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Category Archives: classical

This is just great. It’s a mindblowing piece of minimalism like Steve Reich, but it has a joyful sense of humor really lacking in modern classical. There’s a 192 rip floating around now because of HPN, and I wasn’t happy with that so I hunted down a FLAC rip, provided to me by friendly commenter Pablo. This is OOP except for some weird Japanese box set of Italian prog that I can’t even find for purchase. -Ian!

After the mind blowing and epically majestic first album Sonanze, the prolific and eclectic Roberto Cacciapalia explored diverse musical aesthetics. Before to define his music in more mainstream pop territories in later albums he had a short excursion into classical-minimalist music. Sei Nota in Logica is the result of this transition. As usual it’s perfectly achieved with a real sense of harmony and composition. However in term of ideas and musical creation this is not really challenging. Sei Nota in Logica only re-visit recognizable intricate sound patterns released by U.S minimalist researches (I’m notably thinking about the most asceptic parts of Steve Reich’s minimal structuralism). The gamelan, the sax and the piano’s intertextual moves progress into a peaceful-dreamy envinonement interrupted by suspensfully electronic scintillations. The atmosphere is intimate, percussive and full of short rythmical modules but not quite dense. Sei Nota in Logica is gently calm and decorative without growing into absorbing-lysergic droning waves. Highly recommended for fans of minimalist-arpeggiated musical impressionism (early Philip Glass, Reich and Gibson).

-Phillippe, progarchives.com

DOWNLOAD:
Roberto Cacciapaglia-SEI NOTE IN LOGICA (1978)
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The recording of MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS is from 1996, the Nonesuch Records version. -Ian!

The term “essential” gets thrown about too much. And heck, the claim that certain words get thrown about too much gets thrown about too much. But here is a collection that really *is* essential to understanding the nature of a whole shift not just in classical music, but in popular music and indeed in popular culture. So many of Reich’s ideas and concepts have become so deeply embedded in current classical music, film scoring (any number of examples, but think about Tangerine Dream’s score for “Risky Business” and Hans Zimmer’s score for “Thin Red Line,” for starters), electronic music and even the visual arts.

This box set gives the listener all of Reich’s major works. I can’t even attempt to describe them individually, but every one of these 10 CDs is compelling. For the totally uninitiated, take out “Music for 18 Musicians” (presented here in a crystalline new recording) to get an idea of what the core of this guy is all about. From there, you might want to listen to “Different Trains,” “Electric Counterpoint” and “Six Marimbas” to get an idea of the pointillistic pulse minimalism that Reich contributed to the world. The earlier material is the more challenging, exploring the subtleties of rythym, phase relationships between sounds and shifting timings. Among these, the new recording of “Four Organs” is just outstanding.

Reich’s works, along with the early works of Terry Riley and Philip Glass, form the foundation of an enormous edifice that has grown of music that attempts to return to its essential and hypnotic roots. With this box set, one of those pylons becomes clear.

-some guy on amazon.com

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DISC 01: EARLY WORKS
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DISC 02: DRUMMING
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DISC 03: MALLETS & PERCUSSION
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DISC 04: MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS
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DISC 05: TEHILLIM
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DISC 06: DESERT MUSIC
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DISC 07: NEW YORK COUNTERPINT, SEXTET, THE FOUR SECTIONS
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DISC 08: DIFFERENT TRAINS, ELECTRIC COUNTERPOINT, THE THREE MOVEMENTS
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DISC 09: EXCERPTS FROM THE CAVE
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DISC 10: PROVERB, NAGOYA MARIMBAS, CITY LIFE
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I guess what I’m trying to do is get some classical starting points down. The as-close-to-definitive-as-it-gets recordings. The ones that are etched into our brains already. This is probably the default REQUIEM for western culture. Some people find it slow, not me. I like when conductors draw a piece out and let it breathe. -Ian!

I can only review Bohm’s interpretation of the requiem in the context of the only other version I have — the weak Karajan version recorded in 1987. In contrast to Karajan who rushes through this piece in an unseemly and bizarre manner, Bohm adopts a majestic pace much more suitable, in my view, to this sort of music. Some think the pace too slow but I find Bohm’s reading delicately nuanced yet crisp and quite vigorous when it needs to be. Bohm’s take on the requiem feels flexible, mature, confident, whereas Karajan feels like he is trying much too hard for reasons that are entirely inapparent. Moreover, the singing on the Bohm recording is much better than that on the Karajan. The soloists in particular sound far superior and the chorus is wonderful. Interestingly, both Karajan and Bohm recorded with the Wiener Philharmoniker — except Bohm clocks in at 64:26 (mins: secs) versus Karajan at 52:10. Unless you are in a hurry for some strange reason, you should buy this version and smell the flowers, as it were.

-some guy on amazon.com

DOWNLOAD:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-REQUIEM (Karl Böhm & Wiener Philharmoniker, 1971)
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Shockingly little information on this release, which I believe is OOP now. Anyway, for my money there are two conductors that ruled the 20th century, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Ferenc Fricsay. Furtwängler was the more passionate of the two, but Fricsay had just enough passion and the luck of having his greatest work recorded during the heyday of the 20th century stereo recording technological revolution, dropping the first stereo Beethoven’s 9th, which is to this day considered definitive by many. Furtwängler arguably was just past his prime when recording because truly high fidelity right after World War II. Fricsay also doesn’t also have accusation of Nazi membership, however dubious, dogging his reputation.

Some guys just accept Herbert von Karajan as the Beatles of classical music, ubiquitous… But I think he’s responsible for the dullness and softening of any rough edges that has come to pass as the general view of classical music to outsiders. It’s literally one man’s fault that classical music is often seen as wallpaper instead of art.

If you want a tastemaker for classical music, look no farther than Stanley Kubrick. He had shockingly excellent taste when choosing music for his films.

DOWNLOAD:
Johann Strauss-KAISER-WALZER, THE BLUE DANUBE, ETC. (Ferenc Fricsay & Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra 1961)
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320kbps