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Lowell Liebermann (b. 1951): Orchestral Works from Albany


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Author Topic: Lowell Liebermann (b. 1951): Orchestral Works from Albany  (Read 2029 times)
Dundonnell
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2013, 05:46:37 pm »

So I shouldn't like Liebermann's Symphony No.2 Huh

Why not Huh  Because I am told by some music critics and some other listeners(whose views I respect) that it is derivitive, manipulative, lacking in real substance, over-relient on a wash of romantic swelling-crescendos, a mish-mash of a Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Brucknerian soundscape. It leaves some people cold, others incensed.

I can understand such criticisms.

Yet, still, I love the symphony Grin Is there something wrong with me Huh Should I be ashamed to admit that I just plain and simple "like it", that the music appeals to something inside me Huh

Such subjective a response would certainly not qualify as valid "music criticism" but I am not a music critic.

I don't have a "case to rest" Grin    ......but, if I did.....
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dyn
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2013, 09:29:18 pm »

So I shouldn't like Liebermann's Symphony No.2 Huh

Why not Huh  Because I am told by some music critics and some other listeners(whose views I respect) that it is derivitive, manipulative, lacking in real substance, over-relient on a wash of romantic swelling-crescendos, a mish-mash of a Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Brucknerian soundscape. It leaves some people cold, others incensed.

I can understand such criticisms.

Yet, still, I love the symphony Grin Is there something wrong with me Huh Should I be ashamed to admit that I just plain and simple "like it", that the music appeals to something inside me Huh

well let's look at these criticisms:

Quote
derivative

of what?

Quote
manipulative

so's Wagner

Quote
lacking in real substance

what is "real substance"

Quote
over-relient on a wash of romantic swelling-crescendos

at last, something that actually talks about the piece. how many such crescendos are there in the piece, what is their structural purpose?

Quote
a mish-mash of a Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Brucknerian soundscape

who are all perfectly fine composers, whether or not their work appeals to you

Quote
It leaves some people cold, others incensed.

no one said those people had to listen to it

i don't know the symphony in question, but those criticisms in themselves are derivative, lacking in substance, &c. and suggest an uncritical acceptance of the hegel-marxist models of history largely discredited in "serious" musicology these days. (lah-di-dah i studied music in university look how fancy-pants i am) surely critics nowadays can come up with actual arguments for why a piece is Bad or Good? maybe i'm giving them too much credit
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2013, 09:37:50 pm »

Ok.

First of all, I was paraphrasing the adverse criticism, and, secondly, my post was intended to be somewhat light-hearted.........but to let you read two different opinions of the piece:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/May01/Liebermann.htm
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dyn
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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2013, 10:02:06 pm »

Ok.

First of all, I was paraphrasing the adverse criticism, and, secondly, my post was intended to be somewhat light-hearted.........
i realise that, but such "criticism" is all too common in real life nowadays....

wikipedia says of the critical response "However, the symphony has since received harsh criticism due to its exceptionally free embrace of tonality and its distinctly optimistic outlook..." which i think says all that needs to be said

Quote
but to let you read two different opinions of the piece:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/May01/Liebermann.htm
thanks.
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kyjo
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2013, 10:56:56 pm »

Weinberg Symphony No.8

How did I let this Naxos release slip under my radar? That's not like me Roll Eyes It's probably due to Naxos' oddly functioning website-the "Upcoming Releases" page, of all things, never loads or takes an extremely long time to Angry You would think such a prominent company could at least fix their website! But I do commend Naxos for being so faithful to recording Weinberg-they released the disc with Symphony no. 19 less than two months ago! Thanks Colin, for notifying me of this important release-duly placed on my ever-growing want list Smiley


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relm1
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« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2013, 08:51:04 pm »

So I shouldn't like Liebermann's Symphony No.2 Huh

Why not Huh  Because I am told by some music critics and some other listeners(whose views I respect) that it is derivitive, manipulative, lacking in real substance, over-relient on a wash of romantic swelling-crescendos, a mish-mash of a Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Brucknerian soundscape. It leaves some people cold, others incensed.

I can understand such criticisms.

Yet, still, I love the symphony Grin Is there something wrong with me Huh Should I be ashamed to admit that I just plain and simple "like it", that the music appeals to something inside me Huh

Such subjective a response would certainly not qualify as valid "music criticism" but I am not a music critic.

I don't have a "case to rest" Grin    ......but, if I did.....

Hi Dundonnell,
my opinion of Liebermann is evolving since the fights erupted on the other board.  I very much enjoyed the new Albany CD which featured the Concerto for Orchestra, Mozart Variations, Nocturne, and Revelry.  I find this disc does much to salvage my opinion of the Symphony No. 2 disc.  The Symphony No. 2 is a bad work not because it is derivative, manipulative, pastiche, etc.  There are some very finely written works that fit this category.  There are many contemporaries of Liebermann who write in the same idiom but are much better (at least as far as Symphony No. 2 is concerned).  My big problem with this work is it sounds completely phoned in.  I studied composition in college and many classmates took great pride in how easy music writing was for them.  In time, there was a one-upmanship where each bragged about how they only had fifteen minutes to write a piece being performed (the inference being they were a musical genius because it came so effortlessly to them).  Someone would top this the following week at our next performances by saying they composed it while they were on the phone or during commercials.  This become insulting to the performers and the students how actually struggled to get control over their music.  This arrogant attitude showed a false pretense that ease of composition demonstrates one is a genius, but frankly, you could always tell who put the effort in and who just "phoned it in".  But notice this image of a piano sonata of Beethoven.  .  In this sketch, you’ll notice there is absolutely no indication that this came easy to him.  Getting the notes right were a struggle and when someone brags about how easy it is to create music, you can often hear the results of this as a lack of desire to prune the music.  This is how I perceived Liebermann’s Symphony No. 2.  To me, it reeks of someone bragging at how easy this work was for them to write rather than pruning and taking great pains to make the work stronger and tighter.  That is why Samuel Barber sounds great though Liebermann uses many of the same devises but in this work at least is not successful to me. 

Again, I find his latest CD, very good, so perhaps the problem I have with his Symphony No. 2 is less to do with the composer and more to do with that work or recording.  With all this said, I'll relisten to the work to see if my initial opinion still holds or if perhaps I missed something.  Alun Hoddinott said in his opinion there is no such thing as a bad composer, just someone who wasn't trying.  Liebermann's symphony no. 2 gives me the impression of poor execution of second rate ideas and feels like a composer who wasn't even trying though clearly had the skills.  His other works are much more impressive.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2013, 05:04:21 am »

I am finally getting round to ordering the new(ish) Albany release of Liebermann's Concerto for Orchestra and other orchestral works.

It is however quite astonishing that in order to buy a disc of music performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the Welsh conductor Grant Llewellyn I have to have it shipped across the Atlantic at additional huge expense, virtually doubling the cost which Arkiv is quoting ($11.99 plus $7.99 international shipping). Amazon USA is even more expensive and Amazon UK will not sell the disc(nor will MDT or Presto in the UK) Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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tapiola
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« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2013, 10:30:37 am »

To be simplistic, there are only two types of music....good and bad.  It's for each listener to decide which is which.
I heard a Johnny Cash song about Ira Hayes that moved me quite a bit....so..... Shocked
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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2013, 09:39:41 pm »

About 10 years ago I saw Lowell Liebermann with the Dallas Sym Orch....  wonderful stuff!      bought the CD!
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relm1
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« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2013, 01:22:57 am »

Read a negative post about Lieberman's 2nd symphony and I fell comfortable in saying this music will always be a favorite piece of mine.
Wow..I hope some day I can fathom the academic concept of "Phoned in" music, which sounds more like something John Cage or some other experimentalists would practice. I suspect old age and creeping senility have taken their toll on me because I just don't get it.

Disliking the music is proper and healthy...but dressing a critique in a high minded academic fog is demeaning to those of us who are fond of the music. And implied character assassination (arrogant attitude)of the composer is even less warranted, and I would love to hear the composer respond. Perhaps it is the mindset of Walt Whitman that is actually the real issue here?

Since you are referencing my post from a year ago, you probably might be unaware of my other posts in support of this composer.  I would be happy to clarify what I mean by "phoned in music" however, you should note I am a fan of the composer.  This does not mean I like his Symphony No. 2.  I would strongly encourage listeners to seek him out because there is much to admire in his output (I absolutely loved his Concerto for Orchestra CD and Piano Concertos on Hyperion).  I am an educated listener and have earned the right to my opinion which I stand by.  I adore some composers tremendously and might dislike some of their output which I think is fair to comment on if I can explain. 

I am willing to reassess my initial opinion.  But first, I ask you to explain what it is that connects to you in the work.  I expect you understand an internet blog does not mean everyone will agree on everything but we still can be very passionate in support of our love of music as I am since I devote my life to it.   
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« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2013, 02:47:22 am »

Here are a few quotes from Unsung Composers about Liebermann's Second Symphony. I have played this symphony for 5 classical music collectors and they all bought the CD. One of the listeners is an expert reviewer for American Record Guide magazine and he loved the symphony as I do.

112Composers and Music / Re: Living Symphonists Lowell Leiberman
on: Thursday 08 March 2012, 03:49
Quote from: karelm on Thursday 08 March 2012, 03:19
Quote from: JollyRoger on Thursday 08 March 2012, 03:08

"If you will listen to Lowell Leiberman's Symphony No. 2, you will see that the traditional symphony is far from dead.
At least this marvelous symphony makes me feel that way..
There is such an abundance of "music" today, things of real value get lost in all the noise.." (JollyRoger)

"Interesting how perspectives differ.  I consider Leiberman's Symphony No. 2 a perfect example of the poor state of modern symphonies.  Though it is extremely tonal, this is absolutely 3rd rate composing with nothing original nor distinctive to say.  What do you think makes this worth hearing?  It reminds me of bad film music." (Karelm)

This was my response:

"If you didn't like watermelon and someone else did, would you criticize them for it? And what music credentials do you have to call this third rate composing? Are you also an expert on religion and politics?"
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2013, 03:27:25 am »

All this discussion of the Liebermann No.2 makes me want to go back and listen to it again Smiley  It must be a year since I sprang to the defence of the work so I had best refresh my memory!
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relm1
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« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2013, 05:32:10 pm »

Read a negative post about Lieberman's 2nd symphony and I fell comfortable in saying this music will always be a favorite piece of mine.
Wow..I hope some day I can fathom the academic concept of "Phoned in" music, which sounds more like something John Cage or some other experimentalists would practice. I suspect old age and creeping senility have taken their toll on me because I just don't get it.

Disliking the music is proper and healthy...but dressing a critique in a high minded academic fog is demeaning to those of us who are fond of the music. And implied character assassination (arrogant attitude)of the composer is even less warranted, and I would love to hear the composer respond. Perhaps it is the mindset of Walt Whitman that is actually the real issue here?

Since you are referencing my post from a year ago, you probably might be unaware of my other posts in support of this composer.  I would be happy to clarify what I mean by "phoned in music" however, you should note I am a fan of the composer.  This does not mean I like his Symphony No. 2.  I would strongly encourage listeners to seek him out because there is much to admire in his output (I absolutely loved his Concerto for Orchestra CD and Piano Concertos on Hyperion).  I am an educated listener and have earned the right to my opinion which I stand by.  I adore some composers tremendously and might dislike some of their output which I think is fair to comment on if I can explain.  As a professional composer and orchestral performer myself, I am subject to critique regularly.  On an internet forum, differing opinions are unsurprising but I was not demeaning to the composer even though I do dislike that work.  You are unnecessarily provoking and unjustified in claiming character assassin of someone I admire compositionally. 

Ok, I promise to reassess my initial opinion.  But first, I ask you to explain what it is that connects to you in the work.  I expect you understand an internet blog does not mean everyone will agree on everything but we still can be very passionate in support of our love of music as I am since I devote my life to it.   Basically, your post is borderline offensive to me and undeservedly so.  I am willing to let bygones be bygones and further understand your musical perspective on this discussion.  I am very happy to engage in this debate.  You truly might win me over however your tone is offensive.
I guess old age and senility have taken hold, I should have taken a deep breath and re-read your note before ranting. I am obviously fond of the 2nd symphony for perhaps no other reason than it speaks to my psyche and that is not something objective or debatable. You are quite fortunate to have a life dedicated to music, I am a layman and not the sharpest tool in the shed.. I deeply apolologize.

Apology fully accepted.  Some works speak to me that others dislike and it is frustrating to hear them criticize it. 
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northern
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« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2013, 09:06:38 pm »

I'm no VW expert but by deduction they may well be the orchestral variations, described as being arrangement by Gordon Jacob from the wind (brass?) -band original version,(1957??) No doubt someone who knows the work will confirm!
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