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Thread: The Monthly Explorer

  1. #61
    Senior Member thejewk's Avatar
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    I'm still here, just been a bit delayed due to health.

    Pepperland - Very pleasant, but didn't make a lasting impression on me. I enjoy it while it is on, and have no desire to listen to it again. I am sure it would work well in the context of the film, but even though I spent a good chunk of my childhood obsessively listening to the Beatles (and I still listen to the with decent regularity) I've managed to not see any of their films for some reason. Maybe I should.

    Nocturnal After John Dowland - I find this piece a real struggle. I have tried many times to keep focus on it, but I find myself drifting off in the looser segments and realise that I have missed big chunks of it. I admire the structure, and I think the theme is lovely, while also finding some of the deconstructions of the theme interesting, but as a whole piece taken as one it doesn't hold my attention. I think a part of the problem may be my overall dislike of the sound of a classical guitar, and the friction of the wound lower strings against the hand which is unpleasantly audible in most recordings of the instrument. I will, however, add this to my playlist and spend some more time with it. It feels like the sort of thing where persistence could pay dividends.

    Ruo Chamber Concerto - I enjoyed this one. At times I was reminded of Ligeti's micropolyphony, but rather than clusters of massed instruments, the shifting sound happens between only one or two. I am not sure I appreciate the entire structure of piece just yet, and need to listen to it a lot more, but as a collection of smaller moments I like it a lot already. I will definitely add the composer to my list for further investigation.

    Thanks everyone for the material.

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  3. #62
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Huang Ruo - Chamber Concerto No. 1 "Yueh Fei" (2000)

    Perhaps surprisingly, I had never heard of this composer, although I generally appreciate attempts like this to integrate East Asian sounds into a traditional classical music palette. This chamber concerto is quite an achievement for a composer in his mid twenties: an interesting collection of soundscapes that never became boring for me. Thanks for bringing this composer to my attention!

  4. #63
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperTonic View Post
    Britten - Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar (1963)

    Britten has always been a bit of blind spot for me I'm afraid, which is weird considering that he falls right into the my favorite period of time for classical music (mid-20th century). And I did initially have trouble staying focused on this work when I listed to it the first time through using the Youtube link provided. However I found another recording on Youtube that had the sheet music, and I found that I was able to stay focused better listening with the music. I went back and listened to the Julian Bream recording again and was able to follow along better with that one too.

    I think my favorite variation was the Passacaglia variation with the increasingly complex improvisational sounding sections interspersed with the familiar passacaglia theme that kept it grounded. I also really liked the 3rd variation which had a lot of duple vs triple rhythms, which I can imagine must take a lot of practice for a guitarist to be able to do accurately (the guitarist in the Youtube video with the sheet music struggled a bit with this variation, but Bream's performance was much better).

    I'm glad for the opportunity to have heard this, and it has made me want to try again with Britten, possibly seeking out more Youtube videos with scores/sheet music.
    I love Nocturnal and continue to be disappointed seeking out other Britten for similar quality music

  5. #64
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Reminder - still looking for volunteers:
    Meanwhile, we can start the November challenge with the same set-up:
    The idea is that 4-6 people would nominate one work each of limited runtime (say max 20 minutes), that they like very much, and that they think many people here would not have heard yet. The nominated works should be available on YouTube so everyone can access them. These 4-6 people make a commitment to listen to all nominated works at least once in that month (so max 2 hours), and write a short review, stating at least whether the work was new to them and whether they liked it or not (more than that is welcome).
    Nominations are now open - those taking part in the October challenge can join again. Do not post your selected works - I'll ask for them (PM) once we have our list of nominators.

  6. #65
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    October was fun; I'll join again.

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  8. #66
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Fine, I'll do it again.

    Now I have to come up with a "work each of limited runtime (say max 20 minutes), that they like very much, and that they think many people here would not have heard yet."

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  10. #67
    Senior Member SuperTonic's Avatar
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    Duruflé - Prélude, Recitatif, and Variations for Flute, Viola, and Piano (1928)

    The only Durufle work that I've ever heard before this was the Requiem, which I love. This work was quite different though, much more in the vein of Debussy or Ravel, though I did hear some of the lyricism that I associate with the Requiem in some parts of it. I really enjoyed hearing this piece and I'd like to explore more by this composer.

    I really enjoyed the contrasting moods used throughout the work, but particularly in the introductory section. It starts with a brief intro from the piano alone and then the viola enters with a mournful melody, and then when the flute comes in the character of the piece changes and it becomes more cheerful.

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  12. #68
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Final bump - if there is insufficient interest, we cancel.

  13. #69
    Senior Member SuperTonic's Avatar
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    I'm in for next month as well.

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  15. #70
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I don't know enough "obscure" pieces to be interested in submitting a work again, but I will listen to the nominated works with eagerness and offer my thoughts on them.
    "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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  17. #71
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    I don't know enough "obscure" pieces to be interested in submitting a work again, but I will listen to the nominated works with eagerness and offer my thoughts on them.
    I'll be choosing one that seems "obscure" to ME, one that I find interesting, and appealing as well.

    Or perhaps I'll go with something controversial, like another piece from a film score.

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  19. #72
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    SanAntone, Pianozach, SuperTonic: please submit your choice by PM. I will be the 4th if no-one else volunteers.

  20. #73
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    SanAntone, Pianozach, SuperTonic: please submit your choice by PM. I will be the 4th if no-one else volunteers.
    I will join if there is still a slot

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  22. #74
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    There is, you're in. Please PM me your choice.

  23. #75
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Britten - Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar (1963)

    Sorry, this did nothing for me. I kept waiting for it to burst to life, but it just seemed aimlessly episodic.

    The original link to the Huang Ruo is now dead, but I found another.


    Yueh Fei: Chamber Concerto #1 by Huang Ro

    I liked this. After a slightly unpromising beginning, I was captivated by its space and dynamics. Not sure what it has to do with a medieval Chinese general though...?
    Last edited by Forster; Oct-28-2021 at 21:57.

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