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Disco Stu

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Posts posted by Disco Stu

  1. I'm starting to try and teach myself music theory fundamentals in a systematic way.  As I'm starting (using a textbook on archive.org), it goes back and forth between reviewing what I already know from over the years and filling in the gaps between.  Without the time limits of an actual course, it's nice to spend as much time as I want on a chapter/concept.


    Anyway, in going over beat and meter I'm taking music pieces I already love, following along with the score, and practicing counting out the meter aloud.  This odd metered section of Appalachian Spring that goes back and forth between 2/4 and 5/8 was really fun to figure out how to count out loud along to :D 


    "1 and 2 and / 1 and a 2 and / 1 and 2 and / 1 and a 2 and / 1 and 2 and / 1 and a 2 and / 1 and a 2 and / 1 and a 2 and" etc.


    13:16 - 13:46


  2. I've been really into Carl Vine's String Quartet No. 3 for the past day or so.  The middle slow section is so gorgeous.  I love how the solo instrument leading the melody moves from the cello to the viola to 2nd violin back to viola over the course of the movement.  And the finale is absolutely righteously infernal.  The whole thing plays like some mythical battle between Heaven and Hell.  Really cool piece.


    I suggest listening and following along with the online perusal score here:





  3. 32 minutes ago, Jay said:

    So when @Disco Stu says Lee's Departure is a highlight of the FYC, I'm not sure what he means because that cue was always on the OST.  Unless he's referring to the opening 26 seconds, The "Lincoln and Grant" part, which isn't.


    BrotherSound's brainfart became my brainfart!  I don't really listen to the FYC much.  The OST is a perfect album.

  4. 19 minutes ago, Will said:


    Hmm but the Pops site says "Nashville fiddler Mark O’Connor is also featured" on tonight's broadcast. But I don't see O'Connor on the program you link to. I guess that means the TV program will splice together parts of multiple concerts? In which case presumably the chance of getting JW's Olympic Fanfare or JFK from the concert program you link to are very low. 


    Here's the concert they're pulling Mark O'Connor from.  May 11 1992, 5 days before the Bonnie Raitt concert.



  5. This section of the slow movement sounded *so* much like something from a Williams film score, it was driving me NUTS trying to place the connection.  I *think* @Holko figured out that I was being reminded of the "Meeting ET" cue from ET.  If anyone has any other ideas for what this section sounds like, please chime in!


    In the concerto, 2:48 - 3:00 below:




    Compared to ET



  6. On 7/22/2020 at 11:03 AM, TownerFan said:


    The problem of talking on this specific subject (i.e. what orchestrators do) is that people make assumptions based on scattered information they heard or read somewhere and suddenly pass them as undeniable truths, without actually knowing anything about how these things actually work. What an orchestrator does varies greatly from case to case. There isn't a rulebook about these things. Of course there are many stories about composers whistling stuff to arrangers, or scribbling a lead sheet and then leaving it all to their collaborators, but again a lot of that is usually stuff that's bloated out of proportion.


    In the case of JW, I think Morley explains it very well and precisely in this video, right to the point of what is left to the orchestrator to figure out. The definition of the work being "score preparation" and not "orchestration" is probably the best summation you can get. She also went to explain the difference when JW asked her to actually arrange stuff (i.e. the source cues in Schindler's List and the carols in Home Alone 1 and 2).


    Really, there is no hidden mystery or closely guarded secret about what orchestrators do for JW.


    My question is why, especially in the last 10 years, sometimes a project has credited orchestrators (e.g., William Ross on TFA and TROS) and sometimes there is none.  From my understanding, when there is no credited orchestrator, Williams hands his detailed short scores directly to JKMS to expand out into the parts and conductor's score, but when we are told that the credited orchestrators aren't doing anything more complicated than what a score preparer does, why sometimes use them and sometimes not?  How is what Mark Graham and his team at JKMS do on these projects functionally different from what a credited orchestrator does?

  7. 12 minutes ago, lairdo said:

    Benjamin Britten and Mieczysław Weinberg have become fast favorites over the past year.


    What are your favorite Britten pieces?  The ones I find myself returning to the most are the Spring Symphony and the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings.  The former especially is easily my favorite of his entire catalog.

  8. Some Michael Torke to get your morning started right



    12 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

    Someone mentioned a recording of the complete Appalachian Spring recently (conducted by Leonard Slatkin) and it made me realise that all of the several versions I own are the shorter suite. Quite a revealation hearing the parts that Copland excised. Not really sure why he would have done so either, but surprising how few of the mainstream recordings are of the full thing.

    that recording would more accurately be called the “Extended Suite” for orchestra.  Although the differences are slight, they are there.  Copland essentially just orchestrated the largest missing section and stuck it into the suite.  The true full ballet for orchestra was only published in 2016, with David Newman doing some work to orchestrate measures that Copland hadn’t ever converted from the original 13 instrument version.


    You can hear an archived performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra here:




    Here are a couple of articles that explains all the different versions of the ballet.  It may be more detail than the casual listener desires, but I eat it up :) 


    https://blogs.loc.gov/music/2019/10/not-the-suite-aaron-coplands-appalachian-spring/ (this article actually has Leonard Slatkin himself in the comment section :D)




    Truly I recommend the original full ballet for 13 instruments above all other versions.  It’s only been commercially recorded a couple of times.  The best recording is the Atlantic Sinfonietta:




  9. I've been listening to Michael Torke's Color Music album over the past couple of days.  It's certainly vibrant and exciting.  I can't shake the skepticism that, even for each individual piece, the whole is less than sum of its parts, but those parts are still very appealing to listen to.  It's actually kind of addictive.  "Purple" is probably my favorite.




  10. 3 hours ago, blondheim said:

    I wish Naxos had better sound quality sometimes, but they have all the right repertoire. Their Tintner Bruckner cycle is probably their greatest achievement, at least that I have heard. I also like the work Theodore Kuchar does for them.


    2 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:


    Some of their earlier albums are hit and miss but most of their more recent albums seem to have pretty good to great sound but I appreciate that sound quality is in the ear of the beholder! However, as a place for exploring new repetoire they are pretty incredible I would say. Especially now their entire catalogue available pretty cheaply in lossless... that sigh is my bank account. ;-)


    At this point, Naxos releases so much from so many different sources I'm not sure you can generalize about them anymore.  If you mean specifically the albums they have recorded by the cheapie Eastern European orchestras in Ukraine, Slovakia, etc., I think those albums have risen in quality as the orchestras themselves have risen in quality from all the experience of American productions hiring them over the last 30 years.


    Really Naxos is the only American classical label of any consequence left.  The majors (Sony, Warner, etc.) stopped really trying and the biggest name orchestras (SFSO, LA Phil, NY Phil) are self-releasing their albums because they don't want to split the tiny slices of streaming money pie with a record label.  But I'm glad Naxos is still here releasing interesting stuff every month, and such a wide variety as well.

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