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Music for current times

Discussion in 'classical' started by marshanp, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Whether evocative or consolatory... a single suggestion, please, and ideally something that others may not have heard.

    Mine is the Fifth Symphony of Giya Kancheli, played by the Georgian State SO under Djansug Kakhidze, recorded in 1981. Olympia OCD 403, out of print but available on Qobuz (and in a different version by the same conductor via Youtube).

    Alternately evocative and consoling.
  2. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Appalachian Spring by Copland. Bernstein or Tilson Thomas.
    John.P likes this.
  3. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    I'm playing it now, in the Bernstein/NYPO version from 1962. I find it not without drama, but essentially... serene. I wonder why you chose it? Perhaps you are by nature an optimist?

    I've always tended to go for Bernstein's DG remakes in preference to his earlier CBS recordings. This is a pretty good recording of great playing - I think that I will revise my position on which Bernstein versions to hear first, certainly in American music and perhaps also in Mahler.

    I just happened to play the Kancheli 5th yesterday for the first time in several years, and it struck me as music particularly pertinent to our present troubled times - no shortage of stark, even grim, drama... but in the end reassuring that acceptance can be achieved, even if not everything works out as hoped.
  4. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    At times like this I would never reel out the Pathetique or Schubert’s Wintereisse. You are correct.I am an optimist. Spring flowers from Winter and is a time of clarity, cleansing and re-birth. That’s why I chose it.
    I always felt Bernstein’s conducting began to chug in his later recordings. There are elements of brilliance still but too self indulgent for me. His early 60 New York recording of Mahler are filled with discovery of the new and have electric playing. His Das Lied of that era is white hot.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
    marshanp likes this.
  5. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Regardless of this he was a great conductor, composer and teacher. Karajan on the other hand is someone who has grown greater with time. There was a time when he was out of favour but his Sibelius and Bruckner grow in stature as the years progress. If he wasn’t around during Bernstein’s era I think Bernstein would have been the more prominent.
  6. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Conductors get famous, are regularly flattered... and some of them, at least, begin to think that they can do no wrong.

    Then we get aberrations like Bernstein's Enigma Variations, his Tchaikovsky 6, or his terrible Bruckner performances.

    Errr... I seem to be hijacking my own thread :rolleyes:
  7. Goldenmouse

    Goldenmouse pfm Member

  8. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

  9. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    Soul piercing and sombre with a sliver of hope...

  10. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Thank you - I liked that. Although it doesn't affect me quite the way it does you, she is some player. I investigated some of her Channel Classics recordings, and then felt a need for the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack... I see that she has arranged some of that for the harp (!), and will give it a try in due course.

    Now, via some Faure and Scriabin's 4th Sonata, I am back at Kancheli 5, which seems to me more and more like a masterpiece at each hearing.

    All played through my new-to-me Audio Analogue Puccini SE amplifier, which is doing very well :)
  11. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Astor Piazzola's,


    I discovered this music in 2006 played on Bandoneons by a pair of Polish buskers in the Old Square in Krakow. Blue it may be but there is a twinkle in the sense of dance that pervades. I love it!

    Here performed by Piazzola himself.

    Best wishes from George
  12. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    Presto classical are selling the download (cd quality flac) of the Kancheli 4th & 5th Symphony for £2.28

    I got it..... and didn't like it much. I am familiar with some of his other works, particularly his 3rd symphony in the recording by Franz Wesler-Most & the LPO - which I really rate. But the 5th..... a bit of nicy-nice harpsichord, then crash-crash-bang-bang, then some sweetly yearning soaring strings..... and basically repeat round that for 25 minutes. It seemed to be a formula that came out of the Soviet era, I've heard the same in music by the likes of Boris Tischenko, Boris Tchaikovsky and Henryk Gorecki (not his 3rd), repeated sequences of big fortissimo blocks of sound, interspersed with melancholy reflection... and it really doesn't go far for me.

    Not sure what I'd recommend for these times but Vaughan Williams 5th doing it for me at present (Previn/LSO)
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Whilst you are getting to close to channelling Uncle Monty there lads you are also inspiring me to get some of "yer classical, innit" out. Thank you:)

    Isn't Mozart's clarinet concerto in A major one of the most joyous and life affirming things ever? IMHO anyway:)
    George J likes this.
  14. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    It is!

    Best wishes from sleepless George
  15. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    It is very beautiful Arkless. Played it the other day.
    Uncle Monty
  16. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Music is full of recipes - the sonata form first movement, the rondo finale, the 4-minute single... it all depends how they are done.

    VW 5 I certainly appreciate - I think I'll play it after this morning's bike ride in the Shropshire countryside :)
  17. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Lockdown could be a one-off opportunity to popularise Wagner operas? Or not.

    Mendelssohn's Italian symphony is cheerful. For serious consolation, Mahler's Ressurection.
  18. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    This lightened to mood for me today.... a string orchestra arrangement of the Goldbergs. highly recommended
    lordsummit likes this.
  19. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Or Tristan and Isolde.
  20. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    I think its a time for Brahms Hungarian Dances or Dvoraks's Slavonic Dances. Something bracing and life affirming is the way forward or is you want to, wallow in self pity with any number of things including Sibelius 7 or Mahler 10(most Mahler really!) Whatever floats the boat.

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