Author Topic: The all new classical music thread  (Read 412 times)

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
The all new classical music thread
« on: July 15, 2021, 03:21:54 PM »
Thread from 2019 here

I was listening to some Daniel Johnston, and sort of dozing so my music player rolled on to the next thing alphabetically, Daniel Lentz. I must have heard something of his ages ago and filed away an album for later listening, but I don't remember anything about it - until now.

I'm listening to "Missa Umbrarum" at the moment, and it's...I know beautiful is an overused word when it comes to stuff like this, but it really is beautiful. 12 voices, bells, rasps and drums - the next track is made of 8 voices, wine glasses and 118 "sonic shadows", so I'm looking forward to it.

As well as sharing my new-found love for this fella, I thought it'd be nice if people shared their favourite bits, recordings of famous things, new composers, all that.

famethrowa

  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 04:31:09 PM »
Got plenty to add, but I'll throw in one of the giants: Mars, The Bringer of War by Gustav Holst, 1914. Jesus Christ, what a terrifying bit of work it is. Nothing predicted the horror of WW1 quite as well, it sounds like some awful machine of war rumbling over the horizon coming to ruin everything. Insanely influential and constantly ripped off.

Twit 2

  • Unutterable anguish
Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 06:47:28 PM »
Dutoit/Montreal is the best version.

Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 08:02:22 PM »
Got plenty to add, but I'll throw in one of the giants: Mars, The Bringer of War by Gustav Holst, 1914. Jesus Christ, what a terrifying bit of work it is. Nothing predicted the horror of WW1 quite as well, it sounds like some awful machine of war rumbling over the horizon coming to ruin everything. Insanely influential and constantly ripped off.
I love Mars. It's one of my favourite Romantic-era pieces, to the point where I studied it for an A-Level Music assignment. It's both beautiful and horrific. And it's got a shit ton of brass in it, which is one reason why I tended to prefer the Romantic era over Classical and Baroque pieces. I'm not sure who my favourite composer is but Tchaikovsky's up there. Elgar's another one I like. My grandad was a big fan and back in 2012 my mum was in the Hallé Choir and they got to sing The Apostles at the Proms, and I was recovering from eye surgery at the time and the Olympics were on, so I was staying at my auntie's house and watching the diving with the Hallé on in the background and going 'fucking hell, that's my mum on the radio'. There's one bit quite late on, I think it might be the bit in the cave, that's just beautiful. It's got the semichorus on it and she was picked for the semichorus.

Speaking of A-Level Music, did anyone else here do it and if so, did you study Messiaen's Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps? I expected I'd get sick of it after having to listen to the damn thing over and over, but no. Dance of Wrath for the Seven Trumpets has the same apocalyptic vibe that Mars does and some of the other parts are gorgeous. And the backstory behind it is incredible too, it was played on broken instruments in a concentration camp. It also has no time signature or bar lines in several parts, it is a real bastard to play. I know, I had a go at some of the piano myself.

Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 01:32:58 PM »
Over the last year I found that listening to historic recordings was a good way for me to be able to decide on something from a massive world to listen to and to get an idea of how later interpretations differed from a once recognised standard. Concentrating on solo piano music, I totally marvelously enjoyed Arthur Schnabel's complete Beethoven sonata cycle from the 1930s before going on to Wilhelm Kempff's two famous Beethoven sonata cycles from his middle and old age (then his earlier wartime and pre-war recordings; and then his Schubert sonata cycle too since I became a big Kempffhead). The Beethoven piano sonatas are skill and wizard and monuments of the classical repertoire.

And from the Baroque period music, similarly, Edwin Fischer's first complete recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier (from around the same time as Schnabel's Beethoven) which eschews the sensuous fluidity that I was accustomed to from later piano versions and is now my favourite version. For Bach's cello suites I prefer Pierre Fournier's playing to Pablo Casals' (which I struggled with) and I like Thomas Demenga's recent recordings of them for ECM too (they also have a préludes and sarabandes only version for sentimental types).

I was surprised and disappointed to find there was no outstanding equivalent to Fischer and Schnabel for Haydn - whose complete sonatas were first recorded in the second half of the century I think (although there have been a lot of selective recordings that I like of those sonatas) and that Mozart's sonatas are comparatively uninteresting. I liked listening to the Haydn society's Schneider Quartet recordings and the Busch quartet playing Beethoven's string quartets, along with various other Adolf Busch recordings and piano trios.

If you go by Schoenberg's (most famous) version of the dodecaphonic method, this year is the centenary of that form of music. I don't know if it's being commemorated in any way.

Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2021, 01:42:58 PM »
I've spent the day listening to a French ambient/modern classical musical who goes by the name Colleen, after hearing one of her tracks on Radio 3 last night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egycGT6WCNo

Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2021, 12:09:11 PM »
Kankurette mentioned Messiaen. I have a Messiaen question (perhaps a long shot). The wikipedia page for Catalogue d'oiseaux quotes this:

Quote
Each piece is written in honor of a French province. It bears the title of the bird-type of the chosen region. It is not alone: its habitat neighbors surround it and also sing (...) - its landscape, the hours of day and night that change this landscape, are also present, with their colors, their temperatures, the magic of their perfumes

Does anyone know a) the French provinces associated with the birds, b) the main other neighbouring birds found in those provinces?

Quote
    First Book
        I. Le chocard des alpes (The Alpine chough)
        II. Le loriot (The Eurasian golden oriole)
        III. Le merle bleu (The Blue rock thrush)
    Second Book
        IV. Le traquet stapazin (The Black-eared wheatear)
    Third Book
        V.-VI. La chouette hulotte & L'alouette-lulu (The Tawny owl & The Woodlark)
    Fourth Book
        VII. Le rousserolle effarvatte part 1 (The Eurasian reed warbler)
        VII. Le rousserolle effarvatte part 2
    Fifth Book
        VIII. L'alouette calandrelle (The Greater short-toed lark)
        IX. La bouscarle (The Cetti's warbler)
    Sixth Book
        X. Le merle de roche part 1 (The Common rock thrush)
        X. Le merle de roche part 2
    Seventh Book
        XI. La buse variable (The Common buzzard)
        XII. La traquet rieur (The Black wheatear)
        XIII. Le courlis cendré (The Eurasian curlew)

Re: The all new classical music thread
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2021, 06:20:19 PM »
No, but you’ve got me interested. I remember he had a thing about birdsong, it was one of his influences.

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