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Topic: 2 Contradansen

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  1. #11
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Phil, it is so nice to see your comment, "close quarters" etc.... , as we Hungarians say" Old man is not a dead man"
    Are you sure you have no Hungarian ancestry?
    The egg farmer's rooster died just recently, so he had to buy a new one. They told him, that if he wish to have the best, he should get a Hungarian rooster. So he bought one and let the rooster in among the hens. The rooster started his job, going over the hens several times, then jumped the fence and did perform on the ducks and geese, then back to the hens. The farmer gave up watching but told the rooster that he will kill himself if he is not slowing down. About an hour later he came out to see what is going on and observed a dozen of vultures circling above, and the rooster laying down dead-like. The farmer said, you crazy bird, I told you you will kill yourself! The rooster opened one eye and said: PSSST, they are coming down!

    Ted

  2. #12

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Haha.

    Raymond
    Raymond Robijns
    Youtube channel: "Raymond Robijns"

  3. #13

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Thanks again, Ted.

    Thanks Phil for the observations and the research. I guess you're talking about America here? In Europa there was great poverty in the 18th century, so the poor people had other concerns that just dancing about... But that never took the more fortuned ones from having fun!

    And the rooster story... Well, maybe I should look for a piece called the hyper active rooster. The tended to invent such titles.

    Jos
    Jos Wylin

    http://www.joswyl.be compositions and sampling practices

  4. #14
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Thanks again, Ted.

    Thanks Phil for the observations and the research. I guess you're talking about America here? In Europa there was great poverty in the 18th century, so the poor people had other concerns that just dancing about... But that never took the more fortuned ones from having fun!

    And the rooster story... Well, maybe I should look for a piece called the hyper active rooster. The tended to invent such titles.

    Jos
    Hi Jos,

    I found this link about at least 18th century English ballroom dancing. From another search, it looks like the wealthy colonists at least wanted to learn the dances but lacked the musical resources for similar ballroom dancing events.

    I studied that period in a Russia studies course. The french speaking Gentry would party all night and sleep all day during the long Russian winters. All on the backs of the struggling peasants.

    https://sites.google.com/site/whshbl...-and-prejudice

  5. #15

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Well, the whole point about forums is not only to listen to music, but to talk about it and share experiences and points of view. This is becoming interesting, so I feel the urge to go on.
    Of course, the debate "popular vs intellectual music" might get a bit "bulky"....
    I am nowadays reading Dickens' "Our mutual friend". In chapter 11, "Podsnappery", Dickens - a man of striking irony towards social hypocrisy et similia - describes this social event to be held at the Podsnaps' residence. Of course they plan to have ball music... so they hire "an automaton to come and play quadrilles for a carpet dance". The poor pianist is also addressed as "the captive at the piano". The poor musician - in his mere quality of musician at the service of the high class- is not therefore shown a particular respect. This episode is not isolated in literature. Take Vinteuil's "musical phrase" in Proust's "Du cote de chez Swann", a clear symbol - whether or not voluntary - of the vacuity in the life of these people.

    I was born in Naples, Italy and I live in Greece since decades. Places with very different history but with a strong common social factor: poverty or, otherwise said, "extremely polarized distribution of wealth".
    Naples was one of the most shiny capitals in Europe, up to the unification of Italy. In the Baroque period it was musically very important and a school able to attract many musicians. The Scarlattis were locals but Rossini, to name one, chose it as his residence. Also, instrument-making school was very important: the Gaglianos were from there.
    Now... strange enough, notwithstanding all of this, Naples is nowadays internationally more famous for its popular music. That's mostly due to the thousands of emigrants, true... but still there is no comparison whatsoever. Neapolitan folk tunes became so famous that they vastly infiltrated the world of "classical" music. Take "O' sole mio". If I search it on youtube, I get performances by Pavarotti, the "three tenors", Enrico Caruso, Bocelli and not even a single "folk" performance among the first results. I also got an Elvis rendition ("Now or never", it is its cover) but that's another story.
    Greece, now. Here they do not have "classical culture" at all. Every now and then they produce amazing talents, Callas being the most famous but there is also people like Leonidas Kavakos, one of today's "top bows", soloist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra directed by Riccardo Muti (... neapolitan! ). Music here is mostly of popular descent: "laiko", "rebetiko", "zeibekiko" and so on, a mix of local tradition and influences from the Near East (Turkey, Armenia, the Pontus...). Even their contemporary best known composer, Mikis Theodorakis, who studied abroad and did actually produce rather intellectual works, is mostly known locally for his popular works and - also internationally - for his score for Zorbas (the Sirtaki). See... in Europe, middle classes were going into theatres to enjoy good music, in Greece, they would dress up and go to taverns or "ouzerie" (where they serve ouzo and "mezedes"). Even today, in the higher strata of population, classical music is often considered just snob, obnoxious. Pseudo- intellectual. I always get mocked up because of my tastes.
    To sum it up: Southern Europe is by far the most troubled part of the continent, with concern to social advancements. Poverty is a deeper problem here than in northern countries. This did have an impact on the production of music, undoubtedly... but NOT on popular music. This always flourished, exactly because you do not need much to have a fun time with friends: grab a lute and sing along. You do not need a 9 foot Steinway. "Wealthy people fun" is driving to the Alps in a shiny new Maserati, nothing to do with music.
    I bet no-one can hum a Scarlatti piece by heart, right away. Everyone knows "Yesterday" or "Yellow Submarine".
    I am not saying, of course, that popular music is "superior". They are different forms of Art and both deserve respect. I personally love Baroque music, but not all Baroque music is created equal. There are pieces I resonate with, other to whom I am indifferent.
    I' ve been to opera theatres and I am frankly disturbed by people attending only for social exposure (and ... wardrobe exposure...), without actually knowing the difference between a major and minor chord. If one likes music, especially in the case of a musician, I think it is to be expected a certain open-mindedness. Good music is good music, independently from the genre.
    Plus, music changes, it evolves. In the Baroque period and up to Beethoven Listz or Paganini, great composers were also great virtuoso musicians. They would play their own works and have REAL fun. Bach would spend hours on his organ. Or take Mozart and Vivaldi. Nowadays classical music got disconnected from musicianship. Composers are somewhat intellectuals mostly treating the musician like a servant. Listen to this, this probably is the best definition of Baroque music. Claire Debono's interview, at 2:55:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXlX_xtH6Nc

    Right, like jazz. Do you remember that little story with Art Tatum and Horowitz?
    Music IS the musician that plays it and fortunately today's virtuosos tackle old scores with original approaches that do sound personal but retain the flair and energy, the spirit of the original pieces, keeping these traditions evolving and very much alive. I am talking about people like Fabio Biondi (genius! My favourite violinist, by far) or the Giardino Armonico.
    From a musician's point of view, it is in my humble opinion important to realize that a Joshua Bell, though absolutely technically and artistically proficient, is not today's Paganini. Today's Paganini would be a Steve Vai or a Van Halen, whose extremely creative work (and scenic power) on the guitar will forever change the way the instrument will be played. I usually listen to Bach and I do not know how many times I listened to Dvorak's Strings Serenade or Tchaikovski's violin concerto. I never listened to a whole album by Vai or Van Halen.... but I would never dare tagging their music as "NOISE".

    But all of the above is merely my opinion, that I tried to express trying not to disturb anyone else's.

    Fab

  6. #16

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Wow! Such deep considerations caused by two simple ballroom dances... The anonymous composer wouldn't believe his eyes!

    Jos
    Jos Wylin

    http://www.joswyl.be compositions and sampling practices

  7. #17

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Well, Jos....

    ... notes are notes and are beautiful. But WORDS are the best representation of the complexity and depth of the human race.
    Let me catch this "assist" for another interesting quote. Thomas Mann's "Der Zauberberg" aka "The Magic Mountain". Ludovico Settembrini, one of the protagonists of the novel, is an italian intellectual and "philosophical motor" of the book. He would say that:

    "There is something suspicious about music".
    "Music is invaluable as an ultimate medium of enthusiasm, as a power which takes us upwards and forward, if it finds the spirit prepared for its application. But it must have been preceded by literature. Music by itself does not advance the world. Music by itself is dangerous.”

    Beautiful, isn't it?
    I agree on that. Notes - I repeat - are indeed beautiful, but we must not forget that, as an expression of that bigger sphere of things called 'humanity', they always need to be put into some kind of perspective.

    So, why not? Let's be deep, let's think about the meaning of music and let's talk about it. This is also the only way we can turn this forum into something less "sluggish".
    ... well, I guess we could also talk about "library X has a better legato engine but library Y has x8 round robin and 5 mic positions". But I prefer the former way

    P.S. ... or the problem is that I simply talk too much

  8. #18

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Hi Fabrizio,

    Words (and opinions) are free, anyway in our countries. It is very true that music should be human and in service of humanity. Animals that produce music (birds...) serve totally different goals with their 'notes' than humans. We could experience their songs as pleasing natural music, whereas in reality these 'songs' are pretty aggressive signals to let competitors know of their presence and the territorial limits.
    I'm only a bit surprised of your deep, but valuable considerations richly illustrated by most worthy quotes at the occasion of two minimal contradances which in aesthetic perspective don't have any artistic meaning. They were and still are functional music with a certain usability (tunes to dance to). The composer didn't have any intention to create a masterpiece.
    Mozart once told that his dance music (he has written hundreds of contradances) shouldn't have mid-voices (violas and the-likes), because that would create to much harmony and distract the dancers. Between the lines, read: don't make dances too beautiful, that's not there reason of existence. That's why these two dances don't have violas in my arrangement.

    PS: A newer version is posted today, with single violins grouped together in the string ensemble: 4 first, 3 second violins; 3 cellos, 1 bass). Posted in the original submission.

    Kindly,
    Jos
    Jos Wylin

    http://www.joswyl.be compositions and sampling practices

  9. #19

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Jos,

    Don't be so "surprised", there is no reason. It is the mere "mechanics of conversation": one reads something with which he disagrees and decides to express his own opinion. In my humble judgement, I think I' ve been as attentive and polite as I could be and I also previously stressed that I was solely expressing that: MY OWN opinion.
    Difference of points of view is something very 'human' and - always according to my judgement - not something to worry about. Complete "consonance" seems to me a much more suspicious matter.

    I listened to your new rendition. There is a difference, mostly in the ensemble section of the first dance. Here, the strings are more present, with a stronger staccato quality, crisper attacks and enhanced rhythmic character. I had also liked the first rendition... but I guess there is always room for improvement. What has exactly changed? Dimension strings instead of chamber strings?

    Fab

  10. #20

    Re: 2 Contradansen

    Hi Fab

    Thanks for your reply.

    Indeed, the second recording was made with the dimension strings. (I don't like to mention these things here on this forum because it was originally a Garritan forum). Personally I prefer the sound of the chamber strings (here with a solo in each section): it is more chamber-like in the ensemble. The second version has more string details (as you mention attacks and staccato). That is absolutely true, but sometimes it's hard to tame these very close recorded instruments and they might sound a bit aggressive. There's always one issue when working with samples: they were recorded as separate notes, not glued together in an organic way. So to have them play together with other instruments, a lot of 'massaging' is required.

    Yesterday I did a third recording with the dimension strings with some more interpretation and a different recording venue. Here is the history:

    1. ensemble with chamber strings and solo strings, with the Vienna Suite for IR and reverb is MIRacle.
    2. ensemble with the dimension strings and solos, with the Vienna Suite for IR and reverb is MIRacle.
    3. ensemble with the dimension strings and solos, with MIR for IR and MIRacle for reverb. Mere elaborated.


    https://app.box.com/s/6lkztaabr49ansdhqiiisrwqbg1pn25v

    Jos
    Jos Wylin

    http://www.joswyl.be compositions and sampling practices

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