Tag: Orchestral Music

1973, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Music

Knussen: Horn Concerto, Whitman Settings, The Way to Castle Yonder, Flourish with Fireworks (1996) by Various Artists

This is a collection of Knussen’s orchestral music.

1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014

Augusta Read Thomas: Selected Works for Orchestra (2014) by Various Artists

This is a compilation of performances of some of Thomas’ writing for orchestra. I got this from the library by accident but decided to listen to it anyway.

1975, 1979, 1988, Music

Knussen: Symphonies Nos. 2-3, Trumpets, Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Cantata (1988) by Various

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.

1894, 1947, 1950, 1994, Music

Symphony No. 3 “Simfoniya-poema”; Triumphal Poem / Caucasian Sketches (1994) by BBC Philharmonic conducted by Fedor Glushchenko

This is a bizarre pairing of a Khachaturian symphony, one of his symphonic poems and an orchestral suite from another Russian composer from the 1890s. The fact that they don’t sound so out of place suggests how conservative Khachaturian was as a composer. I have hear the Triumphal Poem before, though I’m not sure where. …

1937, 1942, 1992, 2015, Music

Khachaturian: Gayane; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 (1992, 2015) by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati

This disc collects a suite from Khachaturian’s Gayane with Shostakovich’s 5th symphony.

1979, 1981, 1982, Music

Vox Humana? / Finale / Fürst Igor Strawinsky (1991) by Mauricio Kagel, performed by Ensemble 2e2m, Lyon National Opera Chorus conducted by Paul Méfano

This record collects three of Kagel’s longish “choral” pieces. Kagel was a weirdo is the best ways. Listening to Kagel’s work, rather than watching it, is a bit of a problem, because Kagel’s work is often “theatrical” not just in the sense of being influenced by the theatre, but of having the musicians act out …

1918, 1926, 1983, Music

Sinfonietta; Taras Bulba (1983) by Leos Janacek, performed by Philarmonia Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle

This disc collects two of Janacek’s most famous symphonic compositions, both of which were dedicated to the military. So there’s a theme here, often lacking from programs. The Sinfonietta instantly strikes a chord with me because Emerson, Lake and Palmer covered the opening Allegretto on their debut album. So, right away, all attempts to objectively …

1887, 1888, 1993, Music

Janacek: Suites/Idyll (1993) by London Jupiter Orchestra conducted by Gregory Rose

This disc collects two of Janacek’s pieces for string orchestra with an orchestrated (and abridged) version of his cycle, On an Overgrown Path. The ‘Suite for Strings’ is quite pleasant; a pretty typical Romantic tone poem to my ears. Though it’s certainly not as interesting as his later music, it’s extremely pretty. The suite based …

1894, 1912, 1915, 1918, 1921, 1923, 1992, Music

Janacek: Taras Bulba, The Fiddler’s Child, Jealousy (Overture), The Cunning Little Vixen Suite (1992) by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiri Belohlavek

This is a collection of orchestra works by Janacek; two standalone works, one overture extracted from an opera, and a suite of instrumental pieces from one of his operas. Taras Bulba is an extended symphonic poem that is a little more programmatic than most of the ones I’m used to. (In this way, I believe …

1901, 1902, 1910, 1911, 1935, 1958, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1987, Music

Ives: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3; The Unanswered Question (1966) by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Berstein

This is a compilation of the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Berstein’s performances of the middle symphonies and The Unanswered Question, originally a piece paired with another but one that has found a lot of attention as a standalone. Bernstein was one of the great champions of Ives once he was “discovered,” but these performances …

1901, 1902, 1910, 1911, 1916, 1919, 1929, 1973, 1976, 1994, 1995, 2000, Music

Ives: The Symphonies; Orchestral Sets 1 and 2 (2000) by Various Artists

This is one of those Decca compilations that takes recordings from all over its catalogue (in this case from the mid ’70s and the mid ’90s) to create an ostensibly “complete” collection of a composer’s works in a given field, in this case Ives’ work for large orchestra. Of course it’s not complete, as it’s …

1917, 1922, 1927, 2012, Music

Hindemith: Kammermusik (2012) by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, et al.

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. The first Kammermusik is a crazy, vibrant piece that manages to combine fairly strong melodies (relatively speaking) with the kind of aggressively …

1920, 1924, 1928, 1933, 1946, 2004, Music

HONEGGER: Symphony No. 3, ‘Liturgique’ / Pacific 231 / Rugby et al. by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Takuo Yuasa

This is a collection of some of Honegger’s works, pairing his three most famous pieces – the “symphonic movements” with one of his symphonies and a symphonic poem. The third symphony begins with a loud, fast movement that has been aptly described as “stormy.” It’s the kind of thing that makes me think maybe I …

1899, 1900, 1911, 1922, 1934, 2002, Music

Symphony in F; Suite No. 2; etc. (2002) by Gustav Holst, performed by Munich Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Bostock

This is a collection of both short and long orchestral works by Holst. It’s a scattershot collection, like so many others. The ‘Cotswolds’ symphony intrigued me because I heard an excerpt from it on another collection (the elegy, to be precise). It’s a nice late Romantic symphony. Like so much other British work, it fails …

1916, 1976, Music

The Planets (1976) by Gustav Holst, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia conducted by Eugene Ormandy

Holst’s most famous work has become one of the most famous pieces of music of the 20th century. And though it has been featured in endless film and TV projects, and I am mostly just familiar with “Mars,” because of its cover by King Crimson (under the title “The Devil’s Triangle” for copyright reasons). “Mars” …

1897, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1911, 1921, 1927, 1980, 1988, 1989, Music

Holst: A Winter Idyll (1993) by David Atherton et al.

This is a collection of short orchestral pieces and excerpts of longer ones, by Holst. It is not performed by the same group throughout (as it’s a compilation) though, as far as I can tell (listening to a digital copy), the conductor is the same throughout (David Atherton). “A Winter Idyll” starts rather lively for …

1907, 1922, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1996, Music

Holst: Orchestral Works Including Hammersmith and Egdon Heath (1996) by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox

This is a compilation of some of Holst’s shorter orchestral works. The “Fugal Overture” has a lot more appeal to me than some of his other works. It’s at times energetic and at other times somber and there is a lot going on. It’s hardly significant, but it’s enjoyable. My favourite Holst piece so far. …

1946, 1987, Music

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d: A Requiem for Those We Love by Paul Hindemith, performed by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw (et al.) (1987)

There is a tendency among us humans to celebrate things which in turn celebrate the things we think are important. I guess it’s only natural. This requiem is a Walt Whitman poem set to music for the death of Roosevelt. It’s conducted here by its commissioner so, in theory, this is how it’s supposed to …

1997, 2009, Music

Symphony No. 9 (2009) by Hans Werner Henze, performed by Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Rundfunkchor Berlin, conducted by Marek Janowski

Like Beethoven’s 9th and Mahler’s 8th, Henze’s 9th symphony is a choral symphony. And much like his eighth, it’s highly programmic (even more so this time). I am, at this stage of my life, a real sucker for choral symphonies, for reasons I cannot quite articulate. Henze’s 9th remains in the more traditional mode of …

1976, Music

Peer Gynt Suites; Karelia Suite; The Swan of Tuonela (1965, 1976, 198?) by Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Helsinki conducted by Okko Kamu

This is a compilation of two major romantic orchestral suites – one by Sibelius and one by Grieg – buttressed by an excerpt from another of Sibelius’ suites. Unfortunately this isn’t the complete Peer Gynt as this was recorded prior to the discovery of the complete score in the 1980s but this still contains all …

2008, Music

Witches Brew (1959, 1964, 2008) by the New Symphony Orchestra of London conducted by Alexander Gibson

This is one of those “Spooky classical” things that is generally entertaining but hardly anything more. It’s a good (but obvious) selection of famous “spooky” pieces, primarily from the Romantic era. The wife and I attended one of these types of things with the TSO one Halloween a few years ago and the selection wasn’t …

1960, Music

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Concerto in F (1960?, 200?) by Various Artists

I’ve heard the Bernstein “Rhapsody” before, and I still like it perhaps more than any other version. His version of “An American in Paris” is also good. Don’t really know why the Concerto features Andre Previn instead, but it’s also a good version. If I didn’t like the music so much, I’d probably be annoyed …

1986, Music

Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis et al. (1986) by Orford Quartet, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Simon Street

This is one of those nonsensical compilations of pieces of “classical” music that are put together because all the music is performed by a similar ensemble, in this case String Quartet with Orchestra. So you have two very late romantic British composers (though Vaughan Williams music could be seen as something else, I guess) with …

1913, 1919, 1931, 1932, 2007, Music

Sir Edward Elgar Conducts Elgar: Falstaffl Cello Concerto; Nursery Suite (2007)

Though the sound isn’t ideal – though it certainly is better than I expected – this is the most interesting Elgar I have heard so far. Fastaff is fantastic; it feels like half of the first wave of film score composers adored it. And unlike so much programmic music, it actually sounds out the action, …

1899, 1904, 2007, Music

Elgar: Enigma Variations; In the South; Serenade (2007) by Andrew Davis, Philharmonia Orchestra

The so-called “Enigma Variations” are disappointing if only because one thinks that maybe they will be weird (or at least mysterious). They are not weird. They are tuneful and crowd-pleasing. “In the South” is one of those weird things that composers write where it feels like there should have been more (and they acknowledge that …

2011, Music

Essential Delius (2011) by Various Artists

This is a compilation and so we have to treat it with a bit of skepticism. But it does contain most of the major orchestral works of his, and so it does offer a good intro, even the performances aren’t exactly standardized. I remain slightly reticent to get into Frederick Delius and I can’t exactly …

1994, Music

Violin Concerto, Opera Intermezzi, Pieces for Small Orchestra (1994) by Frederick Delius, performed by Symphony Nova Scotia and Georg Tintner

Though it doesn’t really contain the big hits, this is a pretty solid collection. I like the violin concerto. I also like the “Two Pieces for Small Orchestra.” The music is still a little safe for me, but it’s pleasant. 7/10   “Prelude” from Irmelin (6/10) This prelude for one of Delius’ early operas doesn’t …

2007, Music

Children’s Corner: Debussy Orchestrations (2007 Atma) by Claude Debussy, performed by Orchestre symphonique de Quebec conducted by Yoav Talmi

The more I listen to so-called “classical” / “high art” music the more of a snob I become about it. And I guess that’s not surprising, after all I am a gigantic music snob (though I would argue that I am much less of a music snob – having let hooks into my life at …