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  1. Air's Avatar
    Freudian slip?
  2. emiellucifuge's Avatar
    After first hearing this I couldnt believe it was Haydn. So evocative and emotionally powerful in its depiction that it looks ahead to the great romantics. The only thing that gives it away are the rather boring oratoria-chorus-aria structures.
  3. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    I've performed the Walton suite of Henry V! The programme had the embarrassing but highly amusing typo, "Touch her soft lips and parts"! I need to get that film on DVD.
  4. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    I completely agree with your description of this work as being "feel-good". It does start off in Beethoven territory, but as soon as there is light and the creations start to pile up, Handel's influence can be heard.
  5. Sid James's Avatar
    I heard this masterpiece for the first time last week - the Naxos recording. I'll try to go to a live performance of it happening late this month out at Macquarie Uni in norheast Sydney.

    What a magnificent work, indeed! I also like the opening - it just rocks. There are many parts that i like, but I'm just getting familiar with this massive work now. A part that kind of jumped out at me upon first hearing was the aria about the creation of the birds sung by the soprano. I really like the soprano on the Naxos recording - South Korean Sunhae Im - she sounds angelic and gorgeous. As she sings this song, the woodwinds imitate various bird calls. This might sound cliched, but it's the sheer beauty of this work that hits me. Handel might lift us up to more lofty heights, Beethoven might plumb the depths more, but this Haydn oratorio has a very special kind of intimacy and warmth. It's basically a "feel-good" kind of work.

    BTW, I also read that Handel originally wanted to compose an oratorio based on the same material (Genesis and John Milton), but put it aside and never got to it. I'm sure Handel would have done marvels with it as well, but I'm sure glad that Haydn composed this work - it seemed to have bought out the best in him. He was simultaneously looking back to Handel and forward to Beethoven in this work...
    Likes Edward Elgar liked this post
  6. Air's Avatar
    Verdi adored Shakespeare. Besides Otello there's also Hamlet, Macbeth and Falstaff (based on The Merry Wives of Windsor), the last being his ultimate opera and one of the great ones. Another two famous Shakespeare operas are Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Delius's opera A Village Romeo and Juliet is a version of the Romeo and Juliet story too with basic plot elements of family rivalry, love, fate, and death which no doubt was influenced by Shakespeare's play. The section titled "Walk to the Paradise Garden" contains some of his absolute best music.

    One of Sibelius's last great works was the incidental music he wrote to the Tempest, written alongside with Tapiola. Another interesting one is Henry V. The play has had several films based upon it, including Olivier's 1944 propaganda film that features a brilliant score written by William Walton. There is a highly-condensed suite based upon the score, but I still think it is crucial to hear it as a whole in order to truly experience it. There are a lot of intricacies that the condensed version cannot bring out, and it fits Shakespeare's original play much better as a longer work. Walton also wrote film scores for Hamlet and Richard III which I can imagine are equally wonderful.
    Updated May-15-2011 at 03:25 by Air
  7. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    Thanks, I'm listening to Liszt's Hamlet right now. I'm so glad that a great composer has tackled Shakespeare's best work.
  8. emiellucifuge's Avatar
    Some others I know of:

    Belioz - Romeo et Juliette
    Liszt - Hamlet
    Nystroem - Symphony No. 4 'Sinfonia Shakespeariana'
    Dvorak - Otello
    Otto Nicolai - The Merry wives of windsor
    Dag Wiren - the Merchant of Venice
    Sullivan - the Tempest
    Larsson - A Winter's Tale
    Schumann - Julius Caesar
    Cimarosa - Cleopatra
  9. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    There is simply no proof. Also, if it did happen, so what? Stravinsky's music is much more interesting than an affair.
  10. Sid James's Avatar
    From what I've read about this film (I've not seen it), it makes me think about whether it's based on a shred of "fact." Did the affair between these two people actually happen?...
  11. science's Avatar
    I love "Black Angels."

    For a work inspired by it, check out Ryu's "Fall of Baghdad." Love it too.
  12. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    I'll have a listen to 'Voice of the Whale', thanks for bringing it to my attention.
  13. Sid James's Avatar
    I haven't heard Crumb's Black Angels but I have heard his Voice of the Whale in concert at Sydney Conservatorium last year (funnily enough, another ensemble will again be performing it there later this year). This has become by now a classic piece. It is for three musicians - pianist, cellist, flautist who also take turns in playing a bit of percussion. They come on the stage wearing masks, which the program notes said represents dehumanisation or something. The music is quite lyrically haunting in parts (the flautist and cellist imitating whale-song) and dissonant in others (for part of it, the piano is "prepared"). I have Crumb's Songs Drones and Refrains of Death on CD & this is a very full-on work (a bit like how you describe Black Angels). I'll have to listen to it at some point, because I got it a while back and kind of abandoned it after a few listens - it's by no means "easy listening" & the whale piece was actually more approachable, imo...
  14. science's Avatar
    I haven't seen this film, but the most interesting part of most of the movies I watch is the sex. The back story to, say, why Jimbo has to spend his summer in the girls' dormitory is just not important to me.

    /kidding, kidding

    I've been looking forward to seeing this film, but I'm glad you've lowered my expectations. I'd hate to have been disappointed without a fair warning!
  15. science's Avatar
    You couldn't be more right about Joplin.
  16. science's Avatar
    Ok, good. Thanks!
  17. Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
    @ science:

    The quote's from Debussy...
  18. science's Avatar
    I think Rachmaninov said something like "pleasure is the only law."

    Suits me.
  19. Edward Elgar's Avatar
    Bach would have seemed conservative in his day. His public face would have been simple choral pieces, but in his private world, experimentation that would lead to the Second Viennese School.

    I think originality and progressiveness are so highly regarded these days because it seems like a free pass into the canon. Look at the amount of literature on John Cage, it's quite staggering! The battle in my mind is this: when music gets so radical it can be pushed no further, the focus of contemporary music will change, but where to? One option is conservatism.

    I love your anecdote Polednice. The guy was saying, "let's try to look for the radical elements in composers of pleasant-sounding music so they no longer become guilty pleasures and start to mean something more". Here's another mind-battle: which is the more worthy pursuit, to reach for pinnacles of human expression or to simply entertain?
  20. Polednice's Avatar
    I don't want to assume anyone else's views on this, but I find it slightly [i]bemusing[/i] that the academic establishment should deem originality and progressiveness as so important that calling someone musically conservative is basically an insult.

    It reminds me of a conversation I saw on one of the televised BBC Proms last year or the year before. The concert programme was Mendelssohn and Schumann, the pieces being 'typical warhorses' (as the high-brow critics said in a pejorative tone!), and a little debate was prompted by the interviewer of a critic and composer by saying that: "both of these composers were really quite conservative, weren't they?" I was sat staring at the screen in frustration, thinking, "just what is wrong with conservatism!?", and then I heard a, "well, actually..." from the composer being interviewed, and I thought: "Great! This is guy is going to say that a conservative composer can still be a genius, as originality is a modern obsession", but he just piped up about neither Mendelssohn nor Schumann were really that conservative, so we needn't look down on them. :rolleyes:
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