An Idiot Listens to Western Music: Schubert (~1825)

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RoundTheBend
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  • #321
  • Posted: 06/09/2019 03:22
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AfterHours wrote:
Hell of a TOP 25 with GREAT selections! Very impressive work overall!


They are indeed fantastic works. It doesn't hurt when it feels like nearly half of it is J.S. Bach Laughing.
I appreciate the comment!
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  • #322
  • Posted: 06/09/2019 19:11
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Classical Music Period (1750-1830)

A Bartolomeo Cristofori piano... which issued in a new tone, pivotal to some of the changes from Baroque to Classical music (both the harpsichord and organ had "tinny" sounds to them... now a softer keyboard sound can be enjoyed) thanks to this invention:


Another pivotal was the change from a small chamber orchestra with basically one instrument almost like a jazz combo, to a full orchestration loud enough to fill a concert hall instead of a rich dude's library. More string players meant less complex orchestrations, and instead simpler, more powerful ones.
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Last edited by RoundTheBend on 07/28/2019 20:06; edited 3 times in total
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RoundTheBend
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  • #323
  • Posted: 06/09/2019 19:43
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I left off with the beginning of the Baroque Period and a recap of the top 25. Seeing as I did the Baroque backwards, with the "last" composition being the 1750 Bach composition of Die Kunst der Fuge at the beginning of my reviews, we'll start now with the 1756 Jagdsinfonie and others from W.A. Mozart's father, Leopold. This is where I'll kick off the Classical era going in normal chronological order (mostly... some of the selections available/I chose are "mostly" in chronological order).

There's actually a street car stop right in front of Leopold's birth house I'd get off of and walk to my apartment to for about 6 months in Augsburg. I just lived around the corner. It's nice to finally hear some of his music 13 years later... haha.


Leopold Mozart: Symphonies by Michi Gai...korchester

Era: Classical
Year: 1756 (and others)
Form: Symphony
Score: 85
Thoughts: This was actually fairly pleasant and a clear precursor of "the greats" to come. I could mistake any of these for a symphony by W.A. Mozart all the same (even if the subject matter almost has what would be a modern hillbilly vibe, even if back then it was different... huntin' and getting hitched at the farm), especially some of his more run of the mill ones. I'm curious about Leopold Mozart and the Joe Jackson's of the world... were their kids into it, or were their fathers "great" teachers or what... anyway, interesting phenomenon. Back to the music, even though just 6 years after Bach's final work, this seems slightly incredible to me as early in it's time to be sounding like a "mature" symphony. I'm concerned to rate it much higher as it may change the ceiling, but it was surprisingly good (I wasn't expecting something that would rival "lesser" works from Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, or Haydn, the typical greats of the period). Fantastic dynamic - emotional, yet "noble" tone and orchestrations.

Quote:
It was not too grievous a loss to music when in the 1760s Leopold Mozart decided to give up composition in favour of nurturing ‘the miracle that God caused to be born in Salzburg’. One of his last works is the symphony called here the New Lambach, which for a time was suspected – oddly, it now seems – of being Wolfgang’s work. It’s a pleasant piece, rather old fashioned in style, and it shows what Leopold could do when he was taking composition seriously – there’s an energetic and well-argued first movement, an Andante of some charm and grace, a minuet and a spirited finale.

When he was taking it less seriously, he wrote programmatic pieces like those on the rest of this disc. It’s quite good fun listening to horn calls, at least for a while, on four natural horns in the Sinfonia da caccia, and to hear them trilling away at the top of their compass in the trio of the minuet; and it’s possible that in Bauernhochzeit some few people may relish the bagpipes and the noisome hurdy-gurdy in the ‘Peasant Wedding’, along with the whistles and the shouts. But the actual musical invention in these two pieces is slender indeed, with minimal variety in the harmony, four-square phraseology and much repetition.

It’s rather better in the Sinfonia burlesca, which isn’t really a symphony but a chamber work for violas, cellos, double bass, bassoon and continuo, with some quite attractive echo effects. Michi Gaigg and the Orfeo Baroque Orchestra do, however, make the very best of their opportunities, with some lively, graceful and stylish playing on period instruments.

- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone


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RoundTheBend
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  • #324
  • Posted: 06/11/2019 03:07
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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sonatas &...il Pletnev

Era: Classical
Year: 1748-1780s (1757 for Sonata in C minor)
Form: Sonata and Rondo
Score: 83
Thoughts: At first, I was quite taken. After the bombast Baroque period, it was nice to have some dead air in music again... sometimes it's the silence that's just as important as the note. A pause or phrasing is clear. And for that I really liked these works. It's dynamics were sound... overall arrangements fantastic. It's just after an hour of roughly the same thoughts and palate that made me start to think less of this collection of work. Still a fantastic style of piano work and I think I might just listen to this in the background or one or two of them as they really are very similar works, even if as a one off they are quite amazing (if that makes any sense).

Quote:
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the most talented of Johann Sebastian's many sons -- a composer of striking individuality, expressive intensity, and sharp wit. Johann Christian may have seemed more "modern" in his day, but today it is C.P.E.'s music that retains the capacity to startle. Take the stark opening of the Sonata in C Minor (c. 1757), for example, which looks forward to the dramatic concision of Beethoven's early style. And when it's played on a piano instead of a harpsichord, the music's almost romantic temperament is emphasized, especially in this deeply-felt performance by Mikhail Pletnev. Pletnev is very free with tempo and plays with a wide range of color -- as in his award-winning recording of Scarlatti sonatas -- but he also manages to respect the intimate scale of these pieces. C.P.E. was a great virtuoso himself, and the Russian pianist clearly enjoys the music's flash as well as its profundity. If you have not yet discovered the genius of C.P.E., you are in for a treat; if you are already a convert, this disc is not to be missed.


- Barnes & Noble marketing shit - (I could not find the actual author on their page) Laughing


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Fischman
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  • #325
  • Posted: 06/11/2019 03:16
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sethmadsen wrote:
I left off with the beginning of the Baroque Period and a recap of the top 25. Seeing as I did the Baroque backwards, with the "last" composition being the 1750 Bach composition of Die Kunst der Fuge at the beginning of my reviews, we'll start now with the 1756 Jagdsinfonie and others from W.A. Mozart's father, Leopold. This is where I'll kick off the Classical era going in normal chronological order (mostly... some of the selections available/I chose are "mostly" in chronological order).

There's actually a street car stop right in front of Leopold's birth house I'd get off of and walk to my apartment to for about 6 months in Augsburg. I just lived around the corner. It's nice to finally hear some of his music 13 years later... haha.


Leopold Mozart: Symphonies by Michi Gai...korchester

Era: Classical
Year: 1756 (and others)
Form: Symphony
Score: 85
Thoughts: This was actually fairly pleasant and a clear precursor of "the greats" to come. I could mistake any of these for a symphony by W.A. Mozart all the same (even if the subject matter almost has what would be a modern hillbilly vibe, even if back then it was different... huntin' and getting hitched at the farm), especially some of his more run of the mill ones. I'm curious about Leopold Mozart and the Joe Jackson's of the world... were their kids into it, or were their fathers "great" teachers or what... anyway, interesting phenomenon. Back to the music, even though just 6 years after Bach's final work, this seems slightly incredible to me as early in it's time to be sounding like a "mature" symphony. I'm concerned to rate it much higher as it may change the ceiling, but it was surprisingly good (I wasn't expecting something that would rival "lesser" works from Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, or Haydn, the typical greats of the period). Fantastic dynamic - emotional, yet "noble" tone and orchestrations.

Quote:
It was not too grievous a loss to music when in the 1760s Leopold Mozart decided to give up composition in favour of nurturing ‘the miracle that God caused to be born in Salzburg’. One of his last works is the symphony called here the New Lambach, which for a time was suspected – oddly, it now seems – of being Wolfgang’s work. It’s a pleasant piece, rather old fashioned in style, and it shows what Leopold could do when he was taking composition seriously – there’s an energetic and well-argued first movement, an Andante of some charm and grace, a minuet and a spirited finale.

When he was taking it less seriously, he wrote programmatic pieces like those on the rest of this disc. It’s quite good fun listening to horn calls, at least for a while, on four natural horns in the Sinfonia da caccia, and to hear them trilling away at the top of their compass in the trio of the minuet; and it’s possible that in Bauernhochzeit some few people may relish the bagpipes and the noisome hurdy-gurdy in the ‘Peasant Wedding’, along with the whistles and the shouts. But the actual musical invention in these two pieces is slender indeed, with minimal variety in the harmony, four-square phraseology and much repetition.

It’s rather better in the Sinfonia burlesca, which isn’t really a symphony but a chamber work for violas, cellos, double bass, bassoon and continuo, with some quite attractive echo effects. Michi Gaigg and the Orfeo Baroque Orchestra do, however, make the very best of their opportunities, with some lively, graceful and stylish playing on period instruments.

- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone


Link


I love your description of this music. Spot on and makes perfect sense to my ears.

Interestingly, while I was listening to this, my daughter happened to be passing by and said "Now that's some regal sounding music!"
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Fischman
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  • #326
  • Posted: 06/11/2019 03:33
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sethmadsen wrote:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sonatas &...il Pletnev

Era: Classical
Year: 1748-1780s (1757 for Sonata in C minor)
Form: Sonata and Rondo
Score: 83
Thoughts: At first, I was quite taken. After the bombast Baroque period, it was nice to have some dead air in music again... sometimes it's the silence that's just as important as the note. A pause or phrasing is clear. And for that I really liked these works. It's dynamics were sound... overall arrangements fantastic. It's just after an hour of roughly the same thoughts and palate that made me start to think less of this collection of work. Still a fantastic style of piano work and I think I might just listen to this in the background or one or two of them as they really are very similar works, even if as a one off they are quite amazing (if that makes any sense).

Quote:
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the most talented of Johann Sebastian's many sons -- a composer of striking individuality, expressive intensity, and sharp wit. Johann Christian may have seemed more "modern" in his day, but today it is C.P.E.'s music that retains the capacity to startle. Take the stark opening of the Sonata in C Minor (c. 1757), for example, which looks forward to the dramatic concision of Beethoven's early style. And when it's played on a piano instead of a harpsichord, the music's almost romantic temperament is emphasized, especially in this deeply-felt performance by Mikhail Pletnev. Pletnev is very free with tempo and plays with a wide range of color -- as in his award-winning recording of Scarlatti sonatas -- but he also manages to respect the intimate scale of these pieces. C.P.E. was a great virtuoso himself, and the Russian pianist clearly enjoys the music's flash as well as its profundity. If you have not yet discovered the genius of C.P.E., you are in for a treat; if you are already a convert, this disc is not to be missed.


- Barnes & Noble marketing shit - (I could not find the actual author on their page) Laughing


Link


At his best, Carl was a wonderful transitional artist.

One of my all time favorite pieces is his Flute Concerto in D minor. It is available via multiple releases, paired with a couple other wonderful flute concertos by another great early classical era composer, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, one of which, the one in D major, is equally delightful.
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Fischman
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  • #327
  • Posted: 06/11/2019 03:50
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Fischman wrote:
sethmadsen wrote:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sonatas &...il Pletnev

Era: Classical
Year: 1748-1780s (1757 for Sonata in C minor)
Form: Sonata and Rondo
Score: 83
Thoughts: At first, I was quite taken. After the bombast Baroque period, it was nice to have some dead air in music again... sometimes it's the silence that's just as important as the note. A pause or phrasing is clear. And for that I really liked these works. It's dynamics were sound... overall arrangements fantastic. It's just after an hour of roughly the same thoughts and palate that made me start to think less of this collection of work. Still a fantastic style of piano work and I think I might just listen to this in the background or one or two of them as they really are very similar works, even if as a one off they are quite amazing (if that makes any sense).

Quote:
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the most talented of Johann Sebastian's many sons -- a composer of striking individuality, expressive intensity, and sharp wit. Johann Christian may have seemed more "modern" in his day, but today it is C.P.E.'s music that retains the capacity to startle. Take the stark opening of the Sonata in C Minor (c. 1757), for example, which looks forward to the dramatic concision of Beethoven's early style. And when it's played on a piano instead of a harpsichord, the music's almost romantic temperament is emphasized, especially in this deeply-felt performance by Mikhail Pletnev. Pletnev is very free with tempo and plays with a wide range of color -- as in his award-winning recording of Scarlatti sonatas -- but he also manages to respect the intimate scale of these pieces. C.P.E. was a great virtuoso himself, and the Russian pianist clearly enjoys the music's flash as well as its profundity. If you have not yet discovered the genius of C.P.E., you are in for a treat; if you are already a convert, this disc is not to be missed.


- Barnes & Noble marketing shit - (I could not find the actual author on their page) Laughing


Link


At his best, Carl was a wonderful transitional artist.

One of my all time favorite pieces is his Flute Concerto in D minor. It is available via multiple releases, paired with a couple other wonderful flute concertos by another great early classical era composer, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, one of which, the one in D major, is equally delightful.
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RoundTheBend
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  • #328
  • Posted: 06/15/2019 03:26
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William Boyce: 8 Symphonies by Trevor P...sh Concert

Era: Classical
Year: 1760
Form: Symphony
Score: 84
Thoughts: These were great early forms of symphony. 3 movements of overture style music, a forefront of what actually became symphony form which typically was in 4 movements. I actually really enjoyed them, and yes all were published in 1760, but apparently were written over a longer period of time. Plus he gets points for being English.

Quote:
William Boyce's eight Symphonys (his own spelling) aren't symphonies in the modern sense, but a collection, issued for concert use, of overtures he had composed over nearly 20 years for theatre pieces and court odes. They represent English 18th-century music at its unpretentious best, notably in their formal unorthodoxy. The performances are a delight – cleanly articulated, decisive in rhythm, just in tempo. The French overture-like movements that open Nos 6 and 7 are crisp and brilliant; the more Italianate first movements, like those of Nos 2 and 4, have a splendid swing. And the tone of gentle melancholy behind the fine, expansive D minor first movement of No 8 is particularly well caught. Three of the symphonies have middle movements marked Vivace, which often leads conductors into unsuitably quick tempos; but Pinnock obviously knows that, in 18th-century England, Vivace meant a speed not much above Andante, and for once these movements make proper sense: they're lively, to be sure, but not fast. This disc comfortably surpasses any rivals in both style and accomplishment. The sound of the modestsized band is brightly and truly reproduced.

Gramophone via Presto Classical


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  • #329
  • Posted: 06/15/2019 20:06
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Gluck: Orfeo Ed Euridice by René Jacob...korchester

Era: Classical
Year: 1762
Form: Opera
Score: 86
Thoughts: Probably the first opera (not oratorio) that I've truly enjoyed with these new discoveries. Most opera up to this point just wasn't a genre I felt was well developed musically. Perhaps bits of it, but mostly it was the story after all I'm sure most cared about. This however was full of great music, even some of the recitatives sounded more musical that most. It doesn't hurt that one of the most beautiful ballet works ever is included in this work. I read a bit more about this and found the intent in this opera was indeed just that - stop being almost soap opera material and create something much more powerful.

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Algarotti proposed a heavily simplified model of opera seria, with the drama pre-eminent, instead of the music or ballet or staging. The drama itself should "delight the eyes and ears, to rouse up and to affect the hearts of an audience, without the risk of sinning against reason or common sense". Algarotti's ideas influenced both Gluck and his librettist, Calzabigi.[5] Calzabigi was himself a prominent advocate of reform,[2] and he stated: "If Mr Gluck was the creator of dramatic music, he did not create it from nothing. I provided him with the material or the chaos, if you like. We therefore share the honour of that creation."



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  • #330
  • Posted: 06/15/2019 20:46
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Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 22, 78 & 82 ... Orchestra

Era: Classical
Year: 1764 (22); 1782; (78 ); 1786 (82)
Form: Symphony
Score: 85
Thoughts: I half picked this recording because I hear Esa-Pekka is the man from friends and family who are more familiar with classical musicians than I. It's incredible how some performances can totally kill or bring to life a work. I'm glad I picked this recording as it was quite the enjoyable experience. While the works themselves are enjoyable, I have yet to find a Haydn symphony/work that really speaks to my heart beyond, oh this feels like Vienna on a summer day. I will, however, agree that he purposely plays with dynamics in fun ways, which I think others built off of in more meaningful ways. Another useless fact, at another time in life I lived a block away from a small church in Vienna that had a commemorative plaque stating it was the church Haydn was christened in (Mariahilf district).

Wikipedia conjecture on the nickname of "The Philosopher" on symphony 22
Quote:
The title is thought to derive from the melody and counterpoint of the first movement (between the horns and cor anglais), which musically allude to a question followed by an answer and paralleling the disputatio system of debate. The piece's use of a muted tick-tock effect also evokes the image of a philosopher deep in thought while time passes by.


Wikipedia conjecture on the nickname of Symphony 82, "The Bear"
Quote:
the name derives from a recurring feature from the last movement (including its famous opening), in which Haydn intimates the tonality of a bagpipes or Dudelsack: a low sustained drone, accentuated by a grace-note on the downbeat. This curious tonality prompted an 1829 piano arrangement of the symphony to be entitled "Danse de l'Ours," the earliest known printed appearance of the nickname.[3] This is a reference to the music used to accompany dancing bears — a popular form of street entertainment.



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