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Here’s why Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 is an agonising work of infinite genius.

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Guy Touvron Trumpet
Miroslav Kejmar Trumpet
Zdenek Sedivy Trumpet
Slovak Chamber Orchestra
Bohdan Warchal Conductor
Recorded by Opus 1985

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🎹 Olga Demidenko | pianist
🎶 Vladimir Titov | composer
🎼 "Your Glance" Op.2 №1
https://youtu.be/g35qGSVdngg

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Here is another of Haydn's "sturm und drang" (storm and stress) symphonies. This one has gained the nickname "mourning" only because Haydn asked that its beautiful slow movement be played at his funeral. The movement comes third rather second as would be more customary and begins at 12.24 on the video. It really is very beautiful and shows that "sturm und drang" was about testing the general emotional power of the symphony in the sense of emotional beauty as much as driven or troubled emotions.

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This video is another of the same symphony featured in another post. I just thought that the orchestra here handles the breaks in the music (e.g. at 0.06 on the video) particularly well. It seems a fine example of the old idea that what doesn't get said matters just as much as what does. A break in the music can add to the drama as much as any chord or melody. I think it is also a nice example of one difference between the Baroque and the Classical periods, which were in transition around this time and in the decades before this music was written. Of course there are moments of silence in Baroque music by, say, Bach or Handel, but not in this way. This would have gone quite "against the grain" for a Baroque composer. The performance is also a good example of the first violinist leading the performance with no conductor, as would have been normal at the time.

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Tonight I had a wonderful concert experience with the Debussy String Quartet. They played two quartets by Shostakovich (7 and 11), plus one of his elegies for quartet, the Beethoven "Serioso" quartet and after the interval the Ravel String Quartet. That is a fantastic program. But more than that, they really "performed" the music. They played the entire concert from memory and most of the time standing. It is remarkable what an improvement it is getting music stands off the stage! In the Shostakovich No. 11 quartet in particular, the players subtly moved around the stage in keeping with the music. When the second violin had a lead part, he moved slightly forward. The cellist turned out to face the audience directly for more prominent passages and then back to his colleagues for passages of close co-operation. As they played a fugue section, each entry saw the relevant player glide forward. They played with so much physical freedom and really engaged with the audience. It all left me searching for the right word, they were doing so much more than just "playing", in a sense they were "performing", but even that didn't seem to do justice. It's far from satisfying, but the best I came up with was the idea that they were "living" the music. Another powerful affirmation of what a glorious thing music is.

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🎵 Dennis Phúc McNulty (London): In an age where modern piano compositions all sound like movie soundtracks, I'm happy to have come across the music of the modern day composer Vladimir Titov.
Here is one of his shorter works called "Game of Sparkling Rain" Op.3 No.2 that has a Debussy Children's Corner/ Ravel Toccata feeling.
More to come!
🎹 Dennis Phúc McNulty | pianist
🎶 Vladimir Titov | composer
🎼 "Game Of Sparkling Rain" Op.3 №2
https://youtu.be/yxn3BFJJqB4

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Maria Callas, 40th Death Anniversary (†16 Sept.1977)

Gaspare Spontini, La Vestale, aria Tu che invoco (Act II)
Maria Callas, Soprano
Studio della RAI, 1956
Antonino Votto

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Just for fun. An old favourite.
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