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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 67474 times)
Albion
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« Reply #3315 on: December 25, 2021, 03:56:39 pm »



Ah, the "Song of Songs",

My love is at the window,
Showing himself through the lattice...


[shades of Confessions of a Window Cleaner]

My breasts are like towers...

[shades of Carry On Emmanuel]

All good stuff methinks, sanctioned by scripture. Thankfully the local neighbourhood-watch were having a night off.

 Cheesy
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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 #3316 on: December 25, 2021, 05:11:08 pm »

his most glorious of symphonies. Anybody who thinks that only English conductors understand how to do Elgar would be proved wrong by this Japanese maestro's most majestic interpretation.


Y'ain't kiddin'. I regard Elgar's two completed symphonies as towering works in the repertoire: thematic genius, harmonic genius, orchestral genius, structural genius, thrills and spills aplenty - what's not to love? I also greatly admire Anthony Payne's realisation of the third symphony and find it incredibly moving. My personal favourites are James Judd and the Halle in No.1 (IMP PDC 2019) and Edward Downes with the BBC PO in No. 2 (Naxos 8.550635), but there are now, thankfully, so many recordings of these wonderful scores...

 Smiley

I'd be hard put to it (as people my age often are!) to choose favourite recordings of these symphonies but if you held a gun to me head, I guess I'd opt for Sir Adrian Boult and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Lyrita in no. 1 and for no. 2 Sir John Barbirolli's 1964 version with the Hallé Orchestra.
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #3317 on: January 02, 2022, 10:48:14 am »

Balm for troubled souls:

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3318 on: January 10, 2022, 09:03:04 pm »

Jaw-dropper of the week!! This might just tickle your fancy! Shocked Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
       


I bought a s/h copy of this a few weeks ago. I just had to hear it after all Albion's posts. And from what I know of Gounod;if you want drama,passion,colourful & elegantly scored orchestration and great tunes.Gounod always,at least in my experience,comes up with the goods! But I didn't know this mighty opus! I felt a bit daft!! Roll Eyes Grin Anyway,to cut to the chase;I'm very impressed. In fact,it's another one of those pieces of music,you come across now and again,and you think,why oh why,is that so neglected?!!* I thought it was fantastic! If I was a youngster,I might even refer it to as "awesome!" And I'd be right! And it is! In fact,if you've listened to Berlioz's  and you're looking for another heaven storming choral work,with awe inspiring sounds that will give you're speakers a work-out and tickle your fancy**,this may just be the oratorio for you?! Out of interest,I looked it up in my Penguin edition of Choral Music edited by Arthur Jacobs. I thought there would be a paragraph or two about Gounod's contribution to the genre. To my surprise,Theodore M Finney (Who he?!) had this to say!
 
"His religious strain developed in his later years into a mysticism which tended to blunt whatever critical view he had been able to bring to bear on his own wqork.As a result ,The Redemption and the other works written mostly to satisfy the English and american appetite began to pall. Even those audiences found it difficult to reconcile religious mysticism with cloying lyric sweetness".

 Roll Eyes The word a******* sprang to mind! But I musn't descend to the level of abuse. And he's dead anyway! Actually,I quite like some of those old Penguin/Pelican paperbacks. I even have a fondness for those old Record guides! Before the days of the world wide web,along with Gramophone,I spent many happy hours perusing such volumes;but,oh dear,some of the bigoted,narrow minded,trotting out of opinions,as if hewn in stone! And,in some ways (Glock at the Beeb) they might as well have been! It took decades for some of the music we're listening to on cd's to re-emerge,because of the like's of (What did I say his name was?) Theodore M Finney! At any rate,Gounod's Mors et Vita certainly got the kind of recording it deserves! Emi even put it in a posh presentation box. When I found out,I was worrying that it wouldn't fit through the letterbox?! (Another one of those red cards!) No worries there! Our local postie wrestled it through,leaving the padded envelope ripped to shreds,but the content's,seemingly,miraculously,unscathed! And thank you for that!! Shocked Grin



*Gounod's St Cecila Mass is another case in point! It is just such a peach! You think,why isn't it a popular piece?! The Credo has such a catchy tune,it's almost a pop tune! I can imagine that if it were used for some big sporting event,it would become a sort of popular hit! No disrespect,I like Fauré,but how many recording's of Fauré's Requiem's do you need?!!



          No one's been anywhere near my fancy!! Shocked
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3319 on: January 11, 2022, 08:23:13 pm »



A Doctor Speaks!

"As a Gp I often see patient's who are suffering from an overdose of a certain composer. After listening to piles of cd's of a particular composer they begin to suffer,obsessively,from tunes that go round and round in their head. They will begin to act strangely,even to the degree of conducting the cd's with their hands or a household object,like a toothbrush or frying spatula. This can,potentially,be very serious if hot,cooking oil is involved. They will hum portion's of the score,while they are at work,or on a bus or train,which can,potentially,lead to violent confrontation's with other passenger's or even a hospital admission. Only this week I had a consultation over the phone with a patient who was suffering from an overdose of Rossini operas. The busy ensemble's and overall,cheerful mood of the Rossini scores,in particular,La Cerentola,Il Barbiere di Siviglia,Le Comte Ory and L'Italiana in Algeri were getting on top of him,and he required something less upbeat and with a greater degree of depth,in order to calm him down. My recommendation as an experienced Gp was a large dose of Kammermusik to take as and when required. The Kammermusik prescribed is illustrated in the accompanying photograph;and this would be my top recommendation for an overdose of Rossin operas. If no Chailly Kammermusik is available,I would recommend Abbado as a suitable alternative". 

 Grin Grin Make sure you don't take more than the prescribed dose! I can't imagine what that might do to one.
I was going to reply to Lionel's post,but I discovered that I'd deleted all my password's from Firefox and it was getting late!! Roll Eyes
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3320 on: January 11, 2022, 08:45:27 pm »

     

                                                                                       Lily hasn't got the bird,but the bird's got Lily!

I said I don't like live recordings. Particularly,of opera! But,there are exception's to that rule! This is one! My favourite recording of Die Fledermaus (if I had to pick one) has always been the Ormandy Met Opera recording in English. (Not to be confused with another Ormandy recording,which has been released on a Walhall cd). This one was released by cbs as an Lp set,which I owned as a youngster & is now available from Pristine. Sony have yet to reisuue it on cd. At any rate,it had a sense of excitement & fun,which makes it stand out from the crowd. Anyway,here is the diminutive diva in all her vocal glory in a performance she made earlier! She's got a funny little voice. Very distinctive. I've always liked it. This performance is highly rated for the fine performances and  sense of fun. In respect of the latter,it's certainly a far cry from certain studio recording's I've heard of light opera & operetta. For once,the participation of the audience (thankfully,free of coughing!) is an asset! Normally,I'd have wanted to gas......I mean,gag them! Grin Originally,broadcast on the radio,the announcements before,between acts & at the end of the performance are just pure nostalgia. A world away from the posh drawl of the bbc of that era.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3321 on: January 11, 2022, 11:12:28 pm »

Hi-Yo Silver!It's the Lone Ranger!



Thrilling performances. Yes,he does take them at a lick!! A little bass heavy & some distortion at climaxes,but these are classic performances. I think Beecham finds more humour & charm;but I have no complaints. I'm going to have to try reducing the bass a little more,though! Shocked  I'm pretty sure I had this collection on a Camden Lp when I was a youngster. My grandparent's had lots of Lp's of classical music,which I used to play allot. They had allot of Decca Ace of Clubs Lp's in their collection. A fondly remembered label. I'm pretty sure they had this one (see below) & it's the one I played on their big old radiogram,when I visited them.



Their Lp's are still at my father's house (He's got dementia & he's,currently,in a care home! Sad) and I'll be able to check up on this one when I go there! Yes,the photo on the front,definitely,rings a bell! Van Beinum is well regarded,I gather;although,I must admit,I don't have any of his recordings.



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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3322 on: January 12, 2022, 09:31:34 am »

     

The drab artwork conceal's a delightful performance with one of my favourite singers,the enchanting Lucia Popp. The original artwork on the right shows the effect of living in a small rural town with Lucia Popp as a neighbour! All the men want to sing operatic arias. Ra-lalalala! Ralalala! Figaro! Figaro! Who needs a love potion! I wish I lived there! Sad Incidentally,I liked this recording much better than the,much praised,Pritchard recording! The chap through the hyperlink below (Don't worry,I don't expect you to,actually,read it!) obviously agrees with me! He calls the recording "magnificent" and "funny"!! (An opera libretto that's funny?!! Grin)

https://artmusiclounge.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/revisiting-wallbergs-magnificent-lelisir/
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3323 on: January 13, 2022, 09:40:58 am »



Oh mein gott! He's here as vell! Shocked
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Albion
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« Reply #3324 on: January 13, 2022, 10:13:44 am »



Oh mein gott! He's here as vell! Shocked

By the burst fillet of St Margaret of Antioch, avaunt!

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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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)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #3325 on: January 14, 2022, 10:13:37 am »



I enjoyed Toscanini's performances of these overtures. Suprisingly,in much better sound than Reiner's recordings,on that Rca cd,which were marred by boomy bass (I had to fiddle with the tone control's) & some distortion at climaxes. I think I prerred them. I don't why RCA put the live recording of L'Italian in Algeri first,though. I thought,it would have been better placed as a fill-up. Hearing people coughing up flem and the residue of their addiction to their smoking habit,isn't a good introduction to an otherwise enjoyable 68:36 minutes!

NB: I'm not really that man at the other forum,by the way! But,back to discussing this very,great man,if you please,jawohl!!


My apologies to Herr Albion,Harrison und Santo,if they should finds zis (I mean,this!) picture too small!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3326 on: January 15, 2022, 01:04:27 pm »



I'm afraid that when I've listened to Fibich symphonies in the past,as downloads,usually burned onto cd-r's,they haven't exactly tickled my fancy (to bring up Hylda Baker,again!). I know there are some who enjoy his music and other's who find him a crashing disappointment,next to Dvořák or Smetana. I have heard,however,that Sejna's recording's are the best,and,perhaps like a Czech version of Beecham,has a way of bringing out some qualities in these scores,that all others,somehow,miss! Well,I listened to this cd when I got up this morning and I've got to admit that for the first time ever,I really did enjoy these scores. In Šejna's hand's they seem a bit like early Dvořák,in some ways,,and I can understand why people would enjoy Fibich in these recording's. He's still not "up there" with Dvorak (or even early Dvořák) and I don;t think he ever will be;but a nice listen,anyway.And not everyone can be a Dvořák,can they? Fibich obviously achieved allot,in his own more modest way. (I seem to remember being quite impressed by his opera,Šárka! I think it's often cited as his finest work,or masterpiece,as they say?) A pity No 2 is in mono,though (No 3 is in stereo) and as a window on the early years of Czech recording & playing,a very interesting addition to my collection of Czech music! Seller's ask some ridiculous prices for deleted Supraphon cd's like this. I got this for just under a fiver! When I opened the jewel case there was a big sticker on the back of the boojklet! Thankfully,it was the kind that peels off! If you've given up on Fibich,Šejna's recording's of 2 & 3 are worth a try.

Oh,I mustn't forget our "friend",must I ?!! Grin

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3327 on: January 15, 2022, 05:05:20 pm »

More Lily Pons (1898-1976)!

   

Enjoying this "live" 1950 met production,with the diva,Lily Pons. Pons,who was a big star in her day (albeit,diminutive in stature) seems to have gone out of favour as far as the critics are concerned. I've always thought the Ormandy Met recording of Die Fledermaus,with Lily Pons was the best ever. What a funny,voice,though?! Very distinctive. I would put her on a par with Mady Mesplé,in that respect. And either you like her voice or hate it! A Marmite opera singer,you might say?!! (Nobody said anything!!) Mady Mesplé was fortunate,in some ways,to live in the age of studio recordings of opera and operetta. I think Pons made one or two,near the end of her career. Her recording of Lucia di Lammermoor getting panned,because poor old Lily was past her prime! Shame on her for getting old!! Roll Eyes Grin I like her singing! She was what is known as a coloratura soprano,and you get all the,obligatory,vocal gymnastics! Needless,to say,Lily is very good at them,and wants you to know it!
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« Reply #3328 on: January 15, 2022, 11:47:13 pm »

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #3329 on: January 16, 2022, 12:35:19 am »

It's a blockbuster! Shocked Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley



I'm a big fan of Suk's music! A genuine blockbuster. I wish I'd known this music when I was a youngster. There's everything I could have wanted in this music! Orchestral thrills and spills,and,very importantly,huge eruptions of sheer orchestral power! I would have had the bass pumped up full throttle. The floor of my poor parent's house,and latterly,my bedsit,would have been shaking! Are Asrael,Ripening,A Summers Tale & Epilogue late romantic masterpieces? I think so! I know other's will disagree;but they sound that way to me!! These recordings are in mono,and were made in the fifties;but the sound quality is very good for the era,your ears soon adjust,and anyway,with a performance as gripping as this you soon forget about any technological shortcomings! Wow!!! Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
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