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 on: May 11, 2019, 02:08:28 pm 
Started by britishcomposer - Last post by cilgwyn
I am generally opposed to narration in music as being distracting and a bad idea, but here it is not too bad. I did listen to the broadcast, but with distractions. What helps here is that the narration is in Welsh, so for a non-Welsh speaker like me (and I suspect most of us) the effect is one of a quiet, not unmusical burbling of sounds from Rowan Williams with the strings beneath.

It is a great shame that this was only the second public performance of such a major work in 45 years - partly due to the difficulty of the choral writing. I have to say, though, that making allowances for the fact that I was not giving the work my full attention, there are other pieces by Williams I would look forward to re-hearing first.
I was thinking,Martinu's,Epic of Gilgamesh,is another choral work with narration. I usually like Martinu;but every time I put it on,it ends up getting switched off!! My loss,I know!! Roll Eyes Sad

 on: May 11, 2019, 01:44:31 pm 
Started by britishcomposer - Last post by cilgwyn
I was going to make a cd-r from the file here,this week;then discovered,I'd already made one!! Shocked Grin  I was just reading (albeit,belatedly! Roll Eyes Grin)  Tecwyn Evans' reply,on Youtube,to the posts,bemoaning the lack of performances and recordings,of this work! Tecwyn Evans stating,"One day,I hope!" This seems one of those works that just,are,bedevilled by bad luck! Sad

Third time lucky,as they say?!! One can only hope?!!

 on: May 11, 2019, 06:19:43 am 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by dhibbard

Recently, saw where Sibley Library published this composers piano work from 1900 published by Jurgenson in Moscow  " Les Fleurs 12 morceaux pour piano. "

I am not familiar with this composer also spelled as M Tschernow or Tschernov  or just Chernov.


 on: May 10, 2019, 10:50:15 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
Although the Austrian composer Julius Bittner (1874-1939) was totally unknown to me and although the review of the new disc containing the Symphony No.1 and the Symphonic Poem "Vaterland" was mixed in its evaluation of the music I was encouraged enough by the mention of Bruckner in the review to buy the disc.

It is sometims asserted that "neglected composers" are neglected because their music is mostly modest in quality. As a generalisation this is, of course, nonsense. There are all manner of different reasons why composers may be neglected and many neglected composers wrote some superb music.

Sadly, I am not convinced that Bittner was amongst those who deserve to be brought out of the shadows. The Symphony No.1 was written in 1923 and although perfectly pleasant is certainly not-to my ears-particularly Brucknerian. It sounds like watered-down early Franz Schmidt but without anything memorable to hang onto. "Vaterland" is empty, nationalistic bombast but without the required grandiosity to make it in any real sense gripping.

Heaven knows, I love to discover powerful music written by composers who have fallen by the wayside and disappointed when their music does not strike me as really worth reviving but in this case........ Sad

 on: May 10, 2019, 10:32:43 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
(A blanket of silence seems to have descended upon the forum over the past week Roll Eyes I am grateful to Dave for having posted above!)

Although I have taken delivery of the new Sutermeister disc I have not actually had time to listen to it.

However I have gone back and listened again to the Wergo disc of Sutermeister's Requiem and Te Deum. Both works are as magnificent as I recalled! The Requiem was premiered on Italian Radio in 1954 by Herbert von Karajan no less. Profoundly moving, more than accessible mid-20th century compositions they highlight Sutermeister's mastery of choral music on the grand scale. I cannot recommend this disc highly enough!

 on: May 09, 2019, 11:42:17 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by dhibbard
Here is his obit:

The Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister wrote chamber music, cantatas, and several concertos for piano, cello and clarinet, but it is his operas for theatre, radio and television, that are best known and will be remembered longest.

Usually providing his own texts, Sutermeister adapted works by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Wilde and Stevenson during the 50 years that he was actively engaged in writing operas. His first major success, Romeo and Juliet, was, according to the 1954 edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ``after Rosenkavalier . . . the most frequently performed modern opera''. A later opera, Raskolnikoff, reached La Scala, Milan, while others were staged in Munich and Berlin. From 1963 to 1975 Sutermeister taught composition at the Hanover Hochschule fr Musik.

The chief influences in forming Sutermeister's style were Arthur Honegger, who first inspired him to write music, and Carl Orff, with whom he studied for a time. He particularly admired the Verdi/Boito Otello and Falstaff, and also Debussy's Pellas et Mlisande, striving in his own operas to combine musical and dramatic expression in the manner of those masterpieces. When, in the Fifties and Sixties, he was considered old-fashioned, he found his own audience with hugely successful television operas.

Sutermeister was born in Feuerthalen, in the canton of Schaffhausen. After studying philology in Basle and Paris, in 1931 he turned to musicology at Basle University. From 1932 to 1934 he attended the Akademie der Tonkunst in Munich, where his teachers included Walter Courvoisier, Hans Pfitzner and Carl Orff. Returning to Switzerland, he worked for a year as a rptiteur at the Municipal Theatre in Berne, before becoming a full-time composer. Sutermeister's first opera, Die schwarze Spinne, with text by A. Rosler, was written for radio and broadcast in 1936. A stage version was performed at St Gall in 1949. Meanwhile, his ballet Das Dorf unter dem Gletscher was danced at Karlsruhe in 1937 and followed in 1938 by Andreas Gryphius, the first of eight cantatas that he wrote, and one of his finest early works.

Romeo and Juliet, for which Sutermeister made his own adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, was commissioned by Karl Bhm, who conducted the premiere at the Dresden State Opera in 1940. Maria Cebotari, the soprano for whom the part of Juliet was specially written, scored a great personal triumph. The opera, too, was very successful and for the next 20 years continued to appear frequently in German-speaking theatres. Die Zauberinsel, adapted from The Tempest, was also given its first performance at Dresden, in 1942, but proved less popular than his previous Shakespeare setting.

Sutermeister's next theatre piece was Niobe, a monodrama with text by his brother Peter, first performed at Zurich in 1946. Combining speech, choral music and dance, this work most clearly shows the influence of Orff. For the opera which followed, Sutermeister went to Stockholm, where Raskolnikoff was premiered at The Royal Swedish Opera on 14 October 1948. The text, based on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, was again by Peter Sutermeister. Though the musical idiom of Raskolnikoff remains as easy to assimilate, the dramatic structure has become more complicated than in Sutermeister's earlier operas: two separate orchestras illustrate the outer and inner life of the protagonist, who is represented by two different singers, a tenor and a bass. I went to a performance of Raskolnikoff in Stockholm at that time and found it an utterly absorbing experience, which still remains vivid after 47 years. Though less generally popular than Romeo and Julieta, it was staged in a number of other theatres, including La Scala, where it received four performances in 1950, conducted by Issay Dobrowen, who had conducted the premiere.

A variety of works followed: two radio-ballads, Fingerhtchen and Die Fsse im Feuer, were broadcast in 1950, and respectively staged in St Gall and at the City Opera, Berlin, later the same year. Der Rote Steifel, the adaptation of a fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff, Das Kalte Hertz, was performed at Stockholm in 1951. Titus Feuerfuchs, a burlesque opera based on Nestroy's Der Talisman, scored some success in Basle in 1958, although the composer was accused of diluting the satire of the original. However, two television operas were extremely popular: Seraphine (1959), a comic opera after Rabelais, was staged at the Cuvillis Theatre, Munich, in 1960; while Das Gespenst von Canterville (1964), based on Oscar Wilde's story "The Canterville Ghost", was even more successful. Der Flaschenteufel ("The Bottle Imp"), adapted by R.K. Weibel from a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, was screened on German television in 1971.

 on: May 05, 2019, 03:07:56 am 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by dhibbard
Can we correct the title of this thread?  Grin

sorry  didn't realize I had misspelled the title.... that's what I get when I don't wear my glasses (spectacles).

 on: May 03, 2019, 01:40:05 pm 
Started by patmos.beje - Last post by Dundonnell
A couple of points:

I wonder whether Dutton were entirely aware that both CPO and Capriccio were embarking upon almost simultaneous explorations of the music of Walter Braunfels when they began their own series. In getting all of Braunfels's purely orchestral music onto disc there are now several duplications. The new Dutton cd does have the advantage of including the first recording of the last previously unrecorded piece: the Orchestral Suite, op.48 (which is why I shall buy the cd).

I am a passionate fan of the music of RVW and will be delighted to finally have the Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes on cd. But I have reservations about Dutton's seeming obsession with resurrecting, orchestrating, completing, revising every piece of incidental music ever written by RVW (and Elgar for that matter) rather than in recording music by other composers. Obviously Elgar and RVW will sell-and that matters a great deal! But my perception is that there is much less new music from less well-known composers from Dutton these days. Economic reality, I suppose.

 on: May 03, 2019, 01:16:07 pm 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by the Administration
Can we correct the title of this thread?  Grin

I have altered the spelling of the original title of the thread and of the subsequent contributions and, by a miracle of technology, this has taken effect in the list of Recent Posts on the Home Page Grin

 on: May 03, 2019, 11:46:49 am 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by christopher
Can we correct the title of this thread?  Grin

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