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Subject: Re: Favorite non-opera vocal works?
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 25 Feb 2018 12:07:58 -0800
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I’m a great lover of Schubert’s songs, particularly the cycles “Schöne Müllerin” and “Winterreise.” I also have a great love for Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” (almost a mini Winterreise) and the settings to poems by Friedrich Rückert, but I never listen to the “Kindertotenlieder.” They’re just too lugubrious. Song-wise I find Brahms and Wolf to be opposites: Brahms’ are always lovely music that sometimes stray far from the poem. Wolf’s settings always adhere fastidiously to the poem, but aren’t always (to my ear) beautiful music. But the beautiful Wolf songs are incredibly beautiful.

I haven’t heard anything by Berlioz that I didn’t love.

Is “Das Lied von der Erde” a “vocal” work or a symphony with vocal parts?

A great performance of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” is something magnificent. Since everything about it - solo work, choral work, orchestral work, conducting - is all so incredibly difficult, you don’t often get a great performance.

Finally, one of my very favorites: Janacek’s mass, whether you call it “Slavonic” or “Glagolitic” it’s magnificent. If you somehow haven’t discovered it yet, you’re in for an unusual treat.

Max Paley

> On Feb 25, 2018, at 9:46 AM, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> This has come up before but it's been quiet and I thought I would raise it again: what are your favorite non-opera vocal works, both individual and choral? (Feel free to choose oratorios or "dramatic legends," even if they have been staged, since everything seems to get staged eventually...) For extra credit, name favorite recording(s).
> 
> My own favorites are "Vier letzte lieder" (either Norman or Della Casa) and "The Dream of Gerontius" (Britten recording with Peter Pears). I must admit to an almost irrational affection for Elgar's choral works.
> 
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