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1  INTRODUCTION & FAQs / Greetings / Re: Is this excellent forum 'dying' ? on: April 05, 2018, 03:16:26 am
Is the Good Music Guide Classical Music Forum really moving servers, as the page I just visited said, or is it too kaput?

The server migration was initiated about two days ago, necessitated by the level of traffic and the size of the database of posts. There is every expectation that it will be up again shortly. The forum operator is very competent and strongly committed to the continuation of the forum. Fingers crossed.

GMG is gets a lot more traffic than this forum. It is not always clear what causes one forum to grow and another to stagnate or whither. "Classical Music Guide," where I used to participate, is in the latter category, where it is rare for a new member to join and there are a handful (a dozen or less) members who participate without pause.

Thank you for this information! I am glad to hear the interruption at GMG is only temporary.
2  INTRODUCTION & FAQs / Greetings / Re: Is this excellent forum 'dying' ? on: April 03, 2018, 04:47:43 pm
I am visiting for the first time in a while and read this particular thread with great interest. I go through cycles with message boards, social media, and other platforms when I contribute quite vigorously for a while and then become disaffected or moody and go silent before starting the cycle over. In science fiction fandom, they used to call it "gafiating" - getting away from it all.

A lot of message boards on various subjects of interest to me seem to have gotten pretty quiet, or even to have disappeared. Is Bright Cecilia gone for good? Is the Good Music Guide Classical Music Forum really moving servers, as the page I just visited said, or is it too kaput?

Anyway, it is good to see that this pleasant forum is still, as they say, "a going concern".

One of the confusing aspects of life on the Internet is that the action is always moving elsewhere.
3  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Andrew Porter RIP on: April 04, 2015, 09:56:54 pm
The legendary New Yorker critic has passed away at age 86. More at my blog:
4  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: Influx by Bax and Holst outside UK on: March 21, 2015, 03:52:00 pm
Bax experts, help me out here. I agree that he is an eminently satisfying composer in a particular style. But is there, anywhere in his work, a surprising compositional move? There are many such in Vaughan Williams, Holst, and Britten; not so much in Delius, perhaps, but Delius at his best, even though perhaps less proficient and professional a composer than Bax, I find more inspired.

I want to like Bax more than I do, but every time I listen to another piece of his, I find it satisfies my expectations in exactly the way that I was expecting, and I find myself craving a bit more than that.

Cards on the table: I believe that all great composers, within the contexts of their eras, make surprising compositional moves; it has nothing to do per se with whether they are more radical or more traditional composers. There are surprising moves in Nielsen as there are surprising moves in Schoenberg. What do I mean by surprising? A move that one wouldn't necessarily have thought of, that is not in the textbooks, but that is completely apt for the goals of a piece. The very different fade-outs at the ends of The Planets and of VW's 6th Symphony, for example.

I don't see how a composer who never achieves such compositional coups can be considered great - rather very good, at best. What I would like to know is, have I just missed the relevant moments in Bax's output?
5  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A party game for the Christmas season on: January 19, 2015, 09:39:39 pm
If this is proving too hard, I would give the following clue, that the connection in one case hinges on a very minor work, and in another, in knowing something about a very popular work - something that is perhaps not common knowledge.

Also, Britten can be added to the list (but not for a major work).

I hadn't really given this any consideration because I've been so busy. But I believe the answer is - harmonium!

Rossini - Petite Messe Solenelle
Dvorak - Bagatelles for String Trio and Harmonium
Honegger - Le Roi David
Rosenberg - Huh
Nyman - several pieces, I think
Britten - Rejoice in the Lamb
6  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A Symphonies Game on: January 17, 2015, 03:26:45 pm
5.Vaughan Williams

A big thumbs-up to Berwald 3. What a great and original piece. I first learned it as a classical music aficionado in my teens in the Seventies, when I owned the old Nonesuch LP of Berwald 1 and 3 conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (and in fact still do own it, but it's in storage because I'm abroad). It amazes me that the Berwald symphonies have not made greater inroads into the "standard repertory," given that they deserve live performance at the same frequency as the Schumann symphonies. But that's the biz for you - not very enterprising.

I like your list in general - I'm also a big fan of Prokofiev 6 (really all of Prokofiev's symphonies).
7  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A party game for the Christmas season on: January 13, 2015, 11:44:03 am
Not sure what you want to do with Panufnik's fourth Symphony (sinfonia concertante) for flute harp and small string orchestra and seventh 'Metasinfonia', for organ timpani and strings.
Leon Orthel's Symphony No.4 for Piano and Orch. is a definite inclusion. Great work amongst a great set of symphonies-but I always forget about him!!

I hadn't branched into works where there are two or more solo instruments featured prominently, but they certainly exist.
8  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A party game for the Christmas season on: January 11, 2015, 07:15:16 pm
Pretty much. The answer I had in mind is symphonies with prominent parts for solo instruments.

Kalevi Aho - Symphony No. 3 (violin); Symphony No. 8 (organ); Symphony No. 9 (trombone); Chamber Symphony No. 3 (saxophone)
Hector Berlioz - Harold in Italy (viola)
Benjamin Britten - Symphony for Cello and Orchestra
Aaron Copland - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra
Vincent d'Indy - Symphony on a French Mountain Air (piano)
Franz Hummel - Hatikva (Symphony for Clarinet and Orchestra)
Aram Khachaturian - Symphony No. 3 (organ)
Valeri Kitka - Frescoes of St. Sophia of Kiev (Concert Symphony for Harp and Orchestra)
Edouard Lalo - Symphonie espagnole (violin)
Carl Nielsen - Symphony No. 5 (snare drum)
Alan Pettersson - Symphony No. 16 (saxophone)
Poul Ruders - Symphony No. 4 (organ)
Valentin Silvestrov - Metamusik (Symphony for Piano and Orchestra); Widmung (Symphony for Violin and Orchestra); Meditation (Symphony for Cello and Orchestra)
Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Symphony No. 7 (harpsichord)

I left off several composers of works for organ and orchestra that I thought might be give-aways:

Marcel Dupre - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra
Joseph Jongen - Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra
Camille Saint-Saens - Symphony No. 3
Tomas Svoboda - Symphony No. 3
Chaerles-Marie Widor - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 42; Symphony No. 3; Sinfonia sacra; Symphonie antique 

I might have included:

George Enescu - Symphonie Concertante (cello)
Alan Hovhaness - Symphony for Guitar and Orchestra
Ernst Bloch - Symphony for Trombone and Orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev - Symphony-Concerto (cello)
Edmund Rubbra - Sinfonia Concertante (piano)
Karol Szymanowski - Symphony No. 4 (piano)
Ernst Toch - Symphony for Piano and Orchestra (Piano Concerto No. 2)
William Walton - Sinfonia Concertante (Piano)
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich - Symphony No. 2 (cello)

And there are some obscurities I also left off:

Razmik Hovhannisyan - Symphony for Violin and Orchestra
Joseph Swensen - The Fire and the Rose (Symphony for Horn and Orchestra)
Dan Welcher - Pisces (Symphony for Bassoon and Orchestra)

Any more I have omitted?
9  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A party game for the Christmas season on: January 10, 2015, 11:04:34 pm
OK, what do these composers have in common? I have left out a few well-known AND a few very obscure composers who qualify for the list, on the grounds that their inclusion might make determining the common feature too easy. There may be others that I have not thought of or am nor aware of.

I imagine that a few of you might spot this immediately.

Kalevi Aho
Hector Berlioz
Benjamin Britten
Aaron Copland
Vincent d'Indy
Franz Hummel
Aram Khachaturian
Valeri Kikta
Edouard Lalo
Carl Nielsen
Alan Pettersson
Poul Ruders
Valentin Silvestrov
Mieczyslaw Weinberg
10  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A Symphonies Game on: January 10, 2015, 10:29:36 pm
Also, calyptorhynchus has David Diamond 3.
11  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: A Symphonies Game on: January 07, 2015, 03:38:47 pm
I see that we have some fans of Mahler 7! I have always felt that is his most underrated work.
12  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / A Symphonies Game on: January 06, 2015, 08:17:14 pm
From Alex Ross's blog:

The Los Angeles blogger CK Dexter Haven has devised an amusing game: pick your favorite numbered symphonies, one through nine. Brian Lauritzen has added his own entry, and there are sure to be others. I have decided to make the bold choice of omitting Beethoven he gets enough attention and am offering this mildly eccentric list:

Nielsen, Symphony No. 1

Ives, Symphony No. 2

Lutosławski, Symphony No. 3

Brahms, Symphony No. 4

Ustvolskaya, Symphony No. 5

Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 6

Sibelius, Symphony No. 7

Schubert, Symphony No. 8

Mahler, Symphony No. 9

13  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Organ and Orchestra on: January 02, 2015, 12:39:10 am
Reconsiderations and resources:
14  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Individual composers / Re: Matthijs Vermeulen on: December 21, 2014, 09:50:56 pm
I think very highly of Vermeulen, and first listened to all seven of the symphonies on YouTube.
15  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Individual composers / Re: Tomas Breton on: November 29, 2014, 05:20:33 pm
It sounds glorious, although not in the least "apocalyptic." Although Breton's music is not exceptionally old-fashioned for 1882, neither is it "advanced" for that date, and it may be that the standard late Romantic vocabulary is inadequate to depict apocalypse in a way that the next generation of composers would have little trouble doing. Among composers active in 1882, is there anyone besides Bruckner who ever really sounds apocalyptic? I am not sure, but I put the question out there.

I like Breton's 2nd Symphony too, and will listen to more of his work. He is a sweeping, confident composer.
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