Found myself with some additional listening time to
You reminded me of the opposite, of when I was on a remote assignment in the military and we didn't listen to music for 6 weeks. Not one note.
It was quite an experience to hear music again!
added: Everyone should try it once in their life. It might be why people like Bizet were so stimulated by new music.
Are there any fun, small pieces for young pianists? This might be why he's overlooked.To my mind, Michael Haydn, in many ways, a polar opposite of Luigi Boccherini. If you appreciate the "Germanness" in Mozart (ie. spicy-sounding "vertical harmonies" of chromaticism, and the dominance of the orchestra over the singing in opera), I think you'll also appreciate Haydn. I think anyone wanting to get familiar with his music should at least know these five symphonies by him:
symphony No.18 in C, MH188 (Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Harold Farberman) watch?v=v80s4yjSdQM
symphony No.22 in F, MH284 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=ppTToo8lrMQ
symphony No.27 in B flat, MH358 (Slovak Chamber Orchestra, Bohdan Warchal) watch?v=e8ba5g_jF5M
symphony No.31 in F, MH405 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=GnzHku6aHYE
symphony No.33 in B flat, MH425 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Frank Beermann) watch?v=Wd_tGncMC30
I'm interested in Schubert's intentions in the piano accompaniment in his songs. He wanted something relevant, but not more 'interesting' than what the singer does. He composed so many that the answer is probably different for each, time after time. Was he writing for pianists he knew, perhaps, or maybe nobody else. It's very difficult to be a world-class accompanist.It's very understandable that people struggle with Lieder. They are both intimate and artificial (and therefore it is usually a fallacy that they should be accessible because of brevity and superficial similarity to popular songs).
But I'd almost go so far to say that Lieder are essential to get a real grasp on Austro-German romanticism from Schubert to early modernity (Mahler, Strauss, 2nd viennese school). In one way or another lieder seem to inform almost everything (besides there being a few composers like Loewe and Wolf who wrote almost nothing else). Sure, you can look at instrumental music in the abstract. But there are "songs without words", quotations, allusions, cycles of piano pieces in analogy to song cycles, later lieder included in symphonies or string quartets etc.
Rosen titles one of the first chapters in his book on the Romantics "Mountains and Songcycles". Schuberts two big cycles (and some other single songs) evoke the wanderer through a romantic landscape; so the song and the romantic nature is basically the foundation of the romantic worldview
I think Chopin was the great (thinking) link between the attractiveness of Mozart and Schubert, then on past himself to Brahms, Scriabin, Debussy.I've enjoyed Schumann this week. Twenty-one works listened to and all of a very consistent enjoyment level. Nothing outstanding or worthy of singling-out, yet nothing that grates or falls short for me. Remarkable really. The only work I didn't enjoy was Myrthen, but sense that was the soprano rather than the work itself as I enjoyed Gerhaher's Myrthen pieces.
Chopin on the other hand has disappointed me again. After the first few works, my enjoyment level fell off a cliff. His Cello Sonata and Piano Sonata No. 3 threatened to raise the bar, but not enough to prevent him becoming the lowest-rated composer of any of the fifteen from whom I've listened to more than ten works this year.
Liszt and the rest of the, "Early-Romantics", coming tomorrow, clearing the way for our second opera week starting on 25th.
Maybe they will. When I was a kid I avoided his larger works, preferring to get to know his famous, small melodic works.It's me, not Chopin, that's for sure. I don't warm so easily to solo piano works as I do symphonic, chamber or opera, but whilst I enjoyed or at least appreciated all of the Schumann works listed (I listened down to Chopin's Berceuse), I simply didn't enjoy Chopin's Impromtus, Polonaises, Études, Scherzo No. 2, Fantasie in F Minor, Barcarolle or Piano Concerto No. 1.
Maybe they'll grow on me.
As for Clara and Fanny, I would say that their ideas were less impressive, but their pieces are of course very well-crafted (they had plenty of exposure). So, what I would suspect is that people would have a more difficult time with them and are more apt to get tired of the process of listening to them.I appreciate these perspectives. Particularly that tidbit about Glenn Gould. Makes sense!
I haven't gotten beyond half of the level 3 works. But overall I find I resonate with Chillam's assessment of Schubert and Chopin. Very pleasant works but maybe stuff that won't stick in my brain in the way that JsB or LVB or WAM do (since we're sticking to initials here, haha).
I did love Chopin's Ballade's and Nocturne. But the Waltzes I couldn't get through -- pleasant but not terribly interesting if you aren't ballroom dancing, I guess. Similarly, I couldn't get into Schumann's Kinderszenen and Kreisliriana as much his very good piano concerto.
I'm curious, are we going to be covering the works of Clara S. and Fanny M.? I've been listening to my fair share of classical music/history podcasts and they've had remarkable stories. I wonder if their musical legacy has garnered Chillam-Metacritic/Chill-Tomatoes levels of noteworthiness.
Thanks. I wonder how much time I would have to set aside to get to where you are with Verdi and Wagner. I've told myself, someday I'll do it..I'm enjoying the opera highlights this week! I wish I had the time (and the A/V gear) to watch the Met HD opera versions. This is probably the era and the music I've been most familiar with and am most attracted to.
I'm skipping the Ring as I've been going through my own intensive journey with that in recent months. My first listen through the highlights (beyond the prelude and Liebestod) of Tristan und Isolde makes me want to one day see that opera live even more! And I haven't revisited La Traviata since watching a Met HD stream in 2020. Such a beautiful and powerful opera.
This is an easy week for me. I'm naturally drawn to Wagner's grand fantasy/mythology stories and his epic music. And Verdi is just so masterful. I was fortunate to catch Trovatore and Tannhauser as my first two post-2020 live operas -- though I found Trovatore to a bit too dour to be a top favorite. Not a lot of levity or tonal variation in that story, just lots of anger and violence and revenge. Awesome music, a good story, but not an excellent story, IMO, so I can see why it's a notch below Rigoletto and Traviata. Tannhauser had more pure beauty and more pure lust than Trovatore, so I think it made for a more engaging and dynamic story.
I've long wanted to see all of Verdi's other major works, and the Rigoletto highlights were awesome. Listening to Aida highlights now, which is frustrating because I had tickets to an LA Opera performance of it a month ago, but had to give them up because I was stuck at home with covid! gah! I heard it was a great show. Looking forward to tuning into Otello, and right on theme with the Shakespeare in the Park fest starting up in our local park this July. After seeing Joel Coen's Macbeth last winter, I've been jonesing to see Verdi's Macbeth live, or any/all of his Shakespearean operas.
I find it fascinating that Rheingold is at a higher level than Siegfried and Gotterdammerung. Rheingold and Gotterdammerung, I think, are my two favorite of the cycle. I think Seigfried's first act drags on with too much recap and exposition, but it's great after that. I had always assumed that Walkure and Gotterdammerung were the most celebrated episodes and that Rheingold was the least celebrated, all based on my web explorations on these topics. Anyway, I love them all, and the relative rankings that Chillam has tallied surprised me.
I have revisited bits of Tannhauser recently. After seeing it live last year (with the Venusburg ballet sequence), I listened to that overture several times a day for the subsequent month. Mesmerizing! In recent weeks I've returned to the Grand March Freudig Begrüßen Wir Die Edle Halle because it reminds me of a video game I played in 2020 and is just wonderfully courtly music. Very chivalric, very high fantasy!
Happy listening to all!
Thanks. That's a little different than most music fans. Up front, you have the background to appreciate what's presented.Indeed -- it's easy to return to your favorite pieces of music. I think because of my deep love for and formal education in cinema, the operas of Verdi and Wagner, and maybe Wagner more than most, have been extremely appealing. So it's been very easy for me to set aside the time to get into these works. My immediate understanding of them upon first encountering their operas was that these were the mega blockbusters of their day, and so I am quite drawn to them and their type of musical storytelling. More than anything else I've encountered (theater, literature, etc), opera seems to be the most direct forerunner of the cinematic arts, especially once sync sound became widespread by the early 1930s. Verdi, Wagner, and probably even more so Puccini were clearly influences on the film scores of the 20th century. And it's apparent to me that films like Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, or any number of grand epic cinematic tales are greatly indebted to opera.
Anyway. All to say that I was pre-conditioned by cinema to be very open and interested in the works of Verdi and Wagner. But I have barely scratched the surface, yet!