Your favourite 20 mins of music - ever!

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by GrahamN, May 25, 2004.

  1. GrahamN

    GrahamN

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    OK - so we've done top 10s (although there're pobably several more to be covered yet), but now it's down to the wire. If you have to restrict yourself to just 20 mins of music for the rest of your life, what would it be.

    Despite my love of the grandiose and awe-inspiring, mine has to be the 2nd movement of Beethoven's last piano sonata - Op 111. It's just achingly beautiful, superbly balanced and...and...words just fail. The opening is so still, but tense and pregnant with expectation I sometimes have to remind myself to breathe. Then as it goes through those doubles the excitement level builds up till we get to the jazz bit and those cross-rhythms take you over completely. Then when that's all done - we get 10 minutes of the most sublime detumescence, and Ludwig takes us through visions of other worlds (a bit like Kubrick at the end of 2001 - but orders of magnitude better). And to think he never heard a note of it....or is that the only reason he could havce written it?

    The late quartets of course have something of the same other-worldliness about them - and the Grosse Fugue has long been another of my favourites - but none of them transport you in quite the same way as this.

    I was just reminded of all this having been a wonderful concert given at the QEH by Paul Lewis this evening, where the 2nd half was Op 90 and Op 111. There were plenty of microphones around, so it may be broadcast on R3 in a week or two's time. First half was Chopin, Busoni and Scriabin - all played superbly.
     
    GrahamN, May 25, 2004
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  2. GrahamN

    tones compulsive cantater

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    Hmm, wonder how much Monteverdi's Vespers I can squeeze into 20 minutes? Must be good for "Nisi Dominus" and "Lauda Jerusalem" at least, my favourite bits of spine tingle. May I have some Bach too, can I, can I, please?
     
    tones, May 26, 2004
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  3. GrahamN

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    verdi requiem Dies Irae sprang to mind, but I'm not sure.
    Better would be the last bit of Gotterdamerung from Siegfried's Funeral Music until the end. Simply awesome
     
    lordsummit, May 26, 2004
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  4. GrahamN

    michaelab desafinado

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    Damn! You beat me to it :(

    That would be my choice too - no question :) As you said, simply awesome.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, May 26, 2004
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  5. GrahamN

    GrahamN

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    Sorry - that's about 38 minutes (even on the Solti), so too long! Maybe allow you up to 25 at a stretch - it's my game so I make the rules. And Tones, it has to be continuous as the composer wrote it (or at least as it has come down to us) - no highlights!

    I did wonder about the end of Goetterdaemmerung, or Wotan's Farewell, which reduces me to tears every time I hear it, but neither of those give me quite the transport to another place that I get from Op 111.
     
    GrahamN, May 26, 2004
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  6. GrahamN

    Slaphead Lurking less

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    There is something about Beethovens 1st that I will never get bored with. If I had to live with just 20 mins of music for the rest of my life I think that would be the one.
     
    Slaphead, May 26, 2004
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  7. GrahamN

    PeteH Natural Blue

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    I'll take the Bach double violin concerto, please. Fresh, vibrant, evergreen music - a truly timeless masterpiece it would be a pleasure to be stuck with.
     
    PeteH, May 26, 2004
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  8. GrahamN

    michaelab desafinado

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    OK then I'll still settle for the last 20 mins of Gotterdammerung :)

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, May 26, 2004
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  9. GrahamN

    tones compulsive cantater

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    Ok then, it'll be a 20 minute slice fo the Vespers, probably starting from "Nisi Dominus", which should get me "Lauda Jerusalem" and perhaps even "Ave Maris Stella". Must look and see.
     
    tones, May 26, 2004
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  10. GrahamN

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    Right if I'm not allowed 38 minutes (how unreasonable) I'll have the last 20 minutes from Gotterdamerung, or maybe the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde...
    No Gotterdamerung wins it.
     
    lordsummit, May 26, 2004
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  11. GrahamN

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

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    If it must really last about 20 m, I'd go for the 3rd movement of the Hammerklavier (Brendel second version, first Philips one).

    Now I'll go away into darkness again.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 27, 2004
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  12. GrahamN

    JackOTrades

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    oh dear... 20 mins... very tough call, i'd spend more than that choosing what to play... :confused:

    i guess i would be happy with Philip Glass violin concerto...
    brahms double takes longer... so does Mozart's Requiem or
    his great mass in C... :rds2:

    yes, Glass's violin concerto then. That's it.
    (but tomorrow it could be something different, i guess... :nigel: )

    :beer:
    Jack
     
    JackOTrades, May 27, 2004
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  13. GrahamN

    GrahamN

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    Well, not a lot of surprises so far - I could probably have predicted most of those ;) .

    RdS - I would actually have predicted you'd come up with something completely unknown by Buxtehude, or maybe some obscure Italian/Iberian polyphonist :D

    However.....Glass Vln - interesting choice. That slow movement is quite captivating and the energy in the outer movements truly invigorating. Not sure I could take too many undiluted repetitions of it though, particularly as there's so much (but hastenens to add...not excessive) repetition internally.

    Interesting to see what Titian will come up with....Kubelik playing Dvorak or Mahler maybe, or something by Shostakovich?

    (You are of course allowed to choose something shorter than 20 mins if you so wish, provided it's not just a short excerpt excised for the purpose of cheating - I realise there may be a problem there with deciding whether e.g. songs in published cycles are individual pieces or parts of the larger collection, or are P&F's in 'the 48' individual pieces, or indivisible pairs, or just bleeding chunks of two 24 element compositions - and add other short pieces to make up the time, or pad it out with either as many repetitions of Cage's 4'22 as required)
     
    GrahamN, May 27, 2004
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  14. GrahamN

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

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    Graham:

    I just wanted to show that I am a normal person... ;)

    If I must chose something more akin to my heart, I'll elect Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's Fantasia IV, in d, for organ. Problem is, it's just about 10 minutes. There other, equaly marvelous Sweelinck organ fantasies.

    Otherwise, of course I'd go for the g minor Buxtehude preludes, for one of the Corrêa Tiento Llenos, one of Rodru«igues Coelho really big tentos, or for Ockeghem's Requiem. Also the b minor PF for organ by JSBach. Or, because that is just what I am playing right now, for a selection from the WTC: c#minor (I), f# minor I, e flat major (just the fugue) II, and above all, the miraculous e major fugue (II).

    Or perhaps (but not quite - too little counterpoint) to Bach's 6th partita (from harpsichord), or for the 2nd partita for violin, or the 3rd, 5th and 6th cello suites.

    Also, some Froberger (TOmbeau de M Blancheroche) and I might even mention some Bartok string quartets...
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 27, 2004
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  15. GrahamN

    omers

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    Don't tell me, Glenn Gould playing !!! :(

    Regards.


    I'm with the Late Piano Sonatas (Op. 101 is just 20 mins), perhaps Pollini. Or Bach's Cello suites (I miss my lost Wispelwey second recording).

    Omer.
     
    omers, May 27, 2004
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  16. GrahamN

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    'Stargazer' Live, a classic if ever there was one :) for all you motals not capable of time travel, a real shame September 3rd 1976 is a date to regularly re-vist. Awesome does not do it justice :)
     
    wadia-miester, May 27, 2004
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  17. GrahamN

    JackOTrades

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    a very fine example of minimalism (or repetitive minimalism some might call it). I find it absolutely fantastic, but I am a big fan of this type of music... Wim Mertens, Nyman, Glass, Reich have done many very good things (and some not so good too, granted).

    glad to see that you find merit in it.

    :beer:
    jack
     
    JackOTrades, May 28, 2004
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  18. GrahamN

    alanbeeb Grumpy young fogey

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    I could go for a bit of one of Beethoven's late Sonatas too.... or 1 or 2 of Schubert's second set of Impromptus.
    The slow movement of his string Quintet

    Maybe I could stretch it a bit to the whole of Der Abschied from Das Lied von Der Erde?

    The last three sections of the Goldberg variations

    Or the Adagio from Bruckner's Fifth.

    the last 15 mins or so of Madama Butterfly Act I.

    the finale of Dvorak's fifth

    maybe somebody could squeeze Sibelius 7 into 20 mins.
     
    alanbeeb, Jun 2, 2004
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  19. GrahamN

    Gromit Buffet-blower

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    Most definitely the opening of the St Matthew Passion - who reckoned JSB couldn't write music with soul??? Shame on them ;)
     
    Gromit, Jun 6, 2004
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  20. GrahamN

    PeteH Natural Blue

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    Surely Solti or someone must have? - even he might have struggled with a 20-minute Der Abschied though. :)
     
    PeteH, Jun 7, 2004
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