Popular Classical Music
Feb 25, 2022 at 7:07 AM Post #7,261 of 8,760
I may need to check out those Vänskä + Minnesota Sibelius recordings out. I have the complete SACD set of their Beethoven symphonies. I’ve actually heard Vänskä live once, playing clarinet on Mozart’s clarinet quintet with again Jaakko Kuusisto on violin. While I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Mozart (His music’s great, brilliant, just sounds a bit too samey, too Mozart, at times. I’m also not very fond of music in a major key, which much of Mozart’s tends to be.), his clarinet quintet is probably up there among my favorite classical works, at least from before the 20th century. The performance that evening was splendid.

Going back to Sibelius, I heard Jaakko Kuusisto conducting Sibelius’s violin concerto here in my hometown with his brother Pekka on violin. Pekka having not only been the first Finn to win the Sibelius Violin Competition (at the age of 18 or 19) but also being awarded a special prize for the best performance of the concerto did not disappoint. His tone was superb. I’m not sure if it could even be fully captured on recording let alone reproduced with true faithfulness.
Sibelius´ Violin Concerto oh yes, that very hushed whispering solo violin intro is often artificially lifted in recordings and the massive Crescendos are equally often compressed.
As far as orginal dynamics are concerned Vänska and BIS do not compromise there.
"We do not make recordings for listening to in your car while driving" as Robert von Bahr himself once put it.

But the VC is a work one should ideally hear live to fully appreciate what a masterpiece it is.
Last time I heard it live was also in Singapore with Janine Jansen.
Regarding Mozart we differ, I also need very regular doses of his best works. For me that is mainly the Operas.
And I also play little snippets from his masterly late Piano Concertos on my old piano almost daily.
The slow movement of his 23rd being one of my favourites.
And the piano reduction of the Lacrymosa from his unfinished Requiem are maybe the most moving last bars of any composer ever imho.
Both about as far removed from "plinkety plonkety" entertainment fast fingerwork C Major as you can get I think.
There was a version of it posted here yesterday. But imho that pianist misses the sheer Tragedy of it, compared to some other versions I have heard.
I find him both too fast and too metric in his playing.
Mozart in minor is about as tragic as music can get.
With Vänska as a former clarinet player turned conductor I am lucky to live about an hour´s drive from the city where Martin Fröst is now chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber orchestra in Örebro. And the conductor of SON in Norrköping ,Karl Heinz Steffens used to play the clarinet in the BPO.
Cheers CC
 
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Feb 25, 2022 at 10:05 AM Post #7,262 of 8,760
Sibelius´ Violin Concerto oh yes, that very hushed whispering solo violin intro is often artificially lifted in recordings and the massive Crescendos are equally often compressed.
As far as orginal dynamics are concerned Vänska and BIS do not compromise there.
"We do not make recordings for listening to in your car while driving" as Robert von Bahr himself once put it.

But the VC is a work one should ideally hear live to fully appreciate what a masterpiece it is.
Last time I heard it live was also in Singapore with Janine Jansen.
Regarding Mozart we differ, I also need very regular doses of his best works. For me that is mainly the Operas.
And I also play little snippets from his masterly late Piano Concertos on my old piano almost daily.
The slow movement of his 23rd being one of my favourites.
And the piano reduction of the Lacrymosa from his unfinished Requiem are maybe the most moving last bars of any composer ever imho.
Both about as far removed from "plinkety plonkety" entertainment fast fingerwork C Major as you can get I think.
There was a version of it posted here yesterday. But imho that pianist misses the sheer Tragedy of it, compared to some other versions I have heard.
I find him both too fast and too metric in his playing.
Mozart in minor is about as tragic as music can get.
With Vänska as a former clarinet player turned conductor I am lucky to live about an hour´s drive from the city where Martin Fröst is now chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber orchestra in Örebro. And the conductor of SON in Norrköping ,Karl Heinz Steffens used to play the clarinet in the BPO.
Cheers CC
Janine Jansen is probably my favorite violinist. I can only assume she delivered.

I have a cousin who listens to way more classical than me and I believe Mozart is his absolute favorite composer. I on the other hand typically only enjoy very select works from most pre-20th-century composers outside J. S. Bach. Even then the interpretation is either going to kill a piece or give it wings. Then again my cousin has his own quirks and will just completely delete movements he doesn’t like from the music library on his computer and typically listens to music of shuffle I believe. I believe he isn’t a fan of slow movements in general, and those typically end up on the chopping block. I believe John Adams is another favorite of his. I never seem to get around to exploring his works. I do have The Dharma at Big Sur on CD, but that’s it I think. I have listened to some John Luther Adams, though.






My love for jazz probably eclipses his, and again our tastes do differ quite a bit. He absolutely loves electric-era Miles Davis (I think On the Corner and Bitches Brew most of all) along with Charles Mingus, while I’m more of a John Coltrane (late free jazz period in particular) and Thelonious Monk kind of guy. Not that I don’t like Mingus and Coltrane’s “Ascension” is among both of our greatest albums of all time, but he for example doesn’t get Monk at all. Miles has some records I really like, but overall he’s kind of my Mozart of the jazz world, if you will. He turned me off to trumpet for years. I’ve partially recovered, but I doubt I ever will completely.



What I like and don’t like to hear in music are in some ways somewhat specific. Great music really needs to have longterm appeal to me; I mustn’t feel overexposed to it after just a few listens. In general that means most pieces should be as difficult for me to memorize as possible, preferably on all levels, but at the very least on a micro scale. Often this can mean minimizing reliance of melodies or at the very least “catchy” melodies. Ideally I’d prefer each listen to be like a totally new experience, even to the point of the track not sounding anything like my memory of it after not having heard it in a while.

That being said, repetition can be very good if done right. I highly enjoy many minimal pieces of music, while some others not so much. And good minimalist works are often not repetitive or static at all, they just consist of blocks that by themselves are. But outside that I tend to gravitate towards pieces of music where ideas are explored very slowly and gradually over a long period of time. Hence my love for modern classical pieces in such style, along with ambient, drone, noise, etc. Hearing Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” for the first time was one of the most profound experiences in my life. Visceral, meditative, even spiritual, all at the same time.



Exploration of scales and moving beyond thinking in terms of just traditional minor–major tonality also helps in keeping me interested not just in the short term but longterm as well. Microtonality/just intonation is a real treat for my ears and I’m glad to see it utilized more and more.




Going back to Mozart, I actually quite recently listened to a couple of his piano concertos after a very long time. One being no. 21 performed by Iiro Rantala and then an album I have by Alfred Brendel. My problem with the pieces I listened to was that the majority of the time I could already predict where the music was going to go even not having heard the pieces in ages and even the times I didn’t I kept hearing the same patterns I’ve heard throughout many of his other works.

This is a very personal thing, but typically in music – or art in general – I don’t like to see really apparent fingerprints that have been left all over the piece by the artist, like greasy smudges on a reflective metal surface. Having a personal style is fine – desirable – and leaving your signature in the form of small recognizable touches, patterns and quirks is fine, like fingerprints you only see at a certain angle or with powder, but personally I very often prefer a piece to not be defined most prominently by the artist’s personal style, ego, etc., and instead try to go beyond that. I do think of art in part as self-expression, but I tend to like to see something that at the same time attempts to reach beyond our own limits – creativity reduced to its purest form perhaps, to try to put my feelings even remotely to words.

Having said all that, I listen to a lot of EDM these days, having only discovered it in recent years, a lot of which does not conform at all to any of the things I’ve been mentioning I tend to gravitate towards or away from. There are very few absolutes in life and I don’t like dealing in them either.
 
Feb 26, 2022 at 4:06 AM Post #7,265 of 8,760
Vicky Chow is one of my favorite female pianists when it comes to contemporary music.



Nahre Sol is another great up-and-coming young artist who has her own YouTube channel where she explores various genres of music and tries to learn to understand them in order to broaden her own music horizons coming herself from a classical background. Her video on Argentine tango in particular is great and watching her trying to grasp jazz entertaining, even if at times a bit painful to watch.



Also, since I mentioned Mingus in my earlier post, I’m going to just drop this here.

 
Feb 26, 2022 at 5:27 AM Post #7,266 of 8,760
And now for something completely different . With apologies,lots of beautiful young women here, and the brightest shining Star of them my favourite World Music composer/performer Anoushka Shankar. The concert begins with Voice of the Moon from her DGG album RISE.
Who would have expected all these women playing in an orchestra in Dubai of all places?
I certainly did not.The Best of Firdaus Orchestra with Anoushka Shankar @ Expo 2020 Dubai - YouTube
Cheers CC
 
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Feb 26, 2022 at 6:50 AM Post #7,268 of 8,760
And now for something completely different . With apologies,lots beautiful young women here, and the brightest shining Star of them my favourite World Music composer/performer Anoushka Shankar. The concert begins with Voice of the Moon from her DGG album RISE.
Who would have expected all these women playing in an orchestra in Dubai of all places?
I certainly did not.The Best of Firdaus Orchestra with Anoushka Shankar @ Expo 2020 Dubai - YouTube
Cheers CC
Yes please, I love to see all of the Anoushka Shankar there is to see. I’m positively addicted to divisive and additive rhythms.


 
Feb 26, 2022 at 11:38 AM Post #7,269 of 8,760
Yes please, I love to see all of the Anoushka Shankar there is to see. I’m positively addicted to divisive and additive rhythms.



We agree completely this time, and nice that you posted Bright Eyes which I think was Anoushka Shankar´s first collaboration with Alev Lenz.
There are several versions of it on YT and I find them all hauntingly beautiful like most of their work together.
Cheers CC
 
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Feb 26, 2022 at 11:49 AM Post #7,270 of 8,760
(Claude Debussy) Clair de Lune - Beka Lagadze - stills from the film "Polina"


Wonderful interpretation of one of my favourite short piano pieces and one that even I can play passably unlike the Liszt version of" Ständchen".
And,he does not rush through it like Debussy himself but allows the dancers time to dance with equal flow.
But what will the censors have to say about "La ropa transparente"?
Cheers CC
 

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