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1  About music in general / Individual composers / Re: Stjepan Šulek on: July 09, 2018, 08:46:41 pm
Agree with djarvie's recommendations entirely.  For me No.6 stands out as most compelling followed by No.5, and then Nos.3&4.
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: New July cds on: July 08, 2018, 09:01:00 am
Surprised to see the Goldschmidt/Reizenstein CD already posted to (US) YouTube, where I had a listen.  A Hindemith influence, yes, I can hear that, - but Vaughan Williams?
In any case, not at all an easy piece for me to assimilate (or like) on first exposure (the Violin Concerto impresses me far more, - but this can change), and I certainly don't hear the "deep sadness" you (or the note writer?) refer to.  The "long line" is entirely absent.
3  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: New July cds on: July 07, 2018, 01:48:52 am
Reizenstein's Cello Concerto is the piece that most intrigues me.
4  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / Re: Surprised by Beauty on: July 07, 2018, 01:08:45 am
Ouch, - yeah.

Schuman, Mennin, Piston, Hanson, Creston, (one might add Thompson, Persichetti, and others) - exactly the characters I myself would wish to read about.

But Stephen Albert, Kenneth Fuchs, Steven Gerber, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Peter Schickele(!), Morton Gould, Lowell Liebermann, (a few others also I could name)?

Are these truly worthy of much more than passing recognition?  (Perhaps they are, and I too would be Surprised by some exceptional Beauty were I to engage with their music as the authors have).

Enough essays on the more intriguing and commanding composers may redeem any felt inconsistencies, -  or your antipathies converted to curiosity and even admiration in some cases.

But from outside it seems just so much a hodge-podge.

Please update your evaluation as you make your way through.
5  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / Re: Surprised by Beauty on: July 06, 2018, 08:12:33 pm
Thanks for that, Colin.

In fact, you immediately touch on something that has me waffling whenever I consider acquiring this volume, - which is the idiosyncratic and less than ideal choice of composers included (at least, given my own biases and enthusiasms).  It's a major disincentive.

Not that a majority of the author's inclusions aren't just fine, - figures I would be keen to gain more insight about, and better understand the personal, social, and historical context of their work and its possible meaning(s).

But so many other names (mostly Americans) induce a disappointed wince, not out of any disparagement (like with you, I'm mostly ignorant of their music), but because certain more familiar and (to my mind) more important figures I'd wish to read the authors' reflections on and evaluations of are thereby excluded.

I do understand most (all?) of these essays originated as magazine pieces, enough inspired by the occasion and the authors' then inclinations to make them appropriate subjects at the time of writing.  But now as a book they take on the inevitable flavor of a piecemeal collection (in anticipation at least), incidental and kind of random rather than well planned and calculated, - a discomfiting effect to someone with my characteristic mindset.

I therefore await further apologia from you as to the discerned coherence of and derived satisfaction from the authors' overall vision and treatment (as well as the wisdom of its chosen cast), - if you can give it.  Until then I'm going to hold off, - short of a cheaper copy than I can now find available turning up somewhere.

6  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Naxos on: July 03, 2018, 04:21:47 pm
If its been "well sponsored" (i.e. paid for by outside parties) then conceivably sales numbers don't matter.  Costs were covered in advance.
7  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / Re: Surprised by Beauty on: June 27, 2018, 12:57:32 am
Wonderful.  I'll duly await your evaluation here before judging it worth purchasing myself.

But please confirm you ordered the (2016) 2nd edition, which almost doubled in size, I believe, with dozens of additional composers added.
8  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / Re: Surprised by Beauty on: June 26, 2018, 11:16:21 pm
I've still not acquired this, - but it's on my mind again.

There's an abundance of reviews around, - at Amazon and from other online sources, and extracts - so I get something of its features and qualities now, and even the distinct "philosophy of music" underlying Reilly's approach.

But will no one here opine (Colin?)?

I imagine it a fitting companion to the "PIMLICO Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers" by Mark Morris (which Colin has previously extolled here or elsewhere), likewise quirky and opinionated, but so suggestive and stimulating (much more than a mere Dictionary).
9  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Unrecorded 20th Century British Violin Concertos: an updated list on: June 25, 2018, 10:33:38 pm
Oh.  I had no idea, and can't recall any mention of it here at the time.

Having to choose only 3 from your list for commercial issue I might well go with the trio of Welsh composed VC's by Jones, Matthias, & Grace Williams, - all very strong works in my judgment.
10  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Unrecorded 20th Century British Violin Concertos: an updated list on: June 25, 2018, 05:18:57 pm
A more serious omission:

   Kenneth Leighton
11  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Upcoming cds of previously unrecorded music on: June 09, 2018, 03:07:38 am
Quote
And musical curiosity is, for me, part of the spice of life!

Precisely!

The danger though is one becomes a mere dilettante or dabbler, exposed to and familiar with a vast spectrum of (in our case) musical art, and even able to talk/write about it all with some knowingness and fluency, but after all spread so thin in one's endless enthusiasms and search for the new that little really penetrates in any sustained and transforming fashion given the required but refused demand of exclusion and commitment that would require.  It's the Don Juan complex of a mere aesthete who never sleeps with the same woman twice because in such a hurry to get to the next one, but who by continually repeating the act of sleeping with a new woman finds the sought after "spice" finally become boring and monotonous.  Not accusing anyone of this but just identifying a tendency (and recognition) in myself as much as anyone.  Limits can as often be liberating as suffocating.
12  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Upcoming cds of previously unrecorded music on: June 08, 2018, 05:32:46 pm
Ahem, - probably Othmar Schoeck should be in the mix of "standout" Swiss composers, - and I demand that you publicly recognize it here, hehe.

About David's Symphonies your reflections are curious.  I believe all of his Symphonies were available as downloads at UC well before CPO started their series, and like me I'm sure you listened to them at the time.  I myself did so repetitively, in fact, and as a result became indifferent to CPO's typically snail-like release schedule, having judged the cycle rather sterile and uninteresting (excepting No.2).  Was your initial evaluation more enthusiastic, feeding your impatience for the commercial recordings, but then subsequently turned tepid?  Given your insistent demands that CPO "get on with it" after me knowing you were already familiar with the music, it's surprising now to hear you speak so dismissively having then been convinced you felt passionately (based on the downloads).
13  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: David Diamond Symphony No.6 from Naxos on: May 22, 2018, 11:07:09 pm

That's a good review, and saying similar things to what I said.


I didn't read Barnett's review as any ringing endorsement, - not of the 6th Symphony, at least
14  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: David Diamond Symphony No.6 from Naxos on: May 22, 2018, 06:26:35 pm
All in all a rather forced (if not grudging) defense, and in substance a not much different evaluation from Jeffrey's own. Diamond's freedom to write what he meant I don't believe was in question, but the communicative power of its outcome.  Some uncomfortable works we return to again and again because of a certain resonance we feel, but saying (like Jeffrey) repeated listening in this case is unlikely implies a definite lack in that regard.  Assuming your mind doesn't change, and disregarding the meaning his Symphony held for Diamond himself, you might even have to say "it fails", - or am I drawing the wrong conclusion?
15  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: David Diamond Symphony No.6 from Naxos on: May 21, 2018, 11:55:52 pm

I shall comment on the Diamond and the Kevin Puts cd when I have listened to both.

Everyone will have their own individual response, of course, but in comments on another forum Jeffrey (Vandermoelen) was decidedly unenthusiastic about Diamond's Symphony, describing it as aridly modernistic (using different words) and not a patch on the much more generous humanity of Symphonies 1-4, - a work not likely to gain repeat listening in any but the most dutiful fashion.  Given Jeffrey's penchant for gaming a positive response to even the most doubtfully appealing music, I fear this could be a very tough piece to like very much.  I await some alternative reviews before deciding to chance it myself.
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