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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 14719 times)
ahinton
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« Reply #105 on: October 05, 2013, 07:40:35 pm »

However, i will also second the "dislikes" for Richard Strauss

And so will I.  Thank gawd his operas are almost never staged here in Russia Smiley
Russia's loss.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #106 on: October 05, 2013, 08:09:01 pm »

Re Wagner. Perhaps you have not heard the "right Wagner, as his orchestral music drew me to classical music in my youth. I cannot bear his "Fat lady Operas", but slap on his orchestral music like Orchestral Prelude to Good Friday Spell from Parsifal, Tannhauser and Venusberg Music, Magic Fire Music..or Tristan und Isolde..and try to get beyond the Flying Dutchman..unless it is just a "German" thing. BTW:I too, have little use for Schoenberg.

It's possible... I'm not sure, i used to object strongly to music with singing in it, but there's now an increasing amount of vocal music I enjoy and a reasonably large number of singers I can tolerate, so it's not the fact that most of Wagner's music is opera (although, admittedly, the vocal style required is not really to my taste, either). Sadly it's a lot of the same elements that seem to attract people to the music—a high-minded seriousness i find holier-than-thou, orchestral grandiosity that for me tips over into bombastic tub-thumping, endless chromatic lines full of longing and desire and etc that quickly become tiresome, this whole overriding sense of the man's massive ego and "mission from god" to deliver music to the world. (I suppose one has to have a pretty big ego to succeed as a composer, to be able to put pieces of yourself out in the world and not turn suicidal when critics call them derivative, repetitive and boring, explains why a lot of composers are not people you'd want to have coffee with) There's also some of that in Beethoven and Brahms, but at least they also have humour and poetry and other things that compensante somewhat. All the Wagner I've heard has been very, very serious, usually with its high point being a beautiful melody that then gets repeated and "developed" at such length that i never want to hear it again. I managed to slog through Tristan, which was a chore; have never completed any of the Ring operas and have given up trying. Bruckner, Mahler and Shostakovich i do occasionally revisit, though without much luck so far (there are a few Shostakovich works i like, but many more i've never warmed to)

I suppose in complete fairness i should also mention that i have played through Wagner's Album-Sonata in A-flat major which was actually quite charming and showed off some of his strengths (melodies, development & orchestration, if it can be called orchestration when there's only one instrument concerned) to good advantage. Everything else that i've heard i'm happy to pass my listening duties off to others.

(incidentally my objections to Wagner are pretty similar to my objections to Schoenberg and Boulez, two other self-proclaimed "God's Gift to Music"s—perhaps it's as much an ideological as an aesthetic thing)

"a high-minded seriousness i find holier-than-thou, orchestral grandiosity that for me tips over into bombastic tub-thumping, endless chromatic lines full of longing and desire and etc that quickly become tiresome, this whole overriding sense of the man's massive ego and "mission from god" to deliver music to the world"
I wish there were a better was to say this, but

Ok, we get it..as a musician, you don't much care for Wagner or his devotees and this is the negative prism thru which you see his music.
There are simply too many "Hot-buttons" that merit further comment, except to say self-righteousness should evoke a look in the closest mirror.
I defend your right to dislike the music, but be advised that not only Polyannish Angelic Teutonic Devils (like me) are fond of it.
The current Wagner hater annecdote is about Wagner teaching his parrot to say "Richard Wagner was a great man"
and it was a joke on his part..please....give this guy a break..I am extremely weary of all of the trash talk heaped on him and his followers.
God will judge him for his perceived human imperfections, not us.

As SI Hayakawa said "I never hesitate to give a piece of my mind...I have nothing to loose".
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #107 on: October 05, 2013, 08:25:54 pm »

I find it much harder to accept that it is necessary to write in the extremely strong language used about music which not only gives pleasure but is so deeply and personally meaningful to so many, including myself Sad Sad

But Mr D! Has anyone really been so terribly scathing about Herr Strauss?  I know I haven't - and I don't think anyone else has been either?

And in my further defence, I was idly listening to ARABELLA (surely his most navel-gazing stuff?) at the time I was writing - so it was what 'I was currently listening to' Wink

As you've said yourself - we can't all like everything, and we can't all admire everything to an equal degree. I am sure that CAPRICCIO, ARABELLA, INTERMEZZO and Strauss's other operas bring enjoyment and satisfaction to many - and I would never seek to see that enjoyment quenched in any way.  It's a bit like people smoking cigars in restaurants - I rather wish they wouldn't, and I certainly wouldn't like to myself - but I am happy that they pursue such a peaceful and hedonistic habit. It's greatly preferable to drinking themselves into a noisy and quarrelsome post-prandial state Wink

I have days when I quite like ROSENKAV (and indeed, I've actually staged a heftily-cut version myself -  put on to allow Opera School students to show their paces - thankfullly all that "Mariendel" nonsense was among the cuts before I arrived in the project!).  ELEKTRA has some good moments (although it's severely prolix, in my personal view), and DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN has kept me interested.  But with all of his operas - and the criterion here is that opera is a theatrical medium - I find his dramatic approach blustering and unfocused. His characters are generally not well drawn musically (something he got right, unusually, in ELEKTRA) - the story all but disappears in a sea of musical syrup. So I have listened extensively to Strauss, and I know all his operas. I don't find his musical language very effective in the theatre, but that doesn't mean I cast it aside. I often think that these works address the cares and attentions of a Viennese public who are no longer really with us in any great number?

Opera is a tough genre to master - many try, but few excel. Yet there remain many, many composers (sadly...) whose operas are greatly less still successful than Herr Strauss's  Wink  Let us not list them - it would be a weary task Wink  Let us instead focus on what we find good, well-written, terse, vivid, inspiring, and attention-worthy, and - in the case of operas - worthy of a production budget to bring them to life on the stage Smiley

Meanwhile, I don't feel that having a lack of appreciation for Strauss and Bruckner is so terrible... whilst I can claim musical interests that encompass the rondeaux and virelais of Machaut and Solages, the monophonic songs of Oswald von Wolkenstein, huge swathes of French baroque opera, most of Shostakovich's output, all of Gluck's operas (even The Three Chinese Ladies), vast chunks of Russian "Silver Era" romances, most of Storace, Shield, Linley and Attwood, and the latest operas from Rorem, Richard Ayres, Sergey Chechetko, Desyatnikov, Glass, and Schedrin Wink
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #108 on: October 05, 2013, 08:45:37 pm »

If anyone is interested and-more importantly-to distinguish my musical taste from that of Kyle (since we were characterised recently as having very similar tastes Smiley)-

I dislike most Mozart, Delius, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, York Bowen, plus, of course, the same modernists as Kyle Grin

(I should add however that my "dislike" of the these named composers is not so great that I would not sit through a performance of any of their works and I have a large collection of their music on cd. It is more that they would be very much at the lower end of my listening spectrum.)

Unlike Kyle however I DO like Richard Strauss, Tavener, Part and the other minimalists.



Its all about priorities..
I also have little use for most Mozart (except at a formal dinner as backgound) but the rest have their "special moments".

There are some things I enjoy from all these composers, but time is an issue and other musical priorities take hold unless I'm in a special
mood or there is a "trigger" which reminds me of a piece I should hear again. Nothing relaxes me more than the 2nd movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd symphony for example. Even Eine kleine Nachtmusik fills a special time and place.
R Srauss is quite uneven for me, his popular tone poems certainly get my attention but not much else does....Tavener has not impressed, perhaps it was the mood..Glass (exclude the symphonies) and other minimalists in small doses at certain times are bearable.

I like it all, but what I listen to is based on the moment..
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #109 on: October 05, 2013, 10:14:38 pm »

In answer to you first question, Neil.....Yes.

In answer to your second question......No, you haven't.

However, I really do not feel inclined to continue to discuss a matter that has caused me personal pain Sad
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #110 on: October 06, 2013, 06:42:54 am »

Listening to The Poem for horn and Orchestra op 70b by Charles Koechlin.
This is a marvelous soulful piece of idyllic music.

Now it is the captvating and dreamy Ballad for Piano and Orchestra  op 50. also by Koechlin.
What absolutely endearing meodies.

I know Koechlin was a good composer, but when he is very good, he is marvelous.

Get to know him..
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kyjo
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« Reply #111 on: October 07, 2013, 03:19:01 am »

Listening to The Poem for horn and Orchestra op 70b by Charles Koechlin.
This is a marvelous soulful piece of idyllic music.

Now it is the captvating and dreamy Ballad for Piano and Orchestra  op 50. also by Koechlin.
What absolutely endearing meodies.

I know Koechlin was a good composer, but when he is very good, he is marvelous.

Get to know him..

I agree, Roger. Koechlin is a very underrated composer. Have you heard Le Docteur Fabricius or Vers la Voûte étoilée? Both are magical, masterful works coupled together on this CD:

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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #112 on: October 07, 2013, 04:25:24 am »

Listening to The Poem for horn and Orchestra op 70b by Charles Koechlin.
This is a marvelous soulful piece of idyllic music.

Now it is the captvating and dreamy Ballad for Piano and Orchestra  op 50. also by Koechlin.
What absolutely endearing meodies.

I know Koechlin was a good composer, but when he is very good, he is marvelous.

Get to know him..




I agree, Roger. Koechlin is a very underrated composer. Have you heard Le Docteur Fabricius or Vers la Voûte étoilée? Both are magical, masterful works coupled together on this CD:



Koechlin is captivating once you are on his wavelength, sometimes one may need to exercise some patience in that respect. This looks like an excellent buy.
I need to rehear Vers la Voûte étoilée which is yet another enticing impressionistic piece. I think I have heard parts of Le Docteur Fabricius(which I mistook for an Opera). It also uses a Ondes Martinot(not a favorable timbre for these old eardrums) and is rather lengthy(50-55 min) so to my loss, I did not stay with it.
The reviews at Amazon are extremely positive and the story behind it is quite fascinating, so time to restart with more patience.
More Koechlin is on tap for tonite!
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Gauk
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« Reply #113 on: October 07, 2013, 08:24:27 am »


More Koechlin is on tap for tonite!


"Tonite" is actually the name of an explosive, so don't tap it too hard.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #114 on: October 07, 2013, 09:06:44 am »

Koree and the Mists James Penberthy..from the ABC Classic web site..
Fine dreamy piece from down under..
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #115 on: October 07, 2013, 09:10:34 am »


More Koechlin is on tap for tonite!


"Tonite" is actually the name of an explosive, so don't tap it too hard.
ok, I'll wait till tomorrow then ...unless "tomorrow" is a laxative..
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #116 on: October 07, 2013, 09:23:47 am »

Koree and the Mists by James Penberthy..from the ABC Classic web site..
Fine dreamy piece from down under..

and right before that, I heard the very fine melodious Symphony in A, Arhem Land by Mirrie Hill.
According to the notes at the site, she was the wife of composer Alfred Hill.
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #117 on: October 07, 2013, 10:34:31 am »

Koechlin very well served on YT, including Fabricius !
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Clive
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« Reply #118 on: October 07, 2013, 01:28:40 pm »

swissradio.ch has an afternoon/evening of French baroque operas today - including Marais, Charpentier and Lully

(and no adverts or chit-chat, either Smiley

Update: the highlight of the French baroque programming has been Charpentier's Le Malade Imaginaire, which is infinitely funnier than Lully's Smiley
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #119 on: October 07, 2013, 07:56:41 pm »

Koechlin very well served on YT, including Fabricius !
Thanks for the tip!  I will look certainly for them..
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