Classical Music Appreciation Thread

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jun 25, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
Alice Mary Smith
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 17, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
And then there's all the jokes about viola players...

The hiatus is over, Phono McBono fans.



I like these teeny tiny notes!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 18, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Purcell - March / Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary (Funeral Sentences) Z. 860



'When I Am Laid in Earth...'
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 18, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Mouse,

Thanks for the post up of Schnabel playing the first movement of Op. 111. I learned that sonata 42 years ago, and still love playing it. It remains my favorite piece in my repertoire.

I remember when I was working on the second movement, a grad student stopped by in the practice room I was using. I was struggling with a very wide double trill for the right hand, and questioned whether the movement was playable for me. His response has stuck with me, because he said, essentially, "Just remember. You're trying to learn the greatest piece ever written for solo piano. That alone is worth the effort." I treated it like a hard boulder problem, and eventually got it, but it is not a piece I could have gotten through sight reading.

I have a basic rule with that Sonata, though. I don't play or even practice the first movement unless I have enough time to play the second. The turmoil of the first movement needs its antidote in the profound tranquility of the second. For those unfamiliar with this sonata, it has only two real movements, following the one-page Maestoso introduction, and they contrast on every possible level. Anton Rubinstein opined that humanity wasn't worthy of the second movement. I wonder if Beethoven could have conceived of it if he could still hear.

There's a second reality for me with that Sonata. I do not start practicing or playing it until I'm done with everything else on the piano, because nothing can follow it. Once I finish playing it, I'm done playing the piano. Beethoven wrote no more piano sonatas after Op. 111, and I think he did so deliberately. It remained his last word on the subject.

Thanks again.

John
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 18, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
John,

Nice post.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 28, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 28, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
Ghost, too true. Many great musicians don't make it to the big stage for
any number of reasons, the ability to play being the least of them. My friend,
Almer Imamovic, is a case in point. While studying with Pepe Romero at the
USC Thornton School he was on the fast track to the big time - doing well
at comps, etc. Then he made a conscious decision to follow his passion which
was to make music, particularly with his wife Jessica, a flautist he met
while they were at L'Ecole Normale in Paris. Now they have a thriving duo
thang going playing adaptations of the classics mixed in with his treatments
of Balkan folk music. He still does his solo classical gigs, mainly in
Europe, but their duo, Almanova, is his main focus.

It is hard to get them over for dinner much any more but it is something
special to get him lubed up and turn him loose on my wife's guitar. He'll
sit here and seamlessly riff Bach, Jobim, Metallica, whatever you shout at him.
The dude's a monster and drop dead funny.

Concierto de Aranjuez:


Almanova:


Almanova website - buy 'em up! Click on the link just to hear Jessica knock it dead.
Almanova
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Oct 28, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Gary. . . STEALIN' IT!

TFPU!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 28, 2013 - 03:49pm PT

Peter Hurford - J.S. Bach - Toccata & Fugue in D minor
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 28, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
Great find, Gary!

John
RtM

climber
DHS
Oct 28, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
In my younger days I played classical piano for a good decade and a half before putting it on the back burner for 20 years or so. I have actually been playing again for about 3 weeks now!!


I kinda just skimmed over the thread, but I was surprised to not see anything on Chopin. I has always been my understanding that Chopin is considered the greatest piano composer. A common phrase I hear is that "Chopin is the soul of the piano", and I have always agreed with this. Of all the works from my old repertoire; Bach, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, etc..; Chopin would always get me going the most, and usually would also be the most difficult to execute.

Anyhoo, just wanted to give a shout out to the man! Now, time to go bang on some keys.


BTW, I am neither gay, jewish or, well, I used to be pretty good!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 28, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
RtM,

My wife got me several pads titled "Chopin Liszt," showing caricatures of Frederic and Franz carrying paper shopping bags filled with groceries. Sad to say, I don't know where I put the last of them.

While I play some of both -- what pianist can resist? -- I'm not sure whether it's a matter of Beethoven fitting my hands or my soul or both, but his Sonatas just seem to require less effort and give greater satisfaction. I have to play the Fantasy-Impromptu, though, because that is one of my wife's favorites. Well, I like it a lot too.

As far as the pre-twentieth century composer requiring the greatest effot, though, Brahms gives me the most trouble. I love (and love to play) his music, but it always requires a lot more effort than I would expect just looking at the music.

John
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 28, 2013 - 04:37pm PT

Ashkenazy plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 2nd. mov Adagio. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sir Georg Solti.
selfish man

Gym climber
Austin, TX
Oct 28, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
Ok. A few memorable Chopin performances:





selfish man

Gym climber
Austin, TX
Oct 28, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
and more



RtM

climber
DHS
Oct 29, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Fantasie Impromptu, nice! I haven't heard that one in a long time. That one was on the first Chopin cassette that I owned - Vladimir Ashkenazy(sp?), had the Impromptus, Fantasie, Barcarolle, Berceuse - that cassette changed my whole world.

My wife's fav is Clair De Lune, Debussy - of course. Trying to piece that one back together now.

I'll have to give Brahms a closer look, thanks!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
My wife's fav is Clair De Lune, Debussy - of course.

It turns out I heard my wife-to-be play Clair de Lune 48 years ago in a piano recital. My sister and I were there because we both had good friends playing in that recital. After I married my wife (30 years less 23 days ago, but who's counting?), I saw her program from that recital and realized I was there. Once I saw the program, I remembered her playing as well, although I didn't see her again for almost 20 years.

Sad to say, she quit her lessons shortly after that recital. We used to play some duets when we were first married, but she hasn't really played in at least a couple of decades now. Since 1990 we've owned two pianos, with me holding out hope that either my wife or one of my daughters would like to play two-piano duets with me. No dice. At least my older daughter plays for enjoyment, and even attempted Clair de Lune. Unfortunately, the key signature daunted her.

My younger daughter is getting her master's degree in composition, so she uses a piano to sound out what she's written on occasion, but doesn't play except if absolutely necessary. My bottom line: when my older daughter gets married this April, my vertical piano will go with her, at least for now.

Oh well, at least my wife enjoys it when I play Clair de Lune.

John

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 29, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Oh well, at least my wife enjoys it when I play Clair de Lune.

It looks like I'll have to wait until retirement to tackle that one and the Girl with the Flaxen Hair. I have the same key signature issue! It'll take lots of time on the bench.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Oct 31, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 12, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Leinsdorf breaks the news of the Kennedy Assassination

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