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Astonishing Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto


Stephen  Fine
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8 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I’m not sure how you mean your comment that “Haydn was not quite a servant”

I meant exactly  what I wrote. He could be the boss, too. :)  Sometimes servant, sometimes boss. I was ( and still am ) very taken with Haydn in the 70s and kept predicting he's going to be the next big thing in 10 years or so. I still predict it....  

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1 minute ago, Carl Stross said:

I meant exactly  what I wrote. He could be the boss, too. :)  Sometimes servant, sometimes boss. I was ( and still am ) very taken with Haydn in the 70s and kept predicting he's going to be the next big thing in 10 years or so. I still predict it....  

Haydn will always be the next big thing because children will always be discovering the eternal joy in his music. 
I remember a young Chinese boy and his mother at the end of the lesson chatting with me about what music they should look up for educational purposes. I scoffed at “educational purposes” and said, “listen to it because it is great and it is great because you will love it.”

Right then I put on a CD of the finale of Haydn 104, And 10 seconds into the piece, both mother and child were smiling. The mother said, with the special kind of wonderful smile that comes with a joyful discovery, “it is so happy!”

And Haydn will survive and thrive as long as there are people who respond to what he has written. 
 

(I’m a big fan myself, BTW)

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44 minutes ago, Stephen Fine said:

 

I am certain that, just as today, tempo in performance must depend on the players present and the space you're performing in.

Historical Metronome markings are useful just like hearing from a living composer is useful, which is to say, very. But metronome markings are just the very beginning of interpretation.  And any piece performed metronomically is performed poorly (unless it's Glass or whatever).

I strongly believe in the idea of an aural tradition.  But... some difficult works can take decades of performances before the work is fully understood enough to give great performances.

 

 

Obviously, context counts.  Acoustic space, quality of instruments, etc.  Nevertheless, it is most instructive that when they had to put down numbers for a Mozart quartet or arrangement of Haydn symphony, they chose almost identical ones.  Whether you think the minuet should be literally at 60 for dotted half notes for the entire movement is another question.   But they had much the same notion of what was correct in their heads.  And one of them, at least, knew the composer.

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21 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

I meant exactly  what I wrote. He could be the boss, too. :)  Sometimes servant, sometimes boss. I was ( and still am ) very taken with Haydn in the 70s and kept predicting he's going to be the next big thing in 10 years or so. I still predict it....  

Haydn is getting performed and recorded a lot, and more to the point, broadcast.  He also became vastly respected in his own day, and is interesting as one of the pioneers of composing becoming a "shingle-hanging" profession, rather than a trade.

He also, of course, conducted, which brings us back full circle.  When we see a performance like the OP, wouldn't it follow that the orchestra's music director (and therefore the Board, which holds the purse strings), must have been hip deep in facilitating it?  :)

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2 minutes ago, Stephen Fine said:

You think Karajan conducted a séance before each rehearsal?  Do tell.

 

20 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Carl the point is that no one living can know exactly what Beethoven wants because Beethoven hasn’t been around to explain since 1827. So of COURSE we have to speculate.

we have some rough guides, metronome markings, historical guidance and the like, but ultimately we have to do what we THINK and not what we KNOW. And that’s ok.

Speculate, in present day acceptation is the wrong word. No great conductor "speculates" .  

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3 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Haydn is getting performed and recorded a lot, and more to the point, broadcast.  He also became vastly respected in his own day, and is interesting as one of the pioneers of composing becoming a "shingle-hanging" profession, rather than a trade.

He also, of course, conducted, which brings us back full circle.  When we see a performance like the OP, wouldn't it follow that the orchestra's music director (and therefore the Board) must have been hip deep in facilitating it?  :)

1. I listen very to very little for some years. Most music I need is already in my head. I'm glad Haydn hasn't been forgotten ! Haydn was a GREAT composer. 

2. Oh, yes. :)

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8 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Haydn is getting performed and recorded a lot, and more to the point, broadcast. 

I've been always baffled as to what abject, uninspired crap "connoisseurs" will listen to while wearing out the seat and meanwhile lifetimes of real music we might even be able to dance on is just around the corner.

The 70s were the period where the idea that the public MUST be educated in the new musical languages got some real traction. But it never worked. People just couldn't learn frog.

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10 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

I've been always baffled as to what abject, uninspired crap "connoisseurs" will listen to while wearing out the seat and meanwhile lifetimes of real music we might even be able to dance on is just around the corner.

The 70s were the period where the idea that the public MUST be educated in the new musical languages got some real traction. But it never worked. People just couldn't learn frog.

The Met radio program is regurgitating a 2011 recording of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha on January 2nd.  I wonder if they figure everyone will be too hung over to care.  I'm planning to be busy with something else that Saturday afternoon.   :lol:
 

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2 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

The Met radio program is regurgitating a 2011 recording of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha on January 2nd.  I wonder if they figure everyone will be too hung over to care.  I'm planning to be busy with something else that Saturday afternoon.   :lol:
 

Is it possible they are being sarcastic ? Just a thought...

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1 minute ago, Violadamore said:

Why, of course not!  Just because it's bracketed by Mozart and Rossini, followed by a string of Verdi............   :lol:

Gawd!!! They are coming back, the memories ! :)   For a short while it's been tried to start with the concert and end with the symph in order to bracket the "New music", in order to keep the public seated. It did not work - the public's instinct of preservation kicked in pretty reliably. :)

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21 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

This is one of the longest threads I’ve ever encountered here.

 

21 hours ago, Ernee said:

Just seems long.

 

2 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

I am pleased with how things have developed.

 ( ... )

There are plenty of underlying arguments that are unresolved in these discussions but reminds me of the fleeting arguments that we'd have as students after a good film or a performance. Six or seven good threads could easily be mined.

Short, due to the hours after a performance, but important as to have those remaining in their fights and those interested enough to stay to hear the arguments possibly learning something. I wanted to thank Maestro Swan for introducing the Ojai Festival video as Ms Kop's voice was actually heard, if for a moment. With her actual performances, she has nothing to defend. It is out there performed convincingly and live. But through words some intent is established. Many listeners of music forget that aside from some money that is made performing that there should be a reason why we perform.

Myself, the desire is to program unheard if not living composer music after the break/ interval as it is important for whatever reasons to introduce something new in a performance. We serve ( small amount of ) drinks before and during if allowed and lots of, after with food. Retsina if requested. Mainly to create discussions and social groupings but truly to expand on listener's musical foundations. Sometimes the composers show up at the performance but many desire not to be there as the discussions become shallow. But others will definitely be there at the after meal and we as performers learn more about the piece and its intent as we further drill the composers that arrive.

But ultimately, being open-minded about any approach, is essential these days.

Also want to stress that some instruments do require some excess movement to get the instrument to bark or bite or sing in falsetto or to sound a bit more sonically identifiable. Dress should not matter, especially in women, but I draw the line at un-tucked, white men's styled dress shirts which appears to be very popular at youth concerts. I have nothing against more casual footwear but some rubber-soled shoes do squeak. If I can hear it performing, then it is truly audible at ear-level.

Keep up the discussions. Though there are many fine performances of the major concertos out there on many types of media, many younger players will more likely be inspired by Ms Kop's playing or a TwoSet video ( not to simplify that there are similarities but they take different approaches to performing. ) There generally needs to be something unique or mildly interesting to capture the minds of young players these days.

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Haydn is getting performed and recorded a lot, and more to the point, broadcast.  He also became vastly respected in his own day, and is interesting as one of the pioneers of composing becoming a "shingle-hanging" profession, rather than a trade.

He also, of course, conducted, which brings us back full circle. 

Haydn didn’t conduct in the modern sense. Even in London, he led from the harpsichord. I don’t remember who the first true conductor was, but it wasn’t Haydn.

And he wasn’t really an independent composer. Until 1790 he was a high-level servant to royalty, and wrote as required. I’m unaware of a single work Haydn wrote without an external impetus, that he wrote purely for the purpose of expressing himself. That doesn’t diminish his genius, the ability to write what is required and do so at a master level actually increases the awe with which history should regard his accomplishments.

I think Beethoven or Mendelssohn were the first composers to live and die making a living primarily as composers, and Brahms was the first to really get rich at the trade.

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52 minutes ago, GoPractice said:

hy we perform.

Myself, the desire is to program unheard if not living composer music after the break/ interval as it is important for whatever reasons to introduce something new in a performance.

I remember the conversation I had with the artistic director of the Dallas opera several years ago, in which I asked him why he declined to go far a field when looking for new operas, or neglected masterpieces. He was fond of speaking of the big five: five operas, one of which would be done every single season, and he declined to Expand the repertoire on the grounds that the audience would refuse to participate. I think that’s a terrible attitude, and it’s why we very rarely did many great operas that should be done, and constantly did operas that should never be done.

I had a similar conversation with one of the higher ups at the Dallas symphony. We were discussing symphonies that might be done, and I mentioned the two symphonies of Kalinnikov. “who is Kalinnikov?”

I was really disappointed at the reply, and even more so when he said that the public refused to go hear something they did not already know.

Edited by PhilipKT
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3 hours ago, Violadamore said:

The Met radio program is regurgitating a 2011 recording of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha on January 2nd.  I wonder if they figure everyone will be too hung over to care.  I'm planning to be busy with something else that Saturday afternoon.   :lol:
 

Every time some organization produces something like this I am reminded of a Bernard Shaw quote about the Handel festivals that used armies of 3000 singers, and equivalent orchestras:

”we do not sit them out without wishing we were dead, but we do sit them out for all that.”

He expressed similar sentiments about Saint-Saens’ Samson & Delilah.

I feel strongly that such works of limited value are only scheduled because we must suffer for the sake of ART, but that certainly doesn’t mean we should suffer through any more Donizetti either.

Finding good opera that is musically interesting and theatrically entertaining isn’t difficult, it’s just a question of believing in the artistic intelligence of your audience, and in Dallas, they don’t.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

I feel strongly that such works of limited value are only scheduled because we must suffer for the sake of ART, but that certainly doesn’t mean we should suffer through any more Donizetti either.

One doesn't "suffer through" Donizetti.  One savors it.  :P

 

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

One doesn't "suffer through" Donizetti.  One savors it.  :P

 

 Ummmmno. I’ve played six or seven Donizetti operas and He’s maybe the most infuriating composer I’ve ever played. Every single aria, every single one, stops and starts and stops and starts: There are chords and fermatas, and silence and then more chords and then slow pizzicati arpeggios and “please Lord, take me now.” And then it ends and the next one is exactly the same.  Every Donizetti opera has one signature aria that includes the harp playing arpeggios, and a cello or viola or violin solo, while the rest of the orchestra goes “pluck, rest rest rest pluck rest rest rest,” For an eternity. And because the harp never plays anywhere except in the overture and that single aria, the harpist said,”maestro can we do my aria after the overture” and then he would go home while the rest of us looked after him enviously, before returning to the numbness that would fill the next 2.5 hours.

I lead a holy life, because surely Hell is one long eternity of Donizetti operas. He wrote about 70, and I’d have to play them all...

nope... 

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By the way, I’ve been playing professional opera for 30 years and more, I know exactly what I am talking about when I denigrate a particular composer. I remember the very first season I had my job; we did Don Pasquale And I enjoyed it, the next year we did the elixir of love, the next year we did the daughter of the regiment, and by then I realized that all of his operas are the same, the plots are dreadful and plodding, The music is so predictable you can anticipate the next chord change.

When we did Norma a couple of years ago I was initially excited, but I quickly realized, like,  during the first rehearsal, that Bellini’s style is exactly like Donizetti’s. 
No wonder everyone loved Rossini! What an incredible breath of fresh air he is. I’ve done not a few Rossini operas, and they remain as delightful as the day they were first heard, and a few of them contain really fine music as well. The overture to the siege of Corinth is a masterpiece.

So yes, I am expressing a personal opinion, but by golly, I’m an educated musician and I can back up my opinion, which is more than a whole lot of people can say.

and I can assure you, that everybody in the opera orchestra, with the possible exception of the harpist( plus the Tuba, bass trombone and second percussion) shares that opinion of Donizetti.

Edited by PhilipKT
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46 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Ummm.......sorry, Phillip, not the POV I was speaking from.  Thank you for your view from the pit.  :)

My very dear, I am perpetually flummoxed that people willingly pay to sit through Donizetti operas when they can watch the paint drying at home for free. 
they do keep me and mine in corn flakes, however, so there’s that, at least.

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