So I'm supposed to like this?

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Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:19 am

karlhenning wrote:And, in absolute terms, John (though without going all fergawdssake serious in this thread) how do we determine that Handel deserves to be there, more than does Bruckner? I ask the question in sincerity, since I list neither composer among my best-loved 25 (say).

Cheers,
~Karl
OMIGOSH, Karl----Handel DOESN'T make your "top 25" list!!!

For Wagner, Handel was the only composer who could "bleed"---but I guess not for everyone. I should think whoever knows his music well realizes he is one of the giants. (Hmm--and I catch hell around here because Brahms JUST makes my "top 10".....Whooosh!)

I guess I'm closer to Corlyss on this one----for me, Handel and Mozart are closer to number one than to number twenty!

Jack
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:13 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
OMIGOSH, Karl----Handel DOESN'T make your "top 25" list!!![/quote]
But, Jack, he may be No. 26 :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:43 am

karlhenning wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
OMIGOSH, Karl----Handel DOESN'T make your "top 25" list!!!
But, Jack, he may be No. 26 :-)

Cheers,
~Karl[/quote]

Hmm....to speak of Handel on a Bruckner thread----you might say:

"I TOOK A CHANCE AND WENT FOR B(a)ROQUE!" :lol:

Perhaps you enjoy Purcell, Couperin, Rameau, Corelli, Vivaldi, Telemann, Torelli and.....oh, yes. Some guy named Bach.....more.

Tschüß!!
Jack
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:15 am

Well, if pressed, I suppose my list of Top 25 Composers might read (in no particular order):

Tallis
de Victoria
D. Scarlatti
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
R. Schumann
Chopin
Liszt
Brahms
Glinka
Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Verdi
Rakhmaninov
Sibelius
Stravinsky
Schoenberg
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Vaughan Williams
Nielsen


This list is not carven in stone, and might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.

But Handel is not in the most serious contention (in this personal list of mine).

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
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Gary
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Post by Gary » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:24 am

karlhenning wrote:
...might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.
And will Sammartini be on it? :wink:

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:09 am

karlhenning wrote:Well, if pressed, I suppose my list of Top 25 Composers might read (in no particular order):

Tallis
de Victoria
D. Scarlatti
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
R. Schumann
Chopin
Liszt
Brahms
Glinka
Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Verdi
Rakhmaninov
Sibelius
Stravinsky
Schoenberg
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Vaughan Williams
Nielsen


This list is not carven in stone, and might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.

But Handel is not in the most serious contention (in this personal list of mine).

Cheers,
~Karl
Okay, Karl----but Rimsky-Korsakoff...???! Gee----I'd even put Raff consistently ahead of him. But---as you say---your list is "not carven in stone"....

Tschüß!
Jack
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:53 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Okay, Karl----but Rimsky-Korsakoff...???! Gee----I'd even put Raff consistently ahead of him.
Jack
Well, and how many of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas do you know, Jack? :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:12 am

karlhenning wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Okay, Karl----but Rimsky-Korsakoff...???! Gee----I'd even put Raff consistently ahead of him.
Jack
Well, and how many of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas do you know, Jack? :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
I've heard selections on the radio---but wasn't moved enough to go out and make any purchases of his operas.

Even his "Scheherezade" Suite doesn't "get under my skin". But it is wonderfully orchestrated, has nice tunes and interesting (arabesque) harmonies---but leaves me cold emotionally. Give me Elgar!

I just don't feel that the soul of the creator of "Russian Easter" Overture is speaking to me (in the ways that Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann do).

Tschüß,
Jack
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:20 am

Jack Kelso wrote:I've heard selections on the radio---but wasn't moved enough to go out and make any purchases of his operas.
Understood, Jack; though (a) I don't think radio broadcast is a good touchstone for opera, and (b) to see Rimsky-Korsakov's operas staged in Russia, is to love them.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:13 am

karlhenning wrote: to see Rimsky-Korsakov's operas staged * * * is to love them.
I'm with Jack. You can have my share. I've seen that golden cockerel thing it and it almost put me to sleep - but then that's my routine reaction to Russian opera. Gilbert and Sullivan it ain't. I certainly wouldn't go to Russia just for the pleasure. Munich is as far as I go for opera.
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Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:24 am

karlhenning wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:I've heard selections on the radio---but wasn't moved enough to go out and make any purchases of his operas.
Understood, Jack; though (a) I don't think radio broadcast is a good touchstone for opera, and (b) to see Rimsky-Korsakov's operas staged in Russia, is to love them.

Cheers,
~Karl
Of course everything "live" is more impressive; opera on radio is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

But a Handel oratorio sounds stupendous no matter WHERE or HOW you hear it----those magnificent choruses in "Israel In Egypt", "Saul" and "Judas Maccabaeus" (to mention only a few) are so powerful, heartfelt and brilliant at once!

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by val » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:29 am

"karlhenning"

Well, and how many of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas do you know?

Happy to see that there are other members of the CMG that love Rimski-Korsakov operas. Tzar Saltan, Kitége, Sadko, Le Coq d'or among others, are masterpieces of fantasy and poetry. Rimski is the true sucessor of Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla, and announces Prokofiev's L'amour des trois oranges and Stravinsky's Rossignol.
These are very beautiful operas.

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Post by karlhenning » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:08 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
karlhenning wrote: to see Rimsky-Korsakov's operas staged * * * is to love them.
I'm with Jack. You can have my share. I've seen that golden cockerel thing it and it almost put me to sleep - but then that's my routine reaction to Russian opera. Gilbert and Sullivan it ain't.
Gilbert and Sullivan it ain't, indeed; which is only one reason I like Rimsky-Korsakov :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:11 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Of course everything "live" is more impressive; opera on radio is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

But a Handel oratorio sounds stupendous no matter WHERE or HOW you hear it----those magnificent choruses in "Israel In Egypt", "Saul" and "Judas Maccabaeus" (to mention only a few) are so powerful, heartfelt and brilliant at once!
Well, you see, Jack, here's another instance of how we just hear things differently. Your Handel oratorios do not sound to me at all appreciably better on radio (or live) than the Rimsky-Korsakov stage works (nor does Corlyss's G&S seem to me at all preferable to them).

C'est la vie!

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:14 am

val wrote:Happy to see that there are other members of the CMG that love Rimski-Korsakov operas. Tzar Saltan, Kitége, Sadko, Le Coq d'or among others, are masterpieces of fantasy and poetry. Rimski is the true sucessor of Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla, and announces Prokofiev's L'amour des trois oranges and Stravinsky's Rossignol.
These are very beautiful operas.
They are, indeed! Prokofiev's Oranges are a clever commedia dell'arte spinoff of the fairy-tale opera tradition; but Stravinsky's Andersen tale fits hand-in-glove -- and of course, part of Igor Fyodorovich's compositional training was playing through the Rimsky-Korsakov operas in piano score, and discussing how things might be orchestrated.

But I digress, and no doubt lay myself open to charges of mere "intellectual admiration" for Stravinsky 8)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Rhys » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:23 pm

Alas, poor Bruckner. He is dead and gone to a higher (?) place but the bashing continues.

In re the heavenly reception scene, Harold Schonberg has this to say in his excellent "Lives of the Great Composers."

"{Dvorak} remained throughout his entire creative span the happiest and least neurotic of the late Romantics. 'God. love, motherland' was his motto. Brahms had his moments of black gloom; Tchaikovsky's neuroses were monumental; Mahler, whose neuroses made Tchaikovsky's look healthy, beat his chest and rent his hair (looking meanwhile at posterity out of the corner of his eye). Bruckner sat trembling, waiting for Revelation, a mystic and a natural (in the Elizabethan sense of the word); Wagner was a twisted egoist; Liszt was a complicated, paradoxical, Jesuitical poseur of genius. Only Dvorak pursued his simple, uncomplicated way. With Handel and Haydn, he is the healthiest of all composers."

Wow! Bruckner's welcome must have been interesting!

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Post by Barry » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:30 pm

I'll be welcoming the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic performing Bruckner's 7th tomorrow night. Should be a good one. The two other times I've heard them perform Bruckner were very memorable occassions.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:05 am

Barry Z wrote:I'll be welcoming the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic performing Bruckner's 7th tomorrow night. Should be a good one. The two other times I've heard them perform Bruckner were very memorable occassions.
Who's conducting?
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pizza
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Post by pizza » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:15 am

karlhenning wrote:Well, if pressed, I suppose my list of Top 25 Composers might read (in no particular order):

Tallis
de Victoria
D. Scarlatti
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
R. Schumann
Chopin
Liszt
Brahms
Glinka
Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Verdi
Rakhmaninov
Sibelius
Stravinsky
Schoenberg
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Vaughan Williams
Nielsen


This list is not carven in stone, and might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.

But Handel is not in the most serious contention (in this personal list of mine).

Cheers,
~Karl
How Eurocentric! Not an American in the lot!

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Post by Barry » Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:57 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I'll be welcoming the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic performing Bruckner's 7th tomorrow night. Should be a good one. The two other times I've heard them perform Bruckner were very memorable occassions.
Who's conducting?
Barenboim
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by karlhenning » Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:39 am

pizza wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Well, if pressed, I suppose my list of Top 25 Composers might read (in no particular order):

Tallis
de Victoria
D. Scarlatti
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
R. Schumann
Chopin
Liszt
Brahms
Glinka
Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Verdi
Rakhmaninov
Sibelius
Stravinsky
Schoenberg
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Vaughan Williams
Nielsen


This list is not carven in stone, and might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.

But Handel is not in the most serious contention (in this personal list of mine).
How Eurocentric! Not an American in the lot!
My list is driven by (a) musical concerns, and (b) my own musical preferences; however, if you propose a geographical quota system, I would entertain it with interest.

Also, I find it interesting that you thus categorically label Stravinsky "not an American"; he was a naturalized US citizen and spent a significant portion of his career working in the United States. Your post has something of the look of xenophobia.

As I see it, the absence from that list of composers born in the US is largely a "timing issue":

[ a ] There are no living composers of any nationality on the above list; I am not sure how I should "weigh" composers whose work is absolutely complete, with composers yet at work.

[ b ] In my musical view, no American composer no longer living quite succeeds in displacing any of the 25 composers above, from the mere question of sustained quality and level of creation. Where this is a "timing issue" is, one hopes, historically obvious.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Sapphire » Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:05 am

Karl

Given the following names on your list:
  • Mozart
    Beethoven
    R. Schumann
    Chopin
    Brahms
    Tchaikovsky
I was very surprised not to see Schubert. I would have thought that he fits into this selection extremely well. The above are my favourite composers and I would feel most lost without Schubert.


Saphire

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Post by pizza » Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:48 pm

karlhenning wrote:
pizza wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Well, if pressed, I suppose my list of Top 25 Composers might read (in no particular order):

Tallis
de Victoria
D. Scarlatti
Monteverdi
Bach
Haydn
Mozart
Beethoven
Berlioz
R. Schumann
Chopin
Liszt
Brahms
Glinka
Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Verdi
Rakhmaninov
Sibelius
Stravinsky
Schoenberg
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Vaughan Williams
Nielsen


This list is not carven in stone, and might well be different if I draw the list up again tomorrow.

But Handel is not in the most serious contention (in this personal list of mine).
How Eurocentric! Not an American in the lot!
My list is driven by (a) musical concerns, and (b) my own musical preferences; however, if you propose a geographical quota system, I would entertain it with interest.

Also, I find it interesting that you thus categorically label Stravinsky "not an American"; he was a naturalized US citizen and spent a significant portion of his career working in the United States. Your post has something of the look of xenophobia.

As I see it, the absence from that list of composers born in the US is largely a "timing issue":

[ a ] There are no living composers of any nationality on the above list; I am not sure how I should "weigh" composers whose work is absolutely complete, with composers yet at work.

[ b ] In my musical view, no American composer no longer living quite succeeds in displacing any of the 25 composers above, from the mere question of sustained quality and level of creation. Where this is a "timing issue" is, one hopes, historically obvious.

Cheers,
~Karl
You're entitled to prefer anyone over anyone else for any reason or for no reason at all. I really didn't care how you weighed your choices nor did my observation suggest that any of those you chose should be displaced. The fact, however, remains that in a list of 25 composers there's not a single American composer in it and I found it unusual coming from an American composer. American music has dimensions other than mere geography, and we've been through that territory in other threads recently. But you're in good company; all the entries in this thread indicate the Eurocentricity of the contributors where favorites are concerned. Rachmaninov, by the way, spent more time in the US than Stravinsky and also became a naturalized American citizen, but no one considers him an American composer. Read whatever you like into my observation, including xenophobia if it makes you happy.

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Post by Reed » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:25 pm

Getting back to Bruckner--I was wondering if he is a hard sell in concert halls in general, or is it worse in Boston?

In recent seasons, the BSO has done one Bruckner symphony per year, and attendance at these concerts is always low. Last night they performed B6 with Metzmacher (and allowing for always dodgy BSO brass, it was a good performance). I have never seen such a poorly attended Sat. night BSO concert. As one who likes Bruckner quite a bit, this is saddening.

I was wondering, among regular symphony attendees in other cities, if Bruckner is as poorly thought of elsewhere? I would expect a bit more respect, at least in German cities.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:34 pm

Reed wrote:Getting back to Bruckner--I was wondering if he is a hard sell in concert halls in general, or is it worse in Boston?

In recent seasons, the BSO has done one Bruckner symphony per year, and attendance at these concerts is always low.
I think he's a tough sell anywhere. Elsewhere Dulcinea has accused Mahler of being long-winded and tedious. I don't happen to share that opinion of Mahler, but it certainly is my opinion of Bruckner. I can't figure it out either, because they do share a certain tonal palette.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:23 am

Reed wrote:Getting back to Bruckner--I was wondering if he is a hard sell in concert halls in general, or is it worse in Boston?

In recent seasons, the BSO has done one Bruckner symphony per year, and attendance at these concerts is always low. Last night they performed B6 with Metzmacher (and allowing for always dodgy BSO brass, it was a good performance). I have never seen such a poorly attended Sat. night BSO concert. As one who likes Bruckner quite a bit, this is saddening.

I was wondering, among regular symphony attendees in other cities, if Bruckner is as poorly thought of elsewhere? I would expect a bit more respect, at least in German cities.
There is no lack of good Bruckner symphony performances in Austria and here in Germany, nor is there a lack of Bruckner-fans. However, I would not say that he is overplayed. Bruckner is not as popular on radio as are Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert or Brahms (who all have works in many genres).

Since Bruckner has little other than the massive symphonies, we can be happy that he is still somewhat more popular than Mahler here.

The Wagner fans I know embrace Bruckner more than Brahms, and most of the Brahms fans I know have trouble with Schumann AND Bruckner.

Jack
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Post by pizza » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:30 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Reed wrote:Getting back to Bruckner--I was wondering if he is a hard sell in concert halls in general, or is it worse in Boston?

In recent seasons, the BSO has done one Bruckner symphony per year, and attendance at these concerts is always low.
I think he's a tough sell anywhere. Elsewhere Dulcinea has accused Mahler of being long-winded and tedious. I don't happen to share that opinion of Mahler, but it certainly is my opinion of Bruckner. I can't figure it out either, because they do share a certain tonal palette.
Every Bruckner concert I ever attended was to a full or sell-out house. During the Martinon and Solti eras in Chicago, you had to get to the ticket office pretty early if you didn't want to stand in the upper balcony or sit behind a post. I recall a performance of B8 in November, '74 when the Berlin PO was visiting Chicago where scalpers were getting 100 bucks a ticket.

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Post by Reed » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:38 pm

That's interesting, because even the Berlin Phil. couldn't fill Symphony Hall when they came a few years ago with Bruckner 9. I guess Boston is just not a Bruckner town.

Corylss, well, though I like Bruckner, there is certainly less variety between or even within symphonies than with Mahler. But I like both--just have to be in the mood for one or the other. There are months when I don't feel like listening to Mahler, or Bruckner, or either one of them. But when I feel the mood, one or the other or both are very satisfying.

I like the idea of the BSO doing one Bruckner symphony per year (wouldn't mind hearing one of the masses from time to time, either), but they may cut their losses, since even the subscribers stay away in droves.

Anything remotely contemporary also is a hard sell with the BSO crowd, even if it's in a conservative idiom. Levine's programming of more contemporary material, and his 2-season Schoenberg series, is hurting attendance figures.

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:06 pm

Reed wrote:I like the idea of the BSO doing one Bruckner symphony per year (wouldn't mind hearing one of the masses from time to time, either)
Boston's Chorus pro Musica sang the E Minor (I think it was) Mass, with wind accompaniment. I enjoyed that much more thoroughly than any of the symphonies I have heard. I came very close to enjoying the Fourth Symphony when Masur conducted it a season or so ago, only the last movement lost me, I felt that it went on about five minutes too long. Someday I'll give it another try, to be sure.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:15 am

karlhenning wrote:I came very close to enjoying the Fourth Symphony when Masur conducted it a season or so ago, only the last movement lost me, I felt that it went on about five minutes too long. Someday I'll give it another try, to be sure.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl, the Finale of the Fourth is one of Bruckner's finest and most well-proportioned movements. Not a note too many :) !

I recommend the Bruno Walter double set (4th and 9th) with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra----superior sound and interpretations, he brings out the brass better than anyone---and Bruckner's symphonies NEED that!

Best regards,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

pizza
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Post by pizza » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:48 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
karlhenning wrote:I came very close to enjoying the Fourth Symphony when Masur conducted it a season or so ago, only the last movement lost me, I felt that it went on about five minutes too long. Someday I'll give it another try, to be sure.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl, the Finale of the Fourth is one of Bruckner's finest and most well-proportioned movements. Not a note too many :) !

I recommend the Bruno Walter double set (4th and 9th) with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra----superior sound and interpretations, he brings out the brass better than anyone---and Bruckner's symphonies NEED that!

Best regards,
Jack
The brass is a matter of personal taste. I generally prefer European orchestras to American in Bruckner symphonies because the sound of their brass is more rounded, burnished and controlled; American brass tends to be loud, brash and in-your-face, which I find inappropriate for Bruckner. I'm speaking of the instruments themselves, not the players.

My favorite 4ths are Celibidache/Munich, Bohm/VPO and Klemperer/Bavarian RSO.

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:02 am

pizza wrote:I generally prefer European orchestras to American in Bruckner symphonies because the sound of their brass is more rounded, burnished and controlled; American brass tends to be loud, brash and in-your-face, which I find inappropriate for Bruckner. I'm speaking of the instruments themselves, not the players.

My favorite 4ths are Celibidache/Munich, Bohm/VPO and Klemperer/Bavarian RSO.
You're right about taste. A friend of mine at work (a former army conductor/arranger) doesn't like to go to concerts here because HE prefers American brass instruments.

I love the sound Walter gets from the Columbia Symphony---in his recordings of the Brahms symphonies as well.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

karlhenning
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Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:53 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Karl, the Finale of the Fourth is one of Bruckner's finest and most well-proportioned movements. Not a note too many :) !
It is fascinating that you say so, Jack!

A great friend of mine adores Bruckner; and though he does like the entire Fourth Symphony, back when he first heard it, he too liked the first three movements unqualifiedly, but did not warm to the finale for a few years.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:09 am

karlhenning wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Karl, the Finale of the Fourth is one of Bruckner's finest and most well-proportioned movements. Not a note too many :) !
It is fascinating that you say so, Jack!

A great friend of mine adores Bruckner; and though he does like the entire Fourth Symphony, back when he first heard it, he too liked the first three movements unqualifiedly, but did not warm to the finale for a few years.

Cheers,
~Karl
The finale is a difficult movement, somewhat episodic (like Schubert's "Great C Major"). But the four-note motto-theme (from movement I) is brilliantly developed in this dramatic finale.

Next time you put it on, Karl---listen for Peter's theme from "Peter and the Wolf" (it's just a hint of it for a few seconds, but it's there!).

Tschüß!
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Reed
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Post by Reed » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:54 am

Having said I like Bruckner, I admit I sometimes have a problem with his 4th movements. They usually seems so disjointed. Why do you think this is, when his other movements are well-structured?

pizza
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Post by pizza » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:00 pm

Reed wrote:Having said I like Bruckner, I admit I sometimes have a problem with his 4th movements. They usually seems so disjointed. Why do you think this is, when his other movements are well-structured?
I have no idea why you think his 4th movements are disjointed. I don't find them so at all.

Furtwangler considered the 4th Movement of Symphony 5 the greatest symphonic movement ever written.

When Eugen Jochum gave his last concert with the Concertgebouw in December, 1986, he played the 5th and encored the 4th movement after the audience refused to leave when it was over.

The 4th movement of the 7th is about as perfect a symphonic movement as one could hope for. The 4th movement of the 6th is no slouch either and the last movement of the 2nd is a gem.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:03 pm

pizza wrote:
Reed wrote:Having said I like Bruckner, I admit I sometimes have a problem with his 4th movements. They usually seems so disjointed. Why do you think this is, when his other movements are well-structured?
I have no idea why you think his 4th movements are disjointed. I don't find them so at all.
I had a slightly different problem with the comment. I find all the other movements disjointed as well.

Why do the great conductors love Bruckner? Could it be because they can remake him as they see fit, channel him as it were, in a way they would not dare attempt with Brahms? Is this the flip side of someone's comment that Bruckner depends a lot on the interpretation, i.e., the conductor? Is Bruckner the Liszt of orchestral composers? (By which I mean that many great pianists love to play Liszt for what seems in him to given them an invigorating sense of virtuosity while intellectually realizing that he is inferior.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Heck148
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Post by Heck148 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:14 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I had a slightly different problem with the comment. I find all the other movements disjointed as well.

Why do the great conductors love Bruckner?
disjointedness, and sometimes episodic form are real challenges with Bruckner - he loves the stop-and-go, tension-and-release technique, and sometimes seems to beat it into the ground. it is a great challenge to produce a steady flow thru a big Bruckner symphony - a line, or flow that transcends all the stopping and startng and seeming disjointedness.
also - if a wide dynamic and articulation range is not used, the music can get pretty monotonous as it pounds away in perpetual mezzo-forte mediocrity

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:25 pm

Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I had a slightly different problem with the comment. I find all the other movements disjointed as well.

Why do the great conductors love Bruckner?
disjointedness, and sometimes episodic form are real challenges with Bruckner - he loves the stop-and-go, tension-and-release technique, and sometimes seems to beat it into the ground. it is a great challenge to produce a steady flow thru a big Bruckner symphony - a line, or flow that transcends all the stopping and startng and seeming disjointedness.
also - if a wide dynamic and articulation range is not used, the music can get pretty monotonous as it pounds away in perpetual mezzo-forte mediocrity
Very astute, Heck, but does anyone honestly think that "he loves" is the correct term rather than "he had to settle for"?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Heck148
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Post by Heck148 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:39 pm

="jbuck919"] [quote="Heck148] he loves the stop-and-go, tension-and-release technique,

Very astute, Heck, but does anyone honestly think that "he loves" is the correct term rather than "he had to settle for"?
for Bruckner?? he wrote it just the way he heard it. I'm sure....he wanted it to be that way....
Last edited by Heck148 on Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:49 pm

Heck148 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: [quote="Heck148] he loves the stop-and-go, tension-and-release technique,
Very astute, Heck, but does anyone honestly think that "he loves" is the correct term rather than "he had to settle for"?
for Bruckner?? he wrote it just the way he heard it. I'm sure....he wanted it to be that way....[/quote]

Even if that is true, which is doubtful considering his perpetual dissatisfaction with the state of completeness of his own symphonies, then it is not exactly a vindication. An artist convincing himself that the way something came out is the way he wanted it even if the product is inferior by the standards he must have set himself to begin with is the most pathetic thing I can imagine.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:59 am

jbuck919 wrote:Even if that is true, which is doubtful considering his perpetual dissatisfaction with the state of completeness of his own symphonies, then it is not exactly a vindication. An artist convincing himself that the way something came out is the way he wanted it even if the product is inferior by the standards he must have set himself to begin with is the most pathetic thing I can imagine.
What you say, John, has nothing to do with Bruckner. He was a master and knew quite well what he was about. Bruckner's dissatisfaction grew from his own feelings of inferiority; yet his music is full of harmonic and melodic genius.

The Fourth and Eighth are my favorite Bruckner finales. I still have some trouble with the Finale of the Fifth; Bruckner seems to me to be struggling a lot with his material, meandering back and forth---waiting for the build-up to the great coda to arrive. Otherwise, I love all movements of his mature symphonies---and have a special feeling for the First Symphony (in c minor)!

The proof is in the listening. One shouldn't listen to him with Brahms in mind (or vice-versa), since both possessed each their own brand of genius. But Bruckner's symphonies have no "slight" movements----his scherzi and adagios are among the finest every written.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

pizza
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Post by pizza » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:02 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Even if that is true, which is doubtful considering his perpetual dissatisfaction with the state of completeness of his own symphonies, then it is not exactly a vindication. An artist convincing himself that the way something came out is the way he wanted it even if the product is inferior by the standards he must have set himself to begin with is the most pathetic thing I can imagine.
What you say, John, has nothing to do with Bruckner. He was a master and knew quite well what he was about. Bruckner's dissatisfaction grew from his own feelings of inferiority; yet his music is full of harmonic and melodic genius.

The Fourth and Eighth are my favorite Bruckner finales. I still have some trouble with the Finale of the Fifth; Bruckner seems to me to be struggling a lot with his material, meandering back and forth---waiting for the build-up to the great coda to arrive. Otherwise, I love all movements of his mature symphonies---and have a special feeling for the First Symphony (in c minor)!

The proof is in the listening. One shouldn't listen to him with Brahms in mind (or vice-versa), since both possessed each their own brand of genius. But Bruckner's symphonies have no "slight" movements----his scherzi and adagios are among the finest every written.

Jack
Funny you have a problem with the finale of the 5th. Bruckner didn't! He remarked that the symphony was his "contrapuntal masterpiece" -- one of the few times he was outwardly self-complimentary -- and he praised the Almighty for giving him the inspiration to bring the magnificent coda to fruition.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:35 am

I'll be the first to admit that I might just need some more time for that finale of the Fifth.....

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:53 am

Jack Kelso wrote:I'll be the first to admit that I might just need some more time for that finale of the Fifth.....

Jack
Yes, Jack, just a little more time and Bruckner will fall into place... something I've been saying to myself for about 35 years.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:58 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:I'll be the first to admit that I might just need some more time for that finale of the Fifth.....

Jack
Yes, Jack, just a little more time and Bruckner will fall into place... something I've been saying to myself for about 35 years.
Right you are, John! There's nothing like a good, strong challenge of a movement to clear away the cobwebs of prejudice....and I might be a bit prejudiced against the finale of the Fifth.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Heck148
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Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:39 am

jbuck919 wrote: even if the product is inferior by the standards he must have set himself to begin with
that is an assumption that is not based on any evidence...how do you know what his initial standards were?? how do you know he was displeased with the result, or considered the result to be inferior??

pizza
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Post by pizza » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:29 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:I'll be the first to admit that I might just need some more time for that finale of the Fifth.....

Jack
Try to find a copy of Jochum's live 1986 Concertgebouw performance (Tahra 247) if you want to hear one of the most spectacular 5ths ever recorded.

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Post by Wallingford » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:20 pm

TOSCANINI--one of my two very favorite conductors--replied, when asked once why he doesn't play Bruckner's music, "It has no sex!"

I suppose this hits on the head part of the reason I don't go for the composer's stuff--but only part of it.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Heck148
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Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:42 pm

Wallingford wrote:TOSCANINI--one of my two very favorite conductors--replied, when asked once why he doesn't play Bruckner's music, "It has no sex!"
Toscanini was once asked by an interviewer about any vices he might have -

he replied something like - "I smoked my first cigarette, and kissed my first woman on the same day...I've not had time for another cigarette since...." 8) :P :lol:

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