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What classical music are you listening to?

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MrReaper182

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Apr 6, 2014
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Now playing this morning is Symphony number 9 (sometines called the new world symphony) by Dvorak preformed by the Prague symphony orchestra. A recording of this piece was taken abord Apollo 11 (the craft that took man to the moon for the first time.) This is one of the most popular symphonies of all time and rightfully so. Great stuff.
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Back from a month of travels in Italy and Germany, with very little music but lots of great art and architecture.

This evening I decided it had to be a big Scando thing, and modern.

So ... Per Nørgård's Symphony No. 6 ('at the End of the Day') and ‘Terrains Vagues’. Imagine a cross between Brückner and Birtwhistle. Only better …

 

MrReaper182

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That sounds like a very nice holiday Matt, I hope you had a lovely time. I'm listening to The young prince and princess from Scheherade by Rimsky-Korakov preformed by the London philharmonic orchestra. Great piece of music to relax to.
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Cheers!

My theme this evening is the good and bad of modern classical music. Let's start with the bad news. I was really hoping to like this new recording of Phillip Glass's Symphony No. 1 "Low".

I quite like Glass, and I love Bowie's "Low". Sadly I feel this is music by numbers. No reservations about the performance or recording, but the music is just dead for me.



Now for the good news. You'll have gathered I'm a bit of a fan of Per Nørgård. This recording of his 1st and 8th Symphonies is wonderful. The 8th, written only four or five years ago, is ravishing, I think. Do please give it a go.

 

matt49

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I am now officially in love with Per Nørgård. This evening I listened to his 6th Symphony “At the End of the Day”. I find it engages intellect and emotions equally. Exciting and vibrant music with much formal interest too. Beautifully done in this Chandos recording.



But it's intense and probably only good in small doses. Tomorrow I will lie down in a darkened room and listen to some Handel.

Matt
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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matt49 said:
I am now officially in love with Per Nørgård. This evening I listened to his 6th Symphony “At the End of the Day”. I find it engages intellect and emotions equally. Exciting and vibrant music with much formal interest too. Beautifully done in this Chandos recording.

But it's intense and probably only good in small doses. Tomorrow I will lie down in a darkened room and listen to some Handel.

Matt
Had a quick dip on You-Tube and it sounds interesting. If I buy just one Matt as a trial which one should that be?

Chris
 

matt49

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Covenanter said:
Had a quick dip on You-Tube and it sounds interesting. If I buy just one Matt as a trial which one should that be?

Chris
I'd go for the recent Sakari Oramo/Vienna Phil recording of Symphonies 1 and 8.

I hope you get something from it.

Matt
 

matt49

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This composer is quite new to me. My Dad gave me this recording of his 12th Symphony for my birthday. He seems to have been very prolific (Weinberg, I mean, not my Dad), with 22 symphonies to his name and half a dozen operas. He was also a fine pianist. I haven't explored the rest of his oeuvre yet. This piece is really rather fine, I think. Lots of Shostakovich in it, in a nice way. Long and complex melodic passages.

The recording is by Vladimir Lande and the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra (Naxos).

 

Covenanter

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matt49 said:
Covenanter said:
Had a quick dip on You-Tube and it sounds interesting. If I buy just one Matt as a trial which one should that be?

Chris
I'd go for the recent Sakari Oramo/Vienna Phil recording of Symphonies 1 and 8.

I hope you get something from it.

Matt
First impressions:

Symphony 1 - A bit derivative, lots of Shostakovich here especially in the string writing.

Symphony 8 - Much more individual and more interesting.

Both deserve more listening.

Chris
 

matt49

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This CD continues my interest in the music of Jan Dismas Zelenka, who was born near Prague and was based in Dresden for most of his career (we're in the first half of the 18th century).

It's a selection of Zelenka's choral music for the Hofkirche in Dresden. Zelenka wrote in the Italianate stile antico, but his ability in counterpoint and his inventiveness make his voice unique. The way the melody is carried by the different vocal parts is quite bewitching.

The CD also contains pieces by Tuma and Orschler.

Lovely singing by the Collegium vocale 1704 and fine production from Supraphon.

 

matt49

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Spent a few hours this evening wading through recordings of Mahler's Resurrection on Spotify. I have to say the quality of the recordings is very variable and there are some real dogs, including the Chailly, which should have outstanding sound, but is obviously a vinyl recording done on a cheap turntable.

Anyway, here are some very brief thoughts. My conclusions follow. They're not at all what I was expecting.

Bernstein, New York Phil, Sony: exciting but the pacing seems really erratic.

Tennstedt, LPO, LPO: quite slow, lingers, but has some real drama and good sound.

Haitink, Chicago SO, Chicago SO: strings just don’t have enough attack.

Rattle, CBSO, EMI: woolly and self-indulgent. I really don't like this at all.

Zinman, Tonhalle, RCA: real depth and articulacy; makes others sound one-paced.

Walter, New York Phil, various: great interpretation, but IMO the orchestra aren’t really up to it.

Abbado, Vienna Phil, DG: goes at quite a lick. Good live sound.

Haitink, Berlin Phil, Decca: makes Mahler sound like Wagner, which is no bad thing IMO.

Tilson Thomas, San Francisco SO, San Francisco SO: a but sluggish, and strings seem to lack cohesion.

Jurowski, LPO, LPO: loud, loud, loud.

Maazel, Philharmonia, Signum: fine string playing, lacks punch.

Jansons, Oslo Phil, Chandos: really fine strings and woodwind; marvellous sound; deeply romantic.

Gergiev, LSO, LSO: middle of the road, does nothing well or badly.

Solti, Chicago SO, Decca: amazingly urgent, ruled with a rod of iron; sound too bright.

Conclusions:

If it weren't for the overly bright, even strident sound, I'd rank Solti at no. 1 without hesitation. With judicious use of tone controls, it is an amazing listen.

The next three places are shared. Haitink with the Berlin Phil gives the piece great coherence. Two recordings at polar opposites are Jansons and Zinman. I like both. Jansons is deeply romantic, Zinman is sprightly and the Tonhalle are excellent.

Abbado is very fine in 5th place. I his live recording with the Lucerne Festival Orch may be even better.

Walter is magical in some ways, though I don't feel his band really sings. Rattle is poor.
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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matt49 said:
Spent a few hours this evening wading through recordings of Mahler's Resurrection on Spotify. I have to say the quality of the recordings is very variable and there are some real dogs, including the Chailly, which should have outstanding sound, but is obviously a vinyl recording done on a cheap turntable.

Anyway, here are some very brief thoughts. My conclusions follow. They're not at all what I was expecting.

Bernstein, New York Phil, Sony: exciting but the pacing seems really erratic.

Tennstedt, LPO, LPO: quite slow, lingers, but has some real drama and good sound.

Haitink, Chicago SO, Chicago SO: strings just don’t have enough attack.

Rattle, CBSO, EMI: woolly and self-indulgent. I really don't like this at all.

Zinman, Tonhalle, RCA: real depth and articulacy; makes others sound one-paced.

Walter, New York Phil, various: great interpretation, but IMO the orchestra aren’t really up to it.

Abbado, Vienna Phil, DG: goes at quite a lick. Good live sound.

Haitink, Berlin Phil, Decca: makes Mahler sound like Wagner, which is no bad thing IMO.

Tilson Thomas, San Francisco SO, San Francisco SO: a but sluggish, and strings seem to lack cohesion.

Jurowski, LPO, LPO: loud, loud, loud.

Maazel, Philharmonia, Signum: fine string playing, lacks punch.

Jansons, Oslo Phil, Chandos: really fine strings and woodwind; marvellous sound; deeply romantic.

Gergiev, LSO, LSO: middle of the road, does nothing well or badly.

Solti, Chicago SO, Decca: amazingly urgent, ruled with a rod of iron; sound too bright.

Conclusions:

If it weren't for the overly bright, even strident sound, I'd rank Solti at no. 1 without hesitation. With judicious use of tone controls, it is an amazing listen.

The next three places are shared. Haitink with the Berlin Phil gives the piece great coherence. Two recordings at polar opposites are Jansons and Zinman. I like both. Jansons is deeply romantic, Zinman is sprightly and the Tonhalle are excellent.

Abbado is very fine in 5th place. I his live recording with the Lucerne Festival Orch may be even better.

Walter is magical in some ways, though I don't feel his band really sings. Rattle is poor.
Please listen to Fischer on Channel Classics. I'm no great Mahler afficionado and this is the only version I own so I can't do comparisons but Edward Seckerson really liked it when he reviewed it for Gramophone and I bought it on that basis. It's a very fine recording too with immense dynamic range.

Chris
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Covenanter said:
Please listen to Fischer on Channel Classics. I'm no great Mahler afficionado and this is the only version I own so I can't do comparisons but Edward Seckerson really liked it when he reviewed it for Gramophone and I bought it on that basis. It's a very fine recording too with immense dynamic range.

Chris
Sounds good. I'll look into it once I can wrest control of the Spotify account back from the teenagers.

Matt
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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matt49 said:
Covenanter said:
Please listen to Fischer on Channel Classics. I'm no great Mahler afficionado and this is the only version I own so I can't do comparisons but Edward Seckerson really liked it when he reviewed it for Gramophone and I bought it on that basis. It's a very fine recording too with immense dynamic range.

Chris
Sounds good. I'll look into it once I can wrest control of the Spotify account back from the teenagers.

Matt
I had taken the CD of the shelf to make my previous post and hadn't put it back so I thought I would listen to it this morning for the first time on my SACD player previously having only heard it as a CD. I will bow to others in terms of interpretation as Mahler doesn't "speak to me" as other composers do but this is a stunning recording on SACD. It is wonderfully clear and natural, close your eyes and you are there. Be careful though because if you have your volume set so that the quiet passages are "normal" the loud passages will shake your walls.

It is worth in passing commending Channel Classics. I've not had a bad recording from them and they offer their recordings not only as Hybrid SACD but also as a variety of digital downloads from MP3 up to their "Studio Master HD" 24bit 192kHz as well as a streamed DFF 1 bit 2822.4 kHz. The sexier stuff is rather expensive but if anything makes me buy a streamer it will be this.

Chris
 

MrReaper182

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Apr 6, 2014
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I've just finished listening to Symphony number 5 in E minor by the Russian legend Tchaikovsky. It was preformed by The Saint Louis symphony orchestra. Very beautiful.
 

MrReaper182

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I am now listening to The banks of the green willow by George Butterworth which is preformed by the English string orchestra. Mr butterworth like so many other hundreds of thousands of brave men was killed in France during the First world war. This is his most famous piece and it is very beautiful.
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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MrReaper182 said:
I am now listening to The banks of the green willow by George Butterworth which is preformed by the English string orchestra. Mr butterworth like so many other hundreds of thousands of brave men was killed in France during the First world war. This is his most famous piece and it is very beautiful.
Interesting. I'll look into that.

Having heard Roderick Williams sing at the last night of the Proms (yes, I know ...), I've just invested in a bunch of his recordings in The English Song Series on Naxos.

While waiting impatiently for the disks to arrive, I'm listening to vol. 20 of the series (on Spotify): Butterworth's settings of A Shropshire Lad. Very charming and beautifully sung. His voice has a lovely tone right through the range.
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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Matt

In case you haven't heard about it, Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera are doing the Ring Cycle here in Birmingham in November. Not my thing but I know you like Wagner and you might want to see it.

Chris
 

matt49

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Chris,

Thanks so much for the heads up. I'll look into it. If you felt your resistance to Wagner weakening somewhat, I would especially recommend Die Walkuere -- by way of introduction.

Matt
 

matt49

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Sorry to go on about Mahler. This evening I've revisited his 1st symphony: along with the 4th it's the "happy" face of Mahler, often neglected in favour of the other symphonic works which are, dare one say, more psychologically challenging.

Anyway, the 1st is really ravishing. The canonical interpetation is by Kubelik with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on DG. It doesn't disappoint: hugely energetic, brisk, picturesque, and with an authentically central European feel. It's a while since I listened to it, and I'm regretting the time spent apart.

 

Covenanter

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Shostakovich Symphony 13 'Babi Yar' - Kondrashin, Moscow Phil - stunning newish SACD from a 1962 live recording. I think visceral is the right word for this performance and the recording is amazing for its age.

For those who don't know the piece it is perhaps more of a cantata than a symphony and it is unmistakably RUSSIAN. Here it is sung by a Russian bass, Vitaly Grommadsky, and a Russian choir. It relates to the massacre of Russian Jews by the Nazis in WW2.

It is on Praga Digitals and isn't cheap £16 from Amazon but it is worth every penny.

I am somewhat shell-shocked!

Chris
 

Andrew17321

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Matt

If you are into Mahler, you should try Hans Rott's Symphony in E. Rott was a close friend of Mahler who died young just when Mahler was starting out. You will see where Mahler was coming from.

Andrew
 

Andrew17321

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Hearing a Hummel piano concerto on the radio a fortnight ago encouraged me to start listening to his piano works again. Since then I have purchaced 4 Chandos CDs of Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players playing his works. Really good stuff: happy music, very lyrical, interesting harmonies which pull me in.

His pieces form a musical bridge between Mozart and Chopin. If you like Chopin, you will almost certainly like Hummel's piano works.

(I buy all my CDs second hand, if I can. The ones I have bought through Amazon have all been perfect so far, and a considerable saving on the 'new' cost.)

Andrew
 

matt49

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Andrew17321 said:
Matt

If you are into Mahler, you should try Hans Rott's Symphony in E. Rott was a close friend of Mahler who died young just when Mahler was starting out. You will see where Mahler was coming from.

Andrew
Andrew, thanks for that. Sounds interesting.

Matt
 

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