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1  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Individual composers / Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) on: June 29, 2022, 09:39:53 pm
Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha Trilogy  Field,Davies,Terfel    Welsh National Opera / Kenneth Alwyn    Argo 2 cd's



Playing now! Hiawatha's Departure.

What lovely,lyrical music. I must admit,there are some choral works that I've never really been too mad about. Elgar's big choral works,for example! Gerontius,masterpiece as it undoubtedly is,has me looking at the cd display,to see how much is left to endure! Yet,I'm a BIG fan of Elgar's orchestral & chamber music. Howell's Hymnus Paradisi & Hadley's The Trees so High,likewise, have failed to grab me! (I prefer Hadley's The Hills,to be honest!) But I probably enjoy some music that other people would be eager to switch off! So,I was a little worried about this one! Needless to say,I have thoroughly enjoyed this music and yes,the Death of Minnehaha is moving. Some critics seem to think that The Death of Minnehaha and Hiawatha's Departure are not as inspired as Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. I have no musical qualification's,but I didn't once feel an urge to switch off! In fact,listening to this makes me want to hear A tale of Old Japan in top notch sound. According to the booklet with the Argo set it was one of the most performed choral works (in Britain) at the beginning of the last century. Another point! I'm not usually a big fan of Bryn Terfel,but his voice had a much sweeter tone to it when he was younger and he's on fine form here! (He was also good in Marriner's recording of The Yeomen of the Guard,a recording which has it's fault's,but I like!) In fact,his sonorous tones are one of the strengths of this fine recording. What a shame Sullivan's,lovely,Golden Legend couldn't have enjoyed a recording as good as this one!
I'd take more care over this post,but it's dinner time here and I'm desperate for some grub! Roll Eyes

So you enjoyed it, then! I knew you were a man of taste and refinement. Wink It repays repeated hearings too!

I also couldn't aree more with you and Albion that A Tale of Old Japan and Meg Blane (not to mention The Atonement) need top notch recordings too. Oh, and Thelma (not that I'm biased). Grin
I certainly will be listening again! I think the entire trilogy is a magnificent achievement! Smiley If they're going to record those other pieces you mention they need to have top notch soloists and musicians. Wobbly,soloists and amateur,or semi-amateur performers (who,with due respect,might be okay for an evening out!) won't do & can even do more harm than good! Oh,and a conductor who understands and empathises with the music he is conducting. We don't want another leaden performance,like that Hyperion recording of Sullivan's The Golden Legend! Sad
2  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Individual composers / Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) on: June 29, 2022, 01:30:38 pm
Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha Trilogy  Field,Davies,Terfel    Welsh National Opera / Kenneth Alwyn    Argo 2 cd's



Playing now! Hiawatha's Departure.

What lovely,lyrical music. I must admit,there are some choral works that I've never really been too mad about. Elgar's big choral works,for example! Gerontius,masterpiece as it undoubtedly is,has me looking at the cd display,to see how much is left to endure! Yet,I'm a BIG fan of Elgar's orchestral & chamber music. Howell's Hymnus Paradisi & Hadley's The Trees so High,likewise, have failed to grab me! (I prefer Hadley's The Hills,to be honest!) But I probably enjoy some music that other people would be eager to switch off! So,I was a little worried about this one! Needless to say,I have thoroughly enjoyed this music and yes,the Death of Minnehaha is moving. Some critics seem to think that The Death of Minnehaha and Hiawatha's Departure are not as inspired as Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. I have no musical qualification's,but I didn't once feel an urge to switch off! In fact,listening to this makes me want to hear A tale of Old Japan in top notch sound. According to the booklet with the Argo set it was one of the most performed choral works (in Britain) at the beginning of the last century. Another point! I'm not usually a big fan of Bryn Terfel,but his voice had a much sweeter tone to it when he was younger and he's on fine form here! (He was also good in Marriner's recording of The Yeomen of the Guard,a recording which has it's fault's,but I like!) In fact,his sonorous tones are one of the strengths of this fine recording. What a shame Sullivan's,lovely,Golden Legend couldn't have enjoyed a recording as good as this one!
I'd take more care over this post,but it's dinner time here and I'm desperate for some grub! Roll Eyes
3  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 28, 2022, 01:36:43 pm
Arrived today in "very good" condition & no stale baccy smell! Smiley Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha Trilogy    Argo 2 cd's





4  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: Bedřich Smetana's "other" operas! on: June 28, 2022, 01:04:38 pm


Smetana: The Kiss   Opera in Two Acts Eduard Haken (Father Peloucky) Eva Delpotova (Vendulka) et al / Brno Janáček Opera Chorus /Brno Janáček Opera Orchestra/ František Vajnar Supraphon 2 cd's

As great as Libuše is,this is more like the kind of Smetana opera that rocks my boat! A lovely score,very well performed and recorded to my ears. I have read,more than once,that the earlier recording by Krombholc) is better (more characterful & livelier performances) and from what I know of Krombholc and East European/Czech recordings from that period,I have no doubt it is. The trouble is,apart from the fact that it's in mono (not that I have a problem with that) there are earlier recordings of The Kiss (Chalabala) and Dvořák's Kate and the Devil (Chalabala),both of which I already own in later stereo recordings and if I buy every recording of every opera I'm going to end up with an empty bank account! Sad


And I'll repeat this fun fact (hope,even at my age!) : Eduard Haken was 70 years old,when he made this recording & I wouldn't have known it from listening! Smiley

5  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 27, 2022, 12:19:30 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! Grin) 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!)

NB: I really am starting to look & sound like that Muppet on the right! (Very funny they were too! About time they repeated The Muppet Show!)



Okay,not literally! (Before I frighten everyone off!) But.............!!!
6  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: Bedřich Smetana's "other" operas! on: June 27, 2022, 12:04:28 pm
Smetana: Libuše  (various soloist's)     Prague National Theatre Chorus & Orchestra / Jaroslav Kromholc    Supraphon 2 cd's   (Recorded in 1965)



I listened to this last night. It's a fine piece with allot of stirring music,majestic fanfares and choruses. Well,worth hearing! A great composer and there's definitely allot more to his operatic output than The Bartered Bride,which,sadly,seems to be less popular these days! That said,I think I prefer Smetana in rustic,folksy mode;ie The Devil's Wall,The Kiss,The Two Widows and Bartered Bride! (Haven't heard The Brandenburgers in Bohemia,Dalibor or The Secret,yet!). I think The Devils Wall is my favourite of the "other" operas,so far! I think I might even like it better than The Bartered Bride!
Returning to Libuše. I am given to understand that there are more recent recordings that are superior,vocally! Unforunately,I'm not terribly keen on live recordings,so I've resisted them & this old 60's recording was in stereo and cheap! The singing is good,to my ears,but one of the women soloist's shows strain when she reaches some top notes! It's not too bad;but she's obviously not quite up to the demand's of Smetana's writing! Fortunately,the majority of the score is sufficiently within her range! I don't know how old she was at the time of the recording & I'd have to identify her name in the booklet (I can't be bothered at the moment! Roll Eyes Grin) so maybe her voice had seen better days?! Theory Number two! She had a bit of a cold! I should point out,there is no libretto with the recording. One of the things I used to like about Supraphon was they always provided a libretto with an english translation (often,unintentionally,but,endearingly,hilarious! Unlike Cpo's). So,this is a rather depressing trend! (I rather expect it from the big label's but not Supraphon! And yes,I know they're old recordings,but still.......!! Angry)

Odd artwork! I wonder what it's meant to signify? Youth & the future of the nation,perhaps? It's just the shortness of the skirt & the tightness of the blouse?!! Shocked
7  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 27, 2022, 10:58:38 am
It seems a pity that the 1929 recording and Death of Minnehaha by Sargent (appear to) have never been,commercially,released on cd,with lot's of nice booklet notes and,maybe,a photo or two?!! I did a search on Amazon & google,to no avail! Sad
8  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 27, 2022, 10:45:24 am
More Pffffffffff-itzner!

Symphony op.36,Elegie und Reigen op.45,Fantasie op.56  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra / Werner Andreas Albert    Cpo



Someone's going to tell me it's rubbish (if any members posts here?) but I must admit I'm impressed by this symphony. In fact,I think it's an impressive piece. Like allot of Pfitzner's music it surprised me,when I first heard it. I thought he was going to be a throw back to the late nineteenth century;but the main influiences seem to be from the first decade (or two) of the twentieth century. Mahler  and Schreker spring to mind. Indeed,'Mahlerian',is how I would describe part's of this symphony. Particularly,the big climaxes in the first movement. And there's a lovely,serene slow movement with some quite beautiful writing for the strings and woodwind. This is the quite of big,late romantic symphony that rocks my boat! A few years ago I had look around the internet to find out what people thought of Pfitzner's music. What I found wasn't too positive and there wasn't allot! Now,I find allot of enthusiastic reviews and allot of posts at the GMG forum expressing admiration for some of his music. The performance on this cd is very good,to my ears;and the sound quality is up to Cpo's usual standard (very good!). While,it was listening to this I was thinking it would be great to hear the Berlin Philharmonic perform this work (and his Violin Concert,please! Grin).



                 "Well,it's better than the Rufinatscha!"                  

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Hans Pfitzner is good stuff (his opera Palestrina, 1917, is well worth a listen), Rufinatscha is shoddy and dull (no wonder Chandos aborted after "volume 1"). Have you tried Reznicek? There have been some great recordings on CPO...

 Wink
There's a chap at the GMG forum (Mirror Image) who thinks that Pfitzner's Violin Concerto is one of the great unsung romantic violin concertos! I'm inclined to agree! The Cpo recording is very good (to my ears) but it would be nice if some other label's took an interest. The Cello Concertos are good,too. In fact,I've enjoyed & been impressed by everything I've heard by him. He also made recordings of his music which are well worth hearing & in decent (for the 1920's!) sound.

Reznicek?! Uh-oh! More expense!! Roll Eyes Grin I'd forgotten about him. I have read some enthusiastic reviews of the Cpo cd's,over the last couple of years! I'll have to resist for now,though! I've just spent a small fortune on a load of..........shock,horror,paper reference books! I quite like them & I thought they would come in useful if I go offline (as the terminology goes) at some point! (Or there's a nuclear war!! Roll Eyes).
9  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 27, 2022, 10:29:30 am
I have MP3s of both "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" and "The Death of Minnehaha" conducted by Sargent in good recordings. Let me know if you need them. In the meantime, the Argo (Kenneth Alwyn) set is the one to go for, although there's also an excellent performance of the whole shebang from a Three Choirs Festival performance in the archive (PM me). It's odd that Sargent didn't record "Hiawatha's Departure" to complete the trilogy...

 Smiley


Thank you for that! Needless to say,I've downloaded the lot! Shocked Grin
10  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: Bedřich Smetana's "other" operas! on: June 26, 2022, 12:12:17 pm
The Devil's Wall (various soloist's) Prague National Theatre Chorus & Orchestra / Zdeněk Chalabala

     

Wow! This one's an absolute winner! Smiley I love Czech opera and I'm fast turning into a fan of Smetana's operatic output! (I'm also a big fan of Ma Vlast and the two string quartets). This opera,described as being "comic-romantic" is another one of those Czech operas with folk story inspired plots. According to the Gramophone review of this recording "The title refers to a group of strangely shaped rocks projecting from the Vltava, according to legend set there by the Devil so as to form a dam and flood the surrounding land". I had the opera on Lp whem I was young (see,above right) and you could see the rock on the front of the box! Unfortunately,it didn't make for very exciting artwork! Never mind! The old 1960 recording sounds even better in it's latest cd incarnation. I don't know exactly what Supraphon's engineers have done,but it never sounded quite as good as this when I heard it,all those years ago,on my Lp's. It sounds stunning. In fact,to all intent and purpose,the recording could have been made yesterday! And the score just is,to my ears at any rate,Smetana at his very,or at least,near best. No need to follow the libretto with music this rich in melody and colourful orchestration (what a master,Smetana was!). The soloist's are all superb as are the chorus. I do love these folksy operas with loads of villager's and other characters,seemingly ready to join in,at at the drop of a hat,with lusty choruses! If only life was like that! Love the artwork too and Supraphon's ingenious trick of using the rear of the libretto (one thin booklet for notes & a fat one for the libretto) as the artwork for the back of the jewel case. A lovely opera that deserves to be better known. Just sit back and enjoy! Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
11  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Symphonies / Re: Ludewig Spohr on: June 26, 2022, 11:42:17 am
Another fine symphony by Spohr. People will say,it's not as good or profound as Beethoven's. Apart from the fact that not many symphonies are,does every symphony have to be epoch making to be an enjoyable or satisfying listen? Again,Spohr has his own individual sound world all his own. Some of the orchestration for No 5 is quite gorgeous. I would even go so far as to describe it as exquisite (the woodwind chirruping like birdsong). If there was a Mr Happy of classical music,Spohr's the man! His music has a genial,contented demeanour which just doesn't go down very well in these cynical times. Lovely music! Smiley
12  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Symphonies / Re: Ludewig Spohr on: June 25, 2022, 10:20:43 pm
I do like allot of Spohr's music! Symphonies 1,3 and 4 are,particularly,fine! I have  heard that his symphonies lack depth. Well,okay you won't find Beethovenian profoundness. But Spohr was famous and widely performed in his day for a reason. He was a superb orchestrator & his music,once you get to know it,has a distinctive sound world unlike any of his contemporaries. He's also one of the warmest,happiest composers I have ever heard. His symphonies just seem to bubble with high spirits. His chamber music is excellent,too. A lovely composer. Howard Shelley's recordings for the Hyperion label are very good;but I must admit I,marginally,prefer Howard Griffiths Cpo cycle. Spohr deserves a reappraisal in the concert hall,too! His best music would just the ticket to lift the spirit of audiences in these glum times! The 'critics' would pick holes no doubt?! But when I think of the kind of pretentious,tripe they like?!!
13  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 25, 2022, 10:02:20 pm
Re: Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha trilogy!

This may be one bug I'm glad to contract,then?!! Grin Just out of interest! What do you think of the old,'classic' Sargent recording? I mean the stereo recording,not the 1929 recording,of course! (I looked the work up,today,on Wikipedia)

I also seem to recall having a 78rpm of Webster Booth singing "Onaway! Awake,Beloved. That record must have sold allot of copies! I gather that allot of people who didn't know a single note of anything else that Coleridge-Taylor wrote (or even who composed it!) got to know the song via that recording. A brief search with google brought up three other 78rpm records with Tudor Davies,John McHugh and,titter ye not Grin........Frank Titterton! Confusingly,for me,the same search brought up recordings of "Onaway! Awake,Beloved" sung by Mr Harry Dearth and Stanley Holloway (baritone). But,of course the music,in that instance,is by Frederic Cowen! Sargent recorded Hiawatha's Wedding Feast in 1929! So you could have listened to the whole piece on 78rpm records! Giving your right arm (or left?) a good ol' work-out in between sides! According to Wikipedia "Sargent recorded the Death of Minnehaha with the same choral and orchestral forces as for the 1929 Hiawatha's Wedding Feast". I had no idea he'd recorded the second part! But,when I looked it up,there it was in Sargent's discography!!
Incidentally,I found a photo of the radiogram my grandmother (my mum's mother) owned! (See below!) It was a beauty (albet,a bit of a monster!) I seem to recall people saying it had a nice (rich) sound to it!


     

Malcolm Sargent discography! https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/11682899#Discography

14  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 25, 2022, 04:03:27 pm

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Looking forward to hearing this! Smiley
15  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: What are you currently listening to? on: June 25, 2022, 01:57:47 pm
Wel,I didn't have to worry too much about someone telling me it was rubbish,with the forum this quiet! (Although,someone may yet oblige?!! Grin) At this rate I might even get away with extolling my love of the creative output of Tikhon Khrennikov! Shocked Grin (If I had a pound for every locked thread that has resulted from the mere mention of his name?!!)

On a more positive note,I just bought a s/h copy of this 2 cd set,from a seller on Ebay Smiley!



Well, you won't be surprised to hear from me on this topic. Make sure you have plenty of hankies ready for The Death of Minnehaha. It would make a glass eye weep. Apparently, even Stanford blubbed when he heard it. One of my Desert Island discs, this.
Grin Luckily,I bought a big roll of triple-ply,extra strong kitchen roll yesterday! I could't resist this at the low price offered! (I logged back on after midnight,having resisted it! I was wondering if they'd lowered the price a bit more? Then I though,"Oh,what the he**!)  As you will know,the Argo set has been deleted & sellers ask exorbitant prices!) I've read your numerous posts about Coleridge-Taylor here! He also was an intriguing part of the English musical renaissance,as it often dubbed,and a glaring omission from my collection! And who could resist a box set with such colourful artwork?!! Hopefully,the nice booklet,notes and slip case intact?!! ( You can't be sure with some of the big sellers! Stock photos & everything marked,"Very good!")
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