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Discussion: Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 135, Walton: Sonata for Strings - Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Posts: 19
Page: 1 2 next

Post by Beagle September 17, 2005 (1 of 19)
Point no. 1
UNLESS most of the Amsterdam Sinf sits this one out, then o my stars and garters! it's another Dancing Elephants Show. I am very sorry to say that, in my first big order of SACDs, I bought the Amsterdam Sinf 'Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence / Verdi: String Quartet' disc without reading between the lines. I listened to it last night, with decreasing pleasure. On RBCD, I have von K. herding the Wien Philharmoniker through opp 131 and 135... and its amusing. As S. Johnson said, 'It is not done well; but you are surprised to see it done at all'.

Point no. 2
What a strange (inexplicable) pairing! This is the sort of disc that I soon regretted buying in the heady first days of CDs, before sensical pairings and box-sets came on-stream. No matter how much you like Beethoven AND Walton, it's going to be a jarring shifting of gears going from one to t'other.

Post by Peter September 17, 2005 (2 of 19)
Hello - I chuckled at the thought of "herding". Forgive me for adapting Johnson further:

"Sir, an orchestra of strings playing quartets is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

Post by Beagle September 17, 2005 (3 of 19)
Peter said:
- I chuckled at the thought of "herding"...

I thought hard about which verb would convey the obvious effort the dog and sheep, er, conductor and orchestra made. My first thought was 'coerced'. It's all a matter of physics: large objects can't corner fast. I suspect the magic of quartet playing is, that four is the maximum number of musicians who can form a unity. Four can dance, five must march?

Post by viktor September 17, 2005 (4 of 19)
Karajan and the Vienna Phil.? Please inform me. I know that Bernstein did them, but...
The Walton is a great piece. It was first recorded by Marriner and his St Martin band for Argo. Coupled with Barshai´s arr. of Prokofiev´s Visions Fugitives. A marvellous LP. No loss for being arranged for string orchestra. This coupling is weird though, wrong and silly.

Post by Beagle September 17, 2005 (5 of 19)
viktor said:

Karajan and the Vienna Phil.? Please inform me. I know that Bernstein did them, but...

Viktor,

Bingo, Bernie it is. I was killing time in a cybercafe and relying on memory. I knew B. had done them, but thought I had the Übermensch HvK himself (I don't play it often). Name my punishment: listen to LB and the Megatett, or 1 hr of Brahms.

There is another recording of Mitropoulos' setting by Previn and the Wiener. I guess Yeates had a point when he wrote of "the fascination of that, among all things not impossible, which is most difficult". There ARE pieces which go well with a quartet or chamber orchestra, e.g. Shostakovich's SQ no. 8 or Pärt's Fratres.

Post by fotodan September 18, 2005 (6 of 19)
This disc is high on my wish list -- based on the Verdi/Tchaikovsky performances by the same group. I'm trusting PentaTone got the same beautiful recording with this interesting new pair of works. Can't wait for it to show up in my local store . . . .

Post by viktor September 18, 2005 (7 of 19)
Beagle said:

Viktor,

Bingo, Bernie it is. I was killing time in a cybercafe and relying on memory. I knew B. had done them, but thought I had the Übermensch HvK himself (I don't play it often). Name my punishment: listen to LB and the Megatett, or 1 hr of Brahms.

There is another recording of Mitropoulos' setting by Previn and the Wiener. I guess Yeates had a point when he wrote of "the fascination of that, among all things not impossible, which is most difficult". There ARE pieces which go well with a quartet or chamber orchestra, e.g. Pärt's Fratres.

Beagle,

Your punishment, hmmm...let´s see. Listen to the Boris Tchaikovsky rbcd on Chandos! Marvellous music.

Post by Beagle September 18, 2005 (8 of 19)
viktor said:
Your punishment, hmmm...let´s see. Listen to the Boris Tchaikovsky rbcd on Chandos! Marvellous music.

Viktor,
I'll trust your recommendation of Boris, but MONO? If I must fall upon my sword, at least let it be the pointy end! I will use this as an excuse to order Boris' Piano Trio, Quartet no. 6 and Sextet -- which I've had my eye on for some time.

Speaking of Tchaikovskies
I have André T's SQ no. 2 played by the Lindsays: I couldn't say whether they're in tune or not, since its typical 20th C teeth-cleaner.

Anybody have an opinion of Alexander T's music? I heard one of the A.Tchaikovskies perform at a festival, but I can't remember which.

Post by viktor September 18, 2005 (9 of 19)
The Chandos CD is in excellent stereo, no need for such drastic measures.

Post by Beagle September 18, 2005 (10 of 19)
viktor said:
The Chandos CD is in excellent stereo

Ah, indeed; I finally found it on Amazon, and the samples sound stereo. If you will confirm that there are no Mono cuts on this historic disc, I will inform MyMusic of their error: http://www.mymusic.com/product_classical.asp?curr=1&muzenbr=551626&mscssid=NKKFAXEF25CP9G48HDPU3U0XBKAHDJQB

The samples sound quite lovely, 'Far Road' brings Delius to mind, or Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. I'll put it on my wish-list; it bodes well for his chamber works. Have you heard any works by Alexina Louie? She orchestrates a similar scintillating, resonant sound.

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