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In Reply to: RE: The flash drive has arrived! - Won't be able to listen until Monday posted by Chris from Lafayette on June 09, 2017 at 21:43:09
Yes, the Prokofiev Q 2 does have some nice folky tonality. But my goodness, such a boring approach. This is where Bartok left everyone else in the dust. Bartok was on the leading edge and in some ways, still is. He broke barriers that challenged the listener. Bartok did not succumb to a simple (or complex) repeated rhythmic theme. Rather, he mixed things up. Challenged our way of thinking about how music could be unfolded. Dissonance. Interjection. Startling infusion of cross current themes. I think Beethoven would approve.
Let me say again that I do still listen to the Bartok Quartets every so often. (Otherwise, I wouldn't have recordings of them.) But your phrase, "such a boring approach" applies more to parts of these works than to the Prokofiev Quartets - just IMHO. ;-)
And as I said before, it's not the dissonance of these (Bartok) works that bothers me. (In fact, that doesn't bother me at all.) It's more the lame placement or juxtaposition of themes sometimes (as in the example of the last movement of the Fifth Quartet I already cited) that makes me shrug my shoulders. And, strangely, I hear more of these kinds of weaknesses in his Quartets than in his other works. It's in his Quartets that I notice his curiously short-breathed compositional style (not all the time of course, but often enough to be annoying).
And your claim that Bartok didn't "succumb to a simple (or complex) rhythmic theme" is surprising, given the fact that he's known for his frequent use of ostinatos. Oh well.
I wouldn't presume to say if Beethoven would approve or not. ;-)
First off, I am not schooled in musicology. Just an avid listener who loves classical music.
Question for the musically literate: Over the past few years I become bored with the classical and romantic periods. Nothing in those eras excites me. I then started to feel around with Bartok, Weber, Schoenberg, etc. (20th century composers) who were leading the way with tonality and 12 tone. Then, over the past year, I started to become very interested in the late 20th century and 21st century chamber music. So much of the most recently composed music is quite challenging and keeps me on my toes. Never a dull moment. So, here is the question: given my formal music illiteracy, am I "missing the boat" on the classical and romantic eras because I don't know what to listen for? Is there more complexity than meets the ear? For example, to my ears and simple thinking Mozart is so monotonous and rhythmic. There is nothing to think about. Rather, its great for taking a nap in my opinion. Now, listening to Schoenberg or Shostky, I can get excited and into the ripsaw tunes, the darkness, the dissonance, etc. Maybe I am thinking about this too much and should just listen and enjoy.
In a way, you're not unlike a friend I had at work who was so excited about SACD's when they first came out that he bought a copy of the Paavo Järvi / Telarc recording of Dvorak's New World Symphony coupled with Martinu's Symphony No. 2 - even though his musical tastes in general were more along the lines of Celine Dion! After a few days, I asked him how he liked the album. He answered that he really liked the Martinu, but he felt that the Dvorak was "a little corny"!
And although there's a lot of Mozart I like a lot, there's also a lot of his music which, as one critic said, is "tiresomely, needlessly perfect"! ;-)
It's all a matter of preference, and what appeals to you at a given time. I've always been a Mahler fiend, but now I'm less interested in his music and more interested in Mozart. I used to be bored by Schubert, but now I'm addicted to some of the piano sonatas. In the last six months I have gotten very interested in Varese. I still can't stand Webern and anything 12-tone by Schoenberg, but who knows what will happen next month.
Just listen to what you like and be open to possible changes in your internal weather:}
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