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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #4651
    Senior Member allaroundmusicenthusiast's Avatar
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    Have I been cut out?

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allaroundmusicenthusiast View Post
    Have I been cut out?
    Of course not! An unfortunate mistake, sorry about that
    "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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  4. #4653
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Poor Vicente.

    Lol, I posted the wrong meme for Vicente before. Oh well, we all make mistakes (said the Dalek climbing off the dustbin). Here's the proper one.....

    pick.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Dec-04-2021 at 21:55.

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  6. #4654
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    Am I confused or is this a joke? The Cage was allaroundmusicenthusiast's turn, wasn't it?

  7. #4655
    Senior Member allaroundmusicenthusiast's Avatar
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    No! I was just saying that in ACB's original list for the next round I didn't show up at the bottom.

  8. #4656
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    For next week my proposal is Arenski First String Quartet.
    Hope you enjoy it.

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  10. #4657
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
    For next week my proposal is Arenski First String Quartet.
    Hope you enjoy it.
    Am I right in thinking there's only 2 recordings of this, Vicente (Ying and Lajtha)?

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  12. #4658
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Am I right in thinking there's only 2 recordings of this, Vicente (Ying and Lajtha)?
    Yes, you are right.

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  14. #4659
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Nice pick, Vicente. We had Arensky's excellent 2nd quartet a bit ago. This one is also impressive on first listen and I particularly like the Variations on a Russian Theme finale. I'll give this some welly over the week to see if it impresses even further but its all positive up to now. Interesting quartet. Thanks V. At least my blog review will be simple. Lol
    Last edited by Merl; Yesterday at 20:50.

  15. #4660
    Junior Member Snowbrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    I happen to think Volkov’s portrait was accurate even if some of the details were sketchy. Hard to believe Dsch lived through the Great Terror as close as he was to it, without it having an impact on the work

    He 8th SQ is not just a piece of absolute music that can be listened to like Bach
    Been reading through last year's discussion around DSCH's 8th quartet and wanted to jump in here (if anyone is still following/interested)...

    It's curious to me that many of the opinions posted about composers and their works here seem to lack much background knowledge of the composer and the times s/he lived in. In the case of DSCH, there's no way you can understand his music without reading a number of books about his life and times. The 8th quartet is absolutely autobiographical, a snapshot of a tortured soul living under extreme social and political tyranny. Unless you understand the conditions in which a composer has lived and created his art, you can't say you truly understand what the composer is saying. I didn't say "you can't like or not like" the work of art, but understanding only comes with knowledge, and if you just listen to Shostakovich (DSCH) without learning about his life, you won't understand what his music is saying, why in his case so much of his music has such a tragic-satiric feeling.

    DSCH is a controversial figure because of how he was for so long misunderstood in the West as being a "good communist" when in fact, he was a secret anti-communist dissident broadcasting his rage against the Soviet machine through his many genius works. There's a huge literature on just how to interpret who he was, what he wrote, the meaning of his works, etc., but over the past few decades since Solomon Volkov's book Testimony was published, the tussle over who this man was in reality is clear - he's the kind of person painted in Volkov's book. Three other books worth reading are:

    Elizabeth Wilson's Shostakovich, A Life Remembered - interviews with people who knew DSCH
    Ian MacDonald's, The New Shostakovich - excellent follow up to the portrait of DSCH given in Volkov's book
    Ho and Feofanov's, Shostakovich Reconsidered - summary of research on DSCH's life and times which support Volkov

    READ PEOPLE READ!

  16. #4661
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Snowbrain, whilst I totally understand where you're coming from (and I wish I had the time to attain your knowledge of Shostie's quartets) this particular thread was started by Vicente regarding listening to recordings initially. Obviously, as it has evolved, people who have a keen interest in a particular Weekly quartet or composer have expanded these discussions with additional background on meaning and life details, etc and this has been really useful and interesting too but at the end of the day it comes down to your emotional response to the music. Is it necessary to know that composer x wrote this whilst he was recovering from brain surgery or interned in a POW camp? I agree with you, yes it's useful and often fascinating, but we only have a week to listen and take in as much as possible. Obviously you have a deep knowledge of Shostakovich and your input would be invaluable in weeks when we do have a Shostakovich quartet (we can't be far away from another one being nominated, can we?). This is Vicente's opening comments when the thread started, btw.... .
    This activity idea is to deepen in the knowledge of a particular opus during a whole week.

    My personal experience is that when I listen a composition several times, my enjoyment experience grows. During every listening experience I take into account new details, begin to “learn” melodies or themes, how they repeat during the opus development, what effect do they produce in my emotions. That sort of things.

    We can listen two or three different versions of the same composition and look for the different approach, what’s your perspective of the different interpretations?

    Those sorts of things cannot be attained the first time you listen, that’s why I proposed the activity.
    This has been a hugely successful thread on TC and it continues to evolve. I hope that you can share your knowledge and expertise with us as the thread continues to gather steam.
    Last edited by Merl; Yesterday at 22:47.

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  18. #4662
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    I am going to jump in real quick. I think when it comes to listening to pure music which doesn't have a programme, any assumption about what it is meant to convey is extremely ambiguous. That is the case even when it comes to genres like opera - I doubt anyone could figure out the actual meaning behind Wagner's Lohengrin without having read what Wagner himself wrote about it (it's really not obvious at all). I think that the whole background system and cultural atmosphere is extremely fascinating and helps to understand the score and the piece but I am hesitant to say that it should play any role when it comes to assessing interpretations as such. Insofar I agree with Merl that focusing on potential meanings of such music while trying to assess recordings might get one to rather interesting results because all of us have very different understandings of what the work in that case is supposed to communicate. If we listened like that, I might end up dismissing stellar recordings just because, according to my interpretation, a specific passage should sound gloomier or happier than it does.

    However, I am always fascinated to hear about the background of composers when people are willing to share (I could talk ad nauseam about Wagner but that is kind of off-topic in this thread). In fact, I just recently heard a concert of one of Gubaidulina's orchestral works and it was very nice to have some background knowledge about her that I gained when we were listening to her string quartet here - I felt so smart .
    Last edited by annaw; Today at 00:30.

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