Thursday, December 11, 2008

UNLESS OF COURSE You're Near New Haven

In which case you must come hear the Yale Phil play Turangalîla-Symphonie at Woolsey Hall. Reinbert de Leeuw, cond., Wei-Yi Yang, piano, Geneviève Grenier, ondes Martenot, free, 8 pm Dec 12. More info here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the only worthwhile symphony in the 20th century comes to the 'have. It's about time.

December 12, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Oh c'mon, you're trollin' me. No other 20th-c. symphonies—Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Ustvolskaya—are honestly worth your while? Your while ain't all that.

December 12, 2008 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well maybe one or two of Mahler's, but the rest is all fluff. Stravinsky didn't really right symphonies in the traditional sense and he seemed indifferent to the genre. And Shostakovitch? Please, he only really wrote one symphony and copied and pasted his name on each successive one. I view his set of symphonies as one extended experiment in minimalism. Oh yea nd that Ustvolskaya chick. Can anyone recall who she was?

December 15, 2008 at 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*whoops* Stravinsky didn't write....

December 15, 2008 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Mmyes. In no particular order:

Ustvolskaya was a composer you'd probably like, which is why I put her on the list, so you should probably listen to her music before you get cheeky.

I'm not a Shostakovich fanatic, but I'd certainly never pretend his symphonies aren't worthwhile.

Mahler? Fluff? Really.

And as for Stravinsky, Turangalîla isn't a symphony in the traditional sense, either, and that's what I thought we were talking about in the first place.

December 15, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, thank you for the recommendation but I am familiar with Ustvolskaya's work and am frankly unimpressed.

Stravinsky on the other hand wrote pieces that where incidental to his better works, his ballets. They seem to my ear to be somewhat pedantic in nature and add nothing to the literature.

Turangalîla however says quite a lot and at least to me is the summation of the symphony can archive. It is the ultimate statement on the genre much in the same way that Bach defined the genre's in his era. Of course it would be unfair to compare Bach and Messiaen as was done in the program notes to the New Haven performance because they are to unique entities wholly unto themselves and besides, Messiaen is on record for not caring all that much about Bach's output.

December 15, 2008 at 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AnOn, Messiaen isn't the only symphonists worth investigating. Might I introduce you to the music of Babbitt? His Concerti for Orchestra is to die for.

December 15, 2008 at 7:10 PM  

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