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Classical music

Classical music
June 24, 2009, 07:40:49 PM
Like many here, it seems, I went from being a popular music (and unpopular music, like black metal) listener to being a classical listener with a few favorite metal CDs.

I'm a regular listener of:

  • Ottorino Respighi
  • Anton Bruckner
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Franz Schubert
  • Robert Schumann
  • Gustav Faure

I'd like to hear from others in the same boat, especially who are their favorite composers, why, and possibly the pieces they enjoy.

Re: Classical music
June 26, 2009, 07:09:56 PM
I'm in exactly the same boat.  The composers you listed are enjoyable, and of them, I give most of my time to Beethoven and Respighi, and occasionally  Schubert and Schumann.

I also enjoy Mozart (particularly his symphonies and chamber music), Brahms (thunderously beautiful), Vivaldi and Holst's The Planets.  I've also started listening to Berwald (sy. 2 & 4), thanks to recommendation from this site.

Bach is probably my favorite composer.  Such a wide catalog, but I never grow tired of The Brandenburg Concertos.  Every piece is an unbroken, flowing stream of beauty.  BWV 1050: Allegro is hypnotizing.

Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich don't seem to be well-received around here, and are largely viewed as "background music", which is a fair assessment.  I still enjoy them, particularly Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Shostakovich's 5th Symphony.

I've never heard of Gustav Faure.  That wouldn't be this fellow, would it?
http://www.anus.com/metal/hall/index.php/topic,2295.0.html
If not, could you give me a little more information?  Google isn't of much help.

Re: Classical music
June 28, 2009, 01:00:05 AM
Yes, thank you, that's GABRIEL Faure (add accents as appropriate).

Never got into Vivaldi. Save some things for the future. What do you think of Corelli and Rossini, since we're talking pasta people?

Re: Classical music
June 29, 2009, 08:19:28 PM
Yes, thank you, that's GABRIEL Faure (add accents as appropriate).

Well, having settled that, I haven't heard any of his music.  For starters, I'll probably head over to the Audiofile and give his Requiem, Op. 48 a listen.  What else should I seek out?

What do you think of Corelli and Rossini, since we're talking pasta people?

I've heard very little from both, so I can't make an accurate judgment.  I've liked what I've heard from Corelli, but I can remember nothing from Rossini.  Again, I'll head over to the Audiofile, but I'd appreciate recommendations (especially for Corelli).

Re: Classical music
June 29, 2009, 08:59:43 PM
Well I am just the man for that question since I am your pasta person!  Gioachino  Antonio Rossini  is best known for
the Barber of Seville, Ivanhoe, and William Tell. He did many instrumentals as well:

Sei sonate a quattro (1804)
Sinfonia "al conventello" (1806)
Cinque duets pour cor (1806)
Sinfonia (1808, utilisée dans l'inganno felice)
Sinfonia (1809, utilisée dans la cambiale di matrimonio et adelaide di borgogna)
Sinfonia "obbligata a contrabasso" (1807-10)

And Arcangelo Corelli:

Corelli composed 48 trio sonatas, 12 violin and continuo sonatas and 12 Concerti grossi.

Six opuses are authentically ascribed to Corelli, together with a few other works.

Opus 1: 12 sonatas da chiesa (trio sonatas for 2 violins and continuo) (Rome 1681)
Opus 2: 12 sonatas da camera (trio sonatas for 2 violins and continuo) (Rome 1685)
Opus 3: 12 sonatas da chiesa (trio sonatas for 2 violins and continuo) (Rome 1689)
Opus 4: 12 sonatas da camera (trio sonatas for 2 violins and continuo) (Rome 1694)
Opus 5: 12 Suonati a violino e violone o cimbalo ( (Rome 1700)
op. post.: Sinfonia in D minor, WoO 1
op. post.: 6 Sonate a tre,  (Amsterdam 1714)



Hope that Helps!

Re: Classical music
June 29, 2009, 09:06:24 PM
  • Ottorino Respighi
Since seeing his name mentioned here a few times lately, I've done some research, and find him very interesting. I just finished listening to part of his Sonata for piano and violin in B minor, as well as some piano transcriptions of his Ancient Airs and Dances. What's worth hearing?

As additional recommendations, I'll list Claudio Monteverdi, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Domenico Scarlatti. Scarlatti's sonatas for keyboard are far more interesting than the majority of bland virtuoso piano music from the likes of Rachmaninov and Scriabin. The same can be said of Buxtehude's organ works, which I find considerably more compelling in their liveliness and occasional virtuosity than those of Bach (good though those are as well, of course).

Re: Classical music
June 30, 2009, 08:49:59 PM
  • Ottorino Respighi
Since seeing his name mentioned here a few times lately, I've done some research, and find him very interesting. I just finished listening to part of his Sonata for piano and violin in B minor, as well as some piano transcriptions of his Ancient Airs and Dances. What's worth hearing?

As additional recommendations, I'll list Claudio Monteverdi, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Domenico Scarlatti. Scarlatti's sonatas for keyboard are far more interesting than the majority of bland virtuoso piano music from the likes of Rachmaninov and Scriabin. The same can be said of Buxtehude's organ works, which I find considerably more compelling in their liveliness and occasional virtuosity than those of Bach (good though those are as well, of course).

I have to agree, although admittedly I initially thought that Respighi's work would sound similar to the pre-soundtrack composers of the late Romantic period. After giving his Ancient Airs and Dances a try, I can honestly say that I highly recommend those pieces to any fan of powerful classical music. Favorite composers of mine include:

- Johannes Brahms
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Robert Schumann
- Anton Bruckner
- George Frideric Handel
And recently Alfonso X El Sabio, as well as Thomis Tallis

The Romantic composers I enjoy mainly for their symphonic work, which I view as aural poetry refined to its highest form; concentrated listening can reveal entire volumes of spirit within themes. I turn to Handel, Sabio, and Tallis for more meditative music. It's still warlike, I believe, in its relentless pursuit to understand as it is within religious symbols, and simply achieves its methods through quiet contemplation.

Re: Classical music
June 30, 2009, 10:24:43 PM
Scarlatti is the man.

Hands-down my favorite composer of keyboard music, with Bach and Debussy trailing a bit behind.

Check out the thread we have for him in the audiofile section for a great recording of his sonatas.

Re: Classical music
July 01, 2009, 01:11:14 AM
The few Scarlatti sonatas that I've heard from Scott Ross are excellent, and that's coming from someone that's never really been a huge fan of the harpsichord. On piano, Horowitz is fine though he does romanticize them a bit. This is quite good too.

It's amazing how the man was able to remain interesting with an output of this size (he made 555 of them!). The form rarely ever changes all that much, but what he does within it is a cause of endless fascination to me. Here's a few samples if anyone's interested, the Kk. 27 sonata with four very different interpretations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXHUIpNCu2k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztn0p6fV9O8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW9D4bgB7x0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKywH1uc2l0

And to fill the original purpose of the thread, I'll add that the composers that I probably listen to the most are the ones from the Germanic tradition, with a slight preference for either the very early romantics (Schubert, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, etc.) or the very late ones (Anton Bruckner most importantly, but I've also started to appreciate some Mahler here and there). Haydn too, I love Haydn.

And by the way, there's an interesting page on Bruckner here, I can vouch that the first symphony (linz) recording is a good one.

Re: Classical music
July 01, 2009, 02:28:00 AM
I am a fan of classical as well with such favourites as:

Beethoven
Schubert
Stravinsky
Wagner
Bach

I have a strong disliking for John Cage but i find the work of some contemporary artists interesting, specifically Chinary Ung. Ithak Perlman is another good musician whose folk and classical compositions are really inspiring.

Re: Classical music
September 08, 2009, 05:20:02 AM
The transition to classical music is a natural way to go for intelligent listeners because the music is more complex on the surface.  Having said that I still haven't come across any classical works that are as good as Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.  The academic tradition of classical music is in my opinion damaging to its contemplative spirit.  If I were to pick my favourite composers though the list would look pretty standard.  Not to say I dislike all romantic music, but I find most of it is in bad taste.  The composers listed allow the listener space to contemplate, whereas most romantics seem intent on forcing the listener to experience their own personal trivia.

Monteverdi
Bach
Handel
Mozart
Beethoven

As for more modern composers i like Messiaen, Tavener and Part.  The Last two especially strike me as composers who have managed to break out of the spiritual cage of academia.  Listening to Tavener's "Prayer of the Heart" was a life-changing experience for me, as powerful as Tomhet.  Part's Spiegel Im Spiegel is one of the better introductions to minimalist music.

Re: Classical music
September 08, 2009, 08:43:48 AM
I'm still mostly a metal listener, but some of my favorite classical pieces would be:

+ Brahms: 4th Symphony and Tragische Overture
+ Schubert: 9th Symphony
+ Beethoven: 1st, 6th, 9th Symphonies, violin concerto, violin romances, 5th piano concerto, and various sonatas
+ Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (mostly the last movement)
+ Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
+ Mozart: Requiem and later symphonies
+ Bach: Brandenburg concertos, various concertos and organ works
+ D. Scarlatti: keyboard sonatas
+ Paganini: 24 caprices

Not a fan of most French classical or any Russian composers, I mostly like the stormy German stuff.  Guess I need to check out more Schumann, Haydn, and Bruckner.

Re: Classical music
September 08, 2009, 10:22:48 AM
As a child I would listen to what my father and grandfather listened to. Both have been church organists so there was no shortage of organ music lying around the house. Mostly those from my father’s side listened to German composers of the Baroque tradition. At some point around seven or eight I began listening to "The wall" by Pink Floyd which brought my enjoyment of classical music to an end. It was only in my teenage years having discovered this site that I began to listen to classical music again.

I have noticed on this site a strong leaning towards the Romantic period which I must admit I never had much of a stomach for. I can enjoy the German conservatory to extents but asides from this I find the works of the Wagnerian school and the non-Germans to be at the worst of times downright painful. My preferences lie with the German Baroque composers: Pachelbel, Buxtehude, Handel, Telemann and the Bach family. I can enjoy and often greatly so the English composers of the same era, the Spanish and Italian composers of the previous and the German and Austrian men from the classical period. My love of German/Austrian men is especially true for the late classical era giants Beethoven and Schubert. 

For such a conservative grouping it would probably be of a surprise to learn of my affinity for certain 20th century composers: Prokofiev, Scriabin, Sibelius, Tarrega, Rautavaara and Pärt though admittedly considering the sonorities of the last composer my enjoyment of his music should come as no shock.


The academic tradition of classical music is in my opinion damaging to its contemplative spirit. 

Could you explain why you believe academia to be damaging to classical music?

Re: Classical music
September 09, 2009, 11:07:40 AM
The academic tradition of classical music is in my opinion damaging to its contemplative spirit. 

Could you explain why you believe academia to be damaging to classical music?


Academia drifted further and further away from reality throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  I think this is mainly because it was severed from any social institution, unlike earlier times when all intellectual pursuits occurred within the church.  By the end of the romantic period music is characterized both by overbearing sentimentalism and dry intellectual abstractions.  I have felt that this tendency is present in most classical music, not to say that I don't like a lot of classical music, I just don't think it's particularly amazing compared to music from more interesting historical periods.