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Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Sep '08 05:41 / 1 edit
    I really love 'The Maldau'. Where does he fit in the world of composing? A player? B player?
  2. 01 Oct '08 15:05
    I love the Moldau, too. It's so majestic and distressing...
    Best is the main movement, when the river flows under the Royal Palace of the Bohemian Kings, in Prague.

    But I guess it's the only thing Smetana should be remembered for...A huge masterpiece from a minor composer
  3. Standard member Nemesio
    Ursulakantor
    01 Oct '08 16:15
    Originally posted by el gil
    But I guess it's the only thing Smetana should be remembered for...A huge masterpiece from a minor composer
    Now, now. I'm not sure that's fair. I've listened to a little bit more of Smetana over the past
    week or so (in an effort to remedy my aforementioned ignorance) and, while his output is not
    as vast as Haydn's (e.g.), he's got some really rich stuff. The Trio in g (Violin, Cello and Piano)
    is delicious, and his two string quartets are extremely mature works. They are definitely worth
    investigating.

    But I'm a sucker for chamber music...

    Nemesio
  4. Standard member Nemesio
    Ursulakantor
    01 Oct '08 17:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I really love 'The Maldau'. Where does he fit in the world of composing? A player? B player?
    Keep in mind that, for the most part of the 19th century, modern-day Germany really set the
    agenda for music. So, you're going to find a higher representation of great German composers
    than those from any other country.

    That having been said, I think that what I've heard of Smetana's music (which isn't all that much
    even at this point) stacks up with that of his contemporaries -- say Schumann or Brahms. He
    was less prolific than either, but his mature works are equally as powerful.

    On top of that, in the same way that a metaphorical compositional torch was passed from
    Beethoven through Schumann to Brahms, of the Bohemian composers, we see the torch alighted
    by Smetana, passed to Dvorak and on to the likes of Bartok.

    So, while Smetana may not be the greatest composer, or even in a reasonable top 5, he certainly
    merits the attention of the serious Western Art Music fan (or so I have come to believe).

    Nemesio
  5. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Oct '08 04:51
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Keep in mind that, for the most part of the 19th century, modern-day Germany really set the
    agenda for music. So, you're going to find a higher representation of great German composers
    than those from any other country.

    That having been said, I think that what I've heard of Smetana's music (which isn't all that much
    even at this point) stacks up wit ...[text shortened]... he attention of the serious Western Art Music fan (or so I have come to believe).

    Nemesio
    Thanks for the analysis, I always loved his works and wondered where he stood on the world market, lower output but very highly regarded. Thanks.
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Oct '08 05:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Keep in mind that, for the most part of the 19th century, modern-day Germany really set the
    agenda for music. So, you're going to find a higher representation of great German composers
    than those from any other country.

    That having been said, I think that what I've heard of Smetana's music (which isn't all that much
    even at this point) stacks up wit ...[text shortened]... he attention of the serious Western Art Music fan (or so I have come to believe).

    Nemesio
    Here is an interesting read about his life. He was deaf like Beethovan and worse, had a terrible case of tintinitus. He composed 7 operas anyway and other works:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed%C5%99ich_Smetana
    Also found this, his opera 'The two widows' was performed just this year in Scotland:
    http://www.eif.co.uk/event/two-widows.html
  7. 13 Oct '08 00:48
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I really love 'The Maldau'. Where does he fit in the world of composing? A player? B player?
    He was a Czech nationalist composer. Most well-known composers (at least, well-known today) of the era were nationalist: Smetana, Brahms, Bizet, Wagner, etc.
  8. 13 Oct '08 00:52
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Keep in mind that, for the most part of the 19th century, modern-day Germany really set the
    agenda for music. So, you're going to find a higher representation of great German composers
    than those from any other country.
    Actually, Austria-Hungary did, and Edward Said (yes, him again) argues that there is a political reason for that. It wasn't that Spanish or Italian or Greek or Russian composers did any less; it was because of the triumphs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 18th century and the continuation of this series of victories through the first part of the 19th. Once the victories stopped, the popularity continued, which is why we talk of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
  9. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Oct '08 16:30
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Actually, Austria-Hungary did, and Edward Said (yes, him again) argues that there is a political reason for that. It wasn't that Spanish or Italian or Greek or Russian composers did any less; it was because of the triumphs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 18th century and the continuation of this series of victories through the first part of the 19t ...[text shortened]... tories stopped, the popularity continued, which is why we talk of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
    Instead of Berlioz, Bartok, and Benda. The OTHER 3 B's🙂
  10. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    14 Oct '08 18:23
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Instead of Berlioz, Bartok, and Benda. The OTHER 3 B's🙂
    Yeah, but there's also Bruckner, Bellini, Buxtehude, Borodin, Berio, Byrd, Bruch, Boulez, Boccherini, Bloch, Bizet, Bernstein, and Britten, some better than others.
  11. 14 Oct '08 21:51
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    Yeah, but there's also Bruckner, Bellini, Buxtehude, Borodin, Berio, Byrd, Bruch, Boulez, Boccherini, Bloch, Bizet, Bernstein, and Britten, some better than others.
    I hate Boulez.

    That said, I love Bernstein.
  12. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Oct '08 23:54
    Originally posted by scherzo
    I hate Boulez.

    That said, I love Bernstein.
    I heard Boulez do 'The Rakes Progress' around 1971 in Virginia, we were outside the audience proper on a blanket on the grass, I think it was the Cleveland Orchestra. It was magical, he made it into something that reverberates in my memory to this day.
  13. 15 Oct '08 00:05
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I heard Boulez do 'The Rakes Progress' around 1971 in Virginia, we were outside the audience proper on a blanket on the grass, I think it was the Cleveland Orchestra. It was magical, he made it into something that reverberates in my memory to this day.
    Still, not as bad as Steve Reich.
  14. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    15 Oct '08 03:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Still, not as bad as Steve Reich.
    Like his Music for 18 Musicians?
    What about Nagoya Guitars? here is a rendition by the Gothenburg combo (where one of my daughter in laws is from!)
    YouTube&feature=related
    It sure sounds almost like loop music but it seems to grow on one.
  15. 15 Oct '08 20:52
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Like his Music for 18 Musicians?
    What about Nagoya Guitars? here is a rendition by the Gothenburg combo (where one of my daughter in laws is from!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMA8CRyNUMc&feature=related
    It sure sounds almost like loop music but it seems to grow on one.
    "Come Out" made me insane.