Discussion:
Musical Blind Spots
(too old to reply)
John Gavin
2003-09-09 14:15:04 UTC
Permalink
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?

Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?

Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.

I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Simon Roberts
2003-09-09 15:01:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and Ravel.
Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy and Ravel, for
instance), though in other instances I think it's just junk.
Post by John Gavin
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
I usually like his solo keyboard music, but was disappointed by this disc, which
has the virtues you describe but also important interpretative flaws - this is
frequently quirky music, with abrupt shifts of mood etc. Pletnev seems to be
trying to make it all sound as smooth and pretty as possible. He succeeds
admirably but, to these ears, entirely misses the point.
Post by John Gavin
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
That's my reaction to the concertos too. The sonatas and piano trios strike me
as much better, but still....

Simon
Matthew Silverstein
2003-09-09 16:24:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and Ravel.
Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy and Ravel, for
instance), though in other instances I think it's just junk.
Out of curiosity, what are some of the other instances?

Matty (who is looking to start a fight)
Simon Roberts
2003-09-09 18:25:08 UTC
Permalink
In article <q9n7b.362$***@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com>, Matthew
Silverstein says...
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel.
Post by Simon Roberts
Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy and
Ravel, for
Post by Simon Roberts
instance), though in other instances I think it's just junk.
Out of curiosity, what are some of the other instances?
Matty (who is looking to start a fight)'
If you really want to *start* a fight you should name your own junk....

Simon
Matthew Silverstein
2003-09-09 20:37:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
If you really want to *start* a fight you should name your own junk....
That's fair.

Matty (who is looking for Simon to start a fight . . .)
Simon Roberts
2003-09-09 20:46:28 UTC
Permalink
In article <rSq7b.484$***@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com>, Matthew
Silverstein says...
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Simon Roberts
If you really want to *start* a fight you should name your own junk....
That's fair.
I try.

Simon
Simon Smith
2003-09-09 16:37:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel. Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy
and Ravel, for instance), though in other instances I think it's just
junk.
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one... Really, it
makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
--
Simon Smith | http://www.ingemisco.com/
"I am myself only in music. Music is enough for a whole lifetime - but a
lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov
Johannes Roehl
2003-09-09 20:24:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Smith
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel. Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy
and Ravel, for instance), though in other instances I think it's just
junk.
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one... Really, it
makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
Going back a bit, more-or-less the entire French baroque is lost on me too.
This I find strange, do you really find Handel so entirely different
from Rameau that you like one and can't stand the other? Or Bach's
keyboard music and Couperin?
(I have a curious problem with french singing, it just doesn't work well
for me, but some music I like enough to listen anyway; no problem with
french music in general, although it took me some time to like Debussy)

Johannes
Simon Roberts
2003-09-09 20:34:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
Post by Simon Smith
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel. Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy
and Ravel, for instance), though in other instances I think it's just
junk.
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one... Really, it
makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
Going back a bit, more-or-less the entire French baroque is lost on me too.
This I find strange, do you really find Handel so entirely different
from Rameau that you like one and can't stand the other?
Yes.

Or Bach's
Post by Johannes Roehl
keyboard music and Couperin?
Yes, though I can take the latter in very small doses when played on the piano.
Post by Johannes Roehl
(I have a curious problem with french singing,
Do you mean French music for voice, or French singers, or both (or something
else)?

Simon
Johannes Roehl
2003-09-09 21:56:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Johannes Roehl
(I have a curious problem with french singing,
Do you mean French music for voice, or French singers, or both (or something
else)?
I do not like the sound of the French language when sung (so that
applies to Gluck sung bei people of whatever nationality as long as it's
in French). Of course I do listen to some such pieces, because I like
the music, but I would prefer it to be sung in Italian (or German or
English).
I don't mind the sound of spoken French, although I do no think it is
half as beautiful as most Non-French people seem to find it to be, and
if I cared about popular French Chanson or Jazz or whatever I wouldn't
mind the language there either. But the nasals and the syllables which
are usually almost swallowed but pronounced in classical style singing
and maybe some other features of the language I just do not like in
combination with classical singing.

Johannes
Mark Stenroos
2003-09-09 23:00:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Smith
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel. Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy
and Ravel, for instance), though in other instances I think it's just
junk.
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one... Really, it
makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
Going back a bit, more-or-less the entire French baroque is lost on me too.
Maybe our first names have something to do with it....
Simon>>
Interesting how tastes differ.

I love Debussy & Ravel. I love most opera. Pelleas & L'enfant are two
of my favorite operas.

I find Messiaen interesting - I don't dislike his music, but I don't
feel a close identity with it.

My big blind spot - Mozart. I like a few pieces (Linz Symphony, Sym
29), appreciate the rest of it...and love none of it.

And I'm not even that big a fan of Glenn Gould (cryptic disliking
Mozart reference)!
John Gavin
2003-09-10 01:49:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Stenroos
Post by Simon Smith
Post by Simon Roberts
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and
Ravel. Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy
and Ravel, for instance), though in other instances I think it's just
junk.
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one... Really, it
makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
Going back a bit, more-or-less the entire French baroque is lost on me too.
Maybe our first names have something to do with it....
Simon>>
Interesting how tastes differ.
I love Debussy & Ravel. I love most opera. Pelleas & L'enfant are two
of my favorite operas.
I love them too - and Faure and Poulenc with a somewhat lesser
intensity. One French composer I can't fathom however is Saint Saens
- the vast majority of his works seems blatently mediocre to me.
Post by Mark Stenroos
I find Messiaen interesting - I don't dislike his music, but I don't
feel a close identity with it.
I do like Messiaen - find the Vingt Regards very moving. Late
Messiaen is harder to fathom though.
Post by Mark Stenroos
My big blind spot - Mozart. I like a few pieces (Linz Symphony, Sym
29), appreciate the rest of it...and love none of it.
I almost hate to confess that I feel somewhat similar. On the other
hand, as much as I dislike opera, I find the Magic Flute to be a
transcendental experience. It's probably the Mozart work I love the
most.
David7Gable
2003-09-09 23:27:13 UTC
Permalink
Oh thank G*d! I was starting to worry that I was the only one [not to
get/like Debussy and Ravel]...
Really, it makes me feel ill. (I think it's a French music problem, I mean
lots of
Messiaen does the same to me.)
For years I didn't get Debussy. It just sounded like film music to me, and I
couldn't understand the awe in which he was held by Boulez and Stravinsky. Now
I think La mer is a far richer, far more substantial, subtle, and ambiguous
piece than Rite of Spring any day of the week.

I think I "get" Ravel. I just don't like his music all that much. I also
think Debussy's a better composer.

I also have friends who love "modern' music and composers like Carter who
dislike Boulez precisely because of his Frenchness. I think a taste for Manet,
Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Rimbaud, Debussy, Matisse, René Char, Boulez, and the
like is a very different taste from a taste for fin de siècle German or
Austrian late Romantic or expressionist culture (Wagner, Mahler, Strauss, Berg,
Klimt, Rilke). One of the things Boulez has attempted to do in his music is to
harness the developmental complexity of Wagner, Mahler, and Berg to a very
different French ethos. It's the Frenchness of Boulez's music that has
attracted composers like Copland, Virgil Thomson, Stravinsky, and Rorem to his
music. (Rorem can't stand Boulez the man but loves a lot of the later music,
including Éclat/Multiples and Répons, music he's characterized as belonging to
"the continuing stream of impressionism.")

-david gable
Samir Golescu
2003-09-09 23:59:42 UTC
Permalink
Both Debussy and Ravel were fantastic composers -- with Debussy perhaps
being the more profound one. It's a pity they didn't write more, but what
they did it's amazingly consistent, coherent, and creative. With Debussy
even a trifle of the youth such as the First Arabesque has an amazing
degree of imagination and sense of organizing musical events in a way
which is both intelligible and yet lacks repetitiousness (not that far
from Bach's actually). Don't even get me started on the extraordinary
musical virtues of Ravel's orchestrations, to talk only about one of the
"surface layers" of his music. . .

regards,
SG
David7Gable
2003-09-10 00:13:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Samir Golescu
It's a pity they didn't write more
Debussy especially. What I wouln't give for nine La mer's to set beside
Mahler's nine symphonies. I've always wondered why the French composers I like
the most weren't more prolific, whether or not the kinds of French things they
attempted in their music isn't one of the problems. Compare Berlioz to
Beethoven, Debussy to Schoenberg, or Boulez to Carter. Hell, Beethoven wrote
more than Berlioz, Debussy, and Boulez combined.

-david gable
Bob Harper
2003-09-10 00:34:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Samir Golescu
It's a pity they didn't write more
Debussy especially. What I wouln't give for nine La mer's to set beside
Mahler's nine symphonies. I've always wondered why the French composers I like
the most weren't more prolific, whether or not the kinds of French things they
attempted in their music isn't one of the problems. Compare Berlioz to
more than Berlioz, Debussy, and Boulez combined.
-david gable
I love La Mer, and most other Debussy for that matter (though I don't
have much experience of the vocal music, and I'll admit the Etudes are a
tough nut), but it's hard to imagine *nine* La Mers; it seems to me that
Debussy pretty well said it all with that work. Maybe the reason the
composers you mention wrote comparatively little is that their very
originality militated against repetition.

Bob Harper
Dan Koren
2003-09-10 08:31:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
I love La Mer, and most other Debussy for that matter (though I don't
have much experience of the vocal music, and I'll admit the Etudes are a
tough nut), but it's hard to imagine *nine* La Mers; it seems to me that
Debussy pretty well said it all with that work. Maybe the reason the
composers you mention wrote comparatively little is that their very
originality militated against repetition.
Bingo !!!



dk
Dan Koren
2003-09-10 08:20:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Samir Golescu
It's a pity they didn't write more
Debussy especially. What I wouln't give for nine La mer's to set beside
Mahler's nine symphonies. I've always wondered why the French composers I like
the most weren't more prolific, whether or not the kinds of French things they
attempted in their music isn't one of the problems. Compare Berlioz to
more than Berlioz, Debussy, and Boulez combined.
Quantity does not make up for quality.

Plus a lot of what LvB wrote is just
plain scales and arpeggii.



dk
Dan Koren
2003-09-10 08:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Samir Golescu
Both Debussy and Ravel were fantastic composers -- with Debussy perhaps
being the more profound one. It's a pity they didn't write more, but what
they did it's amazingly consistent, coherent, and creative. With Debussy
even a trifle of the youth such as the First Arabesque has an amazing
degree of imagination and sense of organizing musical events in a way
which is both intelligible and yet lacks repetitiousness (not that far
from Bach's actually). Don't even get me started on the extraordinary
musical virtues of Ravel's orchestrations, to talk only about one of the
"surface layers" of his music. . .
How about d'Indy?



dk
Paul Goldstein
2003-09-10 14:15:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by Samir Golescu
Both Debussy and Ravel were fantastic composers -- with Debussy perhaps
being the more profound one. It's a pity they didn't write more, but what
they did it's amazingly consistent, coherent, and creative. With Debussy
even a trifle of the youth such as the First Arabesque has an amazing
degree of imagination and sense of organizing musical events in a way
which is both intelligible and yet lacks repetitiousness (not that far
from Bach's actually). Don't even get me started on the extraordinary
musical virtues of Ravel's orchestrations, to talk only about one of the
"surface layers" of his music. . .
How about d'Indy?
D'Indy was D'Andy.

Paul Goldstein
David Gomberg
2003-09-10 15:41:01 UTC
Permalink
It doesn't surprise me that people have "blind spots" (I have some of my
own). What surprises me - nay, mystifies me - is that several responses
in this thread have included statements to the effect that "There are
pieces by X that I like, but I still don't get them." Would some of you
who said something like this please explain how this can be?

Thanks,

Dave Gomberg
For email replies, remove the NO SPAM
Alex
2003-09-10 23:11:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Gomberg
It doesn't surprise me that people have "blind spots" (I have some of my
own). What surprises me - nay, mystifies me - is that several responses
in this thread have included statements to the effect that "There are
pieces by X that I like, but I still don't get them." Would some of you
who said something like this please explain how this can be?
When I say it, admittedly more often about atonal/dissonant pieces that
I've not heard enough times, it just means that I'm still at the point
where I can't see any pattern in the music...where one or more notes
could have been changed to just about any other note(s) without having
any obvious effect on the experience of listening to it. I remember
first listening to Stravinsky's The Flood and Threni, or Boulez's Le
Marteau Sans Maitre and Sur Incises. I really don't have much of a
knowledge of musical form, and i'm not that bothered about acquiring it
right now (i've even got bored of reading the liner notes to pieces
nowadays). But initially they were pretty random or abstract sounding,
whereas with repetition i'm much more familiar with the overall shape of
the pieces, know when a part I especially like is coming up etc.

This probably hasn't helped. I'd be interested in reading other peoples
responses.
RX-01
2003-09-09 21:25:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Heavens, yes. Vast tracts of the stuff, including all of Debussy and Ravel.
Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy and Ravel, for
instance), though in other instances I think it's just junk.
Post by John Gavin
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
I usually like his solo keyboard music, but was disappointed by this disc, which
has the virtues you describe but also important interpretative flaws - this is
frequently quirky music, with abrupt shifts of mood etc. Pletnev seems to be
trying to make it all sound as smooth and pretty as possible. He succeeds
admirably but, to these ears, entirely misses the point.
Post by John Gavin
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
That's my reaction to the concertos too. The sonatas and piano trios strike me
as much better, but still....
Simon
I also don't get most of Ravel's and Debussy's music. And Hummel's piano
concertos. Oh, and Schumman's piano music sounds too simple to me.

RX-01
--
To reply be e-mail, add the word kons before the number.
Johannes Roehl
2003-09-09 15:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Of course. But it's unclear, if 'don't get' means only 'don't like' or
'be indifferent' or 'think they are plain bad/third rate' or tsomething
else
Post by John Gavin
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
I do not know this particular disc, but I'd suggest that you should try
his symphonies for strings (Hamburg symphonies); I am not sure if there
is a good complete recording, but there are some on discs by the
Akademie fuer Alte Musik and one with three (+two concerti) by the
Freiburger Barockorchester (on harmonia mundi).
This is actually rather wild music (somewhat similar to the middle Haydn
symphonies like the Farewell), no rococo at all. I'd also recommend a
disc by Fortepianist Staier and two other musicians with three quartets
for flute, viola and keyboard (also dhm). Here one may find some traces
of rococo elegance, but overall Ilike it quite a bit. CPE Bach seems to
have experimented with various styles, sometimes stil close to the
baroque, sometimes rococo, sometimes more similar to haydn and early
Beethoven. Some pieces probably do not hold together very well, because
of these features, but I found the pieces mentioned to be very
interesting music.

Johannes
Kelly P. Clark
2003-09-09 18:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Opera...all opera...period. Tried and failed...some choral music,
especially Berlioz...aside from his orchestral music, I just can't
listen. Strange considering I'll listen to Berio, Ligetti...as for
contemporaries, I really struggle with Carter...but I'm certain I'm
not alone.
Ramon Khalona
2003-09-10 00:30:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kelly P. Clark
Opera...all opera...period. Tried and failed...some choral music,
especially Berlioz...aside from his orchestral music, I just can't
listen. Strange considering I'll listen to Berio, Ligetti...as for
contemporaries, I really struggle with Carter...but I'm certain I'm
not alone.
You certainly aren't. I find most of Berlioz intolerably noisy,
including his big hits. Elgar is not far behind...

RK
David7Gable
2003-09-10 03:49:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ramon Khalona
I find most of Berlioz intolerably noisy,
including his big hits.
His six loud effects versus his thousand quiet ones? Do you know the Adagio
from Romeo and Juliet?

-david gable
Ramon Khalona
2003-09-10 13:58:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Ramon Khalona
I find most of Berlioz intolerably noisy,
including his big hits.
His six loud effects versus his thousand quiet ones? Do you know the Adagio
from Romeo and Juliet?
On your recommendation, I'll have to give it another try.

RK
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-10 22:29:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ramon Khalona
Post by David7Gable
Post by Ramon Khalona
I find most of Berlioz intolerably noisy,
including his big hits.
His six loud effects versus his thousand quiet ones? Do you know the Adagio
from Romeo and Juliet?
On your recommendation, I'll have to give it another try.
RK
Please do, the most beautiful love music in the world. But then you should
try the almost equally hushed and beautiful last 1/2 hour or so of Les
Troyens, as well as the Nocturne that ends Act One of Beatrice and Benedict.
And in a different vein, the enhancting and delicate Queen Mab Scherzo from
Romeo and Juliet.
David7Gable
2003-09-11 02:33:50 UTC
Permalink
Please do [listen to the Adagio from Berlioz's R & J], the most beautiful love
music in the world.

Sure is.
as well as the Nocturne that ends Act One of Beatrice and Benedict.
I was going to mention the Nocturne from Béatrice & Bénédict myself, Larry. If
that doesn't convert you to Berliozian poetry, you're not going to convert.
I've always wanted to make a Berlioz CD for skeptics that included the Love
Scene from R & J, the Nocturne from B & B, Le spectre de la rose, and two
settings for chorus and orchestra: "Sara la baigneuse" and "La mort d'Ophélie.
The delicate invention of Sara and the pathos of Ophelia are so far removed
from conventional notions of Berlioz yet absolutely characteristic of him, but
they're hard to program and little known. From Troyens I would throw on the
lineup of Quintet, Septet, and Love Duet from Act IV. The kind of stillness
Berlioz is able to spin in the septet as the Moon ascends over the Nile . . .
nobody else in the 19th century could do that sort of thing.

-david gable
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-11 02:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Rinkel
Please do [listen to the Adagio from Berlioz's R & J], the most beautiful love
music in the world.
Sure is.
as well as the Nocturne that ends Act One of Beatrice and Benedict.
I was going to mention the Nocturne from Béatrice & Bénédict myself, Larry. If
that doesn't convert you to Berliozian poetry, you're not going to convert.
I've always wanted to make a Berlioz CD for skeptics that included the Love
Scene from R & J, the Nocturne from B & B, Le spectre de la rose, and two
settings for chorus and orchestra: "Sara la baigneuse" and "La mort d'Ophélie.
The delicate invention of Sara and the pathos of Ophelia are so far removed
from conventional notions of Berlioz yet absolutely characteristic of him, but
they're hard to program and little known. From Troyens I would throw on the
lineup of Quintet, Septet, and Love Duet from Act IV. The kind of stillness
Berlioz is able to spin in the septet as the Moon ascends over the Nile . . .
nobody else in the 19th century could do that sort of thing.
-david gable
Actually when I wrote the following - "But then you should try the almost
equally hushed and beautiful last 1/2 hour or so of Les Troyens" - I
inadvertently left out the crucial "Les Troyens, Act IV."
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-11 04:18:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Rinkel
Actually when I wrote the following - "But then you should try the almost
equally hushed and beautiful last 1/2 hour or so of Les Troyens" - I
inadvertently left out the crucial "Les Troyens, Act IV."
Ah! The quintet, septet, and Love duet. Well, our Berlioz compilation
CD's
will be pretty similar. (On the other hand, Didon does have a couple of
ravishingly beautiful airs in the final scene, which is what I thought you
meant before you said Act IV.)
-david gable
Indeed. But there's only so much room on a CD, and I would sooner include
Act IV than V. And I would have to include Marguerite's air with the cor
anglais from Faust, and perhaps more from that wonderfully unruly work.
David7Gable
2003-09-11 05:41:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Rinkel
But there's only so much room on a CD, and I would sooner include
Act IV [of Troyens] than V.
Moi aussi.
Post by Larry Rinkel
And I would have to include Marguerite's air with the cor
anglais from Faust,
You mean "D'amour l'ardente flamme." Absolutely. The only trouble is finding
a wholly satisfying performance, and believe me I've tried. I wish Josephine
Veasey had recorded it with somebody other than Davis on his slowest night out.

It does look as if our Berlioz-for-skeptics CD's will be identical.

-david gable
Ramon Khalona
2003-09-10 13:56:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ramon Khalona
Post by Kelly P. Clark
Opera...all opera...period. Tried and failed...some choral music,
especially Berlioz...aside from his orchestral music, I just can't
listen. Strange considering I'll listen to Berio, Ligetti...as for
contemporaries, I really struggle with Carter...but I'm certain I'm
not alone.
You certainly aren't. I find most of Berlioz intolerably noisy,
including his big hits. Elgar is not far behind...
Noisy? I been some of the Brucknerthons that rattled the windows of
St. Flori[a]n.
At least Bruckner's noise is on pitch. :-)

RK
William Quentin (Bloom)
2003-09-09 18:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
I have so many blind spots I'm lucky I don't walk in front of a truck.
My biggest one is in the area of post-Romantic British music. Elgar,
Vaughn-Williams, Holst, Arnold, Bax, Bliss...they're all lost on me.
I have a recording of The Planets (which I almost never listen to),
but beyond that I don't own any recordings of their music. I also
don't much see the point of Rachmaninov -- I have one CD of his music,
and I don't see myself buying any more in the foreseeable future.

-Billy
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-10 00:57:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Quentin (Bloom)
I have so many blind spots I'm lucky I don't walk in front of a truck.
My biggest one is in the area of post-Romantic British music. Elgar,
Vaughn-Williams, Holst, Arnold, Bax, Bliss...they're all lost on me.
I have a recording of The Planets (which I almost never listen to),
but beyond that I don't own any recordings of their music.
Since I have a blind spot for most of those dull tonal 20th-century pastoral
Brits myself, I can scarcely agree that Billy has a "blind spot."

Here and there I like some of that stuff - Elgar's Cockaigne Overture is a
lot of fun, and his Cello Concerto is genuinely moving for me, very
different from the 1st Symphony's Colonel Blimp. There is a great
Brucknerian passage for brass in Alessio (In the South), but otherwise I'll
pass. Gerontius for me is a snooze. I like V-W's Tallis Fantasia, maybe the
Fourth Symphony. And some of Britten, like Peter Grimes and the Sinfonia da
Requiem. Tippett's Midsummer Marriage, but only in small doses.
Post by William Quentin (Bloom)
I also
don't much see the point of Rachmaninov -- I have one CD of his music,
and I don't see myself buying any more in the foreseeable future.
I like him more than I used to (esp. the Paganini Rhapsody and Symphonic
Dances), but not as a daily event.

And isn't this thread improperly titled? If we were trashing Seurat and
Mondrian on a paintings board, would our thread be called "Artistic Deaf
Spots"?

- Larry
(Hoping to start a fight with all the Anglophiles, and deeply resenting
Simon's comments on some of my favorite Frenchmen. Junk indeed!)
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-10 22:25:45 UTC
Permalink
Rinkel
Post by Simon Roberts
says...
Post by Larry Rinkel
- Larry
(Hoping to start a fight with all the Anglophiles, and deeply resenting
Simon's comments on some of my favorite Frenchmen. Junk indeed!)
? I specifically said I didn't think their music was junk! I don't even
say it
Post by Simon Roberts
when no-one's lookin....
Simon
"Much of the time I don't doubt the quality of the music (Debussy and Ravel,
for
instance), *though in other instances I think it's just junk."*
- Simon Roberts

Hah!
EDS
2003-09-09 19:06:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
I listened to Pletnev's CPE Bach. It's not you, it's the performance. It
didn't touch me at all.
RX-01
2003-09-09 21:41:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
There's a lot of music I don't get (in alphabetical order):

Bach: Bradenburg concertos
Most of Bach's choral music, except St. John's Passion
Berlioz: Requiem, Symphonie Fantastique
Brahms: Solo piano music sounds too simplistic
Debussy: His piano music, the string quartet.
Faure: Requiem
Handel: his oratorios!
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Messiaen: Quartet for the end of time
Ravel: most of his piano music
Saint-Saens: Carnival of the animals
Schumann: his piano music, his piano concerto
Shostakovich: the 15th symphony (though I love it!), the 6th
Sibelius: the 5th and 7th (again I love these works but cannot grasp them)
Stravinksy: the violin concerto
Tchaikovsky: symphonies 1-3

Many times I have tried to "grasp" the above works but usually I get
either bored or cannot focus. So far, there have been 3 composers whose
works I find that I don't have any blind spots: Haydn, Beethoven, Bruckner.


RX-01
--
To reply be e-mail, add the word kons before the number.
Johannes Roehl
2003-09-09 21:56:32 UTC
Permalink
I agree that CPE Bach's music doesn't hang together as well as, say,
that of his father (or that of the Classicists) - but I find myself
liking it in part just for this endearingly haphazard feeling... the
music can seem almost a bit nutty in its spontaneity. Although large
amounts of CPE Bach at one go may get tiring.
(Sorry, I find myself echoing Johannes, who wrote a very good
description of CPE Bach's style.)
<blush>
Yours is much better, I just wrote that he sounds a little like some
middle-period Haydn (and of course it actually is the other way round),
anyway the rococo impression of the original poster hast to be mainly
Pletnev's fault in this case.
My musical blind spots? Sigh.
Well, let's put it this way. I'm proud to say that, although I'm
blind as a bat, at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Because of that movie? ;-)
Seriously, I recently discovered Ravel's Piano trio and like it
immensely, probably more than anything of his music I heard before, but
it's more classicist than impressionist (whatever this shold mean
precisely), so that may be one reason (for me).

Johannes
David7Gable
2003-09-09 23:41:22 UTC
Permalink
(but why is the Concerto for Two Pianos so highly rated?).
By whom? I don't think I know anybody who's wild about that piece. I should
have thought the two most highly rated neoclassical period Stravinsky pieces
would be Oedipus Rex and the Symphony of Psalms, the most likely to be
performed or written about. (It does seem as if The Rake's Progress is
gradully entering the standard repertory of opera houses.)

-david gable
David Wake
2003-09-09 23:52:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Richard Strauss and, I have now decided, Mahler.

David
mmoum[no-spam-please]
2003-09-10 00:30:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Haydn Symphonies, but I love his Piano Sonatas and String Quartets.
Don't know why the disparity.

Franck.
Berlioz (sorry, Matthew)

My most interesting change of perception: I used to absolutely hate
Bartok, but kept trying because there were enough people whose judgement
I respected who thought highly of his music. One day on a program on
NPR, a musicoligist whose name escapes me said that he didn't get
Bartok, until one day he realized that the string quartets sounded just
like late Beethoven. So I tried again with the quartets, and all of a
sudden I *got* it. Now I love all of his music, especially the quartets
and piano music.

Mike
Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 00:28:01 UTC
Permalink
I have a blind spot for most choral music. Oh, I can enjoy Bach's B minor
Mass, Missa Solemnis, Verdi's Requiem and a few others, but much of it,
especially from the Romantic era sounds pretty much alike to me. I've
gotten nowhere with the Faure Requiem.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
John Wilson
2003-09-10 04:53:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Curtis Croulet
I have a blind spot for most choral music. Oh, I can enjoy Bach's B minor
Mass, Missa Solemnis, Verdi's Requiem and a few others, but much of it,
especially from the Romantic era sounds pretty much alike to me. I've
gotten nowhere with the Faure Requiem.
There isn't much of anywhere to get.

John
Allen & Linda Tyler
2003-09-10 00:33:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Mahler
R. Strauss
Rimsky-Korsakov (he got much better after he took Stravinsky as a
student, and while he was "rescuing" Mussorgsky)
Rachmaninoff (except for Rhapsody, Vespers, Symphonic Dances)
Anyone composing in England after Purcell and before Britten
Philip Glass
Respighi (how could he and Stravinsky studied with the same person?)

That should serve to raise the hackles of some folks out there.
Allen Tyler
Allen & Linda Tyler
2003-09-10 00:39:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by RX-01
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Mahler
R. Strauss
Rimsky-Korsakov (he got much better after he took Stravinsky as a
student, and while he was "rescuing" Mussorgsky)
Rachmaninoff (except for Rhapsody, Vespers, Symphonic Dances)
Anyone composing in England after Purcell and before Britten
Philip Glass
Respighi (how could he and Stravinsky studied with the same person?)
That should serve to raise the hackles of some folks out there.
Allen Tyler
Oops! Forgot absolute numero uno on my don't-get list: Wagner.
Allen Tyler
David M. Cook
2003-09-10 00:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Renaissance polyphony

Lovely, but I tend to start squirming rather quickly.

Liszt Faust symphony

Why does anybody record this collosal bore (I think Bernstein recorded it
twice!)

Most opera

I've put a moratorium on buying opera CD sets as I find that they tend to
gather dust on my shelves. Either opera is not compelling on CD, or I
don't have the patience for it. Maybe I should buy more highlight discs.
Librettos also tend get in the way of enjoyment (I have a similar problem
with lieder). I'm not a voice hater, though.

Richard Straus

I could probably live happily without him, though I do enjoy some of his
music.

Much solo piano music

Aside from Schubert, Ravel, and a few others, piano music simply does not
interest me very much.

Dave Cook
Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 19:24:11 UTC
Permalink
(I have a similar problem with lieder)
Now that you mention it, I also have a blind spot when it comes to Lieder.
It seems to me that for real comprehension one needs a native command of
German. I like German, I can read some of it, and even most of my ancestors
on my father's side were German, my French name notwithstanding. But for me
that's not sufficient to really understand Lieder. Another blind spot: R.
Strauss's Sinfonia Domestica. The very premise of this piece makes me gag.
However, I'm not totally and forever hopeless on "blind spot" music. I used
to be alternately bored and annoyed by Shostakovich, but I've recently
learned to really like him. So, Lieder fans, my dawn may yet come.
Probably not today, though.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 23:30:25 UTC
Permalink
Most opera can be enjoyed even if you have only a general idea of what's
going on, especially Italian opera, especially when seen in the theater.
Usually the same ideas get repeated over and over, to make sure you don't
miss the point. And a typical Verdi opera is full of hummable tunes, which
can be enjoyed on their own. On the other hand, the music of most Lieder,
even Lieder by Schubert, is not sufficiently arresting to allow me to ignore
the language problem. However, now that you mention Mahler, I *have*
enjoyed orchestral Lieder like Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Been a long time
since I heard it, though. Dowland is a long-familiar name to me, but I
don't tink I've ever heard a note of his music. I like Britten's Serenade.
Now that you've reminded me of it, maybe I'll play it when I get home.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Terry Simmons
2003-09-10 01:19:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Listening to Pletnev's recording of music of C.P.E. Bach - I'm
enjoying the playing itself and the fine recorded sound by DG but 3/4
of the way through I realize I just DON'T GET this music. Beyond a
certain vague rococo charm this music just doesn't stick in any way.
Does anyone out there have a strong conviction about this music?
Another blind spot for me is the music of Hummel. This includes the
chamber music, Piano Sonatas and Concertos. People have raved about
Stephen Hough's recording of 2 concerti, and yes, the playing is very
fine, but again, the music just makes no impact on me as anything
other than diversionary and mediocre.
I'll just conclude for now that we have musical blind spots.
Yes, I agree.

But the good news is that the condition is not permanent! I have often
found that after trying for a while to "get" a composer, I've given up and
then returned to him some time later and found myself entranced.

Possibly, other musical experiences in the meantime have provided insights
that have provided the key to the previously-locked door.
--
Cheers!
Terry
Thomas Wood
2003-09-10 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Bruckner. Is there anything TO get?

Most of Berlioz (except for Harold in Italy, which I think is a
masterpiece).

Verdi.

Stravinsky's Firebird, and most of the Rite of Spring. Yawn. I like many of
his other works, however.

Shostakovich -- but I suspect I will someday.

Mahler -- but I'm going to listen to him til I DO get him.

Tom Wood
Mark Stenroos
2003-09-10 05:15:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Wood
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Bruckner. Is there anything TO get?
Most of Berlioz (except for Harold in Italy, which I think is a
masterpiece).
Verdi.
Stravinsky's Firebird, and most of the Rite of Spring. Yawn. I like many of
his other works, however.
Shostakovich -- but I suspect I will someday.
Mahler -- but I'm going to listen to him til I DO get him.
Tom Wood
Save alot of time - skip trying to get Mahler and concentrate on
Bruckner. It's more rewarding. Try approaching him through his Adagio
movements rather than the loud and somewhat episodic faster movements.
The Finale of Mahler's Third is the closest he ever came to achieving
Brucknerian ecstacy.

You don't like Verdi? Are there opera composers you do like,
particularly Italians? Verdi to me is the greatest of all opera
composers (and therefore, he resides in the top 10 of ALL composers),
surpassing even Wagner and Mozart. But then, I was a singer for many
years so my view is skewed.

How can one not love Berlioz? I knew a guitar player type who disliked
almost all romantic era music because he found the long-winded
melodies to be pointless and annoying. He was a "motif" person, so to
speak. But I attributed that to the fact that guitarists are by the
nature of their performance media minaturists. BTW - I LOVE those
long-winded melodies, especially in Berlioz's R&J.

I agree with you about Stravinsky. Outside of the Big, popular ballet
scores, I don't connect to much of it. Lord knows I've tried! Rake's
Progress is the most over-rated opera in history, IMHO.


Chacun a sa gout!
Samir Golescu
2003-09-10 05:39:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Stenroos
Chacun a sa gout!
Or even "a son gout". . .

regards,
SG (:
Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 19:28:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Wood
Most of Berlioz (except for Harold in Italy, which I think is a
masterpiece).
Berlioz's Requiem falls in the bin of Romantic era choral music that I
dissed in an earlier message. Most of the rest of Berlioz is OK, though --
except Les Troyens, compared to which Parsifal (which I adore) is a mere
bagatelle.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Bill McCutcheon
2003-09-10 02:26:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
For me, two of the most-discussed composers on the NG: Mahler and Bruckner.
Also, many (most?) 20th century composers.

Except for overtures, very little opera appeals to me. I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's not
by a composer known primarily for opera.] I'm definitely a "bleeding
chunks" kind of listener.

I don't care for most solo music, with the exception of some of the
"biggies" (Mozart, Beethoven, some Bach, Schubert, Haydn).

-- Bill McC.
Scott Kurtz
2003-09-10 03:35:21 UTC
Permalink
I predict that your one opera is Fidelio.
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
For me, two of the most-discussed composers on the NG: Mahler and Bruckner.
Also, many (most?) 20th century composers.
Except for overtures, very little opera appeals to me. I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's not
by a composer known primarily for opera.] I'm definitely a "bleeding
chunks" kind of listener.
I don't care for most solo music, with the exception of some of the
"biggies" (Mozart, Beethoven, some Bach, Schubert, Haydn).
-- Bill McC.
David7Gable
2003-09-10 03:51:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's not
by a composer known primarily for opera.]
Fidelio. I doubt it's Bluebeard's Castle or Pelleas.

-david gable
Bill McCutcheon
2003-09-10 04:14:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's not
by a composer known primarily for opera.]
Fidelio. I doubt it's Bluebeard's Castle or Pelleas.
-david gable
Nope, and it's also an exception to my general disinterest in 20th century
music.
-- Bill McC.
Joshua Kaufman
2003-09-10 10:51:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's
not
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
by a composer known primarily for opera.]
Fidelio. I doubt it's Bluebeard's Castle or Pelleas.
-david gable
Nope, and it's also an exception to my general disinterest in 20th century
music.
Moscow, Cheremushki?
*ehehehe*

-Joshua
--
AOL-IM: TerraEpon
Andrew T. Kay
2003-09-10 04:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one? It's
not
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
by a composer known primarily for opera.]
Fidelio. I doubt it's Bluebeard's Castle or Pelleas.
-david gable
Nope, and it's also an exception to my general disinterest in 20th century
music.
-- Bill McC.
Rake's Progress?
Porgy and Bess?


--Todd K
Bill McCutcheon
2003-09-10 04:32:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew T. Kay
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
I have only one
complete recording of an opera. [Anyone care to guess which one?
It's
Post by Andrew T. Kay
Post by Bill McCutcheon
not
Post by David7Gable
Post by Bill McCutcheon
by a composer known primarily for opera.]
Fidelio. I doubt it's Bluebeard's Castle or Pelleas.
-david gable
Nope, and it's also an exception to my general disinterest in 20th century
music.
-- Bill McC.
Rake's Progress?
Porgy and Bess?
--Todd K
Bingo! You win the rest of my complete opera collection. :-)
-- Bill McC.
Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 19:33:45 UTC
Permalink
I like Porgy & Bess very much, but the climax ("I'm on my way") is much too
brief.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Bill McCutcheon
2003-09-10 20:52:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Curtis Croulet
I like Porgy & Bess very much, but the climax ("I'm on my way") is much too
brief.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Perhaps so, although I never really thought about that; it's only about 1:15
long. [That's one minute, 15 seconds, for those more accustomed to
Wagnerian scale! :-) ]
-- Bill McC.
Bill McCutcheon
2003-09-10 04:30:14 UTC
Permalink
Well, let's put it this way. I'm proud to say that, although I'm
blind as a bat, at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Lena
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. [I fall into the
latter group, BTW.] There seems to be very little middle ground when that
piece is discussed.
-- Bill McC.
Samir Golescu
2003-09-10 05:26:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Listen to the seldom mentioned here Histoires naturelles, preferably with
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. [I fall into the
latter group, BTW.] There seems to be very little middle ground when that
piece is discussed.
But surely this is both a mesmerizing AND mind-numbingly repetitious
piece. Depends who's performing it!

regards,
SG
(who thinks the Bolero was one of Mengelberg's very few less successful
interpretations)
David Wake
2003-09-10 14:08:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Samir Golescu
Post by Bill McCutcheon
at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Listen to the seldom mentioned here Histoires naturelles, preferably with
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. [I fall into the
latter group, BTW.] There seems to be very little middle ground when that
piece is discussed.
But surely this is both a mesmerizing AND mind-numbingly repetitious
piece. Depends who's performing it!
Whom do you recommend for Bolero? I was just listening to
Silvestri/Paris Cons., one of the more successful Boleros I've heard,
but still not right for me. Munch/Boston is OK, but I need more
portamenti. Do you know anyone who makes the E major shift truly
ecstatic?

David
Samir Golescu
2003-09-10 17:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Wake
Post by Samir Golescu
But surely this is both a mesmerizing AND mind-numbingly repetitious
piece. Depends who's performing it!
Whom do you recommend for Bolero? I was just listening to
Silvestri/Paris Cons., one of the more successful Boleros I've heard,
but still not right for me.
That is by far my present favorite. I've actually been fascinated by it so
much that I keep postponing re-listening to it, like the kid hiding the
candy from himself. Judging by Bruno Maderna's uniquely revelatory
recordings of French music I've heard, his Bolero (provided he's ever been
recorded in it) should be something to be looking forward to.

regards,
SG
Lena
2003-09-10 21:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Samir Golescu
Post by Bill McCutcheon
at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Listen to the seldom mentioned here Histoires naturelles, preferably with
Maderna and with a text in front of you.
I'm curious now...
I'm practicing. I'm ramping up to get the courage to tell Dan off. :)
Post by Samir Golescu
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. [I fall into the
latter group, BTW.] There seems to be very little middle ground when that
piece is discussed.
But surely this is both a mesmerizing AND mind-numbingly repetitious
piece. Depends who's performing it!
And not even on that! :)

Lena
Andy Evans
2003-09-10 10:12:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. >>

I find it bland, lacking in drama, and without an obvious rhythm.

=== Andy Evans ===
Visit our Website:- http://www.artsandmedia.com
Audio, music and health pages and interesting links.
Lena
2003-09-10 21:29:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill McCutcheon
Well, let's put it this way. I'm proud to say that, although I'm
blind as a bat, at least I do *not* have any spots near Debussy.
Unlike some. :) I make up for that by being bored by all Ravel
except the Bolero. :)
Lena
Ravel's Bolero ... a piece which elicits very extreme responses. Some find
it mind-numbingly repetitious; others find it mesmerizing. [I fall into the
latter group, BTW.] There seems to be very little middle ground when that
piece is discussed.
I was kidding a little (though I actually do like the Bolero). No,
not because of that movie. :)

In reality Ravel is just a slightly myopic spot, and I don't know
Ravel particularly well. My actual blind spots are so numerous they
will bore everyone even more than a tyical piece by... by..... oh
well. :)

Thanks to all for the Ravel recommendations!

Lena
David7Gable
2003-09-10 05:07:14 UTC
Permalink
Rake's Progress?
But Stravinsky was practically an opera composer. He wrote four of 'em if
Oedipus Rex (an opera-oratorio as the composer awkwardly labeled it) counts:
Rossignol, Mavra, Oedipus, Rake. Then there are Renard and The Flood.
Certainly a composer for every species of musical theatre.

-david gable
Sonarrat
2003-09-10 05:12:56 UTC
Permalink
Organ music in general...

-Sonarrat.
David Wake
2003-09-10 14:09:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
Organ music in general...
-Sonarrat.
I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
Does Le Banquet Celeste do nothing for you?

David
John Gavin
2003-09-11 02:07:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Wake
Post by Sonarrat
Organ music in general...
-Sonarrat.
I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
Does Le Banquet Celeste do nothing for you?
David
L'Ascension and La Nativite do alot for me - they are favorites. For
me the post Bach organ composers that are solidly worthwhile are
Franck, Durufle, and Messiaen. By "solidly" I mean all their works.
I'm fond of SOME Dupre, and Alain - but I've tried hard to appreciate
Widor and Vierne - and I only like very few of their works.
David M. Cook
2003-09-10 20:22:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
Organ music in general...
I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
Yeah, add organ music other than Bach (very occaisonally) or some little
bauble by Frank or Widor.

Guitar music is another blind spot. Most of it strikes me as salon music.

Britten's vocal music (I did enjoy the War Requiem once, but seem to have
lost the knack).

A lot of modern vocal music. I can enjoy a lot of modern orchestral music,
but very few modern composers seem to write well for the voice.

Dave Cook
Sonarrat
2003-09-10 21:45:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
Organ music in general...
I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
I don't even like the Bach. I had several organist friends at Oberlin, and
heard quite a few performances, all sorts of different composers. Just a lot of
tasteless, self-absorbed bombast, and not much else...

-Sonarrat.
Raymond Hall
2003-09-11 01:01:18 UTC
Permalink
"Sonarrat" <***@postmark.net> wrote in message news:***@corp.supernews.com...
| "Larry Rinkel" <***@optunderline.net> wrote in message
| news:AbD7b.135534$***@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...
|
| > "Sonarrat" <***@postmark.net> wrote in message
| > news:***@corp.supernews.com...
|
| > > Organ music in general...
| >
| > I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
|
| I don't even like the Bach. I had several organist friends at Oberlin,
and
| heard quite a few performances, all sorts of different composers. Just a
lot of
| tasteless, self-absorbed bombast, and not much else...

You mean to say, that you cannot appreciate the great Preludes and Fugues of
Bach? Amongst the greatest Musiks ever written. And the organ isn't called
the King of all instruments for nothing. Pianos are just fancy wooden boxes
of tensioned strings, that produce sounds similar to that of a gnat besides
a lion of an instrument such as an organ. I suggest you climb up into an
organ loft, and tickle some real ivories <g>

But each to their own, I suppose.

Regards,

# http://www.users.bigpond.com/hallraylily/index.html
See You Tamara (Ozzy Osbourne)

Ray, Taree, NSW
Sonarrat
2003-09-11 01:46:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
|
|
| > > Organ music in general...
| >
| > I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
|
| I don't even like the Bach. I had several organist friends at Oberlin,
and
| heard quite a few performances, all sorts of different composers. Just a
lot of
| tasteless, self-absorbed bombast, and not much else...
You mean to say, that you cannot appreciate the great Preludes and Fugues of
Bach? Amongst the greatest Musiks ever written. And the organ isn't called
the King of all instruments for nothing. Pianos are just fancy wooden boxes
of tensioned strings, that produce sounds similar to that of a gnat besides
a lion of an instrument such as an organ. I suggest you climb up into an
organ loft, and tickle some real ivories <g>
In fact, I do dislike those Bach P&Fs for organ, mainly because they're so
predictable next to the wild, even iconoclastic work in the Well-Tempered
Klavier.

-Sonarrat.
Bob Lombard
2003-09-11 02:23:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
In fact, I do dislike those Bach P&Fs for organ, mainly because they're so
predictable next to the wild, even iconoclastic work in the Well-Tempered
Klavier.
I think the wtc P&Fs are different beasties, Sonarrat; different
target. I enjoy many of the organ P&Fs if I get the organ at a
reasonable distance, and the reverberations aren't too extreme. And
some of the transcriptions of them work well, so I suspect my problems
aren't with the music so much.

bl
Joshua Kaufman
2003-09-11 03:38:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
In fact, I do dislike those Bach P&Fs for organ, mainly because they're so
predictable next to the wild, even iconoclastic work in the Well-Tempered
Klavier.
To chip in, I'm not big on organ music, though I haven't heard much. I
*do* love it as an orchestral instrument however.
As for Bach, most of it is just so BORING (though most of Bach in
general I feel that way, even if he did write some of the greatest music
ever). I do enjoy some of the more popular organ selections of his
though, especially the Passacaglia which is certainly included in that
'greatest music ever' clause...

On the flip side, I like Saint-Saens enough that I took a risk and
ordered the complete organ music (on Pro Arte)...it hasn't even shipped
yet, so I have no idea what I'll think.

-Joshua
--
AOL-IM: TerraEpon
Dan Koren
2003-09-10 08:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
I don't get German composers -- with very few exceptions.


dk
John Gavin
2003-09-10 12:44:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
I don't get German composers -- with very few exceptions.
dk
Interesting, I feel little affinity with Eastern European composers -
Bartok, Janacek, Smetana - maybe a bit more for Dvorak. The exception
is Liszt and to some degree Enescu. It's not that I dislike these
composers - they just provoke very little response.

Opera singing and operatic voices in general, on the other hand, drive
me up a wall. When I used to shop in Tower Records, and an opera was
playing on the speakers, I tried to get out as soon as possible.
That's how bad it is. I'm very fond of other vocal music, by the way.
Operatic voices sound unnaturally swollen to me - the vibratos as
usually unbearable to my ears.
Tom Daish
2003-09-10 13:54:32 UTC
Permalink
I didn't want to reply to this thread originally for fear of being blacklisted
for having terrible taste, but evidently I'm not the only one to have blind
spots and some quite large ones, although I would guess I rule out a larger
proportion of works than most. My biggest blind spots are chamber music, most
things pre-Beethoven and opera.

Quite big chunks of repetoire really, although it would seem I'm not alone in
not finding much to enjoy in opera. It's really the timbre of the operatic voice
that does nothing for me, but it frustrates me that I can't enjoy it as much as
I'd like, mainly because it forms substantial part of many composers'
repertoires. I have several Wagner Preludes and Overtures CDs (bleeding chunks
as many so rather overgraphically describe it) and think that he'd written
symphonies and ballets, I'd attempt to buy them all, but I can't cope with his
music when the singing starts. I did buy the Brilliant Classics Ring Cycle in
the hope that one day I'd like it, but figured that if not, I could just listen
to all the orchestral passages and still get value for money!

Chamber music doesn't thrill me, I don't know why, probably just the more
limited selection of timbres - this is the main reason I particularly don't
enjoy solo instruments, particularly piano music (despite being a reasonable
pianist myself), the piano just seems so grey and uninteresting on its own.
Great in a concerto, but otherwise a bit unexciting.

Baroque and most Classical period music (and before) doesn't interest me much. I
do enjoy neo-classical or neo-baroque - anything from Stravinsky to Michael
Nyman doing neo-something I enjoy, but the real thing leaves me cold.

There are other bits and bobs - anything too astrigent and "modern," especially
if listening to it is really hard work. I like a challenge when listening to
music, but sometimes the challenge is too great!
--
Tom

Soundtrack Express, nice...
www.soundtrack-express.com
--
Johannes Roehl
2003-09-10 14:55:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Daish
Chamber music doesn't thrill me, I don't know why, probably just the more
limited selection of timbres -
You could try to start either with 'large ensemble' chamber music, like
Mozart's wind serenades, Schubert's Octet, Brahms piano quintet or with
'unusual timbre' music like the bartok quartets.
You certainly miss a lot when neglecting both chamber and opera, but I
understand that the aversion against operatic singing may be something
hard to cure.
I may be totally wrong, but I believe that this aversion against trained
singing voices is something partly due to the dominance amplified
singing in about all genres of music since more than fifty years.
Singing into a mic is less straining and thus sound s-up to a point-
more natural than unamplified trained voices. Or you listened to the
wrong recordings/performances of opera ;-)
But chamber music can actually be as colorful as symphonic music.
Post by Tom Daish
Baroque and most Classical period music (and before) doesn't interest me much. I
do enjoy neo-classical or neo-baroque - anything from Stravinsky to Michael
Nyman doing neo-something I enjoy, but the real thing leaves me cold.
It may be the performer's fault, have youever tried younger HIP
ensembles like Musica Antiqua Koeln or Il Giardino Armonico?

Johannes
David7Gable
2003-09-10 20:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
It may be the performer's fault,
More HIP hubris: that he doesn't like Baroque music is the fault of ALL
pre-HIP performers?
Post by Johannes Roehl
have youever tried younger HIP
ensembles like Musica Antiqua Koeln or Il Giardino Armonico?
In other words, he might like his Baroque music remade by HIP to sound like
neo-classical Stravinsky or minimalism, which is what HIP performances mostly
are.

-david gable
Samir Golescu
2003-09-10 20:54:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
In other words, he might like his Baroque music remade by HIP to sound
like neo-classical Stravinsky or minimalism, which is what HIP
performances mostly are.
Minimalism? Yes. "Neo-classical Stravinsky"?? You must have an exceedingly
good day.

regards,
SG
Simon Roberts
2003-09-10 20:56:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by David7Gable
Post by Johannes Roehl
It may be the performer's fault,
More HIP hubris: that he doesn't like Baroque music is the fault of ALL
pre-HIP performers?
Or at least those he heard. Depending on what he heard I wouldn't find that at
all surprising. Regardless of whether they're "authentic," the best HIP baroque
performances transform the music for me and, evidently, some others.
Post by David7Gable
Post by Johannes Roehl
have youever tried younger HIP
ensembles like Musica Antiqua Koeln or Il Giardino Armonico?
In other words, he might like his Baroque music remade by HIP to sound like
neo-classical Stravinsky or minimalism, which is what HIP performances mostly
are.
Performances by the groups cited don't sound at all like that, but even if they
did, why not?

Simon
Daniel
2003-09-11 01:55:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
But chamber music can actually be as colorful as symphonic music.
Chamber music usually sounds different shades of brown to me.
Mark Stenroos
2003-09-11 02:10:53 UTC
Permalink
You might be right. Amplified singing is, in some ways, more natural than
operatic singing and since I'm accustomed to it everywhere, the force of
operatic style is simply too much.
Wow. That may be one of the most wrong-headed (wrong-earred?)
assessments of operatic singing I've ever read! However, it is
instructive because I believe that in a nutshell it sums up the
problem most have with "operatic" singing.

First off, one needs to dispel the myth that operatic singers are
doing something unnatural. To the contrary, good operatic singing and
training usually involves the stripping away of accumulated bad habits
and regionalisms. In short, an opera singer works to get back to
square one. At that point, it's a matter of focussing and aligning all
of the muscles, brain functions etc of the individual to realize the
OPTIMUM realization of the vocal organ, as it were. You may not
believe it, but once a singer gets his stuff together, the dynamic
range (both loud AND soft) and colors available in their singing voice
increases. I've stood on stage next to a number of great singers in my
life (like Bergonzi, Cossutto, Giaotti, Fleming, Hines etc) who had
sizable voices, and I can tell you that their art was based on a
perfect blend of physical conditioning, muscular tone and
balance...and well-aligned and -developed vocal production. These
people - most of whom were rather short and stocky - produced great
volumes of sound and amazing pianissimi with little apparent effort -
EXCEPT FOR THAT "GOOD" PHYSICAL EFFORT ONE NEEDS TO SING WELL.

Bergonzi said to me, "if the effort isn't in your support, it will
travel to your throat."

In any case, my long-winded point is that GOOD operatic singing is
akin to a great athlete, ie: a person who - with the same muscles all
of us possess - takes their basic physicality and trains it to an
optimum level. That is the reason that an operatic singer with a great
technique can be heard over a 100-piece orchestra. It's NATURAL.

I would suggest you listen to some of the great singers of the past
decades - Corelli, Nilsson, Gedda, Tebaldi, Bergonzi, et al - in their
primes to see what the human voice is capable of achieving. It's not
fair to base your assessment on poor practitioners of the art. After
all, you could say that you disliked the violin as an instrument if
the only violinist you had ever heard was Jack Benny.

And, BTW - one of the worst ways to evaluate classical singers is via
recordings. Recordings have historically given much more favorable
results to small, mono-chromatic voices. Large, multi-colored voices
can be very difficult to reproduce accurately through recordings -
voices that bloom in the space of a large theatre can seem
over-bearing and one-dimensional when recorded with a mic scant inches
from their mouths!

In closing, let me say this - there are very few pop singers
(amplified singers) who sing in a "natural" way. Sinatra did, Tony
Bennett does, Aretha Franklin does, etc. Most pop singers of today -
ie: Madonna, Britney Spears, Christine what's-her-name, those country
types - sing with a technique full of bad habits and mis-aligned
muscles. Maybe that's why they all sound basically the same...sort of
like a cat in heat.

There's a big difference between what's natural and what's habitual.
We've confused the two in the past couple of decades when evaluating
classical singing.

There's nothing more inspirational to these ears than a well-produced
operatic voice doing what it does at its best.
Matthew Silverstein
2003-09-11 02:49:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Stenroos
In closing, let me say this - there are very few pop singers
(amplified singers) who sing in a "natural" way. Sinatra did, Tony
Bennett does, Aretha Franklin does, etc. Most pop singers of today -
ie: Madonna, Britney Spears, Christine what's-her-name, those country
types - sing with a technique full of bad habits and mis-aligned
muscles.
What does a "technique of bad habits" have to do with naturalness (or a lack
thereof)?

Matty
Matthew Silverstein
2003-09-11 10:57:00 UTC
Permalink
It equates to "a lack thereof" when it comes to naturalness.
Why? If everyone seems naturally to acquire these bad habits, how could they
be unnatural? And if it requires years of training to sing operatically (or
to unlearn the bad habits), why would you call that natural? Because you
like it more?

Matty

Curtis Croulet
2003-09-10 19:42:38 UTC
Permalink
Back in the 1950s there was an evening radio program called "Morris Plan
Masters of Melody," with a string chamber ensemble playing sacchrine
arrangements of Broadway show music and the like. After I became addicted
to classical music, it took several years for me to overcome the aversion to
chamber music induced by this program.
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33° 27' 59"N, 117° 05' 53"W
Daniel
2003-09-10 20:20:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Gavin
Are there any composers or compositions that you just don't get?
Brahms, Wagner
Roland van Gaalen
2003-09-10 20:34:30 UTC
Permalink
Mozart

My fault, my loss, I admit!
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam

E-mail: R.P.vanGaalenATchello.nl (replace AT by @)
Lena
2003-09-10 21:36:38 UTC
Permalink
Most of British music between the death of Purcell and the mid-1950s.
(laugh)
Quite a bit of Kurtag (seems like the surface trappings of a received
'musicality' without much of the substance a lot of the time,
commodity music; nonetheless there are a few remarkable pieces)
Interesting opinion. Well, interesting to me. Mainly because I've
recently started thinking a little along those lines about some Kurtag
heard, although I don't view it as negatively as you seem to. (I.e. I
wouldn't call it "without substance"; it's more that I found myself at
odds with the musical "gestures" in some pieces (chamber music).)

Lena
Larry Rinkel
2003-09-10 22:02:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sonarrat
Organ music in general...
I'm afraid that other than Bach, I have to agree.
Even those late Brahms pieces that are not quite à la manière de Bach,
Larry?
Or pre-Bach organ music?
-david gable
I don't really like the sound of the instrument, I'm afraid. I don't know
the Brahms (though I think I have a CD of it somewhere), but I was thinking
more of the Widor and Vierne type of piece.
David7Gable
2003-09-11 02:16:51 UTC
Permalink
How many people like Italian
opera with only a very incomplete knowledge of Italian?
Lieder is a strange genre, though, and I can understand that some people
will never get it, regardless of the language used.
I know this is heresy, but I routinely listen to Italian opera and German
Lieder without a clue what's going on in the text. I knew the last act of
Luisa Miller (one of the finest things in all of Verdi, by the way) like the
back of my hand before I had ever seen the text. On the other hand, as I get
to know an opera better through listening to the music, my curiosity is
generally aroused at some point, and I become curious about the plot. But even
more than seeing the libretto, what I really want to get my hands on when I'm
getting to know an opera is the score. (Not always easily done, by the way. I
have yet to see a score of Spontini's Agnes von Hohenstaufen.)

I don't object to knowing the text. I like it when I do. It adds a dimension
to the experience of listening to opera or Lieder, and, paradoxically, I'm
actually extremely interested in opera as opera and the whole question of
operatic dramaturgy and operatic form. And after I'm familiar with the plot,
of course, I know what's going on when I listen, and it enhances my
appreciation, but it's not a deal breaker for me. I'm completely capable of
listening to opera and Lieder as if they were chamber or symphonic music, and I
don't think knowledge of the language is necessarily a requirement for
appreciating either opera or song as music. Obviously knowledge of the
language would help anybody interested in the larger work, the song as song or
opera as drama. But how many fans of Boris know Russian?

I also can't stand to listen to spoken dialogue or secco recitative on records,
although I appreciate them in the opera house.

-david gable
David7Gable
2003-09-11 02:20:22 UTC
Permalink
Just a lot of tasteless, self-absorbed bombast, and not
Post by Sonarrat
much else...
I can understand saying that about some of the early [Bach] virtuoso pieces,
I can't. And most of Bach's organ music is early anyway.

-david gable
David7Gable
2003-09-11 02:52:07 UTC
Permalink
The two repertories I love most--post-war modern music à la Boulez et al and
nineteenth-century Italian opera--tend to engender more resistance from
classical music fans than any other repertories. I'm not inured to it, either.

-david gable
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