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Old 08-13-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
Peter
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Lightbulb Desert Island Discs

OK this is a hard one as you have to be cruel in omitting loads of great music but you're only allowed 10 choices to take to your castaway island.

Here's my choice:

Gabriel appeared / Chernegov-Nomerov Egor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzK5YEVMHn4

Gustav Mahler - "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" (Rückert) - Fischer-Dieskau
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTqbTP5qy7k

Bach - B minor Mass / Eliot-Gardiner

Beethoven - Symphony no.9 - Ferenc Fricsay

Richard strauss 4 last songs - Jessye Norman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaAorqR0ICk&t=847s

Bruckner - Symphony no.8 / karajan

Puccini - Chi il bel sogno di Doretta / Leontyne Price
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJLO89EOAoY

Dvorak - 'Cello Concerto in B minor / Rostropovich

Victoria - Requiem Mass

Handel - L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: As Steals The Morn Upon The Night
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUQAG4r5nrM
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:27 AM   #2
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In the BBC series, you have to pick one as a final choice.
Which one of these ten would you pick, Peter?
No pressure.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:02 AM   #3
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Lightbulb

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
In the BBC series, you have to pick one as a final choice.
Which one of these ten would you pick, Peter?
No pressure.
Well that would have to be the Bach B minor Mass. I think you also are allowed a book and a luxury item - that would be Dostoyevsky 'The Brothers Karamazov' and an mp3 player so I could actually listen to the music. It seems to me on the BBC series they'd arrive on the Island with their discs with no means of playing them!
I'm looking forward to reading other members' choices - no pressure!
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:47 AM   #4
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Agree about the Bach B Minor Mass: my number 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZXMqaRkGqQ

And the runners-up are:

Bach: "Mache dich mein Herze, rein" aus "Matthäus-Passion"/Quasthoff
Beethoven: "Hammerklavier" Piano Sonata, Brendel or Kovacevich
Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op. 109
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" Haitink
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 - Carlos Kleiber
Schubert: Four Impromptus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1rCDLGcVhs

Wagner: Liebestod aus "Tristan und Isolde"
Strauss: "Vier Letzte Lieder" Tennstedt/Popp
Ravel: Piano Trio in A

Last edited by Humoresque; 08-14-2017 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Changed my mind; a woman's prerogative!!
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #5
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Nice choices Humoresque and "Mache dich mein Herze, rein" and the Liebstod were also on my original list, but you have to be ruthless! You've only chosen 4 Schubert Impromptus but you could go for a disc with all 8 plus the Moments Musicaux! Any thoughts on what you'd take to read?
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
Nice choices Humoresque and "Mache dich mein Herze, rein" and the Liebstod were also on my original list, but you have to be ruthless! You've only chosen 4 Schubert Impromptus but you could go for a disc with all 8 plus the Moments Musicaux! Any thoughts on what you'd take to read?
The Complete Poems of John Keats
Shakespeare's "Othello"
Tolstoy "Anna Karenina"
Dickens "Great Expectations"
Solomon's "Beethoven"
Swafford's "Brahms"
Any biography of George Gershwin
Joseph McBride, "John Ford"
Richard Ellman "Oscar Wilde"
and anything by Christopher Hitchens
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humoresque View Post
The Complete Poems of John Keats
Shakespeare's "Othello"
Tolstoy "Anna Karenina"
Dickens "Great Expectations"
Solomon's "Beethoven"
Swafford's "Brahms"
Any biography of George Gershwin
Joseph McBride, "John Ford"
Richard Ellman "Oscar Wilde"
and anything by Christopher Hitchens
Ah but you're only allowed one book so you need to chuck 9 overboard!
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:24 PM   #8
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If there was one and only one Beethoven piece that I was allowed, I think I'd choose the Missa Solemnis.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:00 PM   #9
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Ah but you're only allowed one book so you need to chuck 9 overboard!
Like choosing which one of your children! Not possible.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:39 PM   #10
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Well, this is my list for today. By tomorrow it could change substantially.
My musical interests are mainly symphonic and centred on one particular composer, but I’ve endeavoured to prune him back a bit and give others a chance.

Mahler: 4th Symphony
Schubert: 5th Symphony
Mozart: 40th Symphony
Haydn: 101st Symphony (London)
Sibelius: 2nd Symphony
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major
Dvorak: String Quartet No. 12 (American)
Beethoven: 3rd Symphony (Eroica)
Beethoven: Waldstein Piano Sonata
Beethoven: First Razumovsky Quartet

If I had to pick just one, it would be the last-mentioned work.

For my book, I’m struggling between “David Copperfield” and “War and Peace” but I may ultimately have to settle for a biography of Beethoven.
Thayer’s is much too big so I think I’ll settle for Jan Swafford’s “Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph”.

For my one luxury item, I’m not too choosy. A simple 70 inch Oled Smart Television (run on a solar-powered battery) with a built-in blu-ray player which will also play CDs. Wi-Fi would be handy but I think that’s pushing things a bit for a desert island.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:15 PM   #11
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What really counts as a disc? One physical disc? One release? One piece?

Does a complete set of Beethoven symphonies count as 1, 9, or as many discs as there are in the set?
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #12
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That's a tricky one.
The series first went out in 1942 - long before vinyl - when everything commercially available was on 78rpm shellac discs which could only run for three or four minutes a side. Long playing records didn't come out (I think) until about six or seven years later.

So back in 1942, if somebody picked Beethoven's Fifth, for example, it could take up to four shellac discs. But, of course, all you would hear on the airwaves would be portion of the opening movement.

In all its history, the piece most often chosen has been Beethoven's Ninth - but what most of the castaways meant was the "Ode to Joy" theme - not the whole shebang.

I think each choice should be a single work - regardless of length - and this could be the St Matthew Passion or the Minute Waltz. I think if somebody picked, say, the Brandenburg Concertos or the Ring Cycle, they wouldn't make it past the customs.




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Last edited by Michael; 08-15-2017 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Horror! I put an apostrophe where I shouldn't have.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:26 PM   #13
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If there was one and only one Beethoven piece that I was allowed, I think I'd choose the Missa Solemnis.
Any particular recording? It's one tough piece of work but my favourite is the Klemperer from the 60s.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Nice choices Humoresque and "Mache dich mein Herze, rein" and the Liebstod were also on my original list, but you have to be ruthless! You've only chosen 4 Schubert Impromptus but you could go for a disc with all 8 plus the Moments Musicaux! Any thoughts on what you'd take to read?
The Schubert Impromptus I was talking about are superior to the earlier ones, IMO. And I should have put on my list Schubert's String Quintet in C. My recording from the Emerson SQ and Rostropovich is magnificent.

Michael, I've been told by a friend that Swafford's Beethoven is an exceptional biography. I'm about to start reading it within weeks and very much look forward to that. I like the Solomon (2nd ed.) because of the psychological insights the author brings to the life of Beethoven (though many suggest the scholarship is now dated). Some people don't like that but I do because I prefer to think in three dimensional terms about the people I admire. And it's magnificently written.

Last edited by Humoresque; 08-16-2017 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Further thoughts
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:35 PM   #15
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Michael, I've been told by a friend that Swafford's Beethoven is an exceptional biography. I'm about to start reading it within weeks and very much look forward to that. I like the Solomon (2nd ed.) because of the psychological insights the author brings to the life of Beethoven (though many suggest the scholarship is now dated). Some people don't like that but I do because I prefer to think in three dimensional terms about the people I admire. And it's magnificently written.
I haven't read Solomon's biography but I do have his "Beethoven Essays" which I enjoyed but some of his psychological theories are a little off-the-wall for me. One of them is entitled: "The Posthumous Life of Ludwig Maria van Beethoven" which refers to the death of the first Ludwig, born a year before Beethoven, and the effect it supposedly had on the composer. Other than the fact that it may have compounded his confusion about the date of his own birth, I find it hard to believe that it affected him in any way.

However, a sizeable chunk of this book is devoted to Beethoven's Tagebuch - a kind of a diary in which he made occasional entries - and I found this to be much more interesting.

I can heartily recommend Swafford's biography. The opening is a little fanciful as he describes (or imagines) Beethoven's baptism in the church of St. Remigius in Bonn (which I visited over a year ago) but it soon settles down to fairly solid facts. Like Solomon, Swafford does have his own theories but he deals with the music in a way that is totally comprehensible - even to someone like me who can't read a note! It's only a thousand pages long but I've read it twice!






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Last edited by Michael; 08-16-2017 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:06 AM   #16
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The Schubert Impromptus I was talking about are superior to the earlier ones, IMO. And I should have put on my list Schubert's String Quintet in C. My recording from the Emerson SQ and Rostropovich is magnificent.

Michael, I've been told by a friend that Swafford's Beethoven is an exceptional biography. I'm about to start reading it within weeks and very much look forward to that. I like the Solomon (2nd ed.) because of the psychological insights the author brings to the life of Beethoven (though many suggest the scholarship is now dated). Some people don't like that but I do because I prefer to think in three dimensional terms about the people I admire. And it's magnificently written.
Yes the Schubert quintet is superb and then of course there's the glorious Brahms chamber music and if I had to pick one of his chamber pieces it would be the piano quintet for its slow movement alone!
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:43 AM   #17
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Beethoven: Symphony #3
Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Beethoven: Wellington's Victory
Mozart: his opera "Die Zauberflöte"
Mozart: Masonic Funeral Music for Orchestra in C minor, K. 479a477
Schubert: Symphony #9 in C major, D. 944
Schubert: Der Erlkönig, D. 328
Brahms: Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 (especially dances #5 and #6)
John Philip Sousa: Invincible Eagle
Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:23 PM   #18
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Ah, summer fun!
In my scenario, when I get shipwrecked I'm allowed one work and one publication:
- Bach B minor Mass
- The complete Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:30 PM   #19
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Discs I would choose that comes to mind would be:- plus a piano.

Allegri - Miserere mei deus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36Y_ztEW1NE


Beethoven's piano concerto no. 4

Brahms violin concerto no. 77

Bach's double violin concerto & B minor mass.

Some Vivaldi and Handel.

Montinverdi , Vespers.







Books would probably be, War & Peace. Homer's Iliad, Shakespeare, Byron, poetry.Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. . A book I would like to read again would be, George Prince Regent, eldest son of George the III, a hilarious read.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:50 PM   #20
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Nice choice, Megan, but how would you save a piano if the ship is going down?
(Come to think of it, I couldn't have my TV either!)
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:44 AM   #21
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Nice choice, Megan, but how would you save a piano if the ship is going down?
(Come to think of it, I couldn't have my TV either!)
But my ship just ran aground conveniently on the beach!
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:14 PM   #22
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An interesting topic which I am, alas, no longer fully qualified to contribute to, my hearing being what it now is. My understanding is that the traditional definition of "desert isle discs" (nowadays better termed "desert isle recordings") refers not just to musics works, but a particular recorded interpretation of a musical work or works, sometimes a particular "pressing/edition" of a particular recorded interpretation of a musical work or works. I'm racking my feeble brain to recall qualifying recordings with little success. Three possibilities come to mind:

1) J.S.Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV 1001-1006, Sigiswald Kuijken soloist, EMI deutche harmonia mundi CDS 7 49290-2 (compact disc). This set can out fairly early in the modern "period instrument" resurgence and was panned by some critics at release. Me, I love the interpretations. What's more, back when I had the ears to properly hear it, it was acoustically one of my favorite recordings. Not only did it reveal much of the violin and bow "sound", but soundstaging and imaging, heard over a pair of properly situated, decent quality loudspeakers, was (is?) superb. I heard the sound of Kuijken's vioin interact with the acoustic environment behind, to the sides of, above, and in front of him, as if I was listening to a live performance. It pulled this off better than most every other recording in my collection. As such, it became something a test recording for me, used to audition new audio gear and evaluate changes in speaker location/angle. (I of course also listened to it for pleasure.)

2) R.Schumann: Symphony No.4, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilhelm Furtwangler. I have it on a Deutsche Grammophon CD, but unlike the Bach a particular "pressing" isn't really the point here. I find it an excellent overall interpretation in the best Furwanglerian tradition, but what adds it to my list is the transition passage linking the final two movements. On first hearing it blew me away, and never ceased to do so.

3) Beethoven: String Quartets Op.18 complete, Vegh-Quartet, telefunken SPA 25128-T/1-3 (LP). I bought this vinyl disc set in the mid/late 70s. It is the Vegh's second go at the Beethoven quartets, the first being mono recordings. This is another that I loved both interpretatively and acoustically. I later re-bought it on CD along with the rest of B's string quartets. To my great disappointment the CDs, while quite decent, did not sound nearly as good as the LPs. (My military dorm roommate at the time I bought the LPs was a former violinist. He was as enraptured with them as I was. We'd lie on the floor for hours listening to Vegh's Beethoven and never tire.)

I'll think it it some more try to recall other "desert isle" recordings.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:39 PM   #23
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3) Beethoven: String Quartets Op.18 complete, Vegh-Quartet, telefunken SPA 25128-T/1-3 (LP). I bought this vinyl disc set in the mid/late 70s. It is the Vegh's second go at the Beethoven quartets, the first being mono recordings. This is another that I loved both interpretatively and acoustically. I later re-bought it on CD along with the rest of B's string quartets. To my great disappointment the CDs, while quite decent, did not sound nearly as good as the LPs.
I'll think it it some more try to recall other "desert isle" recordings.
When I was replacing my Beethoven vinyl records with CD back in the early 90s, I settled on the Quartetto Italiano recordings because, for some reason that I can't remember, they were easily accessible. I haven't regretted the decision, by the way. I have several different sets of the quartets now, but I still prefer the Italianos for most of the individual works.

I like to listen to "chamber" music (what a horrible term) through headphones and the first thing I noticed about the newfangled CDs was the sheer amount of extraneous noise on the recordings. I could hear road traffic in the distance and audible sniffs from the performers.

On vinyl, these noises were all disguised by the background rumble and clicks which accompanied all music back then. It took me a while to tune out these new sounds. I thought at the time that I was the only one who noticed these intrusions but then I read an article about a new recording by the Lindsay quartet where they actually had to wear something resembling gas masks to cover up the sound of their breathing!
I think everybody had to adjust to the hyper clarity of CD.

All this was about 30 years ago. Alas, I don't notice those sniffles any more - along with a lot of high frequency tones. But I'm still hearing better than Beethoven!
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:16 AM   #24
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Yes the Schubert quintet is superb and then of course there's the glorious Brahms chamber music and if I had to pick one of his chamber pieces it would be the piano quintet for its slow movement alone!
I absolutely forgot a rock bottom DID on that list and that is the Brahms "Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Händel". I couldn't imagine life without that piece, played by Stephen (Drop Dead Gorgeous) Kovacevich!! So, one on my list has to go and that's the Wagner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9tbCkACbGU

Ecstasy.

Last edited by Humoresque; 08-31-2017 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Score and performance
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