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Discussion Starter · #801 ·
I might have to give the 1812 another shot at some point in the future (any recommended recordings?). But man, that Violin Concerto is wild! Really enjoying the Johan Dalene recording you recommended. Truly one of the best things I've heard. And I loved Symphony 6 and the Piano Concerto 1. Revisiting some faves from Eugene Onegin now just cuz I love love love that opera to bits. Can't wait to get to Symphonies 4 & 5.

I can see how Tchaikovsky reaches up to the tier of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. I wouldn't quite put him in that group (in my extremely limited knowledge). But of the post-Beethoven composers we've covered, he's certainly some of the best I've heard! My not-too-shortlist of Romantic-era faves now includes Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi, Mendelssohn, and Rossini if he counts. (My opera/theater/ballet bias is still very clear!)

I'm also pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed Grieg's work. The lovely piano concerto convinced me to pulls some excerpts from Peer Gynt and they were well worth it. Not a dud in those highlights! Looking forward to finishing the week with the Holberg Suite as a dessert to the Tchaikovsky symphonies!



Fun week indeed!
I've tried several in an attempt to rediscover whichever version my mother played over, and over, and over again when I was a kid. No luck with that but I find Pappano very listenable. He has quite a light touch.


Tchaikovsky: Festival Overture in E-flat major - Ouverture Solennelle - "1812 Overture"
Antonio Pappano, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

My planned listening all done for the week, so I'm revisiting "Pathétique" today.


Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"
Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

From an enjoyment perspective, Tchaikovsky has outscored all other composers whom I've listened to more than 25 pieces. That said, I've listened to three times as many works by Beethoven and Mozart, and twice as many by Haydn, Bach, Brahms and Schubert. More likely for those additional works to be rated slightly lower, so it's a false perspective.

Grieg has been a pleasant experience too, especially the string quartet which IMHO should be recommended much more highly.


Grieg: String Quartet in G Minor
Emerson String Quartet

Stand by your bunks, next weeks listing likely coming at you later today. Our son's graduation is tomorrow (ten-years in the army, then back to university and is now graduating with a First-class Honours degree), and we're visiting friends in London over the weekend so will probably post-up the list this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #802 ·
It's fair to say that one of the sources I used has a particular soft spot for Dvořák, resulting in many works being recommended. I think the system is robust enough to manage whatever bias that creates, so here we go, a week of composers born 1844-49 plus Dvořák.

Level 1
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 9 "New World"

Level 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Cello Concerto in B minor

Level 3
Fauré, Gabriel: Requiem
Dvořák, Antonín: String Quartet No. 12 Op. 96 “American” esp. iv. Vivace
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 8
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 7
Dvořák, Antonín: Slavonic Dances

Level 4
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Trio No. 4 "Dumky"
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Quintet No. 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Serenade for Strings in E major esp. iii. Scherzo. Vivace
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 6
Fauré, Gabriel: La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61 esp. "La lune blanche nuit dans les bois"
Fauré, Gabriel: Pelléas et Mélisande Suite
Fauré, Gabriel: Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 13 esp. i. Allegro molto

Level 5
Fauré, Gabriel: Pavane
Dvořák, Antonín: Violin Concerto in A Minor
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 5
Dvořák, Antonín: Rusalka (Opera) esp. Song To The Moon
Dvořák, Antonín: String Quintet No. 3 Op. 97 "American"
Dvořák, Antonín: Stabat Mater
Dvořák, Antonín: Requiem
Fauré, Gabriel: Piano Quartet No. 2
Fauré, Gabriel: Nocturnes No. 13
Dvořák, Antonín: String Quartet No. 13
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Trio No. 3
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 3

Level 6
Fauré, Gabriel: Piano Quartet No. 1
Fauré, Gabriel: Piano Quintet No. 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Concerto in G Minor
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Quartet No. 2 esp. II Lento
Dvořák, Antonín: The Wild Dove
Dvořák, Antonín: Serenade for Wind Instruments in D minor Op. 44
Fauré, Gabriel: Dolly Lullaby (Berceuse)
Fauré, Gabriel: Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11
Duparc, Henri: Chanson Triste
Fauré, Gabriel: Masques et Bergamasques
Dvořák, Antonín: From the Bohemian Forest No. 5 "Silent Woods"
Dvořák, Antonín: Nature, Life and Love: In Nature's Realm, Carnival, Othello
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphonic Variations
Dvořák, Antonín: 4 Romantic Pieces Op. 75 esp. i. Allegro Moderato
Fauré, Gabriel: Trois Melodies Op. 7 Après un Rêve
Dvořák, Antonín: String Quartet No. 14
Dvořák, Antonín: Romance for Violin and Orchestra Op. 11
Dvořák, Antonín: Vodník (The Water Goblin)
Dvořák, Antonín: The Golden Spinning Wheel
Dvořák, Antonín: Scherzo Capriccioso
Fauré, Gabriel: Violin Sonata No. 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Gypsy Songs Op. 55 esp. Songs My Mother Taught Me
Fauré, Gabriel: L'Horizon Chimérique
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 4
Parry, Hubert: Jerusalem

Level 7
Fauré, Gabriel: Elegie Op. 24
Fauré, Gabriel: La Chanson d'Eve
Fauré, Gabriel: Piano Trio
Fauré, Gabriel: String Quartet in E Minor
Fauré, Gabriel: Barcarolles Op. 41
Dvořák, Antonín: Polednice (The Noon Witch)
Dvořák, Antonín: Czech Suite
Fauré, Gabriel: Balade in F-sharp Major Op. 19
Dvořák, Antonín: My Home
Fauré, Gabriel: Cello Sonata No. 2
Fauré, Gabriel: Cello Sonata No. 1
Holmès, Augusta: Irlande
Dvořák, Antonín: Theme and Variations Op. 36
Parry, Hubert: Blest Pair of Sirens

Honourable mentions:
Gonzaga, Francisca Edwiges Neves "Chiquinha": Ô Abre Alas & O Gaúcho (Corta-Jaca)
Tosti, Francesco Paolo: Pour un Baiser!
 

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I've tried several in an attempt to rediscover whichever version my mother played over, and over, and over again when I was a kid. No luck with that but I find Pappano very listenable. He has quite a light touch.


Tchaikovsky: Festival Overture in E-flat major - Ouverture Solennelle - "1812 Overture"
Antonio Pappano, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Back when I was a kid, my mother had one of the two Antal Dorati versions of 1812. It had a drawing of a cannon, in yellow, on the cover.

The two versions were similar, and recorded not too many years apart. The main difference is that the original was in mono, (1956, I think), and the later version (1958?) was a stereo recording. Later on he recorded it yet again.

They both had 1812 on the A-side, with a "commentary" by Deems Taylor, which described the whole "Living Presence" recording technique, and how they found the best way to record the church bells and cannons. Capriccio Italien was the B-Side. I think the 1958 recording also inexplicably added Wellington's Victory.

 

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Discussion Starter · #804 ·
Back when I was a kid, my mother had one of the two Antal Dorati versions of 1812. It had a drawing of a cannon, in yellow, on the cover.

The two versions were similar, and recorded not too many years apart. The main difference is that the original was in mono, (1956, I think), and the later version (1958?) was a stereo recording. Later on he recorded it yet again.

They both had 1812 on the A-side, with a "commentary" by Deems Taylor, which described the whole "Living Presence" recording technique, and how they found the best way to record the church bells and cannons. Capriccio Italien was the B-Side. I think the 1958 recording also inexplicably added Wellington's Victory.

I've listened to Dorati and have ruled him out. If I was a gambling man, I'd lay money it was Kenneth Alwyn with the LSO, a 1958 stereo recording. I can't find any more than a snippet without buying the whole album. I'll find it one day.
 

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I've enjoyed a Kubelik/Berlin Phil Symphony No. 9 in the past. But whenever a work I like/love comes up in this journey, I like to take the opportunity to find a new recording to hear. And my Apple Music search greeted me with a new release (tomorrow!) of Symphonies 7-9 by Dudamel / LA Phil! My former local band! Excited to pick that up.



And excited to hear a Rostropovich recording of the Cello Concerto (a new-to-me piece of music). The only other Dvorak I've listened to is the Violin Concerto in A Minor (recording by Mutter/Honeck/Berlin Phil). That was a rousing and amazing piece of music -- I expected it to be a level 1, purely based on my love for it! Surprised to see it all the way down in level 5!

 

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Discussion Starter · #806 ·
I've enjoyed a Kubelik/Berlin Phil Symphony No. 9 in the past. But whenever a work I like/love comes up in this journey, I like to take the opportunity to find a new recording to hear. And my Apple Music search greeted me with a new release (tomorrow!) of Symphonies 7-9 by Dudamel / LA Phil! My former local band! Excited to pick that up.



And excited to hear a Rostropovich recording of the Cello Concerto (a new-to-me piece of music). The only other Dvorak I've listened to is the Violin Concerto in A Minor (recording by Mutter/Honeck/Berlin Phil). That was a rousing and amazing piece of music -- I expected it to be a level 1, purely based on my love for it! Surprised to see it all the way down in level 5!

Like you, I'm trying a, "New-to-me", recording of Dvořák's New World symphony. I'll then try to squeeze in some other listening around weekend commitments.


Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "New World"
Andris Nelsons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra


Dvořák: Cello Concerto
Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker, Mstislav Rostropovich


Fauré: Requiem
Philippe Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent, La Chapelle Royale


Dvořák: String Quartet No. 12 "American"
Pavel Haas Quartet

I've only listened once to Dvořák's Violin Concerto and don't recall it, so looking forward to reacquainting myself with that.


Dvořák: Violin Concerto
John Storgårds, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Christian Tetzlaff
 

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Listen to the opening of Karajan’s Berlin Dvorak 9 - he turns it into a tone poem of Nazies in jackboots invading Prague.

There’s a big debate about tempo in the cello concerto. A very early recording by Feuermann plays it much faster than has become the common practice. Some people say the Feuermann approach is better poetry, and more authentic.

The Fauré requiem is sweet and must be heard. The same for his second violin sonata and I would say, the later nocturnes - see if you can find Eric Heidsieck as he seems to have a knack for this elusive music.

Duparc is outstanding, IMO the greatest of the French songwriters in the old style. There’s not much of his music left because he burnt it in a moment of frustration and disappointment - all of what’s left is well worth exploring.
 

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I've listened to Dorati and have ruled him out. If I was a gambling man, I'd lay money it was Kenneth Alwyn with the LSO, a 1958 stereo recording. I can't find any more than a snippet without buying the whole album. I'll find it one day.
i think most of us have good memories re tchaikovsky; I am addicted to the string serenade i heard at school as a six-year old; this composer might not be a genius like beethoven but then you cannot stop listening to the violin cto (one of the best), several symphonies (1, 4, 5, 6), beautiful chamber music, the first piano cto, swan lake, onegin etc...; dvorak is a different case for me as i cannot listen to some of his works anymore (9th symphony, cello concerto) and the reason is we have been over-exposed to these works, so i'll keep the 7 and 8th symphonies, the string quartets, rusalka and his sacred music; regarding the versions of these works i do not listen to old versions any more as we have fabulous conductors and performers who understand the music much better than their elders because of the benefit of hindsight; i like karajan in this repertoire, but then we have conductors like belohlavek (dvorak), nelsons, pappano, honeck who have great insights and great orchestras.
 

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i think most of us have good memories re tchaikovsky; I am addicted to the string serenade i heard at school as a six-year old; this composer might not be a genius like beethoven but then you cannot stop listening to the violin cto (one of the best), several symphonies (1, 4, 5, 6), beautiful chamber music, the first piano cto, swan lake, onegin etc...; dvorak is a different case for me as i cannot listen to some of his works anymore (9th symphony, cello concerto) and the reason is we have been over-exposed to these works, so i'll keep the 7 and 8th symphonies, the string quartets, rusalka and his sacred music; regarding the versions of these works i do not listen to old versions any more as we have fabulous conductors and performers who understand the music much better than their elders because of the benefit of hindsight; i like karajan in this repertoire, but then we have conductors like belohlavek (dvorak), nelsons, pappano, honeck who have great insights and great orchestras.
I don’t agree that newer conductors understand the music better than newer conductors. Especially when conductors new the composer of which they conduct the music. A good example is Bruno Walter who knew Gustav Mahler and played I believe the violin(?) for Johannes Brahms. They grew up with the tradition, who better to understand the music than them? I agree with you if we would be talking about older classical music, like baroque and classical periods. However from the later half of the 19th century and onwards I like older conductors better
 

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It's fair to say that one of the sources I used has a particular soft spot for Dvořák, resulting in many works being recommended. I think the system is robust enough to manage whatever bias that creates, so here we go, a week of composers born 1844-49 plus Dvořák.

Level 1
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 9 "New World"

Level 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Cello Concerto in B minor

Level 3
Fauré, Gabriel: Requiem
Dvořák, Antonín: String Quartet No. 12 Op. 96 “American” esp. iv. Vivace
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 8
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 7
Dvořák, Antonín: Slavonic Dances

Level 4
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Trio No. 4 "Dumky"
Dvořák, Antonín: Piano Quintet No. 2
Dvořák, Antonín: Serenade for Strings in E major esp. iii. Scherzo. Vivace
Dvořák, Antonín: Symphony No. 6
Naturally, one would expect Dvořák's New World Symphony (No. 9) to be at the top of the Dvořák heap.

But I'd have thought that the Slavonic Dances would be rated higher than "Level 3", and Rusalka would be rated higher than "Level 5". Along with the Cello Concerto and the American Quartet, these are absolutely essential Dvořák listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #813 · (Edited)
A delightful week with Dvořák and Fauré. I loved Dvořák's symphonies 8 and 9, both the cello and violin concertos, SQ12 "American, and Rusalka. For me, in terms of listening pleasure, he's has slotted-in to a group of composers (Haydn, Handel and Brahms), just behind Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mozart. Fauré has settled in with Berlioz and Saint-Saëns, which would suggest that my appreciation of French composers seems to be quite consistent.

As a consequence of my personal schedule and commitments, I've been posting-up the listing a day early each week for the past couple of weeks. I'm going to continue with that as I've completed my planned listening for this week, and in two weeks time we have a mega-week! Not in terms of the overall volume of works, but in terms of the quality, and consequent high-volume of highly recommended works. Stay with your personal schedule as you wish, but the option is here if you want to clear a little more space for that week.

Up next then, composers born 1850-1859, with Elgar and Janáček leading the way. I've struggled with Elgar up to now. We'll see if I can get on board with his schtick this week. From memory, my only exposure to Janáček has been Sinfonietta, SQ No. 2, and Jenůfa at Glyndebourne a few years back, all of which I've found to be outstanding.

Level 1
Elgar, Edward: Enigma Variations esp. No. 9 "Nimrod"

Level 2
Elgar, Edward: Cello Concerto in E minor

Level 3
Elgar, Edward: Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5 esp. March No. 1 "Revolutionary Etude"
Janáček, Leoš: Sinfonietta
Elgar, Edward: Symphony No. 1
Elgar, Edward: Violin Concerto
Elgar, Edward: Symphony No. 2 esp. II. Larghetto-Nobilmente esemplice-Lento
Elgar, Edward: The Dream of Gerontius

Level 4
Janáček, Leoš: Glagolitic Mass
Janáček, Leoš: The Cunning Little Vixen
Ysaÿe, Eugène: Sonatas (6) for Solo Violin in A minor esp. No. 2 i. "Obsession" Prelude, No. 3 "Ballade"
Janáček, Leoš: Jenůfa
Sousa, John Philip: Stars and Stripes Forever

Level 5
Janáček, Leoš: String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"
Sousa, John Philip: Washington Post
Janáček, Leoš: String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer"
Janáček, Leoš: Taras Bulba Rhapsody for Orchestra
Elgar, Edward: Falstaff
Elgar, Edward: Serenade for Strings
Elgar, Edward: Sea Pictures
Elgar, Edward: In the South
Sousa, John Philip: The Liberty Bell
Elgar, Edward: Salut d’Amour
Elgar, Edward: Chanson De Matin

Level 6
Elgar, Edward: Piano Quintet
Chausson, Ernest: Symphony in B-flat Major
Chausson, Ernest: Poème Op. 25
Elgar, Edward: Introduction and Allegro
Tárrega y Eixea, Francisco de Asís: Recuerdos De La Alhambra
Stanford, Charles Villiers: The Blue Bird: 8 Part songs Op. 119 esp. No. 3. The Bluebird
Elgar, Edward: Apostles
Elgar, Edward: The Kingdom
Janáček, Leoš: On an Overgrown Path
Chausson, Ernest: The Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet Op.21
Taneyev, Sergei: Piano Quintet Op. 30
Elgar, Edward: Violin Sonata in E Minor
Elgar, Edward: Cockaigne "In London Town"
Janáček, Leoš: In the Mists, JW 8/22 esp. i. Andante
Janáček, Leoš: From the House of the Dead
Janáček, Leoš: Kát'a Kabanová
Smyth, Ethel: Concerto for Violin and Horn
Puccini, Giacomo: I Crisantemi
Chaminade, Cécile: Piano Trio No. 1

Level 7
Janáček, Leoš: Piano Sonata No. 1. X. 1905 "From the Street"
Ippolitov-Ivanov, Mikail: Caucasian Sketches
Elgar, Edward: Sospiri Op. 70
Janáček, Leoš: The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Janáček, Leoš: Idyll esp. 5. Adagio
Elgar, Edward: String Quartet
Chaminade, Cécile: Flute Concertino in D
Chausson, Ernest: Le Roi Arthus
Fibich, Zdeñek: Moods, Impressions and Reminiscences
Martucci, Giiuseppe: Symphony No. 2
Chausson, Ernest: String Quartet in C minor
Smyth, Ethel: Mass in D
Chadwick, George: String Quartet No. 4
Chaminade, Cécile: Piano Trio No. 2
Elgar, Edward: Chanson de Nuit
Chadwick, George: Symphonic Sketches

Honourable mentions:
D'Indy, Vincent: Symphony on a French Mountain Air
Luigini, Alexandre: Ballet Egyptian
Sinding, Christian: Rustles of Spring
Bonis, Mélanie: Piano Quartets
 

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“…never have I had such a success! I can’t get over it. Everyone seems to love the Concert.” I certainly do, ever since I heard the magnificent Thibaud/Cortot recording many moons ago. Chausson’s unique and intensely expressive Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet is for me one of the pinnacles of Romantic chamber music.
 

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Capped off my week of absolutely loving everything I've heard from Dvorak with an unexpected treat: my first chamber music concert! A lovely small show in our local botanical garden. And the main piece: Dvorak's Dumsky*! And right on schedule after finishing all the level 3 works.

I've got to say: I've yet to find a single fragment of Dvorak's music that I don't find immediately appealing. Just continuing to inch up my faves list.

Looking forward to hearing some Elgar. And, checks calendar, I'm amazed we'll be spending so much of this year on 20th-21th century music! Excited to get to it!

*also on the schedule was the 1st movement of Shostakovich's Trio #1, which felt like it would have been the teen punk rock of 1923
 

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Capped off my week of absolutely loving everything I've heard from Dvorak with an unexpected treat: my first chamber music concert! A lovely small show in our local botanical garden. And the main piece: Dvorak's Dumsky*! And right on schedule after finishing all the level 3 works.

I've got to say: I've yet to find a single fragment of Dvorak's music that I don't find immediately appealing. Just continuing to inch up my faves list.

Looking forward to hearing some Elgar. And, checks calendar, I'm amazed we'll be spending so much of this year on 20th-21th century music! Excited to get to it!

*also on the schedule was the 1st movement of Shostakovich's Trio #1, which felt like it would have been the teen punk rock of 1923
Likewise. I haven't heard any Dvořák I didn't like.
 

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“…never have I had such a success! I can’t get over it. Everyone seems to love the Concert.” I certainly do, ever since I heard the magnificent Thibaud/Cortot recording many moons ago. Chausson’s unique and intensely expressive Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet is for me one of the pinnacles of Romantic chamber music.
I just don’t have the genes for that sort of romanticism. The god gene and the romantic music gene - I lack them both.
 
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