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  • Classical Music Finds

    So following on from active encouragement in the other thread I'm throwing down the gauntlet to any other closet classical music buyers on the board. Sharing of knowledge is actively encouraged as is any form of classical music from Shubert to Stockhausen.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Jacqueline Du Pre, Daniel Barenbom - Chopin Cello Sonatas I found this in a job lot of vinyl I bought recently. No huge orchestra on this just Du Pre on cello and Barenbom providing piano accompaniment. Its all about the cello of course and Du Pre's playing is nothing short of stunning. The melodies are beautiful and forlorn and there is a eerie haunting quality to the whole thing which I love. After a particularly stressful week due to a stroppy teenager this has been the perfect recovery album.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    J.S.Bach - Excerpts from St Matthews Passion I have a lot of Bach in my classical collection probably more so than any other composer which probably stems from an interest in his organ works more than anything else. I'm currently trying to get my head around 'The Brandenburg Concertos' but having not come to grips with that yet this is something else I came to recently. Bach's St Matthews Passion is an oratorio based on the gospel of Matthew written for Orchestra and solo voice. They are epic pieces with lush intricate melodies and are performed with elegance. There is an ethereal, other-worldly quality to this music which I find common through a lot of Religious classical music and am drawn to. I'm not hugely into classical singing but although at the forefront throughout most of the album it blends well as an instrument in its own right as opposed to being thrust in your face.
    Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

    Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

    Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

    Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

  • #2
    Well done that man What always confuses me is the amount of different performances of a piece. Obviously there are variables relating to what makes one performance "better" than another, the orchestra itself, the conductors interpretation of the piece, the actual quality of the recording etc. With no expertise in this field at all,(as you can probably tell) are there key, cornerstone records to look out for? Are certain labels more desirable than others? I only ask because I don't know
    Everyone tear down your own little wall
    That keeps you from being a part of it all
    Because you've got to be one with the one and all
    You've just got to be close to it all

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    • #3
      I'm not the biggest expert myself but from my point of view I always tend to go for the big labels in the field such as EMI/HMV, Deutche Gramophone, Columbia, CBS etc and avoid the cheaper labels as you generally find its a bad recording or its by a little known orchestra but by no means is that a proven rule. For example in America the big Orchestras are New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland as they attracted all the best players. Apparently the divide isn't so much these days but was in times gone by.

      I'm not interested in value as such but apparently Mono recordings are not very desirable especially if the recording has been reissued in Stereo at a later date. Condition is all important and not just from a value standpoint the nature of the music going from deathly quiet to loud crackle can ruin the listening experience. Violin, string based music seems to be the most popular with Jacqueline Du Pre being a good example of someone to look out for as her recordings seem to be quite desirable.

      As regards key recordings I'm not an expert and just listen to what I like, hoping some of the more well versed can push some of their recommendations of composers my way. My tastes tend to be for more pastoral, mellow pieces or small string quartets and organ music than the bombastic, military music written for the kings of the day.
      Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

      Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

      Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

      Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

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      • #4
        Here's a couple of old threads:

        Recommended Classical

        Modern Classical Recommendations

        Xann's swap CDs are also highly recommended. A search for them should also yield a fair amount of information.
        "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

        Mixes for your delectation: http://www.mixcloud.com/danmatic/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by treeboy View Post
          Well done that man What always confuses me is the amount of different performances of a piece. Obviously there are variables relating to what makes one performance "better" than another, the orchestra itself, the conductors interpretation of the piece, the actual quality of the recording etc. With no expertise in this field at all,(as you can probably tell) are there key, cornerstone records to look out for? Are certain labels more desirable than others? I only ask because I don't know
          The differences between performances can be striking, it all depends upon how the score is interpreted. As an example it just so happens that I'm listening to Claudio Abbado's version of Janacek's Sinfonietta (Decca SXL 6398). Man oh man, why does he take the opening brass fanfare so slow? I've seen this piece live, and it rocks!
          I'd absolutely recommend the live stuff, as a Londonder I can say we are spoilt by the quality of incredible orchestras that play here, there's no excuse book your tickets
          some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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          • #6
            Originally posted by treeboy View Post
            Well done that man What always confuses me is the amount of different performances of a piece. Obviously there are variables relating to what makes one performance "better" than another, the orchestra itself, the conductors interpretation of the piece, the actual quality of the recording etc. With no expertise in this field at all,(as you can probably tell) are there key, cornerstone records to look out for? Are certain labels more desirable than others? I only ask because I don't know
            Decca is a great label, early stereo presses are sought after by the audiophile crowd. As elsewhere, minute pressing differences make a huge difference in value. There's lots of detail and lots of devil.

            My main interest is modern classical, so performance differences aren't generally an issue - there's probably only one recorded version of most of it - but this is more of an issue for older works. In particular, in the last few decades the idea of HIP surfaced more. HIP = Historically Informed Performance. Is it better to listen to a performance using original period instruments and period practices (affecting things such as amount of vibrato added to notes), or are modern instruments and performance practices where it's at? This can really change the way things sound... ultimately it's a matter of preference. But there is a lot of big-endian / little-endian dispute about this stuff.

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            • #7
              The Du Pre / Barenboim LP is timeless, just incredible. When it comes to early and baroque recordings though I think the best ones tend to be on CD from the late 80's / early 90s onwards. Try Paul McCreesh' Messiah on Archive, Ton Koopman's Matthew Passion on Erato, John Eliot Gardner's St John Passion on Archiv or Robert King's Coronation of King George III on Hyperion for cracking choral action and real verve.

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              • #8
                When it comes to early and baroque recordings though I think the best ones tend to be on CD from the late 80's / early 90s onwards.

                I have a couple of early music LPs, including a few by Thomas Binkley's Studio de Fruhern Musik. Really beautiful, serene music though I find it hard to discuss - I don't really have a critical vocabulary with this sort of stuff. I have Planctus which is the one that seems to be most critically rated. The

                SDFM were a kind of predecessor/contemporary to David Munrow's work, who I know has a lot of fans on the board, no doubt due to the ubiquity of LPs in charity shops!
                "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

                Mixes for your delectation: http://www.mixcloud.com/danmatic/

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                • #9
                  Good Recommendations. I have a couple of Munrow albums and Early is something I want to explore more of. Tsundoku is right though its hard to put into words at least for me what I like about some of these works.
                  Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                  Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                  Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

                  Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [IMG][/IMG]

                    I've been listening to a bit of Beethoven recently, trying to find a way in. Picked this up yesterday and gave it a listen this morning. It goes against most of the good advice offered above, being on the classical arm of the Stereo Gold Award label and with a pianist called 'Ludwig Hoffman'...wonder if that's his real name? Disappointingly, it doesn't feature any works composed by Leo Muller in the style of Beethoven. Apart from needing a good cleaning, it's not proved too bad actually.

                    My main point of connection with classical music over the years has been piano music (chiefly Erik Satie) so this was an easy-in compared to the various versions of Beethoven's 5th (mostly the Munich Symphony) I've been checking this week. I mean I know we all like to chant the mantra 'listen without prejudice', but when it comes to LVB, that's easier said than done. His Fifth Symphony is the 'Smoke On The Water' of classical music, with an even more well known riff.
                    The louder sections are a little too grandiose and don't really float my boat although I did quite enjoy the quieter passages. It's strength is the way it develops the theme, but at times it sounds as if it doesn't really know where it's going with it.

                    These piano works are more to my taste. The 'Adagio sostenuto' from the 'Moonlight' and 'Adagio cantabile' from 'Pathetique' are widely recognisable and undoubtedly beautiful melodies, but the rest of the 'Moonlight' does get a little unneccessarily intricate for my ears, a bit 'Eddie Van Halen' if you will. Still I suppose a movement entitled 'Presto agitato' gives fair warning. Both of these works are in C Minor...one of my main problems with classical is that so much of it seems to be written in what Burt Bacharach would later describe as 'the vanilla chords'...thus it lacks a bit of a blurry edge, a certain dissonance, a bit of room for imagination....know what I mean?

                    Thanks to Amidar for starting this thread, I've become more curious about classical music recently and hope I won't embarass everyone by musing aloud. So at the end of this episode, I find myself still clinging to the skirts of piano music when the scary figure of the orchestra comes calling....
                    Last edited by giantchicken; 01-03-2015, 05:45 PM.
                    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by peretti View Post
                      When it comes to early and baroque recordings though I think the best ones tend to be on CD from the late 80's / early 90s onwards. Try Paul McCreesh' Messiah on Archive, Ton Koopman's Matthew Passion on Erato, John Eliot Gardner's St John Passion on Archiv or Robert King's Coronation of King George III on Hyperion for cracking choral action and real verve.
                      Agree with this. There are some nice Early/Baroque recordings on vinyl...



                      ... but it tends to be piecemeal, or in rich veins in the catalogues of directors such as Harnoncourt, Bruggen, Munrow and Gardiner.

                      You get dollops of this stuff on CD.



                      This is the best collection of Vivaldi recordings, they're on Naive.

                      Along with the Il Giardino Armonico stuff and the recordings of the director Fabio Biondi, you could say the last few years have been Vivaldi's best since he was breathing.

                      About 5 years ago it was really difficult to keep up with with premier recordings of Baroque and Early stuff, it had found a new audience in its vibrant and more historically accurate form.

                      On vinyl you do get material like this...



                      Which is great.

                      Labels that other genre collectors covet can be wonderful - obvious examples being state labels Supraphon, Hungaroton, Electrecord and Melodiya.

                      I've got a domra concerto and folk orchestra recordings that are a joy on Melodiya, will drag them out if they cross my path.

                      Obvious pitfalls remain - Melodiya can be fecking awful technically, and you get gaps in repertoire (where the state fell out with the composer, in the case of Shostakovich).

                      Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                      I find myself still clinging to the skirts of piano music when the scary figure of the orchestra comes calling....
                      Piano heads are amongst the most finickity of collectors IMHO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                        I've been listening to a bit of Beethoven recently, trying to find a way in.
                        FWIW I was in the same position of having tried a few bits without any thing grabbing me. My eventual way in was through the late string quartets, some of his last compositions, incredibly moving and astounding pieces. I just picked them up in great looking Supraphon editions, but am going to hunt down others.

                        With that under my belt I have started to get into the symphonies through a box set, Karajan's 1963 cycle of recordings, picked up for two quid at a booter. Listening sequentially through worked better for me than picking up the odd disc and trying out the 5th or whatever. I would also say the Missa Solemnis is a really extraordinary thing...

                        Anyway, this worked for me...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Carlos Kleiber is a good way into orchestral Beethoven. Klemperer for orchestral and choral including the opera 'Fidelio'.

                          Just for good measure, here's another Klemperer favourite, the Brahms 'Deutsche Requiem'.

                          Beethoven string quartets, there's loads, but the Alban Berg Quartet are good on vinyl. The Takacs Quartet are mighty fine on CD.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                            I've been listening to a bit of Beethoven recently, trying to find a way in. Picked this up yesterday and gave it a listen this morning. It goes against most of the good advice offered above, being on the classical arm of the Stereo Gold Award label and with a pianist called 'Ludwig Hoffman'...wonder if that's his real name? Disappointingly, it doesn't feature any works composed by Leo Muller in the style of Beethoven.
                            Ha!! I'd pay good money to hear Leo Muller do that!

                            There was something of a hoo-hah in the 70s when Joseph Cooper declared on the BBC that the best version of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto available on record was the cheapo Windmill Records version, played by Hanae Nakajima with Rato Tschupp conducting the Nuremburg Symphony Orchestra. Windmill Records were delighted, naturally! Even today people say it's still a pretty decent version.

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                            • #15
                              I'd wager Ludwig Hoffman is as real as Mr 'Carlini' and his 'World of Strings'. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in Leo Mullers swish 70's office when he came up with this shit, that said I will have to pick up a copy of that if I see it now.

                              Also some great info as regards early recordings, shall be browsing classical cd's from now on.
                              Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                              Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                              Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

                              Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

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