• 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:

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

    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:

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

    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.

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

    (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 9 months 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 19044.1682 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

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      • #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.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

        • #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:

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

          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:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mBzp5_yR18

          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.
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          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

        • #2384938

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

          Ronald-Binge

          Garth

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        • #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.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

      • #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

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        • #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.
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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

       

      [] 🌹 #нетвойнесУкраиной 🌹 #不与乌克兰开战 🌹 []
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      • #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.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

    • #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.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

        • #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.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

        • #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.

          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.
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          1 user thanked author for this post.
          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.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #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.

          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.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

    • #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)

      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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    • #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

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

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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.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #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.

        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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      • #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!

        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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    • #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)

      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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      • #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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          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

        • #2385219

          “Copy link location” is what you want.

           

           

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #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.

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

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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)

        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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        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #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  .

        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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    • #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)

      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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    • #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)

      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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    • #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:

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/part-i-arent-these-the-greatest-performances-of-classical-music/#post-2125109

      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)

      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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      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

    • #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.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV and Malwarebytes for Macs.

    • #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

        [] 🌹 #нетвойнесУкраиной 🌹 #不与乌克兰开战 🌹 []
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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.

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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

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    • #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

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    • #2396393

      Hahn.and_.the_.Pope_

      After a big helping of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis”,  this is the digestive: Church music as I have known it. From the inside, as it were.

      As a boy, I was the little one, the baby of the extended family that was not a very religious family but adhered to certain religious formalities: baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage, final rites. So I was sent to learn the basics of Catholicism and attend mass while I was at it. The deal was that this was good for me, while I was a child, because it was good for children (and made them look normal in the eyes of everyone else, I imagine), “but when you are old enough, you are going to choose for yourself what to believe.” And at age 16 I indeed did. My choice did not please everyone, my mother in particular, but a deal was a deal (my father was a confirmed agnostic and did not mind, most of my elders did not particularly care, either: Such faith!).

      When I was still going through my Catholic-child stage, the Pope was the not very friendly-looking Pius XII, and the music played at services, if music was played at all, it was to accompany Gregorian Chant.
      While there was a certain possibility that one might hear something a little more modern, the actual chances were this close to next to nil.

      So I missed until my late teens on Bach, I missed on Mozart, and most definitely I missed on Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis”, that I was to discover when I was old enough to be considered old.

      This Gregorian Chant phase lasted in the Church more than sixty years, until Pope Pius XII died and then some years more after his successor adopted the official name of John XXIII (a.k.a “The Good Pope”). Then it was already 1958, and I was finishing high school, making ready for University. And, therefore, for leaving the home town for the wider world. Couldn’t happen soon enough for me.

      Before going into more details on the evolution of church music in the first sixty-odd years of the 20th Century, I want to introduce here on of the greatest compositions of this type of music:

      Johannes Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

      There are several excellent versions in YouTube, and among these I have chosen two at the opposite extremes of the range of interpretations recorded and available as video for streaming.

      The first is one of modest forces, both chorus and orchestra, furthermore played in period instruments, the signature of the Netherlands’ “All Bach” society, an enthusiastic group that has the highly idealistic goal of recording all of Bach’s work, just as their name says:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLbiDrn8IE

      The second one is from a much more numerous chorus and orchestra, with modern instruments:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F7TVM8m95Y

      Prom 26: Bach — Mass in B minor Johann Sebastian Bach – Mass in B minor, Joélle Harvey soprano Carolyn, Sampson soprano, Iestyn Davies counter-tenor, Ed Lyon tenor Matthew Rose bass, Choir of the English Concert, The English Concert, Harry Bicket conductor. Royal Albert Hall 2 August 2012

      My own preference, influenced from my boyhood religious formation, is the Dutch version, because to me is more appropriate to what a mass is for: as an act of affirmation of faith as well as one of reflection and contrition for one’s own faults and trespasses — and a conjuration against the darkness of despair, of evil, and of death. It is really about the attendants, not the musicians, that has a priest as the officiant and sermon-giver, just because it needs one. It might not sound like a lot of fun, but that is what religion, pretty much any religion I know about, is like. Take it from me. (Personally, I am for fun.)

      Now, back to the evolution of religious music in the Catholic Church.

      The Gregorian chant primacy lasted:

      From 1903 and Pius X Encyclical, through PIUS XII until John Paul XXIII and, in fact, until nearly the end of the Second Vatican Council that outlived him (1968):

      From the article in Wikipedia:

      By the late nineteenth century, “operatic Church-music” was dominant in Italy. Churches were known to set Latin texts to such secular favorites as the sextet from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor or the quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto.

      A movement for liturgical reform, including scholarship devoted to early Church practice and Gregorian Chant performance, had developed over the course of the nineteenth century. Local jurisdictions implemented changes independent of direction from the Vatican. Earlier in his career Pope Pius [X] taught courses on liturgical music and chant to seminarians. In 1888, as Bishop of Mantua, he removed women from church choirs and ended the use of bands.

      So Pius X was not big on singing women, or on bands.

      Pius X codified his musical preferences in an extensive encyclical (an authoritative circular letter to all bishops) called “Tra le Sollecitudini”, meaning “Among the Concerns”, that, as is traditional, are the first words in an encyclical:

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

      Vatican II Council

      As in many other aspects of religion, this Council, under John Paul XXIII, liberalized the playing of music, allowing for Bach, Mozart, Hayden again being heard in church, during certain services, along with the rest of what I had missed in my church-going childhood, and including the possibility of either singing and, or saying the mass in the vernacular, the language of the country where the mass was being said. (In my church going days, the priest spoke Latin, except for the sermon, we answered when prescribed, in Latin, but sang in our own language, Spanish).
      This new Pope was a reformist and a courageous priest that, while Archbishop of Bulgaria, had sheltered and helped escape many persecuted Jews from the Nazis, by providing them with certificates of immigration to be able to travel to Palestine by safe routes and then settle there.

      And so we get to Hilary Hahn performing Mozart 3rd concerto for violin in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, the immediate predecessor of the current one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhQAtkXOK6o

      Hilary Hahn, violin
      Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
      Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
      Birthday Concert for Pope Benedict XVI (2007)

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      • #2396402

        Too late to fix it now, so just to clear one thing up: He was officially called Pope John XXIII all the way; that “Paul” sneaked in there when I was not looking.

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    • #2397006

      crows.over_.wheat_.field_.van_.gogh_

      The Swan Songs, some of those works of art created in the full knowledge that death was coming and coming soon for the artist, those are among the finest, and are also gestures of what? Defiance? Acceptance? Fear?

      The Romantic movement of the early through late nineteen century was inspired by the idea of the Sublime: a thing awe-inspiring, a thing of superhuman grandeur, a thing of “terrible beauty.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/aug/19/scienceandnature

      And what is, of all things, the one of the most terrifying beauty, the one that is more so than the chilling infinity of the Cosmos revealed by a cloudless sky in a moonless night, the ragged hills, the torrential rivers, the ferocious storms, the roaring hurricanes, the bolts of lightning that split the sky in two, the full majesty of Nature at its most ferocious and magnificent?

      Death is.

      Here I have put together three examples, already available in as many separate entries in this two-part thread, written a short time before each of their composers’ death and in the full realization of being in the presence of this ultimate and irreversible fact.

      Schubert:

      This heart wrenching composition, played here splendidly well — that was Franz Schubert’s swan song farewell, considered one of the finest works in all of chamber music:

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

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

      Beethoven:

      This short passage, from the Quartet 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.

      Richard Strauss “Four Last Songs”, that were, really, not just called that, but the last music he ever composed. It is, like Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”, a work inspired by the realization that life is coming to an end for the artist. Sang by the marvelous Gundula Janowitz, this is a work performed in a way that fits its “sublime” topic perfectly. Truly, the topic is one of ‘terrible beauty’, and these are songs to the magnificence of life and the inevitability of its end, when both are finally seen in calm acceptance, as in the name and theme of the last Song: “At Twilight.”

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

      Gundula Janowitz, soprano, Herbert von Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic.

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    • #2397220

      Bernard Haitink has died:

      https://operawire.com/obituary-legendary-conductor-bernard-haitink-dies-at-92/

      There are links in the Opera Wire article to two performances conducted by Maestro Haitink.

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

      Also:

      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) – Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219 “The Turkish” (1775)
      Isabelle Faust, violin, Bernard Haitink, conductor, Boston Symphony Orchestra

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

      Rest In Peace, Maestro Bernard Haitink (March 4, 1929 – October 21, 2021)!

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    • #2397609

      The why of the harp.

      Listening this evening to this Mozart concerto for harp, flute and orchestra:

      Mozart. Flute and Harp Concerto K299. Zubin Mehta, Julia Rovinsky, Guy Eshed

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oj_2Lmb23A

      I started wondering about the shape of the neck of the instrument, the gracefully curved part at the top.

      So, why are harps shaped the way they are?
      The reason is in the physics of sound-production with stringed instruments, the harp being one of these:

      https://www.theguardian.com/science/life-and-physics/2012/may/12/harp-physics

      The length and tension of a string, as well as the weight per unit length (density) of the material it is made of jointly determine the resulting sound produced by a string, in particular its timbre and its pitch.
      The diatonic scale, augmented by the chromatic one of semitones, is the standard in Western classical music. The frequency of the notes doubles at every octave, so the sound of a note having frequency f1 in one octave, has a frequency of f2 = 2f1 in the next and fn = 2x2x2x … x2 f1 when separated by n octaves, or fn = f1 2^n. (“^n” here means “raised to the nth power”)
      This is an exponential relationship, so the lengths of the strings, if these are made of the same material and are all kept at the same tension, would grow exponentially, getting exponentially bigger the more octaves the harp covers. This would result in impossibly large instrument pretty soon. So, by varying tension and composition of the strings along the instrument, the same range can be covered with a much smaller instrument.
      But, as a result of this varying type of string, the curve of the neck does not follow an exponential curve ever rising above the sound box, but the graceful, manageably large, standard shape it has instead, so all harps can be made of the same size and shape to use the same kind of strings in length, materials and how they are tensed, making it possible for a person to be able first to learn to play and then to play the instrument anywhere they might be performing, be it in Greenland or in Mongolia.

      The piano is, essentially, an horizontal or vertical harp with a elaborate keyboard and pedals mechanism for playing it instead of using fingers to pluck its strings and palms to dampen them. So the shape of this internal harp is also one where the part corresponding to the neck is curved in a similar way as in other harps.

      young.lady_.playing.harp-J.-Northcote

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    • #2398427

      Recently released version of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto, with Timothy Orpen and the RSNO Chamber Ensemble, Glasgow. The players are mostly principals of the main Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

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

      I always think this is a lovely piece, liquid and totally tuneful.

      Garth

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    • #2398539

      Weber has been neglected in this thread for too long, I’m afraid.
      Thanks to Garth, this omission is beginning to be remedied.
      (By the way, Weber’s delightful Clarinet Quintet, to me, sounds more like a Clarinet Concerto with a String Quartet accompaniment.)

      Now more Weber:

      Overture to “The Marksman” (Der Freischuz)

      Südfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Carlos Kleiber Conductor, recorded in 1970.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Umd7w5cECE
      This was the first German opera (as opposed to Austrian) that became famous and popular. And this performance of the Overture, led by one of the great conductors of last century in all its dramatic, suspenseful spookiness, is something to truly enjoy listening.
      More about this opera:
      https://www.britannica.com/topic/Der-Freischutz

      And another overture from Weber:

      Carl Maria von Weber: Oberon Overture
      Conductor: Zubin Mehta Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfKvesW59UM

       

      Now, here is that always a favorite, Weber’s Top Hit, many times winner of the Extra-Shiny Golden Gramophone, or Grammy, etc., etc., etc. (And that false ending, that is just a silence, always fools everyone.) Way to go, Carl Maria!

      Invitation to the Dance:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf0on9TKtB4

      Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel returns to St. Petersburg, Russia to once again conduct the St. Petersburg Philharmonic for the 100th anniversary of the legendary Yevgeni Mravinsky.

      “He is, simply put, a master… There is an authority and authenticity in Maestro Tchivzhel’s music making that is indisputably commanding and communicative.” — Yo Yo Ma

      OscarCP says: Nice tempo, too!

      Invitation.to_.the_.Dance_.K.M.von_.Weber_

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      • #2398833

        It was wonderful last night to be able to experience a live concert again, after nearly two years! The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed in Perth, Scotland, in Schumann’s 2nd Symphony, and coincidentally another Weber favourite, his 1st clarinet concerto. It was much appreciated by all that the orchestra came and performed, admittedly only about 45 strong rather than the more usual c70 performers, but that was doubtless due to social distancing.

        Unfortunately this BBC orchestra don’t have the Weber work available on Youtube, but here is an equivalent with Jörg Widmann, who was indeed the director and clarinet soloist last night.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37kaymgFkUI

        Garth

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        • #2398962

          This is a concerto I was not familiar with, so I did a bit of research and it turned out that: Yes! It is meant to be conducted, as usual, by someone with a baton and hand gestures directing the orchestra from the front of the stage.

          Some concerti for the piano can be conducted by the soloist: Some of Mozart’s for example, because Mozart himself would conduct some of them from the piano, so he made it easier by the way he wrote those concerti. But in this case …

          These Cologne musicians did it … how? It must have taken who knows how many rehearsals to get everything synchronized enough that the soloist, with both hands occupied most of the time playing the clarinet, could lead the orchestra with whole body movements requiring some acrobatic ability and sheer physical endurance. And also with the previously agreed actions that “the moment I play this note, in this measure, you, you and you do this like so, the rest does the other this way.” And, with all that to deal with, they not just pulled it off, but did it so splendidly.

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    • #2398623

      The Goldberg Variations heard from three players at three times in life:

      Wanda Landowska:

      I was 17 and she was no more, but the electronic ghost of her, playing from an old recording, opened wide the past of music to me:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jS873pDWNs

      Glenn Gould:

      A stranger in a strange land, I was getting lost; this music, from his piano, was the way back to myself:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwas_7H5KUs

      Jean Rondeau:

      In a grim time of disappointment, hatred, cruel lies, an invisible bringer of death, and corrosive fear, listening to this recording I understood that some good endures, that not all beauty is lost, that life still has some meaning and can and must go on:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AtOPiG5jyk

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    • #2398792

      Here is some more Weber and a (somewhat more sedated) “Invitation to the Dance”, not to be pointlessly redundant, even if I would not mind that when I really like something like this “Invitation”, but because of the fantastic old setting of this performance. Watch as well as listen, and feast your eyes!
      Here, in the fading days of the Autro-Hungarian Empire, direct successor to the Holy Roman Empire of the Habsburgs, even years before of the Great War that put an end to it, the remaining of Central Europe kaiserliche Funktionäre, Aristokraten, Könige, Kaisers and Keiserinnen, having arrived in their carriages, along with the commoners that were notables of the Realm (and probably included, more than once, the likes of Thomas Mann, Gustav Mahler, Sigmund Freud, Anna Mahler, Gustav Klein, Erwin Schrödinger (minus that questionable cat), Stefan Zweig …), sat on these very balconies and front rows, slightly more than a century ago:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDvDne3ToM8

      (And, as always, an audience fooled again by that false finale!)

      And a propos of nothing, in the same hall but a decade earlier, another event worth listening:

      Vienna Philharmonic, 1993 New Year Concert, Ricardo Muti conductor. (Commentary is in Spanish: I don’t mind.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uzbsO3rSxY

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    • #2398941

      Carlos Kleiber and the Südfunk-Sinfonieorchester in the 1970 Rehersal of Weber’s overture to “Der Freishütz”, the resulting performance already linked in another recently posted comment:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVk2Glu-7kM

      This great conductor is all business: he explains, he inspires, he encourages: all that is necessary to get a good outcome from an assortment of individuals playing different instruments and with different ideas as to how to use them. And doing nothing more.
      He is demanding, in each case, but for a reason This reason, his reason, might not be a conventional one the musicians are used to, but he makes this reason clear in simple terms to them. He is not showing off or being critically sarcastic in front of, or towards those who had no choice but to put up with him. That is a mark of true greatness in any occupation deign of being considered important.

      The soundtrack is, naturally, in German. I doubt this matters, what counts is the attitude, that comes through just fine.

       

      And this BBC documentary is all about who and what was this man, his mystery, his talent, his characteristic and unique genius. With commentaries of those who worked with him, such as the opera singer Plácido Domingo:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2EUsV2UJ7M

       

      And also this:

      Beethoven – Symphony No 7 – Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Carlos Kleiber Conductor (1983)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNYk0jI1cio

      As someone commenting in YouTube has noted, at times Kleiber is not just conducting: he is drawing the music in the air. This might not make sense until one watches this performance.

       

      Finally:

      Carlos Kleiber: Tristan Prelude & Isolde Liebestod (Wagner):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nYVxH2M7sY

      (Never mind the somewhat noisy recording, what comes through is simply amazing.)

       

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    • #2399114

      The why of the piano.

      Everyone with a minimum of interest in music has seen, some time or another, a grand piano. Or more likely still, a vertical one.

      Earlier on I wrote a comment titled “The why of the harp”, where I mentioned, in a brief paragraph at the very end, that pianos were in fact harps, horizontal or vertical, depending on whether it was a grand piano (or a baby grand) or a more common vertical  piano, like the one at the parlor of my grandparents’ house, that my dear Aunt “Lela” used to play when trying to attract the interest of her very own prince or knight in shining armor at a time when playing the piano was one of the important social graces a young lady of a respectable family should pursue to acquire and perfect, with the lofty goal of snaring a good catch. Although my aunt did played the piano because she liked doing it. Getting a good catch was not going to be a problem for her, with her great looks and clever social skills.

      Yes, pianos are harps (as were their predecessors of the keyboard instrument variety, such as the harpsichord, clavichord, etc.), but there are big differences between pianos played with keyboard and pedals, and the harps played with fingertips to pluck the strings and produce their sound, and palms to dampen them. And also similitudes, of course. In last analysis, harps are harps.

      So here is a general view of what is inside of a piano:

      exploded.view_.of_.a.grand_.piano_

      Two major differences immediately noticed looking inside of the piano and are: (1) that the string corresponding to one note can be in fact a group of three strings, all tuned to the same pitch and placed side by side. And (2) that the sound box in the harp is replaced by a board and also with the space beneath, where there is a wooden support structure resting on the bottom of the piano’s box and leaving open spaces between its struts. The length of each string that is free to vibrate and produce sound is determined by the corresponding pin in the pinblock, at the front of the piano, next and parallel to the keyboard, and by the bridge, a curved piece of wood glued or screwed into the sound board. This bridge is curved in a way that somewhat resembles the curved neck (the long piece at the top) of a smaller traditional, or of a larger concert pedal, harp, and its shape is so for the same reasons already explained when discussing the shape of the harp in “The why of the harp.”

      Then there is the elaborate mechanism for striking the strings, beginning with the pushing of the corresponding keys, followed by the transmission of this movement to the hammers and dampers that make and then quell the sound, plus the pedals that cause, when depressed, for the strings to vibrate freely or mutedly, change the timbre and volume of their sound by striking more or fewer strings in a group of three, allow certain strings, when a pedal and their corresponding keys are depressed together, to keep sounding for as long as desired until the pedal is released, to produce rich harmonic effects, etc.

      And here is the corresponding detailed description and explanation:

      https://www.europianosnaples.com/how-a-grand-piano-works/

      Finally here, another two articles on two important parts of the piano no covered in the previous one:

      https://www.piano.christophersmit.com/frame.html

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

      I’ll leave you to it. You can comment on all this later, if you so wish.

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    • #2399215

      As Oscar said some time ago, “there has not been enough Mozart here”, and rather surprisingly there has not been any performance of his Flute Concerto No.1 in G major in either part of this thread. I propose to remedy that with one released earlier this year by the RSNO with Principal Flute Katherine Bryan taking the lead.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlgVrBzD95M

      As with all recent live performances, the orchestra is considerably diminished for safety reasons, but in this case that is not really a problem. I suspect with an orchestra of less than 30 we are getting back more towards what the composer might have experienced in the late 18th Century.

      And for good measure, the Mozart Oboe concerto in C major by the same orchestra, with Principal Adrian Wilson in the lead, again conducted by Gregory Batsleer.

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

      Whatever the case, it’s always good to get back to Mozart!

      Garth

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    • #2399403

      About Katherine Bryan. And flutes in general:

      Excellent flute player and a fine interpretation of Mozart.
      (Also interesting choice of décolletage.)
      It looks like she is a well-regarded flute-player:

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

      It says in this article that in 2003, at age 21, soon after graduating from the well-regarded Juilliard School of Music, she made her debut at New York’s Lincoln Center playing the very concerto by Mozart kindly linked by Garth in his previous comment, and that she has had a distinguished career since.

      Also she is the principal flute at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

      Good of the RSNO to put these shows: it may not be not quite the same as in old times, but they are a sign of recovery and a source of hope for us who are still not too sure what is now the best way forward in this covid mess.

      Old times:

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

      New times:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUmsTNsind8

      The transverse flute she is playing represents where things stand now with an instrument that has been evolving over many millennia.

      The flute is one of the most ancient of musical instruments, the oldest known being dated to more than 40,000 years ago, during the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic).
      These flutes were not only made by modern humans, essentially like us, but also by Neanderthals, which puts a new twist in the commonly held idea that they were not sentient enough to invent some form of art:

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

      And here is more Katherine Bryan playing, in 2015, an arrangement for solo flute of Massenet’s “Meditation” from his opera “Thaïs.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIMSlHoao6E

      And here is more “Meditation”, delightfully played by two young ladies I’ve never heard of, one in flute, the other in harp:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L50mCM2yHIY

      Then there is my story of playing a quena, a Quechua flute from the high Andes, with a design from at least the time of the Incas (originally made also with the long leg bone of a condor, as bird bones are hollow).
      One of my female relatives had given it to me as a present, and I had repaired to play it far from anyone else, one day during a school vacation, when I was staying with an aunt that had a state out in the country. So I found a conveniently shaped tree and sat on its roots, leaning against the trunk and there played and played. After a while something made me look around and then I saw some twelve cows, forming a semicircle of some eight or ten meters in radius and centered on me, listening attentively. Best audience I ever had.

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    • #2399815

      OK: The time for unleashing onslaughts of deserved superlatives on someone’s work is right now:

      When it comes to superb musical works, J.S. Bach’s partitas and sonatas for solo violin are music of incomparable power and beauty, because they are, along with his sonatas for solo violoncello, first and foremost, some of the greatest works of art ever created by a human mind.
      These recordings of performances by Arthur Grumiaux, who was one the greatest of great violinists of the last century, with pops, scratches and all, are pure joy to listen to:

      Bach Arthur Grumiaux ‎– Complete Sonatas And Partitas For Solo Violin

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKy-X_3OQfw

      And for those who can read music, the score is shown in the video, page following page, as the music plays on.

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    • #2400599

      The slow and eerily beautiful song cycle “The nights of summer” by Hector Berlioz:

      Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Les Nuits d’été, Op. 7 (with lyrics from poems by Théophile Gautier)

      Nicolai Gedda, tenor (11 Jul.1925 – 08 Jan.2017)   Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
      Conducted by Silvio Varviso, Feb. 25, 1968.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jebFUgG7KKs

      1. Villanelle                       Villanelle (a kind of song)
      2. Le spectre de la rose   The ghost of the rose
      3. Sur les lagunes            On the lagoons
      4. Absence                       Absence
      5. Au cimetière                 At the cemetery
      6. L’Île Inconnue              The Unknown Island

      Villanelle

      When the new season has come,
      when the cold has disappeared,
      together we will go, my lovely one,
      to gather lilies-of the valley in the woods.
      Beneath our feet picking the pearls
      that one sees trembling in the morning.
      We will go to hear the blackbirds whistle.

      Spring has come, my lovely one,
      this is the month blessed by lovers;
      and the bird, smoothing its wing,
      speaks its verses from the rim of its nest.
      Oh! Come here, onto this mossy bank
      to speak of our beautiful love,
      and say to me, in your sweet voice,
      Forever!

      Far, very far, wandering from our path,
      setting to flight the hidden rabbit,
      and the buck, in the mirror of the spring
      admiring its great twisted antlers;
      then home, all happy and at ease,
      lacing our fingers together like baskets,
      we’ll return, carrying wild strawberries.

      II The ghost of the rose

      Lift your closed eyelids,
      touched by a virginal dream!
      I am the ghost of a rose
      which you wore last night at the ball.

      You took me, still pearled
      with silver tears from the watering can,
      and, throughout the star-filled festival
      you carried me all the evening.

      Oh you who were the cause of my death,
      without your being able to chase it away,
      every night my rose-colored ghost
      will dance by your pillow.

      But fear nothing; I claim
      neither mass nor requiem.
      This light perfume is my soul,
      and I have come from paradise.

      My destiny is worthy of envy
      and to have a fate so beautiful
      more than one might have given his life;
      since your bosom is my tomb,

      And upon the alabaster where I rest
      a poet has written with a kiss:
      “Here lies a rose
      which all kings might envy.”

      III On the lagoons

      My beautiful friend is dead;
      I will weep forever.
      Into the tomb she has carried
      my soul and my heart.
      To heaven, without waiting for me,
      she has returned;
      the angel who led her
      did not want to take me.
      How bitter is my fate!
      Ah! To go to sea without love!

      The fair creature
      is lying in her coffin;
      how everything in nature
      seems to me to be in mourning!
      The forsaken dove
      weeps and dreams of the absent one.
      My soul weeps and feels
      that it has lost its partner!
      How bitter is my fate!
      Ah! To go to sea without love!

      Over me the immense night
      spreads itself like a shroud.
      I sing my romance
      which only heaven hears:
      Ah! How beautiful she was
      and how I loved her!
      I will never love
      another woman as much as I loved her…
      How bitter is my fate!
      Ah! To go to sea without love!

      IV Absence

      Return, return, my beloved!
      Like a flower far from the sun,
      the flower of my life is closed
      far from your brilliant smile!

      Between our hearts what distance!
      What space between our kisses!
      O bitter fate! O hard absence!
      O great, unappeasable desires!

      Return, return…

      Between here and there what fields,
      what cities and towns,
      what valleys and mountains
      to weary the feet of the horses!
      Return, return…

      V At the cemetery (Moonlight)

      Do you know the white tomb,
      where floats, with a plaintive sound,
      the shadow of a yew-tree?
      On the yew a pale dove,
      sad and alone in the sunset,
      sings its song:

      A melody morbidly tender,
      at once charming and deadly,
      which will do you harm
      and which one wishes to listen to forever;
      a melody like the sighing in heaven
      of an angel in love.

      One might say that an awakened soul
      weeps beneath the earth together
      with the song,
      and, in sorrow at having been forgotten,
      laments by cooing
      very sweetly.

      On the wings of the music
      one slowly feels returning
      a memory.
      A shadow, an angelic form
      passes in a ray of trembling light,
      veiled in white.

      The half-closed Marvels of Peru*
      spread their delicate and sweet perfume
      about you,
      and the ghost, standing limply,
      murmurs, holding her arms out to you:
      “You will return!”

      *Flowers also known as “Four O’clocks”

      Oh! Never again will I go near the tomb
      when evening falls
      in its black robe,
      to listen to the pale dove
      singing, on the branch of the yew-tree,
      its plaintive song.

      VI

      The unknown island

      Tell me, pretty young girl,
      where do you wish to go?
      The sail spreads its wing,
      the breeze is beginning to blow.

      The oar is of ivory,
      the flag of silk,
      the rudder of pure gold;
      for ballast I have an orange,
      for sail the wing of an angel,
      for cabin-boy, a seraph.

      Tell me…

      Is it to the Baltic sea?
      To the Pacific ocean?
      To the island of Java?
      Or is it rather to Norway,
      to gather snow-flowers,
      or the flowers of Angsoka?

      Tell me, tell me, where do you want to go?

      “Take me,” says the pretty one,
      “to the faithful shore
      where people love forever!”
      That shore, my dear,
      is almost unknown
      in the country of love.

      Where do you want to go?
      The breeze is beginning to blow.

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    • #2400676

      A wonderful tenor, Nicolai Gedda.

      Garth

    • #2401161

      Beethoven was 31 when he composed his Sonata No. 5 for violin and piano, and still had another 25 fruitful years to live and continue to produce one of the most masterful, beautiful and consequential bodies of work in the history of Western music.

      To me this has been, since I first heard it many years ago, when I was the same age as Beethoven when he composed it, my favorite sonata, not only of those by Beethoven, but of all the sonatas in the classical repertoire I am familiar with.
      I am not saying this is the best sonata ever, but my best loved one.

      The music in this video I am linking here, performed by two exceptionally gifted musicians (recorded oh, so long ago!), tastes in my mind, feels in my heart, like the distillation of all the sweetness, the hope, the poignancy and the delight of the bewitching and ephemeral beauty of life:

      David Oistrach and Lev Oborin: Beethoven Violin Sonata No.5, Op.24, the “Spring Sonata.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfm-zJLYWB8

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    • #2401308

      Organist Xaver Varnus plays J.S. Bach toccata and fugue in D minor on Berlin’s cathedral Grand W. Sauer organ in front of a full-capacity audience during the Berlin International Organ Summer Festival 2013:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHNLdHe8uxY

      The organ:
      This organ has a very large number of pipes (over 7,000), more than 100 registers (*)  and six keyboards: four manuals and two pedals:

      https://www.berlinerdom.de/en/visiting/about-the-cathedral/great-sauer-organ/

      The organ’s maker:

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

      Excerpts from the article on the organ:

      At its inauguration in 1905, the organ was considered to be the largest in Germany with 7269 pipes and 113 registers, which were spread across four manuals and pedals. Organ designer to the court, Wilhelm Sauer, from Frankfurt/Oder created an instrument that, at the time, embodied the latest in technological and musical innovation to be found in German organ design.

      The organ thus met the high standards set by the awarding authorities and the organ designer: at the Evangelical Cathedral in the capital city of Berlin, it was envisaged that a prestigious, modern and exceptionally high-quality instrument should deliver a beautiful sound.”

      The Berlin Cathedral organ embodies the pinnacle of design efforts by Sauer, and also signals the end of the long-term development of Romantic orchestral organs, whose tonal characteristics were a perfect fit with the Symphony Orchestras of the time.

      Today the organ found in Berlin Cathedral is the largest preserved organ in its original state, dating back to the ‘Late Romantic’ period.”

      (*) (*) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_stop

      Berlin.Cathedral.Organ_

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    • #2402032

      This is a thread dedicated to the great performances of classical music available on YouTube and similar streaming services.
      I’m sure this one, barely 26 minutes long, qualifies:

      J.S. Bach – Magnificat In D Major, BWV 243 | John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir – Period Instruments
      Nancy Argenta: Soprano I
      Patrizia Kwella: Soprano II
      Charles Brett: Alto
      Anthony Rolfe-Johnson: Tenor
      David Thomas: Bass

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJQJkZKay2Q

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    • #2402048

      And as great is as great does, here is a great and possibly historical performance that certainly belongs in this thread:

      Ravi & Anoushka Shankar in  concert

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

      Four Ragas (*)

      There is no information as to when this performance took place, or who were the guys accompanying on tabla drums, but it might have been back in the 70s.

      The following comment, published in the same page of the video, is interesting:

      Shankar performed at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971, held at Madison Square Garden in New York. After the musicians had tuned up on stage for over a minute, the crowd of rock-music fans broke into applause, to which the amused Shankar responded, “If you like our tuning so much, I hope you will enjoy the playing more.” I will never forget it !

      While I have remarked several times that this thread is primarily for classical music in the Western tradition (and good non-classical, such as Bossa Nova, etc., examples of this already here and in Part I), that is simply because I do not know much about other traditions and might recommend something not so great. But with these artists even I can’t go wrong.

      (*) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raga

      Rāgas, in the Hindu tradition, are believed to have a natural existence. Artists don’t invent them, they only discover them. Music appeals to human beings, according to Hinduism, because they are hidden harmonies of the ultimate creation.

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    • #2402807

      Some people, after listening to some of Mozart’s quick and dirty made-to-order works, may ask: And this guy was supposed to be such a genius? Really?

      Well, listening to this one, they will have to agree that, yes, he was:

      Mozart | Clarinet quintet K581 in A major – Armida Quartet, Sabine Meyer Clarinet

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTNbclgU3h4

      Martin Funda, Violin
      Johanna Staemmler, Viloin
      Teresa Schwamm, Viola
      Peter-Phlilipp Staemmler, Violoncello

      Very good recording: Good to listen to, and also to look at:

      Mozart.clarinet.quintet.Armida.Meyer_-1

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    • #2403238

      There are some musical performances the memory of which forever I carry with me, recorded in my memory and in my heart, because of their intrinsic beauty and excellence and also because of peripheral factors that, in the context of where and when the performance took place, are relevant and must be kept in mind.

      Of those performances, this is one:

      BEETHOVEN Concerto for Violin and Orchestra – Hilary Hahn, violin; Leonard Slatkin, conductor, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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

      From a musical point of view, not only is this performance remarkably good in general, but it has moments such as the long cadenza, where the violinist plays solo while the conductor keeps his hands on his lap and the musicians held still, while some in the orchestra are obviously very impressed by what the soloist is creating, as if by magic, out of thin air by vibrating just four strings with a piece of wood and horse hair, towards the end of the first movement. There the soloist does a rendition that is past excellent, because it is the performance of a lifetime.

      And this goes beyond the performance itself: it is played in the city of Detroit in the State of Michigan in the United States of America.
      This used to be the world capital of automobile making, and also a place where aspiring and consecrated popular composers, musicians and singers would throng to put together and play and sing songs that were very often top of the charts.

      Then the two oil crises of the late Seventies happened; the more fuel-frugal autos from Japan and Europe started to be bought by people that could no longer afford the price of gasoline the gas-guzzlers locally made needed to keep running, because of the accompanying economic crisis …

      And then the majestic, sparkling, chrome and fin-tailed carriages coming out of the great Michigan car factories started to loose buyers.

      And then, one by one, the car factories started to close, leaving thousands of many until then well-paid workers out of work, for whom a source of pride was what they used to do in their jobs. And many of the factories never reopened.

      And then this snowballed right into the local businesses and these closed down too.

      And then this great city went into a decline that has lasted, mercilessly, more than three decades and from which, so far, it has never fully recovered.

      And so it became many sad things, the saddest, in my own mind, what I call “The City that Fun Forgot.”

      So watching this performance does make me happy, does warm my heart, because of where and when it happened, because for a magical hour, people there are obviously having fun. After days of hard work rehearsing, the musicians are flying in their minds, carried aloft as if by a great wind of music, while great music is flying from their fingers and their mouths. And there are smiles in many lips, certainly in those of the soloist, that are the easiest to spot.
      And more smiles when people, carried out by their enthusiasm after hearing that long, incredible cadenza, start applauding out of turn, just at the end of the first movement.

      And this great and lovable man, Leonard Slatkin, is conducting the attentive musicians of the orchestra as the true Maestro he is, but there is something kind and soft in the demeanor of this massive bear of a man.

      According to Wikipedia:

      Slatkin is credited with having rebuilt the DSO [Detroit Symphonic Orchestra] after a six-month strike and elevating it as a pillar of civic pride through innovative live webcasts and engaging community programming

      The long cadenza:

      The-Long-Cadenza

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    • #2403547

      Mitsuko-Uchida

      Mitsuko Uchida is one of the great pianists of our day and has been so for many years.
      She belongs to the group of greatest piano performers of the last 100 years, with a few others, such as Marta Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Wilhem Kemp, Arthur Rubinstein.

      She is famous as an interpreter of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven.
      Here there are three videos of her playing three works, one from each of those composers, in her characteristically passionate way:

      Schubert Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat: Mitsuko Uchida, piano.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7cc2FD06FM

       

      Here, in Part I of this this thread: #2297935  there is an spectacular rendition of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20, where she conducts from the piano the Camerata Salzburg..

      And here is she playing her favorite Mozart concerto:

      Mozart Piano Concerto No 25 C major K 503: Mitsuko Uchida, piano, Riccardo Muti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIjAGbyQO9M

       

      Seiji Ozawa is one of the best orchestra conductors of the 20th Century still with us and still conducting. He has worked in several countries and some of the main orchestras of the USA, Europe and Japan. He started working with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and then with the New York Philarmonic as Leonard Bernstein’s Assistant Conductor. He founded the International Saito Kinen Orchestra, named after his tutor the music teacher Hideo Saito, where performers from other countries and Japan have come regularly to play together for almost thirty years.
      Recently a book, “Absolutely on Music”, a compilation of his conversations with the writer Haruki Murakami and written by the later, has been published by Vintage, where he reminisces and comments on the performers, orchestras and conductors that he has known in the course of his long and remarkable life.

      Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”): Mitsuko Uchida, piano, Seiji Ozawa Conducting the Saito Kinen Ochestra:

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

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    • #2403565

      Tribute to an old dear friend who passed away this week.

      Pavane pour un enfent defunte, Ravel

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2_c8JRCKq1A

       

       

       

       

      [] 🌹 #нетвойнесУкраиной 🌹 #不与乌克兰开战 🌹 []
    • #2403591

      Fred: What a lovely performance.
      Sorry about the sad news. The more we live, the more leaves us.

      If it is any help, here is something that can take one’s mind far away from the here and now:

      Rimski-Korsakov : Shéhérazade, Orchestre National de France, Emmanuel Krivine conductor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwbRnNTOoZ8

      Parts: “The Sea and Sinbad’s ship”, “The Story of Prince Kalender”, “The Young Prince and the Princess”, “The Party in Baghdad”; “The sea” ; “Shipwreck of the ship on the rocks.”

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      • #2403850

        Oscar, that’s right…. This is so beautiful that one drifts off into new dreams and worlds.
        But first, the pain of loss must be put into some kind of perspective. Now the wound of delayed treatments and misinformation is too fresh;
        Here healthcare has been stripped down too much here in recent years. The good health system that was had to make way for privatization (sounds familiar?). Even the wishes for the very last steps got bogged down in bureaucracy.
        Trying to find new motivation right now.

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    • #2403675

      This is what I call a great performance:
      (I believe that the applause at the end of the first two movements are not mistakes of the audience, but well-earned rewards, as certainly is the rapturous final ovation. As is the nice bouquet of mostly roses Ms. Diakun gets at the end, instead of the usual hydrangeas and sunflowers.)

      Dvorak Symphony No 9 “Of the New World”, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Mazena Diakun conducting.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV0KkYUa6iA

      This Polish lady conductor gives, at first hearing, at least in my not very authoritative opinion, clear signs that she may have what it takes to become — with enough good luck, that is always necessary — one of the great conductors of the 21st Century.
      Not everybody that is not yet a very famous conductor and is invited to direct such a famous orchestra gets out of it, after just several rehearsals, such a splendid performance of such a well-known work.
      If you love symphonic music that is well-played, I think that you should pay attention to her career. She is going places.

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    • #2404616

      What is a “sonata”?
      Well, it’s been different things at different times:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zwjnsbk/revision/4

      Excerpts:

      During the Baroque period (roughly 1600–1750) the word ‘sonata’ was used quite loosely meaning a piece to be ‘played’ rather than ‘sung’. ‘Sonata’ was generally applied to small instrumental works. There was no set form or number of movements.

      Glenn Gould & Yehudi Menuhin – Bach, Sonata No. 4 in C minor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boii0EA6hWo

      ….

      In the Classical period (roughly 1750-1810) ‘sonata’ came to mean a work in several movements. It was usually three, with the first movement in a special sonata form. Sonatas were a popular and important form, and many were composed for amateur performers to play at home.
      During the Classical period the harpsichord had been largely replaced by the piano. Many piano sonatas were written and many composers wrote sonatas for a solo instrument and piano. Violin, cello and flute sonatas were all popular.

      Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven all wrote piano sonatas, violin sonatas and cello sonatas.

      Mozart Piano Sonata No 16 C major K 545 Barenboim, piano

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vDxlnJVvW8

      ….

      During the Romantic period (roughly the 19th Century) some well-known composers such as Brahms, Liszt and Chopin contributed important works to the sonata repertoire.

      The ensemble sonata (for solo instrument and piano) retained much of its popularity, violin sonatas and cello sonatas in particular.

      Brahms and Schumann both wrote violin sonatas. Brahms also wrote two clarinet sonatas.

      Brahms – Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor, Op.5 – Claudio Arrau, piano

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KDAe2GtYmw

      ….

      During the late 19th Century, the piano sonata slowly lost its popularity as composers broke away from the traditional form.

      Although sonatas continue to be composed, sonata form is very rarely used for the first movement.

      The 20th Century French composer Poulenc was fond of the form and wrote sonatas for many instruments including oboe, clarinet and flute.

      Poulenc: Sonata for Violin & Piano, FP 119 — Janine Jansen, violin / Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3AbYdl0tOI

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    • #2404944

      Two concerts of solo guitar by two of the top guitar players of the day:

      Ana Vidovic

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZRtBJRQ80w

      00:10 J.S. Bach: Partita in E major, BWV 1006a
      -Prelude
      04:30 J.S.Bach: Violin Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001
      04:30 -Adagio
      08:26 -Fuga
      13:12 Domenico Scarlatti:
      13:12 Sonata in D minor, K. 1, L. 366
      16:02 Sonata in D minor, K. 213, L. 108
      21:27 Mauro Giuliani: Gran Sonata Eroica, Op. 150
      30:44 Francisco Tarrega: Capricho Arabe

      Alexandra Wittingham

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPhmaUsWX50

      00:00 Sonata K.333 by Domenico Scarlatti on a 2021 Jean Marquet
      3:46 Sonata in D minor K.213 by Domenico Scarlatti on a 2021 Jean Marquet
      10:48 Minuet by Fernando Sor on a 1938 Julian Gomez Ramirez
      13:25 Fantasia for Guitar by Roberto Gerhard on a 2021 Andreas Kirschner
      18:15 Légende Op. 201 by Ernest Shand on a 1938 Julian Gomez Ramirez
      21:05 Le Départ by Napoelon Coste on a 1968 Daniel Friederich
      30:35 Forgotten Impromptu by Madame Sidney Pratten on a 1938 Julian Gomez Ramirez

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    • #2404971

      Modern composers, from around the 1910 – 1920s onward, are not the most popular, although they are much appreciated by many. In my own case, Bela Bartók is one of my favorite modern composers,  Sergei Prokofiev is another, and I am happy to include in this thread this two piano concerti, one from each, performed by one of my favorite pianists. Who, in both performances, earns big ovations, one of them an standing one. If you want to know why, you’ll just have to watch the videos:

      These are the kind of compositions where, to an unusual degree, silences are as important as notes in some passages. It is the mark of a superb pianist to be able to give them all their right values. Glenn Gould, Mitsuke Uchida, and Martha Argerich are among those who have been able to do this consistently.

      Martha Argerich plays Bartók’s Piano Concerto No.3 (cond. Bashmet) – Japan, 2007

      Martha Argerich, piano
      Toho Gakuen Orchestra
      Yuri Bashmet, conductor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJP4fAckpM

      Martha Argerich Plays Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3 | Singapore International Piano Festival 2018

      Martha Argerich, piano
      Darío Alejandro Ntaca, conductor
      Singapore Symphony Orchestra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS0SwRoYAW0

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      • #2406203

        And after a second hearing of the pieces above, I am back here to point out that, after more than 60 years of public performing, from a time when those who were born then are now getting close to retiring, at the end of their careers, Martha Argerich remains supremely in possession of her ability to amaze at the piano. She is probably the most gifted pianist in generations — and she is a gift herself.

        Her playing of the beautiful and diabolically fast passages in those two compositions, the Prokofiev in particular, is as fast and as accurate and with such deep understanding of the drama and humor of the music as it ever has been, and so is her playing of the slower and Jazz-redolent syncopations of the long passage that starts at 26 minutes. Her ability to render an unforgettable performance has lost nothing in the sixty-odd years since the beginnings of her extraordinary international career. The huge standing ovation at the end of her performance by the crowded audience, three years ago, in Singapore, is an eloquent demonstration of how loved an admired around the world this amazing woman truly is.

        For those of us who are of much the same age as Martha, hers is an encouraging example that great things are still possible; that, as the world moves on, so still can we.

        Martha.in_.full_.flight

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        • #2406341

          Oscar, that Prokofiev work I did not know, and although he is not one of my favourites, there is certainly a great vitality there. And what a tour de force – the technical difficulty is so great, Argerich simply makes it look so easy. I think there would be many concert pianists half her age who would settle for something quite a lot less than that performance.

          Half an hour of extremely demanding technical ability, and she looks as fresh as a daisy at the end. What a performance!

          Garth

        • #2406377

          Garth: “I think there would be many concert pianists half her age who would settle for something quite a lot less than that performance.

          Quite true. I believe that even such greats as Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz did not touch this Prokofiev concert when it was already very much around in their time and one that, by contemporary music standards, is close enough to the Late Romantic stuff they played often enough. Of course, it could have been a simple matter of not liking this work, rather than finding it too much like hard work, but for whatever reason, I believe that they did not play it.

          Rubinstein did not ignore Prokofiev, as he played and recorded, for example, this brief selection from the opera “Love and Three Oranges”, a work that I already have commented on in Part I:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S485XY07kIY

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    • #2407214

      Here is a little music presented in a light-hearted manner.

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

      Classical doesn’t have to be stuffy!

      I hope it brings a smile to everyone at this festive time. Have an enjoyable and safe Christmas!

      Garth

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      • #2407288

        Great Mall, great performance, very impressive the entrance of the various musicians with their instruments. Good choice of music for the occasion too: Ravel’s Bolero is ideal, because it does not matter if one comes late to listening, one does not miss much.

        Here, in the USA Malls are not considered cool anymore in many places (although they are the result of poor public transportation, so one needs to drive to wherever one has to go and get a place to park the car once there, where there is ready access to plenty of different shops. Malls have been, and still are, the answer to this problem.

        For example, a very good and elegant mall not far from where I live, with shops that specialized in quality stuff, was bough by a company that decided to demolish it and build a sort of mini-town with shops instead of houses.. The demolition happened, after much litigation by some owners of “anchor shops,” but the mini-town did not. So, on the rubble of the old mall, grass and weeds and substantial trees (the demolition was several years ago) now grow thick on it: Nature has retaken the place. It is a sort of mini-demonstration of what the world will be like once we humans are not around anymore.

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    • #2407322

      A rather similar thing has happened in the city of Nottingham, where following the demise of a shopping centre company in 2020, the former Broadmarsh Centre has stood as nothing more than a half-demolished shell.

      The site was handed back to Nottingham City which immediately appointed an advisory group and held a consultation which gathered more than 3,000 responses from people expressing their views on what should come next.

      The Broad Marsh area used to be a much more orchestrated and organised street space and it used to work very well, but what happened is the Broadmarsh [Centre] itself killed a lot of the way the city worked. The new plan is to bring back many of the streets and routes around the city because  they used to work really well. Add to that a process of part rewilding – a “green heart”, a highly-requested feature during the public consultation – with a baby oak tree from Sherwood Forest in the centre, and “there will be a beautiful panoramic space in the middle of the city.”

      It seems to me that most people like their surroundings to be kept at a human scale, with plenty of greenery, at least here in the UK.

      Garth

      • #2407340

        Garth: Here in the USA too, many of us would like to live in cities built to a human scale, where one can use public transport, walk or bike to one’s destination without the fear of being run over by cars, trucks, minivans, etc., and can also enjoy plenty of greenery. The problem is that our cities are built around the automobile, a triumph of auto makers over good civic planning. And if one value one’s life or the possession of the usual number of limbs, then better avoid crossing the broad, multi-lane “streets” that run through neighborhoods in many places. This, in many ways, is a very strange country. And the only one I know that has a National Anthem that no one that is not a professional singer really can sing. For example, as sang here by one of my favorite singers and pop stars, because she really has brains, a style all her own and can really sing without half swallowing the microphone!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Fw2cxQspM

        “The rockets red flare” and most of the rest is about “the War of 1812”, when the Brits came to teach the bad-mannered locals, who had left the Empire with such bad grace,  a thing or two.

        So they took over Washington, their commanding officers had dinner in the White House, helping themselves to what was ready to eat there and had been left untouched by its now absent residents as they left in a hurry, quaffed some fine wines and liquors from the cellar and then, for a bit of spectacle, torched part of the town, and moved on.

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        • #2407504

          Hmmm  … “the rockets red glare” not “flare.”

          For more information, that line goes further to mention “the bombs bursting in air”; the rockets were British, the bombs were fired from American cannons, in reply.

          The first stanza of the anthem, the part of it that actually is sang as far as I know, goes:

          Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
          What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
          Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
          O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
          And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
          Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
          O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
          O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

          As an ex-resident of Baltimore and having always lived near this city, I know that this is about the Battle of Baltimore, during the War of 1812, when British forces attempted a naval attack on this even then major port city and were beaten back.

          The war ended later, after the British forces left Baltimore alone and sailed to New Orleans and continued the campaign for a while there, until news got finally from Europe that a treaty to end hostilities had been signed in Ghent.

          Even then, some more fighting was needed to persuade the British to leave altogether, as the British did not accept that they were fighting in US territory, as their government did not regard as valid the Louisiana Purchase of New Orleans and a big chunk of North America by the USA from the French during the government of Napoleon, then the First Consul of the 1st French Republic. (Napoleon considered that keeping the Louisiana was not worth the trouble, for various reasons and was happy to get cash for the land)

          That was in 1803. The next year the French Senate proclaimed what, in the event, was to be the 1st Empire, with Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor.

          The USA kept the Louisiana, a territory that today includes a big part of the Midwestern and Southern states.

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    • #2409327

      This thread, divided in two parts, I and II, is perhaps the longest in AskWoody.

      It is about great performances of “classical” music, although the definition of “classical” means more than the concert hall or opera house type of music, although here it is mostly about these two. But what is a classic? Well, it is something that makes such a deep mark on any kind of art that it determines the successive works of others in that art form, be it “serious” or “popular.” Both kinds are represented here, from J.S. Bach (contrapunctal baroque), to Joao Gilberto (Bossa Nova), to Ray Charles (Rhythm and Blues), to Dolly Parton (Country).

      Now, in the Northern Hemisphere winter deepens, so it is good to stay warm at home; and many of us in the northern latitudes, particularly those older and perhaps not in the best of health, are reluctant to leave home because of the current pandemic. Older people have reminiscences, with whole lifetimes of subject matter to reminisce about.

      Winter and reminiscences and being more isolated than ever before in many cases, make for the ideal time to reminisce and to meditate on things that are deep, personally moving, basic and even mysterious.

      So here are some compositions that I think are ideal to inspire serious and often calm — if at times intensely moving — reminiscing, reflecting and daydreaming, executed by true masters of their art.

      These works are all by the great 20th century composer Dmitri Shostakovich, starting with his first violin concerto, and then the whole set of his quartets, some of the most transcendental compositions in this genre.

      So listen and daydream, in the warmth of your home, when the sunlight hours are short and it’s mostly night, often under grey skies, sometimes when snowing outside, while the wind calls from the naked branches of trees and from the moaning vortices it forms as it turns around the building:

      Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor – Hilary Hahn, violin; Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J_kyHTbQcM&ab_channel=furbru

      Shostakovich – String Quartets 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15; the Borodin String Quartet

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-L2vG8nM1M&ab_channel=ClassicalMusic%2F%2FReferenceRecording

      Piano : Sviatoslav Richter. Borodin String Quartet Violin : Mikhail Kopelman & Andrei Abramenkov Viola : Dmitri Shebalin Cello : Valentin Berlinsky Recorded in 1978-84, at Moscow. New Mastering in 2020 by AB for CMRR

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    • #2409670

      The Vienna Philharmonic presents its traditional New Year Concert on January 1st of every year since 1941, during probably the worst war in history, and has continued to do so through good and bad times and this New Year of 2022, however the year ahead turns out to be, is not going to be an exception. The concert is staged in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, the home of the Vienna Philharmonic and the video, as in the past, will show not only the orchestra playing but also accompanying clips of ballet performances by the Vienna State Ballet in various venues, including open air ones, around Vienna.

      The actual event will start at 11:15 AM Central European Time, in Vienna, that is six hours earlier in the USA, but it will be streamed by PBS at more convenient time in the USA and, I hope, elsewhere as well.

      Vienna.Phylharmonic.New_.Year_.Concert

      https://www.wienerphilharmoniker.at/en/newyearsconcert

      A brief outline of events and information as to where to watch the concert online:

      https://www.myworldevents.com/new-years-eve/vienna-new-year-concert.html

      Excerpts:

      The New Year’s Concert will be conducted by Daniel Barenboim and include compositions by Josef Hellmesberger, Johann Strauss Jr, Josef Strauss, Carl Michael Ziehrer, Eduard Strauss, Johann Strauss senior.”

      “Live Stream, TV Coverage

      The New Year concert from Vienna is broadcast around the world in many different countries and watched by an audience of many millions. In the UK is has been part of the BBC new year programming schedule for several years now, generally shown live on BBC2.

      You can watch this coverage online here:

      BBC2 live stream

      https://www.filmon.tv/channel/bbc-two

      In the US this is also being live streamed online by PBS as part of their Great Performances schedule:

      Vienna new year on PBS  [Delayed broadcast at 8:00 PM EST]

      https://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/great-performance-from-vienna-the-new-years-celebration-2022-about/13282/

      There should be other streaming sites from where one can also watch, as there have been in the past. If you know of any of those, please chip in with your own comment in this thread with a short explanation of the stream and put there the corresponding URL link. Thanks.

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      • #2409853

        The concert is now available in full on Youtube, at:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZHkkrgzaw8

        Happy New Year.

        Garth

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        • #2409945

          This is the BBC stream in English, for those not familiar with Spanish:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp5OUhDZgYc

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        • #2410382

          Well, for those who missed it, and because both posted URL to the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic (with Spanish and English commentary, respectively) are no longer working, here is one that still is, although I have no idea if it works only in the USA or not. Click “Yes” if asked if your PBS station is …?”

          https://www.pbs.org/video/from-vienna-the-new-years-celebration-2022-wfofco/

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    • #2410476

      And now for some silver and some gold:

      James Galway & Friends Concert (excerpt)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lK6RP0FnJU

      Sir James Galway, flute & tin whistle

      Lady Jeanne Galway, flute Claire Jones, harp Tutti Flutti Flute, Ensemble City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Gilbert Sak, conductor
      RTHK Production 2012

      Mozart – Flute & Harp Concerto in C, K.299 – Rondeau (Allegro)

      Lord of the Rings Suite (11’24”)

      Interview with Jonathan Douglas (19’06”)

      Gossec – Tambourin (21’50”)

      Marais – Le Basque (23’30”)

      Debussy – En Bateau (25’47”)

      Debussy – Clair de Lune (29’35”)

      Horner – My Heart Will Go On from ‘Titanic’ (34’00”)

      D. Overton – Galway Fair (39’00”)

      Brian Boru’s March (44’00”) Traditional

      Rimsky Korsakov – Flight of the Bumblebee (46’15”)

      Arranged by D. Overton – Badinereelerie (47’40”)

      John Denver – Annie’s Song (51’40”)

      Henry Mancini – Penny Whistle Jig (54’40”)

      Shenandoah (57’32”) Traditionnal

      Danny Boy Traditional Irish Folk Song

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    • #2410486

      Well, the collection of songs sang by Edith Piaf I linked in a comment on Part I has been removed from YouTube, so now I have to replace it with this other one, with nearly the same songs and that has been licensed to YouTube, so it might have a longer life here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqwwyMu36eU

      Edith Piaf: Greatest of torch singers. Every single song in this recording is a classic, because the way she sang it.

      Piaf

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    • #2410915

      Search for: “greatest French singer”, and you get her name right away and at the very top of almost every list. Nearly fifty eight years after her death, in December 1963, when she was forty seven.

      And this entry of mine is about one of her greatest hits, not just in France, but all over the world. Even in countries where few spoke or understood French. That was her magic, the magic of the truly great artist.
      But it had a particular poignancy for the French, the year when she first sang it:

      La Vie en Rose

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFzViYkZAz4

      Written and performed by Piaf in December 1945, in the immediate aftermath of World War II in Europe and the end of German occupation, it was an inspired and inspiring contribution, as a song celebrating passionate physical and emotional human love, to make the French regain their optimism and hopefulness.
      Things were looking up, if songs like these were already being sang!

      Lyrics with English translation:

      Eyes that make mine lower
      Des yeux qui font baisser les miens

      A laugh that is lost on his mouth
      Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche

      Here is the portrait without retouching
      Voilà le portrait sans retouches

      From the man I belong to
      De l’homme auquel j’appartiens
      When he takes me in his arms
      Quand il me prend dans ses bras

      He whispers to me
      Il me parle tout bas

      I see life in pink
      Je vois la vie en rose
      He tell me love words
      Il me dit des mots d’amour

      Everyday words
      Des mots de tous les jours

      And it does something to me
      Et ça me fait quelque chose
      He has entered in my heart
      Il est entré dans mon cœur

      A slice of happiness
      Une part de bonheur

      That I know the reason
      Dont je connais la cause
      It’s him for me, me for him in life
      C’est lui pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie

      He told me, swore it for life
      Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie
      And as soon as I see him
      Et dès que je l’aperçois

      So I feel Inside me
      Alors je sens en moi

      My heart beating
      Mon cœur qui bat
      Nights of endless love
      Des nuits d’amour à plus finir

      A great happiness that takes its place
      Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place

      Trouble, sorrow fades away
      Des ennuis, des chagrins s’effacent

      Happy, happy to die
      Heureux, heureux à en mourir
      When he takes me in his arms
      Quand il me prend dans ses bras

      Repeat:

      He whispers to me
      Il me parle tout bas

      I see life in pink
      Je vois la vie en rose
      He tells me love words
      Il me dit des mots d’amour

      Everyday words
      Des mots de tous les jours

      And it does something to me
      Et ça me fait quelque chose
      He has entered in my heart
      Il est entré dans mon cœur

      A slice of happiness
      Une part de bonheur

      That I know the reason
      Dont je connais la cause
      It’s you for me, me for you in life
      C’est toi pour moi, moi pour toi dans la vie

      He told me, swore it for life
      Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie
      And as soon as I see you
      Et dès que je t’aperçois

      So I feel inside me
      Alors je sens dans moi

      My heart beating
      Mon cœur qui bat

      End:

      La la, la la, la la

      La la, la la, ah la

      La la la la

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    • #2411219

      A musical mystery (at least to me):

      They formed a trio years ago, recorded those of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and a few other big name composers, and then, it seems to me after doing some research on their work, they were never heard of again, as a trio at least.

      They called themselves “Klaviertrio Amsterdam”, or “Piano Trio Amsterdam.”

      Their names: Klára Würtz piano, Joan Berkhemer violin, Nadia David cello.

      Whatever the reason for their disappearance, they left several recordings of those works as beautiful as any I have heard before. For example, the “Notturno” of Schubert, at 38 minutes 40 seconds into this recording, is played with a deep understanding of this composition in a way that is both nuanced and very moving:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6HTkmXtoqY

      And here you can see what they looked like while playing together as a trio:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-3fbG3mk9s

      These certainly were not three amateurs, so I wonder which orchestras or quartets they were part of when they decided to start a named trio of their own, perhaps on the side.

      If so, why did they stop? Because there are not as many works for piano trio as they are for quartets and quintets? So less familiar to audiences and not enough who were prepared to paid to listen to them? I don’t think this is a likely explanation, but who knows.

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      • #2411227

        Oscar, an interesting trio. Although not as widely known, they are all excellent performers, but you have to dig a bit to get information. Below is what I quickly found.

        Garth

         

        Klára Würtz, Hungarian classical pianist, born 1965 in Budapest. She’s specialized in the classical and romantic repertoire.

        https://www.kaposfest.com/en/performers/klara-wuertz/

         

        Joan Berkhemer, As a violinist Berkhemer won first prize at the National Violin Competition Oskar Back (1975), the Prix d’Excellence and first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Colmar (France). He has played as a soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, all Dutch radio orchestras and the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, among others.

        https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Berkhemer

        Nadia David enjoys a solo and chamber music career that has taken her to major halls in Europe, Israel, South America and the United States.

        She performed at important venues in the Netherlands, London, Paris, Rome, and Salzburg,. as well as Washington DC; and Louisville.

        https://www.nadiadavid.com/about.html

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    • #2411246

      It just occurred to me that they might have not continued their trio performances because they got too busy doing other things.

      I read recently a book by the noted novelist Haruki Murakami based on his recorded conversations with Seiji Ozawa, when they got together to do this over a period of two years, while Maestro Ozawa was recovering from a major operation and had greatly reduced his working schedule, so he had time to do that. The English title of the book is “Absolutely on Music”, but it really should be “Absolutely on Performing.” What I got most firmly grasped in my mind from reading it, is how extremely busy is the life of a successful artist, particular in the case of a musician, and most particularly a conductor: organizing, rehearsing and conducting instrumental music and opera performances all over the world, studying, endlessly studying the score of the works to be performed in the next concert, trying to squeeze the composer’s intended mood, drama and humor, with little or no instructions as to the feeling to be conveyed, beyond a general idea from a few Italian words here and there, out of the squiggles that cover the five lines of the staff, or in other words: the score. How much musical learning as well as knowledge of how others have performed that piece go into that! And then come the rehearsal sessions that require building a lot off rapport with the members of the orchestra, the soloists and the singers as well, if they are part of the coming performance, and the sheer amount of physical energy that it takes to do all this. Besides other aspects of these busy artists’ lives, in the case of Ozawa, running annually two young musicians academies, one in Japan, the other in Switzerland, as well as getting together the performances of the Saito Kinen International Orchestra, of which he is one of the founders.

      All this came to mind again when reading about the careers of the three musicians that formed the Klaviertrio Amsterdam, all three obviously seasoned professionals with remarkable careers of their own, as I had suspected.

      Take, for example, Joan Berkhemer, that besides being a violinist, according to the Wikipedia article to which you have given the URL link, is also an orchestra conductor and a composer, a rare combination now days. And they all teach, whether in formal courses of in master class events.

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    • #2419725

      Here is a delicious treat for those who enjoy listening to music decently played and more so if they can read music and may be interested to see what J.S. Bach got to in his “Musical Offering” (somewhat shocking to those of a democratic bent could be, first in the dedication and then in the subtitles of the names of each part, the usual brown nosing due to a King in those days, intended mainly to stay out of serious trouble and maybe gain some useful royal preference in return).

      This work was JSB’s answer to the King of Prussia Frederik II’s challenge to do something with a tricky theme he played, improvising on his flute, what was thereafter known as the “Thema Regium”, or “Theme of the King” — Frederik being a gifted musician and composer who favored the flute.

      This is an animated score with the parts of the various instruments sliding back and forth past each other, moving along at different speeds, etc., keeping pace with the music, to show clearly the clever harmonic and temporal structure of the piece:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23yNGer9Wqs

      For example, following the famous “Ricercare at six voices”, at 43 minutes starts a “Cannon at two voices” (flute and harpsichord) that is intended as a puzzle with four possible ways of playing it, the puzzle “solutions.”

      When watching, make sure to keep some motion sickness pills handy, just in case.

      About this composition:

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

      Excerpt:

      The Musical Offering (German: Musikalisches Opfer or Das Musikalische Opfer), BWV 1079, is a collection of keyboard canons and fugues and other pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, all based on a single musical theme given to him by Frederick the Great (King Frederick II of Prussia), to whom they are dedicated. They were published in September 1747. The Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue which is regarded as the high point of the entire work, was put forward by the musicologist Charles Rosen as the most significant piano composition in history (partly because it is one of the first). This ricercar is also occasionally called the Prussian Fugue, a name used by Bach himself. The composition is featured in the opening section of Douglas Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979).

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    • #2419884

      This is a truly magnificent conjunction of voices and music in a rendition that is both beautiful and appropriate of an ancient church hymn that Bach, being commissioned to write, used as an opportunity to create something wonderful:

      Johann Sebastian Bach
      Magnificat in D major, BWV 243

      Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Concentus Musicus Wien – Vienna Boys Choir – Chorus Viennensis

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUe7kW0aZP0

      Some of those commenting in the YouTube page complain that this version is too slow. Not only the tempo is quite right, but in fact this version is shorter by several minutes than the others in YouTube. Harnoncourt, with the same forces, made at least two recordings, now in YouTube, of this composition and this is the one I like best.

      And this other is one that made that choice a hard one, so I am putting the link here anyway:

      J.S. Bach / Magnificat in D major, BWV 243 / Avner Biron conductor / Israel Vocal Ensamble / Israel Camerata
      Singers: Daniela Skorka, Avital Dery, Ed Lyon, Yair Polishook – soloists

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4CluTzJX9U

      The Magnificat is one of the oldest Christian hymns, it is in the hymnals of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican churches. Also known as the Song of Mary, the lyrics correspond to the words spoken by Mary when visiting her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant, according to the Gospel of Luke.

      The traditional Latin version, sang in Bach’s “Magnificat” and two English translations can be found in this article:

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

       

      By the way: I found this painting from the early 15th Century of Mary with Child, by the renowned Italian painter Fra Angelico, created during the transition from the stilted medieval style prevalent until then to a more naturalistic one, at the beginning of the Renaissance and the quick evolution of figure painting to one that showed an understanding of the human body unparalleled since the Ancient World, and with such novelties as perspective.

      All that blue! In those days blue was usually made using ground lapis lazuli brought from distant Persian mines in what is now Afghanistan, making such a large painting (1m x 60 cm) incredibly expensive:

      https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/lapis-lazuli-pigment/

      Angelico_madonna_col_bambino_pinacoteca_sabauda

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    • #2419894

      So that was J.S.B and his church music.

      Tina.S

      Now, this is Tina S and her electrifying interpretation of Ludwig’s “Moonlight Sonata”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6rBK0BqL2w

      More about her, with some samples of her playing:

      https://www.themusicman.uk/tina-s/So who is Tina S? Tina S was, maybe still is, one amazing electric guitar player to put Jimmy Hendrix to shame and also an enigma: she rose meteorically recording her extraordinary riffs, playing solo with some occasional battery backing but often with recordings of famous rock groups as accompaniment, in videos she then posted in her YouTube channel. She has millions of followers, her popularity is for ever rising, although … she disappeared, from public view at least, four years ago. Since then, neither hide nor hair, not a single chord or even a broken guitar string has been seen of, or heard again from her.

      Paganini 5th Caprice:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tXuYLc6rIg

      Yngwie Malmsteen – Arpeggios From Hell – Tina S Cover

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B4pZBmI_gU

      “Vivaldi Tribute”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGfO2Dgc9Y

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    • #2420969

      Tina S, the missing guitar prodigy, has cited Ana Vidovic as her ideal of what a guitar player should aspire to be like. And rightly so, as Vidovic is one of the very best classical guitar players among those who began their careers and have became well known in this century.

      Here is Vidovic playing Albéniz “Asturias.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inBKFMB-yPg

       

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    • #2421502

      Today I paid my first visit to my new doctor’s office. My old one of 34 years retired at the end of last year and recommended this one.
      One of the procedures as a new patient, before being seen by Dr. Gupta, was to fill in a questionnaire by taping on an electronic tablet the boxes one would check to indicate the appropriate answers.

      Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity
      Daughter of Elysium,
      We enter, drunk with fire,
      Heavenly one, thy sanctuary!

      The questions were mostly on the patient state of mind, most notably the last one:
      “Do you think that your life is meaningless and perhaps it would be best if it were over?”

      All creatures drink of joy
      At nature’s breasts.
      All the Just, all the Evil
      Follow her trail of roses.

      At some other time, this question in the tablet’s questionnaire might have seem faintly ridiculous, but not now: people are getting sick in unprecedented numbers, some very badly so, some may be going to die, some are dead already and their friends and relatives are grieving.
      Business, particularly those that cater directly to the public, are winding down, some have already closed, others are cutting down personnel.
      People are losing their jobs, as the economic consequences hit home and their hopes of further employment are unclear, while the need to be employed is very clear.

      Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt,
      To be a friend’s friend,
      Whoever has won a lovely wife,
      Add his to the jubilation!
      Yes, and also whoever has just one soul
      To call his own in this world!

      But there is always hope, if one knows where to find it. Through the two dark years already gone by and the future still looking shrouded in storm clouds, this is what has kept me adding to this thread touches of what is beautiful, in this case of the glorious music that dedicated, hard working men and women are able to make: a most clear reminder of the beauty of life.

      Kisses she gave us and grapevines,
      And a friend, proven in death.

      Here is one of those uplifting works at its most moving: the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
      Of all it parts, the one that I always look forward to hear once more is the last quartet, sung in fugal counterpoint by the soprano, mezzo, tenor and bass.

      Desire was given to the worm
      And the cherub stands before God.

      The one word that fits the effect of this quartet on me is: ‘transporting’. It takes me, as it has always taken me since I was a teenager and first heard it, to some higher, better, more luminous an inspiring state where I find my heart soothed and replenished in its courage and compassion.

      Gladly, as His suns fly
      through the heavens’ grand plan
      Journey, brothers, on your way,
      Joyful, like a hero to victory.

      The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made of Israeli and Palestinian musicians, has been put together and is conducted here, along with the 200-strong National Youth Choir of Great Britain, during a 2012 BBC Proms’ Concert performed in London to an Albert Hall audience of 6000, by Daniel Barenboim, the notable Argentinian-Israeli pianist and orchestra conductor; this orchestra is in itself a reason for hope:

      Thy magic binds again:
      What custom strictly divided;
      All people become brothers
      Where thy gentle wing abides.

      Be embraced, Millions!
      This kiss to all the world!

      The last movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the “Choral”

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

      Anna Samuil (soprano)

      Waltraud Meier (mezzo-soprano)

      Michael König (tenor)

      René Pape (bass)

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    • #2422961

      Pepe Romero plays J.S. Bach’s works transcribed from violin solo to guitar:

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

      Notable performance, with Romero’s very personal touch.

      Best guitar performance I’ve heard of the “Chaconne” movement of the violin Partita No.2. Transcribed here, I believe, by Romero himself.

      On the spectacular orchestral side, there is also this:

      J. S. Bach – Suites for Orchestra BWV 1066 – 1069 – N. Harnoncourt with the Concentus Musicus of Vienna:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGMJq3APDPc

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    • #2423319

      Trifonov plays Liszt’s Transcendental Études
      Filmed at the Auditorium Maurice Ravel in Lyon on November 7, 2014:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD4T-rNklsY

      I wish I could find this work with Martha Argerich at the piano, but this guy will do, I think: It looks like they have been throwing flowers at him.

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    • #2423325

      Manuel de Falla: thin as a rail, visionary, composer, exile from Franco’s terror, same as Pau Casals, as Picasso, as so many of the truly great ones, the glory of Spain.

      One of his best known works:

      Manuel de Falla – El Amor Brujo (Love the Magician)
      Postsmout Orchestar, John Rosten Conductor
      Unnamed singer.

      1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3XfmRZAQ-o

      Plot: A gypsy woman call Candela (“Candle”) whose husband has died, is haunted by jealous his ghost. She loves someone else who also loves her, but they can’t get together because she is tied by a spell to her dead husband and dances with his specter every night. Some older women suggest performing a spell-casting ritual involving certain words being sang while they dance around a blazing fire in a sacred cave nearby, to dissolve the unnatural link that keeps her attached to her spectral ex-mate by playing a trick on him.

      The ritual fails, but finally the spell is broken; the night is ending, morning is coming. and the gypsy hears the bells in town singing with their tongues of bronze in celebration of the new day, and she also sings, to them and with them, with fresh hope that now that she is free to be with her beloved, “my glory” is coming.

      Lyrics:
      Spanish:

      Canción del amor dolido:

      Ay!
      Yo no sé qué siento,
      ni sé qué me pasa
      cuando este maldito
      gitano me falta.
      Candela qué ardes…
      más arde el infierno
      que toíta mi sangre
      abrasá de celos.
      ¡Ay!
      Cuando el río suena
      ¿qué querrá decir?
      ¡Ay!
      ¡Por querer a otra
      se olvía de mí!
      ¡Ay!
      Cuando el fuego abrasa…
      Cuando el río suena…
      Si el agua no mata el fuego,
      a mí el pesar me condena,
      a mí el querer me envenena,
      a mí me matan las penas.

      Canción del fuego fatuo

      Lo mismo que el fuego fatuo,
      lo mismito es el querer.
      Lo mismo que el fuego fatuo,
      lo mismito es el querer.
      Le huyes y te persigue,
      le llamas y echa a correr.
      Lo mismo que el fuego fatuo,
      lo mismito es el querer.
      ¡Malhaya los ojos negros
      que le alcanzaron a ver!
      ¡Malhaya los ojos negros
      que le alcanzaron a ver!
      ¡Malhaya el corazón triste
      que en su llama quiso arder!
      Lo mismo que el fuego fatuo
      se desvanece el querer.

      Danza Ritual del Fuego

      Tú eres aquel mal gitano
      que una gitana quería;
      ¡El querer que ella te daba,
      tú no te lo merecías!
      ¡Quién lo había de decir
      que con otra la vendías!
      ¡Soy la voz de tu destino!
      ¡Soy el fuego en que te abrasas!
      ¡Soy el viento en que suspiras!
      ¡Soy la mar en que naufragas!

      Final: Las campanas del amanecer

      ¡Ya está despuntando el día!
      ¡Cantad, campanas, cantad!
      ¡Que vuelve la gloria mía!

      English

      Song of the love that suffers:

      Oh!
      I don’t know what I feel
      I don’t know what’s wrong with me
      when this cursed
      gypsy I miss.
      Candela what are you burning …     (Candela, candle)
      more fierce burns the hell
      that burns all my blood
      with jealousy.
      Oh!
      When the river sounds
      what do you want to say?
      Oh!
      for loving another
      forgot about me!
      Oh!
      When the fire burns…
      When the river sounds…
      If the water doesn’t kill the fire,
      grief condemns me,
      wanting poisons me,
      sorrow kills me.

      Song of the Will-O’-The-Wisp

      The same as the will-o’-The-wisp
      the same is loving.
      The same as the will-o’-the-wisp
      the same is loving.
      You run away from him and he chases you,
      You call him and he runs.
      The same as the will-o’-the-wisp
      the same is wanting.
      Damn the black eyes
      that they managed to see him!
      Damn the black eyes
      that they managed to see him!
      woe to the sad heart
      that in its flame wanted to burn!
      Same as will-o’-the-wisp
      love vanishes.

      Ritual Fire Dance

      You are that bad gypsy
      that a gypsy wanted;
      The love that she gave you,
      you didn’t deserve it!
      Who would have said it
      that with another you sold it!
      I am the voice of your destiny!
      I am the fire in which you burn!
      I am the wind in which you sigh!
      I am the sea in which you are shipwrecked!

      Ending: The Bells of Dawn

      The day is already dawning!
      Sing, bells, sing!
      My glory returns!

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      • #2423350

        Oscar,

        A comment and a different link suggests that the singer is Dolores Arriaga.

        Garth

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        • #2423398

          Garth, I missed that comment! By the way, the song is not in conventional Spanish, but as spoken by the Andalusian gypsies, a copla sang in traditional octosillabic quartets.

          Also, sorry about some typos and an ungrammatical expression: the comment about this dramatic ballet suite got dramatically hijacked the moment I posted it, either by the decency filter, or some other one, and sent to “Moderating” before I could see and fix them. By the time it was put back in, unchanged (thanks, moderator, sorry about the bother), the editing time window had long closed.

          And here a Ritual Fire Dance actually danced — it is a one-act ballet, after all:

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

          And when it comes to the singing, here is, in an old video, the fire spell-breaking song, sang, (with one other: “Compañero”, i.e. “Companion”), by the extraordinary gypsy-style “cante jondo” singer Rocío Jurado, who was Andalucian and from Cadiz, same as de Falla:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp-3VMvkXAU

          And since I am at it, and why not? More Rocío Jurado singing “Tierra Seca” (“Dry Land”), by Manuel de Arpe:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN1JX2rTyfA

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    • #2423455

      More Manuel de Falla, in this case the brief symphonic suite and the complete ballet “The Three Cornered Hat” (“El Sombrero de Tres Picos”). Probably his most famous work, both in the original ballet form and in its two orchestral versions, of which the one here is the second:

      Falla: The Three-Corner Hat – 2. Symphonic Suite ∙ Frankfurt hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada

      (Orchestra most vigorously and enthusiastically directed by the conductor, inspiring the orchestra to give, in return, a very lively and really great performance.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOhjQ1WDWss

      As to the ballet: Something about a pretty water-mill miller’s wife and her husband, tricking repeatedly a lecherous local magistrate that can’t keep his hands off her. Other than that, I won’t even try to narrate the plot in more detail. You go and look it up here, if you want to understand anything you see. Or, as most people do when watching an unfamiliar ballet, just relax and enjoy the show:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Cornered_Hat

      Falla – The Three-Cornered Hat Ballet – Proms 2013, Mezzo-soprano Clara Mouriz joins conductor Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic, with the Antonio Marquez’s dance company – London’s Albert Hall.

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

      From the accompaning YT Notes:

      “In Falla’s colourful Ballets Russes’ commission from Diaghilev, The Three-Cornered Hat is a tale of intrigue and jealousy shot through with the spirit of Spanish folk dances.”

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    • #2424552

      And now, who is for some serious soul scratching and scraping?

      Albinoni: (Arranged by Giazotto) Adagio For Strings And Organ In G Minor
      Berliner Philharmoniker · Herbert von Karajan · David Bell · Leon Spierer

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Q8Y9rhLQc

      Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings : Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin Conductor.

      https://www.bing.com/search?q=adagio+strings+barber&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=adagio+strings+barber&sc=6-21&sk=&cvid=EDD22FC4C69D4C75B14C47ECC74CA487

      Jacques Offenbach: Jacqueline Tears, (no relation) Jacqueline du Pré cello, Werner Thomas with Münchener Kammerorcheste
      (And dedicated by conductor and orchestra to J. du Pré.)

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

      Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

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      • #2424595

        Thanks indeed, I had never heard Offenbach’s Jacqueline Tears, and what a beautiful piece it is.

        Garth

    • #2424741

      Who performed it and when matters:

      From the high point of the Baroque Renaissance of last century, roughly the mid- 1950s to the mid 1960s, here is what for me is the best interpretation ever made, then or ever after, of twelve concerti for strings and accompanying harpsichord by Vivaldi, probably at least the first four of which might be already familiar to you, but perhaps you’ve never heard them played quite like this:

      A.Vivaldi Op.8 “Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione” (*) , F. Ayo lead violin & I-Musici  (1959~1961)

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

      (*) “The discussion of Harmony and Invention.”

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    • #2424772

      And while considering old things that never truly get old:

      Arthur Rubinstein, nearly blind and at 88, plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 “Emperor”, with Alexander Schneider and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra – in 1975 and in Israel:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K25fZRwbeGM

      How much you’d think he’s slowed down, eh?

      He used to say that his being almost blind was not a problem for playing, because he knew where all the keys were. And I don’t think he was either fibbing or bragging. He still clearly had good muscle control, particularly of fine movements, and obviously, to go along with that, an excellent muscle memory very well trained by playing so many times certain pieces of his repertoire. And with those long, long fingers of his “like carrots!”, as mi paternal grandmother, that saw them from very up close, liked to say.

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    • #2425374

      I feel that singing as a choir, and doing it well, is one of the finest things humans can do.

      Johannes Sebastian Bach, Mass in B Minor: #2396393

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    • #2425431

      I just came across this pianist I had not heard of before, but going by the number of views of this video of him playing, now well into the millions, it looks like others might have:

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

      He plays a wider repertoire but specializes in Chopin, I think — or did, before he became a Benedictine monk and it looks like he gave up playing altogether:

      Thierry de Brunhoff plays Chopin — Complete Nocturnes

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

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    • #2426274

      Here, with the partiture and an invisible page-turner, for all those who, like myself, are eximious air-piano players to play along:

      Beethoven: piano sonata No. 21 in C major, “Waldstein” — Mikhail Pletnev, piano:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbblMw6k1cU

       

      And the same here:

      Beethoven: Sonata No.8 in C Minor, Op.13, “Pathétique” Pianists: Feltsman, Lortie, Korstick playing different parts each:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_124D_7KoU

      Both works accompanied with unusually elaborate YouTube notes.

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    • #2426904

      The quartet No. 13 of Beethoven is among the highest peaks of Western music.

      It is, along with the 9th Symphony “Choral” and the following three last quartets composed in the years preceding his death, an extraordinary achievement of the human spirit by a composer who was completely deaf, in poor health and in a high-functioning depressive state, grieving the collapse of his hopes for a better world after the floundering of the French Revolution into state terror, the adventures of a jumped-up military officer who named himself Emperor and started disastrous wars with Austria and Russia, and the subsequent restoration and reaffirmation, after his final defeat, of the most reactionary monarchies in modern European history.

      This quartet includes two most remarkable movements: the “Cavatina” and the “Große Fuge”, or “Great Fugue.” The first is a song of deepest despair, the second is something never heard before at the time, that many thought it was a sad sign of Beethoven’s purported mental derangement. It took almost a century to be recognized not as something crazy, but as something a century ahead of its time.

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

      Excerpt:

      A reviewer writing for the “Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung” in 1826 described the fugue as “incomprehensible, like Chinese” and “a confusion of Babel”. However, critical opinion of the work has risen steadily since the early 20th century and it is now considered among Beethoven’s greatest achievements. Igor Stravinsky described it as “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.” ”

      The composition originally served as the final movement of Beethoven’s Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, Op. 130, written in 1825; but his publisher was concerned about the dismal commercial prospects of the piece and wanted Beethoven to replace the fugue with a new finale. Beethoven complied, and the Grosse Fuge was published as a separate work in 1827 as Op. 133. It was composed when Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and is considered to be part of his set of late quartets. It was first performed in 1826, as the finale of the B♭ quartet, by the Schuppanzigh Quartet.

      Now here are two full interpretations of the original quartet, both ending with the “Große Fuge” as the last movement; sometimes (depending on how I am feeling) I prefer one or the other.
      Both, I think, are equally valid and excellently performed ways of playing this work:

      (1) Sharp, acid sound, more genuine late-Beethoven to my taste — and with lots of auditorium resonance as was fashionable forty years ago, and now is deprecated in favor of venues with drier acoustics, so a strange choice for such a modern-style performance:

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

      (2) Sweeter sound, more meditative, an almost Romantic-style approach, equally valid as the more modern one. After all, Beethoven composed this in 1825:

      American Quartet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i29LA1fy5r4

      As always, each of us shall choose what feels best.

      The front cover of the original, separate edition of the Große Fuge, with Beethoven’s own seal at the bottom:

      Grosse.Fuge_.cover_.1st.edition

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    • #2428563

      Debussy ‘s Symphonic Poem “La Mer”, the late great Bernard Haitink conducting the Royal Concertgebow in Amsterdam :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe1pB9KqHRg

      (That haunting duet of flute and oboe in “Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea” at 21:23 minutes and seconds …)

      Though already touching ninety and somewhat unsteady in his walk, using a cane, he conducted standing fully erect at the podium in front of the orchestra and then to receive a standing ovation at the end that most of the audience gave him and the orchestra.

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

       

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    • #2428700

      More YouTube videos of performances at the Concertgebow in a YT channel dedicated to them, here:

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG_xCloLaV2TvXtKOCH-lSA

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    • #2429253

      The first time I heard Dvorak’s “American Quartet” (composed in a few days during the same visit to the USA when he composed the famous “From the New World” Symphony) I said to myself:
      “If the last thing I hear just before my life ends and the eternal nothing closes on it is the slow, second movement of this quartet, I’ll go out feeling satisfied.”
      And I still say the same thing to myself every time I have the great good fortune to hear a good interpretation of it. (And the rest of the quartet is not too bad either.)

      I have never said that about any other musical composition (*), as I am not that interested in how everything ends for me, more in what comes next while I am still around.

      If you are not familiar with this work, listen to it, in this excellent interpretation recorded with a live audience, ca. 2016:

      The New York Philharmonic String Quartet performs Dvořák’s American Quartet

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrqgMrwG4i0

       

      (*) Well, maybe also the last movement of the J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg No. 6. Maybe.

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    • #2429360

      I hope this is the appropriate place to post an International newsletter I received from : All of Bach of the Netherlands Bach Society

      “International Newsletter March 2022

      …If you want to keep informed about the new releases on All of Bach, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel for free and receive a notification with every new upload.

      If you are interested in receiving the following international newsletters as well, please subscribe

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    • #2429728

      In understand that this is a recording of one of the most difficult violin concerti in the whole repertoire. In the YT commentary section on this particular performance, one viewer wrote:

      I believe this is the concerto about which a violinist once told Schoenberg “It would take a violinist with six fingers to play it.” Schoenberg’s answer? “I can wait.””

      Someone count Hillary Hahn’s fingers, because she plays it beautifully! (To be fair, so have many others.) But she is spectacularly good. ” Enough said.

      Schoenberg Violin Concerto Opus 36, Hilary Hahn, Violin, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa Pekka Salonen Conductor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ukPsvh51hI

      Here Schoenberg was trying out his ideas on serialism in a way that I find not very annoying, but rather very beautiful.

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    • #2429976

      He died at age 31, but in composing music like this one, he set free from within himself, with this brief work, something that shall never grow old, as long as there are musicians that can play it; or recordings that can be made to sound this and human ears that can listen to it:

      Franz Schubert: Notturno in E flat major, Op. 148, D. 897, the Suk Trio.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7tA0cv5wxg

      Written c. 1827, the year before his death.

      Suk Trio:

      Josef Suk, violin

      Jan Panenka, piano

      Josef Chuchro, cello

      Recorded in 1964. Re-release from 1979.

       

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    • #2430059

      Ukrainean.refugess.entering.Moldova

      And so it goes.

      https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-entertainment-hungary-europe-united-nations-7900b60d15fc03d89e489c00eb6854a4

      Excerpt:

      ” ZAHONY, Hungary (AP) — The violin was so beloved by Myroslava Sherbina it was the one item she took as she fled Ukraine, along with the clothes she wore. But the instrument has remained silent since the start of Russia’s invasion of her country.
      “I didn’t want to play so I could hear the sirens and we could go to the bomb shelter,” the 20-year-old Sherbina said.

      She is among the more than 1.7 million people who have fled Ukraine in what the United Nations calls Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. The number is up from 1.5 million on Sunday, the U.N. refugee agency said.

      Sherbina spoke at a train station in Hungary, one of dozens of musicians with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine who are now refugees. They were on their way to Slovenia as part of a joint evacuation mission with a Slovenian orchestra.

      Cellos, violins, violas and other instruments lay on the train platform next to their young and disoriented owners. Hours-long train delays caused by the surge of Ukrainians toward borders meant that about 30 musicians were still unaccounted for.

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    • #2430219

      Given the current events in Ukraine, this music is for our times:

      Benjamin Britten: War Requiem;  Benjamin Britten, Composer and Conductor, London Symphony Orchestra, Melos Ensemble, unnamed singers

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsSMCq7pl_k

      0:01 – I. Requiem aeternam
      9:27 – II. Dies irae
      35:05 – III. Offertorium
      44:42 – IV. Sanctus
      54:38 – V. Agnus Dei
      58:19 – VI. Libera me

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

      Excerpt:

      The War Requiem was performed for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was built after the original fourteenth-century structure was destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. The traditional Latin texts are interspersed, in telling juxtaposition, with extra-liturgical poems by Wilfred Owen (*), written during World War I.

       

      (*) Owen is considered one of the greatest of the First World War British soldier-poets — famous for telling it like it was. He was killed in action one week before the armistice that ended the war was signed “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, having received the Military Cross, for gallantry and leadership while taking command when his CO was killed in action and leading an effective counter-attack on enemy troops, during the last few days of his service as a soldier, and of his life.

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    • #2430473

      Which is the right way to play music and sing in war time?

      This is the wrong way:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-60684374

      Excerpt:

      A Welsh orchestra has removed Russian composer Tchaikovsky from its programme of upcoming concerts.

      Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra said it would be “inappropriate at this time” to perform the composer’s music after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

      The decision means the 1812 Overture will no longer be played at St David’s Hall in Cardiff on 18 March.

      However Welsh Tory MP Fay Jones said on social media: “Groan. Putin is the enemy here. Not Russia.”

      In a statement on its website, the orchestra said: “In light of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra, with the agreement of St David’s Hall, feel the previously advertised programme including the 1812 Overture to be inappropriate at this time.”

      And the anti-Russian reaction does not stop there:

      Conductor Valery Gergiev, 68, has been dropped by festivals, concert halls and management due to his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      He was fired as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic for not rejecting the invasion of Ukraine.

      Gergiev’s resignation as honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival was also “asked for and accepted” by the event’s board of trustees last month.

      Not exactly my favorite conductor, but then again …

      Soprano Anna Netrebko withdrew from her future engagements at the Metropolitan Opera rather than repudiate her support for Mr Putin, costing the company one of its top singers and best box-office draws.

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

      Those two artists live in the Russia of Vladimir the First and Great “King Protector of the Faith in Putin and Scourge of the Heretical Internal Enemies of Mother Russia and Maybe Also of NATO”, and not in the UK and certainly not in Wales, for further information.

      Further in the same article, Netrebko actually: “has criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but has not withdrawn her support of President Putin

      Also for further information: People in Russia criticizing the invasion of Ukraine have been accosted and beaten up by the police and imprisoned by the thousands.

      So what’s the right way?

      This is the right way, specially in winter and without central heating:

      https://www.al.com/news/2022/03/ukrainian-girl-7-sings-let-it-go-from-kyiv-bomb-shelter-goes-viral-idina-menzel-reacts.html

      And for those not familiar with this song, these are the complete English Lyrics — that to me at least seem strangely appropriate, somehow, to these days’ appalling events, even if quite unrelated to the story of the movie “Frozen” this song is from. Or perhaps not so unrelated, as this is also about someone’s rising the voice in a song of spiritual defiance against what the singer has been, or is still being, forced to endure, as well as of hope in unhappy times — and for doing this, age is not a barrier:

      Let it Go

      The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
      Not a footprint to be seen
      A kingdom of isolation
      And it looks like I’m the queen
      The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
      Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried
      Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
      Be the good girl you always have to be
      Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
      Well, now they know
      Let it go, let it go
      Can’t hold it back anymore
      Let it go, let it go
      Turn away and slam the door
      I don’t care what they’re going to say
      Let the storm rage on
      The cold never bothered me anyway
      It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
      And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
      It’s time to see what I can do
      To test the limits and break through
      No right, no wrong, no rules for me
      I’m free
      Let it go, let it go
      I am one with the wind and sky
      Let it go, let it go
      You’ll never see me cry
      Here I stand and here I stay
      Let the storm rage on
      My power flurries through the air into the ground
      My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
      And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
      I’m never going back, the past is in the past
      Let it go, let it go
      When I’ll rise like the break of dawn
      Let it go, let it go
      That perfect girl is gone
      Here I stand in the light of day
      Let the storm rage on
      The cold never bothered me anyway

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    • #2430482

      Is perhaps this the right music for these times?

      Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major
      Isaac Stern: violin; Alexander Schneider: violin; Milton Katims: alto; Pablo Casals: cello; Paul Tortelier: cello – 1952

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3tmFhrOgNk

      Why would it be music for these times?

      Because it’s beauty is the inspiring product of courageous endurance and defiance in the face of the most adverse fate:

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

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    • #2430511

      These days our world is on trial, awaiting a perhaps terrible judgement, and the best and the worst we are capable of are the evidence, clear to see for those of us who dare lift our eyes from our trivial concerns and watch:

      “Sheltering from bombs, Ukraine’s ‘cellar violinist’ plays on”

      https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-cellar-violinist-ff8e65a3b0ed452a901d8ab04d7c25e2

      Excerpts:

      Vera Lytovchenko has become an internet icon of resilience as images of the concert violinist playing in the basement bomb shelter have inspired an international audience via social media.

      When heavy Russian bombing of Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv started two weeks ago, Lytovchenko, her professor father and neighbors sought safety in their building’s basement.

      On Wednesday, during the temporary cease-fire in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Lytovchenko was able to return to her apartment for a few hours. She told the AP she was happy to see sunlight after spending two weeks in the dark basement, adding that she and her neighbors are lucky because they have heating in the cellar and food.

      Before the war, Lytovchenko played for the Kharkiv City Opera orchestra and taught music lessons.

      “It was another life … a normal life,” she said of the time before the war. “I’m an orchestra player. I am a teacher in college. I have my students, I have friends, I play concerts, I play operas and ballets. I play Italian operas in the theater.”

      Describing Ukraine before the war, Lytovchenko said: “We had a cultural life in our country, our cities, in spite of the coronavirus. We were vaccinated. It was a normal life. … But now we can’t understand what is happening.”

      Lytovchenko says she hopes that her posts can help raise funds for Kharkiv’s music community.

      “I dream about my little financial fund, because I received messages from all over the world, from all countries. They texted me, they want to help,” she said.

      She wants “to help musicians … and to rebuild our city, our conservatory, our music college, our music school,” she said. “To help our musicians who lost their houses and help musicians to return to their own cities and not to be refugees.”

      Lytovchenko said as frightening as it is, playing in the cellar to lift the spirts of others has given her new encouragement.

      “This is why I do these videos, I try to help, I try to do all I can do,” she said.

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    • #2430514

      For a change of pace?

      Johannes Brahms Song of Destiny; English National Opera Chorus; BBC Singers; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins conductor
      BBC Proms 2019 (Lyrics subtitled)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7g-56J0_B0

      But perhaps not:

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

      And a different interpretation, with somewhat better sound recording:

      hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) ∙
      Collegium Vocale Gent ∙ Philippe Herreweghe, Dirigent ∙

      Alte Oper Frankfurt, 25. Oktober 2013

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    • #2430691

      A truly stunning performance:

      Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem
      David Zinman Conductor, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christiane Karg, Soprano, Michael Nagy, Baritone, Choir of Central Germany Radio, Nicolas Fink, Choir Master
      Alte Oper, Frankfurt, 11 October 2019 ∙

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXU9vqVdudM

      It is called that way, not because it is for the Germans or about the Germans, but because it has for lyrics passages from the German Protestant Bible, one that goes back to the days of Martin Luther. And it is not a liturgical Requiem Mass as, for example, Mozart’s, but an inspirational “Requiem-like” composition for orchestra and chorus on the subject of life’s uncertain span and certain end.

      Ever since I heard it for the first time, when I was an undergraduate student, the long initial part of the second section, with the passage in First Peter that begins with: “All flesh is grass” for lyrics, made a deep impression that has stayed with me.

      These are the complete lyrics of this work:

      https://web.stanford.edu/group/SymCh/performances/S1995/text.html

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      • #2430741

        Oscar, most grateful for this. Wonderful wonderful music, as well as being one of my absolute favourites always. I hadn’t heard this performance previously, and agree it is stunning. It goes to the top of my list!

        Garth

    • #2430823

      Verdi’s “Requiem” has been already included further up in this thread by Sky and discussed there by some of us. It was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
      But I have discovered another video recording of this work, by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, that I find so impressive as to deserve being added here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlq9lJRElBk

      Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem — Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Conductor, Frankfurt Radio Symphony,
      Erika Grimaldi, Soprano, Violeta Urmana, Mezzosoprano, Saimir Pirgu, Tenor, Kihwan Sim, Bass, Central Germany Radio Choir, Philipp Ahmann, Choirmaster

      Alte Oper Frankfurt, 20 October 2017

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    • #2430898

      Still on Verdi’s Requiem:

      (1) The YT Notes in “Show More” incorrectly say that the “Liber Scriptus” is the 1975 version, when in fact is the 1875 one, rewritten by Verdi himself, who modified it to give the soprano more to sing about.

      (2) I did not know until I read it just now in Wikipedia that this composition was written in memory of Alessandro Manzoni in the first anniversary if his death, a writer and sometime politician who had been a staunch supporter of the unification of Italy — a hard-fought goal that took much of the 19th century to be realized — from the mosaic of kingdoms and principalities that it was until then; he also wrote one of the most famous works of Italian literature, the novel “I Promessi Sposi”, or in English “The Betrothed”, a work that proved critical to the development of modern standard Italian. (I read parts of this novel as a student of Italian in High School; it was an alternative to taking French that, because it is not a phonetic language, I decided was going to be too much like hard work.)

      (3) I concur with the summary evaluation of this great work in the first paragraph of this article and have explained this when commenting on it, earlier on #2385115  :

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_(Verdi)

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    • #2432263

      Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 (1944), Violin: Gidon Kremer, Cello: Mischa Maisky, Piano: Martha Argerich

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyt_L7PtZGg

      0:00 – 1. Andante
      7:59 – 2. Allegro con brio
      10:59 – 3. Largo
      16:52 – 4. Allegretto

      Dmitri Shostakovich – Preludes and Fugues, Op.87, Book I – Tatiana Nikolayeva, piano.

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

      In these darkening days when some misguided souls are starting to bash Russia indiscriminately on account of the criminal actions of the dictatorial kleptocracy now ruling there, it is important to be reminded, and reminded often, that when one speaks of ‘Russia’, one must keep firmly in mind what ‘Russia’ truly means.

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      • #2432488

        Still on the Russian theme, this is on the other side of the recording of the Shostakovich trio, with the same interpreters:

        Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A Minor, Op.50, Argerich, piano, Minski, cello, Kramer,violin.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tODgwPVm57U

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    • #2432276

      And more Tatyana Nikolayeva:

      Dmitri Shostakovich – Preludes and Fugues, Op.87, Book II – Tatyana Nikolayeva at the piano

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQPS7CmZlHM

      And:

      Tatyana Nikolayeva plays Bach 12 Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1052-1065 – live 1975

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HY2xbbOnvQ

      From the YT Notes:

      Tatiana Nikolayeva playing Bach’s Keyboard Concerti 1-5 and 7, and 6 Concerti for two, three and four pianos with Mikhail Petukhov, Marina Yevseyeva and Sergei Senkov. Saulius Sondeckis conducts the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, live in Moscow on 11, 13 and 14 December 1975

      Johannes Sebastian Bach:The Art Of Fugue — Performer: Tatyana Nikolayeva, piano.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHumG0H8628

      (Say no more.)

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    • #2432459

      Dolly Parton has been mentioned several times in this thread, because her musical body of work is not just a classic one: She is also very classy herself:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2022/03/17/dolly-parton-rock-hall-nomination/

      Excerpt: (Emphasis is mine)

      Dolly Parton is a rock star whether she likes it or not.

      After the beloved country singer this week asked for her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination to be revoked, the Rock Hall respectfully declined to do so. The foundation noted Thursday in a tweeted statement that the work it celebrates “has had deep roots in Rhythm & Blues and Country music.”

      Rock-and-roll “is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture,” the statement reads. “Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed. Her nominations to be considered for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered.”

      There may be a logistical reason for declining Parton’s request as well. The Rock Hall pointed out that her nomination had already been included in the ballots sent to 1,200 voters this month.

      On Monday, Parton expressed in a tweeted statement that although she was “extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated … I don’t feel that I have earned that right. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.”

      “I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again — if I’m ever worthy,” she continued. “This has, however, inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock ’n’ roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do!”

      Here are two examples that show the range of subjects and sentiments touched upon and expressed in her own songs and her interpretations of those of others that she has made famous:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teQr9-3thSc&ab_channel=CountryQueen4Ever

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OAeSIgELz8&ab_channel=AngelTini23

       

      dolly.parton.and_.the_.rock_.n.roll_.hall_.of_.fame_

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    • #2432656

      More Russian music, as a reminder that Russian art, science and literature are an important part of the universal culture that is the foundation of our civilization, and now is in danger, as in any war situation, to become a victim of the contrarian passions of the moment. We can see this already starting with the cancellations of appearances of Russian artists on Western theatre stages. This is not a real punishment to the Russian government and its supporters, where the effect is likely to be shrugged off while they continue to either carry on, or else helping to enable the barbaric criminal actions in Ukraine, but is really a punishment to ourselves more than to anyone else.

      Russian Piano Trios by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Glinka, Arensky, Taneyev; The Moscow Piano Trio, pianist Alexander Bonduriansky, violinist Vladimir Ivanov and cellist Mikhail Utkin.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwDF05dcAk0&ab_channel=BrilliantClassics

      Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:
      00:00:00 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: I. Pezzo elegiaco
      00:22:40 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: IIa. Tema con variazione: Andante con moto
      00:43:05 Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50: IIb. Variazione finale e coda
      Mikhail Glinka:
      00:55:52 Trio pathétique in D Minor: I. Allegro moderato
      01:01:08 Trio pathétique in D Minor: II. Scherzo: Vivacissimo
      01:04:40 Trio pathétique in D Minor: III. Largo
      01:09:42 Trio pathétique in D Minor: IV. Allegro con spirito
      Anton Arensky:
      01:11:53 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: I. Allegro moderato
      01:25:18 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: II. Scherzo: Allegro molto
      01:31:27 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: III. Élégie: Adagio
      01:38:14 Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 32: IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo
      Sergei Taneyev:
      01:44:53 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: I. Allegro
      01:57:07 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: II. Allegro molto
      02:09:29 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: III. Andante espressivo
      02:16:06 Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 22: IV. Finale
      Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov:
      02:27:23 Piano Trio in C Minor: I. Allegro assai
      02:42:48 Piano Trio in C Minor: II. Allegro
      02:47:30 Piano Trio in C Minor: III. Adagio
      02:56:54 Piano Trio in C Minor: IV. Allegro assai
      Alexander Borodin:
      03:12:25 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): I. Allegro con brio
      03:18:44 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): II. Romance: Andante
      03:26:29 Piano Trio in D Major (Unfinished): III. Intermezzo: Tempo di minuetto

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      • #2432657

        Oscar,

        Sorry, but contrarian or not, I don’t at the moment relish anything Russian, given what is happening in Ukraine. Germany suffered years of opprobrium following the 2nd World War, and I suspect the same (to a somewhat lesser extent) will now occur with all things Russian.

        Garth

        • #2432694

          Garth: “Germany suffered years of opprobrium following the 2nd World War, and I suspect the same (to a somewhat lesser extent) will now occur with all things Russian

          So I fear. The question is: who really losses the most? I have answered that from my own perspective, in my previous comment.

          The Nazis banned the music of Mendelssohn and others because they were Jews or worked with Jews, something that made Mozart, for example, into someone who was considered suspicious of not having been a good Arian. They banned the “Degenerate Art” of modern painters and sculptors. To attack in the passive-aggressive way of cancellations the Russian artists the way it is being done to some already, is not fundamentally different, really: It is not because they are proven accomplices and, or fervent supporters of Putin; whatever the excuses given, it is mostly because of their ethnicity. And that is what worries me.

          I know with close to certainty that reason, generosity and kindness are not going to prevail in this question, for a long time, against prejudice and rejectionism, that mine is an idealistic position. Well, I have made very clear my opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine here and elsewhere. But, if when it comes to still cherishing the good Russian things I am being too idealistic, then I plead guilty as charged: that’s me 100%; it always has been (well, for the most part) and, I do hope, it shall always be.

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

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    • #2433003

      What Happened to One of Classical Music’s Most Popular Pieces?

      Seldom heard these days, some wonder why:

      In today’s article ” in the New York Times this question is considered.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/arts/music/cesar-franck-symphony.html

      Among other things it says there:

      Greeted tepidly then, the symphony waited a decade for its American debut, long after Franck had died, in 1890. The Boston Symphony’s performances in April 1899 left critics unsure, too. The Boston Herald deplored its “wearisome repetitions” but noted the “certain weird fascination that it exerts.” The Boston Globe suggested that it was “calculated to appeal more to the educated musician than to the average concert patron.”

      Now you can judge for yourself:

      Cesar Franck: Symphony in D Minor. Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra, Marc Minkowski, conductor

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRWFjK11lfw&ab_channel=hr-Sinfonieorchester%E2%80%93FrankfurtRadioSymphony

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      • #2433008

        I just listen the Frank symphony again after several years of not hearing it, and I was struck by the similarity of one of the main themes with that of the “Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras” (“For all Flesh {it} is like Grass”) section in Brahms’ “A German Requiem.” (Commented and with a performance linked recently here.)

        Further investigation revealed that Brahms had composed the”Requiem” in the years of 1865-68, while Frank, his one and only symphony, in 1889.

        In conclusion?

        Whatever the conclusion might be, I still like this symphony a lot.

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    • #2433072

      I was listening casually to music recently, and came upon a (completely new to me)  composer with a most attractive 20th century symphony.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ySSn7UFxQA

      The Swedish composer is Kurt Atterberg, and the work is his Symphony No.6 in C-major, Op.31 “Dollarsymfonin” (1928). Well worth a listen, and I for one will be seeking out some of his other works.

      Garth

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    • #2433154

      Garth,

      You are by far not the only one who just discovered this composer, judging by the commentary in YouTube.
      I find this work from a composer I also did not know anything about, very appealing.
      Clearly his music is not heard much these days. Maybe because he was “too Romantic” a bit too late in the XX Century for that to be considered “worth listening” according to critics and scholars of music?

      And I wonder how you came across his work.

      As it turns out, Atterberg was quite a prolific composer that lived until 1974, when he was 87, and produced among many other “classical” things (concerti, chamber music, operas …), nine symphonies, the “9th” being organized somewhat along the lines of Beethoven’s, as a “Choral” symphony, although the singing is spread throughout and it is not relegated to the last movement:

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

      He was, according to this article, also an engineer and worked in the Swedish Patent Office until he retired in 1968. Similar to another one whose first name was Albert, in Switzerland, although Albert did not stay that long in this job.

      I have found an interpretation of his 9th in YouTube and here it is:

      Kurt Attenberg:Symphony No.9 in B minor “Visionaria” – North German Radio Chorus, Prager Chamber Choir and North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ari Rasilainen.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNvRrYtMp8E&ab_channel=SergioC%C3%A1novas

      With something of a Wagnerian “vibe”, I think.

      Life is full of surprises, and if we are lucky, some are good ones.

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      • #2433179

        Oscar, you ask how it happened.

        I was listening to something by Halvorsen, on Youtube as it happens, was not fully concentrating and before I knew it the Atterberg symphony had started. I let it run, all of it, and started searching for more! So far, I like his even-numbered symphonies 4, 6 and 8 more than the others, but give me time.

        Garth

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    • #2435543

      This one is short and very sweet:

      Astor Piazzolla: Café 1930 – Alexandra Whittingham, guitar, Esther Abrami, violin

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRjl3qm2KpM

      As is this other one:

      Astor Piazzolla: Libertango – Alexandra Whittingham, guitar, Esther Abram, violin

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8eUz_bj1b0

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    • #2435767

      And two more short pieces of guitar music:

      I have thought of Ms. Whittingham as a very good guitar player, among the better ones around today, but not among the very best.

      However, her interpretations here of these two very difficult to play short pieces have changed my opinion, moving her up in my appreciation of her talent:

      Roland Dyens: Tango en Skaï  Alexandra Whittingham, guitar

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hn6lCz8dxQ

      F. Tárrega: Capricho Árabe  Alexandra Whittingham

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7ZLcUYzvnc

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    • #2437797

      Good artists are born with a great gift, then learn the tricks of the trade.
      If and when they get really serious about it, they start a career, and once in it, they study the subject of their next work: a musical composition, or a landscape, or a song, or someone whose portrait is going to be painted, or a role to be acted in a play or a movie, or a story to be written — to get to its subject’s essence and from there decide how the work will be carried out as their oown personal creative interpretation. And then they work hard and unsparingly at it, until it is done, or time runs out. Or, in the case to be considered here, until they understand the music deeply and have practiced it so mercilessly that believe they are ready to perform it.

      Here is a sampler, from the very early days to last year, of someone who is, to me, the greatest violinist under 45 years of age to have come into public notice in the last twenty five years:

      Breakthrough at age 17, in 1997:

      Johann Sebastian Bach – Chaconne, Partita No. 2 BWV 1004, Hilary Hahn Violin

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

      Beginnings of a career:

      Playing at a church auditorium, somewhere in a Mountain State:

      Ernst: Last Rose of Summer, Hilary Hahn violin, ca. 2000.

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

      Last year, coming out of her Covid-19 public performing hiatus:

      Sarasate: Carmen-Fantasy, Hilary Hahn, violin, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Conductor, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, June 2021

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

      Dvořák: Violin Concerto, Hilary Hahn, Violin, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Conductor, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, 22 April 2021.

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

      And the there is this: #2385570

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    • #2439078

      I have been listening to the Six Brandenburg concertos since the early 1970’s, when I bought a long-play recording of them performed by some excellent musicians, and fell in love with these works, the Sixth concert in particular. That record has disappeared in the intervening decades and I no longer remember who were the musicians.
      But I have listened to this music now and then throughout the years, in both good and bad times, and it has always been like meeting a good old friend.

      And here we meet again, in this lovely interpretation:

      J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerti 1 – 6, Claudio Abbado, Orchestra Mozart and Harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone, recorder Michala Petri, trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich, Baroque violinist, Giuliano Carmignola.

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

      From the YT commentary: “No two sets of Brandenburg Concertos sound alike, which was true in the pre-HIP (*) past, too, since the score lacks dynamics and expression markings.”

      Here is a video with the same artists performing the concerto No. 1 plus encore.
      How often does one see musicians receiving an ovation from a very enthusiastic audience while being showered with flowers in a truly grand old concert hall?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Ry71tOkwg

      (*) HIP = (Society for) “Historically Informed Performance.” Basically, this Society’s members are concerned with the correct playing of old music on period instruments, as close as possible to how it might have been originally performed.

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