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  #21  
Old 06-24-2003, 10:45 PM
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Being an ELP fan (among many other prog' bands), I would love to listen something from their main influence, like the late Romantic/early Modern Russian periods, which is in fact my favourite music after Prog'.

Iván
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  #22  
Old 06-25-2003, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ivan_2068
Being an ELP fan (among many other prog' bands), I would love to listen something from their main influence, like the late Romantic/early Modern Russian periods, which is in fact my favourite music after Prog'.

Iván
Then try and check out Mussorgsky's original Piano Version of Pictures at an Exhibition and follow that with Ravel's orchestrated version of the same. you can see where Emerson was coming from (and going to).
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2003, 10:10 AM
La Mano Gaucha La Mano Gaucha is offline
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Jim and Rick and Roll are correct. There is also a much closer version of "Mars" by ELP (Powell lineup). I can barely remember that particular version, as I was never a fan of that reincarnation of the group, but I do recall that it was closer to the original Holst. I suppose that I can play it here on AM by clicking on it and then report about my findings. More later...

The Ravel orchestration of "Pictures at an Exhibition" is only one of many other orchestrations of that piece. The Ravel is indeed the most famous version, but in fact it is perhaps the least Russian-sounding version of them all. For a true Russian-sounding version of it, try the Sergei Gorchikov orchestration, made in the 50s, I think, but not recorded until relatively recently. That version is very Mussorgskian, sounding very much like the kind of orchestration the composer provided for the original, true versions of "A Night on Bald Mountain" and "Boris Godunov" (the versions more comonly heard are by his friend Rimsky-Korsakov, and these are quite gentle in comparison with Mussorgsky's original orchestrations). Leo Funtek's version, predating the Ravel, is also quite outstanding. Other more or less well-known orchestrations of "Pictures" are by Leopold Stokowsky (he deleted certain movements of the suite, alas, and coloristically speaking, it's quite garish), Vladimir Ashkenazy (the famous pianist) and Walter Goehr. There are several other orchestrations available. Even though many of these are quite nice, especially the Ravel, Gorchikov, Funtek, and to a certain degree, Ashkenazy, the original piano version is still supreme.

ELP's version departs radically, and sometimes completely, from the original text in many places. That's OK because ELP is a rock band after all. I'm not so sure if Emerson really had Ravel in mind when he was "orchestrating" his/their own version. My view is that what ELP had in mind was to simply transcribe several portions of the piece their own way, rather than follow the example of Ravel's orchestral palette (or to slavishly follow the original text in its entirety). Probably the colors we hear on the ELP version were more or less dictated by the limitations of that time's technology available to rock bands. When I listen to ELP doing "Pictures", I hear their "orchestration", no one else's. It is certain that ELP knew the Ravel orchestration well, but I still hear ELP, above all else. That's probably what made them so original at the time -- take a warhorse and make it your own (though in this case, less so than in "Abaddon's Bolero").

Last edited by La Mano Gaucha : 06-25-2003 at 10:35 AM.
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  #24  
Old 06-25-2003, 10:33 AM
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All right we're going to give you...

Pictures At An Exhibition! (as Lake would say).

In college, I got 1 of 6 on the final exam of a music course I took. The 1 was "Pictures". I chased the professor down and re-took the final, for a whopping C grade. For selfish reasons, that's why I like that record.
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  #25  
Old 06-25-2003, 11:05 AM
La Mano Gaucha La Mano Gaucha is offline
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I think that I got the ELP "Pictures" as a trade I made on the school bus with a pretty girl back in '80 or '81. If I remember correctly, I traded a pristine middle period Bee Gees record for a rather scratchy Cotillion copy of the ELP. I still have that album in my collection. I was about thirteen and she was a year or two older.

For the record, my very first albums were Led Zeppelin "III" and ELP's "Trilogy", both given to me by my dad when I was seven. He was getting heavily into Disco at the time and no longer had any use for those two records. He gave me a plastic record player to go along with them. I remember we bought the player at a K-Mart and the thing was mostly white. I was absolutely stoked. The player eventually perished on a trip to school -- I used to take it to art class because the teacher would let me play my Kiss records when we were drawing or playing with plastisine. The player fell off the roof of the van that would take us to school and was run over by the car behind us... That was the only time I ever cried while I was a schoolboy. After that, my grandpa gave me his 60s Lafayette amp and a Panasonic turntable with some boomy-sounding speakers. That was the stereo I first used to play ELP's "Pictures".

Last edited by La Mano Gaucha : 06-25-2003 at 11:12 AM.
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  #26  
Old 06-25-2003, 08:04 PM
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Then try and check out Mussorgsky's original Piano Version of Pictures at an Exhibition and follow that with Ravel's orchestrated version of the same. you can see where Emerson was coming from (and going to)
Good info Keith, but don't forget you can find Modern Classical influence in many other ELP songs like:

1.- The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits: Scytian Suite by Prokofiev.
2.- Nutrocker: Fowley's song Based in Nut Cracker Suite
3.- Romeo and Juliet: Prokofiev
4.- Tocatta: Ginastera (Argentina Modern Classical composer)
5.- Knife Edge: Based on Sinfonietta by Janacek (Czech Modern composer)
6.- The Barbarian: Inspired in Bela Bartok's "Allegro Barbaro"
7.- Creole Dance: Ginastera again.

Even Piano Concerto N° 1 has a clear Modern Classical sound.

It's interesting that almost all the progressive symphonic bands have Baroque or Classic influence, but ELP is maybe the only one that bases their music in such a great period clńassical as the late 1800's early 1900's.

And IMHO Modern Classical is probably the most original classical music in history.

Iván
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  #27  
Old 06-25-2003, 09:16 PM
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Maybe this doesn't count because it was not ELP, only "L", but for what it's worth...

8. Greg Lake released a Christmas single that was based on Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije Suite. There were 2 versions, I think. A full-out choired and orchestrated version and one that was simpler. Both were pretty nice.

Don't know if anyone here has ever heard of The Free Design; wouldn't call them prog although they were so hard to classify they might as well be. No, they were pre-prog. Late-60s. They also did a song called Kije's Ouija whose chorus, or middle 8, or something, was taken from Lt. Kije. Free Design had 2 modes: Predictable and provocative. Always one or the other. Also produced impeccable quality recordings that were quickly decimated by my crystal cartridge with its massive tracking force and minimal compliance. Been a loooong time since I played a Free Design record.

And, LMG, a Lafayette amplifier! That's a blast from the past. I'd forgotten all about Lafayette. My first pair of component speakers were Lafayette. I was in maybe 7th grade at the time. I think I blew them out in about a week! With a Sears Silvertone tube amplifier I bought in a garage sale for $2. Probably playing a Free Design record.

I guess I must finally be a certified old man; all these trips down memory lane!
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  #28  
Old 06-26-2003, 02:32 AM
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Mmmmmmmm!

Quote.
And IMHO Modern Classical is probably the most original classical music in history.

I do know what you mean Ivan but don't you think that at the time that Beethoven, for example, was writing his Eroica symphony which timed in at 40 minutes plus when most symphonies were in the 20 minute area the same was said then?

But I do agree that music in the current "Classical" field CAN BE extremely good. I love Steve Reich's "Octet".......It actually reminds me of Tangerine Dream played on acoustic instruments. His "Different Trains" is a masterpiece. Really moving (no pun intended) and when I saw a documentary where Reich was explaining the circumstances of it's composition and what it meant to him it made it even more so.

However, the Composer who gets inside MY head the most is Philip Glass. I recently went to a performance of the film Koyannisqatsi where the PG ensemble were playing live to the film and it nearly blew me away. I'm sorry to use such a well worn cliche here but I can't describe it any other way. The way the music and film (there is no dialogue, just images) are united in an almost sexual bond is beautiful. I would say that it is my favourite film EVER.

What I don't like in the current "Classical" world is the, what seems to me like a, massive upserge in the popularity of Film Soundtrack music. Every time I tune into a classical music station all I ever seem to hear is "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter" ot "Star Wars" music. No-one ever seems to play music by other comtemporary composers like Turnage or Adams who are also worthy of a listen.

Right I'll put my soap box away now and go and request a bit of Philip glass on AM.......thanks guys.

And Jeff, welcome to the Old Mans Club. Life membership only but, my god, it's a fun place to be!!!!!!
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  #29  
Old 06-26-2003, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
What I don't like in the current "Classical" world is the, what seems to me like a, massive upserge in the popularity of Film Soundtrack music
Can't agree more Keith, but you're going a step forward, technicaly Modern Classical goes from the late 1800's to 1930 or 1940. Current classical is considered Contemporary.

When I talk about Modern Classical, i refer to the movement born during the Russian Nationalism, that broke with the musical standarts from Europe and created a totaly diferent, firm and agressive movement, in rebelion to the soft Romantic period that was ending.

And yes, I call current classical "Holywood Classic", because they seem to have the monopoly of the arts.

But there are great musicians (not in the Hollywood mafia) in current days like: Georgy Sviridov (died in 1998), the wonderful Galina Ustvolskaya, Giya Alexandrovich Kancheli or Sergey Starostin (more in the Jazz mood in this days).

Iván

PS: Before somebody asks (like they did in other forums) it's only a coincidence between the fact that I like Russian Music and my name. I have no Russian family, don't know why my parents namd me Iván, I'm 50% Spanish, 50% scottish

Iván
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  #30  
Old 06-27-2003, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by black max
I think the idea of a dedicated show is very good. I wouldn't put too much into the general library.
Nah! That would completely destroy the concept.

If you want dedicated classical music there's stations for that. The whole point of mixing prog and classical is that they're really all part of the same genre and to recognize that and enjoy the whole broad range of music is so much more enjoyable than getting stuck in some narrow little fashion slot.

To say you don't want classical in a prog rock station puts you in the realm of people who "only listen to (house, or jazz, or blues, or classical or whatever)".

I don't want to be a music snob or a fashion police. I want to hear quality music. lots of it. And everything that goes with it.

If I listen for a couple of hours and hear 15 songs I love, 1 classical, 4 I don't like, and that boring piece of #### that just showed up under the name Philip Glass - well I reckon I've done OK.
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  #31  
Old 06-28-2003, 04:49 AM
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????

Are you saying that prog is closer to classical music than to rock music?
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  #32  
Old 06-28-2003, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by byzantium
????

Are you saying that prog is closer to classical music than to rock music?
Certainly closer to classical than to jazz or blues, though it borrows from all the forms.

I'd say that what makes prog prog is it's relationship to the classical forms, though. Classical music is progressive in the classical (OK, early English) meaning of the word (and by "early" I mean '70s).

The single identifying feature that distinguishes prog from other forms is that the music progresses from one theme to another, never quite exactly to return. And that form also is a defining theme of classical music.

In terms of sounds, and timbres, and chord choices prog ROCK is rooted in blues, jazz and rock. In terms of internal structure and structural forms PROG rock is rooted in classical.

A guitarist might notice timbre and chords before he notices structure. I'm a drummer. I notice structure before I notice timbre and I couldn't tell your C# from A flat morris minor.
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  #33  
Old 06-28-2003, 01:31 PM
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Perhaps it's a matter of taste then that prog to me is much closer to jazz than to classical. I love the music that came from the Canterbury scene and Great Deceiver-era King Crimson (who incorporated both improvisional elements and classical styles while avoiding symphonic song-structures).

Still there is one thing that – to me at least – is inherent in all prog, and that is complexity. That's characteristic both of the classical and the jazz/improvisional.
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  #34  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:32 PM
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Perhaps it's a matter of taste then that prog to me is much closer to jazz than to classical.
Well Byzantium, there are different branchs or sub-genres of Prog music, but Symphonic Prog (Yes, Genesis, etc) and Classic Prog' (ELP, Le Orme, The Nice) are much more closer to classical music, Symphonic to Baroque and Classic to Modern.

Of course there are some other sub genres that are closer to Jazz, like Fusion, Space Prog', Progressive Fusion and Progressive Space Fusion or even Canterbury.

Quote:
Are you saying that prog is closer to classical music than to rock music?
IMO Progressive is not close to Rock, Progerssive IS rock with other genres influence.

Iván
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  #35  
Old 06-30-2003, 10:47 AM
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someone mentioned that if you wanted to hear Classical music, there are plenty of radio stations out there. well, that's true, but very few of them play the kind of "Classical" music we're talking about. mostly you get Classics Lite, programmed not to offend or educate anyone... not that I mind a little Haydn now and again, but sheesh...
I think AM would do well to throw in some Ligeti or Adams or Reich or Prokofiev, etc., etc., now and then. keep us on our toes. I heard a great contemporary percussion concerto a couple of years ago, featuring Airto Moriera that kicked.
one of the reasons I love prog is that it challenges me....
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  #36  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by roger
someone mentioned that if you wanted to hear Classical music, there are plenty of radio stations out there.
Sure! Limiting oneself that narrowly is for people who're more interested in making a fashion statement than in enjoying good music. IMO
Quote:
I think AM would do well to throw in some Ligeti or Adams or Reich or Prokofiev, etc., etc., now and then. keep us on our toes. ... one of the reasons I love prog is that it challenges me....
Sure. I'd go along with that POV 100%
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  #37  
Old 07-02-2003, 01:16 PM
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I suspect I'm in a minority here; but I'm not sure if I dig listening to classical music on AM.

I understand the connections. I love Yes and ELP and realize that without the great classical masters we wouldn't have Wakeman and Emerson. But I'm not sure classical music is what I want to hear when I tune into AM

To make your point, today, right now, you just played some lengthy classical compositon, followed by Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother....as if to say, "See...it's one and the same."

No, not really. My feeling is this is supposed to be a prog rock station. We have enough of a hard time defining prog rock--do we really need to venture into further uncharted territory?
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  #38  
Old 07-02-2003, 06:16 PM
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you just played some lengthy classical compositon, followed by Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother
Darn...and I missed it.

Indeed, you do seem to be in a minority. I'm a little surprised, because if I recall, it was Avian who said that most people DIDN'T want classical on AM. Perhaps the tide has turned?

And regarding ventures into uncharted territory...count me in. That, to me, was "what radio should be and what radio once was," to turn a prominently-displayed phrase. And what AM, whatever its other virtues may be, generally is not.

Nor, save for the impropriety of off-topic-ness, would I confine my comments to classical.
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  #39  
Old 07-02-2003, 08:37 PM
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there are plenty of radio stations out there. well, that's true, but very few of them play the kind of "Classical" music we're talking about. mostly you get Classics Lite, programmed not to offend or educate anyone
Agree, if I listen Vivaldi's Four Seasons again, I'll kill somebody, they play it in radio, public offices, restaurants, theater (before the show starts) or even in elevators (muzac style).

Not that I hate Vivaldi, but enough is enough.

Iván

PS: I never get to listen good old Wagner anywhere, except in my room when my girlfriend is not near, her father is Jewish and taught her Wagner's music is pro nazi (?). I'm trying to convince her music is not evil, even when it may have been badly used, but I have to respect her feelings.

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  #40  
Old 07-08-2003, 03:27 PM
La Mano Gaucha La Mano Gaucha is offline
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E-Mail Coming Soon, Very Soon

Jim:

I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply earlier. The short list that you requested a while back is on its way. I only need a day or two to finalize my suggestions for particular recordings. The list won't be long -- only about fifteen essential CDs from the repertoire of the 20th century, vis a vis relevance to Prog Rock.

All others:

Thanx for the replies to the thread. I very much appreciate an interest in the topic we are here discussing.

Some of you mentioned certain composers I feel are interesting. Kancheli comes to mind. Some of his symphonies are original and thought-provoking, although not too close to AM repertoire, as they are highly specialized, in a sense. The symphonies of Gloria Coates are interesting as well, even if formally chaotic, giving precendence to a psychological programe of sorts, and technically far different from the vast majority of conventional Prog Rock. I think that the Ives 4th is close, in a somewhat loose and aracane aesthetic way. I have recommended this piece to Jim, so let's see where it goes.

Anyhow, the thread is moving along well and I'm happy to see that many of you are interested!

best to all,

LMG

PS: I've always considered "Atom Heart Mother" to be the crucial link to the later Floyd. Without it, "Echoes" would be unthinkable.

Last edited by La Mano Gaucha : 07-08-2003 at 03:34 PM.
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