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Thread: Eltamina: V-babes in stockings and SOI

  1. #1

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    Eltamina: V-babes in stockings and SOI

    To Eltamina -- So, did you get your Stars on Ice tickets in your Christmas stocking after all?

    I got Hilary Hahn (Mendelsohn) AND the Ahn Trio (Groove Box)

    I am starting to like the Ahn Trio (not just for the obvious reason). According to the liner notes,

    "Groovebox is about contradictions and fusions. Here in the 21st century, explorations of electronic music are delving ever deeper into the genre of classical music. Still, we strive to hold on to the older, traditional art forms, which are becoming rarer. Today's sounds don't always need to be created by electronic means; in Groovebox contemporary composers achieve new and modern sounds with beautiful melodies and traditional instrumentation."

    I especially liked the work by Kenji Bunch -- have you ever heard of him? He has another work for this group on their earlier CD, Ahn-plugged. If you know this CD, how about track #13 for skating?

    Or does it just sound like a three-year-old banging at random on an electric keyboard?


  2. #2

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    Holiday Humor

    Happy Holidays MM, Santa is good to you, & Kwannoisseur Mathman is becoming a Hahnnoisseur and Ahnnoisseur. You deserve a 6.0/6.0 tech and artistry for inventing this new triple connoisseur jump.

    I am not familiar with the Ahn trio at all, what is your recommendation. I am willing to learn and prune my neuronal pathways.

    So these are the Ahn trio babes. BTW, how old are Maria, Lucia, and Angela, are they < ½ of…? Never mind on second thought, you will never violate the T1/2 (not to be confused with the term half life in chemistry) rule, because the summation of their ages is >>>>>>than…... :rollin:
    and Maria

    Mathman, you are so smart. I am only devious (for figuring out why ezboard admins do not allow editing of the first message of a poll thread). :rollin:

    Serious, they have a point about learning new music, and new ways of interpreting old music. It is the 21st century. Interesting, the Chicago Tribune had an article about it on 12/24. (I will post that later)

    Santa has been very humorous. I did not receive any SOI tix. I got a Vanessa Mae cd

    Scroll down to read the amazon’s own review on this cd. If the amazon editoral staff is not impressed, it is bad; after all they are in the business of selling cds. Santa was being humorous, because it is known that I find Mae to be detached, cold and non musical. (Mae is a babe, she got legs, skin, electric violin, nice cheek bones, and she looks a bit Spanish. She is a British Chinese child prodigy, like Hilary, she is one year older than Sarah.) Santa more than made up for this joke by the tower gift card. I used the gift card + my own plastic card for:

    1. Lutowslawski cello concerto – talk about pruning my neuronal pathways for dissonance, you think the violin and orchestra are fighting in the sibelius, this one is a battle.

    2. The Battle Marsilas duet cd- thanks for the recommendation

    and 3. The art of Nathan Milstein

    Hilary Hahn reminds me of Milstein. They both have an amazingly clear sound.

    How did you discover the Ahn trio? I know they were featured in Time mag in 1987? Please post a review or recommendation on this new groovebox. Thanks.

  3. #3

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    The Ahn Trio

    Dearest Eltamina, greetings:

    In your latest you raise the question, how did Mathman make the acquaintance of the Ahn Trio? I do not think we need to trouble our friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes to puzzle out the solution to this mystery.

    As men and women of the world, we know, you and I, what sells. At least, we know what Mathman buys. Mathman has admitted to having purchased the 2000 Ahn Trio release "Ahn-Plugged". Let us examine how this CD was packaged. On the front we have a photograph of a wintry street scene. Three young ladies who can only be described as "nubile cuties" -- two of them twins, no less! -- struggle to carry a cello across a snowy avenue, looking appealing into the camera as if to say, Oh how grateful we should be if some big, strong and virile gentleman would come along and offer to carry this heavy instrument for us!

    On the back cover, having safely arrived at their destination, the three look back seductively over their shoulders with wistful what-might-have-been expressions on their lovely faces, their beautiful lips puckered into three irresistible come-hither pouts. (After examination with my magnifying glass I can attest that said lips have not been air-brushed.)

    Now my dear Ms. E, put yourself in the stead of Prof. M., weak-willed and pathetic as we know him to be. I need say no more.

    I remain

    yours sincerely,

    John Watson, M.D.

    P.S. As to the question of the ages of the three lovely sisters and the less-than-half proscription, I am sure that biographical information is readily available on the World Wide Web. But such is scarcely needed. As you note, they were already "on the scene" in 1987. Assuming that they were at least in their teens then, now they must be over 30. Mathman admits to being 58. If I may be permitted a small jocularity at the expense of Prof. M., "Do the Math".

  4. #4

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    Interesting, posting away at 8 pm ET, i.e. 2 am London time?

    We know what sell. (BTW, as long as my most favorite musicians don't sell "what sells", I am OK with other classical musicians selling "what sells" ) I don't know what Mathman buys, I thought he is meticulous about exercising his harmony and dissonance neuronal circuits. I assume he buys for music appreciation. Of course there is the phenomenon of synergism. Kwan fans are very familiar with this, the exponential increase of pleasure through the audio and visual experiences. So that is why MM buys?

    Actually the bio on the Ahn sisters did not indicate their birth years. Even on their offical website

    Come on, when they ask Angela, how old are you? She said, " I am the youngest", and Maria and Lucia said, "We are 2 years older". One can not assume that they were teenagers when they were featured in time mag in 1987. I am sure you know that Yo Yo Ma, and Yo Ching Ma gave a recital for president Kennedy at the ages of 4 and 7 respectively. Sarah Chang debut her first concert at 5. Heifetz gave his first recital at 6? Anyway, I have already done the math in my first message, MM is smart, it really does not matter how old is Angela, or Maria, or Lucia, because the summation of their ages is >>>>>>>>>>> MM T1/2.

    JW, where is MM anyway. He can not just casually mention the Groove Box, a new cd, and trend in music w/o a follow up. I am determined to prune my neurons through better music appreciation, and he should help. Afterall, who introduced him to the wonderful music of Hilary. I know he is a Hahnnoisseur now, and I am lagging behind. What can I say, MM has the brain power, the smarts, and the motivation. He even invented a new triple jump.

  5. #5

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    The Ahn Trio

    Eltamina -- How did you like the Battle/Marsalis duets CD? That's the music that I want to greet me when I shuffle off this mortal coil and present myself before the pearly gates -- with Gabriel on the Baroque trumpet.

    About the closely guarded ages of the Ahn girls, I think that they don't want to admit how old they are because they still want to trade on their "infant prodigy" origins. According to their web site, they first appeared on Korean television in 1979, some time after "they got tall enough to reach the keys of the piano." Since the youngest plays the cello, she must have been at least big enough to finger that large instrument. Let's say she was 6 and the twins were 8. That makes them 29, 31 and 31 now, for a grant total of 91.

    I now have two of their CDs. They also recorded some straight classical stuff earlier in their career, before their mission jelled to explore and introduce a more "modern" sound. It is my impression that the pianist is the true talent of the group. The string players hold up their ends adequately, but I think that it is the sure interpretive touch of the pianist that gives the group its distinctive flavor.

    So, here is my review of the Ahn Trio's new release, Groovebox. I will just do the central piece, a six-part work titled Swing Shift (tracks 8-13) by contemporary composer Henji Bunch. It is supposed to represent a dusk to dawn pub crawl in New York City. The work was composed especially for the Ahn Trio, and it was intended to have a dance accompaniment, although the liner notes do not make it clear whether this was ever performed. Anyway, it does have some dancy rhythms that makes it a real possibility for skating music, IMHO.

    The six movements can be naturally grouped in three sets of two. Each of the three can stand alone. Overall, this work is quite a lot like the Concerto for Piano Trio and Percussion, also by Bunch, which was featured (track 1) on the trio's last recording, Ahn-Plugged. That work, in three continuous movements (fast, slow, fast -- also very "skatable") is animated by an array of percussion that, in retrospect (i.e., compared to the present work), now seems maybe a little "special effect-y." I loved the special effects, however, and, on the other hand, I wonder if Swing Shift could have been spiced up a little in that way. Instead, the trio has to supply the percussion itself, sometimes with with repetitive driving chords in the left hand and cello pizzicato, accompanying lyric phrases in the right hand (sometimes cross-hand) and violin. At the beginning of the last movement they get some neat percussive effects out of muted (or “prepared?” cello).

    I think that the performance succeeds in “presenting the style of electronic synthesized music, performed on traditional instruments.” Especially in the grand finale, the music does have the spirit of a fixed electronically generated rhythm against which the soloists improvise single note melodic conceptions. On the other hand, it exploits what I would call “classical” ideas such as counterpoint and the development and recapitulation of thematic material.

    The first movement (which is how I think of tracks 8 and 9 together), starts unpretentiously (unlike this review :lol: ) and gathers momentum throughout, introducing more and more complex rhythms. The “slow movement” (tracks 10 and 11, although there are tempo changes) features a lot of very pretty but still “modern” harmonies, and interesting non-standard chord progressions and melodic fragments. Track 11 is especially well crafted. It starts with an extended cello solo, then the violin joins in for a pretty duet, then the violin takes over against piano chords. This is probably the most complex movement, although its elements are very transparent.

    Tracks 12 and 13 could stand alone as a little one-act piece. 12 begins with a beautifully lyric string duet, with the piano contributing slow arpeggios in the upper register. The interwoven melodies are quite nice -- this is the most “classical” sounding part of the work. Then in 13 the percussive “electronic” drive cuts in, a pulse that becomes more and more demanding until the end. Both the rhythm and the interaction of parts become more and more interesting, and lead the piece to an exciting climax. This movement (12 and 13 together) was really quite excellent, and succeed well in conveying the composer’s conception.

    Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the review

    I love the Battle/Marsalis duet, thanks. I have listened to that twice. [Trumpet at the pearly gates, I thought you like Lyra Angelica (harp)]. I still have a whole 5 cds set of complete Schubert Symphonies that I haven't unwrap yet. Believe I have been diligent listening round the clock.:rollin:

    My new year resolution for the nth time is to try to appreciate 20th and 21 st century music (including atonal, and minimalist), and operas. So as a primer for the Ahn Trio, should I buy the Ahn plug or the Grove box? The Ahn trio has a new concept, use period/ classical instrument to make new age sound.

    I just post a poll about "David" the Guarneri Del Gesu. We live in interesting times. There are 7 strings electric violins, and there are the Guarneri (only 40 left in this world) + the Stradivarius (about 400 left). With this new age music/ sound, do we need the old masterpieces.

    Now how about review of the Shastokovich v cto #1?

  7. #7

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    Re: Thanks for the review

    I think that Groovebox is the more mature offering. If you just want to see if you like this kind of music, my recommendation is that you might as well start there. If you decide really to get into this group, you can always go back (as I intend to do) and follow their whole development as recording artists.

    In comparison, I thing that Ahn-Plugged is a work in progress. It goes back and forth between "modern classical" and songs presenting their own unique sound. For instance, Ahn-Plugged contains a fairly straight up interpretation of the Leonard Berstein Piano Trio, while every cut on Groovebox is written for or adapted specifically to the requirements of this group (the first cut is a take on Riders on the Storm by The Doors).

    I think that with Groovebox you will be able to decide instantly whether you like this Trio or not. There is really nothing not to like. You might even find them too timid if you are expecting something way out there.

    I'm working on the Shastakovich.


  8. #8

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    More items to collect

    Thanks, I will try the Groovebox first then. The sound samples from tower web site is very accessible.

    MM, your girl and Mariner's Brahms / Stravinsky is up for grammy nomination. ( I still think relative to the band, HH was bright. Maybe Mariner and his St. Martins in the Fields did not fall asleep, maybe the sound engineers need to tweak it more).

    I am please to see a Naxos recording of the Barber v cto is nominated also.

    I need another Barber v cto recording like I need a hole in my head. I think I will buy the Flemming bel canto cd too.

    BTW, if you are are Hahn fan, you may want to collect her Barber and Meyer ctos.

    Now, my only other struggle is to decide whether I should buy this cd

    The Last of the castratos, recorded in 1903. (The only recording of a castrato)

    Alessandro Morceschi was 44 y/o, way past his prime when he recorded this.
    This was recorded in the Vatican. The sound samples sound horrible. Spending $15 is just to buy a piece of music history. Some may say an ugly piece of music history, others may say serious student of music should try to collect it. I will probably listen to it once and file it away. My online friends are very divided about buying it or not.

    What do you think?

  9. #9

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    Re: More items to collect

    One of the last "big" pieces I choreographed used several variations of old or unusual opera recordings (I used Florence Foster Jenkins for this piece) and I would have <strong>loved</strong> to have had these recordings of Morceschi. But it's one thing to invest in this kind of music for dance or if you're studying castrati, quite another to shell out $15 for something that, as you say, you will probably listen to once and then almost never again. I'd say spend the money on something you would listen to a lot and in a year or so I bet "The Last Castrato" will be available for a fraction of the cost on Ebay,, or some other used CD seller.

    Also on this subject, did you ever see the movie "Farinelli"? It came out in the mid-'90s. I remember the imagery, the basics, and liking it, but don't recall if I liked the music. It was recreated with a soprano and a counter-tenor. I couldn't find any samples from the soundtrack to download, but with your talent with links, you might have better luck. Although it's not the real deal, the "Farinelli" soundtrack might be something one could actually enjoy listening to. Here are some info links:

    I loved what I heard of the Naxos Barber violin concerto. Another, "Why doesn't anybody skate to this?" piece. I hope you and Mathman keep exchanging music info on the board. Between cd prices and no longer being able to deduct them from my taxes, I have to be very picky about what I buy. So it helps to get some good clues.

  10. #10

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    I saw farinelli, and I liked the soundtrack.

    There has been a lot of interest in the castratos lately. I have to confess, I have a hard time even listening to counter tenors if I have to look at their pictures while listening.

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