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I just don’t have the genes for that sort of romanticism. The god gene and the romantic music gene - I lack them both.
God knows we all have our limits. The danger, as Schopenhauer reminds us, is to take the limits of our own field of vision for the limits of the world. A well-known neuro-philosopher once told me that she was embarrassed by poetry. She has always been a committed atheist but now describes herself as a pantheist, the religion of the Romantic poets. One never knows how genes may mutate in the course of a lifetime.
 

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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
I'll be kind to you and just tell you that you have a problem with the word "new". I believe historical records have immense value and should be cherished, even if I have difficulties with the sound quality. But Mahler's vision of the 9th symphony for example with extreme speed is the vision of a great artist, but possibly not the ideal one for his masterpiece. I also believe in the diversity of possible options. This is also why i said that recent conductors benefit from hindsight; they certainly all will have listened to Bruno Walter's take which was made in a rush and which Mahler never heard. But many other great conductors like Horenstein, Karajan, Chailly, Vanskä and the contemporary ones deliver an aural and intellectual product that should IMHO logically be superior to the early versions.
That being said there will always be miraculous versions, even old ones, where all the conditions were right and the sound is still acceptable today. This is my experience and I hope yours will be a happy one as well.
 

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I'll be kind to you and just tell you that you have a problem with the word "new". I believe historical records have immense value and should be cherished, even if I have difficulties with the sound quality. But Mahler's vision of the 9th symphony for example with extreme speed is the vision of a great artist, but possibly not the ideal one for his masterpiece. I also believe in the diversity of possible options. This is also why i said that recent conductors benefit from hindsight; they certainly all will have listened to Bruno Walter's take which was made in a rush and which Mahler never heard. But many other great conductors like Horenstein, Karajan, Chailly, Vanskä and the contemporary ones deliver an aural and intellectual product that should IMHO logically be superior to the early versions.
That being said there will always be miraculous versions, even old ones, where all the conditions were right and the sound is still acceptable today. This is my experience and I hope yours will be a happy one as well.
I don’t think I have a problem with the word “new”. I do think we are talking about different kind of “new’s” here. I was thinking more 21st century conductors, but if you include Karajan that means that for you “new” means basically from 1960 to now. To clarify I think the golden age of conductors was in the 60’s so we are kinda on the same page. And Mahler might have never heard Bruno Walter’s 1937 performance of his 9th but he certainly heard Walter conduct the premiere in 1913 (dates could be wrong) and he probably gave Walter some instructions on how he wanted it to sound like
 

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I don’t think I have a problem with the word “new”. I do think we are talking about different kind of “new’s” here. I was thinking more 21st century conductors, but if you include Karajan that means that for you “new” means basically from 1960 to now. To clarify I think the golden age of conductors was in the 60’s so we are kinda on the same page. And Mahler might have never heard Bruno Walter’s 1937 performance of his 9th but he certainly heard Walter conduct the premiere in 1913 (dates could be wrong) and he probably gave Walter some instructions on how he wanted it to sound like
i confirm mahler never heard walter conduct the ninth
 

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I don’t think I have a problem with the word “new”. I do think we are talking about different kind of “new’s” here. I was thinking more 21st century conductors, but if you include Karajan that means that for you “new” means basically from 1960 to now. To clarify I think the golden age of conductors was in the 60’s so we are kinda on the same page. And Mahler might have never heard Bruno Walter’s 1937 performance of his 9th but he certainly heard Walter conduct the premiere in 1913 (dates could be wrong) and he probably gave Walter some instructions on how he wanted it to sound like
i confirm mahler never heard the 9 th symphony conducted by anyone; he gave plenty of instructions to walter including the very high speed, that i find questionable and that has been slowed down too much by certain conductors
 

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I don’t think I have a problem with the word “new”. I do think we are talking about different kind of “new’s” here. I was thinking more 21st century conductors, but if you include Karajan that means that for you “new” means basically from 1960 to now. To clarify I think the golden age of conductors was in the 60’s so we are kinda on the same page. And Mahler might have never heard Bruno Walter’s 1937 performance of his 9th but he certainly heard Walter conduct the premiere in 1913 (dates could be wrong) and he probably gave Walter some instructions on how he wanted it to sound like
plse carefully read the text you have written.
 

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Discussion Starter · #830 ·
A lot of quality listening time so far this week means I'm already down into Level 6. I've spent this morning getting to know a little of Chausson. A very pleasant experience, especially Symphonie Op. 20. I'm looking forward too hearing more from him.


Chausson: Chausson Poème for Violin and Orchestra
Mikko Franck, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Hilary Hahn


Chausson: Symphonie Op. 20
Alexandre Bloch, Orchestre National de Lille

My appreciation of Elgar has improved, and I'll use my time this afternoon to revisit a few different versions of his Cello Concerto - I've only listened closely to the Isserlis and Weilerstein versions before today.


Elgar: Cello Concerto
Christoph Eschenbach, Philharmonia Orchestra, David Aaron Carpenter


Elgar: Cello Concerto
Sir John Barbirolli, London Symphony Orchestra, Jacqueline du Pré


Elgar: Cello Concerto
Paavo Järvi, Philharmonia Orchestra, Steven Isserlis


Elgar: Cello Concerto
Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Alisa Weilerstein
 

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Discussion Starter · #831 ·
Not the best way to end my week of Elgar, although The Kingdom had some pretty moments.


Elgar: The Apostles
Hallé, Sir Mark Elder, Rebecca Evans, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, Jacques Imbrailo, David Kempster, Brindley Sherratt, Sean Boyes, Thomas Kelly, Timothy Langston, Thomas Morss, Adam Player, Stefan Berkieta, Matthew Kellett, Graham McCusker, Daniel Shelvey


Elgar: The Kingdom
Hallé, Sir Mark Elder, Claire Rutter, Susan Bickley, John Hudson, Iain Paterson & Hallé Choir
 

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Discussion Starter · #832 · (Edited)
For a few weeks, due to my personal commitments, I was posting the listing a day early meaning we had a couple of six-day weeks. I kept the hammer down last week to clear some additional time for "Week 33". There are not more works in total, but simply many more qualifying works to be posted here, many more works recommended in the higher levels, and longer works on average. So that we have the time to do the composers and their recommended works justice, I'm therefore posting next weeks listing today.

Composers born 1860-1863. To quote Trish (Maureen Lipman) in Educating Rita, "Wouldn't you just die without Mahler?!" 🤣

Level 1
Debussy, Claude: La Mer
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 5 esp. iv. Adagietto

Level 2
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Debussy, Claude: Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 9
Debussy, Claude: Préludes Book 1
Mahler, Gustav: Das Lied von der Erde
Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande

Level 3
Debussy, Claude: Preludes Book 2
Debussy, Claude: String Quartet in G Major and alternative link
Debussy, Claude: Suite Bergamasque esp. Clair de Lune
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 1 "Titan"
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 3
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of A Thousand"
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"
Debussy, Claude: Nocturnes for Orchestra
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 4
Debussy, Claude: Images for Orchestra
Albéniz, Isaac: Iberia

Level 4
Debussy, Claude: Children's Corner esp. i. Doctor Gradusad Parnassum
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 7
Debussy, Claude: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor
Mahler, Gustav: Kindertotenlieder
Debussy, Claude: Jeux
Wolf, Hugo: Mörike Lieder esp. An den Schlaf
Debussy, Claude: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor
Mahler, Gustav: Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen

Level 5
Mahler, Gustav: Rückert Lieder
Debussy, Claude: Images Books 1 and 2
Debussy, Claude: Estampes for Piano
Mahler, Gustav: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Wolf, Hugo: Spanish Songbook
Wolf, Hugo: Italian Songbook
MacDowell, Edward: Piano Concerto No. 2
Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 10
Debussy, Claude: Études
Albéniz, Isaac: Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47
Wolf, Hugo: Goethe Lieder esp. Ganymed
MacDowell, Edward: Woodland Sketches
Debussy, Claude: 2 Arabesques
Mahler, Gustav: Piano Quartet in A Minor
Debussy, Claude: Syrinx

Level 6
Debussy, Claude: L'Isle Joyeuse
MacDowell, Edward: Suite No. 2 "Indian"
Wolf, Hugo: Der Corregidor
Debussy, Claude: Beau Soir
Debussy, Claude: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Orchestra
Debussy, Claude: Rêverie
Debussy, Claude: Pour le Piano
Debussy, Claude: Trois Chansons de Bilitis esp. iii. Le Tombeau des Naides
Debussy, Claude: La Plus Que Lente
Charpentier, Gustave: Louise
Mahler, Alma: 5 Lieder esp. No. 3. Laue Sommernacht, No. 5. Ich Wandle unter Blumen
Wolf, Hugo: Eichendorf Lieder esp. Verschwiegene Liebe
Debussy, Claude: Ibéria

Level 7
Arensky, Anton: Piano Trio No. 1
Debussy, Claude: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
Debussy, Claude: Fêtes Galantes esp. Set No. 2
Debussy, Claude: En Blanc et Noir
Debussy, Claude: Petit Suite
Mahler, Gustav: Das Klagende Lied
Arensky, Anton: Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky
Wolf, Hugo: Italian Serenade
Debussy, Claude: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastian
Debussy, Claude: Masques
Debussy, Claude: Six Épigraphes Antiques
Debussy, Claude: La Demoiselle Élue

Honourable mentions:
Aulin, Valborg: Valse Élegiaque
Woodforde-Finden, Amy: Four Kashmiri Love Songs
Loeffler, Charle Martin: A Pagan Poem
Lehmann, Liza: Evensong
Pierné, Gabriel: Canzonetta Op. 19
 

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Mahler, Debussy, Albeniz, Wolf and Pierné, a fantastic combination of outstanding composers around the turn of the 20th century: they will be followed by other giants like Stravinsky and Ravel; but let me just single out a few favourite pieces by the composers mentioned:
-Mahler: Symphonies 3, 5, 9, 10, Kindertotenlieder, Das Lied von der Erde. That being said Symphonies 2 and 4 are great as well in the right hands.
-Debussy: La Mer, L'après-midi d'un Faune, Préludes, Nocturnes, Arabesques, Images, Jeux; People often think that Debussy just wrote nice music but forget how innovative it was for his era and how much influence it had on future composers. By the way his string quartet is a perfect example of that as Ravel modelled his on the older master's work.
-Albeniz: Iberia, Suite Espagnola no 1, Note: I would have liked to see La Vega and Azulejos which are of incomparable beauty. They belong to my all-time favourite piano compositions.
-Wolf: Iberian and Italian Songbooks
-Pierné: the Canzonetta is fine and there are many pieces like this in his repertoire, but i would have chosen the Ramuntcho Suites and his Piano Concerto which are key pieces. Pierné is an important master in the history of French music. There are great composers like Gabriel Dupont, Cras, Ropartz who will follow in his footsteps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #835 · (Edited)
Mahler, Debussy, Albeniz, Wolf and Pierné, a fantastic combination of outstanding composers around the turn of the 20th century: they will be followed by other giants like Stravinsky and Ravel; but let me just single out a few favourite pieces by the composers mentioned:
-Mahler: Symphonies 3, 5, 9, 10, Kindertotenlieder, Das Lied von der Erde. That being said Symphonies 2 and 4 are great as well in the right hands.
-Debussy: La Mer, L'après-midi d'un Faune, Préludes, Nocturnes, Arabesques, Images, Jeux; People often think that Debussy just wrote nice music but forget how innovative it was for his era and how much influence it had on future composers. By the way his string quartet is a perfect example of that as Ravel modelled his on the older master's work.
-Albeniz: Iberia, Suite Espagnola no 1, Note: I would have liked to see La Vega and Azulejos which are of incomparable beauty. They belong to my all-time favourite piano compositions.
-Wolf: Iberian and Italian Songbooks
-Pierné: the Canzonetta is fine and there are many pieces like this in his repertoire, but i would have chosen the Ramuntcho Suites and his Piano Concerto which are key pieces. Pierné is an important master in the history of French music. There are great composers like Gabriel Dupont, Cras, Ropartz who will follow in his footsteps.
Thank you. Good to know.

My apologies for the late edits (I added Aulin and moved one or two compositions up). I wasn't as thorough as I should have been this morning. 😊

Should all be good now.

Ps. For anyone thinking, "Hang-on a minute, where's Delius?", I've lightened the load on this week by moving him to join Vaughan Williams, Holst, Finzi and others in a few weeks time. A bit of "English Cow-Pat" week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #838 ·
I'm using Chailly as my 'Baseline" for Mahler. I thoroughly enjoyed all I listened to both yesterday and this morning, especially Symphony No. 6, and although all are ridiculously good, I think I prefer Jurowski/LPO's 2nd, Shipway/RPO's 5th and Bernstein/NYPO's 9th.


Mahler: Symphony No. 2, No. 5, No. 6 & No. 9
Riccardo Chailly, Concertgebouworkest, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

I continue to struggle with Das Lied von Der Erde. Just can't connect with it.


Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Vladimir Jurowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Sarah Connolly & Robert Dean Smith
 
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