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What I'm not listening to!!


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Author Topic: What I'm not listening to!!  (Read 156 times)
cilgwyn
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« on: May 15, 2022, 12:41:51 pm »

Felix Draeseke (1835-1913)



Well,it's come to this! I've officially given up on the music of Felix Draeseke!  Thrown in the towel,as they say. He certainly knew his way around the orchestra & maybe there is something worth hearing in his output somewhere;but the symphonies just seem to chug & noodle along. I've tried hard with his symphonies and I quite like the sound of his orchestration (it has that brooding,germanic hue) but orchestration alone,does not a good symphony make! I can think of some symphonies by lesser composers that lack good tunes or identifiable themes & just seem to go in one ear and out the other (as they say) but they do seem to convey some sense of momentum. Draeseke,no! With due respect to anyone who enjoys his music,life is short enough as it is and I've tried hard enough here. Poor old Anton Rubinstein's music get's rubbished (possibly/arguably the most rubbished composer in music history?) but I quite like some of his symphonies. The "Ocean" Symphony,for example,does go on a bit,but there's some genuinely nice music there,while No 1 is a real charmer! Yet,while Spohr and Raff (whose music,some of which,I profess to enjoy) warrant multiple recordings Rubinstein's six are ignored. I find it slightly astonishing that a symphony as well known as the "Ocean" Symphony,has never had a truly,decent recording! My first encounter with the symphony was via an old Turnabout Lp in my local library. The orchestra was the Westphalian SO (Recklinghausen) and if memory serves me correctly it was better than the recordings currently on offer. Unfortunately,it has never reached cd! Is it possible that recording labels just regard his music as trash & not worth their time & resources? Or is there just something about the name? (Give a dog a bad name & all that!)
In all fairness to Draeseke,composing obviously requires a good deal of hard work and not everyone can be a great composer! It also shows that knowing the orchestra inside out & years of study are one thing,genuine inspiration & the ability to develop an idea and build a symphony,with all the inevitability of some pre-determined conclusion,that mantains the listener's attention from beginning to another,is a far rarer commodity & not one that money or years of study can,necessarily,buy!

On the plus side! It's not Draeske's fault that the nazis liked his music so much! As to whether Felix Draeseke was worth recording? Well,despite my reservations. Answering my own question! ;D Probably,yes? As a musical peronality he is another interesting piece of the vast jigsaw of music history & the excellent and enterprising recordings provided by Cpo and MDG (kudos to them! :)) do give us punters a chance to decide his musical value for ourselves!

I should point out,this is just an opinion! But,heaven's I've tried! Other's may feel the same way about Anton Rubinstein & many do! (I did just say I like some of his music,mind!)

I DO like the artwork on the front of MDG's cd of Symphony No 3,though! I looked the painter up & the painting is called "Thunderstorm in the area of the Village Kaditz" and it's by Ernst Ferdinand Oehme (1797-1855) who,according to an article at Pictorem (where you can view his paintings) "was a German Romantic painter and illustrator who specialized in moody landscapes with architectural elements".

I do think interesting & imaginative choice of artwork helps draw the eye to a cd. Even if I hadn't been curious about Draeseke (and I was once!) I might have been persuaded to spend some spare dosh on a cd with artwork like this! In my case it was an incentive! Albeit the cd includes the Symphonic Prologue to Penthesilea as an interesting fill-up (not on the Cpo cd's).

NB: If you do enjoy his music,the MDG performances & recordings are very good and,at least to my ears,on a par with those on Cpo. In fact it's hard to decide which are the best. MDG didn't record Symphony No 2 or the Serenade,however. Although,the MDG cd of Symphony No 1 pairs the symphony with Draeseke's Piano Concerto,which,if I had to pick something from Draeseke's pen is,imho,the best thing I've heard. It's a bit short on tunes,though!! :( Not that tunes are everything,when it comes to Piano Concertos. (I'm a big fan of Reger's Piano Concerto,which isn't exactly a tune-fest!)!

PS: There is also recording of the Draeseke Piano Concerto on the Hyperion label which I haven't heard!

     

Thunderstorm in the area of the Village Kaditz by Ernst Ferdinand Oehme (1797-1855)

https://www.pictorem.com/profile/Ernst.Ferdinand.Oehme
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2022, 11:11:49 am »

Felix Draeseke (135-1913)



Well,it's come to this! I've officially given up on the music of Felix Draeseke!  Thrown in the towel,as they say. He certainly knew his way around the orchestra & maybe there is something worth hearing in his output somewhere;but the symphonies just seem to chug & noodle along. I've tried hard with his symphonies and I quite like the sound of his orchestration (it has that brooding,germanic hue) but orchestration alone,does not a good symphony make!

As Draeseke was 1778 years old when he died, blimey that's one hell of a pension policy! I agree, pleasant but not essential listening - the CPO recordings are fine although the sniffing of the cellist in the Serenade, Op.49 is highly distracting. As with Rufinatscha a couple of hearings are probably enough, still it's good that these things are being rediscovered as context if very important and there are no doubt many listeners who would welcome more recordings of both. Fully agreed about Rubinstein - no recording company has given him adequate attention (personally, I prefer the piano concertos to the symphonies), but what would I know, eh? Anyone who tries to promote Potter, Mackenzie, Cowen and Holbrooke must be a couple of slices short of a loaf methinks...

 :D
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JimL
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2022, 01:21:54 pm »

I'm a couple of slices short, I guess, but Potter, Cowen and Mackenzie add those slices. I'm not so sure about Holbrooke, though...
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2022, 02:27:47 pm »

Felix Draeseke (135-1913)



Well,it's come to this! I've officially given up on the music of Felix Draeseke!  Thrown in the towel,as they say. He certainly knew his way around the orchestra & maybe there is something worth hearing in his output somewhere;but the symphonies just seem to chug & noodle along. I've tried hard with his symphonies and I quite like the sound of his orchestration (it has that brooding,germanic hue) but orchestration alone,does not a good symphony make!

As Draeseke was 1778 years old when he died, blimey that's one hell of a pension policy! I agree, pleasant but not essential listening - the CPO recordings are fine although the sniffing of the cellist in the Serenade, Op.49 is highly distracting. As with Rufinatscha a couple of hearings are probably enough, still it's good that these things are being rediscovered as context if very important and there are no doubt many listeners who would welcome more recordings of both. Fully agreed about Rubinstein - no recording company has given him adequate attention (personally, I prefer the piano concertos to the symphonies), but what would I know, eh? Anyone who tries to promote Potter, Mackenzie, Cowen and Holbrooke must be a couple of slices short of a loaf methinks...

 :D
Oops! ::) Duly,corrected! ;D
One of the thing's I find intriguing about Draeseke is he seems to start off well (the opening of No 3 is arresting) and then after a couple of bars seems to run out of steam! (I can almost imagine him muttering,"What do I do now?! :( ;D") He also seems to pick up steam in the last few minutes (the ending of the third really is quite thrilling! If it was an Lp I'd have been picking up the needle and putting it down near the label!) Some individual movement's are orchestrated. But it's the noodling in the surrounding areas that is the problem for me! (And poor old Draeseke,maybe?). But he is a piece in the vast jigsaw of music history and there's always someone who'll enjoy it,even if I don't! And,even I'd rather listen to Draeseke than Stockhausen or Birtwistle! (But,there again! ;D)
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Albion
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2022, 03:23:43 pm »

I'm a couple of slices short, I guess, but Potter, Cowen and Mackenzie add those slices. I'm not so sure about Holbrooke, though...

Well, three out of four slices ain't bad!

 :D

One of the thing's I find intriguing about Draeseke is he seems to start off well (the opening of No 3 is arresting) and then after a couple of bars seems to run out of steam! (I can almost imagine him muttering,"What do I do now?! :( ;D") He also seems to pick up steam in the last few minutes (the ending of the third really is quite thrilling! If it was an Lp I'd have been picking up the needle and putting it down near the label!)

His best effort is certainly No.3, which has some striking gestures - but are they any more than gestures? Hmmm...

 :-\
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2022, 05:59:30 pm »

Salomon Jadassohn is another one! I tried really hard after reading some of the enthusiastic reviews online. Pleasant enough,but in one ear out the other. (Hopefully,there's something in between?!! ;D) All the more disappointing when the artwork on the front was so inviting! :( ;D
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2022, 09:02:23 pm »

I'm a couple of slices short, I guess, but Potter, Cowen and Mackenzie add those slices. I'm not so sure about Holbrooke, though...
And there we go! Conversely,I love Holbrooke's music. Although,with respect to slices & personal taste,he's possibly the musical equivalent of marmite on toast,which I love!
By the way,does anyone remember we,actually,had a thread devoted to Marmite here,once (many moons ago!)?!! :o

Oh,here we are! The Marmite thread! (Warning! Might be off-topic?!) ;D https://artmusic.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,3266.0.html
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JimL
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 01:16:09 pm »

I actually promote a lot of Unsung music on my FB group, including Holbrooke, precisely because I don't put myself up as an arbiter of other people's tastes, and I generally find something worthwhile even in the oeuvres of composers whose overall output I find less than compelling. There are some worthwhile moments even in Holbrooke. His biggest problem was taking those moments and stuffing them into something else, then retitling it and pretending he had composed a new work.
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