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  • Not much at the library sale yesterday, although there was what you see below. Rather more today - not sure yet if any worthy of a photo.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Ligeti, Karlheinz, Yawn, etc. But there might be some good stuff here. Not listened yet. Worth $5. Certainly more than that on Discogs.
    Last edited by Grim Lounge Cowboy; 19-03-2016, 04:23 PM. Reason: Yet

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    • I found myself with half an hour to spare this morning. On a whim I listened to Charles Wuorinen's String Quartet - The Fine Arts Quartet (on Turnabout Vox). Picked this up Saturday morning.

      First listen, and so too early to comment in detail. I only mention it as a point of contrast with Conyngham's String Quartet. 25 odd minutes of Wuorinen passed without a moment standing out. Conyngham's piece is full of good moments. He just needed to pick a good genre-vehicle and ditch the attachment to silly vogue gestures. Someone with editing skills could probably do something with his SQ. For all I know it has been sampled already.
      Last edited by Grim Lounge Cowboy; 20-03-2016, 03:10 PM. Reason: Siily

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      • Some recent finds, the Gregorian one probably my favourite and like Skip cant resist anything on Argo, will update as I listen:

        [IMG][/IMG]
        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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        • Classical music purists - look away now.....as..

          giantchicken goes 'gluck, gluck, gluck' at the Dietrich-Fischer Disco!...



          Most amusing yes, but not my own work I'm afraid, I lifted it wholesale from the Twitter page of the soprano Chiara Skerath, where there's a funny Sean Connery joke too...Well, shoot first, ask questions later. Sometimes when records are cheap, despite all those promises you made to yourself, you've got to fill your boots. In a charity shop recently I totalled up the 45s I'd gathered at 25p a shot to find they added up to something & 75. 'Well', I thought. 'It's only 25p and it's for charity...have another punt...' So I picked up this 45...



          Hmmm...opera? I'd never really seen myself as the type, own practically none and couldn't say I'd heard of either Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or indeed Gluck. Finally getting round to giving it a play, I was finding it reasonably bearable and then when Fischer-Dieskau's rich baritone began on 'Ach, ich habe sie verloren', I was rather surprised to find myself humming along....how did I know this tune? For the rest of the day, I found myself mock-baritoning as I went about my affairs, even feeling more well-disposed to the guy on the 'Go Compare' ads as I racked my brain for the source...and then I recalled....


          FLASHBACK: It's Sheffield, 1984 and yippee!...it's girocheque day! The young giantchicken is upstairs in a newly opened record shop called 'Fon' on Division Street trying to find some vinyl that's cheap, cheap, cheap and having pulled all he desires out of the 10p 45's rack, he finds the total comes to something & 90. 'Ah, well,' he reasons. 'It's only 10p, and it's a new shop...have another punt...' Which is why I ended up with a copy of this....



          'The Lost Opera' by Kimera & The Operaiders was a project that pulled together the LSO, superannuated pop folk such as John Fiddy and Steve 'Family Dogg' Rowland with a cast of desperate opera singers in an effort to gather/butcher all the best of opera (including that Gluck melody), feed it through a Fairlight-CMI and hopefully have hits. The 45 remained in my collection as the textbook definition of a 'guilty pleasure' and I also confess to upgrading to the 12" mix at one time. Having revisited it, I find I still rather like it - it's spectacularly terrible and camp but I do like that soprano and of course, I now want the album(s?)....here's a sample - the Gluck's about 10 mins in....you know, this could be my way in to opera...



          And as (G)luck would have it, while rifling through the growing pile of classical acquisitions I'm accumulating, I found one rescued from a box of 25p albums outside a charity shop just as it started to rain, I quickly grabbed a few and found my total would come to something & 75, etc...so I ended up with this...



          ...no doubt it was the name of Couperin that caught my eye and I probably didn't even realise I'd bought my first album by the German baritone and Shatner-alike. These cantatas remind me that not everything has to be opera and it's received a good number of plays. I'm growing to like Fischer-Dieskau's voice which seems natural and less obviously histrionic than some of his forbears and contemporaries and the harpsichord laden settings certainly help although they're a bit lost in the mix. The Scarlatti involved here is Scarlatti Snr, not his son of harpsichord renown, the very prolific Telemann seems a man for all seasons and all reasons, but the surprise was the Couperin.



          Most definitely not mincing around the lawns at Versailles in a wig, too much slap and dinky little court shoes, here we find him honouring his obligations to write some church music, 'Lecons De Tenebres' the only surviving pieces from an Easter trilogy which, based as they are on the Jeremiads sound particularly grave and woeful in F-D's baritone. Ironically, Couperin originally wrote them for the high register of nuns - a shame that Kimera and The Operaiders weren't around back then.

          I then discovered more Gluck 'n' Telemann on these oddities;





          Obviously offloaded by a budding flautist, these 'Music Minus One' albums by the promising sounding 'Rameau Trio' and 'Beaux Arts String Quartet' are in fact rather cheap and poorly recorded renditions of the works without the solo instrument that allow a music student to 'fill in the gaps' as it were - interesting - but not very listenable - guess I should have spotted the clue in the name of the label really....

          If it wasn't for bad Gluck, I wouldn't have no Gluck at all...(that's enough Gluck jokes now, GC - Mods)...but more was to come my way...



          Lots of popular, laid back classical pieces, digitally recorded, on DG with Karajan at the helm - what's not to like? Well...all of it really. In fact they might as well have called it 'Now That's What I Call the Best Chillout Classics Album In The World, Ever' and put a picture of a half naked woman enjoying hot pebble treatment on the sleeve, so limp and uninspired are these performances - and that's in no way a reflection on the composers. I've been reading Norman Lebrecht's 'Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness' as recommended way upthread and I'm glad I did. It certainly puts albums like this in perspective and may well be the most useful tool employed yet in my classical education. If any of you would like to recommend some more useful books on classical music, I'd be most grateful...

          Still no thoughts on the little 7" classics? I'm finding them very useful for when I've only got a short listening period available or as samplers for composers or musicians...here's some recent examples...




          Astrid Varnay's rendition of Beethoven's 'Ah Perfido' (Op.65) apparently catches the soprano at the top of her game and comes from the late fifties when DG still had it's 'gessellschaft' intact - but to be honest, I found it a bit stiff and featureless...

          I'm guilty of having been a violin ignoramus, but noting the popularity of David Oistrakh, I thought I'd give him a try. The reason for his popularity was immediately apparent, even to me. His glissandos are smooth and sweet without ever being syrupy and he retains just enough of that old eastern European folk rawness without ever sawing away at his instrument - superb technique and extremely versatile in his expression of the music - demonstrated here over the course of the Bach Violin Concerto in E Major with Ormandy & The Philadelphia and a fairly rudimentary recording with piano accompaniment of some extracts from Prokofiev's 'Cinderella Ballet' in which the playful feel is brought magically to life. I have more Oistrakh waiting in the wings.

          This recording (on ARC) also features the Russian pianist Emil Gilels on the flip with some short pieces from Prokofiev's 'Visions Fugitives' which are right down my airy and contemplative piano music alley - and although they sound like they were recorded down a telephone line, there's enough to suggest to me that some further investigation of Prokofiev might be very rewarding.



          Anyway, having taken a few steps down the long road of singistry without being abducted by the bogeyman, I felt confident enough to take a step further with this;



          Yes, I've bought a 'Carmen'...It's hardly adventurous I know. The melodies are naturally very familiar. I was weaned with my mum blasting the Hollywood version, 'Carmen Jones' around the house when I was a kid, I own a copy of Mr McLaren's effort (appropriately enough, bought as a gift at the behest of a putative girlfriend who was so capricious she didn't even stay around long enough to receive it...) and then of course, there were Kimera's exquisite renderings. I'll admit I wasn't expecting too much of this Sadlers Wells effort sung in English and featuring Patricia Johnson, but in fact I'm really enjoying it. Breaking down the language barrier (I speak some French, but it's a struggle for me to translate songs - or indeed speech - as it happens) helps me get a better idea of the context and the story - the Prelude steams straight in and could fill a dancefloor quicker than Frankie Knuckles and the Seguedille never fails to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, it's just gorgeous...as it turns out, Ms Johnson and the cast turn in a pretty fiery rendition of M.Bizet's work...blimey, I almost dropped my Werther's Originals...

          Back with more classical related buffoonery shortly...
          Last edited by giantchicken; 25-03-2016, 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar, blah blah...
          you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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          • You haven't converted me to Opera GC but I do enjoy reading about your excursions into the world of classical, they are always most entertaining.

            I'd rather be the groom to the picture of Sean Connery I posted on the finds thread than ever hear Opera again, That's not to say in a few years time I'll be loving it and have taken up ballet, actually I'm probably past the last bit.
            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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            • Opera = 'here be dragons'.

              Some classical vocal action in the stuff I've picked up. I suppose I will have to listen and comment at some point. Forum membership brings with it certain duties.

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              • How many thousands of records have they had at the library sale? And what do they have playing all the time - the same opera CD! Most of the time I manage to screen it out.

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                • Check out Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen" or Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande" for a change of mind on Opera.
                  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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                  • I enjoy listening to BBC Radio 3 there are some great shows 'Late Junction' to name but one but the quota of Opera on there must heavily outweigh anything else they play. I'd use it for going to sleep but the Opera wakes me up every time be it a baritone or a tenor and everything else in between.

                    I know I should probably experience it properly in a Live environment and I would probably understand and appreciate it a lot more. I'm probably not ready for that but alongside 'Happy Hardcore' I cant think of anything much worse to expose my ears to, but then five years ago I didn't think I'd be enjoying listening to religious choir music.
                    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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                    • Thanks for the tip.

                      I recognise the term "Cunning little vixen" from my recent excursions.

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                      • Originally posted by medlar View Post
                        Check out Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen" or Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande" for a change of mind on Opera.
                        Thanks for the recommendations, Medlar - it may take a while but I'll bear them in mind....

                        Originally posted by amidar View Post
                        I'd rather be the groom to the picture of Sean Connery I posted on the finds thread than ever hear Opera again, That's not to say in a few years time I'll be loving it and have taken up ballet, actually I'm probably past the last bit.
                        Originally posted by Funktionnaire View Post
                        Opera = 'here be dragons'.
                        Now, come along you two - I probably felt the same at one time, opera seemed to be for 'other people', but oddly enough it was listening to provocateurs like Malcolm McLaren and Tony Wilson who, for all their sins, consistently argued that the 'high arts' should be as much the property of the working man as anyone else, that made me promise to at least investigate opera, even if it had to wait until I was older.

                        Well now I am, and although I doubt I'll ever become a fully fledged opera fan, it does no harm to shrug off the towel of philistinism and have a paddle in the shallows. I'm not sure the live opera situation is the way to go - opera is to me in many ways unsatisfying as a theatrical spectacle, but you must admit, there's some great music in there. You'll notice that the 'Carmen' I bought is just 'highlights', so I don't have to sit there pondering a libretto in a foreign language for hours to derive something from it - that's the great thing about records - you can just have the stuff you like.

                        With that in mind, thanks to my spirit guide Kimera, I'll be looking for some highlights to Verdi's 'Rigoletto' and Delibes' 'Lakme' for starters - can't be too difficult, eh? You're right about ballet though, Amidar - I'm out of puff just from loading the washing machine these days.

                        Now then, what were the other things I'd put aside for doing shortly before I 'shuffled off this mortal coil'?....ah yes, a proper appreciation of Shakespeare...and not 'just enough to pass an exam'...and there was one more....oh yes...hard drugs!.....hmmm...actually, maybe I'll leave them until the pain becomes unbearable.....

                        Originally posted by Funktionnaire View Post
                        I recognise the term "Cunning little vixen" from my recent excursions.
                        It's alright mate....we won't ask....
                        you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                        • I've been ready in principle to listen to opera since I heard La Wally in Beineix's "Diva" back in 1981.

                          Googled pictures of CLV look alarmingly "Cats"-like. But I am prepared to suspend disbelief in the light of my respect for Medlar.

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                          • Opera and Classical is open to all, forget the past elitist cobblers - frankly a ticket will cost you the same as that as seeing some joke band at the Brixton Academy....
                            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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                            • Thu 19 May 2016 7.30pm - 9.45pm
                              Barbican Hall, London
                              Mahler Symphony No 6
                              With Sir Antonio Pappano

                              SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No 1
                              MAHLER Symphony No 6

                              Sir Antonio Pappano conductor
                              Viktoria Mullova violin
                              London Symphony Orchestra

                              Two complex and brooding works by Mahler and Shostakovich are the focus of Sir Antonio Pappano’s concert with the LSO.

                              With his roots firmly in the theatrical tradition of the opera-houses, Pappano is the ideal conductor for concert works of great emotional depth and urgency. His baton can tease out even the most elusive of emotive subtexts, a quality that is vital when interpreting the intense and dramatic works of Mahler and Shostakovich.

                              Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No 1 is a virtuoso tour-de-force composed during a time of personal and political unrest, it is widely considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the violin repertoire of the twentieth century. Mahler’s Symphony No 6 is popularly known as the composer’s ‘Tragic’ symphony, its final movement is punctuated by three devastating ‘hammer-blows’ that represent the inescapable force of fate.

                              Clicky

                              Don't rate the Barbican that much, but this should be a good gig.

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                              • How many of us, whilst having a quick look at collectorsfrenzy to see what madness lies there, see the name Leonid Kogan featured weekly at least? He appears to compete with Johanna Martzy for the role of most valuable violinist on vinyl (VVV), his works regularly achieving four figures. Who amongst us dreams of stumbling on one of these records in a charity shop? An LP of great value to someone but not to you. None of that worrying that you're keeping hold of a record that could pay off a chunk of the car and not even playing it. Stick it on ebay bobs your uncle we'll go to Spain this year etc.

                                Luckily my spidey senses are pretty good so I didn't wet myself with excitement when I saw this LP


                                it's on the SAGA label for a start and in many ways it looks like every other slightly battered charity shop classical LP you see. So I didn't start panting and frantically searching popsike on my phone as sometimes happens but I did decide to make the purchase entirely out of curiosity to find out what all the fuss was about.

                                Well I'm no expert on classical music, Tchaikovsky, violinists or anything much in the realm of this thread so I can't provide an entirely educated review. To my uneducated ears there is definitely something special in Kogan's playing. The problem I have is not in recognising it so much as knowing how to describe it. He seems to come at notes in a unique way, swooping down on them at bullet speed and then soaring up and majestically flying off with them. Like an osprey. There's my verdict: Leonid Kogan, the osprey of violinists.

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