The most overused adjective in the classical music language

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keaggy220
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The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:45 am

Sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe

Okay, who cares if it's overused. That definition is perfect for many classical works. So let's name a work (only one, I know that's tough) which, to you, fits the definition best.

I'll start. I'll go with Brahms Piano Quintet. I could easily pick any of his quintet's and I would usually pick the clarinet, but today I'm feeling the piano.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

barney
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by barney » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:03 am

Hmmm. Tell you what, I'll do one per post. Starting with another quintet, the Schubert C major, D956.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jared » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:38 am

keaggy220 wrote:I'll start. I'll go with Brahms Piano Quintet.
I simply CANNOT believe it! :shock: Whenever such a thread comes up, this is often my choice... it's one of my favourite pieces, and quite possibly my fave Chamber piece of all... I never tire of it.. 8)

so, what you're saying is, I have to look elsewhere, for the 'sublime'...

OK, well for the purpose of this exercise, I shall stick with chamber, and go for this marvellous recording of the Schubert Octet:

Image

however the piece will change from day to day.. tomorrow it could well be the Missa Solemnis.. :wink:

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Seán » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:50 am

keaggy220 wrote:Sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe

Okay, who cares if it's overused. That definition is perfect for many classical works. So let's name a work (only one, I know that's tough) which, to you, fits the definition best.
.
Mahler's Fifth Symphony.
Seán

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Donaldopato » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:05 am

Schubert Piano Sonata in Bb D 960
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by lismahago » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:17 am

Wonderful choices so far: mine would be Cantata 106 Gottes Zeit ist der allerbeste Zeit.
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by moldyoldie » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:25 am

I never, ever, EVER want to hear the word "definitive" applied to a performance. If ever an adjective was overused.... :roll:
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by hangos » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:45 am

moldyoldie wrote:I never, ever, EVER want to hear the word "definitive" applied to a performance. If ever an adjective was overused.... :roll:
Agreed, moldyoldie - "definitive" is as overused (but not as misused) as "masterful" when it should be "masterly". OMG, this forum is turning me into a grumpy old pedant ! :D
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jack Kelso » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:24 am

There are sooo many works that deserve such adjectives: Handel's best oratorios (see the Handel thread!), Bach's Brandenburg concerti and Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and many of his for piano, the late symphonies, at least five of Beethoven's symphonies, the late sonatas and quartets, Schumann's Piano Concerto, symphonies, "Das Paradies und die Peri", Piano Quintet, "Dichterliebe", etc., Bruckner's last three symphonies, Brahms' four---where does the list begin and end...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:52 am

Jack Kelso wrote:There are sooo many works that deserve such adjectives: Handel's best oratorios (see the Handel thread!), Bach's Brandenburg concerti and Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and many of his for piano, the late symphonies, at least five of Beethoven's symphonies, the late sonatas and quartets, Schumann's Piano Concerto, symphonies, "Das Paradies und die Peri", Piano Quintet, "Dichterliebe", etc., Bruckner's last three symphonies, Brahms' four---where does the list begin and end...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
You broke the rule - one pick! Of course, I'm kidding, but I thought it would be fun to just name the work that pops out at you the moment you hear the word sublime. I know it's tough and for many of us the work that pops in our head could very well change on a moments notice.

I have been looking at the Handle thread with great interest. I have his usual suspects, i.e., Messiah, Water Music and Fireworks (all sublime.) I will keep that thread in mind when I make my next purchase.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

keaggy220
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:53 am

Jared wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:I'll start. I'll go with Brahms Piano Quintet.
I simply CANNOT believe it! :shock: Whenever such a thread comes up, this is often my choice... it's one of my favourite pieces, and quite possibly my fave Chamber piece of all... I never tire of it.. 8)

so, what you're saying is, I have to look elsewhere, for the 'sublime'...

OK, well for the purpose of this exercise, I shall stick with chamber, and go for this marvellous recording of the Schubert Octet:

Image

however the piece will change from day to day.. tomorrow it could well be the Missa Solemnis.. :wink:
Sorry, I made you think! Duly noted that the first to pop in your head was the Piano Quintet.... :D
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jared » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:54 am

keaggy220 wrote:I have been looking at the Handle thread with great interest. I have his usual suspects, i.e., Messiah, Water Music and Fireworks (all sublime.) I will keep that thread in mind when I make my next purchase.
at the risk of going (temporarily) off-topic, Keaggy, you could do a heck of a lot worse than this:

Image

8)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:01 pm

I know most of you sophisticates hate the mere mention of "warhorses" on the CM Forum
but "sublime" immediately brings to mind Mozart's 21st piano concerto, the infamous "Andante"
movement so scuriously ruined in an infamous movie which I will not dignify with a name. The
other siblime "warhorse" is, of course, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Allegro assai fourth
movement, which also draws far to many repetitions in popular culture. But what a sublime
moment to have been in that first audience, in 1824....the thought still brings tears to my eyes.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by moldyoldie » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:42 pm

A truly, er, sublime performance of Sibelius Symphony No. 7.
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by bombasticDarren » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:50 pm

Schumann's Piano Quintet :D

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Wallingford » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:01 pm

One work that's earned the right to render the term overused:

Beethoven's Piano Sonata #30 in E, Op.109.
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That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Fergus » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:33 pm

I have thought about this and I have asked myself....what one work would I like to have written....Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:45 pm

Fergus wrote:I have thought about this and I have asked myself....what one work would I like to have written....Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.
That much-loved Adagio theme certainly has to be described as "sublime". Wish I'd thought of that. :wink:
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:45 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:I know most of you sophisticates hate the mere mention of "warhorses" on the CM Forum
but "sublime" immediately brings to mind Mozart's 21st piano concerto, the infamous "Andante"
movement so scuriously ruined in an infamous movie which I will not dignify with a name. The
other siblime "warhorse" is, of course, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Allegro assai fourth
movement, which also draws far to many repetitions in popular culture. But what a sublime
moment to have been in that first audience, in 1824....the thought still brings tears to my eyes.
I agree, like the first movement of LvB's 5th, the last movement of the 9th is overdone in popular culture. Morris' Beethoven bio states that Schubert (I believe it was him) sold his textbooks so he could attend the opening of the LvB's 7th. After reading that I often imagine what it would be like to either attend the opening of the 9th or that special night when he debuted the 5th and 6th symphonies and his 4th Piano Concerto. What a special night that would've been.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Fergus » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:09 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:
Fergus wrote:I have thought about this and I have asked myself....what one work would I like to have written....Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.
That much-loved Adagio theme certainly has to be described as "sublime". Wish I'd thought of that. :wink:
That is a work that I have loved and admired for many, many years and it is one that I can never escape from....nor, indeed do I want to :D

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by gfweis » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:23 pm

I don't want to listen to it again for awhile, as I've over-heard it in the last couple years, but I suppose that, while there are quite a few sections/movements from Mozart that come to mind, for a work taken as a whole the word 'sublime' fits the Schubert C Major quintet better than any other work I can think of. Good recordings are all over the ground. I like: the Grumiaux, Szabo, etc. group on a Philips lp; the Stern, Casals, etc. group on a mono Columbia lp; the Hollywood SQ+ on Testament; the Stern, Ma, etc. group on Sony; the Vienna SQ+ on Camerata; and the BudapestSQ with Benar Heifetz on a Columbia lp. But there are others that I have enjoyed, for example, the Fitzwillem SQ w. van Kampen on a London lp.
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:04 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:There are sooo many works that deserve such adjectives: Handel's best oratorios (see the Handel thread!), Bach's Brandenburg concerti and Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and many of his for piano, the late symphonies, at least five of Beethoven's symphonies, the late sonatas and quartets, Schumann's Piano Concerto, symphonies, "Das Paradies und die Peri", Piano Quintet, "Dichterliebe", etc., Bruckner's last three symphonies, Brahms' four---where does the list begin and end...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
You broke the rule - one pick!
Not only that he considers ALL of Schumann to be sublime... :lol:
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:35 pm

Barney already nominated Schubert's String Quintet so i'll go for three works that I believe are the Earliest example of Sublime Art, William Byrd's Masses for Three, Four and Five Voices...
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:46 pm

Schubert's Unfinished achieves a sublime quality that is unmatched by pretty much anything else. Oh what I would give to know how Schubert would've finished it :?

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by 7flat5 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:19 pm

For me, it's still Bruckner 8.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by IcedNote » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:44 pm

Mass in B minor. 8)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by some guy » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:43 am

HoustonDavid wrote:Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Allegro assai fourth
movement, which also draws far to many repetitions in popular culture. But what a sublime moment to have been in that first audience, in 1824....the thought still brings tears to my eyes.
Hmmm. You do realize that you would probably have hated it. You know, what with all those "crude, wild, and extraneous harmonies" in it, the "noisy extravagence" and the "outrageous clamor" (Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review, London, 1825.)

Even if you'd been around several years later, in 1853, you still might have only heard "an incomprehensible union of strange harmonies." (The Daily Atlas, Boston.)

Indeed, this Boston critic sounds quite a lot like many CMGers talking about the contemporary music of today: "We can sincerely say that rather than study this last work for beauties which do not exist, we had far rather hear the others where beauties are plain."

How many new music carpers would count Beethoven's ninth among their favorites, I wonder....

(But soft, Corlyss will soon be pointing out the spinach in my teeth!! Especially with the emphasis above being mine!! Shhhhh.)
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jack Kelso » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:13 am

Chalkperson wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:There are sooo many works that deserve such adjectives: Handel's best oratorios (see the Handel thread!), Bach's Brandenburg concerti and Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and many of his for piano, the late symphonies, at least five of Beethoven's symphonies, the late sonatas and quartets, Schumann's Piano Concerto, symphonies, "Das Paradies und die Peri", Piano Quintet, "Dichterliebe", etc., Bruckner's last three symphonies, Brahms' four---where does the list begin and end...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
You broke the rule - one pick!
Not only that he considers ALL of Schumann to be sublime... :lol:
Isn't that better, Chalkie---than to regard "none of Schumann" to be sublime...?! :wink:

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

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:54 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:There are sooo many works that deserve such adjectives: Handel's best oratorios (see the Handel thread!), Bach's Brandenburg concerti and Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and many of his for piano, the late symphonies, at least five of Beethoven's symphonies, the late sonatas and quartets, Schumann's Piano Concerto, symphonies, "Das Paradies und die Peri", Piano Quintet, "Dichterliebe", etc., Bruckner's last three symphonies, Brahms' four---where does the list begin and end...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
You broke the rule - one pick!
Not only that he considers ALL of Schumann to be sublime... :lol:
Isn't that better, Chalkie---than to regard "none of Schumann" to be sublime...?! :wink:

Tschüß,
Jack
There are many Composers who did not write "sublime" music, Schumann's just one of them...
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Madame » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:27 pm

I immediately thought of:

Delibes' "Coppelia"

Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:18 pm

One of the most immortal anecdotes in the history of classical music is the story of the
audience (not the critics') reaction to the premier of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I'm
quite sure our Forum members know about Beethoven sitting on stage facing the
orchestra, knowing the symphony had ended but afraid to face the audience reaction.
Legend has it the soprano soloist had to walk over and turn the maestro to face the
ecstatic audience and accept his deserved accolade. Now THAT was a sublime musical
moment. :D
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Werner » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:13 pm

So many possibilities - whether you stick to the "one chouice" idea or not - I can't deny the value of any one, but I'm surprised that Schubert's "Trout" Quintet hasn't shown up here yet.
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:15 pm

When trying to discuss a sound event in words, people don't have access to a lot of adjectives to deploy. Maybe we need to devise some?
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by karlhenning » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:23 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:One of the most immortal anecdotes in the history of classical music is the story of the
audience (not the critics') reaction to the premier of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I'm
quite sure our Forum members know about Beethoven sitting on stage facing the
orchestra, knowing the symphony had ended but afraid to face the audience reaction.
I had never heard that he was afraid to face the audience reaction; what is the source on that? Thanks!

Cheers,
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jared » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:26 pm

Werner wrote: I'm surprised that Schubert's "Trout" Quintet hasn't shown up here yet.
well, we've had the Piano Sonata D960 and the Octet... I think Franz's Chamber Music has been reasonably well represented thus far.. :D

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Werner » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:35 pm

True enough - but I wasn''t thinking in terms of a fair representationnof Schubert, but this piece seems to be as easy to think of as some of the other chamber works tthat have been mentioned.

Of course, tomorrow I might pick another one!
Werner Isler

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:48 pm

Jared wrote:
Werner wrote: I'm surprised that Schubert's "Trout" Quintet hasn't shown up here yet.
well, we've had the Piano Sonata D960 and the Octet... I think Franz's Chamber Music has been reasonably well represented thus far.. :D
And Barney nominated the String Quintet D956, which I personally consider more sublime that the Trout Quintet...
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:58 pm

Mozart's PC #22...oh how I love the key of E-Flat.
Image

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Marc » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:11 pm

Sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.

:idea:

J.S. Bach (1685-1750): Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582.

Brendan

Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Brendan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:18 pm

Pedant? Pah! Mere amateurs!

Sublime (assuming the verb form - taking something inferior and turning into a finer work) would be something like Beethoven's Diabelli Variatiions.

Definitive: sometimes they really do exist. The first time I heard Furtwangler's Beethoven 6th I wondered how he could play it so wrong yet make it sound so right. Now I wonder why no one else can play it all. There is only one I ever listen to: all the others just sound wrong to me.
Last edited by Brendan on Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:29 pm

Karl Henning wrote wrote:I had never heard that he was afraid to face the audience reaction; what is the source on that?
Simply the way I have come to believe it happened. What other reason did he have
for sitting there, hearing nothing, but knowing the performance was over; the conductor
had lowered his baton and the musicians had put down their instruments. Curiousity
about the audience response would be natural, but so would fear of rejection. Someone
had to prompt him to overcome that fear and turn to "face the music". No one knows
what he was thinking because it is unrecorded.
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:48 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:
Karl Henning wrote wrote:I had never heard that he was afraid to face the audience reaction; what is the source on that?
Simply the way I have come to believe it happened. What other reason did he have
for sitting there, hearing nothing, but knowing the performance was over; the conductor
had lowered his baton and the musicians had put down their instruments. Curiousity
about the audience response would be natural, but so would fear of rejection. Someone
had to prompt him to overcome that fear and turn to "face the music". No one knows
what he was thinking because it is unrecorded.
But what if he had been playing it in his mind and just wanted to let it sync (sic) in for a moment or two, it was a pretty spectacular Concert, after all... :wink:
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HoustonDavid
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:02 am

No one will ever know, but it's still a great anecdote about a great composer and
a sublime symphony against which all others have been measured ever since.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

barney
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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by barney » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:57 am

I don't hold the copyright on the Schubert C major quintet (alas); others are entitled to consider it sublime too. :D

I'd also add nearly any Mozart piano concerto slow movement from K271 on. While we are on Schubert, I listened to the D950 mass last night; that qualifies too.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jared » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:13 am

barney wrote:I don't hold the copyright on the Schubert C major quintet (alas); others are entitled to consider it sublime too. :D

While we are on Schubert, I listened to the D950 mass last night; that qualifies too.
Barney... both of these pieces have one thing in common... they are both on my 'to be listened to' shelf.. isn't it great to be a newbie? :lol:

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Ken » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:44 am

Sublime? First thing that comes to my mind is Brahms's First Symphony, which bleeds sublimity.
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by John F » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:33 am

HoustonDavid wrote:I know most of you sophisticates hate the mere mention of "warhorses" on the CM Forum but "sublime" immediately brings to mind Mozart's 21st piano concerto, the infamous "Andante" movement so scuriously ruined in an infamous movie which I will not dignify with a name. The other siblime "warhorse" is, of course, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Allegro assai fourth movement, which also draws far to many repetitions in popular culture. But what a sublime moment to have been in that first audience, in 1824....the thought still brings tears to my eyes.
There's nothing hackneyed about the Mozart concerto, let alone the Beethoven 9th. Pieces like Rossini's "William Tell Overture," Liszt's "Les Preludes," etc. used to be called warhorses, because they were programmed again and again thanks to being used in popular radio programs like "The Lone Ranger." But you hardly ever hear them in concert any more, do you?

And when you do, you could well be surprised at how good they are, even how fresh. I hadn't heard Rimsky-Korsakov's "Sheherezade" for many years until it cropped up in a New York Philharmonic program I was attending for other reasons, and the piece turned out to be gripping in a way it hadn't been before, for me at least. Not that "Sheherezade" has been out of the Philharmonic's repertoire for long, in recent years anyway, but I'd kind of avoided it. Silly me.

As for the sublime, strictly speaking it isn't about beauty but awesomeness - the formal gardens at Versailles are beautiful but not sublime, while a jagged mountain range is sublime but not beautiful. (Of course it's possible for something to be both.) Bruckner's Symphony #9 has the kind of rough grandeur that I'd call sublime.
John Francis

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by Jared » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:49 am

John F wrote:There's nothing hackneyed about the Mozart concerto, let alone the Beethoven 9th.
John... I agree. It was only December 2008 when I happened upon a recording of Mozart PC No 21 by Geza Anda in a charity shop and decided it would be worth a gamble for £1. I really was impressed... it got a heck of a lot of spins over Xmas as I'd never heard it before, and found it to be completely revelatory. It has led to me purchasing considerably more Mozart since, besides a couple of other Mozart PC recordings by well known artists.

I know it is hard for many on CMG who have heard this piece SO many times during their lives what it must be like to hear it for the very first time, but PC No 21 IS sublime to me, and probably always will be.. 8)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:36 pm

The moment Mozart's 21st Andante movement begins its langorous but simple
journey, I always close my eyes in wonder at how such a simple confluence of single
notes can bring such joy. It is the very definition of the sublime. Even most music
sophisticates must admit to the same feelings as Jared when they first heard those
opening notes for the first time, and just that memory makes them sublime.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: The most overused adjective in the classical music language

Post by some guy » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:24 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:No one will ever know, but it's still a great anecdote about a great composer and a sublime symphony against which all others have been measured ever since.
There are several anecdotes about the premiere of Beethoven's ninth. And that is exactly what they are, anecdotes. They are entertaining, no doubt, but in their tendency to give everything that rosy glow, they are maybe not quite the thing, eh?

The facts seem* to be these. Beethoven did not conduct the world premiere. He shared the stage with the real conductor. Once all the musicians had finished the actual piece, Beethoven was still conducting the piece that was in his head. The soprano then went over to him and turned him around to see the applause.

His conducting was apparently extremely wild, as if he was trying to play every instrument at once. Sounds a bit like Dumitrescu's conducting style.

*"seem" because some of this account is also anecdotal.
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
--Viennese critic (1843)

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
--Henry Miller

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