Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

parla wrote:

So, at least we may agree on one thing (or we have a common feature), Troyen on"Oedipus": we both avoid listening to it that often, even for different reasons. Which makes the work a bit...less successful. The performances of "Oedipus" I have are : a)Kraft on Naxos, b) C. Davis on Orfeo and the recent one  with Gergiev (SACD) on Mariinsky.

What about the other "bizarre" work of the otherwise great Igor, namely "Les Noces"? Do you find it also exciting and brilliant?


Les Noces, can't stand it, never have, never will and I am the same with Firebird. If I want to listen to Minkus I'll go and listen to Minkus, not! I fully appreciate that I am at fault here and it might be a work of towering genius so do not tell me that some of the finest minds in 20th century arts all tell me to go listen and learn, blather, blather, blather, as I will not!

But we were discussing your blistering ignorance of Glyndebourne's contribution to the performing of th Stravinsky operatic oeuvre were we not or have you not had time to Google it yet?

Incidentally, I do not avoid listening to Oedipus Rex, I do not listen all that often like hundreds of works. Pay attention at the back there or are you tired and emotional after a busy week organising concerts etc?

RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

I listened to Oedipus again this morning and reminded myself that it’s not until the last twenty minutes that the thing gets going. I’ve got the Ancerl on vinyl, the one Gramophone complained had the last two notes snipped off. Well, they’re there on mine. Makes you wonder if the reviewer had one of those old decks that automatically lifted the arm on the playout grooves, sometimes before.

Les Noces I love, one of my favourite Stravinsky pieces. Again, I’ve got an old vinyl Ancerl (THERE was a fine conductor) recorded in a typical Supraphon public swimming pool acoustic. Sounds like there’s fifteen pianos and the Mormon Tabernacle choir in there. The one time I heard the work live, in a normal acoustic, I was far less impressed.


It does strike me, looking at a list of Stravinsky’s compositions, that there are some I could whistle first note to last, others I’ve never or rarely heard. Furthermore, I don’t have a pressing urge to go explore them. Maybe it comes down to him being a composer we tend to respect rather than love.

RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

tagalie wrote:
Maybe it comes down to him being a composer we tend to respect rather than love.

I was going to say this.  To be honest, even the Rite bores me in its full form, though of course its importance is undeniable.

'Art doesn't need philosophers. It just needs to communicate from soul to soul.' Alejandro Jodorowsky

RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

I definitely love some of his works, like Apollon musagete, Agon, Divertimento, Scenes de ballet and I respect the rest, since he was a great musical mind, anyway.

The fact that I find some of his works "bizarre", strange, unusual does not make them unworthy or bad music. They don't work that well with me, most of the audience and musicians I happen to know and I, as well the people I know, resort to occasional listening. His works, in addition, are performed almost rarely, except for the three "big" ballets.

By the way, what's your views on another controversial (to put it that way) work: Symphony of Psalms?


RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

I'm with you as far as your last paragraph goes, Tagalie.

As for Symphony of Psalms without stating the bleeding obvious I find I like it as much as that old mother******, Oedipus; OK on occasions.

RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

With quite a few satisfying to brilliant recordings (Shaw on Telarc, Gielen on Haenssler, Svetlanov on Warner, Christophers on Coro, Rattle on Emi and recently Herreweghe on Pentatone), I find that the Symphony of Psalms is a work I...hate to love.

Finally, what about Pulcinela? Another bitter-sweet story in his strange music-making.


RE: Vivaldi - Composer of the 21st Century ?

I thoroughly enjoy the three early big ballets, Les Noces, the three so-called symphonies (in C, Psalms, in Three Movements), Apollon and Pulcinella (that beautiful old recording by ASMF on Decca) and the Mass.

He tried to be such a dry old stick, composing some of his works like a contract lawyer. But regardless of his protestations to the contrary, I believe the emotional upheavals in his life at the time he wrote Symphony in C, show through. And it's all the better for it.


Log in or register to post comments
© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2014