What are you listening to/watching?

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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

^Elektra is wonderful. I have it on vinyl. Think it's time to listen to it again.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Salmoneus »

I found it difficult to get into - there's no tune, and disappointingly little variety ('modern' shouldn't have to mean 'unremitting'!). However, once I got into it, I agree, it's very good - powerful and gripping. And, of course, a wonderful sound, with an immense orchestra. Certainly made me more interested in Strauss... it's a shame he's not really a composer you can just dip into!

Sadly, I wasn't really concentrating, and didn't catch any heckelphone solos! [are there heckelphone solos? I know there's heckelphone solos in Salome, I don't know about Elektra...]
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote: 23 Apr 2020 23:06 Certainly made me more interested in Strauss... it's a shame he's not really a composer you can just dip into!
But Cole Porter wrote, "You're the melody to a symphony by Strauss!"
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote: 24 Apr 2020 09:17
Salmoneus wrote: 23 Apr 2020 23:06 Certainly made me more interested in Strauss... it's a shame he's not really a composer you can just dip into!
But Cole Porter wrote, "You're the melody to a symphony by Strauss!"
I'm guessing he meant the other Strauss?

But of the four notables Strausses (Johann, Johann II, Jozef, and Richard), only Richard Strauss wrote any symphonies - which he wrote as a teenager, were panned, and were never widely performed. [the Alpine Symphony and Symphonia Domestica aren't symphonies, despite the names, but are just references to, as it were, a state of harmony]

[Johann III, Edouard, Edouard II and Oscar Straus (Strauss by birth) also composed no symphonies...]
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Birdlang »

Listening to this person play their song they made.
https://youtu.be/C7CWQ5clIsE
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

Salmoneus wrote: 24 Apr 2020 14:21 I'm guessing he meant the other Strauss?

But of the four notables Strausses (Johann, Johann II, Jozef, and Richard), only Richard Strauss wrote any symphonies - which he wrote as a teenager, were panned, and were never widely performed. [the Alpine Symphony and Symphonia Domestica aren't symphonies, despite the names, but are just references to, as it were, a state of harmony]

[Johann III, Edouard, Edouard II and Oscar Straus (Strauss by birth) also composed no symphonies...]
Yeah, that sounds like a quote from someone who doesn't know anything about classical music (or was just looking for a good rhyme!)

Like a concerto by Schubert :)
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Dormouse559 »

You're a melody from Sonata E by Strauss! :P

Don't know if that's a compliment. Seems a bit moody.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Salmoneus »

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote: 25 Apr 2020 07:09
Salmoneus wrote: 24 Apr 2020 14:21 I'm guessing he meant the other Strauss?

But of the four notables Strausses (Johann, Johann II, Jozef, and Richard), only Richard Strauss wrote any symphonies - which he wrote as a teenager, were panned, and were never widely performed. [the Alpine Symphony and Symphonia Domestica aren't symphonies, despite the names, but are just references to, as it were, a state of harmony]

[Johann III, Edouard, Edouard II and Oscar Straus (Strauss by birth) also composed no symphonies...]
Yeah, that sounds like a quote from someone who doesn't know anything about classical music (or was just looking for a good rhyme!)
The former sounds likely... until you remember that this was the 1930s, when everybody knew something about classical music (pop music not yet existing!). In particular, Cole Porter knew an awful lot about classical music - he studied music at Yale, and then Harvard, and then at the Schola Cantorum in Paris (which specialised in Gregorian chant, rennaissance polyphony, and baroque counterpoint). He wrote a ballet. At the Schola Cantorum, he studied under d'Indy, who knew and greatly admired Strauss (and, incidentally, had met Liszt, and Brahms, and Bizet*, and Massanet, and Franck, and Alkan**, and Fauré, and... well, everybody really; he was in the audience at the first performance of the Ring). Porter's wife even tried to sign up Stravinsky to teach him, though he declined.

So yeah, it's not a mistake made by accident, I'm pretty sure. I guess he was just struggling for a rhyme... although given that it rhymes with "mickey mouse", not exactly essential to the song, and plenty of other composers rhyme with something, it's still a bit perplexing.

Indeed, given that Porter would have known perfectly well that "the melody to a symphony" is a silly idea anyway, I have to think he was making fun of his own audience a little there. In the 1930s, Strauss would have been famous, but not widely listened to.

Indeed, given that other rhymes in the song include "you're Inferno's Dante / you're the nose on the great Durante" and "you're the baby grand of a lady and a gent.... you're pepsodent", it's likely that Porter's just being intentionally silly, and the silliness of a Strauss symphony is part of that, whether or not he expected his audience to be in on the joke.



*he went along to the premiere of Carmen because he'd won a free ticket - a number of them were given to local organ students (studying under Franck!). He bumped into Bizet having a nervous breakdown in the neighbouring allyway in the interval. The next day, Bizet came along to the organ school to ask if someone could secretly play the harmonium quietly off-stage during one of the big songs, because the lead tenor couldn't sing it properly and needed the help; d'Indy volunteered, and ended up 'performing' every night for the whole of the rest of the first run of Carmen.

**he happened to wander into a room where Alkan was playing the piano. They played the piano at each other for a bit, Alkan seized him by the shoulders, pushing him toward a window, shouted "You must become an artist!!!... Farewell, for we shall never meet again!!!!!" at him, and ran off. This makes a lot more sense when you've seen just how gigantic Alkan's beard was.

----------------------


Hmm. Now I'm intrigued that it took me a second to realise that "gallery" and "salary" were supposed to rhyme for Porter. They just about do, for me, in isolation, when said "clearly", but they certainly don't when the former is in the phrase "National Gallery". "Gallery", often, and almost always when following a name, has only two syllables, whereas "salary" always has three... this appears to be an unmotivated lexical sound shift...

---------------
Like a concerto by Schubert :)
Huh - good point, I hadn't thought of that. Apparently there is a Schubert concerto now - some American orchestras have decided that they can sell more tickets by adverstising an early 'konzertstuck' as a violin concerto. And of course, although Schubert wrote a lot of opera, he was mysteriously rubbish at it...


But yes, it's strange in a way how composers specialise. I remember being told when I was young that Mozart was, in this respect, the only universal genius, in that he attempted and mastered every genre that then existed. His three great operas are among the most performed operas. His last three (well, two, at least) symphonies are among the best-known symphonies; his violin concertos and his late piano concertos are among the most performed concertos. [and of course, in the realm of bassoon, horn, oboe, clarinet and flute/harp concertos, and the sinfonia concertante, he remains virtually unchallenged!] His string quartets are among the most played quartets, and his string quintets are probably the most played quintets; his piano sonatas have been a little overshadowed, by the sheer volume of competition if by nothing else, but several of them (the two minor-key works, 8 and 14, and 16 (the sonata facile)) remain near the top of the repertoire. His mature violin sonatas are apparently very good. His Great Mass and Requiem are both unfinished, but even so, and alongside his minor masses, make him one of the greatest mass writers ever; similarly his small-scale choral music (like Ave Verum Corpus). He didn't exactly write leider in the Romantic sense, but his concert arias (like Exultate Jubilate) are among the best-known concert songs. The romantic "suite" hadn't been invented yet, but his serenades and divertimenti fill more or less the same niche, and again, are right at the top of it (the Haffner, Gran Partita, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and the Musical Joke...). And what major composer can claim to have challenged Mozart in the realm of the mechanical clock, or the glass armonica? He even provided a good store of miniature piano pieces (eg the fantasies).

The only major genre he didn't master was the tone poem, because it didn't exist yet. And I guess he didn't write an oratorio (although he updated the Messiah). He also didn't write a lot for the cello, which wasn't yet popular.

But other than Mozart, did any composer even seriously attempt everything, let alone master it? I guess maybe Beethoven comes closest?
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Salmoneus »

But seriously: it's interesting that Schubert didn't write a concerto. I'd guess it's because concerti were closely associated with professional virtuoso musicians, which was a world Schubert had little access to. His attempts to 'break out' were focused on the opera (where the big commercial demand made entrance relatively easy) and the symphony (which at least didn't require a top-level musician, only a bored conductor). And of course the concerto's flamboyance was sort of at odds with his style. But it's kind of a shame he didn't abandon the opera obsession, and instead think of writing a brilliant concerto and persuading a great performer to deliver it - a higher-risk option (it would have been hard for a nobody like Schubert to get his suggestion noticed), but with higher reward (a famous virtuoso going around Europe performing your work was a much bigger boost to the career than having a local theatre put on a run of an opera for a few weeks).
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by LinguistCat »

I have been watching videos by "debu idol" group Big Angel びっくえんじぇる. Important to note they call themselves debu. They have a lot of cute song videos and those videos where you try making various candy kits or other foods, but also have a little calisthenics thing they do recently since a lot of people are staying home in Japan and elsewhere for obvious reasons.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Khemehekis »

"You're the Top" is often described as a look into what people valued or adored during the 1930's. The line "You're broccoli" referenced a vegetable that had become newly known in the United States, for instance. (George H. W. Bush's generation were the first American children to grow up eating broccoli.) So, if people didn't prize Richard Strauss' symphonies . . . well, perhaps Salmoneus's right about that just being melodic, lyrical silliness.

"You're the melody to a symphony by _____" calls for a monosyllabic composer's name.

Bach? Doesn't rhyme with many English words except for "loch".

Brahms? Maybe something with "moms" or "palms" or "psalms". This was before Tom's of Maine toothpaste, and long before CD-ROMs or dot-coms. Proms? Pom-poms?

There were lots of Italian and Russian composers, but their surnames aren't normally monosyllabic.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

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I've been watching the second season of the HBO show L'amica geniale (My Brilliant Friend), based on the novels by Elena Ferrante. It's a really great story, but also fascinating due to most of the dialog being in Neapolitan, rather than Italian. I'm told it's common for Italian shows to feature the local languages when the setting calls for it, but to me it's very noteworthy. By contrast, I recently watched a Swedish show set in a small town in the south, and there were more characters speaking with a Stockholm accent than the local one...
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

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Des Pages de Tessa B. Le texte au début :
Des Pages by Tessa B. The text at the beginning reads:
Un grand cinéaste hollywoodien (Titanic, Avatar…) dont je ne peux pas divulguer le nom devait initialement réaliser ce clip. Mais confinement oblige… En voici ma version. En m'appuyant sur son scénario original, j'ai tenté de rester au plus proche de ses intentions de mise en scène.

A big Hollywood filmmaker (Titanic, Avatar…) whose name I can't reveal was initially going to direct this music video. But due to quarantine… here's my version. Using his original script, I tried to stay as close as possible to his intended direction.
Et ce qui suit est une série amusante de scénarios tournés dans son appart, accompagnés de storyboards expliquant les situations (très clipesques) qu'ils représentent.
And what follows is a humorous series of scenes filmed around her apartment, complete with storyboard panels explaining what (very music video-y) scenarios they represent.

Et j'adore la chanson. Tant mieux !
And I like the song. So much the better!
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

I've been watching Family Guy. I like when a show as dumb as Family Guy makes reference to a language I've been studying. In this episode, Peter decides he's tired of being stupid and cultivates his intelligence:

Peter: I've been studying Sanskrit. Turns out an ancient tongue can be as titillating as a young one. Anyway, as they say in Sanskrit, shubha prabhatam.
Joe: Heh, it's weird, "Shubha Prabhatam" is my porn name.
Quagmire: What?
Joe: Yeah, name of first pet, name of the street I grew up on.
Quagmire: You had a pet named "Shubha"?
Joe: Yeah, Shubha was a tough old pooch. He was feared up and down Prabhatam Drive.
Quagmire: You have a very odd past.

Who writes this stuff? :P
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

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Paris Is Always Paris [>_<] [maybe]

A group of Italian tourists visit Paris, and hijinks ensue. I watched the French dub. It leans heavily on this idea of Italian men being unable to resist French women, and the creeper vibes are strong. The film is nice for a look at early-1950s Paris, and there are some storylines/moments that get a little deeper than stalking=humor.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Salmoneus »

A bit late, I'm afraid, but if anyone's interested the National Theatre is showing This House on youtube - it's up until 7pm tomorrow, which I gather is 2pm on the American east coast. I don't know if that means you have to start watching by then or finish. It's about 2h40 in length.

Anyway, it's quite a good modern play about British parliamentary procedure in the 1970s - from February 1974, when Ted Heath called an election, leading to a hung parliament, through to 1979, when Thatcher came to power; throughout the five year period, the government never had a majority of more than 3; the play centres on the rival Whips (the politicians who had to try to get their party members to turn up to each vote, and to do deals with the small third parties). It's surprisingly gripping, funny, and a little tragic (not much of a spoiler to say that quite a few people died, and some trigger warnings might be warranted), and is a good insight both into British politics (it's a direct re-enactment of what really happened, all the characters are real and even some of the jokes are anecdotally true) and the time period. You do have to sit through a bit of exposition in the first half hour, though, as the rules of the game are explained.

Worth a watch, anyway, both as education and as entertainment.

EDIT: apparently, voted best play of the 2010s.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by elemtilas »

Salmoneus wrote: 03 Jun 2020 18:10 A bit late, I'm afraid, but if anyone's interested the National Theatre is showing This House on youtube - it's up until 7pm tomorrow, which I gather is 2pm on the American east coast. I don't know if that means you have to start watching by then or finish. It's about 2h40 in length.

Anyway, it's quite a good modern play about British parliamentary procedure in the 1970s - from February 1974, when Ted Heath called an election, leading to a hung parliament, through to 1979, when Thatcher came to power; throughout the five year period, the government never had a majority of more than 3; the play centres on the rival Whips (the politicians who had to try to get their party members to turn up to each vote, and to do deals with the small third parties). It's surprisingly gripping, funny, and a little tragic (not much of a spoiler to say that quite a few people died, and some trigger warnings might be warranted), and is a good insight both into British politics (it's a direct re-enactment of what really happened, all the characters are real and even some of the jokes are anecdotally true) and the time period. You do have to sit through a bit of exposition in the first half hour, though, as the rules of the game are explained.

Worth a watch, anyway, both as education and as entertainment.

EDIT: apparently, voted best play of the 2010s.
Now thát was good!

Absolutely hilarious! Tragedies, sure, and as you say utterly gripping! I've long been in favour of a parliamentary system and, while no expert, have studied the UK system somewhat. So, I didn't find myself lost at all. Even so, it was enlightening and entertaining.

Anyone who stops by here before time is up really ought take the time to watch this.

Looks like he's going to write a sort of sequel as well.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

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The Thief and the Cobbler: The Recobbled Cut [:3] [tick]

"The Thief and the Cobbler" was the brainchild of an animator named Richard Williams, and it has this decadeslong, tortuous production history that includes getting turned into a wannabe Disney musical by Harvey Weinstein. I haven't seen that version, which you can hear all about on the Youtube channel Musical Hell. But in previous years a netizen took it on himself to piece together something resembling Williams' original intent for the project, using finished animation, storyboards and new art; and that's what I watched. The sheer inventiveness and skill of the animation blew me away. You can view it here. It makes me sorry that the movie was never completed as intended; what a masterpiece we missed.
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

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Today, Sabbatini. Heavenly!
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Re: What are you listening to/watching?

Post by Lambuzhao »

elemtilas wrote: 01 Jul 2020 18:32 Today, Sabbatini. Heavenly!
In cælestibus!

Mi amice, profectus sum longinquam in regionem. Your song calls to me through worlds and generations.

And let me answer

Charpentier, Filius Prodigus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3icjSabjBY

Your choice is a lot more to the point than my around about selection. Yet, each in our own way, we still carry on & always remember.
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