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Music To Avoid Treading In

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The version of the story I heard was that it was Benjamin Britten who, once a year, would solemnly play a recording of a piece of Brahms to remind himself 'just what a talentless bastard he was'.

 

I rather agree with this, so far as his orchestral music is concerned. I find Brahms' harmonic language to be rather like Joseph Conrad's prose style ; every last implication is spelled, out, there is nowhere left for the imagination to explore.

 

In particular, I cannot stand the German Requiem, especially 'How lovely are thy dwellings' - makes me cringe even to think about it.

 

There are some composers who I like but in part ; I love the Beethoven quartets, but would not cross the road to hear any of the symphonies.

 

But this whole question of likes and dislikes - as well as being very funny to read - is difficult because one's tastes change over time.

 

I used to adore Franck, then suddenly went off him, just wanting him to grow up and stop being so adolescent. In particular, I could never understand why anyone would bother with the Fantaisie in A.

 

Suddenly, though, the penny dropped and I fell in love with all the organ music, particularly - you guessed it - the Fantaisie in A.

 

Confining myself to organ music, I would allow the first and last movements of Widor 5 and 6 but apart from that cannot see why anyone would bother to waste so much time on so many notes where so little is said.

 

Also, anything by Kenneth Leighton heads straight for Room 101 ; I find his music to be, as a friend of mine once said of Herbert Howells 'all the same .. . but miserable'.

 

(One other great put down comes from a composer friend of mine who, after listening to a piece of William Matthias remarked ' ah, yes, Matthias ; the lack of talent in every bar'. Cruel, but very funny).

 

M

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Guest Barry Williams

Beethoven's string quartets must surely rank amongst the finest music ever. They are on a par with Bach's Trio Sonatas. Beethoven's symphonies have, by and large, too much tonic and dominant, (unlike Brahms,) though there are some stunning individual movements.

 

Barry Williams

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Beethoven's string quartets must surely rank amongst the finest music ever. They are on a par with Bach's Trio Sonatas. Beethoven's symphonies have, by and large, too much tonic and dominant, (unlike Brahms,) though there are some stunning individual movements.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

Sadly, if it wern't for Beethoven 9 (a piece i cannot abide, 'ode to joy' is one of the most boring melodies ever, its just stepwise movement!!) we might have more brahms symphonies, after all he didn't write for so long because 'he could never match Beethoven 9'

 

on the other hand, no 6 is a great favourite on a summers' evening

 

not on a par with the greatest classical composer, Haydn though

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Sadly, if it wern't for Beethoven 9 (a piece i cannot abide, 'ode to joy' is one of the most boring melodies ever, its just stepwise movement!!) we might have more brahms symphonies, after all he didn't write for so long because 'he could never match Beethoven 9'

My music history and analysis lecturer for classical music (Nicholas Routley, son of Erik Routley. the author of many books on church music) claimed that the banality of this melody was intentional - it was designed to appeal to the masses.

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No one has yet mentioned the most overrated purveyor of formulaic, repetitive twaddle in the entire history of western art music…..

 

ANTONIO VIVALDI

 

He really should have stuck to his day job. I have heard X Factor rejects who have displayed more talent.

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No one has yet mentioned the most overrated purveyor of formulaic, repetitive twaddle in the entire history of western art music...

 

ANTONIO VIVALDI

 

He really should have stuck to his day job. I have heard X Factor rejects who have displayed more talent.

I haven't been following this thread; am I allowed to say "I disagree most strongly!"?

 

If the only thing going for Vivaldi was the fact that JS Bach admired his work sufficiently to arrange 4 of his concertos for organ surely that would be sufficient for us to accord him some respect. Of course the Four Seasons are played too often, so they cease to have any surprise for us, but they are brilliantly inventive and combine beauty with harmonic and rhythmic ingenuity and provide a virtuosic challenge at the same time. I'm a big fan of his vocal and choral music too.

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ANTONIO VIVALDI

Ah, yes. Spaghetti music - it just winds on and on. There are worse though.

 

[pedant]

I'm sure innate knows this really, but to be strictly accurate Bach only arranged three of Vivaldi's concertos for organ - the D minor, A minor and C major. The other two are by Johann Ernst.

[/pedant]

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No one has yet mentioned the most overrated purveyor of formulaic, repetitive twaddle in the entire history of western art music…..

 

ANTONIO VIVALDI

 

He really should have stuck to his day job. I have heard X Factor rejects who have displayed more talent.

 

Only recently, I was required to play 'Autumn' as a wedding recessional. I tried, really I tried to get them to accept ANYTHING else; March of the Toy Soldiers, Chopsticks, RAF March-Past, anything but no, it had to be Vivaldi's Autumn. So I snatched a two-stave version off the net, found that it was about three minutes practice beyond sight-reading and so let 'em have it. I still don't know how I managed to stay awake beyond page 1., or how how I managed to tell when I'd got to the end.

 

At this point, with no musical credibility remaining, I can make a truly awful confession. I have in my possession a full set of Cloister Albums.I am not proud of this, I have no excuse, I cannot explain it..... it just sort of happened. In my defence M'Lud, the only one I've ever opened beyond the contents page is the light blue one with the second Sinfonia from Solomon in it. I know I should bin 'em, perhaps I should burn them in case they were to fall into the hands of some poor soul who thought there was music in them. But, I know for sure that the day I chuck them, someone is going to ask for 'Priere' by Ascher, (who?), or Mayer's 'Lied Ohne Words', I can't go on.. it's just too awful...Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima to blame. Ye gods,Tschaikowsky, I bet none of you knew there was a keyboard version of the Andante Cantabile from his Quartet in D, Op 11, did you? And I'll bet you wish you still didn't know.

Any one got a hair shirt and some birch twigs I can borrow?

 

Chris Baker

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Elgar's Vesper Voluntaries. It is definitely a mistake to play the whole lot in a single recital - I know because I sat through them once. Fortunately there was a beautiful building to look at to relieve the utter boredom.

 

Peter

 

Yes, perhaps the whole lot at a recital is a bit much, but I must confess to quite liking the Andantino...

 

Really? I played them all at a recital last weekend and most people said that they enjoyed them the most! I love them all, they are all really beautiful and each one contains a memorable tune.

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Ye gods,Tschaikowsky, I bet none of you knew there was a keyboard version of the Andante Cantabile from his Quartet in D, Op 11, did you? And I'll bet you wish you still didn't know.

Having recently seen some Victorian recital programmes, I'm not the slightest bit surprised. Just be grateful it's not Spohr!

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The version of the story I heard was that it was Benjamin Britten who, once a year, would solemnly play a recording of a piece of Brahms to remind himself 'just what a talentless bastard he was'.

 

For the same reason I play once a year a recording of Britten's 'Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria'... :)

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For the same reason I play once a year a recording of Britten's 'Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria'... :)

Can't really disagree with that.

 

I see that no one seems to be in a hurry to publish his Voluntary on Tallis's Lamentations either - which doesn't surprise me.

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Can't really disagree with that.

 

I see that no one seems to be in a hurry to publish his Voluntary on Tallis's Lamentations either - which doesn't surprise me.

 

 

Having played the Vittoria, please tell me that is a sick joke vox...

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Ah, yes. Spaghetti music - it just winds on and on. There are worse though.

 

[pedant]

I'm sure innate knows this really, but to be strictly accurate Bach only arranged three of Vivaldi's concertos for organ - the D minor, A minor and C major. The other two are by Johann Ernst.

[/pedant]

 

Um.... Vox - if we are to be truly pedantic, can we agree on writing 'concerti' ?

 

After all, one does not eat 'spaghettos', or play the 'timpanos'....

 

And, yes, I did notice the letter from Dr. Anthony Ackerman, of Portsmouth, which was published in the May issue of Organists' Review; (Letters, page 100). Whilst his musical scholarship may well be excellent, his knowlegde of the application of the rules of Italian grammar is perhaps incomplete.

 

The word 'acciaccatura' is feminine singular and, as such, the correct plural is 'acciaccature' - not 'acciaccaturi' (which is masculine singular, as in 'concerto').

 

Just for the record - and because it makes me happy....

 

[End pedant mode.]

 

:)

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Um.... Vox - if we are to be truly pedantic, can we agree on writing 'concerti' ?

Ha! Tu veux battre en duel, M'sieur? En garde!

 

How about movements from Mendellsohn's Six Sonatas?

Touché!

 

Actually the modern convention is that foreign words that have become fully assimilated into English (so that they do not need to be italicised) are pluralised in the English way and not as in the original language. Therefore concertos and sonatas are both perfectly correct. And OUP agree. So there!

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Ha! Tu veux battre en duel, M'sieur? En garde!

Touché!

 

Actually the modern convention is that foreign words that have become fully assimilated into English (so that they do not need to be italicised) are pluralised in the English way and not as in the original language. Therefore concertos and sonatas are both perfectly correct. And OUP agree. So there!

 

The 'Mendellsohn' thing - an error, a slip of the hand or finger.... really! :)

 

The other point - so you do eat 'spaghettos' then? Surely one should be consistent?

 

Incidentally, (and whilst we are in 'pedant mode') is it not strictly 'And OUP agrees' - the collective body is singular. ;)

 

For the record, I have now edited the original post. (Out of interest Vox, do you copy, paste and save-up all my mistakes for future use?!) B)

 

I hope that no-one is going to mention intransitive verbs, now....

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Incidentally, (and whilst we are in 'pedant mode') is it not strictly 'And OUP agrees' - the collective body is singular. ;)

Yeah, but it was late.

 

For the record, I have now edited the original post. (Out of interest Vox, do you copy, paste and save-up all my mistakes for future use?!) B)

Not at all. I just use the advanced search options to search on keyword and poster. Finds them in a trice (and mine too, no doubt!) :)

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