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Thread: SS 21.07.18 - Martinu #5

  1. #16
    Senior Member Weird Heather's Avatar
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    I listened to Bamberg/Järvi. This symphony is quite colorful and emotionally complex, and it is unmistakably modern in style but still very accessible. All in all, it is an enjoyable listen.

    It has been a while since I've listened to Martinů. Now, I'll probably end up listening to more of his music since this piece got me in the mood.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Neumann for me (but I also have Jarvi).

    Martinu_Symphonies_Neumann.jpg

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  4. #18
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    one of my favourite composers and although I have not followed the SS tradition for some time (World Cup and work etc) I awill take this as an opportunity to get back on board......and with this work I will listen to two recordings over the weekend...

    Belohlavek/BBC etc? Onyx.

    Thomson/SNO/Chandos.
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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  6. #19
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Having listened to Jarvi's recording on my 'Brilliant' set I came away with the impression that there was more to the Symphony than our esteemed Estonian friend was getting out of it - for example, the conclusion of the third movement had, for me, over dominant percussion and it all sounded a bit bombastic.
    I then sampled (Spotify) the Vaclav Neumann, Czech PO recording and the Bohuslav Meister, Vienna RSO recording and found both, sorry for the simplification, more musically satisfying rounded performances.
    I think I will further investigate the Meister set - it is well recorded and sounds well balanced as a performance.

    Edit - could those who know these Symphonies better than I please give their thoughts on the Bryden Thomson set if possible comparing to the Jarvi recordings.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Malx; Jul-21-2018 at 12:41.

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  8. #20
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Having listened to Jarvi's recording on my 'Brilliant' set I came away with the impression that there was more to the Symphony than our esteemed Estonian friend was getting out of it - for example, the conclusion of the third movement had, for me, over dominant percussion and it all sounded a bit bombastic.
    I then sampled (Spotify) the Vaclav Neumann, Czech PO recording and the Bohuslav Meister, Vienna RSO recording and found both, sorry for the simplification, more musically satisfying rounded performances.
    I think I will further investigate the Meister set - it is well recorded and sounds well balanced as a performance.

    Edit - could those who know these Symphonies better than I please give their thoughts on the Bryden Thomson set if possible comparing to the Jarvi recordings.

    Thanks.
    I am no expert but I do have immediate access to Jarvi, Belohlavek and Thomson alongside the Flor recordings of a number of the six symphonies. As always this morning I have turned to Thomson initially, transparent and lyrical there is a 'bouyancy' about this particular recording of the 5th!

    however I have only heard Neumann through YT on earbud things and your post has reminded me on an 'itch' often apparently experienced by TC contributors.......there is always a recording that you do not have!
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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  10. #21
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    Like all of Martinu's symphonies, this is a really fine work. The last recording I listened to was Jarvi's, which seemed a bit heavy-handed to me (much as I admire Jarvi, this is not an uncommon fault of his), not allowing Martinu's characteristic buoyancy to completely shine through. I'll be sure to check out some other recordings of the work!

  11. #22
    Member Bill Cooke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Neumann for me (but I also have Jarvi).

    Martinu_Symphonies_Neumann.jpg
    Same here - I have the Jarvi and Neumann cycles. Neumann is my choice for No. 5.

  12. #23
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Listened to Belohlavek’s performance. Like so often when I listen to Martinu, I found it hard to get excited. The symphony is attractive on its surface, seems content to be sort of light weight, and certainly wins the perkiness award. The orchestral effects are ear-catching, and the constantly changing rhythmic impulse keeps things moving along.

    But I could hear little that was musically compelling. Without that, “not serious” becomes “inconsequential,” something one would never call the lighter works of, say, Haydn. It’s easy to sympathize with Triplets’ calling this “sophisticated elevator music.” It might catch your attention on the way to the 19th floor, but you'll feel little regret on stepping out of the elevator when you get there.

    My opinion might change on repeated hearings of course. And I would love to hear the reasons that others value the work.
    Last edited by KenOC; Jul-22-2018 at 02:29.


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  14. #24
    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this symphony finding it approachable, as others have mentioned. The Meister performance was well recorded and makes me want to explore the rest of the set.
    Yet again this weeks SS was a new work for me and something I look forward to each week
    Listen to me when I'm talking to you boy!

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  16. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Listened to Belohlavek’s performance. Like so often when I listen to Martinu, I found it hard to get excited. The symphony is attractive on its surface, seems content to be sort of light weight, and certainly wins the perkiness award. The orchestral effects are ear-catching, and the constantly changing rhythmic impulse keeps things moving along.

    But I could hear little that was musically compelling. Without that, “not serious” becomes “inconsequential,” something one would never call the lighter works of, say, Haydn. It’s easy to sympathize with Triplets’ calling this “sophisticated elevator music.” It might catch your attention on the way to the 19th floor, but you'll feel little regret on stepping out of the elevator when you get there.

    My opinion might change on repeated hearings of course. And I would love to hear the reasons that others value the work.
    Interesting impressions, Ken. Martinu’s music may be lighter in spirit than a lot of other music written around the same time, but for me, its life-affirming buoynancy is a big part of its attraction. Quite a few of his works contain dark undertones as well, such as the Double Concerto for two string orchestras, piano, and timpani, and the 3rd Symphony. Truth be told, the 5th is probably my least favorite Martinu symphony, though not by a large margin. My favorite is actually the splendidly invigorating 1st, followed by the imaginative 6th. They’re all great IMO, proving that Martinu was not nearly as uneven a composer as many make him out to be.

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  18. #26
    Senior Member Robert Pickett's Avatar
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    My tastes with the Martinů Symphonies are a bit different from kyjo's; Nos. 5 And 4 Are my favourites, precisely because of that life-affirming quality mentioned. Both are a journey, No.4 into light, the Fifth into uncertainty. Both have an irresistible momentum, both have a structural integrity that just feels right. True, a lot of Martinů Is light, And I am afraid he is an uneven composer, but not here, nor in the other Symphonies, nor several other masterpieces I could mention (Gilgamesh is for me the supreme example). Serious music, and a long way from inconsequential.

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  20. #27
    Senior Member Biwa's Avatar
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    image.jpeg

    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Václav Neumann (conductor)

    Better late than never

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