Post by Richard Spross Post by John Wasak Post by dave payne
Post by John Wasak
I was thinking something like the Richard Rodney Bennett Sonata for
Post by dave payne Post by John Wasak
at a little some over nineteen minutes. Also, Britten's Nocturnal is
around eighteen-eighteen and a half.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that it takes Mark Delpriora a
while to play through his 74 page Sonata 3. But I also seem to remember
reading somewhere that according to the Guiness Book of World Records
(??) the longest "single" composition for guitar was Igor Rekhin's 24
Preludes and Fugues.
Feel free to correct if I remember incorrectly :) .
Thanks, Dave. 74 page sonata you say....well, that could take
awhile...especially if there's a lot of repeats! ;-) Maybe md wil help out
with a timing.
Now, 24 P & F's .....hmmm....that could take a while.... Even if each P&F
is one-minute long that's 48 minutes!....
Mark will have to give us the exact time, but I remember that thread, and my
memory tells me it was over an hour. Definitely. Maybe an hour and a half. So
Sonata was the first one which came to my mind.
Thanks, Richard. Well, I don't know where I was, I don't recall any if this
at all....I didn't even realize Mark had such a long sonata....
Post by Richard Spross
All I could think of was uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Heh heh heh. Do I really want to
that long?????????????? to listen.
Well, that's a very interesting and, I think, astute comment, Richard.
Comments like that are what I was actually hoping to get to eventually.
Now, if for a moment we might consider the implications of sitting
through - or even far more difficult, I think, *playing* the piece I
mentioned earlier - Morton Feldman's six-hour quartet!
The 'Village Voice' New Music critic, Kyle Gann, has writen about a recent
live concert (Oct 25 in NYC) of that Feldman Quartet on his weblog. Here's
just a few select comments from what he had to say about the event:
"The Second Quartet, dating from 1983, is a vast musical quilt of recurring
sonic objects - ostinatos (repeating melodic snippets) of four chromatic
notes over and over; brief, returning atonal melodies; rotating progressions
of three chords with a waltz-like feel; Webernesqe motives that cancel each
other out in quiet arguments; quick, rustling pizzicato textures; even one
extended moment of jazzy syncopation. The work was given a truncated,
hurried runthrough by the Kronos Quartet at New Music America in Miami in
1988 (the full piece was beyond their physical stamina), but received its
real full-scale premiere in recent years from Manhattan's fearless Flux
Quartet, who were brought back to recap the achievement in Zankel Hall
October 25 as part of the festival "When Morty Met John" (as in Feldman and
Cage). The instantaneous standing ovation and outburst of bravos that
greeted the Flux players after six hours of pianissimo intensity was as
rousing a recognition of heroism as I've ever heard at a concert. Violinists
Tom Chiu and Jesse Mills, violist Max Mandel, and cellist Dave Eggar played
from 6:12 to 12:05 without any but the most momentary break, yet if they
were any more tired during the last hour than during the first there was no
audible sign of it, just an occasional neck or shoulder stretch. Hour after
hour they played harmonies and little fragments of counterpoint in exact
rhythmic unison, as with one heart, and with the extraordinarily sustained
tension that Feldman's music requires.".....
"What interests me more today, finally having heard the Second Quartet live,
is the strange social situation of being psychically trapped in a hall with
dozens of other audience members and a six-hour sonic boa constrictor.
Before beginning, cellist Eggar invited the audience to move around, and
even to come up onstage and occupy the rugs and extra chairs that had been
provided. When he was done, an audience member shouted "Good luck!", and
Eggar responded, "Good luck to you too. You have to work as hard as we do,
or it isn't fair." There were those (besides the quartet, I mean) who sat in
one place for the whole 353 minutes, but most seemed to enjoy the freedom to
move, and as soon as someone left a position on those rugs, it was quickly
"You enter into any concert with some expectation of when you'll be getting
up again, but there's there's a special kind of crisis in knowing that the
music is going to last six hours, nonstop. Such music mandates more
informality than the general classical concert: the fact that I could have
laid down was comforting, even if I didn't avail myself of it. At any given
moment a few audience members were in motion, but everyone was as quiet and
reverent as a room of typically clumsy homo sapiens could possibly be. For
me the most difficult point was around 8 PM, the point at which a normal
concert would have ended. I took a restroom break, and a longer one around
9:45. At 9 I counted the audience members: there were 149, not counting the
people I couldn't see in the balcony above me, in a hall that seated (I was
told) 750. That was a slightly smaller crowd than we had started with, I
think, though in the evening's final two hours it appeared to me that we
didn't lose a soul. "......
"By 10:30 something interesting had definitely happened to the audience.
Fidgeting stopped, and focus had palpably increased. Sleepiness was very
little in evidence; my only bout with it came in the first half-hour, I
having just finished dinner. In that last 90 minutes the audience was
reduced, or elevated, to a kind of religious awe, or freed from the usual
need for action, as if resigned to some fate. Musical ideas repeated, but
there was no way to keep track of chronology. Was that melody one from the
beginning ot the work, or had it only occurred a few moments ago? Like
walking though a vast, undulating prairie landscape, we had only the vaguest
and contradictory notion about where we were - until about 11:55, when
suddenly the music switched to quiet chords that had an indistinct air of
finality about them. Intermittent silences grew longer, and finally one
arrived that seemed endless, until we broke it with a fortississimo of
Very lengthy pieces like this obviously ask so much of a musician and an
audience. It's one of the things that prompted my ponderment of lengthy
guitar solo pieces.
Post by Richard Spross
Sonata Romantica comes in between 22 and 25 minutes. Allowing for pauses
Sonata Romantica is a good mention too.