NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

Schubert, piano sonata in c minor, D. 958. One of Schubert's last works, written a few months before his death. Played by Wilhelm Kempff. Quite wonderful.

I was shopping in Notting Hill Gate yesterday and popped into the second hand shop Exchange. I'd not been there in years. I wasn't expecting much but they had a CD set of Schubert's sonatas, played by Kempff, for only £14. An irresistible bargain.
 
Schubert, piano sonata in c minor, D. 958. One of Schubert's last works, written a few months before his death. Played by Wilhelm Kempff. Quite wonderful.

I was shopping in Notting Hill Gate yesterday and popped into the second hand shop Exchange. I'd not been there in years. I wasn't expecting much but they had a CD set of Schubert's sonatas, played by Kempff, for only £14. An irresistible bargain.
Kempff's Schubert is indeed quite wonderful. I always struggled with his Beethoven though I think I'm getting there. My composition teacher Humphrey Searle, who was possibly the most authoritative Lisztian who has ever lived, thought his Liszt recordings at the very pinnacle and indeed things for which he was not so famous, like Chopin, can be equally glorious.
 
I listened to more of Kempff's Schubert set today - this time sonata D.960. Now it's something completely different - the piano concerto by John Joubert. Soloist is Martin Jones, with the BBC NOW conducted by William Boughton. Why don't they play this at the Proms?
 
My composition teacher Humphrey Searle, who was possibly the most authoritative Lisztian who has ever lived

I have discovered more previously unknown treasures through this thread than anywhere else - have now listened to Humphrey Searle's piano sonata three times with great pleasure, and also The Riverrun, which has given me a completely different way of hearing Joyce. I will be exploring further.
 
I have discovered more previously unknown treasures through this thread than anywhere else - have now listened to Humphrey Searle's piano sonata three times with great pleasure, and also The Riverrun, which has given me a completely different way of hearing Joyce. I will be exploring further.
Absolutely delighted to hear that, Dan, his was an extraordinary story. His memoirs can be read here Humphrey Searle: Memoirs - Quadrille with a Raven : Index , a bit of a fag their being online only but it's so very very British a life in the best possible way. I am so often amazed by the sheer industry of that generation.
I couldn't resist casting my eye over some of it again. Though I'm by no means an unqualified admirer of 'A Dance to the Music of Time' I'm reminded of how powerfully Powell characterised that milieu in that era.
 
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I think the Searle piano sonata was the only piece of modern music in the library Brian Ferneyhough (my composition teacher, who grew up in the Black country) had access to as a early teen. He certainly cites the rather unusual Webern-cum-Liszt hybrid as his first exposure to any kind of contemporary language although not I think a lasting influence.
 
I don't know what the wine-pages / Radio 2-listening Venn diagram looks like, but this month's "Piano Room" project on Ken Bruce's show every morning has featured some wonderful acts. Each does three songs in new arrangements accompanied by as many of the BBCCO will fit into Maida Vale studio 3 (with social distancing, not many) - this was the incredible Joy Crookes this morning:
 
Last night in Dundee we saw the first night of the Texas tour. This was a return to the city where they played their first ever gig at the Uni in 1988. The first set last night was the whole Southside album (their first) played in a relatively low key set-up with the band all seated and Sharleen giving some great background to the tracks. She jokingly described this as the support band for the main act.
The second half was fully amped up and was a 90 minute "greatest hits" set that belied the band's age. They have clearly been in rehearsal for an extended period to hit the heights they did last night. Sharleen was full of infectious energy and her voice was superb.
Not a band I really followed in the late 80's but yet again a great advert for a group of accomplished musicians performing their own material with consummate skill.
I would thoroughly recommend catching up with this tour over the next couple of months.
 
I've been on a bit of a Jean Barraqué binge. Not maybe the most famous composer of serial music but I've liked the ones I've listened to so far. It's quite a romantic -era influenced take on serialism at least with my limited listening so far. So maybe not the most difficult entry into serialism?

I played that many years ago in quite an important London concert series. I can think of few conventionally notated pieces which emerge in so varied a manner according to who is playing it! Susan Bradshaw told me that Pierre Boulez was very annoyed by this piece, feeling that he'd lifted the material wholesale from his second sonata.
I like Barraqué's music very much, its sensuality feels no need whatever to mollycoddle its listeners, but its aesthetic for some reason now feels as dated as Messiaen's pre-1960s work.
 
Susan Bradshaw told me that Pierre Boulez was very annoyed by this piece, feeling that he'd lifted the material wholesale from his second sonata.
I like Barraqué's music very much, its sensuality feels no need whatever to mollycoddle its listeners, but its aesthetic for some reason now feels as dated as Messiaen's pre-1960s work.

Oh no! I love Boulez's 2nd sonata! At a stretch I can see why the Barraqué might seem like a romanticized version of Boulez but I mean are they really that similar to warrant such a comparison?
 
I played that many years ago in quite an important London concert series. I can think of few conventionally notated pieces which emerge in so varied a manner according to who is playing it! Susan Bradshaw told me that Pierre Boulez was very annoyed by this piece, feeling that he'd lifted the material wholesale from his second sonata.
I like Barraqué's music very much, its sensuality feels no need whatever to mollycoddle its listeners, but its aesthetic for some reason now feels as dated as Messiaen's pre-1960s work.
Pierre Boulez was very annoyed by many things, it seems...
 
The relationship between Barraque and Boulez was 'complex'. There's a biography of Foucault (I can't remember who by) that might explain why to some extent. I listened to the music quite a lot in my 20s and haven't for awhile. Very impressed you learnt the Sonata Tom, it was a piece that definitively crossed the line of what my brain and hands could cope with!
 
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