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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 #3570 on: July 05, 2022, 07:59:36 pm »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

And here's another sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! A morbid plotline,though! :o I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! ::) Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!!

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's


I'd love to hear more of d'Albert's music, so this may be a good place to begin!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dalbert-die-toten-augen

He was taught by Arthur Sullivan, arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and provided the overture to Patience (1881) under Sullivan's guidance...

 :)

...oh, and he had six wives (although, as far as I know, he didn't have any of them beheaded).

 :D
Yes,if you enjoy that kind of opera,you should enjoy Die Toten Augen. It's nothing like Tiefland! To my ears it's sound world is much closer to the only Schreker opera I know at all,Der Schatzgräber! Lush,sumptuous late romantic orchestration. I haven't listened it for a few months but I seem to recall there are some purely orchestral passages. A feast for the ears! The sort of music you just let wash over you! A perfunctory look at the libretto,perhaps,now & again! (An english libretto is included!) I would have preferred a happy ending myself,though! :(
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Albion
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« Reply #3571 on: July 05, 2022, 08:12:12 pm »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

And here's another sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! A morbid plotline,though! :o I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! ::) Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!!

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's


I'd love to hear more of d'Albert's music, so this may be a good place to begin!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dalbert-die-toten-augen

He was taught by Arthur Sullivan, arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and provided the overture to Patience (1881) under Sullivan's guidance...

 :)

...oh, and he had six wives (although, as far as I know, he didn't have any of them beheaded).

 :D
Yes,if you enjoy that kind of opera,you should enjoy Die Toten Augen. It's nothing like Tiefland! To my ears it's sound world is much closer to the only Schreker opera I know at all,Der Schatzgräber! Lush,sumptuous late romantic orchestration. I haven't listened it for a few months but I seem to recall there are some purely orchestral passages. A feast for the ears! The sort of music you just let wash over you! A perfunctory look at the libretto,perhaps,now & again! (An english libretto is included!) I would have preferred a happy ending myself,though! :(

Duly found a second-hand copy online and ordered it! Anything in the Strauss/ Schreker/ Zemlinsky/ Korngold vein of over-the-top scoring is just what I love to hear. With d'Albert being born in Scotland and trained in England I shall be intrigued to find links between his style and those of his Austro-German contemporaries...

 :)
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3572 on: July 05, 2022, 08:23:04 pm »

Responding to my own ears and heart rather than to his unfortunate politics, I too find Pfitzner's music beautiful, my favorite being his slightly wonky piano concerto! I also like "von Deutscher Seele"

I also prefer to keep politics and personalities out of the music: for example when listening to Wagner I do not hear the anti-semitic, self-indulgent, greedy, whining megalomaniac - I just hear incredibly splendid creativity from within a complex and flawed personality. Pfitzner's Palestrina (1915-17) is a wonderful opera which should be more regularly staged...

 :)
I must admit I have been impressed by all the orchestral music I've heard by Pfitzner,so far! What surprised me was that his music brought to mind composers like Schreker and Zemlinsky and even Korngold at times. I think his Symphony is impressive. I think his Violin Concerto deserves attention from a label like Chandos! Fortunately,the Cpo performance is very good! Unfortunately,my habit of listening on wireless headphones means that I tend to mix up some of the shorter pieces and I can't remember which is which;but some of the music in at least one of the Cello Concertos (the later one) and some of the shorter pieces brought to mind some of the late romantic masters I mentioned and even the golden age of Hollywood! I was very surprised by the quality of what I heard and it wasn't what I expected from some of the things I have read about Pfitzner over the years! I have the emi cd of Pfitzner conducting his own music (Composers in Person) and I always like to look at the booklet before I listen. I was rather disconcerted to discover that the author of the booklet notes seemed to want to go out of his way to tell me what a load of hack work and rubbish I was about to hear!! I was a bit p***** off,to be honest! :( >:(
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« Reply #3573 on: July 05, 2022, 08:42:56 pm »

Responding to my own ears and heart rather than to his unfortunate politics, I too find Pfitzner's music beautiful, my favorite being his slightly wonky piano concerto! I also like "von Deutscher Seele"

I also prefer to keep politics and personalities out of the music: for example when listening to Wagner I do not hear the anti-semitic, self-indulgent, greedy, whining megalomaniac - I just hear incredibly splendid creativity from within a complex and flawed personality. Pfitzner's Palestrina (1915-17) is a wonderful opera which should be more regularly staged...

 :)
I must admit I have been impressed by all the orchestral music I've heard by Pfitzner,so far! What surprised me was that his music brought to mind composers like Schreker and Zemlinsky and even Korngold at times. I think his Symphony is impressive. I think his Violin Concerto deserves attention from a label like Chandos! Fortunately,the Cpo performance is very good! Unfortunately,my habit of listening on wireless headphones means that I tend to mix up some of the shorter pieces and I can't remember which is which;but some of the music in at least one of the Cello Concertos (the later one) and some of the shorter pieces brought to mind some of the late romantic masters I mentioned and even the golden age of Hollywood! I was very surprised by the quality of what I heard and it wasn't what I expected from some of the things I have read about Pfitzner over the years! I have the emi cd of Pfitzner conducting his own music (Composers in Person) and I always like to look at the booklet before I listen. I was rather disconcerted to discover that the author of the booklet notes seemed to want to go out of his way to tell me what a load of hack work and rubbish I was about to hear!! I was a bit p***** off,to be honest! :( >:(

Yep, I've also encountered booklet-notes that seem determined to undermine the music that they are describing - almost apologising to the purchaser in advance for parting with their cash. I have no idea how a recording company can issue discs with such "promotion"...

 ::)
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3574 on: July 05, 2022, 08:43:56 pm »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

And here's another sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! A morbid plotline,though! :o I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! ::) Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!!

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's



I'd love to hear more of d'Albert's music, so this may be a good place to begin!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dalbert-die-toten-augen

He was taught by Arthur Sullivan, arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and provided the overture to Patience (1881) under Sullivan's guidance...

 :)

...oh, and he had six wives (although, as far as I know, he didn't have any of them beheaded).

 :D
Yes,if you enjoy that kind of opera,you should enjoy Die Toten Augen. It's nothing like Tiefland! To my ears it's sound world is much closer to the only Schreker opera I know at all,Der Schatzgräber! Lush,sumptuous late romantic orchestration. I haven't listened it for a few months but I seem to recall there are some purely orchestral passages. A feast for the ears! The sort of music you just let wash over you! A perfunctory look at the libretto,perhaps,now & again! (An english libretto is included!) I would have preferred a happy ending myself,though! :(

Duly found a second-hand copy online and ordered it! Anything in the Strauss/ Schreker/ Zemlinsky/ Korngold vein of over-the-top scoring is just what I love to hear. With d'Albert being born in Scotland and trained in England I shall be intrigued to find links between his style and those of his Austro-German contemporaries...

 :)
I don't think he goes quite as ott as Korngold or Schreker;but the orchestration is in the same kind of mould (the good kind not the stuff on my walls!). I was impressed by his mastery of the orchestra! A feast for the old ear drums,imho! :)
Despite the Sullivan and Scottish connection I'm afraid there's no McKrankie character (from the Island of Rum) in Die Toten Augen (or The Krankies,thank g**!)! ;D
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Albion
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« Reply #3575 on: July 05, 2022, 09:09:12 pm »

Very nice! I love the artwork! :)

And here's another sumptuous,lavishly orchestrated operatic blockbuster! A morbid plotline,though! :o I'd definitely take the late Patrick Moore's advice and observe the sun by focusing a telescope (pointed at the sun) on a piece of white card! But,hey,that's just me! ::) Fortunately,I'm not a character in an opera! At least,as far as I know?!!

Eugen d'Albert: Die Toten Augen  Cpo 2 cd's



I'd love to hear more of d'Albert's music, so this may be a good place to begin!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/dalbert-die-toten-augen

He was taught by Arthur Sullivan, arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and provided the overture to Patience (1881) under Sullivan's guidance...

 :)

...oh, and he had six wives (although, as far as I know, he didn't have any of them beheaded).

 :D
Yes,if you enjoy that kind of opera,you should enjoy Die Toten Augen. It's nothing like Tiefland! To my ears it's sound world is much closer to the only Schreker opera I know at all,Der Schatzgräber! Lush,sumptuous late romantic orchestration. I haven't listened it for a few months but I seem to recall there are some purely orchestral passages. A feast for the ears! The sort of music you just let wash over you! A perfunctory look at the libretto,perhaps,now & again! (An english libretto is included!) I would have preferred a happy ending myself,though! :(

Duly found a second-hand copy online and ordered it! Anything in the Strauss/ Schreker/ Zemlinsky/ Korngold vein of over-the-top scoring is just what I love to hear. With d'Albert being born in Scotland and trained in England I shall be intrigued to find links between his style and those of his Austro-German contemporaries...

 :)
I don't think he goes quite as ott as Korngold or Schreker;but the orchestration is in the same kind of mould (the good kind not the stuff on my walls!). I was impressed by his mastery of the orchestra! A feast for the old ear drums,imho! :)
Despite the Sullivan and Scottish connection I'm afraid there's no McKrankie character (from the Island of Rum) in Die Toten Augen (or The Krankies,thank g**!)! ;D

 :D :D :D

I, too, suffer from mould - not personally, as yet, but as my flat-mate recently endeavoured to make a hole in the bath rendering it unusable...

 ::)

...I fear that we're heading towards the "Off-topic bin" once more. I shall see you there presently no doubt.

 ;D
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« Reply #3576 on: July 05, 2022, 09:34:24 pm »

Auber: Manon Lescaut   Mady Mesplé,Peter-Christopher Runge,Jean-Claude Orliac,Chorus & Orchestre Lyrique de Radio France / Jean-Pierre Marty    emi 2 cd's



What a lovely,lovely,tuneful opera this is! :) Someone on Amazon seemed to think Mady Mesple sounded a bit old (!) but I think she sounds great,so there! I've always liked Mady Mesple! She's got a funny little,fluttery little voice,but she's got a sense of style and elegance,that's one of the reasons she's so good in this kind of repertoire (and operetta).
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« Reply #3577 on: July 05, 2022, 09:46:57 pm »

Playing now! Benjamin Frankel: Symphonies 1 & 5,May Day Overture op.22 / Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Werner Andreas Albert Cpo       



An earlier Cpo traversal of unrecorded repertoire! They even did Humphrey Searle! I know I've got the box set! It would be nice if they could give us some new recordings of Fricker symphonies! But more Holbrooke first,please! ;D
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« Reply #3578 on: July 05, 2022, 10:18:21 pm »

Playing now! Benjamin Frankel: Symphonies 1 & 5,May Day Overture op.22 / Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Werner Andreas Albert Cpo       



An earlier Cpo traversal of unrecorded repertoire! They even did Humphrey Searle! I know I've got the box set! It would be nice if they could give us some new recordings of Fricker symphonies! But more Holbrooke first,please! ;D

Do you never sleep? Yes to more Holbrooke, but I'm quite happy with the Lyrita discs of Fricker symphonies plus The Vision of Judgement. From Auber to Frankel shows an eclecticism which chimes well with me!

 :D
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« Reply #3579 on: July 06, 2022, 12:43:37 am »

I wouldn't mind state of the art,digital recordings of Fricker 1-3! Having said that,the Lyrita performances are good and it would divert resources away from music that hasn't been recorded! So,just a thought! Not exactly urgent, now! And,Fricker isn't exactly one of my favourite composers. Interesting and quite absorbing when I'm in the right mood,though! I've got to admit I've got nowhere with symphonies 4 & 5. (The law of diminishing returns?) Although,I quite like No 3 which people seem to rate less highly. It was also the first music I ever heard by Fricker. I remember taping it off the radio around the mid 90's!

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« Reply #3580 on: July 06, 2022, 12:56:30 am »

Playing now! Weber: Euryanthe   Jessye Norman Nicolai Gedda (et al) Leipziger Rundfunkchor,Staatskapelle Dresden / Marek Janowski    emi 2 cd's



It would have been nice to have snaffled a copy of the original emi cd reissue with Jessye Norman on the front (above!)! Oh well,another time! The Berlin Classics reissue was cheap,but no english libretto! To be honest,I don't ever bother much with librettos (a perfunctory glance now & again) No doubt,I'll enjoy Weber's,glorious musical inspiration all the more without the dubious benefit of following what is,by all account's,a lousy libretto! I'm a big fan of Der Freischutz I might add! And Abu Hassan's a charmer!
 
(Re-posted & duly edited!!)

I don't know Pfitzner's Palestrina & after all this Pfffffffitzner talk (well,not that much!) I just had to buy a copy! I chose the classic Kubelik recording! It cost me just over a fiver!!( And Helen Donath,one of my all time favourite singers is in the cast,somewhere!)






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« Reply #3581 on: July 06, 2022, 02:59:45 pm »

Franz Lehar: The Merry Widow  Elizabeth Harwood,Teresa Stratas,Werner Hollweg,René Kollo,Zoltán Keleman,Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin/ Karajan DG 2cd's (+ bonus Suppe Overtures)



In the end I just couldn't resist this one at only just over £4! I've read so much about it over the years. A critic's waggish description of Karjan's recording as "Brahms’ Requiem performed to the tunes of Lehar" is supposed to have damaged sales overnight and earned the recording enduring notoriety! All seems well during the purely orchestral opening. My first thought,"What's wrong with that?!" The photo of Karajan hands poised in mid air as if ready to conduct yet another Bruckner epic (He should have tried Rufinatscha!) should have been a clue! The singing and playing is great,but why are they singing so s-l-o-w-l-y! :o ;D She's supposed to be a merry widow not a solemn widow! The clue's in the title,folks!

Reason's to listen!

The recording's notoriety!
Elizabeth Harwood does make a lovely,glamorous widow!
The sheer strangeness of Lehar's score performed v-e-r-y s-l-ow-l-y!
Being one of the world's greatest orchestras and those super silky,Berlin strings means you (arguably) just about get away with it! :o :)


Cd 2,coming up! Can't wait for the party and the grisettes! I just hope the tempi's faster than this! And I can't believe I'm saying this!! Where are the Williams Singers* when you need them?!!


Seriously,I think that those who say that Karajan's conducting brings out the beauty of the score have a point! So,if you are a fan of The Widow and the glory days of the big labels you will find much to enjoy here........amid the glacial tempi! (Albeit,I think the male soloist's are more distinctive on some of the rival recordings!)  It's not a first choice for this work,though! The booklet includes an english libretto,but curiously,no english notes. If you do buy it,the old style fat-box jewel case will fit through your letterbox. (Update: No it's not Tolouse Lautrec on the front! It's a cartoon! Memo! Put reading glasses!! ::) ;D Sorry about that!)

Update! I've listened to cd 2 now and Karajan's tempi for the Act 3 party in Hanna Glawari's ballroom are ridiculously slow! This is one fun free party! So,the only reason's to acquire this recording remain,Elizabeth Harwood as Hanna Glawari (very good),the silky sheen opulescence of the Berlin string section and the recordings curiosity (or notoriety) value! Teresa Stratas is good as Valencienne,but,ultimately,hamstrung by Karajan's slothful tempi. I am glad to have heard this recording,though!


*a seemingly,terminally,upbeat musical combi who provided choral contributions to various recordings,including an,otherwise,rather good recording of Edward German's operetta,Merrie England (emi & cfp)



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« Reply #3582 on: July 15, 2022, 12:47:04 pm »

There may be a slower Witwe even than Karajan's. Lovro von Matacic, whose lively EMI recording is something of a classic, conducted the work in valedictory, post-Mahlerian manner in Milan around 1980. In a weird sort of way, it's very moving, though Edda Moser had a job to sustain the Vilja-Lied at this tempo.
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