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The Kreutzer Sonata is very demanding. It is emotionally varied, technically difficult, and long (performances can last 40 minutes.
Composed 1797-8, published in Vienna 1799. At the time of publication, Beethoven thought these were his best works. The musicologist Gerald Abraham has remarked that in terms of their style and aesthetic value the string trios of Op. 9 rank with Beethoven’s first string quartets which ousted the trios from the concert halls.
French composer Wilson Trouve and Alameda’s Time Released Sound bring us 11 tracks of ambient piano, field recordings, guitar, and synthesizer swells, all processed and encased in layers of shellac. Romantic and pastoral impulses dominate. The piano work is tonally related to minimalism, but uncharacteristically, it brings a romantic sentiment to the proceedings
2 CD’s, 2 long slow-moving tunes, 63 & 53 mins from Australia’s The Necks. CDs mix together nicely. Repetitive piano and sidewinding bass phrases, some electroacoustic and film sample sounds. Drum machines. 88 BPM. Made me want to go out at night and repossess some vehicles. 6 minutes in, “Can I get a beer?” You’ll need one. 15 minutes, a guy gets roughed up. 37 minutes in, this lady gets thrown out a window. Ambulances wail, the crime scene photographers do their job. Let’s go on a stakeout.
Brooklyn’s Grant Cutler recorded musicians improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, building odd warm drones. The compositional process is guided by the dumb logic of delay, and the results are anything but. Klangfarbenmelodie colors, shifting terrain, structures constructing and desconstructing simultaneously. 8 short tunes 3-7 minutes each. We have another Cutler 12″ in the library.
Robert Moran’s music on this CD exists in two modes. Driving, rhythmic, high energy (Open Veins & 32 Crypptograms) or tragic elegy (Arias & Stimmen). The tragedy of AIDS is never far away. This “disgracefully pretty” Minimalism offers seductive critique.
Beethoven’s late quartets were written in failing health in April 1825. Considered among the greatest works of all time, Beethoven composed these in almost total deafness. In his words, B2 is his “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.”
Miya Masaoka was a pianist who took up the koto – a 21-string Japanese harp. The principal is jo ha kyu – prelude/breaking away/hurried. It essentially means that all actions or efforts should begin slowly, speed up, and then end swiftly. The great Noh playwright Zeami viewed it as a universal concept applying to the patterns of movement of all things. Like shakuhachi, this is meditative improvisation.
In 1993 Francis Wong was director of Asian Improv Records. He said at the time, “there has never been an Asian American exclusive form.” Hopefully we will get more from AIR, a scene that probably best correlates to AACM. Masaoka was in the process of obtaining a Master’s degree from Mills College. In her words, it was “an exciting time for the Asian American music scene. It was small, fragile, underground, and we had a mission and our bonds were strong.”
Track 7 is an Ellington tune. Track 8 features wood flute.
CD1: Summer smells / CD2: Winter smells
Hammer jammin dulcimer dudes pay penance for past performances with Phish? Perhaps.
Mimmo, Gianni & Sjostrom, Harri – “Live At Bauchhund Berlin 2010″ – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]
Out on Mimmo’s own label Amirani Contemporary, a duo of soprano sax natives Gianni Mimmo and Harri Sjostrom (ho-STROAM) performing live at Bauchhund Salonlabor in Berlin, June 4, 2010. Track 1 is a spoken intro. It was recorded on the anniversary of Steve Lacy’s passing, a fact mentioned in the intro. Lots of mouthpiece sounds. They get very into the instrument. Almost private. Track 9 features Sjostrom playing a special plastic cup.
Thomas Ades (rhymes/w Jon Faddis) b. 1971, London. 45 Year old British composer. Recorded 95&97, released 98. 5 pieces over 24 tracks. Track singly, grouped by piece, continuous- all good.
1-8 Living Toys ’93- Chamber orchestra London Sinfonettia. Extended technique, performers slap their instruments from behind. Giant extinct bull- death of HAL- lifeless gongs- Juanito’s dream of a heroic life.
9-15 Arcadiana ’94- Endellion string quartet. 7 movements. Free. Track 12- Tango mortale. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
16-19 Sonata da Caccia ’93- Hunting Sonata – Oboe, horn, and Ades on harpsichord. Baroque sound turns modern in the final 2 movements.
20-23 The origin Of The Harp ’94- Chamber ensemble work for 10 players, commissioned by the Halle Orchestra. It premiered in 1994 at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester under the baton of the composer himself.
24 Gefriolsae Me ’90 (at 19 years old) – Haunting penitent chorus.
Recorded February 17th, 2014 at Cal’s Center for New Music & Audio Technologies.
Masterminded by Seattle, WA drummer Gregg Keplinger and guitarist Simon Henneman. Ten-piece band, great recording recalls RVG and ECM late 70s-80s glossy freedom. Sounds great.
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
Every summer, America’s finest classical musicians gather in Marlboro, VT. This dates from 1964. The B side begins with a high-pitched recording defect which resolves just after you begin pulling your hair out. A fine record.
Beethoven/ Schumann/ Souvairan, Pierre – “Beethoven, Bagatelles – Schumann, Fantasiestucke” – [Radio Canada Internationl]
Pierre Souvairain was born in Switzerland to French parents, July 30, 1911. In 1953 he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto, and in 1959 he became a Canadian citizen.
These pieces are part of a 19th century genre of solo piano music. Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 126 was his final work for piano. He called them “cycle of little pieces,” and they are tracked together on this LP. Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 was written in 1837, dedicated to Fraulein Anna Robena Laidlaw, an accomplished and attractive 18-year-old Scottish pianist with whom Schumann had become good friends. Dreamy fanciful sketches.
String trio published in 1797 when Beethoven was 27 years old. The first of four, all from his youth.
Violin – Jascha Heifetz
Melody, arpeggio, ornament, trill, notes jumbled up and piled on top of each other. Madly dense. Two jazz standards locate the work but propose many questions, Well You Needn’t and On Green Dolphin Street. Calarts grad. Recorded by in Brooklyn NY Nov 2015.
Beethoven / Vladimir Horowitz – “Sonata In F Minor, Op. 57 – Sonata No. 7 In D, Op. 10, No. 3″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]
Horowitz married Toscanini’s daughter. Beethoven piano sonatas. Good for the mood.
Beethoven took Viennese music publisher Anton Diabelli’s cut-n-paste waltz with one unexpected chord change and freaked it every which way, writing 33 variations. Beethoven pushes the limits of piano composition. Steven Bishop at the piano.
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