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Discussion Starter · #902 ·
... I'm setting aside tomorrow to listen a second time to the Freni/Carerras Madama Butterfly, and highlights from the Bocceli/Wilson Turandot which I'm completely unfamiliar with.
Well that was remiss of me. I saw Turandot at the opera house in Bordeaux back in 2003 or 2004, featuring a Korean tenor who kept missing his notes. It was evidently a forgettable performance.
 

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Tosca, Butterfly and Turandot are powerful unforgettable operas with beautiful melodies and good librettos. I think Puccini is the perfect example of a composer who writes in an old style but does it so well that it does not matter when he composed his masterpieces.
 

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I think Puccini is the perfect example of a composer who writes in an old style but does it so well that it does not matter when he composed his masterpieces.
I don't really understand this remark. Isn't this true of all composers who wrote before, say 1970 (or 1950 or 2000 or some other cutoff separating old and new) but are still performed regularly (i.e. not for on-off historical revivals and back to the archives).
 

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I don't really understand this remark. Isn't this true of all composers who wrote before, say 1970 (or 1950 or 2000 or some other cutoff separating old and new) but are still performed regularly (i.e. not for on-off historical revivals and back to the archives).
it is just a perfect example; millions of composers can attempt this, however i doubt they will succeed like puccini
 

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Discussion Starter · #906 ·
If you're as bored as me with this weeks opera, have next weeks listing. Composers born 1880-1883 except Stravinsky. You're welcome.

Level 1
No works

Level 2
Bartók, Bela: Concerto for Orchestra

Level 3
Bartók, Bela: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 4
Bartók, Bela: Violin Concerto No. 2

Level 4
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 6
Bartók, Bela: Piano Concerto No. 2
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 5
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 3
Bartók, Bela: Bluebeard's Castle
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 2
Bartók, Béla: The Miraculous Mandarin
Kodály, Zoltán: Háry János Suite
Bartók, Bela: Piano Concerto No. 3
Varèse, Edgard: Amériques
Bartók, Bela: String Quartet No. 1
Varèse, Edgard: Ionization
Bartók, Béla: Romanian Folk Dances Sz68 esp. II Brâul [Sash Dance]

Level 5
Kodály, Zoltán: Sonata for Cello
Bartók, Bela: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
Bartók, Bela: Piano Concerto No. 1
Bartók, Bela: Sonata for Solo Violin
Bartók, Bela: Mikrokosmos
Szymanowski, Karol: Violin Concerto No. 1
Bartók, Bela: Dance Suite
Varèse, Edgard: Poème électronique
Turina, Joaquín: Danzas Fantásticas
Bloch, Ernest: Rhapsodie Hébraïque "Schelomo"
Enescu, George: Romanian Rhapsodies No. 1 & 2
Bartók, Bela: Divertimento for String Orchestra
Kodály, Zoltán: Dances of Galanta
Bartók, Bela: Violin Concerto No. 1
Kodály, Zoltán: Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song "The Peacock"
Grainger, Percy: Handel in The Strand

Level 6
Szymanowski, Karol: Stabat Mater
Bloch, Ernest: Piano Quintet No. 1
Varèse, Edgard: Déserts
Kodály, Zoltán: Psalmus Hungaricus
Szymanowski, Karol: Symphony No. 4 "Symphonie Concertante"
Szymanowski, Karol: Symphony No. 3 "The Song of the Night"
Enescu, George: Oedipe
Grainger, Percy: Lincolnshire Posy
Varèse, Edgard: Intégrales
Varèse, Edgard: Density 21.5
Bartók, Bela: Allegro Barbaro
Bloch, Ernest: Concerto Grosso No. 1
Varèse, Edgard: Arcana for Orchestra
Bartók, Bela: Rhapsody (Contrasts)
Bartók, Bela: Cantata Profana
Enescu, George: Octet in C Major
Szymanowski, Karol: String Quartet No. 2
Grainger, Percy: Londonderry Air
Szymanowski, Karol: King Roger
Szymanowski, Karol: String Quartet No. 1
Kodály, Zoltán: Summer Evening
Varèse, Edgard: Octandre
Szymanowski, Karol: Violin Concerto No. 2

Level 7
Medtner, Nikolai: Piano Concerto No. 2
Medtner, Nikolai: Forgotten Melodies, Book I, Op. 38 esp. 1. Sonata Reminiscenza
Varèse, Edgard: Arcana
Bloch, Ernest: String Quartet No. 1
Medtner, Nikolai: Fairy Tales
Bartók, Bela: Concerto for Viola
Bartók, Bela: The Wooden Prince
Bloch, Ernest: Violin Concerto
Bartók, Bela: Sonata for Piano
Bloch, Ernest: String Quartet No. 2
Bartók, Bela: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano
Szymanowski, Karol: Mythes
Bartók, Bela: Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano
Bloch, Ernest: Concerto Grosso No. 2
Szymanowski, Karol: Métopes
Langgaard, Rued: Symphony No. 6 "Det Himmelrivende"
Enescu, George: Symphony No. 1
Enescu, George: Violin Sonata No. 2
Varèse, Edgard: Equatorial
Bloch, Ernest: Baal Shem Suite
Enescu, George: Piano Sonata No. 1
Enescu, George: Piano Sonata No. 3
Bloch, Ernest: String Quartet No. 5
Bloch, Ernest: String Quartet No. 3
Hauer, Joseph: Nomos
Bloch, Ernest: Sacred Service
Medtner, Nikolai: Piano Concerto No. 1
Szymanowski, Karol: Piano Sonata No. 3
Kodály, Zoltán: Te Deum
Myaskovsky, Nikolai: Symphony No. 6
Enescu, George: Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano

Honourable mentions:
Bainton, Edgar: And I Saw a New Heaven
Foulds, John: Keltic Suite Op. 29 esp. 2. Lament
Pizzeti, Ildebrando: Concerto dell'Estate
Kelly, Frederick Septimus: Elegy - In Memoriam Rupert Brooke
Dett, R Nathaniel: Magnolia esp. Part 1, No. 1, "Magnolias"
Ponce, Manuel: Suite en Estilo Antiguo
Casella, Alfredo: Italia, Paganiniana for Orchestra
Harris, William : Bring us, O Lord God, Faire is the Heaven
 

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Frank Zappa on Edgard Varèse


And a paper on the creation of Deserts in 1954, 40 years after Rite of Spring, and a long time after Schoenberg and Webern

 

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Discussion Starter · #910 ·
The Ponce is nice and relaxing, agreeable. Check it out.

Varèse Deserts and Poème électronique are the most interesting things for me in that bunch, closely followed by the Bartok Quartets 3 - 5...
Varèse doesn't do much for me other than tempt me to fast-forward but, but, but ... Oh, my goodness! Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, VC2, PC2, Szymanowski's VC1, Bloch's "Schelomo" and PQ1, Kodály's "Peacock" and Cello Sonata. What a super week this is turning out to be. Maybe not your, "Cup of tea", but it certainly seems to be mine.
 

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Varèse doesn't do much for me other than tempt me to fast-forward but, but, but ... Oh, my goodness! Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, VC2, PC2, Szymanowski's VC1, Bloch's "Schelomo" and PQ1, Kodály's "Peacock" and Cello Sonata. What a super week this is turning out to be. Maybe not your, "Cup of tea", but it certainly seems to be mine.

The truth is that I am not much interested in concertos. I remember thinking that Bartok PC2 and the Szymanowsky VC 1 were OK, especially the Bartok. Good old recordings of them with Bolet for the Bartok and Wanda Vikomirskaya for the Szymanowski - no doubt there are excellent modern ones, I haven’t kept up. (That being said, I do think that there was a real “golden age” for violinists. Those early violinists just knew how to use microtones expressively.)

Have you tried the Bartok solo violin sonata? This came out recently and I really enjoyed the whole thing

 

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Discussion Starter · #913 ·
What an outstanding week! Loved it. Bartók has rocketed into my list of top-10 composers, and Kodály earmarked for a lot more listening in the future. I still have a couple of Bartók's string quartets to listen to, but here's next week's listing.

Stravinsky, plus composers born 1884-1889. Enjoy!

Level 1
Stravinsky, Igor: Rite of Spring esp. Part One, Adoration of the Earth

Level 2
Stravinsky, Igor: L'Oiseau de Feu
Stravinsky, Igor: Petrushka

Level 3
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Bachianas Brasileiras esp No. 5 for Soprano and 8 Cellos, Aria. Cantilena

Level 4
Stravinsky, Igor: Symphony of Psalms
Stravinsky, Igor: L'Histoire du Soldat
Stravinsky, Igor: Les Noces
Stravinsky, Igor: Œdipus Rex
Stravinsky, Igor: The Rake's Progress
Stravinsky, Igor: Pulcinella
Stravinsky, Igor: Symphony in C
Stravinsky, Igor: Agon
Stravinsky, Igor: Symphony in Three Movements
Stravinsky, Igor: Apollon Musagète "Apollo"

Level 5
Stravinsky, Igor: Violin Concerto in D
Stravinsky, Igor: Concerto in E-flat "Dumbarton Oaks"
Stravinsky, Igor: Symphony of Wind Instruments
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Guitar Concerto
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 8 "Dance Chôro"
Stravinsky, Igor: Mass
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 3 "Woodpecker"
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 2
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 7 "Settimino"
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 10
Stravinsky, Igor: Octet for Piano and Wind Instruments
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 1
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 9
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 5 "Alma Brasileira"
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros 2, 4, 6, 11, 12
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Chôros Bis

Level 6
Clarke, Rebecca: Viola Sonata
Stravinsky, Igor: Requiem Canticles
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson: The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson: Poem for Flute and Orchestra
Stravinsky, Igor: Concerto for Wind Instruments
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: String Quartet No. 6
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Five Preludes for Guitar esp. No. 1 in E Minor
Stravinsky, Igor: Orpheus
Stravinsky, Igor: Threni
Stravinsky, Igor: Canticum Sacrum
Pejačević, Dora: Symphony in F-sharp minor
Toch, Ernst: Symphony No. 3
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson: Piano Sonata
Stravinsky, Igor: Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson: The White Peacock
Riegger, Wallingford: Symphony No. 3
Price, Florence: Symphony No. 1

Level 7
Atterberg, Kurt: Cello Concerto
Stravinsky, Igor: Le Chant de Rossignol
Stravinsky, Igor: Jeu de Cartes
Stravinsky, Igor: Ebony Concerto
Stravinsky, Igor: Duo Concertant
Barrios, Augustin Pio: La Catedral
Dupré, Marcel: Symphonie-Passion
Atterberg, Kurt: Symphony No. 4 "Sinfonia Piccola"
Atterberg, Kurt: A Värmland Rhapsody
Stravinsky, Igor: Movements for Piano and Orchestra
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Rudepoema
Stravinsky, Igor: Concerto for Strings in D Major
Stravinsky, Igor: Perséphone
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Cello Concerto No. 2
Toch, Ernst: Symphony (or Concerto) No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra
Stravinsky, Igor: Feu d'Artifice

Honourable mentions:
Cassel, Mana-Zucca: Prelude Op. 73
Farrar, Ernest: Brittany Op. 21
Schoeck, Othmar: Sommernacht for String Orchestra
Boulanger, Nadia: 3 Pieces for cello and piano esp. No. 1. Modere, D'un Matin de Printemps & Piano Pieces
Wand, Hart: Dallas Blues
Berlin, Irving: Alexander's Ragtime Band
 

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Othmar Schoeck is interesting, though I can't recall Sommernacht. The thing that really impressed me was the Elegie (Mertens is the singer to seek out for this)

The Balanchine Agon is on youtube here

Igor Stravinsky: Agon - YouTube

Les Noces is quite interesting, I enjoyed the Covernt Garden production by Bronislava Nijinska, here

LES NOCES on Vimeo

And there is a video about the production too, worth seeing, but I can't find it online.

There's a particularly "imaginative" audio recording of Les Noces, by Dmitri Pokrovsky -- I thought it was wonderful. It's split up into little bits on youtube unfortunately, here's one

Les Noces, First Tableau - YouTube


For Rossignol I remember enjoying this film

Igor Stravinsky - Le Rossignol [2005] [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri, Albert Schagidullin, Vsevolod Grivnov, Violeta Urmana, Maxime Mikhailov, Marie McLaughlin, James Conlon (conductor), Christian Chaudet, Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri: DVD & Blu-ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #915 · (Edited)
Late on the draw this week. A dose of Covid put a crimp in my plans. You spend the best part of three years being ultra-careful and then out of the blue you get hit. Fortunately, my symptoms are mild.

I still have some listening to return to, and other than the very top recommendations, I can't say it was an especially enjoyable week. Never mind, here comes Sergei. Composers born 1890-91. Go!

Level 1
Prokofiev, Sergei: Romeo and Juliet esp. Montagues and Capulets, Dance of the Knights

Level 2
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony No. 1 "Classical"
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony No. 5

Level 3
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Concerto No. 3
Prokofiev, Sergei: Peter and The Wolf

Level 4
Prokofiev, Sergei: Lieutenant Kije Symphonic Suite
Prokofiev, Sergei: Violin Concerto No. 1
Prokofiev, Sergei: Violin Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev, Sergei: War and Peace

Level 5
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 7
Martinů, Bohuslav: Symphony No. 6 "Fantasisies Symphoniques"
Prokofiev, Sergei: Love for Three Oranges
Martinů, Bohuslav: Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Concerto No. 1
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 8
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony No. 6
Martin, Frank: Mass for Double Choir
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev, Sergei: Scythian Suite
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Concerto No. 5
Ibert, Jacques: Divertissement
Martin, Frank: Petite Symphonie Concertante

Level 6
Prokoviev, Sergei: Visions Fugitives
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Ibert, Jacques: Escales
Martinů, Bohuslav: Symphony No. 4
Prokoviev, Sergei: Violin Sonata No. 2
Martinů, Bohuslav Symphony No. 3
Martinů, Bohuslav: Piano Concerto No. 3
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony No. 7
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 6
Martinů, Bohuslav: Symphony No. 1
Prokofiev, Sergei: Cinderella
Prokofiev, Sergei: String Quartet No. 2 "Kabardinian"
Prokofiev, Sergei: Symphony No. 3
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 4
Martin, Frank: Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments
Martinů, Bohuslav: The Epic of Gilgamesh
Martinů, Bohuslav: Symphony No. 2
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 3
Prokofiev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 2
Prokofiev, Sergei: String Quartet No. 1
Ibert, Jacques: Flute Concerto
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 1
Martinů, Bohuslav: Memorial to Lidice

Level 7
Martinů, Bohuslav: Field Mass
Bliss, Arthur: Colour Symphony
Bliss, Arthur: Oboe Quintet
Prokoviev, Sergei: Cello Sonata
Prokoviev, Sergei: The Fiery Angel
Prokoviev, Sergei: Violin Sonata No. 1
Bliss, Arthur: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Prokoviev, Sergei: Sonata for Solo Violin (Unison Violins)
Martinů, Bohuslav: La Revue de Cuisine
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 5 in C major (original version), Op. 38
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 5 in C major (revised version), Op. 135
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Concerto No. 4
Prokoviev, Sergei: Piano Sonata No. 9
Ibert, Jacques: Concertino da Camera for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra
Bliss, Arthur: Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Martinů, Bohuslav: Opening of the Wells
Bliss, Arthur: Checkmate
Martinů, Bohuslav: Concerto for Two Pianos

Honourable mentions:
Gurney, Ivor: Five Elizabethan Songs "Sleep"
 

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I like Visions Fugitives, the 9th piano sonata and Cinderella. War and Peace is OK. I saw The Fiery Angel and thought it was not very interesting.


Of the rest, obviously the piano sonatas 6,7 and 8 are highly regarded, as is Romeo and Juliette -- rightly so I think.


The Epic of Gilgamesh may be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #918 ·
I enjoyed Prokofiev this week, rarely a low-point, and some of the Martinů works.

On to composers born 1892-1895 including all of "Les Six".

Level 1
No works

Level 2
Orff, Carl: Carmina Burana esp. O Fortuna

Level 3
Hindemith, Paul: Mathis der Maler

Level 4
Milhaud, Darius: Le Creation du Monde
Honegger, Arthur: Le Roi David
Hindemith, Paul: Symphonic Metamorphoses of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber
Poulenc, Francis: Concerto in G Minor for Organ, Strings & Timpani
Poulenc, Francis: Gloria
Poulenc, Francis: Concerto for Two Pianos

Level 5
Honegger, Arthur: Pacific 231
Poulenc, Francis: Les Chemins de l'Amour
Honegger, Arthur: Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique"
Hindemith, Paul: Ludus Tonalis
Poulenc, Francis: Dialogues des Carmelites
Milhaud, Darius: Le Boeuf Sur le Toit
Honegger, Arthur: Symphony No. 2
Poulenc, Francis: Tel Jour, Telle Nuit
Grofé, Ferdinand Rudolph von: Grand Canyon Suite
Honegger, Arthur: Symphony No. 4 "Deliciae Basiliensis"
Hindemith, Paul: Kleine Kammermusik
Poulenc, Francis: Concert Champêtre
Poulenc, Francis: Flute Sonata
Still, William Grant: Symphony No. 1 "Afro-American"
Milhaud, Darius: Scaramouche Suite 3. Brazileira (Mouvement de samba)
Poulenc, Francis: Les Biches

Level 6
Poulenc, Francis: Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet
Poulenc, Francis: Clarinet Sonata
Honegger, Arthur: Symphony No. 5 "Di Tre Re"
Milhaud, Darius: Sausades do Brasil
Piston, Walter: The Incredible Flutist
Hindemith, Paul: When Lilacs Last in the Courtyard Bloom'd
Hindemith, Paul: Dle Harmonie der Welt
Hindemith, Paul: Trauermusik
Hindemith, Paul: Nobilissima Visione
Hindemith, Paul: String Quartet No. 4
Howells, Herbert: Hymnus Paradisi
Howells, Herbert: Requiem
Piston, Walter: Symphony No. 2
Hindemith, Paul: Violin Concerto
Poulenc, Francis: Figure Humaine
Hindemith, Paul: Symphony in E-flat
Poulenc, Francis: Mélancolie
Hindemith, Paul: Viola Sonata in F
Milhaud, Darius: String Quartet No. 1
Orff, Carl: Trionfo di Afrodite
Orff, Carl: Music for Children

Level 7
Poulenc, Francis: Trio for Oboe, Basoon and Piano
Mompou, Federico: Música Callada Book 1 esp. 3. Placide
Hindemith, Paul: Kammermusik No. 1 Op. 24
Hindemith, Paul: Konzertmusik
Poulenc, Francis: Stabat Mater
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mario: Guitar Concerto No. 1
Hindemith, Paul: Der Schwanendreher
Piston, Walter: Symphony No. 6
Poulenc, Francis: Aubade
Tailleferre, Germaine: Concertino for Harp and Orchestra
Hindemith, Paul: Sonata for Trumpet and Piano (1939)
Hindemith, Paul: Symphonia Serena
Hindemith, Paul: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1939)
Boulanger, Lili: Claririères dans le Ciel
Poulenc, Francis: Cello Sonata esp. ii. Cavatine
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mario: Les Guitares Bien Tempérées
Milhaud, Darius: Suite Française
Hindemith, Paul: Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1938)
Orff, Carl: Catulli Carmina
Orff, Carl: De Temporum Fine Comoedia
Milhaud, Darius: Sonata for flute, oboe, clarinet, and piano
Poulenc, Francis: Violin Sonata in D Major
Hindemith, Paul: String Quartet No. 3
Hindemith, Paul: String Quartet No. 5
Poulenc, Francis: La Voix Humaine

Honourable mentions:
Moore, Douglas: The Ballad of Baby Doe
Durey, Louis: Le Printemps au Fond de la Mer
Rosenberg, Hilding: Symphony No. 6, Violin Concerto No. 2
Johnson, James: Harlem Symphony
Auric, Georges: Les Facheux, Les Matelots
 

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The big thing to explore here, IMO, is Honegger’s Symphonie Liturgique. It is a coruscating musical response to the apocalypse of the war.


Dialogue of the Carmelites is a great thing! A fabulous opera in the theatre and in video.

Hindemith is rewarding always, I’d like to know his chamber music better myself - whatever I’ve heard has been appealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #920 ·
The big thing to explore here, IMO, is Honegger’s Symphonie Liturgique. It is a coruscating musical response to the apocalypse of the war.
...
Hindemith is rewarding always, I’d like to know his chamber music better myself - whatever I’ve heard has been appealing.
Honegger's Symphonie Liturgique and Hindemith's Mathis der Maler are certainly the highlights so far. Very good listening.
 
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