I hope we don't (re)open another saga of exchanges on how to listen to Classical Music.
I'm not preaching about an "academic/objective way of approaching the enjoyment of music", but the necessity of being attentive, alert and insightful in listening some of the most complex but, at he same time, most rewarding works of this genre. It's not about "structure over the feeling" but rather structure to enhance the feeling. You don't miss the wood for the trees. You just appreciate the "wood" because you can identify the variety, the richness, the quality of the "trees", so that you may have a better perception of the "wood" itself (to use your example).
I have a high-end equipment, but I can listen to the music itself through my system and not for my system. (Don't use all these old cliches).
To "locate clearly" the five instruments of the Quintet is the actual listening procedure in order to follow what's going on in the development of each movement and the evolution of the whole work. It's hi-fi for the benefit of music. So, Kev go ahead with the identification of the five voices to have a better understanding of these complex but miraculous works of exquisite music.
Concerning the Late String Quartets by Beethoven, perhaps, Kev, you have to revisit them, after repeated listening of Mozart's String Quintets. The "Late Quartets" are the pinnacle of musical achievement (as Vic underlined) in a different way vis a vis the Mozart's String Quintets (which are another pinnacle of a similar achievement). You may try to start listening to the slow movement of the op. 132, which is the most sublime piece of music the great Ludwig has ever composed.
Awaiting for your first impressions on the diferent Quintets.
I was not saying that you were, just pointing out the dangers of doing so. Gosh, don't be so defensive Parla. Once again, not every observation is a criticism!
And do I take your last sentence as an order concerning my use of English? (And you wonder why you get attacked sometimes!)
Fair enough, Vic. Message received to the letter.
My last paragraph is a reminder of an early invitation to Kev to share his first impressions. Not an order (stricto sensu).
I would be interested to have your views even on any individual String Quintet, even separately.
It's nice to have someone interested in my humble opinon Parla. I think it was Joan Baez who said that if you have an opinion, why be humble about it? I'm still thinking about that one.
I'm finding myself whistling a motif or two from these works already but as there's 3.5 hours of music there, I'll need to spend more time on them. I'm not an intellectual but hope to have something intelligent to say soon.
'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music'.
Aldous Huxley brainyquote.com
If you are reading a Shakespearean sonnet and seeing the structure over the feeling, you are missing the wood for the trees. And so with music, I believe.
I've not tackled the sonnets yet - is there a forum about them? I often wish I had chosen literature over science at school.
I'm not really clever enough to do socratic irony properly but I can understand why you thought that - I did lay it on a bit thick. Even so, I did everything as described except for switching off the mobile - Mrs kev was out in her car at the time and we don't have breakdown insurance for her car etc.etc.
My new CDs are a very entertaining - there's a lot going on all of the time. I'm not sure that I can hear the difference between a violin and a viola so I was hoping to place them in the stereo sound stage thus clearing that one up. Work in progress.
Listening to hi-fi rather than the music: I need to crystallise my thoughts on that one.
Are there degrees of profoundness? Are the Beethovens more profound than the Mozarts?
No. I'm with Vic on this, just listen to the music, form your own judgements, ignore the snobs.
The viola is the one that sounds like a violin with a cold.
As a newcomer with a genuine will to deal with these complex and superb works, your opinion, Kev, is always welcome. You may be humble, your opinion not.
The viola has a timbre darker than the violin and a pitch higher than the cello. On the stereo image the two violas share the right side (as you are facing your hi-fi system) with the cello. The two violins are on the other channel.
As for the "degrees of profoundness", it comes to every listener (since we are listeners, not players) through repeated listening and some further comparative study and some research to broaden your perception. To converge a bit my view with those of Vic and Tagalie, for the players, scholars, experts etc. there is some sort of profoundness in the different works in question. For the listener, to a great extent, listening is the key to reach the various phases of his/her judgement (there is no final judgement, if you keep listening and doing some further research and study).
That's why I am interested in your initial opinion. It might show a lot for what will follow in developing your judgement.
Your comment about the placement of instruments in the Mozart quintets had me seeking reassurance that I could clearly locate each one - but that's hi-fi not music.
I abandonded a music listening group recently, mainly because I didn't like the hi-fi. So I see the music and the hi-fi being intertwined - if I don't like the hi-fi, I can't concentrate on the music.
On the stereo image the two violas share the right side (as you are facing your hi-fi system) with the cello. The two violins are on the other channel.
Thanks - I thought so but but I like to see things in writing. Does this seating plan go back to Mozart's days?
My opinions about new music have a gestation period Parla. When I wake up in a morning, I see what music is on my mind. It may take a week or two before it becomes deep seated. Currently, I am waking up to 'O, the pleasure of the plains!' from Handels' Acis and Galatea. I see from my Spotify record that I heard that for the first time on tues15nov2011, so motifs can appear randomly anytime.
You may try to start listening to the slow movement of the op. 132, which is the most sublime piece of music the great Ludwig has ever composed.
Have just heard that on Spotify - the Borodin Quartet - but there are lots of other versions. Sublime is the word. Which version(s) do you like?
So I see the music and the hi-fi being intertwined - if I don't like the hi-fi, I can't concentrate on the music.
Yes indeed. The way I see it, the better the audio equipment the less it intrudes. Perfect hi-fi would disappear: the musicians are there with you, conveying what the composer intended.
Invest in the best and get more out of your music, is my mantra. The better the equipment the more people listen to their music. I'm sure it must be true.
Does this mean you don't like violas tagalie?
For me they are, by a significant margin, but I don't have the musical language to say why.
This is more Parla's territory but I'm sure it doesn't need technical knowledge and academic analysis replacing serious and repeated listening to reveal - although I'm sure it would help a lot if it is available to you. (But it isn't to me.)
My only measure is how I feel listening to them, and how I am left feeling when the last note fades.
Violas rock! The Walton Viola Concerto is a particular favourite and the timbre of the viola is central to much of V.W.'s work.