For Neophytes: What got me into Classical Music

jbuck919
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For Neophytes: What got me into Classical Music

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:01 pm

It is not all that unusual for us to have a rank newcomer to classical music come here. Such a person does not need to be overwhelmed with masterpieces based on his or her vague feelings of what is cool. Instead, suggest one or at most two very popular works that got you started as a kid, or even your best guess at a fine inroad into an adult appreciation. Many people, unlike most of the posters here even in their juvenile years, if they are going to be knocked unconscious by Beethoven's Ninth, will be so out of bored stupor rather than the rapture that perhaps we experienced.

I speak as a high school teacher who understands that most novices, no matter how ultimately ripe, simply cannot stand to be overwhelmed by any positive force (as opposed to drugs), and perforce need to be coaxed into listening to the better angels of their nature. We must remember that they start out not knowing Beethoven from Roll Over Beethoven.

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: May I make a suggestion?

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:33 pm

jbuck919 wrote:May I make a suggestion?
Sure, unless it's sacking the moderators.
Instead, suggest one or at most two very popular works that got you started as a kid, or even your best guess at a fine inroad into an adult appreciation. .
How do you want to handle this? As a sticky thread to ride more or less permanently at the top? What would we call it? I'd whisper the A F words but that always gets a firehose of negative responses.

I'm open to suggestions.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: May I make a suggestion?

Post by MaestroDJS » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:36 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Instead, suggest one or at most two very popular works that got you started as a kid, or even your best guess at a fine inroad into an adult appreciation.
Well said. Some people try to hit the ground running, and fall flat on their faces. Better to learn first how to crawl and then walk. One way is to begin with some easily accessible basic works and take it from there. Or, start with music that is related to other interests. Classical music began to interest me in 1968, when I was 11. The film 2001: A Space Odyssey captivated me with its scenes of spaceflight accompanied by Strauss waltzes. This led me to explore my father's old classical records, and my appreciation grew. After a while I bought my very first classical record, Symphonies Nos. 94 and 103 by Franz Joseph Haydn. That started my record collection which now numbers in the thousands.

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Re: May I make a suggestion?

Post by MaestroDJS » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:47 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Sure, unless it's sacking the moderators.
Perish the thought! After all the hard work you and Lance did to purge this board of Mr. Nobody-Gets-It-But-Me, Mr. @#$%&*! and several other disrupters this year, you two are indispensible. Ever since then, CMG has been a fun place to talk about music again.

Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
For the hardy Captains of the music board.


Dave

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:59 pm

Thanks, Dave.
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Re: May I make a suggestion?

Post by Huckleberry » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:15 am

MaestroDJS wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Sure, unless it's sacking the moderators.
Perish the thought! After all the hard work you and Lance did to purge this board of Mr. Nobody-Gets-It-But-Me, Mr. @#$%&*! and several other disrupters this year, you two are indispensible. Ever since then, CMG has been a fun place to talk about music again.

Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
For the hardy Captains of the music board.


Dave
And the Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way, and the Universe is a better place for David and other earthlings (i.e., us). :D

Now it is: Nobody-Gets-It-But-Us. :wink:
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Re: May I make a suggestion?

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:43 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:May I make a suggestion?
Sure, unless it's sacking the moderators.
Instead, suggest one or at most two very popular works that got you started as a kid, or even your best guess at a fine inroad into an adult appreciation. .
How do you want to handle this? As a sticky thread to ride more or less permanently at the top? What would we call it? I'd whisper the A F words but that always gets a firehose of negative responses.

I'm open to suggestions.
No, I'm not suggesting any administrative action. I am flattered to think you would have thought that. I know that this post will lemming like all others. It was just a thought, and may it bear fruit for as long as it blooms, if that is not anti-botanical.

To Dave: I think I was hard-wired to love classical music to the exclusion of almost every other listening "pleasure," but I also had my incipience, and if I had not had a background that was at least capable of nurturing it, I would have been forever lost, just as I would be lost without my ability to read music, and I mean that in an existential sense.

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 FrankAderholdt » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:17 am

Good suggestions concerning help for the neophytes.

I'll leave the execution to others who are more natural teachers in this regard. My experience with "classical" music may be a little unusual. From my very first encounter with Leonard Bernstein and the NYP Young People's Concerts on TV (late 1950's), I instantly devoured everything I could get my hands on from every period, every genre, every style. In other words, I had no "learning curve." I can remember, when barely a teenager, my old Columbia LP of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot Lunaire resting next to Mahler and Haydn symphonies, Bach cantatas, and my little Sibelius "starter" collection. To this day, I'm hard-pressed when asked to name my "favorites." I'm drawn to certain composers or styles as my mood changes, but they're all fair game. I suppose I'm just "hard-wired" that way. Gregorian Chant, verismo opera, 12-tone symphonies, I like it all. I've never been able to understand the fierce "party spirit" and the nasty battles concerning composers. During the 19th century, I probably would have been both a Brahmsian and a Wagnerite. That is possible, isn't it?
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:30 am

FrankAderholdt wrote:I can remember, when barely a teenager, my old Columbia LP of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot Lunaire
If you could stand that you were really born to be hard core.

(In case anyone doesn't know, Schoenberg's own recording of Pierrot is rather pathetic. The poor guy probably never heard an adequate performance of any of his works in his own lifetime.)

Yours is a very rare gift, Frank.

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: May I make a suggestion?

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:30 am

jbuck919 wrote: No, I'm not suggesting any administrative action. I am flattered to think you would have thought that.
Well, we better do something fast before this thread gets much longer.

Newbies wouldn't have a clue from the title, so how about this:

1. Let's change the title of this thread to make its content obvious - I can do that with the administrative controls.
2. Let's make it a sticky to ride on top of the other posts so it will be one of the first things they see and chronologically later threads don't bury it.

Any other ideas?
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:38 am

Corlyss, please, please, just change the title. I would die of embarrassment to have it be a sticky. If you want the subject to have that kind of significance, give me a chance to re-think the initial post and I will send you a draft.

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 Sep 10, 2005 10:45 am

As I've said here before, my mother was a huge Gieseking fan and had ever recording he ever made when she was young. The war interferred with her collection, but she remained devoted to him and no other pianist ever caught her ear. So I heard a lot of that as a defenseless tot: Debussy, Grieg, Schumann. Tchaikovsky's ballet music and Lili Pons rounded out her likes.

But like John said, even knowing it from that early an age, there comes the tipping point when you yourself "commit" to classical music as your brand. For me it was when I was 15 and the high school choir and orchestra put on its spring concert and performed excerpts from the Faure Requiem. That was it for me. I started listening to the classical music radio station all the time and never looked back. I've had interludes of other music - rock (great for working in the yard and painting walls), new age and lite jazz (very soothing for litigation), but I always come back to classical and I stay there longer than I dally with the other styles.
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Post by CharmNewton » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:39 pm

Thinking about this topic, I can place the first time I recall hearing classical msuic. It was during a Walf Disney telecast and one work was the Schubert "Unfinished". It was an experimental stereo broadcast, which is why I recall it. One channel was broadcast over the television and the other over the radio (AM band, I remember tuning the table radio).

My interest in classical music really began with my interest in hi-fi equipment and becoming a regular reader of magazines like Audio, Hi-Fi Stereo Review and High Fidelity. I was still a rock-n-roll listener, but I was impressed with the seriousness and professionalism of the classical music reviewers. The father of one of my neighborhood pals was also a hi-fi enthusiast and he played some light classical music as well as some of the Command label's sonic spectaculars. I liked some of what I'd heard, but also began to resent the poor recorded sound on many rock records (that began to change around 1967). I bought the Bernstein recording of William Tell and other overtures (a really fine disc still). Then Bernstein wrote his essay on Mahler, which for me became the tipping point. I heard the Mahler 9th (Solti's first recording), but I was unprepared for anything of that length. However, the seed was planted. While some of my college professors provided some recommendations for further listening, Chicago's three full-time classical stations became my listening choices.

And that's pretty much what I'd recommend to any newbie, just listen to classical music on the radio, cable (Comcast carries Muisc Choice here in Portland), satellite, Internet or taking out CDs from the public library. There isn't really an easy way to make recommendations on basic repertoire anymore as the choices available today are bewildering and twenty people will probably make 15-20 different recommendations, although newer recordings generally have better sound.

John

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Post by Richard » Sun Sep 11, 2005 3:39 pm

It is interesting the great variety of pathways taken to induce an interest in classical music, as posted on this thread.

I agree, at an impressionable age, it is good to have someone prod the greenhorns and simply give elementary exposure to classical music (at least let them know Chopin is not what you're doing with an axe and block of wood).

In our high school World History class (I guess classical music is a part of world history)..our teacher played snippets of familiar classical music and then, later, replayed each and asked the class to write down the composer and the work. He took this quite seriously as our quiz results counted in our final grade. Not any easy task for a neophyte as he must have played 12-15 selections. I did not become an instant classical music lover, but I think it did plant a subconscious seed.

I did not start listening to classical music until the ancient days of the late 1960's. A friend of mine liked both classical music and rock. Back in those days, we had a gadget called a phonograph. It had a spindle to stack records, which would flop down on a turntable for playing. My friend like to make "sandwiches" by placing, say, a Haydn symphony between a Credance Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin record. I started to like the contrast and made up such sandwiches on my phonograph, at home. After a while, however, no more sanchwiches....just all classical.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
FrankAderholdt wrote:I can remember, when barely a teenager, my old Columbia LP of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot Lunaire
If you could stand that you were really born to be hard core.

(In case anyone doesn't know, Schoenberg's own recording of Pierrot is rather pathetic. The poor guy probably never heard an adequate performance of any of his works in his own lifetime.)

Yours is a very rare gift, Frank.
*****

I second the last observation! :)
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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:40 pm

It’s all rather hazy now but I remember my mother praising Glenn Gould’s Bach playing which she may have seen on CBC television. I bought her a recording by him for Christmas and probably listened to it more than she did. I remember that I was becoming bored with rock but loved music and was very open to hearing new and more challenging sounds. Sometime in my mid or late teens I began listening to Karl Haas’s radio show, “Adventures in Good Music” and took LPs out of the public library. The first classical recording I bought for myself was the Brahms Symphony No. 2 played by Pierre Monteux and the Vienna Philharmonic.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:25 pm

Richard wrote:I did not start listening to classical music until the ancient days of the late 1960's. A friend of mine liked both classical music and rock. Back in those days, we had a gadget called a phonograph. It had a spindle to stack records, which would flop down on a turntable for playing. My friend like to make "sandwiches" by placing, say, a Haydn symphony between a Credance Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin record. I started to like the contrast and made up such sandwiches on my phonograph, at home. After a while, however, no more sanchwiches....just all classical.
Record sandwiches....I have a record player and (assuming I can get the speakers to work properly again) that sounds like a great idea.... :D

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:11 am

jbuck919 wrote:
FrankAderholdt wrote:I can remember, when barely a teenager, my old Columbia LP of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot Lunaire
If you could stand that you were really born to be hard core.
Actually, I don't think it's all that rare for someone, exposed to Pierrot as a teen (and without, e.g., the learned response of 19th (or 18th) century : good :: Schoenberg : bad ), to respond positively to it.

Ask Chris (weirdears) or myself about it sometime :-)
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Post by Teresa B » Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:53 pm

My mom and dad played violin in the local orchestra, and they flogged me ( :wink: ) to practice the piano for years.

But Dad told me one day he knew I was hooked when I was about 16, and I had listened to Beethoven's 6th. I asked him "Have you ever heard music so beautiful it hurts to listen to it?"

I guess that was it.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:22 pm

Neither of my parents had any interest in any of the passions that enrich my life. I started listening to Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra in the notorious Studio 8-H on a tinny radio.
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Post by Bob » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:58 pm

In 1993 my wife did a favor for a friend who, by appreciation, gave us Giulini/Berlin Mozart 40/41 as a thank you. At the time, we had no cd player and I was coincidently looking for a system to replace the worn out shelf system we had. To gain a baseline, I took the cd to various shops and tried it on the display models. I was hooked -- on the music. At the same time, I met a new friend who had studied under Jasha Brodsky at the New School/Curtis in Philadelphia and was building his teaching practice. He became my "teacher," as well as good friend. Thus an obsession was born.

Bob

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Post by PJME » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:49 am

My father played the violin, my mother sang....There was always a piano in the house. Even before WW2; the local amateur orchestra played Bach, Grieg, Beethoven....composer Jef Maes conducted. The local concert Organisation invited rather good musicians...the Belgian National Orchestra, Lola Bobesco & Jacques Genty.....But the Czech Chamber Orchestra in Honegger's second symphony triggered my interest in 20th century symphonic music. Britten's War Requiem, Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc and Le roi David, Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire followed.
Still, the fact that I was able to rent LP's at the Mediathèque and that students could buy cheap tickets for concerts was even more important.Suddenly Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Paris were not that far away.Even the Proms in London ( 4 hours by boat from Ostend...) were possible.

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Post by Johnny » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:27 pm

Hello everyone :) I'm here because I need a little dose
of " kindred Spirit " from those who like myself, enjoy music
that is timeless and has the power to transform and transcend
the soul.

My love of all classical music comes from early experiences
(which, I might add are many ) Having lived in Germany and
working for Aeolian Skinner when I was young, had set the
foundation which supports my never ending passion for
music and the Arts in general.

I'm looking forward to reading the many informative posts
by so many others of great knowledge.

I am greatly humbled. It's good to be here :D



Regards,
Johnny.
I live my life one note at a time.

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Post by pizza » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:39 pm

My mom was a piano teacher before marriage and she started me on lessons when I was about 5. I was ambivalent toward music in general and to the piano in particular, and the fights that often ensued between us when I insisted on playing baseball with my friends rather than practicing added to the quandary. However, in HS my closest friend was deeply involved in classical music and without any conscious effort I spent a considerable amount of time listening to his record collection as background music. One day a recording he had of Walton's Facade with Dame Edith Sitwell narrating really struck my fancy and that started my serious interest in classical music and recordings.

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Post by matti » Wed Sep 14, 2005 1:50 am

Ralph wrote:Neither of my parents had any interest in any of the passions that enrich my life.
Neither do mine as far as music is concerned. My dad starts to whistle (with a vibrato, pretty skillfully in fact) immediately as he hears a tone he knows, though, and to tap his foot... Used to drive me crazy, but that was years and years ago - he still does that, but now it's only amusing. Both mum and dad are avid readers, so something goes in the family.

My grandmother bought me my first piano, because I wanted one. That's how it all started musically for me. I also remember some lps my mother almost accidentally acquired and I, again almost accidentally, started listening to classical.

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Post by miranda » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:05 pm

classical music is something of a tradition in my mother's family. my grandfather is a lifelong bach enthusiast; i took piano lessons as a child, and i have fond memories of playing a bach piece(can't remember which one), with him sitting by my side, with a look of excitement and affection on his face.

my mother would play her records of mozart operas while doing housework; she loves to sing arias to this day.

after leaving home to go to college, i started listening to jazz, punk, and rock, and i went to a great many shows. i listened to some classical music (i had a housemate who was a music major, and i remember her playing her copy of pierrot lunaire, and being initially horrified by it :)) but in the last five years, it's started to occupy a greater percentage of my cd/record collection.

i really do like many, many types of music(as i'm sure is the case with most folks on this forum), but classical music seems to be in my blood, more than any other type.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:57 am

Johnny wrote:Hello everyone :) I'm here because I need a little dose
of " kindred Spirit " from those who like myself, enjoy music
that is timeless and has the power to transform and transcend
the soul.
Well that's pretty much what got me started in the old MSN Classical Music Forum where I met Ward and Lance. I had to kill the part of me that loved classical music when I decided to go back to school while working full time. I did such a good job I was having trouble reigniting interest once I graduated, so I looked around and found MSN. Been with the same folks ever since even tho' MSN Classical Music Forum is long since defunct.
Having lived in Germany and working for Aeolian Skinner when I was young,
Wait till John (jbuck) finds YOU! :D
I am greatly humbled.
Oh, bother. That won't last long . . . :P
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Post by Johnny » Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:06 pm

Hello Corlyss_D :)

Thanks for the welcome.



Regards,
Johnny.
I live my life one note at a time.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:43 pm

Johnny wrote:Hello Corlyss_D :)

Thanks for the welcome.



Regards,
Johnny.
Well, I'm an organist, and I currently live in Germany, and I've played a couple of Aeolian Skinners in my life, including the preManderized organ in the chapel of Princeton University. Happy to meet you. :)

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 Johnny » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:00 pm

It's a pleasure to make your aquaintance as well John. :D

What a lovely town Bamberg is ! Are you currently playing
at a Kirche or the Dom ?

Tell me more about your travels. What Organs/Organ
recitals have you heard. When I visit Europe I enjoy
Organ recitals whenever possible. Have you had the
opportunity to hear the great organ at St Stephens in
Passau ? If you get the chance I can assure you that it
will be something to remember.

I am a friend of the Frauenkirche in Dresden and my
Family and I are looking forward to visiting Dresden during
the 2006- 800 year celebration. In the Frauenkirche, They
replaced the Silberman Organ with a contemporary one.
One they claim is capable of keeping up with more modern
organ composition. I would have prefered to have seen a
Silberman tribute organ, but alas the powers that be would
not hear of it. It does lift the spirit to see how far Dresden has
come since the dark days. Rebuilding the Frauenkirche along
with the organ is a symbol of peace and forgiveness that is
important to so many.



I worked for Aeolian Skinner part-time in 1961-62. We had a
large fire in our church and both large chambers were
damaged. There was a lot of water damage so I assisted in
replacing much of the pipework. It was then that the decision
was made to add a 32 and 64ft Bombarde section. Wow ! I'll
never forget the first time I heard the Widor Tocata or Boellmann.

That period in my life was a turning point for me. I've been
hooked ever since :)

I would love to share more experiences with you in the future so
please keep in touch.


Regards,
Johnny. Ps. I am a Virgil Fox fan :D
I live my life one note at a time.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:49 am

karlhenning wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
FrankAderholdt wrote:I can remember, when barely a teenager, my old Columbia LP of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot Lunaire
If you could stand that you were really born to be hard core.
Actually, I don't think it's all that rare for someone, exposed to Pierrot as a teen (and without, e.g., the learned response of 19th (or 18th) century : good :: Schoenberg : bad ), to respond positively to it.

Ask Chris (weirdears) or myself about it sometime :-)
As someone who also first heard Pierrot as a teenaged and liked it, I would like to make it clear that I was referring to that particular horrible recording, which is so bad that it misrepresents the piece.

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 MaestroDJS » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:28 am

jbuck919 wrote:As someone who also first heard Pierrot as a teenaged and liked it, I would like to make it clear that I was referring to that particular horrible recording, which is so bad that it misrepresents the piece.
It only goes to show how differently we all listen to various performances, because Schönberg's 1940 version remains my favorite recording of Pierrot Lunaire. I just played it again a few days ago. Erika Stiedry-Wagner was an actress, not a singer who spoke the recording. She performed this work many times, and her Sprechstimme technique stems from the fact that she acts the music as much as she speaks it. She was the wife of conductor Fritz Stiedry, so she was an actress who understood music.

Of course there is always the possibility and even the probability that I don't know what I'm talking about. :D

Quoth Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz: "I know nothing! Nooooothing!" :lol:

Dave

David Stybr
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Book 7: Murder of a Smart Cookie, July 2005
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David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr

Coordinator, Classical Music SIG (Special Interest Group) of American Mensa

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:57 am

By pure coincidence, Dave and I shared our opinions on this recording on the other board only yesterday (I would not call it an exchange as there was no cross talk between us). Dave, you don't have to apologize, as your accumen is awesome and your taste never in question. For all I know, I may be missing something. After all, the recording helped get the omnivorous Frank hooked. It can't be all bad. :)

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

SamLowry
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Post by SamLowry » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:36 pm

Johnny. Ps. I am a Virgil Fox fan
Wonderful! He's about the only organist I listen to anymore. The first non-German to play Bach at the Thomaskirche?

To go along with this thread, when I showed up for college decades ago as a freshman, I quickly became friends with another music major who played classical recordings including Virgil Fox, and I got hooked.

Years later I finally started noticing more how Fox tries to help the listener, by "highlighting" certain key melodies in Bach. Such as a sequence of notes that appear both in a prelude and fugue. Perhaps not a unique idea, but I enjoy noticing it. To me, the music comes alive when he plays it.

I've seen for sale on the internet, a recording of Fox playing I believe pieces in every step of the scale? Does anybody know if that's a good recording to buy?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:44 pm

Bob wrote:In 1993 my wife did a favor for a friend who, by appreciation, gave us Giulini/Berlin Mozart 40/41 as a thank you. At the time, we had no cd player and I was coincidently looking for a system to replace the worn out shelf system we had. To gain a baseline, I took the cd to various shops and tried it on the display models. I was hooked -- on the music. At the same time, I met a new friend who had studied under Jasha Brodsky at the New School/Curtis in Philadelphia and was building his teaching practice. He became my "teacher," as well as good friend. Thus an obsession was born.

Bob
That may be the strangest "How I got started" stories I've ever heard.
Corlyss
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:16 am

SamLowry wrote:
Johnny. Ps. I am a Virgil Fox fan
Wonderful! He's about the only organist I listen to anymore. The first non-German to play Bach at the Thomaskirche?

To go along with this thread, when I showed up for college decades ago as a freshman, I quickly became friends with another music major who played classical recordings including Virgil Fox, and I got hooked.

Years later I finally started noticing more how Fox tries to help the listener, by "highlighting" certain key melodies in Bach. Such as a sequence of notes that appear both in a prelude and fugue. Perhaps not a unique idea, but I enjoy noticing it. To me, the music comes alive when he plays it.

I've seen for sale on the internet, a recording of Fox playing I believe pieces in every step of the scale? Does anybody know if that's a good recording to buy?
Although it is hard not to like Virgil, who introduced the US to the notion that an organist can be as much a virtuoso as a pianist, I cannot understand anyone who listens to him exclusively when there are many fine recordings by other organists. Of course, I speak from a specialist's point of view. If you want firsts, I wish they would reissue the complete Bach of my mentor, Carl Weinrich, who was the first to record all those works in a plausible fashion (the Schweitzer recordings are ghastly).

I don't know what organ Fox played in Leipzig, but I was there last year and the one that is there now is curiously inadequate, considering where it is. The organ in the Nicolaikirche, on the other hand, is splendid.

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

trazom
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Post by trazom » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:33 pm

When I was a child my parents always listened to 93.3 AM from Paterson NJ. At that time, they played mostly easy listening but threw in some light classics like the Strauss Waltzes, Faust Ballet Music, Nutcraker Suite, and Gaite Parisienne. I really took to these light classics.

Then my parents purchased some LPs for me like "Getting Friendly With Music" narrated by Dave Galloway.

Finally I got an offer in the mail to join the Music Appreciation Record Club with a free LP of Beethoven's 9th conducted by Jascha Horenstein.

After that I was hooked.

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Advice to neophytes

Post by RebLem » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:26 am

I hate to admit this about myself, but I first got interested in classical music because of its snob appeal. The first record I bought was the Cliburn recording of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto shortly after its first release on LP. I have since come to feel it is a serious competitior for worst performance of that work ever recorded, but that's another story.

Snob appeal, though, would not have sustained my interest for very long if I had not, very early on, come across a few works I really liked. The first three works I found I really liked would make a good symphony orchestra program: Haydn's Military Symphony, The Overture and Venusburg Music from Tannhauser, and Stravinsky's Firebird.

I think one good way to approach developing an interest in classical music is to try to become very familiar with one composer or period, or national group of composers, or a genre. I suggest, in particular, that becoming familiar with the violin concerto literature is a good way to start. First of all, there are not that many really major violin concerti. Get the three Bach Concerti plus the Brandenburgs, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, a box of the Mozart Violin Concerti, and the Viiolin Concerti of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Bartok, maybe Nielsen, too, and you have a pretty good share of the major violin concerto literature.

Furthermore, although they are developmentally interesting, violin concerti seem to be a bit less complex than piano concerti or orther symphonic works. It is relatively easy to follow their development, and this will help you develop a sense of taste and understanding so that you can then approach other works whose development sections are more complex.
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Re: Advice to neophytes

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:42 am

RebLem wrote: the Cliburn recording of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto shortly after its first release on LP. I have since come to feel it is a serious competitior for worst performance of that work ever recorded, but that's another story.
This should be interesting. Standby for ensuing brawl. Film at 11.

Love your signature, Reb.
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Johnny
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Post by Johnny » Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:01 pm

Hi Sam,

The music World just doesn't seem the same without Virgil. He
added SSoooo much color and expression to any composition.

When I was young (er) I heard him play a transcription of
Scheherazade and it was wonderful. No doubt, this was a Man
of vision. He brought organ music to a new level and created
a generation of faithful followers that otherwise would not be
interested in organ.



Regards,
Johnny.
Last edited by Johnny on Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
I live my life one note at a time.

Bob
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Post by Bob » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:14 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Bob wrote:In 1993 my wife did a favor for a friend who, by appreciation, gave us Giulini/Berlin Mozart 40/41 as a thank you. At the time, we had no cd player and I was coincidently looking for a system to replace the worn out shelf system we had. To gain a baseline, I took the cd to various shops and tried it on the display models. I was hooked -- on the music. At the same time, I met a new friend who had studied under Jasha Brodsky at the New School/Curtis in Philadelphia and was building his teaching practice. He became my "teacher," as well as good friend. Thus an obsession was born.

Bob
That may be the strangest "How I got started" stories I've ever heard.
It is amazing, isn't it. I call it a confluence of providential circumstances.

Bob

Dalibor
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Post by Dalibor » Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:41 pm

It was Beethovens 5th symhpny, Mozarts 40th (or was it 41th?) symphony - first movements, and Bach&Vivaldi baroque compilations, that I found in my fathers collection. And also Tartinis Devils Thriller (is that how it was named?) and Josef Suks four pieces for violin and a piano (op 17).

I was six years old or so, but was owerhelmed with this music - with how Beethoven manages to draw out so much music starting from one simple phrase and how Mozart controls every single note in orchestration with such perfection... And I feel no smarter now than then, realy - my understanding and tastes for music are almost no more advanced then they were then... I don't know how comes, but realy I never developed from those starts, never changed a single opinion about music throughout my life.

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Post by rogch » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:15 am

As many others, i was very interested in classical music when i was a little boy and then lost interest in it later. Teenagers don't always allow themselves to have independent views about music, they very often divide into groups. But when i was about 18 i again started to listen to classcal music among other kinds of music. Not too often, but quite regurarly. That was the situation until a few years ago when i was completely hooked....

I remember Schubert was one of the first composers i was really fond of, loved everything i heard of his music. I still enjoy some of his works very much, but not all of them. But that is a matter of taste of course. Beethoven's third sympony was a revelation when i first heard it, and the second movement was beyond belief. Later i listened more and more to Mozart and he is still my favourite composer. His piano concertos will be a good start. But i wouldn't avoid his Requiem either. But seeing the film Amadeus is perhaps the best way to start.

Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Debussy and Stravinsky are other composers who made me more interested in classical music. Try The rite of the spring. It is not really a difficult work, but a very powerfull one (some will say violent). You will love it or hate it, but it's worth a try.

Don't underestimate yourself even if you haven't listened very much to classsical music. Don't shy away from works or composers you would like to hear because some people say it is "difficult" music. (perhaps i am a nuthead, but i loved Lutoslavsky's music the first time i heard it :? ).
Try a number of different composers and you will find some favourites. And after some time you will want to hear more and more and more....
Roger Christensen

"Mozart is the most inaccessible of the great masters"
Artur Schnabel

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Post by Jennifer Grucza » Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:11 pm

My dad likes classical music, so I'm sure I heard some of it as a little kid, but nothing really grabbed me at that point, I guess. Then I got hooked on playing the viola, but I was still more interested in playing than in listening.

The first two recordings of classical music I ever owned were cassette tapes of Carmina Burana and Mozart's String Quintets (one of which I was playing at the time) that I got as Christmas presents from my parents. I listened to those tapes sooo many times! I still think Mozart's quintets are some of his best works ever, and I never tire of hearing them.

Later in college, I played a tape of Beethoven's 5th over and over. I kind of ignored the music on the other side of the tape (a tape my dad made for me) until one day I started really listening to it - then I was hooked on another one of my favorite pieces: Berlioz's Harold in Italy.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:40 pm

Jennifer Grucza wrote:one day I started really listening to it - then I was hooked on another one of my favorite pieces: Berlioz's Harold in Italy.
Ah, Harold in Italy - one of my favorites. I don't think Berlioz ever wrote anything else as good as that and the Requiem. You can have Sympnony Fandamtastic and all of his operas with the possible exception of Beatrice and Benedict. You can even have the Requiem. Just leave me Harold.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:45 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Jennifer Grucza wrote:one day I started really listening to it - then I was hooked on another one of my favorite pieces: Berlioz's Harold in Italy.
Ah, Harold in Italy - one of my favorites. I don't think Berlioz ever wrote anything else as good as that and the Requiem. You can have Sympnony Fandamtastic and all of his operas with the possible exception of Beatrice and Benedict. You can even have the Requiem. Just leave me Harold.
It is also for me the work that redeems Berlioz.

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

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:50 am

Two things simultaneously sparked my interest in classical music at the age of sixteen: first, like CharmNewton, I got interested in hifi gear and the record reviews in those magazines seduced me; second, I had a girlfriend (who also seduced me--but that's another story) whose parents loved classical music and when I visited their home (almost daily) I heard Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and especially Pachelbel, whose Canon in D was her mother's end-of-day stress-reliever of choice.

I began adding some classical LPs to my record collection, which consisted mostly of rock with a little jazz. A few works stand out in memory as ones which received frequent play during my youth and which persist as favorites many years later. I believe these works would offer as helpful an introduction to classical music to a newbie today as they did for me long ago:

Mozart's 40th Symphony
Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor (BWV 1043)
Mahler's 4th Symphony
Ponce's Guitar Concerto
Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez
Elgar's Cello Concerto
Beethoven's 5th & 7th Symphonies & Late Quartets
Vivaldi's Four Seasons
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knot602

risky?

Post by knot602 » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:47 pm

Thanks, Dave.
:wink: But is that not a bit risky?

Muriel
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Post by Muriel » Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:11 pm

[quote="DavidRoss"]


...Elgar's Cello Concerto...

Elgar's Cello Concerto was the first lp I purchased ,the du Pre had just come out and I played this till it wore out.I was about 15 years old. I became interested in Classical music via my mother who was a great fan of all the Russians from Tchaikovsky to Shostakovich with her particular intrest in the piano.

I became a big fan of vocal music and loved Schubert,Brahms and Wolf,French Art songs,Kurt Weill and all the opera I could get my hands on . I went through a long period of adoring baroque opera and for the last few years have been busy exploring chamber music. :)

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Post by Eetu Pellonpää » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:52 am

My father used to listen Beniamino Gigli's arias which I liked, and then I got intrested of Wagner as I saw a Bugs Bunny satire cartoon of Wagner's operas! :lol:

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