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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 64651 times)
Albion
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« Reply #2955 on: September 07, 2021, 06:34:59 pm »

Charles Ives: Symphony No 4       The John Alldis Choir   Lpo / José Serebrier      Chandos

I must admit,I'm not a big fan of Ives. I've always quite enjoyed this work,though. It's just so mad,with all those popular tunes and ragtime going on,all at the same time,some astonishing orchestration. That bit where a pianist seems to be practising in another room. The choir singing. Obviously all years ahead of it's time & orchestras wouldn't play it. You really need big stereo speakers and the volume pumped up full throttle. I'm not sure the neighbours would appreciate it,though! Also,they might retaliate with their taste in music! ABBA!!! Nooooooooooooooooooo!! Shocked Roll Eyes Grin Or,worse?!! Shocked This is the only recording I have. I had the Lp version,when I was young,which is why I bought the cd!


I like his earlier works but I think he lost a grip on reality, and certainly lost sight of what was practicable, in his later music. There's a huge amount of effort for too little musical reward for me.

I have to agree. Smaller works like Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question are stunning achievements, but I also pass on the symphonies - too much, too random, too juxtaposed, just too...

 Roll Eyes
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #2956 on: September 07, 2021, 06:40:47 pm »

Charles Ives: Symphony No 4       The John Alldis Choir   Lpo / José Serebrier      Chandos

I must admit,I'm not a big fan of Ives. I've always quite enjoyed this work,though. It's just so mad,with all those popular tunes and ragtime going on,all at the same time,some astonishing orchestration. That bit where a pianist seems to be practising in another room. The choir singing. Obviously all years ahead of it's time & orchestras wouldn't play it. You really need big stereo speakers and the volume pumped up full throttle. I'm not sure the neighbours would appreciate it,though! Also,they might retaliate with their taste in music! ABBA!!! Nooooooooooooooooooo!! Shocked Roll Eyes Grin Or,worse?!! Shocked This is the only recording I have. I had the Lp version,when I was young,which is why I bought the cd!


I like his earlier works but I think he lost a grip on reality, and certainly lost sight of what was practicable, in his later music. There's a huge amount of effort for too little musical reward for me.

I have to agree. Smaller works like Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question are stunning achievements, but I also pass on the symphonies - too much, too random, too juxtaposed, just too...

 Roll Eyes

Yep, totally agree re Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question. I will say I like the 1st Symphony but then it sounds nothing like the later Ives. It's a good one to play to a musical friend as a 'blind-tasting' and ask them who they thought wrote it.
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Albion
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« Reply #2957 on: September 07, 2021, 06:47:16 pm »

Yep, totally agree re Central Park in the Dark and The Unanswered Question. I will say I like the 1st Symphony but then it sounds nothing like the later Ives. It's a good one to play to a musical friend as a 'blind-tasting' and ask them who they thought wrote it.

Indeed, there are so many pieces like that which go against preconception. Cilgwyn will concur, no doubt, that Holbrooke's beautifully lyrical Grasshopper Violin Concerto falls into that category...

 Smiley

..."The Cockney Wagner"? Utter bunkum.
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #2958 on: September 07, 2021, 06:53:09 pm »


Indeed, there are so many pieces like that which go against preconception. Cilgwyn will concur, no doubt, that Holbrooke's beautifully lyrical Grasshopper Violin Concerto falls into that category...

 Smiley

..."The Cockney Wagner"? Utter bunkum.

Indeed, as such lazy epithets invariably are.
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Albion
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« Reply #2959 on: September 07, 2021, 07:02:27 pm »


Indeed, there are so many pieces like that which go against preconception. Cilgwyn will concur, no doubt, that Holbrooke's beautifully lyrical Grasshopper Violin Concerto falls into that category...

 Smiley

..."The Cockney Wagner"? Utter bunkum.

Indeed, as such lazy epithets invariably are.

As mentioned before, Stanford "The English [sic] Brahms", Coleridge-Taylor "The English Dvorak", Cyril Scott "The English Debussy", Elgar "The English Richard Strauss". Worra load of old cobblers. All composers (and writers and painters, etc.) are influenced by their cultural environment as indeed is every single member of this forum...

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
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« Reply #2960 on: September 07, 2021, 07:20:03 pm »

I think it's the randomness and juxtapositions I like about it! It has a visionary quality. In fact,I think it's quite mind boggling,really! (And maybe,a bit too! See below! Grin) It's one of those works where,like Brian with his Gothic Symphony,a composer ploughs his own furrow,regardless of his critics or/and neglect! (Although,Ives,unlike Brian,stopped composing later!) I can almost see him shouting at his critics,calling them a bunch of (I better not repeat it here! Shocked Grin) And such a huge,complex work. There was truly,nothing else quite like it. I think it works. But,I'm not going to even try & explain how! Roll Eyes Grin I've never been so taken by his earlier works. (Or,the other symphonies!) Not that I don't like them,at all!

That said,even I don't want to listen to it that often!!

Now Playing: (After that workout!! Shocked Grin) Morton Gould: Fall River Legend   Brock Peters (Speaker for the Jury)  The National Philharmonic / Milton Rosenstock      Albany

The Complete Ballet,as opposed to the Suite! The recording is preceded by an approx 26 minute conversation between Morton Gould & the American choreographer & dancer,Agnes de Mille,for whom the ballet was composed. It is an interesting listen. I don't mind listening again,but other's may wish to program it out,or look for another recording. It's a very good performance,though. I wish Albany had realised their earlier promise! They seemed almost like an American counterpart to Chandos with some of their releases!
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« Reply #2961 on: September 07, 2021, 07:46:17 pm »

Paul Creston! Now,there's a composer I've enjoyed in the last few days! I think his Symphonies 2 & 3 are wonderful. The pounding rhythm's in the Second Symphony. His orchestration is quite gorgeous at times. You think (at least I do) why isn't his music played more?! Roll Eyes I also enjoyed his Invocation and Dance, Op. 58,Janus, Op. 77 and Corinthians XIII, Tone Poem, Op. 82,which were new to me. I also,obtained downloads of the early Lp recordings by Howard Mitchell  of Symphonies 2 & 3,which were praised by David Wright (remember him?!! Albion,might? Grin) and,fair play,they are very good indeed! A pity they are in mono,though! (And never issued on cd!)
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« Reply #2962 on: September 07, 2021, 07:52:41 pm »

Paul Creston! Now,there's a composer I've enjoyed in the last few days! I think his Symphonies 2 & 3 are wonderful. The pounding rhythm's in the Second Symphony. His orchestration is quite gorgeous at times. You think (at least I do) why isn't his music played more?! Roll Eyes I also enjoyed his Invocation and Dance, Op. 58,Janus, Op. 77 and Corinthians XIII, Tone Poem, Op. 82,which were new to me. I also,obtained downloads of the early Lp recordings by Howard Mitchell  of Symphonies 2 & 3,which were praised by David Wright (remember him?!! Albion,might? Grin) and,fair play,they are very good indeed! A pity they are in mono,though! (And never issued on cd!)

I do too. I think, like Aunt Ada Doom, he must've "seen something nasty in the woodshed".
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« Reply #2963 on: September 08, 2021, 04:49:35 pm »

George Antheil (1900-1959): Symphony No 1 "Zingareska" (1923) & Symphony No 6 "after Delacroix" (1947-48)   Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt /Hugo Wolff  Cpo
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« Reply #2964 on: September 08, 2021, 05:59:43 pm »

Lehár: Die Lustige Witwe Hilde Gueden (Hanna Glawari) Per Grunden (Count Danilo)  Waldemar Kmentt (Camille de Rosillon) Emmy Looose (Valencienne) et al (so many to list!)                                                                                                                                                                                 Choir & Orch der Wiener Staatsoper /Stolz Decca 2cds Recorded: 1958

This is another classic recording from the golden age of the big recording labels. Hilde Gueden (Hilde Güden) was like a rival to Elisabeth Scwarzkopf in the operetta diva firmament! (Anneliese Rothenberger ruled at emi-electrola in Germany) Gueden also got to record an album of Operetta favourites (& some now,less well known) Robert Stolz (1880-1975) was the original conductor of The Merry Widow,met Johann Strauss in person & composed his own hit operettas. This recording get's less attention than Schwarzkopf's classic recording's but it's still very good,indeed! Hilde Gueden was a wonderful singer with that glamour that belongs,wholly,to a bygone era!  You don't get singing like this now! More's the pity! Stolz places his own potpourri style overture first,which is a bit unecessary. But who cares? He knew how to conduct music like this! Stolz went onto recording another complete recording of The Merry Widow with Rudolf Schock & Margit Schramm. Also,complete recordings of Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles) Carl Millöcker's Der Bettelstudent,Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron & a load of highlight's albums of less known operettas (at least,these days!) for Eurodisc. His complete recordings are,generally,underrated over here. His complete recordings of Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron are,however,amongst the very best! Stolz also composed allot of dum-chikka-dum-chikka,James Last style albums late in life,as I discovered years ago,when I bought a s/h Readers Digest Stolz boxed set Shocked Roll Eyes Grin. I would hesitate to recommend them Roll Eyes;but I suppose they made him some dosh & kept him busy!! I don't think he danced around as he conducted,like James Last Roll Eyes;and he would have been too old! (Although,knowing my luck & having such a great career,probably fitter than me! Like a young faun at 90!)
This 2 cd set begins with highlights from The Count of Luxembourg,also with Hilde Gueden & Walter Kmentt. Another lovely Lehár operetta! The much missed,Lucia Popp is one very good reason to track down the old emi complete recording!

NB: Hilde Güden also recorded a complete Die Fledermaus,Gipsy Baron & Giuditta (Lehár) (and Wiener Blut & Der Bettelstudent for Stolz,see above!)



*Of course,'complete',doesn't necessarily (and usually doesn't) mean,literally,everything in the original score!
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« Reply #2965 on: September 08, 2021, 06:54:10 pm »

George Antheil (1900-1959): Symphony No 1 "Zingareska" (1923) & Symphony No 6 "after Delacroix" (1947-48)   Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt /Hugo Wolff  Cpo

Lehár: Die Lustige Witwe Hilde Gueden (Hanna Glawari) Per Grunden (Count Danilo)  Waldemar Kmentt (Camille de Rosillon) Emmy Looose (Valencienne) et al (so many to lz

I have to say I respect and admire the breadth of your tastes. There can't be many people who would swerve straight from Antheil to The Merry Widow without dropping a stitch!  Smiley While I do have the three Chandos collections of Antheil's Symphonies and other orchestral works with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under John Storgĺrds, I have to say that my natural inclination is much more towards Lehár. I have the Schwarzkopf recording you refer to (conducted by Lovro von Metacic) and I also have Barbara Bonney,  Cheryl Studer, Bryn Terfel et al under John Eliot Gardiner but the latter, although well sung and with the benefit of the Vienna Phil, is not so good as the earlier one in terms of sheer style, and I don't doubt that Stolz's recording would get my vote too, over Gardiner.
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« Reply #2966 on: September 08, 2021, 07:20:33 pm »



Carole Farley has a lovely voice and is a fine advocate for Grieg, and the orchestrations (mostly by José Serebrier) are sensitive and idiomatic. Grieg is, like Dvořák, a life enhancing composer!
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« Reply #2967 on: September 09, 2021, 05:38:38 pm »

Lehár: Giuditta   Hilde Gueden (Giuditta) Waldemar Kmentt (Octavio) Emmy Loos (Anita) Murray Dickie (Pierrino) et al Walter Berry (Manuele) Chor & Orch der Wiener Staatsoper /Moralt Decca 2cds

Another classic operetta recording from the golden age of the big labels! This one frrom 1958! Lehar's crack at a full blown opera. Set in Southern Europe,North Africa & St Petersburg.  Hilde Gueden sounds appropriately glamorous and alluring. Waldemar Kmentt is fine,heroic,tenor form.The sort of singing you just don't hear now (I must get out more! Roll Eyes Grin). A nice atmospheric recording with judicious use of sound effects and some dialogue,but not too much! Hilde Gueden brings more of the seductive allure than Edda Moser,in the 1985 (recorded 1983/84) emi electrola recording. Edda Moser is good,though. And the improvement's in technology bring out more of the sumptuousness of the scoring. There are excerpts from Lehar's Der Zarewitsch tagged on,at the end of cd 2. In the,fiery,opening number the chorus sound like they're having a right old Russian knees up.

Yes,Antheil then straight to Franz Lehár's Merry Widow! No wonder I 'enjoy' Ive's Fourth! Shocked Worrying,really! Shocked What next?!! Heavy metal?!! Shocked Sad

The Gueden (Güden!) Merry Widow is very good! People who don't warm to Schwarzkopf,and I know there are some (Not me,I'm a big fan!) would probably enjoy this recording. I got it very cheap s/h! I also like the 'complete' emi electrola recording with Edda Moser,which was the first recording I heard. I think Edda Moser sounds even more seductive than Schwarzkopf,to be honest! But that's just me! Roll Eyes The Schwarzkopf recordings are justifiably classed as classics,though! I only wish she could have recorded a complete  Kálmán or Leo Fall,operetta,too! There's a very nice complete recording in French on emi pathé. I haven't heard Stolz's later recording with Margit Schramm.......yet! Grin Or,the one with Cheryl Studer! The Karajan recording is notorious. Some wag described it as "the tunes of Lehár set to the Brahms Requiem"! (I hope I've got the quote right! I tried to find it,before typing this!)
 
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« Reply #2968 on: September 09, 2021, 10:31:14 pm »

Leo fall: Die Rose Von Stambul  Elfie Mayerhofer (Kondja Gül) Liselotte Schmidt (Midili Hanun) Rudolf Christ (Achmed Bey) et al  Chor & orch Münchner Rundfunk-Orchester / W.Schmidt-Boelke  Cantus Classics 2 cds

Leo Fall (1873-1925) One of the loveliest,tuneful & romantic scores of the,so called,"silver age" of operetta. Leo Fall was one of the big four operetta composer's (Franz Lehár ,Emmerich Kálmán,Oscar Straus). This 1916 operetta was one of his biggest succeses. Unfortunately,Fall's music seems to have become one of the most neglected. Emi Electrola didn't even include one of his operettas in their Cologne series!! Although, excerpts were released on various labels. Most notably,Eurodisc,in the 1960's. This recording was originally broadcast on German radio,and dates from 1956. This is the best recording available,if you want really good singing & a soloist and a conductor with some understanding of the idiom. There is some dialogue & a narrator intrudes now & again. But he has a nice,speaking voice. The soloist's are all very good & what you might expect from soloist's of this era. The recording is very atmospheric with judicious use of sound effects,where appropriate. The sound quality is excellent for the period,as the German's were using high quality tape machines. The transfer released by Membran is poor & to be avoided! This transfer by the German label,Cantus,is very good!


NB: If you're not an old fogey like me you'll probably want the Cpo recording,which of course,has up to date,stereo sound!
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« Reply #2969 on: September 10, 2021, 08:11:29 pm »

George Dyson's Choral Symphony, Concerto Leggiero, want to hear as much as I can, maybe even Canterbury Tales. Doesn't seem he is mentioned very often here, but I think he is very good with lush orchestration and melody lines.
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