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Classical Music Thread (Read 46130 times)
Geno
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #450 - 05/12/24 at 18:24:40
 
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Geno
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #451 - 05/12/24 at 18:25:49
 

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #452 - 05/13/24 at 21:02:10
 
That Elgar album is all music I’ve never heard, but I bet very different from the French composers. If you are interested in Elgar and the cello I highly recommend Elgar’s Cello Concerto. The only cello concerto I think is comparable to Dvorak’s masterpiece,YMMV.
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Geno
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #453 - 05/13/24 at 22:07:25
 
The only part of it that I actually listened to was, Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, Op. 86: (After Bach's Fantasia, BWV 537). Absolutely exhilarating!  But I did order the original master vinyl, so I'll have all of it.

I do have recordings of both Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concerto's. Jaqueline du Pre' on both. The Dvorak is one of my favorite pieces of music.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #454 - 05/13/24 at 22:26:01
 
Yes, the Du Pre recordings are classics. My favorite Dvorak is Janos Starker on Mercury, which is also one of the best sounding orchestral recording ever made, YMMV. Back in the day good copies of the LP were going from hundreds of dollars, but now I think it is one of the most reissued recordings of all time.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #455 - 05/19/24 at 02:19:15
 
Back in the listening chair after vacation, and listening to Bach.



16/44 FLAC download.

Bach's Art of the Fugue is a tough nut to crack, even if you love both Bach and counterpoint as I do. My favorite AotF delivery vehicle is often string quartet, but Craig Sheppard does an amazing job making the music sing on a modern concert grand.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #456 - 05/19/24 at 15:49:16
 
What were you listening to in 1988? If you were hanging out at a high end audio establishment, at least in Los Angeles, you were probably listening to Nojima Plays Liszt.



16/44 FLAC download.

I feel like this is the recording that put Reference Recordings, and Prof. Johnson, on the map. I had the LP but I think I lent it to a friend and then I moved and it was gone... I finally got another "copy" this time on my hard drive.
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Dominick
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #457 - 05/20/24 at 02:33:41
 
Gave this one a listen earlier today.  Thanks CAJames…  it was a solid recommendation.


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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #458 - 05/20/24 at 03:05:09
 
Glad you liked it Dom, but actually this is the one that I recommended:

https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/album/mahler-symphony-no-5-4-songs-from-des-knaben-w...



The 1970 (analog) recording with the Chicago Symphony. Of course I've never heard a Mahler 5 I didn't like.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #459 - 05/20/24 at 14:47:46
 
Next up on the Beethoven Symphony tour: The Seventh.

This is one of the big ones, and based on my highly unscientific survey of orchestra programs over the decades probably the most frequently performed. Of course all the the great "Beethoven Conductors" have recorded it, usually several times, but my choice is not one of them. For the symphony Wagner famously called "the apotheosis of the dance" I go with Antal Dorati on Mercury.



16/44 FLAC download.

Dorati is no ones (except maybe me) idea of a "Beethoven Conductor" but he is, if any label fits, a dance conductor. And he really makes Beethoven swing. Of course the famous Mercury engineering doesn't hurt either.

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #460 - 05/22/24 at 00:56:22
 
Bruckner's magisterial 6th symphony, in a magisterial performance by Sergui Celibidache.



DSD rip from Sony Japan SACD.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #461 - 05/22/24 at 15:26:07
 
Walter Gieseking is one of the great pianist of the 20th century, and one of the great tone poets of all time. He was also an enthusiastic Nazi, but that is a topic for another time. He is best known for his Debussy, but those same qualities make him exceptional in some of Schubert's "little bits."



16/44 FLAC download.

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #462 - 05/25/24 at 02:48:06
 
"Not now, I'm Bizet"



On CD

From the Dutoit/Montreal box.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #463 - 05/25/24 at 20:23:57
 
This weekend is the (unofficial) start of summer.



On CD from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra box.

Note however in "sunny" costal California we have "May Gray" followed by "June Gloom" so actual summer usually doesn't get started until July or August.

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #464 - 05/26/24 at 19:17:19
 
Listening to Albeniz works for piano and orchestra.



On CD, from the BIS Complete Albeniz.

I don't know if this this "great" music, but I like it a lot.

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #465 - 05/27/24 at 15:45:45
 
As far as I can tell Giovanni Pergolesi is much more famous for being the "inspiration" for Stravinsky's Pulcinella than for the music he actually wrote. Which is too bad because the Marian Vespers (from which Stravinsky borrowed) is wonderful Italian High Baroque music.



On CD.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #466 - 05/28/24 at 03:53:37
 
There are a lot of great albums of Debussy piano music. Moravec and Michelangeli esp. come to mind. But, IMO, Debussy is the most important composer of piano music since Beethoven and you really should hear all of it.



16/44 FLAC download.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is probably the great Debussy pianist of today, and certainly one of the greats of all time.
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Tone-Deaf
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #467 - 05/31/24 at 22:26:32
 
I have been slowly (very slowly!) working my way through the Beethoven "middle" quartets over the last few months.  I think I am done through the three "Rasumovsky" quartets (Opus 59) for now.



While I had consistently felt that I could tell I was listening to the same composer as the Beethoven symphonies when listening to the early quartets, that feeling was less strong on these quartets.  For some movements I felt that way, while for others I did not feel that way at all.  

The liner notes for this recording called attention to the slow movement of the third quartet, with words like "the slow movement of No. 3 gives the impression of something abnormal, of 'a remote and frozen anguish, wailing over some implacable destiny.'"  It has some "plucked" strings for the bass line in places, which to my ears seems like a very familiar sound for bass - so perhaps I like that "abnormality!"

So what did I learn?  Perhaps just that quartets are different than symphonies.  I certainly think that I will be revisiting these at some point in the future.  But for now, moving on to Beethoven's Opus 74 ("Harp" quartet) and Opus 95 "Serioso" quartet).
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #468 - 06/01/24 at 00:06:07
 
Hard to imagine a symphony as lush and romantic as Rachmaninoff's 3rd was written in the 1930s. But if it is an anachronism, then it is a lovely anachronism.



DSD Download from HDTT.

I like Andre Previn's 1960s recordings with the cuts that no one uses any more. Makes all the lushness go down a little easier for me but YMMV.
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Tone-Deaf
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #469 - 06/01/24 at 19:54:40
 
Listening to Debussy, starting with "La Mer" and "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun" on EMI, with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestre de Paris:



And then listening to those same works on CD1 of the Naxos Box Set, "Debussy - Complete Orchestral Works" performed by the Ochestre National de Lyon as conducted by Jun Markl:



I don't do a lot of listening to different performances of classical music, but I wanted relisten in order to compare these.  I preferred the version conducted by Markl, though I think my opinion may reflect my preference for a version that has a detailed sound more than any judgment on the relative merits of each performance.  

The box set includes music composed by Debussy but orchestrated by others.  CD1 includes "Children's Corner," which apparently was composed by Debussy for solo piano and later was orchestrated by Andre Caplet.  I don't know how much "wiggle room" the orchestrator has (is the music exactly as written for piano, except specific notes are assigned to different instruments, or are there other adjustments made to the music?).

CAJames post about the quality of Debussy's piano music has made me want to listen again to this box set, and particularly the orchestrations of his piano music.  

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Geno
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #470 - 06/01/24 at 20:30:29
 
Hi Tone.

I love the French Romantic/Impressionist composers. Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Saint-Saens, etc.

Now, a piano concerto - Beethoven/Bernstein/Gould

 
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Tone-Deaf
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #471 - 06/01/24 at 20:56:17
 
Hi, Geno.  It took me a while to get into Debussy, but I am there now!  Don't know a lot about the other French impressionist composers (at least yet), except for a few pieces by Ravel.

Happy listening this weekend!

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #472 - 06/01/24 at 21:01:29
 
Quote:
Posted by: Tone-Deaf      Posted on: Today at 11:54:40

Listening to Debussy, starting with "La Mer" and "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun"...I preferred the version conducted by Markl, though I think my opinion may reflect my preference for a version that has a detailed sound more than any judgment on the relative merits of each performance.  


That may very well be a judgement on the performance FWIW. I don't know either of those recordings but I do know HvK and he is famous (infamous) for what you might say is putting the entire orchestra in a blender and coming out with a lush, warm legato sound sundae. It can be very effective IMO for e.g. Tchaikovsky or Strauss but much less so elsewhere. And while orchestral performance practice has become much more uniform over the last few decades the "French School" has always emphasized detail and transparency. So no surprise you found the Naxos performance more to your liking.

Quote:
I don't know how much "wiggle room" the orchestrator has (is the music exactly as written for piano, except specific notes are assigned to different instruments, or are there other adjustments made to the music?).


The orchestrator has as much wiggle room as she/he wants. I need to see if I have Children's Corner for orchestra. The piano original isn't lacking for anything IMO, but I'm up for something new.

Ravel was probably the greatest orchestrator who ever lived, his orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition is what most people think of when they think of Pictures at an Exhibition.



On CD.

Although the piano original is fantastic, esp. as played by Byron Janis.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #473 - 06/01/24 at 21:09:14
 
Quote:
Posted by: Geno      Posted on: Today at 12:30:29

...Now, a piano concerto - Beethoven/Bernstein/Gould


One of the great lines in musical history is George Szell on working with Glenn Gould, "That nut is a genius."

There are a lot of great Beethoven Piano Concerto performances, starting with Szell/Fleisher but for me, Gould is not one of them. I used to have a bunch of Gould on LP but the only thing beside Bach that worked for me was his Schonberg, YMMV. I do however really like Wilhelm Kempff.



On CD.

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Tone-Deaf
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #474 - 06/01/24 at 21:17:33
 
Hi, James.  Thanks for your thoughts re Debussy!  I am glad I am not alone in liking the detail and transparency - I came away with a clear preference for that.

The original piano works may well be superior to the orchestrations.  For me, I find orchestral music easier to listen to, as the different timbre of the instruments helps me keep track of the music better - so that I might like an orchestral arrangment just because it is clearer to me what is going on in that format.

I hope your weekend is going well, James!
 
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #475 - 06/02/24 at 02:05:29
 
My Warner Complete Debussy has several orchestral arrangements, but not Children's Corner.



16/44 FLAC download

But it does have a recording of Debussy himself playing Children's Corner. Which is very interesting.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #476 - 06/03/24 at 01:55:39
 
Opera day:



FLAC rip from CDs

Bernstein's Tristan und Isolde is controversial, like a lot of stuff Lenny did later in life. It is the slowest Tristan on record and the engineering is very much orchestra forward. But, when I'm in the mood, it is engrossing like nothing else.
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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #477 - 06/03/24 at 21:00:11
 
I have said in the past and will continue to say that Mozart's concertos are better and more interesting than his symphonies. His horn concertos might not be as profound as the later concertos for piano or clarinet, but they are some of the most immediately likeable music I've ever heard. As friendly and uncomplicated as a happy puppy, YMMV.



On CD

I don't know where we're at today, but for much of the 20th century there was an unwritten rule that the best horn players in the world were British. Barry Tuckwell was actually Australian, but that is close enough. This early digital recording isn't great, but it isn't terrible either.

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Dominick
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #478 - 06/04/24 at 14:25:47
 
Currently streaming in Qobuz through my AQ Dragonfly Red in my work vehicle…. Brahms Symphony #4 with Fritz Reiner and the Royal Philharmonic.  



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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #479 - 06/04/24 at 16:25:30
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dominick      Posted on: Today at 06:25:47

... Brahms Symphony #4 with Fritz Reiner and the Royal Philharmonic...  


I love this recording!



On CD.

I have the Chesky CD, which was one of the first "audiophile" CDs I ever bought, and it (still) sounds amazing. FWIW the recording was originally for Readers Digest, for classical music you could buy at the grocery store. Not that there is anything wrong with that .
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Dominick
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #480 - 06/04/24 at 18:08:11
 
Quote:

Posted by: CAJames      Posted on: Today at 11:25:30

I love this recording!


Thanks for the suggestion…I had finished the other one just a little while ago.  Going to give this one a try now.  

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CAJames
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #481 - 06/04/24 at 19:04:33
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dominick      Posted on: Today at 10:08:11

Thanks for the suggestion…


It was your suggestion . Just in case it wasn't clear you streamed the same recording as my CD, the only (potential) difference is the remastering. If you want a different Brahms 4 you might try Carlos Kleiber:



On CD.

Kleiber was a very famous conductor in spite of (or perhaps because of) making very few records and giving very few concerts. His father was also a very famous conductor, Erich Kleiber (although a lot of people think is biological father was Alban Berg). In general I'm not sure I buy the Carlos Kleiber hype but this is a very good recording regardless.
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Dominick
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #482 - 06/04/24 at 19:26:07
 
Quote:
Posted by: CAJames      Posted on: Today

It was your suggestion  . Just in case it wasn't clear you streamed the same recording as my CD, the only (potential) difference is the remastering. If you want a different Brahms 4 you might try Carlos Kleiber:


You were clear.  I was looking to try your CD.  I wanted to see if I could hear the variation in the remastering while listening in my work vehicle with using my AQ Dragonfly Red with my AQ Golden Gate cable.  This car has good acoustics , small environment, no background/outside noise.  I used to use this Dac exclusively until I got my Bifrost2. I forgot how good this Dac was back in the day.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #483 - 06/05/24 at 04:06:26
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dominick      Posted on: Today at 11:26:07

...I was looking to try your CD.  I wanted to see if I could hear the variation in the remastering while listening in my work vehicle with using my AQ Dragonfly Red with my AQ Golden Gate cable.


Could you find it? It seems like a lot of early digital audiophile labels are hard to find these days: Dorian, Delos, Chesky (classical reissues), even Telarc to some extent.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #484 - 06/05/24 at 04:16:47
 
Since I harshed on Carlos Kleiber's reputation I figured I ought to listen to another recording that I 1) hadn't listened to in years and 2) wasn't crazy about.



On CD.

I thought his Unfinished Symphony was boring, but I wasn't hearing it all. This is a much more "classical" interpretation than the usual. It leans towards Beethoven and not Bruckner, and it is really good. I think my current Decware system is letting me hear the details and nuance that really make the performance interesting and that I had been missing for decades of previous listening. So thank you Decware, and perhaps I owe Carlos an apology, although I've got a few more recordings to which I need to re-listen before I pass final judgement.

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Dominick
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #485 - 06/05/24 at 21:12:17
 
Quote:
Could you find it? It seems like a lot of early digital audiophile labels are hard to find these days: Dorian, Delos, Chesky (classical reissues), even Telarc to some extent.


No unfortunately I never found it yesterday.  I’ll give it a try when I get home…but with me getting the ZP3…I’ve been playing vinyl exclusively at home for the past few days.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #486 - 06/05/24 at 23:49:26
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dominick      Posted on: Today at 13:12:17

…but with me getting the ZP3…I’ve been playing vinyl exclusively at home for the past few days...


In your position I'd do the same thing. I decided to spin up some vinyl myself, for the first time in a long time.



One of my Chesky LPs from back in the day. It sounded pretty good, and the music is pretty legendary. But I can't say it sounds any better than my digital these days. Which is what I've been looking for since I bought my first CD player in 1985.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #487 - 06/06/24 at 02:30:35
 
Quote:
But I can't say it sounds any better than my digital these days. Which is what I've been looking for since I bought my first CD player in 1985


With the DAC you have, I’m not surprised your digital is on par with vinyl. While I still have yet to dive into my Japanese first pressing albums…the sound I am getting out of my rig with the vinyl I’ve been playing through the ZP3 is in fact better than digital.  My Bifrost2 Dac is a solid performer, but it seems like to get great sound out of the DAC’s these days, you need to spend upwards of 2-3 thousand…so it seems.  
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #488 - 06/06/24 at 02:40:40
 
Just got my first Decca record…Rachmaninov piano concerto 3.  Th quality of the recording was very good, and the piece was enjoyable, but I walked away wanting  a bit more out of the piece.  

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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #489 - 06/06/24 at 15:22:48
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dominick      Posted on: Yesterday at 18:40:40

Just got my first Decca record…Rachmaninov piano concerto 3.  Th quality of the recording was very good, and the piece was enjoyable, but I walked away wanting  a bit more out of the piece.  


Yeah, I think that is a fair assessment. My favorite Rocky 3 is Earl Wild.



On CD.

The piece is really about the pianist showing off, and he just brings a little more juice than anyone else IMO. And, I believe this is another Readers Digest recording, that has been reissued countless times, but Chandos did a great job remastering it.

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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #490 - 06/06/24 at 21:01:07
 
Dvorak's Slavonic Dances (originally written for piano) was his breakout hit. I've been told that none of the pieces are actual Czech folk music. It is hard to believe Dvorak pulled all 16 "from thin air" but that is why he is a genius.

For decades George Szell's Cleveland Orchestra recording has been considered the gold standard. It is very good indeed, but I prefer his successor, Christoph von Dohnanyi.



16/44 FLAC download.

Both performances are virtuoso displays of the highest order, but for me Dohnanyi trades a little of Szell's manic intensity for a little more Bohemian sunshine. And the recorded sound is a little better as well.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #491 - 06/07/24 at 15:38:37
 
IMO Don Quixote is the best thing Richard Strauss wrote, at least without singers. There are a lot of great recordings by famous cellists, Karajan and Szell come to mind. But in fact Strauss wrote the piece with the idea that it would be played by an orchestra's own principle cellist, not a wandering virtuoso. And that is exactly what Zubin Mehta and the LA Philharmonic did.



On CD from the Mehta/LA box.

This is also a great performance, and the wonderful London/Decca sound from Royce Hall is probably the best thing about UCLA. (Just a gratuitous dig from a long time USC fan )
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #492 - 06/07/24 at 19:22:38
 
Graduation Day.



On CD.

I forget the exact quote, but Elgar said something like the theme to the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 was a once in a lifetime inspiration. I played it every June (often over and over) from 7th grade through my junior year in college and it always gave me goose bumps. And no one does Pomp and Circumstance like John Barbirolli.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #493 - 06/08/24 at 18:26:54
 
My favorite piece of music written in the last 113 years (since Mahler died) is Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. These days a lot of the cognescenti would have you listen to the whole thing, but I find it long and tedious. It is a perfect piece to be excerpted into a Suite, so much so the Prokofiev himself made 3 different ones. But today most conductors choose there own from the hundred or so different bits that make up the ballet.



16/44 FLAC download.

I have like a dozen recordings and have heard many more. I can't pick a single favorite, but Myung-Whun Chung and the Concertgebouw are certainly one of the contenders.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #494 - 06/09/24 at 14:57:34
 
"What if" Istvan Kertesz hadn't drowned in his mid-forties? He was well on his way to being one of the great conductors of the 20th century and had already made some amazing recordings, including Bartok and Dvorak. His cycle of the Schubert Symphonies is my favorite.



On CD.

I was enjoying The Unfinished and No. 6 "The Little C Major."
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #495 - 06/10/24 at 00:01:02
 
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #496 - 06/10/24 at 13:10:57
 
This one on the Philips label, but recorded by the Fines of Mercury.

This has long been a reference recording - one of the best sounding recordings I’ve heard.

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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #497 - 06/10/24 at 15:04:55
 
Quote:
Posted by: Geno      Posted on: Today at 05:10:57

This one on the Philips label, but recorded by the Fines of Mercury.

This has long been a reference recording - one of the best sounding recordings I’ve heard.


Interesting. I don't know that recording, but Richter playing Liszt recorded by the Fines is a triple play I should investigate. This has been my goto for the Liszt Concertos, also recorded by the Fines of Mercury .



On CD.

Both the recording and performance are top shelf.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #498 - 06/10/24 at 15:13:05
 
This is contemporary choral music that is inspired by the thousand year tradition of Russian Orthodox choral music, and it is gorgeous.



16/44 FLAC download.
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Re: Classical Music Thread
Reply #499 - 06/10/24 at 18:54:04
 
Quote:
Fines of Mercury Smiley


This would have been a good nickname for their recordings Wink
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