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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #4906
    Senior Member allaroundmusicenthusiast's Avatar
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    Back from holidays, and a very interesting selection to come back to this lovely thread!

  2. #4907
    Senior Member StevehamNY's Avatar
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    By the way, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano's complete set of quartets is available on Spotify, Qobuz, and Apple Music (not on Amazon or Tidal, unsure of any others). And if you want to explore a little further, the second quartet was also recorded by the Brodskys.

  3. #4908
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    I think I'll excerpt some important statements from the booklet program notes, which otherwise appear difficult to find.

    Problem booklet notes by Ana R. Alonso-Minutti
    "The commission to write [the String Quartet No. 4, "Sinfonías"] came from Joan Niles Sears, a devotee of new-music concerts from Ithaca, who was exposed to Lavista's music through a performance by the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. What Niles Sears asked from Lavista was to write a piece that could accompany her soul after her death—and years later, Mrs. Sears's wishes came true, since this piece was performed at her memorial concert at the Barnes Hall of Cornell University in 2010. Lavista's music was a farewell offering to a woman who for decades supported contemporary art.

    The subtitle, Sinfonías, refers to practice of polyphonic singing described in the earliest western music treatises. Lavista takes as a point of departure an example of early polyphony found in the [ninth-century] Scholica Enchiradis ...

    The single movement of Sinfonías is built from distinct sections, some of which present a recollection of passages from previous works, in particular from [Lavista's] Missa ad Consolationis Dominam Nostum, Reflejos de la Noche (String Quartet No. 2), and Cuaderno de viaje. The organum taken from the Scolica Enchiriadis appears twice...Lavista transform the melodic line of the organum by altering the succession of tones and semitones...The texture of Sinfonías is evocative and contemplative. The frequent use use of harmonics, trills, and the alteration between pizzicato, arco, and sul ponticello become a 'sonorous mist' heard from afar, as the initial indication in the score suggests ["Lento, da lontano, come una bruma sonora"]. The inclusion of quotations from previous musical material composed by Lavista makes this quartet a space for personal reflection."

    The following should suffice for a biographical sketch of this excellent composer, who was one of the most important post-war names in Mexico in classical music: http://composers21.com/compdocs/lavistam.htm

    I concur with those who have remarked that his style is difficult to pin down. It's one of the qualities I admire about Mario's music. He always sought for directness of connectivity to the audience and in musical expression, and also musical concision. Most of his music is quite short, in fact. In terms of connectivity and expressiveness, he also never sought nor desired to pretend that the 20th century and post-war avant garde never happened. This was a point I recall that we really agreed on in our conversations: while neither he nor I ever really wrote "avant garde" music, nevertheless we both like[d] quite a lot of it, and borrow[ed] ideas or techniques from the avant garde as often as it seemed necessary. Certainly he (and I) rejected any notion of simply writing harmony in nothing by triads followed by patting ourselves on the back for supposedly writing what audiences want, supposedly "from the heart," despite the very obvious contrivances. He wanted (as I want) music that connected, but also challenged, and certainly remained contemporary, but above all was sincere in its creativity.
    Last edited by Knorf; Yesterday at 03:11. Reason: Edits for happiness

  4. #4909
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    Am I the only one that would like to hear a "Knorf" quartet? Maybe it's posted in another section of the forum, but I would be very interested to hear Knorf's music.

    By the way, I enjoyed the quartet. The biographical info Knorf provided was valuable; it did sound like music to describe or convey a transcendent event. It really had me from the beginning (especially the beginning!), and I enjoyed the different sonorities. I liked the ending, which sounded like all instruments finally reaching for the same note, in perfect peace and unanimity. Of course, I'm probably wrong about that, but it would be fitting considering the occasion the quartet was written for. I know a lot of people believe that if Debussy were alive in the late 20th century, he would sound something like Takemitsu, but I think he would be closer to the aesthetic of this composer: modern, daring music of its time which uses a wide variety of timbre and instrumental effects and still manages to sound like it has a spine and purpose rather than being some vague, hazy gobbledygook.* In other words, there are bones in that fish. I heard a lot of different influences (even folk music), but one clear voice - the voice of the composer. Fascinating.

    *This is not meant as an insult to Takemitsu. I have recordings of some of his music and enjoy them.
    Last edited by SearsPoncho; Yesterday at 02:51.
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

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  6. #4910
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    I think I'll excerpt some important statements from the booklet program notes, which otherwise appear difficult to find.

    Problem booklet notes by Ana R. Alonso-Minutti
    "The commission to write [the String Quartet No. 4, "Sinfonías"] came from Joan Niles Sears, a devotee of new-music concerts from Ithaca, who was exposed to Lavista's music through a performance by the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. What Niles Sears asked from Lavista was to write a piece that could accompany her soul after her death—and years later, Mrs. Sears's wishes came true, since this piece was performed at her memorial concert at the Barnes Hall of Cornell University in 2010. Lavista's music was a farewell offering to a woman who for decades supported contemporary art.

    The subtitle, Sinfonías, refers to practice of polyphonic singing described in the earliest western music treatises. Lavista takes as a point of departure an example of early polyphony found in the [ninth-century] Scholica Enchiradis ...

    The single movement of Sinfonías is built from distinct sections, some of which present a recollection of passages from previous works, in particular from [Lavista's] Missa ad Consolationis Dominam Nostum, Reflejos de la Noche (String Quartet No. 2), and Cuaderno de viaje. The organum taken from the Scolica Enchiriadis appears twice...Lavista transform the melodic line of the organum by altering the succession of tones and semitones...The texture of Sinfonías is evocative and contemplative. The frequent use use of harmonics, trills, and the alteration between pizzicato, arco, and sul ponticello become a 'sonorous mist' heard from afar, as the initial indication in the score suggests ["Lento, da lontano, come una bruma sonora"]. The inclusion of quotations from previous musical material composed by Lavista makes this quartet a space for personal reflection."

    The following should suffice for a biographical sketch of this excellent composer, who was one of the most important post-war names in Mexico in classical music: http://composers21.com/compdocs/lavistam.htm

    I concur with those who have remarked that his style is difficult to pin down. It's one of the qualities I admire about Mario's music. He always sought for directness of connectivity to the audience and in musical expression, and also musical concision. Most of his music is quite short, in fact. In terms of connectivity and expressiveness, he also never sought nor desired to pretend that the 20th century and post-war avant garde never happened. This was a point I recall that we really agreed on in our conversations: while neither he nor I ever really wrote "avant garde" music, nevertheless we both like[d] quite a lot of it, and borrow[ed] ideas or techniques from the avant garde as often as it seemed necessary. Certainly he (and I) rejected any notion of simply writing harmony in nothing by triads followed by patting ourselves on the back for supposedly writing what audiences want, supposedly "from the heart," despite the very obvious contrivances. He wanted (as I want) music that connected, but also challenged, and certainly remained contemporary, but above all was sincere in its creativity.
    This is extremely helpful. I asked myself about the choice of title, as I could not discover anything symphonic or anything close to other "sinfonias" when listening to this wonderful contemplative piece. " Bruma sonora - Sonorous mist " is an apt term but I did not just like the sound but also the progression of speed from the slow-moving "mist" to the more animated part with lots of pizzicato. The return to slowness makes the piece feel almost cyclical although that realization comes only at the very end.

    I also really liked the Responsorio in memoriam to Rodolfo Halffter, which I added to my playlist. What a great combination of instruments!
    Last edited by FastkeinBrahms; Yesterday at 07:00.

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  8. #4911
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    I loved the introductory background information and personal connection that Knorf has with piece and because of that I really did want to find the work to my liking.

    I have now listened through five times and fear I am getting no closer to liking the piece than first listen. I'm sure it is a very decent work when viewed by those who can discern the structure and inner workings of a quartet better than I but I just don't seem to find anything I am connecting with.

    I'm going to give it a break for a couple of days and will return to it later in the week.

  9. #4912
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Im finding this an intriguing listen. Normally it wouldnt really be for me but ive listened a few times through now and nothing has me running, screaming towards the exit but inversely nothing much has hooked me in. I'll give it a few more goes to see if anything sticks.

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