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  1. #61
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. ****gy View Post
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    It's topical to point out Shostakovich was a big football fan and wrote reports for the Soviet sports papers. He was quoted in an article in Time magazine in 1942 :-
    “The climax of joy is not when you’re through a new symphony, but when you are hoarse from shouting, with your hands stinging from clapping, your lips parched, and you sip your second glass of beer after you’ve fought for it with 90,000 other spectators to celebrate the victory of your favorite team.”

    His favourite was was then called Zenit Leningrad.

    I've become cautious of reading too much into the supposed political agenda of Shostakoch's music. The official interpretation of his tenth symphony is that is a epitaph following Stalin's death. It's not.
    For one thing, it was composed in 1951 when Stalin was very much alive (compare it with his 5th string quartet) and for another the music includes his musical initials - d, e flat, c and b - which always (that's ALWAYS!) indicates he's writing about personal matters.
    Good post. Peevemor started a thread that's slipped off the front page of this sub-forum, called 'Insights' - just those sorts of lnsights into various musicians' works. I referenced the DSCH motif there.

    I have Ian MacDonald's biography of him though I've yet to read it, it's on the list though. My understanding is that it tries to strike a balanced and nuanced account that reflects the complexity of living as an artist in those times but ultimately comes down on the side of him being a dissident who hid his satire of the authorities in the more bombastic elements of his works. The last movement of the fifty symphony springs to mind as an example but I kind of like the fact that no one can really be too sure.
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  3. #62
    @hibs.net private member Dalianwanda's Avatar
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    Surpised no ones mention Philip Glass..'Opening' is such a gorgeous piece of music. Currently just playing his work on shuffle each morning without actually looking at what a lot of it is. Just allowing it to flow through me on my walks to work

  4. #63
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalianwanda View Post
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    Surpised no ones mention Philip Glass..'Opening' is such a gorgeous piece of music. Currently just playing his work on shuffle each morning without actually looking at what a lot of it is. Just allowing it to flow through me on my walks to work
    I wondered when the thread turned to John Adams whether it would bring in the likes of Glass or Steve Reich.

    I used to listen to them a lot more in the past than I do now, maybe time to revisit them. I think my favourite Glass work was his music for ‘Candyman’.
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  5. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    I'd forgotten about that, and when I googled it it turned out to be a different aria from the one I was thinking of. It's from Mozarts 'The Marriage of Figaro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzuM2XTnpSA

    Probably my favourite aria from my favourite opera is the very dark 'Va Tosca' from ....Tosca. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lPxwct2sk
    The Te Deum at the end of act 1 in Tosca is incredibly powerful. I think I'm right in that there isn't another example of orchestra, choir and soloist all in unison and at full pelt too.

    I might be slightly biased in that I performed in it in my younger years..

  6. #65
    @hibs.net private member Prof. Shaggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colr View Post
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    I love Wagner’s music but the stories are absolute rot. If you like Tolkein and Game of Thrones they might appeal. Tristan and Isolde is good as a tale, though.

    I went to see it last year at the ENO with the sets designed by Anish Kapoor and it was very good. Bit too radical for some who didn’t like the intepretive staging but if you can believe that the fair and beautiful Isolde and the young warrior Tristan are the size of hippos then you should be able to believe a triangular partition is a boat!
    Eh!! That's the daftest of the lot!

    The whole story hinges on Isolde's maid, or whatever, accidentally fetching the bottle of love potion out of her handbag instead of the deadly poison. Three and a half hours later the pair end up dead anyway.
    If the staff did as she was asked everyone would be saved a lot of bother and we'd all get out to the pub a bit quicker.

    On the Opera thing, my kids clubbed together and got me tickets for the Covent Garden last summer. (Big number birthday). La Traviata is always good - and probably the only Verdi opera I can get into.
    Thing is - the gents toilets at the Royal Opera House are f***ing huge. There are no urinals - only cubicles. No danger the patrons will enjoy the same splash back we know and love in the depths below the East Stand....

  7. #66
    Good to see this thread back on the front page.

    I was thinking about resurrecting it by posting some pieces that people might recognise but not know what they were called or who composed them. Since Sergey has mentioned the cello and Jacqueline Du Pre I'll start with the piece that she's best known for (and by far my favourite Elgar composition) - Elgar's Cello Concerto. It was written shortly after WW1 and to my mind it's so evocative of what the British mood must have been like at that time - deep melancholy mixed with deep pride and determination, while not being as maudlin as Nimrod or as blustery as the Pomp and Circumstance marches (Land of Hope and Glory etc.). To be fair to those two they do rather suffer from being overplayed like those mentioned in posts #5 and 6 and the rest of the Enigma Variations are something of a mixed bag.

    I vaguely remember the cello concerto being used as the theme to a TV series some years ago and it crops up in adverts and films from time to time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPhkZW_jwc0&t=132s

  8. #67
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    Good to see this thread back on the front page.

    I was thinking about resurrecting it by posting some pieces that people might recognise but not know what they were called or who composed them. Since Sergey has mentioned the cello and Jacqueline Du Pre I'll start with the piece that she's best known for (and by far my favourite Elgar composition) - Elgar's Cello Concerto. It was written shortly after WW1 and to my mind it's so evocative of what the British mood must have been like at that time - deep melancholy mixed with deep pride and determination, while not being as maudlin as Nimrod or as blustery as the Pomp and Circumstance marches (Land of Hope and Glory etc.). To be fair to those two they do rather suffer from being overplayed like those mentioned in posts #5 and 6 and the rest of the Enigma Variations are something of a mixed bag.

    I vaguely remember the cello concerto being used as the theme to a TV series some years ago and it crops up in adverts and films from time to time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPhkZW_jwc0&t=132s
    Good post.

    I'll throw in Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.

    Mussorgsky wrote it for piano and it's a classic of the pianist's repertoire but I've linked the orchestral version (only orchestrated by some French bloke called Maurice Ravel ).

    I first heard it as an orchestral piece as the theme tune for the Rik Mayall political comedy, "The New Statesman" some thirty years ago now.
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  9. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Good post.

    I'll throw in Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.

    Mussorgsky wrote it for piano and it's a classic of the pianist's repertoire but I've linked the orchestral version (only orchestrated by some French bloke called Maurice Ravel ).

    I first heard it as an orchestral piece as the theme tune for the Rik Mayall political comedy, "The New Statesman" some thirty years ago now.
    Emerson Lake and Palmer did a prog rock version back in the 70s too. They actually did a few classical remakes - Copeland's Hoedown and Fanfare for the Common Man and Greg Lake's sampling of Prokofiev mentioned earlier in the thread.

    Mussorgsky composed it as a tribute to an artist friend of his and I assume the individual sections relate to pictures by that artist (who I can't be bothered to Google). I wonder what 'The Hut on Hen's Legs' and the 'Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks' were like. IMO the orchestrated version is more 'accessible' (can't stand people using that word in that context) but the solo piano version is more intriguing - which I reckon is what Mussorgsky intended.

    Since I've mentioned Copeland I'll chuck in one of his pieces - Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring. For some reason I've always really disliked Lord of the Dance which uses the same tune but I do rather like Copeland's version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI6RYZygevA

  10. #69
    @hibs.net private member Jim Herriot's Avatar
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    I'd recommend

    Gustav Holst Planets Suite, interpreted on synths by Isao Tomita, with video added (by who?).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev-o...156E0E47CDAB6C

  11. #70
    Cross-reference to the film thread - this is the music the gang pretend to play in The Ladykillers - the minuet from Boccherini's String Quintet. Baroques not really my favourite style of music but this makes me smile.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSE15tLBdso

  12. #71
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Erik Satie's "Gnossiene No.1", here.

    About 45 seconds in you hear the recurring motif and I think people will recognise it from numerous films and TV programmes.

    The word 'Gnossiene' was invented by Satie and it is disputed as to what it actually means. Satie had an interest in Gnosticism and it may well have stemmed from that.

    Have to confess, I hadn't thought of this piece before for this thread, but I heard it for the first time in a few years in the car this morning on Radio 3 and it seemed to fit with the current theme of pieces that were familiar but maybe not identified by title or composer.
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  13. #72
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Returning to the opera theme I’m in Prague at the Narodni Divadlo or National Theatre for ‘Carmen’ tomight.

    Got ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ and ‘Aida’ before the weekend too.

    Three operas in four days is a bit heavy but I’ve never seen the latter two so am looking forward to it.
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  14. #73
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Returning to the opera theme I’m in Prague at the Narodni Divadlo or National Theatre for ‘Carmen’ tomight.

    Got ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ and ‘Aida’ before the weekend too.

    Three operas in four days is a bit heavy but I’ve never seen the latter two so am looking forward to it.
    Intermission at ‘Cunning Little Vixen’. It’s not performed commonly in the UK and I had to listen to it a few times in advance to get familiar with it.

    The staging is an absolute joy, played for humour as well as the bathos that underpins the story.

    Definitely worth seeing again but as I say it’s rare for it to be performed at home.
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  15. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Intermission at ‘Cunning Little Vixen’. It’s not performed commonly in the UK and I had to listen to it a few times in advance to get familiar with it.

    The staging is an absolute joy, played for humour as well as the bathos that underpins the story.

    Definitely worth seeing again but as I say it’s rare for it to be performed at home.
    I seem to remember Cunning Little Vixen was on TV a few years ago but I somehow failed to record it. It's one of those I think of as intriguing rather than must see - hope you enjoyed it.

    Carmen is full of well-known tunes and songs, I've seen two performances - one was excellent and the other was terrible. I've only seen Aida once - a decent performance which was rather spoiled by a distinctly unspectacular Grand March. The Grand March is one of those pieces that some might recognise without knowing what it's called, so here's a clip (and a taster for Mibbes Aye).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX0qN6QEvGg

  16. #75
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    I seem to remember Cunning Little Vixen was on TV a few years ago but I somehow failed to record it. It's one of those I think of as intriguing rather than must see - hope you enjoyed it.

    Carmen is full of well-known tunes and songs, I've seen two performances - one was excellent and the other was terrible. I've only seen Aida once - a decent performance which was rather spoiled by a distinctly unspectacular Grand March. The Grand March is one of those pieces that some might recognise without knowing what it's called, so here's a clip (and a taster for Mibbes Aye).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX0qN6QEvGg
    Cunning Little Vixen was very good but I think you’re right, it’s an interesting piece but maybe not one of the operatic highlights as such.

    Aida was very good and the Grand March was both triumphal and triumphant, so no complaints there.

    For those of us who like classical music, Prague has to come highly recommended. There are three or four sumptuous venues that stage full-blown operas, ballets and classical concerts. Prices are half that compared to the UK and the quality is on a par or better - I rate Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera but the Ballet of the Czech State Opera and the Ballet of the National Theatre Opera and the National Theatre Orchestra are technically better. I’m not a huge fan of the RSNO and prefer the BBC Scottish Symphony Ochestra, who just seem to have a bit more verve and gusto, though the RSNO have improved considerably since Peter Oundjian took up the baton.

    Getting back to Prague, the quality of performance and environment is very high with a silly amount of choice. We had the chance to attend three big operas in barely more than half a week. There’s also a plethora of lunchtime and early evening concerts at very cheap prices. The programmes are very accessible in a Classic FM style - lots of Mozart, Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ etc but again, well-performed pieces in pretty venues.

    Given this is primarily a football website it would be remiss to ignore the fact that Prague also does football really well, there’s a bunch of top-flight teams and similar to the music, the quality is decent and costs are cheap by comparison - I was talking to a friend who lives here who described the ticket price for the recent Slavia - Bohemians game as extortionate, which it was in terms of HET Liga prices. It was nevertheless only around ten or eleven quid in pounds.

    Essentially if you fall into that small, exclusive niche category of classical-loving football fans then Prague is pretty much the place to visit
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  17. #76
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Following on from Caversham Green’s post I was put in mind of this excerpt from a Verdi opera.

    It was used in a British Airways advert sometime in the late eighties or early nineties, which was when I first heard it, and like Aida is set a long, long time ago

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D6JN0l7A_mE
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  18. #77
    Thought I'd stick in a wee history lesson about probably the best known four notes in music - Beethoven's Fifth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv2WJMVPQi8

    It was written in the early 19th century and soon became known as the Victory Symphony - you need to listen to the fourth movement to understand why (around 24 minutes in) . The four notes of the first movement are often described as 'fate knocking at the door' the second and third movements can feel a bit stodgy by Beethoven's standards but the third leads straight into a victory procession followed by exuberance and a touch of defiance - emphasised by one of the earliest uses of trombones in an orchestra - and then that ending that just doesn't want to stop.

    Anyway, around 40 years after it was published Samuel Morse developed Morse Code - probably by coincidence the code for V is dot-dot-dot-dash. Fast forward nearly a century to the Second World War and the catchphrase in Britain was V for victory and despite Beethoven being as German as they come the BBC were using his four notes to introduce news bulletins.

    All around four notes written by a deaf composer.

  19. #78
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    Thought I'd stick in a wee history lesson about probably the best known four notes in music - Beethoven's Fifth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv2WJMVPQi8

    It was written in the early 19th century and soon became known as the Victory Symphony - you need to listen to the fourth movement to understand why (around 24 minutes in) . The four notes of the first movement are often described as 'fate knocking at the door' the second and third movements can feel a bit stodgy by Beethoven's standards but the third leads straight into a victory procession followed by exuberance and a touch of defiance - emphasised by one of the earliest uses of trombones in an orchestra - and then that ending that just doesn't want to stop.

    Anyway, around 40 years after it was published Samuel Morse developed Morse Code - probably by coincidence the code for V is dot-dot-dot-dash. Fast forward nearly a century to the Second World War and the catchphrase in Britain was V for victory and despite Beethoven being as German as they come the BBC were using his four notes to introduce news bulletins.

    All around four notes written by a deaf composer.
    Good post. I attended a number of concerts at the Usher Hall as part of the 'Naked Classics' series. The first half was narrated by a composer/conductor who guided the orchestra (RSNO) into deconstructing the piece in question, with a gigantic HD screen above them highlighting the signature and various movements or whatever. Second half, they just performed it.

    Beethoven's Fifth was one of the series and they went very heavily on the 'fate knocking at the door' motif.

    I'm going to highlight something different - two pieces that one mixes up, most probably because the former influenced the latter. This is maybe just me, maybe age, though I was mixing them up as a teenager so that's possibly not an excuse.

    First up is Sibelius and 'Finlandia' matched with Holst's 'Mars' from the 'Planet Suite'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zg_af9b8c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmk5frp6-3Q


    Second is Handel's Sarabande which featured in Kubrick's masterpiece Barry Lyndon, matched with the Second Movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

    Handel's Sarabande

    2nd Movement, 7th Symphony



    From memory, Brahms First lifts huge elements of Beethoven's Ninth as well?
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  20. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Good post. I attended a number of concerts at the Usher Hall as part of the 'Naked Classics' series. The first half was narrated by a composer/conductor who guided the orchestra (RSNO) into deconstructing the piece in question, with a gigantic HD screen above them highlighting the signature and various movements or whatever. Second half, they just performed it.

    Beethoven's Fifth was one of the series and they went very heavily on the 'fate knocking at the door' motif.

    I'm going to highlight something different - two pieces that one mixes up, most probably because the former influenced the latter. This is maybe just me, maybe age, though I was mixing them up as a teenager so that's possibly not an excuse.

    First up is Sibelius and 'Finlandia' matched with Holst's 'Mars' from the 'Planet Suite'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zg_af9b8c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmk5frp6-3Q


    Second is Handel's Sarabande which featured in Kubrick's masterpiece Barry Lyndon, matched with the Second Movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

    Handel's Sarabande

    2nd Movement, 7th Symphony



    From memory, Brahms First lifts huge elements of Beethoven's Ninth as well?
    I love both Sarabande and the Seventh (which IMO is Beethoven's most underrated symphony), but I'd never actually noted the similarity before. The same movement of the Seventh and Albinoni's Adagio tend to meld together in my head sometimes though.

    Another two that often get mixed up are Greig's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLp_Hh6DKWc - and 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' by Dukas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lWvl3yVH_Y

    In fact Lea & Perrins clearly chose the wrong one for their ad back in the day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFRQqyMBnK8

  21. #80
    On the other hand, two pieces that don't sound anything like each other are the sublime 'E Lecevan Le Stelle' from Tosca* - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8lD9ZmYHhE - and Al Jolson's ridiculous (IMO) Avalon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmaKpp51uzI.

    And yet Puccini's publishers successfully sued Jolson for stealing the tune.

    *In Italian with German sub-titles here - don't say I'm not helpful.

  22. #81
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    I love both Sarabande and the Seventh (which IMO is Beethoven's most underrated symphony), but I'd never actually noted the similarity before. The same movement of the Seventh and Albinoni's Adagio tend to meld together in my head sometimes though.

    Another two that often get mixed up are Greig's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLp_Hh6DKWc - and 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' by Dukas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lWvl3yVH_Y

    In fact Lea & Perrins clearly chose the wrong one for their ad back in the day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFRQqyMBnK8
    The Seventh is my favourite of Beethoven's by a long chalk. The Albinoni comparison is good. I hear formative elements of Shostakovich in Albinoni as well as the obvious influence he had on Bach and then Beethoven.

    Beethoven's Seventh is wonderful and for me epitomises the way he straddled the shift from Enlightenment to Romanticism and in classical music the progression from Classical to Romantic.

    There's another two pieces I find similar and both fit the earlier brief of pieces people may have heard but didn't know what they are. One's choral and one's orchestral and it's only really at the beginning they bear comparison but for me they are akin.

    Mussorgsky's 'Night on a Bare Mountain'

    Orff's 'O Fortuna' from 'Carmina Burana'

    I've always been fond of Mussorgsky, along with his peers. There's a soul to their compositions that echoes with Russian writers, poets and playwrights from the same period.
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