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What are you listening to today?


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Author Topic: What are you listening to today?  (Read 7681 times)
Gauk
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« Reply #225 on: May 04, 2017, 09:49:25 pm »

First symphonies - well, being in Croatia at the moment, It seemed right to listen to some Croatian music. So - the Stephan Sulek symphonies? Actually I am just listening to the first, repeatedly. The interesting thing about first symphonies is, you think, here is a composer announcing to the world his symphonic ambition. How does he set about it? In Sulek's case, there is the additional complication that he was writing in 1944, when his country was fighting against the Nazis.

It really is a fascinating work. You might call it a decapitated symphony, as there is no conventional first movement. It starts with an anguished passacaglia - then a scherzo with obvious recollections of Stravinsky's "Fireworks", and then a quick-march finale that recalls Rouseel.

Often, in pieces like this, you might wonder, "which theme will prove triumphant in the end?". Will it be the finale main theme? Or the second subject? Or will the first movement main subject make a surprise return? Here, it is the trio from the scherzo that turns out to be what motivates everything.

Really, if you played this in any concert hall, the audience would be demanding, "Why have we never heard this before?" I've been walking around whistling that trio. Loudly.
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Christo
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« Reply #226 on: May 05, 2017, 09:30:50 am »

Many thanks, Gauk. Listening for the very first time to the First Symphony (1944) of Stjepan Šulek (1914-1986), the playful scherzo at the moment. Definitely a powerful voice, but a name I only became aware of when this box appeared, two years ago, and people here started  referring to him. Wikipedia lists ten symphonies:

First Symphony (1944)
Second Symphony (1946)
Third Symphony (1948)
Fourth Symphony (1954)
Fifth Symphony (1964)
Sixth Symphony (1966)
Seventh Symphony (1979)
Eighth Symphony (1981)
Epitaf (1971)
Runke (1972)

This Musicweb overview is also very helpful: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Sep/Sulek_symphonies.htm
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… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
cjvinthechair
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« Reply #227 on: May 05, 2017, 04:52:35 pm »

Sulek's symphonies are pretty well covered on YT.
I've also, from somewhere, a piece entitled 'Epitaph for a Lost Illusion', from 1971, but as it's only 12m. or so, I didn't have it down as any sort of symphony.
'Runke' is listed for sure, but it's not something I've found on the Net....unless anyone knows differently, of course ?!
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Clive
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« Reply #228 on: May 08, 2017, 01:54:27 am »

Today I've refreshed myself on Silvestrov's works.... his Symphony no 7 is on youtube... actually sounds like it could have been an extension of Sym. No 6.   

Here is no 7:   

actually his Bagattelle's are wonderful:
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shamus
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« Reply #229 on: May 08, 2017, 04:31:49 pm »

Can't go wrong with Silvestrov. I am surprised at myself that I never noticed Stravinsky's Symphony Op. 1, written under the tutelage of Rimsky-Korsakov, so I listened to that, not overwhelming, especially after all these years of listening to Sacre, Firebird, and Petrushka again and again! But interesting. Then I am listening to several symphonic pieces by Vitezslav Novak again after several years, didn't those Bohemians ever write anything ugly? Cheers, Jim
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dhibbard
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« Reply #230 on: May 10, 2017, 03:53:55 pm »

on the menu today is Steinberg's  symphony no 1 and 2 and Glazunov symphonies 4 & 7  with Neeme Jarvi conducting all symphonies.  I find the Glazunov cycles on Orfeo label the most interesting.
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shamus
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« Reply #231 on: May 10, 2017, 03:55:38 pm »

Sounds like a good day to go back to Steinberg! Thanks.
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Gauk
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« Reply #232 on: May 12, 2017, 04:26:13 pm »

More Stjepan Šulek - on to the 2nd, "Eroica". "Squilibrato" more like. It starts with a very fast and almost cartoonish Allegro con brio, which peters out into the second movement, a plaintive Adagio that develops into a slow fugue on the high strings. The brass come in, and the fugue works up to a climax with much weeping and wailing. The third movement is a scherzo that seems to keep trying to escape from its trio. The movement morphs into a slow tread in the bass, and we are directly into the finale, which starts off as a funeral march, again with mournful wailing. Then something rather odd happens. The bass ostinato tread finds itself alone, and it speeds up. On top of it appears a jaunty little tune. Odd fanfares sound, and the orchestration thickens with percussion and various counter-melodies until the whole thing sounds like the first movement of the Leningrad symphony re-imagined by Charles Ives. It works up into a Bolero-like climax, wheels through several key changes, and then silence, punctured by several great hammer blows. You think "is this the end of it?" and the strings come in with a warm major-key idyll that swells into a noble climax and fades again. Finally, the first movement material comes racing back in with a short allegro coda that is at last heroic.

Bizarre. I'd love to know more about what was in the composer's mind (the work dates from 1946). I do find I am recognising an individual voice in Šulek's works, particularly how he constructs and orchestrates his material.
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #233 on: May 12, 2017, 04:51:49 pm »

Mr. Gauk - was wondering what to put on for a rainy evening in England: will 'go Croatian', & start with Sulek 2 with your 'notes'.
Then Davor Bobic - Oboe Concerto, Milko Kelemen - 'Drammatico' for Cello & orchestra....& as so often something sacred/sung to finish: Dragan Filipovic 'Dona Eis Requiem'.
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Clive
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« Reply #234 on: May 12, 2017, 08:13:24 pm »

Grieg's Piano Concerto, and his Symphony, of course the former floated my boat the best, sometimes I just have to go back to the "roots" for a fully satisfying listening experience. Then back to the off-the-beaten-path with Levente Gyöngyösy's Sym no. 4 and "Missa Vanitas Vanitatum". Gyöngösy has a website and there's a lot on YouTube if you are interested.
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #235 on: May 12, 2017, 09:05:13 pm »

Then back to the off-the-beaten-path with Levente Gyöngyösy's Sym no. 4 and "Missa Vanitas Vanitatum". Gyöngösy has a website and there's a lot on YouTube if you are interested.
Yes - one of the best YT Channels, & some excellent music !
Talking of Hungary, there's a really good spread of Hungaroton availabilities on YT....particularly welcome here in UK as it's one of the very few orchestra/label sites that doesn't simply come up as 'unavailable'.
Do other countries have this problem with YT discs ? USA doesn't seem to, as one or two 'contacts' kindly send stuff across for me that I can't get.
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Clive
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« Reply #236 on: May 13, 2017, 03:56:04 pm »

Getting started today on a Vainberg/Weinberg symphonic binge.
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Elroel
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« Reply #237 on: May 14, 2017, 10:02:45 am »


Do other countries have this problem with YT discs ? USA doesn't seem to, as one or two 'contacts' kindly send stuff across for me that I can't get.

Yes Mr. Clive, other countries have that same problem, or at least as far as the Netherlands is concerned.

But back to the music itself. Today I follow Shamus's idea: Miaskovsky is on the turntable: his 6th symphony. I think it will be followed by Shostakovich 7th. The symphony that impressed me much when I heard it for the 1st time, so many years ago. Next follow very different works: the recently received 1st and 5 th symphonies by Nicolas Bacri.
Does anyone of you have a recording of his 2nd and 3td symphonies?
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shamus
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« Reply #238 on: May 14, 2017, 09:53:49 pm »

Continuing with Weinberg, long, pleasant journey, of course for this unrepentant completist it is heartbreaking that I can't find Nrs. 9, 11, 13, 15--has anyone picked them up from an unadvertised or un-googlable concert or something?
And also have been listening to Maltese music, found on YouTube channel by Brian Schembri, conductor.https://www.youtube.com/user/feopemt. Malta very interesting country, the language is Semitic with many overlays, came originally from Arabic spoken long ago in Sicily and Southern Spain.
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« Reply #239 on: May 15, 2017, 03:36:03 am »

This afternoon, after celebrating Mother's Day with the family.. its been Tamberg cycle including the new Symphony No 4  just got in the mail this week.
beautiful self produced  with great liner notes..    production supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia..  too bad other orchestras can't do the same without relying on commercial labels
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