Friday, January 26, 2018

Classical Music - October 2017

Bach, J.S.
  • Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht (I wretched man, a servant to sin)
  • Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid  (Ah God, how much heartbreak) (BWV 58)
  • Also hat Gott die Welt Geliebt (God so loved the world)
Barber
  • Adagio for Strings
  • 3 Songs, op.10
  • Early unpublished songs
Beethoven
  • Egmont overture and incidental music
  • King Stephen
  • Violin Sonatas 2 and 6
Brahms - Piano Concerto No.1
Brahms - Serenade No.2
Bridge
  • Isabella
  • Dance Rhapsody
  • String Quartet No.1
  • Phantasie Piano Trio
Chopin - Polonaise-Fantaisie
Dvorak
  • Serenade for Strings
  • String Quintet No.2
  • String Quartet No.7
  • Piano Trio No.1
Haydn - Symphonies 46, 47 and 51
Holmboe
  • Symphonies 2 and 8
  • Sinfonia in Memoriam
  • Violin Sonata No.3
Janacek - Violin Sonata
Mozart - Piano Concerto No.8
Mozart - Piano Sonata No.1
Rachmaninov - Symphony No.3
Schumann
  • Arabeske
  • Humoresque
  • Piano Sonata No.2
  • Nachtstücke
Scriabin
  • 12 Etudes, op.8
  • 4 Preludes, op.22
  • Poème-Nocturne, op.61
Sibelius - 2 Songs, op.35
Snider - Penelope
Telemann - Violin Sonata in A from "Tafelmusik"
Villa-Lobos - Choros No.1
Villa-Lobos - Quintet in the form of a Choros 
Vivaldi - Violin Sonata in D minor, RV 15

There are times when you realise a piece of music is obscure for good reasons.  Beethoven's stage music provides an excellent example in King Stephen, a work that was apparently a great success when it premiered in Budapest, but that sounds pretty uninspiring when divorced from that very specific context. If you're not a 19th century nationalist Hungarian it's unlikely to be a favourite.

There's nothing particularly wrong with that. I mean, I've long held the view that different pieces of music have different functions and purposes, and it makes no sense to judge a piece of music as a failure if it doesn't meet criteria the composer was never trying to fulfil.

And then, as I keep looking at this list, Rachmaninov's 3rd symphony jumps out as a work I've never quite embraced (unlike almost every other later Rachmaninov work). I couldn't tell you why just at the moment, it being several months since my last listen and probably a few years since the one before that. I just don't like it as much as I would expect.

So why am I focusing on the things that I listened to and didn't enjoy? I don't know. It could be that I'm trying to create some variety in the blog. It could also be I'm generally grumpy at the time of writing. The world is an annoying place right now for several reasons, including the weather. Let's just leave it at that and move on.

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