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Hito
01-27-2012, 02:25 PM
I've got a lot of love for classical music and noticed there's no place to gush about it here. So, let's talk about it. Who are your favorite composers? Favorite pieces?

I'll start. Hi, my name is Hito and I'm a classicalholic. I can't go even two hours without thinking of a symphony or opera and my hard drive is full of music I bought and paid for.

Relevant: Today is Mozart's 256th birthday. To celebrate, I am listening to his divertimenti and wind concertos.

Keep it classy, bitches.

Evil Dead Junkie
01-27-2012, 02:35 PM
I'm a Chopin man myself, when it comes to composers. I can listen to his preludes all day long and number 15 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOivY3xTntI&feature=related) might be the prettiest piece of music ever written.

I've tried to branch out a bit from the main composers, but I have to admit I've found Mahler a little frustrating, Schubert to. I know I probably suck.

While I'm making embarrassing admissions I might as well come clean that I have a severely Schizoid reactions to Bach. While I think you literally can literally hear all of life in The Goldberg Variations, The Brandenberg Concerto's give me a massive headache. Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme is an amazing composition though I prefer the simple arrangements for Brass (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyWOIKCtjiw) than the fully orchestrated ones. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8BJ21yLoA&feature=fvst)

Mara
01-27-2012, 02:36 PM
I'm more of an opera aficionado, and a raving Puccini fangirl, at that.

Dizzy
01-27-2012, 02:50 PM
What are some good modern classical composers? Any Bach aspirants out there?

Traumadore
01-27-2012, 02:56 PM
The only composer that has caught my ear to the extent that I actively sought out and listened to a large portion of their work is Dvorak. Yeah, I'm in a hurry so I can't bother with the accents.

Otherwise I feel like so much classical music is either trying to express emotions I don't think I have, or just trying to be so aggressively clever that it just rolls off me, or mildly annoys me.

Ethan
01-27-2012, 04:25 PM
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2, Movement 1.

Sprite
01-27-2012, 04:52 PM
My favorite composer is Philip Glass. I've listened to Einstein on the Beach more than any other music in the world. After him I'd probably say Beethoven, which is a bit of a cliche, but he's a biggie for a reason.
What are some good modern classical composers? Any Bach aspirants out there?
By this, do you mean:

A) Current composers who align themselves with the western tradition of classical music

B) Current composers who specifically imitate the Classical period, as defined between the Baroque and Romantic periods (Neo-Classical)

C) Current composers who specifically imitate the Baroque period of music, as implied by your Bach allusion? (Neo-Baroque)

Hito
01-27-2012, 05:01 PM
While I'm making embarrassing admissions I might as well come clean that I have a severely Schizoid reactions to Bach. While I think you literally can literally hear all of life in The Goldberg Variations, The Brandenberg Concerto's give me a massive headache. Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme is an amazing composition though I prefer the simple arrangements for Brass (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyWOIKCtjiw) than the fully orchestrated ones. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8BJ21yLoA&feature=fvst)

In my experience, the effect Bach can have is greatly diminished the more modern the interpretation and more instruments in the orchestra. Hearing his music done in an historically informed manner is far more pleasing than hearing a bombastic Stokowski orchestration.

I'm more of an opera aficionado, and a raving Puccini fangirl, at that.

Me too!

The only composer that has caught my ear to the extent that I actively sought out and listened to a large portion of their work is Dvorak. Yeah, I'm in a hurry so I can't bother with the accents.

Dvorak was my first great love of classical music. I immediately connected with his symphonies and piano trios and began collecting any new piece of his I could find.

Otherwise I feel like so much classical music is either trying to express emotions I don't think I have, or just trying to be so aggressively clever that it just rolls off me, or mildly annoys me.

Can you explain this a bit more? There is a lot of playfulness in classical, but far more of it is trying to be serious than clever.

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2, Movement 1.

A thousand times yes.


What are some good modern classical composers?

Good modern classical composers:

John Coolidge Adams
Kzrysztof Penderecki (probably my second favorite composer)
Brian Ferneyhough
Kalevi Aho
Leif Segerstram
Elliot Carter
George Crumb
Sofia Gubaidulina
Benjamin Britten
Ellen Taafe Zwilich
Gyorgi Ligeti
Thomas Ades
Louis Andriessen
George Antheil
Leonardo Balada (a personal favorite of mine)
Alban Berg
Arnold Schoenberg
Mark-Andre Dalbavie
Mark-Anthony Turnage
Erich Korngold
Bohuslav Martinu
Olivier Messiaen
Carl Nielsen
Leo Ornstein
Arvo Part
Einojuhani Rautavaara
Frederic Rzewski
Carl Vine

Those are the ones I can come up with off the top of my head. There are many, many more living composers and recently-dead composers whose music is worth exploring, but I can't recall their names at the moment.

Sprite
01-27-2012, 05:10 PM
Kzrysztof Penderecki (probably my second favorite composer)
YES. Isn't he amazing? His St. Luke Passion is easily the best adaptation of that story I've heard or seen in pretty much any form.

Dizzy
01-27-2012, 05:50 PM
I was thinking of now-living composers working (or perhaps breaking, subverting or enhancing) in the traditions of classical music (Baroque, Romantic, Renaissance, etc.)

Hito
01-27-2012, 06:26 PM
Most of the composers I listed are still alive and doing exactly those things.

bobbywatson
01-27-2012, 07:36 PM
Favorite composer: probably Jean-Baptiste Lully. Favorite piece: Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs.

Other than that, I love Mozart. I went to see a representation of The Marriage of Figaro in September in Montreal and it was absolutely awesome. Next time I go to Montreal I am planning on listening to an OSM concert.

teg
01-27-2012, 09:02 PM
I love classical, but I'm afraid I don't have much to add. What I will add, though, is...

1) I spent my childhood listening to Vivaldi, and still do now (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-dYNttdgl0).

2) this is probably my all-time favourite musical composition (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyknBTm_YyM). I distinctly recommend it being played on Halloween with the lights off in my music class as a little kid, and it absolutely terrified me. I don't think any piece of music's ever made me feel something so strongly.

3) Does ballet count (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S76CGGPqI3s)?

Matchstick
01-27-2012, 10:20 PM
I'm a Chopin man myself, when it comes to composers. I can listen to his preludes all day long and number 15 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOivY3xTntI&feature=related) might be the prettiest piece of music ever written.

Yet again you prove your worth as a human being. For me, it's Chopin (the Nocturnes are also amazing), Beethoven (especially the piano pieces: Tempest Sonata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfjD-DQ5REk), Moonlight Sonata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tr0otuiQuU&feature=related), Für Elise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mVW8tgGY_w)), Mozart (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT7_Y1pIBb4&feature=related), Rachmaninov (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8l37utZxMQ), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U7hPHSkNJo&feature=related, and Satie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7harFCylWNQ&feature=fvst). Yes, I have a soft spot for piano pieces. :p

Teg also has great taste, and ballet totally counts.

Mara
01-27-2012, 10:25 PM
Me too!

<33333

Seriously, I can't find anyone else with a love of Puccini. But then again, I live in Fresno...

Büge
01-27-2012, 10:31 PM
So how many people here had their love of classical music fired by Looney Tunes, Fantasia or other cartoons?

Hito
01-27-2012, 11:55 PM
It was probably Looney Toons that hooked me. What's Opera, Doc? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQlmXU1zqfc) and The Rabbit of Seville (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDQLy84ad04) were in my consciousness long before I realized that they were based on real things. Animaniacs used its fair share of classical themes (Dvorak's seventh humoresque makes frequent appearances in the Slappy the Squirrel segments). As a kid, I would sit down at the keyboard and play out the melodies I'd heard in the cartoons.

Loki
01-28-2012, 12:19 AM
Yeah my favorite pieces tend to come from animated adaptations.

Clair De Lune (http://youtu.be/-hfo-0WKwSw)

Bolero (http://youtu.be/aSEJC-cVPuA)

Sanagi
01-28-2012, 04:02 AM
I'm sure we've talked about classical music before, but I don't mind a chance to talk about how good that bit is in Brahms's Requiem when the men go "Tod, wo ist dein stachel?"

So good.
My favorite composer is Philip Glass.
Along those lines, Steve Reich.

Hito
01-28-2012, 01:05 PM
Glass and Reich leave me feeling completely cold. What is it you like about their music?

Dizzy
01-28-2012, 01:21 PM
Glass isn't really a favorite here, either.

Favorite interpreters of the classics? (Gould/Bach, Jonas/Chopin, etc.)

KCar
01-28-2012, 02:16 PM
Would any of youse classical types be able to recommend particular recordings? Every time I want to dabble my toes in the pool, I realize that I wouldn't know particular album(s) I should be looking for, and I freeze up.

reibeatall
01-28-2012, 02:23 PM
My favorite, and it's really safe but whatever, is Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons", particularly the entire Winter movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdFHJXciAQ). Seriously listen to that and it's just so goddamn amazing.

I'm also partial to most of Tchaikovsky's work, but I don't really know the names of many of them.

Daikaiju
01-28-2012, 02:29 PM
Does Rhapsody In Blue count? I love love love that piece.

Hito
01-28-2012, 11:39 PM
Would any of youse classical types be able to recommend particular recordings? Every time I want to dabble my toes in the pool, I realize that I wouldn't know particular album(s) I should be looking for, and I freeze up.

It depends entirely on what you're looking for. The problem (and blessing) of classical music is that there can be hundreds of potential interpretations of a single piece. What sort of music do you like? Often times it can take the right recording of a piece to even begin to like it. A bad first recording is a dangerous thing, sure, but in this music you have the chance to try, try again.

It's hard to know where to start without some guidelines. You want opera? Piano music? Orchestral? Chamber?

Does Rhapsody In Blue count? I love love love that piece.

Yes. Most of Gershwin's work falls into the classical category.

Sanagi
01-29-2012, 02:41 AM
Would any of youse classical types be able to recommend particular recordings? Every time I want to dabble my toes in the pool, I realize that I wouldn't know particular album(s) I should be looking for, and I freeze up.
Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a great place to start. I've never heard a bad version of it, so go ahead and grab one of the cheapies you can find all over the place(I got the 7th, 8th and 9th all together for five bucks). The 9th is both accessible and deep. You can sit with a cup of tea and appreciate it or you can headbang to it. On the list of humanity's greatest hits it ranks towards the top.

Zodar
01-29-2012, 07:53 PM
brutal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvTTfbpWjY), especially the portion that starts at 0:55 or so

Hito
01-29-2012, 09:54 PM
Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a great place to start. I've never heard a bad version of it, so go ahead and grab one of the cheapies you can find all over the place(I got the 7th, 8th and 9th all together for five bucks). The 9th is both accessible and deep. You can sit with a cup of tea and appreciate it or you can headbang to it. On the list of humanity's greatest hits it ranks towards the top.

There are very many bad recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies. I would recommend any of the Karajan (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=309&album_group=5) recordings, if you want big, German bombast and deafening choirs. Simon Rattle (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=77836&album_group=5) has a fantastic recording with heaps of subtlety and actual feeling in the music. Avoid Ricardo Muti's recording. I love the Harnoncourt (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=3519&album_group=5) recording which is much truer to how the music must have sounded in its period. Otto Klemperer (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=4595&album_group=5) has another fine take on the piece.

The rest are either too old to have a sonically pleasing sound or range from good-but-not-great to outright shoddy. Going for budget-priced recordings will likely give you a recording that is decidedly mediocre and with muddy sound, no interesting liner notes, and nothing to learn from the music itself. Those Top 100 Classics CDs are fine as an introduction, but when you find a piece you like, it's best to seek out the best recordings you can and move on from the shelf filler companies put out to make a quick buck.

Adam
01-29-2012, 10:26 PM
Is this (http://www.lvbeethoven-music.com/Beethoven-Midi/DanielLViens/Symphonie9_Opus125_Mvt4_Choral.mid) a good one? Apparently I can hold out for three days.

upupdowndown
01-30-2012, 12:31 PM
Glass and Reich leave me feeling completely cold. What is it you like about their music?

My impression of Reich's Music For 18 Musicians:

dun dun dun dun ting ting ting dun dun dun ting ting

I like some Minimalism because of its mathematical rigor and its subtlety. If you like Arvo Part's Kanon Pokajanen, I think some of its pleasures are similar to what you might get from Glass's string quartets. (In that it's much more about listening for tiny modulations rather than great sweeping movements.)

Hito
01-30-2012, 11:49 PM
Who says classical is no longer relevant? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFE1Qi5G-o William Jeths wrote a piece for marriage equality!

shivam
01-31-2012, 12:22 AM
Trolling time--
I prefer classical music from the east, like the absolutely masterful Zakir Hussain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rG3Rpv78DA), seen here playing tabla with the offscreen Shiv Kumar Sharma on santoor.

Or go south for the peerless Pichumani on veena (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UErzv6yGs1w). Or Revathy Krishna (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98uPJlu4EWE).(see more vainikas here (http://www.metafilter.com/71710/The-veena-turned-up-to-11))

Oh, and here's Mandolin Srinivas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAQLjzR-424).

And of course, the grand masters, Ravi Shankar on Sitar, Ali Akbar Khan on Sarod, and Zakir Hussain's father Alla Rakha on tabla (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6Vv-60rjec).

If you want vocals, here's the maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, just (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qhwvRlGYCQ) killing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAbdJAw0jDQ&feature=related) it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOCncWcKp9Y), in his inimitable qawwali style. More Hindustani, here's Shuba Mudgal bringing it modern (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkfbk_eF9A4&feature=related).

Or to go to the deep south for some Carnatic vocal, here's the queen MS Subalakshmi taking it to the house (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98vu-xKuLRU).

Or go to pakistan and check out Abida (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaII05SfX9E&feature=related)Parveen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl5eZb4eudc&feature=related),
a lady who sings in the sufi style like nusrat.

and i'll leave you with these sick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXmIpbBOSvI) sick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymD_xFRQQ8&feature=related)tracks from sufi artists Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad.


ok, ok, two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IMHuCKp9TA&feature=related) more (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkOQutaHaZc&feature=plcp&context=C3d94bd9UDOEgsToPDskKoWazF6-uwsp0NhXV4QWp1).

Paul le Fou
02-01-2012, 02:16 AM
I've always wanted to 'get into' classical music but have had no idea where to start. I do like it, though! I'm a poser, but:

I'm partial to The Planets; I pretty much like them all, but Jupiter (http://youtu.be/3B49N46I39Y) is probably my single favorite piece of classical music.

Also a fan of Chopin - the Heroic Polonaise (http://youtu.be/L6S0VIy4SdY) is my favorite of his pieces.

Maybe it's just because I used to play the cello, but I've always been partial to Bach's cello suites as well. I can't remember my other favorite piece besides the ubiquitous prelude to suite no. 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU_QR_FTt3E), though.

Hito
02-01-2012, 02:27 AM
I think the best place to start is with what you know, then seek works by the same composers. Holst, unfortunately, doesn't have too much else worth listening to. Chopin has plenty. Look in to his ballades, nocturnes, second and third piano sonatas, and etudes.

Bach wrote two partitas for solo violin that are as rewarding as the cello suites. In addition, The Art of the Fugue contains his most accessible work. Also listen to his St. Matthew Passion and B minor Mass.

Dizzy
02-01-2012, 10:18 PM
Erik Satie perhaps doesn't get the right kind of love rather than the amount. So here is an appreciation (http://www.idiocentrism.com/satie.htm) of his character when he was alive.

A quotation:

Erik Satie was a truculent alcoholic who lived for decades in tiny, squalid apartments which no one was ever allowed to enter. After his death his family and friends had to remove two loads of garbage and rubbish before they could retrieve the manuscripts and other effects which were heaped haphazardly about the room. He had only one very short serious relationship with a woman, and hid his true feelings behind a sarcastic, whimsical mask which no one was ever able to penetrate.

An instruction (http://www.idiocentrism.com/satie2.htm):

Like most of Satie’s music, Satie’s first Gymnopédie is like a toy which was slightly bent during shipping. It can easily be be bent back into something easier to listen to.


(also this guy wrote a longer appreciation of modest musorgsky (http://www.idiocentrism.com/musorgsky.htm))

Mazian
02-01-2012, 10:36 PM
My favorite, and it's really safe but whatever, is Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons", particularly the entire Winter movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdFHJXciAQ). Seriously listen to that and it's just so goddamn amazing.

It seems like New York has solo musicians playing on every street corner and train platform. However, the very first time I visited the city, an entire string quartet had set up shop in a subway station and was playing that movement perfectly. It was fantastic.

It was at the foot of Track 3 on the shuttle platform at Grand Central. That's how well I remember it.

The first classical album I bought was Camille Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3, which is big and bombastic and half of it uses a pipe organ, but I still love it. Such a fun work.

Hito
02-03-2012, 01:13 PM
It's worth mentioning, krelbel set up a community jukebox. Many of you already use the normal one, but there's another one for classical. I'm usually on it in the afternoons. Come join! http://btmorris.lifeafterking.net:8082

Hito
02-22-2012, 11:21 AM
So my car was stolen this weekend. The thief got about half a mile down the road and left the car in a turn lane, with the hazards on, still running. I imagine being unable to find the stereo behind the panel that covers it and having this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jmzoIdiLKY) blaring from the speakers is what made him jump ship. Ligeti as an anti-theft device? So much cheaper than a kill switch.

Nyarlathotep
05-28-2012, 12:01 PM
Bumping this since no one mentioned Missa Solemnis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uSME7Bv4JE), because it's maybe my favorite Beethoven pieces.

Hito
05-30-2012, 10:03 AM
It was also Beethoven's favorite piece!