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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 77309 times)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #3450 on: March 09, 2022, 11:41:47 pm »

I was thinking I would have preferred not to say that Our Man in Havana is 'better' than Britten's lesser (operatic) offerings. (Whichever they might be? Owen Wingrave,perhaps? Goodall didn't think much of the later ones)  I do like some of Britten's operas and,when I'm in the right mood,I find them all,to varying degrees,an interesting listen. But,whatever you think of his music,he had strong dramatic sense and he was very good at choosing texts & paring them down. (Albeit,he had other people who did most of that) Operas like Peter Grimes,The Turn of the Screw,The Rape of Lucretia,Billy Budd and Death in Venice feel,structurally & dramatically very tight. In this respect I feel he excels. So,maybe not better? At least,in that respect.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3451 on: March 09, 2022, 11:59:07 pm »

Dvořák: Symphonic Variations      RPO/ Sir Thomas Beecham    Sony



A wonderful performance of this delightful work. I wish Beecham had recorded more of this composer. An Amazon review of the Sony cd,which includes a live performance of Dvořák's Eighth Symphony has,successfully, discouraged me from adding it to my collection,on more than one occasion. Not because of the Eighth,in actual fact,but the review of Beecham's live performance of Sibelius' Second,with which it is pared!

" The audience at the Royal Festival Hall where this recording was made were clearly suffering from acute respiratory distress and the Engineers appear to have caught the sound of corpses being removed during the performance. Perhaps to mask this cacophony they turned down the recording level because the orchestra sounds muffled and distant."

 ;D
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3452 on: March 10, 2022, 12:24:54 am »



No,I'm not listening to a Toblerone bar! Well,hopefully,not?!! But I'm wondering if I might just give into temptation one day & buy one of those giant bars?!! It can be tough willing myself to walk past the display's in various chain stores. I seem to remember it's quite nice chocolate. Haven't had one for years! Remember all the hoo-hah when they changed the spacing of the bars?

"Toblerone fans, who were outraged when the company announced plans in late 2016 to reduce a 170g bar to 150g by increasing the spacing between the triangles. A 400g bar was also reduced to 360g". (quote culled from an article at quartz.com)

Makes you angry,doesn't it?!! >:(


Of course I shouldn't! No,I wouldn't! ::)
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3453 on: March 10, 2022, 12:28:28 am »

And back to the Topic Bar please,gentlemen (Willy Wonka)!

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3454 on: March 14, 2022, 11:24:43 pm »

Epic chamber music! Franz Schmidt: Clarinet Quintet in A Major            Marco Polo cd



An epic,late romantic opus lasting just over 60 minutes in this  recording. It never seems overlong,full of glorious invention and romantic melody,it ripples along. The combination of the piano tinkling away and clarinet is soothing to the brain and absolute ear candy! I'm reminded at times of Holbrooke's own and very fine,chamber music for clarinet. This is magnificent music,imo.Right from the arresting opening,Franz Schmidt's inspiration barely flags. This is a good performance & one of this label's best efforts in terms of the recorded sound. An absolute winner! :) :) :) :) :)

NB: There is a more recent Cpo recording which I have not heard! This one is one of Marco Polo's best efforts,though!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3455 on: March 15, 2022, 12:20:34 am »

More epic chamber music! Zemlinsky: String Quartets 1 and 2      Quartett Wien     Nimbus



I listened to these a bit earlier. I particularly enjoyed the String Quartet No 2. Another epic work,lasting just over 38 minutes in this performance. Symphonic in scope. I love epic chamber works of this kind. This isn't an easy listen at first,but repeated listening soon draws you in. I didn't want to turn it off in the end! Like Zemlinsky's subsequent quartets the inspiration seems to have been influenced by events in Zemlinsky's life (an affair ending in suicide,among them) & is by turns as introspective,passionate,tortured and turbulent as one might expect. This is fascinating and gripping music!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3456 on: March 16, 2022, 04:27:01 pm »

A cinematic Spectacular! :o :) :) :) :) :)

Kurt Atterberg: Symphony No 3 op.10 in D minor "Västkustbilder - West Coast Pictures" Radio-Philharmonie Hannover Des NDR / Ari Rasilanen    Cpo



Whoever described this symphony as "cinematic" wasn't far wrong :o :)! (In fact,pretty well spot on!) Widescreen vistas open up. In terms of sheer spectacle,I couldn't help thinking that Atterberg was some kind of Scandinavian answer to Korngold at some point's! But he's got his own sound world!This really is spectacularly & thrillingly scored,right from that (truly) magical opening! (And there's poetry,too! :o :))  A cd-r,unfortunately,so no nice artwork & booklet! I'm a bit of a geek like that,I ,kind of "need" those things! (Silly! It's the music that matters,you fool! ::) ;D). But this is magnificent & excitingly scored! ! I remember being not too excited by the so-called "Dollar" symphony,pleasant as it was;when I taped it off the radio some years ago,but this is something else! I've paired the Third with Atterberg's Eighth. One ear blocked up with ear wax! The mind boggles at the aural spectacular that will unfold when normal stereo reception is finally restored!! :o :)

NB: Howard Hanson also sprang to mind (in the opening pages). Sheer magic! :)
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« Reply #3457 on: March 16, 2022, 05:04:10 pm »

Skip-ta-ma-loo-me-darlin!! :(

Kurt Atterberg: Symphony No 8 / SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart, Ari Rasilainen    Cpo   (A cd-r,actually!)

As the great Janis Joplin used to sing,"Try just a little bit harder!" The cd-r seems to be playing "skip-ta-ma-loo-me-darlin" on my mini hi-fi,so I've taken it out & given it a wipe down with a dry,lint free cloth & hopefully,I'll get to hear it this time around!! Will report back later,unless I'm abducted by aliens!! :o ;D Sound's lovely,so far!! Less cinematic spectacle* this time around & more emphasis on poetry! Least to say,I am beginning to understand why some musical lovers get palpitations (in a good way!) when Atterberg's name is mentioned! :)

NB: *Having said that,some of the scoring (now I'm able to listen) could be straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster! And I mean that in a (very) good way!! Marvellous! :) (Wow! What I've been 
       missing! ::) ;D :)!)               
       
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« Reply #3458 on: March 16, 2022, 06:59:58 pm »

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/dubesavh1tfxb/Mathilde_Kralik
I  think someone on here was interested in the concert called Bruckner's Students and I barely managed to catch it on Orchestra on Demand last night and it has already been removed. These are the pieces by Mathilde Kralik, vn cto from 1930s, symphony revision in the 40s of a piece she wrote in 1904
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« Reply #3459 on: March 16, 2022, 07:59:57 pm »

I finally get to hear this (ravishing) beauty! :) :) :) :) :) (And,yes,I am referring to the music! ::) ;D)



Ruth Gipps: Symphony No 3 op.57 (1965)    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Rumon Gamba

I finally get to heat this,beauty,having just burned this onto a cd-r! (My pc wouldn't burn cd's for some reason. Thankfully,that recent Windows re-install had the added bonus of rectifying this!)

Now,why wouldn't anyone like this? What beautifully,magically,hauntingly,scored music. Again,I find myself impressed by this composer & bewildered at the neglect of such fine music. Meanwhile,the critics banging on about some contemporary piece that,subsequently,sank into well deserved obscurity and no one in their right mind would ever want to hear again! (Ooh,my ears,again! ::) ;D) Lyrita really missed the boat on this composer! Poor Ruth Gipps! A pity she couldn't have lived a little longer to enjoy this well deserved and long overdue renewal (from what I've heard so far!) of interest! (She'd have been very old & hopefully not deaf like Ethel Smyth!) And yes there are the usual audible influences you might expect,but,to my ears,Ruth has here own very distinctive voice! Indeed,I find her scoring quite magical & at times,ravishingly,beautiful. And given exposure,I think some of this music could be popular.( I'm talking about radio play here as opposed to the concert hall. I think that would allot harder to crack,unfortunately!)

NB: Just out of interest I added Ruth Gipps' own performance of the symphony to the cd-r! (Track 4!).  A big thank You to whoever uploaded this recording (Albion,I believe?). :)

Update! Just beginning! Ruth's own performance! In better sound than I expected. The beauty of the score comes through! :)
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« Reply #3460 on: March 16, 2022, 09:18:18 pm »

A "sexy" Vaughan Williams?!! :o ;D

Joly Braga Santos: Symphony No 4 (1950)     National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland / Álvaro Cassuto    (Another cd-r!)



Another composer I've heard great things about from lovers of the less familiar byways of music! The Portuguese composer Braga Santos (1924-1988) is very highly rated by some. I have read that the Fourth is considered,by some,to be his symphonic masterpiece. The Third is also highly rated! But I've run out of cd-r's!! ::) ;D First listen. I've paired this with his Symphonic Variations. And yes,it would be nice to have the actual cds! :( This sounds thrilling to my ears,so far! Another composer I've been missing out on! (His later symphonies are supposed to be tougher!) This is very approachable,lyrical music. Exciting,lyrical,solemn,brooding,by turn. If you enjoy composers like Arnell and Vaughan Williams you'll have no problem with this music.

Update! Uh-oh! A very abrupt end to the First movement!! ::) Oh,well! The slow movement beginning!

According to the Hurwitz! "Depending on your perspective (Braga Santos) it can sound either like sexy Vaughan Williams or more formally disciplined Respighi, but it’s very approachable, gorgeously written stuff either way".  (Vaughan Williams meets a more disciplined Respighi?)

Interesting! :o ;D  The recording from Marco Polo/Naxos is well played & in excellent sound! I'm thinking,this is a very impressive & an exciting find! I haven't heard it all yet,though!
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« Reply #3461 on: March 18, 2022, 02:47:20 pm »



Ruth Gipps: Symphony No 3 op.57 (1965)    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Rumon Gamba

I listened to this a few times and enjoyed it every time. While there are obvious influences Gipps' music has a very individual stamp. I find her orchestration quite magical and ravishingly beautiful at times. There are some strikingly imaginative touches. Somebody mentioned "tuned percussion" (Albion,probably).* I'm not a trained musician and I can't read music (musically illiterate! ::)) but I think that's what I was listening to?! ::) :) ! Best of all the invention is very consistent and it's all very tightly constructed.Not a wasted note. It's not one of those symphonies (or orchestral works) where I kept looking at the tracking to see how much is left! In short (too late now! ::) ;D) I was very impressed! This would make a great follow up to Chandos first cd! It is astonishing that such fine music has been left to rot for so long! But that's fashion for you!! I also enjoyed Gipps' own performance of the symphony & it was very interesting and rewarding to hear both performances side by side!



*"The second movement is a Theme and Variations and the Scherzo, employing with great effect an ostinato figure on the harp and glockenspiel". I got this from an article on Gipps by David Wright! I hope he doesn't mind?!! ;D Reading his article on Gipps does make me want to hear more Gipps. (I couldn't find an article on Musicweb. Although,maybe a cursory search just couldn't find one?!! The Wikipedia article doesn't delve into individual works). His description of the Fifth Symphony makes it sound very enticing,indeed!

Here are two works by Gipps I would love to hear,among others (Apart from symphonies 1 & 5) :

The Cat, Cantata for Alto, Baritone, Double Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 32 (1947)
Goblin Market for 2 Sopranos, Female Chorus and String Orchestra (or Piano), Op. 40 (1953)




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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3462 on: March 18, 2022, 10:13:21 pm »



Ruth Gipps: Symphony No 3 op.57 (1965)    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Rumon Gamba

The short,less boring version:

It's a cracker! :)
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« Reply #3463 on: March 19, 2022, 01:09:13 am »

yes very good,
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3464 on: March 22, 2022, 01:55:52 pm »

Zemlinsky: String Quartets No's 3 & 4      Artis Quartett Wien           Nimbus

     

It took me a while to crack these,but Zemlinsky's String Quartets are amongst my favourites now. Tonal,but courting the edges and,fascinating,in the way they seem to reflect events in his own,turbulent,personal life. Great cover art. Oh,and I should mention the interesting extra! A string Quartet by Johanna Müller-Hermann (1878-1941) (see above photo) who was a pupil of Zemlinsky.

https://www.caroladarwin.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/johanna-muller-hermann-rdc.pdf  Interesting article about this composer.
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