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It's all about the hair



Schubert: Fantasie

David Fray (piano), with Jacques Rouvier (piano)

Allegro in A minor 'Lebensstürme', D947
Duo in A minor, Allegro 'Lebensstürme', D947
Fantasie in F minor for piano duet, D940
Hungarian Melody in B minor D817
Piano Sonata No. 18 in G major, D894
 

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View attachment 149607

Alfredo Casella's La Giara.
Christian Benda, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana.
A short ballet, with excellent and highly imaginative music. The story is about a lawyer whose olive oil jar breaks and needs fixing. Sounds quite fun!
I don't know if it's the same source for this La Giara, but there's a Pirandello story that I think is the source for an episode in the Taviani brothers movie Xaos. Worth a look, a really good (but overly long) film. Lends itself to dramatization i think.
 

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Alberic Magnard - Symphony No. 4
Thomas Sanderling/Malmö Symphony Orchestra (BIS)

Magnard is pretty much a new composer to me. Being a French music aficionado, I figured I'd better check him out. This is a lovely, rich late-Romantic symphony that combines the best of Bruckner and Mahler into one. Highly recommended!

Edit: This is now my favorite symphony by a French composer that I have heard. Just unreasonably gorgeous, especially the last few minutes of the finale.
If you haven't gotten to the Dukas Symphony, plunge ahead, it is a masterpiece. I would say a step above Magnard as much as I like them.

I think i know 2 sets of the Magnard symphonies, on Hyperion and Plasson? Have to check that out, but I have the Hyperion Ossonce/BBC on my computer. I like all that I've heard.
 

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I certainly get the response to the serial work, but it would be a shame to miss the Gurrelieder. It's over the top, conservative melodically and harmonically and has some pretty glorious music, especially the WoodDove. Give that a try to see what we lost when he got lost.

Different people have different tastes. This was really not meant to discourage you from pursuing music that moves you, indeed you certainly should. This is not my first exposure to Schoenberg, and as I said in the prior post, I have never understood or liked his music and likely never will. I actually re-listened to the piece after noticing your post since I had not listened to any of his music in years. My impression of his music remains the same. But that of course is my taste. By all means pursue what you like. Verklärte Nacht is about the only work by him that I find "almost" listenable. He may end up becoming your favorite composer. I did not intend to actually either guide or discourage you. I just posted what I had just listened to.
 

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He actually wrote 19 of them! :)
there are several options. Of course, none top Cziffra for technique.

There's a fascinating disc, can't recall the label, that has maybe 18 or 19 each played by different pianists, many historical performances and some very good things you wouldn't want to miss.

i think Mischa Dichter made a set, there's an old set by Borowsky and a newer one that I like quite a bit by Denis Pascal.

i don't think this is the greatest music but the circus atmosphere and some tunes and attractively written music (in the hands of the right pianist) make me go back and hear them every once in awhile. Not a big liszt person, find some of the more "serious" works tedious, but I like the rhapsodies.
 

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Still all about the hair



Schubert & Liszt

David Fray (piano)

Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor, S178
Liszt: Schwanengesang - Vierzehn Lieder Von Franz Schubert, S560
Liszt: Zwolf Lieder Von Fr. Schubert, S558
Schubert: Der Doppelgänger D957 No. 13
Schubert: Du bist die Ruh D776 (Rückert)
Schubert: Fantasie in C major, D760 'Wanderer'
 

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This recordings slow movement with the English horn solo sold me on this version. I had in my mind that it was one of the London Phil performances in the set, but no wonder the playing is so fine.

This is a piece that I like enough to get in trouble with-- getting multiple versions, multiplying like Gremlins, taking over the house and then gathering dust bunnies once the immediate "need to know" abates:rolleyes:

The last of the four recent arrivals:
Shostakovich, Symphony No 8 - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink.

Certainly more refined than the Kondrashin set I have been making my way through over the last couple of weeks but in their own way Haitinks interpretations offer a valid alternative view of Symphonies.

 

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As much as I learned and love the Appalachian Spring suite, I now feel a little cheated because some of the missing music changes the shape and is also wonderful music.

I just bought this version with Copland, but I'd strongly recommend any of the St. Louis Symphony/Slatkin Copland (and Piston and Schuman) recordings. Much better orchestra and very idiomatic performance, a truly great orchestra when those recordings were made.

Human Tie Coat Font Line
Copland conducts Copland

Appropriate background music as I sit down and read his "What to Listen For in Music".



 

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I just watched that YouTube video. Good, although his favorite was the Detroit SO under Dorati. As you pointed out, he also made recommendations for the chamber music version of the ballet music and suite, which I actually did not know existed. I always assumed the Suite was always for a full orchestra.
I (probably) knew some of these things long ago, but with current time and other constraints, I have forgotten the versions. I do think there's good extra music and there's probably a Hugh Wolff version of the whole thing with chamber orchestra, dredging that up from the depths of my faulty memory. It's just a breathtaking piece of music, catches the attention at first because of the big tune but what surrounds the big tune is even deeper, especially the end. Makes me think my heart could stop (and I'd be ok). I wonder how particularly "american" that response is, but I feel the setting, the meaning, the simplicity and the return to nature is a very deep and native thing here. Mine, mine all mine :lol:
 

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I feel guilty about a prejudice against these works and I feel like an idiot for ignoring them for years. I am having trouble turning the first symphony off. How lovely, not an attempt to turn the world upside down, and I wonder if the slight reticence of the substance and form of the piece make it hard to program. But good lord it is lovely. Those of you who knew... try not to gloat.

Also, I can't get past the 1st to the 2nd :) have to start there I guess and go backwards.
 

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Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"
Academy of Ancient Music - Hogwood

In the past I used to avoid period instrument and HIP performances of Beethoven. I have now moved into a phase of alternating between "traditional", and HIP performances, with a slight preference for traditional performances. I like the extra clarity of period performance, and the often faster tempos of period performance and HIP, but sometimes find their sound a little "thin". A particular favorite in the genre is by Anima Eterna Brugge with Immerseel. They do not sound "thin", and together with great playing makes them one of my go-to sets.

I just stumbled across a boxed set of the Beethoven symphonies played by the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood, still in it's unopened plastic wrap, that I apparently purchased in 2011! It's about time I unwrapped it!

should be ripe by now
 

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Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Riccardo Muti
Part of a set I really like, but I really like all my sets -- Harnoncourt, Marriner, Bohm. I think it's pretty indestructible, I have no idea whether Muti adds anything. I heard the VPO play this with Barenboim in Vienna a few years ago and I thought he was just in the way (my usual opinion regarding him) but the orchestra pretty much did its thing.

A little movement in how I feel about the big orchestra versions, Furtwangler especially-- special because it's Furtwangler but I actually think something a little more "lithe" will do. Someone posted about having the Harnoncourt BPO big box and I like those performances.
 

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Today I loaded the CD player with 5 bu Luigi Dallapiccola:

1. Dallapiccola: A Portrait (Features several chamber works for piano, piano and vocal, or solo cello with David Wilde, piano/Susan Hamllton, soprano/Robert Irvine, cello/Nicola Stonehouse, mezzo-soprano) Delphian records
2. Dallapiccola: Il Prigionero; Canti di Pirgionia (Esa-Pekka Salonen/Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra w/the Swedish Radio Choir, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir & soloists) Sony Classical
3-4: Dallapiccola: Complete Songs: Italian Songs of the 17th and 18th Centuries Books 1 & 2; Rencesvals, Trios Fragments de "La Chanson de Roland"; Quattro Liriche di Antonio Mechado (Monica Piccinini, soprano/Aida Caiello, soprano/Elisabetta Pallucchi, mezzo-soprano/Roberto Abbondanza, baritone/Filippo Farinelli, piano) Brilliant Classics
5. Dallapiccola: Complete Works for Piano and fro Violin & Piano (Duccio Ceccanti, violin/Roberto Prosseda, piano) NAXOS records

During the 20th century Luigi Dallapiccola was the Italy's leading apostle of the serial movement and a fore-runner to Luciano Berio; but as the fist and last discs of chamber music reveal, Dallapiccola could make 12-tone music sound quite listenable and sunny, bouncy and even light. This makes for an interesting take on Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone system modified by Dallapiccola's Italian seasoning. The second disc, however, takes a darker turn with two mini-operas on the subject of being held prisoner, and according to liner notes and internet research also represents Dallapiccola's feelings of disappointment, disapproval, and despair with Benito Mussolini who he once supported. I guess everything seemed OK as long as the "trains were running on time" but then when Mussolini ordered the invasion of Abyssinia (now modern-day Ethiopia) and then aligned with Hitler and began to follow along the Nazi racial policies, Dallapiccola (who's wife was Jewish) had had it with Il Duce. Discs 3 and 4 are Dallapiccola's "songs" and most of the double set is comprised of "Italian Songs" rearranged by Dallapiccola and most are delightful madrigal-type fare by the likes of Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Frescobaldi and a bunch of other ones I've never heard of but are from the same era.
I think someone posted on the Dallapiccola Ulisses, and I looked it up, but rather pricey buy. Maybe available as a listen only option somewhere, although I never favor that. I only have heard Il Prigionero and didn't give it much time.
 

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Purple Violet Rectangle Font Magenta


Wow. The playing. This orchestra, again, how can it be this good? There's a profanity laden comment from Bernstein about how good they were when he was rehearsing a Mahler 2 with them (I think). Seems appropriate, polite language doesn't get there.
This performance is really fine, it is so "heard", by which I mean I hear the conductor hearing and steering the orchestra. Gorgeous, breathtaking. Please consider.

I'm been on a bit of a Heldenleben tear lately with a fancy reboot of the Reiner/CSO, and as much as I feel the authenticity of that, it pales compared to the modern Cleveland recording, as does the Haitink/CSO. Somewhere I have the Mengelberg/NYPO of yore and somewhere else the Kempe, but I think there's no more room at the top with this Cleveland version.

I don't have an HvK recording of this, odd I guess that I've never taken to his Strauss. Seems to be a bad match, to much goo from the conductor when the music benefits from a low calorie take, providing all the fat on its own. (Except for the small orchestra of the old Philharmonia Ariadne recording). Or the Concertgebouw/Haitink. I guess that leaves a few things to think about but right now I'm having a religious event with the Cleveland Orchestra :p
 
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