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What floats yer boat these days?

Discussion in 'classical' started by windhoek, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    I'm back on Mahler: M9 last night, Uri Caine's Urlicht/Primal Light* this morning and M8 tonight. What floats your boat these days in the world of classical cool, cold or damn hot to trot music?

    * Fwiw, even after the damn near obliteration of Mahler's melodies, some of Uri Caine's renditions still show some of his phrasing to be sublime beyond all measure: the intro to Primal Light being a case in point.

  2. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    My Mahler boxset by Bernstein/ New York Philly arrived today and I'm playing Symphony 2 as I type. So far it seems to have more drive - more PRaT if you will - than what I've heard thus of any other M2; unsurprisingly I suppose seeing as Bernstein brought us that veritable blitzkrieg of a finale to Shostakovich' 5th.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  3. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    I've been listening to a lot of contemporary music of late.... it seems to me that the line of descent for stimulating music with emotional involvement for the listener goes back to Debussy-Ravel-Stravinsky-Sibelius-Szymanowski-Shostakovich-Dutilleux and absolutely not to 2nd Viennese School and the Darmstadt nonsense. The giant of late 20th Century French music is Henri Dutilleux, not Pierre Boulez.

    Some discs - Renee Fleming does Ravel, Messiaen & Dutilleux (written for her)

    and by Anders Hillborg, with a ravishing account of Barber's Knoxville and orchestrated versions of songs by Bjork

    Anders Hillborg Orchestral music is worth hearing:

    And another.

    3 quite different violin Concerti

    Concerti by Edward Gregson (I'd never heard of him either - thanks to Jerry on Wigwam)

    I enjoyed this more on disc than I did live from Proms on TV 2 years ago. The Violin concerto is good too.
  4. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    Classical covers of Bjork? Makes me think I'd love to see Bjork cover classical - a pocket hand grenade right there in a room full of crystal.
  5. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    Just listened to the R3 relay from the Met, available on i-player for the next 30 days.

    I'm no great expert, but to my ears the finest Violetta in years.
  6. rough edges

    rough edges pfm Member

    Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Petrouchka, along with Mozart's String Quartets for digital.
    Hard bob jazz for vinyl.

  7. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    I'm presently enjoying Mahler's Das Lied Von Der Erde conducted by Herreweghe - this Schoenberg-Riehn version. It's not quite as heady as the original but at this time of night, it's perfect listening for pyjamas and slippers :)
  8. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

  9. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    This is now my favorite version by a long way, and as someone brought up to revere Janet Baker singing anything, that's practically heresy. :)
  10. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    That's quite a bold statement David for one could argue that having a favourite at all is heresy... but if that's the case then I'm a heretic too as this one and Klemperer's (with Ludwig and Wunderlich) are my favourites ;)
  11. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    I agree and even my Dad, who at 92 is quite hard to please admitted that he enjoyed the broadcast.
  12. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    Mention of Mahler and Gregson above; Gregsons Dream Song, based on Mahlers Sixth, is worth a listen.

    Latest purchases are string quartets by Symanowski, Symankski and Penderecki. The Symanowski is pretty easy going stuff but the others need a bit of work; fascinating sounds though.
  13. Barbapapa

    Barbapapa Active Member

    I'm rediscovering romantic concerto's (concerti?). See my thread on Dvorak's cello concerto.

    Currently I'm comparing performances of Brahms' second Piano concerto on Qobuz in order to find out which one to buy. Right now I'm listing to Paul Lewis, an edition of Harmonia Mundi: recorded very well. I find it somewhat surprising that there are not as many new recordings of this concerto as I thought there would be.
  14. Todd A

    Todd A pfm Member


    This is the year of Marie-Luise Hinrichs for me. Her two discs of Padre Antonio Soler are brilliant, with fantastically nuanced playing. As great as they are, they didn't really prepare me for this disc of a dozen piano transcriptions of pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, five short pieces by Armenian composer and spiritualist/mystic George Gurdjieff, and one brief original work by the pianist. Ms Hinrichs has entered the realm of Michel Block's best work with this disc. Hinrichs writes in the liner notes that she only discovered Hildegard von Bingen in 2005, and soon thereafter transcribed pieces during a very spiritual time for her. She states that she transcribed with God's help and that while working she sensed a second voice that was not hers. I'm not spiritual myself, but the results point to the absolute sincerity of what she writes. The Bingen pieces display a very serious, very devout, and very loving spirituality. There's just no other way to describe it. The music is often simplicity itself, with beautiful monophonic melodies throughout. Hinrichs fleshes the music out for piano wonderfully, and never overdoes it. The transcriptions are not about virtuosic showmanship, but rather they focus on musical truth. And they allow Hinrichs to display an amazing, soft variability of touch. Piano and pianissimo come in many shades, and in a few pieces she achieves pianissimo as delicate and quiet as anything I've heard from Yaeko Yamane or Julian Gorus. Hinrichs achieves some of this with generous una corda use, but sometimes she seems to be barely nudging the keys. But there's much more than that. Though generally quiet and spiritual, Hinrichs infuses the playing with delicately nuanced and perfectly judged rhythmic vitality. Her rhythmic acumen is even more on display in the Gurdjieff pieces, which evoke the Orient in a hazy, sometimes languid, but always intensely appealing way. As with fellow German pianist Ragna Schirmer, Hinrichs weaves pieces from seemingly disparate sources very well. Indeed, I'd say Hinrichs does a better job here than Schirmer does in her traversal of Liszt's Annees. Hinrichs' one original composition very much fits in with the conception of the disc as a whole. I suppose it might be possible to find the strumming of the piano strings that start a few pieces, and a couple string plucks, to be a bit kitschy, and I usually find such devices unnecessary, but even those work splendidly here. The music is so captivating, though in a very calming and reassuring way, that when I first spun the disc, I did something I almost never do: I played it twice, back to back. The disc offers an hour of radiant serenity.

    Sound is inside-the-piano close, with pedal noise and damper noise. It does not detract in the least, and it is less obvious through headphones, which offer an even more enveloping experience than speakers.

    One of my purchases of the century.

    (YouTube has some video of Hinrichs playing some of the music live in small settings, as well as what appears to be all the individual tracks from this disc, but they ultimately do not do full justice to the music. It deserves to be heard in full resolution through decent headphones or standard gear for optimum effect.)

    Amazon UK link
  15. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    Nelson Friere and Riccardo Chailly with Leipzig Gewandhaus on Decca

    Or for a more overtly romantic account (slightly overblown IMO - but must have been magnificent live)
    Helene Grimaud with Andris Nelsons & VPO
  16. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    Back on late-great Wagner after a too-long hiatus. Currently going through Kubelik's Meistersinger and Janowski's Gotterdammerung (apologies for the lack of umlauts). Bohm's Tristan and Karajan's Parsifal up next, and I'm also re-reading Bryan Magee's wonderful book Wagner and Philosophy.
  17. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    I have half a dozen of the Argerich Lugano Festival sets on a playlist, together with the Lugano concertos. That's around 25 cds of great music making, and until the order becomes more familiar, quite a few lesser known pieces or arrangements to enjoy/surprise/challenge. Streaming for skinflints, you might say.

    (Anyone know if a new sponsor has been found yet? The cds are like a birthday treat & would be greatly missed.)
  18. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue The Mighty Deoxitiser

  19. Todd A

    Todd A pfm Member


    Now here's a chamber music disc with a fresh approach to established music. But it starts with something new. Fazil Say's 4 Cities offers a musical impression of four Turkish cities. The very jazz and swing influenced fourth piece (Bodrum) aside, I kept thinking that this folk music-meets-modernism sounds like Ahmed Adnan Saygun, only more refined, updated, and sophisticated. Say's piano writing certainly fits his playing style well (perfectly), and Nicolas Altstaedt plays superbly. Here's a current century work worth hearing many times. The other works all sound a bit, well, reworked: the Debussy is more vibrant and rhythmically vital than is the case in other versions I've heard; the Janacek pieces sound less folk-like; the Shostakovich less angsty but still punchy.

    SOTA sound.

    Just a great disc all around.

    I hope I get to hear Say play in person at some point.

    Amazon UK link
  20. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Very tempted by some of Janowski's Berlin RSO Wagner on Pentatone- they are an excellent orchestra. In fact I wish you'd not mentioned him because Ive just spotted this wicked temptation on Amazon. SACD as well....


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