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Thread: SS 12.10.19 - Mennin #5

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    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    Default SS 12.10.19 - Mennin #5

    A continuation of the Saturday Symphonies Tradition:

    Welcome to another weekend of symphonic listening!

    For your listening pleasure this weekend:

    Peter Mennin (1923 – 1983)

    Symphony No. 5

    1. Con sdegno - Meno mosso - Tempo I
    2. Canto. Andante arioso
    3. Allegro tempestuoso
    ---------------------

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

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    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    Another weekend is here and another Symphony is up for your listening enjoyment. This weekend it's American composer Peter Mennin's Fifth Symphony. I'm not familiar with Mennin so this will be a new one for me and I'm looking forward to trying something new. It's a short one so I hope everyone can join in. I see a few different recordings on YouTube and I'll be giving this one a spin:

    David Alan Miller/Albany Symphony Orchestra

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I'll listen to this Howard Hanson recording via streaming. I've heard his 7th symphony which I liked but not this one. Looking forward to it.


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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I have the Hanson recording on a single-CD Mercury issue, different cover. I'll be listening to that.



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    I'll go with the Albany Symphony / David Alan Miller recording via Spotify.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarjuno View Post
    I'll go with the Albany Symphony / David Alan Miller recording via Spotify.
    Likewise.......................................... .

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    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarjuno View Post
    I'll go with the Albany Symphony / David Alan Miller recording via Spotify.
    And the same for me
    Listen to me when I'm talking to you boy!

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    His 7th is his most impressive, but the 5th is a good symphony, so enjoy
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    I quite enoyed this but agree with Vasks about the 7th. Thanks as always for the choice RDB. I'll add this as a work to play again in the future (that list keeps getting longer!).

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    Don't know Mennin #5, but I'm very familiar with #7 [great piece] and #3...Mennin was a fine composer....his "Canzona" for Wind Ensemble is a strong work...

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I’d never heard a Mennin symphony before. In fact, I can’t remember listening to anything by Mennin. So my hopes weren’t high as I spun up Hanson’s traversal of the 5th. My notes:

    The first movement, shortest of the three, is marked Con sdegno, which my dictionary claims means “with disdain.” That’s original at least! The music has a Copland-like American flavor, kind of outdoorsy and striding along smartly with no pauses for contrast or reflection. It’s pretty noisy, all two-part counterpoint with frequent interjections of brassy fanfares. Effective but kind of exhausting actually, so shortness in this case is probably a virtue.

    The slow movement, twice as long, is a total contrast. It opens with a rather beautiful progression of sustained chords in the strings, soon joined by interweaving woodwind solos floating above. The music develops from there, mutating slowly rather than seeing any sudden shifts. Things get intense just before the halfway point and there is a tense climax near the end, after which things wind down to a quiet close.

    The finale returns to the sound world of the opening movement, with even more energy (if possible). Everything seems built from a couple of twisting themes and a few rhythmic ideas, thrown together in constantly changing and quite imaginative ways. It’s reminiscent of a fugue, quite obviously in places. Things get quite exhilarating towards the end!

    So…absolutely a keeper for me! Now I’ve gotta hear the 7th. Many thanks for a great addition to the Saturday Symphonies!


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