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April 21, 2018, 12:49:17 am
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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 16, 2018, 06:46:20 pm
I just read one of the replies to one of the letters to Dutton,at the "other forum". I have not bought one of these cd's;but I was quite shocked at the tone. Interestingly,I was watching an episode of Fawlty Towers the other night! As the satirical,periodical,Private Eye might say;"I wonder if by chance they could be related?"!! Grin I remember the Chandos cd of Cyril Scott Chamber Works had a track,that wouldn't fit on the issued cd;but Chandos,very graciously, allowed you to download an Mp3 of the track from their website. (I must admit,I never did! Roll Eyes).
2  Various / Computers and Programming / Re: File conversion software on: April 09, 2018, 09:19:25 am
I would use Audacity, which is free, and is an all-purpose audio editor; rather more than just a conversion tool. But you can import an audio file in one format and export it in another. You can also edit it and tidy it up in the process if so desired. Also good for recording. You do have to search for add-on libraries to handle .mp3 and .m4a, but they are not hard to find.
Thank you,Gauk. I did have Audacity on my old pc. I must admit I haven't really explored most of it's functions,as I'm still a bit of an analogue man at heart Roll Eyes. I will read up about it,now. Previously,I have only used it for the odd online recording,and a bit of simple editing.
3  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 08, 2018, 02:21:30 pm
Playing,now. Robert Simpson's Ninth. One can admire the structure;but I think I preferred 2,3,4 & 5.
4  Various / Computers and Programming / Re: File conversion software on: April 08, 2018, 02:18:50 pm
Audio files,at the moment. In the last few days I've converted FLAC and MP4 music files to MP3's. I use other software for Zip files and RAR. Usually to Mp3. Apologies,for not making myself more clear!
5  Various / Computers and Programming / File conversion software on: April 08, 2018, 01:42:10 pm
There used to be quite a few free downloads of file conversion software on the web. Some of them had a limit of so many days;or a limited number of conversions before they stopped working. You could get around that by downloading it again,of course. I did find some software that converted audio & video files,without a limit on days or the number of times you could use it. Unfortunately,it went down with my last pc! What  "Free" software do members use here here,currently. And if I do choose to pay? Which software would be the best choice,and not break the bank?! (NB: The more file formats it can handle,the better!) And what about ones that do video,as well? Sometimes I need to! I am using two with a 21 day limit,at the moment.
6  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 08, 2018, 01:01:28 pm
On now,the second movement of Simpson's third. I remember,like vandermolen,feeling less enthusiastic about this movement than the rest of the symphony. Now,after all that pounding energy, it seems like the only logical step. It feels just right! Smiley
7  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 08, 2018, 11:14:30 am
Playing here,now. Robert Simpson's Second symphony. I've been listening to this cd (and it is the right one this time,I have checked! Grin) since last night. I seem to be hooked on "Nielsen without the tunes",and wondering how long I can resist the urge to collect the remaining cd's in the series. I like the way he builds up his ideas. There is an unfolding logic. None of that feeling of aimlessness you get in some lesser symphonies. I love the quieter moments,too. They really curl into the corners of your mind and hold your attention (well,they do mine!). They never seem to be just put there,because it's a symphony,and you put quiet bits there! To be honest,I can't really understand why I wasn't won over by these symphonies the first time around? I really like what I'm hearing. Oh,and I don't find them particularly cold,either. In fact,I feel a warmth to their Beethovenian,fiery spirit! Grin
8  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 07, 2018, 02:47:53 pm
Yes,I'm hoping I will get to hear that promised Cpo of Holbrooke. Imho,in terms of the performances,the last volume was the best Holbrook cd ever!! I thought it was absolutely superb. I can only hope that Howard Griffiths and Cpo maintain their enthusiasm.
9  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 07, 2018, 02:42:46 pm
Playing here,now. Eugene d'albert's Tiefland. Yes,it's a beautiful score. I picked the RCA recording with Rudolf Schock because I like his singing. Funnily enough,I didn't used to,so much. With time and age I've come to enjoy the aristocratic cut of his ringing tenor! Looking at his photo's I can imagine some ladies being impressed. I like him in Stolz's complete operetta and the Keilberth Der Freischutz,too. This sound world is different from Die Toten Augen. More restrained,to suit the material,but there is the same mastery of orchestration.

Incidentally,I have to believe those things I write about Schreker,not being my cup of tea. If I bought one,I might end up wanting them all?!!! Roll Eyes Grin
10  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 07, 2018, 01:25:12 pm
Eugene d'Albert

One of the most unusually-named Scotsmen you might find :-)   I don't (yet!) know Die Toten Augen, but I can aver that the reviews you've read of Tiefland are richly deserved - so you have much pleasure ahead :-)

In addition to three solid piano concertos for Dundonnell to relish, there are no less than 18 (!) operas. The title which most intrigues me is Der Golem - premiered, oddly, in Frankfurt, while Tiefland was first heard in Prague  (one might expect things the other way round, hmmm?).  Apparently there is a recording on MDG, which I must try to look out. Anyone know it?
I was nearly put off Die Toten Augen by some of the descriptions of lush,sumptuous orchestration. Schreker's a bit too OTT,and murky,for me. The big surprise here,is that some of it sounds more like Korngold.......yet, different. Quite 'film-ic in places. The singing is more lyrical than Schreker,too. It's not one of those operas too,where the orchestration is gorgeous,but the singing is just tuneless hectoring. Some of it is quite refined. You can just sit back and wallow in the beauty of the orchestration and singing,without bothering about the libretto. I don't know about the libretto;but listening to this makes me think that his unrecorded operas are definitely worth investigating! The man certainly could orchestrate! And yes,I was very intrigued by Der Golem. Only the s/h prices,I saw,and some expressed reservations about some of the performances of individual singers and the sound of the orchestra;put me off. Weighing up the pro's and cons;the possibility of a better recording is remote (although,you never know?!) and it does sound very intriguing! Both the story and the descriptions of his late sound world! I have only two MDG recordings (of Draeseke) in my collection,and they are splendidly recorded and presented. Incidentally,the singing on this recording is superb,all round. Unlike,the otherwise,very good,The Bloody Nun (La Nonne Sanglante) by Gounod,which is marred by a tenor with bleating tone. I was listening to it last week. I kept thinking,"Oh,dear,if only he wasn't in it. How much more can I stand of this?" Fortunately,the vigor of the performances,and Gounod's colourful,and fun,score (fun story too;I loved The Monk,when I was a youngster!) do take over after a while!  But just that one singer!!!! Roll Eyes
11  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 07, 2018, 11:59:19 am
On,now! Eugene d'albert's opera,Die Toten Augen,on the Cpo label. I bought his opera,Tiefland;and after reading all the reviews,I just couldn't resist this one. Lush,sumptuously,beautiful orchestration;but not in a ott way,like Schreker;and less overpowering than Richard Strauss,in his noisier operas.  I'd say,it's more refined. More lyrical. Some of the orchestration I'm listening to now,is very beautiful indeed. It reminds me of Korngold,here;but it has a quality all of it's own. I haven't listened to Tiefland,yet! This is a bit of a find by Cpo,imho!

12  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 06, 2018, 01:53:16 pm
On now,Dukas' wonderful opera,Ariane et Barbe-bleue;in the recording,conducted by Armin Jordan. The dazzlingly,sumptuous orchestration absolutely glitters. In some ways,it's more like a massive tone poem with some operatic singing. No need to follow a libretto,just enjoy! Smiley Smiley Smiley
13  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 06, 2018, 01:05:45 pm
 Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed Grin
On,now...........and I just double checked the cd,before putting it on!! Sad Grin Lortzing's Der Opernprobe. I think this delightful,and very tuneful little opera (singspiel,really),is my favourite Lortzing opera,after his Der Wildschutz! Absolutely,winning;and not much about it on the internet. A bit of a find,imho. Also,nice and short (only one cd!). The performances,on this Cpo recording,are excellent. Some choice sound effects,add to the atmosphere of the recording;and the performers sound as if they're having great fun! Apparently,it sends up the operatic conventions of the day? But after my earlier post........heck,what do I know?!! Embarrassed Roll Eyes

I had Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella on,a bit earlier. An operatic failiure,as far as the libretto and history is concerned;but Schubert's music is just lovely. Some of the duets between the two lead male soloists were exceptionally melodious. The recording,conducted but Suitner;and available on the Brilliant label,is excellent!
14  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 06, 2018, 12:14:55 pm
A very embarassing confession,now!! Roll Eyes Embarrassed After posting enthusiastically about the Simpson's Fourth,I went downstairs. I was surprised that the cd,of the Second and Fourth,also,included a talk by Simpson;and the display on the mini hi-fi read track 17!!!! I then discovered that the wrong cd's were in the jewel boxes. No's 2 & 4,were in the case for No 9;and,well,vice-versa!! Roll Eyes Embarrassed In my defence! Roll Eyes Grin I tend to listen to music via wireless headphones. Good,Senheisser,ones,though. More often than not,I am anywhere other than in the vicinity of the cd display. I had also been out and about,in between listening to,the cd's of No's 9 & 2 & 4;and I hadn't heard his Ninth,in around fifteen years! It's still an embarassing mistake,though. It's really to know,isn't it...... that there are such discerning listeners here?!! Nevertheles....... Grin;I do,stand by the contents of my post;but let's say that they referred to the Ninth,even though,I thought I was listening to the Fourth!!!! Roll Eyes Grin

I did go on to listen to the Second and Fourth then;after carefully ensuring that I knew what I was listening to,first! Roll Eyes Grin These are complex pieces of music;and I think you do need to get your head around them. They're not as immediately digestible as the third. I have heard it said that Simpson is a bit like Nielsen,without the tunes. I really don't think tunes are always vital to enjoying a symphony. What is important,imho,with Simpson's symphonies,is the way he builds his argument. The fact you can't hum them over the dishes afterwards,really isn't that important,as far as I'm concerned. What does bother me is a symphony that seems motiveless or lacking in direction. There's no sense of purpose,or end goal. Daniel Jones' symphonies aren't particularly tuneful (although there is a lyrical nature there,somewhere) but I get allot of enjoyment,and satisfaction from listening to them. There is a purposefulness and unfolding logic,an argument that holds my attention,throughout. As to Simpson's perceived coldness. I'm not sure that prevents me from enjoying his music? I can certainly think of warmer hearted composers,who bore me to tears! But we'll see?!!
15  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 06, 2018, 11:34:56 am
Amongst my favourite Dutton releases,of recent years,have been the Havergal Brian cds,and,particularly,the two cd's of orchestral music by Joseph Holbrooke. I've got to admit to being a bit of a fan of his darkly,gothic muse.More please,Dutton!! Grin
Oh,and I did enjoy the cd's of Arnell's ballet music. Punch and the child,is a particular favourite. I've liked the score ever since I heard the Beecham recording. A wonderful score. Haunting,tuneful,and just a bit spooky!! The Great Detective,is not far behind,in some ways. I like the humour.
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