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  • Part II – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » Fun Stuff » Part II – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

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    #2384747

    This thread I start today is the continuation of one I begun in early 2020 and has by now hundreds of links to YouTube performances of some of the best Western classical music going back some four centuries, played  by the very best performers of the last 120 years, since music started to be recorded in ways that we can still appreciate today. Although “classical” has not meant exclusively “music performed at concert halls by symphonic orchestras, chamber ensembles, choruses, great opera singers and solo instrument virtuosos”.

    The cause of the split is that the thread was getting quite long, with well over 500 comments containing each one or more links to YT performance videos, and Susan was quite determined that it needed to be split. She has allayed considerably my worry that splitting the thread would condemn the first part to oblivion once it went out of sight into the back pages, and in a short time. She has moved to prevent this by pinning it as one of those yellow-background entries in “New Posts” where recent comments are listed and linked, so it will not disappear from sight. Also by adding “Part I” to the title of the old thread, at my request.

    The music commented and linked in Part I, as it shall continue to be the case here, in Part II, has ranged from works by J.S. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to those by Messien, Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Zoltán Kodály. Adding to all that those of the Greats of Jazz, Fusion, Bossa Nova, Progressive Tango, Rock, Country, movies (e.g. Morricone and Korngold) and Rhythms and Blues, from such greats as Ray Charles or Aretha Franklin, to our very own USA National Treasure, Dolly Parton.

    Contributing comments to “Part I”, with the participation of other music lovers of similarly somewhat eclectic preferences, has been a task of love, one that I hope it has not only provided some real pleasure, but also some solace in difficult times to those visiting it. And helped as well those interested in learning more about this truly monumental and invaluable heritage of humanity: music.

    I certainly have learned quite a lot about music while preparing to write my comments and by reading those made by others. And I hope we all may continue to do so in this new thread, “Part II”, that I hereby kick off now.

    And how best to kick off this continuation of “Classical” with tree classic performances by some great artists of our very days:

    First this one, from Part I, that I copy here in part:

    In times when it is often hard to feel very cheerful, here is she at the Glastonbury Festival in Lancaster, UK, in 2014, singing while radiating her signature warm smile what is probably her most popular song, “Joleen” to a very large and enthusiastic audience:

    Keep in mind that she was already seventy when staging this great and truly classical performance.

    And also from Part I, this other one:

    So here is the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th “Choral” Symphony during the 2012 BBC Proms at London’s Albert Hall, with David Barenboim conducting the West-Estern Divan Orchestra and soloist singers Anna Samuil (soprano) Waltraud Meier (mezzo-soprano) Michael König (tenor) René Pape (bass), with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. A performance also noticeable for the youth of the musicians and members of the chorus:

    In it, the words of the “Ode to Joy” by the poet Friedrich Schiller, sang by the huge choir and the four soloists, is also translated from German to English in the subtitles.

    Finally,  This is Bach’s monumental “Chaconne”, the last movement of the Partita No. 2 for solo violin, played here by my favorite violinist of the last two decades in her breakthrough recording, when she was 16 or 17 years old and still had a magnificent international career ahead of her.

    (Please, leave these “Picture links” in this first opening comment, as it was the case in the opening comment of Part I.)

    Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by OscarCP.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by OscarCP.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by OscarCP.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by OscarCP.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by OscarCP.
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    • #2384841

      Glastonbury Festival in Lancaster, UK,

      Glastonbury is 250 miles South of Lancaster.

      Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1288 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2384905

        Right, that should be “Somerset”, way south of Lancashire.

        FYI: the nearest town to the site of the festival is Pilton.

        And for more information to whoever happens to like or even love Dolly’s work, there is this:

        https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jun/29/dolly-parton-at-glastonbury-2014-review

        And here is the whole of Dolly Parton’s 50 minutes performance at Glastonbury, from start to finish:

        https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3d5vnj

        (If there is no sound: click on the video, put the cursor on it, to reveal a little speaker icon in its screen, then click on this icon to turn the sound on.)

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        • #2385512

          FIRST: Part I has been closed for further comments, so if one wants to reply to something posted there, this has to be done in a comment here, in Part II, with a link to the comment in Part I that motivates the reply. More generally, if one finds something in Part I that seems interesting enough to link here, in Part II, a full comment, or a YouTube video in a comment, one hast to do as follows:

          To link a comment or YT video in Part I to a comment here, in Part II, as shown in the example below, there is a procedure to be followed strictly:

          (1) Find link to part I pinned (in a yellow background) by searching in “New Replies: last three days” and, when found, click on it. If you can’t do that for any reason (e.g. lack of time), then click on my “OscarCP” icon, at the top-right corner of any of my Part II comments.

          (2) In my Profile page that then opens, click on “Topics Started” (right below my large icon there) and look for “Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?”, then and click on that.

          (3) Once in Part I, to find a comment on a topic you want to read about in Part I and maybe also link to one of yours in Part II, look for such a comment in Part I as follows:

          (4) Because the thread is very long, click Cntrl+F (Windows) or Command+F (Mac) and in the search field that opens enter the full name, or just the last name of the player (e.g. Dolly Parton), or of the composer (e.g. Beethoven), or the name of the work, with enough words from its name so as not to be too unambiguous (e.g. clarinet concerto — there aren’t many of those, so you’ll have to find one that interest’s you by investigating only a handful; but “piano concerto” will take very long, so you’ll need something more specific there, but as one can only use consecutive words, “piano concerto” will make for a very long search, “Martha Argerich” for a fairly long one, and that’s the best anyone can do, unless you know really well the name of the piece in question and can use enough sequential words to identify it.

          (5) Once you find the comment you like to read and use the YouTube links there to stream the corresponding videos, if then you would like to link this comment to one of yours in Part I:

          (a) Click on the #xxxxxx number on the top right corner of the Part I comment or YT video you want to link.

          (b) Mark and then copy (Cntrl+C, or Command+C) the comment’s own URL that now appears in full in the address bar at the top of the browser’s window.

          (c) Back in Part II, paste the link (Cntrl+V or Command+V) where you would like to have it in a comment you are writing there.

          BUT: paste the link following a line of text with no more than one blank between the last character in the text and the first one of the URL ( the “h”, as in “http://…”) IF YOU DON’T DO IT IN THIS WAY, you may get (depending on the browser you are using, it seems) a link to the top of the Part I thread, not to the comment in that thread that you are trying to link:

          Right way: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2383345

          Wrong way (depending, as far as it is known, on the browser) that takes one to the top of Part I, not to the intended place in it:

          Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

          And using the correctly linked comment above, one then gets to see the Part I comment and, in it, the links to the YT videos you found interesting enough to want to share in Part II:

          “And, finally as the golden brooch, a talk at Oxford University, England, by Uchida on comparing Beethoven, Mozart and also on herself as a performer and her thoughts of what, in her own experience, musicians need to find in their hearts when performing:

          One has to be a bit patient, because there are rather long preliminary remarks on the reason this meeting with Uchida is dedicated to the memory of the late Lord Weidenfeld and the foundation that bears his name to assist promising foreign candidates to do their post-graduate studies at Oxford.”

          Except that there is something wrong here! The link to the video appears as a large “picture” link, and that is seriously frowned upon, because it slows down the AskWoody server when downloading the page. For this there is a procedure explained by PKCano in Part I to get string-of-character links (OK), not “picture” ones (not OK): search for “PK” in Part I, to find her entry with the “how-to” illustrated explanation. The comment title is: ” Make “Brown Links” – use “Visual” Tab. See #2136519 above
          Before “

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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      • #2385520

        Oscar, I just noticed your ‘helpful’ but not quite correct note about the nearest town to the Glastonbury Festival. Pilton is just a village, nice but small, less than 1000 people. The nearest town is Shepton Mallet, about 3 miles north-east, which has nearly 11,000. You got the county right, though, after a false start.

        Nice part of the country, and I used to live not far away, but never a fan of the Festival.

        Garth

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    • #2384909

      Oscar, so be it! Here is an opener, in a relaxed fashion.

      Light music as a genre has not had all that much of a following in recent years, but there is much that is excellent. I enjoy the music of English light music composer Ronald Binge, and here is a typical group of melodies, in traditional form.

      https://youtu.be/KkZ2Ooz2gtI

      On the other hand, I have a vinyl record of numerous songs sung in German by the Gunter Kallmann choir. Unfortunately I cannot find a compilation on YT but here is a single recording from that same record to show what a different and beautiful sound can be created.

      https://youtu.be/EoE87Iw5xUY

      Garth

      • #2384913

        Garth,

        Lovely interpretations. Which ones are the original compositions by Ronald Binge in that YT tube video? He was not only an arranger, but wrote music himself.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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        • #2384923

          Oscar, most of them were composed by Binge! A few are arrangements for Mantovani, in which he was a member of the orchestra, and then responsible for most of the Mantovani arrangements.

          Here is a list of his compositions:

          https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ronald-binge-mn0001258366/compositions?1629490687544

          He was born in the railway town of Derby, where I first started work, so I have a particular ‘soft spot’ for him. He was a remarkable musician!

          Garth

           

          • #2384933

            Garth, Very strange: When I first used the link to the site with the list of works by Binge, I was blocked and asked to either disable my ad blocker or subscribe. I did that, closed the page returning to this one, clicked again on the link in your comment, again it blocked me and asked me to disable the ad blocker, although this was clearly disabled. (I checked that.)

            So: no list of Binge’s own works for now.

            But I believe that “Autumn Leaves” ( based on the French song “Les Feuilles Mortes, with lyrics by Jacques Prévert) is not one of those by him.

            And, while we are on the subject of classic old songs:

            https://360degreesound.com/10-great-versions-of-jazz-standard-autumn-leaves/

            And with a rather kitschy pictorial background, but never mind that, here is that classic, sang in English and French by the one and only Edith Piaf:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2s2tPORlW4

            And to end, here is a true classic: beginning with her signature song “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien”, a collection of Piaf’s renditions of Parisian “Chanson Canaille” songs she made famous throughout the world and, in so doing, became one of the truly great popular singers of all time:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdOGbtrNi8c

            (And, for those who are patient, getting to  “Sous le Ciel du Paris” is a reward well waiting for; but all of it is a real and very fine treat.)

            And finally, in “simultaneous” English translation:

            The Dead Leaves/ Les Feuilles Mortes
            by Jacques Prévert

            Oh, I wish you could remember
            Oh, je voudais tant que tu te souviennes

            Happy days when we were friends
            Des jours heureux où nous étions amis

            At that time life was more beautiful
            En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle

            And the sun is hotter than today
            Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui
            Fallen leaves are collected with a shovel
            Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle

            You see, I haven’t forgotten
            Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié

            Fallen leaves are collected with a shovel
            Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle

            Memories and regrets too
            Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
            And the north wind carries them away,
            Et le vent du Nord les emporte,

            In the cold night of oblivion
            Dans la nuit froide de l’oubli

            You see I haven’t forgotten
            Tu vois je n’ai pas oublié,

            The song you sang to me
            La chanson que tu me chantais
            Fallen leaves are collected with a shovel
            Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle

            Memories and regrets too,
            Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi,

            But my silent and faithful love
            Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle

            Always smile and thank life
            Sourit toujours et remercie la vie
            I loved you so much, you were so pretty,
            Je t’aimais tant, tu étais si jolie,

            How do you want me to forget you?
            Comment veux-tu que je t’oublie?

            At that time life was more beautiful
            En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle

            And the sun is hotter than today
            Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui
            You were my sweetest friend
            Tu étais ma plus douce amie

            But I have nothing to do with regrets
            Mais je n’ai que faire des regrets

            And the song that you sang
            Et la chanson que tu chantais,

            Always, always I will hear it
            Toujours, toujours je l’entendrai
            This song reminds me of us,
            C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble,

            You, you loved me, I loved you
            Toi tu m’aimais, moi je t’aimais

            And we both lived together
            Et nous vivions, tous deux ensemble,

            You who loved me, I who loved you
            Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais
            But life separates those who love each other,
            Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment,

            Very slowly, without making any noise
            Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit

            And the sea erases on the sand
            Et la mer efface sur le sable

            The footsteps of disunited lovers
            Les pas des amants désunis
            This song reminds me of us,
            C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble,

            You loved me and I loved you
            Toi tu m’aimais et je t’aimais

            And we both lived together
            Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble,

            You who loved me, I who loved you
            Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais
            But life separates those who love each other,
            Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment,

            Very slowly, without making any noise
            Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit

            And the sea erases on the sand
            Et la mer efface sur le sable

            The footsteps of disunited lovers
            Les pas des amants désunis

            And from one who commented on Piaf in YT:

            On n’écoute pas Piaf sans risques… celui d’être tourneboulé dans sa tête et sa mémoire… chanson réaliste, on dit ainsi, et c’est exactement comme ça que tout se passe… Elle chante la vie, rien que la vie, sans invention, brut de décoffrage… et une voix à nous mettre le cœur à l’envers

            One does not listen to Piaf without risks…
            that of being turned upside down in her head and her memory…
            realistic song, we say so, and that’s exactly how everything
            happens… She sings about life, nothing but life, without invention,
            roughly stripped … and a voice to turn our hearts upside down

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

            • #2384938

              Here is a scan of that website with (presumably) all compositions by Ronald Binge listed.

              Ronald-Binge

              Garth

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2384948

              In case someone might have missed it, because I put it originally after the long bi-lingual version of the poem by Jacques Prévert (one my four or five beloved poets, out of all those who have been around, sometime, during my own life time) to format it there before moving it above the poem, as a final remark on her art, but run out of time for editing. So here I include, where it is easier to see, the following that I have copied from one comment in YT on Piaf’s singing and songs:

              On n’écoute pas Piaf sans risques… celui d’être tourneboulé dans sa tête et sa mémoire… Chanson réaliste, on dit ainsi, et c’est exactement comme ça que tout se passe… Elle chante la vie, rien que la vie, sans invention, brut de décoffrage… et une voix à nous mettre le cœur à l’envers”  (Emphasis is mine.)

              One does not listen to Piaf without risks…
              that of being turned upside down inside one’s own head and one’s memory…
              “Realistic song”, we say so, and that’s exactly how everything happens… She sings about life, nothing but life, without invention, roughly stripped … and a voice to turn our hearts upside down

              And what a limpid and beautiful voice that was!

              Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

              MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
              Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
              Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

      • #2384929

        Here is another, longer, Binge composition, proving he is not just a small piece man. Saturday Symphony has three movements, about a half hour long, but the sense of humour is never far away.

        https://youtu.be/G3IvKVh3s3E

        Garth

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2384970

          Garth, Thanks: a very fine symphony; for what I know about Binge (not a lot) it is a pity that he might have preferred composing short pieces.
          The orchestra Binge was conducting was most likely the Süddeutsche Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester that emphasized in its programming the works of modern composers.

          Here are three more by Binge I hope you’ll like:

          Elizabethan Serenade:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xc0xIRsbQw

          A Scottish Rhapsody:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rScKh4-75Yc

          Sailing by, a collection of 21 music miniatures:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYzCQfsSiBw

           

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

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          • #2385007

            Oscar, indeed, all of them thanks.

            I have to admit though, that all of the versions of Elizabeth Serenade, the one I like best is the choral version by the Gunter Kallmann singers, a very long-standing absolute favourite ever since the 1960s!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoE87Iw5xUY

            Garth

    • #2384916

      The Concertgebouworkest is kicking off its 2021–22 season on Friday, 10 September (2021) with a festive open-air concert on Dam Square

      The Concertgebouworkest is delighted to perform once again for a live audience. To celebrate, the orchestra is presenting the city, the country and the world with the gift of an open-air concert on Dam Square. Weather permitting, this special programme will be performed in the heart of Amsterdam, the music spilling out into the streets, on 10 September at 8.30 p.m. Together, the musicians and the audience will be bringing the city back to life.

      https://www.concertgebouworkest.nl/en/season-opening-on-dam-square

      artist-impression-concertgebouworkest-opening-night-2021-900x600-v2

       

      ~
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2384985

        Dam Square is like the “dam” in Amsterdam: it is the city square!

        It would be nice if the concerts were recorded for later distribution by online streaming.

        Good luck to those performing and attending, specially these days when the reopening is taking place everywhere — and no one is too sure about how good an idea this is.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2384944

      Why all the big spaces in your post?

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2384953

        Wavy, what big spaces? Everything looks normal to me.

        Like  this:

        Screen-Shot-2021-08-20-at-8.04.56-PM

        If you are referring to the blank lines between paragraphs, they are put in there automatically by the WorldPress software after the final period in a paragraph; besides that is how I always have written, in all my by now numerous comments on anything under the Sun, at AskWoody and elsewhere. You have been seeing, and sometimes reading, my comments for quite a while, so that should not be a novelty to you.

        So what else is that you see that looks unusual to you here?

        Screen-Shot-2021-08-20-at-8.22.04-PM

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        • #2385055

          Oscar’s posts look to me as they do in the screenshots, if that helps.

          • #2385094

            Sky, I explained yesterday, answering to Wavy, that is how all my comments have ever looked like, without hearing any remarks about large “blank spaces” until Wavy debuted this topic yesterday. Furthermore, if one wanted to avoid blank lines between paragraphs, the only way is to make the whole comment into one single and, if the text is long, one huge paragraph. As to blanks to the right of text, the sneaking right margin is how it is setup and how I like it. Wavy himself has been reading things I have posted for some years now that have all these blanks and never said anything about it.

            To anyone who doubts any of this, please go and have a good look at Part I.

            This is all very strange. I rather get comments on music, you know. My writing style and the way I separate paragraphs or how I like the line endings to line up is not really important, I would think.

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

            • #2385107

              Please don’t take my comment the wrong way, Oscar, I was simply letting you know that your posts are showing up as you intended. I assumed that you were wondering if they were to others and that’s why you had said “Everything looks normal to me.” and posted the screenshots. I have no opinion in any direction as to post styling. Sorry, just trying to be of assistance!

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2385110

              Sky, Thanks: All is now clear. Sorry I misunderstood you.

              By the way: did you and your wife ever got to watch “The Dragon Prince”, Seasons 1-3? If you did, what do you think of it?

              Season 4 is said to be under development, but Netflix is remarkably mysterious about its premiere date; I am guessing sometime next year. It does not matter, really, because 1-3 are pretty much a complete narrative in themselves.

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              Sky
            • #2385517

              All is good 🙂

              I’ve not watched it yet, I’ve had a hectic few months, but I’ll make a note to let you know in the animation topic when I have watched it.

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        • #2385437

          In answer this is what I see.

          Capture-3

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2385467

            Wavy, there is something missing in your picture, according to your screenshot: Dolly Parton and her guitar sparkling in full rhinestones glory!

            Screen-Shot-2021-08-23-at-3.41.36-PM

            Everyone but you apparently sees it, myself included.

            It is a “picture” YT link I made to have a splashy lead comment, same as the other two other “picture” links there for Beethoven’s 9th and Hilary’s Bach Chaconne. Can’t you see those? If so, than I would guess your browser does not want to show you YT “picture” links and your are fated to seeing many big blank spaces in entries in other places — here, to not overburden the AskWoody server, it is strictly brown (blue) URL links everywhere except for that very first comment, and those of people who don’t know any better and are then gently told what to do.

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    • #2384974

      And in closing for this day, I thank all of you who have posted today here, for helping send this Part II of “Classic” quite nicely on it way.

      I am leaving you with something with plenty of meat to chew on:

      A virtuoso, fiery and muscular performance by the soloist and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, under Leo Slatkin, of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cg_0jepxow

      And the improvisations in the cadenzas and coda  (*) … well, you’ll have to see and hear those being played, because seeing and hearing is believing.

      (This took place in 2017, some 20 years after one of the first published performances by this artist.)

      (*) Also a cadenza, played near the end: a show-off part, where the conductor puts his hands on his lap, the orchestra players put down their instruments and is just the soloist playing like there is no tomorrow.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2385008

      Here is something new (to me, at least) and also something old:

      Old: Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto op.35 & Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture

      New: Violinist Alena Baeva, playing here with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker Orchestra conducted by Alexandre Bloch:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ckqOukGKK8

      I had not heard of this Russian violinist until just today. I was listening to something else in YouTube and when it ended, the next thing in the list started automatically and it was this performance of Tchaikovski’s violin concerto follow by his Romeo and Juliet Overture.

      I was left impressed with Baeva’s interpretation and, in my highly not authoritative opinion, I must say that she is pretty good. She played here with a serious orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra, at a respectable venue, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
      After seeing her play, I can say that she shares with that most remarkable violinist Hilary Hahn, who is five years her senior, the important characteristic that she does not make funny faces when she is playing. She is 100% paying close attention to what she is doing, and that is the sign of the serious worker doing a tricky job and determined to do it very well, so as not to let down her fellow workers in the orchestra and disappoint the customers in the audience. And maybe never again get another half decent job as a musician.

      As a possible further recommendation: Baeva plays a Stradivarius violin, one of 600 left and worth millions of dollars, because, it being a Strad, has the characteristically beautiful and robust sound that makes violin players dream with having one (**); she got the right to use and keep it, for as long as she remains an active performer, when she won the Grand Prix at the 2004 International Moscow Nicoló Paganini Competition.

      So she can’t be that bad.
      And she really likes her violin.

      Alena.baeva_

      (*) https://today.tamu.edu/2021/08/12/the-secret-of-the-stradivari-violin-revealed/

      (**) https://www.cnrs.fr/en/sound-projection-are-stradivarius-violins-really-better

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    • #2385061

      A couple of performances that I have enjoyed:

      Firstly, an outstanding perforamnce from 2011 of the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing Verdi’s Requiem:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlo1I3rx6n4

      If you listen to nothing else from it, listen to Dies Irae at 9:39. That’s enough to move anyone! The scale is overwhelming.

      Secondly, more of a general recommendation, and that is any performance of Beethoven by Wilhelm Kempff. Here are movements 1 and 3 (sorry for leaving you out movement 2!) of his Moonlight Sonata, as that is something that everyone has heard and will be able to compare:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6txOvK-mAk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqSulR9Fymg

      Aren’t they just the most superb performances of these pieces? So perfect. He recorded Beethoven’s complete sonatas, which can be purchased, if you are interested. I own the CD and can recommend.

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      • #2385082

        What a wonderful Requiem. It’s a long time since I listened to a complete performance, and I had rather forgotten just how impressive it is. Not just the ‘best’ bits, but the piece as a whole – 90 minutes of wonderful music, and some magnificent singers who I did not know at all.

        Garth

      • #2385115

        The Verdi is impressive, both in the size of the forces involved and in its execution. One cannot ask for more of a performance of an Opera by Verdi.

        I wrote that about as an observation, not a criticism. What Verdi wrote and is interpreted in this flawless performance is not a Requiem, is a magnificent Grand-Opera style package with a religious theme inside, at least I have always considered it to be that.

        A Mass of Requiem is more than music and singing and creating an admirable hour plus of sound, it is a performance aimed at provoking, terrifying and presenting to those who believe in Heaven, Hell, the Day of Judgement and the Resurrection of the Flesh, in the most direct way, if wrapped in the magic of art, and from a Catholic perspective, the tragedy and the fundamental horror and mystery inherent to the human condition: awareness of the inevitability of death and fear of what might come, or come not, after it (*). Mozart got it right. So did Fauré (**). After all, no matter how much they believed or believed not (Fauré in particular was pretty luke-warm about religion), both were Catholics, had learned the Catechism to take their First Communion as boys, plus Confirmation as teens and then Holy Matrimony; and the Latin lyrics and arrangement of the various parts are a Catholic thing. Maybe an Anglican High Church one too, with the lyrics translated to English, except for the Kirie, sang partly in Greek. Verdi might have been a Catholic, but he was into Opera first and foremost, and a good thing too!

        Conclusion: I listen to this religious-themed opera once more, after many years, as I write this, and have a great time doing both, believe you me. Thanks for making the video available. I look forward to more contributions of this quality. Thank you.

        (*) Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna,   Free me, Lord, from eternal death.
        In die illa tremenda, in die illa.        In that terrible day, in that day
        Quando coeli movendi sunt,                When the Heavens are moving,
        Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.       When the Heavens and Earth are moving.
        Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.  And you come to judge the ages by fire.

        (**) And Shakespeare, even if he did so in a poem in a play, not in a song.

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      • #2389353

        Sky, Here is the complete Moonlight Sonata played by Kempff. It is not an actual video, but just a few photos as background while the music plays:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGlwuioLNrY

        But the performance is … well, words are just not enough.
        Fortunately, only listening is required.

        And, to complete the set of Ludwig’s  two most famous piano sonatas, here is Kempff again, playing the Appassionata:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN5cnVk85uo

        But, if color is what you want, here is color for you and then some, besides a little Moonlight:

        Lola & Hauser

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzWDs26YL9Y

        The YT subscribers’ comments are interesting, because I cannot disagree with them more. I think that Hauser, the guy, besides being a completely superfluous addition, is a terrible player and should be exiled to Mars, without a helmet. Lola plays OK and, as a bonus, has something one can look at. And quite a bit of something, most generously offered. My guess Lola is really, seriously keen on Hauser and that is why she lets him come around and then do whatever it is that he does with that cello. Women!

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    • #2385100

      By the way, there are YT links to the Moonlight Sonata and also to several Requiem Masses composed by Mozart and others in Part I. To find the Requiem links quickly, for example, using the browser’s search function, enter “requiem” in the search field and click and keep clicking on the up/down button to see what is there.

      You are going to find Requiem Masses already posted and commented in Part I:

      The Requiem Mass by Mozart (several versions); and I advise to check also Brahms’ “A German Requiem.” Although this is not a traditional Church Requiem, it is, nevertheless, a profoundly moving reflection on our mortality and the inexorable passing of time. To me particularly, the haunting part where a quotation from Isaiah 40:6 (or from Peter 1), that begins: “All flesh is grass” (“alles Fleisch ist Gras”), is sang by a large chorus, is something one must hear to realize just how beautiful and powerful this work is. Here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2173359

      And most remarkable, the little known but truly great Requiem by the Russian composer Osip Kosolovsky Here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2305564

      VERY IMPORTANT: For linking a comment in Part I to another in this thread, as I have done twice above here:

      Looking for something in Part I, for example a Requiem, to link to a comment here, in Part II, once one has found a comment in Part I one would like to link, one must copy the full link in Part I, by clicking on he comment number “#2173359”, for example, then copying the whole URL in the address line at the top of the browser page and pasting it, where one wants to, in Part II, without leaving  more that one blank between the text one is writing and the copied link, as it can be seen in the two examples in this comment (leaving no blanks between text and link, as in the first example,  works too; not very tidy, though. It looks like there are blanks there, but that is just the way the software broke the line, because it would have been too long to fit.)

      Once this has been done and the comment with the links to Part I has been posted, please check that the links are working.

      I am hoping Susan might simplify this so it is only necessary to use the number of a Part I comment as the link – and without worrying about how many blanks can be placed between text and link, so it is exactly the same as linking one comment to another in the same thread.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2385153

        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2384568

        You do have to copy the url. Or right mouse click the upper right permalink and click on copy link.

         

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        • #2385202

          Susan,

          When I “right click” (sort of, as this is a Mac) I get what you can see in this picture:

          Screen-Shot-2021-08-22-at-4.14.11-PM

          So what do I do with this? Any suggestions?

          I have always done this successfully before, both when using Windows until January of 2020, and now, using a Mac:

          (1) mark it, by passing the cursor carefully under the “#number” of the comment that I want to link to the one I am writing now; (2) copy it (Ctrl+C/Command+C); then (3) past this in the comment I am writing now with Ctrl+V/Command+V.

          When I am done writing and submit the finished comment, I have always had a functional link to the first comment in the one just submitted. But not now, at least not with the Part I comment I wanted to link here, in Part II.

          As I have already indicated and demonstrated here #2385100  (<= link inserted using my usual procedure), there is an alternative that works, and that is clicking on the number of the comment to be linked and then copying the whole URL that appears in the address bar at the top of the browser page with Ctrl+C … and, back in Part II, pasting it as the link.

          But my usual, and quite simple procedure, which has worked not just when linking comments within the same page, but also across threads, does not work between this one and its predecessor, and that is not just a curiosity! It is either a wrong setup of Part I, or a bug. And I think you should be a little concerned about either possibility. That’s all.

           

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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          • #2385219

            “Copy link location” is what you want.

             

             

            Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2385106

      From a note here: https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190465780.001.0001/oso-9780190465780-chapter-16

      Leonard Bernstein arrived in Hiroshima in August 1985 to conduct his peace concert to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Bernstein, the musicians, and the organizers had to carefully navigate the local, national, and global politics surrounding the commemoration. While demonstrating his deep understanding of the complexity of the issues, Bernstein spoke vocally for nuclear disarmament and also formed a personal bond with the young musicians and the audience. The three Japanese people he had the closest relationship to–Seiji Ozawa, Kazuko Amano, and Kunihiko Hashimoto–were all in Hiroshima to witness and share in Bernstein’s prayer for peace, and each found new ways of expressing their love and dedication to the maestro.

      Hiroshima Peace concert, Fauré Requiem op 48, Seiji Ozawa with the European Community Youth Orchestra (ECYO), soloists and chorus (no further details available anywhere I looked):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqch8YP7b7w

      I found this in Wikipedia’s article on the conductor: “Ozawa and the novelist Haruki Murakami (*) embarked on a series of six conversations about classical music that form the basis for the book Absolutely on Music.” That is book that I would like to read.

      (*) I’ve  read some of his books. He is often mentioned as a possible Literature Nobel Prize recipient.

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      • #2385127

        And here, how the sausage is made:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf_1kaf2Otc

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2385951

        … and I have bought the book! “Absolutely on Music” is a series of conversations between the famous writer Haruki  Murakami and the equally famous Orchestra Conductor Seiji Ozawa about the performers, conductors and performances that Ozawa has known, has been a witness to, or participated in. The conversations were recorded by Murakami in his house near Tokyo, where they took place in 2009.

        Murakami, for his part, looks in this book, written by him, like someone who has bought and listened to just about every music recording ever made, so as the occasion calls for it, he rummages in his collection and soon pops up the recording of, let’s say the 1962 performance of the Brahms’s Piano Concerto No 1 at the Carnegie Hall, where the conductor was Leonard Bernstein and the pianist Glenn Gould. Ozawa was there because he was the Assistant Conductor, waiting in the bleachers, so to speak, to be called in if necessary to replace Bernstein. And before the music started “Lenny”, according to Ozawa, gave a speech to the audience to the effect that he and Gould disagreed on the tempo that the piece was to be played; that the disagreement remained, but that he, Lenny, had too much respect for this pianist to call the whole thing off, or to hand it over to some “Assistant Conductor” (i.e. Ozawa). Then Murakami played the recording and with Ozawa they went with forks and tongues to deconstruct the performance, expressing a thoughtful, but overall negative opinion of it. They both also agree that the acoustics at the Carnegie Hall are not great. That’s news to me, but what do I know.

        This comment is in reply to the previous one here #2385106  .

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    • #2385206

      After a series of comments about and connections to YT-hosted performances of the Requiem Mass by several composers, maybe a light interlude is in order before more brooding, mortality-related music.

      Ferdinando Carulli, Guitar Concerto in A major Op. 8a – Pepe Romero, guitar with the Academia of St. Martin in the Fields, Iona Brown conductor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmQd6FM31X4

      Francesco Molino, Guitar Concerto in E minor, Op.56, Pepe Romero, guitar, with the same orchestra and conductor as above:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29ii7Nd8QeQ

      And Mauro Giuliani, Guitar Concerto No. 1, in A major, Op. 30, Narciso Yepes, guitar, with the English Chamber Orchestra, Garcia Navarro Conducting:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5gx0okVzrI

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2385213

      And here a rare jewel with and understated flamenco flair with, when appropriate, fast passages played at lighting speed (beginning around 18:49 minutes):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9mvdbvmz2A

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2385227

      Susan,

      Yes that works, but it depends, at least in a Mac. (A small correction: the option to use is “Copy link location.”)

      One example of an unsuccessful linking to an item in Part I, that takes one not to the desired comment, but to the very beginning of the thread:

      Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

      And an example of a successful one:

      Here https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2125120

      As I have already explained in my comment further up , here #2385100  , there has to be some text before where the link is copied, with no more than one blank between text and link.

      Which is definitely weird.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2385230

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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    • #2385250

      I wanted to paste here a link to “Carmina Burana”, the version in Part I of a performance at the Amsterdam Concertgebauw; unfortunately, it has been removed from You Tube. I said “unfortunately”, because it was a stupendous production. But I cannot imagine a “Classical” thread without Karl Orff’s creation, one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire of all times, with Latin lyrics from the Middle Ages that are a mix of baudy tavern songs and fine poetry. It is now hard to find a version I can be 100% happy with. This one, from 2007, is the one I like best of the ones I have found (not counting Manzarek’s, that is in it’s own category)  Picture quality is less than superb, but the performance has plenty of heart and the soloists do a first class job:

      Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, performed here by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorus and Alumni Chorus, and the Pacific Boychoir under the baton of Jeffrey Thomas, at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis:

      https://www.uctv.tv/shows/Carl-Orff-Carmina-Burana-University-Chorus-and-Alumni-Chorus-UC-Davis-Symphony-Orchestra-and-the-Pacific-Boychoir-11787

      This second one is impeccable in the orchestra performance and the singing by chorus and the three soloists (that are very good), but I think it is missing a little je ne se quoi, so it is my 2nd best (your opinion might be different):

      Sofi Jeannin conducts Carmina Burana on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Radio France Choir. With the Maîtrise of Radio France and as soloists, Karen Harnay, Nicolae Hategan, Mark Pancek. Recorded on April 8, 2018 at the Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio (Paris).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adrw-zxiTe4

      And last but not least, the remarkable version by Ray Manzarek, that has more than enough “quoi” :

      https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x33myy8

      Ray.Manzarek.Burana

      Fortune, Empress of the World, indeed!

      Latin lyrics and English translation:

      https://www.rwb.org/uploads/documents/Carmina_Burana_translation.pdf

      From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmina_Burana_(Orff)

      In 1934, Orff encountered the 1847 edition of the Carmina Burana by Johann Andreas Schmeller, the original text dating mostly from the 11th or 12th century, including some from the 13th century. Michel Hofmann [de] was a young law student and an enthusiast of Latin and Greek; he assisted Orff in the selection and organization of 24 of these poems into a libretto, mostly in secular Latin verse, with a small amount of Middle High German[1] and Old French. The selection covers a wide range of topics, as familiar in the 13th century as they are in the 21st century: the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling, and lust.

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    • #2385482

      I would guess your browser does not want to show you YT “picture”

      browser? no likely me as NoScript blocks a lot of stuff.
      Why not just send the pic file? Less stress on the site.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2385494

        Wavy: I already explained to you, answering your previous message, that I wanted to have a splashy-looking first comment in this thread by using those “picture” YouTube links instead of the plain string-of-characters ones that are a must in all following comments and … Wait, you are pulling my leg, right???

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    • #2385528

      This thread has been split in two: a very long first part called “Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances in classical music”, and Part II, this one we are now in.

      There is a comment near the top of this thread that explains how to link whole Part I comments, or just some of the YT video URLs there, to a new comment here, in Part II. Use either of these two links to read this comment (or go to the top of this thread and scroll down a few comments, to get to it):

      This one:

      #2385512

      Or this one: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-ii-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2385512

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    • #2385570

      There is a video of a concert I like very much and suspect others here, on hearing it for the first time, if they have not done so already elsewhere, will probably share my pleasure in listening to, and watching it:

      It consists of two parts: in the first one, the violinist Hilary Hahn is the soloist in the Sibelius one and only violin concerto. Then she gives as an encore the Sarabande of the Partita No. 2 for violin solo by J.S. Bach. In the second part, the orchestra and conductor perform the “Simphonie Fantastique” by Berlioz.

      The Sibelius part of this concert is available by itself in Part I of “Are these the best classical music performances” (search for “Sibelius” in Part I). Berlioz work, in the second half of the concert, was meant by Berlioz as a sort of love declaration to a woman he was besotted with, represented with a theme that repeats throughout much of this work, that has a dream-like quality for the first three movements. In the last movement, the dream changes into a nightmare: from happy hallucinations to unhappy ones, with the artist dreaming that he is being taken on a tumbril, either to the guillotine or perhaps to be hanged, in the slow famous “March to the Scaffold”, with drummers beating a slow roll reinforced by the brass and double bass section low-pitch chords, with a bell tolling mournfully, as if from above, while the strings add a wild but rhythmic punctuation to the progress towards the guillotine, in a theatrically sinister passage that leads to the climatic end of the work:

      Hilary Hahn – Berlioz and Sibelius – Violin Concerto and Symphonie fantastique – Mikko Franck conducting the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ut0ZIpnlc

      Fom the YT Notes: “Hector Berlioz died in March 1869. On the 150th anniversary of his death, Mikko Franck and the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France performed one of his most famous works: the “Symphonie fantastique”. The American violinist Hilary Hahn can also be seen as a soloist in the Radio France auditorium in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto.

      See also:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphonie_fantastique

      Excerpt:

      The American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.

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      • #2386113

        From my: “I like this very much and hope you do too” department, here is a very difficult piece, played superbly well by a storied  group of musicians that was and is one of the very best. That performance, with more details, here:

        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2284406

        St. George and the Dragon, what is that old icon doing there? No idea, and who cares.

        Here is another performance by the same group of musicians of a work by another composer. The two works were created some 120 years apart. Do you notice some similitude?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA-tWsRkviQ

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    • #2385726

      I am writing about someone who was truly a great singer and a great actress, who was admired and loved by many throughout the world, who was an artist that put her everything in the execution of her art.
      Born in New York, died in Paris and her ashes, years later, were finally scattered over the waters of the Aegean Sea, as she had asked to be done. She was 53 when she died, but she was much older, having lived several lives in one.

      Her voice had its up and downs, but it was the power, the magnetism of the singer, this slim and strangely beautiful woman that dominated the stage with her presence, that made her performances so moving and unforgettable, that reached with her singing in certain passages a transcendental quality that went beyond the physical to where words fail and the soul alone contemplates the sublime.

      Where that power of her singing came from? She said she did not know and did not understand how she could sing as she did. It was her very great gift, a mystery, a blessing and a curse.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Callas

       

      Aria “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s opera “Norma”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-TwMfgaDC8&list=RDs-TwMfgaDC8&start_radio=1&rv=s-TwMfgaDC8&t=421

      Aria “Un bel dì, Vedremo” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk-cRaIHcLI

      Concert Hamburg, 15 May 1959 & 16 March 1962.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1GUatmAMdE

      Programe:

      1:00 Spontini, La vestale: “Tu che invoco” … 9:43 “Sospendete qualche istante” (Act II)

      12:48 Verdi, Macbeth: “Nel dì della vittoria” … 15:08 “Vieni! t’affretta!” (Act I)

      19:52 Rossini, Il barbiere di Siviglia: “Una voce poco fa” (Act I)

      28:38 Verdi, Don Carlo: “Tu che le vanità” … 36:18 “Addio, bei sogni d’ôr” (Act V)

      42:15 Bellini, Il pirata: “Oh! s’io potessi dissipar le nubi” … 51:22″Col sorriso d’innocenza” … 56:28 “O sole! ti vela” (Act II)

      1:02:49 Massenet, Le cid: “De cet affreux combat” … 1:04:28 “Pleurez mes yeux” (Act III)

      1:10:20 Gounod, Mireille: Overture

      1:16:32 Bizet, Carmen: Overture

      1:18:32 Bizet, Carmen: “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Act I)

      1:22:50 Bizet, Carmen: Entracte (Act III)

      1:25:05 Bizet, Carmen: “Près des remparts de Séville” (Act I)

      1:29:06 Verdi, La forza del destino: Overture

      1:37:20 Verdi, Ernani: “Surta è la notte” … 1:39:46 “Ernani! involami” (Act I)

      1:43:04 Rossini, La Cenerentola: “Nacqui all’affanno” … 1:46:42 “Non più mesta” (Act II)

      1:50:03 Verdi, Don Carlo: “O don fatale” (Act IV)

      Excerpted from Wikipedia:

      During a 1978 interview, upon being asked “Was it worth it to Maria Callas? She was a lonely, unhappy, often difficult woman,” music critic and Callas’s friend John Ardoin replied:

      ” That’s such a difficult question. There are times, you know, when there are people – certain people who are blessed, and cursed, with an extraordinary gift, in which the gift is almost greater than the human being. And Callas was one of these people. It was almost as if her wishes, her life, her own happiness were all subservient to this incredible, incredible gift that she was given, this gift that reached out and taught us all – taught us things about music we knew very well, but showed us new things, things we never thought about, new possibilities. I think that’s why singers admire her so; I think that’s why conductors admire her so; I know that’s why I admire her so. And she paid a tremendously difficult and expensive price for this career. I don’t think she always understood what she did or why she did. She knew she had a tremendous effect on audiences and on people. But it was not something that she could always live with gracefully or happily. I once said to her, “It must be very enviable to be Maria Callas.” And she said, “No, it’s a very terrible thing to be Maria Callas, because it’s a question of trying to understand something you can never really understand.” Because she couldn’t explain what she did – it was all done by instinct; it was something, incredibly, embedded deep within her.” ”

      Maria-Callas-portrait

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    • #2385785

      There is also this video in Part I of this thread of a full performance of Bellini’s “Norma”, with Callas in the main role: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2173366

       

      About Part I: For information and advice on how to find there comments on a certain composer or performer and links to videos, please see third comment from the top of this thread, or click here: #2385512 .  To access Part I directly (it is a very long thread, so it takes a while to load), use this link: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/

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    • #2385981

      For those who love the singing of Maria Callas, or just love great singing, period, there is another one like her, but not an opera singer, who was just as, or more, popular, while, for a time, both overlapped in their careers.

      She had a voice as wonderful as that of any singer I have ever heard, that she used to great effect to make the songs she sang unforgettable. She also had a great gift for music, was also admired and loved around the world, also that great gift she had was, as with Callas’, a mystery, a blessing and a curse. Her life was full of drama and tragedy. As a singer, she was unique, she was great among the great. The venues where she sang were not concert halls, but the clubs in the Quartier Pigall, along Boulevard de Clichy and Rue de Pigalle, in Paris, coming down from Montmartre. She also performed in theaters and on the radio. Her recordings and her singing in the radio were all that could reach me where I lived, a continent and an ocean away from Paris, and her voice and songs are intertwined with memories, some happy, some  sad, of my youth.

      There are links to YT recordings of her greatest hits, that she made famous worldwide, here:   #2384933

      Don’t miss it.

      Piaf

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      • #2385994

        Right you are OscarCP;
        it is ’18e Arrondissement Montmartre’, between ‘quartier Pigalle’ and ‘quartier Pigalle-Martyrs’ , just a little south of the ‘Basilique Sacré-Cœur’ on top op of this little map.

        Oh cruel Covid19, I do wish you were history.

        Ar18Montmarte-Paris

        ~
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        • #2386070

          Piaf:

          If she had been a singer in the USA, she would have been called a Torch singer. Hers was a fiery torch, one that burnt brightly within her and, in the end and largely for reasons beyond her control, its flame devoured her when she was 43.

          Decades later, the same as Maria Callas, she got an asteroid named after her.

          Abandoned as a young child, brought up in a bordello, itinerant acrobat, street singer and more, to great popular singer, to someone who, being also popular with the Nazi occupiers of France during WWII,  helped prisoners escape from the concentration camps where she went to sing; later accused of collaboration, was exonerated, because members of the Resistance interceded in her favor, and who was, after the war, influential in so many ways. What a life!

          What a life, and not just a life:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89dith_Piaf

          Excerpt:

          Although she was denied a funeral Mass by Cardinal Maurice Feltin since she had remarried after divorce in the Orthodox Church, her funeral procession drew tens of thousands of mourners onto the streets of Paris, and the ceremony at the cemetery was attended by more than 100,000 fans. Charles Aznavour recalled that Piaf’s funeral procession was the only time since the end of World War II that he saw Parisian traffic come to a complete stop. On 10 October 2013, fifty years after her death, the Roman Catholic Church recanted and gave Piaf a memorial Mass in the St. Jean-Baptiste Church in Belleville, Paris, the parish into which she was born.

          Since 1963, the French media have continually published magazines, books, plays, television specials and films about the star often on the anniversary of her death. In 1973, the Association of the Friends of Édith Piaf was formed, followed by the inauguration of the Place Édith Piaf in Belleville in 1981.

          Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina named a small planet, 3772 Piaf, in her honor.

          In Paris, a two-room museum is dedicated to her, the Musée Édith Piaf (5, Rue Crespin du Gast).

          A concert at The Town Hall in New York City commemorated the 100th anniversary of Piaf’s birth on 19 December 2015. Hosted by Robert Osborne and produced by Daniel Nardicio and Andy Brattain, it featured Little Annie, Gay Marshall, Amber Martin, Marilyn Maye, Meow Meow, Elaine Paige, Molly Pope, Vivian Reed, Kim David Smith, and Aaron Weinstein.

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    • #2386504

      For those unfamiliar with this thread:

      It includes music from great classical composers of instrumental, choral and operatic works (Palestrina, Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven Rimsky-Korsakov, Bellini, Richard Strauss, Copland, Stravinsky, Messiaen, etc.) , popular classics (by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Joao Gilberto, Astor Piazzolla, etc.)

      And ballet:

      For those who like ballet, this comment in Part I, for example, has links to videos of performances of Tchaikovsky’s “Nut Cracker” (the “Waltz of the Flowers” segment) and the whole of “Swan Lake” (the “happy ending” kind.): https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2382321

      To learn more about Part I and how to find things there, see the first comment in this thread, at its very top, and also the one third from the top.

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    • #2386770

      ** Apple buys Primephonic music service.

      ..As a classical-only startup, we can not reach the majority of global classical listeners, especially those that listen to many other music genres as well. We therefore concluded that in order to achieve our mission, we need to partner with a leading streaming service that encompasses all music genres and also shares our love for classical music. Today, we are therefore thrilled to share a great step forward in our mission – Primephonic is joining Apple Music!

      We are working on an amazing new classical music experience from Apple for early next year, but unfortunately, the Primephonic service will be taken offline starting September 7. You may continue to use it at no charge until then…

      https://play.primephonic.com/

      • #2386834

        Alex, That is good news for people who like to listen online to recordings of classical music (I am listening there to a performance of Ravel’s “Pavanne for a Dead Princess” as I type this — by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abado).

        Unfortunately, this is soon to become a paid for service, now that it belongs to Apple, so its music is going to be available to those who subscribe to Apple Music, and therefore unavailable for linking the videos here, as it is possible to link the YouTube (*) ones:

        https://www.macworld.com/article/225687/apple-music-faq-the-ins-and-outs-of-apples-new-streaming-music-service.html

        But really good news overall.

        (*) That tend to disappear, their links becoming useless, without previous notice. Sometime that is because they are moved to a different YT channel, sometimes they may be removed altogether, because, for example, of some lawsuit  over copyright. I recently posted a comment here, in Part II, about “Carmina Burana”, where I wanted to paste the link of the wonderful performance of this work at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw that I had put in a previous comment in Part I, about a year and a half ago. No such luck. Not only the link had died, but the performance is now nowhere to be found, not just in YT (I’ve searched there), but in other likely places, including at the Concertgebouw’s own videos and recordings collection, or in DVD release. So I pasted links to two good versions instead, but not as good or as well recorded as the one of the Concertgebouw’ concert.

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    • #2386923

      That is good news for people who like to listen online to recordings of classical music

      I haven’t subscribed to any Music streaming service.
      I listen to music from my collection or iTunes application’s Internet Radio.

    • #2388255

      In all of the music I know, this is the most moving, heart wrenching composition, played here splendidly well — particularly the first movement — that was Franz Schubert’s swan song farewell:

      Historic Schubert Quintet played by Brainin, Carlyss, Farulli, Metz and Berlinsky

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUgFNWGPtQU

      YT Note: “For the first and only time the members of the world leading String quartets met in July 1991 to perform the String Quintet with two cellos D.956 by Franz Schubert, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Orlando Chamber Music Festival in Kerkrade, The Netherlands.

      Norbert Brainin – Primarius Amadeus Quartet
      Earl Carlyss – second violin Juilliard Quartet
      Piero Farulli – viola Quartetto Italiano
      Stefan Metz – cello Orlando Quartet
      Valentin Berlinsky – cello Borodin Quartet

      Note: The performance comes first. Then comes an excerpt of the rehearsal of the first movement; it is seldom interrupted by the first violin and leader of the ensemble to make a correction, so one gets to hear this extraordinary part again.

      Wikipedia:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_Quintet_(Schubert)

      Excerpt:

      Franz Schubert’s final chamber work, the String Quintet in C major (D. 956, Op. posth. 163) is sometimes called the “Cello Quintet” because it is scored for a standard string quartet plus an extra cello instead of the extra viola which is more usual in conventional string quintets. It was composed in 1828 and completed just two months before the composer’s death. The first public performance of the piece did not occur until 1850, and publication occurred three years later in 1853. Schubert’s only full-fledged string quintet, it has been praised as “sublime” or “extraordinary” and as possessing “bottomless pathos,” and is generally regarded as Schubert’s finest chamber work as well as one of the greatest compositions in all chamber music.

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    • #2389107

      The the salvation of Thaïs and the damnation of the monk Athaniel:

      The last act of Massenet “Thaïs”, based on Anatole France’s novel “Thaïs, the Courtesan of Alexandria.” (that ends with this sentence: “In desperation, he passed his hands on his face, and felt his own ugliness.”)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zTm60jRO6g

      The theme is the one already heard in the famous “Meditation.”

      ===========

      Massenet – Meditation (*)

      Markus Stenz – Conductor, Radio Philarmonic Orchestra, Great Omroep Choir.
      Niek Baar – Violin:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCP4DTcOGj4

      (*) More than a half century ago, in another country and in altogether another world, at the first ever co-ed dormitory (known there a “College”) in Australia: International House, at New South Wales University, in Sydney, where I was working on my doctorate, there came the time for the annual celebration of its foundation: “International Night”, with our sponsors, the members of Sydney’s Lion’s Club in attendance, up for a chicken rubber dinner and some entertainment provided by us, the inmates.
      One of our improvised numbers had to be something classical and classy, and a young English lady offered to play Thaïs “Meditation” in her violin. Her turn came, and I, who with another two was MCing the proceedings of the night, announced her and in she climbed the podium, violin in hand — and played.
      It turned out that she was devastatingly bad.
      With my two co-presenters we sunk behind our desk, out of sight, and split a fifth of whisky (a good one too) there and then, partly to lessen the pain, partly to keep our mouths and throats occupied and not be able to giggle. When she finally stopped playing, we stood up, a little unsteadily, did a token clapping, I thanked her, then continued with the rest of the show.

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      • #2389140

        Sorry about the two or three mistakes in spelling, etc. The fact is that when I first submitted the comment, before I could revise it and do some necessary editing, it got spirited way to “moderating.” It came back soon enough, thanks to some quick and helpful person who found it in the “moderating” trashcan and put it back where I had place it. I fixed two problems with the links, submitted again without noticing the remaining errors, and it got sent back to “moderating” again. It came back and then I noticed the problems still there. But I did not dare to bother some MVP with another robo-reject, so there you have it. Susan thinks it’s the dieresis (the two dots on the “i” of Thais) that did it.

        Anyhow, since I am here again to apologize, and have already done enough of that, let me put here some more music as a compensation for those mistakes:

        Antonin Dvorak “Song to the Moon”, from “Rusalka” (the tale of the deadly water nymph in love with a mortal, and the opposite story of Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”) with the lyrics translated to English from the Czech original in the subtitles:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qxi-sYUT9s

        Lucia Popp, Stefan Soltesz, Munich Radio Orchestra.

         

        And, because I find it hard to say which one is the best, here is another version:

        Renee Fleming with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek, at the 2010 Proms:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trfLkYpOglA

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        • #2389197

          Song to the Moon, one of my all-time favourites! Lucia Popp is excellent, but having just compared that recording with my own absolute favourite, that of Rita Streich, I still prefer the latter, as I mentioned in Part 1.

          Oscar, some others of us have had hiccups with links or the moderating process in our time, no need to apologise. Rather, just celebrate the success and accept thanks for this long-lasting thread (Parts 1 and 2 ….) which has led us to experience more wonderful music!

          Garth

    • #2389200

      Garth,

      I know the Rita Streich’s interpretation of “Rusalka” that you mean. I cannot find it right now, so I am going with this one instead. I think that, Streich’s aside, of all I’ve heard, Frederica von Stade’s is the one that just “kills it”: You’ll be the judge:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwVYFpY3VL4

      “Rusalka” is a water nymph and, according to a Czech legend, her kiss, to a mortal, is sure death. But she falls desperately in love with one and she sings to the Moon, that sees it all in the whole world from high above and surely must see where he is, to convey him her longing and her love.

      This is a song of desperate love and longing and so of life itself.

      Yesterday, 9/11, for ever belongs to Death. This is now a new day and it is best and most fitting to start it with a song about Life Itself.

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      • #2389217

        Here is the Rita Streich version.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOuKYGJPb6I

        von Stade is good, certainly with a rich tone, but a little slow and too ‘operatic’ for my taste. I’ll stick with the one I have preferred for over 50 years!

        Garth

        • #2389260

          Garth, you told me about Rita Streich’s version months ago, I listened to it, downloaded it, it is in my collection now, but could not find it in YT, so I came and linked my comment to someone else’s, the best I could find, because I wanted to put here one work that, short as this one is, would best mark the start of a new day, with its renewed promise of Life, after one devoted to a remembrance of Death.

          When I listen to one of the others I feel that I am listening to a great singer. When I listen to Streich’s version, I feel like a cleansing sword of fire is passing through my heart. So there is a difference. Her singing of “Song to the Moon” is not just well sang: it is perfect, meaning that nothing can be taken out of, or added to, without making it very good but mundane. She sang this with a deep understanding that was far more than about hitting all the notes, the highest ones included, at the right pitch, for the right length of time, with the right modulation. That is the difference, as I see it, between singing that is very good and singing that is sublime.

          I am glad you found it.

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          • #2389757

            Here is a longer selection of Rita Streich's singing, which I thoroughly admire. This shows her in a number of different performances and roles, including lieder and operatic songs with an orchestra; it includes another version of Rusalka, also a beautiful version of the Brahms Cradle Song. It has video throughout, so listen watch and enjoy.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKtrNiSGlJc

            Just beautiful singing from a beautiful performer! A great shame it is not more known now. She was performing in the same era as Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, (another of my favourites) and possibly slightly overshadowed, but I believe she was her equal.

            Garth

             

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            • #2389865

              And just can’t resist putting some more Rita S. here, she of the fabulous tremolo and vibrato:

              “Rossignol” means “nightingale”, and I must say I find something nightingale-ish in her singing:

              Saint-Saëns: Le rossignol et la rose (The nightingale and the rose) – Arranged by Kurt Gaebel

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mqzPhAzKZo

               

              Next in this little program: Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 1 – Una voce poco fa:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdD7sr9KUI

               

              Now this one, that is a lullaby:

              Flies: Wiegenlied (Previously Attributed To Mozart) –
              “Schlafe, mein Prinzchen, schlaf ein” (“Sleep my little prince, sleep.”):

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma8qsWM8PQw

               

              And finally, a little waltz:

              J. Strauss II: Voices of Spring, Op.410 (Frühlingsstimmen)

              ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Gg-2XWQn0

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    • #2389843

      Garth did this (above) knowing that my physical reaction to this singer’s “Song to the Moon” of Antonin Dvorak (see that two comments before this one) had been so strong that I doubted if I could hear a long program with her singing in most of it and be able to survive the sheer emotional exhaustion.

      But he went ahead and did it anyway and, somehow, I am still here. But it was a close call, specially when I got to the part in this selection with her singing again “the Song to the Moon.”

      Now, encouraged by not dying, I am putting here the link to a performance by Rita Streich of Franz Schubert “The shepherd on the Rock”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIxDEksjNbs

      She is pretty close to the level of the three very different women singers I admire the most, and no longer of this world: Maria Callas, Anna Moffo and Edith Piaf. It is sad to see and hard to explain why Rita is almost forgotten today.

      And why Moffo? First because when I was a teenager she come by and I was very impressed by this strikingly beautiful singer that sang … well, here you can get some idea:

      Anna Moffo, known as “La Bellissima” (“The Most Beautiful”), a selection of some of her greatest hits:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZEpBKa9K2Y

      Listen, in particular, to her amazing, (no other word fits this) performance of the scene in Donizetti’s “Lucia de Lammermoor” with a now mad Lucia, her mind lost in an imaginary world, starting at  6:27 in the video.

      And this is the great duet where Violetta Valery, who knows she is ill and likely to die soon, is asked by Giorgio Germont to leave for ever his son and her lover, Alfredo, because she, being such a notorious courtesan, is going to ruin his son’s reputation and his future. Both are equally motivated by love, for son, for lover, in this passionate altercation and yet each can see the sincere motivation of the other, and that is the tragedy of it:

      Anna Moffo & Gino Bechi – La Traviata (Verdi) – Pura siccome un angelo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYeVWoDlErQ

      a.final_.offering

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    • #2389868

      And here is Moffo singing the “mad Lucia” scene in full and with subtitles:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p36KU8vZfq0

      Enjoy!

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    • #2390057

      “The Last Rose of Summer”, a traditional Irish song that has for lyrics the 1805 poem by the Irish poet Thomas Moore and for music an even older melody:

      The most remarkable Rita Streich sings “The Last Rose of Summer”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlEbHtKb-8

      A twenty-something Hilary Hahn, at the beginning of her stellar career, plays at a church somewhere out west the 19th century virtuoso violinist’s Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst’ variations for violin solo of the “The Last Rose of Summer”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpss7GsCj7A

      And someone going by the name of “Celtic Woman” sings it, along with her younger doppelganger?, and both shes are not half bad and, together, are near 100% fine:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqpIf5SSLsw

       

      The.Last_.Rose_.of_.Summer

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    • #2390118

      Oscar,

      In following up your Irish theme, I want to bring to attention an Irishman, one of the greatest ever tenor singers, famed for his purity of tone and breath control. John McCormack was born in 1884 and died in 1945, so many will never have heard of him, but he was a well-known opera and lieder singer. Indeed, at the time of his death, he was given the accolade of “the greatest living tenor”.

      https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-McCormack

      “Most popular with recital audiences were the Irish folk songs he invariably included in his programs”, and here are three examples. The first is from a 1930 film showing him performing in front of an audience with “I Hear You Calling Me“, which was the song most associated with him; the second example is Kathleen Mavourneen, sung (and recorded) with exceptional clarity. However, the third, dating from 1940, is the exquisite I’ll Walk Beside You which as performed by him is one of my personal top three pieces of music of all time. Sentimental undoubtedly, but none the worse for that!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra0kNnhPFSI

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7XZAJexbIY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp5iZdWKaA8

      There are several other recordings available on YouTube which are well worth exploring for anyone with the time. The later examples are best, as his earlier ones suffer technically from being acoustic recordings. There are also a couple of reminiscences from later broadcasts.

      Garth

       

      • #2390170

        Garth,

        I could be wrong, but don’t remember anything by John McCormack being included in this thread, either here or in Part I before. If there has been such an omission, I am glad you have ended it. This man had a remarkable tenor voice, so smooth, even and well-suited for the songs in those examples you have provided; he was also an opera singer of renown, one of the very great ones, in fact.

        He being Irish and no remiss to sing folk and popular songs, I looked to see if there is also a YT recording of him singing “The Last Rose of Summer”, that my comment was dedicated to. Oddly enough, I found, not that, but this one instead:

        John McCormack – The First Rose of Summer:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11UM-aijiRg

        As a reward for bringing McCormack here, you now get to hear this one as well:

        John McCormack – Silver threads among the gold:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J025u1lPPh8&list=PL84ihM0tQsHdOz4lgeAavCwoiL8H0VGPA

        You know? These recordings sound like they must have been lifted with a tape recorder from a shellac 78 RPM disk being played in one of those old hand-cranked Victrola phonographs with a big horn on top and, if memory servers, a stencil of a little white dog cocking one ear visible on its front (and Victor’s “His master’s voice” disk recordings’ logo), same as the one my paternal grand parents had; being played on it was how, as a young boy, I first heard recorded music.

         

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        • #2390186

          And here, further down, you’ll find the complete poem by Thomas Moore that is also the lyrics of “The Last Rose of Summer”  — and it is also a link to a great Web site of a truly noble organization that promotes the knowledge and reading of poetry, an art form sadly much ignored by us these days when being cryptic and strange and, or “minimalist” (sort of like haiku writing, but one that Basho, after reading just a few, would have sent the so-called poet to clean his latrine) is all the rage among those who mostly have secure tenured jobs as teachers of contemporary literature at universities and such. As Daniel Pinkwater, of my NPR fondest memories, once said about one such scribbler: “She went to university to become a writer.”

          Now here is the complete lyrics:

          https://poets.org/poem/last-rose-summer

          And here, some playing of slow, gentle and spare traditional music for the Irish harp:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvyijUMqp_U

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlkgyFMEmu4

          And about the most loved Daniel Pinkwater for those who did not enjoy the high privilege of hearing his talks at NPR:

          https://tachyonpublications.com/happy-birthday-to-the-beloved-and-iconic-writer-illustrator-and-occasional-npr-commentator-daniel-pinkwater/

          And for those who might not have enjoyed the also very high privilege of reading Basho’s haiku and other short-form poetry, here is a place to get a taste of it:

          https://poets.org/poet/matsuo-basho

          The cry of the cicada
          Gives us no sign
          That presently it will die.

          (And that, my friends, says it all.)

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    • #2390318

      First a disclaimer: I don’t like hip-hop, so what follows is not because of a personal preference for this type of vocal performance, but because it is entirely on point about what music is for.

      What follows is from an article published today by the BBC but that does not has its own Web page, being one in a string of articles published in a single page, mainly about Africa, so I copy the text here, something OK from a copyright point of view, as it is OK to distribute whole pages using their URL. The revolution mentioned here is the one that, starting in 2018 and after months of struggle and bloody repression, finally ousted the long-term dictator Omar Al-Bashir, that had ruled for nearly twenty years with an iron hand, committed genocide against the people of South and West Sudan and presided over a very corrupt government:

      MaMan, real name Mahdi Nouri, is part of a popular hip-hop and afro scene in Sudan – one that did exist before the revolution but which is now growing apace since the street protests of 2018 and 2019 brought about political regime change after decades of authoritarian rule.

      “It’s not easy always to express these colours and cultures in your own way,” he says, addressing 30 years of limited artistic freedom.

      “All that suppressed creative juice.”

      During the revolution, MaMan was out on the frontline, protesting on the streets of the capital, Khartoum.

      “The revolution was bound to happen. People get hungry, now they get angry. It was always scary to go out in the street and protest.”

      And he saw just how ruthless the authorities could be, witnessing first-hand the deaths of hundreds of his fellow citizens on 3 June 2019.

      “People getting shot next to you while you’re running away. And you’ll stop and think, ‘wait, they won’t shoot us’ – then as soon as you think that, someone next to you might fall in front of you, or you might see bullets right next to you on the wall.

      “It was like living in a movie.”

      After the revolution, the 30-year-old, who wanted to be an actor growing up, channelled his experiences into his music.

      Music has a very strong healing power,” he tells This Is Africa.

      “It was really time to test it. If it really heals you then it can heal others.”

      Whilst creating his most recent hits, including Sudan – an ode to his country and its people – MaMan has tried to fuse the current afro sounds popular across Africa with his nation’s Arabic influences.

      “I would call myself an entrepreneur of musical culture,” he explains.

      “I’ve gravitated towards identifying a very unique Sudanese afrobeat, especially as a young kid that has grown around a lot of percussion Sufi rituals.

      By creating his new sound, MaMan hopes to convince those who view his country as an adjunct of Arabia that Sudan truly is a vibrant, upcoming part of The Motherland – and he wants to carry his music’s healing power across the continent to support others.

      “It’s always going to be helping because life is always going to be finding a way to test you.”

       

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    • #2390356

      Traditional music for the harp: two samples from Ireland, one from Scotland and one from Paraguay:

      Ireland

      The Butterfly – Celtic Harp by Julia Cunningham

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT61Mq2wF9A

      Siobhán Armstrong, Lord Galway’s Lamentation / Síle Ní Chonalláin HHSI 2015

      Played on a traditional instrument that looks to me like, after doing some research, that it could be a medieval wire-strung harp, reputed to be very difficult to play:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFsOfuZrOco

       

      Scotland

      It turned out that, in YT, Celtic music videos are more or less 99.99% Irish, so I had to run a really long way to get to some Scottish music that was not played in some quaint medieval stringed instrument, but in the one I remember being beautifully played by a good-looking young lady, in Edinburgh, all those years ago.
      And the performer here and now may not be a Scott, but she’ll do:

      Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Audition, BA Scottish Music (Harp) – Rachel Clemente

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kYTjcLd2is

       

      Paraguay

      Pájaro Campana (Bell Bird) – Harpist Miguel Angel Ramirez.
      The theme of this dazzlingly played traditional is an imitation of the bird’s song:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-OlbRk4kQM

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      • #2390563

        And with some more time today to do this, and as a sonorous reminder that the Celts’ civilization was not restricted to the British Islands, here are some examples of Celtic harp music from the continent of Europe:

         

        France:

        Improvisation on Anne de Bretagne (traditional French Folk Tune) – Marianne Bouvette Celtic Harp.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjh0tT3A3oQ

         

        Galicia (NE Spain):

        Performances of traditional music for the Galician Celtic harp are even harder to find in YT than those for the Scottish one. Personally, I am familiar with the traditional bagpipes music of Galicia, something that is not really a good fit for this thread. So just how traditional are the tunes that are reinterpreted here, I couldn’t say, except that the harps used are bona fides appropriate instruments. But I am confident that Mary-Kate, below, deserves more views than she has had so far, both for her very lovely performance and her very lovely self.

        Galician Air – Stefano Corsi Celtic Harp.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IawOGf9a2ZM

        Galician Waltz –  Mary-Kate Spring Lee Celtic Harp.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYzhEU6esMM

         

        And if you really want to learn more about harps, Celtic or not, here is a video from a young lady that owns a surprising large number of harps of various shapes and sizes and plays nicely on several of these, ten actually, to demonstrate how they sound:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXUvZ5Xkb9k

        Map provided by “www.irelandstory.com” (This link is not working … it looks like they moved here: https://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/)

        areas.with_.celtic.influence

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    • #2390573

      I was going to listen this in Part I, just because I like Hahn, Bach and Piazzolla, and I found that the video was no longer available there, because the link was dead. I hate this when it happens. But, sometimes, this is because it has been moved to another place still within YouTube, which fortunately has been the case here:

      Hilary Hahn — Bach Violin Concerto (BWV 1041, 1042) & Piazzolla’s Oblivion

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyfWJzVSmR4

      And here is a very recent concert that shows Hahn possibly emerging from self-isolation without realizing (as some friends of mine also have not) that, if one prefers not to go to a hairdresser because is not so nice to have someone working with his or her face very close to one’s, practically breathing on top of one, in these covid times, mask or no mask, one can actually cut one’s own hair, with scissors, in front of a large enough mirror and now and then holding a small mirror to see, using both together, how is it going at the back, no previous experience required and, nevertheless, do it passably well. As I have discovered to my considerable surprise. The trick is not to cut too much, because that is irreversible.

      The same forces playing here performed and absolutely amazing Vieuxtemps’ concerto No 4 that now it is no where to be found on YouTube, except for a few short snippets here and there. So here is them performing this other work, by the Spanish composer Sarasate:

      Pablo de Sarasate: Carmen-Fantasia ∙ Hessian Radio’s Symphonic Orchestra ∙ Hilary Hahn Violin ∙ Andrés Orozco-Estrada conductor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-oHLG0oB20

      (Performed at the Alte Oper, in Frankfurt, 17 June 2021)

      It is nice to see that, at the end, Hilary gets a fine bouquet of roses, instead the usual hydrangeas and sunflowers.

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    • #2390585

      Oscar,

      You appear to be saying that Hilary Hahn  playing Vieuxtemps concerto No 4. is not available. Surely not.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tctk3Uy1w5s

      And with Paarvo Järvi in charge! However, I note in some links this is only classed as a Preview and cuts off short at 19mins.

      Garth

    • #2390656

      Garth: this is the same performance, but not the complete video, one of which that YT used to have the complete video, unlike this one, that has several minutes chopped off at the beginning and somewhere else (I did not watch all of it) and definitely well before the end, to get it down to some 19 minutes when it should have taken some 38. Maybe this is also the reason this video with her playing  the Vieuxtemps with Paavo Järvi and the HF Orchestra is still around in YT. Someone, perhaps Hahn’s lawyers or the publishers of her DVDs, have been getting the full-length videos of some of her performances removed and replaced with snippets. Fortunately for me, most of these are still around (and some I have downloaded and safe at home, such as this one’s complete missing one). But still around for who knows how long yet. And this is not just happening with her work, but it also happens with those of other players.

      In compensation of the above, here is her playing Bruch’s first violin concerto, also with the Hessian Radio Symphonic Orchestra, with the (I believe) Colombian conductor Orozco-Estrada, where between the two of them (aided and abetted by the orchestra) almost make the theater catch fire:

      Bruch: 1. Violinkonzert ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Hilary Hahn ∙ Andrés Orozco-Estrada

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDJ6Wbzgy3E

      And in one of her reappearance concerts, in June of this year, as the masked hairy lady violinist, the same forces are playing here the Dvorak with equal determination to cause a serious conflagration right there and then:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=044AF783nok

      Where one of those commenting on it in YT wrote:

      Me, a Canadian, commenting on a video of an American violinist playing a Czech concerto on a French violin, accompanied by a German orchestra, all while being conducted by a Colombian. What a world

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      • #2390741

        Thanks for both those links, they are superb performances! Hope they stay.

        On the Dvorak, I saw one of the comments (from one Gustav Mahler[!] apparently a current professional musician) which read “The fingered octaves at the end — I’m literally dying.” Someone no doubt good at music but def needs a lesson or three in the use of English! RIP surely.

        I had already come to the conclusion that some of the disappearing links you mention were likely due to commercial considerations, unfortunately.

        Garth

        • #2390926

          Garth, You have brought, quite unintentionally I think, a subject dear to my heart:

          Fingered octaves, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, … finger positions, and double-stops (some fairly hard to do and that Hilary does at supersonic speed, if she needs to):

          Finger positions:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztf_J30UL-s

          Fingered octaves:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GikH0JBLPlY

          Double stops, for playing two-notes chords; various types:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x-p2dNlzg4

          (Orchestra string sections fake the double stops, by one half of the musicians playing one note and the other half, the other.)

          And triple stops (Oh My!):
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jYOo1CZn4o

          Quadruple stops? Not really.

          And all of the above and a lot more in a surprisingly short video, demonstrated in order of difficulty by two guys that do them all and sound great as well:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYi8dIxRhCg

           

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    • #2391019

      Totally unintentionally, I assure you! Thanks but no thanks, I’ll leave such niceties as feature on your last link to others to comment on. As an (old) piano player, my expertise/ understanding FWIW is limited to that. My great or otherwise expertise on strings is simply listening to (and observing) others such as Hilary. In the flesh, so to speak, I am now limited to Nicola Benedetti, in Glasgow.

      Garth

      • #2391116

        Nicola Benedetti? That’s good; my problem with Benedetti is that there seems to be no full-length performances by her in YouTube, only snippets a few minutes long, or longer but, as in the case of that one by Hahn, incomplete versions of a concert, chopped down to some ten minutes or so.

        Perhaps, if you knew of some complete videos of her performances, you could post at least one here?

        As to those niceties you have mentioned, they are about things that often come up in commentaries and in reviews, so the same as previous discussions on certain instruments, I thought that it might help someone who might be interested in knowing what to make of them, to put that here. And maybe help me learn more about this myself, if there is an illuminating conversation on this topic. As it happens, some of the people coursing through this thread, both its parts, are actually performers, even professional ones, of some instrument.

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        • #2391170

          Yes, Nicola Benedetti has very few full-length performances on Youtube. The undoubted best IMV (and possibly only one) is Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, a wonderfully tuneful piece, and one with which I suspect she sympathises as very much part of her heritage and Scottish upbringing.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpX8DoS2hr8

          Garth

          • #2391292

            Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy: A well-known piece, a lovely work by soloist, conductor and orchestra playing so well together:

            Nicola Benedetti, violin
            BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
            Rory Macdonald

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicola_Benedetti

            Let’s see: she’s been given, to play music with, a more than two-hundred years’ old Stradivarius violin that might be valued at more than all of my savings put together, all for herself, and was made MBE when she was 26, for service to music and charity.
            So she knows how to play the violin and is a nice person, right?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradivarius

            One of the comments in the same YT page caught my eye.

            It is in Portuguese, maybe from Brazil, or Portugal, or — who knows? — Angola, or …
            “A DOÇURA MAIOR DA VIDA FLUI NO SOM DA MÚSICA…QUANDO SE ESTÁ EM SILÊNCIO” PRECIOSO VÍDEO! OBRIGADA
            “The greatest sweetness of life flows in the sound of music … when one is silent.” Lovely video! Thanks
            (Not merely by not talking, but also inside, feeling the music without thinking, I would add.)

            Garth: By the way: nice house. Roof needs some work. Is that yours?

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            • #2391316

              There are several complete works with Nicola Benedetti as violin soloist here:

              https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nicola+benedetti

              This is one, of the Max Bruch Violin concerto No. 1.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmMN-6g1L8w

              Her interpretation and the orchestra’s is different, a little more subdued, more meditative perhaps, than that of Hahn and Orozco-Estrada posted here recently:

              soloist: Nicola Benedetti
              conductor: Jiri Belohlavek
              BBC Symphony Orchestra

              Spot on in this one, can’t ask for more:

              The Lark Ascending – Ralph Vaughan Williams

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLhpkvQLDt0

              Nicola Benedetti, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton

              And it turns out that her Strad is from 1717, so it actually more than three hundred years old:

              Short appearance at the “Tiny desk” music program at NPR:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-Si874NWw

              Unusual interpretation of the first part of Bach’s Chaconne. (Compare it to Hahn’s, first comment of this “Part II” thread.)

              And a not so subdued one Korngold:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Refum8OnTIE

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            • #2391532

              One odd thing: when clicking on the Korngold link above, one may land on the video of the Shostakovitch concert instead, but if one closes that window, the Korngold one appears in another window that was, apparently, hiding just behind it and one can then start to play the video of this concerto.

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    • #2391343

      While I am waiting for the comments I made just now to come back, if they do, from being moderated, most likely for having one too many URL links to Nicola Benedetti performing several complete works and also related to her career, all found here:

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nicola+benedetti

      I am taking this necessary pause to post one more of her performances, a short one this time:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOY2NQdFHuc&list=OLAK5uy_kqi4JIbmBTL3zAD9PMhdOdfrq9tG-NtcI

      Now, first of all, I must tell those reading this, that I know a thing or two about tango.
      Also, I would add, that violin players that have flourished big time playing tango are as numerous as hens’ teeth, although some have had moderate success as accompanists, but maybe at most two as soloists.

      Given that, and particularly since she is from nowhere near the River Plate region, Benedetti’s performance is breathtakingly, unbelievably authentic, except for the occasional virtuoso flourish that sounds right where she puts it (the accordionist is no slouch either).

      Here, in the staged heavy-ambience of a 1950’s or so high class dive, she plays the violin performing the tango “Por una Cabeza” (For One Head – of a horse: the song is about someone who not only lost his money betting on a good horse that did not quite make it, but that was unfortunate in other basic departments, women in particular) composed by Carlos Gardel (*) with lyrics by one who wrote most of those for his music, Alfredo Le Pera.

       

      (*) A composer, singer and movie actor, most famous in the 30s, who died in an air crash when flying to an engagement in Colombia, resulting in an instantaneous national outpour of grief I could compare only to that caused by the death of Princess Dianne in the UK. His fame remains pretty solid even now, 86 years after his death, and that should tell you something. To the eternal dismay of the Argentinians, he was born in France and grew up on the other side of the River Plate, in Uruguay, of which he was also a citizen. And then he had quite a life, even if a short one:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Gardel

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    • #2391367

      Here there is talent squared (at the very least): Wynton Marsalis is one of the few living giants of contemporary Jazz, straddling the span between Jazz and classical music; she is pretty good too:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTsAkAHMvf4&list=OLAK5uy_kqi4JIbmBTL3zAD9PMhdOdfrq9tG-NtcI&index=31

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wynton_Marsalis

      Excerpts:

      In The Jazz Book, the authors list what Marsalis considers to be the fundamentals of jazz: blues, standards, a swing beat, tonality, harmony, craftsmanship, and mastery of the tradition beginning with New Orleans jazz up to Ornette Coleman. He has little or no respect for free jazz, avant-garde, hip hop, fusion, European, or Asian jazz .”

      I disagree about “fusion” and don’t know enough about Asian Jazz to comment, but wholeheartedly agree with Marsalis on everything else, starting with those novel “avant-garde”, etc. variants that have no traction with the broader public: it’s musicians playing for musicians, threatening to convert good Jazz into a museum piece. And there is more:

      For his part, Marsalis compared Miles Davis’s embrace of pop music to “a general who has betrayed his country.” He called rap “hormone driven pop music” and said that hip hop “reinforces destructive behavior at home and influences the world’s view of the Afro American in a decidedly negative direction.” ” Hear! Hear!

      Marsalis responded to criticism by saying, “You can’t enter a battle and expect not to get hurt.” He said that losing the freedom to criticize is “to accept mob rule, it is a step back towards slavery.” And this is all so true well beyond Jazz, these days.

      Marsalis-and-Benedetti

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    • #2391445

      Finally, one opinion and one more enjoyable performance by Benedetti:

      Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, Nicola Benedetti, violin, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra · Jakub Hrusa Conductor.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ1tzEeGsYo&list=OLAK5uy_mK2J9ZjX4Ro9U8zSoWzW_hdzDlH67b2XA&index=1

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOxkEQAWWvM&list=OLAK5uy_mK2J9ZjX4Ro9U8zSoWzW_hdzDlH67b2XA&index=2

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSxDTPFwKtU&list=OLAK5uy_mK2J9ZjX4Ro9U8zSoWzW_hdzDlH67b2XA&index=3

      Unfortunately, it is not in one continuous recording here, but broken into three, one per movement. There is a continuous one, also with Benedetti as soloist, at the BBC Proms 2019, but the quality of both sound and picture is not great. This, on the other hand, is an excellent one of an excellent performance.

      News Flash!: I started the first movement and it just kept on playing, got to the end and then the second movement started all by itself, then the third when the second ended. So it looks like one does not need to play one movement at a time.

      Now, my opinion. Both this player and my favorite fiddler share one characteristic I appreciate very much: they do not make funny faces when playing, but their expressions show only concentration on the tricky job they are doing. Although Hahn allows herself a little smile, sometimes not so little when shared with the conductor, when something comes off just great. A”we killed it!”, or “I killed it!” kind of smile. Benedetti, on the other hand, who while in person, not playing, has a delightful smile, is not only serious while playing, but does not seem to be enjoying herself as much as she most likely is. Because the thing about playing great music with great skill and deep understanding of its humor, pathos and drama, is that it is a deeply satisfying thing to do, as I have been assured (not exclusively) by a great of the violin in one of his YT master classes: Maxim Vengerov.

      Another difference between them, is that Han plays almost exclussively classical music, from J.S. Bach (her favorite composer) all the way to modern composers I have never hard of, and  some I have, such as Carlos Guastavino, and some of whom have composed music expressly for her. Benedetti, on the other hand, seems to be quite willing and able to tackle anything any time, and doing it very well, as shown in my previous comment on her with a link to a video where she plays a tango with amazing authenticity.

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    • #2391535

      And now for something else and well worth hearing:

      (And it is not at every concert that one sees the audience give an standing ovation at the end of a performance.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIdqiis3Mts

      Maxim Vengerov plays Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major op. 61 and Meditation by J. Massenet

      Maxim Vengerov — violin
      Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marek Pijarowski.
      14th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition:
      Special Concert of Maxim Vengerov: ‘And yet he will play!’
      Poznań, 23 October 2011.

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    • #2391704

      Two performances of works for violin and piano, with Nicola Benedetti, violin, with her usual accompanist, Alexei Grynyuk, piano:

      In the late romantic style, a partial rendition of an early work by Richard Strauss:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQrlkRb_5jI

      R. Strauss’ Violin Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18: Movements. II & III, Nicola Benedetti accompanied by pianist Alexei Grynyuk at the piano.
      January 16, 2019.

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X96YaspfK0

      Nicola Benedetti (violin) and Alexei Grynyuk (piano) play the Elgar Violin Sonata from the Seoul Arts Center. (No further information on this performance is available.)

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    • #2391728

      OK, it’s like this:

      Let’s say you take all the emotion, humor, pathos and drama extracted from a concerto by a good soloist, for example, from the Sibelius Violin Concerto, or any well-known violin concerto, particularly one of the romantic period, and all that is enough to fill a large Coke bottle of half a gallon or so. Then you concentrate this liquid musical essence in a still several times, until it has been reduced to something that is just enough to fill a small bottle originally meant to contain some very rare and expensive perfume. And you better be careful, because the concentrate is not only, well, very concentrated, but is also highly inflammable, and if the tiny bottle is open carelessly, that is bound to start an all-devouring conflagration.

      That gallon of the original fluid is very pleasant and tasty, and is how most players would perform the Sibelius violin concerto.

      In its highly concentrated and inflammable form is how Hilary Hahn plays this concerto. And quite many other things too, if the spirit of the work calls for it:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0w0t4Qn6LY

      And that, right there, is all the difference between playing very well and playing magnificently and unforgettably well.

      And when the conductor and the orchestra raise to the occasion and glide over the bar set so high by the soloist’s performance, as they do here, then the result is just superb; and the rest is silence.

      So, is this why I am such a big fan of this artist?
      Guilty as charged, Your Honor.

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      • #2391831

        And almost forgot, this other sample:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cg_0jepxow

        The first movement is very long, and people get understandably confused at what she means when she lifts her bow like that. And those cadenzas!  (And wait for the encore.)

        Beat that, Ling Ling! (Whoever you are.)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsnIoFXrt0

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    • #2391738

      And to conclude this long night, during which I have been kept up waiting for an important call, this thought:

      In all artistic performance and in all work of art that strikes me as worth spending some time listening to it, reading it, or looking at it, be it a musical performance, like the one above, or a painting, like a Chagall, a Matisse, or a Vermeer, or a sculpture, like “The Citizens of Calais”, by Rodin, “La Pietá” by Michel Angelo, or “The Penitent Magdalena”, by Donatello, or reading a poem, like the “Romance Sonámbulo” by García Lorca, or a novel like “Huckleberry Finn” by Marc Twain, or Cervantes’ “El Quijote”, or a movie like “Citizen Kane” by Welles, or “Les Enfants du Paradise” by Carné, or in front, or inside, of a great building, like Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, or the Duomo of Milan, there are two aspects in exquisite tension I find in all of them: a great creative passion, kept nicely under control.

      For a further example, consider this, among the greatest music for the violin ever created, as performed by Itzhak Perlman:

      (If you get a black square with the message in big letters “Video unavailable … “,  disregard that and click on “Watch on You Tube” in smaller letters.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtyTaE7LvVs

       

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    • #2391827

      Paris National Opera.
      Inaugural concert season 21/22

      This evening brings together an anthology of operatic excerpts and invites you to find great arias, duets, ensembles, musical interludes from a rich and eclectic repertoire. From Carmen by Georges Bizet to Doctor Atomic by John Adams, from Lohengrin by Richard Wagner to Ainadamar by Osvaldo Golijov, Le Chevalier à la rose by Richard Strauss to Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi, from La Vida breve by Manuel De Falla to Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten, Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Orchestra, Choir and Academy artists as well as guest soloists. A real musical celebration for the first edition of this exceptional concert.

      With the Orchester de l’Opéra national de Paris, the Choirs of the Opéra national de Paris, the Maîtrise des Hauts de Seine / Children’s Choir of the Opéra national de Paris.

      Program

      Georges bizet
      Carmen
      Prelude
      “Love is a rebellious bird” – aria from Carmen: Clémentine Margaine
      “The flower you threw at me” – aria by Don José: Matthew Polenzani
      “Here they are, here is the quadrille …” – chorus of act IV

      Osvaldo Golijov
      Ainadamar
      “Mariana, tus ojos

      DE FALLA Manual
      La vida breve
      Dance of the second scene (Choirs)

      Benjamin britten
      Peter Grimes
      “The storm” – Interlude n. 4

      John adams
      Doctor Atomic
      “Batter my heart”, act I
      Gerald Finley

      Richard wagner
      Lohengrin
      Prelude to Act I

      Richard strauss
      The knight with the rose
      “Marie Theres’! … Hab ’mir’s gelobt” – final trio of act III

      Giuseppe Verdi
      Falstaff
      “Viola there!” Chi go there “- Act III finale

      Coproduction of the Opéra national de Paris and Camera Lucida, with the participation of France televisions, Mezzo and Medici.tv with the support of the CNC and the Orange Foundation, sponsor of the audiovisual broadcasts of the Opéra national de Paris.

      https://chezsoi.operadeparis.fr/videos/concert-inaugural-saison-21-22

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      • #2391832

        This is great! In fact, it is quite amazing! Thank you so much, Anonymous.

        Very fine singing in all the operatic segments.

        The soprano in “Carmen”, who and what is she (besides her name)? Great singing!

        By the way, “Carmen” did not do well when it was premiered in Paris in 1875 (shortly before the death of Bizet) and not only that. Critics found fault in its, to them, offensive immorality. One wrote that the singer “Mademoiselle Galli-Marié would be arrested if she used that language in the 9th Arrondissement” (South Pigalle, the “naughtiest” part of Paris then, and for many years yet to come.)

        The final trio in Act III of the “Rosenkavalier” is a very fine thing to listen to, in this rendition.
        Here is where the Marschallin, in the very late summer of her life, recognizes that youth should have its chances and it is better for her to give way graciously and recollect, instead, her own earlier days of wine and roses.

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        • #2391854

          The Carmen soloist is Clémentine Margaine, I believe, and according to the credits.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cl%C3%A9mentine_Margaine

          Garth

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          • #2391917

            So she is something of an specialist in Bizet’s “Carmen.” But it seems like she is not with the Paris, or French, Opera, but with its German equivalent. (I know very little about national opera companies.)

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    • #2391842

      But that is not all: the link to this year season premiere of the Paris Opera opens a door to finding more fine performances that have taken place in that grand old building in very recent times, of orchestral and instrumental music and ballet. Such as this fine example of quartet playing, with works by Wolf, Schubert and Richard Strauss:

      https://chezsoi.operadeparis.fr/concert-recital/videos/concert-schubert-wolf-strauss

      With more too explore, discover and enjoy at the Paris Opera’s Web site – free. One could also subscribe … I imagine that might not be very cheap. But who knows?

      https://chezsoi.operadeparis.fr/concert-recital

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    • #2392431

      Still not enough Brahms here, in Part II.

      So I am adding one work of this composer that wrote so much, so well, across such a wide range of musical forms, in two different interpretations, each by an excellent group of musicians recorded in the by now distant musical past, but with excellent clarity.
      Why this work in particular? Because I find it at the same time mysterious, alluring and hard to forget. It’s one of those things that, once fully experienced, marks you.

      These two performances, separated in time by a decade and a half, bring to the listener’s ear, each in its own style, this composition for clarinet soloist and string quartet the way it deserves to be heard: at once hauntingly beautiful, and ghost-like haunting:

      Johannes Brahms Quintet for Clarinet & String Quartet. in B minor Op.115, Karl Leister clarinet, the Amadeus Quintet (1967):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOzEgxUJMG4

       

      Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, Leopold Wlach, Clarinet & Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet (1952):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rKJCFg3yn4

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    • #2392698

       

      Push-button Beethoven:

      Fred sent me the URL link to an article on a group of AI specialists, musicians and others that have attempted to use an AI to complete Beethoven’s incomplete 10th Symphony. Death got him first, while he was still playing around with ideas for initial themes, of which he left short annotations, some in scraps of paper, now being used as the starting point for this novel use of a neural network.
      You can listen to a clip of the now completed job in the article as well.

      What follows is my answer. We are not discussing intimate things no one else should ever hear about, so I think it is OK to post here my own answer to Fred’s concerning just the AI thing. As to whether you agree or disagree with me, feel free to post your comments/criticisms below mine. Preferably with a link to some YT video of anything that you think is very good music, one that, same as Ludwig himself, is also for the ages:

      Fred,

      Thank you for sending me this unexpected email about this off beat thing some grown up people have actually been up to:

      https://thenextweb.com/news/computer-scientists-completed-beethoven-10th-symphony-syndication

      Beethoven never finished his 10th Symphony. Computer scientists just did.
      (Sorta kinda of.)

      This article is funny enough that I laughed out loud in some places, but also felt sad, when I thought of all the work that must have gone into this to get something that, well, maybe the orchestra is not so good or there is something else that does not work too well, but listening to the three-minute sample of the already completed work, words fail me to describe how much not like Beethoven this sounds to me.

      I am not too sure how good an idea has been to use all of Beethoven’s work to train the neural network where, supposedly, the creative spark of Ludwig at the very end of his late period was to be reborn. Because that means to pour into the AI his early works, that sounded a lot like Haydn or Mozart, with those of his middle period, that is what most of his work sounds like, to the late period, when he was evolving musically into something so very different, writing things like the Große Fuge, that sounds avant-garde even today, and the great and so innovative Late Quartets, along with the 9th, with a whole universe of sound, with such almost physical emotional punch extracted from an ensemble of orchestra, soloists and chorus.

      In other words, Beethoven was never the same Beethoven, and to put all of his works into a neural network means that whatever then comes out is bound to be very unlike what Late Beethoven, who was so busy burning bridges with his own musical past, might have been imagining the 10th was going to be when, having written the last note of a possible theme he was playing with, he himself became one for the ages.

      Let us enjoy the real thing we still have and wonder at what this first attempt to synthesize a genius might lead to, particularly in applications of no artistic character. Maybe to something good or, I fear, maybe not.

      Finally, something not in my reply to Fred: I feel moved to tell you about another, darker experience, this one listening to the playing of the recording of a violin concert by Robert Schumann that he composed when he was going mad. It was a miserable thing and I could not help but thinking: why do this? He did not intend to write an awful piece of music: he was unable to help it. Leave the dead in peace.

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      • #2392740

        Oscar,

        I think this is somewhat misguided, even almost a pastiche, for the very reason you gave. Late Beethoven is a particular style (if one could so describe it) that would have been the summation of all his experiences, yes, but that does not mean that equal weight would have been given to all such experiences. He would surely have discarded some earlier experiences as being less worthwhile, or simply not working as well, or indeed wanting to move on or progress, so any such process as this would properly have to evaluate that experience, surely an impossible task. At the very least, the AI input should minimise the input from say the first half, or two thirds, of Beethoven’s life.

        Indeed, just stating that shows the fallibility of the whole idea.

        In musical terms, the work as played is perfectly innocuous, and does sound vaguely ‘Beethovenish’, but that’s all. There is no particular spark there. Just because it is now possible to do something such as this, does not mean one should!

        Garth

        • #2393134

          Perhaps the article’s writer (a professor at Rutger’s), and maybe the AI people, are hyping the actual achievement, that more soberly might be described as:

          “We trained an AI, starting from scratch, using all the things composed by Beethoven and, as the result, it produced an actual symphony in a Romantic, early-19th Century style, that is not afflicted with weird musical errors from beginning to end, but instead is correct in terms of musical theory and not too offensive to the ear. Maybe even with a Beethoven-ish tinge. One that actually sounds as if composed by a skilled but untalented admirer of Beethoven that did not quite get Beethoven. Or by a good composer, just for a lark, to make a mild musical joke on Beethoven’s music. Not great, but also not bad for a piece of artificial art.

          It needs further work, but it is definitely a step forward to a “full-Skynet” (*) future that we have brought more than one step closer with this achievement. Cheers!”

          (*) Skynet, the sentient network of interconnected AIs controlling an army of war machines trying to eradicate humanity in the original “Terminator” movies with “I’ll be back” as the lead character:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(Terminator)

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    • #2392717

      So how was Late Beethoven different?
      The dissonant chords, notably the acid, loud, high pitched ones and the thrills; the low, sometimes growling sound of the cello; the percussive notes;  the intricate, dramatic use of counterpoint; the cresting and breaking waves of sound; the angelic, compassionate solace in the slow melodies: that’s Late Beethoven’s chamber music.
      That is, in short, the “essence” of Late Beethoven.

      Last of Beethoven’s Late Quartets, the No. 16 was also the last major work he ever composed, death being near him already and getting closer.

      It takes great musicians to play this work as it deserves to be heard:

      Borodin Quartet plays Beethoven String Quartet Op.135

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laUMuPkm7Ow

      This comment someone left in YouTube says it very well:

      “It’s astonishing how “modern” some of Beethoven’s later works sound, especially the Grosse Fugue. He stands absolutely alone as the most original composer who ever lived. No other sounds so radically different from those who immediately preceded him.”

      And Schubert said: “After this, what is left for us to do”

      So, here, the final proof:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxzHQrFuDkk

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    • #2393234

      To end my illustration of “Late Beethoven” using some of its quartets as examples, this one, that is  also my favorite “Late” one:

      The Quatuor Ebène plays Beethoven Quartet No. 13, Opus 130, with the “Grosse Fuge” included:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXvP0bqw2Cs

      (The Fugue was originally a part of this quartet, then was changed into a separate piece by Beethoven and replaced with a different one, because being then too unusual — and really ahead of its time — it was going to be hard for the public to accept. And it would also have made the quartet too long, I think.)

       

      And, finally, this short passage, also from the No. 13, that is one of the deepest, most moving and most loved of all string quartet movements:

      Heifetz 2016: Beethoven | Cavatina of String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat, Op. 130.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-LcmrTKWBc

      (And I like the remarks by the first violinist, before they start playing.)

      Heifetz International Music Institute:

      00:17 Introduction by Ji-Won Song
      02:01 V. Cavatina: Allegro Molto Espressivo.

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      • #2393313

        Beethoven’s 5th Movement of his Quartet No. 13, know as the “Cavatina”, as performed by the great Budapest Quartet, was the last recording in the two identical golden disks, sent with a message with a sample of the music of humanity to whomever may receive it, one carried in each one of the two Voyager space probes that now have left the influence of the magnetic field of the Sun, that envelopes the Solar System, and have began an unimaginably long journey of unknown and unknowable destination through the space between the stars:

        https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/golden-record/whats-on-the-record/music/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_Quartet_No._13_(Beethoven)

        If the disk is received and then played by unknown and maybe to us also unknowable sentient beings, far from our little world, perhaps long after us and even it are gone, what will those make of it, perhaps the very last sounds to be heard of our chattering and noisy species? And as Beethoven’s music becomes manifest again at the very end, his Cavatina might be the final comment, and a lament at that, on what we once were — and on what we could have been.

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    • #2393343

      I like the way this quartet, the Ebène plays these last of Beethoven Late Quartets. The Borodin’s performances are very wisely and beautifully executed, but they are a bit to “Romantic” in my opinion. Beethoven in these last works was moving in a new direction and the Ebène musicians know how to follow his old steps. Too bad he could not complete the journey. I wonder now what the heritage of Beethoven in music might had been, if he might have allowed us to skip Wagner and get directly to Richard Strauss, who claimed to be a devoted “Wagnerian” but was just himself; to Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Ravel, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch, Bartok and the rest of the giants from the early decades through the first half of the 20th Century, but sooner.

      So here are the 14th and 15th to complete, with the 13th and 16th in a previous nearby comment, the set of these four quartets, the last of them all, the transcendental ones:

      Quatuor Ebène plays Beethoven String quartet No 14 Op. 131

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0u6tfY_tkc

      Quatuor Ebène : Beethoven String quartet Nr. 15 Op. 132

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB556rRO0AE

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    • #2393714

      Having discovered very late in the day the, as it happens, already famous, and for good reason, Quartet Ebène, I am including now here their rendition of a more traditionally Romantic work than Beethoven’s last four quartets, in this case a sort of symphonic poem by Tchaikovsky. The reason for doing this: because of their take on this well-known example of Peter Ilyich’s work.

      The interesting thing to know about this group of musicians, is that all four have had a conventional classical musical education and training (in the same conservatoire, where they were fellow students), but they did not leave the conservatoire to get jobs in orchestras and such, or to try their luck in other usual ways, but instead took on different non-classical jobs, where also were not playing with the same instruments they are playing with now in their quartet. And they continue to do that when not performing classical, switching over to more popular kinds of music, that require quite different approaches from what does classical.

      More about that here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89b%C3%A8ne_Quartet

      Excerpt:

      The group is known for its versatility and performs a variety of genres, such as Classical_music,Contemporary_music, jazz, and crossover. Beyond its classical repertoire, some of the group’s most popular performances have been crossover, such a rendition of the music from the score of “Pulp_Fiction”, arrangements of classic Beatles’ hits, and a jazz vocal/instrumental arrangement of “Someday My Prince Will Come” from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film).

      New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn highlighted the group’s versatility, describing the group as “a string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band.

      This unusually broad experience (professional classical musicians might play other things, but rarely as a job) shows that these are not the usual kind of concert hall musicians, that they are prepared to take on all comers, and that they have therefore the right spirit, in my opinion, to play relentlessly the quartets of Beethoven as they were meant to be played, in such a way that, if Ludwig had heard them (not really, being deaf as a very thick concrete wall, nice thought, though) he would have been so proud of them, who so mercilessly have been playing what, I believe, they have understood so well of his music.

      And maybe also of Tchaikovsky’s, who, as you can hear in the following video, is not your mother’s Tchaikovsky anymore:

      The Quatuor Ebène plays “Souvenir de Florence” by Tchaikovsky:

      (They are including a extra viola and an extra cello player (the viola on the left and cello nearest the middle (*)), so there are six musicians on stage, not four. And all six really understand each other very well, even when they are not a regular, permanent ensemble.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0GRH4rABgk

      (*) They have changed, in their quartet, the permanent man viola player for a permanent woman viola player, more recently than when this recording was made.

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    • #2394578

      And now for something in a slightly different format.

      My regular orchestra here in Scotland is the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, RSNO for short. As a result, I received an invitation to see a recent live performance in Glasgow; I could not be there, so the availability for the moment on Youtube is helpful for me.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_9y2czDCaY

      This is a special live-stream of Sibelius’ Karelia Overture, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No.5. Rory Macdonald conducts, and one of the RSNO’s own stars, clarinettist Timothy Orpen, takes centre stage for the concerto, held in the New Auditorium of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

      Most of the performers are recognisable to me, as a regular attendee, so I can very much recommend this for viewing. How long it will be available I don’t know, so I suggest watching as soon as you can.

      Garth

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      • #2394613

        Garth, Does the RSNO do this sort of thing regularly, or at least now and then: Putting a concert on YT, or otherwise streaming it where, even across the Atlantic, we might be able to pick it up? And if so, where on the Web might one find out news about the concerts and their programs?

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        • #2394620

          I think this was probably a one-off, done as an opener physical performance after the forced isolation due to Covid. It was done in conjunction with radio station Classic FM here in the UK. It was not a full orchestra by any means, something like 60% I think.

          Nevertheless, there are links available for the RSNO online, which you may find rewarding. If you look at their subscription channel

          https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYfVi1Q2DP-NkY2loIquRwA

          you will see some works available, as well as brief interpretive sessions with performers, and something for the younger element.

          Garth

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          • #2394639

            Here is a short but typically exuberant performance by the RSNO’s master timpanist, Paul Philbert, in Mahler #1. Paul is a perfectionist, as can be seen at any of his concerts, and also is a holder of the MBE for services to music.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMI1Qv4I_Ss

            There are several interesting follow-on links available when seeing this.

            Garth

            • #2394752

              Paul Philbert: Impressive!

              What is particularly good about this video is that one can see better what the percussion section does in detail, something not easy when looking from the audience front-stage, because this section then is up in the far horizon of the orchestra. Here it is possible to see the timpanist choosing the mallets and drumsticks appropriate by weight and size to what he is about to do with them. Then using them; then putting the back, and so on.

              Now let’s have some more:

              Tasty Timpanic Treats Through Time.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPwTLg_Oz_4

              And also this:

              Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR Sinfonieorchester) – Rehearsal for Sheherezade:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtyyTUOwjRA

              Then there are the comments from viewers, below the video: “my father was a percussionist …”

              Normally, it is as if an orchestra’s percussion section, contrary to children, is to be heard but not seen (much, or very well). Camera close ups during concert performances are often too short to see well how the drummers do their work. From the videos, one gets a much better idea of what the winds, both brass and woods sections, do and how.

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    • #2394612

      Here is a new performer for me, Korean cellist Hee-Young Lim, playing Massenet’s ‘Meditation’ from Thais.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H75wuVUi0Lo

      And then, to follow, an arrangement for cello and piano of the song “Vocalise” by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKAYL0nT-Lo

      Beautiful music, beautifully played in this video.

      Garth

      • #2394713

        “Meditation” cello player:  As it is famed was Thaïs of Alexandria, who practiced a different art, she is a looker.

        That seems to be a sine qua non characteristic of female cello players that are good at it.

        She reminds me of someone I once knew. Did not play the cello, though, was an MD.

        I knew another that did play the cello, in Sydney. But she was full-blood Aussie.

        And a Japanese lady cellist from the Tokyo SO once made me the honor of playing for me Piazzola’s “Oblivion.”

        Here is another one, that also played the cello:

        Jacqueline du Pré – Bach, Suites for Solo Cello No. 1 & 2

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0PU5RsMEeU

        And, for a touch of true greatness, this one too:

        Jacqueline du Pré – Dvořák Cello Concerto – London Symphony Orchestra cond. Daniel Barenboim:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_yxtaeFuEQ

        And a painting by Augustus John, exhibited at the Tate in London:

        The.Swagger.by_.Augustus.John-

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        • #2394746

          The actual name of “The Swagger” was “Madame Suggia”, who was a famous Portuguese cellist of the day residing in London. “The Swagger Portrait” was an exhibition in the early 1990’s for which this painting was reproduced in the poster announcing this art show, that was named accordingly.

          The portrait was painted by a famous Welsh portraitist, Augustus John, who lived a very interesting life and painted the portraits of the likes of T. E. Laurence (a.k.a “of Arabia”), Yeats and many other notable people of those days.

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    • #2394632

      I am new here as of yesterday and just found this. What a beautiful labor of love.

      Mille grazie !!!

      • #2394647

        Welcome, and enjoy. Feel free to contribute.

        Garth

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      • #2394654

        Bookman and anyone else around that likes this thread, as well as its Part I, now closed but still available to see and listen what is there, that was split in two parts, because it was getting too long:

        This is the labor of love of several of us, so welcome any time to join in. This thread can always use more good music videos. By that I mean, as it has always meant here: Classical (mostly in the Western tradition), Jazz, Bossa Nova, fusion, Dolly Parton’s, etc.  Country-Western, music from the movies, progressive tango, Ray Manzarek’s “Carmina Burana” and various instances of traditional Celtic harp and whatever mystery girl Tina S did with her electric guitar … even while the peers of Palestrina and Vivaldi and Bach and Beethoven and Brahms and Schubert and Verdi and Puccini, as well as those of Ravel and Richard Strauss and Villa Lobos and Stravinsky and Schoenberg and Bela Bartok, do definitely have pride of place.

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    • #2394727

      Commenting on women cellists, on some that I have known, at different times, in different countries, and then on this English one, Jacqueline du Pré, a few entries earlier, has brought memories that I feel a need to put in front of those who, probably unknown to me, will read this:

      This was the concerto whose performances by her inspired the careers of a thousand women cellists, including one that was a friend of mine:

      Jacqueline du Pre & Daniel Barenboim – Elgar Cello Concerto. Philadelphia Orchestra.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPhkZW_jwc0

      Tribute to Jacqueline du Pré | by AllegroFilms

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvPza4XosW4

      A tribute to a beautiful woman of amazing gifts, wonderful smile, generous nature and an enthusiastic and inspiring joie de vivre — with a slow and painfully tragic end while still quite young, that can be the excuse for making a really tacky documentary.
      But not this one.

      This is a tribute made of segments of her being filmed while playing the cello, having a good time, and so forth, interspersed by comments of some famous musicians and others that were close to her and knew her well and loved her — and admired her — for what she was.
      Her widower, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, describes her as “an extraordinary, like no one else I’ve known, musical conversationalist”, meaning by that someone that also spoke, most remarkably, through music. Of course, the cello has the range of the human voice, from mezzo to bass, and can be made to talk and sing and express meaning, and high passion and drama and comedy and tragedy … in the right hands of someone of musical genius.
      Jacqueline du Pré was such a genius.

      30 years after she died, and 44 after she stopped playing, Jacqueline du Pré remains a much loved figure in the public imagination, and in a way that is very rare. In the year that would have been her 72th birthday, we pay tribute to Jacqueline du Pré.” – Christopher Nupen ” (That was in 2016, she would have been 77 early this year.)

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      • #2394761

        Oscar, that tribute to Jacqueline du Pré featured on BBC TV last week here in the UK, so I was able to watch it. What came over to me was, as you mention, the over-riding joie de vivre (literally the joy of life) she had, as well as, of course, a complete and masterful musical talent that is so rare. It is absolutely worth an hour of anyone’s time.

        Garth

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    • #2394989

      To complete this remembrance and thankful memorial of Jacqueline du Pré on the 34th anniversary, the 19th of this month, of her death at age 42:

      Another recording of Elgar’s cello concerto, that is considered, because of the quality of both sound and of performance, as one of the most perfect recordings of instrumental classical music ever made — and certainly, as pointed out already, one of the most influential, by motivating gifted young people, many young women in particular, to play the cello professionally — and making so for a richer world:

      Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor Opus 85:
      Jacqueline du Pré, Cello 19 August 1965
      Sir John Barbirolli / London Symphony Orchestra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwMON0FsAaA

      About her:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacqueline_du_Pr%C3%A9

      About her influence:

      https://stringsmagazine.com/how-jacqueline-du-pre-sparked-a-cello-explosion/

      The current generation of star cellists doesn’t shy away from the du Pré effect. For instance, Clein calls the first generation after du Pré “a creative burst, a cello population explosion, with them, in turn, becoming great teachers themselves as well as players.” She feels that this is how du Pré’s legacy is being carried on.

      And a more personal tribute:

      https://sites.psu.edu/passionofthecummings/2018/03/17/jacqueline-du-pre-beautiful-life/

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      • #2395031

        As a point of interest: I find the Elgar with Barenboim and the Philharmonia Orchestra a better performance, or at lest more representative of the, at times, fiery playing style of du Pré, than the much prized and later, more subdued performance with Barbirolly conducting the London SO. Also it looks like the Barenboim performance was closer to the full original recording with Elgar still around and with Beatrice Harrison playing the cello, in 1928.

        So why is the recording with Barbirolli and the LSO the most famous and the one transcendentally significant for the future of cello playing? I think the answer is: because it was recorded on 33.3 long-play vinyl disks that were then distributed around the world, so people could buy it in many places where they could not see the film of the other one, or  of any concert, because the Internet still had not been invented, let alone the Web, not to mention DVDs and streaming, and few TV stations would show a film of the concert outside the UK, probably shown there only on the BBC. So in most places it was pretty much: listen to it on a disk, or listen not.

        That was how, five years after it was recorded, I first heard it, my cellist in-the-making friend had heard it already, because she had the record, so we listened at it together; and many, many more heard it, in those days when the world was younger and a great musician still walked the Earth that, with a future still shining with the brightest promise, was, for a time, her oyster.

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    • #2395337

      On the month of the 34th anniversary:

      The piano sings, the sounds of the orchestra swirl and dance, while the cello both sings and speaks, and through it, in the recording, a heart now long absent says to a living one all that needs to be said about love, about life; when listened carefully, so anything else is superfluous:

      Brahms – Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor, Op. 38

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XiYrzsgWto

      And, to end, this is the one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pmBJLI4kVw

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    • #2395574

      By the way: “Jacqueline’s Tears” (“Les Larmes de Jacqueline”), by Offenbach, has nothing to do with du Pré. That is just a coincidence. What matters is the unforgettable way she played this very moving short work.

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    • #2395773

      Of the classical instruments, the pedal harp is there, on stage, more to be seen than heard, like children were said to be, once upon a time.
      I find this odd: such a beautiful, large and impressive-looking thing being used, in slow passages, to create with its arpeggios and assorted plinks and plonks, an atmosphere, mostly peaceful, or for the harpist to accompany occasionally other players, but so rarely be the soloist that some never see this being done.
      So here is a video that shows what else can de done with it:

      Harp concert by Sophia Kiprskaya , soloist of the Mariinsky Theater – San Petersburg, Russia.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xn3uAHZHcc

      00:01 Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
      08:35 Smetana: Vltava (Die Moldau)
      18:04 Kiprsky: Concertino for Harp and String Quartet
      30:05 Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Harp and Viola
      49:15 ??

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    • #2395808

      And some more concert-for-harp playing:

      Point of interest: I have found in YouTube other videos of harp concerti, but all have been either performed in the Russian Federation or, the second one here in Croatia, by citizens of those places, going by their last names.
      So maybe playing classical music for the pedal harp is a Slavic thing?

      … or maybe not quite: if you search with “harp performance” in Google you’ll get the “Images for Harp Performances” with a hundred gazillion pictures and videos of harp performances, overwhelmingly by good-looking young women players with non-slavic-sounding last names.
      So maybe this is a good-looking-young-woman-player thing?
      In any case, a pedal harp goes very well with a good looking young woman, in my opinion.

      G.Handel Concert for Harp and Orchestra

      International Russian Rotary Children Music Competition 2010

      Performed by Aggejalfis Taellija-Jaroslavna (who, I am guessing, is no more than 16)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay1hyj8Lo00

       

      Mozart Concerto for Flute Harp and Orchestra in C major, K 299 – complete – LIVE (Back in the day.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nheif2BuFz0

      Tamara Coha Mandić, flute
      Diana Grubišić Ćiković, harp
      Croatian chamber orchester
      Igor Tatarević, conductor
      Croatian music institute concert hall
      Zagreb, 12 november 2013.

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    • #2395811

      Full concert celebrating Mozart’s 250 anniversary of his birth.
      (Beethoven had his, so now Mozart … Or was it the other way around?)

      Mitsuko Uchida, piano, Cecilia Bartoli, Thomas Hampson, singers, with Ricardo Muti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb4FLHRpsVs

      Say no more.

      Festkonzert zum 250 Geburtstag von W.A. Mozart:

      1. Konzert fur Klavier und Orchester in C-Dur. (Mitsuko Uchida)

      2. Szene und Rondo fur Sopran und Orchester “Ch’io mi scordi di te”. (Cecilia Bartoli, Mitsuko Uchida)

      3. Symphonie in D-Dur, “Haffner Symphonie”

      4. Motette fur Sopran und Orchester “Exsultate, jubilate” (Cecilia Bartoli)

      5. Rezitativ und Arie des Grafen aus “Le nozze di Figaro” (Thomas Hampson)

      6. Duett Zerlina und Don Giovanni “La ci darem la mano” (Cecilia Bartoli, Thomas Hampson)

      7. Final choir of “The Magic Flute.”

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    • #2395832

      And more music and singing:

      Opera gala: arias from Mozart, Verdi, Rossini and others.
      (Including one that one always gives me goose bumps: the aria of the “Flower Duet” from Lakmé of Delibes. And a most remarkable tour de force performance of “The birds in the arbor” of the “Tales of Hoffman” by Simone Kermes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXUMqSWpomA

      From the YT Notes:

      Beautiful arias by Mozart, Verdi, Rossini and other famous composers!
      In May 2016, international stars like Roberto de Biasio, Ingeborg Gillebo, Robin Johannsen and Simone Kermes performed these famous Arias at the 5th opera gala in Bonn. The fundraising event was organised by the German AIDS Foundation … and the proceeds went to projects in Germany and Mozambique.

      And  with Julia Novikova.

      Program:

      0:00 Overture (Le nozze die Figaro — Mozart)
      4:20 Chiara Skerath: “Deh vieni, non tardar” (Le nozze di Figaro — Mozart)
      8:55 Julia Novikova: “Je veux vivre” (Roméo et Juliette — Gounod)
      13:20 Robin Johannsen: “O wär ich schon mit Dir vereint” (Fidelio — Beethoven)
      16:55 Ingeborg Gillebo: “Il segreto per esser felici” (Lucrezia Borgia — Donizetti)
      20:15 “O mon Dieu” – Theater Bonn Opera Chorus (Jerusalem — Verdi)
      25:30 Simone Kermes: “Gran Dio! Giusto Dio che umile adoro” (Tancredi — Rossini)
      33:20 Davide Luciano: “Felice ancor… per me giunto” (Don Carlos — Verdi)
      37:40 Marina Prudenskaya: “O don fatale” (Don Carlos — Verdi)
      42:40 Roberto De Biasio: “Quando le sere al placido” (Luisa Miller — Verdi)
      46:10 Ingeborg Gillebo/Robin Johannsen: “Dôme épais le jasmin” (Lakmé — Delibes)
      51:40 Robin Johannsen: “Voi avete un cor fedele” (Mozart)
      58:30 Davide Luciano/Julia Novikova: “Pronta io son!” (Don Pasquale — Donizetti)
      1:06:00 Simone Kermes: “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” (Les contes d‘Hoffmann — Offenbach)
      1:11:55 Davide Luciano: “Largo al factotum” (Il barbiere di Siviglia — Rossini)
      1:16:40 Roberto de Biasio: “Non ti scordar di me” (Ernesto de Curtis)
      1:20:30 Julia Novikova: “Il bacio” (Arditi)
      1:25:10 Matia Prudenskaya: “Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein” (Die Fledermaus — Strauss)

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    • #2396061

      Quatuor Ebène : Bela Bartok String quartet Nr. 4 C-major Sz 91

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_XNfKk-Qbs

      Beethoven: Grosse Fuge In B Flat, Op.133

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyDjb6E9eU

       

      It took nearly one century to get to Bartok’s quartet from the year when Beethoven wrote his own number 13, with the Goße Fuge as its last movement, later replaced by another more conventional ending and made into a separate “single-movement work for string quartet.”
      As such, other than in the view of some great musicians of his day, such as Schubert, who admired it, this work was unpopular with audiences, reviled by the critics and performed only a few times over the decades that went past since then. He never heard it performed, not could he had even if this had been done in his presence, as he was deeply deaf by then. Stravinsky, in the 20th Century, when it was finally understood as being one of the most transcendental compositions in all of Western music, described it as “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.”

      This was how Beethoven, consciously, or perhaps intuitively, was moving at the end of a life too short for realizing all that he had in him yet to get done. He was 56 when he died a short few years after composing No. 13, and just starting to go along a new, unmarked, unexplored path to the future. Bartok’s may sound like an echo — but it is really a testimony of two creative geniuses arriving at the same place along their own separate ways. With the arrival of the first anticipating that of the second for such a very long time. And the second coming along when the time was finally right for both to be heard and their works rightly appreciated.

      Béla Bartok quartets are considered to be among the greatest musical compositions of the 20th Century.
      Easy-listening pieces to play on the stereo for relaxation or when studying, they are not.

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    • #2396120

      Of the works of Bartók, this is perhaps the most accessible, certainly the most popular:

      Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra (1943)  (*)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG26BMDVR9E

      This concerto was written less than two years before he died of leukemia in September of 1945, at age 64.
      So last month was the 76 anniversary of his death, while in March it was the 140 of his birth.

      Bartók was many things in music: performer, composer, collector and compiler of folk music, mainly from Central Europe. Many of his compositions were inspired by, and musically inclusive of ideas taken from folk music, although they are not exactly folksy.
      He was born well before the World Wars, in what still was the Kingdom of Hungary, the other half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The coming of Nazism and their taking power in Hungary, something he made no bones about how much he disliked, and the start of World War II forced him and his wife to exile themselves in the USA, where he lived the rest of his life. In 1988 his remains were returned to Hungary and given there a state funeral and buried alongside his wife, who had preceded him there after his death. He is considered as one of the two greatest of Hungarian composers, along with Franz Liszt.

      One of his best known compositions is this one:

      Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, hr-Symphonic Orchestra, Frankfurt ∙ Orozco-Estrada conductor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bX1BVXJak

      And this is a recording of him at the piano, with some words from him introducing the work as it goes along:

      Béla Bartók plays Bartók “For Children”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3un2XV9E6Y

       

      (*) “Concerto for Orchestra”, because the various groups of instrument players, at various times, are the “soloists” of this concerto intended for the orchestra. That is why the conductor asks them, when the performance is over, to stand up by groups, to receive  a special applause from the audience.

      More about this composer here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9la_Bart%C3%B3k

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    • #2396136

      This is a prayer of nearly twenty centuries and one hundred generations of suffering the capricious abuses of the powerful, the terror of plagues, the incomprehensible devastations of war, the knowledge of the inevitability of death and that the world is ruled by blind chance, is in constant change and is indifferent to us:

      Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,     Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
      miserere nobis.                         have mercy on us.
      Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,     Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
      dona nobis pacem.                       grant us peace.

      (Slide the bar to read both versions)

      And those are the very words that end one of the most extraordinary of all choral works I have heard in my whole life, in this magnificent version:

      Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa Solemnis   Solemn Mass   in D Major

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bI9-DTloKU&list=TLPQMTYxMDIwMjHni1xLuDcETg&index=2

      Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Christa Ludwig (mezzosoprano) Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Nicola Zaccaria (bass) Philharmonia Orchestra Wiener Singverein Herbert von Karajan recorded in 1958 .

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    • #2396144

      And about those devastations of war — and those abuses of power — in our own times:

      Ludwig van Beethoven Missa Solemnis in D Major, op 123

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpS_O-2-fQI

      Krassimira Stoyanova, Elīna Garanča, Michael Schade, Franz Josef Selig, Conductor Christian Thielemann, Orchestra and Chorus of the City of Dresden.

      Performed in remembrance of the February 13th, 1945 destruction of Dresden in a firestorm caused by incendiary bombs dropped during a massive aerial attack that killed perhaps 20,000 of its inhabitants, at less than three months of the end of the war.
      On the occasion of the reopening of the “Semperoper”, Dresden’s Opera House on February 13th 1985, destroyed during the attacks.

      And still almost five long years to go before the fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989.

      Notice that at the entrance of conductor and singers when the function is about to start, and at the end of the remarkable performance that follows, there is absolute silence and nobody applauds.

       

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      • #2396226

        Points of historical interest:

        The grumpy-looking gentleman in the principal balcony is no other than the then newly designated, practically speaking, as maximum leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. The man who, with a few high-level allies was going to start pushing for the modernization and liberalization of the soviet regime, moving gradually towards more democracy and defusing the escalating Cold War by signing nuclear arm reduction treaties with the then President of the USA, Regan. And who, in so doing all of the above, was going to upset the apple cart of the soviet world, including its East German allies, some of whose leaders were sharing the balcony with him.

        Among other things, he kept the soviets from intervening (i.e. not sending in the tanks) to do something to stop the by then openly-crossing East Germans going through Hungary into Austria, and this resulted, eventually, in a new East German regime deciding not to stop (i.e. by shooting them to death) people from crossing into West Germany, a dramatic development that no long after culminated in the demolishing of the Berlin Wall. A wall that I visited once, when it was still part of a functioning, formidable and lethal mechanism for enforcing the city’s East-West separation, one time I went to West Berlin for a meeting in the early 1980’s, in what then was a Western bustling isle in a sea of Eastern red. And a truly interesting, in a funky way, isle that was!

        He was hampered every step of the way by the incompetence of and, or sabotage from the bureaucracy, resulting in a crisis of supply of everyday necessities, such as food at the markets, something that made him widely unpopular. Then a reactionary coup d’etat (*) that, while defeated, left him in a decisively weakened political position and, with the opportunistic intervention of Boris Yeltsin, resulted in his resignation and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, propelling the inhabitants of this world into a new age, an Age of Uncertainty we still live in.

        (*) I was visiting Buda Pest during the coup, and there was extreme tension in the air, as people were all wandering, myself included, when the Russian tanks would be coming down, as many years before did, to regain control and forcibly return the state of things to the days before Gorbachev, firing their guns and heavy machine guns to stop dead any show of resistance, along the elegant boulevards that are emblematic of this wonderful city, that is actually two, one at each side of the Danube.

        CNN was a new development in Hungary, so we could actually watch on TV when Yeltsin made his speech atop a tank whose crew had either surrendered to him and his group, or come in  their support, urging the insurgent troops that were still encircling them in a broad Moscow street, or a small plaza, to “either shoot us or join us” in resisting the coup and marching to protect the Parliament — if my memory of the details of events in that distant and dramatically crucial day still serves.

        On my way to Buda Pest from Vienna along the Danube, the captain of the ferry informed us to those going further that the ship was not going to make the usual stop in what was by then “ex Yugoslavia”, “because of events there”, as the internecine war that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia was already under way, in the heart of Europe, where as history shows, the USA was liable to get pulled in, eventually, possibly at great cost of lives and of treasure. As it finally happened, but fortunately at a much  lighter cost. The whole Western world seemed to be bursting out of its long-standing margins of safety, and its now unpredictable fate was a menacing unknown.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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        • #2396260

          I forgot, almost, to add to the preceding recollection that, during that time so full of disquiet in Buda Pest, I crossed the Danube over the Margaret bridge to attend, in the main church in Pest, an orchestral performance of J.S. Bach’s “Art of the Fugue”, that had a particularly dramatic meaning in those days so full of drama.

          Bach died days after writing the last bars of this monumental work. He had an eye-operation incompetently performed that caused an infection that, in those days, meant a likely, painful death, as it was his. He persevered as far as he could with the work that was part of his great legacy to our civilization.

          In the orchestral version, the instruments, towards the end, fell silent one by one, until only the oboe or, in some interpretations, a violin remains and, after a few notes, it also stops being heard. It is over. In those days of foreboding, not a voice was heard, only the sniffles of those of us whose noses and eyes were wet from the effect of what we just had heard:

          Bach – The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 – Academy Of St Martin In The Fields, Sir Neville Marriner conducting

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5FPC3nSn1E

          The.Art_.of_.the_.Fugue_.JSB_.autograph

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2396220

      This is a great place where to watch and listen to classical music programs and podcasts:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_three

      Here, among many others, there are some archival BBC programs from last year’s “Beethoven’s 250”, with narrators that are very good and knowledgeable.
      Having discovered it as a teenager through records and the radio, I was not aware and so, particularly interested in the one about the 9th Symphony and how it has been used in so many different ways for so many different purposes in so many different occasions, from the Nazis to the EU and beyond:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/collection:p0801f4y/m000qbgj

      (There are two “turn” icons, that move the podcast back and forth and a “start/stop” one in the middle, all three at the top of the page.)

      And two of the repercussions of the 9th:

      The Chagall Window, stained-glass, at the Lobby United Nations Headquarter:

      The memorial, which is about 15 feet wide and 12 feet high, contains several symbols of peace and love, such as the young child in the center being kissed by an angelic face which emerges from a mass of flowers. On the left, below and above, motherhood and the people who are struggling for peace are depicted. Musical symbols in the panel evoke thoughts of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which was a favourite of Mr. Hammarskjold’s.

      https://www.un.org/depts/dhl/dag/chagallwindow.htm

      http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/memory-of-the-world/register/full-list-of-registered-heritage/registered-heritage-page-5/ludwig-van-beethoven-symphony-no-9-d-minor-op-125/

      Chagall.Window

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

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