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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Quarter Tone Piano is Better than Sex

From:

Peter Lundin <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 26 Mar 2000 15:18:18 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (54 lines)

No, this post is not alluding to the Meister of bizzare piano Alois Haba,
but rather this is a salute to that founder, the grand papa of AMERICAN
Art music:  Charles Ives.

This is all about his 4'th symphony, which prior to two weeks ago I had
only heard in a more than dissapointing recording by Michal Tilson Thomas
(Here we go again) - BTW this recording I was told use special edition
score that only call for one conductor....  Back to reallity, two weeks
ago at the Concert hall here in Gothenburg our by all means decent Symphony
Orchestra played the Ives 4'th under Conductors Peter Eotvos and Thord
Svedlund, orchestras piano man, Eric Risberg playing the important solo
piano part.

If You're not familiar with this symphony let me give You a layout, cause
in the mind ouf Charles Ives You cant just use the orchestra, nope, You've
gota give the audience a full surround experience.  Ok, on stage; the
"main" large orchestra, divided into three groups, with a quarter tone
piano, the solo piano and the large organ - faced, fronted, lead by a
master conductor (Eotvos) and co conducted by his second (Svedlund):  No
this is not enough, on the balcony on the farthest rear right there is a
mini band, three harps, strings and brass - on atleast three spots (mixed
with the audience) are placed chunks of the choir.  (I've probobly forgot
something).

The music starts calmly, suddenly:  the audience unaware; is surrounded
by song:  many heads turn, thinking what is this? But the power of the
experience, the music sorrounding makes them settle, but You know Ives;
Mr surprise You constantly bang You on the head with a mix of dissonace,
catchy refrains in the marching brass - then in the end of the second
movement, the quarter tone piano, rattle down Your spine like a bonesetter
repositioning Your vertebras.  cacophony at one end of the orchestra
interlaced with a marching band trying to out-blow themselfs from the other
- this music is so multifaceted that mere words cant paint its picture -
it is 32 minutes of cheer bliss!  You may wonder why I did not write about
this at once, well firstly it has taken me two weeks to recover from the
chock, secondly Yesterday I was fortunate to hear the recording the Swedish
Broadcasting Co made of the concert - Listening brought everything back, I
almost fell of the chair.  I felt this was a must tell about experience.

If you are fortunate to be in Sweden Friday 31 march, the concert will
be broadcasted (P2 19.30 - also Varese's "Arcana" and Berio's "Solo for
trombone et Orchestra" [Christan Lindberg, solo]) all with GSO and Peter
Eotvos.

If You have chance to hear the Ives 4'th in concert, it is an experience a
music lover should have had atleast once in a lifetime!

Unfortunatly there is a lack of a good recording of the 4'th, the MTT is
lacking - there was a recording by Jose Serebrier in the seventies that;
I have been told used the original setup - but I do not know is it is
availible today - If someone can recomend a CD I'd be happy (I will be
recording the Friday broadcast, but anyway..)

peter lundin, gothenburg.se -  Counting the days: DSCH 100 (1906-2006)

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