SSM

composers we don't get...

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Or if you want Stravinsky done a lot better, Ondine by Henze.
Ondine is a great score, but I wouldn't say its better, just more of the same, in fact at times he's like 'Son of Stravinsky' in that piece

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Sibelius. He's important if you're Finnish. Or a freemason. But why oh why oh why is he all over Radio 3 ? Twice a year would be once too many. But no, he's often on several times a week. For goodness sake they could be playing Britten or Shostakovich or (sorry Serge) Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring is brilliant). It's not just me. I'm with the critic who said "If Sibelius is good, this invalidates the standards of musical quality that have persisted from Bach to Schoenberg ...". Honestly I'd sooner sit and listen to my fridge.

VB

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Sibelius. He's important if you're Finnish. Or a freemason. But why oh why oh why is he all over Radio 3 ? Twice a year would be once too many. But no, he's often on several times a week. For goodness sake they could be playing Britten or Shostakovich or (sorry Serge) Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring is brilliant). It's not just me. I'm with the critic who said "If Sibelius is good, this invalidates the standards of musical quality that have persisted from Bach to Schoenberg ...". Honestly I'd sooner sit and listen to my fridge.

VB

Odd isn't it, I love Sibelius, hate Shostakovitch, Britten I can take or leave but I do like Owen Wingrave. However, of the 'moderns', I enjoy Delius, Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Butterworth, Respighi, Villa Lobos etc etc so it's not just Classical or Baroque, but it must have a tune!

S

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I love Serge.:hug:

However I need to have a word with you about Vaughan Williams.:nup: His Lark Ascending is one piece I don't get. It's been voted Blighty's favourite classical music for 2014.:shock: Each time I play it in an attempt to foster any affection for it, I feel an itch to grab an AK-47 to shoot the bird down.

SS

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I love Serge.:hug:

However I need to have a word with you about Vaughan Williams.:nup: His Lark Ascending is one piece I don't get. It's been voted Blighty's favourite classical music for 2014.:shock: Each time I play it in an attempt to foster any affection for it, I feel an itch to grab an AK-47 to shoot the bird down.

SS

Wonderful how tastes go. I've adored the Lark Ascending since I was about 15. I still prefer the Hugh Bean version, but that may be because it was the first one I bought. We still have lots of larks around where I live, and I hear TLA for real almost every time I go for a walk in fine weather.

S

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SSibelius' Violin Concerto kicks The Rite of Spring's sorry primitive skid-marked butt to the primitive Baroque age.

Each to his own I suppose. Some people like sprouts. And hakarl.

VB

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All those, and I'll add Stravinsky.

Some years ago, I was taken to hear The Rite of Spring. I sat down, the musicians came in and started tuning up. 45 minutes later they stopped tuning up, and everyone applauded.

Bizarre.

S

The original version of that joke lies in the official visit of some senior Chinese delegates to London in the early days of the Royal Festival Hall. They were taken to a concert as part of the visit, and as is the tradition in orchestral performances the oboe sounded his concert pitch A and the orchestra spent a couple of minutes tuning themselves to it. At the end of this procedure the Chinese delegation applauded with huge enthusiasm, thinking this was the best contemporary music the West could offer.

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The original version of that joke lies in the official visit of some senior Chinese delegates to London in the early days of the Royal Festival Hall. They were taken to a concert as part of the visit, and as is the tradition in orchestral performances the oboe sounded his concert pitch A and the orchestra spent a couple of minutes tuning themselves to it. At the end of this procedure the Chinese delegation applauded with huge enthusiasm, thinking this was the best contemporary music the West could offer.

It may be an old joke, but it really happened to me when I was about 10. At that age, I couldn't tell when tuning up was over and the music started. Having listened to TROS since, I'm not sure that the intervening more than half-century has made me any more perceptive when it comes to that piece of music, and much else by Stravinsky. Still sounds like random notes.

S

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I've had that experience a few times at live performances of Indian classical music.

Serge, have you ever heard Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale? There's a wonderful hummable melody that is repeated throughout the work. The delightfully absurd lyrics were written by a wonderful Swiss author barely known outside of Switzerland.

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Moderator

I find it interesting that preferences with regard to classical music seem to generate greater differences than other genres.

Most people here appreciate various bits of rock, jazz, soul and other genres, yet utterly detest specific classical stuff.

I'm not the greatest Stravinsky fan, but find it perfectly listenable. OTOH, I have a few Sibelius pieces that I would find it hard to live without hearing again. Please, Finlandia is a stunning work played well.

Generally, I find my tastes remarkably similar to Serge, but I'm afraid I am firmly in the camp that does not get Vaughan Williams. Lark really grates on my nerves frankly. I find it verging on the twee, and intensely annoying.

Can we all agree, however, that any Bach organ work needs to be considered the pinnacle of human achievement?

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One for you then Rabs, the 4 manual organ at my old school, 32ft pipe from memory and would shake the whole building in full swing. Peter Crompton, the organist whom the scholarship is named after used to play a fantastic Tocatta 5th Symphony, Widor. Crompton's s time was before Youtube, but can be heard on CD, just awesome.

[video=youtube;kD-5Iw1BO8k]

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