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What are you listening to today?


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Author Topic: What are you listening to today?  (Read 5056 times)
dhibbard
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« Reply #315 on: March 21, 2018, 03:32:36 pm »

OK  on tap for today... is Delius's Florida Suite... I've been stuck on Delius here in the last few days.    Interesting to read about his adventures from England to Jacksonville Florida's orange groves and life in N. Florida and then back again to the UK.     I spent a summer in Florida in my late teens, picking oranges... so I can almost smell the orange blossoms when I listen to his music.....

Dave
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dhibbard
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« Reply #316 on: April 03, 2018, 05:35:09 am »

on tap today, its been Strauss greatest hits (Jr. and Josef))  with the Royal PO..  having some laughs along the way......
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Baron Scarpia
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« Reply #317 on: April 03, 2018, 05:34:03 pm »

Yesterday I decided to listen to Debussy's Preludes, Book 1. Started with Warner Haas on Philips but only got through a few before I found distressing distortion due to tape saturation. One of the few times Philips has let me down.  Resumed with Thibaudet of Decca, which I found somewhat less poetic, although there were no problems with audio.

Really fine music, and I think I will listen to Book 1 again with another pianist (Aimard, Monica Haas, Bavouzet, perhaps).
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #318 on: April 03, 2018, 06:27:13 pm »

On,now. Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan. What a delightful opera. Rimsky-Korsakov get's allot of flak for having no feel for drama. Yes,it feels more like a sequence of tableaux;but the music is so colourful and lovely. Of course,you get all the music from the famous suite,in between the 'singing bits';and it is quite fascinating to hear these in their original context. (Parts of The famous, Flight of the Bumblebee,which is not part of the suite are actually sung,by one of the female vocalist's).In fact,this opera is so lyrical,and tuneful,and the orchestral interludes are so evocative and colourful,that I find it hard to understand why this opera has been so neglected,on record,and cd;even in "Mother Russia"?!The Melodiya recording I'm listening to is ancient,and in mono;but,mono,or not,I doubt if it could be bettered. So what am I moaning about?!! Roll Eyes Grin Lot's of good,old school,Russian singing;and not too wobbly! No,not dramatic;but the lyricism,atmosphere and colourful orchestration keeps my attention. And a lovely fairy tale atmosphere. You'd think the Russians could have given it a stereo recording,though?!!

Lovely! Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #319 on: April 03, 2018, 06:49:33 pm »

You'd think the Russians could have given it a stereo recording,though?!!

Lovely! Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

It is, indeed, a charming performance - and a pity it wasn't given a stereo treatment at the time.  For anyone who needs a binaural approach, Gergiev's Mariinsky recording has much to recommend it, although I can't help wishing it were a little more deft of hand  Roll Eyes



The crisis at the Romanov royal court at that period certainly contributed to the surfeit of 'chocolate-box' operas and ballets of the time, as you rightly say... the breathtaking bravado of Tchaikovsky never really saw a successor - or at least, not until DSCH.  Nevertheless, the innocent gaiety of these end-of-Empire works offers much to enjoy Smiley  Lovely, indeed Smiley

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #320 on: April 03, 2018, 07:29:54 pm »

You'd think the Russians could have given it a stereo recording,though?!!

Lovely! Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

It is, indeed, a charming performance - and a pity it wasn't given a stereo treatment at the time.  For anyone who needs a binaural approach, Gergiev's Mariinsky recording has much to recommend it, although I can't help wishing it were a little more deft of hand  Roll Eyes



The crisis at the Romanov royal court at that period certainly contributed to the surfeit of 'chocolate-box' operas and ballets of the time, as you rightly say... the breathtaking bravado of Tchaikovsky never really saw a successor - or at least, not until DSCH.  Nevertheless, the innocent gaiety of these end-of-Empire works offers much to enjoy Smiley  Lovely, indeed Smiley


Thank you for the link! Smiley Yes,it's difficult to understand why this lovely opera has been so neglected. I really don't need a libretto,either,to enjoy such lyrical,tuneful music. I can listen to mono;and often rather like it's "period" charm! A score as picturesque,and colourful,as this does really demand stereo,though. The only consolation,is knowing that the recording is so good,it probably couldn't be bettered. The sound is also very clear. A little thin,but just boost the bass a tad! Smiley

I downloaded an old Lp recording of Tchaikovsky's opera,The Maid of Orleans,the other day. I read up about it,afterwards. Apparently,this is another opera with some colourful,set pieces. I wonder if you've heard it? I haven't listened to it,yet. It might be a little weightier than this;so I may take it,a bit,at a time!!
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Greg K
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« Reply #321 on: April 03, 2018, 07:39:31 pm »

OK  on tap for today... is Delius's Florida Suite... I've been stuck on Delius here in the last few days.    Interesting to read about his adventures from England to Jacksonville Florida's orange groves and life in N. Florida and then back again to the UK.     

Dave

Except he didn't go back to the UK (not to live, at least, - though permanently as a dead man).

The greatest of his Florida inspired works is "Appalachia" - which shouldn't be missed.  However, there's only one recording that truly nails it, which is the old Hickox/RPO performance (cheap on Amazon but can be tricky to find the listing).  Andrew Davis is truly woeful, and Naxos not much better, while both Barbirolli & Mackerras get only a qualified recommendation from me.  Hickox gets the "ecstatic melancholy" of the piece just perfectly.  It couldn't possibly be bettered.

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Christo
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« Reply #322 on: April 03, 2018, 07:53:18 pm »

Swiss composer, Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962) Symphony in C Op. 31 (1919); a masterpiece, 'discovered' thanks to Kyjo.
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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
Neil McGowan
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« Reply #323 on: April 03, 2018, 10:41:14 pm »


I downloaded an old Lp recording of Tchaikovsky's opera,The Maid of Orleans,the other day. I read up about it,afterwards. Apparently,this is another opera with some colourful,set pieces. I wonder if you've heard it? I haven't listened to it,yet. It might be a little weightier than this;so I may take it,a bit,at a time!!

Yes, that's a fine piece of writing indeed!  Although written in Russian, it picked-up quite a following internationally when sung in French... for clear reasons, considering the subject matter :-)  It's an unusual example of a mezzo-soprano in the lead role in a Tchaikovsky tragedy.  It's written in the French Grand Opèra genre, and thus it is inclined towards many set-piece numbers, as you say. It was dedicated to Napravnik, who conducted the premiere.

Tchaikovsky would be pilloried for his use of this French genre, which was one of the many reasons (aside from pure vindictive jealousy, of course) behind the 'whispering campaign' launched by Balakirev and chums - to wreck PT's reputation (by suggesting that he was insufficiently patriotic). It wasn't the first time, either.  The same reception came after his earlier Grand Opèra format piece, Oprichnik ('The Assassin'). That work was even closer to the French model, having the traditional mezzo-soprano breeches role for hero's young friend (just like Niklaus/Muse in Hoffman and Siebel in Faust). This aspect drew Balakirev's particular ire...  although the poison-pen 'anonymous' reviews have later been tracked to Cui, who was virulently conservative on this matter.  Oprichnik is a super piece, if you can forgive its outrageously melodramatic blood-and-guts libretto  Smiley  PT was so distraught by the vicious (ie bought-off) reviews that he disowned the work - not only forbidding further performances in Moscow and St Petersburg, but paying compensation to Jurgenson Publishers, so that they would destroy the copper engraving plates.  Angry   I have a personal fondness for it, since I directed a semi-staged performance of the piece in the kremlin of the medieval city of Ryazan (the home-town of the librettist). Sadly, no recording was made - but open-air acoustics are always very unsatisfactory, so it may be for the best Wink  It gave a career 'boost' to a number of singers who have gone on to appear at the Bolshoi, as well as in Germany and Austria.
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kyjo
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« Reply #324 on: April 03, 2018, 11:12:58 pm »

Swiss composer, Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962) Symphony in C Op. 31 (1919); a masterpiece, 'discovered' thanks to Kyjo.


So glad you enjoyed it, Johan! Smiley It is indeed a deeply impressive work and I feel many other members of this forum might feel the same.
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Baron Scarpia
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« Reply #325 on: April 04, 2018, 03:14:02 pm »

Debussy, Preludes, Book 1 again. This time Aimard's recording. Dramatically different piano sound, recorded from a more distance, reverberant perspective. Richer bass, more atmospheric, less clarity of articulation just based on the audio engineering technique.

Also a satisfying account of the music, easier to wallow in, but perhaps I got more out of the Thibaudet recording.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #326 on: April 04, 2018, 03:33:52 pm »

On,now. Jochum's 1960 dg recording of Weber's Der Freischutz. This is the first one I ever heard,courtesy of the local library,and still my favourite. A magnificent recording,full of atmosphere. I particularly like Kurt Böhme’s dark,sinister sounding Kaspar. The scene in the Wolf Glen is thrilling. My second favourite,is the 1958 emi Keilberth recording. It might even be my favourite,if I hadn't heard the Jochum first! (And the one I knew,when I was young;along with,Kleiber's recording which didn't really "do" much for me!) Both superb recordings. Not much to choose from them,really! The Keilberth has more dialogue though;and probably tops the Jochum really,for shivers,in the Wolf Glen. It also has Rudolf Schock;another favourite of mine!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #327 on: April 04, 2018, 05:36:02 pm »

On,now.....or it will be!! (I just turned it for a few minutes,to listen to the news!! Roll Eyes Grin) Anyway,once I've got fed up with all the bad news,it will be back to Schumann's only opera (as many here,will know?) Genoveva. It only arrived this morning,so I haven't listened to it,yet! Anyway......I'm given to understand that,despite the rotten libretto,the opera actually contains allot of really worthwhile,and,indeed,very fine music. The Masur recording also has an excellent cast. Going by personal experience;just because an opera libretto is poor,doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable listen? Strangely enough,some operas with lousy librettos make enjoyable listening,while some operas with really good librettos can be a complete bore. Obviously,it does help,though!!! Fortunately,via a cd player,it doesn't matter quite so much. Anyway,as far as I can make out;the plot of Genoveva is quite good fun,in a hokey kind of way! The Overture,another matter,of course! I also bought,Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella,by the way;which critical and historical opinion has placed in pretty much the same category. Unfortunately,my copy is in the Post Office at the moment.....and it's closed!! Sad Again.it's supposed to contain allot of very good music. In fact,I know some people rave about it's many delight's!! Thanks to the label Brilliant;these didn't cost too much!
Right,I'm fed up with the news now.............. Grin
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jimmatt
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« Reply #328 on: April 04, 2018, 06:02:25 pm »

All six of Rufinatscha's symphonies. Liked No. 4 the best. Over the weekend I listened to as many of Bartok's orchestral works as I could find, was blown away by Bluebeard's Castle, not understanding a single word.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #329 on: April 04, 2018, 06:39:51 pm »

Right,I am listening to Schumann's Genoveva,now. After the Overture,the opening just grabs you straightaway,with a lovely chorus. Lot's of beautiful and very lyrical singing and duetting,and romantic orchestration. Then another chorus.This one,very rousing,indeed!  Everything I've heard.........so far,is an absolute delight. No drumming of fingers! Not yet,anyway! Grin This is,definitely,my cup of tea;dodgy libretto,or not. I haven't listened to the end,yet,though! This recording was,of course,made back in the days,when less well known operas were recorded with a top notch cast,and,more than often than not,world class soloists. It does help! There does seem to be allot of  very beautiful music here;but obviously,with a work like this,a poor,or uneven cast,is only going to help confirm any preconceived opinion that,it's not just the libretto that's at fault! Fortunately,that is not the case here! Smiley Lovely! The opera seems just chock full of beauty,incident and colour! Where has it been all my life,so far?!! Grin Edda Moser had a lovely sound to her voice,incidentally. I love her as Hanna Glawari in Wallberg's recording of The Merry Widow,and she's magnificent as the Queen of the Night,in Sawallisch's emi electrola recording of The Magic Flute.
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