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


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1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Take #3 - Bruckner's codas:

 

As far as transcendentalism/spirituality goes, nothing can top the coda to Bruckner's 4th for me. The final outburst (esp. with the schmetternd horns) is certainly also epic/enormous/majestic, but ultimately that's just the destination that everything before transcends to:

 

And while it may seem more like a candiate for the epic/enormous/majestic category, in how it concludes the symphony (and knowing Bruckner's background), I also put the coda to the 8th firmly in the transcendental camp. Plus it has a small interlude of life-affirming melancholy that may be brief, but is one of my favourites (and certainly the first that came to my mind) at 1:26:

 

 

Take #4 (my last one, hopefully)

 

Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Specifically the Erlösungsmotiv and the coda.

 

The Erlösungsmotiv is first heard during in the final act of Die Walküre (here at 5:05 sung at by the incomparable Gundula Janowitz). It acts as a sort of eucatastrophy theme when Sieglinde learns that she is pregnant (with Siegfried, whose own theme is introduced right before). As such, it seems to me to be the very definition of life-affirming melancholy:

 

And then, the 5 minute instrumental culmination of the 15 hour cycle:

 

It starts when Brünnhilde sacrifices herself on Siegfried's funeral pyre, with chaos in the form of the fire encompassing the entire stage and the Rhine swelling and flooding the pyre. Once the Rhine and the Rhinemaidens have devoured the RIng and Hagen (after his last words at 1:08), the scene clears, and the transcendental coda leads to a new world by stacking various leitmotifs on top of each other, including the Rhinemaiden theme, the Wotan/Valhalla theme that reaches its majestic climax with burning Valhalla's last gleaming at 3:07, and the reappearing melancholic Erlösungsmotiv, all on top of the spiritual Rhine/nature string swirls, until the Erlösungsmotiv takes its final transcendental turn right before the closing chord.

I love and agree with nearly everything in your post.  The coda of No. 4 and 8 are my favorite Bruckner (along with No. 9).  And I've been lucky enough to experience the entire Ring cycle performance which was mind blowing.  

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On 07/11/2021 at 9:19 PM, karelm said:

I love and agree with nearly everything in your post.  The coda of No. 4 and 8 are my favorite Bruckner (along with No. 9).  And I've been lucky enough to experience the entire Ring cycle performance which was mind blowing.  

 

:flameblob:

 

This is me: happy for you but so green with envy I am burning up.

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On 07/11/2021 at 7:19 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

t acts as a sort of eucatastrophy theme when Sieglinde learns that she is pregnant (with Siegfried, whose own theme is introduced right before). As such, it seems to me to be the very definition of life-affirming melancholy:

 

Actually, according to Wagner it acts as a "glorification of Brünhilde" and a "hymn to fallen heroes."

 

Honestly, one could just as well chosen the end of Walküre for this thread. Its probably the greatest of the Ring entries. But then, there's Tristan...

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23 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

My partner has been buying each edition of this set for me for Christmas and birthdays since we did a Sibelius pilgrimage to Finland a few years ago (for me, rather than him!).

 

This must be a sure sign he's a keeper!

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2 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:
23 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

My partner has been buying each edition of this set for me for Christmas and birthdays since we did a Sibelius pilgrimage to Finland a few years ago (for me, rather than him!).

 

This must be a sure sign he's a keeper!

 

It's 13 volumes. You've just proven you can count. ;) 

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On 12/11/2021 at 7:06 PM, Tom Guernsey said:

My partner has been buying each edition of this set for me for Christmas and birthdays since we did a Sibelius pilgrimage to Finland a few years ago (for me, rather than him!). Finally got the last box today! Amazingly comprehensive (makes LLL or Intrada look careless ;-) and some very fine performances. Notably excellent set of symphonies and tone poems. I must admit that the masses of short chamber pieces he wrote are perhaps more of academic interest but still an essential set for the hardcore Sibelian!

 

Looks like an amazing set. Does it have everything Sibelius ever did?

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2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

This must be a sure sign he's a keeper!

Definitely!

 

1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

Looks like an amazing set. Does it have everything Sibelius ever did?

I’d have to check but I think the only thing it doesn’t have are the tiny fragments from his never to be 8th symphony which I don’t think had been discovered when the set came out. Otherwise yes. He wrote an awful lot of short chamber odds and ends which I think probably functioned more like sketches or musical exploration for his more substantial works but plenty to enjoy none the less!

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20 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

I’d have to check but I think the only thing it doesn’t have are the tiny fragments from his never to be 8th symphony which I don’t think had been discovered when the set came out. Otherwise yes. He wrote an awful lot of short chamber odds and ends which I think probably functioned more like sketches or musical exploration for his more substantial works but plenty to enjoy none the less!

 

So that e.g. also includes both the original stage and the adapted concert versions of all the stage music?

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1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

But now that this one's complete, I hope he makes a good choice for the next series of box sets. Perhaps The Time Tunnel vol. 1 - 10. :)

Haha. He doesn’t tend to get me film music stuff to be honest. Far too much chance of accidentally buying something I already have!

 

1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

So that e.g. also includes both the original stage and the adapted concert versions of all the stage music?

I think so but I’d check with the BIS website to be certain. It has lots of alternate versions of things so I imagine so. I’m away at the moment so can’t check!

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"Nimrod" - Elgar.

 

Nuff said!😊

On 03/11/2021 at 1:06 PM, Disco Stu said:

I think I have a fairly high tolerance for audible coughing in live albums but this is just ridiculous!  Really takes away from a lovely performance.

 

Zero tolerance.

Avoid live performances like the plague.

Unless they are done without audiences

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9 hours ago, blondheim said:

Which Tristan recording do you all prefer? And why?

 

Furtwangler is pretty good, I suppose.

 

But I guess the whole point of music-drama is that you watch it, rather than listen to it as audio: at its best, it has the power of a stageplay combined with great music.

 

As such, I quite like the Glyndebourne production but also the collaborations of Barenboim and Waltraud Meier.

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Beethoven's missa solemnis, 1-3. Oh, my. So religious music doesn't have to be a depressing and pleading drag. I'm done with Bach. Completely blown away. Will look into HIPs, though, since Karajan's predictable vibrato annoyed me again.

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If one is looking for bright, happy religious classical music.... :whistle:

 

On 01/09/2021 at 12:08 PM, Disco Stu said:

I think I've posted about Poulenc's Mass a few times over the last couple of years, but I really just never get enough.  It's become one of those pieces that is incredibly important to me, that I return to regularly for spiritual succor.  It's truly perfect from start to finish.

 

 

 

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On 09/11/2021 at 8:39 AM, Disco Stu said:

I just keep returning to Poulenc, one of the greats as far as I'm concerned.  Listening to his music feels like taking a cleansing, refreshing bath in the purest water you can imagine.... metaphorically speaking...  His music feels timeless.

 

Thanks for (re)posting these pieces! I'm not sure I was even aware of Poulenc before, but these are indeed quite lovely. There's something about small brass or wind ensembles that will always be particularly festive or winter-y to me, so these come in good time. Same goes for a lot of choral pieces, more obviously, so these are all going on to my December playlist. 

 

Plus, after listening I happened to come across another gorgeous piece recommended on YouTube, so that's a double! :lol:

 

 

Hadn't heard of Reicha either but I'll definitely be checking out as many of these wind quintets as I can over the holidays next month. 

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On 16/11/2021 at 9:21 AM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

 

Thanks for (re)posting these pieces! I'm not sure I was even aware of Poulenc before, but these are indeed quite lovely. There's something about small brass or wind ensembles that will always be particularly festive or winter-y to me, so these come in good time. Same goes for a lot of choral pieces, more obviously, so these are all going on to my December playlist. 

 

Plus, after listening I happened to come across another gorgeous piece recommended on YouTube, so that's a double! :lol:

 

 

Hadn't heard of Reicha either but I'll definitely be checking out as many of these wind quintets as I can over the holidays next month. 

 

Very nice!

 

I highly recommend this wind quintet composed by Irving Fine.  Like the Poulenc brass trio, it has an effortlessly warm feeling of good humor to it.

 

 

 

 

15 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Bruckner 9. Attrocious. I hope the beloved God is happy with the dedication.

 

Mad Max Reaction GIF

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On 20/11/2021 at 5:16 AM, blondheim said:

How do we all feel about the 4th movement completions though?

I love Bruckner 9th since I heard it the first time with 14 or so years. I have several recordings of it, each with each its own strengths. I love both Guilinis. Most recently i bought the Honeck which is also superb, and has excellent sound quality in multichannel.

 

I was raised on the traditional 3 movement form and was first skeptical about the reconstruction, but when I bought the Harnoncourt recording in which he played all (at the time) sketches and explained them, I realizes, that this movement was almost finished except for the coda. Since then I heard several recordings with the 4th movement, e.g. the Rattle/Berliner recording and am now a fan of the complete 4 movement version.

 

The finale in its most recent completions is a great, almost visionary work since it expands on the more modern elements that Bruckner introduced in the first 3 movements compared to his earlier works. Sometimes it sounds almost expressionist. I still think that it is not his best finale, but that is due to the combination of his failing strength and the fact that it is not finished and only an approximation to his original vision, but a quite close one, I think. So in short: 4 movements, please. 

16 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

I can't even remember anything about that movement, except that it's quite long.

Funny enough it is not one of his longest finales compared to 8th and 5th symphony. It is shorter than the 1st and 3rd movement, if played in adaequate speed, around 20 min.

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On 20/11/2021 at 5:16 AM, blondheim said:

How do we all feel about the 4th movement completions though?

 

I think it's essential. I grew up with the Eichhorn recording with reconstructed finale (one of the first reconstructions I think), so it's always been a part of the symphony for me. I understand that completions/reconstructions are "problematic", but I can't agree with the common idea that the 3 movement version is "complete", and that Bruckner could never finish the finale because of that. As Gurke said, Bruckner *did* finish much, or even most of it, even if it took him the last 10 years of his life. And what's there is just stunning - where the three finished movements already take Bruckner's style into strikingly modern territory, the finale goes even further, which combined with the general "death theme" of the symphony is frighteningly effective.

 

That old Eichhorn recording and reconstruction is quite good as far as I remember. The Harnoncourt take is also good and certainly interesting in the way he only presents the surviving original parts of the score. But of the same reason it's not fully effective, because Harnoncourt opted to do the "lecture concert" of the finale fragments first and then perform the 3-movement version of the symphony after the intermission. When I listen to it, I usually put the finale last. For listening to the full symphony, I like Rattle's 2012 version , which uses the latest (I think) version of the same reconstruction project that Eichhorn recorded much earlier. If I'm not mistaken, it even includes some bits of original material that Harnoncourt didn't have access to 10 years earlier. It's a good complete package, but for only the traditional three movements, the usual Bruckner masters are still one step ahead - e.g. Karajan and Wand, or Celibidache if you like a slow, heavy (but still intensely effective) reading.

 

Avoid the Gerd Schaller version though. It has great ratings and reviews, but in my opinion, both Schaller's own reconstruction and his interpretation of the symphony as a whole are rather odd, at times even goofy.

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1 hour ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

A Q. Q. for all you classical fans, out there:

How is Dvorak pronounced?

Is it Vorzhak, or D' Vorzhak?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonín_Dvořák

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Cs-Antonin_Dvorak.ogg

 

I never knew the second syllable is long.

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19 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Hey @Jurassic Shark do you have a favorite recording of the Gershwin Piano Concerto?

 

That's a good question... I've got several of the usual suspects - Previn, Marshall etc., but the one recording that's been on my to-get list for ages is Kunzel's with William Tritt. That one was an early favourite partially due to how well the orchestra and the soloist follow each other. That's difficult to pull off in this work.

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3 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Kunzel's with William Tritt

 

I'll check that one out, haven't heard it. The recordings I've listened to the most over the years have been probably the two most canonized old recordings: the Fiedler with Earl Wild and the Kostelanetz with Oscar Levant.

 

But it's weird, it's a piece I love, but have no special attachment to any single recording like I do for most favorite works.  I bounce around a lot of different ones.  It's like I have this ideal version that exists in my head and I've never heard a recording that quite aligns with my ideal.

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On 22/11/2021 at 9:46 PM, Disco Stu said:

the Fiedler with Earl Wild

 

I've got Vocalion's re-release of the Fiedler/Nero recording and Fiedler's phase four recordings of overtures and the second rhapsody, but I'm missing the other Fiedler/Wild recordings. It reminds me I'll have to the his complete RCA album collection before it goes OOP!

 

Btw, @Disco Studo you know if Wild recorded his Gershwin etudes more than once?

 

On 22/11/2021 at 9:46 PM, Disco Stu said:

Kostelanetz with Oscar Levant.

 

A classic indeed! Regarding Kostenaletz, I love his (stereo) arrangement of Strike up the Band, included on Sony's The Essential Gershwin. Sadly, Sony never released the whole album on CD.

 

On 22/11/2021 at 9:46 PM, Disco Stu said:

But it's weird, it's a piece I love, but have no special attachment to any single recording like I do for most favorite works.  I bounce around a lot of different ones.  It's like I have this ideal version that exists in my head and I've never heard a recording that quite aligns with my ideal.

 

That's quite similar to how I feel as well - I suspect it's a work that's hard to pull off in all aspects.

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22 minutes ago, Thor said:

And yes, JS, another one from the HM box. But that box constitutes 15% of my entire collection of classical music!

That means you've got about 200 classical CDs, which ain't bad. :)

 

I really like this disc, one of my favourites in the box. These particular recordings of Haydn's cello concerto and Mozart's Prague symphony sounded very fresh to me at the time, and put Freiburg Barockorchester on my map.

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5 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

That means you've got about 200 classical CDs, which ain't bad. :)

 

I really like this disc, one of my favourites in the box. These particular recordings of Haydn's cello concerto and Mozart's Prague symphony sounded very fresh to me at the time, and put Freiburg Barockorchester on my map.

 

Yes, somewhere between 200-250 if I include digital files, CDs and LPs all together. It's OK, but hardly impressive. It will be, though, when I inherit my father's CDs and LPs in the future. Will jump up to 3000-ish.

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5 minutes ago, Thor said:

Yes, somewhere between 200-250 if I include digital files, CDs and LPs all together. It's OK, but hardly impressive. It will be, though, when I inherit my father's CDs and LPs in the future. Will jump up to 3000-ish.

 

You're gonna need a bigger shelf then!

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