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Thread: SS 1.09.18 - Aho #7 "Insect Symphony"

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    Default SS 1.09.18 - Aho #7 "Insect Symphony"

    A continuation of the Saturday Symphonies Tradition:

    Welcome to another weekend of symphonic listening!

    For your listening pleasure this weekend:

    Kalevi Aho (1949 – )

    Symphony No. 7 "Insect Symphony"

    I. The Parasitic Hymenopter and its Larva
    II. The Butter flies (The Foxtrot and Tango of the Butterflies)
    III. The Dungbeetles (Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dung)
    IV. The Grasshoppers
    V. The Ants (The Working Music of the Ants and War Marches I and II)
    VI. Dayflies (Lullaby for the Dead Dayflies)

    ---------------------

    Post what recording you are going to listen to giving details of Orchestra / Conductor / Chorus / Soloists etc - Enjoy!

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    The BIS recording for me from my CD collection. Is there another version?
    #I♥CD

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    Let's listen some living composer again. Kalevi Aho has done quite a many symphonies and those are also recorded (at least most of them). I picked #7. I am listening this one:

    61mfYChd2IL._SS500.jpg

    This is available on youtube also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    The BIS recording for me from my CD collection. Is there another version?
    I found this one : https://www.allmusic.com/album/relea...7-mr0002126441

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I'll listen to the BIS recording as well.

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I found this work pretty funny in places and intriguing throughout, if a bit scattered. It was certainly a very well composed work and performed excellently by Vanska and the Lahti Symphony (given this was the first time I heard it). Thanks for suggesting it Mika, I'll be sure to listen to more Aho in the future.

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    I'll give the Vanska recording a re-listen over the weekend at some point. My recollection of the piece was I didn't care for it but it is some time since I last heard it so things my have changed.

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    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    D3959F02-E443-4540-9D45-CF9EDA129C17.jpeg
    This version for me
    Something new to look forward to
    Listen to me when I'm talking to you boy!

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Those are some hefty insects

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Aho, Symphony No 7 - Lahti SO, Vanska.


    I recalled my initial reaction to the Symphony as being lukewarm but this time around it fared better. I still find the second movement a little incongruous and I am tempted to play through again without programming it.
    As the work grew from the music composed for an opera it is episodic in nature and doesn't have a recognisable traditional symphonic structure but it works well enough as music for me - that is, with the exception of the second movement foxtrot and tango which I presume might have worked better with the visual element it would have had in an opera.


    aho 2.jpg
    Last edited by Malx; Sep-02-2018 at 10:29.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I know nothing about this symphony other than its movement titles. But what’s not to love about movements named “The Parasitic Hymenopter and its Larvae” or “Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dung”?

    The variety of effects and styles kept me on my toes. The six movements are quite varied. A bit of fun here!

    “War March of the Ants”. Our home is being invaded by Argentine ants right now, so this is really kind of scary. Has anybody read the classic short story “Leiningen versus the Ants”? Yeah, super-scary. Ants don’t just eat your leftovers, the little six-legged piranhas eat you!

    http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lvta.html

    It would be good to hear this live, performed locally, maybe as a ballet with the dancers in insect costumes. It might also work as the soundtrack to a TV documentary on bugs.


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    Senior Member Weird Heather's Avatar
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    This one isn't in my collection. I'm not ready to make more purchases right now, so I previewed it by searching YouTube, and all six movements showed up - but not all the same performance; both of the recordings previously mentioned here were represented. It is a rather strange way to listen to a symphony, but it worked as a preview.

    This one is more interesting than some of the others from recent weeks; the concept is fun, and the music is interesting and varied. It comes across to me as more of a ballet suite than a symphony, but these days, the only requirement for a piece of music to be called a symphony is that the composer chooses to label it that way. It will definitely be on my list the next time I buy recordings. I didn't have a strong preference between the two performances, and I know both are available as downloads (and I think the price is the same), so I don't know yet which one I will buy.

    The story "Leiningen versus the Ants" was adapted for at least two radio series - "Escape" at least three times with different casts in 1948 and 1949, and "Suspense" twice, in 1957 and 1959. I like the "Escape" episode of May 23, 1948, starring William Conrad. It is the perfect type of story for radio adaptation. These radio shows should be readily available - archive.org might be the best place to look for them. If someone ever revived one of these radio scripts and did a modern production, "War March of the Ants" would be a great choice for incidental music.

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