From the first moments of Lift Your Skinny Fists, I was in love. I was at the height of my prog rock phase and I had no idea post rock existed. I had no idea Canadians were making ambitious music vaguely in the prog rock tradition at the very time that I was alive and …
There’s something about Nico’s austere approach on this record that is my catnip. I have no idea if I would like this record this much if the songs were the same and the arrangements were more contemporary, but I like the aesthetic so much I don’t care.
Less ambitious and grand Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with a slowcore song stuffed in the middle of it, basically.
Here I am coming at yet another band backwards. This time, it’s even worse, because this album was made by Egg after they had broken up, to basically tie up loose ends or something. So, um, it’s probably not the best place to start.
This is a compilation of a few of Knussen’s pieces, which, far as I can figure, are performed by three different ensembles, including an ensemble conducted by Knussen himself.
This disc collects Kagel’s final quartet and the first quartet by Tristan Keuris, a Dutch composer I have never hear of before. The works were composed 30 years apart.
This disc collects the first three of Kagel’s quartets and pairs them with a piece he wrote for string quartet and piccolo. (Dietmar Wiesner guests on that piece.)
This collection is a little confusing in part because of the confusing nature of Rrrrrrr…, which can apparently be performed independently. The disc appears to be a compilation of his piano-based music. Calling “piano music” would be a misnomer, as there are lots of other instruments on a number of the pieces.
This record collects three of Kagel’s longish “choral” pieces. Kagel was a weirdo is the best ways.
This disc pairs Janacek’s last (and shortest?) opera with two unrelated chamber pieces performed by an entirely different orchestra, grumble.
This set collects Hindemith’s Kammermusik compositions – two are actual chamber music pieces, seven are concertos – and for reasons I may not ever understand, pairs them with a violin sonata and an incomplete work.
Part 2 of Power’s performances of Hindemith’s viola music focuses on the sonatas for solo viola, of which Hindemith also wrote three. Though these all lack the incredible, complex and difficult piano parts of their cousins, that doesn’t make them any less impressive and, not surprisingly, the viola parts are more complex.
This disc collects Hindemith’s three viola sonatas with piano accompaniment, and it also includes a transcription for viola and piano of one of the dances from Hindemith’s ballet, Nobilissima Visione. The sequencing is odd: it starts with the final one, then goes to the first, then to the second, then back to the late ‘30s …
This is an excellent collection of Hartmann’s violin music.
This is just an awesome set of really challenging modern chamber music, sort of smaller versions of what Penderecki was up to, I guess. The set contains three works by Gubaidulina centered around the cello and the bayan, a Russian version of the accordion.
I really like Gould’s quartet. I know it’s not the most forward-thinking piece for the time, but I think it’s among the second tier of its era and I really don’t mind listening to it. The fugue-song thing is a different story: I like it but it’s almost too clever. I like that it seems …
This is a rather arbitrary collection of Gorecki’s later “avant garde” works, featuring a concerto from 1980 and two chamber pieces from the 1990s. But putting the arbitrariness to the side, what we are left with is some very stirring music.
I am a sucker for a good string quartet and I like to think that this is a very good string quartet. It’s certainly interesting for its era and, though not as ballsy as so many of the great quartets of the early 20th century, I think it would probably bear comparison with other notable …
This is an odd combination: we get a string quartet, piano pieces seemingly picked at random from two separate eras of his career, and the piano quintet. I guess they wanted to give us our money’s worth or something.
This collects Dvorak’s two least-regarded piano trios. I didn’t know that while I listened to it, and, now that I know, I’m not quite surprised. The music is certainly pleasant, but one can understand why people haven’t gone crazy over this music, which seems to me as if it could easily have been written in …
On Saturday I went to see a performance of some of Bach’s chamber music at Eastminster Church on the Danforth. Sadly this is the first time in my life I can recall seeing a chamber size group outside of a wedding.