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Old 08-22-2021, 04:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Russian modernism

Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and so much more...

Some would say this belongs in "classical", to which I say no, this music remains challenging and inspiring today.

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Old 08-23-2021, 04:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyone remembers that Kathleen Brennan introduced Tom Waits to Beefheart (who he somehow didn't know although he had already toured with Zappa at that point), but she also made him listen to Stravinsky and Prokofiev.


To anyone interested in the expansion of TW's sound palette and harmonic vocabulary (see in particular some of the quieter, more "impressionistic" moments in Swordfishtrombones), I would recommend

1) the bit in the above video of Stravinsky starting at 15.45

2) Prokofiev's Visions fugitives (1917)

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Old 08-26-2021, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Frank Zappa was a huge Stravinsky fan and it shows in his orchestral music especially.

Compare something like The Yellow Shark* to Histoire du soldat:





*Zappa last and (arguably) best album, about which Tom Waits said the following: "The ensemble is awe-inspiring. It is a rich pageant of texture in colour. It's the clarity of his perfect madness, and mastery. Frank governs with Elmore James on his left and Stravinsky on his right. Frank reigns and rules with the strangest tools."
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Old 08-31-2021, 10:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not gonna tie it to anything else, just a brilliant, haunting work in its own right, esp the opening movement known as "wind in the graveyard"

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Old 09-01-2021, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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God-tier piano playing

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Old 09-11-2021, 07:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is what the great Sviatoslav Richter had to say about the premiere of Prokofiev's 3rd symphony:

Quote:
Never before had I felt anything like it when listening to music. The impression was staggering; it was like the end of the world. Prokofiev uses extraordinarily intense expressive devices in this work. In the third movement — a Scherzo – the strings play a flickeringly jerky motif from which plumes of asphyxiating smoke seem to issue, as though the air itself were on fire. The final movement opens with a sort of sombre march – a grandiose orchestral tumult, a veritable apocalypse followed by a brief lull before starting up again with redoubled force in a swirl of tocsin-like bells. I sat there as though turned to stone. I wanted to hide. I glanced at my neighbour, who was crimson and sweating profusely. Even during the interval, shivers still ran up and down my spine.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvl5...=tomekkobialka
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The only parts I like are the ones that resemble good old-fashioned tonal music.

I told this my professor more than 40 years ago at the Conservatory of Music and I still mean it. Nevertheless, mighty interesting, the score.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey jadis, thanks for this! I only have a shallow knowledge of russian modernism, but it's a subject I've wanted to delve more into for years and years. What first caught my attention is I'm a huge Zappa fan, so of course that made me check out Stravinsky.

Later on, I heard Prokofiev's sonata no. 7, particularly the first movement as played Valentina Lisitsa in the embedded youtube below.



I've probably posted about it before (sorry if I bore someone), but I found the music utterly striking and also read a little about the background of it and of Prokofiev's life in general. It's fascinating stuff.

Since then, I've wanted to explore more but haven't quite gotten started. I'll listen through the stuff you've posted.
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Last edited by Guybrush; 09-16-2021 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My pleasure!

Prokofiev is really as good as it gets. Gorgeous melodies, tantalizing dissonances, percussive erm heaviosity...

That opening allegro of the 7th sonata (and the sonata as a whole) is one of his great moments. The harmonic progression is breathtaking.
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