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rayshaw23

i need recommendations on classical and vocals and jazz

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Yes, different, but I think BP retains its characteristic impeccable precision, sweet, rich and thick sound. The style and approach to the repertoire is what has changed. Abbado and Rattle and Karajan are all different. Rattle brings this progressive dynamism and though he is not young age-wise, personally I think he kinda brings this more youthful perspective. His recent Mahler 9 has been the subject of a key article in Grammaphone magazine.

 

Abbado on the other hand (13 years at BP) is italian and a contemporary of Martha Argerich. I know him for his Ravels, Mahlers and try out the Beethoven symphonies. Try the infamous 5. You can hear immediately how he is different from Karajan. At the risk of getting burnt at the stake, I personally prefer his 5 then to Karajan's.

 

Another interesting note about BP, not a very nice piece of information actually. Until mid 20th century, did you know that BP was rather discriminating in its selection of members. No women, no Jews and no other races. Horrible yeh? That was the practice with Vienna Phil as well. And during WW2, to be in BP, you have to be a registered member of the Nazi party.

 

Don't let this deter you from listening to them now though. The concert master is a Chinese and there are ladies in the orchestra. (I'm sure there are Jews too now).

 

Edited by kongee

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Yes, the infamous purge of Jewish-German players (a majority) in the BP during Hitler's time depleted the orchester. Karajan and the BP were shunned by the Jewish communities after the war but in later years they were accepted. But we should realised those were evil times and people lived under duress and danger. The present Pope was forced into the Nazi youth movement as a child! How he hated that! Anyway, will be interested to check out Rattle's and Abbado's BP sound. Thanks.

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You should try out Li Yundi's latest album. Prokofiev and Ravel 's piano concertos with BP and Seiji Ozawa at the helm. Which brings this discussion to another "note". BP is not best for all classical genres though. I personally feel the Russian repertoire belongs to the Russian National Orchestra under Pletnav. American works like some of Batok's, Copland, really best by the Americans. The Italian operas, Puccini, Verdi again, best by the relaxed and excessively expressive style of the italian orchestras. And of course, BP is infamous for Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler.. all german composers. Vienna Phil supreme with J. Strauss waltzs.

 

This whole thing is actually quite wonderful in that no one orchestra really "owns" the scene. We are all unique and irreplacable. Believe it or not, our SSO is one of the best with Butterfly's Lover's violin concerto. I think Singapore just has the right mix of western and eastern culture for westernised chinese works.

 

Happy appreciating.

Edited by kongee

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I was curious whether the Berliner Philharmonkier sounded different under Karajan from that under Abbado or Rattle. I got hold of the Beethoven 9th under 1996 Sony label, BP conducted by Abbado, and compared it with the 1963 DG version, BP under Karajan.

 

Maybe it was the recording or the reading under the two conductors (I believe the latter), the difference was noticeable. Karajan's reading was heavy-weighted, bitingly intense and energetic. On the other hand, Abbado wrought a lighter touch, a 'softer' reading. The second movement (Molto Vivace) contrasted well the difference in style. The slow movement (the Adagio) was slower under Karajan but it was a highly 'spiritual' reading. In this movement under Karajan, the interplays between the strings, the woodwinds and the brass were like the gentle ebb and flow of tides in a calm sea, at times the symphonic sound seemed to hover - very ethereal. Overall, BP's sound under Karajan was lush and majestic whereas under Abbado, better described as moderated and delightful. Under Abbado, Beethoven's 'The Creatures of Prometheus' (the bonus track in the same CD) was like a dance and very 'Mozartian'. Perhaps the difference in the musical developments of Karajan in the great European symphonic medium and of Abbado in the operatic affected their readings. I thought the Beethoven I read about, the images of him, and his music , altogether speaks of an intense and fiery personality, which accorded more to the readings of his music by the Berlin Philharmonkier under Karajan. This is very personal; I would have to give a tongue-in-cheek salute to the German maestro: Hail Karajan!

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Impressive. Thanks. Karajan does to this day remain synonymous with BP.

 

Further to your point on how the composer's music is best played the way the composer probably meant for it. Hmm... yeah that's controversial. There is another school of thought that thinks otherwise and extends on works with their own interpretations. Like the way Gould romanticized Bach. Heretical perhaps, but personally I feel like art, good music has taken a life of its own and has become the ownership of performers almost as much as the composers themselves.

 

Heheh, but to be honest, I can't ignore the fact that I slant towards the newer recordings by simple fact that they are acoustically better.

Edited by kongee

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Yeah, I believe a degree of interpretation is desirable, even unavoidable, for a masterpiece to enthrall each new generation. However, some artists take it a bit too far. More like a personal ergo trip, thinking that's how it should be! In this regard, I think some crossover music can be disconcerting. I have heard operatic singers doing jazz and pops idols trying operatic. Imagine Pavarotti doing a Micheal Jackson, and vice versa. Where is the rhythm!Move that hips Pava! Give me a high "C" Micheal! :))

 

I wonder anybody has a say on modern classical music.

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... to add to the list... Sting doing John Dowland, the lights of Maksim (Yeeks!) the Bond Girls (or whatever), Vanessa May (I think she tried serious classical once and failed). But sad to say, they sell more records than the serious ones.

 

Yeah, but even within the serious community of musicians, there are those who drift too far off. Agree with you on this.

 

 

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Anyone game for modern classical music?

 

I was initially put off by this advant-garde, 'new' trend music (-not so new actually; started off in the early 20th century). The discordant chords, non-melodious, apparently 'illogical' anti-music (as compared to the traditional fares) sounded too alien for my ears. However, as in all artistic and creative movements, there are 'bad' music in the traditional fares as in the advant-garde. Opinions are divided over what make a piece of music great - should the audiences' acceptance in time be the ultimate judge? Anyway, if you are keen to explore 'modern' classical music, do try to listen to a good representative compilation in the 1995 BMG "Music At The Edge" under RCA Victor (red seal) label. It brings together the musics of Tavener, Hersch, Markevitch, Gorecki, Artyomov, MacMillan, Wolfpe, Messian, Glass and Part. The recent past seen the musics of these masters coming into general acceptance. Examples of Henryk Gorecki (3rd symphony) and Arvo Part(Fratres) come into mind. Modern classical music cds are harder to come by these days in the Singapore market as local retailers play safe selling accepted masterpieces and reissues. Sad :(

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I think modern classical music is not too readily accessible because it presents a radical soundscape, evocating altered states of emotion that may be unfamiliar and unexplored. Anyway, words are just inadequate(I am no wordsmith either). To present some flavours of what I am saying, I would recommend listening to the 1990 DG cd compilation of the advantgarde music of Rihm, Ligeti, Nono and Pierre Bouliez, WIEN MODERN, Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Claddio Abbado.

 

First piece - Depart (1988) by Rihm. In this 9-minute piece of absolute music for mixed chorus, speaking chorus and 22 players, quanta of sound, unrelated and discrete, stream about in a dark void. No imagery scene, just a soundscape.

 

Second piece- Atmospheres (1961) by Ligeti. As the name suggested, grand orchestral sounds create a rarified atmospheric feeling, suffocating towards the end as the atmosphere depleted.

 

Third piece - Lontano(1967), also by Ligeti. The grand orchestral sounds stream past as in a light-speed space travel to infinity.

 

Fourth piece - Liebeslied(1954) by Nono. The mixed chorus and instruments present discrete absolute sounds in pockets, like echoes in a caveneous setting(a temple?), with bells in cueing moments.

 

The Fifth piece, comprises 4 short movements, Notations 1-1V(1945/1978) by Pierre Boulez. Here the music draws into the dark mental soundscape, with columns of sound appearing and disappearing, (frozen angts, dark nuerosis?), shattering claps of sound towards the end, chaotic and in flashes, like inside a nueral brainstorm.

 

This is my 'feel' for the music. It opens up a new soundscape and horizon. Others may (should) experience different evocations. Is the music entertaining? Not in the conventional sense but it is sure eerie and mysterious, but very interesting! Try it.

Edited by iggyting

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Hi Folks, ever wonder when man started to sing? I like the recent recruitment advertisement where a modern man in suit n tie walking ahead of a group of Neanderthal men, similarly dressed, apparently whistling. It invited protests from some irritated ST readers presumably from the accounting field which I find funny. Did the proto-man (Neanderthal man) started it all? I believe at the beginning , man would have sung to the sacred n the profane. Anyway, I know all music lovers(modern or otherwise) will find solely vocal music appealing. Here I would recommend the sacred music of the Eastern Orthodox Church (besides that of the Western Church) for all music lovers. Not only the music is of the greatest antiqulty, it is music making in the highest order. In this connection, I recommend listening to the CD, Sacred Treasures, Choral Masterworks from Russia (Hearts Of Space label). Let the burb invite you...

 

"The choral music of the Russian Orthodox Church is designed to set the soul soaring beyond earthly cares. Sung by the finest Russian and Bulgarian choirs, this extraordinary collection of transcendent prayers and hymns embraces a timeless tradition of faith and devotion. Lush harmonies float in space, angelic high voices pour down from heaven, deep bass voices arise from the center of the earth, and the great bronze bells toll with awesome grandeur. For sheer beauty, there is little to match it anywhere in the world."

Edited by iggyting

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Hi Folks,

 

About a decade ago, an Italian motion picture named "Farinelli" was released in the local cinema circuit. It was an operatic offering, something different from the usual action-packed Hollywoods fares, and was well reviewed and received.

Following the film, the original motion picture soundtrack, "farinelli" (under Auvidis-TRAVELLING label; musical direction under Christophe Rousset) was released. If you still can find this cd in the local market, I would recommend you to buy it because, not only it is good music, it is also unique for using a synthesised voice! In fact the vocal recordings employed the countertenor voice of Dereck Lee RAGIN and the soprano voice of Ewa MALLAS GODLEWSKA, combined and re-edited in high-precision, in recreating the 'lost' castrato voice of the 16th and 17th century Italian cities. The countertenor providing the lower register and the soprano, the higher. No one now possesses the vocal range - as much as three and a half octaves - of these castrato-singers like Farinelli, Cafarelli or Porporino of these past eras. Why? Because these singers were castrated just before the voice broke from youth to manhood in order to preserve it. In these eras, in comformance to the Italian sensitivities of the day, only male persons were employed to sing in Churches and perform on stages. So in this recording, what you hear is a re-creation. But you hardly noticed it and enthralled by the great vocal, lightly accompanied by the sparse chamber orchestra, under Christophe Rousset. I like particularly the reflective 4th piece, Air de Dario, by Riccardo Broschi, and the melodous 6th, by the great Handel himself, who was then living in Naples. By the way, if you like to listen to somebody in the present days that approaches that of the castrato-voice, I would recommend the Japanese counter-tenor, Yoshikazu Mera, who released, under the BIS label, three cds that I am aware of - Baroque Arias, Romance and Mother's Song (Japanese popular songs). Happy hunting!

Edited by iggyting

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I was curious whether the Berliner Philharmonkier sounded different under Karajan from that under Abbado or Rattle. I got hold of the Beethoven 9th under 1996 Sony label, BP conducted by Abbado, and compared it with the 1963 DG version, BP under Karajan.

 

Maybe it was the recording or the reading under the two conductors (I believe the latter), the difference was noticeable. Karajan's reading was heavy-weighted, bitingly intense and energetic. On the other hand, Abbado wrought a lighter touch, a 'softer' reading. The second movement (Molto Vivace) contrasted well the difference in style. The slow movement (the Adagio) was slower under Karajan but it was a highly 'spiritual' reading. In this movement under Karajan, the interplays between the strings, the woodwinds and the brass were like the gentle ebb and flow of tides in a calm sea, at times the symphonic sound seemed to hover - very ethereal. Overall, BP's sound under Karajan was lush and majestic whereas under Abbado, better described as moderated and delightful. Under Abbado, Beethoven's 'The Creatures of Prometheus' (the bonus track in the same CD) was like a dance and very 'Mozartian'. Perhaps the difference in the musical developments of Karajan in the great European symphonic medium and of Abbado in the operatic affected their readings. I thought the Beethoven I read about, the images of him, and his music , altogether speaks of an intense and fiery personality, which accorded more to the readings of his music by the Berlin Philharmonkier under Karajan. This is very personal; I would have to give a tongue-in-cheek salute to the German maestro: Hail Karajan!

 

 

hi Sir, from what I had heard, both are very different.

 

i just feel the depth of punch in the two conductor, some feeling of a certain song is different.

 

i happend to have two disc by berlin phil, and by the two conductor.

 

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hi Sir, from what I had heard, both are very different.

 

i just feel the depth of punch in the two conductor, some feeling of a certain song is different.

 

i happend to have two disc by berlin phil, and by the two conductor.

 

So it is. Don't you feel a sense of loss that the Karajan's sound is lost? Or maybe it is just different - something to get used to. regards

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yup.

 

just some personal experience

 

As a member playing in a concert band for many years, I had worked with 4 conductors.

 

During my secondary school time, I happen to be under the baton of a good conductor,m he guide us to a competition, and he approach toward music making is soft, but harsh, he go for more expression, rather then volume.

 

And also, i am playing some piece which i had played before in my secondary school. Same piece, different conductor, it give a different feeling. The richness of each tone, the emphasis on a certain part, each of them work differently..

 

Back to topic...

every conductor is different

sound is differentdats why they cud come up wif e same recording, even by berlin by different conductors

 

i hope it help.

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