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need help

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:33 am
by classicalnewbie
Hello everyone I am posting because I am a new listener to classical music and I'm not really sure about all the classical "lingo" so if anyone has any resources that would help me out then please post I hope to learn a lot about this wonderful music thanks :D

Re: need help

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:50 am
by Lance
classicalnewbie wrote:Hello everyone I am posting because I am a new listener to classical music and I'm not really sure about all the classical "lingo" so if anyone has any resources that would help me out then please post I hope to learn a lot about this wonderful music thanks :D
Welcome aboard, and congratulations on your discovery of classical music. It will enrich your life beyond your wildest dreams.

You might want to go out and get a first class musical dictionary just to become acquainted with the terms used in music. You will learn about the various periods in music, i.e. Baroque, Romantic, etc.

It's a huge field and you certainly won't learn anything over night or in a week or a year. But you have the enthusiasm and interest - two main ingredients.

May I ask, what is your instrument, if you have one?

I'm sure others will offer some suggestions here. We have many wonderful people who are more than happy to make your musical experiences even more joyful.

Stay tuned!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:59 am
by classicalnewbie
I play guitar but not classical I wish I could but it is hard :? would u reccomend any classical cds for a beginning listner?

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 12:35 pm
by Corlyss_D
First and foremost, any recording you can lay your hands on by Segovia, the paterfamilias of modern guitar players. What is secondary, but you could start off with his recordings of Rodrigo's guitar concerti. ... =classical

Secondly, any recordings by John Williams (not the conductor). This is a fantastic album, one of my favorites. ... =classical

Third, any recordings by Julian Bream ... =classical

And fourth, any recordings by the ubiquitous Romero family. ... =classical

Much music for classical guitar is solo or small ensemble pieces. For big concertos, you want Rodrigo, Guiliani, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ponce, Vivaldi (who wrote a ton of them probably but only a few are recorded). For intimate solo or small ensemble, you want Albeniz, Granados, Torroba, Tarrega, Falla, Boccherini, Bach, Sor, Weiss, Sanz, de Visee (a special favorite of mine), Turina, Dowland, Scarlatti, Paganini.

This should be enough to get you started. Most of these can be had cheaply used from Amazon for the student on a budget.

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:21 pm
by Ralph
Many fine guitar CDs have been reissued on mid-prirce or budget labels. NAXOS has some very fine recordings of Rodrigo's works and also by recent winners of guitar compositions. Check the label out at

Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 2:37 am
by RebLem
Read Aaron Copland's HOW TO LISTEN TO MUSIC.

Also, any book by David Ewen is good.

There is an Australian soprano/commedienne named Anna Russell who has 3 albums out, including one twofer. Her 21 minute routine on Wagner's Ring Cycle is a classic--it is very funny, and very accurate. She earns a living doing the same thing Victor Borge did--doing benefit concerts for symphony orchestra and opera company pension funds and such.

Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 6:56 am
by Ralph
Well, if Anna Rusell is recommended here than I must come in and urge a full acquaintance with a serious composer whose music has been coopted for comedic purposes: P.D.Q. Bach. Works of P.D.Q., some of which are far superior to his better known father's efforts, are readily available on CD.


Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:15 am
How wonderful it must be to hear the Bolero for the first time, or Beethoven's fifth!
Anyway, try to find out what kind of music you like. And only listening will tell you that. going to a live concert could be a real adventure....Listen to an organ in a church, a brass ensemble, a full orchestra or a solo piano.
There's realy wonderfull music from the Middle ages and the Renaissance - some of it very cheerful ( Danceries, bransles,bourrées,gigues...)or strangely evocative (the Llibre vermell from Montserat/Spain !) - to emotional romantic outbursts or sad,esoteric, contemporary whisperings.
Here is some music that I like: lute music by Sylvius Leopold Weiss, the (church)cantatas by Bach, almost any chambermusic by Schubert, Brahms,Beethoven...Apart from the Bolero (go for a good "classical" performance like Pierre Monteux and the london Symph.) Maurice Ravel wrote some of the most exquisite music ever: the Ballet Daphnis and Chloé( go at once for the complete ballet, not the suites...),La valse, Le tombeau de Couperin, the pianotrio.
Is it possible for you to rent CD'S? Then names like Claude Debussy, Mendelsohn, Schumann, Haydn,Monteverdi,Handel...should be on your list!
Composers from the 20th century ? Igor Strawinsky, francis Poulenc, Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, Benjamin Britten, Bohuslav Martinu....John Adams, Steve Reich!
"Bon courage"!

Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 6:02 pm
by MahlerSnob
The top advice I would give is to go to every concert you can and read the program notes. This will teach you a lot about the music and the people who created it, and will probably expose you to some music you wouldn't hear if you just bought up all the "All-time greatest" classical compilations. If there's a university or music school in your area it probably presents frequent free concerts. Start going to them. Also pick up any recording you can get your hands on. The above-mentioned guitar stuff is all excellent (especially the Segovia), but don't limit yourself to guitar music. Listen to anything and everything you can.

Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 6:25 pm
by Ralph
Even if one can't get to concerts a number of orchestras now put their concert notes online several weeks before a performance. The New York Philharmonic does this.