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Thread: Sharing obscure favourites 2 (READ FIRST POST)

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Default Sharing obscure favourites 2 (READ FIRST POST)

    The second edition, as the first one was successful (link).


    This idea is a spin-off from Tchaikov6' Hall of Fame thread. I'm looking for 5-10 TC members who are interested to broaden their horizon by listening to other people's choices for obscure favourites (and sending in one of their own).

    It goes as follows if you want to be a part of this:

    1) You select a piece of classical music you love and that you think many here may not know. It cannot be longer than 30 minutes*, and it cannot be an excerpt from a larger work (e.g. not a movement from a symphony). It has to be on YouTube or similar sites that do not require registration and/or subscription. Obviously it cannot have been part of the first edition of this.

    2) You send me a message with your choice and the link. Do not post your choice in the thread.

    3) I'll collect all submissions and decide when to finalize this phase (max 10 submissions).

    4) I will post all submissions with the links.

    5) Everyone gets two weeks to listen to the submitted works and post a few lines on each in this thread (including your own submissions) in any sequence you like. No essays required, but please include whether it was new to you and overall, did you like it or not (or indifferent) - things like that. Feel free to post them one by one rather than all in one post.

    There's no voting, there's no winner. This is just about sharing.

    If you did not send in one of the compositions for this thread, you are still more than welcome to post your opinions on the selected works.



    * for those who like longer pieces, one of the next editions will cater for that, with a lower number of participants.
    Last edited by Art Rock; Feb-09-2020 at 13:44.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Already three submissions.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    We're at six nominations now. I can take four more.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    One last bump... otherwise we'll run with six (which is fine).

    EDIT: make that 7.
    Last edited by Art Rock; Feb-11-2020 at 09:11.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Sorry, I won't have the time to participate on this occasion, but I will watch from the sidelines.
    Last edited by Malx; Feb-11-2020 at 12:12.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    OK, let's run with 7.

    These are the submitted works with links (alphabetical by submitter):

    Allegro Con Brio: Leo Ornstein - Cello Sonata No. 2 (link)
    Art Rock: Peteris Vasks - Cor Anglais Concerto (links per movement: 1 2 3 4)
    Kjetil Heggelund: Aaron Jay Kernis - 100 Greatest Dance Hits (link)
    MusicSybarite: Joseph Jongen - Concert à cinq, for flute, harp and string trio (links: 1 2 3)
    Nereffid: Jean Mouton - Nesciens mater (link)
    Strange Magic: Silvestre Revueltas - Cuauhnáhuac (link)
    Tchaikov6: Witold Lutoslawski - Little Suite (link)

    You have until 25 February to complete your listens and reactions - I'd advice to start early though.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Art Rock; Feb-11-2020 at 16:30.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Leo Ornstein - Cello Sonata No. 2

    This is a dark and brooding one-movement sonata of tonal properties. It's enjoyable but I found that the musical ideas did not merit the 17 minute length. Also, if I'm in the mood for brooding music (and I love that feature), there are dozens of other works I'd rather engage with.

    Rating: 2/5.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Joseph Jongen - Concert à cinq, for flute, harp and string trio

    New to me? The composer no, the work yes. I first got to know Jongen by his Symphonie Concertante for organ and orchestra, my second-favourite work for this combination after Saint-Saens 3. Over the years, I collected a dozen CD's of this rather unknown Belgian composer, but none have this chamber piece on it. So, with expectations set on 'high' I started to listen. Right from the somewhat nervous start, Jongen avoids the trap of making the combination of flute and harp sound too sweet. There's a tremendous sense of excitement in this movement. The second movement starts with the string trio taking control - a surprising and highly effective idea. The flute enters and creates a suitably pastoral feeling. The atmosphere is not that far from Debussy here. The final starts with the harp taking a more prominent role in a beautiful contrast with the preceding mood. A movement that is agitated and brilliant, and never outstays its welcome. Probably the best piece of chamber music prominently featuring the flute that I ever heard. I saw that I can get the corresponding CD on order from our library. It will be here in a week or so. For now, after one listen, I rate this piece as essential. I would not be surprised if after repeated listening it could even be hors concours. A great find, and many thanks for sharing this one!

    Artrockometer: "Essential" - Reserved for works that absolutely must be in my CD collection should I have to start over.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Joseph Jongen - Concert à cinq, for flute, harp and string trio

    As with Art Rock, Jongen is not a new composer for me, but this work is brand new and highly enjoyable with its mix of drama and exquisite calming passages of the 1st movement, a lovely 2nd movement adagio, and a rather upbeat finale. The instrumental combinations are also appealing. A work like this has the potential to be too syrupy, but Jongen doesn't allow that to happen.

    Rating: 4/5

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Witold Lutoslawski: Little Suite

    I liked this short 4-movement orchestral suite. It represents a trend in early- and mid-20th century music for brief, tonal, vaguely ''ethnic" pieces with episodes with strong dancelike elements, as in the 2nd and concluding movements. This piece shares characteristics with my selection, Revueltas' Cuauhnáhuac, in that there are hints of Villa-Lobos, Copland, other composers working during the period and composing similar materials. The piece is not intended to say vast and profound things but rather to please the ear--it pleased mine--and agreeably pass the time, in contrast to other musics being then written that conveyed musical ideas far more difficult to process.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Feb-11-2020 at 19:59.

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    Jean Mouton: Nesciens Mater

    Lovely choral harmony singing, and just the right length. I am not a student of religiously-inspired vocal music, but am gaining some exposure to it. I will here plug the thread I began on Shape Note/Sacred Harp choral singing in the Non-Classical forum.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Ornstein- Cello Sonata No. 2

    I chose this piece for my submission because I found it a very lush, rich work that exploits both instruments to their entire coloristic possibilities. It is cast in a single-movement sonata form with the three sections clearly identifiable. I love the full-bodied, Rachmaninoff-esque melody that dominates the work; and Ornstein's luscious, exotic harmonization. There is chromaticism, but not enough to wear on my ears as is often the case with some similar late Romantic/early 20th century stuff. One thing I look for in duo sonatas is intricate interplay between the instruments, preferably playing equal roles in the development of the music. Here, I don't get the impression that the cello is designed to take center stage. There is a true dialogue going on here that aids in keeping my attention throughout the 17 minutes. There is also a brief piano "cadenza" near the end that is pretty effective in my mind. Overall, a lovely work that would make me want to explore more from the composer, but alas, this neo-Romantic piece was an outlier in his highly experimental modernist music, which is not my cup of tea. Fun fact about Ornstein- he lived to 109 years old, and was the oldest composer to publish a piece at 99, though he kept writing up to age 102.

    Rating: 4/5

    Mouton- Nesciens Mater
    I had never heard of Mouton, but I quickly discovered that this was to my detriment. This is incredibly beautiful Renaissance music. Though I don't feel I have the skills to properly "analyze" pre-Baroque music, I can say that this 5-minute piece is luxuriously harmonized with a ravishing cantus firmus. At first, I thought that this was going to be more of a homophonic work with most of the voices providing accompaniment. But then, Mouton adds some lovely imitative counterpoint that adds to the music's poignancy. For those who say that Renaissance music all sounds alike, I was listening to some Allegri and Byrd before this, and it's crazy how different their styles are. It's like saying Bach and Vivaldi sound alike- same idiom, drastically different voice. I have a Mouton album on Spotify saved for tomorrow's listening, having had my palate whetted by this piece. This deserves to be posted in the "most beautiful thing ever written" thread.

    Rating: 5/5

    Jongen- Concert à cinq, for flute, harp and string trio

    This was the first time I had heard anything from Jongen. I have a big soft spot for French composers (OK, technically Belgian but close enough!). I have an even bigger soft spot for woodwind chamber works. I also love the harp. French chamber works with woodwind and harp? Heaven on earth. This work? Downright lovely, but it didn't add anything much to what I was expecting. There's the typical "French" sound- lightly chromatic, richly-textured, the feeling that the composer isn't wasting any notes or ideas. I really liked how Jongen utilized this unusual chamber grouping. Instead of going the obvious route and having the flute take all the melodies with the strings providing accompaniment and the harp adding pretty ornamentation, the material is spread around evenly with a wide color palette. I especially liked the jovial finale. So, like most French chamber music I've heard, I count this as a winner. There's not much to make it stand out a terrible lot, but it's a work I'd gladly revisit anyday. I now have to hear his Sinfonia Concertante for organ and orchestra, which sounds like a work I'd love.

    Rating: 4/5
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Feb-12-2020 at 02:38.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Joseph Jongen: Concert à cinq

    Off to good start--I really liked this very French Debussyan/Ravelian piece. The instrumentation is light and airy, yet rich when it needs to be. The first movement had a noticeable dancelike character, and shared with Debussy and Ravel's music the sense of recurring quiet ecstasy just below the surface. A quiet meditative middle movement, then more dancelike music suggestive of Debussy's Images to finish up in the final movement. Shows how much fine sound one can extract from just five instruments. I'll listen to more such--the French are so good with the harp in such settings, as the Ravel Introduction and Allegro indicates.

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    Aaron Jay Kernis - 100 Greatest Dance Hits

    The composer is not new to me, but the work is. It's scored for string quartet + guitar. It begins with the players pounding the instruments to get a rhytmical effect. There is also some pizzicati through this first section or movement. The 2nd movement is faster but also more expressive. Then it comes a slow section that gets more swinging later. In the last part there is a moment where the 1st violinist plays two woodblocks, the cellist plays the bongos and the violist plays the maracas.

    I thought it was a very cool piece, incorporating several rhythmical elements and percussive ideas that gave the piece an authentic sound. I liked it, it's fun.

    Rating: 3.5/5
    Last edited by MusicSybarite; Feb-12-2020 at 05:44.

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    Witold Lutoslawski - Little Suite

    Neither the composer nor the work are new to me, albeit I didn't remember the latter that much. It's a quite solid piece for orchestra in 4 short movements full of personality, wit and even rustic flavour. It sounds like one of his early works, with a few of dissonances here and there, so it should sound very approachable for anyone interested. Despite its short length, there are interesting ideas that make this piece a real treat, including a remarkable orchestration. Definitely I like this, an excellent work.

    Rating: 4/5

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