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|Classical in 2017|
First time I've made a proper list detailing my classical picks so here's a nice round 20 albums I've sampled, one bad, one meh, most good/great, some incredible. Enjoy.
Laurence Crane: 6 Trios, 2 Solos and 1 Quintet
Post-Minimalism - I expected waaaaaay more from Ives given what I've heard of their Feldman renditions, but I was bored from about 15 minutes in right 'til the end here. Maybe it was Crane's vision or something but the pieces just plod along while the musicians do absolutely nothing interesting timbre-wise.
Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works
"Modern Classical" - I went in expecting sappy melodrama but not in such a cliche, meandering way. Still nice to listen to.
|18||Hesperion XXI / La Capella Reial de Catalunya|
Henricus Isaac: Nell tempo di Lorenzo ...
Renaissance Music - I'm a sucker ye ol' time-y Renaissance stuff so I enjoyed this purely for the aesthetics, even if it veered into almost-Christmas carol territory at times.
|17||Emerson String Quartet|
Music of Britten and Purcel
Chamber Music - The tense, uniform performances and track arrangement help these otherwise contrasting pieces feel like a cohesive body of work, even if the compositions themselves aren't exactly my cup of tea.
Atem Lied: Works for Bass Flute
Modern Classical - Really interesting pieces that are focused more on exploration of texture than any kind of narrative arc, at least from what I can tell.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Baroque Music - Title is pretty self-explanatory - a collection of Bach's keyboard works. performance is vibrant, sound is crisp; worth hearing for anyone who's a fan of all things Bach.
Morton Feldman: Three Voices
Modern Classical - I can imagine this annoying quite a few people while entrancing others. At times repetitive and sonically bare-bones, but somehow quite hypnotic.
|13||Konus Quartett / Apartment House|
Chiyoko Szlavnics: During a Lifetime
Modern Classical - First piece is a drone-y amalgamation of sine waves that feel surprisingly organic and are actually super pleasant to listen to. Second almost feels like the lines from the first transposed for strings while the third melds the two together along with a cache of wind and brass instruments.
No spotify link, rip
Lettres intimes: Bartok / Schulhoff / Janacek
Modern Classical - Worth hearing for the Bartok renditions alone, even if they aren't really a patch on those by Takacs, but very little is. I wasn't familiar with the other two composers but I'm quite glad I persisted.
Marc Sabat: Harmony
Modern Classical - A bunch of microtonal fidgeting that isn't consumed by austerity like so much music of this ilk. Lives up to its title by exploring unconventional harmonic relationships and actually attempting to build on them in an affecting way.
No spotify link, rip
|10||Musica Secreta / Celestial Sirens|
Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter
Renaissance Music - Enchanting vocal arrangements backed by strings and an organ. From what I gather, nobody is entirely sure who composed these pieces, perhaps due to the perception of aspirant women at the time they were published, but I'm glad they were.
|9||Orchestre des Champs-Elysees / Collegium Vocale Gent|
Symphony No. 4; Alt-Rhapsodie; Schicksalslied
Romanticism - The spotless recording of Brahms' 4th is the main attraction here, shirking the bombast I tend to associate with the romantic era. The other two pieces aren't half bad either.
Baroque Music - Tartini's 5th violin sonata is captivating and at times heart breaking, and violinist Rachel Podger is a master of imbuing every note with palpable emotion. The album's a little front heavy due to Tartini's work being the strongest by quite a margin, but absolutely worth listening to multiple times.
|7||London Philharmonic Orchestra|
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Lalo: Symphony
Romanticism - Due to Lalo's influence on Tchaikovsky being quite apparent, the transition from the one composer's work to the other goes over very well, stylistically. Wasn't expecting to love this but alas.
Scelsi: Opere per pianoforte
Modern Classical - Much as I love Scelsi I always seemed to neglect his piano works. Staggers about for a couple minutes but the second that low-F dropped I was hooked from start to finish.
|5||Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra|
Tüür: Peregrinus ecstaticus; Noēsis; Le poids ...
Modern Classical - Stylistically outlandish but still full of substance. Not entirely sure how to describe it beyond that.
Dynastie: Bach Concertos
Baroque Music - Very ornate sound, which may turn some people off but as I'm a sucker for big, spacious soundscapes this is right up my alley. It's difficult to go wrong with any Bach, really, and it's quite interesting to hear his style being emulated and altered to fit with early Classical-period trends by his youngest son.
|3||Silesian String Quartet|
Weinberg: String Quartet No. 7 + Piano Quintet
Modern Classical - The Silesian Quartet seem to have a penchant for batshit insane, so it's refreshing to hear them render these compositions with tact and restraint. The interplay between the quartet and Piotr Salajczyk's piano playing is surprisingly delicate and they seem to have a great chemistry, knowing when and where best to allow one another to take center stage, so to speak.
Giaches de Wert: Divine Theatre
Renaissance Music / Choral - Considering how much I love this I have very little, if anything to say about it. Probably the most cathartic thing I've heard from this year.
|1||Arditti Quartet / Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France|
Pascal Dusapin: Quatuor VI; Quatuor VII
Modern Classical - The first movement was so intensely disorienting I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it through an entire album of it. Mercifully, the intensity is dialed back for the vast majority of the album's remainder, but the maniacal vibe is still omnipresent from start to finish. No need to tell you the performances are out of this world as everything Arditti touches turns to gold. Possible AOTY.
|I liek chocolate milkk|
|Feature this for Odin's sake.|
|Fantastic list, Jac, been meaning to get into the genre. Some very nice descriptions, can tell you put a lot of work into this. ((: |
|sweet list pone, gonna jam somma this|
|great list man, I need to hear more classical|
|thank you frens, gtg and say hi to your mums for me|
|Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer - Bach Trios|
|u da bestttttt !!1|
|lovely list Jac. will most definitely be checking some of these|
|Thank you so much for this list. I have a ton of trouble unearthing/keeping up with new classical releases even though I love the genre. Where do you find yours?|
@wildhoney - having a music streaming service makes everything way easier (soulseeking specific classical interps is a massive pain), and I just follow specific groups and composers on Spotify so I get notifications when something new comes out. Scouring RYM's charts also helps.
|Ugh I still don’t have Spotify. If soulseek doesn’t have most of these I’m just going to pay for it. |
|Join the dark side hal|
|Oh lord birb this looks good|
|fantastic list, just what I'm looking for right now to be honest.|
|from 2017 maybe cheq|
Jessica Moss - Pools of Light
Steve Gibbs - Adrift
Seabuckthorn - Turns
Penguin Cafe - The Imperfect Sea
Sarah Davachi - All My Circles Run
Daniel Herskedal - The Roc
also good list pos'd
|Sweet list. Had 2 on my radar for a while.|
|wows I need to hear 3 and 1|
|Jac how did you discover these ? I haven’t even heard of several of these composers lol. Some of this stuff seems pretty obscure. |
|great list Jac - I definitely needed a push to listen to more classical|
|@hal l a b e l s you know this|
|just from the cover art here you can see some harmonia mundi, alpha, deutsche grammophon (< three major players!), then you have some ondine, erato, another timbre, aeon, hat hut... a couple of conductor-specific ones (phi = Herreweghe, alia vox = Savall). outhere-music.com is a fantastic distributor which now owns several of these labels, def check in on their site every month or so|
also doesn't hurt to be aware of the big publications. for instance, 10 got a lot of attention this year:
|oh sweet thanks lol. and yea i should know better i guess. i'm still not very familiar with classical labels yet tho. i'll do some diggin |
|good list tho, esp. interested in the Weinberg & Scelsi|
|just heard 20 and i really, really like it, guess we'll have to agree to disagree!!! can't wait to make my way through this my precious guardian angel :*|
|i would recommend Olga Andryushchenko's complete solo piano works of Roslavets for some Russian modernism following the footsteps of Scriabin|
and i think some of you might wanna hear the new triadic memories w John Snijders of Ives ensemble, via hat hut: http://hathut.com/hat-now-art-2-205
|yea i'll definitely check that triadic memories rendition|
|been meaning to peep snijders' triadic memories since wines brought it to my attention, thanks y'all [less-than-three]|
|You are a good man for doing this.|
|which ones you gonna czech bizz?|
|wow 10 nice find, 2 is great also|
|I shall repeat myself, because this needs a spin from everyone here:|
Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer - Bach Trios
|1 sounds sick so far|
It’s like disharmonious dm in Classical fashion
|5 is pretty sick too|
|cool list ya goose|
|I always need more modern classical. Gonna check.|
|need to check somma dis jacqore|
|I agree with your analysis for 16. It was quite intriguing. I think it falls more into expiremental than classical. |
|Also TBH I wished they’d do something similar with a string quartet. Usually it seems that classical quarters are focused on pieces of music rather than exploring what they can sonically and expirementally achieve, if that makes a lick of sense. |
|I actually dig 17, especially the latter half. |