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Archive through May 06, 2004

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 805
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

My post crossed yours. Wonderful list. I had "Point Reyes" shortlisted, but tossed a coin and it came up Barrier Reef. For some reason, I feel the need to state that I am already married. Most happily. This is so no-one gets the wrong idea...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 37
Registered: Apr-04
John A,

I am a bit of an odd girl in that I have more interest in (and spend more money on) things like old cars, electronics and house remodeling than on cosmetics and fashions. I used to build computers as a hobby but got burnt out on that. Now, I have no spare pc parts around and use only the PowerBook at home.

"Adagietto" is my favorite part of Mahler's 5th. No, I have not heard Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (or at least if I have I didn't know what I was listening to) but it is now on my list to get.

I have heard of the Naxos CD's and will check those out. Did you ever get the AIX recordings? What did you order?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 193
Registered: Dec-03
good to know! not that we would ever meat.
I was wondering though as probably others.

one of my first car projects was pretty interesting.

it was a 1967 pontiac firebird with a 1970 chevy
350 with a 1985 corvette doug nash 5 speed and a
1969 dodge dart rearend (3.91 gear).

it was quite a job to get all those parts from
the other cars to fit correctly.

but it was a lot of fun to drive.the engine i had
bored 60 over and used heads from an older vette
that gave me a compression ratio of 11.5 to 1
had to run racing fuel half and half high octane
unleaded.

the car produced just over 450 horse from the
rear wheels.and weighed less than 1700 pounds.
it was fun/scary at times.

aaaahhh the youth!!!!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 38
Registered: Apr-04
BTW, great story about the broker who took a year off to study music and ended up conducting a Mahler symphony! I hope you or some one can recall who that was. This gives me inspiration of something to do when my tenure at the "Evil Empire" ends.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 194
Registered: Dec-03
whhooops sorry john somehow took your post as
coming from ghia.

now i find myself feeling i need to know if ghia
is married or not.

I am a single 38 year old male from michigan.
who works r&d for a computer company.

(you know just to get that out there.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 809
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

You will have heard Barber's "Adagio for Strings" performed at "Ground Zero" and in similar contexts. It is a real tear-jerker, which is making light of something serious. There is a very good CD called "America" on Deutches Grammophon, with that, plus many other good things such as the "West Side Story" suite, and all conducted by Bernstein.

Some of the best American composers are some of the best composers, period, in my view. Of course, it is mostly twentieth century, apart from some obsure New Englanders composing around the time of Handel etc. I expect a flame or two for that, it is just my ignorance, I guess. There is always P.D.Q. Bach.... (smiley required here) Aaron Copland wrote some wonderful music. Then you've got Gershwin, Bernstein, a whole load of talent. Then you've got all the exiles, like Stravinsky, I don't know if that counts. Naxos has some well-recorded DVD-As by an American composer called Grofé of whom I had never heard before, but I don't care for his music so much, personally, from what's on the disc I have, at least.

No, the Aix records have not arrived. It said twenty-eight days. I ordered the Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (that's the "Pastoral") by the New Jersey Symphony Orch., plus their "free" test/demo disc.

Ghia, I decline to be drawn on Microsoft. It would never end. We all have to earn a living.....

I am waiting for 2c or someone to tell us who the broker was. If nothing comes in, I will look it up somewhere.

Kegger,

Thank you for this thread! I exchanged off-forum messages with a guy here about cars. He knew much more than me. Turned out we both had a similar and frightening front suspension collapse on two related Triumph sports cars at about the same time, say 25 years ago. His fell to the right, in the US, mine to the left, in UK. Fortunately those both take you off the road, not into the oncoming lane!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 39
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger,

Yes, thank you for pointing me to this thread! You wrote: "whhooops sorry john somehow took your post as
coming from ghia. " LOL! I was wondering about your intention and whether it was misdirected. It's an easy thing to do in a forum format.


John A,

Point Reyes is fantastic! There are several wildly diverse beaches and the beauty of the area is wild and magical. I went there upon the recommendation of a friend and went a second time on a return trip to SF.

Of course, the Barrier Reef would be a fabulous trip too. One I haven't had the fortune to make yet....
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 813
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

I did not notice that post was aimed at me, until you said. Could be just as well (smiley)! I think anyone would easily tell us apart....

Ghia,

Yes, yes! When you cross the pencil-thin, and dead-straight lake (is it Inverness?) onto Point Reyes penisula, you are taking a serious geological journey: you are crossing from the North American Tectonic Plate to the Pacific Plate. So I was told. It can feel like you are crossing to another planet. After that, head inland, and North. The Russian River enters the Pacific at, is it Salinas? Just magical. Bodega was where Hitchcock filmed "The Birds", if I remember. BTW 2c will know more about this one, too.

See any whales?

BTW to whet your appetite for the Barrier Reef, watch "Finding Nemo". Another smiley. (Can't do those).
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 41
Registered: Apr-04
John A,

It just occurred to me that for what I'm spending on my new system (ordered today), I could have made a trip to the Barrier Reef! LOL! Oh well, maybe next year....

I wasn't aware of the geological journey I had taken...thanks for pointing that out. I do know the geography of the area is diverse and breathtakingly beautiful. There are hills and farms and milk cows and once you get past those there's the open Pacific. I love hiking in there and visiting the beaches from the calm, cove at Drakes Beach to the wild, stormy North Beach. Now that I think of it, the narrow winding roads leading to the beaches and the countryside is a little remniscent of Ireland, another favorite of mine.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 160
Registered: Feb-04
John A.

It looks like I've missed out on an interesting discussion.

The name of the investment banker who devoted a year of his life to conduct Mahler's 2nd symphony is...Gilbert Kaplan. He actually paid the orchestra and choir out of his own pocket. That's one way of playing Carnegie Hall. His performance is actually credible, but can't hold a candle to Bernstein's account with the NYPO. In fact, Bernstein is the very best when it comes to Mahler symphonies. He seemed to have been wired to the sturm and drang of Mahler's profound heart and mind.

One Mahler recording worth seeking out is Michael Tilson Thomas's recording of the 6th. He's recording the cycle with the SFSO. The 6th is a live recording of a concert given on the day after 9/11. You can imagine the emotions tied to that performance. I look forward to going to the next MTT Mahler concert, which is the 2nd this June. IMHO the 2nd is one of Mahler's most uplifting symphonies. It's appropriately nicknamed the "Resurrection" symphony.

There's nothing like living in the SF bay area, including going to Point Reyes. I have to concur with you and GC on that point (pardon the pun). Other great spots around here include Carmel, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite.

GC,

Wrightsville Beach is nice also. In fact, I like the entire Wilmington area. I was there just last year. Still wouldn't trade it for NorCal ;-) The rest of your list is very interesting. I like many of the same singer-songwriters you do. One to add to the list is Jolie Holland. She has two albums out, "Catalpa" and "Escondida." She's like Gillian Welch but rougher around the edges (not a bad thing when it comes to roots music). I saw her a couple months ago at the Derby in LA. Memorable for the sight of Jolie sipping beer through a straw between songs. Never seen that before. My friend grew very concerned for her. I digress. Anyway, that my $0.02 for now.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 817
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Thanks. So, what is "my new system (ordered today)", if you do not mind my asking...? If it is already on another thread, I will find it, later. These threads can go off in many directions, and topics under discussion move between threads. This thread is fun because it leads everywhere. Kegger started that! However, I despair for anyone cruising in from Google wanting to know the answer to the question in the title of the thread. Such a person would have right to feel a bit annoyed. I am about to make it worse....

The two places in your list I have never visited are NC and Ireland.

2c,

Thanks! I just knew you would know about Gilbert Kaplan. Wish I had that sort of money! "Sturm und Drang" comes out of the late C18 century, if I remember, and has something to do with the origins of "Classical" music in the strict sense. Sorry to be a pedantic.

I respect your knowledge and judgement, 2c, but phrases such as "Mahler's profound heart and mind" make me want to reach for my shotgun. I suppose I have written similar sorts of things here, but not that. I think Mahler wrote some great music, but he was just this guy, you know. An antidote is to listen to Tom Lehrer's song on the subject of Alma Mahler. I also see that Vienna for about 150 years had a distillation of talent and creativity in many areas, not just music. But some bad things came out of there, too.

So I have to keep Herr Gustav Mahler at arm's length, and just listen to the music. Look where the cult of the heroic and uniquely-gifted superman got us. It is about exclusivity. Personally, I am down on that in music (All forms) as well as everything else. "The Last Walz" was inclusive. So was the baroque, with immensely intelligent guys churning out solid workmanship for anyone to play or listen to, and they regarded the "consumer" as their equal, if not their superior. Then we have romantic nationalism. I wish to God it was clear people have learned from the C20 where that leads. 9/11 suggests they didn't. Strongly.

Now I am not holding Mahler personally responsible you understand! Nor Wagner..... Nor Brucker, who clearly felt Wagner was superman. As "Amadeus" nicely illustrated, one has to separate the man from the music. If one can't, there wouldn't have been been any point in him writing it. But for me, all these damned C19 superheroes should have taken a cold shower.

From where I am coming from, Mahler the superhero is "old Europe", and good riddance to bad rubbish. What the new one is going to shape up like has yet to be seen. From the perspective of beautiful Northern California, all this angst doesn't matter, I suspect. And I don't see why it should. I truly envy you your location!

Oh, one last follow-up. There is a "memorial" performance of Mahler 8 on BIS. It was set up in haste by Neemi Jarvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orch & Chorus after the sinking of the the Estonia in the Baltic, in 1994, I think it was. Also a live recording, and much better for that. Great performance and recording imho.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 818
Registered: Dec-03
BTW I really feel I should provide some ammunition for the "classical-is-crap" brigade. The New Year's Day concert from the Vienna Opera House. I've got a little list.... and that's on it. Exclusivity. A bunch of well-heeled modern Viennese letting their hair down - "What a frenzied moment that was" - by congratulating themselves on how superior and discerning they all are, while listening to the worst stuff there ever was. Or at least being seen to be present, which is the main purpose, I suspect. Give me The Band any day, drugs or not.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 43
Registered: Apr-04
2c,

I'll have to check out Jolie Holland. Rougher around the edges than Gillian Welch? LOL Gillian has played a number of shows in NC this week including Merlefest and some small venue shows. I'm waiting until September to see her on a billing that includes Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffith, and Buddy Miller.

JohnA

The system includes the newly purchased NAD T763, Denon DVD-2200 (silver), Monitor Audio GR10 & Center, and the REL Strata III sub. Will keep the existing B&W CDM 1NT as surrounds and the NAD c541i as main redbook CD player.

The NC coast is quite beautiful but not as wild or diverse as the NorCal area. The beaches are flat (no dramatic cliffs or hillsides rolling to them) but they are relaxing and clean. The beauty comes from the marshes and sounds and the morning and evening light.

Of the NC beaches I like, Sunset Beach is the cleanest and the most laid back - it's a small island accessible by a one lane, wooden draw bridge. Wrightsville Beach is another favorite of mine. There's a funky old beach house/inn that I stay at when I go there - usually once a year.

The NC Outer Banks are a popular tourist destination as this is where the Wright Brothers took the first flight (at Kitty Hawk) and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse is a draw. There's also a popular surfing contest at Cape Hatteras which is supposed to have some of the best East Coast surfing (but still not comparable to that on the West Coast.) It takes much longer for me to get to the Outer Banks so I don't go there as frequently but my family and I will be going in June to the Corolla area.

If you go west in NC, you'll get to the Blue Ridge mountains where the beauty is more breathtaking. I particularly like the Asheville area but the entire Blue Ridge Parkway is a treat.

Ireland. This is a country that touches my soul. I've only been once but it stays in my mind and heart and I will return in the next few years. I could even see myself leaving the U.S. to live there. I'm not sure of your location but, if you ever get a chance to visit Ireland, I highly recommend it.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 825
Registered: Dec-03
Thank you, Ghia. All noted. Ireland is the centre of attention today for a big bash in Dublin of all the political leaders of the enlarged EU (which happened yesterday). Apparently they had a small anti-globalization demonstration, and the Gardia had to borrow a water cannon, since the entire country does not have one of its own. I liked that thought. I do not know the US nearly as well as I should like. I crossed from CA to IL and back by train once. Bought a road atlas at the long stop in Denver, so I could see where I was. I still have that. Also, some years later, used the same atlas to drive from DE to CA. In two weeks. I would like to do it again, but in two months. I stayed in 2c's general area for 8 months, and fitted in a trip down highway 1 to LA, then back up the Eastern Sierras. Mt Whitney, Mono Lake, Mammoth Falls, Grass Valley. Had my young family with me, then, and took lots of photos. Have never been to the South. Lots of Europeans are rather blind to the romance of America, I always think. Could write reams, but won't.

I found your post on the new system. Thanks for writing it down again. It looks terrific!
 

Bronze Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 96
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks to Two Cents for remembering Gilbert Kaplan's name. Some time ago, I caught the last half of a radio report about this rich guy, whose life was transformed (resurrected?) by hearing Mahler's 2nd in concert. He then bought his way into conducting this piece more than once with some decent orchestras. I was all ears, listening to this report, because I was (and am) obsessed with this work. My full size orchestral score is well used and full of personal notes...and in my wildest dreams, think I could do a creditable job conducting this monumental piece of music....

Mahler was a man of his times, as are we all. Times were different in 1900--how could he not be "old Europe?" Of course it is wrong to lionize any mere mortal to god-like status. But it is also wrong to condemn anybody just because they happened to live in a different place and time. (Mahler was not so "old Europe" that he couldn't move to America and be the principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic.)

In his 51 year life--full of personal tragedy and fragile health--Mahler's musical contribution and achievement is nothing short of astounding and, dare I say it, almost superhuman.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 45
Registered: Apr-04
John S,

Do you have recommendations of Mahler works to seek out?

John A

You have seen parts of America I have not. The only part of the mid-West I've seen is in the Kansas City, KS and St. Louis, MO areas.

I, too, have made the Pacific Coast Highway trek between SF and LA. I much prefer NorCal to SoCal.

The South in the US is a unique region - despite the homogenization that has occurred. There's a rich history, some bad, some good. It seems to be fertile ground for musicians and authors. I know the lure of NorCal is very strong but you might want to consider putting the Southern region on your agenda if you make a return trip to the US.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 827
Registered: Dec-03
John,

I agree with all of that, and strongly. Except "almost superhuman"! My comments were a bit rambling and possibly more about me than about Mahler, I do confess. As you see, I was reacting to a small thing that 2c wrote. For newcomers, Mahler's music sort of goes with that of Bruckner for many fans of the German-Austrian late romantic period; I have been told that by some of them, and, indeed I personally like them both for the same sorts of reasons. Mahler's symphonies are really quite awesome things, I do agree, and beautiful, to me - and we are not alone. If I were advising where to start, I would say No.1, and follow Mahler's own journey. The Adagietto of No. 5, just in isolation, deserves its fame, but it is better to hear it in the context the composer intended. I do not know so much about the man, and have no licence to comment, really. There was big trouble brewing for everyone at that time.

And, as 2c has said, the Mahler symphonies should be first into the 5.1 catalogues, to do them justice. I am sure they will be.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 828
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I shall! Always dreamed of doing "Highway 61". About the nearest I ever got was seeing the Mississippi Belle in St Louis. I got this great urge to just to get on and travel to New Orleans. Wish I had time, and money. Musical history tours usually mean places like Salzburg....

One of my vivid memories was taking the Amtrak West over the continental divide, and travelling on the same route as the first Union Pacific link across the continent... Donner pass etc. I think modern young Europeans should be encouraged to re-route the traditional "Grand Tour". Go West, young man! (or woman).
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 161
Registered: Feb-04
John A.

I see your point about Mahler, but if we're going to politicize artists through a modern lens, I'm afraid a lot of artists would be in trouble. There's a poem by a female poet (Adrienne Rich maybe) about Beethoven's 5th, how the music is an expression of sexuaal frustration by an uptight white guy. It's an interesting poem, but I think one doesn't get all of the music if one takes such a narrow view of it.

I may have been a little too effusive when I wrote about the profound heart and mind of Mahler. (BTW I'm glad I live halfway around the world from you and your shotgun LOL.) I get a little lazy writing these posts and don't always chose my words carefully. However, I have to disagree with you lumping Mahler with Wagner. Mahler was part Jewish and didn't buy into all that teutonic legend. I don't think his music was about the celebration of the superman. His music is too filled with dread and anxiety, mainly his own but also anyone living in modern times. Although his music is in the tradition of the 19th c. it also foreshadows the tragedies and neuroses of the 20 c. It's not a coincidence that the "Adagietto" from the 5th was played at JFK's funeral. I find his music deeply moving and I feel something larger than myself when I listen to Mahler. IMO that's not "exclusive." To the contrary, his art is expansive and inclusive. Finally, I don't consider myself a Mahler expert, I'm just one guy who likes listening to his stuff.

Mahler's symphonies are relatively well-represented in the 5.1 catalogue. In addition to the MTT/SFSO cycle which is partially out (1,3,4, and 6), there is another cycle from Zander and the Philharmonia. The Mehta/Israeli version of the 2nd on Telarc is also very good. There's something about the 2nd that captivates people like John S., Gilbert Kaplan, and yours truly. As an introduction to Mahler, it seems Nos. 1 and 4 are the most digestible. I happen to be partial to Nos. 2, 5, and 9. The others are also great, but offer difficult listening IMO.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 61
Registered: Mar-04
Finally catchng up on some topics.

While no one can argue that the drive along the PCH from Santa Barbara to San Francisco is as pretty as you'll ever see - several "post card" moments. The highlight for me was Napa Valley and the dinner at the Culinary Institute of America, on the veranda overlooking the vineyards.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 46
Registered: Apr-04
Sem,

That does sound like a highlight. On my two trips to NorCal, I never made it into wine country....i'm always pulled in by the coastal scene. The PCH from Point Reyes (I haven't been farther north) down to San Simeone is exquisite. There's a strawberry farm along the way that had the best strawberries I have ever tasted. There are little signs leading the way to the shack where they sell them. One sign will say "Organic Strawberries" followed by a sign that has "Organic" crossed out and replaced with "Orgas*mic". Without going into too much detail, this seemed to me to be truth in advertising. ;-)

2c,
You wrote about Mahler: "His music is too filled with dread and anxiety, mainly his own but also anyone living in modern times.....I find his music deeply moving and I feel something larger than myself when I listen to Mahler."

I don't know anything about Mahler's background or political leanings but I have to concur with the above comments which describes how I have received Mahler. It would seem, at least from a musical perspective, that there might be some common ground between Mahler and Aimee Mann?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 475
Registered: Dec-03
My sister and her husband lived in the SF Bay area for 10 years. Besides visiting them a number of times, I also had business in the area (owning a chemical company in the East, I had business at Lawrence Livermore Labs--with all the windmills overlooking the central valley and at various companies in the San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto area). Beautiful area.

But I love the ocean for more than just the view--- and while the Northern Californian vista's, cuisine, and culture are great-the ocean remains unswimmable--except for great white sharks, sea lions, and dungeness crabs:-)

This is undoubtedly why I relocated my business to the South Carolina shore instead of the SF Bay area 10 years ago. I like the pace and the warm water here. I have lived next to Charleston, SC (The Isle of Palms) for 10 years (formerly a New Yorker) and the ocean is beautiful and warm, the pelicans, ospreys, and egrets are beautiful, the dolphin follow your boat wake, the fresh shrimp is delicious, and the living is easy. The local symphony is not the NY Philharmonic or SFO, but is quite good and Spoleto Festival (an amazing multi-media/multi-cultural/multi-everything) extravaganza plays for 3 weeks every June and is an amazing event withperformers from around the world: plays, operas, dance, blues, symphonic works, chamber music (daily), art, etc. all through the metropolitan area with many things occuring simultaneously.

Giancarlo Menotti (of Amahl and The Night Visitor's fame) along with my uncle (Theodore S. Stern, who was president of the College of Charleston in the 60's-70's) were instrumental in starting Spoleto, which Menotti already had going in Spoleto Italy.

Anyway, my sister and her husband moved here 2 years ago (after 10 years in SF area)and are happy as clams. I guess we are about 125 miles south of Wilmington, NC. So there are similarities, except there are many more great restaurants, art galleries and museums, cultural activities,alligators, and palmetto bugs here in the Charleston area:-)


As far as analyzing music is concerned, there is always danger in being trapped by your own preconceived viewpoints. The feminist may think that the beginning of Beethoven's 5th is reminiscent of squeaky and uptight sex---but I think Beethoven had far more ominous things on his mind, such as death knocking on his door (da, da, da, daaah).

Even Freud would say--"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 834
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

At least from the time when I was there, I think you stopped short, on the PCH, of a time-warp almost as dramatic as the geological transition to the Pt. Reyes peninsula. It was a bit further North. It was stuck in the 60s; flower power, refugees from Peoples' Park and Haight-Ashbury. If I recall correctly, it's name was "Mendocino". I could be wrong. And it might have changed, in the meantime.

2c,

Wonderful. Thanks.

"BTW I'm glad I live halfway around the world from you and your shotgun LOL."

Great. It's not my shotgun that should concern you. Mine isn't loaded, I promise. And it wouldn't match yours, anyway.

"but if we're going to politicize artists through a modern lens"

No, I am down on that, as much as you and John S, I am sure. Let's take these guys in the context of their time and world-view. That's all anyone can do. John S made that point, and I totally agree. But let's learn from that.

Mahler is full of images. The symphonies are explicitly programmatic; he said so, and wrote movement headings to indicate what they were about. Then there are the words in the ones that have libretti. I think Mahler himself would have objected strongly to the idea that his works carried no cultural or political message.

"Finally, I don't consider myself a Mahler expert, I'm just one guy who likes listening to his stuff. "

You know more than I do!

Beethoven as uptight white guy. Could he have done anything about any of that....?

Beethoven's 5th, if about anything, is about freedom; liberation; human rights. It is there in Fidelio, too; in Schiller's "Ode to Joy" (Ninth Symphony); and in his dedication (crossed out, as if in despair) to Napolean, in the Eroica (Third Symphony; that was a revolution in music, if ever there was one). Let us not forget the string quartets..... No, they do not need surround sound! Beethoven vs. Mahler? Really..... Both of their time. But one changed everything. Perhaps it was just his time, but I doubt it.

Thanks for the current status of Mahler Symphonies in 5.1. Really good to know. I will look out for these. What great things there must be in the store, too.

I would still advise a Mahler newbie to start with No. 1. Wouldn't you? Certainly not to get the whole lot on one label, still less to listen to them all in one go.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 835
Registered: Dec-03
Great, Gregory. More of the romance of America....

No, dad-dah-dah-dah if only fate knocking at the door if you get the phrasing wrong, and smother it with late C19 humbug. The first three dahs are up-beats, leading to the fourth (a down bow). The phrase is light, and liberating; some phrase in French, with the accent on the last syllable. "Fraternité", perhaps...

I paraphrase (because from memory) Vladimir Nobokov on Freud. That Viennese quack, prescribing snake oil for every ill, and trying to unlock the secrets of the human soul by putting his umbrella in the keyhole.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 836
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry, I've just remembered. I was John Elliott Gardiner on the context of the opening phrases of Beethoven five, 1st movement, and how to phrase it. The "fate" thing is balony. It is the music to:

_ - Lib - er - té -,
E - ga - li - té -,
Fra - ter - ni - té -

(stress on last syllable each time).
Much better.
I realise this is off-topic....
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 201
Registered: Dec-03
man you guy's have completely lost me!!

do i have to make another comment.(just kidding)

It doesn't matter to me where this thing leads!
but you definately went away from anything i know.

but hey thats what it's all about.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 202
Registered: Dec-03
hey john trying to get to post #1000 and become a
gold member? lol
 

Bronze Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 98
Registered: Feb-04
Two Cents and everybody:
Your quick analysis on Mahler was right. I am certainly no expert either, but there is just a grandeur and undeniable majesty to his music that is very seductive to me. His immense compositional talent and gifts in orchestration are irrestible.

Mahler's first and fourth symphonies are probably the best introduction to his music, not only for their comparable accessibility, but they are the ones most performed in concert. They require fewer musicians and are shorter. (I need new recordings of both. Recommendations?)

The fifth was, many years ago, the one that got me started on Mahler. It was Abravanel/Utah, and this remains a sentimental favorite.

The second is still the best, imo. I have several recordings. I stand in awe of the Rattle/Birmingham recording, which contains the most disciplined ensemble playing I've heard. But I always go back to Solti/Chicago....simply gorgeous. I will pick up the Mehta/Israel 5.1--DVD-A, with DD or DTS track? (I haven't joined the hi-res world yet, but will later.) The performance I cannot stand is Bernstein with his excruciatingly slow tempi. Get on with it please! Makes me want to pound the wall.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 162
Registered: Feb-04
GC,

Sure there's common ground between Mahler and Mann, besides the fact their germanic names start with M, as well as Elliot Smith and Beethoven and Wilco and Coltrane. They're all human and talented enough to express profound ideas through music. This may sound corny, but when I listen to one of Beethoven's late quartets or a Mahler symphony, it seems the music expresses things in my own soul that I feel are almost inexpressible. Call it art or religion. It's hard to explain. It sounds like you've experienced it to. Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is really one long prayer. When Coltrane unleashes a river of notes, it's as if he's trying every conceivable chord combination to express himself or make that connection with his god. As Van the Man might call it it's "the inarticulate speech of the heart." The very best music, whether classical or folk or jazz, makes it more articulate.

Gman, I'll grant you that the water is warmer off the Carolina coast than off the NorCal coast. And the iced tea is better there, too. I could spend a few days on the beach there going back and forth between the water and a pitcher of iced tea and/or g & t's

John A.

Thanks for that Nabakov line about Freud. I love it! I'm sure to use it in the future with some people I know. BTW unlike the common image of Americans I don't own a gun.

Kegger,

Jump right in. We're only shooting the breeze. You might have some extra time on your hands depending on how the Red Wings do next game. Do you miss Scotty Bowman as much a I...?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 62
Registered: Mar-04
On my last post re: Napa Valley, I accidentally hit "send" before I wanted to. I wanted to make a few comments on previous posts.

Corolla, (OBX), North Carolina. Our family has rented there several times over the years. I really like it there, its much quieter then points just to the south - Duck, Kitty Hawk, etc. The one thing that struck me the last time we were there in '99 was how much its been developed north of Corolla. Where once there were miles of desolate beaches, now sit the "progress" of hundereds of condos. Really unfortunate.

Ghia also mentioned Dark Side of the Moon and the Wizard of Oz. I've read a lot about this but have never tied it myself. DSOTM engineer, Alan Parsons once said its an amazing coincidence, however its a "load of eyewash," and, "If you play any record with the sound turned down on the TV, you'll find things that work." However Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason perhaps said it best regarding any connection, "It's absolute nonsense, It has nothing to do with `The Wizard of Oz.' It was all based on `The Sound of Music."

And finally coming back full circle to the original subject of this thread, "The twilight of the CD...?"
This afternoon I was reading an interview with Alan Parsons from 2000 regarding the different music formats. Of the dolby/DTS formats he said, "All these things are down to encoding algorithms...The actual format, the medium you put it on is rather academic, its the encoding process that matters. Although dolby has a much wider market, I just think the way DTS works makes more sense." However he went on to say, " I think CD will be off the market 10 years from now in favour of DVD."
I can think of a certain someone here who would be thrilled with that!! ;)

 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 163
Registered: Feb-04
John S.

You posted at the same time I wrote the previous post. I think you're spot on about Mahler. My only disagreement is with Bernstein's 2nd. Yes, it's very slow, but imho it holds together and gains great emotional force in spite of or because of its slowness. I don't mind extreme tempo variation if it's done artfully. Glenn Gould's Bach is another favorite of mine. But I realize Bernstein and Gould seem willful to others.

If you like the Rattle and Solti, I think you'll like the Mehta. One thing for sure, it's not slow. It's a single disc DVD-A with DD 5.1. Also, there is an SACD recording (multi-ch I believe) of Gilbert Kaplan (see post above) and the VPO performing the 2nd. I haven't heard that one though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 99
Registered: Feb-04
I almost forgot. Has anyone seen Ken Russell's movie "Mahler"?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 203
Registered: Dec-03
yo two cents yes i miss scotty bowman who wouldnt
miss the best hockey coach of all time.

I may be one of the few, but i really believe in
both of our coaches and trust what they are doing.

in the playoffs you need some luck, goal tending
and a cohesive unit.

I believe the wings are suffering from all the
injuries they had all season and a lot of players
missed time playing with one another.

some of the players came back just before the
playoffs started.(including the goalie)
and are still trying to mesh with the team.

if they can get through this series they will get
better.

Izerman had a 4.5 hour surgery on his eye.
they there was no damage to the eye itself but
all bones and socket around it were crushed.they
also say he'll make a full recovery but won't be
back this season.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 164
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger,

That's sad news about one of the finest hockey players ever. Let's hope the team can rally and pull out a series victory for their fallen captain.

John S.

I forgot Ken Russell made a movie about Mahler and another one about Liszt I believe. I'll have to check if it's out on DVD.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 48
Registered: Apr-04
Sem,

Corolla is my destination in June. It's been 5 years since the last time I was there so it'll be interesting to see what has changed. Last time I was there, Hwy 12 ended right at the beach and you had to have 4-wheel drive to get to the far north of the island. There were houses up there but nothing fancy or tourist oriented. I hope this is not the area you refer to. There's also a wild life preserve up there so I hope it hasn't been affected. It's lamentable enough that paving Hwy 12 ultimately resulted in the wild ponies having to be moved off the island. Once "progress" has been started, its a difficult march to stop.

John A:

I checked out the Naxos site. The site has a Learning link so this looks like a good resource to help out a newbie like me.

Kegger,

I don't know much about hockey. Are the Wings the team that beat the Hurricanes a couple of years ago in the Stanly cup? I watched that series (staying up very late for a couple of overtime games, if I recall correctly.) My spectator sport of choice is American football and my team is the Carolina Panthers....so close, last season....

I was fortunate enough to experience a little of the culture surrounding the World cup (soccer) a couple of years ago while in Europe. Some highlights:

- Sitting in a pub in Ireland with the locals watching Ireland play and the celebration of a score and the palpable tension everytime the ball was near the goal

- Walking down a street in the Temple district in Dublin when a couple of lunatics came running down the middle of the streets carrying the S. Korean flag celebrating their team's victory.

- Leaving a play in Dublin and walking home at the same time tens of thousands of people had just left the soccer stadium after attending a celebration of the Irish team - the team had just arrived home after losing in the tournament but the home crowd was very proud of their accomplishments

- Walking through Chelsea village in London and seeing Brazilian fans lined up to get into a pub to watch their team playing.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 837
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

What a coincidence. That last time I was in London was when Brazil won the World cup. Getting on any underground train was like walking into a wild, good-natured party. It was difficult to get off at your stop.

The rugby World cup final last year was closer to home for me. It was England Vs Aus. Since Wales was out, I wanted them both to win. Very hard to take sides. In the end, the victory went to England, and it was well deserved - all agree. It sort of evens things up for the the Aussies' awesome and "superhuman" cricket teams over the years. I don't know if My Rantz is reading this.....

I've already written a long post, offline, and just thought I would respond to yours, first, in case my further ramblings about Mahler, not referring to your post, seemed rude.

Here goes. All the best.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 838
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Now it is YOU who have lost ME! Hockey has a big following, I know. A guy I work with sometimes suggests I go along to a game with him. But it's like some sort of religeon for those guys, and I 've got enough on my plate with the things I already do. Having watched The Last Walz last week (recommended) I can only cope with so many revolutions at once.

I can also see the problem suddenly finding the conversation has turned to Mahler symphonies, of all things, for pete's sake. Like you, I know, I try to keep an open mind, and dip in to things I do not know so much about from time to time, but there are whole areas of music (and many other things, of course) that are just a closed book to me. Opera, mostly. I am not proud of that, it's just how it is.

Wagner is strange case: my wife and I agree, and talk about what we call our "Wagner paradox". We both reckon there is nothing scary in the music. Endless "good guys" choose something by Wagner for "Desert Island Discs" etc. and claim it changed their lives. Anyone could whistle or hum any of the tunes. Chances they are they already do, without knowing it. I even know one or two people who go to Bayreuth (where the Wagner festival is held every year), and if you get bunch of them together you may as well stop trying to talk about anything else. For days. And yet, Wagner leaves me stone cold. I cannot listen for more than about ten minutes. I have a ten-minute attention span for bad movies, too. I can always think of something else I would rather be doing.

I once thought "Come on, John, there just has to be something in this" and recorded a complete Wagner's "Ring Cycle" off the radio onto audio cassettes. I even went out to buy, I think, twelve blank C120 tapes, to do the job. I was not listening as I recorded, just set the machine running, but it still broke up a weekend. When I had some time, I put on the first tape. In ten minutes, I decided I had fix something in the garden. I absolutely do not want to get this thread onto Wagner. But I just don't get it. Never have. Probably never will! I eventually recorded over the tapes.

I would still like keep the Mahler thing rolling: I am 6-10 hours out of synch with you guys in N. America, I think, it is a holiday here today, and I want to pick up on a couple of things the others wrote. I don't get much chance, except on this forum. As you must have have noted from my number of posts! I think the the first guy to reach gold might quality for a "sad loser" award....

But, Kegger, before I reply to the others, don't write off classical, like I do ice hockey! You don't have to analyze it in words. It is just there. It takes you out of yourself - like 2c said about Mahler, specifially "his art is expansive and inclusive". That goes for the whole classical thing, really. I truly hate this crazy idea that it is only for special people. People build walls around things, to keep out folks who aren't like them. That is all it is, something in people's heads. If you can forgive this lecture (I have no right, none at all), and get a chance, you could do worse than start with a Beethoven Symphony. Number Five is something. Number nine is something else. When you've heard different versions/ recordings, you notice differences, but that only becomes important when you have: they are all good. It can also be good to start with a local band. In Michigan, you are particularly fortunate, you have some of the top orchestras, bar none, anywhere in the world, not so far away, in Detroit, and especially (in my h. o.) in Chicago. I thought the Hungarian conductor Solti (he became Brit and "Sir"; he died not so long ago) did fantastic stuff in Chicago, but he and the whole orchestra are just these guys, you know. Like the rest of us.

2c, John S,

Thanks. I guessed we were not so far apart on this. I am gratified that you see my original point. And thanks for the comments. You put it very well, both of you. If I have that block about Mahler, you will understand the size of my block about Wagner. The "bridge guy" is Bruckner, I was told by a fanatic for all three. I have some Bruckner symphonies (3,5,7 as especially recommended by the "fanatic") and they are darned good, and on the same scale as Mahler; if you like one I cannot see how you could dislike the other. Bruckner idolized Wagner. I am hoping it is possible sneak up on Wagner, through Bruckner, as it were. Maybe the barrier will always be too high.

John,

If you are serious about recommendations for Mahler 1 and 4, I have Rattle/CBSO for 1. Amazing. It is also one of my "reference quality" CDs. It is a live recording (always best, I think) and in 20-bit. But, and this is the main point, it is dull as ditchwater compared with DVD-Audio. I know I am like "a cracked record" on this, but it is true. So I would say, wait for a DVD-Audio. If a San Francisco version is out, as 2c says, then I would say get that, if you want to move now, and can play whichever disc format it is. If it is a DVD-A, even the DTS track will be better than any CD. I have Blomstedt/SFSO for number 2, on CD. Excellent.

Rattle moved to Berlin a few years ago. That is "New Europe" in action.... I really don't know how it is working, musically, all the news is about financial problems, who runs it, and all that. He threatened to pull out a while ago. I don't know how good a hand he has to play, there. That is "Old Europe" in action.... There are some 5.1 recordings of Mahler/Rattle/BPO on EMI DVD-A, I forget which ones. I guess they will do them all. That will be worth waiting for.

Simon Rattle is the Eric Clapton of conducting. He came from "nowhere" (sorry, folks from Manchester - you know what I mean), started himself as a percussionist, of all things, and turned around the CBSO from an OK provincial band to a world-class orchestra in about ten years, just with raw talent - his own and theirs. I've seen him in action in performance several times. He does not dominate; he just rehearses everything with obsessive attention to detail, deep understanding of the music, and deep respect for the musicians. And, from the rostrum, he sees and hears everything, but in order to support the players, to let them show what they can do, not steal the show. He does this partly with a whole repertoire of bizarre facial expressions, which they understand. These are copied, as a mannerism, by lesser conductors. Now, you can see a lot of them pulling funny faces, pretending to be Rattle. Rattle is about as far from Klemperer and Beecham as can be. It is "Old" and "New" Europe again. How he makes out in Berlin is deeply interesting; a litmus test. Well, to me....

I'd better stop. This is getting ridiculous.

Last thing.

Sem,

Alan Parsons is right. Where was the article? But DVD-A goes on a step further, even from DTS. One thing that swung me was reading Mike Oldfield on the various versions of Tubular Bells (got it yet...?) (HiFi News Nov 2003 - only three pages, I could scan it and e-mail it if you are interested).

"'I think CD will be off the market 10 years from now in favour of DVD.' I can think of a certain someone here who would be thrilled with that!!"

If I am the "certain someone": A, thanks! and; B, you know, I don't wish preach, I really don't mind what people do. It's just I am pretty sure there are folks here would be interested to know. That's all it is. Honestly!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 204
Registered: Dec-03
ghia
yes it was the wings that beat the huricanes
to win lord stanleys cup.and yes my favorite
sport is american football (lions suck) with hockey second.

john
I dont write off any music (except maybe country)
i just don't know anything about what you guys are talking about.

I have to try to decifer the postings to figure
what i should try. (when i get some time)

and like you, I have too many things on my plate
at the moment to ad anything new right now.

but i enjoy many forms of music excspecialy when
it is played on a great sounding system.

it is very interesting how your music choices can
change when you hear it played on a well performing system.

you start to just enjoy voices and instruments
without caring what kind of music it is.
if it is arranged and recorded well i could most
likely appreciate anything.

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 844
Registered: Dec-03
I am with you Kegger. Anyone can only do so much. I think the same as you about country. Then I heard EmmyLou Harris (is that her name?) performing with the Band on the Last Walz. That was good. I guess there is good country and bad country, like everything else.

Yes, you need good sound. It is essential.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 165
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger,

That's funny. I used to write off country music myself, until I took a road trip along the Gulf coast through New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida panhandle and Georgia. About the only decent radio stations along the way played classic country tunes, not the new country you hear these days. I acutally liked a lot of the country songs I heard. (It could've been due to all the Dixie beer I was drinking.) I would've never guessed that I would own a Tammy Wynette album someday. Also, did you know that Jack White of the White Stripes just recorded an album with Loretta Lynn? I'm curious what that sounds like.

John A is right about the Detroit Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. They are among the best in the country. Orchestra Hall in Detroit is also one of the best concert venues I've been to. It's down the street from Joe Louis Arena on Woodward Ave. It's a great place to take a date. Well, actually, both places are, but it's probably easier to get symphony tickets than Red Wings tickets. Speaking of the Wings, it's a big game tonight and I'm kinda nervous about the whole thing... It should've never gotten to this point.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 205
Registered: Dec-03
like i said i can listen to most anything if it is recorded well.

but i find most country that twangy crap that the
guy lost his dog/children/wife so he washed it down with some jack.

there is some but not much country i do like.
I really enjoy listening to hank williams junior.
or some charlie daniels band.

personally i love most country fried rock.
like molly hatchet and alike.

I feal the same about rap and r&b it has to be
really good stuff for me to listen.most i don't enjoy.

but i will try almost anything once.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 63
Registered: Mar-04
John A.
The quotes from Parsons were from a hardcopy of the March 2000 Alan Parsons fanzine, The Avenue. I don't have the issue # or page # referenced, as its at home now and I'm not. It was taken from a early 2000 interview titled (something like), The Future of Music, where he was commenting on different formats of recorded music as well as the future of radio stations and music stores in the digital age. I'm not sure where DVD-A's were at that point - infancy? In the article he did mention DVD-A's and a comparable product put out by Sony.

Speaking of Mike Oldfield, in another issue of The Avenue, Parsons mentions that he did a quad arrangement of Tubular Bells for Oldfield. Perhaps that's a collector's item now.

And, no, I haven't picked up TB2K3 yet. Its on my list along with the DVD-A, Frank Sinatra With the Count Basie Orchestra. First I need to get my 742 back though.

And lastly, yes, I realize you're not preaching. Its just great though to see, and read, someone that is so enthusiastic towards a new discovery. I for one can't thank you enough for the DVD-A recommendation, its enabled me to hear and appreciate music in a whole new way. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 71
Registered: Dec-03
The Loretta Lynn album is excellent. Alt Country artists such as: Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Neko Case, Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and Lyle Lovett have been put out fantastic albums over the last 15 years. They often do not get heard outside the realm of college radio.

Unfortnately, most prople only know country as the sanitized pop music of Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, or Shania Twain.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 847
Registered: Dec-03
Sem,

Thank you so much. I have learned things here. I may be typing on a computer, but I know I am connecting with real people. I talk about some of the stuff I learn here, in conversation (mostly with the family) as much as I read/ write. I was serious about scanning in the Mike Oldfield article. You would have to send me your e-mail address though "private message" or similar. If you like TB 2003, and sound quality, I know it will interest you. Sinatra/Basie in 5.1 would be something. Is that on DVD-A? My wife would love that, too.

As far as I can see (I am one year old on all this) DVD-V started in 1997, DVD-A in 2000. So yes, Parsons could have been right on the ball, and meant DVD-A. ".....and a comparable product put out by Sony."....LOL.

Kegger,

"i find most country that twangy crap that the guy lost his dog/children/wife so he washed it down with some jack."

I laughed and laughed out loud when I read that. Never a truer word spoken. I can offer a few C&W comments. I can't match that one, though!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 65
Registered: Mar-04
John A.
Yes, the Sinatra/Basie disc is DVD-A. Here's a link to the review that hooked me. http://www.dvdangle.com/reviews/review.php?Id=3267

Actually, I would be interested in reading the Oldfield article. I'll send a PM later. Thanks for the offer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 52
Registered: Apr-04
Ben is right about most country on the airwaves being "santizied" pop...I call it pop with a twang. And, it is pure, unadulterated crap.

To add to Ben's list of excellent "alt country" (most of whom adhere to or are influenced by a "traditional" country sound that would never get played in Nashville or on the ultimate evil conglomerate, Clear Channel) artists, let me add:

Emmylou Harris
Johnny Cash
Gillian Welch
Allison Kraus (bluegrass but still in the country family - one of the purest voices you'll hear)
Rodney Crowell
Rosanne Cash
Robert Earl Keen
Doc Watson (bluegrass but still in the country family)

Gram Parsons (original alt country from the 70's)

There are many others I'm sure but those are the ones who come to mind right now. One of my favorite stations, while not a "country" music station in the strictest sense, does play a lot of Americana or "roots" music including old country, alt country and bluegrass along side blues, jazz, and pop. Check 'em out: WNCW You might hear something you like to which you otherwise may not have gotten exposed.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 66
Registered: Mar-04
Ghia,

If you haven't already found them, check out Donna the Buffalo. http://www.funkyside.com/index.cfm/detail/Band/default/22.htm
They hail from upstate NY but now seem to play at most of the Grassroots festivals up and down the east coast. They have really developed an almost cult-like following, referred to as The Herd. I have the "Live From the American Ballroom" double cd and quite enjoy it.
They encourage the bootleg taping of their shows so finding some samples of their music on the internet should be quite easy if you want to check them out.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 55
Registered: Apr-04
Sem,

Thanks for the recommendation. They are in regular rotation on WNCW so I've heard a number of their cuts. Everytime, I hear them I think, "I need to go pickup that CD." Do you have a recommendation on a CD as a good starting point?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 56
Registered: Apr-04
Wow, that's cool! I just checked out the Donna The Buffalo link....they've got a ton of audio files to listen to up there. Thanks, again Sem!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 57
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger,

The consensus seems to be that the Lions had a good draft so maybe things will be better for them in the next couple of years. Hey the Panthers went from 1-15 to being in the Super Bowl 2 years later! So, keep the faith!

JohnA

Perhaps we walked past each other in London. You never know. Its truly a small world. I think I'd like to schedule my next European trip to occur during the World cup. The atmosphere is electric when it is going on. You don't find that here in the US.

Ben,

I haven't heard the Loretta Lynn album yet but have seen the cover. LOL! That dress she's wearing looks like something straight out of 1970's Nashville. Loretta's Dress - At least she can sing!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sem

Post Number: 67
Registered: Mar-04
Ghia,

I have only seen them in person once although they regularly pass through my area. When in town, they play in a large bar that holds roughly 750 people. Its always sold out, in fact I've heard more are turned away than attend.

After seeing them, I went to the website I referenced above and listened to various tracks. To me, their studio sound pales in camparison to hearing (and seeing) them live, its a real event. So my recommendation would be to pick up "Live From the American Ballroom" cd. On it, they do a killer version of my favorite, "If You Only Could."

Live, they go into some amazing jams and when you add the energy from the audience, you "start" to get a picture of what they're all about.

Good luck and if they ever swing by your area, don't miss them.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 245
Registered: Feb-04
John A

"I don't know if My Rantz is reading this....."

Yes, I have been reading but, a bit like Kegger with some of the postings, my eyes become glazed. So there - the secret's out - I'm just a backwater, uneducated, unsophisticated, tasteless, blue singlet wearing, th0ng-footed, stubby-holding, crude and vulgar Aussie yobbo. Give me "The Pub with no Beer" anyday - NOT - LOL!

Seriously, while I do very much like and appreciate some of the classics, I was never really bitten by the bug and confess to not owning even one classical recording. But, that may soon change now that we have some decent sound quality and with the coming DVD-A kit. And, with the recommendations and knowledge herein, I'll know where to start.

"It sort of evens things up for the the Aussies' awesome and "superhuman" cricket teams over the years."

"Awesome and superhuman." LOL! Carefull with the superlatives, we tend to become too big-headed as it is! Personally, I think our cricketers' reps are due more to the fact that the others have not been to scratch for a while.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 852
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Starve the lizards!

I can do my "whinging pom" impersonation, if you like.

"How would we tell the difference?" you may say.

That Rugby work cup final was pure sport, in my view, and the best sort.

To me, soccer, today, at least in the UK, is just ugly. A venerable soccer commentator from a liberal/left wing newspaper has just been dumped for broadcasting crude racist abuse, about one player, after a match. Do you know what he said, in his own defence? "I thought the microphone was off". I.e. he's been saying crap like that, in private, all these years.

And the players. Jeez. Off the pitch, some of them are obscenely rich racist thugs with Ferraris and a coke habit, who like nothing better than a bit of GBH on anyone passing they happen not to like (mostly for looking non-European), and the odd recreational gang-bang when playing away from home. "Some", I said; "Some". That's incontrovertable. It's in the news, and the law courts.

You would have to do statistics, like on NAD faults, to say it is any different in rugby or cricket. But I'll bet it is.

That Johnny Wilkinson, who made cup final conversion and won it for England. There's a hero, if anyone needs one.... And - do you know? - the opposing team said as much themselves. Give me the oval ball any time.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 247
Registered: Feb-04
John A

I'll just add: Money spoils everything! Sportsmanship is such a rarity these days.

I know really that it's just an endearment but I hate the term "Hero" used for sportspeople or anyone else who is expected to do nothing more than his/her best for what they get paid. The real "Heroes" are the ones who sacrifice so much from their lives, or in fact disregard their lives to benefit others. It's just one of my quirks.

The Rugby World Cup was a sensation. Wilkinson is a real pro! And humble to boot.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 47
Registered: Apr-04
It's with great interest I've been following this discussion. I haven't jumped in, because my knowledge of classical music is extremely limited. I do know that with the little I've heard, I like baroque the most. Huge bombastic symphonies by Wagner has the same effect on me as what John A. described.

My next DVD-A will definitely be classical. I only have a single classical CD now (shame on me). I got it as a gift some years ago. It's a mixed collection of different composers (Albinoni, Corelli, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Manfredini) performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Karajan. Of the whole CD I like Corelli the most. It was with great pleasure that I discovered the same piece in Master and Commander. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any Corelli on DVD-A.

Anyway, thanks for your enlightening discussion. It's given me many ideas for which classical music to buy :-)


 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 853
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Absolutely. No "heroes", like that, please!

That was my point about Mahler, too.

Wilkinson was visibly as embarrassed as heck when they got back to Heathrow at about 5 a.m. and they discovered there were thousand of ecstatic fans, who had being waiting all night for their flight.

At the press conference he just said, quietly, something like "we just did out best, what we are supposed to do. The Aussies were a real tough nut to crack. Thanks for showing up everybody; we appreciate that. Now can I go home to my family, please? Also we've got some training and another match". And he marched off.

Adam,

I am completely with you. I am a baroque fan, and renaissance, too. I use to think the world would have been better if we'd just left out the C19th.

Wasn't the music fantastic in Master and Commender? And the actors looked like they were actually playing. If you want to go straight to the C20th, check out that bit rounding Cape Horn. It was Vaughan William Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis, played by the New Queen's Hall Orchestra. That's one that would work in surround - it is for two choirs of strings, plus a quartet, I think. It would not at all be wrong to be between the choirs.

I guess the baroque is not high priority for 5.1. There is a 5.1 DVD-A Handel's Messiah, recorded in Switzerland, I forget the details, except the recording engineers were perfectionists (I can't remember th label right now), and it is an "original instruments" Italian-Swiss band. The soprano is the amazing Lynn Dawson. I mean to get that (I won't tell you how many recordings of Messiah I have already). There is so much to write about that one. It is a landmark in music. Haydn heard it when he visiting London (it has never stopped being popular to this day) and broke down, saying "Mr Handel was the father of us all!". Even Mozart had a go, really, with the mass in C minor, and he didn't do imitations. Also Mendessohn. It runs and runs. That is a single work that everyone should hear. if you come from where I do, you will cry, with both sorrow and joy.

And I'm an atheist, you know..... (just by way of explanation - don't anyone follow that, please!)

BTW Handel studied and worked with Corelli. I though that M&C was Handel Opus 6: you've put me right. Thanks. I will watch that again. Any time.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 48
Registered: Apr-04
John,

Yes I found the music in M&C fantastic, and also thought it suited 5.1 perfectly. I wasn't aware that there was Vaughan Williams on the soundtrack. I've been seriously considering getting the Sea Symphony on DVD-A. The Naxos version you have, does it have recording number: NAX-5110016? Conducted by Paul Daniel, with Joan Rodgers as soloist?

I think the Corelli in M&C was Op.6 No.8 adagio-allegro-adagio.

Is this the DVD-A Handel's Messiah you're talking about?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000E5NQ8

If it is, I think I'll add it to my shopping list
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 854
Registered: Dec-03
Adam,

Yes, that's the Sea Symphony DVD-A I was going on about. I am really not sure how you will like that; I always worry I am recommending stuff I see through my own prejudices and preferences. But, hey, if we are going to get into Mahler, here, what am I worrying about? I'll set old Ralph against Gus anytime (contemporaries, or not far off). I know whose world I would prefer to live in.

And even if you don't like the music, it'll check out your system. With cars, I think it is called, disrespectfully, "an Italian tune-up". (Meaning drive it flat-out for an hour....and you'll find the faults.)

As regards the recording, they were a bit heavy-handed with the centre channel, I thought, but there is much worse in those Naxos DVD-As. And at least you can't avoid hearing the soloists, who are brilliant. And frighteningly young...

Yes, that's The Messiah, too. "Only 1 left in stock but more will be available--order now." Better be quick, Adam!

I have that on my list, for sure, but am not impatient, so after you. If you get it, please say what you think!

Here is a review, it practically makes my mouth water:
Coro Della Radio Svizzera, I Barocchisti (Fasolis) - 'Handel: Messiah'. I recognise the two Brit solists, they are the tops, I have them on other things.

If you like baroque, there is a good modern-instruments Vivaldi's Four Seasons DVD-A on Naxos, too. That's very well recorded; it could be a demo disc. They don't use the LFE channel at all.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 855
Registered: Dec-03
Adam

BTW thanks for giving me the M&C Corelli. I see my mistake in thinking it was Handel is not so far off - Handel wrote an op.6 just like Corelli's, as a sort of homage.

Quick key to baroque concerti: They either go fast-slow-fast (3 movements), which Bach took from Vivaldi; or slow-fast-slow-fast (4 mvmts), which Handel took from Corelli. Sometimes a little clue like that can make all the difference.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 856
Registered: Dec-03
BTW, Kegger,

How many Country and Western singers does it take to change a light bulb......? (smiley)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 857
Registered: Dec-03
I think I should give the answer.

Three.

One to change the light bulb.... and two - to sing about the old one.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 49
Registered: Apr-04
I tried to download some Vaughan Willams on mp3, just to try and hear it. I couldn't get the Sea Symphony, but something called "Dona Nobis P" (pastorale?) and the Fantasia on Thomas Tellis theme. Both gave me goosebumps, even with the crappy mp3 quality! So if the Sea Symphony is anything like those, I'm sure I'll love it.

Wow that review does make it sound like the ultimate 5.1 recording! I'll just think it over today and then let you know if I get it. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 50
Registered: Apr-04
BTW: John, that's hilarious!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 249
Registered: Feb-04
John A

RE: Master & Commander. You said it looked like the actors were actually playing. Russell Crowe has a band here called 50 odd feet of Grunge - pretty average and Crowe will admit that. But apparently, according to Peter Wier and other reports, he worked hard for several months learning the violin for the film - maybe they were playing.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 51
Registered: Apr-04
I just looked up what that Dona Nobis P was, so never mind ;)

Also I meant goosebumps in a positive way. Not being a native English speaker, I'm not sure if you can use that word in the context I did. Maybe shivers would be more correct?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 209
Registered: Dec-03
john what did the country singer say when he took
a tight turn?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 210
Registered: Dec-03
you picked a fine to leave me loose wheel!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 211
Registered: Dec-03
not that it was very good but at least i could say it right.

you picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel.



yyyaaaahhh iiiimmm gggooooodd!!!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 858
Registered: Dec-03
I got it first time, Kegger. Great! LOL. I am still chuckling about your first one, yesterday!

Do you know how a country music record sounds, played backwards?

- You get your dog back, you get your wife back, you get your car back....


Adam,

I am 90% sure "Goosebumps" is US, and in UK they are also known as "goosepimples". But am sure all English-speakers got your meaning first time! Your written English is amazing for a second (?) language, if I may say so.

Dona Nobis Pacem (Latin: "Give us peace") is more Walt Whitman to music, mostly, I think - and poems more directly connected with the American Civil War. I was tempted to mention it to Gregory when he talked about "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down", the exact significance of which I do not understand. Gregory? There is one on Dona Nobis Pacem called "A dirge for two veterans" which I think some of our US co-posters might know just as a poem. It has a twist. That is the only similarity I can think of with country music! Goosebumps or pimples is right. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
Whew, we are covering some ground on this thread....

My Rantz,

I did actually did believe Russell Crowe was playing; it was a shock to see Gladiator in a wig, playing the fiddle. Always choose the lesser of two weevils... I roared at that. It was so well set up. Give me a good pun any day. Know any C&W jokes....?

The is an embarrassingly bad (imho) "Early Music" cult movie from about 1990 called "Toutes les Matins du Monde" where Gerard Depardieu really plays the viola da gamba: he spent months learning. Unfortunately, his character was supposed to be the pupil of a greater and older master player, but the guy playing that part acted badly, had never learned the first thing, and seemed like he didn't know which way up to hold it. One of many absurdities. Hopeless movie. Fantastic music. Mind you, I've only seen it in French, and I am not like Adam with second languages. Not at all.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 52
Registered: Apr-04
My Rantz,

I watched a "behind the scenes" documentary on M&C, and I think they said it was professional musicians playing on the score, but Crowe trained for months to make it look natural. He played for real in the scene, it just wasn't recorded.

John,

Thanks, I just thought it sounded a bit off somehow, reading it second time around :-)

We have quite an extensive English language education here in Denmark, but I also love to read books and most of the ones I read, happen to be in English. This ironically also means that my spoken English is much worse than my written. I only get to practice that when I speak with my cousin from San Francisco, or travel abroad. :-)

Can you tell me how close the Sea Symphony is to the Fantasia piece?

BTW: I ordered the Handel Messiah DVD-A. That review made it sound too good to miss, especially when I don't have any other Messiah recordings.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 862
Registered: Dec-03
Adam,

"Can you tell me how close the Sea Symphony is to the Fantasia piece?"

Off the top of my head, all I can say is they are completely different. But they are both "early" I think, meaning written in 190x. But RVW was a craftsman who wrote things for some practical purpose, mostly - I don't think he imagined himself to be doing "depth of heart and mind" stuff, and high art for posterity, a la Gustav (you know whose side I am on, already!). RVW also did a lot of editing, including "Hymns Ancient & Modern" (was agnostic himself - music was his job; but he added some original tunes that EVERYBODY used to know in England, without knowing who wrote them). Doing that, he got heavily into early music - Tudor composers etc. The Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis (Tallis was mid C16th) is all written on one of Tallis's simple four-part psalms, for singing in church, but RVW did an arrangement (it is much more than an arrangement) for two string orchestras plus string quartet, I think. That is the Fantasia. It is purely instrumental. Harmonically, it is mostly modal - neither major nor minor - just as the original. it is quite a famous piece, and crops up in TV advertisements etc. It has also acquired sort of "New Age" connotation (meaning crop circles and all that crap_..) in recent times - the goosebumps get people feeling all mystical, I think. Also it was written to be performed in one of the fantastic romanesque cathedrals (Hereford, Worcester, Gloucester) in which the "Three Choirs Festival" was, and still is, held - written for a huge and echoing acoustic. Hence the mystical stuff, I suppose. Great music by which to drown at sea, I discover from M&C...

The Sea Symphony was written in 1909, I think, and was his first symphony. He wrote nine; I don't what it is about the number nine and symphonies. I have written before, he was trying, I think (a) to get away from "Vienna and all that"; (b) to use folk tunes (in this case mostly "Sea shanties" - see M&C for what they were REALLY like i.e. best sung p*ssed - I love those parts of the film); (c) to put moving, pacificist and humanitarian convictions (but do not get too morbid...) of Walt Whitman to music; (d) to give the amateur choirs (a way of life for many people then) something really blo*dy good to sing.

So the answer is, they are complete opposites, in a way. Small and passionate sort of meditation for strings written for music festival in cathedral, in archaic harmonic constructions vs. belting good sing, in the vernacular, for huge choir and orchestra to enjoy, and perform, to words that would entertain, uplift, inspire etc. Totally Edwardian world-view, that. They still believed in progress, then. About six years after the first performance (1910), they stopped. RVW was there, on active service. He came back. That was less common. It changed him, his music. And everything else. Dona Nobis Pacem came after. He never changed his view about the futility of war; he was a consciencious objector in WW II, like many WW I veterans. Undoubtedley he would have become "Sir Ralph" had it not been for that.

If there are any Vaughan Williams scholars reading this (I doubt it) I will stop now. You can only take so much!

BTW trivia. He was married, had a family. When and why that went out of fashion for composers, I don't know. He was related, on his mother's side, to Charles Darwin. My "heroes", you see (note the inverted commas, My Rantz!). I suppose we all have them.....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 72
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

The Lynn album has retro feel to it, kinda like the dress. I dig her dress and the music. I must say she has an amazing voice...especially when you consider that she is 69 and has lived a hard life.

Kegger,

I must say that Millen made a MAJOR MISTAKE in letting Winslow go to Cleveland.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 212
Registered: Dec-03
yo ben I agree winslow could be the best tight
end to come out in over 10 years.
and a great tight end is hard to find.(nothing flaming hear)
also a very valuable position excspecialy for a
young quarterback.they say the lions had a great
draft i'll have to wait to see. they don't do
anything great!

the wings well um yah!

john i had heard that one about play backwards
and getting your stuff back i like it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 167
Registered: Feb-04
Loretta Lynn was interviewed on NPR yesterday. Didn't know she was married at the age of 13 and had four children by the time she was 18. Yikes. She went on to write a song about the pill, which shocked the music industry. A worthy champion of the cause I'm sure. Anyway, the show played a few selections from her new album "Van Lear Rose." It sounds like a great album. The songs seem to range from the lyrical to the visceral to the rollicking. I plan on adding it to my so-far skimpy country album collection. (Lately, I've had this urge to tell people my mama was a country singer and my papa was a rodeo clown.)

I've listened to RVW's Sea Symphony a couple of times. It's very different from his blatantly prettier pieces such as Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and the Lark Ascending. I'm not sure if the Sea Symphony is a good introduction to RVW. If you enjoy large-scale choral works though it's right up your alley.

I always enjoy John A's expositions even if I don't agree with some of his opinions, e.g., Mahler. John or anyone else, care to give a list of essential classical works?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 53
Registered: Apr-04
John,

Thanks for the great information on RVW. I think I'll try his other works first and then see if I can listen to the Sea Symphony at a shop before buying.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 868
Registered: Dec-03
Of course, Adam!

2c, the same. It was brave of you to try The Sea Symphony. It will grow on you!

"care to give a list of essential classical works?" Not right now, 2c, it's late! That would be grasping the end of a piece of string of unknown length! But I will look out for other people's suggestions, including your own, and maybe chip in.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 251
Registered: Feb-04
Two Cents

Did you see the film "The Coal Miner's Daughter" in which Sissey Spacek play Lynn and did the singing for the soundtrack. Great Performer!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 168
Registered: Feb-04
My Rantz,

I remember when the movie came out. I believe Spacek won an Oscar for her performance. At the time, I avoided country music like the plague. The sight of Sissy Spacek in a big country wig didn't particularly make me rush to the theater. Well now I think I will get "Van Lear Rose" and watch "Coal Miner's Daughter." The title song is about her mother. It'll be good to get some biographical background through the movie. She seemed to have led a remarkable life.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 101
Registered: Feb-04
John A.:
Thanks much for the recommendations. I had noted your previous references to the Rattle Mahler 1. I think I will wait for a DVD-A recording, though as I can always listen to the DD/DTS tracks until I join the hi-res audio world. (The Denon 2200 looks very good right now. I've seen it in action on a friend's very good system. We, in fact, watched much of The Last Waltz on it. Ahh, I can see it now, J.S.Bach tradin' licks with Dr. John.)

Thanks also for your insight into Rattle and RVW. What do you think of Bax? What little I've heard never grabbed me. And I promise I'll never use the "M" word on this thread again.

Ghia:
What is "Okoume" mahogany?
Thanks for the Loretta Lynn dress link. Ain't she somethin'!
It's time somebody brought up the movie "Coal Miner's Daughter", an excellent bio-drama of Loretta. Sissy Specak deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar®* for her role as Loretta Lynn (1980). She did all her own singing for this movie and was pretty good. But (Band drummer) Levon Helm was absolutely unforgettable as her father. He deserved an award. I wonder if the movie plays as good today as twenty five years ago.

*Hey, I don't want to sued by the Academy
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 873
Registered: Dec-03
John,

"J.S.Bach tradin' licks with Dr. John" - i imaged JSB dueling with The Band's keyboard player. More promising? Glad someone thought that was not insane, anyway!

If you are not committed yet, consider the thread "DVD-Audio, SACD, or both?" in the same category as this one. I think Kegger and 2c have the Denon 2200. Adam has just got a 2900, and it has a problem.

I've never got into Bax. Nor Delius. It could be me.... If you want the other established, C20th Brit names, they are, of course, Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, plus William Walton and some others. Then there is the current crowd. I bought "The protecting veil" by John Tavener (NOT Taverner - quite different) and was unconvinced, and that is one of his more accessible pieces, I think. Any whiff of New Age and I run for the hills. The really unrivalled Brits were pre-Handel, imho. That's a whole nother story. This thread is already about to burst, I think!

I am not at all down on Gus. I sort of just don't imagine him drinking beer and making jokes. Least of all about himself. I could be wrong. I'd rather go down the pub with Brahms, honestly, but that, too, is probably just me.

It's not quite C&W, but it is my daugher's suggestion, I think from Larsen.

"Welcome to heaven; here is your harp."

"Welcome to hell; here is your piano accordion."
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 874
Registered: Dec-03
As I was writing the above, I heard on the radio there will a performance of Act III of Wagner's Ring at the Glastonbury Festival this year.

All those New Agers sitting in a field, listening to the Ride of the Valkyries, while stoned.

I no longer understand this world.....
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 254
Registered: Feb-04
I'll call this "The Twilight of My Rantz and Mrs Rantz.

Well, it's our 31st anniversary today (heck, and we're still in our thirties)* and Mrs Rantz is home (where I try to work) in a couple of hours. I'm imagining a DVD-2900 all wrapped up in pretty paper and tucked under her wing as she enters the house. I think it's only fair as we head off to Byron Bay for a romantic week this Saturday (her gift you see) - so am I in for a big surprise?

Nup - I just checked our bank accounts. Damn, I'm calling it off. No Byron Bay for her - Hrumph!

* Well, we look it!
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
Ghia - When you get your multichannel system up and going give Johnny Cash's "Silver" from 1979 on SACD a listen. As always a great piece of work that goes to the heart of what it takes to be human. Glad to hear someone else mention Doc Watson. Anyone who has not heard him should at least go down to your library to borrow a copy of any of his recordings.

John A. - Clapton is God. And since the movie was mentioned in this thread, one of the best music DVD's I own and would strongly suggest to any Clapton fan is "One More Car - One More Rider". Great sound and video. I never thought I would hear Eric Clapton end a concert with "Over the Rainbow".

I've tried but I can't... Wagner was a racist and a bore. My degrees are in theatre and from that perspective the man was a raving lunatic. Mahler was an over inflated ego with a reasonable amount of artistic talent and an enormous amount of talent at self promotion, a charge that could be made of far too many stars of any age. My desert island composer would be Shostakovich. Humility was what kept him alive as he thumbed his nose at the dictators of the first half of the twentieth century in Russia. And few other composers had the range of styles that he embraced. He did social realism, abstraction, large scale and small scale (his quartets are some of my favorites), jazz and film scores and used folk songs and what would be considered popular/contemporary as his sources. Is anyone else out there familiar with his work?

Has anyone ever seen "The Ruling Class"? Peter O'Toole doing the "Varsity Drag".

I grew up across the Mississippi river from St. Louis and, though I now live in Texas, there is still an appeal to a 32 oz. Busch when it's 102 degrees and the lawn mower is calling.

Finally everyone should learn Italian, of course. Firstly, just because you should and, secondly, because you will sound so good when you say anything in Italian!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 58
Registered: Apr-04
JohnS

Okoume mahagony is a wood species from Africa. In plywood form, it is light and flexible and is considered to be a good "marine-grade" plywood. Here's a link to the kayak kit I used to build my kayak and you can see the Okoume as a "finished" product: Chesapeake Light Craft

My Rantz: Congratulations!

Jan,

Thanks for the suggestion of "Silver". I saw that a couple of nights ago when I was going through some DVD-A/SACD catalogs. I don't believe I've heard that one but its now on my rapidly growing list of music to get.

Where do you folks buy most of your DVD-A/SACD media?
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 105
Registered: Feb-04
John A.:
How about "Welcome to hell; you are assigned to the bagpipe corps."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 73
Registered: Dec-03
I have bought SACD's at places like Media Play, Circuit City, and Best Buy. Most of the indie record stores by me don't carry them because there isn't a lot of demand (there is for vinyl, though).

I just read that Mission of Burma's long awated second album (it took 22 years) "ONoffON" has been released on a hybrid SACD.

You can also try on-line at www.acousticsounds.com and www.amusicdirect.com.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 59
Registered: Apr-04
Ben,

Thanks! I was familiar with acousticsounds.com. I also came across the site http://www.madhousediscs.com . Their prices are a little lower than other places but I've never ordered from them so I don't know how reliable they are.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 877
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

All congratulations to Mr and Mrs My Rantz! Take the holiday. DVD-A/SACD will still be there when you get back....

Jan,

Thanks for chipping in on this crazy thread.

"Wagner was a racist and a bore."

You seem to have this gift for summarizing my basic position in far fewer words! So, why do so many non-racist non-bores think the sun shone out of his etc. etc.?

"My desert island composer would be Shostakovich. "

I have only just discovered Shostakovich. This discovery is an unintended consequence of buying the Jazz Suites on Naxos DVD-A, just because it was there. Wonderful. Tribute to a genre he could not have heard at first hand, but he understood it, all the way down, and had something interesting and amusing to say. I am GLAD there are so few DVD-A titles to choose from; my discovery would never have happened otherwise. BTW the high-res recording was made in Moscow and is really excellent. I heard the Leningrad Symphony described as something like "Bolero with tanks". I shall make up my own mind, now. I know the string quartets have a big interest for some people. I shall get some. Any suggestions where to start? No string quartets on DVD-A. This is one case where surround offers rather little except potential for distraction, I think.

"Finally everyone should learn Italian, of course"

I suspect that is the key to opera, too, or most of it.

John,

"Welcome to hell; you are assigned to the bagpipe corps."

Well, you know, at least there are loads of different sorts, and they go way back, and there is a whole Early Music and Folk interest, with skilled makers trying to re-create servicable replicas of originals etc.

Mozart was really down on bagpipes; sneered at them. Culture, again. He was defending his patch. I agree they are an acquired taste. Give me a good hurdy-gurdy, any day.

No, hell has piano accordions, imho. They never existed in any real world.

All,

Movie recommendation, re US/UK, culture, language, geopolitics, Vietnam, everything, in fact. Also a "ripping yarn" at just that level. Based - well, I think - on novel by Graham Greene. Very warmly recommended.

The Quiet American (2002)
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 256
Registered: Feb-04
John A & Ghia

Thanks, that little joke came from a 'humourous' discussion between wife and I and I couldn't resist. Cancel the romantic week away - not for all the NADS in China!

John A

"All those New Agers sitting in a field, listening to the Ride of the Valkyries, while stoned. I no longer understand this world....."

Well, maybe the Ride of the Valkyries requires such partaking. How many of us did not touch the stuff in our early wild days and not know that fine audio kits were not necessary for music enjoyment? Maybe if receiver manufacturers could emulate that sound experience, their odd problems might just create a good rollicking laugh instead of all the whining! Not that I had ever seeked the best bang for the buck mind you!

The Quiet American was a great film. Michael Caine is unique. And Brendan Frazer did alright in a straight roll also. Graham Greene would not be a friend of the CIA.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 190
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz,

Wishing you and your bride a very happy 31st.

Stay healthy and happy, and wish you both 31 more.

Cheers.......
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 258
Registered: Feb-04
Rick

Thank you my friend, It's a miracle she's put up with me for so long. Believe me, I'm truly blessed and I hope 31 more isn't your best offer!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 171
Registered: Feb-04
When I think of Ride of the Valkyries, I think of the scene from Apocalypse Now where a fleet of U.S. helicopters attack a Vietnamese village. You could probably substitute Messerschmidts for the helicopters. I think Coppola got the latent militarism of Wagner's music.

I've always liked Shostakovich, especially his string quartets (which picks up where Beethoven's late quartets left off) and some of his symphonies, particularly nos. 5 and 8. What his music tells me tho is, "life is a farce, life is crushingly depressing even during the rare times when it's beautiful." Perhaps it's the perspective of living under a totalitarian system. Mahler seems to say the same thing, but he also offers us transcendence. I don't know if Shostakovich offers us that option. At least, that's one man's reading.

Another 20th c. British composer worth checking out is Elgar. His cello concerto is one of the finest IMHO, especially played by Jacqueline DuPre.

For those of you looking for SACDs and DVD-As in the U.S., try your local Tower Records, or better yet, www.towerrecords.com. They have a very good selection and decent prices on their website. Also, Elusive Disc in Indiana claims to have a large selection of SACDs although only the bestsellers are found on their website.

Wish you all a feliz cinco de mayo.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 881
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

This could be the time for the little maintenance that audio gear requires.

I second Rick's comment, too. Take care.

John
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 882
Registered: Dec-03
2c,

I missed Elgar because I did not want to get totally boring (cough...), and because he is rather more C19th. But I agree. He was self-taught, apparently, but did the Germanic form hugely well. His Symphony 3 (is C20th) is extremely good, and he only wrote a scrap of it. The guy who supplied the rest is called Anthony Payne. That is another of my Naxos DVD-A recommendations.

RVW, in contrast, studied composition in Paris, with Ravel. RVW and EE are quite different. I admire them both. There is no "better" or "worse" about it, for me.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 173
Registered: Feb-04
My Rantz,

I third Rick's comment. Wish you and Mrs Rantz all the best on your anniversary.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 174
Registered: Feb-04
John A.,

FYI I don't find any of your posts boring. Please write on about anything you fancy. You'll have at least one appreciative reader.

My knowledge of British composers, and most other things, is rather sketchy. I thought Elgar worked mostly in the 20th c. In my oversimplified mind, I have Elgar, RVW, Britten, and Walton all lumped together. I'm sure for the informed listener, there are major differences among them.
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
Ghia - I'm lucky to have several local sources for SACD. Most of the stores here separate the "audiophile" discs away from the rest of the discs. Probably to keep the "audiophiles" away from the other folks. Even Best Buy has a section where you can go browse the selections, they are limited but you get to make that point of sale impulse purchase as opposed to hours spent on line pouring over the various choices. I haven't been to the V*rg*n (the forum won't allow the word) megastore lately. The last time I asked they simply mix SACD and DVD-A in with the regular selections. OK if you've come with a shopping list but they can't tell you what is new so you can consider changing your mind. Tower probably has the best selection of any store in town.

John A. - I can whole heartedly recommend the string quartets, they were the first purchase I made of something other than the symphonies and they were a huge suprise from what I had come to expect. The jazz pieces are harder to find, the only copy I have is on an early 80's CD and you have to struggle through the sound quality at times to get to the music. But they are also something you would not expect from a Russian. I'm not sure about your description of the Leningrad symphony. It is a humorous thought but probably came from someone who didn't really like either piece. The symphony has a repititive phrase as the crowd gathers that is slow and ponderous and builds as the crowd gets excited and then all hell breaks loose when the soldiers begin to cut their way through the masses. The aftermath leaves you with a sense of "how could that have happened?" that I find really spooky every time I listen to that piece. Since Shostakovich often drew on real events that he had to make palatable to the dictator (Stalin) he has imagery that is very stark and very moving. The idea that he was showing the horrors of what the party did all the while selling it to the party as a tribute to their honor (so he wouldn't simply disappear like so many of his contemporaries) makes the whole of his work fascinating to me. After Stalin died and Shostakovich was allowed some small degree of freedom the work he produced showed an artist who could have been enormously popular outside of Russia. His life is a sad series of trying to stay alive, trying to say this is horrible and never realizing his potential. So he is a tragic figure and can be depressing but he also is a great example of the power of the human spirit and a determination to rise above the conditions. Everyone's response to his music will vary; but, I enjoy the arts that came from the first half of the 20th century and particularly those of Europe as the artists searched for their souls and the ground beneath them sifted and crumbled in wars and depression and social upheaval and they quickly could be out of style and condemned by their peers and society. Shostakovich is always like finding a moving, coming to life version of "Guernica". It is probably a real stretch to make the comparison but Shostakovich and Johnny Cash are similar in the way they both leave you with a feeling of how life can be so beautiful and how can mankind allow the things they do to another human. Anyway, I don't have any suggestions for a disc to buy as a DVD-A but you might want to hit the library and start searching out the pieaces that you find interesting. Naturally the 5th is the best known and offers great hifi treats but is not a real example of what Shostakovich was capable of producing. Get a two channel recording and put on the "hall" DSP (for about the first ten seconds of course).
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 484
Registered: Dec-03
John A.--

"I was tempted to mention it to Gregory when he talked about "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down", the exact significance of which I do not understand. Gregory?"

Besides the musical beauty of the song, Robbie Robertson (a Canadian half Indian)also wrote the lyrics using the pain of destruction and family loss--not with the typical southern anger about calling the Civil War the "War of Northern Agression".

The lyrics being:

Virgil Caine is the name,
and I served on the Danville train,
'Til Stoneman's cavalry came
and tore up the tracks again.
In the winter of '65,
We were hungry, just barely alive.
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell,
It's a time I remember , oh so well,

(Chorus)

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,
and the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,
and the people were singin'.

They went
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na Na,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na.

Back with my wife in Tennessee,
When one day she called to me,
"Virgil, quick come see,
there goes Robert E. Lee!"
Now I don't mind choppin' wood,
and I don't care if the money's no good.
Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest,
But they should never have taken the very best,

reprise of chorus

The Night They....


Like my father befor me,
I will work the land,
Like my brother above me,
who took a rebel stand.
He was just eighteen, proud and brave,
But a Yankee laid him in his grave,
I swear by the mud below my feet,
You can't raise a Caine back up
when he's in defeat.

Chorus.....

Levon Helm (the drummer and the only American-born in Arkansas, in The Band)sings the song in the persona of Virgil Caine, a Confederate ex-soldier who served on the Danville supply train until General Stoneman's Union cavalry troops tore up the tracks. The Richmond and Danville Rail Road was the main supply route into Petersburg, VA-- where Lee's Army of Northern Virginia were holding their defensive line to protect Richmond. Stoneman was a "disciple" of General Sherman's and was noted for despoiling the conquered land to prevent "the re-loading" of the Confederacy.

Levon had given Robertson a book on the south and confederacy and obviously JR Robertson gleaned much from it.

"Virgil, quick, come see! There goes Robert E. Lee"

Lee was idolized in the south, and toured around Virginia setting up education for veterans until his death in 1870. Lee had also ensured that the peace treaty included a binding pledge that former Confederate soldiers 'would not at any time be disturbed by Federal authority, provided they lay down their arms and returned home.' Lee personally disbelieved in both slavery and secession from the Union, but felt that his people and his honor came above his personal opinions. Lee's personal distaste of both slavery and of secession from the Union is always left out of southern textbooks. Lee felt as a Virginian, that it was his duty to fight with the South--but he always regretted "the cause" until his dying day. But Lee never ventured into Tennessee, but was probably used in the song much as an "Elvis" sighting or people that said they saw Lincoln, Grant, or whoever--when they only imagined they did or wanted to believe they did.

During the war, Lee freed quite a few of his family's slaves. Lee felt that the war was God's instrument to end slavery. Lee has also been praised for ordering his troops to surrender once and for all, thus avoiding a protracted guerilla war that could have gone on for months and years.

Virgil is not bitter about his economic plight:

"You take what you need
And you leave the rest"

But he is bitter about the waste of life:

"But they should never
Have taken the very best"

He muses on the death of his brother -

"He was just eighteen, proud and brave
But a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the(mud/blood)* below my feet

"You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat ... "


The choice of names is perfect for a story about the Civil War, which was described as 'The War Between Brothers.' Cain and Abel. You can't raise a Caine back up when he's in defeat."
The dead brother named Caine, biblical reference of raising Caine (and being slain by Abel -certainly Caine can be seen as the brother of the northern Abel--and hence the slaying of Caine by Abel), and growing cane as a crop.

All further complicated by the fact that Tennesse was a border state and when Virgil said-- that his brother took a rebel stand, it had often happened that one brother went union and another went confederate.



The song is neither pro nor anti southern. It is a song of fraternal loss, the despair of destruction, and how someone can keep going on in the face of such loss, even though it somehow seems impossible. Of course, the song can be viewed by any number of vantage points--such is the genius of a great song.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 886
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

"The song is neither pro nor anti southern. It is a song of fraternal loss, the despair of destruction, and how someone can keep going on in the face of such loss"

That is the message we all must learn, Gregory. I thank you. I can and do quote "The War Poets" meaning WW1. We all come from our own place and our own time. Sometimes different places and times collide. And the aftershock of the collision can survive for centuries (no exaggeration; I can spell it out).

I will give you a very brief take on the aftershock of the one you mention, still discernable 6,000 miles away, and 150 years later.

My kids go to an international school, a great pleasure to record; many cultures and races in one classroom. That is education in itself. They did "The American Civil War". The UK History teacher started with the knowledge the kids already had, a sound educational principle.

"Can anyone tell me any issue which divided the North and the South?" she said.

Knowledgable hand goes up: "That's easy, Miss: there was only one; we wanted to abolish slavery, and the South wanted to keep it"

"I don't think it is quite as simple as that" she said, tactfully, and explained why she thought there were more issues involved.

Child, and child's answer, were treated with all due respect. But the child relayed the events of the lesson to her parents. The parents complained to the school, for the teacher's biased account of US history, about which she was not qualified to speak. The teacher was reprimanded by the school authorities for showing lack of "cultural sensitivity". This is 2003. I won't be more specific than that, even if drawn.

Try Vaughan Williams's "Don Nobis Pacem". The words are by Walt Whitman. He, too, was there, so I believe.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 887
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Thank you for that description of the background to the song; it makes all the difference. I think maybe I'll print that and put it in "The Band" box. The theme of "from the point of view" can be more powerful than lofty philosophising, like Walt Whitman. I guess a book of his verse would do it. But the RVW settings (Dona Nobis Pacem; the Sea Symphony) really do something. Whitman was obviously a very cool guy to read in late Victorian England.

All,

Movie recommendation. It relates to the above. Strong one. That Hugh Grant guy again, but not too much of him; there is no single, central character; number of very small cameos for some big name actors/actresses. Hilarious, moving. Tragedy and comedy. A humanist's take on the goodness and folly of people; and the solution to the ills discussed above, imho. Recommendation comes too late for anniversary of Mr and Mrs my Rantz - recommended watching when they get back. Love Actually (2003) written and directed by Richard Curtis.
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