Author Topic: Introduce yourself here.....  (Read 31380 times)

jerfilm

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Introduce yourself here.....
« on: Thursday 28 October 2010, 23:39 »
I wish there were an official Thread for introducing oneself – I would like to know more about the rest of you and how you fit into the musical world.  But since there isn't, I guess I'll just introduce myself here and let the chips fall where they will.

I'll be 75 in a couple of months.  I play piano and organ; neither of them terribly well any more since my eyesight does not allow me to see all of the staff at once.  Bummer.  And I have been collecting classical music since I was about 8.  Lots of old 78s; like 10 inch excerpts from the finale of Brahm's 1st.   I've computerized my collection of almost 11,000 works by 2183 composers.  Very few duplicate works although there are the inevitable “buy this one and get yet another copy of that.....”.   My interest is mainly in 19th and early 20th century compositions – I am not in to so-called contemporary stuff – I don't understand it and have been tempted to walk out of any number of concerts.  Unfortunately, of course, these are always cleverly  programmed into the center of a concert – and there's always something you want to hear at the end.     I've been in to the “unsung” category most of my life- how lucky we are in recent years to have such a plethora of recorded performances.......  We have been season subscribers of one sort or another to the Minnesota Orchestra season for over 50 years and have been guarantors of the orchestra for over half of that time.  Oh yes, I've lived all of my life in a city of 10,000 about an hour south of Minneapolis/St. Paul. 

At the risk of being ostracized by someone who has never downloaded, listened to, viewed, copied or shared a piece which might have been copyrighted, I'd like to make a comment or two about YouTube.  This group put me on to the performance there of the Goltermann Cello Concerto #4 and I was frustrated that I could not download it.  That situation is now alleviated in a simple and inexpensive way.  Movavi  Flash Converter.  It will download and save not only full videos but will also separate the audio portion and save it as an audio file in a variety of formats.  All for about the price of one CD. (US$19.95) 

I recently uploaded the Violin Concerto in d, opus 7 of Ernst Fabritius (1842-1899) and while I'm sure many of you have this lovely concerto, here are the links for the two sections for any who might be interested: (they are not public):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThKC1ywOXQ4
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bCD34x25bA
There are another 301 violin concertos behind that one that could be there.  Or 1234 piano concertos. It seems like YouTube might be a good place to exchange performances,  Although I'm always looking for someone who'd like to swap some CDs   My email address is jerfilm@aol.com.   Thanks for listening to an old guy ramble.

Jerry

thalbergmad

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 02 November 2010, 23:58 »
Welcome my friend.

That must have been an incredible task to digitalise all of your 78's. I have only a small collection, but have vowed to digitalise them one day. I had considered one of those MP3 turntables but thought them rather expensive. I would be interested if you could enlighten me as to the equipment you used.

I still have my grandmothers old record player in my shed and I love to go and play some 78's on it. The spring groans a little when I wind it up, but I guess I too will groan a little if I make it to 100.

Regretully,  I left my "Faust" in my car for 10 years and when i examined the records, they were about as flat as the Alps. Those will not be digitalised.

Thal

jerfilm

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 04 November 2010, 15:15 »
Thal, sadly I have not digitized but a handful of 78s.  And they were mostly popular bands and songs from the '20s.  I love that era and have a collection, also, of silent films on VHS and DVDs from that period.

I haven't the ambition or probably the time to digitize much of anything.  If someone comes along and wants a copy of something on tape or cassette, I will do that but otherwise the task is too daunting from someone my age. 

I did have an Edison machine that I bought in pristine condition for $5 back inthe 1950s along with a small collection of the thick records but gave that to my son some years ago. 

The other thing I have found to be rewarding - I have a Technics digital piano (Technics Grand Piano sound was sampled from the Steinway Grand and is very convincing).  This instrument will play MIDI files of course and several folks around the world have invented devices to convert reproducing piano rolls to very convincing MIDI files.  Several sites offer them FREE for the downloading and you can hear most of the most famous pianists of the last 19th and early 20th centurys.  Also many of the composers that we all love - Saint-Saens, D'Albert, Ravel, Gershwin, Mahler, Grieg, the list goes on and on.  Here is my favorite site:  http://members.shaw.ca/smythe/archive.htm.  Terry Smythe lives in Winnepeg......

Jerry

Callipygian

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 05 October 2011, 14:09 »
Dear music friends,

I concur that there should be a sub-forum for personal introductions. Not only would I be very interested to hear about your lives and musical backgrounds, but it could also really add to the possibilities of this community. It is already amazing to be able to share and discuss unknown and wonderful music with these select few others who share my passion, but I'm sure many of us are connected to music in more than one way, as professional musician, conductor, musicologist or amateur host or organisor of concerts, or have special connections to record labels or recording studios. If we know each other better, we can use our combined potential more effectively to obtain records, influence labels to release recordings of our favorite unsung composers, organize concerts, approach musicians to add certain pieces to their repertoire etc.

As for myself, I am 25 year old Dutch doctoral student in quantitative sociology (currently studying in Leuven, Belgium) and also have a degree in American cultural studies. As an amateur pianist I discovered the beauty of classical (and jazz) music and started collecting classical music ever since the Brilliant Classics releases allowed me and my small budget to do so! Since a few years, I have become increasingly interested in unknown composers, especially from the former USSR and the Baltic states. Although I like many kinds of music (classical, jazz, metal, some drum n bass etc.) from many periods, I mainly listen to late Romantic and early modern repertoire. My long-time favorite composers include Ravel, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Chopin and Liszt and some recent, lesser known, additions to the list include Gabunia, Ivanovs, Evlakhov, Stanchinsky and Skorik.

I don't play the piano a lot anymore, but I do like to offer other young pianists a chance to perform and attract a young audience to classical concerts. In Nijmegen, I have organized lunch concerts on the university campus and as member of an art foundation, I contributed to an ongoing series of concerts for which we attract young piano talent, interview them, make a flashy movie out of it to show the audience, have a stand-up comedian to present the concert, stimulate interaction between audience and pianist, offer special programs to secondary art schools to attract a young audience, in short, do everything we can to support young performers, attract new audiences and challenge traditional performance forms. I have also hosted several concerts and written program notes.

As a new member of this community, I primarily hope to learn new music, share music with you and discuss all things music. I also sincerely hope that we can cooperate to make unknown classical music more accessible, stimulate recordings and organize or promote performances of unsung classical gems. This is just one of my many hobbies (literature, chess, video games etc.), so I might not have the biggest music collection or the most elaborate encyclopedic knowledge of classical music, but I'll try to be a useful addition to the Unsung Composers group!

Best,

Viktor

Dundonnell

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 05 October 2011, 15:38 »
Responding to the very sensible suggestion in Callipygian's extremely interesting post-

I have absolutely no musical training or ability. I cannot play an instrument or even read a musical score :( I grew up however surrounded by classical music. My Grandfather was a church organist-at one time organist of Hamilton Parish Church in Scotland. He and my grandmother were in St. Petersburg sometime before World War One and he recalled the Easter celebrations of Tsarist Russia. I remember him telling me that he was given a rough time between 1914 and 1918 for playing any music written by German or Austrian composers :o

My Father both sang in a church choir and was the timpanist of an amateur orchestra which did a lot of charity concerts during the Second World War. He used to recall the stress involved in the opening drum rolls in 'Finlandia' ;D He visited Finland in 1937 and, on the ship sailing there, met Field Marshal Mannerheim(the future Finnish President), who was returning from the coronation of King George VI. Mannerheim offered to arrange for my father to visit Sibelius at his home 'Ainola' near Jarvenpaa. My understanding though is that my father simply did not have enough time to accept the invitation :(

His idea of listening to music at home was to sit in his study, usually in total darkness with no talking allowed during the piece. I vividly remember, for example, sitting there as a boy and listening in awe and amazement to Richard Strauss's 'Four Last Songs' with the tears streaming down my face :)

As a teenager at school in Edinburgh my great claim to fame  ;D ;D is that I was the person who first told  my good friend Malcolm MacDonald about the existence of this strange chap called Havergal Brian who had written a gigantic symphony called 'The Gothic'. We then spent the next two or three years talking about Brian, writing letters to the newspapers about him. That was and is the limit of my contribution. Malcolm, on the other hand, has become the great HB expert..... :)

I have had a profound love of orchestral and choral music for 50 years now and have collected first LPs, then tape-recordings and now cds for many years. My cd collection is pretty extensive and there can be comparatively few orchestral works on cd of the late 19th century and 20th century(at least up to Schoenberg ;D) that I do not possess-I don't often go beyond a couple of cds of the same piece. No doubt I could be categorized an obsessed completist-certainly as far as the symphonic repertoire is concerned ;D

If I was forced into that strange exercise of naming favourite composers I would probably have to nominate Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Nielsen, Sibelius, Rubbra, Holst, Shostakovich but if there is another British, Scandinavian, American symphony to be bought then I jump at every such opportunity.

I am a retired Head of History at a Scottish secondary school.

Delighted now to have joined this Forum and, particularly, to take advantage of the wonderful music which is on offer here. I hope very soon to be able to share my really rather vast taped collection with others. I still have not fully uncovered all the rare works buried away within it ;D

Lord Hereford

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 08 October 2011, 15:59 »
Since this seems to be the unofficial introductions thread, here I go:

I'm 29, live in Wales and have been listening to classical music for as long as I can remember, but in the last few years have been actively trying to broaden my tastes by exploring lesser known composers. If I had to pick a favourite composer, it would be Brahms, and at the moment my favourite "unsung" composer is Havergal Brian. In fact I admit the only reason I registered here originally was to download some otherwise unavailable HB symphonies, but the forum interested me enough to want to stick around. I also play the piano (to a VERY amateur level  :-[) and (attempt to) compose.

Dundonnell

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 08 October 2011, 16:07 »
So you are not actually Robin, 19th Viscount Hereford ;D ;D

(since he is 36.)

J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: An Introduction
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 08 October 2011, 22:59 »
[Perhaps jerfilm could rename this thread and call it The Introduction Thread (or something like that)...]

Another Dutchman here. I am 50, live in Delft, and I am a writer and freelance editor. Classical music has been my passion since my early teens. Though I admire Bach and love many things by Haydn and Mozart, music for me starts with Beethoven. I have a predilection for orchestral music and Wagnerian opera, though you can wake me up for Pelléas et Mélisande. I have a special love of British music and Havergal Brian is my 'soulmate composer', since discovering Malcolm MacDonald's 'The symphonies of Havergal Brian, vol. 1' at the Amsterdam Central Library in 1977 (our very own Dundonnell is, I am proud to say, a good friend of mine). When I was 22 I took piano and singing lessons, simply to get closer to music. It taught me a lot, though I haven't turned into a Pollini or Fischer-Dieskau. I like reading along in the score, when listening to music. I like this forum a lot, it's very focussed.

albion

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #8 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 10:55 »
This forum has been a real bonus - especially for being able to link up with fellow-enthusiasts for the more dusty corners of British music. It was a pleasure to meet Gareth earlier this year on our foray into fortress- De Wolfe in a quest to discover which Bowen scores in particular they had 'misplaced' (quite a number as it turned out). It was also a pleasure (for me, probably not for him) to accost Johan at the Albert Hall in July (this is not as seedy as it sounds).

 ;)

I am a pianist in Nottingham (originally from Oldham in Lancashire) and work both in inner-city Primary Schools and as an accompanist. I also sing in two chamber choirs in the East Midlands.

My interest in 'unsung' British music began quite early on - I think the catalyst was discovering two vocal scores by Alexander Mackenzie in a local second-hand shop at the age of about 13 (for the record The Story of Sayid and The Dream of Jubal). Not only was I intrigued by these wonderful objects themselves (in their dark maroon and gilt standard Novello octavo issue), but when I turned to the back there was page after page of publications listed for composers I had never (until then) heard of. I was immediately fascinated and this led me on to want to discover more and more about these musicians, and collect more and more scores (from several now-defunct specialist second-hand music shops that once existed as oases in the cultural desert). The dual interests of music and books eventually led to degrees in both music and librarianship, but the (in my experience) unrelieved tedium of the latter as a career choice led me back to practical music making. As is evident from several posts, I like lists and catalogues and rooting-out information...

 :o

- oh, I like a low-maintenance garden and I drink and smoke far too much (plan to self for day-off today - Fricker, plant bulbs, Jones, toddle up the road to peruse discounts in Tesco's wine aisle, episode of Sherlock Holmes early evening [Jeremy Brett], have something to eat, Arnell, stagger upstairs semi-conscious with the horrible anticipation of work tomorrow morning) ...



... hmmm, another seemingly unsolvable case, Watson - just what did they do with Bowen's 3rd Symphony...

 ::)

J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #9 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 12:07 »
It was also a pleasure (for me, probably not for him) to accost Johan at the Albert Hall in July (this is not as seedy as it sounds).

Haha. No, it was a big and very pleasant surprise. A pity you couldn't accompany us Brianites to the pub.

Quote

Another Holmes/Brett fan here.

Lionel Harrsion

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #10 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 13:26 »

Another Holmes/Brett fan here.

Surely all right-thinking persons are Holmes/Brett fans.

jerfilm

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #11 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 13:31 »
Read your post with much interest, Albion.  Made me remember a dear, old friend that lived in Oldham and worked in a record shop, maybe EMI, in Manchester.  James Hargreaves- lived with his brother Tom.  Met in London for a day of record shop hopping in 1973 and then some years later we met him in Rochdale and spent a couple of days being show around in the lovely Lancashire countryside.  Oh, yes, and at The Black Lad, was it??  Jim has been deceased for some years now.......

Long ways from Minnesota.

Sorry to ramble.  Thanks for reminding me of him.

Jerry

Dundonnell

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #12 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 15:26 »
Yes, very interesting to read about your interest in musical scores. I have discovered some scores of British music in my attic. I shall send you a pm about them :)

albion

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #13 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 16:15 »
your interest in musical scores.

At one time the collection was much more extensive than it is today, but for reasons of space I had a cull a couple of years ago when I came to the (unusually for me) fairly rational conclusion that I didn't really need the choral works of Ebenezer Prout (although The Red Cross Knight has it's attractions), Alfred Gaul and .....

 ::)

But this still leaves (amongst other things) virtually complete runs of the published choral music of Macfarren, J.F. Barnett, Sullivan, Mackenzie, Parry, Stanford, Cowen, Corder, Bantock, MacCunn, Walford Davies, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Rootham, Coleridge-Taylor, Holbrooke, Boughton, Dyson and Rubbra, plus oddments such as Benedict (The Legend of St Cecilia and St Peter), Pierson (Jerusalem) and Cyril Scott (Nativity Hymn and La Belle Dame sans Merci).

Also operas by Loder (The Night Dancers and Raymond and Agnes), Macfarren (Robin Hood, The Soldier's Legacy, She Stoops to Conquer and Helvellyn), Mackenzie (Colomba, The Troubadour, The Cricket on the Hearth and The Eve of St John), Goring Thomas (Esmeralda, Nadeshda and The Golden Web), Cowen (Pauline, Thorgrim and Harold), Stanford (The Veiled Prophet, The Canterbury Pilgrims, Savonarola [one of only 50 privately-printed copies], Much Ado about Nothing, The Critic and The Travelling Companion), Corder (Nordisa), Smyth (The Wreckers and The Boatswain's Mate), Holbrooke (The Children of Don, Dylan, Bronwen and The Wizard) and Boughton (The Immortal Hour, Bethlehem, Alkestis and The Queen of Cornwall).

 ;D

albion

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Re: Introduce yourself here.....
« Reply #14 on: Monday 10 October 2011, 16:51 »
plan to self for day-off today - Fricker, plant bulbs, Jones, toddle up the road to peruse discounts in Tesco's wine aisle, episode of Sherlock Holmes early evening [Jeremy Brett], have something to eat, Arnell, stagger upstairs semi-conscious with the horrible anticipation of work tomorrow morning

Four down, four to go ... The Solitary Cyclist I think.

 ;)