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Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400211
03/19/15 04:38 PM
03/19/15 04:38 PM
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I'm not a fan of most modern composers but I did find this concerto a rare exception to the rule. This is Unsuk Chin's Piano Concerto played by Myung Whun Chung, the noted conductor who is relatively unknown as the pianist who won 2nd prize at the 1974 Tchaikovsky Competition:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONSnc7ipmi8&index=2&list=PLbBwUpmaG3LGqgYltqNN05Ia67W4mNmVS


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Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: izaldu] #2400292
03/19/15 09:08 PM
03/19/15 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by izaldu
Originally Posted by Hakki
This type of music (well not really music, but I am supposed to call these like that, anyway) just makes me sick.

And I really adore to people who can stand this type of - well I don't know what to call it, it is definitely not music, but it is more like an output of a sick mind - "thing" more than a few minutes.
I can't imagine being any part of the performance, and I adore to people who perform these things, they really have strong nerves.


Plenty of examples of "music" you probably like that was written by "sick minds".



Have you read Slonimsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective? It's an entire book of this kind of stuff, going back to Beethoven's day. All the usual accusations regarding new music are there, in all their inadvertently hilarious glory.

Slonimsky's reason for putting it together was to demonstrate how Philistine reactions to new music are basically all the same, and have been for a very long time. In a nutshell: "I don't get it, so it is bad". Or, as he put it, "The Non-Acceptance of the Unfamiliar". It bears an interesting resemblance to xenophobia, I think.

Also, someone has published a book-length study of the "sick mind" reaction just to Wagner's music alone. I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting. Apparently at one time there was practically a whole cottage industry devoted to making bogus connections between mental illness and Wagner's music. The more things change, the more they stay the same....




Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400331
03/19/15 11:05 PM
03/19/15 11:05 PM
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The chicken feet example is exactly the problem.

This is Avant Garde and it's supposed to promote talk, thinking, ugliness and whatnot.

Not all art or all music is that.

I also happen to not like Avant Garde in music (don't care one bit about the helicopter quartet (though I've tried to heard it one too many times). But none of the above examples are Avant Garde music. They are normal works of music... for me...

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: bennevis] #2400355
03/20/15 12:31 AM
03/20/15 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: bennevis] #2400368
03/20/15 01:16 AM
03/20/15 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it."
And then there's the inverse (maybe even inverse inverse - I'm getting a bit lost here smile ) snobbery which says "you only say you like this piece of atonal noise so that you can pretend to be cleverer than the rest of us. But in fact we can see through it, we can see that the emperor has no clothes so in fact we are cleverer!" I've certainly heard that line often enough here when we get to talking about modern music.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400378
03/20/15 01:34 AM
03/20/15 01:34 AM
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This thread supports an observation of mine I've had many times on this forum over the years: People tend to have much more interesting and informed things to say about music they like than about music they don't like.


-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: outo] #2400396
03/20/15 02:48 AM
03/20/15 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.


I don't think that you must like Beethoven and Mozart - after all, a large percentage of people on the planet seem to do okay without even having heard much of either, if any at all. The real underlying question isn't that - it is about whether their idiom is making enough sense to you so that whatever you think about their music is based on listening/playing with knowledgeable ears rather than on ignorance. And the main way of getting to that knowledgeable state regarding their idiom is through exposure to their music.

I didn't like Bruckner for a long while, starting with when I first heard any of his music. I just couldn't understand how people could enjoy listening to endless dreary expanses of what seemed to me to be the most banal and hackneyed kind of orchestral note-spinning possible, with an occasional loud but simple-minded outburst. Ick!! Like watching the grass grow.

However, I remained curious about it, since it was obvious that some people adored his music and some of the best classical musicians on the planet were involved with performing it. And I don't like missing out on something really good.

Eventually, after trying various pieces of his music out repeatedly over the course of years, his idiom and the way to listen to it finally soaked into my brain, and I discovered that not only could I enjoy it, but that it was some of the most magnificent stuff out of the entire Romantic era, and that it had the power to transport me to some remarkable and wonderful realms of musical experience.

I would have missed all that if I had instead at some point decided that it had to be presented to me in a form accessible to me at that moment, or else I just wasn't going to bother with it.

The main point of this story is that some of us have had profound experiences in our musical lives that make us aware that it is indeed possible to get big rewards from persisting with music that isn't to our liking right away, or even after some repeated exposure. There no good reason to refrain from saying that this sort of education is something that really does happen, or to refrain from encouraging others to persist, if that is what has worked for us. Some classical music can be kind of hard, but it's often worth it, I think.

The difficult thing is figuring out whether the music's idiom is truly intelligible or not. It can be easy to fool yourself about that, as I have personally found out more than once. I thought that Bruckner's music was something I completely understood, at first. After all, nothing in it seemed particularly radical or off-putting to me - it was just long and mind-numbingly dull, that's all. But intuitively, I guess I knew I must not be getting it, if other people whose musical knowledge and experience I respected could go into raptures about how wonderful it was.

Since you mentioned Mozart - I still don't gravitate towards his music the way some people do. Although I liked a few things of his when I was in my teens and twenties, it was probably somewhere in my middle-aged years before I really started to understand his musical language and how to listen to it. I don't regret having spent the many hours listening to it to get to that point, but that was sort of unavoidable anyway, because his music is so ubiquitous. I'm fairly sure that his idiom is reasonably intelligible to me now, and that I have a fairly good sense of why many people find it so amazing and "perfect". And I also know that his music doesn't really nourish me in the way that it does some people, which may be a matter of innate temperament. On the other hand, I am trying to remain open to the idea that there still could be more to learn about it that will make it more compelling to me.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: wr] #2400417
03/20/15 04:53 AM
03/20/15 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by bennevis
Let's not beat about the bush here - there's a lot of (?inverse) snobbery in the arts, including of course so-called 'classical' music. Along the lines of "You don't like it, because you're too stupid to understand it." grin



But it's not limited to modern music at all. I like neither Beethoven nor Mozart and the common response is that I just need to listen/play more and when educated enough it will all come to me. No thanks! I have listened and it's still the same. In the end the music must do it for me, not the other way round.


I don't think that you must like Beethoven and Mozart - after all, a large percentage of people on the planet seem to do okay without even having heard much of either, if any at all. The real underlying question isn't that - it is about whether their idiom is making enough sense to you so that whatever you think about their music is based on listening/playing with knowledgeable ears rather than on ignorance. And the main way of getting to that knowledgeable state regarding their idiom is through exposure to their music.

I didn't like Bruckner for a long while, starting with when I first heard any of his music. I just couldn't understand how people could enjoy listening to endless dreary expanses of what seemed to me to be the most banal and hackneyed kind of orchestral note-spinning possible, with an occasional loud but simple-minded outburst. Ick!! Like watching the grass grow.

However, I remained curious about it, since it was obvious that some people adored his music and some of the best classical musicians on the planet were involved with performing it. And I don't like missing out on something really good.

Eventually, after trying various pieces of his music out repeatedly over the course of years, his idiom and the way to listen to it finally soaked into my brain, and I discovered that not only could I enjoy it, but that it was some of the most magnificent stuff out of the entire Romantic era, and that it had the power to transport me to some remarkable and wonderful realms of musical experience.

I would have missed all that if I had instead at some point decided that it had to be presented to me in a form accessible to me at that moment, or else I just wasn't going to bother with it.

The main point of this story is that some of us have had profound experiences in our musical lives that make us aware that it is indeed possible to get big rewards from persisting with music that isn't to our liking right away, or even after some repeated exposure. There no good reason to refrain from saying that this sort of education is something that really does happen, or to refrain from encouraging others to persist, if that is what has worked for us. Some classical music can be kind of hard, but it's often worth it, I think.

The difficult thing is figuring out whether the music's idiom is truly intelligible or not. It can be easy to fool yourself about that, as I have personally found out more than once. I thought that Bruckner's music was something I completely understood, at first. After all, nothing in it seemed particularly radical or off-putting to me - it was just long and mind-numbingly dull, that's all. But intuitively, I guess I knew I must not be getting it, if other people whose musical knowledge and experience I respected could go into raptures about how wonderful it was.

Since you mentioned Mozart - I still don't gravitate towards his music the way some people do. Although I liked a few things of his when I was in my teens and twenties, it was probably somewhere in my middle-aged years before I really started to understand his musical language and how to listen to it. I don't regret having spent the many hours listening to it to get to that point, but that was sort of unavoidable anyway, because his music is so ubiquitous. I'm fairly sure that his idiom is reasonably intelligible to me now, and that I have a fairly good sense of why many people find it so amazing and "perfect". And I also know that his music doesn't really nourish me in the way that it does some people, which may be a matter of innate temperament. On the other hand, I am trying to remain open to the idea that there still could be more to learn about it that will make it more compelling to me.



I don't think it's about the music being intelligible or not. I am quite ready to admit that I do not have certain common human feelings that this music seems to commonly bring forth. So while I can see and hear that the music is very smart and complex even in a genious way, it gives me no positive feelings. So it might be interesting to study from a theoretical pov. It's like comparing reading a scientific article or a novel. I do like to read the former, but the purpose is different. So far I have neither the time or the interest to study music on a purely intellectual level, when I can find music that does evoke real feelings in me.

Edit: I don't expect immediate rewards and there are several composers that have "grown on me". These two are just examples of those who are unable to do that, even after quite a lot of exposure.

Last edited by outo; 03/20/15 05:04 AM.
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2400752
03/20/15 07:18 PM
03/20/15 07:18 PM
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Maybe it's a past reincarnation thing. My parents had no interest in classical music. My mother had taken the obligatory piano lessons as a child and hated them. Occasionally she played a few popular pieces from the 40's, adding the chords her brother had taught her. She liked to dance and could do the Charleston while making omlettes for breakfast.

So I didn't hear any classical music until I was about four and we were visiting a friend of my father's who had a victrola ... and was listening to Ezio Pinza singing Mozart. I apparently toddled over toward the music and sat down on the floor in front of the victrola, put my hand over my heart ... and wailed. In sheer ecstacy. My parents were utterly confused by this display, which wasn't one of my normal tantrums. It was response to the music. I don't remember crying or wailing, but I do remember the "feeling" of that music. Every time we visited Uncle Bill, I wanted to hear the music. By the time I was six, I declared I was going to marry Ezio PInza.

My father bought a less elborate record player and I was given a recording of Pinza and Mozart ...plus South Pacific which featured Pinza in the lead role. Apparently my father hoped to "normalize" his odd little daughter with more popular music. I liked South Pacific, but it was no match for the Mozart. My parents couldn't afford a piano nor lessons until I was nine. My first teacher was forewarned about my proclivities for Mozart and after a few bars of a sonata, launched into Fur Elise and the Pathetique which immediately expanded my taste to include Beethoven. And the rest is history as they say.

What was it? What was that hold which only certain music had on me from such an early age? Even today certain music catches my heart with feelings so intense they are like physical pain. I discovered Domenico Zipoli a couple of years back ... and the effects were the same.

And I naturally question whether "understanding" music makes so much difference. Perhaps I will tolerate a well-constructed piece obeying defined rules ... but where is that immediate joy? Sometimes sitting in a concert now, with years of training behind me, I find myself analyzing and comparing the performance, somehow missing out on the sheer pleasure of just listening. I'm not sure my education has enhanced that natural joy. And so I tend to defend the "natural" response to music.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2400864
03/21/15 04:03 AM
03/21/15 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
And so I tend to defend the "natural" response to music.



Me too, but I also do not think we are born/built the same, so natural means different things to different people. I guess some people's brains are more drawn towards creating rules and order and mainly enjoy music that is following rules, while some others (like me) have more chaos oriented mind and can easily relate to "chaotic" music.

It cannot be from experience only, because I was brought up with very traditional music exposure. Yet I started gravitating towards different things as soon as I was old enough to choose.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: outo] #2400887
03/21/15 07:53 AM
03/21/15 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by outo


I don't think it's about the music being intelligible or not. I am quite ready to admit that I do not have certain common human feelings that this music seems to commonly bring forth. So while I can see and hear that the music is very smart and complex even in a genious way, it gives me no positive feelings. So it might be interesting to study from a theoretical pov. It's like comparing reading a scientific article or a novel. I do like to read the former, but the purpose is different. So far I have neither the time or the interest to study music on a purely intellectual level, when I can find music that does evoke real feelings in me.

Edit: I don't expect immediate rewards and there are several composers that have "grown on me". These two are just examples of those who are unable to do that, even after quite a lot of exposure.


Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful response. I worried after posting that I was being much too "preachy", as if I thought you were supposed to do what I've done. I don't think that. I just wanted to emphasize that, for people who don't know it already, that continued exposure can do wonders in appreciating music that may not be working for them, even music they really hate at first. For me, persistence had paid off in a very big way, sometimes in ways that really surprised me. It appears to be mostly an intelligibility issue based on my experience, but that's probably just me and my perspective. I wish I knew better words to describe what I mean.

It's good that there are some composers who have "grown on" you. So you do know how that works. Some people don't even allow it to happen.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: wr] #2403139
03/27/15 10:46 AM
03/27/15 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful response. I worried after posting that I was being much too "preachy", as if I thought you were supposed to do what I've done. I don't think that. I just wanted to emphasize that, for people who don't know it already, that continued exposure can do wonders in appreciating music that may not be working for them, even music they really hate at first. For me, persistence had paid off in a very big way, sometimes in ways that really surprised me. It appears to be mostly an intelligibility issue based on my experience, but that's probably just me and my perspective. I wish I knew better words to describe what I mean.

It's good that there are some composers who have "grown on" you. So you do know how that works. Some people don't even allow it to happen.

Good points. I think perhaps the important part is to be opinionated, or at least trying to understand why it is that you don't fall for certain music. As your aesthetic tastes may change over time, so will your appreciation for various composers. To give an example, I've hardly played any Liszt at all and was often bothered with some excesses in his music, but with time I have learned to appreciate a lot of aspects of his music that I didn't understand in the past.

In any case, it would be nice to see the discussion on new concerti continue in one way or the other! I'll try to add some more works soon.

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2403484
03/28/15 08:54 AM
03/28/15 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fnork

In any case, it would be nice to see the discussion on new concerti continue in one way or the other! I'll try to add some more works soon.


Earlier in the thread you gave a link to the Abrahamsen concerto and I just now got around to listening to it - he's an interesting composer I'm just now learning to know a little. I heard some of his other music on BBC Radio 3's website earlier this month, and was intrigued.

I remembered another concerto from within the last 30 years that I think is pretty wonderful (even if it seemed rather peculiar on first hearing - it definitely improved for me on repeated hearings):







Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2405758
04/02/15 02:06 PM
04/02/15 02:06 PM
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Please bear with me for bringing this topic back up after several days of inactivity therein, but I wanted to share this with you, my own piano concerto, that is (I also posted it in the Composer's Lounge, but this topic here seems equally valid and it might find an audience here that doesn't usually frequent the Composer's Lounge, I hope that's ok). It doesn't require a particularly big orchestra, just nine players apart from the soloist, so it's more of a chamber concerto really.

Instrumentation:

- solo piano (=toy piano)
- flute (=piccolo and bass flute)
- clarinet in Bb (=clarinet in Eb and bass clarinet in Bb)
- percussion 1: bass drum, Beijing opera gong, metal chimes, bean rattle, radio, melodica, flexatone, 2 gongs
- percussion 2: snare drum, Chinese cymbal, spring drum, sleigh bells, rain stick, melodica, crotales, 2 gongs
- percussion 3: hi-hat, tam-tam, brake drum, bamboo chimes, hyoshigi, 3 cardboard boxes, flexatone (arco), 2 gongs
- percussion 4: cymbal, maracas, glass chimes, castanets, ocean drum, guitar amplifier, steel pan, 2 gongs
- violin
- violoncello
- double bass

Recording:

- Movement I (12'27")
- Movement II (14'45")

The performers on this recording are Helena Bugallo (piano) and the Ensemble Phoenix, conducted by Jürg Henneberger.

I hope you'll enjoy it! smile


I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.
Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: mrenaud] #2405839
04/02/15 06:32 PM
04/02/15 06:32 PM
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Yay, now we're talking! When PW members bring up their own recently-premiered concertos, it's a sign that this thread might be a lasting one. I don't have anything of interest to offer myself, but will chime in with a "Prologue" for piano and orchestra by a friend of mine, premiered just a few years ago. Enjoy. Highly talented pianist, composer and improvisor.


Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: fnork] #2405947
04/03/15 02:36 AM
04/03/15 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fnork
"Prologue" for piano and orchestra by a friend of mine, premiered just a few years ago. Enjoy. Highly talented pianist, composer and improvisor.


Lovely! I have heard Johannes play quite a few times, but didn't know he can also compose.

So do you compose? A new piano concerto on the way?

Re: Recent piano concerti...? [Re: mrenaud] #2406350
04/04/15 07:35 AM
04/04/15 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mrenaud

I hope you'll enjoy it! smile


I did - thanks.


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