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Program notes for recordings?
#2962318 03/31/20 06:02 PM
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In the past, every CD was sold along with a little booklet of program notes, describing the music, the recording, the performers, etc.

Nowadays I listen to music mostly on Spotify or YouTube, which don't provide program notes, as far as I know. Where can program notes be found?


Yamaha Avantgrand N2, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)
Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962323 03/31/20 06:12 PM
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While we're waiting for possible answers, how about this:

This might be a good opportunity for us here to start writing program notes!

Even if they're bad, they'll probably at least be interesting. grin

Maybe meanwhile you or anyone wants to mention some piece or pieces that you'd like program notes for, and then we'd see what anyone comes up with.



......and actually, meanwhile I found more of a direct answer.
I figured I'd try and see what we might get if we just google for some stuff.
AND IT WORKS.
I don't know how much repertoire it would work for, but it looks like it would work for a lot.
If you use the search terms:
concert program notes [none of it needs to be in quotes]
......and add the name of the "composer" (in quotes) and the piece (ditto), I think you'll very often get what you're looking for.

But that shouldn't stop us from writing ours too. smile

Last edited by Mark_C; 03/31/20 06:18 PM.
Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962413 04/01/20 12:43 AM
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In many cases if you Google the title of the work, Mr. Google will hit Wikipedia, among others, which will often give sufficient program notes to satisfy most listeners.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962510 04/01/20 09:51 AM
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There are many many thousands of recordings produced over many decades before the introduction of Spotify and other online streaming services. Many are still being distributed in CD form. And I suspect that most new albums are still released in CD form, not only online.

Of course it's possible to find out about the work or the composer through normal sources, i.e., Google, Wikipedia, etc. But there's a lot of information specific to each recording. Example: the performers in a specific recording, the instruments used, the singers in an opera recording, the orchestra, etc., etc. That's what I'm looking for. A Google search, or Wikipedia, is a poor substitute for that. Even basic information, such as the list of performers on an opera recording, is not available as part of the very brief descriptive information on Spotify.

Maybe I should try to find the CDs on the CD publisher's website. It's possible that the liner notes are available there. (That's the term I was looking for: "liner notes.")


Yamaha Avantgrand N2, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)
Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962535 04/01/20 11:15 AM
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The program notes on CDs were pretty sparse compared to those on LPs, and now that music is distributed on-line, they have pretty much disappeared. Along with that, the quality of music scholarship and criticism has sadly declined, as there are fewer ways of making it pay.


Semipro Tech
Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962545 04/01/20 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric NYC
[...]
Of course it's possible to find out about the work or the composer through normal sources, i.e., Google, Wikipedia, etc. But there's a lot of information specific to each recording. Example: the performers in a specific recording, the instruments used, the singers in an opera recording, the orchestra, etc., etc. That's what I'm looking for. A Google search, or Wikipedia, is a poor substitute for that. Even basic information, such as the list of performers on an opera recording, is not available as part of the very brief descriptive information on Spotify.
[...]


What I have done in such instances is search for the CD on line, often on Amazon, and I will sometimes find the cast listing there. I did that just last week. I was listening, via Spotify, to "Madama Butterfly" with Angela Gheorghui as Cho-Cho San. I enlarged the album cover on Spotify so I could find out who the main singers were, but given that a couple of names were unknown to me and their roles were not listed on the cover, I had to do further research through Amazon. There should be other sources as well that would list the details once you find the CD on line. It's a bit of a hassle to go through, searching for that essential information, but I haven't found any other way to date.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962551 04/01/20 12:04 PM
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Would any of the libraries in NYC of help in things like this (when you really really need to find out)? Nobody uses their library resources anymore in this modern world of ours?


Chopin Op. 48, No. 1, Op. 24
Czerny Variation on a theme by Rode
Chopin Bolero
Schumann Piano Concerto / Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5

Re: Program notes for recordings?
newport #2962630 04/01/20 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by newport
Would any of the libraries in NYC of help in things like this.


Good idea. I've just sent a note to my library's online reference service. I suspect they're still available during this crisis, even though the library is closed.


Yamaha Avantgrand N2, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)
Re: Program notes for recordings?
BDB #2962663 04/01/20 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
The program notes on CDs were pretty sparse compared to those on LPs, and now that music is distributed on-line, they have pretty much disappeared. Along with that, the quality of music scholarship and criticism has sadly declined, as there are fewer ways of making it pay.

I hardly ever buy downloads (except when what I want is not available on CD), and I don't use Spotify.

In other words, I still buy CDs, and I don't see any lowering of standards of CD booklet notes. In fact, with some record labels like Hyperion, BIS and Chandos, you often get a thick booklet with a comprehensive and erudite essay(s) by a musicologist and/or the performer about the music, which is often barely comprehensible to those without a music education.

I suppose that if you're going to buy a CD of music by Hillborg or Ustvolskaya (or even JSB wink ) the recording producer assumes that you know that a canon is not a camera or a misspelled cannon, and that amabile is not a female armadillo.

On the other hand, if you buy a CD with the title "Favorite Virtuoso Piano Music that You Wish Never to Hear Again", all you'll probably get is a glossy fold-out leaflet with black-and-white "artistic" close-up photos of the performer's fashionable stubbles (if male) or glossy lips (if female).

In other words, horses for courses.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Program notes for recordings?
bennevis #2962673 04/01/20 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
[...] In fact, with some record labels like Hyperion, BIS and Chandos, you often get a thick booklet with a comprehensive and erudite essay(s) by a musicologist and/or the performer about the music, which is often barely comprehensible to those without a music education.

[...]


You no doubt remember - and probably have many of - the Schubert and Schumann Lieder series put out by Hyperion with copious scholarly notes (and piano accompaniment) by Graham Johnson. Those are wonderful, insightful and intelligently-written source materials for the CD tracks which they accompany. I have a couple of dozen of those CD's.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Program notes for recordings?
BruceD #2962686 04/01/20 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by bennevis
[...] In fact, with some record labels like Hyperion, BIS and Chandos, you often get a thick booklet with a comprehensive and erudite essay(s) by a musicologist and/or the performer about the music, which is often barely comprehensible to those without a music education.

[...]


You no doubt remember - and probably have many of - the Schubert and Schumann Lieder series put out by Hyperion with copious scholarly notes (and piano accompaniment) by Graham Johnson. Those are wonderful, insightful and intelligently-written source materials for the CD tracks which they accompany. I have a couple of dozen of those CD's.

Regards,

That's right.

Over the years, I've probably bought more Hyperion CDs - not just of familiar rep (like Hewitt's Bach as well as the Schubert Lieder) but also obscure stuff like the ongoing 'Romantic Piano Concertos' series - because I know the booklets are very informative, and I'll enjoy the music all the more for learning about the composers and their music, and how they fit in with their more illustrious peers of the era.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Program notes for recordings?
Eric NYC #2962779 04/01/20 11:25 PM
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Several channels on Youtube have significant amounts of program notes to go along with their recordings. The channel names are listed below:

Ashish Xiangyi Kumar

Olla-Vogala

thenameisgsarci

Pentameron

Andrei Cristian Anghel

Paco M.

Medtnaculus

Romantic and Modern Music Channel

jleightcap

You would do well to subscribe to each of these channels in order to gain the access to the broadest amount of repertoire. They may not have the recordings that you prefer but perhaps they can widen your perspective and enhance your knowledge in return, especially since they often post the sheet music along with the recording.


Schumann is the mann.
Re: Program notes for recordings?
BruceD #2963960 04/05/20 05:18 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.


Yamaha Avantgrand N2, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)

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