NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

Enescu was said to be able to play every piece he ever heard from memory at the piano.... When he came to Paris Alfred Cortot asked him why he was studying violin when he was a better pianist than him.

I find the detail in the music utterly fascinating but the larger shapes are sometimes a bit of a challenge for me: it can be very diffuse and then suddenly there's a huge climax, which he often then doubles down on by making an even bigger one to follow. But the most magical sense of sound and gesture.
 
Regarding Simpson, I think he is a bit of an acquired taste. His works tend to be about structure rather than lyricism and melodic inspiration. I'm not keen on Nielsen either!
The taste for Simpson's music is pretty difficult to acquire and I'm not sure I've managed it but there's plenty of interest there. I felt the same about Nielsen for years but have come to enjoy his music.
I don't think Mozart emerged fully formed in the same way as Korngold and Enescu,and his great music comes mostly from his later years, but there's certainly a case to be made.
 
Enescu was said to be able to play every piece he ever heard from memory at the piano.... When he came to Paris Alfred Cortot asked him why he was studying violin when he was a better pianist than him.

I find the detail in the music utterly fascinating but the larger shapes are sometimes a bit of a challenge for me: it can be very diffuse and then suddenly there's a huge climax, which he often then doubles down on by making an even bigger one to follow. But the most magical sense of sound and gesture.

There's the famous story of his visit to the first Bryanston summer school in I think 1947, at which he encountered the then newly formed Amadeus quartet. One day at lunch he asked them if they'd like a bit of guidance on the Beethoven quartets. They were obviously keen so after lunch he sat down and played them all on the piano from memory, commenting vigorously the while. I once asked Norbert Brainin whether this was true and he confirmed it, the only omission being repeats, da capos and one or two recapitulations.
Enescu seemed almost to invent a new language for each of his pieces, which makes them doubly difficult to apprehend. It is necessary to hear each of his compositions many times to make sense of them, I think.
It's a fascinating life story, I know his English biographer quite well; it is very sad that he ended his life in such straitened circumstances, the very considerable wealth he acquired predominantly from his violin playing having disappeared who knows where; as so often genius was not accompanied by business acumen and the Romanian government didn't exactly help.
 
Enescu's Octet op. 7, in a simply jaw-dropping recording with an ensemble featuring Lawrence Power and Nicholas Altstaedt on principal viola and cello and led by Vilde Frang. That woman is one of the greatest musicians on the planet. I never saw Martha Argerich live, but I'd put Ms Frang on the same level. The way she tears into the 19-year-old Enescu's masterpiece reminds me also of the late Sabine Schmidt lapping the Nürburgring. Buy it and get her playing Bartók's 1st concerto thrown in for free.
Thank you for this. It's not the sort of music I would usually come across and it is really very special.
 
There's the famous story of his visit to the first Bryanston summer school in I think 1947, at which he encountered the then newly formed Amadeus quartet. One day at lunch he asked them if they'd like a bit of guidance on the Beethoven quartets. They were obviously keen so after lunch he sat down and played them all on the piano from memory, commenting vigorously the while. I once asked Norbert Brainin whether this was true and he confirmed it, the only omission being repeats, da capos and one or two recapitulations.
Enescu seemed almost to invent a new language for each of his pieces, which makes them doubly difficult to apprehend. It is necessary to hear each of his compositions many times to make sense of them, I think.
It's a fascinating life story, I know his English biographer quite well; it is very sad that he ended his life in such straitened circumstances, the very considerable wealth he acquired predominantly from his violin playing having disappeared who knows where; as so often genius was not accompanied by business acumen and the Romanian government didn't exactly help.

Yes I read the Noel Malcom biog years ago (I assume that's the one you mean)... It sounds like his wife was 'challenging' as well. Indeed sad that he had to carry on playing when his hearing wasn't really up to it and he would have been artistically much better off composing.

I've played the F# min piano sonata very badly, and taught it rather more successfully (managing to remove a fair few mislearnings before the - actually quite outstanding - pianist went back to Romania to play it in the Enescu competition, and, potentially more dangerously, to his pianist Dad!).
 
While I peruse the Record Store Day offerings for Saturday, I visited both my sources of vinyl and picked up a number of platters that have been quite rewarding. For a good friend’s 60thi have found a nicely pressed bootleg of the Cramps live from 1980 - hope it ticks his boxes. A boot of outtakes from DSOTM was my gift to me and really interesting to hear the acoustic Roger Walters demo of Money which was a new one on me.
 
Neil Young.

Perhaps a sign of growing old, and previously not knowing if he was dead or alive; in my opinion he is right up there with the greats like Bob Dylan (still alive), Leonard Cohen (no longer with us)…I think Neil Young’s trump card is the versatility of his voice. Many of his songs are very long. Here are some short, and brilliant, ones:



…and my favourite and shortest…

 
Surprised no-one has mentioned Record Store Day as drop 1 was yesterday (drop 2 is 17th July). Did anyone buy anything? I wasn't brave enough to face the queues and crowds in a local record shop so waited until 6pm when the leftovers go online. Managed to get the only release I was interested in - Wire's PF456 Deluxe - double 10 inch of full length songs (never released on vinyl before) from "Read and Burn" and "Send" era + 7" single with two versions of 12XU (although called "twelve times you") + a hard-bound book. Looking forward to it arriving this week.
 
Surprised no-one has mentioned Record Store Day as drop 1 was yesterday (drop 2 is 17th July). Did anyone buy anything? I wasn't brave enough to face the queues and crowds in a local record shop so waited until 6pm when the leftovers go online. Managed to get the only release I was interested in - Wire's PF456 Deluxe - double 10 inch of full length songs (never released on vinyl before) from "Read and Burn" and "Send" era + 7" single with two versions of 12XU (although called "twelve times you") + a hard-bound book. Looking forward to it arriving this week.
I love the idea, and have bought before, but £20 for a 12” single with two version of the same track? Sorry, unlikely to buy again.
 
I love the idea, and have bought before, but £20 for a 12” single with two version of the same track? Sorry, unlikely to buy again.
I obviously don't know which 12" single you are referring to but most record store day releases are special, limited copy, editions, with a rarity value (and potential higher resale value, if that's what you're into). If you don't intend on keeping it shrink-wrapped for future profit, then Its something that can bring endless listening pleasure. Most of us on here will happily spend £20+ on a bottle of wine that only brings a few hours of pleasure then its gone for ever.
 
Surprised no-one has mentioned Record Store Day as drop 1 was yesterday (drop 2 is 17th July). Did anyone buy anything? I wasn't brave enough to face the queues and crowds in a local record shop so waited until 6pm when the leftovers go online. Managed to get the only release I was interested in - Wire's PF456 Deluxe - double 10 inch of full length songs (never released on vinyl before) from "Read and Burn" and "Send" era + 7" single with two versions of 12XU (although called "twelve times you") + a hard-bound book. Looking forward to it arriving this week.

Quite successful for me. I arrived at 6AM - #7 in the queue - at my local store in Cheshire. I went in with a relatively modest list and only one item not available - that was the Shame live recording of which only a single copy available.

What I did get was Small Faces Greatest Hits - nice red, white and blue spatter pressing and brilliant mod sounds. Also 50th anniversary release of Janis Joplin Pearl in picture disk format. Nice copy of Primal Scream’s Riot City Blues Sessions - one of my favourite releases from Mr Gillespie. Tom Petty - Angel Dream in a lovely cobalt blue and superb sounding too. Rounding off with Fontaines DC live from Kilkamanan. Very happy with everything.
 
Quite successful for me. I arrived at 6AM - #7 in the queue - at my local store in Cheshire. I went in with a relatively modest list and only one item not available - that was the Shame live recording of which only a single copy available.

What I did get was Small Faces Greatest Hits - nice red, white and blue spatter pressing and brilliant mod sounds. Also 50th anniversary release of Janis Joplin Pearl in picture disk format. Nice copy of Primal Scream’s Riot City Blues Sessions - one of my favourite releases from Mr Gillespie. Tom Petty - Angel Dream in a lovely cobalt blue and superb sounding too. Rounding off with Fontaines DC live from Kilkamanan. Very happy with everything.
You can't go wrong with the Small Faces.
 
Surprised no-one has mentioned Record Store Day as drop 1 was yesterday (drop 2 is 17th July). Did anyone buy anything? I wasn't brave enough to face the queues and crowds in a local record shop so waited until 6pm when the leftovers go online. Managed to get the only release I was interested in - Wire's PF456 Deluxe - double 10 inch of full length songs (never released on vinyl before) from "Read and Burn" and "Send" era + 7" single with two versions of 12XU (although called "twelve times you") + a hard-bound book. Looking forward to it arriving this week.
I considered this but pricey despite my fandom.
 
Must give another plug for The Problem of Leisure (Andy Gill tribute double album). Surely a must for any Gang of Four fans (of which there must be a good number here).

Even better than I had hoped.

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Ha, just heard Idles version of Damaged Goods on Six about fifteen minutes ago. Excellent cover, managing to be both Gang of Four and Idles. Volume went way up…..

Huge GO4 fan here. Well the early stuff anyway.
 
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The joy of the postman this Friday
Mine yet to arrive. The delays have been endless :mad: - it's been available digitally since February.
This morning, Gil Scott-Heron. I've been trying to obtain a digital format of Re-Ron (I messed up the transfer from vinyl a few years back). Only available on Arista & tracked down on eBay. Only 9 tracks but true to the Greatest Hits nomenclature. Unconvinced by about GS-H's penchant for the flute. B-Movie remains a towering achievement.
Now moved onto Nick Cave's Idiot Prayer.
 
Mine yet to arrive. The delays have been endless :mad: - it's been available digitally since February.
This morning, Gil Scott-Heron. I've been trying to obtain a digital format of Re-Ron (I messed up the transfer from vinyl a few years back). Only available on Arista & tracked down on eBay. Only 9 tracks but true to the Greatest Hits nomenclature. Unconvinced by about GS-H's penchant for the flute. B-Movie remains a towering achievement.
Now moved onto Nick Cave's Idiot Prayer.
Likewise. Was hoping for a drop today, also to include the Zappa 88 last US show, but no luck. Maybe tomorrow. Could do with cheering up...got literally soaked, trapped nerve really bad and pulled my calf muscle...and the guy who's supposed to be calling me at 3pm has been silent.
 
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