Classical Masters

For people who love opera, ballet, and classical music. A place to relax and enjoy the soothing sound of the masters. (Incept date, 0401.10)

Location: Earth
Members: 46
Latest Activity: Mar 14


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Discussion Forum

Hindemith, Mathias Grunewald, the Nazis, &c.

Started by James M. Martin Jul 4, 2012. 0 Replies

When I was a bachelor at a…Continue

Virtual Choir 3.0 - Water Night

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Tony Carroll Apr 2, 2012. 1 Reply

Words may not suffice here.  The average choir may be ... what?  Thirty, maybe 50 for a medium ensemble, and a large orchestra chorus might go one or two hundred.  Worthy of note, Eric Whitacre's…Continue

Tags: Water Night, Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre

For Christopher...

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Dec 16, 2011. 2 Replies

I sometimes like to think I have a way with words here and there.  Today, having learned of the death of Christopher Hitchens, I find the words coming in fits and starts, but any attempt at giving…Continue

Tags: Dmitri Shostakovich, Christopher Hitchens

Is Music Dangerous?

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Aug 10, 2011. 3 Replies

It was a few years ago when I attended a Cleveland Orchestra concert which included Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony.  Up to that time, I had been aware of his more popular works, such as his…Continue

Tags: Shostakovich Symphony No. 4, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Stalin, Shostakovich

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - Lux Aurumque

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 5, 2011. 3 Replies

When is a choir not a choir ... yet still a choir?When is an ensemble not assembled, yet is assembled?Ask Eric Whitacre. Some time back, he was sent a link on YouTube of a woman, singing a single…Continue

Tags: YouTube, Lux Aurumque, Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 - *** UPDATED ***

Started by Loren Miller Apr 5, 2011. 0 Replies

On 7 April, 2011, Eric Whitacre will release his latest Virtual Choir project, with the performance of his work, "Sleep."  This project involved the participation of no less than 2,051 voices from 58…Continue

Tags: YouTube, Sleep, Virtual Choir, Eric Whitacre

The Playlist Vault of Classical Masters on A|N

Started by Roy The Infidel. Last reply by Roy The Infidel Sep 22, 2010. 9 Replies

Archive of featured playlists on Classical Masters.Continue

Tags: masters, classical, playlist, vault

The OTHER Side of Eric Whitacre

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Sep 10, 2010. 2 Replies

Certainly, there is "Water Night," "Sleep," and the powerful "When David Heard."  To this day I shed tears listening to some of this stuff.And then ... there's Eric's OTHER side ... the side which…Continue

Conductors, Too

Started by James M. Martin. Last reply by Steve Snyder Jun 19, 2010. 16 Replies

I hope this group will welcome from time to time discussions of conductors, as in some circles they are almost the auteurs of the work, usually those who get the rosettes in the Penguin Guide.  But…Continue

Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Jun 5, 2010. 5 Replies

As controversial as it is powerful, Dmitri Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony was written in the wake of the searing criticism of his opera, "Lady MacBeth of Mtensk."  This criticism had reduced…Continue

Tags: Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk, Soviet, Shostakovich, Michael Tilson Thomas

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Classical Masters to add comments!

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 14, 2016 at 8:37am

In the car on Friday, I heard NPR news get their priorities completely backwards, reporting first on Nancy Reagan's funeral, and last on Keith Emerson's death. He'll be missed!

Comment by Loren Miller on March 14, 2016 at 8:31am

"And now for something completely different:"

The recent departure of keyboard master Keith Emerson reminded me of his intimate connection with classical music, which is what attracted me to him in the first place.  He drew from it all the time, played with it, did variations on themes and created his own works ... and sometimes, he just let it RIP!

Thanks for the music, Keith.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 14, 2016 at 7:37am
WOW! The Merrill Tucker duet was something else. I got goosebumps, even moist eyes. Thanks, Rich, for sharing.
Comment by Rich Goss on March 13, 2016 at 9:57am

This one's for Kelly. Grab a little glass of wine because this is a true vignette. Here's a general rule I made up about music: the more you learn, the more you'll enjoy what you're listening to. And it's a world as big as you care to make it.

Take Georges Bizet, for example. Great genius, but did you know he was the youngest student ever accepted at the Conservatoire to Musique de Paris—14 or so. He wrote the following at 23 and it has one of the most glorious duets you'll ever hear. It's called the “Friendship duet” from The Pearl Fishers.

What makes the following video so important (to me) is that I was there. I was one of the fans clapping their heads off. You don't hear applause like that at a baseball game. It's more intimate and there's a more deeper rapport between the individual artist(s) and audience.

So, give it a listen

. The magnificent melody enters at 1:47. When I saw a live version of it, at that moment the back of the stage is softly illuminated to reveal the ballet dancing of the high priestess (la diesse in the duet) with her followers prostrate in prayer lying in rows at her sides. She wore a diaphanous Ceylonese costume and the image resided in my mind all these years.

Addendum: when my girlfriend and I got back to New Jersey, we told her father about the Carnegie Hall performance. He was a violinist in the New Jersey Orchestra and friend of Ferdie Grofe, writer of the Grand Canyon Suite. Quite knowledgeable. His response: “You see, they sure are a couple of Jewish boys from Brooklyn who made good.”

Addemdum II: Bizet had one of the saddest, most tragic lives of any of the major composers. But that's for another post.

As the Jews say: Enjoy.

Comment by Rich Goss on March 12, 2016 at 1:27pm

Loren, I found this on the question about Stalin.  We'll have to read between the lines a bit.  It shows how scared DS was. 

During 1936 and 1937, in order to maintain as low a profile as possible between the Fourth and Fifth symphonies, Shostakovich mainly composed film music, a genre favored by Stalin and lacking in dangerous personal expression.[24]

"A Soviet artist's creative response to just criticism"

The composer's response to his denunciation was the Fifth Symphony of 1937, which was musically more conservative than his earlier works. Premiering on 21 November 1937 in Leningrad, it was a phenomenal success. The Fifth drove many to tears and welling emotions.[25] Later, Shostakovich wrote in his supposed memoirs, Testimony: "I'll never believe that a man who understood nothing could feel the Fifth Symphony. Of course they understood, they understood what was happening around them and they understood what the Fifth was about."[26]

Comment by Loren Miller on March 10, 2016 at 10:04pm

Rich, to my knowledge, there are no such records of the premiere performance of the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony, though the scenario you describe strikes me as being within the realm of possibility.  On the other side, though, is Stalin's long-standing favoritism of Dmitri's work, and the subsequent efforts made to bolster the Soviet Union.  Here, I think specifically of the Seventh, the Leningrad Symphony, which was extremely important to Soviet morale during a critical time in WWII, which which drew worldwide attention.

The story of Shostakovich and Stalin is a murky tale which does not yield easily to analysis.  That said, it's not hard to know who came out on top in the final analysis ... and it was NOT the Soviet premier.

Comment by LuRob on March 10, 2016 at 9:53pm

Could anyone recommend a good recording of the Catholic Mass in B minor by J. S. Bach?

Comment by Rich Goss on February 25, 2016 at 9:26am

Loren, I heard that Stalin was seated at the premier of D Shostakovich's fifth.  The word was that if the divine leader didn't like the work, or thought it was subversive, the composer was going to disappear.  I wonder how are modern-day artists would stand up to pressure like that. 

Comment by Loren Miller on February 25, 2016 at 8:54am

I also very much enjoy the composers of the Baroque period, certainly Bach and Handel at minimum, but my focus always seems to fall back on the 20th century, particularly to the Russians, the French and the Americans who created such amazing works during the 1900s.  More recently, I have become fascinated with the political dynamics which impacted the music of the Soviet Union and most especially Dmitri Shostakovich, though there was hardly a Soviet artist of the 30s, 40s and 50s who was not subject to the mad irrationality of Stalin and his insistence on musical conformity.

That Mitya and others survived the Great Terror is astonishing enough, but that they produced such powerful and memorable works DESPITE that madness borders on inconceivable.

Comment by Randall Smith on February 25, 2016 at 7:44am

Kelly, yes, of course I like Handel and Bach. I also enjoy Vivaldi, Teleman, Quantz, and many others of the Baroque era. Are you familiar with Quantz's Concerto for Two Flutes in G Minor? Marvelous.

(PS: I won't be on A/N for 10 days as I'm headed to Florida)


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