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The Classical Music Recommendation Thread


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2 minutes ago, Bartokus Novus said:

 

There's something so enchanting and powerful about the sound of a brass ensemble.

 

It's such a warm sound.  I'm a fledgling trumpeter (after being a lapsed one for 15 years) myself so I'm a little biased :) 

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Those of you who are fans of Paul Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice, Saint Saens's Danse Macabre or M. Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain will enjoy Cesar Frank's "The Accursed Hunter"

 

The story is about a hunter who chose to go hunting rather than observe the sabbath as a day of rest.  As a result, ghouls and spirits hunt him down.  This seems like a lot of fun to play in a concert but sadly doesn't get the notice it deserves due to other, more popular works in similar vein.   

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Oh yeah, forgot to post here that I went to see the Richmond Symphony play a program of classical music this past Friday night.

 

This was the program:

 

Semiramide Overture - Rossini

Living Language (Guitar Concerto) - Dan Visconti

Symphony No. 8 - Beethoven

 

It was very cool to see a new guitar concerto performed, it was only the 3rd time it had ever been performed and by the guitarist for whom it was written.  I really enjoyed the techniques required of the player and the style (which was this mixture of traditional blues and Indian music) but overall it felt a bit aimless.

 

I loved seeing Beethoven's 8th symphony performed.  It's his most lighthearted/"fun" symphony and really a joyful way to end the week.  Fine performances by the Richmond Symphony all around!

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^^^ Cool piece; very virtuosic orchestral writing!

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A heartfelt performance by Louis Lortie. 

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2 hours ago, Bartokus Novus said:

3:26 - A Lydian (the top layer, at least) - very Williams-esque!

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, that's my favorite part. ;)

 

A lot of it is rather grating IMO (at least on first listen), but it does have some other cool moments. 

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I've been listening to Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria, written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.  For anyone unfamiliar with what happened, in October 1966 a huge heap of colliery spoil loosened by rain engulfed a primary school in the south Wales village of Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

 

The Cortege segment is particularly powerful, as the choir sings the names of the victims against a grim, funereal orchestral procession.

 

 

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13 hours ago, LampPost said:

That bit in particular reminds me of this part from Williams' American Journey!

 

3:01 - 3:09

 

That's one of my favorite tracks on the American Journey CD, which is full of gold nuggets already. Fantastic recording, too.

 

That bit is D Lydian over an E5 pedal harmony, by the way.

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I'm not entirely convinced. Wait a second. ;) 

 

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Okay, I agree now, @LampPost. :lol:

 

http://picosong.com/GsPH/

 

Slowed down and transposed 10 semitones up (+ a high cut), you can clearly hear the stack of fifths.

 

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Naamloos.jpg

 

Using the same method (though reversed, i.e. low cut, transposition down 10 semitones) I've noticed the right hand is slightly different, though, @LampPost.

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I struggle to penetrate the cello concerto, still, but the piano concerto is a remarkably vital and yes, memorable work for something done in such a throwback idiom.  It's a wonder to find someone writing like that in a genuine way.

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Shore's language is certainly far from Williams' in any mode.  He has an austere sensibility even when operating in much more modernistic zones than these neo-classical pieces.  It's a language that is rather more difficult to embrace unless one is already enamored of the soundworlds of, say, Feldman, Hindemith, and Glass.  To be more shakily metaphysical about it - there is something of the bleak but poetic New York autumn and winter in much of his music, which is perhaps more endearing if one has firsthand experience of that.

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I just listened to the first movement of Mythic Gardens and found it fairly riveting, but I can sort of see what you mean.  It doesn't stick with you.  Gorgeous orchestration though.

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I believe Shore's at that stage where he's exploring and reiterating older forms in his own language, as supposed to the 90s/early -00s, where we got to witness Shore's more avant-garde days. He wasn't really actively writing concert works then, so outside of the unheard "Orbit", we never really got to hear him channel his wilder, Goldenthal-esque voice in the concert hall. It's not an unlike Stravinsky's later years, or what many composers go through in their sunset days. 

 

Oh and Ruin and Memory is lovely. Have you checked out the Palace in the Ruins album yet pub? 

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A delightful suite from R. Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos". It has a sweet pastoral tone throughout. The "Le bourgeois gentilhomme Suite" from the same album is worth a listen too. The final movement is my favourite.

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1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

There's an actual suite from the opera, besides the gentilhomme suite? Is it a Thing, or was it just assembled for this recording?

 

From the booklet:

 

Quote

The current setting by D. Wilson Ochoa was scored in 2010 for Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony. Except for the Interlude from Version 1, the movements are all derived from Version 2.

 

About the work, Ochoa notes: “My aim in extracting and arranging music from Ariadne was to create an orchestral suite that could act as a kind of symphony in the presentation and development of the main themes from the opera. I maintained Strauss’ original instrumentation throughout, with the exception of having the second oboe double on English horn, an ideal instrument for some of the vocal quotes. The original keys remain, with added orchestration of lines originally cast for voice. Following Strauss’ original setting, I attempted to create seamless, logical transitions between the excerpts. [...] "

 

So it was put together by D. Wilson Ochoa very recently, and is performed on this album.

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I really love Michael Daugherty.  This work is very compelling to me because it mixes so many influences in such a unique way.  In this work you get vintage sci-fi, John Adams style post minimalism, modernism, old school melody, etc.  I don't think I've heard a piece from this composer that I didn't enjoy.  Hell's Angels is a concerto for four bassoons and orchestra.  I might be mistaken about this but I believe that Daugherty's background is as a rock musician first who went classical and I think that mix is part of what makes him so interesting.  He LOVES pop culture (for example his Metropolis Symphony is based on Superman comics but is a massive symphony) but is very skilled in concert music so the combination is so engaging to me and others since his latest recording (also great) just won the Grammy.  I met him at the Cabrillo festival a few years ago when they played one of his works and he is very down to earth and charming.  But have a listen and let his music speak for itself. 

 

 

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This was the first Daugherty piece I ever heard, and live no less (but I'm sure I've mentioned that before). Of his more recent things (more recently released, at least),Mount Rushmore has become a favourite of mine.

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On 2/23/2017 at 11:33 AM, Maglorfin said:

The amazingly awesome Symphony No. 2 'Window of the Soul' by Slovenian composer Alojz Ajdič, wonderfully performed by Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Sounds totally like film music from time to time! ;) :thumbup:

Wow!  I've never heard of the composer before, but I'm definitely going to look out for more by him.  That symphony is excellent.

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