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Transcendental exaltations, voting round


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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:00:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 8:01:40 PM PST
JN, I hope you continue to post here---particularly as your interests develop and questions come up. There are people here who know a tremendous amount and who are happy to share their experiences.

Also, if you go to a concert or buy a CD or download that you like, please write a post. The amount of CM available is staggering, and nobody can keep up with all of it. All of us need all the help we can get.

Thank you.

Very best,
Angelo

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 11:40:15 AM PST
J. Nelson says:
We got different taste in music no doubt. You could say the big part of it is experience. You've been listening to classical music for decades I assume. I can't relate to any of this. For most my life, Classical Music wasn't my top choice. Even now it is sharing it's listening with Classic/Progressive Rock. So no reason to feel bad just because I didn't have the same emotions to a piece you did. And maybe it wasn't the best time to plant that joke. Sorry about that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 6:42:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2012 8:28:38 AM PST
JN, In these threads we never get to see one another face to face. We never get to discuss music over a good dinner. We never get to factor in facial expressions and body language. We never really get to laugh, to react spontaneously. A huge piece of person-to-person interactions is missing here, and will always be missing.

All we have here are the words, our words, to convey our personalities.

Jokes that work perfectly well in restaurants may fall flat here---because we can't see the speaker, and the speaker can't see the audience.

It's not easy, here, to maintain positive relationships. I think it takes work. And restraint.

I went back in this thread and re-read some of the posts. I saw that you said something about putting Bruckner Nine "out of its misery".

When I read your note, I thought immediately---not of Bruckner, or of you, or of me---but rather of Bruno Walter, who recorded that symphony in the last years of his life. When already in his late seventies, and with a long career behind him, Dr Walter was given the opportunity to re-record in good stereo the works he loved best. Dr Walter understood that this would be his last time out, his last chance to capture the works that he loved so passionately. He spent the last four years of his life making those recordings. Surely he was not doing this because he needed any more money. Like Monet, who spent his last years painting those waterlilies in the Orangerie as his gift to the people of France, Dr Walter spent his last energies giving us his ultimate thoughts on Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Mahler, and Bruckner.

Dr Walter's Bruckner Nine was one of those gifts.
.
So: We form these relationships with artists we never met, or never saw live, or who died before we were born. Those relationships are very important and very complicated. After a while, they become a part of us. For me, this has happened with Monet. And with Dr Walter.

When I read your post, these are the thoughts that came up. I didn't feel outfaced or insulted.

I just felt bad.

Now, you are not responsible for my well-being. Each of us has to do that for himself. But I do think that we have to be careful around here, careful about how we use our words. Because that's all we have.

I hope you keep posting here. I'm particularly interested in how you react to the works of Bach. I think you see his music in ways that I don't. Over the years, my resistance to Bach has faded away, and now I hear in his work so many things that I never knew were there. That progression has been very rewarding for me---and I have not a clue as to how it happened.

Very best,
Angelo

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 1:24:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 1:48:19 AM PST
J. Nelson says:
And there's no excuse for being so insulting. It's comments like these and the extra effort posters put into belittling a poster that turn me off on this board. I came here apologetic but instantly am put in a bad mood by Skaynan. Anyways, I came here to apologize like I said. My behavior has been immature lately. No excuse for it. Maybe it's best I don't post in these kind of threads that I get passionate about.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 1:14:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 10:15:57 AM PST
Skaynan says:
Nelson: if indeed you are 30 (are you sure about that? Referring to "movements" as "tracks" is typical of young people nomenclature), you should know better than to post a list of "gems" such as the ones MZ and Mandillo has collected (which when I read MZ's list I literally rolled on the floor laughing. It's real "cult" phrases! Very enjoyable!). In that case, there is no excuse for being so obtuse.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 11:45:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 11:47:36 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
It was a joke. I guess I have to explain it to you. There is no such thing as a wrong opinion. That is the funny part in saying someones opinion is wrong. Kind of a line I like to use a lot on the other site when I disagree with them. I'm sorry you misunderstood my post or the intention of it.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 11:41:43 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
I am 30 years old.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2012 1:14:03 PM PST
JN, I had written:

"Charles writes: 'the first time I heard it [the Goldbergs] all the way through, I found that final statement of the theme incredibly moving'. Agreed".
And in the same post I wrote: "That single final G [of the Aria] resolves the cadence and (in the Aria reprise at the end) brings the Goldbergs to a gentle, luminous close of indescribable beauty. The effect this has on me is unmatched in my experience".

Your response to this was: "You are free to your opinion but your opinion would be WRONG. Edit. How do you like your own comment? :D"

Just now you commented on your response as follows: "But the WRONG comment was fun and light and much less serious than previous posts. It is obvious to anyone that doesn't have a bias against my taste".

With all respect: The "WRONG" comment did not feel like fun and light to me.

If people here describe their honest emotional reactions to a work, and then you respond by saying that those reactions are wrong, is it any surprise when you get called on it?

PLease allow me to pass on some advice I got from St Thomas Aquinas. He said that when engaged in discussion or debate:

"Seldom affirm
Never deny
Always distinguish".

I try hard to follow that simple rule. I don't always succeed.

And there is a huge difference between "You did a great job" and "I loved your work". The first is pejorative and judgmental, and the second is the opposite.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 1:02:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 1:20:35 PM PST
Skaynan says:
MZ: seems to me our Nelson is just very young. I find his posts highly entertaining, and he reminds me of myself when I was a teenager just discovering the depths of this universe we call CM, and believing vainly that I got it all figured out. So he is either over radical to spite (or shock) on some things (Goldbergs are boring) or over conservative on others, again to spite (Bach on the piano is Blasphemy, or ridiculous). In both cases, the point is to be on the spiteful minority opinion, like all intelligent adolescents of any generation typically do. No need to get upset. I find it refreshing really :-)

Coming to think of it, perhaps the Goldbergs are only boring on the harpsichord??? Just grab a good piano recording and see how un-bored you get!

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:41:35 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
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Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:37:14 PM PST
Here are you contributions aside from votes. Yes, you're right -- it's all sweetness and light, why would we think otherwise? (sarcasm}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Yeah I was a page off I guess. :eek:

So you like popularity contests but have problems when voting on accessibility? Double standard imo.

The best piece just went out.

Finally the Bruckner piece is put out of its misery. Not too happy with KenOC voting so quickly to knock out Schubert though. Bach's Goldberg Variations is basically minimalism. I'm not a fan of it.

It seemed like you just voted. And it was very close to the 9 hour mark. Anyways, you beat me to the punch. Oh well.

That is close. I've rarely gotten it under 10 hours.

If I preferred to be bored, I'd listen to Bruckner. ;) Just saying... And putting something of its misery and calling it miserable are two different expressions of that word. Putting out its misery means it was about time it got rid of. It's not worthy to be in the presence of Bach, Schubert, and Beethoven. Sorry if I offended anyone. Just saying how I feel.

So are you saying the majority of TC have bad taste as they prefer Schubert over Bruckner by a long shot? Bruckner is way higher rated here due to a few posters compared to 30+ posters on the other site making their picks. Bruckner didn't even make the final 15 over there. And btw maybe Saint-saens has a little bit of an inflated ego thinking his opinion is the best opinion.

I didn't say my opinion was the best opinion. Though maybe we all are guilty of coming off like that. And I guess I'm wrong to assume you taking his quote to heart and making a point that you think your opinion is superior. Anyways, I'm tired of this discussion. I'll let the game run its course from here on out.

Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier not on the list as well. Ridiculous.

Goldberg Variations is minimalism imo. Boring as ever. WTC is however some of the greatest music ever for the Harpsichord.

peter-from-la's are the weirdest of them all. I could care less what others opinions were way back when. What I hear is the older version of minimalism. Glass, Reich, Adams, and Bach. Nothing wrong with minimalism if that is your thing. Unfortunately, that is not my thing. The Art of Fugue is equally boring. And how do you support a certain taste of music? Impossible. Minimalsim I thought was as good of support as you can find to describe it.

@peter-from-la To like Bach, you have to like all his pieces? I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me. :rolleyes:

Seriously I am big Bach fan. I love his Harpsichord Concertos and many of his other works as well including Organ Works, WTC Books 1 and 2, and etc. I just don't care for Goldberg Variations. I think people are putting Bach on a pedestal and are blinded by it and can't see fault in any of his works due to it. I had high expectations of Goldberg Variations but soon was disappointed after about 5 tracks. I am offended by the down voters as well.

Warning to others. Never say anything bad about any of Bach's pieces. He is their god. I'm glad I'm not blind and take every work critically regardless of the Composer.

I assume there is sarcasm in that post. I don't care at this point. I just want to be done with this stupid topic. There are better things to talk about. All started by Ken as usual. He knows how to fire someone up.

Yeah I agree that it's not as bad as Art of Fugue. Still a change of key would help. WTC is my favorite from Bach as it changes keys and many different memorable melodies. Especially the first 5 tracks or so of Book 1. Bach is still my favorite Composer but he wasn't perfect.

You are free to your opinion but your opinion would be WRONG. Edit. How do you like your own comment? :D

I was just saying in a funny way that I disagree with you. Catchy phrase used by ComposerofAvantGarde on the other forum. Are the members here able to take jokes?

Or that no one here can take a joke. It's gotta be all serious Classical talk 24/7. Or maybe they don't have my kind of sense of humor. Hopefully it's the latter. I guess it's hard to tell a punch line from a serious comment on the internet as well.

There was nothing wrong with my comment. Get over yourself.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 11:59:18 AM PST
J. Nelson says:
There was nothing wrong with my comment. Get over yourself.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 11:21:56 AM PST
No "or" man, you're wrong: Look at recent posts in "However much..."

Ever hear attract more bees w honey than vinegar? Snark only works as humor if we know you first. If you lead with it, with no intro, you look like a {insert word w negative valence here}

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 10:56:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 10:57:48 AM PST
J. Nelson says:
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Posted on Dec 10, 2012 10:48:37 AM PST
Number one rule of comedy: If you have to explain the joke, it's not funny.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 10:24:50 AM PST
J. Nelson says:
I was just saying in a funny way that I disagree with you. Catchy phrase used by ComposerofAvantGarde on the other forum. Are the members here able to take jokes?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2012 7:13:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 7:14:54 AM PST
JN, in response to your edit, I'd say that my comment conveys what I think and feel about the Goldbergs.

My posts here seem to admit of an infinite capacity for improvement. I haven't tried to edit that one---yet. If I can find a way to make it better, or shorter, I will.

Very best,
Angelo

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2012 7:08:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 9:57:37 AM PST
MZ, here is Jeremy Denk's March 2 Boston Celebrity Series recital program:

Liszt:
Petrarch Sonnets
Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H
Dante Sonata
Wagner/Liszt: Isolde's "Liebestod"
Brahms:
Six Pieces for Piano, Opus 118
Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 35

Yes, I'm looking forward to this. I have his Beethoven/Ligeti CD, his Ives Sonata CD, and his "French Impressions" CD of violin sonatas with Joshua Bell. There are another half-dozen releases of his I haven't heard, or read about yet, including a new San Francisco American Mavericks one with MTT.

I wonder if there is a Goldbergs in his future? If he's released a recording, I haven't seen it.

Very best,
Angelo

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 11:08:32 PM PST
Thanks, Angelo. I've picked up tix for Denk's recital here in a few months as well. Much looking forward to it. If I recall, he's doing transcriptions including Liszt's and his own of Wagner. Same for you?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 8:06:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 7:42:50 AM PST
MZ, many thanks for the Jeremy Denk articles on NPR. I agree enthusiastically that he writes as well as he plays.

There was a New Yorker article earlier this year on Mr Denk's work in recording the Ives sonata. I wound up buying some of Mr Denk's CDs---and we have tickets to his solo recital in Boston (Celebrity Series) on March 2.

Here is the ending of one of his three NPR lectures on the Goldbergs:

"There you are, listening to the Goldbergs. The Aria comes back. You are much older now than you were when you first heard it. Perhaps you're Bill Murray now and you were Scarlett Johansson then. Yes, that's what the Aria does when it comes back, it whispers in your ear, the thing you needed to hear, the thing you needed to know. Though this realization is coming to you through Bach, whatever Bach brings out in you here is yours, it comes from you, belongs to you; the other function of the Goldbergs is to give you back your best self".

"The other function of the Goldbergs is to give you back your best self".

Very best,
Angelo

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 9:07:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 8:44:31 AM PST
Finally recalled the "lecture" I mentioned earlier, about Bach's genius in not letting the repetition be boring :

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/03/16/148769794/why-i-hate-the-goldberg-variations

This guy used to be Joshua Bell's accompanist until he finally broke out into his own solo career. He writes as well as he plays ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 7:23:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 7:42:12 AM PST
David, yes indeed. Like you and MZ, I had trouble figuring out how to listen to the Goldbergs. I expected variations on the top line of the Aria (or on some other theme, as happens in A of F)---and, not hearing that, didn't quite know what to do next.

I don't know when I made the connection. Possibly with Murray Perahia's recording (ca 2001). There was no particular reason. All of a sudden the Goldbergs emerged from the clouds and into the sunshine (well, so to speak!). Bach says in his title that he's writing "for music lovers, for the refreshment of their spirits". Amen to that. But it took me decades to connect.

Bach's title for his work is almost as enjoyable as his music: "Keyboard Practice: Aria with divers variations, for a harpsichord with two keyboards. For music lovers, for the refreshment of their spirits".

Keyboard Practice!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 7:13:20 AM PST
MZ, thanks. I'm starting to think that JSB didn't expect us to hear the bass line of the Goldbergs all 32 times. Or even one time. Particularly when you compare it (as you noted) to the C Minor passacaglia theme "where it's inescapable".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 9:53:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012 11:16:27 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
You are free to your opinion but your opinion would be WRONG. Edit. How do you like your own comment? :D

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 9:51:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 10:02:53 AM PST
Of the return of the Aria at the end of the Goldbergs, Charles writes: "the first time I heard it all the way through, I found that final statement of the theme incredibly moving".

Agreed.

As for G-ness, the Aria and "all the Variations are in G major, apart from Variations 15, 21, and 25, which are in G minor" (quote from an online source that I failed to note).

The Aria begins with two Gs---one in the bass and one in the treble---and ends with a single G in the treble following directly after a G in the bass and an F-sharp in the treble. That single final G resolves the cadence and (in the Aria reprise at the end) brings the Goldbergs to a gentle, luminous close of indescribable beauty. The effect this has on me is unmatched in my experience.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  328
Initial post:  Nov 19, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 11, 2012

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