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1  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: John Pickard on: August 14, 2018, 03:29:23 pm
I entirely agree! Pickard is one of the finest contemporary British composers. It is splendid that BIS has taken him up. What they should now do is to go back and record the Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3-both exceptionally fine works.

I second this.  I still want to hear his orchestration/reconstruction of Havergal Brian's Cleopatra Vision cantata.
2  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Azarashvili on: August 11, 2018, 12:48:18 am
There's definitely a banner ad service on the top of the page. My bet is this is the most likely source of the problems. The code comments suggest Google but the script is loading from which looks semi-dodgy. (Even big players like Google Adsense can be semi-dodgy these days though :p).

Unfortunately this is why I tend to suggest to everyone to add an ad-blocker extension to your browser (like uBlock Origin). It's not great for websites you want to support but IMHO web advertising is not well controlled at the moment.

It does seem to be a malware provider. but I'm not sure if its the only one.  Why does clicking play on the youtube link above redirect to a non-youtube ransomware site if rkhenderson just posted a youtube link?  There are probably other diseases lurking here.
3  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Azarashvili on: August 10, 2018, 03:22:31 pm
Actually, yesterday I clicked the links as well and nothing strange happened at all. It should be added that these are just ordinary YouTube videos, so I cannot see any reason why clicking them should do any harm. Finally, I would like to add that I know rkhenderson for years, also from private conversations. He would never post links to do any harm for sure. No idea what happened in your case.

Ok, I apologize for going off on him.  This ransomware drives me crazy and i thought his intent was malicious rather than accidentally harmful.
4  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Babadjanyan String Quartet No. 3 on: August 06, 2018, 01:38:09 am
Hi Holger,
 Interesting how many works were composed in memoriam Shostakovich. I like Yuri Levitin's work and recently came across a few more on a rare Melodiya LP. See downloads section.


Well, he was the composer of his time.  He summed up the generation better than anyone else, was an educator who impacted subsequent generations, and frankly seemed to be a very good man.  There is no dirt or negativity towards others.  I've never heard him say anything negative about anyone. 
5  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Georges ENESCU - Strigoii (Ghosts) on: July 20, 2018, 03:07:05 pm
It was composed during world war 1 but seemed to be abandoned.  The world premiere was just 2017.  Some excerpts here saying it is the missing link between the early songs and his opera oedipe.
6  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Henze Raft of the Medusa on: July 12, 2018, 12:25:33 am
I have been looking for this for some time, a modern performance of the revised score (rev. 1990) of Hans Werner Henze's oratorio, Das Floß der Medusa (1967).

Hans Werner Henze’s oratorio, Das Floß der Medusa, with a text by Ernst Schnabel, will be performed by the SWR Symphonieorchester and Peter Eötvös on 15 November at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg and again on 17 November at Hamburg Elphilharmonie. The work was inspired by the 1816 maritime disaster and shares a name with Théodore Géricault’s painting of the event.

In 1816, the French frigate Méduse ran aground off the west coast of Africa. A shortage of lifeboats meant a hastily constructed raft was used in an attempt to ferry 150 survivors to shore. However, soon after setting off on the 30 mile journey, it became clear that towing the raft was impractical and the decision was made to cut the connecting ropes. The rudderless and ill equipped raft was abandoned to its fate.

Henze uses the tragic events to explore the moment where morality, law and social convention dissolve. In today’s climate, the work resonates as a critique on the response to the refugee crisis in Europe, with parallels to the thousands of lives lost at sea.
Hans Werner Henze: Das Floß der Medusa: A fight for survival

The stage is divided in two between the living and the dead. On the side of the dead is a soprano who attempts to lure survivors with her siren song. Jean-Charles, a cabin boy, represents the living and their struggle to remain alive. In the course of the performance the chorus crosses the stage from the side of the living to the side of the dead. Charon, named after Hades’ ferryman in Greek mythology, is the narrator and slips frequently between the two worlds.

Henze transfers the mood and characters from Géricault’s iconic painting to his music, for example using the woodwind section to underscore the living chorus, with ‘breath like noises’ and screams. The journey to the side of the dead is accompanied by the string section.

I had Théodore Géricault’s magnificent painting, The Raft of the ‚Medusa‘, clearly in my mind’s eye when I started work on the music. The pyramid-like pile of human figures in the painting, which is now in the Louvre in Paris, is surmounted by our hero, the mulatto Jean-Charles, waving a fragment of tattered red cloth at a boat that is seen sailing past the distance and that signifies hope and perhaps also salvation – an idea present in our own piece from the very outset. – Hans Werner Henze

As part of ‘Elbphilharmonie+’ there will be a lecture-performance on 16 November featuring a string quartet made up of musicians from the SWR Symphonieorchester who will trace the experience of escape through the music of Béla Bartók and Emin František Burian interjected with readings from texts written by refugees. The concert featuring Henze’s Das Floß der Medusa will be broadcast on SWR 2 on 26 November. In March 2018, Dutch National Opera will present staged performances of the work.

7  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: New July cds on: July 11, 2018, 02:45:43 pm
Dante wrote: Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate. All (lit. "every") hope abandon, ye who enter here.

Well I was going off memory and with a glass of wine!  Tongue
8  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: New July cds on: July 11, 2018, 01:06:51 am
Now I can understand why it has taken so long - 30 years in fact- for Kalevi Aho's Piano Concerto No.1 to be recorded. It is probably Aho's most uncompromisingly modernistic,difficult work. I doubt whether I could really make the effort to sit through it again. 

I think it is no worse than his Cello Concerto No. 1 which is very terse but I grant that the cello tends to be monophonic.  The soundscape is terse and the ending is beautiful.  I usually wait to hear the ending to consider the merit of a work because sort of like Shostakovitch Symphony No. 4, the meaning of the symphony is revealed in the coda.  So you have to survive through 60 minutes of a very unstable, violent, terse music to get to the deeply troubled nature of the coda that tells you 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here'.  What do you think of his Symphony No. 5?  This is sort of the concerto equivalent to it.  Another way to think about it is in spite of the challenges, trials, and tribulations experienced, you have no idea how much despair is even possible.  It's very pessimistic and late Mahlerian as is Shosti No. 4.  Aho used to be a deeply melancholic person.  He does say his world view changed I forget exactly when but I think in the early 1990's when he had kids and started to think beyond his own struggles.  I love large scale works of personal nature.  These are composers who grapple with existential crisis and put that angst foremost into their art. 
9  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: "Recent" Toccata Releases on: July 07, 2018, 02:47:09 pm
I listened to the David Hackbridge Johnson volume 2 yesterday and quite enjoyed it.  I probably liked vol. 1 more but thought Symphony No. 10 was well constructed and has a beautiful ending epilogue.  I liked the bold heroism of No. 13 where I could see traces of German music such as Bruckner but by way of England like Havergal Brian.  Enjoyable symphonies.
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Cowen and Sherwood from EM Records on: July 05, 2018, 02:53:09 pm
Sad that the only way unsung composers works can get recorded and in the market is thru funding in this manner.... at least the listeners have a mechanism to make this happen!!

One could argue we live in good times that such obscure works by obscure composers are recorded these days because of innovative funding techniques reducing the investment risk otherwise we would only hear Beethoven and Mozart re-recordings.  I've had the fortune to listen to works by composers so obscure, I didn't even know I wanted to hear them.
11  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: "Recent" Toccata Releases on: July 03, 2018, 04:02:45 pm
I have just listened to the new Toccata cd with the David Hackbridge Johnson Symphonies Nos. 10 and 13.

Maybe it is my mood but quite honestly I cannot make anything of them at all. Too dense and intractable for me. I just do not understand what the composer is trying to say Sad

I guess its not yet available in the US for me to tell you if you should give it another chance. 
12  Little-known music of all eras / Downloads discussion / Re: British and Irish Music on: June 23, 2018, 01:24:07 am
I really enjoyed the Joubert Piano Concerto, such a fine composer.  Anyone who enjoys Walton, Daniel Jones, Malcolm Arnold, or George Lloyd will find much to enjoy with this composer.  Thanks for the upload.
13  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Wolfgang Gabriel (*1930): Violin concerto op.17 (1971) on: June 22, 2018, 01:04:34 am
Wolfgang Gabriel (*1930) is a renowned Austrian composer and conductor. Many of his compositions are published and were performed, but his Violin concerto op.17 from 1971 remained in manuscript. But the composer kindly granted permission to me to typeset the manuscript and publish the score through my website. Therefore I am happy to announce the free publication of the full score of the Violin concerto. It can be downloaded in pdf-format from my website:

Here is a short biography about Wolfgang Gabriel:

Wolfgang Gabriel was born on 9 June 1930 in Vienna (Austria). He grew up in a musically interested home, his father could play the piano and they often performed family music. So he also started to play the piano at the age of 6 and his first own compositions date from that time as well. Wolfgang Gabriel received regular piano lessons - in his last school year from Hans Sittner - and finished school in 1948. Already a year earlier he had started to study music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky (Kapellmeisterschule), Alfred Uhl (composition) and Grete Hinterhofer (piano). He completed his studies in 1952 and graduated with distinction in music theory and Kapellmeisterschule.

In 1954 Wolfgang Gabriel first worked as a repetiteur and lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, in 1974 he was appointed professor and directed an opera class in his last years until his retirement in 1996. In addition Wolfgang Gabriel became the principal conductor of the Akademischer Orchesterverein, one of the time-honoured non-professional orchestras in Vienna, in 1960 and directed this ensemble for nearly 50 years. And in 1988 he also took over the position of chorus master at the Bachgemeinde Wien. Beyond that Wolfgang Gabriel worked as a lieder accompanist from time to time.

Beside his diverse activities as a conductor Wolfgang Gabriel also composed music throughout his lifetime. His work catalogue contains 9 concertos for orchestra, 3 concertos for chamber ensembles, 9 string quartets, 3 wind quintets, solo concertos for piano, oboe, violin, viola, cello and double bass, chamber works for manifold instrumentations, 9 song cycles and much more. In his compositions Wolfgang Gabriel uses twelve-tone rows, but always based on the key tone and therefore as a means to an end, not as an ideology.
In 2005 Wolfgang Gabriel was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art I. Class.
After two strokes in 2010 Wolfgang Gabriel had to quit his conducting activities and now focuses on composing.

Would love to hear it even if it is just a mockup.
14  Little-known music of all eras / Coming broadcasts and listen-later links / Kevin Puts - Symphony No. 2 and Rivers Rush from Cabrillo Festival (2002, 2003) on: June 13, 2018, 03:01:18 pm
I found this on the Cabrillo Festival website which regularly performs Kevin Puts' music and find this performance of Symphony No. 2 (Marin Alsop/Cabrillo Festival Orchestra) more intense and raw than the same conductor with the Peabody Orchestra on Naxos.

I was in the audience for this recorded performance and at around twelve minutes in we were entirely spellbound by the gradually unfolding cacophony that culminated with these devastating crunches in the pedal bass trombone register which you could feel hit you like a concussion grenade.  Listen to this music very loud so it approximates the live experience where the chaotic moments are truly terrifying and the still moments mesmerizing.  Unfortunately, these recordings are MP3 so lose some frequencies and presence that is truly in the music.
15  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Aaron Gage Symphonic poem on: June 11, 2018, 01:01:22 am
Very Russian and worth watching for.  He is a student of Kevin Puts which we've discussed in another thread as a very fine composer and teacher.
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