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Your Discovery of the Year


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Author Topic: Your Discovery of the Year  (Read 10012 times)
kyjo
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« on: January 01, 2013, 05:39:53 am »

Happy New Year everyone!

My discovery of the year (which I just got done listening to) is Albert Hurwit's (b. 1931) Symphony no. 1 Remembrance, available on this Msr CD:


This glorious hour-long symphony is written in a late-romantic style with minimal dissonance. It is somewhat like good film music (that is not a pejorative description in my book!) and is truly an uplifting, inspiring piece. The symphony has a story behind it involving the tragedies and triumphs of mankind (specifically Hurwit's family) that, when taken into account when listening, is quite moving. It is written in four movements: I: Origins; II: Separation; III: Remembrance; IV: Arrival. The first movement begins quietly with quarter notes in the timpani. The violins introduce the simple, but noble main theme. The secondary theme is astonishingly beautiful, almost Elgarian in its nobilmente grandeur. The second movement begins violently, but the mood lightens and a klezmer band is introduced, representing Hurwitz's Jewish heritage. This movement was my least favorite and didn't seem to fit with the late-romantic style of the other movements. Still, I found the incorporation of a klezmer band interesting. The third movement is a deeply lyrical adagio that becomes almost Mahlerian at points in its intense beauty. It reaches a magnificent climax and then dies back down. The fourth movement begins with a pulsating rhythm in the violins that seems to be in 5/8 time. The brass soon enter with a fanfare-like motif, after which follows a contrapuntal treatment of a Jewish folk song. A kaleidoscope of melodies and motifs is soon presented, including a waltz-like theme and a reappearance of the klezmer band from the second movement. Before long, the main theme from the first movement is heard again, but is subject to variation until, in a blaze of glory, the nobilmente secondary theme from the first movement makes a goose bump-raising return. The pulsating main theme of the movement returns, and the brass fanfares lead us back to the home key of C major, in an ending that invigorates me for the new year to come!

Sorry about all that ranting! It was just such a great piece. The Bulgarian National Radio SO (why do they need a Bulgarian orchestra to do American music, especially wonderful works like this?) under Michael Lankester does an admirable job in this music. This symphony is all the more amazing since Hurwit cannot read or write music and Lankester served as his mentor, helping him to organize his thoughts and bring them to life. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Hurwitz has written anything else. He is such a talented composer! Read all about this fascinating story here: http://www.alberthurwit.com/
...and, most importantly, BUY THE CD!!! If the enthusiastic reviews on Amazon don't convince you, nothing will: http://www.amazon.com/Hurwit-Symphony-No-1-Remembrance-Albert/dp/B0007U3JS8/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1357017120&sr=1-1&keywords=hurwit

Shutting up now Grin

So, what to members here think their Discovery of the Year was? Please share Smiley
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 05:51:50 am »

Intriguing Smiley

.....but bed beckons-its 5.50am in the U.K. Roll Eyes
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kyjo
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 06:00:29 am »

You should check it out, Colin (PM says more Grin)!

It's 1:00 AM here in the states...I should really be getting to bed also Grin
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 10:03:01 am »

Reasonable little 'taster' of the Hurwit on his website !

My discovery of the year ? The music library in Birmingham (England !) - before you mock, may even be the only such facility left in these islands (would be most happy to learn of any other)  - free to join, & allowing me to find that I did like Robert Simpson, Gavin Bryars et al (yes, even bits of Scelsi); now closed for 9 months to be re-housed in a smart new home !

Sorry, Mr. Kyjo - probably not quite what you had in mind for your thread, but if you're asking for perception-altering discoveries.... !

Happy New Year to all.
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Clive
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 11:57:08 am »

Since You asked, Kyjo, telling about my greatest musical find, depends on the time you ask it.  May I instead give one of my highlights of the year:

The discovering of the UC-Forum and the continuation on the A-M F!

And for all: A Happy 2013

Elroel
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Jim
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 12:19:37 pm »



My discovery of 2012 was this disc of chamber music by Peter Hope. These are exquisitely crafted pieces, and from the start it is amazing how he gets such a full sound from sparse forces. Peter Hope is well known as a light music composer and arranger - one of his most popular arrangements being 'Mexican Hat Dance'. Since 2000 he has concentrated on more serious compositions.

More information can be found on his web site: http://www.peterhopemusic.co.uk/
And the disc on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peter-Hope-Songs-Chamber-Music/dp/B000TWI7SQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357041243&sr=8-1
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logeny
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 01:29:33 pm »

Hmm - Have owned the Hurwit for some time but have not listened more than once.  I recall thinking the music was repetitive - but on the basis of the recommendation I will give it another go, for sure.

So many discoveries in 2012 - too numerous to catalog.  But here are two which are at the top of the classical totem pole around here:





I introduced the Raykhelson disc on another thread.  The Giannini chamber music is amazing (see also his Piano Concerto on Naxos for another New Year's treat).
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tapiola
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 02:14:03 pm »

Walter Braunfels.
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kyjo
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 05:01:21 pm »

Sorry, Mr. Kyjo - probably not quite what you had in mind for your thread, but if you're asking for perception-altering discoveries.... !

That's quite alright, Clive. Any discovery relating to music made last year is welcome to be mentioned in this thread Smiley

Roelof's greatest discovery, the discovery of UC and now this forum, is shared by myself and many others here. Without the generous contributions of our members, we wouldn't be able to make so many great discoveries Smiley

Thanks, Jim, for the recommendation of the Peter Hope disc. For some reason, it has slipped under my radar Roll Eyes

Logeny, I can see why you might think the Hurwit is a bit repetitive, but please give it another try Smiley I also greatly enjoyed those Raykhelson and Giannini discs-wonderful, thoroughly romantic music written well into the 20th, and, in the case of Raykhelson, 21st centuries Smiley As those who know my musical tastes could probably guess, I love Giannini's PC Grin

Braunfels is another wonderful composer who has been getting a mini-revival as of late. Quite recently, the Oehms disc with his Organ Concerto was released, and CPO is planning to release a disc with his Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, two horns and string orchestra and a string orchestral version of his String Quintet Smiley

Thanks for all of your replies Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 10:22:37 pm »

For me it is still Marie Jaell's two piano concertos. On the other forum I was chided for listing two items, so feel safer saying so here. Beautiful full, romantic well worked out and cogent music, loved them, loved them. Oh, and just about everything else I have heard new, especially on this wonderful forum. Take care, Jim
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kyjo
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 10:49:58 pm »

Agreed, Jim-the Jaell concertos are lovely Smiley Compact, tuneful works that would be prime candidates for Hyperion's RPC series, I would think!
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David Carter
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 01:27:53 pm »

Albion's British Music Archive - Within which perhaps Fricker has been the newest and most impressive discovery.

In addition I made a deliberate plan in 2012 to "discover" the "Great" composers whom (aside from Beethoven and a limited amount of Bach) I have asiduously avoided as old, boring and irrelevant. And of these "Greats" the greatest discovery has been the rest of Bach. Hardly a dud in the whole 2000+ BMWs. The cantatas and the organ music have been a particular joy.

Other "Great" conposers have largely confirmed my earlier decision!
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 05:35:19 pm »

Glad you are enjoying Fricker Smiley

One of my favourite but now totally ignored British composers.
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JimL
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 05:37:46 pm »

Maybe it's no great shakes, but I love a good violin concerto, and the recent discovery of the one by Ignatz Waghalter, on Naxos, is just such a one.  It's kind of like a more compact take on the Karlowicz (with which it shares many features), but striking in its own right.
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kyjo
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 07:56:21 pm »

Albion's British Music Archive
Indeed, David-what a treasure trove of unsung goodies! We are very fortunate to have so much of Fricker's music in the Archive when he has been so criminally neglected on disc! Fricker's music may seem a bit "difficult" at first, but subsequent listenings truly reveal a composer of great substance. Fricker isn't the only composer who has been so well representing in the Archive-plenty of Daniel Jones, William Wordsworth, Iain Hamilton, Havergal Brian etc. can be found there also Smiley

Glad you could count composers as different as Bach and Fricker as your two greatest discoveries, David Smiley

Yes, Jim, the Waghalter VC is quite lovely-comparable to the Karlowicz and even Korngold VCs IMO! He has an excellent website dedicated to him: http://www.waghalter.com/ I'd really like to hear his Symphony in B minor, op. 6, but I seem to recall that it may be lost Sad
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