What are listening to?

sorabji.com: Obscure Classical Composers: What are listening to?
By R.C. on Friday, January 2, 1998 - 02:15 am:
    I'm listening to Nina Simone ('Chain Gang' is playing just now), CD #17 of the Verve Jazz Masters series/& remembering being in Sloan-Kettering in the pediatric oncology ward where my goddaughter was treated for lukemia. All I could give her was love & stories & music. And for some reason/she & the other kids went crazy over 'Chain Gang'. Nothing on earth is funnier than seeing a bunch of bald kids in pyjamas/singing to Nina Simone. And after some very gnarly chemo & eventually a bone marrow transplant/my goddaughter is doing well now. And now/I'm the one who's bald/altho' for very different reasons. But my little Pumpkin is okay/ & I'm thankful to God/& Nina/& a marrow donor from Chicago/for that.

By Jicotea on Sunday, January 4, 1998 - 09:43 pm:
    01/03/98: First CD purchases of the New Year.
    (cutouts and overruns from Berkshire Record Outlet, Lee, MA)
    1. Beethoven: Sonatas Nos. 12 & 22, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Richter/BSO/Munch)//
    2. Composers in Person: Paul Hindemith (Chamber and Orchestra Music recorded with the composer as violist or conductor, 1934-1956)//
    3. D'Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air;
    Franck: Sym. in D Minor (BSO/Munch, CSO/Monteux respectively)//
    4. Music of Percy Grainger "dished up for piano" (Nigel Coxe)//
    5. Roussel: Piano Works (Eric Parkin)//
    6. Shostakovich: Cello Concertos (Gutman/Royal Ph/Temirkanov)//
    7. Sorabji: The Perfumed Garden & other piano works (Michael Habermann)

    01/04/98: spent most of the day with one or another of these going, foreground or background. Except the Grainger. This is O.P. but it is such a great collection I keep buying it to lay on those to whom Grainger is obscure. I don't know what I'll do when BMO runs out of it.

    Habermann kicks ass, no question. But Sorabji's music has soft toes. Give me the wide open spaces of Alkan any day.

    The way Eric Parkin plays Roussel emphasizes the composers rhythmic relentlessness, and adds Parkins own steely-toned relentlessness. I had to take this off.

    As I have recently been informed, the Shostakovich concerto (No. 1) is the perfect music to play Quake to. This is the perfect performance for that purpose, straight ahead and (again) relentless. But I let both ctos play through, and will again tomorrow.

By Sorabji on Sunday, January 4, 1998 - 10:00 pm:
    *cough* *cough*

    i never would have imagined that the phrase "wide open spaces" and the composer Alkan would ever be mentioned in the same breath.

    god, now i have to go find a heavy book on a high shelf (and a bottle of wine) so i can shake off this blasphemy.

    more on this vital matter at another time. for now, everyone here needs to send everyone they know a sorabji dot com postcard, since i ended up spending this whole entire ridiculous goddam weekend making the thing work. i thought it would take me an hour tops to toss off a couple of asshole scripts but it turned into f*ing Waterloo.

    Now, let me get back to my hopeless practicing of my trusty "Quasi-Faust" (which I've performed a few too many times).

    That'll bring in the babes!

By Jicotea on Sunday, January 4, 1998 - 10:15 pm:
    Shitfire, now I have to go explain myself again. I am put in mind (by Alkan) of Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven symphonies, which leave me with the feeling that there are (entirely intangible and inexpressible) gaps which need to be filled in. They don't relate to harmony, rhythm, voicing, or any of the things we could go to a music theory vocabulary to describe.

    As for the babes "quasi-Faust" will bring in: Erinnyes, maenads, and that lot of screaming fanatic harridans that made Orestes von Atreus keep his hat pulled down in taxis.

    Funny thing, Alkan just came up inadvertently. He would be central to your interests, wouldn't he?

By Jicotea on Sunday, January 4, 1998 - 10:18 pm:
    I just looked at your postcard site.
    Publicity hound!

By Sorabji on Monday, January 5, 1998 - 11:28 am:
    What do you mean about the Liszt transcriptions of Beethoven symphonies?

    And I was joking about "blasphemy..." The only wide open spaces I associate with Alkan are the ones between my left and right hands as they race to opposite ends of the keyboard.

    I never cared much for the music of Quake.

By Jicotea on Friday, February 6, 1998 - 09:44 pm:
    The "wide-open spaces" are temporal, not harmonic, not related to keyboard technique. Much of Alkan's music, however well-fitted to the piano it may be, seems to call for another, not-quite-definable medium (boy, am I digging myself an interesting trench here; it should run deep enough to protect me from the snipers).


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