La discotheque ideale

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by eisenach, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. eisenach

    eisenach

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    Great! Lots of chats et pigeons - meme quelques souris!
     
    eisenach, Dec 19, 2003
    #21
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  2. eisenach

    tones compulsive cantater

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    EEK!!! A mouse!
     
    tones, Dec 19, 2003
    #22
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  3. eisenach

    titian

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    Oh Tones, I feel sorry for you. You know my wife,who lived with me for several years, didn't get it .
    Tones, between us (don't say it to anybody) :duck: , not everybody may have such a quality. :D
     
    titian, Dec 19, 2003
    #23
  4. eisenach

    tones compulsive cantater

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    I guess not, but careful! Others may not recognise your claim to perfection. I refer of course to Really Perfect Ones such as St. Ivor Tiefenbrunn, St. Julian Vereker and St. John Watson
     
    tones, Dec 19, 2003
    #24
  5. eisenach

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

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    Would you give me the recipe? Or you were just born that way? But anyway, what does it mean, being perfect?

    The perfect mind, the perfect body, the perfect husband or wife, father or mother, the perfect killer, the perfect philanderer. It seems a bit difficult. I, for instance, sometimes act as the perfect moron. How could I be the perfect genius at the same time? And must one be the perfect male and female at the same time, as Plato would have it?

    And, speaking of women, how to be the perfect blonde, the perfect redhead and the perfect brunette at the same time?

    A bit difficult, methinks. If you have the secret pm me. We don't want everybody to be perfect - one would become very average indeed. :MILD:
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Dec 19, 2003
    #25
  6. eisenach

    GrahamN

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    I think Herman has some fair points about pro-British bias here...but misses a few too.

    First the list. The pricipal biases (other than the previously mentioned bias towards HM) I see are a) almost anything by Harnoncourt or Herreweghe and b) almost anything mono! I'm rather suprised to see nothing by Pinnock/EC or AAM (particularly as AAM record for Harmonia Mundi). Although it's not really my period, these really were the founding fathers of the period movement. I've not heard a lot of Herreweghe's stuff, but what I have has been tedious, flabby and scrappy in the extreme. I've no intention of spending any more money on him! Harnoncourt I've more time for, but him for Bruckner 9 does seem a bit bizarre.

    How come Stravinsky got missed off the list? And there's Lassus, Lully, Rameau, Machaut - but what about Josquin, Palestrina, Tallis, Byrd. An what about France's major contribution to the classical world (other than Berlioz' contribution)....their organ music? OK Messiaen's there, but what about Franck (his organ music is much better than that rather tedious symphonie), Widor, Vierne, maybe even J. Alain, Durufle and Tournemire.

    As for the Berlioz - L'enfance du Christ (Shepherd's Farewell is nice, but the rest's...?) over the Requiem? Would be nice if they could put some pressure on for a re-release of the Orchestre Nationale/ORF version under Bernstein! The other recommendations seem deliberately to be excluding Colin Davis (I guess the only reason they let him in with Les Troyens is that no real Frenchman has done it - the closest you get is Dutoit/Montreal) - maybe it's still French pique at being shown up by him staging Les Troyens at Covent Garden before they got their finger out after a century of neglecting their best composer.

    As for Herman's other points.

    1) British dominance in the music industry.
    The British musical scene does seem to be pretty dominant at the moment. London has 4 major international concert halls (RFH, Barbican, QEH, Wigmore) and several smaller ones (Smith Square, Purcell, Conway, RAH...OK not 'small', but doesn't really figure outside of the Proms season), and is home to a number of international stars. With 4 or 5 major symphony orchestras, another 4 or 5 good to excellent provincial orchestras and a whole host of period bands, it's not surprising things do get a bit inwardly focussed. The period bandwaggon is clearly international now though - Christie, Minkowski, Savall, Bruggen, Suzuki all get good reps. (my one experience with Marcon though was truly appalling). As Manze said in an interview earlier this year, London's still just at the top of the pile, but the others are pushing very hard.

    The visiting bands though are still very high on the anticipation list: one of my most eagerly awaited concerts recently was Jansons in front of the Vienna Phil (which made it rather galling that it was mostly excellently technically played, but missing any degree of subtlety - v similar to his visit with the Pittsburgh - I was just expecting them to play the music as well as the notes)

    2) British music and the Proms
    If there has been one major criticism of Proms programming in recent years, it's been the almost pathological aversion of their Director to British music....unless the composer is pretentious, 'in' and alive! The only serious British representation, other than the many 'last performances' (i.e. commissions), is probably Elgar or Vaughan Williams symphonies. In the meantime we've had some truly dire Shostakovich (2nd and 3rd symphonies), Prokofiev (Ivan the Bloody Awful), Lalo (Symphonie Espagnole.....yawn). 2002 saw Spanish music of all sorts (admittedly mostly written by Frenchmen or Russians!). The contemporary mix does actually seem fairly cosmopolitan - this year other than wall-to-wall Ligeti we had Tuur, Pintscher, Goebbels, Gruber, Lidholm, Aho, Salonen. Those of us who do love tonal English music are not asking for the Proms to be put over to it wholly - far from it - but just to redress its almost complete neglect.

    3) Bax
    It's true that reading Gramophone at the moment would give the impression that Bax is one of the best composers who ever lived. This is clearly wrong (even though I have almost as much Bax as Beethoven), but I think comes as a backlash too the almost criminal neglect of him within the current London musical scene. In the anniversary year of their deaths, we got wall-to-wall Prokofiev, and not a single Bax symphony anywhere in London. Ironically, given Kenyon's distaste of English music (and Bax is probably more Irish than English anyway), the only advertised performances I can remember this year were at the Proms - "November Woods" and his film music for "Oliver Twist". As a taste of what we are missing, there was also Vernon Handley's performance of "Tintagel" at the Gramophone awards, which was magical.

    4) British bias in Gramophone
    Maybe there are a few too many excessively positive reviews given to British music in their pages. I bought CDs of Cecil Coles "Behind the Lines" and Bantock's "Thalaba the Destroyer" based on their rave reviews - and they are unremitting drivel.(Bantock's Sappho and Celtic/Hebridean Symphonies are of a completely different order though). I think one of the reasons for this is that Chandos and Hyperion (both big advocates of tonal English/British music) have probably the best technical standards of anyone producing CDs at present - both sonically and musically - so maybe these shade assessment of the music being played more than they should. They do also have other strong biases, e.g. period-instrument performances for almost anything (James Jolly is well known as a period junkie). Another charge you could probably level is a pro-Baltic/Scandinavian one - there's clearly a synergy in national ears between us and them.

    As for performances - I find it interesting that the recent Rattle discs have had less than fulsome reviews. Maybe this is still a pro-Rattle bias though, as from what I've heard his Beethoven was awful, and I didn't like his Mahler 5 much more.

    Other than my extensive collection of quaint British (Arnold, Bantock, Bax, Bliss + bits of Ireland, Harty, Stanford, Sullivan), I've got a fair bit of 20th cent Baltic/Scandinavian (Part, Rautavaara, Tubin, Holmboe, other Estonians, Ivanovs) - but what "quaint" Austro-Swiss-German and French composers should I be investigating? I already have a fair amount of Franz Schmidt, Poulenc plus some Othmar Schoek, Honegger and Frank Martin (OK francophone Belgian). Please don't recommend anything sung in French (vile language to listen to singing in IMNSHO) as I already have more than enough of that with all the Berlioz. And what about the Dutch - anyone other than Andriessen?
     
    GrahamN, Dec 20, 2003
    #26
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