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The Illustrious Jerry

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

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The entirety of Piston's 4th symphony is a thing of incredible beauty and excitement.

 

I know I'm the only person on this board and the only person in the mid-Atlantic region currently obsessed with him, but please give me just 30-40 seconds of your day to listen to the climax of the extraordinary slow movement.   The movement starts with this gorgeous solo clarinet and over the course of 4 minutes has moved from lovely chromatic lyricism to slowly become more and more dissonant.   It's like a hot, lazy Summer day when a thunderstorm rolls up.

 

It's a truly jaw-dropping, magical moment when the orchestra drops out at 4:15 and the whole thing climaxes with these thick, heavy, declamatory brass chords.

 

Just listen to this section and you'll understand why I've been so obsessed with him this summer.

 

(3:52 - 4:33)

 

 

Alternate performance/link for non-Americans:

(16:24 - 16:55)

 

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4 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

you'll understand why I've been so obsessed with him this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

On 7/16/2019 at 8:24 AM, Disco Stu said:

 

I just came across a term I like that seems to fit what bothers me better than the word "programmatic."

 

"musical pictorialism"

 

Ahhh, I think I know whachu mean. One is more evocative of a certain extramusical idea, whereas almost forcibly tries to illustrate and depict a certain extramusical idea.  Am I understanding you? 

 

Personally there are almost always some kind of extramusical inspiration of a piece, but I either keep it to myself or try to allude to it with the title and nothing else.

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Piston's got one too!

 

It's one of his most fun light chamber pieces, the Sonatina for Violin and Harpsichord.

 

For some reason this title says piano, but it's a harpsichord.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Loert said:

I like the harpsichord in this:

 

 

 

Now we're talkin'!  1950s Carter is best Carter.  The Variations for Orchestra from the same period might be favorite piece of his.

 

(also Piston's greatest and most loyal protege ;))

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3 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Neither the Nyman nor the Glass are really my cuppa.  With both composers I appreciate the artistry, but they have nothing to say to me personally.

 

I found the Nyman unlistenable when I first heard it. Now I love its sheer badass freakiness.

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:25 PM, Disco Stu said:

my preferred interpretation (Slatkin)

 

I just bought tickets to see Slatkin conduct Copland's 3rd symphony at the Kennedy Center in December.  I'm beyond elated!

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1 hour ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Any consensus on which is the best recording/performance of The Planets?

 

There is no consensus, but by far my favourite recording is Previn/LSO.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Any consensus on which is the best recording/performance of The Planets?

 

Coincidentally I saw The Planets at the BBC Proms yesterday evening, played by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits.  I took my 16 year-old nephew who had never been to any sort of concert before, so I had purposely bought choir seats so that he could get a good view of the orchestra.  It was quite an experience and I was really impressed with the orchestra's performance.  If you are interested you should be able to listen to the concert on the BBC Radio 3 player for the next month or so at this link.  It was wonderful to be able to see the percussion section so close to us that we could almost read their music from the stands.

 

The concert also featured John Adams's Short Ride In a Fast Machine (we were sat right behind the wood block!) and Samuel Barber's gorgeous violin concerto played by the Serbian violinist Nemanja Radulovic, so plenty to enjoy if you have the time.

 

DSC03240.JPG

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2 minutes ago, Omen II said:

John Adams's Short Ride In a Fast Machine

 

A great piece!

 

2 minutes ago, Omen II said:

Samuel Barber's gorgeous violin concerto

 

Another great piece!

 

3 minutes ago, Omen II said:

the wood block!

 

My favourite instrument!

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I sound like a broken record with my Slatkin praise, but his recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra really is my favorite.  It's a GREAT recording from a sound quality standpoint as well.

 

No other recording of Jupiter I've heard emphasizes the staccato articulations in the violins quite this much.  I love it.  Bernstein's famous recording especially slurs the crap out of that opening figure.

 

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22 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

No other recording of Jupiter I've heard emphasizes the staccato articulations in the violins quite this much.  I love it.  Bernstein's famous recording especially slurs the crap out of that opening figure.tl

 

Thin important detail is the first thing I check out when sampling a new recording of The Planets.

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27 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Oooh, SOUND DIMENSION!

 

Speaking about Slatkin, he has recorded an interesting version of Mussorgsky's Pictures, with each movement orchestrated by a different composer. Well worth a listen!

 

 

 

Great album.  Here's the 1991 BBC Proms TV program about that project, where he even compares and contrasts different interpretations.  Very cool stuff.

 

 

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3 hours ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

That's a good question, and it's entirely dependent on who you ask. Personally, you can never go wrong with DG and Karajan, but I mostly listen to the Toronto Symphony's take because that's the one I own. 

 

Another vote for the DG Karajan. But avoid his earlier Decca recording.

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The Planets is the classical work I am most familiar with and I found this article that actually picks the best recordings by each movement, which I don't like because I prefer one good recording with one orchestra and one conductor to listen to at a time. All the same it shows some other recordings that are out there (I.e. Boult, Rattle, etc) and to check out.

 

http://www.classical-music.com/article/best-recordings-holsts-planets

 

 

4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Another vote for the DG Karajan. 

I think I will listen to this one the next time. Thanks.

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European?  Pass. ;)

 

Only kidding.  To be honest, the only Ligeti I really know is what Kubrick used in his movies.  I’ve heard other pieces in passing but never given him my full attention.

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One of the very few composers of the avant garde or whatever "ism" you want to categorize him in who really had something to say - and who had a sense of humor.  I think that comes through for unfamiliar listeners even if they don't ultimately dig it.

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18 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Jacob Druckman - Nor Spell Nor Charm (1990)

 

I really really like this.

 

(Performed by the essential Boston Modern Orchestra Project)

 

I can't get enough of this piece.  Druckman is my find of the week for sure.  I'm not even sure I could explain what I find so appealing about it.  The orchestration is very cool, I know that.  One of the more successful concert pieces from that time period (80s/90s) I've heard that uses synthesizer as just another texture of the orchestra.

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Dan Locklair - Symphony of Seasons

 

I believe the best adjective to describe this music is: anodyne

 

 

an·o·dyne
/ˈanəˌdīn/
adjective
  1. 1.
    not likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.
    "anodyne New Age music"
    synonyms: bland, inoffensive, innocuous, neutral, unobjectionable, unexceptionable, unremarkable, commonplace, dull, tedious, run-of-the-mill

 

8.559337.jpg

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On 7/24/2019 at 8:20 AM, Disco Stu said:

 

I can't get enough of this piece.  Druckman is my find of the week for sure.  I'm not even sure I could explain what I find so appealing about it.  The orchestration is very cool, I know that.  One of the more successful concert pieces from that time period (80s/90s) I've heard that uses synthesizer as just another texture of the orchestra.

 

He was one of Newman's teachers.  It shows in interesting ways.

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