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#41 Metalstar

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:21 AM

QUOTE(JakiroTribal @ May 15 2009, 09:58 AM) View Post
Please try to go to Youtube and watch Piano Solos-The Rose by Christopher Peacock.

here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3DJrKd6HKE

Be sure to watch it and hear it of course. ^^


Even Fur Elise is better. =/


#42 Ungeheuer

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:16 AM

QUOTE(Taxes- @ May 15 2009, 06:17 PM) View Post
On a Mendelssohn kick personally, his chamber music is brilliant. Take the Piano Trio Op. 49 for instance, if the first movement doesn't have some of the most immersive moments in all of early romanticism, I don't know what those would be. And to think that he's sometimes characterized as a kitschy composer...

The few Lieder ohne Worte that I've heard are insipid though, so I guess I can of see where the criticism comes from. And now, I know that exterial factors like age/nationality or anything of the kind shouldn't be taken into account when you listen to something, but his Octet Op. 20 really has to be heard if only for the fact that it was written when he was 16 (!) years old. It's good enough on its own to be appreciable, but when you take into account the fact that it was written this early, it really makes you realize that the guy was someone special, an archvirtuoso amongst virtuosi, definitely one of the most talented composer to ever walked the earth. It's a shame that he had to die this early, I feel like he still had his most brilliant years ahead of him (this seems to be a constant in the world of music composition, I can't think of many composers that regressed later in their life).
Yes, Mendelssohn was an incredible composer, it's very interesting to contrast him with his good friend Robert Schumann: Mendelssohn's compositions always feel refined, economic (in the best sense of the word) and sharpened into the finest details while retaining a classical sense of spontaneity and proportion (the Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream almost sounds as if it could've been written by Mozart, from the same time as his Octet). The ideas and themes aren't always that distinctive though, unlike those of Schumann who seemed to be overflowing with unusual, striking ideas which he brought to paper almost unreflected - there's a raw directness to his music, you feel the labor behind it, there's seemingly loose ends and unnecessary repetition, the orchestration isn't elegant or particularly effective but creates dense, finely graded colors and moods you won't hear anywhere else. Still, so much of his music is deeply affecting, his late Violin Concerto which has always been treated shabbily sent shivers down my spine with it unrelenting sternness. They seem like polar opposites when it comes to the part inspiration and compositional elaboration play in their music.

As for Strauss, the regression in his later years may be explained by his self-denial: He seemingly grew scared of his music's modernity and expressiveness shortly after finishing Elektra and turned to composing relatively harmless, soundtrack-like tone poems and lighter, comical operas. He lost his edge, so to say and since he consciously stepped back from what appeared to be the natural evolution of style for him he never really regained it.

Edited by Ungeheuer, 16 May 2009 - 09:31 AM.


#43 mjmetro

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:41 PM

QUOTE(Ungeheuer @ May 16 2009, 09:16 AM) View Post

Yes, Mendelssohn was an incredible composer, it's very interesting to contrast him with his good friend Robert Schumann: Mendelssohn's compositions always feel refined, economic (in the best sense of the word) and sharpened into the finest details while retaining a classical sense of spontaneity and proportion (the Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream almost sounds as if it could've been written by Mozart, from the same time as his Octet). The ideas and themes aren't always that distinctive though, unlike those of Schumann who seemed to be overflowing with unusual, striking ideas which he brought to paper almost unreflected - there's a raw directness to his music, you feel the labor behind it, there's seemingly loose ends and unnecessary repetition, the orchestration isn't elegant or particularly effective but creates dense, finely graded colors and moods you won't hear anywhere else. Still, so much of his music is deeply affecting, his late Violin Concerto which has always been treated shabbily sent shivers down my spine with it unrelenting sternness. They seem like polar opposites when it comes to the part inspiration and compositional elaboration play in their music.


interesting.  when i studied the mendelssohn violin concerto, i was struck by the piece's definition and refinement.  i could never get INTO playing it because i couldn't understand it musically as well as many other pieces.  its not like the mendelssohn felt clinical exactly, but that's kind of the right word to describe how it felt to me.  many other simpler and far less technically involved or refined pieces `spoke' to me more easily.  maybe i wasn't able to understand the mendelssohn due to some disconnect on my end, but it was kind of a chore to work through...still it does have some of those really absolutely `perfect' moments when you get it right.  that was the last major piece i worked on before i stopped studying violin, so its something that i remember quite well.  i think i might still be able to play most of it by heart even after 5 years, so it left some imprint on me.

as far as i've understood it, that piece is a techinical yardstick to chart a player's progress (as in, you're pretty good if you can play the mendelssohn) but also as one of the great romantic concertos.  i guess i never got that side of it, though it certainly is hard!

Edited by mjmetro, 16 May 2009 - 01:41 PM.


#44 Ungeheuer

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:55 PM

QUOTE(mjmetro @ May 16 2009, 11:41 PM) View Post
interesting.  when i studied the mendelssohn violin concerto, i was struck by the piece's definition and refinement.  i could never get INTO playing it because i couldn't understand it musically as well as many other pieces.  its not like the mendelssohn felt clinical exactly, but that's kind of the right word to describe how it felt to me.  many other simpler and far less technically involved or refined pieces `spoke' to me more easily.  maybe i wasn't able to understand the mendelssohn due to some disconnect on my end, but it was kind of a chore to work through...still it does have some of those really absolutely `perfect' moments when you get it right.  that was the last major piece i worked on before i stopped studying violin, so its something that i remember quite well.  i think i might still be able to play most of it by heart even after 5 years, so it left some imprint on me.

as far as i've understood it, that piece is a techinical yardstick to chart a player's progress (as in, you're pretty good if you can play the mendelssohn) but also as one of the great romantic concertos.  i guess i never got that side of it, though it certainly is hard!
Well, one has to draw a line between being able to play something and being able to play it well, both from a technical as well as an interpretive perspective (they are somewhat inseparable). According to my mother a lot of the music that looks simple on paper can place far more demands on the player in terms of interpretation (bowing, phrasing, but also utter purity of intonation in the case of Mozart) than virtuoso literature. An example on the piano would be the fact that it's easier to smuggle a few wrong notes and rhythmic irregularities into a Liszt etude than into a Mozart sonata, for example.

And though it hasn't shaken me like the Schumann concerto (yet) I do enjoy it a lot, it definitely is one of the great violin concertos.

I've recently stumbled upon Bartok's very late viola concerto, fuck that's an awesome piece of music - gusty and folks, but also thought-provoking and fragile.

#45 Taxes-

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:52 PM

Schumann's violin concerto is indeed quite nice, but it hasn't completely done it for me yet I think. His piano however, now that's an amazing piece of music! It's one of my favorite romantic concerto, that's for sure, but then I'm not all that much of a concerto fanatic*, especially not the violin ones. I can't stand the Beethoven for instance, it would have made for a brilliant symphony but it's absolutely awful as a concerto. I guess this is probably a bit of an overstatement, and I should probably listen to a few more recordings of it before making a generalization like that, but I really do believe that Beethoven wasn't in his element with the concerto form.

The Brahms one has its great moments, but there's also times when I feel like I'm listening to a virtuosic showpiece (Joachim's influence, I presume). Tchaikovsky and Sibelius, both never managed to make much of an impression on me, though as far as 20th Century goes, the fiery Khatchaturian one with its frightening momentum and all its ridiculously catchy melodies gets my vote for sure. If Armenian folk music sounds if only half as awesome as that, it's something that I'll have to investigate. I do like the Mendelssohn one a lot too, but maybe on a sligthly different level than stuff like the Brahms third symphony.

Because going back to Schumann here, if anything, that Symphony is the greatest testament that he had some of the greatest ideas out of all composers. When you think about it, Brahms was able to make a major theme of out of a dead end from Schumann's third, and it's the glorious very first theme of the first movement that we're talking about here (not that the other movement or themes are inferior to it, the symphony's so amazingly even in its greatness throughout its entire length). I'll need to listen to more of Schumann's works eventually, I tried some of his early piano pieces (performed by Sviatoslav Richter), and I wasn't entirely convinced (dripping with the type romanticism that I kind of dislike). Maybe I should have gone with someone else than Richter though, I think I might prefer them as performed by someone with a drier touch (Brendel maybe? or Kempff? someone else? that's something that I'll have to look into, I don't know enough about pianists yet to know where exactly I should go).

*except as far as Mozart is concerned, obviously

edit: and now that I think of it, finding a good recording of brahms third is something that I'll have to do eventually too, neither the Szell/Chicago, Karajan/BPO recording or even the Nagano/OSM concert were completely satisfying to me (I kind of make up for that by doubling the music in my head, but then a truly great performance would probably make the experience even more amazing).

Edited by Taxes-, 16 May 2009 - 07:15 PM.


#46 Ungeheuer

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

I really like Klemperer in Brahms (not just the Third), he takes slightly slower tempi than Szell and Karajan in the outer movements (I don't know Naagano's pacings), the inner movements are quite fleet but never rushed. He eschews showy dynamics and artificial smoothness in favor of relishing in detail, he brings out the counterpoint of this piece like few other conductors do – the voices mesh, there is a constant forward pull, everything feels fully formed, unlike Szell who sounds very airy, noncommittal to me Klemps allows the notes to rest. Rhythmic oddities like hemioles are empathized rather than brushed over (just listen to Brahms' First under Karajan and Klemperer, the fugato right after the longer, second quote from Beehoven's Ninth: Quite revealing about their priorities), but he still brings a magnificent grace to the finale movement where it's appropriate, the brass is always audible but doesn't overpower the rest of the ensemble as it often does under Karajan, the woodwinds are up front as usual under Klemperer. He uses the old German orchestral seating which means divided first and second violins, this makes both for added clarity and stereo effects – Brahms composed all the music with this seating in mind. The playing is terrific, especially that of the woodwinds – pure and vibrato-free, they use the warmer-sounding wooden flute. The sound is quite good for early stereo, a bit distant (but also warmer) compared to later recordings but you won't notice it while listening.

The box with the complete Symphonies, the Haydn Variations and the two Overtures was one of the best buys I ever made, this is Brahms without pomp or emotional exaggeration, performed by a man who clearly loved every last note of these pieces - Brahms was Klemperer's favorite composer.

Edited by Ungeheuer, 16 May 2009 - 08:17 PM.


#47 Metalstar

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:58 PM

I love Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien. smile.gif

#48 pleasuretokill-

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 05:43 PM

So I was listening to Gorecki's Symphony 3, and that shit sounds dark as hell!


I really enjoy it.

#49 Ungeheuer

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:19 AM

Personally I haven't heard it, word on the nets is that No. 3 is widely considered Górecki's Sell-Out Symphony by the musical avantgarde, lol

EDIT: I see it's supposed to be similar to Pärt and other quasi-religious minimalism. Doesn't sound too appealing tbh

Edited by Ungeheuer, 28 May 2009 - 05:23 AM.


#50 mjmetro

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:24 PM

any russian romantic fans in here?

i was listening to horowitz doing rachmaninov's preludes earlier and i was absolutely blown away...again...for like the 50th time.  that man was some kind of powerful pianist.



#51 Ungeheuer

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:34 PM

I'm still trying to like Rachmaninoff, somehow I never really warmed up to Russian Romanticism from Tchaikovsky to Rachmaninoff. I adore plenty of other Slavic composers like Janacek, Bartok or Szymanowski, but Russians. :S

I'm planning to listen to more Mussorgsky though, Boris Godunov in particular.

#52 Taxes-

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:57 PM

Except for Shostakovich, I can't say that I'm very familiar with any of the russian composers tbh. I like Tchaikovsky's 6th if that counts though (and I have his 4th and 5th that I still haven't listened to yet; Gergiev/VPO, should be interesting).

So many intriguing composers that I've never (or barely) ever listened to =/ (think Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Rimsy-Korsakov, Khatchaturian, Prokofiev, Borodin, Rachmaninoff etc.)


And on an unrelated note, I just ran into these great Scarlatti videos here, 3 radically different interpretations of the great Kk. 27 sonata:
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zKywH1uc2l0
Ztn0p6fV9O8

and jack gibbons playing the same sonata even faster than michelangeli (he doesn't quite get it though):
pQdMtCndHZg

I like perahia's version too.

#53 Metalstar

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:40 AM

QUOTE(mjmetro @ May 28 2009, 08:24 PM) View Post
any russian romantic fans in here?

i was listening to Richter doing rachmaninov's preludes earlier and i was absolutely blown away...again...for like the 50th time.  that man was some kind of powerful pianist.



fixed

http://journalmetro.com/culture/article/23...x-contribuables
T'étais au courant, Taxes-?

BTW Last month I saw Mahler's Resurrection, it was very good. You guys should definitely check it out with Claudio Abbado as conductor.

In 2 weeks I'll be attending Beethoven's 9th, can't wait.
CANT
WAIT

Edited by Metalstar, 29 May 2009 - 03:04 AM.


#54 Taxes-

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:49 AM

J'étais là la journée ou ils l'ont annoncé! (ya 2-3 mois si je me souviens bien, concert Shostakovich Beethoven (?)). J'ai hate de voir comment ça va être, c'est sur (en espérant que l'acoustique des places pour pauvre soit meilleur qu'à wilfrid-pelletier tongue.gif). Pis c'est au festival de Lanaudière que tu va voir la 9eme? C'est fou le nombre de festival de musique classique au Québec, y va en avoir un a Knowlton et a Orford aussi cet été.

#55 omfgzila

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:50 AM

Scarlatti is awesome and so is Byrd.

#56 mjmetro

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:27 PM

@taxes: scriabin is awesome (but i guess that's the piano player in me talking...he's like revered by pianists only).

edit: since i have some time this summer, i'm going to try to relearn the bach 2 and 3 part inventions.  no matter how much i practice, i'll never be a good pianist (didn't start early enough/never practiced enough), but i think with practice i could be decent again.  maybe i'll upload some for critique.

Edited by mjmetro, 29 May 2009 - 12:30 PM.


#57 taviona

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

QUOTE(mjmetro @ May 29 2009, 03:27 PM) View Post

edit: since i have some time this summer, i'm going to try to relearn the bach 2 and 3 part inventions.  no matter how much i practice, i'll never be a good pianist (didn't start early enough/never practiced enough), but i think with practice i could be decent again.  maybe i'll upload some for critique.

Hmm I've been thinking about trying to play one of those inventions as well. Are they hard, like I've been playing the piano for about 2 years now (with a teacher, I might ask her about that as well), should I be able to do one of those?

One of my favorites: Beethoven's Missa solemnis

7Rt0hEMlrb4
Karajan's version of the beginning of the Credo (I think it's kinda kitschy and a little too dramatic but not bad)

R9ktXTeRKdo
Bernstein's version which is, methinks, more balanced and less ZOMG BOOM HUGE BRASS SECTION INYOURFACE (ugh did I just write that?)

Sound quality on both is kinda poor unfortunately

edit: Those Scarlatti videos are great, I love the one by Michelangeli. It really sounds very much like it's played on a harpsichord somehow.

Edited by taviona, 29 May 2009 - 01:49 PM.


#58 mjmetro

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE(taviona @ May 29 2009, 01:46 PM) View Post

Hmm I've been thinking about trying to play one of those inventions as well. Are they hard, like I've been playing the piano for about 2 years now (with a teacher, I might ask her about that as well), should I be able to do one of those?


they aren't easy, but they're incredible for practicing two-hand coordination.  well worth the effort.  its amazing how some things can remain staples of instruction for hundreds of years...euclid's elements, bach inventions.  the longevity speaks for itself.

#59 Ungeheuer

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:29 PM

I'll never get why Karajan insisted to use the Wiener Singverein (which is essentially an amateur choir) for incredibly difficult, polyphonic choral works like Brahms' Requiem or the Missa Solemnis. They sound tolerable during the loud parts, though not particularly homogeneous or rhythmically accurate, but during the quiet parts their intonation is often nothing short of awful. And it's not like he didn't know that, as he tended to exaggerate the importance of the orchestra in pieces like the Brahms or Mozart Requiems (many of which rank among his few truly awful recordings).

The best Missa Solemnis I've heard so far is the Klemperer one I stumbled upon recently, it's beautifully jagged, one feels the labor behind the music. The Philharmonia Choir sings with outstanding clarity, it's better balanced than most modern recordings of the mass (and he uses the old German seating with divided violins) - Klemperer's tempos are far from glacial, he's a bit faster than most in the slow movements and slower than some in the fast ones - unlike Bernstein or Harnoncourt he doesn't force huge tempo contrasts, but this goes well with the work's anachronistic character IMO considering how much it owes to Renaissance polyphony.

Edited by Ungeheuer, 29 May 2009 - 02:29 PM.


#60 Taxes-

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE(taviona @ May 29 2009, 05:46 PM) View Post

edit: Those Scarlatti videos are great, I love the one by Michelangeli. It really sounds very much like it's played on a harpsichord somehow.

That's true, I think it's a bit too fast though. Perahia with 3:42 hits closest to the mark tempowise imo (could be a bit faster I guess), but it's more mannered and it never approaches the intensity of Michelangeli's reading.

and on Gibbons, this version's much better actually:

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He's just as fast as in the other but it's clearer and he doesn't mess up during the more intricate parts. I still think it's too fast though, you don't get to hear all the brilliance of Scarlatti when you're playing him all virtoso like.

And in that regard, I think that Gillels and Ross are both very interesting, especially Ross. I don't think I've ever heard an harpsichord sound this good; as far as you can get from Beecham's "Two skeletons copulating on a tin roof" characterization. Now if only all harpsichord could sound like this. It's what turns me off the most about Gustav Leonhardt's Goldberg Variations actually, I almost feel like I'm listening to a midi synthethiser =/.

and @ mjmetro, yeah that's what I've heard too, that Scriabin was a pianist's composer. It's what's made him the most intriguing to me actually, being somewhat of an ex-pianist failure or something biggrin.png.  Just listened to a few prelude from him, nice stuff. Reminds me a bit of Chopin, yet without some of the more baffling and weirder rhythmical irregularities. Because seriously, listening to Argerich's label-proclaimed "legendary recording" of Chopin's music has left me quite perplex more than a few times, especially in the beginning of that third sonata =/.

I have a hard time understanding how music that seems this unsteady and often unassured can be this popular.

Edited by Taxes-, 29 May 2009 - 03:44 PM.





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