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I've found someone better than Beethoven


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Showing 1-25 of 98 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 6:16:30 PM PST
Donnie Darko says:
Mark-Anthony Turnage - Canon Fever (Proms 2012)

http://youtu.be/6WUoGWqT6Wo

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 6:30:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 9:38:44 PM PST
good for you.

I was afraid E.P. Haufe got bored starting Meade Skelton worship threads in the music forum and came over here...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 7:20:54 PM PST
KenOC says:
Uh....OK. Aside from its having no interesting musical ideas and growing tedious even over its three-minute running time, I'd say it stacks up well against the Big B.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 8:02:22 PM PST
George says:
I agree. He's way better at torturing my ears than Beethoven.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 9:02:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 9:06:35 PM PST
WH says:
As a jazz fan, I love inventive horn ensembles. Must say that I'm not impressed with this.
Well, if you want to hear what a creative and intricate horn ensemble can do, try this--and these guys are improvizing it:
Dave Holland Quintet, "Prime Directive" (ECM, 1999):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bZZ_KlMGyE&feature=related

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 9:47:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 3:43:51 PM PST
Here is a short review of the Turnage work:

http://5against4.com/2012/07/13/proms-2012-mark-anthony-turnage-canon-fever-world-premiere/

It might work as an ice-breaking concert opener.

Another way to break the ice at concerts is to ask the audience to say hello to the people in the surrounding seats. (Ministers do that at worship services, and it generally works.) That takes about the same time as "Canon Fever" and is more sparing of the trumpet and horn players' embrouchures.

It looks hard to play.

I wonder if we really need to break the ice at concerts.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 10:15:52 AM PST
KenOC says:
Thanks Angelo There's even a reader's poll at the bottom of the page you referenced. Turnage's work wasn't a real big winner!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 12:06:58 PM PST
HB says:
Everybody is entitled to their opinion. However, I am not sure something written in 2012 should be compared to Beethoven, who died in 1827. Secondly, Beethoven never wrote anything for a combination of brass, two bass clarinets, etc.

IMO, this sounded like movie music, maybe a police chase. It did not sound like good movie music, not even bad movie music. It really sounded like nothing. It was not helped by a principal trumpet player who could barely get the notes out.

Maybe it had some entertainment value, although I am not sure what it was. One thing is for sure, I seriously doubt I will hear a worse piece of concert music in this calendar year.

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 12:33:35 PM PST
Tero says:
Well, music is after all entertainment. Some people think this is the ultimate "classical" music
Picnic Suite for Flute, Guitar & , Jazz Piano

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 1:01:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 3:45:25 PM PST
HB, I really wanted Canon Fever to be better than it was. I thought: Here is Turnage with a wonderful opportunity to do something exciting, something to attract people to new music, something to expand audience horizons. But what he came up with was---IMHO---anything but.

I believe that programs have to be 1/3 new, 2/3 old. That idea comes from Virgil Thomson and I've repeated it here about a million times. Turnage is part of the 1/3. I think he had a great op and blew it. Too bad for everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 3:04:05 PM PST
HB says:
"I thought: Here is Turnage with a wonderful opportunity to do something exciting, something to attract people to new music, something to expand audience horizons. But what he came up with was---IMHO---anything but."

A.B.,

Writing a mediocre piece or two is nothing to be ashamed about. Look at Beethoven's Wellington Victory or even worse, Wagner's American Centennial March. Those are, IMO, two awful works by musical geniuses.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 3:27:34 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Adrian

Surely you are pulling our collective leg!

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 3:39:19 PM PST
Thomas E. says:
I dunno about this work (haven't clicked the link), but Turnage wrote one of my favourite modern trumpet concertos, called "From the Wreckage". Hĺkan Hardenberger plays it on a DG album together with works by HK Gruber and Peter Eötvös.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 3:47:21 PM PST
Thomas, my memory doesn't always click in when I want it to---but I seem to recall Hakan Hardenberger playing a Turnage trumpet concerto in Boston last season or two seasons ago.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 4:06:05 PM PST
Thomas E. says:
Oh, I'd love to hear Hardenberger some time! No matter what he plays. I hope you enjoyed the concerto, whatever it was.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 7:16:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 7:37:25 AM PST
scarecrow says:
it's not their fault--- the composers, the artists of today, their first objective is to be popular and loved,and if possible make the $$$, believe in $$ for there may not be anything else waiting for you---So if you can't manage that,all the above, or some of it by whatever means (dilution of aesthetic philosophy, pandering, hawking yer wares,pitching vacuous content disguised as serious art.) etc, you might as well change professions or careers, sell pizzas, or make your own jewelry,or drawings. . .

For Turnage, the music of his I've heard, always looks for the shortest distance between two points . . . He's not alone,, so his music needs to grab you, pretty immediately, no time for estrangement, alienation games for the populace. . .He needs to write music that Alex Ross can describe within 100 words for the'' New Yorker''. . . .otherwise, it will not appear there for review. . .

glad you mentioned Eotvos and Gruber!,Both distance themselves from the proximity of the what I call "Sell-Out Avant-Garde" cause they are a little, much better than Turnage at (serious) musical aesthetic philosophic agendas they entertain. . .both emerged from the hardcore post-war avant-garde,(So did Turnage, but you wouldn't know it).--- and they continue to utilizes the languages there,

All for them need strong powerful images for this colonizing the popular mind, like Turnage's opera on Anna Nicole Smith,( I'm surprised no one has done one yet on Michael Jackson,or Julian Assange. General Petraeus is next in line.or ( maybe copyright problems emerge there)

Gruber is a bit more sophisticated on the pop-song side as Piscator, Eisler, Weill, even Berio, Eotvos,searches for a middle ground of pop avant- and serious avant--- well he wrote tons of film music in his life, so that informs what he does, with a sophisticated sense of electronic capabilities of ensemble interface.. . .he's a skilled conductor as well. . .

H.K. Gruber by the way comes from a musical family his Grandfather wrote "Silent Night" . . . He also has a nice Cello Concerto for Yo-Yo Ma. . . and his "Frankenstein" chamber opera has made the rounds. . .

it's sad that today's composers are burdened with the past, the past is like this dead weight, a ''dracula'' that gives nurturing power to the dead present. . .look at Christopher Rouse all the history his music taps into for sustenance, like dracula, the living dead is kept alive by well, Wagner, or Caravaggio, or be-Bop,jazz lyrical bends for Turnage, or cabaret for Gruber, or avant-theatre fro Eotvos. . . .or Mao and Nixon for John Adams . . .

Now if you can make it interesting, a musical work, an opera, a dramatic invention and exciting,compelling, something to talk about at the bar fro drinks, , , and not let on what you are up to,Well that's genius, composers like Turnage I think telescope their objectives too obviously, you need to be a bit more withdrawn on your aesthetic schemes, and sophisticated in your working concepts,to go the distance and well if you wanna make the Big Bucks$$. . .

Some smart a---ss critic once asked Diamanda Galas, after one of her spell-binding performance what was her "aesthetic strategy". .
She calmly replied. . . .
"Well I really don't know what it is, but I know I got one. . ."

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:23:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 10:26:08 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
scarecrow

It's unlikely that H. K. Gruber is the grandson of Franz Xaver Gruber, who wrote the melody of Silent Night. The elder Gruber died in 1863 and HK was born in 1843, 80 years later. So, if HK's father had been the son of FX, he would have had to father the younger composer at age 80 or later; possible, but not likely. Not to mention that Franz Xaver would himself have had to have fathered HK's parent at an advanced age, too. In any case, Wikipedia notes that HK is said to be a descendant of FX, but the descent isn't clear.

None of that says anything about HK Gruber's music, not a note of which I've ever heard.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 12:27:10 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 22, 2012 12:45:16 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 22, 2012 12:45:33 AM PST
Donnie Darko says:
I was only joking about Canon Fever.

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 4:22:32 PM PDT
Donnie Darko says:
I'm interested in hearing more music by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 8:32:50 PM PDT
He should have called the piece "Seven Complaining Cardinals." It would make a good companion to his "Three Screaming Popes."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2013 9:20:14 PM PDT
Anonymouse says:
"I believe that programs have to be 1/3 new, 2/3 old. That idea comes from Virgil Thomson and I've repeated it here about a million times."

Dunno why. Concert ratios have changed many times over the years, both before and after Thomson's very conservative ratio. There was a time when the percentage of new music on a concert was over 90. Just imagine.

And that number has dropped at times to practically zero.

It's never been as good as 9 to 1 since Beethoven's time, though, except for ghetto-ized contexts. New music concerts and the like, which started happening in the 19th century, thank you very much, long before Schoenberg or Boulez or whatever new music bogey you prefer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2013 9:32:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2013 9:35:20 PM PDT
I think Virgil Thomson was reacting to the programming customs of his day. I think he figured: If we can get the percentage of new music up to 33% at concerts, that will be a huge advance.

Even now, I don't see North American orchestras programming anywhere near 1/3 new. At least that's my impression from reading concert schedules.

Does anybody have different info? Is there a major North American orchestra programming as much as 1/3 new? Or even 1/4 new? Last time I looked at the Cleveland and NYP schedules, they were around 10% new. That's kind of discouraging.

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 10:03:03 PM PDT
Anonymouse says:
I agree.

That is, I too am discouraged by those figures.

The program director of the Oregon Symphony told me they would never program Lachenmann.

Never seems like a long time, to me. Time will come, I hope....

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 10:20:29 PM PDT
I may be in the minority here but personally I have much less interest in going to a performance of modern works. I know very few works from the last hundred years or so that sound as good to my ears as the classical works from the composers we spend most of our time discussing here. Maybe if I had been fortunate enough in my lifetime to attend more concerts then I'd be more interested in modern compositions, and if that was the case then I'd probably be more well rounded in the repertoire as well. I suspect that the general public may have a similar view to mine whereas frequent concert goers who also may be more sophisticated in their tastes may desire more of a mixture of the 'old' and the 'new'. Those programming the concert schedules are presumably responding to what 'sells' and what will fill the seats. It may make it difficult for new works to be commissioned and performed, but if there is no audience for it then that is the natural result.

I would like to think that the audience in 17th century Vienna was far more interested in their contemporary composers, and for the simple reason that the tastes of the artists and the audiences were in synch. I know it is not as simple as that but I don't think it was far from that either.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  98
Initial post:  Nov 13, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 7, 2013

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