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post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

 

I'm with you -- about straight tempo with an elastic sound. However, I still love rhythmic sophistication of the sort that can only be done by a soloist (say Leonhardt on harpsichord) or the chamber works for two instruments (harps. and violin, harps. and viola de gamba).

 

Sometimes a conductor or soloist has a nice rhythmic feel, but the result is still monotonous. Trevor Pinnock strikes me this way. He is not metronomic (not stiff), but the sections are not differentiated enough.

 

Mozart really needs rhythmic differentiation. I just listened to Mitsuko Uchida play some of the piano sonatas. I'm sorry, it's not differentiated enough. There is not enough contrast in feel between the sections. On the other hand, I listened to the Hagen Quartet and they take too many liberties. Mozart is rich enough! There is no need to add all these effects that aren't in the score. Brendel (as a SOLOIST) does the same thing -- way overinterpreted. (I like him as an ensemble player or in the concertos.)

 

Bach does stick to the same texture throughout the entire piece, for the most part. The Prelude in C Major sure seems minimalist. I like the term "essential" better than minimalism -- the latter term implies there isn't much richness to the music (to me anyway).

For Mozart, I very much like Maria Joao Pires... although to be honest I haven't listened to as much Mozart enough to judge. While Mozart has made some very (almost spiritual) impressions on me from time to time, I still find it hard to believe why so many composers have worshiped him over the centuries as much as they did. Well I'm only 18 so I have many years left to understand the greatness of Mozart :P 

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NimbleTurtle View Post

For Mozart, I very much like Maria Joao Pires... although to be honest I haven't listened to as much Mozart enough to judge. While Mozart has made some very (almost spiritual) impressions on me from time to time, I still find it hard to believe why so many composers have worshiped him over the centuries as much as they did. Well I'm only 18 so I have many years left to understand the greatness of Mozart :P 

If you are only 18, you've got plenty of discoveries in front of you. You seem to know quite a lot already.

 

For one thing, Mozart is fun. Seriously fun. Witty. Laughing. His music feels good, and not in a cheap or light way, but in a really deep, grounded, belly-laugh kind of enjoyment.

 

Of course there is more to him than fun.

 

But the sense of fun is reason enough to worship him. As I get older, more and more I appreciate simple enjoyment.

 

Mozart writes a lot of contrasting phrases. Each phrase is like a foil to the one before. The way he makes this work is very sophisticated.

 

Compare him to Haydn. Haydn has a lot of clever tricks, and composers like to study him and get ideas from him, because usually you can analyze Haydn pretty successfully. You know it's clever and witty, and you also know why it works. You can point to it.

 

Mozart, on the other hand, works miracles. His tricks are a kind of exuberant irrationality. You know it works, but darn if you can explain it. He can't be reduced to a procedure.

 

When Mozart wants to speak of the darker or quieter places in the psyche, he does that well, too. His last (and uncompleted) work, the Requiem, has astonishing spiritual depth. Maybe he sensed his approaching death. In any case he seemed to become a more complete human being in his last works, balancing out his party-animal self with some awareness of tragedy.

 

But the fun in Mozart is the only reason I need to worship him. Again, because it is witty and sophisticated. It's like a very, very good comedy film.

post #18 of 35

Yeah in terms of pure musical genius I'd agree that Bach is the king. Followed closely with Beethoven and then Mozart.

 

These 3 will always be head and shoulders above all other composers and the test of time has shown this.

 

I also deeply love Schubert and Schumann. I've had a ten year affair with Wagner, and I would say rather crudely that 80% of his music is nearing genius and the other 20% is pretentious dribble! But you've got to love him for it.

 

My favorite 20th Century composer is Prokofiev, still underated in my opinion.

 

My favorite living composer is Jonathan Harvey, a brilliant original composer who writes beautiful soulful music that is strikingly modern and relevant.

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Yeah in terms of pure musical genius I'd agree that Bach is the king. Followed closely with Beethoven and then Mozart.

 

These 3 will always be head and shoulders above all other composers and the test of time has shown this.

 

I also deeply love Schubert and Schumann. I've had a ten year affair with Wagner, and I would say rather crudely that 80% of his music is nearing genius and the other 20% is pretentious dribble! But you've got to love him for it.

 

My favorite 20th Century composer is Prokofiev, still underated in my opinion.

 

My favorite living composer is Jonathan Harvey, a brilliant original composer who writes beautiful soulful music that is strikingly modern and relevant.

I forgot to mention Prokofiev -- yes, one of my favorite, powerful and at times tender.

 

Thanks for pointing me to Jonathan Harvey, I shall have to check him out.

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

 

Thanks for pointing me to Jonathan Harvey, I shall have to check him out.

His recent "Speakings" for large orchestra and electronics I would recommend, on the Aoen label. Cheers

post #21 of 35
Mozart can be a bit precious. I like his stuff best when it has a little gravitas to balance out all the lace doilies and prancing about.
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 

Prokofiev Piano Concerto by Richter and his cello concerto by Rostropovich are just phenomenal performances. Two great Russian monsters. 

post #23 of 35
If you like Prokofiev, the bluray of Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Ballet is amazing. Hearing the music in the context of the ballet is a whole new experience.
post #24 of 35

I would say my favorite composers overall are probably Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.  While there are pieces I may enjoy more individually, I find their bodies of work as a whole (or at least what I have of them), to be pretty enjoyable across the board.  Tchaikovsky's fourth symphony and Prokofiev's fifth symphony are two of my favorite pieces that I will almost never get tired of.

 

I agree with bigshot's assessment of Mozart.  Some of his pieces I couldn't imagine not having in my library, but there are others that I can't imagine listening to more than once voluntarily because they're just so boring and frilly.

 

I'm going to be the odd man out here and admit that I like some Philip Glass.  It's not entirely unlike my relationship with Mozart; I love some of it and some of it also bores me to tears and makes me question why I ever thought listening to it was a good idea in the first place.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmj2587 View Post

I would say my favorite composers overall are probably Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.  While there are pieces I may enjoy more individually, I find their bodies of work as a whole (or at least what I have of them), to be pretty enjoyable across the board.  Tchaikovsky's fourth symphony and Prokofiev's fifth symphony are two of my favorite pieces that I will almost never get tired of.

 

I agree with bigshot's assessment of Mozart.  Some of his pieces I couldn't imagine not having in my library, but there are others that I can't imagine listening to more than once voluntarily because they're just so boring and frilly.

 

I'm going to be the odd man out here and admit that I like some Philip Glass.  It's not entirely unlike my relationship with Mozart; I love some of it and some of it also bores me to tears and makes me question why I ever thought listening to it was a good idea in the first place.

I've been collecting classical music for many years now and there are some composers you simply stop collecting, this could be that you've heard enough or maybe you just don't like them no matter how hard you try to. In the case of Philip Glass, I've collected (I think) just about everything he has put out bar a few soundtracks. And although some will say; all his music sounds the same.. I personally hear a nice progression in his strict idealistic "musical blocks" and in that respect he isn't that far away from composers such as Mozart or more recently Stravinsky. Blocks of ideas linked together to make whole's rather than a beginning- middle- end; story mode of thinking. This was how Mozart wrote apparently. I find Glass's music quite addictive, it's soothing, great for relaxing with.  Though I'm yet to make it thorugh an entire opera in one sitting... rolleyes.gif

post #26 of 35
Glass's music sets my teeth on edge. It's the musical equivalent of one of those OCD people who cross their legs and bounce them up and down for hours on end. Makes me want to kill.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Glass's music sets my teeth on edge. It's the musical equivalent of one of those OCD people who cross their legs and bounce them up and down for hours on end. Makes me want to kill.

From a technical point of view his music is very "four-square". Everything happens in groups of four or eight, which makes it sound mechanical and lifeless (to my ears). A comparison to Mozart? Mozart was very clever about using irregular phrases lengths -- some 7 bars, 9 bars, 11 bars, you-name-it.

post #28 of 35
Thread Starter 

What do you guys think of the scholars who claim Mozart did not compose many of his masterpieces? I've heard many claims about the false authorship of big works like The Magic Flute, clarinet quintets, Don Giovanni, etc. 

post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

From a technical point of view his music is very "four-square". Everything happens in groups of four or eight, which makes it sound mechanical and lifeless (to my ears). A comparison to Mozart? Mozart was very clever about using irregular phrases lengths -- some 7 bars, 9 bars, 11 bars, you-name-it.

In my comparison to Mozart I meant he used blocks of ideas and sewed them together, a snippet from a string quartet, a run from a concerto can all be found in other pieces. Like Bach too, almost like recycling ideas. Re-using them to better more progressive effect. His phrase lengths I agree are far from Glass's Mechanistic signature pulses.   

post #30 of 35
I would like to add Vivaldi, Rachmaninov, and Gershwin to the list. Bach's organ music is great.
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