Recent Personal Discoveries

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janeeliotgardiner wrote:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

 

 

 

one thing: are they comfortable? I've read a few negative reviews about the itchy foam pads. 

I would not want to give the impression that I’m encouraging you or anyone to buy any particular product/brand, etc. I could not say how well they would compare to similar products. All I can say is that I’m very happy (and increasingly so) with what I have, which is the combination of dac and headphone.

Yes, they are comfortable, I don’t have any issues with the foam. My concern is durability. I heard of some people reporting the cables at the connecting point of the headphones break easily, and truth to be told, they don’t look that sturdy. Even the foam pads don't look that durable. The reports seemed just a few, and it is all I can say at the moment….

Thanks Camaron........I will

Thanks Camaron........I will have another think about it. Cancelled order anyway - it was almost certainly a mistake. Going to pop in to Richersounds this weekend and try some out before ordering again.

Good luck with that. Choices

Good luck with that. Choices are not so easy when money is limited.

Reply to £16 & 17.

I wonder what you call melody in this work, camaron. Unless we break more rules of definitions or accept that anything with notes consitute a melody.

The saying I mentioned should be taken in the whole context of how I put it. It is not an advice or practice! And I don't think I have given you the impression (even a first one) that I "get stuck with Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Johann Strauss" (all great composers, by the way).

I do not think you really believe that you can rely on one source like "allmusic.com" (which is dealing with quite a few other things than the one you wish to rely upon) to prove that Schnittke's Third is that often performed or recorded, let alone is a modern classic. Check how many recordings have survived the time (the Borodin one has not yet even reissued, while their Shostakovich...) and who performed them (out of about a dozen of recordings only the Pacifica and the Britten Quartets have a wider repertory and an established reputation). Here, in Far-East, in a saturated field of performances of any kind, I have never noticed a performance of any work in any genre by Schnittke in years.

Anyway, as you admitted, you are "obsessed" with this work at the moment. So, let's let it go.

Parla 

Yes, we are talking about

Yes, we are talking about different works Parla. Otherwise your statement should  be treated as plain slander! And at any rate, more melody than in any of Bartok’s quartets…

Thinking about this label, 'polystylism'... Could that not be fully applied to Bach, by the way? Not trying to be cheaply polemicist here, but that’s what Bach, and most other contemporanean German composers did, back then. They mixed the French and the Italian style, and then their own German one, strict polyphony and Lutheran Chorale… In Bach’s own case it was the basis of some noisy criticism.That at a "macro" level. At a "micro" level he would do things like loading a minuet with heavy counterpoint (when the style rules said it should be simple and gracious...), etc...

Polystylism highly honoured.

We are not talking about different works, camaron. We are talking about different things based on different definitions, apparently. Depending on a definition of melody as any sequence of notes, then, yes there is a melody anywhere in Classical Music, even in Webern. The issue is then what kind of meaningful melody we have in each case.

Bartok's String Quartets are groundbreaking works that were influenced and created in an era where compositions from the Second School of Vienna were influential enough in the musical evolution then. Their significance as a cycle, their harmonical innovation and their complex and intense contrapuntal development made them unique in the important contribution to the genre. Definitely, as in the atonal or dodecaphonic compositions, melody is not the strong asset of these works.

I see that Bach comes (thanks to you) again to rescue even "polystylism". I think the fact that you are obsessed with this particular work of Schnittke (and, consequently, with the composer as well) can lead you to make this kind of assertions. Yes, now we know that Bach's Passions, Masses, Cantatas, Fugues, Preludes, Violin Sonatas etc. are polystylistic works, not Baroque, not German, not the output of Bach's own pure, creative and perfect musical language. 

Incidentally, Saint-Saens' Second Piano Concerto received some strong reaction by some congtemporaries of the composer, leading to a statement by Stojowski that the work "begins with Bach and ends with Offenbach" (due to the strange changes and the final tarantella). I guess we have another polystylistic work in hand.

Parla


Then it is slander Parla. The

Then it is slander Parla. The quartet is based round pretty memorable melodies, the kind you recognize already on second hearing. Not just the illustrious themes by other composers I’ve already mentioned, but his own, some beautiful hymn-like or most conspicuously the sort of waltz of the second movement. Just say you don’t like it, which is fine, but don’t insist in justifying things you’ve totally made up!

It is exactly the abundance of melody that makes the work so approachable, and the dissonances that follow so full of meaning.

Let’s better move on.

I’m surprised you’ve not mentioned Takemitsu’s Requiem...

Slander? Not really.

"Pretty memorable melodies", "dissonances that follow so full of meaning"(?!) and the work is so "approachable". Let's see when this is going to be recognised as such and the work can take a visible place in both the hearts and minds of the general public and the establishment. The issue is how creative are these "memorable melodies" (e.g. the "Waltz" theme is so commonplace), in which way the dissonances are so meaningful and so on. In the meantime, if you wish to discover (unless you have already found it) a superbly crafted, melodically memorable and intensely emotional String Quartet, try Miaskovsky's No.13 in a minor, a real masterpiece of the 20th century by a composer that is gradually taking the place he actually deserves.

As for Takemitsu's Requiem, it is one of his most Western works, finely structured, emotionally and musically coherent. Not too special, but worth the try. In any case, Takemitsu is by far the leading figure of the Japanese Music. He is the iconic figure in Japan, he has some recognition in South Korea and is simply respected in China. In the last two countries, there has been hardly any live performance of any of his works at least the last years I have been in the region.

Parla

parla wrote:

parla wrote:

"Pretty memorable melodies", "dissonances that follow so full of meaning"(?!) and the work is so "approachable". Let's see when this is going to be recognised as such and the work can take a visible place in both the hearts and minds of the general public and the establishment. The issue is how creative are these "memorable melodies" (e.g. the "Waltz" theme is so commonplace), in which way the dissonances are so meaningful and so on. In the meantime, if you wish to discover (unless you have already found it) a superbly crafted, melodically memorable and intensely emotional String Quartet, try Miaskovsky's No.13 in a minor, a real masterpiece of the 20th century by a composer that is gradually taking the place he actually deserves.

As for Takemitsu's Requiem, it is one of his most Western works, finely structured, emotionally and musically coherent. Not too special, but worth the try. In any case, Takemitsu is by far the leading figure of the Japanese Music. He is the iconic figure in Japan, he has some recognition in South Korea and is simply respected in China. In the last two countries, there has been hardly any live performance of any of his works at least the last years I have been in the region.

Parla

Not your finest post parla, what can I say. The thing is, i don't mind if you are wrong or not in how you interpret the  value of this music according to your “sources” (since you don't seem to know the actual music which you feel so entitled to talk about), but…

...if you say that this quartet “lacks any melody” then you are either spreading your ignorance or spreading slander. The bad thing about this is that you might put off whoever reads this and might otherwise feel curious and and give it a listen.

I know and like Myaskovsky’s 13th string quartet. It is alright, but not that masterwork you say, I don't think. I find Weinberg (who I have been exploring lately) more interesting, and before you say it I don't care you might try to belittle him as a Shostakovich imitator or similar, which he is not.

Myaskovksy and Weinberg.

More generally speaking, this is not our finest exchanges, Camaron. The thing is that I know the work and my primary "sources" come from listening to it again. I also sense that whoever reads these exchanges of posts will have the motivation to find out what this work is all about, not only about the "melody" issue but about its overall value and significance or simply to see whether they like it or not.

As for Myaskovsky's 13th Quartet, it is a masterwork of the 20th century legacy of the finest String Quartets and we can go to analyse it, if and when it is necessary. By the way, he was a fine composer too worthy for further exploraion of his Opus.

Finally, Weinberg is also an intriguing figure to explore with a good number of even great compositions, particularly in his Chamber Music output. Interestingly, his 13th String Quartet is a sort of an exemplary specimen of 20th century works in the genre. His Piano Quintet too. Not an imitator of Shostakovich, but he learned a lot from the Master and he developed his interesting and, at times, quite fascinating musical language.

Parla

 

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