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What are you currently listening to?


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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 75840 times)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #3480 on: May 10, 2022, 11:13:11 am »


interesting symphony...

this too!!

The Mermaid is a lovely piece. I'll admit I haven't heard the early symphonies. Another composer (like Schreker & Boughton) I wish had composed more concert music. I was listening to the Conlon (emi) and old Schwann cd's of his Vorspiel zu einem Drama and Vorspiel zu einer großen Oper (Memnon) amongst other works & thinking what a Schreker symphony would have been like! It's pointless speculating really,I suppose,but listening to pieces like this lead me to think that if his main interest had been in purely orchestral concert works he would have made a very good symphonist. Works like Vorspiel zu einem Drama & Vorspiel zu einer großen Oper are just so well worked out. They feel so tightly structured. Schreker's capabilities of orchestration have been described as mind boggling in terms of his use of orchestral colour,instrumentation & the sheer virtuosity of his orchestration. With his best pieces,like those I have referred to here,there is no sense of mere scene,mood setting or wallowing like the proverbial hippo. Vorspiel zu einem Drama is symphonic in scope and has all the sweep and inevitability of some pre-determined destination. It's also jam packed with imagination. Eighteen (and a bit on my emi and Schwann cd's) minutes packed with more ideas than some blockbuster's I can think of,twice or even three times it's length,put together. In fact,as a listening experience it is a symphony,in all but name! Vorspiel zu einer großen Oper (and his later operas) give us a good idea of the direction in which a Schreker symphony cycle would most probably (almost certainly,imo) have gone. The lean textures and paring down. The astringency of the orchestration in contrast to the luxuriance & extravagance of his earlier music. Yet,there's no dryness to the orchestration. There's the same allure and opulence,but cooler and the textures are more refined. It's a superb piece. Not a wasted note! His Chamber Symphony for 23 solo instruments is another magnificent piece,which I've just got to mention here. What a composer!! The review of the Conlon cd at ClassicsToday has this to say about Vorspiel zu einem Drama & Vorspiel zu einer großen Oper (Memnon) "The two operatic overtures–one for a “major opera,” Memnon, never completed, the other for the infamous and decadent lyrical masterpiece Die Gezeichneten–certainly count among the greatest symphonic extravaganzas ever". Whoever wrote that isn't far wrong! Indeed,he isn't wrong! But amongst the mind boggling luxuriance and virtuosity of the orchestration it's the sense of structure and thematic concision of these pieces that makes them so compelling. They feel as tight as your proverbial drum. Unlike Lionel and Albion I love Bax and he certainly was a talented & imaginative orchestrator (albeit a beginner by comparison!)! But oh dear,like allot of talented orchestrator's he does love a good old wallow! I can think of others! Not that (as every happy hippopotamus knows) there's anything wrong with a good old wallow. It can be great fun! But Schreker shows you just how it should be done! Much as I enjoy Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony (or even the Sinfonia Domestica) I can't imagine Schreker reeling out stuff like that. It's truly astounding,imo,that such a talented composer with such an awe inspiring command of the orchestra could have been neglected for so long! Mind you,as a life-long fan of classical music and,particularly,path's less well trodden,nothing really surprises me anymore! So,what conclusion can I draw from what I have written (typed!) here?!! That,in effect,even though he didn't set out to compose symphonies in the way that Mahler did,for example (with the Chamber Symphony a notable exception) he was actually a first rate symphonist after all. So what am I moaning about?!! ::) ;D
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