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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #1621
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post

    P.S. BlackAdderLXX, if you're still hanging around, it's your turn next week
    I am, and I will!
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

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  3. #1622
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackAdderLXX View Post
    I am, and I will!
    Im fearing the worst.

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  5. #1623
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Im fearing the worst.
    Possibly Baldricks 3rd 'Boom Boom Boom' - inspired by the poem of the same name?

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    Senior Member Iota's Avatar
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    Have now listened to and enjoyed the Arriaga. I found it full of wit, elegance and charm and delivered with an eloquence of craft that's astonishing in one so young, but as others have said, impressive at any age.

    I listened first to the Guarneri then, thanks to Merl's ringing recommendation, Sine Nomine, and glad I did, as I thought they were far more successful in bringing out its natural qualities and I enjoyed it far more in their hands.
    I'd also add that, without a shred of scholarship to back me up, I felt stylistically, with its contrasts of material and so on it resembled early Mozart, and harmonically more early Beethoven.

    As always glad to have heard it.

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  9. #1625
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Im fearing the worst.
    No need to fear. My reign will be benevolent. Except to my enemies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Possibly Baldricks 3rd 'Boom Boom Boom' - inspired by the poem of the same name?
    Baldrick is incredibly underrated!

    Actually, I'm in a bit of a quandry. There are two excellent and as yet to be picked works that I have been considering. One of them would definitely receive kudos for being a composer that all the cool kids would like, but there are very few recordings, so Merl wouldn't be able to do his thing where he runs down the top 100 recordings of the work (that he already owns). The other is definitely more widely recorded, but those who prefer the more modern/avant garde works may not like, as it's classical era (not Mozart). Still pondering my dilemma.
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

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  11. #1626
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackAdderLXX View Post
    No need to fear. My reign will be benevolent. Except to my enemies.



    Baldrick is incredibly underrated!

    Actually, I'm in a bit of a quandry. There are two excellent and as yet to be picked works that I have been considering. One of them would definitely receive kudos for being a composer that all the cool kids would like, but there are very few recordings, so Merl wouldn't be able to do his thing where he runs down the top 100 recordings of the work (that he already owns). The other is definitely more widely recorded, but those who prefer the more modern/avant garde works may not like, as it's classical era (not Mozart). Still pondering my dilemma.
    Go with your gut.

    I believe Baldrick is still held in high regard by those opinions are entrenched in the music of the early part of the 20th century.
    Now I'll shut up

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  13. #1627
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackAdderLXX View Post
    No need to fear. My reign will be benevolent. Except to my enemies.



    Baldrick is incredibly underrated!

    Actually, I'm in a bit of a quandry. There are two excellent and as yet to be picked works that I have been considering. One of them would definitely receive kudos for being a composer that all the cool kids would like, but there are very few recordings, so Merl wouldn't be able to do his thing where he runs down the top 100 recordings of the work (that he already owns). The other is definitely more widely recorded, but those who prefer the more modern/avant garde works may not like, as it's classical era (not Mozart). Still pondering my dilemma.
    Oi! I'm getting close to editing my friends list, BA. And for your information the only thing I have over 100 recordings of are Beethoven symphony cycles, so there!

    3602487.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-21-2020 at 21:16.

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  15. #1628
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Go with your gut.
    Ok then...Bax String Quartet no. 1 in G major.
    Arnold Bax went from someone I had never heard of to one of my favorite composers almost overnight. His tone poems and a couple of his symphonies are up there with the best of them, IMHO. And this SQ grabbed me from the first moment.

    This is from Editionsilvertrust.com

    String Quartet No.1 in G Major

    Arnold Bax's String Quartet No.1 in G Major was completed in 1918 and is in three movements. The opening theme to the upbeat first movement, Allgretto semplice, sounds a little like Dvorak but soon we hear the music of the music of the English countryside. Ingratiating and appealing, the tonal quality of the melody is clearly more modern. The calm middle movement, Lento e molto expressivo, is warm and rather romantic. The finale, Rondo, allegro vivace, has the quality of a rustic country dance, full of energy and good spirits.



    Arnold Bax (1883-1953) was born in London. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Of independent means, he never needed to teach or conduct. He was a fine pianist but his main interests were composing music and poetry. His strong affinity for Ireland led him to spend considerable time in that country which influenced his outlook and music. The 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland and its brutal suppression, which included the execution of several of his friends, was to have a profound influence upon him. He is remembered mostly for his orchestral compositions but he wrote a great deal of chamber music. His music show many influences, perhaps the strongest of which is impressionism.
    Presto shows three recordings of this work.

    I actually got the entire Maggini English Quartet box because of how great their Bax Quartets were. I haven't heard the other ones but the Maggini (on sale at Presto for under $6 downloaded) is really great.

    Maggini_baxSQ1_2.jpg
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

  16. #1629
    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    I completely flaked out on the Arriaga, didn't even get around to listening to it because I've been working like a fiend and dealing with family matters, too. I hope to come back to it, especially with the positive impressions I've read here.

    But the Bax. WOW! I only started listening to Bax seriously about three years ago, and then only his tone poems on a single nice CD I own of "Boult conducts Bax" on Lyrita. I love these tone poems and have his symphonies on my wish-list, but his SQs were not on my radar, so this promises to be an exciting week of SQ listening.

    Let me reminisce about Bax. I had never heard of him until the two years I lived in England, 1986-1988, when I started to hear his works on BBC Radio 3. I was interested, but I was at the same time switching on to a lot of other English music, like RVW and Finzi, and Bax took a back seat. Then I came back to North America and met up with an old CM friend and I gushed over the English music I'd discovered while in England. He was always more well-listened than I (he wrote CM reviews for an alternative newspaper, even), and he praised my taste regarding RVW and Finzi. But as for Bax, he said (remembering his exact words), "You and Bax should get on the train right back to Clown Town." Being a callow fellow at the time, I felt hurt and sort of recoiled from Bax until I decided, in my advancing dotage, to give him another try. So glad I did.

    Just going with the name of the ensemble, I've started listening to this one, and I'm finding it marvelous:

    Bax String Quartet 1 Album Cover.jpg

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  18. #1630
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Nice choice, BA. As you know I like this one a lot and have the Maggini Bax set of quartets. Strangely enough it's on the car USB at the moment. What a coincidence! The only recordings of the Bax 1st I'm aware of otherwise are:

    English Quartet
    Pavao Quartet
    Divertimento Quartet

    BTW, to conclude my Arriaga String Quartet 2 listening I'm picking the Sine Nomine recording as my top choice. Absolute cracker of a disc.

    640x640.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-22-2020 at 00:16.

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  20. #1631
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Bax is a great composer but, at least, in my experience, requires prolonged attentive listening, which is why I think this is a great choice for the thread! Here's an updated master list for reference:

    First Round

    23 Feb: Beethoven - String Quartet No. 14 (Vicente)
    1 Mar: Britten - String Quartet No. 3 (flamencosketches)
    8 Mar: Brahms - String Quartet No. 1 (Allegro Con Brio)
    15 Mar: Schubert - String Quartet No. 15 (Enthusiast)
    22 Mar: Haydn - String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20/3 (Mandryka)
    29 Mar: Smetana - String Quartet No. 1 "From My Life" (flamencosketches)
    5 Apr: Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 4 (Josquin13)
    12 Apr: Carter - String Quartet No. 3 (Bwv 1050)
    19 Apr: Schnittke - String Quartet No. 2 (Portamento)
    20 Apr: Lutosławski - String Quartet (Shosty)
    3 May: Schumann - String Quartet No. 1 (sbmonty)
    10 May: Korngold - String Quartet No. 2 (Merl)

    17 May: Ravel - String Quartet in F Major (Eramire156)
    24 May: Crawford Seeger - String Quartet (Knorf)
    31 May: Hindemith - String Quartet No. 4 (Simplicissimus)
    7 June: Kurtág - 6 Moments Musicaux for String Quartet (TurnaboutVox)
    14 June: Lachenmann - Gran Torso (calvinpv)
    21 June: Frank - Quijotidas (20centrfuge)
    28 June: Ginastera - String Quartet No. 2 (Iota)
    5 July: Mendelssohn - String Quartet No. 6 (DTut)
    12 July: Gerhard - String Quartet No. 2 (Malx)
    19 July: Grieg - String Quartet No. 1 (BlackAdderLXX)
    26 July: Szymanowski - String Quartet No. 1 (starthrower)
    2 August: Nielsen - String Quartet No. 3 (annaw)

    Second Round

    9 Aug: Bartók - String Quartet No. 4 (Allegro Con Brio)
    16 Aug: Mozart - String Quartet No. 19 “Dissonance” (Enthusiast)
    23 Aug: Dusapin - String Quartet No. 7 “OpenTime” (Mandryka)
    30 Aug: Vasks - String Quartet No. 4 (Josquin13)
    6 Sept: Reger - String Quartet No. 4 (Bwv 1080)
    13 Sept: Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 8 (adriesba)
    20 Sept: Sibelius - String Quartet in D Minor "Voces Intimae" (sbmonty)
    26 Sept: Xenakis - Tetras (Portamento)

    4 Oct: Milhaud - String Quartet No. 1 (Merl)
    11 Oct: Ligeti - String Quartet No. 2 (Knorf)
    18 Oct: Borodin - String Quartet No. 2 (Simplicissimus)
    25 Oct: Fauré - String Quartet in E Minor (newyorkconversation)
    1 Nov: Rihm - Et Lux for string quartet and vocals (calvinpv)
    8 Nov: Ives - String Quartet No. 2 (Iota)
    15 Nov: Arriaga - String Quartet No. 2 (Rangstrom)
    21 Nov: Bax - String Quartet No. 1 (BlackAdderLXX)
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Nov-22-2020 at 02:51.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  22. #1632
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    I only know Bax from his orchestral music. This is a pleasant surprise. First impression lies somewhere between Dvorak and Janacek, although it's a lot closer to Janacek based on the episodic quirkiness and mixture of intense Romanticism and emotionalism with what sounds like a rustic or folk influence. To be honest, if you told me this was an early 20th Century Czech composer, I would have believed it. In addition, I would not be shocked if Bax was familiar with Debussy's String Quartet. Perhaps some modal explorations or use of the pentatonic scale. Occasionally I hear a somewhat jazzy aesthetic in some of the chords, particularly the 3rd movement. Pardon my stream of thought ramblings; these are just my initial thoughts.

    I listened to the Maggini Quartet, and I'm afraid...

    ...you guys are going to cost me a fortune!

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  24. #1633
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearsPoncho View Post
    I only know Bax from his orchestral music. This is a pleasant surprise. First impression lies somewhere between Dvorak and Janacek, although it's a lot closer to Janacek based on the episodic quirkiness and mixture of intense Romanticism and emotionalism with what sounds like a rustic or folk influence. To be honest, if you told me this was an early 20th Century Czech composer, I would have believed it. In addition, I would not be shocked if Bax was familiar with Debussy's String Quartet. Perhaps some modal explorations or use of the pentatonic scale. Occasionally I hear a somewhat jazzy aesthetic in some of the chords, particularly the 3rd movement. Pardon my stream of thought ramblings; these are just my initial thoughts.

    I listened to the Maggini Quartet, and I'm afraid...

    ...you guys are going to cost me a fortune!
    I agree that Dvorak was definitely a model for Bax in the 1st quartet. Lots of nods to Dvorak's mature quartets (especially the 11th). There's some great melodies in there. I remember when I got the Maggini disc (another charity shop buy) and was really impressed by Bax's vision. It's currently one of my most played SQ discs (along with Mendelssohn 6).

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  26. #1634
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearsPoncho View Post
    I only know Bax from his orchestral music. This is a pleasant surprise. First impression lies somewhere between Dvorak and Janacek, although it's a lot closer to Janacek based on the episodic quirkiness and mixture of intense Romanticism and emotionalism with what sounds like a rustic or folk influence. To be honest, if you told me this was an early 20th Century Czech composer, I would have believed it. In addition, I would not be shocked if Bax was familiar with Debussy's String Quartet. Perhaps some modal explorations or use of the pentatonic scale. Occasionally I hear a somewhat jazzy aesthetic in some of the chords, particularly the 3rd movement. Pardon my stream of thought ramblings; these are just my initial thoughts.

    I listened to the Maggini Quartet, and I'm afraid...

    ...you guys are going to cost me a fortune!
    Merl turned me on to these guys when I first heard Bax. I just skipped the pretending and went ahead and ordered the Maggini English Quartets box and I'm glad I did. They're great in the English works.
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

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  28. #1635
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Listening to the Maggini again. The rondo is just fantastic in this. It grabs me from the start and doesn't let go.
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

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