||This old house was only a few blocks from the state Capitol in Madison,
Wisconsin. All the neighborhood cats lived in the basement during the
winter. The house has long since been torn down, but in 1972 there were
AR2ax speakers in the front room, and a lot of good music was heard there.
In the 21st century I am just as opinionated as ever,
and I now have an outlet. I shall pontificate here about anything
that catches my fancy; I hope I will not make too great a fool
of myself. You may comment yea or nay about anything on the
site; I may quote you here, or I may not. Send brickbats etc.
August 9, 2012No peace for the sleeping dog
Just tryin' to take a nap here and the big dude keeps takin' my picture...
August 9, 2012Music, music, music
Discovering new conductors is almost as good as discovering new composers.
Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht (1880-1965) (who preferred D.-E. Inghelbrecht) was asked to form the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française in 1934 and (I guess) led it for the rest of his life. Suddenly I have his recordings of virtually all the orchestral music of Debussy on my hard disc, both studio recordings and live broadcasts, and they appear to be exquisitely fine (I haven't even been able to listen to them all yet). I never heard of Inghelbrecht until a few days ago.
Arpád Yóo (pronounced "Yo"; born in 1948) was a prodigy at the piano in his native Budapest, and was hired to conduct the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra when he was only 25, helping it to become a pretty good semi-pro band in only a couple of years. I had heard of him; his recording of Mahler's 1st symphony with the Amsterdam Philharmonic (made in 1983) was highly rated, but I had heard no more. Now it turns out he has recorded virtually all the orchestral music of Bartók with the Budapest Philharmonic, and some Kodály and Janáček with the London Symphony Orchestra, all these recordings already out of print. But I've got 'em, because my friends on the Internet are from all over the world...
And a "new" composer? Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (born in Cracow in 1919; died in Vienna in 1994) was best-known for his chamber music; even his larger pieces were "determined by lucid chamber-music thinking" (it says here). In a second-hand bookstore in Emmaus the other day for $5 I picked up a co-produced CD by Westdeutscher Rundfunk/Hat Hut Records, made at Funkhaus WDR Kõln in 1997: There are four trios; two pieces for string trio, Concerto a tre for trombone, percussion and piano, and Für Kandinsky for flute, oboe and clarinet. I will often take a chance on something like this; a WDR CD is always a good bet. This music is modernist, what Ethne would call bing-bong-plink music, and it is thrilling: with no musical training at all I think I have listened to enough of this kind of stuff to be able to say that Haubenstock-Ramati's chamber music has more than enough integrity to be able to defy labels. Take it, if you have ears, leave it if you don't.
It's true what they say about "retirement": you are suddenly busier than ever.