Page 273 of 293 FirstFirst ... 173223263269270271272273274275276277283 ... LastLast
Results 4,081 to 4,095 of 4385

Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #4081
    Senior Member Carmina Banana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    There are a lot of labels that can be applied to styles and techniques of twentieth century music, but I like “user friendly” and “advanced users only.”
    This quartet could probably be played on a faculty recital with three or four good rehearsals and maybe a run through in the hall. It doesn’t require a grant so that players can retreat for three months and figure out how to play it. It is user friendly.

    As a listener, I am not opposed to some good post-modern deconstructions, but it feels good to have the baby and the bathwater all in one place.

    I have seen people comment on the various influences in the piece, but what I am hearing is not so much the aggressive world of Shostakovich and Bartok as the exotic and perfumed island of Debussy.
    It could be the long list of film scores that I am looking at on the wikipedia page, but I hear a cinematic quality to this piece. It is a series of beautifully evocative scenes. The transitions are masterful. But I don’t think there is an attempt to pit themes against each other or synthesize them into a transformative experience like many of the “great” classical chamber music composers.

    After a couple listens, my big take away is that Alwyn could crank out some gorgeous tunes! I think the opening sets us up to think this is going to be a taut rhythmic experience but it quickly gives way to a languid, lyrical tune fest. If I were into such things, it would be good music to accompany a long bubble bath complete with wine and scented candles. But of course I would never do that.

  2. Likes starthrower, Allegro Con Brio, Malx and 1 others liked this post
  3. #4082
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    14,270
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default



    This week's selection is quartet No.3 by Arthur Honegger (1892-1955). It's one of just three works for string quartet that he completed during his lifetime. The first was an early work composed in 1917 with the next two written in quick succession in the mid 1930s. The 3rd quartet completed in the spring of 1937 was commissioned by and dedicated to the well known early 20th century patron of the arts, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.

    No.3 clocks in at under 20 minutes and as far as I know there are only a couple of modern recordings by the Erato Quartet, and the Quatuor Ludwig. Both can be found on YouTube, and the excellent 4 CD set, Honegger: La Musique de Chambre on the Timpani label containing the Ludwig performances is available on Spotify, and Qobuz. I became rather obsessed with the Ludwig recordings of Nos.2 & 3 but ultimately decided on the latter due to the beautiful adagio movement. But I feel like both quartets are pretty strong and contain excellent outer movements as well. It's pretty serious music in line with Honegger's temperament and philosophy about music. He was quoted in a 1920 interview as stating: "I have no cult of the fair, nor the music hall, on the contrary, of chamber music and symphonic music in all that is most severe and most austere."

    For those listeners not very familiar with Honegger's life and work I've provided this excellent video presentation by composer and music historian, Thomas Little. Although it doesn't touch on the string quartets specifically, I found it to be quite informative and illuminating.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVqS...=ClassicalNerd



    2nd movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L52J...sArtists-Topic
    3rd movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izWJ...sArtists-Topic
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

  4. Likes Allegro Con Brio, Malx, sbmonty and 3 others liked this post
  5. #4083
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,307
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Honegger is a fantastic composer! His 3rd symphony is one of my favorite orchestral works of the century, and the other 4 are also superb. I also enjoy his cello concerto (which I believe I discovered thanks to starthrower) and choral works, but haven't heard any of his chamber music. I love his eclectic blending of jazz influence, modernism, Stravinskian energy, and French elegance.
    "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. Likes starthrower liked this post
  7. #4084
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    14,270
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I failed to find much in the way of analysis online concerning these quartets but here are a couple links with some brief remarks. The first is a review of the Quatuor Ludwig CD. http://www.musicweb-international.co...r_quartets.htm

    And this page contains some remarks concerning the 1st & 3rd quartets.
    https://sqblog.jhredguitar.com/uncat...ith-modernity/

    The most informative notes are in the liners of the Timpani CD of which I obtained a used CD copy earlier this week. Unfortunately they are not available online as far as I know.
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

  8. Likes HenryPenfold liked this post
  9. #4085
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Having listened to the Alwyn a fair bit over the last few days I thought I'd give my final thoughts before I move on to next week's Honegger third.

    Alwyn's third is a composition that I've known for some time but hadn't listened to it in quite a while, so it was nice to be re-familiarised. My view of this work seems to be at odds with the unconscious consensus. I believe it to be a work of enormous merit containing wonderfully refined music that never sounds sentimental even though it was written at the end of a long compositional career and almost at the end of Alwyn's life - and is undeniably his Swansong.

    Whilst in overall terms it might be described as a conservative work, it is written very much in a modern style. Two movements, that in different ways, constantly shift between starkly different tempos and alternating moods seamlessly, without ever undermining the coherent structure of the work. In my mind it's a masterpiece of modern (1980s) tonal string quartet writing. I also feel that the general framework and development renders it a strong candidate to be orchestrated. Just a personal view.

    I do hope to avoid invidiousness, but I feel some posts on this work have done a disservice to the piece; not to Alwyn or his admirers, but to potential listeners who could be put off. I think some posters prematurely wrote the quartet off.

    Anyway, thank you to BlackAdderLXX for an excellent choice and the opportunity to enjoy a work that had drifted away from me.
    Last edited by HenryPenfold; Sep-12-2021 at 18:03.

  10. Likes Enthusiast, Malx, starthrower and 1 others liked this post
  11. #4086
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,600
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Another quartet that is new to me - this afternoon I have given a first listen to the Ludwig Quartet's recording on Qobuz and will return to it throughout the week.
    Looking forward to this one.

  12. Likes Enthusiast liked this post
  13. #4087
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    6,264
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    74

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    Another quartet that is new to me - this afternoon I have given a first listen to the Ludwig Quartet's recording on Qobuz and will return to it throughout the week.
    Looking forward to this one.
    Same here. I'll listen in the next few days. I'm knackered having just done 650 miles of driving, a gig and a late night drinking session in just 2 days.

    PS. I found a few other recordings

    Nikolov Quartet


    Taneyev Quartet


    Edit: just listened to the Ludwig via Spotify and enjoyed it.
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-12-2021 at 21:10.

  14. Likes starthrower, HenryPenfold, Malx and 1 others liked this post
  15. #4088
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    6,264
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    74

    Default

    Apologies for the double post (there was a day between them, honest). Honegger's 3rd quartet reminds me a little of Ives 2nd. I particularly like the walking cello line in the 3rd movement as I'm a sucker for walking bass lines in most types of music. I'd call Honegger's 3rd quartet 'measured atonality' (you may agree or not) and have warmed to it with subsequent listens. I've still only listened to the Ludwig recording but do intend to have a go at all the available accounts. An interesting pick, ST.
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-13-2021 at 20:06.

  16. #4089
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Currently listening to this performance.

    I don't have any recordings in my collection, so it's streaming (Qobuz, my provider, doesn't have it) or YouTube.




  17. Likes starthrower, StevehamNY, Malx liked this post
  18. #4090
    Senior Member StevehamNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Apologies for the double post (there was a day between them, honest). Honegger's 3rd quartet reminds me a little of Ives 2nd. I particularly like the walking cello line in the 3rd movement as I'm a sucker for walking bass lines in most types of music. I'd call Honegger's 3rd quartet 'measured atonality' (you may agree or not) and have warmed to it with subsequent listens. I've still only listened to the Ludwig recording but do intend to have a go at all the available accounts. An interesting pick, ST.
    Back after a few days away! Amazing how different city life is, compared to life in the woods with the bears and coyotes. The highlight: a $100 ticket for parking on the wrong side during street-sweeping day. (No, it was not marked anywhere, and yes, I am fighting the ticket!)

    Anyway, I'm going to agree with Merl on the "measured atonality" for this piece. And I'll just add that I REALLY like this piece a lot! It's challenging and yet I still hear a coherent sense of drama, for lack of a better word. Thank you, ST, for choosing it!

  19. Likes starthrower liked this post
  20. #4091
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,600
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryPenfold View Post
    Currently listening to this performance.

    I don't have any recordings in my collection, so it's streaming (Qobuz, my provider, doesn't have it) or YouTube.




    Henry, a search for Arthur Honegger musique de chambre integrale on Qobuz should get you to the Ludwig Quartet, which is on CD4.

    Hope this helps.

  21. #4092
    Senior Member Carmina Banana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm so glad we are doing this quartet because Honegger was on my list of "I should really look into more of his music sometime." I don't think I would have enjoyed the piece a lot when I was younger, but right now, it hits the spot. It is a great balance of brainy and slightly detached on the outside with the sensual but still not overly personal in the middle. The second movement is one of the most beautiful things I have heard in a long time.
    The first movement seems to develop into dissonance and become almost obsessed with it. Harmonically, it might have links to Bartok, but is unlike it in other ways. I would not say it is like Hindemith, who seems almost apologetic about dissonance.
    This whole milieu is very interesting to me. These French early to mid 20th century composers are up to something but I can never put my finger on it.
    As for "measured atonality," I don't have anything better right now, but I think there are too many tonal elements overall to qualify for true atonal status. The second movement in particular is full of harmonies that I think we could call either extended jazz-like chords or possibly bitonal. But there are large chunks that do sound atonal.

  22. Likes starthrower, Malx liked this post
  23. #4093
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    14,270
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm not sure why Honegger got lumped in with Les Six, other than his time and place in history? He didn't really fit in and he didn't like Satie which the others admired. His heroes were from the German classical tradition. Mainly Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner. He rejected serialism but pushed the boundaries of tonality. This quartet is packed with plenty of imagination and inventiveness and I'm hearing new musical bits and threads with each listen. Counter melodies, variations and solid development. I wish I new more about music composition and theory but I can only go by ear and keep listening.
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

  24. Likes Merl, HenryPenfold, Malx liked this post
  25. #4094
    Senior Member Carmina Banana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I'm not sure why Honegger got lumped in with Les Six, other than his time and place in history? He didn't really fit in and he didn't like Satie which the others admired. His heroes were from the German classical tradition. Mainly Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner. He rejected serialism but pushed the boundaries of tonality. This quartet is packed with plenty of imagination and inventiveness and I'm hearing new musical bits and threads with each listen. Counter melodies, variations and solid development. I wish I new more about music composition and theory but I can only go by ear and keep listening.
    I am reading an article right now about Les Six and yes, it sounds like Honegger had very different ideas than other members. Like "The Five," the group had a mission to produce a new music that represented their country, but it was very loose and didn't restrict composers. Milhaud, for instance had his own thing going.
    Having said that, I am hearing a French quality to this quartet, especially the slow movement. It isn't light-hearted like Ibert or tongue-in-cheek like Satie and the like, but doesn't seem deadly serious either.

  26. Likes starthrower liked this post
  27. #4095
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    14,270
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default



    This is the introduction to a seven part series in progress. I included the link for the Honegger episode in my first post. It's a half hour and it's packed with a ton of info and history about his life and music.
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

  28. Likes Carmina Banana, StevehamNY liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •