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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 76908 times)
Albion
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« Reply #3555 on: July 03, 2022, 12:17:42 pm »

Talking of links to Coleridge-Taylor! Can anyone here supply me with a "link" to the Malcolm Williamson files here?!! I,recently,enjoyed listening to his opera Our Man in Havana (which really does deserve a commercial cd release! Come on Chandos! ;D) and I acquired Volume 2 of Chandos orchestral works series. Incidentally,will we ever get a Volume 3? I can understand Chandos dumping Rufinatscha,but Malcolm Williamson strikes me as an intriguing figure,who deserves a reappraisal and forgiveness,thereby,for his past failings! (Heck! Nobody's perfect!)

I certainly can, and I will send you the link by PM. Meanwhile, do get the two-disc Hyperion set of the Piano Concertos - they are great!

 ;)

I have that Hyperion set (as a download) and I heartily concur with Albion's assessment.

Williamson seems to have been largely forgotten now, despite being Master of the Queen's Music and the recipient of several prestigious commissions. In a life and career parallel to Malcolm Arnold, mental instability and alcohol took their toll and there was something of a fiasco over the Mass of Christ the King, which initially had to be performed incomplete (there are two broadcasts in the archive). However, a great deal of his music has real substance and power, even when writing for modest forces. As I've mentioned, one of my favourite works of his is The Brilliant and the Dark to a text by Ursula Vaughan Williams written for female chorus and orchestra (also in the archive).

 :)
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« Reply #3556 on: July 03, 2022, 12:45:59 pm »

Talking of links to Coleridge-Taylor! Can anyone here supply me with a "link" to the Malcolm Williamson files here?!! I,recently,enjoyed listening to his opera Our Man in Havana (which really does deserve a commercial cd release! Come on Chandos! ;D) and I acquired Volume 2 of Chandos orchestral works series. Incidentally,will we ever get a Volume 3? I can understand Chandos dumping Rufinatscha,but Malcolm Williamson strikes me as an intriguing figure,who deserves a reappraisal and forgiveness,thereby,for his past failings! (Heck! Nobody's perfect!)

I certainly can, and I will send you the link by PM. Meanwhile, do get the two-disc Hyperion set of the Piano Concertos - they are great!

 ;)
Thanks very much for the link,Albion! :) I downloaded...........everythi ng! ;D I will certainly look out for the Hyperion set at an affordable price! A couple of months ago Hyperion had the set on offer (a tenner + p&p) in their bargain bin (or whatever they call it?). I could have kicked myself for not buying it then!  The prices on ebay & amazon at the moment are more frightening than Dracula,the werewolf,the mummy,Boris Karloff,Norman Bates,Ed gein,crossroads,Max Bygraves and the human caterpillar (that's enough scary comparison's,ed!) combined! :o
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Albion
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« Reply #3557 on: July 03, 2022, 12:55:53 pm »

Talking of links to Coleridge-Taylor! Can anyone here supply me with a "link" to the Malcolm Williamson files here?!! I,recently,enjoyed listening to his opera Our Man in Havana (which really does deserve a commercial cd release! Come on Chandos! ;D) and I acquired Volume 2 of Chandos orchestral works series. Incidentally,will we ever get a Volume 3? I can understand Chandos dumping Rufinatscha,but Malcolm Williamson strikes me as an intriguing figure,who deserves a reappraisal and forgiveness,thereby,for his past failings! (Heck! Nobody's perfect!)

I certainly can, and I will send you the link by PM. Meanwhile, do get the two-disc Hyperion set of the Piano Concertos - they are great!

 ;)
Thanks very much for the link,Albion! :) I downloaded...........everythi ng! ;D I will certainly look out for the Hyperion set at an affordable price! A couple of months ago Hyperion had the set on offer (a tenner + p&p) in their bargain bin (or whatever they call it?). I could have kicked myself for not buying it then!  The prices on ebay & amazon at the moment are more frightening than Dracula,the werewolf,the mummy,Boris Karloff,Norman Bates,Ed gein,crossroads,Max Bygraves and the human caterpillar (that's enough scary comparison's,ed!) combined! :o

You're very welcome, as always! As to a fright-fest don't forget "The Tingler" (1959)...



 :D
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« Reply #3558 on: July 03, 2022, 02:40:32 pm »

Auber: La Muette de Portici Alfredo Kraus,June Andersen,John Aler,Jean-Philippe Lafont  Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo / Thomas Fulton   emi 2 cd's



I love there operas by French composers like Auber,Adam and Boieldieu (and Herold,it seems!) :) As some members will know,this is probably the only opera ever to precipitate a revolution! Although,the truth has been romanticised,as usual,with such tales! It's also a key work in operatic history,as the first 'grand' opera! Needless to say,the music is a delight! Composers like Auber really knew how to serve up the goods when it comes to colorful,tuneful scores. I have the Cpo recording as well which is very good & generally regarded as superior. This emi set is pretty decent to my ears (albeit,not outstanding) and it's usually much cheaper s/h! Alfredo Kraus was knocking on (aren't we all?!) when he recorded this! The dumb heroine (literally,in this instance!) jumps into a volcano (Vesuvius) at the end of the opera,as you do!
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« Reply #3559 on: July 03, 2022, 04:19:06 pm »

There,I've moderated myself!! ::) ;D  (Hopefully this post meets the "remit"?!!!)

Listening to this recording! A fine opera;but I can see,or hear rather,the problem with this recording! It's not terrible;but while the singing is decent enough,there's no Lucia Popp's,Nicolai Gedda's or Mady Mesple's or their equivalent to set the pulses racing! It just seems to plod along at times! It's what might be termed a serviceable recording! On the plus side,there's no tremulous or nasal sounding tenors or sopranos,no wobbly baritones and the conducting is a tad better than on that recording of The Golden Legend,thank g**! It will be interesting to listen to the Cpo recording after this!



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Albion
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« Reply #3560 on: July 03, 2022, 04:29:39 pm »

The dumb heroine (literally,in this instance!) jumps into a volcano (Vesuvius) at the end of the opera,as you do!

Had she just joined AMLF?

 :D
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« Reply #3561 on: July 03, 2022, 04:32:20 pm »



I wonder if anyone has any thought's on this opera? I just bought a very cheap s/h copy of the Berlin Classics reissue! The general verdict seems to be that it's a fine score,terminally nobbled, by a lousy libretto! On the plus side,I have also read that it contains some of his finest music. However,there appear to be some differing opinions on this particular recording. Whatever they are,it was cheap & it's got Jessye Norman and Nicolai Gedda! I'll soon have a chance to form my own opinion,anyway! :)
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« Reply #3562 on: July 03, 2022, 05:57:22 pm »

Auber: La Muette de Portici (various soloists) Opernchor des Anhaltischen Theaters,Anhatischen Philharmonie /Antony Hermus       Cpo 2 cd's



Wow! :o Suddenly,the opera springs to life! What a difference!! Being a bit of a fan of the old big label studio recordings (late lamented!) I was trying to see (hear!) some good things in the old emi recording,but there is simply no comparison! The playing has so much more energy & vitalty to it. It almost seems like a different opera. The soloists are excellent! No matter if tyou haven't heard heard of any of them (or the opera & the orchestra! I looked it up,now! It's in Saxony,Germany!) they leave the soloists in the emi recording standing! That goes for the chorus,too! To use un-technical language! The whole recording has just got more,"Ow you say it?" (allot more!) oomph! No english translation with the libretto,which is a sad omission,if you want to sell a recording to people who don't speak French;but as I've said before,I don't really bother with libretto's much,anyway! An excellent recording! Drop the old emi one in Vesuvius the next time you visit Italy! (Okay,it's litter! But the next time it erupts,maybe?!!)
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Albion
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« Reply #3563 on: July 03, 2022, 06:57:03 pm »

Auber: La Muette de Portici (various soloists) Opernchor des Anhaltischen Theaters,Anhatischen Philharmonie /Antony Hermus       Cpo 2 cd's

Wow! :o Suddenly,the opera springs to life! What a difference!! Being a bit of a fan of the old big label studio recordings (late lamented!) I was trying to see (hear!) some good things in the old emi recording,but there is simply no comparison! The playing has so much more energy & vitalty to it. It almost seems like a different opera. The soloists are excellent! No matter if tyou haven't heard heard of any of them (or the opera & the orchestra! I looked it up,now! It's in Saxony,Germany!) they leave the soloists in the emi recording standing! That goes for the chorus,too! To use un-technical language! The whole recording has just got more,"Ow you say it?" (allot more!) oomph! No english translation with the libretto,which is a sad omission,if you want to sell a recording to people who don't speak French;but as I've said before,I don't really bother with libretto's much,anyway! An excellent recording! Drop the old emi one in Vesuvius the next time you visit Italy! (Okay,it's litter! But the next time it erupts,maybe?!!)

As I don't have the EMI set at hand to toss into the fiery maw of Vesuvius, perhaps a deposit of Chandos' Rufinatscha disc into the wheelie bin would compensate.

 ;)

CPO clearly comes up trumps again! It really is a wonderfully enterprising label: any company that is prepared to take on Cipriani Potter, Joseph Holbrooke, Granville Bantock, Ferdinand Ries, Kurt Atterberg, Felix Draeseke, Emil von Reznicek, etc. commands my highest respect. They have also done sterling work in reviving previously-obscure operettas by Johann Strauss II and Lehar, so all power to their elbow...

 :)

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« Reply #3564 on: July 03, 2022, 07:28:13 pm »

With all this talk of "glorious, sumptuously-orchestrated music",there's this one! Not so off the well beaten track as Schreker and Zemlinsky I suppose,but there's allot of sumptuous orchestration and some big noisy,floor shaking climaxes to satisfy those of a less nervous disposition. Some may prefer an alternative recording. I like Solti in this kind of repertoire (albeit,not always!).

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« Reply #3565 on: July 03, 2022, 08:32:41 pm »

With all this talk of "glorious, sumptuously-orchestrated music",there's this one! Not so off the well beaten track as Schreker and Zemlinsky I suppose,but there's allot of sumptuous orchestration and some big noisy,floor shaking climaxes to satisfy those of a less nervous disposition. Some may prefer an alternative recording. I like Solti in this kind of repertoire (albeit,not always!).


I've got the DG complete Strauss opera box (a birthday present to myself several years ago) and this recording is included. There are some questions over other recordings chosen for the set, but this Solti Die Frau is very special indeed, and what a cast! If you can get hold of this box, it's worth it's weight in gold.



Richard Strauss was perhaps the towering peak in Austro-German opera of the period, but Schreker, Zemlinsky and Korngold should not remain in his shadow - each of them had so much wonderful theatrical instinct and produced so much splendid music that anybody who admires Strauss really should explore their operas...

 :)
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« Reply #3566 on: July 03, 2022, 11:37:49 pm »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

A sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! An aural feast! Never mind the morbid libretto! An english translation of which is included with this Cpo set. I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!! Great artwork,as usual from this enterprising recording label.

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's

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« Reply #3567 on: July 04, 2022, 12:31:51 am »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

And here's another sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! A morbid plotline,though! :o I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! ::) Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!!

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's


I'd love to hear more of d'Albert's music, so this may be a good place to begin!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dalbert-die-toten-augen

He was taught by Arthur Sullivan, arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and provided the overture to Patience (1881) under Sullivan's guidance...

 :)

...oh, and he had six wives (although, as far as I know, he didn't have any of them beheaded).

 :D
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« Reply #3568 on: July 04, 2022, 06:01:49 pm »

Responding to my own ears and heart rather than to his unfortunate politics, I too find Pfitzner's music beautiful, my favorite being his slightly wonky piano concerto! I also like "von Deutscher Seele"
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« Reply #3569 on: July 04, 2022, 08:28:48 pm »

Responding to my own ears and heart rather than to his unfortunate politics, I too find Pfitzner's music beautiful, my favorite being his slightly wonky piano concerto! I also like "von Deutscher Seele"

I also prefer to keep politics and personalities out of the music: for example when listening to Wagner I do not hear the anti-semitic, self-indulgent, greedy, whining megalomaniac - I just hear incredibly splendid creativity from within a complex and flawed personality. Pfitzner's Palestrina (1915-17) is a wonderful opera which should be more regularly staged...

 :)
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