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I'll look at the clip when I have more time.  I barely have enough to post THIS-----

 

An interesting parallell to BOLERO is that most people, now and over the years, hold a high beloved regard for Tchaikowsky's "Nutcracker"  and the suite that's more familiar with people.  But I read somewhere once that the composer really DIDN'T like it all that much, feeling it was one of the WORST pieces he ever bothered with.

 

 

Sepiatone

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For French symphonic music I prefer, Berlioz' The Symphonie Fantastique.

 

Ravel comes in second with La Valse. It never fails to excite me.

 

My favorite piece of French music is the Opera Carmen by Bizet.

I think it's everyone's favorite Opera, even people who don't like Opera.

 

My favorite French composer for chamber music is Fauré.

 

And I'm always pleasantly surprised when I hear something new from Claude Debussy. Last week I heard Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra for the first time. I was struck by the modernity of the piece.

 

Maybe not so well-known or great, the work of Erik Satie is pure genius. It never fails to make me smile, no matter what mood I'm in.

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For French symphonic music I prefer, Berlioz' The Symphonie Fantastique.

 

Ravel comes in second with La Valse. It never fails to excite me.

 

My favorite piece of French music is the Opera Carmen by Bizet.

I think it's everyone's favorite Opera, even people who don't like Opera.

 

My favorite French composer for chamber music is Fauré.

 

And I'm always pleasantly surprised when I hear something new from Claude Debussy. Last week I heard Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra for the first time. I was struck by the modernity of the piece.

 

Maybe not so well-known or great, the work of Erik Satie is pure genius. It never fails to make me smile, no matter what mood I'm in.

 

There were a lot of folks I know who were ushered into classical music due to the track "Variations on a Theme By Erik Satie"  on BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS second album..

 

I'm sorry Princess.  I love ya, but could never get into Berlioz.

 

I do like me some Debussy though.  His IMAGES FOR PIANO and CHILDREN'S CORNER recording I have by ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI gets routinely played around here.

 

And probably because it was recorded by the DSO conducted by PAUL PARAY,  SAINT-SAENS' Symphony #3  gets a lot of listens too.   ;)

 

 

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Princess de Tap, merci bien pour vos commentaires.

 

 

I have never heard of the Fantaisie pour piano until now. An early composition that is rarely performed (Wikipedia). I'll give it a try.

 

I'm one of the few beings who dislike Carmen. Part of this due to being numbed out by it's familiarity. I wouldn't mind never hearing the Suite again (in fact I would be most grateful). There are some beautiful arias, no doubt, but must be apprehended apart from the whole (for me). It didn't help that a live performance at the San Diego Opera a few years ago wasn't a success to mine eyes nor ears. The lead was miscast and I became thoroughly disgusted when The Toreador Song could not heard due to the herd of citizens running around and yelling like imbeciles. Not fair to the opera itself, I know ... Technically, it's got everything, but I'm not a fan. Interestingly, the first performance was a flop (but as we all know it made a comeback, ha!)). I admit it, I'm jaded.

 

I like La Valse too, a waltz in the modern vein. I can see picasso-like figures in full dance mode. Rousing finish (like Bolero). La Valse est un petit chez-d'oeuvre.

 

Satie may not be a household name but I'm quite sure he is considered "great" by most CM fans (and critics, although he got a lot of flack from them back then, some quite grave). All admiration he receives his well deserved. Very unique fella. He liked to hang with Debussy. His often minuscule little pieces are mightily conceived. Many, including some less than a minute long, can be quite contained within itself, they can have a resolution. A great example is Le Yachting, which lasts a minute (per Aldo Ciccolini, not available on youtube or at least I can't find it) and yet there are no loose ends.

 

 

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Always a big fan of Saint-Saens "Organ" Symphony and have listened many times. Fairly recently I suddenly realized how judicious the use of the organ was. Maybe a lesser composer would allow that less-ness to overdo it. The organ is prominent in places but definitely not overdone. Good one, Camille.

 

Sep, if you ever do feel a nudge towards Berlioz, heed the advice of our Princess and start with the Symphonie Fantastique. From 1830 it seems clearly premature in history. Nothing like it had been heard before. Such a consummate statement of sheer Romanticism in music contrasts greatly with the relative sobriety of, say, Schubert's "Great" Symphony No. 9, which is staunchly Classical and less personal (Romantic) and yet premiered only a year before the Berlioz. If these two symphonies were books the one would delve into the innermost workings of an individual emotional crises to a richly personal degree while the other would be equally artistic but keep it's distance, a faithful rendering but much more of an analysis (Classical) and without the richly personal emotional content (Romantic). I say this only for illustration, the Schubert does not treat the same subject matter, but simply differs in form and content. Both great symphonies but noteworthy that the Berlioz was conceived as early as it was.

 

If of a mind to, listen to just the first two minutes of each symphony and feel the contrast. That's how long it takes for each to set the, uh, tone.

 

 

 

 

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"Fantasique" was my FIRST exposure to Berlioz, so I don't think it'll help.

 

It is what it is.  Some people LOVE LESTER YOUNG.  Others prefer DEXTER GORDON.  And others like ME like them both.

 

Just personal preferrence and taste.

 

There was a well respected music critic for The Detroit Free Press who absolutely HATED both  "La Mer" and DVORAK'S "New World Symphony". 

 

 

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His name was JOHN GUINN, and he left the paper after their "joint operation" merger with The Detroit News back in the '90's.  And he died , I hear, about ten years ago.

 

 

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His name was JOHN GUINN, and he left the paper after their "joint operation" merger with The Detroit News back in the '90's.  And he died , I hear, about ten years ago.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

John Rockne Guinn seems to be all you say. Excellent credentials. He died in 2013 at 77 years. RIP. He had a program called "Confessions of a Music Critic" a likely forum for his more controversial views. I haven't been able to find his remarks on "La Mer."  If he was of a staunchly conservative cast of mind he might have reviled this piece as it flouted the traditional in favor of a brand new style of composing. (Just a guess). I would almost surely respect anything he had to say about the Debussy and the Dvorak but I cling to the hope that his non-acceptance is more a personal thing as opposed to a purely professional one. With the latter hat on his head he would be (it seems to me) on dangerous ground not to at least acknowledge (with detachment of course) the considerable merits of it, since it is enshrined as one of the masterpieces (ground breaking and otherwise) of music history.

 

Even though I love where he hates, posting the "Play of the Waves" the middle of three movements, is neither a slam nor an exaltation of either Mr Guinn or Mr Debussy. It's just for fun.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_mer_(Debussy)

 

 

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I DID once write him a letter( pre-iNet, you realize) about it and he did write back.  Said though he realized La Mer and the "New World" were highly praised and loved by other critics and music lovers in general, it was HIS personal dislike, and others are free to like what they wish.  He personally found them "tedious" and "uninspiring".

 

BTW--I tried a search to get his date of death and found the "Rockne" Guinn only.  Didn't know if it's the same guy or not, as any info on Rockne I saw never mentioned a tenure with The Detroit Free Press.

 

And "La Mer" IS one of my favorite works, while "New World" is just "so-so" with me.  ;)

 

 

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For a short while I was sufing my cable service's "Music Choice" channels and on the channel called "Classical Masterpieces" they played works by two composers I've not heard of.

 

ARNOLD BAX( 1883-1953)  English composer.  didn't make note of which work was played.  But sounded alright.

 

MIKHAIL IPIPPOLITOV-IVANIVOV(1859-1935)  A piece called "Caucasian Sketches".  Very nice. Wish I had time to hear it all.

 

You may or may ot be familiar with these two.  If so, please state your impressions and suggest other works.

 

 

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I have the Caucasian Sketches on the pod and have heard it but not terrible familiar with it. There are themes that are familiar sounding, which is a compliment. The idea being that the piece should be more well-known somehow. Often pleasing.

 

My favorite Bax is the Elegiac Trio. It has shades of Debussy. Here's a passable rendition although I think the harp maybe be a little heavy on the volume.

 

Many pleasant piano pieces. Mediterranean reminds of the 30s, has a cosmopolitan air to it, perhaps sophisticated tourists out on the balcony looking over the city and decided what are they to do, descend for brunch or have a few morning drinks at the bar, a lady smoking a cigarette with a long holder. (Just me, my picture drawing of the piece, could be Monte Carlo). Pianist Ashley Wass has recorded a lot of Bax.

 

I have a lot of the orchestral stuff on the pod but not have heard all of it. There are symphonies and tone poems, many of the latter with Nature titles. They may not be spectacular but they are pleasant enough. A woeful generalization but my impression in the main is favorable (for orchestral). I have more exploring to do with it.  I was attached to The Garden of Fand for awhile but haven't heard it for awhile. Some nice passages. Also The Happy Forest. I have all the tone poems on the pod, I will turn to them more often now. Thanks for the grand coup de pied dans la derriere regarding this. Faites Attention, Laffite!

 

The Sinfonietta is also a good bet, one of his more popular pieces, I think. I like it.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks. Those were nice, so I'll have to see if I can find some CDs somewhere of some other works by the two.

 

Since the care for my wife has made it impossible for me to spend a lot of time away from her, "Music Choice" has become my new "Thrift Shop".

 

If you recall, sometime ago in either this thread or another discussion of classical music, I mentioned that for a time I would check out the pile of old LPs at a local thrift store and find old LPs of classical works by either composers I'm familiar with, but works by them I wasn't, or also works by composers I either haven't heard of have heard of but no works of theirs.  So I'd buy them and give them a listen.  If I liked it, I'd look for a CD.  If I didn't, well I was only out 50 cents a platter, so no big loss.

 

With using "Music Choiice", I SAVE the four bits!  ;)

 

A sort of bonus of this was one time I bought an old platter of a work by a composer named JANACEK, who I heard of but was unfamiliar with his work.  It was a work caalled "Sinfonietta"  and when listening to it I immediately recognized the opening strains of a tune by Emerson, Lake and Palmer called "Knife Edge" from their debut LP.!

 

 

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I had MC on cable a year or so ago and found that quite a large number classical selections were by composers whose names I recognized not a whit. The names were so obscure that not one of them survives in memory. MC has Classical Music Channel where complete works were played and Light Classics Channel as well where I often went  when guys like Bruckner (e.g.) were on the CM channel. Some of the light classics were not so light and sometimes movements of symphonies (or bleeding chunks as a friend like to name these "uprooted" parts of a whole. I can't stand the term. I'm perfectly okay with listening to a part, section, or movement alone without feeling like a bad person because I didn't start from the beginning and listen to the whole thing.) I often felt much of these no-namer composers were not very good, telling myself that no wonder we don't know their names. But it went further than that. Much of the music really was bad IMO. The compositions were full of the appropriate idiomatic musical phrases but nothing was happening. The music wasn't going anywhere. It sounded like mere musical doodling as if the composer was adrift but hoping to find something to latch on to. Much of the music was downright awful. Miasovsky is not unknown but I can't listen to a note of his stuff. He wrote a plethora of symphonies and is respected in most circles but I just don't get it. It's sounds phony. Listen to me as if I were a critic. I'm not. I can't tell why these seem bad to me. I just know that these in question sounded stagnant, cliched, and hopelessly dull. Most times though when a piece is new, I may either like or dislike it or in most cases not really know but I won't trash it if the music sounds "convincing" (the idea the composer knows what he is doing) which helps me fuel respect for it, in a general way at least.. But CM is still quite an adventure and at times would give me something new. I hope to hear from you on what comes up that you like. It may jog a memory of my own and make me remember something I've completely forgotten about. I'm locked into the pod and though I have 15,000 "songs" there are some pieces that I like that have escaped me because they are NOT on the pod. I don't listen to the radio (we have a substandard classical station here). The nice thing about MC and radio stations and the like is that the unanticipated will suddenly be upon you and that sometimes will increase enjoyment of it, the mere surprise of having thrust upon you. Putting an iPod on shuffle can do that too but despite the many pieces I have it's not quite the same, I'm too aware of the inventory in general to receive a true surprise. I've been more into youtube-ing of late and there is so much there and I find the fidelity of the music very satisfying.

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You must have better speakers hooked up to your PC( considering IF that's how you view YouTube) than I do.  NOTHING on YouTube sounds good "fidelity-wise" on MY speaker set on my computer, so I don't listen to much of their stuff except to get a general sense. Some exceptions will be of rare footage of performances of artists I like that can't be seen or heard anywhere else( Like Johnny Winter's WOODSTOCK footage).. 

 

You're right about the plethora of worthless "unheard ofs" on MC . But then, as Grandma used to paraphrase, "One man's manure is another man's meat."  so you can just go back another time.  I mentioned that thing I did about thrift shops?  Well, over the years I THREW OUT more than I kept, so there ya go.

 

Yeah, you know as well as me that the "cliche" bug bites just about EVERY genre of music.  No doubt for a few centuries it seems.  I have a huge collection of "big band" 78s acquired at a garage sale(the seller let me have a group of 9 of those old 78 "albums" with several  different discs in each book for $10) and many of those bands are ones I've never heard of, but sound no different from each other.  Jazz, blues, rock'n'roll, pop, country and even what's considered "new" in recent years  have gone through and are going through that.

 

 

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I have Bose computer speakers that sell for about $100 (without the woofer box or whatever that's called) and they are fine with everything except classical music IMO. Most of the time I listen through a pair of Koss titanium headphones (with the volume control on the wire) that are available on line for about $17 on line (used to sell for $40 at Radio Shack) and I feel youtube transmissions sound better on average than many on CD, especially large scale orchestral pieces that have a wide volume spectrum, lots of highs and lows which is normal. My big pet peeve with the digital sound with respect with the classics is that the engineers never really solved the problem of dynamic range, with low volume hard to hear and loud music a bit grating to the ear. This is not an issue with most of other music as they have a uniform volume level throughout a song. Fidelity maybe is the wrong word for it but I do find youtube an easier less exasperating listening vehicle most of the time, certainly acceptable in the general sense.

 

Mahler's mighty Third is coming to town in early May and I have tickets. The final Adagio, one of the several great ones that Mahler penned, is an exquisitely beautiful piece, a paean to "pure peace" (Mahler's words) not to be confused with going to Heaven in the Christian sense (I hasten to make clear) and seems a meditation for most of the way, interrupted a couple of times by bursts of the orchestra that represent threats to Peace, giving way in the end however to one of Mahler's most grandiloquent climaxes. I doubt I'll come away from the concert on a cloud of Nirvana but I will have heard in person a wonderful musical representation of it.

 

Claudio Abbado's complete Mahler (save the Eighth) is on you tube with his Lucerne Festival Orchestra from 2004. I found the Adagio offered in a separate clip. I hate to mention this but there is a melody that is the same of a famous standard song we all know. Curiously, the songwriter did not get it from Mahler. It was realized only later that the the tune was the same. As an inducement for at least getting a start on this, the tune appears four times in the movement, the first occurring within the first two minutes. I hate to do this too but since the piece is unconscionably long (joke) I bid you to advance to the 18:10 mark for the final push, one last time using those phrases from the song.

 

 

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laffite wrote: Mahler's mighty Third is coming to town in early May and I have tickets. The final Adagio, one of the several great ones that Mahler penned, is an exquisitely beautiful piece, a paean to "pure peace" (Mahler's words) not to be confused with going to Heaven in the Christian sense (I hasten to make clear) and seems a meditation for most of the way, interrupted a couple of times by bursts of the orchestra that represent threats to Peace, giving way in the end however to one of Mahler's most grandiloquent climaxes. I doubt I'll come away from the concert on a cloud of Nirvana but I will have heard in person a wonderful musical representation of it.

 

Immense disappointment. I was shocked to find that though the concert took place in a conventional indoor concert hall, the music was miked. Once upon a time this sort of thing was not done. We see it still at Summer Pop Concerts under the stars or any al fresco venue (like a large amphitheater, for instance) where it is deemed necessary but not regular subscription concerts in a concert hall. I paid $58 for a Mezzanine seat, but I might just as well paid $25 for the upper balcony since the music sounds the same no matter where you sit. The San Diego Symphony is fraudulent in promoting the pretense that where you sit matters and then assign different prices based on "preferred" seating. The next bracket was $98 and maybe there was another even higher. I might as well have stayed home and saved the money and watched a concert on youtube for free. The experience is the same. The novelty and joy of actually hearing the instruments and music in a natural setting and without the filter of electronic transmission was denied.

 

EDIT: The Program Notes in discussing the symphony misquotes Mahler. The composer originally attached a title to each of the six movements. The Fourth movement was entitled, "What Man Tells Me," for instance. The idiot who wrote the program notes misquotes Mahler as having entitled the sixth and final movement as "What God Tells Me." Mahler didn't say that, he said, "What Love Tells Me." Some religious folks may see an equivalence but the argument is besides the point. Quoting Mahler correctly is the point.

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No one will watch all the way through and I don't blame you ; it's long. Haydn's The Creation is, as one would think, more about Genesis than Christmas but there is no doubt that Herr Haydn was a Christian. I have always loved this oratorio. And I have always thought this a must for any Christian person, whatever they might think of classical music. The first seven minutes represents chaos and if it does not sound chaotic it's because it was composed in that staunchly Classical age when it proper to write "beautiful" music without having to worry about the gritty realism of the progressive ages to come since they didn't exist yet. So, chaotic in a more analytical mode, rather than emotional. There follows a short "Let there be Light" tenor solo, ending in a blast from the orchestra and chorus. An so beginnith the creation, God and His mighty work . Haydn composed this near the end of his long life (1832-1809) and reportedly sank to his knees every morning praying to God to let him live long enough to finish it. Probably apocryphal but it sounds nice. I'm not totally sure but the chorus at 1:14:26 might represent the finish of the actual creation as it seems to be a Hallelujah chorus. Just prior to the chorus the three soloist do a slow trio marveling at how wonderful everything is. I find this chorus so exhilarating that it almost makes my heathen self believe in God. This appears to be a youth orchestra and so this is not professional but it matters not a whit to me, I am always moved when any assembly convenes to do something like the performance of a great piece like this. I have listened to portions and they do a great job IMO.

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