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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #3031
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Just pick whichever you like

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Then I would like to go for Sofia Gubaidulina quartet no. 1. For me, it's a very evocative piece, but I haven't heard it so many times. The alternative was Sergei Taneyev no. 6, but I prefer his quintets...

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Nice! A contemporary composer that I connect with, but I have not heard any of the quartets. Seems this set is the one to go with based on what I’ve seen around here:

    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

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

  6. #3034
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    Cool, have not spent any time getting to know her music, looking forward to it

  7. #3035
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Great! It's a bit new for me too, but I've spent countless hours with Gubaidulina, just not string quartets. I never grow tired of any of her music

  8. #3036
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    Going w Molinari - the Stamic recording is not on IDAGIO

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post
    Then I would like to go for Sofia Gubaidulina quartet no. 1. For me, it's a very evocative piece, but I haven't heard it so many times. The alternative was Sergei Taneyev no. 6, but I prefer his quintets...
    Interesting choice. I know Henry will be pleased as he loves Gubaidulina's stuff. It will be an education for me as I'm largely ignorant of her output. Nice one.

    Am I right in saying that there's only Molinari, Danish and Stamic recordings to go at?
    Last edited by Merl; May-23-2021 at 20:12.

  10. #3038
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Interesting choice. I know Henry will be pleased as he loves Gubaidulina's stuff. It will be an education for me as I'm largely ignorant of her output. Nice one.

    Am I right in saying that there's only Molinari, Danish and Stamic recordings to go at?
    At least I couldn’t find any others.

    I’m interested to hear the work! Haven’t heard any of her compositions before .
    Last edited by annaw; May-23-2021 at 20:17.

  11. #3039
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    Kronos has recorded some of her work, dont know about the first qt

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Interesting choice. I know Henry will be pleased as he loves Gubaidulina's stuff. It will be an education for me as I'm largely ignorant of her output. Nice one.

    Am I right in saying that there's only Molinari, Danish and Stamic recordings to go at?
    I only found those 3 too...

  13. #3041
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    I found one more on youtube. There was also one on BBC, but unavailable to me.
    Last edited by Kjetil Heggelund; May-23-2021 at 21:31.

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  15. #3042
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post

    I found one more on youtube. There was also one on BBC, but unavailable to me.
    I pushed play and listened to the first 10 minutes away from my computer. Then I decided to take a look. Surprise, surprise, surprise! The guy at 19:36 doesn't seem to be buying any of it.

    There were a few moments that sounded like Lutoslawski, one of my favorite composers from the last third of the 20th century, which makes me wonder if there's an aleatory component to the music. Silence and the anticipation of what will come after the silence also seem to play a role, and so does texture and exploration of intervals for the sake of exploration. This is new stuff for me, and I'm probably wrong on all counts, but kudos to Kjetil Heggelund for introducing this adventurous music.
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

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    Senior Member StevehamNY's Avatar
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    I'm almost ashamed to admit how little I know of Gubaidulina's music, this coming from the guy who nominated the Tchaikovsky when it was my turn (and wait until you hear what I plan for next time). I don't own any of her quartets, but that will soon change, because I'm already listening to the first quartet and enjoying it. (Thank you, KH!)

    I'll look forward to Burbage's Friday historical post, but a quick lookup tells me that she studied at the Kazan Conservatory in the early 1950's. Stalin was still around for most of that time, so I don't have to tell you how dangerous it was to have any involvement with Western contemporary music. I'm reading that they literally raided the dormitory on a regular basic, looking for banned musical scores among the students. And as you can imagine, the stakes probably weren't a trip to the Dean's office for a stern talking to. More like an arrest in the middle of the night and a trip to the gulag (if you were lucky). But even in this environment, Gubaidulina is quoted as saying, "We knew Ives, Cage, we actually knew everything on the sly."

    So to sum it up, she was a total badass! And just knowing that always adds a little more to the music for me.
    Last edited by StevehamNY; May-23-2021 at 23:15.

  18. #3044
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevehamNY View Post

    So to sum it up, she was a total badass! And just knowing that always adds a little more to the music for me.
    Half Russian half Mongol, would say so

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  20. #3045
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    This made for a splendid “challenge listen” for me, as I term my relatively frequent forays into contemporary music. I like to view it this way so I see it as an effort to expand my horizons and encounter exciting new idioms - and that’s certainly what this music has done. Indeed, as SP says, there are many similarities to the Lutoslawski quartet (which isn’t up my alley though I like a lot of his other music) in that it seems to patiently generate all of its material from those initial sustained monotones as if from an expanding prism of light. Like much contemporary music, the process is deconstructionist in the sense that the emphasis is not necessarily on the melodies, textures, harmonies capable of being produced by the four instruments in concert but the array of sounds that they can be individually splintered into; quite rarely do they all play together. The biggest barrier to my fully appreciating it is a sense of abruptness and choppiness that generates some memorable moments but a lot of dead space and repetitive sections in which my interest fades, rather than, say, the luxurious unbroken Wagnerianism of Berg’s Lyric Suite or the shifting dreamscapes of Dutilleux and Takemitsu. And I can’t say I’m a fan of the aleatoric and “performance art” elements (as seen in the video above), which always have the effect of gimmicks to me. I’ll be listening to her other three quartets throughout the week. But if you’re not a fan of this, I’d recommend Gubaidulina’s violin concerti Offertorium and In Tempus Praesens, which I find much more accessible; they are filled with a mesmeric passion that sounds more distinctive rather than the “generalized serialism” that I hear in this quartet.

    I’m not sure if it’s worth discussing Gubaidulina’s lofty artistic philosophy and if/how it may be heard in this quartet, but here’s what AllMusic has to say about it:

    Her music is unabashedly re-ligious: it finds and binds the fissures which mark human solitude, with a brazen honesty rare in music even today. As she described herself, "I am a religious person... and by 'religion' I mean re-ligio, the re-tying of a bond... restoring the legato of life. Life divides man into many pieces. There is no weightier occupation than the recomposition of spiritual integrity through the composition of music.”

    In many ways, the cross is the most potent symbol in Gubaidulina's work; it is the consummate node of intersection, the site of re-tying both as a mark of salvation and the greatest suffering. So many of her works contain cross imagery, often through elaborate, predestined meeting-and-diverging points for distinct-sounding bodies or musical concepts...What is perhaps most astonishing about Gubaidulina's music is how, amidst such formally rigorous edifices (the cross, the mass-sequence, the Fibonacci sequence), a voice of such supple, passionate directness arises. Gubaidulina's work, even while unfolding an apocalyptic itinerary, often sounds breathed out in the moment, systolic and organic; filaments or melody float, buffet, and fall, even as a musical cataclysm ferments. This tight religious knot of opposites may well account for Gubaidulina's success in the West in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

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

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