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31  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Commercial recordings (vintage, new and forthcoming) / Re: Havergal Brian's Symphonies Nos. 8, 21 and 26 from Naxos on: September 02, 2017, 03:43:29 pm

The significance of this release (in early October) is that it includes the first recording of Symphony No.21 by a professional orchestra and the first recording of Symphony No.26. But, more than that, it means that, finally, all of Brian's 32 symphonies will be available on commercial cds. The dream of many Brian fans, a dream which seemed for so long totally unrealistic and fantastical, will have been realised. It is just a pity that my dear friend Malcolm MacDonald did not live quite long enough to see the day that the composer whose work he spent his lifetime promoting should receive such recognition.
Indeed so; he was and will remain very sorely missed.
32  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What's a really good name for a new music magazine? on: August 24, 2017, 10:07:20 am
How about Music Today and Tomorrow?
33  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Coming broadcasts and listen-later links / Re: Raritäten der Klaviermusik Husum on: August 24, 2017, 10:06:04 am
To be broadcast this evening, 8 pm, by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the programme includes a piece by our esteemed member Alastair:

Raritäten der Klaviermusik
Schloss vor Husum, Rittersaal
Aufzeichnung vom 21.08.2017

George Enescu
Choral et Carillon nocturne aus Suite Nr. 3, op. 18

Marc-André Hamelin
Pavane variée

Alistair Hinton
Vocalise-Reminiscenza op. 29

Samuel Feinberg
Sonate Nr.2 a-Moll, op. 2
Sonate Nr.1 A-Dur, op. 1
Sonate Nr.4 es-Moll, op. 6

Léon Jongen

Moritz Moszkowski
Valse op. 34 Nr. 1
Caprice espagnol op. 37

Marc-André Hamelin, Klavier
Thank you for drawing attention to this. Sadly, I was unable to attend personally but I'm looking forward to listening in this evening.
34  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 22, 2017, 11:57:12 pm
But "Seven States of Rain" (and there are many worse) tells the listener nothing except that the composer is rather pretentious.

I'm largely with you up to that point...  but then the iceberg starts to melt for me.

What is that makes "Seven States Of Rain" pretentious (if, let us say, the composer seriously intended to portray different kinds of precipitation as music), but "Four Sea Interludes" is perfectly fine? Or indeed, Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside ?

I can't help feeling that the criteria here are not being used in a fair and comparable way. Works we know (and, perhaps, love) are allowed to have 'programmatic' titles - but works (or composers) we sneer at are denied the same right. The example of Herodotus is very telling, since appeals to classical antiquity (no matter how tenuous in reality) have long been a handy get-out. Stravinsky, for example, could be accused of getting away with blue murder in this area Wink  Yet had the composer of "Seven States Of Rain" only named their piece La Tempestata di Mare, they would already be on the A-Level Set Works list.

This, however, may reflect our ingrained tendency to adore the old, and deride the new - regardless of actual merits, and it might well be a societal prejudice. There's even a website which officially (!) derides music written after 1918, for example.
All very valid points, for which many thanks. Until Gerard comes clean about his specific concerns on this, we'll simply have to wait for him to do so and consider what he has to say but, in the meantime, I cannot help but suspect that his allegiances ally with one Johannes Brahms, although even he wrote Ein Deutsches Requiem, Schicksalslied and other works not called "piano trio no. ×" or "sonata no. ×"; maybe Gerard is prepared to make exceptions for vocal works but, until he tells us, we can't reasonably be expecgted to know...
35  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 21, 2017, 09:08:57 am
to follow up his assertion about "silly" titles with such.

Yet having brought Praetorius into this (for it was he who gave such detail about hurdy-gurdies being called 'symphonies'), it seems only fair to mention some of his egregious silly-naming of pieces. "Hahnentanz" (Chicken Dance) is one of his hits from 'Terpsichore' (1612) which did the rounds of the Early Music movement in the 1980s...   scored-up for almost every possible crumhornish line-up. Yet the most peculiar title (presumably as a part of a balletic intermezzo, with some kind of guild obligations being fulfilled for a regional monarch?) among his dances is the "Danse of the apprentice alchemists who must perform before the King". It's not only modern composers who name their pieces in potty ways Wink

Quite - but we still await the wit and wisdom of Gerard in alerting us to what he thinks of as "silly" titles and what he doesn't...
36  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 20, 2017, 10:31:36 pm
Ooo-errr, this Sinfonia doesn't even specify the instruments which are to play it?

Yet Sinfonia it is, in the composer's own hand.

Were we on a quite different forum, Pedant's Paradise would note that if you'd asked for a symphonia during the 12th and 13th centuries, this is what you would have received:

Quite! You make the point that I sought to make. We'll simply have to await further explanatory data from Gerard should he be prepared to follow up his assertion about "silly" titles with such.
37  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 19, 2017, 10:18:52 pm
"Piano Sonata", for example, can cover the work of Scarlatti

Indeed it cannot. Scarlatti wrote no works for the piano whatsoever.

The majority of his output was written for the harpsichord - a plucked-string instrument which in Scarlatti's time would usually have had two manuals, and most often a number of different 'stops', such as a buff, or options to use either four-foot pitch, or (lawks-a-mercy) a sixteen-foot sound alongside the conventional eight-foot. No dynamic effects are possible "by touch" on the harpsichord - yet no-one berates this same feature on the organ, which is set up in similar fashion.  Scarlatti specified the organ in four of his keyboard sonatas.

Some have suggested that Scarlatti might have himself played the new-fangled fortepiano on occasion. However, his works do not make use of dynamic markings that suggest so. Where he does suggest possible 'echo' effects, these could probably be feasibly (or even perhaps better) played on a different manual of the harpsichord. It would probably not be wrong to play his later keyboard sonatas on a fortepiano, although even the composer could not have hoped that one would always be available.

The modern joanna is an 88-key instrument which features one manual only - along with pedals for partly silencing its din when thought appropriate, or prolonging its clatter when the performer hasn't learnt the music very well.  Instead of plucking the strings, it bashes them from below with hammers, and thus is a percussion instrument, and no relative of the harpsichord's at all.

Similarly, JS Bach wrote no "piano sonatas", and certainly no "piano concertos"  Roll Eyes  Suggesting that he did perfectly illustrates the paucity of thinking behind retrospectively slapping genre labels onto works, in defiance of all respect for their composers' intentions. It also suggests a bogus equivalence between compositional approaches of, say, Scarlatti and Tchaikovsky from which neither of these two gentlemen stands to gain.

Whilst of course I take your point in principle re Scarlatti (and indeed expected someone to make it), the term "piano sonata" still covers a multitude of sins and the opposite of sins and cannot reasonably be used as some kind of artificial portmanteau term in the way that member Gerard appears to suggest that it can - and of course I didn't mention J. S. Bach in this context. The point that I sought to make was in specific response to Gerard's rather odd assertion about absurd work titles and I admit to being unsure exactly what it is to which he objects and what he'd like to see/have seen in its place where such titles are concerned.

But let's try again - perhaps more effectively this time. We'll take "symphony" and, for the sake of argument, specifically those that were not given subtitles by their composers or by others; what does that word, as a work title, tell the listener in advance about its "form" (as Gerard puts it), when it could refer to a work in any number of movements from one upwards and be as short and for relatively small forces as Milhaud's 4th or as vast as Mahler 3, Brian's Gothic or the larger symphonies for piano solo and organ solo by Sorabji?

I note that Gerard has yet to respond to any of this...
38  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 19, 2017, 07:49:23 am
The single most annoying thing about modern composers is their giving silly names to their works of music, instead of simply identifying the form. Hundreds of examples of this can be found on the B.B.C.'s modern music programme. Some one once said something about the "land without music" did not he, and this business of the silly names is part of what he meant.
"Identifying the form" is something that can only be done if there is a term for it and, even then, it doesn't tell the listener much in advance; "Piano Sonata", for example, can cover the work of Scarlatti (no slouch when it came to writing them), Beethoven, Liszt and Szymanowski and can also embrace a work such as Sorabji's Opus Archimagicum, the "silly" title that you might consider him to have given to his fifth and last one.

Would you prefer Liszt to have entitled his symphonic poems "Symphonic Poem No. ×" or Elgar to have called a work "Oratorio No. 1" rather than The Dream of Gerontius? Who in any case is to decide - and on what grounds - whether or not a title is "silly"? Should I re-entitle my Sequentia Claviensis "Piano Piece in Six Movements"? (that's a rhetorical question, incidentally, since I intend to do no such thing). And how would "String Quintet" be expected to denote that the piece includes a double bass (still less than a solo soprano in its finale) in cases when it does so?

Whoever it was that coined the phrase "land without music" did so long before some of what you might think to be the "sillier" of titles were penned in any case.
39  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: August 18, 2017, 12:32:53 pm
There is no symbiosis/chemistry between music and picture, in my opinion. Don’t know. Maybe those modern composers are just lazy.
40  INTRODUCTION & FAQs / Greetings / Re: Truly Bizarre behavior at Unsung Composers on: August 10, 2017, 09:23:22 pm
yes.. already chastised about the "1918 Rule"   ... if the composition was written after 1918, then we don't want any threads about it, unless "we" determine that the style is romantic.   The term "we" are certain moderators that will exclusively determine if the composition is romantic.    How silly.
Indeed; is it, for example, my fault that I was born so very long after 1918?...
41  INTRODUCTION & FAQs / Greetings / Re: Truly Bizarre behavior at Unsung Composers on: August 10, 2017, 05:38:56 pm
I note one of the posts by one of the moderators there, informing members that if they are unsure whether a piece of music meets their remit,they should pass it onto them so that (in their words) "the music in question can be sampled and (if) it accords with our guidelines, then it is a legitimate subject for debate here"!! In a thread releating to the Cpo release of Louis Glass' Symphony No 5 & Fantasie op 47,it's suitability is weighed in the balance.......being,"written in 1920.. which is clearly outside the barrier of 1918"! In a following post this inoffensive symphony by Louis Glass gets the all clear! "Yes,but it's also clearly written in a romantic style. So, no problem". Thank goodness for that,then!! Grin I wonder if his Sixth symphony will meet their "remit",when Cpo get to it (and hopefully,they will!)?!

It's like something out of Monty Python!! Huh Grin
It isn't. Monty Python was funny. It sported a Ministry of Silly Walks whereas the best up with which Unsnug Con-poseurs can come is a Ministry of Silly Talks.
42  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / Commercial recordings (vintage, new and forthcoming) / Re: Upcoming Toccata Classics Releases on: August 10, 2017, 06:47:57 am
Some mouthwatering upcoming releases on the Toccata website (Toccata Pipeline to be specific):
Steve ELCOCK, orchestral music, volume 1
Ferenc FARKAS, 5th disc with orchestral music including his orchestration of Liszt's Funérailles
Bohuslav MARTINŮ, 3rd disc of his juvenile orchestral works
Joself SCHELB, volume 1 of his orchestral music! Well, Schelb composed aroud 10 symphonies and many other works. Let's hope many readers and listeners will be buyers.
Not to mention a little piece by Sorabji...
43  MUSIC OF ALL ERAS / General musical discussion / Re: first twelve-tone technique compositions? on: July 26, 2017, 09:06:26 pm
Scriabin's so-called "mystic chord" and the ways in which he treated it might or might not be regarded as suggestive of a move towards a form of serialism; regardless of that or of anyone else's thoughts on this kind of thing in he early part of the last century, it's not all just about Schönberg, that's for sure!
44  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: July 06, 2017, 02:49:23 pm
Since both composers were speaking on air, repartee would have been fruitless. In the second case, the composer was doing a pre-concert talk about the BBC commission she'd been given. She started by saying something about how her first concern was about how she was going to invent a new musical language for this piece. The result, I have to say, was as dull as a wet Wednesday in Wishaw.
I've never experienced one of those either (so perhaps I should get out more), but it can often be problematic when a composer is invited to spout forth about his/her work; "what I was trying to do in this piece was...", and all that; I fear that it probably fails to enlighten more often that it enlightens. Michael Tippett and even Elliott Carter on occasion strike me as having been guilty of this kind of thing. I must have been conscious of this for a long time because when interviewed about my third piano sonata by BBC more years ago than I care to remember, I said "it's in one movement and plays for around 15 minutes" (and, since it plays for more like 17, I didn't even get that right) which might have sounded rude (albeit quite unintentionally) but I really didn't have anything else to say about it, preferring instead to leave all the "saying" to the pianist whose performance of it was about to be broadcast.
45  MEMBERS' CORNER / Miscellany / Re: What are the most annoying things about modern composers? on: July 05, 2017, 11:55:56 am
Here are two annoyances:

Composers who claim that nothing more can be done with tonality because so many composers have used it in the past, so that it is now exhausted. You might as well say that no more poetry can be written in English for the same reason. It just shows a lack of imagination.

Composers who claim to "reinvent musical language" with every new piece. For crying out loud!

I think you are onto something.  Tonality lives - those who deny it are probably lazy
Leaving aside the fact that "tonality" is not so much a finite phenomenon as a matter of degree, I don't imagine that anyone would deny that it lives, whatever kind of music they might write and/or listen to; likewise, I've yet to encounter a composer who would claim either "that nothing more can be done with tonality because so many composers have used it in the past, so that it is now exhausted" or "to 'reinvent musical language' with every new piece"

Sorry, I have heard both those opinions expressed. I can't give you names. In one case, a composer said (on air) that using tonality was like taking a bath in someone else's bathwater.

I also remember attending the premier of a work by James Macmillan and sitting alongside two other composers. One of them exclaimed in a tone of horror, "He's abandoned modernism!"
I'm as sorry as you are that you've had the misfortune to experience something that I never have done. In the first instance, I'd have retorted by saying something about throwing the baby out with it, whoever's it was and, in the second, I'd quote Dorothy Parker (albeit out of context) by asking "how can they tell?"...
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