1981.

 

In this vein, may I suggest you the Well-Tempered Klavier, by Vladimir Ashkenazy?

 

🧐

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Starting the 100 best Karajan boxset with the first disc: Karajan Conducts Mozart

Spoiler

1. I. Allegro:- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  2. II. Romanze (Andante):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  3. III. Menuetto (Allegretto):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  4. IV. Rondo (Allegro):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  5. II. Andantino from Flute and Harp Concerto in C K299/297c (extract)

  6. No. 3 "Die Schlittenfahrt":- Three German Dances K605 7. II. Adagio:- Clarinet Concerto in A K622

  7. Third movement: Rondo (Allegro vivace):- Concerto for Horn and Orchestra No. 4 in E flat major, KV495

  8. Overture:- Die Zauberflöte, Act One

  9. Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (Papageno):- Die Zauberflöte, Act One

  10. Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Königin):- Die Zauberflöte, Act Two

  11. Terzettino: Soave sia il vento (Fiordiligi/Dorabella/Don Alfonso):- Così fan tut

  12. Ave verum corpus in D K618

  13. Allegro moderato - excerpt:- Symphony no.29 in A major K 201

  14. III. Rondo (Allegretto):- Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in C K314/271k

  15. Molto allegro:- Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550

Mostly Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker recording excerpts ranging from the 50s to the 70s. I only knew 4 of these 16 pieces beforehand, but that will change in the future: I really really liked the whole thing. Major standouts were the concertos focusing on specific instruments: the clarinet concerto, the oboe concerto, the horn concerto (this kind of horn and playing is much closer to my heart and culture than the Americana horn) and the Flute & Harp concerto with Sir James Galway.

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On March 12, 2019 at 5:40 AM, Holko said:

 

  Hide contents

1. I. Allegro:- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  2. II. Romanze (Andante):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  3. III. Menuetto (Allegretto):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  4. IV. Rondo (Allegro):- Serenade No. 13 in G, 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' K525

  5. II. Andantino from Flute and Harp Concerto in C K299/297c (extract)

  6. No. 3 "Die Schlittenfahrt":- Three German Dances K605 7. II. Adagio:- Clarinet Concerto in A K622

  7. Third movement: Rondo (Allegro vivace):- Concerto for Horn and Orchestra No. 4 in E flat major, KV495

  8. Overture:- Die Zauberflöte, Act One

  9. Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (Papageno):- Die Zauberflöte, Act One

  10. Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Königin):- Die Zauberflöte, Act Two

  11. Terzettino: Soave sia il vento (Fiordiligi/Dorabella/Don Alfonso):- Così fan tut

  12. Ave verum corpus in D K618

  13. Allegro moderato - excerpt:- Symphony no.29 in A major K 201

  14. III. Rondo (Allegretto):- Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in C K314/271k

  15. Molto allegro:- Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550

 

The second movement of the flute and harp concerto is absolutely heavenly.

 

As far as Symphony No. 40 goes, I'm a big fan of the Andante 2nd movement.

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William Walton's Symphony No.1. I stumbled across a really exciting live performance by Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra from the 1970 Proms. It's an interesting piece; I found the orchestrations particularly arresting. The only way I can describe the colors is sharp, I think. The wind and brass scoring sounds like something more from the concert band world than an orchestral work, but that's not a bad thing. The main idea of the finale reminded more than a little of Elmer Bernstein's National Geographic fanfare.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Seth said:

William Walton's Symphony No.1. I stumbled across a really exciting live performance by Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra from the 1970 Proms. It's an interesting piece; I found the orchestrations particularly arresting. The only way I can describe the colors is sharp, I think. The wind and brass scoring sounds like something more from the concert band world than an orchestral work, but that's not a bad thing. The main idea of the finale reminded more than a little of Elmer Bernstein's National Geographic fanfare.

 

A very fine symphony. I have the Rattle recording, which is coupled with Belshazzar's Feast - one of my favourite choir works, and the first and best recording I've heard of it (I have three).

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Continuing with the Karajan excerpts boxset: Disc 2, "The Great Concertos"

Spoiler
1. I. Allegro:- The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 1 in E (La primavera/ Spring) RV269 (Op. 8 No. 1)
  2. III. Presto:- The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G minor (L'estate/ Summer) RV315 (Op. 8 No. 2)
  3. III. Allegro:- The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 3 in F (L'autunno/ Autumn) RV293 (Op. 8 No. 3)
  4. II. Largo:- The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 4 in F minor (L'inverno/ Winter) RV297 (Op. 8 No. 4)
  5. III. Allegro:- The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 4 in F minor (L'inverno/ Winter) RV297 (Op. 8 No. 4)
  6. III. Rondo (Allegro molto):- Hummel - Trumpet Concerto in E flat (ed. F. Oubradous)
  7. II. Largo:- Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Op. 15
  8. III. Rondo (molto allegro):- Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 19
  9. II. Largo:- Beethoven - Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello & Piano in C Major, Op. 56
  10. II. Andante con moto:- Beethoven - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G Op. 58
  11. III. Rondo (Vivace):- Beethoven - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G Op. 58
  12. Adagio un poco mosso:- Beethoven - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73
  13. Rondo (Allegro):- Beethoven - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73
  14. I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso:- Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 23
  15. Thema: Mäßig - Richard Strauss - Don Quixote. The Knight of the Mournful Countenance:- Don Quixote - fantastic variations Op.35
  16. II. Adagio sostenuto:- Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18
  17. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace:- Brahms - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major Op. 77

 

A young Anne-Sophie Mutter is killing it with the Wiener Philharmoniker for 4 seasons! I've never actually heard the entire thing from start to end, and from these excerpts the Autumn Allegro was my favourite. The Hummel Trumpet concerto doesn't fuck around, that speed is dizzying! I loved the Beethoven ones. The Tchaikovsky is perhaps a bit slower than I'm used to. Don Quixote's interesting but doesn't do much in 2 minutes, the Rachmaninov and the Brahms are real beauties.

At 14$, this set was already more than worth it!

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HANDEL: Excerpts from Xerxes, Watermusic Suite, The Royal Fireworks, Alexander Feast Concerto Grosso

BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons: Spring

MOZART: Piano Concertos Nos. 20-25

 

Good day, going Baroque a tad. I ultimately finished with a slew of Mozart piano concertos. From Handel, whilst Alla Hornpipe II may be the most popular, the opening Allegro from the Watermusic Suite is quite delightful.

 

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On 3/16/2019 at 11:29 AM, Holko said:

A young Anne-Sophie Mutter is killing it with the Wiener Philharmoniker for 4 seasons!

 

If you want a killer Four Seasons, check out Carmignola and Marcon's take:

 

 

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I recently acquired a box set of Seiji Ozawa recordings, and am really appreciating them.  I know he gets a bad rap sometimes, but I've truly enjoyed what I've heard so far.  In particular, some of his earlier recordings when he was with the Chicago Symphony are a wonder.  This recording of Dvorak's Cello Concerto with the Boston Symphony is great as well.

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3 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Yesterday was Bach's birthday. Did anyone doing commemorative listening? I'll be doing mine this weekend.

Same with me.  I think I will embark on an ambitious project to hear all of Bach's works in my life time.

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1 hour ago, SteveMc said:

Same with me.  I think I will embark on an ambitious project to hear all of Bach's works in my life time.

Ah, a heavy task, but an admirable one nonetheless. 

 

BACH: Toccata and Fugue 

In case you didn't know, this is the holy grail among organists.

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4 hours ago, SteveMc said:

Same with me.  I think I will embark on an ambitious project to hear all of Bach's works in my life time.

 

Then I'd like to suggest that you check out Hänssler's complete edition:

 

 

 

3 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

BACHToccata and Fugue 

In case you didn't know, this is the holy grail among organists.

 

Have you played it? I have the sheet music, but I haven't really started learning it yet. It is, however, not as hard as it sounds.

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Haha! I wish I could play it. Easy or not, I'm not at that level. Thanks though.

 

@SteveMc just throwing it out there that Deutsche Grammophon released the Bach 333 complete edition. Great recordings from a great label. Do note though that it is a very, very pretty penny.

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1 hour ago, oneLove said:

I doubt that the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor is really by J.S. Bach.

Many do. I am not knowledgeable enough in music history to speak about it's modernity or fitting for the time period, but unusual things happened back then. So far the statistical analysis failed to match the piece(s) to anyone's style more than to J.S. Bach's, but it is not impossible that it comes from some composer that time forgot. It was reputedly saved by a single copy of a manuscript, and not quite complete/well preserved/not named, so... in the times when Vivaldi's 1000 works could be basically forgotten for 150 years... we cannot be 100% sure.

 

Whoever composed it, was one of the best composers ever: that is certain.

 

Until I looked at it's sheets, I thought that it is extremely complicated, whereas afterwards I thought it is extremely elegant and efficient in producing it's effect. Funny that even Mendelssohn back then called it "at the same time learned and something for the people", and yet critics till this day rather shrug their shoulders at it, consider it simplistic, lacking depth, virtuosity etc. I think these mysterious music critics must be the same fair folk that hates Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Williams, Ormandy and God knows whom else... 

 

If go off-top so far on this Bach's birthsday party, I should mention too a supposed comment by Glenn Gould (who doesn't love Glenn Gould?) that Toccata & Fugue in D minor and the Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor are "Bach for people who do not like Bach". Kind of true haha 😄

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50 minutes ago, Fabulin said:

Funny that even Mendelssohn back then called it "at the same time learned and something for the people"

You know, I think only Bach's music can really be described this way.   

I have no reason to doubt the Tocatta's authorship.  Any composer of that caliber would not have just one surviving work, or not be known at all.  At any rate, the character of the piece is very Bach.  

Perhaps titans like Bach and Shakespeare scare people in a way.  So monumental, above the rest, it just can't be true.

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16 hours ago, SteveMc said:

You know, I think only Bach's music can really be described this way.   

I have no reason to doubt the Tocatta's authorship.  Any composer of that caliber would not have just one surviving work, or not be known at all.  At any rate, the character of the piece is very Bach.  

Perhaps titans like Bach and Shakespeare scare people in a way.  So monumental, above the rest, it just can't be true.

Yeah, personally I do not quite doubt that it is his. I just said we cannot be 100% sure. I wouldn't exclude the existance of one-hit composers, for example. Khachaturian underwent a very specific work process to create the Masquerade Waltz and it is imho an entire caliber above anything else of his.

 

As for Shakespeare... there were better writers in history, but I get what you mean. Early-modern (i.e. so little theory or technology) and yet so good. It took me some time before I deducted the behind-the-scenes of his linguistical innovations and they still remain damn impressive. 

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I hadn't realized that there was a controversy over the authorship of the Toccata and Fugue. I'll echo Steve in saying that have no reservations that Bach didn't write it. If it sounds too modern, it just goes to show how ahead of the game Bach was, and why he was the Beast of the Baroque.

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