NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

Tom, Alex: You're certainly welcome to borrow the Ogdon disc, if you wish. It can be purchased from meloclassic for just 8.99 euros and postage. I don't recall how much the postage cost but it was less then the price of the disc, even from Thailand. It did take about three weeks to arrive, though.

It is a great pity that there aren't more recordings of Ogdon in his prime. Perhaps he was too busy giving concerts to make recordings. I have read that he hardly ever turned down an engagement. I do regard him as perhaps one of our two greatest musicians, along with Du Pré.
 
Tom, Alex: You're certainly welcome to borrow the Ogdon disc, if you wI jusish. It can be purchased from meloclassic for just 8.99 euros and postage. I don't recall how much the postage cost but it was less then the price of the disc, even from Thailand. It did take about three weeks to arrive, though.

It is a great pity that there aren't more recordings of Ogdon in his prime. Perhaps he was too busy giving concerts to make recordings. I have read that he hardly ever turned down an engagement. I do regard him as perhaps one of our two greatest musicians, along with Du Pré.
Thank you. I may well get that, I buy physical CDs far too rarely these days. I just bought an RCA recording of the Hammerklavier from the same time that was available on iTunes...
 
It would certainly be interesting to compare the two. Although Ogdon recorded a large amount by the standard of most pianists there is a huge amount that he didn't, and I fervently wish that his late recordings, with the exception of Opus Clavicembalisticum, had not seen the light of day.
There's an account in the most recent biography of him sight-reading the Boulez 2nd sonata. Is that really possible??

PS this live version of the Busoni concerto from the previous year, in spite of the subfusc sound, seems to me in every way superior to the studio recording. Absolutely stupendous.
 
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Why are his late recordings bad? Until what year should I listen to?
He never really got it back after his 1971 breakdown. Although some later things are not uninteresting and would of course be considered an achievement if authored by mere mortals there's no reason to listen to his later recordings until one understands what he was previously.
I wish I'd heard him in his prime. I did go to couple of catastrophic recitals in the early eighties, but also to his epoch-making Sorabji Opus Clavicembalisticum in 1988 which I will never forget, even though I in some ways sympathise with those who disapprove of this monstrosity.
Listen to the Busoni linked to above if you can take it. For sheer narrative force there seem to have been few to touch him.
 
There's a film about him from the mid-80s where he's sight-reading Robert Simpson in front of Simpson without batting an eye. I seem to remember Simpson says to try and catch him out once he turned the page a couple of lines early and he just kept going... I've met one or two people who sightread at close to that level, but coupling it with sounding like Ogdon is another thing altogether.
 
Hey Andrew, did I see that you were at Glyndebourne last week, or recently? What did you see?
Went last Friday David to see Cosi. It was very good, but not quite up to the 2006 cast (same production) and suffered slightly from Covid meaning a limit on the ardour of the wooing o_O:). Bizarrely we are going more this year (5 including the touring production of The Rakes Progress) than we have before. Probably helped by the fact that we bought our son a membership and he received a large credit because he could not use his membership last year. Still Have Luisa Miller, one of the concert series and the Rake to look forward to.
 
Went last Friday David to see Cosi. It was very good, but not quite up to the 2006 cast (same production) and suffered slightly from Covid meaning a limit on the ardour of the wooing o_O:). Bizarrely we are going more this year (5 including the touring production of The Rakes Progress) than we have before. Probably helped by the fact that we bought our son a membership and he received a large credit because he could not use his membership last year. Still Have Luisa Miller, one of the concert series and the Rake to look forward to.
We received a large debit on account of their pleas not to take refunds. All well and good but can’t afford to lose good wine money again this year.

We saw Cosi in 06. TBH I’m wishing they’d be a bit more adventurous. Gus doesn’t like baroque much, which doesn’t help. But you can only see so much Mozart in one place in a lifetime.

We did want to see the Messiah in December but sold out. Just Wagner for us.
 
I was away again for RSD but thankfully back in time to grab an unsold copy of the Greasy Trucker's Party double LP by Hawkwind (Live at the opening of The Roundhouse). It was my third attempt to bag this time capsule record. After a few spins I have moved onto "Grill" and "Warrior", and doubtless Space Ritual will get a spin at the weekend.

I caught wind of a double LP to celebrate 40-years of 4AD Records. I'm off to see if I can find out when it's released and what is on it.
 
I caught wind of a double LP to celebrate 40-years of 4AD Records. I'm off to see if I can find out when it's released and what is on it.

The vinyl version is just out.

No Cocteau Twins though…

 

The vinyl version is just out.

No Cocteau Twins though…

No Cocteau Twins is a shock!!!
 
I was away again for RSD but thankfully back in time to grab an unsold copy of the Greasy Trucker's Party double LP by Hawkwind (Live at the opening of The Roundhouse). It was my third attempt to bag this time capsule record. After a few spins I have moved onto "Grill" and "Warrior", and doubtless Space Ritual will get a spin at the weekend.

I caught wind of a double LP to celebrate 40-years of 4AD Records. I'm off to see if I can find out when it's released and what is on it.
My only RSD purchase this time was Cleveland Calling Part 2 with the much missed Rory Gallagher. Excellent blues rock.

On the subject of 4AD, I am inevitably reminded of the HMHB track on This Leaden Pall - 4AD3DCD. I shall now have to give it a spin.
 
It would certainly be interesting to compare the two. Although Ogdon recorded a large amount by the standard of most pianists there is a huge amount that he didn't, and I fervently wish that his late recordings, with the exception of Opus Clavicembalisticum, had not seen the light of day.
There's an account in the most recent biography of him sight-reading the Boulez 2nd sonata. Is that really possible??

PS this live version of the Busoni concerto from the previous year, in spite of the subfusc sound, seems to me in every way superior to the studio recording. Absolutely stupendous.

Here is another story about John Ogden's sight reading.


I only saw him play once (in the mid 1980's) at Nottingham University. The programme was all three sonatas by Chopin. The concert was sponsored by a piano manufacturer I hadn't heard of. John Ogden kept on repeating "this is a lovely piano" at every opportunity, the exact phrase repeated. As it was the instrument didn't seem up to the task ... one string snapped and the instrument needed plenty of other attention from the technician in the interval. If I recall correctly, after one fairly long encore (Busoni's Elegie "Al Italia" lasting about 6 minutes), his second encore was Lizst's Dante Sonata (about 17 mins). There were no more encores. I am very glad to have seen him play live, still a great experience even at this stage of his career.
 
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I was away again for RSD but thankfully back in time to grab an unsold copy of the Greasy Trucker's Party double LP by Hawkwind (Live at the opening of The Roundhouse). It was my third attempt to bag this time capsule record. After a few spins I have moved onto "Grill" and "Warrior", and doubtless Space Ritual will get a spin at the weekend.

I caught wind of a double LP to celebrate 40-years of 4AD Records. I'm off to see if I can find out when it's released and what is on it.
I was at that gig!
 
Last night I listened to Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden again for the first time in some time and was struck once again by its utter wonderfulness - approaching genius I reckon. The first track is about ten different pieces of music in one and all of them are awesome and meld together into an incredible, sprawling epic. Themes appear, fade away and then reappear as in the best symphonies. It's a challenging listen at times and at others a thing of almost crystalline beauty.

When Mark Hollis died, several of my friends wrote to thank me for introducing them to Spirit of Eden and I've decided that should I ever be interviewed for the Q&A in the Guardian's weekend mag (yeah, right), my answer to 'How would you like to be remembered?' will be as 'that guy who turned me on to Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden' .
 
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