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Author Topic: I Hear A Symphony: A "classical" music topic?  (Read 11522 times)
JK
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« on: February 26, 2015, 11:53:53 AM »

I noticed an opera thread somewhere but not a general "classical" (awful word but it'll have to do) topic.

As a great fan of symphonies, my opening post is one by a 20th-century favourite of mine, Jean Sibelius:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKhCHvaAc3o

Any other takers? 

 

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 01:05:26 PM »

I haven't really dug too deeply into symphonies, but I'm a big fan of classical piano and organ pieces. I guess I don't have any particular favorites to share - I usually just go on YouTube and choose some at random to listen to. I also had a college piano class where every once in a while, the teacher would perform pieces from different classical eras in the hopes that we could learn what was unique about each. I don't remember everything I learned, but I do remember that she was a brilliant pianist.

I think I liked the works of Brahms and Bach the most.
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Larry Franz
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 01:40:56 PM »

My entire musical education was a college introductory course that began at 8 am. The only thing I remember is my head frequently jerking up as I tried to stay awake. But a couple of people eventually got me interested in classical music to the point where I've sometimes listened to that more than rock.

I don't have time to listen to all of the Sibelius right now, but I tend to prefer later 19th and 20th century composers like him, and a few others, Beethoven in particular. I also prefer chamber music in general, especially string quartets.

Here's Carl Nielsen's 4th Symphony, "The Inextinguishable". It was recommended by someone who thought it might appeal to me as someone new to classical music. It did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niF6Y7ZNqys [UPDATE: No -- it was actually Nielsen's 4th!!!]

But, aside from Beethoven, my favorite composer is Bela Bartok. This is his Concerto for Orchestra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C68SkzGb6Ww
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 09:38:21 AM by Larry Franz » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 02:17:11 PM »

John K, I'm greedily hoping this topic gets a lot of bites.  I'm starting to develop a interest in classical outside the Baroque and the Dambusters theme.

I've been getting into Benjamin Britten and I've read some interesting things about Bartok's violin concerto, so might be pursuing that one.

Looking forward to sitting down and watching the vids from both you and Larry Franz.

One of the key things that confounds me is which version of a classical piece should one seek out in terms of the performing orchestra - LSO, Weiner Philharmonic, etc?  Or is that a moot point?
And which labels to avoid?
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Larry Franz
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 07:50:00 PM »

One of the key things that confounds me is which version of a classical piece should one seek out in terms of the performing orchestra - LSO, Weiner Philharmonic, etc?  Or is that a moot point?
And which labels to avoid?

Hi Alan -- Those are good questions but difficult to answer. People love to argue about which versions are best, but it all comes down to personal taste. You might look around on the internet, however, and you'll find lists and recommendations like this:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/features/focus/greatest-recordings-of-all-time-chosen-by-leading-musicians
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 08:03:30 PM »

I'm a redneck so don't look at me for too much deep discussion about long lost classical favorites, but like anybody I love classical music, I only know most of the famous stuff though.

I've always enjoyed Bach's stuff.  His Double Violin Concerto is beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJh6i-t_I1Q

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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 08:06:15 AM »

Interestingly, the vocal arrangements and harmonies of the Baroque era don't appeal to me, I guess because I'm so used to Brian's vocal arrangements. I consider myself a fan of "modern" classical music. My favorite are Prokofiev, Debussy, Satie, and Philip Glass (although he's a different era). Prokofiev's Nevsky...woah!
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 09:01:52 AM »

Play this one loud.
Glenn Gould -Bach G Minor Concerto https://www.sendspace.com/file/u4ry6m
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Larry Franz
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 09:37:17 AM »

I don't have time to listen to all of the Sibelius right now, but I tend to prefer later 19th and 20th century composers like him, and a few others, Beethoven in particular. I also prefer chamber music in general, especially string quartets.

Here's Carl Nielsen's 4th Symphony, "The Inextinguishable". It was recommended by someone who thought it might appeal to me as someone new to classical music. It did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niF6Y7ZNqys

Reminder to self: Do not post on Internet before rushing out the door! The Nielsen symphony I was thinking of was his 5th Symphony, not the 4th. Sorry about that!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWHXKjXNWBc
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 10:25:55 AM by Larry Franz » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 12:51:40 PM »

The classical piece that especially impressed me recently was Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"), composed in 1976. I heard it on the car radio the first time and stayed in the car until it was over (which took a while, because it's 53 minutes long).

I believe this is the 1992 recording that, according to Wikipedia, went to top of the classical charts in the US and UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIvEtzGEVTA
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:52:44 PM by Larry Franz » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 04:16:18 PM »

Wow. Nielsen's Fifth, Glenn Gould, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, Gorecki's Third... what a musical treasurehouse! Makes me glad I started this thread. :=)

Actually, the first version I ever heard of the Nielsen symphony is still the only one for me.  It's by Jascha Horenstein with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and was recorded in 1969. To quote myself on another website: "At one point [in the first movement] as the orchestral forces gather, Nielsen instructs his snare drummer to 'improvise as if at all costs he wants to stop the progress of the orchestra'. Alfred Dukes in the Horenstein recording goes the furthest, climaxing with a furious salvo of rimshots."
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXVTlnBLxXI
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 02:04:27 PM »

Here are two movements from two of my favourite 19th-century symphonies, Mendelssohn's 5th ("The Reformation", in the version I own) and Franck's lone symphony in D minor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSvsslDvk8E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKsQOpTTd7w

And one from a 20th-century masterpiece. Note the use of the Ondes Martenot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv67YkOWJNA 
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 10:34:00 AM »

This is one of my all-time favourite symphonies, Shostakovich's Fourth, in the definitive recording by the Moscow Phil under Kirill Kondrashin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7U2WzC47sQ
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2015, 01:01:48 AM »

I know so little about classical music- it's so hard to get to know what you like and don't like when everything sounds so great. Except I always have a harder time liking vocal classical music, whether its opera or art song or whatever. The singing style is so different to what I'm used from folk and pop. But I'm gradually becoming accustomed to it.

I think, apart from the obvious choices of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, I really like Greig, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Schnittke
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2015, 05:06:48 AM »

Pavane, Opus 50 by Gabriel Faure......... a divine listening experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuM6tFwYaoI
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2015, 07:54:48 AM »

I know so little about classical music- it's so hard to get to know what you like and don't like when everything sounds so great. Except I always have a harder time liking vocal classical music, whether its opera or art song or whatever. The singing style is so different to what I'm used from folk and pop. But I'm gradually becoming accustomed to it.

I think, apart from the obvious choices of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, I really like Grieg, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Schnittke


Agree about vocal things. I love choral music but all that exaggerated vibrato by soloists can get pretty tedious. There are exceptions, of course, like the wonderful Kathleen Ferrier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7S162WFNI8

And I can agree with your choice of composers, except for Bach----still having trouble with him. Grin
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2015, 02:11:34 AM »

Yeah, I 'd also make an exception for Kathleen Ferrier. I have one of her records. But I may be biased because of my maternal Irish heritage.
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2015, 02:01:08 PM »

This is one of my favourite works by a French composer, Maurice Ravel, under one of my favourite conductors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SvjJF6zs1k
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2015, 12:19:59 PM »

Pavane, Opus 50 by Gabriel Faure......... a divine listening experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuM6tFwYaoI

Fauré wrote some wonderfully restrained music. His Requiem is worth checking out. This is the sublime closer, "In Paradisum":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIB9Tq5uWIc

   
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2015, 03:10:31 AM »

Another Frenchman who wrote a magnificent Requiem was Maurice Duruflé. But perhaps his finest hour for me is as an organist in Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings in G Minor. I don't iike concertos as a rule----pitting one player against the rest----but I love this one, here in the original (and best) version:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF0e9CSQNXQ
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2015, 05:04:56 AM »

Pavane, Opus 50 by Gabriel Faure......... a divine listening experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuM6tFwYaoI
The Ventures - Ravel's Pavane...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4WB9iJLp3Q

I know, I know, it's not classical, but it's still a great track.

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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2015, 04:52:35 AM »

Pavane, Opus 50 by Gabriel Faure......... a divine listening experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuM6tFwYaoI
The Ventures - Ravel's Pavane...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4WB9iJLp3Q

I know, I know, it's not classical, but it's still a great track.



You're right...... that is a great track.
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2015, 10:47:14 AM »

I played this for Easter morning.  Spiritual and uplifting.  Played with passion and power.

Vladimir Ashkenazy with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sergei Rachmaninoff:  Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13

https://youtu.be/1q0t683xaWI
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2015, 06:33:07 PM »

This is one of my favourite works by a French composer, Maurice Ravel, under one of my favourite conductors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SvjJF6zs1k
The opening several minutes, in my opinion, one of the most spectacular pieces of music ever written:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHrstmOPKBQ

Debussy's La Mer has a similarly spectacular opening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOCucJw7iT8
The transition around the 1:38 mark brings tears to my eyes,
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2015, 07:12:16 PM »

If we're talkin early 20th century French composers, I've always had a soft spot for Albert Roussel. Below, his Symphony No 2 from 1920:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHTXGePpP7A
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