Having heard this tape, and knowing already more assured interpretations of
the piece, I can share these thoughts.
1. The piece did not get adequate rehearsal time for this performance. This
was a criticism often leveled at Bernstein during his latter days with NY
Phil, though few would have
noticed in this instance.
2. Foss' score, at this point, was somewhat half-baked, and he did revise
it extensively later for its inclusion in the suite "Baroque Variations."
The Buffalo recording from 1971
is in a more fully worked out form, longer, and far better balanced between
the front line instruments and the ripieno. The balance here is terrible --
the front line stuff is too far
out front. That's partly due to the amplification, but overall there's no
blend between the two.
3. Luciano Berio lifted this whole concept and moved it into his
"Sinfonia," which the NY Phil premiered the following year. Foss was onto
something, but like a lot of avant-
gardists, he went down with the first volley from the enemy. Ultimately he
did resume more conventional kinds of compositions -- those that I've heard
I'm not as fond of as
either "Phorion" or his early neo-classic works like "The Song of Songs" or
the excellent cantata "The Prairie."
On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 9:16 PM, Shai Drori <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I don't think it's even half as bad as some of the modern crap people
> "compose" (should say compost).
> Happy New Year
> On Fri, Jan 1, 2016 at 3:45 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> > I've now put the audio of the premiere performance up at Dropbox:
> > I cannot guarantee Dropbox will allow too many downloads, so if you want
> > it, grab it.
> > Anyone who knows a better no-fee system, I'm all ears. I have a lot of
> > offbeat and obscure audio I'd love to share, but don't want to pay to
> > it. Is there any easy way to do Youtubes with just audio, for instance is
> > there software that will just put some generic image around an audio file
> > and render it to a video? Youtube apparently requires some sort of video
> > element for a file upload. I certainly don't have the time or inclination
> > to get into video production to share audio, but if there's some
> > way to select an audio file and a photo file and get a MPEG or MOV file
> > that's Youtube compatible rendered out of it, I'll try it.
> > -- Tom Fine
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 7:04 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] World premiere of "a totally terrible piece of
> > music"
> > I've always known it from recordings and like it -- I think it is an
> >> important piece, just by virtue of being a "mash-up."
> >> I do think that Foss' own recording, with Buffalo for Nonesuch, is a bit
> >> more convincing than Bernstein's, which seems
> >> more exploratory and tentative.
> >> Happy New Year!
> >> Uncle Dave Lewis
> >> On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 6:16 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >> I was at that concert and hated the piece. PDQ Bach it wasn't, nor had
> >>> the snarkiness of Alfred Schnittke nor the dry gumor of Cage. It
> >>> a
> >>> mash-up with no apparent connections of the inserts to one another nor
> >>> the musical framework.
> >>> Steve Smolian
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> >>> Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 4:41 PM
> >>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] World premiere of "a totally terrible piece of
> >>> It's not often that a scathing review like this gets written:
> >>> %20Lucas%20Foss%20piece%20booed%20by%20NYPO%20audience.pdf?dl=0
> >>> or that people jeer at a NY Philharmonic concert!
> >>> Listen and judge for yourself:
> >>> s-foss-phorion-world-premiere/s-LZz7Y
> >>> Recording found on a yard-sale reel tape, the review was included in
> >>> box. Surprisingly good fidelity for quarter-track off-air taping,
> >>> although
> >>> the channels were reversed and there's considerable edge warp on the
> >>> ancient
> >>> acetate-backed 1-mil tape.
> >>> Happy New Year!
> >>> -- Tom Fine