Fans of classical music?

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Fans of classical music?

Postby Jonathan » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:25 am

I seem to remember that there was a thread regarding this at some point, but cannot for the life of me find it.

Anyway, by far and away my music of choice is classical. Mainly the romantics and some of the slightly more modern stuff. I really dislike the Baroque (Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel etc) - I would say Beethoven is as early as I'm keen to listen to.

We're going to about 8-10 concerts this year in Glasgow and Edinburgh including (if memory serves):

* Tchaikovsky's First Piano concerto
* Rachmaninov's Second Symphony
* Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto
* Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini
* Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition
* Greig's Piano Concerto
Quite a few others too that I have listed somewhere and cannot remember.

If I were to recommend 3 pieces for any classical beginner to go listen to I'd say Greig's Piano Concerto, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Rachmaninov's Second symphony. I would bet my left nut that there are bits of those pieces that 99% of people recognise (the openings of Grieg's concerto and Gershwin's rhapsody and the third movement of Rachmaninov's symphony).

Some more unusual pieces that are quite remarkable include:

Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead - dark and tremendously brooding
Chopin's Sonatas - listen to the them all. 2nd sonata, 3rd movement is the funeral march everyone knows!
Musorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition - a fantastic collection of short pieces. Best on the piano IMO, rather than the full orchestral work.

Anyone else going to see any performances this year? Any recommendations?

Jonathan
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby ninearms » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:56 pm

Off to see Antoni Wit conduct Mahler's 5th in October, which is my 2nd favourite symphony ever (Shostakovich's 5th being my favourite - the third movement is pretty much unbeatable by anyone). I've seen it performed before and there's really nothing like when the full orchestra kicks in after the opening fanfare. I want the first movement played at my funeral.

Beethoven is about as early as I'll go too, and generally I avoid anything Italian too. At the moment I'm enjoying Alfred Schnittke, Gloria Coates, Anton Bruckner, Giya Kancheli's Symphonies are brilliant, as are Arvo Pärt's (nothing like his later stuff). I'm a big fan of Krzysztof Penderecki too, especially his early stuff.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby KC Masterpiece » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:14 pm

Jonathan wrote:I seem to remember that there was a thread regarding this at some point, but cannot for the life of me find it.


Is it this one?

Jonathan wrote:We're going to about 8-10 concerts this year


Wow that's pretty sweet. The scene out there is vibrant, then?

I haven't been to anything decent in a long time.

ninearms wrote:Off to see Antoni Wit conduct Mahler's 5th in October, which is my 2nd favourite symphony ever (Shostakovich's 5th being my favourite - the third movement is pretty much unbeatable by anyone). I've seen it performed before and there's really nothing like when the full orchestra kicks in after the opening fanfare. I want the first movement played at my funeral.


I always favored Mahler's 2nd. Not familiar with Shostakovich's 5th :oops: . From the description I suspect it may bear a resemblance to Górecki's 3rd (specifically the climax of the first movement).

ninearms wrote:Anton Bruckner


I think it's his 7th that I remember enjoying a lot. It was also played in response to Hitler's death...

ninearms wrote:I'm a big fan of Krzysztof Penderecki too, especially his early stuff.


Any recommendations? Zappa referenced him quite frequently but I'm not familiar with it, at all.

The two performances I'd like to attend would be Gorecki's 3rd Symphony and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby Clem Snide » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:17 pm

If you can't plug it in, it's against the black arts of metal.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby KC Masterpiece » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:18 pm

Clem Snide wrote:If you can't plug it in, it's against the black arts of metal.


Where does that leave these winners?
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby iain_g » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:23 pm

Jonathan wrote:* Rachmaninov's Second Symphony

Love this one. We played it in my uni orchestra 11 yrs ago & it's been a fave ever since. I like several of Rachmaninov's other works too.

Also a big fan of Sibelius, like a bit of Haydn now and then (e.g. Paris symphonies), and couldn't live without Bach.

For a different sound-world, have you ever tried Ockeghem, Machaut or other early stuff? Blew my mind the first time I heard it :)
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby HumanGazelle » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:31 pm

My tastes also tend towards Romantic composers and later; earlier music tends to be a lot drier and less sanguine. But I still think it's worth making a case for more specific examples from before Beethoven. 3 off the top of my head...

Allegri - Miserere mei, Deus
When performed by a good choir this is sublime.

Bach - The Brandenburg Concertos
Bach is the hands-down greatest composer of all time, and omitting him from a musical diet is like omitting chick peas from a vegan diet. The 6 of these concertos together are really worth seeing. The insane harpsichord cadenza/solo in the 5th concerto is awesome, especially if you take a look at the score.

Mozart - Requiem
I tend to dislike Mozart more than other Classical composers, and I think it's mainly because it largely sounds immature and frivolous to me (he did die young after all). However, the requiem was written in the year of his death, and it is as dark and intense as he gets.

The most accessible 19th and 20th century pieces I'd recommend for absolute beginners:
Stravinsky - Rite of Spring
Orff - Carmina Burana
Rachmaninov - Second piano concerto
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
Beethoven - 9th symphony
Gorecki - 3rd symphony
Elgar - Cello concerto

I love the Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Mahler, Bruckner and Shostakovich mentioned already, and in addition I think it's worth checking out:
Bruch's violin concerto
Albeniz Chants d'Espagne and Suite española (either of which is great on piano or guitar)
Strauss' four last songs
If you like Chopin, I recommend the Etudes which are immensely virtuosic and richly varied, and not in the least esoteric, though they are not performed so often because they're so difficult.

Opera-wise, I think the easiest to get into are
Bizet - Carmen
Mozart - Magic Flute (more fun and interesting than his others, which are all a little long and repetitive for my taste)
Verdi - Aida
I also massively recommend Wagner, but spending 6 hours in the same seat is in itself an acquired taste :)

Nothing specific planned at the moment, but I tend to go less to big orchestral events and more to chamber performances or recitals, where you only know the performer beforehand (usually students or youngsters with potential), and rarely the repertoire. However, I did recently see the Sondheim night at the Proms which I loved. I was going to get to a couple of other proms this season, but seem to have run out of time :(
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby -ash- » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:17 am

I tend to listen to 20th century "experimental" classical these days. Picked up a record by Henry Cowell recently which has blown my mind somewhat.

Arvo Part is on the stereo at the moment.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby KC Masterpiece » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:46 am

-ash- wrote:Arvo Part is on the stereo at the moment.


What particularly? I've noticed a surge in Part shout-outs lately. What else do you like?
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby -ash- » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:59 am

Yeah, I've noticed too.

He seems to appeal to people who don't usually listen to classical music, I think he's gained some kinda street cred thanks to musicians such as Björk digging him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pDjT1UNT3s

I'm listening to 'De Profundis', a choral piece.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby ninearms » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:25 am

KC Masterpiece wrote:
-ash- wrote:Arvo Part is on the stereo at the moment.


What particularly? I've noticed a surge in Part shout-outs lately. What else do you like?


Personally I much prefer his early symphonies, which are much harder and more Shostakovich-esque. That said, Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten is pretty hard to beat.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby XkillerX » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:39 pm

tldr; I'm a big fan of the crazy russians , like Mussorgsky's Pictures or Bald Mountain; then Rimsky Korsakov, then Borodin.
Next time, I'll spend the money on drugs instead.
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby soniczip » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:55 pm

XkillerX wrote:tldr; I'm a big fan of the crazy russians , like Mussorgsky's Pictures...

i need to get into this as well cause one of my favourite tech trash combos, mekong delta, are heavily inspired by him.

i'm now (slowly) digging into:
ludwig van beethoven - symphonies
dmitri shostakovich - symphonies
wolfgang amadeus mozart - piano sonatas
arvo pärt - tabula rasa
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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Re: Fans of classical music?

Postby Clem Snide » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:57 am

All music before Iggy Pop was awful.
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