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Thread: A Great Man And Composer...

  1. #16
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Nice, unusual, different ...
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  2. #17
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    Smile very difficult to find

    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    Just wanted to introduced a wonderful acquaintance of mine:


    www.en.rian.ru/russia/20101211/161728372.html


    One of his many compositions performed here:


    www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsUbmCoMP1Y


    Since I am a paid musician at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow I have come to know him - A really affable and humble man.
    =======================================
    I bought his 2 Cds (very difficult to find) . This guy's music is AWESOME! Do you know him? You're honoured! His music is wonderful!

    I bought them here:

    http://www.musicarussica.com/file.lasso?file=contact_us.htm

    I hope I'll get it! I don't know this place...

    Martin

  3. #18
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    @ some guy

    First of all, I can't say I appreciate the tone of that post which, to me, came across as condescending and patronising (I have been told that I'm oversensitive, but I'm not going to change that because as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the things that makes a me a decent musician!). I also don't appreciate my listening skills being insulted as "innattentive" and "ordinary." Nor do I need reminding which century I'm in as if I'm some sort of moron. I've suffered too long at the hands of the tall poppy syndrome in this country and I'm a little fed up with having even the simplest and relatively innocent of opinions challenged and belittled.

    I regularly hold listening tests in all my classes (which, judging by the way I've been addressed here, I don't seem qualified to teach) wherein they're played recordings from CDs and asked to identify the Era they believe it to be from. I then ask them to justify their answer based on what we've been covering in class. Now I'm no idiot - I'm not going to be playing them a recording of a two-part invention on the piano and tell them it's Baroque because it's a two-part, contrapuntal work being played on a keyboard, that would be grossly misleading and stupid. If I'm going to do that, I'll make sure I can find a recording on the harpsichord. Neither would I play them a highly Romanticised arrangement replete with massed brass and percussion and expect them to identify it as Baroque.

    that the ensemble isn't anything like a baroque ensemble, I suppose it would fail the instrumentation part of the test first.
    In classes we examine texture, orchestration, style of writing, the presence of or predominance of certain instruments, and the usage of the instruments within the texture (less importance is given as to whether it's a historically correct instrument - it would be a pedantic set of ears that could pick the difference in an ensemble between a viola da gamba or a more recent viola). I don't see how Alfeyev's pieces could fail to be indentifiable as Baroque on a cursory listen. In fact, whilst I was typing this, I had the Alfeyev clip playing in the background, one of the other music staff walked in to borrow something and asked "Is that one of the Bach Passions?" Are my colleagues in this locally well-regarded music school now "innattentive" and "ordinary" listeners as well?

    Granted, the string orchestra is on the large size for a Baroque ensemble (I think we can blame Mendelssohn for that little "tradition"), and one could argue that there should be a harpsichord in there as well. However, the use of the instruments within the ensemble is appropriate for the Baroque. Perhaps I should have qualified my initial statement, by "instrumentation" I did not mean "instruments", I was referring more to the use of or function of instruments within the ensemble, not whether they were historically accurate.

    By your own admission, it was the scholarly documentation of history that named the eras "Baroque" "Classical" "Romantic" etc, etc, which is perfectly true, but is this now confined to referring to chronology only? Have I been wrong all these years to refer to a work as Baroque or Classical in terms of genre, rather than solely meaning "it's from the "N"teenth century"?

    In the context of genre I was referring to Alfeyev's work as Baroque, not as "being from the 17th century" - that would be singularly idiotic. If it's alright for people to refer to a piece of poetry or a painting produced in contemporary times as "Baroque art" or "Renaissance art" then I don't see why the same can't be afforded to music.

    Any piece written today that reminds us of the 18th century can only be pastiche.
    Can you qualify this statement please? If this a documented fact that I've missed then I'm happy to be elucidated. If it's not, then it's akin to a bit of a sweeping statement - something one of my Uni lecturers used to pick me up on in my assignments, so I've tried to remain careful in justifying certain statements since then.

    Let me qualify my assertion that I do not find Alfeyev's work to be pastiche. Based on what I have studied, have come to understand, and continue to study, his music does not sound "cobbled together", nor does it sound a simple "carbon copy." I'm not even sure I agree with the notion of imitation, since imitation tends to be lumped in with impersonation (which can have negative connotations). Rather, I feel that he has referred to, and used faithfully well, Baroque methods and strictures.

    All the things that led people in the 18th century to write the music they wrote are all over. Now is now.
    Again, I'd like some qualification and/or context here. As written, it could be interpreted that historical styles have no relevance today, and that where we are now is vastly superior and better than anything previously. If that is the case, we had best stop discussing it right now lest it lead to further argument, as I disagree quite vehemently. There are aspects of the past that I, for one, think would be much more agreeable than today (regardless of how "edited or sanitised" it may or may not be), for example: A less frenetic pace of lifestyle, less unreasonable social demands, a perception of the musician as an honourable profession, (the absence of the internet perhaps?).

    Apologies if I've come across as overly defensive, but I gave my reasons earlier (the "tall poppy syndrome" bit). If it's going to happen here ... well, at least I have the option of leaving, but I'd rather not, since lively academic discussions such as this are usually worth sticking around for. (would that I had the option to leave the country ).

    All of the above has been delivered with no desire whatsoever for any kind of conflict or unfriendliness. If we're still disagreeing after this, then I guess it's all down to semantics!

    Respect.

    Last edited by Soubasse; Mar-09-2011 at 03:48.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  4. #19
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    soubasse
    We had a very good music teacher at my grammer school, in that he taught us to appreciate music, but I would have appreciated someone like yourself, who could have taught us a more indepth understanding of all the aspects. Your pupils are very lucky

    teddy

  5. #20
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    I don't see how Alfeyev's pieces could fail to be indentifiable as Baroque on a cursory listen.
    Cursory. Exactly. My point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    In fact, whilst I was typing this, I had the Alfeyev clip playing in the background, one of the other music staff walked in to borrow something and asked "Is that one of the Bach Passions?" Are my colleagues in this locally well-regarded music school now "innattentive" and "ordinary" listeners as well?
    Yes. For that moment at least. For that colleague. I've been in many music departments in many universities. I've spent most of my life hanging out with musicians. No matter how well regarded a music school is, the members of its faculty will not all be of equal capacity, nor will they all be equally attentive at all times.


    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    Have I been wrong all these years to refer to a work as Baroque or Classical in terms of genre, rather than solely meaning "it's from the "N"teenth century"?
    Yes. I would say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    If it's alright for people to refer to a piece of poetry or a painting produced in contemporary times as "Baroque art" or "Renaissance art" then I don't see why the same can't be afforded to music.
    I've never heard of this. But I don't think it's alright, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy
    Any piece written today that reminds us of the 18th century can only be pastiche.
    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    Can you qualify this statement please? If this a documented fact that I've missed then I'm happy to be elucidated.
    Just a matter of definition. That was my only point from the beginning. If we know a style from the past, and there's a piece from the present that reminds us of that style, so that we can even call it by that style's name, then that's pastiche. "[H]as referred to and used Baroque methods and strictures." That's pastiche. Only in its time, and not even called by that name yet, but just what's being done in that time, of that time, is something that sounds like what we now call baroque genuine.

    We don't have the same background of assumptions about the world and art, we don't think the same way, we don't build the same kind of buildings, or make the same kind of art. We only know the baroque as a style, in short, not as a living art, of and in its time. And we can reproduce that style, well enough for a cursory inspection (no more than that though). It's not congruent with who we are now, though, for better or for worse. We can have nostalgia for earlier times (though only sanitized and edited, note!), but that's about it. Longing for earlier (and by default considered better) times is not at all like living and working in your own time, and not at all like what living in that earlier time would have been like for those people doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    [What you wrote] could be interpreted [as meaning] that historical styles have no relevance today, and that where we are now is vastly superior and better than anything previously.
    No. Historical styles may be studied and enjoyed. But they are historical. They are not for the creators of today to redo, except as an exercise. They are for us to enjoy and appreciate and learn from. They are not for us to mimic or even to try to produce as if nothing had happened between then and now. Things have happened. To act as if they haven't can't be good! As for now being vastly superior, or even just marginally superior, well, no. It's just now, that's all. It's the time we are in. Now. For better or for worse.

    It seems that many people have grown up distrusting now, thinking of it as necessarily worse than before, as a time to repudiate or escape from. But even a cursory (!) reading of history will show that in any time there were horrible things; in any time there were splendid things. Any time.

    I've seen over and over again, and I'm sure you have too, the comment that "modern" music is ugly and discordant and fragmented because these times are ugly and discordant and fragmented. And what was the nineteenth century, for instance? We forget what life was like in the past, seeing only what the familiar and safe, what now seems familiar and safe. But the things we see that way now, after time has passed, were not seen then as either familiar or safe, but strange and threatening, just as many people see "modern" music today. For those people, composers like Alfeyev must seem very consoling. And consoling can be a good thing.

    If it's the only thing, however....
    Last edited by some guy; Mar-09-2011 at 13:01.

  6. #21
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Right I'll be going then. I give up.

    There is no reasoning with people like you. There is no real discussion or debate with you because you believe that you are always right and everyone else is wrong. It has not escaped my attention that in quite a few other threads, you appear to take great delight in annoying people with inflammatory comments occasionally supported with some credible knowledge, but mostly supported with what seems to be an inflated superiority complex. Rarely, if ever, are you seen to actively support or agree with anyone else's opinion, or to lower yourself enough to say that they may just have a point. If you do agree with them, it's usually to turn their words around to support your own arrogant point of view. Furthermore, the only resolution to a situation such as this is to just blindly agree with you so that everyone can see how wonderful you are (which I will not be doing here).

    My only real error here has been in stupidly rising to the bait. So I'll just go back to my "wrong" way of teaching, and my "wrong" way of thinking ... and I'll send them to you afterwards so that they may sit in awe of your profoundly "correct" knowledge, admit their transgressions, beg for forgiveness, and look down their noses at me who lead them astray.

    What I can console myself with in the meantime is the fact that at least there are a handful of people here at this school who do matter, and who believe I'm not wrong, especially since I was headhunted for this position and invited to fill it without it even being advertised. I can also quietly be grateful for the number of students who have enjoyed moderate success, locally or elsewhere, and who have been kind enough to thank me personally for contributing towards that. But I guess they're all wrong as well.

    Last year, I was abused and screwed over by an arrogant and ignorant narcissistic bully. The only way you differ is that you're obviously not that ignorant - but I don't know which I hate more; someone who knows nothing, tries to pass it off as fact, uses "smart" words and sheer arrogance in order to cut down people who dare to disagree with them, or, someone who does know a thing or two and lauds it over others to do the same.

    You know, I think I work harder at trying to be diplomatic, at extending a hand of friendliness, offering an olive branch or whatever, than I do at trying to be right about any or everything. I do this in the hope that I might be able to set off some spark of decency and tolerance.

    But then someone on the internet always seems to have the fire extinguisher at hand.

    So you may chalk this up to a success for your basically unpleasant and intolerant philosophy. Don't forget also to allow yourself the satisfaction of a smirk and/or sneer as I walk out.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  7. #22
    Commodore con Forza
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    I've often wondered -- do organs in Russia (however many there might be) have the stop names etc. written in Cyrillic? If so, how on earth does a western-oriented organist know what to do? Trial and error???

  8. #23
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Just a quick reminder, let's stick to the rules and refrain from making comments about other members' posting style. Things have gotten way too personal in this thread, and it would break my heart to have to give an infraction to any of you nice peeps.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  9. #24
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    aw shucks just when it was getting interesting
    I don’t want a signature any more

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    aw shucks just when it was getting interesting
    My dear Chuzzlewit -- don't expect anyone to be taken in by your display of modesty; here at Magle we privilege "civility" over interestingness.

  11. #26
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Well you would know all about that eh, do you have a fixation with Bananas
    Last edited by JHC; Mar-12-2011 at 02:09.
    I don’t want a signature any more

  12. #27
    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    Well you would know all about that eh, do you have a fixation with Bananas
    Atta boy, Colin!
    Whatever floats your boat May your reach always exceed your grasp

  13. #28
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    I liked it so much that I bought the 2 CD set....It was unavailable in many places...then I went here:

    http://www.musicarussica.com/search.lasso

    This is awesome!

    Martin

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