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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dibdin: Christmas Gambols on: November 19, 2017, 08:55:28 pm
I have the,long deleted,Hyperion recording of Dibdin's The Ephesian Matron; The Brickdust Man and The Grenadier by Opera Restor'd,

Yes, I've got that one too, somewhere :-))  To describe these as 'operas' is really pushing the definition somewhat - they are really music-hall entertainments, and were presented as such in Dibdin's lifetime (at the Sadler's Wells Theatre - in the then-rowdy suburb of Islington!  Dibdin was also famous for his 'sea-battle' musical re-enactments - more famed for their theatrical effects than for their musical finery :-))  Sheridan spoofed the genre in his satire 'The Rehearsal'.

Sadly no-one at all seems interested in performing Storace's Viennese-style music?  In Vienna his pieces featured alongside Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, and Co - and he's certainly in their musical league.  Dibdin's 'sausage operas' are at the other end of the musical spectrum Wink  Storace was catering to a more refined audience at Drury Lane, far from the beer-halls of Islington - where his impresario boss, Sheridan, had some of Europe's top opera singers on staff  ("Mrs Crouch", the Prince of Wales's mistress; Anna 'Nancy' Storace, the composer's sister, and offcast mistress of Emperor Franz-Josef; and Michael Kelly, the famed Irish tenor. Later the team was joined by tenor John Braham, the new love interest in Anna Storace's life).
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dibdin: Christmas Gambols on: November 19, 2017, 03:28:44 pm
It's a fine enterprise, but sadly Dibdin's output was calculated to appeal to the very mainest of mainstream in his era. The advanced composers of the time were Shield, Storace, and Linley.  Probably Dibdin is interesting as social history.
3  Little-known music of all eras / Broadcast videos / Re: Vladimir Yurovsky Ballet Suite "Scarlet Sails" (1942) on: November 18, 2017, 09:09:18 pm
I understand your frustration, especially when it's all in a foreign language.  (The music starts just after 05:00)

In fact this is a clip from V Jurowsky's series called "Concert Lectures - Vladimir Jurowsky Discusses & Conducts".  In Russian (and indeed in English too) he is a very lucid and amusing guy, and has the knack of talking about serious things in an accessible and down-to-earth way.

Most concerts in Russia, even these days, are 'compered' by an Announcer - most frequently a severe and frightening woman (they are mostly women) who bores the pants off the audience before the gig starts - usually by talking tripe of their very own concoction.  (At one concert, in Ekaterinburg, the announcer opened her twaddle with the words "Yughan Sevabstian Bark was a very congenial man". At another concert in Moscow, the announcer announced that there was a misprint in the program. "Of course, they meant to write Puccini, and not Piccini."  The music was indeed by Niccolò Piccinni - but this didn't stop the old battleaxe from treating to us to a potted biography of Giacomo instead  Roll Eyes

Jurowsky is notoriously allergic to this kind of baloney - and proposed to the concert-hall management that he would introduce his concerts himself in future (on threat of walking out, if an 'Announcer' appeared).  He's used the series to introduce all kinds of more 'popular' music - from this Soviet-era ballet, to a complete concert of Shostakovich's music for Firemen's Bands.
4  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Daniil Trifonov. Piano Concerto in Eb minor. on: November 18, 2017, 04:06:25 am
Daniil Trifonov - Piano Concerto in E-flat minor
I Andante,  Allegro ma non troppo,  Andante,  Più mosso,  Tranquillo,  Allegro,  Presto,  Maestoso , Allegro
II Andante - Agitato - 15:31
III Allegro Vivace - 22:17
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Daniil Trifonov, piano

https://youtu.be/kY_Q6RgtC3E
5  Little-known music of all eras / Notice of interesting concerts around the world / Prokofiev FIERY ANGEL at Scottish Opera (City Halls, Glasgow, Dec 3rd) on: November 13, 2017, 08:01:19 am
Probably the only chance to hear this rare early Prokofiev work in Scotland?  (Considering how many members we have in Scotland?)

https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/the-fiery-angel/   Concert Performance. Collaboration between Royal Scottish Conservatoire + Scottish Opera, cond Mikhail Agrest.

Tickets still available, but going fast.

The line-up of principals is primarily from the Komische Oper, Berlin cast from last year  (Sozdateleva, Abdullah, Golovin)

https://youtu.be/umYf4QJsRO8
6  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Mussorgsky but not Ravel on: November 11, 2017, 04:31:04 pm
but really, I prefer the piano original to all of them.


Indeed Smiley) Dear old Modeste never gave any hint that it was any kind of 'unfinished' orchestral work... and as you rightly say, his faithful collaborator Rimsky never took on such a project Smiley
7  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Addiobelpassato on: November 11, 2017, 12:45:43 pm
Aha, I've been following that channel for several years!  As you say, it's focussed mainly on historic performances. There are some marvellous rarities to be found there :-))
8  Little-known music of all eras / Coming broadcasts and listen-later links / Feliks Nowowiejski LEGEND OF THE BALTIC 10th December 2017 on: October 30, 2017, 01:05:00 am
A truly 'unsung' rarity will be staged at Teatr Wielky Poznan (Poland) in Dec

From 10th Dec you can enjoy a free OperaVision internet screening of Feliks Nowowiejski's "Legend of the Baltic' (Legenda Bałtyku, 1924)

Poznan is a small, powerhouse theatre which puts out astonishing productions to a very good musical standard - so hopefull Nowowiejski will be well served!

http://operavision.eu/en/library/performances/operas/legenda-baltyku  <--- link live from 10th Dec onwards
9  About music in general / Contexts and settings / Happy Halloween on: October 28, 2017, 09:17:36 pm
Happy Halloween to any members who feel inclined to notice it :-)

https://youtu.be/w5XGDrn4Rjc
10  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: October 23, 2017, 11:58:04 pm
https://youtu.be/Uo-H8IFiikw

Handel's ALCINA at the Bolshoi Theatre  (production on loan from Aix-en-Provence festival, but with a different line-up of international soloists + 2-3 Bolshoi performers).

Musically very together and credible (cond Andrea Marcon, who followed the production from Aix), and sung quite deftly by Heather Engerbretson (Alcina), David Hansen (5* as Ruggiero), Katerina Bradic (Bradamante) and Anna Aglatova (Morgana).

Great to see Moscow can now muster its own baroque players (on baroque oboes, theorboes, recorders), without having to fly them in all the time.  Production elegant but rather uninvolved. Having a 'transformation machine' in the attic (to turn Alcina's various victims into wolves, bears, trees etc) was quite good the first time we saw it...  but the fifth time round was really pushing it a bit.  The palace doesn't fall down when Alcina's powers desert her (despite being rigged with dynamite by Oronte).
11  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: 'Midi' performances on: October 20, 2017, 10:56:54 pm
Are we anywhere near a time when, say, 'mainstream' composers will write specifically for the computer, in the knowledge that it can reproduce literally anything ?


So far, however, the results are too patchy to be worth our time. My mouse is poised to click 'stop' the second I hear the woeful dirge of midi anywhere.
  • the brass instruments are just abysmal
  • can't simulate string bowing, just comes out like a stream of glue
  • and most crictically, cannot ever replace a human voice

That's in addition to playing everything at a uniform mezzo-forte, and an inability to include rubato  :-)

Quote
when a CD can be knocked up by machine that will sound 80/90% as good

I doubt it can even sound 15% as good - and that's the ceiling.  More usually it's nearer to 6% as good.
12  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Learmont Drysdale: Prelude to 'Thomas the Ryhmer' on: October 19, 2017, 09:29:59 pm
Quote
I invite you to listen to this romantic work, in which the connection of times and talented names: Thomas Stikhotvorets,

"Thomas Stikhtvorets" is simply a Russification of the name "Thomas the Rhymer" - it's the same individual, not a different one Wink
13  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: October 19, 2017, 02:57:21 pm
Excellent stuff - which recording(s) have you been listening to?

I find William Christie with Les Arts Florissants convincing in that repertoire - impeccable period credentials, but with all the calories left in :-)) 
14  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: "Tunes for Tyrants" (BBC 4) and "Carmina Burana" on: October 14, 2017, 10:28:36 pm
If we try to step back from the dialectic, and instead approach this on a factual and rational basis...

.... the Latin texts of Carmina Burana were compiled by monks (often alleged to be novices or initiates, but this remains speculation) at the Benediktbeuern monastery, in today's Bavaria. The manuscript itself can be reliably dated to the 1230s, but it is, of course, a compilation of pre-existing material.  Scholars have attempted, with some success, to attribute the individual numbers in the manuscript to monasteries all over Europe, from the 10th century onwards.

In short - there is nothing whatsoever in the texts which can be attributed to any kinds of political movement in Germany (or anywhere else) from the 20th century. They may have been considered debauched or depraved at the time of their composition (and a group of them are also certainly heretical, in the view of the Roman Catholic Church), but they do not have any other reasons for being prohibited. It is suggested that they were the literary doodles of young monks with long days in the scriptorium ahead of them. Some of them display great erudition and wide scriptural knowledge in the lampoons and scatalogical satires they present. There are, moreover, recordings and concerts of some of the verses which have extant medieval musical settings or melodies (either in the MS itself, or compiled from other medieval sources). I see no sign of any attempt to ban these medieval songs?  (Frankly the popularity of such material is so extremely spotty that it would be laughable to try to ban them. A few Early Music buffs, and a couple of musicologists? Ehem!)  Moreover, the MS also contains (fairly) complete versions of two substantial medieval musical 'Mystery' dramas, whose impeccable moral credentials stand in no doubt whatsoever.

[Present-day Germany & Austria - and some other European countries - have specific laws which enable the prohibition of all material and activities which specifically promote the theories or activities of the Third Reich.
 In other words, a link to the Reich would have be proven in these texts, to justify a ban under this legislation. The anti-clerical doodlings of 11th-century monks cannot reasonably be pressed into service here - no matter if modern churchmen may find the texts obscene or irreligious.
]

This really means that any objections to Carmina Burana must stem from one of two possibilties - (a) musical material so pernicious in itself that it would merit a ban  (hard to see how this could be proven or enforced?) (b)or[/b] the career and political activities of its composer.

Since (a) is really an impossibility, we are left with the conclusion that the dim view taken of the piece must stem entirely from Orff's personal biography and activities.

Personally, I don't like the work very much - I don't like tub-thumping music in general. I take offence at Imperialist claptrap, too - although I would never suggest banning its performance, far less destroying the sheet music. Avoiding it is as simple as the 'OFF' button - or not going to its performances.  But extrapolating detail from Orff's (unsavoury) personal biography as a reason to forbid or restrict the work would be on the same basis as banning music by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Muradeli, Lawes (fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War), or Gesualdo (just part of a very long and infinitely flexible list). 

Merely my own approach to this topic. May all admirers of Orff's music continue to enjoy his output - no matter if I don't!  Roll Eyes
15  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: "Tunes for Tyrants" (BBC 4) and "Carmina Burana" on: October 13, 2017, 03:35:09 pm
History has been kinder to Carl Orff than he perhaps deserves

Bread & circuses have always lured the mob   Roll Eyes  As for the rest of his music - it's just the bread, without the circuses  Wink
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