Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's a feel good day

A heads up and a hello - Hello Pliable, I wanted to thank you for your wonderful site. In general, I am not a particularly avid blog reader: I feel to some degree the form facilitates laziness for no matter how great the ideas present many bloggers do not take the time to develop & flesh them out in writing as is necessitated by the best of the more traditional forms of journalism. That said your blog is an excellent exception to that sorry rule, being polished, well thought out & tackling the most interesting subjects.

This year I graduated from high school; although I've studied violin for most of my life it is in these last four years that I have really developed a love for classical & experimental music, come to listen to it in a new way and come to appreciate it (more) fully. As an aspiring composer and writer among other things, it has been On An Overgrown Path and Alex Ross' New Yorker articles that have played a particularly important role in this development by exposing so much in what is anything but a cold and past-its-time subject. I am spending some of my summer doing a little writing of my own on the subject of music and I hope it will come to something.

Finally thanks for recommending Keith Jarret's Book of Ways. Absolutely mind blowingly brilliant! Peace, SZ Portland, OR but soon CT for college.

Now playing - forte ma dolce, Johannes Brahms, the works for organ. It is currently very fashionable to present complete cycles of composer's music, but these rarely explore beyond the superficially appealing. This disc on the wonderfully innovative, and eccentric, French Edition Hortus label presents the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms on a single CD, played by organist François Ménissier. Brahms wrote for the organ at two different periods in his career, and the Preludes and Fugues and one Chorale were composed when he was a young man.

His absolute masterpiece is the liturgical cycle of Eleven Chorale Preludes (opus 122) which were Brahms' last compositions before he died in 1897. Brahms wrote them immediately after completing the Four Serious Songs opus 121 in 1896. Both works may be considered as meditations upon death, and the title of the CD comes from Brahms' marking forte ma dolce - strongly but sweetly. The Eleven Chorale Preludes mean a lot to me, not least because of the obvious links to Bach's Leipzig Chorales. They should be better known, if you don't know them buy this disc. And yes, I know there is an alternative version on Naxos, but please don't just buy the cheapest. Unless companies like Edition Hortus are supported we will end up with just one record company.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to another wonderfully eccentric Edition Hortus release -
Ma fin est mon commencement

10 comments:

Berend de Boer said...

I suppose Edition Hortus receives generous state support, i.e. taxpayers pay no matter what business decisions they make or if they sell any CD's. For example, go to their website. If you don't have flash, you can't get it. As I couldn't get in, I suppose if you don't speak French you can't read the website.

Amazon.com doesn't stock them. Chances that you can find a classical music CD in NZ are somewhat zero, let alone pieces like Edition Hortus.

Another example of how can we make it as difficult as possible for customers to buy our products. Or in other words: socialism well learned.

Pliable said...

Berend, as I keep telling my wife, the best things in life don't come easy.

But Edition Hortus CDs are available through Amazon try this link.

In fact I bought my copy through an Amazon UK Marketplace reseller, but didn't link to Amazon for the article as they are short on information, or a liner image, for the disc.

If Edition Hortus were available in every supermarket and had a super-slick website they'd be called Naxos.

Berend de Boer said...

Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately that site is in French as well so I can't even read if they ship to NZ :-)

Pliable said...

Berend, here is the UK Amazon link. Sometimes, as in this case, searching the artist works when the CD title doesn't.

I linked to Amazon France because the disc is cheaper there, and the delivery is faster. All the Amazon sites are laid out exactly the same with buttons etc in the same place, and if you have an account set up on one it works on all. You really don't need to understand the language to use it.

Berend de Boer said...

Ah, my account works as well? Let me try the fr site to see if this will work out.

Berend de Boer said...

I still couldn't make head nor tails from the French website. It sure isn't the same as the UK one. I ordered it from the UK site for 14.64 bloody pounds. The most expensive CD in years.

No wonder few people buy classical music CDs.

It better be worth it!!

:-)

Konrad von Swalwagner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pliable said...

Wagner transcribed for the keyboard, now that's a thread after my own heart.

An absolutely essential disc is
Glenn Gould playing, and conducting, Wagner transcriptions.

If you don't know it you haven't lived. It can be picked up very cheaply - try "Dawn" & "Seigfried's Rhine Journey" and find out what you've been missing.

Pliable said...

Konrad, I should have said that if you (or anyone else) buys 'Retour de Bayreuth please do share your impressions of it here with us.

aristote33 said...

You may be interested in the new French/English version of the website for the Editions Hortus independent music label, which still goes from strength to strength and offers bilingual contents in its CD booklets too.
http://shop.editionshortus.com
The site enables visitors to buy online too, straight from the label executive director.
Hope you enjoy.