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Samurai
December 15th, 2011, 04:30 AM
Hope I'm not ruffling any feathers here, but I'd like to start our own Current Listening Section for Symphonic Works, for those of us who aren't that familiar with Opera--at least not yet. It would basically work like the ones already in place at our sister Forums of MIMF and TC. If it's permitted, then, I'll start:

On Spotify tonight:

Carl Nielsen--Symphony No.4 , Op.29, FS 76 {"The Inextinguishable"} and Symphony No.5, Op.50, Op.97. Both works feature Adrian Leaper conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. I especially like the 4th Symphony's muscular last movement: Carl Nielsen – Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, FS 76, "The Inextinguishable" : IV. Con Anima - Allegro (http://open.spotify.com/track/6rqwa7ITPiA9AyvNrfJFy9).
Johan Svendesen--Symphony No.1 in D Major, Op.4 and Symphony No.2 in B-Flat Major, Op.15. Both works are performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Neeme Jarvi. Never having listened to this compose before, he sounded a lot like Sibelius to me in many parts of these 2 works, especially in his use of the strings and winds.
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.1 in E Minor, Op.39, with Alexander Gibson conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 15th, 2011, 05:37 AM
Of course it is permited, Samurai. That's why this section is called non-operatic classical music. Feel free to post about symphonic works at will, you're very welcome!!

DrMike
December 15th, 2011, 01:35 PM
I had thought of a thread like this, but since I made the sacred choral works thread, I didn't want it to look like I am only here to discuss non-opera topics.

After burning myself out on Mozart opera in the last couple of days (Magic Flute, Figaro, Cosi, Don Giovanni), I need to get back to some non-dramatic classical. Today, I think I am going to go with a late romantic symphony - Rachmaninov's 2nd. This was truly a hidden gem - the melodies in this work are wonderful. I had thought that Rachmaninov was pigeon-holed into the role of composer for piano, but this symphony is truly very fine. I find Rachmaninov tends to have the overt sentimentality of Tchaikovsky - and for me, that is a good thing. My current favorite recording of this work is the recording on Naxos with Leonard Slatkin conducting.

itywltmt
December 15th, 2011, 02:10 PM
Carl Nielsen--Symphony No.4 , Op.29, FS 76 {"The Inextinguishable"} and Symphony No.5, Op.50, Op.97. Both works feature Adrian Leaper conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. I especially like the 4th Symphony's muscular last movement: Carl Nielsen – Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, FS 76, "The Inextinguishable" : IV. Con Anima - Allegro (http://open.spotify.com/track/6rqwa7ITPiA9AyvNrfJFy9).


I have a soft spot for Nielsen, and these two symphonies in particular.

Of the Fourth: I am most stunned by the (pardon my English) "lack of foreplay". It is as if Nielsen tore out the first three pages of the score, and gets right into it! And there's no looking back from that point on.

Of the fifth: The first movement is a particular favourite, especially the section before the coda where there's a duel between the snare drum and the orchestra - Nielsen's depiction IMHO of the inner struggle of Man of War Vs. Man of Peace, as the work finds its genesis at the tail end or right after WW One. Did you ever notice it is the only Nielsen symphony NOT to have a subtitle? Wonder why?

Brilliant, Brilliant works

itywltmt
December 15th, 2011, 02:22 PM
Working my way through my iPod music collection, by Composer alphabetically.

Just now: "B" is for Bruckner, listening to the symphonies from 00 to 9. Most of the Bruckner symphonies on my iPod come from the NAXOS compilation of the Bruckner symphonies conducted by Georg Tintner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He uses the Nowak editions. I will be discussing the Tintner set in my Chronique du Disque in December (in French on ITYWLTMT, in English on TalkClassical).

In addition to the Tintner set, I also have on the iPod:

Eugen Jochum/Staatskapelle Dresden (EMI) for the 4th and 7th (Haas edition, I believe)
Bernard Haitink/Staatskapelle Dresden (Profil) for the 8th (Haas as well?)
Yannick Nezet-Seguin/Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal (ATMA) for the 9th (Haas)

Schigolch
December 15th, 2011, 02:24 PM
I love very much this short symphony by Galina Ustvolskaya, her number two, published in the 1970s.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CErsD0nGuek

itywltmt
December 15th, 2011, 02:43 PM
Rachmaninov's 2nd. This was truly a hidden gem - the melodies in this work are wonderful. I had thought that Rachmaninov was pigeon-holed into the role of composer for piano, but this symphony is truly very fine. I find Rachmaninov tends to have the overt sentimentality of Tchaikovsky - and for me, that is a good thing. My current favorite recording of this work is the recording on Naxos with Leonard Slatkin conducting.

I own a recording by Slatkin conducting the St-Louis Symphony (VOX). I don't know if the NAXOS is a re-issue of that performance, but I agree Slatkin's treatment of Rachmanionov is first class, and he does things with the music (the second movement in particular) that I find unique to his interpretation (he attacks it a tad slower than others...)

My reference recording for this symphony is a vinyl I own of Maazel conducting (I believe) the Berlin Philharmonic (DG, 1980's?). I also heard a concert performance on TV years ago by Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra - excellent as I recall. Ormandy on record would also be a great place to go for this...

DrMike
December 15th, 2011, 03:25 PM
I own a recording by Slatkin conducting the St-Louis Symphony (VOX). I don't know if the NAXOS is a re-issue of that performance, but I agree Slatkin's treatment of Rachmanionov is first class, and he does things with the music (the second movement in particular) that I find unique to his interpretation (he attacks it a tad slower than others...)

My reference recording for this symphony is a vinyl I own of Maazel conducting (I believe) the Berlin Philharmonic (DG, 1980's?). I also heard a concert performance on TV years ago by Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra - excellent as I recall. Ormandy on record would also be a great place to go for this...
This recording has him conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and is paired with the Op. 34, No. 14 Vocalise (arranged for orchestra).
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514haKJxCuL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I have another recording by Previn - can't remember the specifics. Not a bad one, and it piqued my interest in the symphony, but not truly memorable, at least for me.

DrMike
December 15th, 2011, 03:28 PM
Working my way through my iPod music collection, by Composer alphabetically.

Just now: "B" is for Bruckner, listening to the symphonies from 00 to 9. Most of the Bruckner symphonies on my iPod come from the NAXOS compilation of the Bruckner symphonies conducted by Georg Tintner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He uses the Nowak editions. I will be discussing the Tintner set in my Chronique du Disque in December (in French on ITYWLTMT, in English on TalkClassical).

In addition to the Tintner set, I also have on the iPod:

Eugen Jochum/Staatskapelle Dresden (EMI) for the 4th and 7th (Haas edition, I believe)
Bernard Haitink/Staatskapelle Dresden (Profil) for the 8th (Haas as well?)
Yannick Nezet-Seguin/Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal (ATMA) for the 9th (Haas)

Have you, by chance, heard Celibidache's Bruckner recordings? Particularly the 4th? The tempi that he uses are some of the slowest I have ever heard, but for the 4th, it works incredibly well. I highly recommend checking out that recording, on EMI. Celibidache notoriously did not believe in recorded music, and so much of his works were only released after his death, and I am grateful we have this one.

itywltmt
December 15th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Have you, by chance, heard Celibidache's Bruckner recordings? Particularly the 4th? The tempi that he uses are some of the slowest I have ever heard, but for the 4th, it works incredibly well. I highly recommend checking out that recording, on EMI. Celibidache notoriously did not believe in recorded music, and so much of his works were only released after his death, and I am grateful we have this one.

Can't recall hearing that one. I own the Barenboim 4th, an Ormandy/Philadelphia 4th on vinyl... As for Celibidache, he is an "original", a true interpreter, in the tradition of Scherchen and Stokowski. Maybe I should look for that oine...

Aksel
December 17th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Johan Svendesen--Symphony No.1 in D Major, Op.4 and Symphony No.2 in B-Flat Major, Op.15. Both works are performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Neeme Jarvi. Never having listened to this compose before, he sounded a lot like Sibelius to me in many parts of these 2 works, especially in his use of the strings and winds.

Svendsen is awesome! I played the first symphony this autumn with a local symphony orchestra where I go to school. It was really good.
It's a shame he composed so little.

And to imagine, the first symphony was his graduation piece!

DrMike
December 19th, 2011, 08:47 PM
Just got these yesterday from iTunes - can't wait to listen to them. Reiner is one of my favorite conductors, and I have been meaning to pick up his recording of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. I decided I should also get the Dvorak 9th.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lrTESBSvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71M0W4Av86L.jpg

Samurai
December 20th, 2011, 04:02 AM
@ Aksel, Yes, I have been very impressed with Svendsen. It is indeed amazing that he could have written such an accomplished, polished piece at such a young age. I believe that Shostakovich was about 19 years old when he wrote his First Symphony as well!

Samurai
December 20th, 2011, 04:08 AM
On Spotify:

Carl Nielsen--Symphony No.2, Op.16, FS 29 {"The Four Temperaments"}, featuring Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart--Symphony No.35 in D Major, K.355 {"Haffner"}, performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Herbert von Karajan.

Samurai
December 20th, 2011, 04:13 AM
Ralph Vaughan Williams--Symphony No.5 in D Major, featuring Andre Previn conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Aaron Copland--Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid and Fanfare for the Common Man. All are performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein.
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.1 in E Minor, Op.39, Symphony No.4 in A Minor, Op.63, Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43 and Symphony No.3 in C Major, Op.52. All 4 symphonies feature Lorin Maazel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

Samurai
December 20th, 2011, 04:26 AM
@ itlywltmt, Your comments on Nielsen are fascinating; I never noticed before about the 4th Symphony being the only one of his symphonies w/o a sub-title. As you suggest, perhaps he was so overwhelmed by the horrors of the First World War that he thought it was pointless to even attempt to put any label or title on this work. I also really like his 5th Symphony, which does have a sort of martial feel to it with the snare drums "battling" the rest of the orchestra, almost like machine guns. Nielsen has rapidly become one of my favorite composers as has Sibelius. I just purchased a box set of the latter's complete symphonic cycle {listening to the 2nd even as I type this} done by the Vienna Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel, and I am really impressed with his interpretations. He really seems to make Sibelius' music breathe and come alive, as opposed to some other conductors I've heard. Now, if I can only find a good box set of Nielsen's Symphonies as well! Any suggestions on this score by you or any of our fellow members would be much appreciated indeed.

AmericanGesamtkunstwerk
December 20th, 2011, 10:53 PM
a couple weeks ago I went out to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Yannick did Jen Higdon's concerto for orchestra, Rachmaninov's "suite on a theme by Paganini" or something like that, and Tchaikovsky's 2nd "the Little Russian". it was a really awesome afternoon.

Samurai
December 21st, 2011, 12:35 AM
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.5 in E-Flat Major, Op.82, Symphony No.6 in D Minor, Op.104 and Symphony No.7 in C Major, Op.105.
All are performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Lorin Maazel.
Peter Tchaikovsky--Symphony No.4 in F Minor,Op.36 and Symphony No.5 in E Minor, Op.64, both featuring Herbert von Karajan leading the Vienna Philharmonic.

itywltmt
December 21st, 2011, 03:24 PM
@ itlywltmt, Your comments on Nielsen are fascinating; I never noticed before about the 4th Symphony being the only one of his symphonies w/o a sub-title. As you suggest, perhaps he was so overwhelmed by the horrors of the First World War that he thought it was pointless to even attempt to put any label or title on this work. I also really like his 5th Symphony, which does have a sort of martial feel to it with the snare drums "battling" the rest of the orchestra, almost like machine guns. Nielsen has rapidly become one of my favorite composers as has Sibelius. I just purchased a box set of the latter's complete symphonic cycle {listening to the 2nd even as I type this} done by the Vienna Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel, and I am really impressed with his interpretations. He really seems to make Sibelius' music breathe and come alive, as opposed to some other conductors I've heard. Now, if I can only find a good box set of Nielsen's Symphonies as well! Any suggestions on this score by you or any of our fellow members would be much appreciated indeed.

For the Nielsen symphonies, the best "complete" sets IMO are by Herbert Blomstedt. I know of two - one he did some time back with the Danish RSO for EMI, and a second he did (digital) for Decca with the San Francisco SO. They are both excellent.

itywltmt
December 21st, 2011, 03:31 PM
a couple weeks ago I went out to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Yannick did Jen Higdon's concerto for orchestra, Rachmaninov's "suite on a theme by Paganini" or something like that, and Tchaikovsky's 2nd "the Little Russian". it was a really awesome afternoon.

Did you mean the Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini? Who was the soloist?

I think you will come to love YNS as not only a conductor, but as an "interpreter", someone who has something to say musically about everything he does. He is a rare talent, and so young still!

Case in point: check out his recording of the Weill symphony and Rota's La Strada suite!
http://www.amazon.com/Nino-Rota-Strada-Weill-Symphony/dp/B000K2Q7NC/ref=sr_1_13?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1324481470&sr=1-13

In Montreal, he gets better press than Nagano, actually... Hometown boy does good! And good for him!

Samurai
December 22nd, 2011, 01:12 AM
For the Nielsen symphonies, the best "complete" sets IMO are by Herbert Blomstedt. I know of two - one he did some time back with the Danish RSO for EMI, and a second he did (digital) for Decca with the San Francisco SO. They are both excellent.

itywltmt, I absolutely agree with you on the Blomstedt reading with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra re: Nielsen's First Symphony; I heard it via Spotify and it is electric in its excitement! I also wanted to point out that I don't believe this symphony--like the 4th--has any sub-title either. If I am wrong in this, please let me know.

Best Regards,
Steve

Samurai
December 22nd, 2011, 01:19 AM
On Spotify:

Peter Tchaikovsky--Symphony No.3 in D Major, Op.29 {"Polish"}, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Claudio Abbado.
Einojuhani Rautavaara--Symphony No.1 {2003 version}, featuring Max Pommer conducting the Belgium National Orchestra. Very interesting and compelling work; I intend to listen to more of this composer's output!
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.1 in E Minor, Op.39, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by Sir Thomas Beecham.
Carl Nielsen--Symphony No.1 in G Minor, Op.7, FS 16, featuring Okko Kamu conducting the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Samurai
December 22nd, 2011, 01:24 AM
Pyotor Tchaikovsky--Symphony No.6 in B Minor, Op.74 {"Pathetique"}, performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Herbert von Karajan.
Aaron Copland--Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid and Fanfare for the Common Man, all performed by the New York Philharmonic directed by Leonard Bernstein.
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.1 in E Minor, Op.39 and Symphony No.4 in A Minor, Op.63. Both works feature Lorin Maazel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

Samurai
December 22nd, 2011, 04:59 AM
On Spotify:

Dmitri Shostakovich--Symphony No.6 in B Minor, Op.54, featuring Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Camille Saint-Saens--Symphony No.3 in C Minor, Op.78, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and organist Anthony Newman under the baton of Lorin Maazel in a riveting and electrifying performance.
Joachim Raff--Symphony No.2 in C Major, Op.140, featuring the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra led by Urs Schneider. I love its elegaic andante movement: http://open.spotify.com/track/4VKi6AiPqxmqftgVIJZmK0.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 23rd, 2011, 05:47 AM
Warsaw Variations

A documentary on Sir Andrzej Panufnik and Witold Lutosławski on iPlayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018cg7v)

itywltmt
December 23rd, 2011, 11:39 AM
itywltmt, I absolutely agree with you on the Blomstedt reading with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra re: Nielsen's First Symphony; I heard it via Spotify and it is electric in its excitement! I also wanted to point out that I don't believe this symphony--like the 4th--has any sub-title either. If I am wrong in this, please let me know.

Best Regards,
Steve

I stand corrected - The first and fifth (not fourth) don't have subtitles. I must have been thinking of the "last three" which I have i a vinyl box set (Blomstedt, Danish RSO).

Pierre

Samurai
December 24th, 2011, 04:20 AM
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43 and Symphony No.3 in C Major, Op.52. Both works are performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel.
Serge Prokofiev--Symphony No.7 in C-Sharp Minor, Op.131 and Symphony No.5 in B-Flat Major, Op.100. Both symphonies feature Mstislav Rostropovich conducting the Orchestre National de France.

Festat
December 24th, 2011, 08:02 AM
Mozart's 21st, KV 134, by Krips with the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.

Samurai
December 25th, 2011, 04:07 AM
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.5 in E-Flat Major, Op.82, Symphony No.6 in D Minor, Op.104 and Symphony No.7 in C Major, Op.105. All feature the Vienna Philharmonic led by Lorin Maazel.
Aaron Copland--Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid and Fanfare for the Common Man, performed by the NY Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein.

itywltmt
December 25th, 2011, 03:07 PM
Jean Sibelius--Symphony No.5 in E-Flat Major, Op.82, Symphony No.6 in D Minor, Op.104 and Symphony No.7 in C Major, Op.105. All feature the Vienna Philharmonic led by Lorin Maazel.


Here is the Sibelius cycle by the LSO under Anthony Collins - worth a listen!

http://public-domain-archive.com/classic/compositions.php?lang=eng&composer_no=71

Merry Xmas!

Elektra
January 2nd, 2012, 09:32 PM
Bruckner 4th, Sergiu Celibidache, MPO

Elektra
January 14th, 2012, 03:49 PM
Mahler 4th, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

150

StLukesGuildOhio
January 27th, 2012, 02:16 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61dslPRYHoL._SS400_.jpg

Robert de Visée was the leading French composer for the theorbo, an instrument which had be developed in Italy to play accompaniment to the lute. In some instances it supplanted the lute and took on the lead role. Robert de Visée was the chief exponent of compositions for the theorbo:

http://www.brightcecilia.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1252&d=1228380049

http://www.vanedwards.co.uk/pictures.htm/self3.jpg

http://www.jsbach.net/images/vanL-theorb-2.jpg

The instrument has a fuller more resonant and lower sound than the common lute thanks to the extra strings. Almost anyone who is a fan of Baroque lute music, be it by J.S. Bach, Sylvius Weiss, or John Dowland, will sure like this performance of music for the theorbo by Robert de Visée. The selections include works for solo theorbo, as well as pieces in which the instrument is accompanied by traverso, viol, and violin. Like all of the recordings I have sampled from Zig Zag Territories, this one is marvelously produced in terms of performers, sound quality, and packaging. My only reservation would be to note that the performance is very much close-miked in an effort to capture the resonating sounds of the strings. At times this can result in your hearing the breathing of the performer. Initially, this was slightly distracting... but just as Glenn Gould's "singing and humming" is forgiven in light of the rest of his performance, so this distraction quickly faded and I found myself enjoying this disc very much.


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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gpL6qKIrL._SS500_.jpg

Disc 2 of this set... a selection of songs by Rossini, Liszt, Debussy, Dvorak, and Rachmaninoff in homage of Jennie Tourel, Mezzo Soprano and Hendrick's teacher and mentor at Julliard. A lovely collection. The French songs by Liszt were a special surprise. I've only come across a few of Liszt's songs over the years but these suggest that I should delve deeper.


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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yzDF%2Bl79L._SS500_.jpg

I stupidly put off purchasing this disc for quite some time due to repeated negative comments made by certain self-proclaimed experts on contemporary music. This disc contains three works by Joan Tower (b. 1938) a composer who was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Composition, has been inducted in the National Academy of Arts and Letters and the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. She has also been recognized by an all-Tower performance at Carnegie Hall. Tower spent her childhood living in Bolivia, to which she attributes a fondness for percussion.

This disc includes three compositions, Made in America, Tambor, and Concerto for Orchestra. Made in America was commissioned by the Ford Made in America group. This group consists of 65 smaller budget American orchestras spearheaded by the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet the Composer and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Motor Company. Tower was aware that the work she was to compose would be played by orchestras of various abilities, and thus avoided writing passages that were overly challenging upon the performers. At the same time, she recognized that the work was to be played across the nation, and thus she needed to appeal to the rural as well as the urban audience. The central theme of the work is based upon the United States' "unofficial national anthem," America the Beautiful. The work caught me off guard... beginning in a manner that suggested the sort of late Romanticism embraced by earlier composers such as Virgil Thomson and even Samuel Barber... it rapidly developed into something far more strident... with elements of angst... angularity... energy, percussion, and near dissonance.

Tambor is even more laden with percussion of various "colors" rooted as it is in Tower's experiences of South America. The Concerto for Orchestra is a form that dates back to the 17th century, but Tower's more immediate source of inspiration was Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Like Bartok's Concerto, Tower's work is quite energetic and features various clusters and groupings of instruments acting as soloists against the orchestra as a whole.

This disc was quite enjoyable. The performance by Leonard Slatkin with the Nashville Symphony gave no hint of not being the work of one of the more major orchestras. While Tower's work may not be overly innovative or likely to cause a major shift within the narrative of classical music as a whole, it is quite marvelous in its own right... within the tradition of classical music as Tower inherited it... and I would very much recommend it to anyone seeking out examples of less esoteric or avant garde and more accessible works of contemporary orchestral music.


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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61tsBvVlSnL._SS500_.jpg

As a long-time William Blake fan(atic) I had to jump on this disc. I already have the following:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/6186pRW7YKL._SS400_.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZwHMVs%2B9L._SS400_.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wZOQ5WUNL._SS500_.jpg

The composer, Will Ayton, was born in China in 1948 to missionary parents and educated in Taiwan and the United States. He spent his adolescence in Pennsylvania and eventually took a doctorate Boston University. He teaches music and culture at Roger Williams College in Rhode Island. Ayton is also a player of the viol and as such his suite, A Reliquary for William Blake, is composed for viols and soprano. The music has elements both new and old. The sound of the viols is of course immediately suggestive of Baroque-era music, and there are aspects of this music that remind me of Elizabethan miniatures... the songs of Dowland and Campion (a couple of whose songs are included in settings for viols by Ayton). At the same time there are elements that suggest Minimalism (at times), an Anglo-American Romanticism rooted in folk songs, the songs of Copland, Barber, Ned Rorem, and Jake Heggie... and in other instances, something almost Asian. The work as a whole is very fluid... moving from sung settings of Blake's poems to spoken passages taken from his prose floated over the music... to purely instrumental passages. Ayton's work lacks William Bolcom's stylistic variety and audacity... yet at the same time, as a whole it may be more pleasing overall and successful... lacking some of Bolcom's true flops in attempting to set Blake to reggae.

The disc is fleshed out with instrumental (viol) settings from a suite entitled Four Songs from the British Isles, settings of two songs from Thomas Campion, another brief instrumental suite in 3 movements entitled, Incantations, a Fantasia on a Theme of Henry Purcell, and two more song settings.

The performance by A Consort of Viols and the mezzo-soprano Alexandra Montano is nothing short of first rate... as is the sound quality. This is perhaps not "essential" music. It is doubtful Ayton will garner more than a footnote in the narrative of music history... yet the music is quite pleasurable and I would certainly recommend it to anyone fond of Baroque viol music (looking at music of the Baroque viol through glasses colored by the sensibility of the twentieth century leads to some interesting moments), "Art Song" in the English language, and most assuredly to anyone enamored of William Blake. I suspect I will be listening to this disc quite a bit more often than I do to any number of other discs featuring the work of more innovative and avant garde composers.


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StLukesGuildOhio
January 27th, 2012, 02:19 AM
Mahler 4th, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

150

I just picked this disc up recently... more for the Renee Fleming performances of Berg's luscious early songs than for the Mahler 4th... which I already have by Fritz Reiner with the inimitable Lisa della Casa. Still Abbado's performance was quite delicious.

clavi
February 22nd, 2012, 01:40 AM
Martinu Cello Concerto
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51d6uSxBu6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I have to say, I wasn't impressed when I first heard it, but I've become really addicted to the feel of this work.

AmericanGesamtkunstwerk
February 28th, 2012, 07:25 PM
favorite beethoven symphonies: Roger Norrington and the period instruments.

it just WORKS for me, and works better than anything else.

Elektra
February 29th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Hans Rott: Symphony No. 1 (E major)

215