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Thread: Introducing myself

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Default Introducing myself

    Hello everyone

    Just a quick message to introduce myself. My name is Mike O'Hara, I'm a new member, and I'm looking forward to "talking classical"!

    I'm an amateur musician myself, with a love of classical music, particularly the late romantic period.

    I've just started producing a fortnightly classical music podcast called "Forgotten Melodies" featuring pianist Daniel Grimwood playing and discussing some captivating but largely unknown piano pieces. Episode one is now online at www.forgottenmelodiespodcast.com

    I'd love to hear feedback from anyone willing to take a listen.

    Cheers

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    Do you want an honest answer?

    I had a quick listen, and thought the sample sounded very ordinary and completely uninspiring, almost music box standard.

    I have absolutely loads of piano music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich. When I get bored with these (which is extremely rarely, as you might imagine), I have a few others I can switch to in a lower rank, just in case.

    I therefore think it rather unlikely I will have time to listen to even lower grade piano composers, especially ones I've never heard of like Kara Karaev, Eduard Tubin, Paul de Maleingreau, Chu Wang Hua. Who on earth are they, anyway, as you haven't given any explanation at all?


    Topaz

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Well, thank you for such a positive welcome, and such an open minded response.

    What a friendly place this is!

    Mike

  4. #4
    Andante
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    Mike, a very warm welcome, topaz is normally very kind to new members, he must have had a bad day as we all do now and then, I have not heard your baby, but tend to agree with the sentiments expressed by topaz it will be an uphill battle for you, but who knows you may discover a genius.

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Thank you Andante.

    Who knows indeed? There are many undiscovered works of genius out there. People will form their own opinion as to whether any of the pieces that Danny plays on the Forgotten Melodies Podcast are amongst them, but from my standpoint, I just feel privileged to be bringing this music to the attention of a wider audience.

    So if there are any forum readers who are receptive to hearing piano works they may not have come across before, then they can listen to the 30 minute podcast direct from the site (which does actually provide a full explanation of who Karaev, Tubin, de Maleingreau and Chu Wang Hua are, btw Topaz). It's completely free, too!

    Episode Two (due out next week) will feature works by John Field, Adolphe von Henselt, Mily Balakirev and Nikolai Medtner. Anyone heard of (or want to hear from) them?

    Mike

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    Mike

    Thank you for the further information.

    I might say that I'm not part of any official welcoming committee here, nor would I wish to be, but welcome anyway.

    You asked for "feedback", not false flattery. I did say that my initial comments were honest ones. I also think that, so far, I'm the only person who's actually taken the trouble to listen to the site, judging from all the comments I've seen on this site and several others where you've posted the same message (small world!).

    As I said, I had not heard of these initial composers. I couldn't find anything about 3 of them on Wikipedia. Sorry I didn't spot the info on the website.

    As for your next list (due next week), of course I have heard of these people. They are clearly much bettter known, and I think you should do a lot better with people of this calibre. I will have another listen then. Meanwhile, good luck with it.

    Can you please tell us a bit more more about your musical tastes. I'd be very interested to learn more about your favourites.



    Topaz

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Thanks Topaz, fair comments

    And indeed thank you for actually taking the time to visit the site.

    Regarding my own musical tastes, they're pretty wide and varied. I listen to a huge amount of music in all sorts of genres, from early classical to rock and eleectronic, and everything in between.

    From a classical standpoint, my tastes veer more towards late romantic - I would say my favourite composers are probably Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, but there are so many works by other composers I love too.

    Apologies if my response to your post was a little acid in flavour, I was just a bit taken aback by it.

    I hope to have many interesting conversational exchanges on this forum going forward.

    Mike

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    Mike

    There are a few others here who are definitely keen on lesser well-known piano composers, mainly 19th Century. I'm sure when their antennae have homed in they will be interested in your project.

    I share your musical tastes, but I go back to late Mozart through to Brahms mainly, and beyond that on a selective basis only.

    Hopefully there will be something further to chat about soon in the context of the new "composer of the week" category. The idea is to focus on a major composer for a decent discussion about his works etc. I got nominated to start the series off with a piece on Brahms which should be up by tomorrow. The opening post is just for starters, then all others are encouraged to join in. It's mainly an opportunity to learn more, share knowledge, not an opportunity for any major criticism (at least I hope not).

    You might also look at the Mozart authorship controversy thread, which has some very interesting issues. Don't rush and be warned, it's tough and complex.

    Regards


    Topaz

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    This is an excellent idea Mike. I listened to the sample of the podcast and I agree the piano literature is so large, it's nearly impossible to hear even half of it. Sadly, much of this music, which gets pushed aside by the popular Chopin and Liszt repertoire, tends to possess a similar high quality. The focus of my own CD collection is the obscure Romantic piano composers like Rubinstein, Alkan, Henselt, Thalberg, Kalkbrenner, Herz etc... These and many other Romantic piano composers dominate my CD collection. So you'll find me an avid supporter of what you're doing.

    My only disappointment is your premiere. As I said, I listened to the audio sample. But I found the pieces lacking any drama or power, which is an important catch for your program. Frankly, I don't think you started with a "bang." I had never heard of those composers. While I think Variations on Laplandian Tunes was the most interesting of them all, the others seemed lackluster. They weren't awful, but they weren't outstanding either.

    Episode Two (due out next week) will feature works by John Field, Adolphe von Henselt, Mily Balakirev and Nikolai Medtner.
    Now you're talking... These are the guys that really have "forgotten melodies." Henselt could carry himself on for 5 shows. If Grimwood could play the Op. 2 etudes or the Op. 3, I think you'd have a lively and engaging show with much to talk about. Balakirev is a good choice too... hopefully you can cover his Scherzi and Mazurka's. And Medtner is no slouch either. He should be the mascot of your program, since some of his very own pieces are titled "Forgotten Melodies."

    Well, I look forward to the next Episode, but I think Episode Two should have been One; in my estimation, it would have been an instant success. I don't think you need to go into the bottom of the barrel to pick up the unknown piano composers like Maleingreau. Why not introduce Gottschalk, d'Albert, Liapunov, and Moscheles? In my opinion, these composers are far more interesting to explore. And you can find worthy rarities from Chopin, Liszt, Weber, and Mendelssohn, too. I mean, it's your show, but I don't think these fellas like Chu Wang Hua and Kara Kaerev have any potential. I think your show would be greater if the real 19th century virtuosos and pianist-composers like Thalberg, Alkan, and Liszt received the spotlight.

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    enjoyable episode one, but the piano works needed thad extra somthing from those unknown composers. Mike and Daniel, do the number two
    maybe some day introduce Icelandic music hehe

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Some excellent ideas there, thank you

    Danny certainly has a very wide repertoire, and the plan is to put out a 30 minute show every two weeks, so hopefully we'll cover a lot of interesting ground as we go forward.

    I've taken on board your comments about the first show and I appreciate the honest feedback. Launching anything new like this is always tricky, deciding what to include and figuring out how to go about it. We're doing the whole thing on zero budget, so bear with us!

    Medtner is indeed the "mascot" of the program as he provided both the title and the theme tune, well spotted!

    As for Icelandic music - any suggestions for composers there?

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike_OHara; Jan-07-2007 at 21:37.

  12. #12
    Andante
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    Mike, I have tried to listen to your show but it has just taken about 8 min to download the first 60sec, so for us poor unfortunates who are stuck with dial up it is a daunting task, sorry.

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    Junior Member Mike_OHara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexameron View Post
    I think your show would be greater if the real 19th century virtuosos and pianist-composers like Thalberg, Alkan, and Liszt received the spotlight.
    We'll be featuring two pieces by Alkan (La Chemin de Fer and Barcarolle) in Episode Three, due for release at the end of Jan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andante View Post
    Mike, I have tried to listen to your show but it has just taken about 8 min to download the first 60sec, so for us poor unfortunates who are stuck with dial up it is a daunting task, sorry.
    Dial-up huh? That's a shame. There's so much good audio content on the Web these days, I'd be lost without my broadband. Thanks for trying anyhow

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike_OHara; Jan-08-2007 at 10:24.

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_OHara View Post
    We'll be featuring two pieces by Alkan (La Chemin de Fer and Barcarolle) in Episode Three, due for release at the end of Jan.
    Great choice of miniatures there - I'm looking forward to it!

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    Mike: when you run out of the lesser-knowns, why not do a few of the 19th C better knowns?

    I guess, almost by definition, there are far more of the former than the latter. But there are several very nice works by the better known composers which are less well known. I hope you follow this. I'm sure Hexameron (and certainly myself) could suggest lots of the latter. He's a big fan of Franz Liszt, and me of Robert Schumann.



    Topaz

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