Some general questions from a classical noobie

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knotslip
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Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by knotslip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:22 pm

Hello-
I have been posting now for a while and I've gathred a ton of information from posting here and it's taking a while to make purchases and listen to everything so I wanted to post some questions while I am anxiously awaiting my Dvorak box and my Rimsky-Korsakov LP.

First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments but find that sometimes the strings, especially the higher pitched ones can be grading/ear piercing at higher volumes...Maybe this is more a recording issue/poor CD, etc. and not the instrument itself (I do love the violin and other strings).

And now the silly question...Who is your favorite composer and why? And what single piece/work/CD/etc. would you most like to have if it was all you could have for a period of time - I'll go with the "stuck on an island for a year" scenario. :-) I'm very interested to see your replies.

I'm too new to really have a favorite but I'll say Dvorak...

Thanks.

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:43 pm

knotslip wrote:

First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...
It is impossible to make something so big into something manageeable. Me? I can't even begin to reconstruct how I got from there to here. But I will try. We value new members, so here goes. Truly great symphonies or anything in a sonata form broadly interpreted have an integrity that is intra-movemental. Though there are historical precedents for performing only single movements, it is unheard of in the modern age. Excerpts simply do not decently exist in modern interpretations of classical music, nor should they.

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments but find that sometimes the strings, especially the higher pitched ones can be grading/ear piercing at higher volumes...Maybe this is more a recording issue/poor CD, etc. and not the instrument itself (I do love the violin and other strings).
The last time a composer greeted seriously a new instrument was Mozart, who found the clarinet a wonderful innovation. Ironically, his cousin-in-law Weber was the second greatest composer for the instrument. Further ironically, period clarinets are unbearably honky and it is a wonder that anyone could ever bear them. In general, forget about specific instruments; it is a done deal.

And now the silly question...Who is your favorite composer and why? And what single piece/work/CD/etc. would you most like to have if it was all you could have for a period of time - I'll go with the "stuck on an island for a year" scenario. :-) I'm very interested to see your replies.

I'm too new to really have a favorite but I'll say Dvorak...
Dvorak wrote a number of fine compositions, but he is not in the major leagues. Hang around and you'll figure the rest out without my having to make a hackneyed response. Best of luck.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Sapphire » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Dvorak wrote a number of fine compositions, but he is not in the major leagues. Hang around and you'll figure the rest out without my having to make a hackneyed response. Best of luck.
Right. There's definitely a lot better than this for a newbie to explore first of all. It's got to be Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Schubert before any others. Then Haydn, Schumann, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Wagner.


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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by slofstra » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:29 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
knotslip wrote:

First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...
It is impossible to make something so big into something manageeable. Me? I can't even begin to reconstruct how I got from there to here. But I will try. We value new members, so here goes. Truly great symphonies or anything in a sonata form broadly interpreted have an integrity that is intra-movemental. Though there are historical precedents for performing only single movements, it is unheard of in the modern age. Excerpts simply do not decently exist in modern interpretations of classical music, nor should they.
Great answer. I would have said that you can't pick the currants out of the currentebrot or something like that. That philosophy rules out classical compilations CDS, sampler CDs, and records with only the choruses of the Messiah.
jbuck919 wrote:
knotslip wrote:
Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments but find that sometimes the strings, especially the higher pitched ones can be grading/ear piercing at higher volumes...Maybe this is more a recording issue/poor CD, etc. and not the instrument itself (I do love the violin and other strings).
The last time a composer greeted seriously a new instrument was Mozart, who found the clarinet a wonderful innovation. Ironically, his cousin-in-law Weber was the second greatest composer for the instrument. Further ironically, period clarinets are unbearably honky and it is a wonder that anyone could ever bear them. In general, forget about specific instruments; it is a done deal.
The marimba and the harp are both pretty neat. The Dutch have a special fondness for the carillon, and Russians really like bells. (Tchaikovsky and Borodin and Rachmaninoff all feature bells at various times). Oh, you said dislike ... I dislike bassoon concertoes and dueling tubas.
jbuck919 wrote:
knotslip wrote:
And now the silly question...Who is your favorite composer and why? And what single piece/work/CD/etc. would you most like to have if it was all you could have for a period of time - I'll go with the "stuck on an island for a year" scenario. :-) I'm very interested to see your replies.

I'm too new to really have a favorite but I'll say Dvorak...
Dvorak wrote a number of fine compositions, but he is not in the major leagues. Hang around and you'll figure the rest out without my having to make a hackneyed response. Best of luck.
Ignore that. Dvorak is a great choice. It's your favourite and it may stick for a long time. Like Ralph, I would like to find my own 'Dittersdorf', but it hasn't happened yet. I guess from the A list I'd have to say Brahms, and from the B list, Vaughan Williams and Shostakovich.

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Post by arglebargle » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:55 pm

For desert island works it'd be very difficult to imagine what being in such a situation would really be like but my first reaction would be something "simple" would probably be tolerable over a long stretch, something like Bach's Brandenburgs, Haydn's op. 76 quartets, and Beethoven's late piano sonatas. Notice I said "and", couldn't seriously imagine living with only one musical form let alone one recording for a year. Ok I guess this doesn't really answer the question...

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:07 pm

Saphire wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: Dvorak wrote a number of fine compositions, but he is not in the major leagues. Hang around and you'll figure the rest out without my having to make a hackneyed response. Best of luck.
Right. There's definitely a lot better than this for a newbie to explore first of all. It's got to be Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Schubert before any others. Then Haydn, Schumann, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Wagner.


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Post by RebLem » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:08 pm

I will confess that its always seemed to me that the last two movements of the Beethoven 7th Sym sound too much alike.
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Post by Brendan » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:00 am

When I first "converted" to classical, I can recall finding some enitre symphonies wore me down. For instance, I couldn't appreciate the overall structure of something like Bruckner 8, so for ages only listened to the scherzo, which I enjoyed and wasn't too long. Coming from listening to rock, where there are relatively few entire albums one enjoys, sitting down for an hour and truly listening was just something I wasn't used to.

Doing the 'historical' thing and listening to Haydn syms, then Mozart then Beethoven and beyond may help. And Schubert's 8th was restricted in length anyway - and I recall that and the 9th being 'breakthrough' pieces for me.

As an aside, I'm not sure I even own all the quintet that Boccherini's Minuet is excerpted from.

Instrument I don't like? Does the accordian count?

I don't have "a" favourite composer - today it may be Schubert, tomorrow Bach, the next day Chopin. Rarely Dvorak, for me, but go for it if you like his work.

Does Wagner's Ring cycle count as one work for the desert island?

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:34 am

Brendan wrote:When I first "converted" to classical, I can recall finding some enitre symphonies wore me down. For instance, I couldn't appreciate the overall structure of something like Bruckner 8, so for ages only listened to the scherzo, which I enjoyed and wasn't too long. Coming from listening to rock, where there are relatively few entire albums one enjoys, sitting down for an hour and truly listening was just something I wasn't used to.

Doing the 'historical' thing and listening to Haydn syms, then Mozart then Beethoven and beyond may help. And Schubert's 8th was restricted in length anyway - and I recall that and the 9th being 'breakthrough' pieces for me.

As an aside, I'm not sure I even own all the quintet that Boccherini's Minuet is excerpted from.

Instrument I don't like? Does the accordian count?

I don't have "a" favourite composer - today it may be Schubert, tomorrow Bach, the next day Chopin. Rarely Dvorak, for me, but go for it if you like his work.

Does Wagner's Ring cycle count as one work for the desert island?
Neeeded "conversion" to the one true church of music, did you now, Brendan. Bigorah. Be seein' you soon again in the Pub, where we can discuss this issue of even bringin' up Bruckner and Boccherini over a pint or two. The Ralphster might just be joinin' us to explain why he thinks his Dittersdorf obsession won't just confuse a newbie. :)

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:53 am

knotslip wrote:First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...
The 3rd movement of Beethoven's 9th is about as good as he gets. You can have the rest of the symphony. I've always wondered what part of the cosmos the 3rd movement of the Moonlight came from. Don't seem to fit the rest.

The 2nd movement of Shostakovich's 2nd piano conerto is so beautiful, the rest of it is superfluous. Ditto the 2nd movement of Scriabin's piano concerto. Ditto the 2nd and 3rd movements of Tchaikovsky's 2nd piano concerto in the original version.

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments but find that sometimes the strings, especially the higher pitched ones can be grading/ear piercing at higher volumes
Strings go out of tune more easily than just about any other instrument. My favorite instruments are the woodwinds and violas.
Who is your favorite composer and why?
Monteverdi, Mozart, and Handel. Because their music moves the most deeply of any I have ever heard.
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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:15 am

Corlyss_D wrote: I've always wondered what part of the cosmos the 3rd movement of the Moonlight came from. Don't seem to fit the rest.
Your slip is showing, Cor. The first and third movements of the Moonlight are both based on an arpeggiation of a C-sharp minor chord (they in fact start out with the same three notes in the right hand). It is one of the most obvious inter-movement uniting features in all of music.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by absinthe » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:36 am

Difficult to answer.

Yes, I will listen to individual movements of symphonies - thanks to CDs and recording. With symphonic suites I usually need to listen to the entire suite, reserving these for periods long enough to sit back and absorb.

No favourite instruments.

I have no favourite composers, tending to be musically broadminded - anything up to about 1730 then from Debussy to the present day, including some of the popular genres, light music, Caribbean music particularly from the Antilles.

It might be worth touching on a few more recent composers - Elgar (try the Enigma Variations), Debussy, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Holst (Planets suite - a favourite but untypical Holst) and some of the American symphonists - Creston, Piston, Copland - there are too many to list. No need to get involved with the various waves of the avant garde yet!

A

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:42 am

jbuck919 wrote: It is one of the most obvious inter-movement uniting features in all of music.
Perhaps. It still sounds like it was tacked on from some other work.
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Post by piston » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:32 am

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments ...
Anybody knows the name of this musical instrument? Remember the music in Ghostbusters??

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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:13 am

I find that the minuette movements of classical symphonies invariably become tiresome and often punch the forward button to the next movement. I should program them out.

Sometimes I listen to single movements - the first movement of Mahler's 9th, for example.

String quartet recordings are problematic for me - some sound utterly horrible to me and others sound beautiful. I'm never sure how much of the fault is with the engineering and how much with the musicians. Mating cats and wood sawing are images that come to mind with some recordings. Somehow four strings together can sound really ugly.

Brahms is probably my favorite composer.
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Post by diegobueno » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:17 am

piston wrote:
Anybody knows the name of this musical instrument? Remember the music in Ghostbusters??

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Post by slofstra » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:19 pm

piston wrote:
Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments ...
Anybody knows the name of this musical instrument? Remember the music in Ghostbusters??

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:45 pm

I thought maybe it was a classier version of Woody Allen's orgasmatron.
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Post by Ken » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:48 pm

There are certain symphonies in which only one or two movements interest me, for instance, in Beethoven's 8th, the first movement, and in much of Haydn's early symphonic repertory (come on, now, it's all a blur up until the "Bear" ;) ). However, I usually stubbornly stick it out and listen to the whole symphony. Now, on the other hand, there are certain symphonies that flow together so majestically that listening to one movement alone would miss the "purpose" of the work. Schubert's Great C Major symphony, Brahms' Second, and of course, Beethoven's Fifth immediately come to mind.

As for particular instruments that I dislike, I have never been too fond of the flute, and my aversion to the saxophone has already been mentioned in the recent Stokowski Orchestration thread.

My "holy three" favourite composers are Borodin, Brahms, and Schumann. I distinguish my leanings towards them in the following way: I like Borodin's infectious melodies the most, I best like Brahms' brooding arrangement, and I'm most fascinated by the biographical details of Schumann's life. If I were to combine them into one supercomposer, I would name him Alexhanbert Borhamsmann; son of a wealthy Germano-Russian chemist/double bass player. He would be the most musically-inclined bipolar chemist Kaliningrad has ever known.
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:01 pm

keninottawa wrote:There are certain symphonies in which only one or two movements interest me, for instance, in Beethoven's 8th, the first movement, and in much of Haydn's early symphonic repertory (come on, now, it's all a blur up until the "Bear" ;) ). However, I usually stubbornly stick it out and listen to the whole symphony. Now, on the other hand, there are certain symphonies that flow together so majestically that listening to one movement alone would miss the "purpose" of the work. Schubert's Great C Major symphony, Brahms' Second, and of course, Beethoven's Fifth immediately come to mind.
How noble of you.

As for particular instruments that I dislike, I have never been too fond of the flute, and my aversion to the saxophone has already been mentioned in the recent Stokowski Orchestration thread.
The saxaphone is a preposterous thing and does not belong as a word in the same paragraph as the flute.
My "holy three" favourite composers are Borodin, Brahms, and Schumann.
You have to have lost your mind mentioning Borodin with those two. He is a musical footnote, better remembered as a chemist, and has no place in any pantheon.

I'm sorry, Ken, but I occasionally lose my patience, and this is not a playground for foolish ,anomylous, and ridiculously self-indulgent opninions visited on some poor soul who desires an entree into classical music I know the old saying "you are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts." Let me tell you guy-- when it comes to great art, if you want to be that eccesntric, you're not entitled to your own opinions either.

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Post by RebLem » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:21 pm

keninottawa wrote:There are certain symphonies in which only one or two movements interest me, for instance, in Beethoven's 8th, the first movement, and in much of Haydn's early symphonic repertory (come on, now, it's all a blur up until the "Bear"
:twisted: :o :shock: :o :twisted:

I have been happily trekking through the Dorati set of the Haydn symphonies since April. I expect to be through the Paris symphonies by my next report tomorrow or Sunday. I could not disagree with this shockingly insensitive statement more.


10/10 Haydn, F.J.: Syms 1-12--Dorati, Philharmonia Hungarica. CDs 1-3 of 33 CD London set of all Haydn's symphonies--Many people think, without justification, IMO, of these early symphonies as unworthy of their attention. I find that right from the beginning, Haydn's symphonies are imbued with a lively, cheerful spirit, and reveal a mastery of form and development. Everywhere, he is unpredictable, exciting, and challenging. Even these early symphonies are a delight. I think it can be truly said, that for a large body of work which consistently demonstrates greatness and mastery of form, the Haydn symphonies are outdone only by the Bach cantatas. I found the initial Adagio cantabile of Sym 11 and the Presto Finale of the Sym 12 particularly interesting.

10/10 Haydn, F.J.: Syms 13-21--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--CDs 4 & 5 from 33 CD London set of all the Haydn Syms.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 22-29--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--London records, CDs 6 & 7 of 33 CD box of the complete syms.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 30, 31, 32, 33--Dorati, cond., Philharmonia Hungarica--CD 8 of 33 CD London set of all the Haydn Syms.

10/10 Haydn, F.J.: Syms 34-41--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica. CDs 9, 10 of 33 CD London set of complete Haydn Syms

10/10 Haydn, F.J.: Syms 42, 43 "Merkur," 44 "Mourning," 45 "Farewell," 46, 47--Dorati, Philharmonia Hungarica--CDs 11 & 12 of 33 CD London set of all the Haydn Syms.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 48 "Maria Theresia," Sym 49 "La Passione," 50, 51, 52, 53 "L'Imperiale"--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica. CDs 13 & 14 of 33 CD London set of the complete Haydn Syms.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 54, 55 "The Schoolmaster," 56--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--London CD, CD 15 of the 33 CD set.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 57, 58, 59 "Fire," 60 "Il distratto," 61. 62--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--CDs 16 & 17 of 33 CD London complete set of the Haydn Syms.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 63 "La Roxelane," Sym 64, 65--Dorati, cond. Philharmnia Hungarica--CD 18 of London 33 CD set.

10/10 Haydn: Syms 66, 67, 68 (68:57)--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--CD 19 of 33 CD London set.

10/10 Haydn, F. J. : Syms 69-77--Dorati, cond. Philharmonia Hungarica--CDs 20, 21, & 22 of the 33 CD London set of complete syms. A little tip: of all the Haydn syms that have been recorded only by people who have recorded complete sets of the syms, my favorite is # 72. It is one of the most seriously misnumbered of the Haydn syms--it was actually probably one of Haydn's first 15 or so symphonies in terms of dates of composition. But it is wonderfully tuneful, and the first movement is startlingly proto-Elgarian.

10/10 Haydn, F.J.: Syms 78 (19:17), 79 (21:25), 80 (21:14) , 81 (24:41), 82(25:39), 83 (25:39)--Dorati, cond., Philharmonia Hungarica--CDs 23, 24 of 33 CD London set of all the Haydn Syms. My favorite movement here is the 2nd movement andante of Symphony 81, with a lovely, well developed, lilting melody as its main theme.
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Post by diegobueno » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I'm sorry, Ken, but I occasionally lose my patience, and this is not a playground for foolish ,anomylous, and ridiculously self-indulgent opninions visited on some poor soul who desires an entree into classical music I know the old saying "you are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts." Let me tell you guy-- when it comes to great art, if you want to be that eccesntric, you're not entitled to your own opinions either.
There you go again, John. :roll:

While few of us would rate Borodin as great as Brahms or Schumann, still you can't deny the fact that Borodin is one of keninottawa's favorite composers and no amount of hectoring is going to change that. Frankly I worry that your constant chastisement of people for holding the "wrong" opinions like a pompous school professor with a ruler in his hand is going to scare newbies away from classical music altogether.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:41 pm

diegobueno wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I'm sorry, Ken, but I occasionally lose my patience, and this is not a playground for foolish ,anomylous, and ridiculously self-indulgent opninions visited on some poor soul who desires an entree into classical music I know the old saying "you are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts." Let me tell you guy-- when it comes to great art, if you want to be that eccesntric, you're not entitled to your own opinions either.
There you go again, John. :roll:

While few of us would rate Borodin as great as Brahms or Schumann, still you can't deny the fact that Borodin is one of keninottawa's favorite composers and no amount of hectoring is going to change that. Frankly I worry that your constant chastisement of people for holding the "wrong" opinions like a pompous school professor with a ruler in his hand is going to scare newbies away from classical music altogether.
It's you who go there again. You know perfectly well that Borodin does not belong on anyone's A list, or probably even B list. We do no service by mollycoddling newbies, and yes, I was righeously and correctly slapped on the hands when I was in my formative years, and by experts at it.

The man wants serious advice, not naive opinions. Take his hand--he's a stranger in paradise.

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Post by diegobueno » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:46 pm

jbuck919 wrote: yes, I was righeously and correctly slapped on the hands when I was in my formative years, and by experts at it.
I'm sorry to hear of this, especially in that you have come to defend your abusers. The cycle of violence is very difficult to break.

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Post by Ken » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:29 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I'm sorry, Ken, but I occasionally lose my patience, and this is not a playground for foolish ,anomylous, and ridiculously self-indulgent opninions visited on some poor soul who desires an entree into classical music I know the old saying "you are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts." Let me tell you guy-- when it comes to great art, if you want to be that eccesntric, you're not entitled to your own opinions either.
There's no need to apologize, John -- you're right. I went ahead and stated my personal opinion to a question that was asked of me without thinking ahead of time that it might be construed as "ridiculously self-indulgent" by those with short fuses. From now on I should really consult with you before I decide what instruments irk me and which composers are my favourite.

Now, then, do you have a suggestion of your own as to who should replace Borodin as my own personal favourite composer? Maybe Cui?
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Post by Ken » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:33 pm

RebLem wrote:
keninottawa wrote:There are certain symphonies in which only one or two movements interest me, for instance, in Beethoven's 8th, the first movement, and in much of Haydn's early symphonic repertory (come on, now, it's all a blur up until the "Bear" ;) ).
:twisted: :o :shock: :o :twisted:

I have been happily trekking through the Dorati set of the Haydn symphonies since April. I expect to be through the Paris symphonies by my next report tomorrow or Sunday. I could not disagree with this shockingly insensitive statement more.
I apologize; just another personal anecdote. The winky emoticon was supposed to signify sarcasm. I really do like early Haydn!
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Post by slofstra » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:33 pm

Ken,
Looks like jbuck has sore fingers while you have a Mighty Handful.

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Post by Febnyc » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:35 pm

keninottawa wrote: Now, then, do you have a suggestion of your own as to who should replace Borodin as my own personal favourite composer? Maybe Cui?
Ha! Well, why not? But, actually, Borodin is quite a fine composer (and chemist, too!). He referred to himself as a "Sunday composer" because music wasn't his first occupation. However, his chamber music, alone, illustrates his ability. In my book Borodin would be an interesting composer for a new listener. He uses lyrical themes which are memorable - and there is a teal taste of Russia in them.

I'd highly recommend both of Borodin's String Quartets - the second, of course, the more well-known. And Borodin's Petite Suite is a glorious piece, too.

Here's an inexpensive disc of the Quartets: link

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Post by knotslip » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:23 am

Hey, thanks to everyone for the great replies. I'm learning a lot and trying to get some type of organization around how i go about exploring this complex new genre. Between the Italian and French and the flats and sharps and minors and majors, it is going to take some time. That's not to mention learning the differences between sonatas, fugues, preludes, nocturnes, etudes and what have you...This has got to be the most complex and difficult music to understand on the planet. :D
It is fun and I'm enjoying every minute of it I just think it's much more difficult than say metal or jazz.

I don't mind people mentioning lesser known composers...it just gives me more to explore...even if at a later date. I did check out some Dittersdorf and I actually liked what I heard. I'm still awaiting the arrival of my Dvorak box, but I've been listening to the following while I wait :

Sheherazde - Like it very much and plan to buy a better recording on vinyl by Reiner and the CHicago symphony orchestra

Beethoven - 5th and 6th symphonies - I like both very much - especially the 1st and third movements

Chopin - Preludes and Nocturnes - whatever those are- I like most of them

Debussy - Images 1 and 2 and Childrens Corner- Love Children's Corner - the others are okay - Michaelangelie performer (spelling?)

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto - Like it a lot
Brahms Violin Concerto - Like it a lot

Liszt - Piano Concerto 2 and some others that I can't remember at the moment- I like them all

And some other solo piano including my Dvorak solo pinao box (which I love).

Can you guys name a piece of classical music just by hearing it? That seems amazing to me as I can't name hardly anything and have to always look at the CD notes...heck, I can't even pronounce a lot of it. :D

Thanks again. Any comments welcome of course.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:44 am

knotslip wrote:Can you guys name a piece of classical music just by hearing it? That seems amazing to me as I can't name hardly anything and have to always look at the CD notes...heck, I can't even pronounce a lot of it. :D
That will come in time with more listening. It's a real thrill when you hear something in a restaurant or walking down the street or in an ad, and can shout like Archimedes discovering the principle of buoyancy, "I know that tune!"

We haven't had many since Lance began his campaign to purge the new registrants, but we used to get a lot of folks here who wanted to know the name of a piece they had heard. They furnished either a sound clip from the source or they noodled it out on a keyboard and posted it here for the assembled ears to identify. We are pretty good at that - with all the members here who have collectively heard hundreds of thousands of hours of music, someone here could usually nail it in 6 notes, sometimes even fewer.
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Post by Sapphire » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:27 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
knotslip wrote:Can you guys name a piece of classical music just by hearing it? That seems amazing to me as I can't name hardly anything and have to always look at the CD notes...heck, I can't even pronounce a lot of it. :D
That will come in time with more listening. It's a real thrill when you hear something in a restaurant or walking down the street or in an ad, and can shout like Archimedes discovering the principle of buoyancy, "I know that tune!"

We haven't had many since Lance began his campaign to purge the new registrants, but we used to get a lot of folks here who wanted to know the name of a piece they had heard. They furnished either a sound clip from the source or they noodled it out on a keyboard and posted it here for the assembled ears to identify. We are pretty good at that - with all the members here who have collectively heard hundreds of thousands of hours of music, someone here could usually nail it in 6 notes, sometimes even fewer.
And a very good move that was, as I'm afraid one of music forums' biggest irritations to me is the new poster who typically only wants to know the name of Carmina Buruna or suchlike, or possibly some electronic version of a piece he/she has heard on a computer game. They're mostly young children who have no real interest in classical music. Just another category of time-waster, which come in all shapes and sizes.

Saphire

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Post by Febnyc » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:07 am

Saphire wrote:
And a very good move that was, as I'm afraid one of music forums' biggest irritations to me is the new poster who typically only wants to know the name of Carmina Buruna or suchlike, or possibly some electronic version of a piece he/she has heard on a computer game. They're mostly young children who have no real interest in classical music. Just another category of time-waster, which come in all shapes and sizes.

Saphire
A disappointing response. I think it's a shame that this site is chasing away "young children" (if, in fact, that's what they are and that is what's happening here) who, at the very least, are showing a modicum of interest in classical music. Even if he or she has heard the music on a computer game, he or she still is taking the time to identify music that appeals. Who knows? Maybe the next step might be to hear the whole piece and then another piece, and then...my goodness!, you have a new participant in this forum - something sorely needed.

What is not needed is the closed, ossified mind replete with pre- and misconceptions exhibited by the above post.

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Post by Sapphire » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:07 am

Febnyc wrote:
Saphire wrote:
And a very good move that was, as I'm afraid one of music forums' biggest irritations to me is the new poster who typically only wants to know the name of Carmina Buruna or suchlike, or possibly some electronic version of a piece he/she has heard on a computer game. They're mostly young children who have no real interest in classical music. Just another category of time-waster, which come in all shapes and sizes.

Saphire
A disappointing response. I think it's a shame that this site is chasing away "young children" (if, in fact, that's what they are and that is what's happening here) who, at the very least, are showing a modicum of interest in classical music. Even if he or she has heard the music on a computer game, he or she still is taking the time to identify music that appeals. Who knows? Maybe the next step might be to hear the whole piece and then another piece, and then...my goodness!, you have a new participant in this forum - something sorely needed.

What is not needed is the closed, ossified mind replete with pre- and misconceptions exhibited by the above post.
And a very bumptious response from you. I clearly wasn't saying that it's a good idea to chase away potential young classical music fans. I was simply noting that I find it annoying having threads opened by people who only want to have a single piece of music identified and then disappear. That's my view and I don't need pompous twits like you pulling me up for it.

If you think there's any validity in the possibility that the registration process is chasing away potentially valuable contributors, why didn't you raise it earlier with Admin? On one other music forum it's not necessary to register for the sole purpose of identifying music, all such requests being channelled into a specific sub-forum.


Saphire

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Post by Ken » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:23 am

slofstra wrote:Ken,
Looks like jbuck has sore fingers while you have a Mighty Handful.
:lol:

Easily the best Russian Nationalist School-based pun that I've ever heard.

By the way, knotslip, I wasn't recommending that you look into Borodin, just answering your question as to who my favourite composers are. However, if you've covered the bases of the Romantic era and wish to venture into Nationalist composers, Borodin is among many who offer a great starting point. His catalogue is small enough (21 works) to quickly become familiar with, and his melodies are infectious and catchy. If you like boisterous, "frontiersy" music, you'll love his symphonies. His musical construction is also fairly simple and much of his music is light-hearted and "Mendelssohnian" in sound. (OK, now it does sound as though I am recommending him to you! ;) )

I'm glad that you're also pleased with two of my favourite Violin Concertos -- the Tchaikovsky and Brahms works. Strange, isn't it, that some of the best violin concertos were written by non-violinists?
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

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Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:07 am

Image

Could I be so bold as to suggest this CD as an initiation to the Russian school.
It has the ubiquitous Katchaturian, and the 1812, but also the Polovtsian Dances by Borodin.

This is a highly accessible, well produced CD.

One caveat - Amazon lists it at $47.49? It is well worth paying full price for, though (I mean $20-25).

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Febnyc » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:26 am

knotslip wrote:

I'm too new to really have a favorite but I'll say Dvorak...

Thanks.
Then you really should get a recording of Dvorak's Piano Quintet, Op. 81. This is one of the greatest chamber works you'll hear.

So, a good and inexpensive recording is here: http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.a ... =classical

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Post by knotslip » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:34 am

Thanks Feb, Ken and SLofstra. I will look into that CD you recommended as well as the chamber work by Dvorak.

I forgot to mention in my list of what I've been listening to while I await my latest order...That I also have a CD of Belioz'a Symphony Fantastique. I've only listened to it one time through, but I liked it and need to listen more. I am now carrying Classical CD's in my car to listen to so I can get more familiar with it all. I currently drive around listening to Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth symphonies. After a week, I will probably exchange it for something else...Maybe Berlioz. I had never heard of Berlioz before but saw a lot about this particular symphony and had a chance to get the CD cheap and so I did. Any other Berlioz fans here?

Thanks again to everyone for the great comments.

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Post by Febnyc » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:43 am

Berlioz is one of the towering composers, one who made a difference and broke new ground with his music. Oddly enough, one of his overtures, Le Corsair, happens to be my favorite work of Berlioz's.

And it's great that you listen to Beethoven in your car. The Fifth - well, what more can be said? And the Sixth is a glorious, magnificent work. Listen to the exquisite passage when the storm subsides, the thunder fades away into the distance and the orchestra segues beautifully into the final movement - we are transported from the darkness out into the sunshine and we hear the shepherd's song greet us. This transition itself is one of the most stunning in all of music.

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by diegobueno » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:01 am

My turn to answer knotslip's questions.
knotslip wrote:
First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...
Generally a symphony or other multi-movement work is designed to be a unified entity. You take the whole ball of wax or you don't take it at all. But sometimes the composer wasn't quite as successful as he would have liked, and there are some works where I'd rather just listen to parts rather than the whole. Someone mentioned Mahler's 9th. I agree. The first movement is absolutely earth-shattering. The rest of it I can do without (which means I can probably hand in my True-Blue-Mahlerite membership card right now).
Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece?
The electric bass guitar is the invention of the devil. Especially when reproduced in somebody's car. The walls rattle whenever these guys drive by. Folks, if you want to retire wealthy, invest in hearing aid stock.

And now the silly question...Who is your favorite composer and why?
There are a lot of composers I love to pieces, but Haydn and Stravinsky have been my absolute favorites since I was a kid. Their music is logical and witty and profound in an unpretentious way. The world just seems to make sense when I listen to their music.

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:23 pm

diegobueno wrote: The electric bass guitar is the invention of the devil. Especially when reproduced in somebody's car. The walls rattle whenever these guys drive by. Folks, if you want to retire wealthy, invest in hearing aid stock.
Gee, I just love being contrary with Mark. :) Of course I agree about the electric bass, but I have to think even a newbie knows it is not a serious instrument. And it is higher frequency hearing that goes first in everybody, but prematurely in those who listen to too much loud rock music. I tell my students whenever I can--they just don't listen (to me, I mean).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by diegobueno » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:03 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Gee, I just love being contrary with Mark. :) Of course I agree about the electric bass, but I have to think even a newbie knows it is not a serious instrument.
The question was "Is there a particular instrument that you dislike?" That's my answer. I might have also mentioned the didjeridoo except I can't spell it.

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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:37 pm

diegobueno wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Gee, I just love being contrary with Mark. :) Of course I agree about the electric bass, but I have to think even a newbie knows it is not a serious instrument.
The question was "Is there a particular instrument that you dislike?" That's my answer. I might have also mentioned the didjeridoo except I can't spell it.
Well, I can't stand the electronic organ, even though that's what I've had to settle for for most of my life. And many pipe organs are practically worthless and maintained only for antiquarian reasons. (I think I've posted that I often attend the convention of the Organ Historical Society, but only because I have a friend who likes to go, though I missed it this year because it was in a city I cannot take seriously, Indianapolis). I don't imagine Lance cares much about a honky-tonk piano from the parlor of the local Y or a Yamaha Clavinova, either. If you wanted to come at it from the other direction, the electric bass does not have to be boom box barf, and for a long time has served as the only available substitute for jazz-type ensembles because it is so difficult to find a string bass player for that style anymore (I've heard good ones and they are quite special).

The odd thing about the original question is what its motivation was in the first place. If you consider only instruments that are crucial to classical music, they worked out the kinks in all of them long ago. It is hard to imagine anything from the baroque on that uses an instrument of inherently objectionable sound; they are all crucial to the most important music. And Bach even reverted to already archaic instruments (Lord knows where he found anyone who could play them in Leipzig, where he could barely put together four ordinary violinists) for the St. John Passion and apparently a cantata or two.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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My responses ...

Post by SONNET CLV » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:20 pm

knotslip wrote:First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike?

Who is your favorite composer and why? And what single piece/work/CD/etc. would you most like to have if it was all you could have for a period of time -

Well ... my answer to that second question is "pan pipe" and (to some degree) "the harp." If Heaven is filled with pan pipe and harp music, I'll take an alternative.

As for favorite composer? Too vast a question to answer definitively. I cherish the masters: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. I wouldn't want to be without their music. I could live on a desert island with my Bach box from Brilliant Classics (the "Complete Works") ... but most desert islands I'm familiar with have poor electricity and even worse stereo systems. So maybe I'll just take a guitar along and play for myself what I want. (If I find only a pan pipe or harp on that island, I'll jump into the sea and take my chances with the currents and the sharks.)

That first question proves interesting to me. I agree with the posters who argue for the integrity of a multi movement work such as a symphony or sonata. And I agree that composers aren't always as successful with one movement of a work as they may be with another. But here's my comment: When I was young and foolish and possessed only a very limited record collection, two of my fondest works were Beethoven's Fifth and Tchaikowsky's Sixth Symphony. Two great pieces. Right? Well ... I couldn't stand the second movement of either work -- within the context of the full symphony. To my uninformed ears, neither second movement "fit" the rest of the symphony. (Yet, I somewhat enjoyed each piece separately -- the Beethoven contained a lilting melody that reminded me of Pat Boone's "Tammy" theme, and the 5/4 meter of the Tchaikowsky proved intriguing to my Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond "Take Five" loving sensibilities).

In any case, for several years through my teens and early college years I refused to play those second movements. I would skip the record player's tone arm over those pieces and continue from movement one to movement three (and I absolutely loved the third movements of both works!). What it seems I couldn't get was "Why would such great composers include so alien a movement in their integral, cohesive form?"

Yeah. I was dumb.

It wasn't till I was in a graduate school Psych class, assigned to read a "new book" by Betty Rollin titled First You Cry, that I understood. The book proved revelatory, not just because I learned about breast cancer and how women feel during the experience, but because I gained my first real comprehension of what we call today "the stages of grieving". First you cry. Then you deny, etc. etc.

I had heard that the famous Beethoven motif of da da da DUM (those ominous three Gs and an E-flat) was "fate knocking at the door." And I suspected that the Beethoven of the "Heiligenstädter Testament" was ranting about his impending deafness in that Fifth Symphony. But it was the Rollin book that brought the Symphony into focus for me, for I finally understood that Beethoven intuited the stages of grieving long before they were codified. First you cry.

Recall that strange little oboe solo that appears "Adagio" in measure 268 of the first movement, at the start of the Recapitulation. What is that? It's a tear drop, of course. More precisely, it's a lachrymosa, such as those found in English composer John Dowland's collection "Lachrimae 1604." What does a tear drop sound like? Listen to Beethoven's oboe solo in the first movement of the Fifth.

So ... fate comes knocking at Beethoven's door, and he is bitter, angry, upset, annoyed -- all those things that struck Betty Rollin when she learned she was diagnosed with breast cancer. We have all either been through a similar experience, or we can imagine it. And first you cry.

Beethoven's tear is telling. One drop from the master, but it's enough. He's not the kind of guy who weeps broadly. But he is human, too, and so he goes on from that initial battle between Fate (da da da DUM) and Beethoven (Listen to the second theme once, and see if you also hear the phrase: "Ich bin Ludwig van Beethoven" repeated over and over -- the Beethoven theme!) to -- you guessed it -- denial. Which is why I disliked that second movement. It seems absent of the Fate motif. Where is the "da da da DUM" I used to ponder during that music? Why would Beethoven, who knows more about musical integrity than anyone, dispel with the great "fate" motif in his FIfth Symphony? I stopped listening to the movement because I didn't understand that Beethoven was denying. That's why the Fate theme is absent.

It's brilliant Beethoven. And I show just how moronic I was.

In any case, the fate motif returns in that third movement -- the confrontation, the struggle, and in the last movement, the triumph, in which the Beethoven theme overcomes the Fate theme and comes to the positive assertion that Fate shall not dominate Beethoven, because, as the composer insists: "I am Ludwig van Beethoven!"

So what about Tchaikowsky's Sixth? Well ... after I understood the Beethoven Fifth, and my reason for not listening to that second movement, it became clear what Tchaikowsky was writing about too. The same thing.

No, not deafness. Tchaikowsky's fated problem was something else, something he struggled with a lifetime -- his homosexuality. And for Tchaikowsky, the fate motif was not something that blatantly knocked at the door. Rather, it was insidious, sly. Like a snake it slides in under the door. Listen to the first four notes of Tchaikowsky's Sixth. THAT is one slimy fate theme.

What about the tear drop, the lachrymosa? Compare the second theme of Tchaikowsky's Sixth to that little oboe theme by Beethoven. See the similarity? Three descending notes, a little turn of four notes, a rise and then descent of three more notes -- exactly what Beethoven notates. Beethoven is one teardrop. Tchaikowsky, maven of emotion, is a well-spring of tears. They gush forth like blood in a Greek tragedy. Tchaikoswky himself is the tears.

And that second movement? How about Russian wedding music. What better way to deny one's homosexuality than to marry, which Tchaikowsky did, for a brief time, and it almost resulted in his suicide. You can look up the story. It's fascinating. And that second movement, a movement of denial, does not "fit" with the remainder of the work, in exactly the same way the second movement of Beethoven's Fifth doesn't fit. Tchaikowsky was rewriting Beethoven, but doing so on his own terms, which we'll see.

THe third movement, then, is the struggle. Like Beethoven's Fifth's third movement, it features wild scale passages of struggle. Brilliant stuff, and one of my favorite movements of any piece.

Which brings us to the finale. Unlike Beethoven, Tchaikowsky could not triumph over his fated situation. He is taken over by it. Fate and the tears become too much, and they destroy the composer.

What? He died a few days after the premier of the Symphony? And under mysterious circumstances? Is the Sixth Symphony (a rewrite of Beethoven's Fifth) Tchaikowsky's suicide note?

Something to ponder.

In any case, that's my response to your first question. We might not always understand what the composer means, but we should give the composer the benefit of the doubt. What we think may be a weakness may instead by a consciously composed strong point.

You see, to me good music, classical music (serious music),is philosophical, and the composers were philosophers. They use music as their medium to express the human condition. Great playwrights are philosophers, too -- they use the drama as their medium. Great painters are philosophers -- they use graphic art as their medium. It's not just about notes and keys and instrumental colors -- which is the impression one often gets from reading critical commentaries on music. It's about the soul of what it means to be human.

In another thread on this board I wrote that Beethoven was inescapable. What I meant was that Beethoven provides us with possibilities in his music. He opened the door to new ways of expression -- ways that came not from academic study of musical forms and techniques, but from the heart. William Wordsworth the English poet born in the same year as Beethoven, 1770, did the same thing in verse. Wordsworth, too, is inescapable. He, like all great artists, shows us possibilities. He does not explore every possible way. That is up to those who come after. But he does lay an inescapable groundwork.

In any case, I somewhat envy you being a "noobie" to this area of classical music. I envy your experience of being able to hear so many great pieces for the first time. I can never again hear Beethoven for the first time, but I can seek out new music. Which is one of the reasons I enjoy this listening hobby. There are certainly many ways to be a worse human being.

All the best to you.

--SONNET CLV--

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Re: My responses ...

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:00 pm

SONNET CLV wrote:
knotslip wrote:First, I was just curious if many of you dislike a movement of a symphony or only like 1 or 2....In other words, they are almost like individual works and it seems like it would be easy to dislike a particular movement of an entire symphony or other work. I haven't found one yet that I dislike...

Is there a particular instrument that you dislike?

Who is your favorite composer and why? And what single piece/work/CD/etc. would you most like to have if it was all you could have for a period of time -

Well ... my answer to that second question is "pan pipe" and (to some degree) "the harp." If Heaven is filled with pan pipe and harp music, I'll take an alternative.
This must remain a matter of taste, and was intended to be, I'm sure, in the original question. However, I grew up at West Point, and those in the know realize that Nancy Allen, for decades now the head of the harp department at Juillliard (I haven't checked to see if she's retired but assume she is not, and yes, Juilliard has a harp department) was a Wunderkind who deigned when she was no older than high school age to return for performances back in the provinces from which she came. Though I know nothing of harp technique, she was a hero to me when I was a boy, and I will not tolerate without speaking up a word against that lovely instrument.

Classic moments in movies: Harpo Marx putting on a serious expression while he plays a beautiful solo in one of the classic movies. (He taught himself, and apparently set the pedals wrong, but who cares?)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:22 pm

Saphire wrote:And a very good move that was, as I'm afraid one of music forums' biggest irritations to me is the new poster who typically only wants to know the name of Carmina Buruna or suchlike, or possibly some electronic version of a piece he/she has heard on a computer game. They're mostly young children who have no real interest in classical music. Just another category of time-waster, which come in all shapes and sizes.
Not sure I agree that it is a good move for that reason. We all used to really enjoy the challenge as we all have a bit of the show-off in us, else we wouldn't waste time here. It is indeed a good move from the standpoint of the reason Lance does it. (NB: if he ever ceases doing it, don't expect the same from yours truly.)

I also don't think they were mainly "young children" looking for something they heard in a video game, although we did get a couple like that. Music from those damned Japanese cartoons and role-playing games were impossible to crack - probably were computer-generated at that. I think they were mostly 15-30 crowd, some looking for a tune in an ad or a movie and who think every piece of music is a "song." Used to drive John and me nuts.
Febnyc wrote:A disappointing response. I think it's a shame that this site is chasing away "young children" (if, in fact, that's what they are and that is what's happening here) who, at the very least, are showing a modicum of interest in classical music.
If we have indeed done something like that we will pay in the afterlife for it.
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Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:52 pm

Sonnet wrote:Recall that strange little oboe solo that appears "Adagio" in measure 268 of the first movement, at the start of the Recapitulation. What is that? It's a tear drop, of course. More precisely, it's a lachrymosa, such as those found in English composer John Dowland's collection "Lachrimae 1604." What does a tear drop sound like? Listen to Beethoven's oboe solo in the first movement of the Fifth.

A really fine piece of writing, Sonnet. I'm referring to the whole thing, not just the paragraph I quoted to save space. There's no way of knowing if those things are what Beethoven or Tchaikovsky were thinking definitively, but I'm not sure that matters. At some deep intuitive level your interpretations make sense. I'm going to listen to both those pieces again soon (which is always a joy anyway) with your thoughts at the back of my mind.

(Incidentally, where is the oboe solo proportionately - near the end of the movement? 268 measures is quite a few).

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:37 am

slofstra wrote:A really fine piece of writing, Sonnet. I'm referring to the whole thing, not just the paragraph I quoted to save space.
I second that emotion. Coming across writing like that is one reason I don't chuck the idea of running a forum like this. I have to admit I've tried to talk Lance out of it from time to time, but I cherish moments like this.
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Re: Some general questions from a classical noobie

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:20 pm

knotslip wrote: Is there a particular instrument that you dislike? Maybe an instrument that just bothers you when you hear it in a piece? This is more a curiosity question than anything else. I like all the instruments but find that sometimes the strings, especially the higher pitched ones can be grading/ear piercing at higher volumes...Maybe this is more a recording issue/poor CD, etc. and not the instrument itself (I do love the violin and other strings).
You should be able to temper the sound with better/different interconnects, you could test some out from Audio Advisor or Musc Direct, it took me years, and lots of bucks to get rid of that schrill kind of sound...of course now i've brought up the what if factor again...

ps i'll send you a pm about cables, and make some reccomendations, it's easier for us to communicate directly...

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Post by knotslip » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:13 pm

Thanks Chalk...but I too, have been through the interconnect and speaker cable comparisons and I know I have good ones, as they sound great on good recordings. The problem is that cheaper recordings really don't do string instruments justice. I have some cheap CD's where you can barely descern the strings from the woodwinds. :-)

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Re: My responses ...

Post by Wallingford » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:02 pm

SONNET CLV wrote:Beethoven's tear is telling. One drop from the master, but it's enough. He's not the kind of guy who weeps broadly. But he is human, too, and so he goes on from that initial battle between Fate (da da da DUM) and Beethoven (Listen to the second theme once, and see if you also hear the phrase: "Ich bin Ludwig van Beethoven" repeated over and over -- the Beethoven theme!) to -- you guessed it -- denial. Which is why I disliked that second movement. It seems absent of the Fate motif. Where is the "da da da DUM" I used to ponder during that music? Why would Beethoven, who knows more about musical integrity than anyone, dispel with the great "fate" motif in his FIfth Symphony? I stopped listening to the movement because I didn't understand that Beethoven was denying. That's why the Fate theme is absent.

--SONNET CLV--
Listen to the ACCOMPANIMENT in the second movement, Son'. Thump...thump...thump...THUMP. The pizzicato basses underneath the cellos' melody. You hear it throughout. The whole damn work is BUILT on that rhythm.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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