Elgar and some other questions

Posted by: rosey

Elgar and some other questions - 12/01/12 06:42 PM

Hello everyone, I have a few questions and instead of starting different threads I'm just going to ask them here. I hope that's alright.

1. Has anyone listened to Goldner Quartet's record of Elgar's works? There are 4 little pieces for solo piano in the middle of the tracks and I have been desperately searching for the scores. Anyone knows where I could get sheet music of March in D and Mina by Elgar?

2. I want to try atonal music for the first time. Can you guys suggest a piece for me? And maybe a composer to listen to, I'm not familiar with atonal music and I don't know where to start.

3. Should I even try atonal music? I'm an amateur and did not get the best training, I still have tons of basics to spend time on. Should I first finish all the Bach pieces and etudes and exercises and all that before trying something advanced or is it okay for an amateur to be less self diciplined?
Posted by: Verbum mirabilis

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/02/12 02:41 PM

Since you don't have any responses, I'll try to answer some of your questions.

1. I haven't listened to the recording.

2. I really can't suggest a piece for you to study, but I think it would be good to start by listening to Arnold Schönberg. You might also want to learn the basics of atonality and dodecaphony if you want to understand atonal music. Schöneberg was the guy who invented dodecaphony. If you search on youtube with his name, the first results are Verklärte Nacht, Kammersymphonie and three piano pieces op. 11. The three piano pieces op. 11 were some of Schönberg's first attemts at atonality. However they are not amateur pieces. Schönberg's students Alban Berg and Anton Webern also wrote atonal music.

3. You can try an atonal piece if you find one that is suitable for you. Ask your teacher if you have one. However, I think that people usually begin with the classics (Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven) and add modern music to their repertoire later.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/02/12 02:52 PM

If you want to learn what IMO is very satisfying twelve-tone writing for piano, give Luigi Dallapiccola's "Quaderno Musicale de Annalibera" a try. Not so difficult as Schoenberg, and very musical.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/02/12 04:14 PM

In no sense is some music 'the basics' that one should cover before moving on to other types of music. Sure, some music is more complex, and some can sound very confusing if you aren't familiar with the language, but it's all still music.In my opinion, if people started exploring atonal music nearer the beginning of their musical learning, they would have a much easier time of grasping and assimilating it. I've had a lot of success with some of my younger students introducing them to 20th century music early on.

One thing that may be interesting for you to do is listen to Scriabin's complete preludes (they're on spotify) in chronological order. The progression to atonality is very organic.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/02/12 08:14 PM

Not sure why Elgar was mentioned here, a most tiresome old fart with nothing of consequence for the Stravinsky and Shostakovitch generation. Rotten wine in pompous new bottles.

And yet? Well by all means...

Would agree with debrucey in some sense, though the Etudes -IMO- tend to be more interesting, and a lot fewer of them. I've never known anyone beyond a Michael Ponti to actually get through those Preludes. I once tried reading through them, but gave up about midway. Signal to noise ratio was rather dismal until the late works.
Posted by: btb

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 02:34 AM

No wonder fan was banished to the Colonies ... imagine
coming up with all that drivel about Edward Elgar.

“A most tiresome old fart” ...
wish I was downwind of you after eating a tin of beans.

“Rotten wine in pompous new bottles” ...
now said of fan
“Gotten opine in pompous new circumstances.”

In the olde days traitors got hanged, drawn and
quartered ... sharpen up the olde chopper chaps.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 08:10 AM

^ Come now, old chap, you didn't think I was serious? wink
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 08:43 AM

I thought "elgarfan" was argerichfan's middle name--as in "argerich elgarfan fan". smile
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 10:46 AM

I don't much like Elgar.
Posted by: btb

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 12:37 PM

How much is "much" old bean? ... or are you just stirring the pot?
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 01:03 PM

I'm adding to the pot. I can't think of a single Elgar piece I will elect to listen to. And sitting through a larger one in a concert is not very enjoyable for me.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Not sure why Elgar was mentioned here, a most tiresome old fart with nothing of consequence for the Stravinsky and Shostakovitch generation. Rotten wine in pompous new bottles.



laugh
Posted by: Janus K. Sachs

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/03/12 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: rosey
2. I want to try atonal music for the first time. Can you guys suggest a piece for me? And maybe a composer to listen to, I'm not familiar with atonal music and I don't know where to start.

3. Should I even try atonal music? I'm an amateur and did not get the best training, I still have tons of basics to spend time on. Should I first finish all the Bach pieces and etudes and exercises and all that before trying something advanced or is it okay for an amateur to be less self diciplined?
Aside from Schoenberg's Op. 11 (No. 2 is especially approachable, and makes a good companion to Brahms's Op. 118 No. 6), the usual suspect is Schoenberg's Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19. And it's never too early to stretch one's ears, as Ives's father would say.
Posted by: btb

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/04/12 01:04 AM

I’m with Sleepy Sachs on the Schoenberg atonal bunt ...
my Rubicon was hearing for the first time and accessing
the score to Schoenberg’s rivetting Opus 46
“A Survivor from Warsaw.”

“I must have been unconscious. The next thing I heard
was a soldier saying. “They are all dead”.
Whereupon the sergeant ordered to do away with us.”

“And all of a sudden, in the middle of it, they began singing the Shema.”

Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai E?ad -
Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

Heady stuff ... Man’s inhumanity to Man.

PS Not for the faint-hearted.

The literal word meanings are roughly as follows:
1. Sh'ma — listen, or hear & do (according to the Targum, accept)
Yisrael — Israel, in the sense of the people or congregation of Israel
Adonai — often translated as "LORD", it is read in place of YHWH; Samaritans say Shema, which is Aramaic for "the [Divine] Name" and is the exact equivalent of the Hebrew "ha-Shem", which Rabbinic Jews substitute for "Adonai" in a non-liturgical context such as everyday speech.[citation needed]
Eloheinu — the plural 1st person possessive of א?ֱ?ל?ֹ?ה?ִ?י?ם?
Elohim, meaning “our God”.
E?ad — the cardinal number one
Posted by: Ted

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/04/12 04:17 PM

He actually wasn't pompous, Jason. My old teacher, as a little boy, spent much time with him at Llandaff cathedral and had very fond memories of him. He told me Elgar was more like a kindly farmer than a famous composer, very down to earth and seemingly unconcerned with his own colossal talent.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/04/12 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Ted
He actually wasn't pompous, Jason. My old teacher, as a little boy, spent much time with him at Llandaff cathedral and had very fond memories of him. He told me Elgar was more like a kindly farmer than a famous composer, very down to earth and seemingly unconcerned with his own colossal talent.

laugh , I think you missed some activity above, particularly posts 1994023 and 1994033! Elgar is a composer I warmly admire, and if his personality could be 'touchy' on occasion, pompous it was not.

I was intrigued by your reference to Llandaff Cathedral (in Cardiff). I thought Elgar had no more than a tangential connection with Llandaff, especially as its organist from 1894 to 1937 was George Galloway Beale, not a name associated with Elgar's circle.

Perhaps you meant one of the Three Choir Cathedrals- Worcester, Hereford or Gloucester- whose organists were all well known to Elgar?

Posted by: Ted

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/04/12 07:55 PM

My teacher was the New Zealand, Welsh born composer, Llewelyn Jones (no relation). Because he was a prodigy, his parents shipped him off to Llandaff cathedral at the age of eight as a choirboy. Elgar and Debussy used to visit on occasions to work with the choir. Elgar heard Llew playing and took a shine to him, encouraged him and gave him various tips about composition. Debussy, on the other hand, was bad tempered and swore at the choirboys, spending hours by himself fiddling with a couple of chords. Llew was born in 1894, so this would have been around 1903 or so. I cannot verify the story, but Llew used to regale me with tales of his experiences with other famous musicians, anecdotes which, despite not believing at the time, I later found were actually true. So I have no reason to doubt it.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/04/12 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Ted
My teacher was the New Zealand, Welsh born composer, Llewelyn Jones (no relation). Because he was a prodigy, his parents shipped him off to Llandaff cathedral at the age of eight as a choirboy. Elgar and Debussy used to visit on occasions to work with the choir. Elgar heard Llew playing and took a shine to him, encouraged him and gave him various tips about composition.

Thank-you for your interesting post! I have no reason or agenda to doubt you, but I find it odd, however, that Beale (organist and DoM at Llandaff) or Llewelyn Jones are not mentioned in any of the Elgar bios and studies -Moore, Kennedy, McVeigh, Adams, Kenyon, Mundy- which I consulted. How often might Elgar have gone out to Cardiff, which of course, is an easy train ride from Worcester? (Though Llandaff Cathedral is some distance from Cardiff Central.)

OTH, Sinclair at Hereford (his dog appears in the Enigma Variations), Blair (he premiered the Organ Sonata) and Atkins at Worcester, and Brewer (who Elgar often worked closely with) and Sumsion at Gloucester all figure prominently in the Elgar literature.

But perhaps, as with Elgar's trip to South America in 1923, this is a rather undocumented aspect of Elgar's life?
Posted by: btb

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/05/12 01:41 AM

Elgar’s instantly recognized Serenade for Strings
has just been played over our local radio ... there is
something hugely distinctive about his compositions
as with the 4 Pomp and Circumstance Marches and
the Enigma Variations.

I always stand and salute "Land of Hope and Glory” ...
But then I’m a colonial twit-Brit.

Elgar himself later said,
"There is music in the air, music all around us,
the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require",
and "The trees are singing my music – or have I sung theirs?"
Posted by: arpan70

Re: Elgar and some other questions - 12/06/12 11:59 AM

Have you tried the following?
Enigma Variations
Cello Concerto
Symphonies
Violin Sonata
Cello Sonata
Piano Quintet

Listen to these works before making any judgments about Elgar( unless you already have). Most people think Elgar is trivial because all they've heard are the pomp and circumstances.