Jump to content

The Official CLASSICAL Thread


Saxbabe
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am considering the boxed set of Mahler's symphonies by Deutsche Grammophon... extremely expensive set. Are there any realistic alternatives to this? I seriously doubt because the conductor is Leonard Bernstein.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 212
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I bought the Decca set by Solti, and it costed me around 17 pounds. It might not be the best performance ever, but it's still a great performance and what a bargain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought the Decca set by Solti, and it costed me around 17 pounds. It might not be the best performance ever, but it's still a great performance and what a bargain.

What is the orchestra?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just dug out some Mahler again yesterday, somehow I hadn't listened to any for a long time. Listened to Karajan's recording of the 6th, and I was stunned. Mustn't neglect Mahler so much.

I have Bernstein's LSO recording of the 2nd, and it's great. Hopefully this has been remastered in the meantime - the overall sound of this old (80s release) CD is fine, but quite hissy. Also liked most of the Rattle Mahler I've heard so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is exciting to know that two of my favourite composers Mahler and Sibelius have met each other and spoken about the composition of a symphony!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am considering the boxed set of Mahler's symphonies by Deutsche Grammophon... extremely expensive set. Are there any realistic alternatives to this? I seriously doubt because the conductor is Leonard Bernstein.

Beware of that set. Many of the symphonies are fine, but occasionally the orchestra sounds a little off IMO. Bernstein notoriously takes the tempi really slowly. Also, the 8th symphony really suffers on this set. It's taken from a "historic" recording from the end of a big festival and it's a live recording. The orchestra isn't together for much of the time, and the soloists sound hoarse! It's as if everyone is too tired from the festival.

With Mahler I really recommend picking and choosing different recordings. Bernstein is great for the 5th symphony. Boulez gives a very nice 7th. Simon Rattle has a fantastic 2nd symphony. By FAR my favourite rendition of the 3rd symphony is Benjamin Zander.

Speaking of whom... (notice that smooth segue?) I will be hearing Benjamin Zander give a talk at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron Ohio tomorrow afternoon, and then I'll be hearing him conducting Mahler's 2nd Symphony in Severance Hall, Cleveland on Sunday! Woohoo!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon Rattle conducting City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performing Walton. EMI Classics release of Walton Symphony #1 and Belshazzar's Feast.

I'm sure most of you know Walton's more famous works, try Symphony #1 on. Johhny Dub sure did - he's still trying it on. Boom.

Belshazzar's Feast is out of control. Great lesson in contrapuntal choral writing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, there is so much Mahler to pick and choose from, it can be bewildering.

The first set I got to know was Chailly/Concertgebouw on Decca and those still are a collection of solid and very musical performances. There are many interesting Mahler sets around, depending on what your taste is. I would also say go for individual choices though over set. Most of my favorites are kind of off-the-beaten-path or live recordings.

Rattle does do good Mahler, I love his 2nd, and if you want to get an idea of what the 10th may have been like go for his. I like his new 5th with Berlin a lot, and it is also on DVD. Zander on Telarc is interesting because - you get the bonus of a discussion disc with his recordings which I found very well done, he is a great teacher. I have tried only his 6th, all round, definitely a quality recording.

Other great 6ths: Boulez with Vienna. Immaculately clean. My absolute favorite is currently Mackerras though, in a wild live recording with the BBC Phil. Fearsome playing and much humour. Not available anymore, but I can help there if you're interested.

I sort of collect Mahler 5ths and one big favorite I found is Michael Gielen and the Southwest German Radio Orchestra (SWR) on Hanssler, the playing is simply outstanding and musically really great. His recordings are worth looking for.

I also have a lot of Mahler 3rd, and my favorites so far there are Abbado/Vienna, Boulez/Vienna, Salonen/Los Angeles. Those performances are just stellar, that Abbado recording could wake the dead....

Still looking for the perfect 7th, what a tough work to bring off.....the 4th has tons of good choices. Likewise with the 1st, but I still like Bernstein's late recording there. And there are lots of good 2nds too, I like Bernstein too in the 2nd a lot, I always hear raves about Mehta's 2nd live with Vienna which I need to get.

For the 9th, a big recommendation for Karajan's live recording on DG (this one right here).

I don't listen to the 8th a lot but for it I still love Solti/Chicago and Rattle/CBSO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I give my thanks to all of you, my quest for Mahler has more direction now.

Why not eighth? I am still waiting for my chance to see and hear that behemoth of symphonies. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon Rattle conducting City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performing Walton. EMI Classics release of Walton Symphony #1 and Belshazzar's Feast.

I love Belshazzar! I have a damaged CDR of this taken from the library. Would like to replace it with an original, but this doesn't seem to be available anymore?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

In case any of you are in the area, the Philidelphia Symphony Orchestra is performing Mahler's 8th on April 30th...500 choir members!

NY Philharmonic is performing his 9th sometime this year too, but I forget the date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably my favorite 'classical' composer (if the term is applied very losely, as it seems to be here) would have to be Franz Liszt. It is amazing to me that there still seems to be a little bit of the prejudice against him that was around during the end of his life. In reality, he was the pioneer of some of the modern techniques Wagner is given so much credit for. I believe Liszt actually used the double-dissonance 'Triston und Isolde' chord that Wagner is so famous for in one of his pieces before Wagner did. He basically invented the 'rock star' (perhaps not a good thing, but still history-changing), as well as the symphonic poem and many other things.

Also, he was really a like-able guy, who tought tons of students and never charged anything for the lessons. At the end of his life, when he had fallen out of favor with the critics, he told his students not to perform his pieces because he thought it would hinder their career. Also, he was a big promoter of other people's music, unlike many of the people who's music he premoted. He helped Wagner when the police were after him, and conducted Wagner's music when it was out of favor, thus introducing to the world the music that would have such a revolutionary effect.

Best of his music:

All Hungarian Rhapsodies

All Symphonic Poems

Totentanz

Opera piano transcriptions, especially 'Reminescences de Don Juan'

Liebestraum

Funerailles

Rigoletto Paraphrase

La Campanella

Piano Sonata In B Minor

Harmoonies du soir from '12 Etudes d'execution transcendante' (though the rest are probably good, I have yet to listen to them)

Faust Symphonie

Dante Symphonie

But then, I am a pianist, so I can't help but love his stuff.

Colin Thomson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Classical composers and their compositions I enjoy the most (in no particular order):

- Rimski-Korsakov - Scheherazade

- Holst - The Planets (also for two pianos), Egdon Heath

- Orff - Carmina Burana

- Vaughan Williams - symphonies, most of all Symphony No. 7 'Sinfonia Antartica'

- Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man, Billy the Kid

- Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris

- Say - Black Earth

- Dukas - L'apprenti sorcier

- Beethoven - piano sonatas

- Mozart - pretty much everything

- Bach - pretty much everything

- Dvořák - Symphony No. 9 'From the New World'

- Smetana - My Country

- Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

- Ravel - Bolero, Pavane pour une infante defunte

- Strauss - The Alpine Symphony, Thus Spake Zarathustra

- Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez

- Lizst - symphonic poems

- Bax - symphonic poems

- Mussorgski - Pictures at an Exhibition

- Chopin - piano music

- Shostakovich - jazz music

- Verdi - Requiem

- Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique

- Barber - Adagio for strings

- Jenkins - Palladio, Requiem, Mass For Peace

- Addinsell - Warsaw Concerto

Concert band music (I've been a percussionist in a concert band since 1998):

- de Meij - symphonies, esp. No. 1 'The Lord of the Rings' and Aquarium

- Van der Roost - Sinfonietta, Spartacus, Sinfonia Hungarica and pretty much everything else

- Vlak - Las playas de Rio, Western Rhapsody

- Picqueur - Symphony No. 0

- Maslanka - Symphony No. 4

- Reed - Symphony No. 4, Armenian Dances, El Camino Real

- W. Smith - Africa, The Great Locomotive Chase, symphonies

- Whitacre - Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, Ghost Train

- Sparke - The Land of the Long White Cloud 'Aotearoa'

- Ticheli - Vesuvius, symphonies

- Staněk - Die große Seefahrt 1492 'Kolumbus'

- Nicolas - En ecoutant Paris

- van Cleemput - Arachne

- Barberán - Symphony No. 1 'Asgard'

Of course, there's more, but that's what I could remember "on short notice".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Concert band music (I've been a percussionist in a concert band since 1998):

- de Meij - symphonies, esp. No. 1 'The Lord of the Rings' and Aquarium

- Van der Roost - Sinfonietta, Spartacus, Sinfonia Hungarica and pretty much everything else

- Vlak - Las playas de Rio, Western Rhapsody

- Picqueur - Symphony No. 0

- Maslanka - Symphony No. 4

- Reed - Symphony No. 4, Armenian Dances, El Camino Real

- W. Smith - Africa, The Great Locomotive Chase, symphonies

- Whitacre - Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, Ghost Train

- Sparke - The Land of the Long White Cloud 'Aotearoa'

- Ticheli - Vesuvius, symphonies

- Staněk - Die große Seefahrt 1492 'Kolumbus'

- Nicolas - En ecoutant Paris

- van Cleemput - Arachne

- Barberán - Symphony No. 1 'Asgard'

Of course, there's more, but that's what I could remember "on short notice".

Have you heard of David Holsinger? Great concert band composer from America. His piece To Tame the Perilous Skies is really fun to play. Thinking back to my High School days however, I think the toughest pieces I ever had to play were Schoenberg's Theme and Variations, Ingolf Dahl's Sinfonietta, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 arranged for concert band (played at break-neck speed!).

Also, I get to play under Philip Sparke's baton in a couple of months.....can't wait for it! Of his pieces we're playing two, Celebration and Dance Movements which coincidentally are 2 of my absolute favorite concert band pieces ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you heard of David Holsinger? Great concert band composer from America. His piece To Tame the Perilous Skies is really fun to play.

No, I haven't yet heard of Holsinger, but thank you for mentioning him, I'll certainly check him out. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you heard of David Holsinger? Great concert band composer from America. His piece To Tame the Perilous Skies is really fun to play.

No, I haven't yet heard of Holsinger, but thank you for mentioning him, I'll certainly check him out. :(

Here's a pretty decent performance of the piece I mention from a High School concert band from Hawaii:

Part I

Part II

I got to play it under the composer for All-State band in '98 with a 150 piece wind ensemble - it was fantastic (we had like 23 trumpets!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, the last few posts bring back lot of memories! :lol: I played under David Holsinger back in 1997, we did his American Faces and Consider the Uncommon Man, he was amazing, very inspirational and funny. He looked like a windup toy when he conducts, he's very short and animated. I remember us discussing that he reminded us of JW sort of. He got so wound up in conducting he accidentally gave himself a head wound with his baton...and had to wear a bandaid for the concert...hehe...

There is sooo much great concert band music out there. Reed's Armenian Dances is my own personal favorite piece I've ever played, it is simply gorgeous. Other most beautiful pieces I've ever played in band: Percy Grainger's Colonial Song, the 2nd mvmt of his Lincolnshire Posy (Horkstow Grange), and anything by Morton Lauridsen...we recently did the premiere of the wind transcription of his Ave Maria and it is just incredible.

Another piece by Alfred Reed I absolutely adore is Alleluia Laudamus Te, wow, what a majestic piece, especially the recording I have of the Dallas Wind Symphoniy with organ! <_<

More really fun pieces to play, Howard Hanson's Chorale and Alleluia, William Walton's Crown Imperial, the wind version of Shostakovich's Festive Overture...Malcolm Arnold's Tam O'Shanter Overture, would classify as funniest perhaps. Very Potterish madcap kind of music. Another totally hilarious piece is Charles Ives' Country Band March, there are about ten different melodies going on at any one time!

Any Ron Nelson fans? His Passcaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) is awesome (the last note is like forte, x 4) and I like his piece Lauds...I never have played any Sparke, but I love his music. And lately I really like the jazzy stuff by John Mackey and Michael Daugherty, fun to play.

Johan de Meij, what a talented composer, his Lord of the Rings (No. 1) was the first "hard" piece I ever played in band, and I still think it's his best...I was at the world premiere of his Symphony No. 3 in the Netherlands and got to meet him, extremely cool guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Johan de Meij, what a talented composer, his Lord of the Rings (No. 1) was the first "hard" piece I ever played in band, and I still think it's his best...I was at the world premiere of his Symphony No. 3 in the Netherlands and got to meet him, extremely cool guy.

Yep, de Meij's first symphony is so far definitely his best. :( That's not to say that the other two are weak, of course, but the first one is definitely The One so far. :D (Well, there's an ever so slight possibility that I also say some of this because I'm also a bit of a Tolkien/LotR fan. ;))

Saxbabe, too bad we don't play in the same band or at least live in the same country, I think we'd spend hours discussing concert band music! :D As you said, there's so much great stuff out there, too much to keep track of ... :blink: Which is also good in a way, 'cause it means there's a lot more to be discovered. ;)

I kind of envy you for meeting de Meij (I remember seeing a photo of you with him somewhere on these very forums) which I haven't yet had the chance for, however, I had a friend of mine from Slovene Police Band, who de Meij's been working with, take to de Meij my copy of his LotR symphony study score to sign, which he was happy to do. :) However, I did manage to meet Jan Van der Roost after a competition here in Slovenia (he was head of jury and marveled over our performance of his Spartacus ;)) and he autographed two of his CDs for me. Also a great guy.

Saxbabe, you probably also have LSO's recording of de Meij's LotR, what do you think of it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh, concert band music!

We're playing Armenian Dances in this semester's concert. I'm on the xylophone for most of it. The 5/8 part is weird and sadly, some of our players just don't feel it. The rest of the piece reminds me of circus music!

I love Eric Whitacre's Ghost Train. I can't imagine writing a piece like that, or performing it. He does some amazing things with the concert band.

And I would love to do Hanson's Chorale and Alleluia. I should mention that to our director....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's nice to meet another concert band percussionist. :nopity: Keep swingin'! :(

Try to also recommend to your director some Jan Van der Roost, I guess he's underestimated/unknown in the States. He's done some really great stuff such as Sinfonietta, Spartacus, Avalon, Sinfonia Hungarica and lots more (you can also check him out here).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must say, Michael Torke's concert for Soprano Sax is incredibly, amazingly beautiful. Thank you so much, Miguel

You're welcome. The Concerto is in fact amazing, and the second movement is one of the most beutifully, benign, pieces of music i ever heard. It is very dream like...

There are two recordings of this, the premiere one, by John Harle, for whom the concerto was dedicated, originally released on Argo Records, and more recently re-released on Torke's own label, Ecstatic Records. That one is very jazzy, and over the top, as far as the soloist performance is concerned.

Then there is another recording by Gerard McChrystal, that as a somewhat more classical feel to it, which personally i prefer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was lucky to be sitted 4 rows behind Michael Torke in Glasgow, Scotland a few years ago but was too chicken to go up and ask for his autograph. I was there for the world premiere performance of AN AMERICAN ABOARD conducted by Marin Alsop with the RSNO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I attended a most brilliant and jaw-dropping performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, one of my absolute favorite concert works. It is so incredibly rich in themes and harmony! The solo violinist was amazing. He was so focused and so caught up in the music; it looked like he was going to set his violin on fire!

I really want a high-quality (both in recording and performance) version of this work. Can any of you classical music buffs point me to a really good one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I attended a most brilliant and jaw-dropping performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, one of my absolute favorite concert works. It is so incredibly rich in themes and harmony! The solo violinist was amazing. He was so focused and so caught up in the music; it looked like he was going to set his violin on fire!

I really want a high-quality (both in recording and performance) version of this work. Can any of you classical music buffs point me to a really good one?

My personal favorite recording is with Charles Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra (the CD also has an excellent recording of 'Capriccio Espagnol'). Here is a link to the amazon page of the album.

There's a certain crispness and precision in the playing that has made it my favorite recording, with the Brass especially on form.

However, with 'Scheherazade' some of the older recordings with their lack of clarity make the music even more evocative - making the ancient-sounding music sound even more authentic (especially with the violin solo wailing it out). I'm thinking primarily of Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Come to mention it, the above-mentioned Ormandy recording of 'Scheherazade' was probably the first piece of music I ever remember hearing as a child - I think it was on a children's story tape telling the story of the Arabian Nights. I have very lucid and fond memories as a 5 or 6 year old listening to those stories with Korsakov's music soaring in the background, framing the story perfectly in my fertile imagination.

Good times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Michael Torke the guy who wrote Javelin, which appears on the 1996 Summon the Heroes CD? :mellow:

Yes. You can check his site here.

Thank you.

I also adore Scheherazade. ;) Just last week, I've bought a study score of it and am now immersing myself fully into this compositional and orchestrational treasure. ;) ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Valery Gergiev version with the Kirov Orchestra on the Philips label. Truly marvellous recording and one of my favourite pieces of music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For Scheherazade I have only one recording, so can't be of much help, though I do like it quite a lot. It's the one by Bersntein conducting the NY Phliharmonic, with John Corigliano (the composer's dad) on the violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have the Bernstein/NYP one, and I also like, though I also don't have any others. :lol:

I was lucky to be sitted 4 rows behind Michael Torke

So you're so fat now you need to be sitted?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The recording I have is by Osawa and the BSO. And I agree, it's one of my all time favorite pieces of music. A lot of people in this board who can get into classical music and yet love film music should definitively check it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh, concert band music!

In these past days, I visited the Frankfurt Musikmesse music fair. They of course also had tons (and I mean tons!) of great sheet music, but I only wanted to mention that I bought two very interesting CDs, one is complete Holst's The Planets arranged for concert band (a great arranging job, sadly not so great a recording (it's a live one :))) and the second is the first symphony by Alex Poelman, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Haven't yet had the time to check it out thoroughly, but it looks very promising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The recording I have is by Osawa and the BSO. And I agree, it's one of my all time favorite pieces of music. A lot of people in this board who can get into classical music and yet love film music should definitively check it out.

I hope you have it at home, because I'll want to listen to that one tomorrow :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Well, it's been more than a year since someone posted in here!

I was just listening to a few Charles Ives pieces today, the man really wrote great music. I listened to his second symphony for the first time today, I was surprised by how "traditional" it was, it definitely had his quirks though.

My favorite piece of his is probably The Unanswered Question, an absolutely beautiful piece. The strings provide little more than harmonies, technically, but give the piece an almost divine presence. The solo trumpet, representing the question of existence is answered by scurrying, confused woodwinds at first, but later is answered by nothing at all - leaving the question unanswered. Ive's music always seemed to have some sort of depth or commentary to it that makes it so interesting to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Last night I gave a pre-concert talk at the La Jolla Music Society. My talk was on Galileo, telescopes, the observatory where I work, etc. The concert was by the Taffelmusik Baroque Orchestra, with their program The Galileo Project. It was a wonderful mix of music from the time of Galileo, modern astronomical photographs and dramatic reading of some of Galileo's writings. It was an excellent show. Their closing piece by J.S. Bach really rocked and brought the audience to its feet.

If you want to hear some of the music & narration you should visit this page.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I myself attended the Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of Midsummer Night's Dream and Scheherezade last night.

The principal horn, Jennifer Montone, provided one of the best renditions of the famous horn solo in Midsummer's 'Nocturne'. And Scheherezade? What more can be said about that? You haven't heard that piece till you've heard it live, I had chills all the way the through! Such powerful music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen Scheherezade live only once and I was absolutely blown away by it.

Changing the subject a bit, I need some recommendations, guys. What recordings would you sugest for:

- Beethoven's Complete Symphonies

- Vaughan Williams' Complete Symphonies

- Braham's A German Requiem

Thanks a lot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.