why classical?

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by bottleneck, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. bottleneck

    Joe

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    Ditto. With regard to music, I have a 'I may not know much about music, but I know what I like' attitude. I'm more patient with regard to the written word, and have only very rarely given up on a book I've started reading.
     
    Joe, Mar 18, 2005
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  2. bottleneck

    NickM

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    Absolutely. What other reason is there to listen, unless you are a professional or an academic and are paid to do so?

    I used to have great swathes of recordings in my collection because I thought they ought to be there - operas with caterwauling sopranos, tedious lesser works by great composers, great works by great* composers which I simply didn't respond to... and now I've cleared them all out, and my collection reflects my taste as it is, and not as I guiltily felt it ought to be. Why should I care that it has 10 versions of Bruckner's 8th and none of the St Matthew Passion? It's Bruckner's 8th that I want to hear!

    Oh, and I don't want to hear Classic FM, ta very much. I can't stand slow movements strung together one after another, periodically interrupted by smarmy presenters and strident adverts. Yegh.

    * "great" meaning "generally acknowledged as sunstantial or very worthwhile"
     
    NickM, Mar 18, 2005
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  3. bottleneck

    NickM

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    What a good idea. You start it, I'll join in :)
     
    NickM, Mar 18, 2005
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  4. bottleneck

    Coda II getting there slowly

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    So is no one going to own up to Classic Rock then?
    Bohemian Rhapsody played by the LSO, what's not to like? (This was many years before I was even aware of Mr Mercury).
    I think what this record did for me was to introduce the sound of classical instruments in a way that I could comprehend. There was plenty of classical at home, Mozart and Chopin are the ones I recall, but I wanted things to be a bit more exciting.

    The big change came with hearing live music.

    I don't think this can be stressed enough, if you have any interest at all, getting to some classical concerts is a must.

    I spent a couple of Summers as a teenager going to the Proms most evenings; bought a season ticket and most of the time had no idea what I was going to hear, it didn't seem to matter. What I started to listen to at home were Romantic symphonies - Beethoven then Mahler, and Mozart opera then Verdi and Puccini. Then came an early music phase, Allegri, Tallis and Emma Kirkby (yes she did exist before Classic FM). This was at a time when I lived on my own and had no TV so sitting down to a full length opera of an evening was fine. Never really did the libretto thing, I'm not really botherd what it means. I think Wagner was inevitable, there was a time when four hour operas were my chosen background music at work (Wagner - background -sacrilage!).
    My listening at home has changed, it's now generally much smaller scale works, songs, sonatas, quartets and so on, they just seem more appropriate to the space. Opera is far more likely to be live (anyone else going to be at Covent Garden on Tuesday?)
    Coming back to the sound of instruments, it's an alternative way of exploring; pick a sound you like, rather than a composer. Cello has long been a favourite, it's what got me into Bach, but there is plenty of good contemporary writing as well. (alanbeeb - you mentioned Dutilleux, any details?).
    I seem to be buying soprano songs more than anything at the moment, again picking an artist and exploring their repertoire can be good.
    There is an interesting middle ground at present where people are comming to minimalist composers through the ambient door (eg Eno), it's far to early to say where it's going but I don't think it matters, it's all music. Seeing contemporary dance to contempory music seems to make sense of both.

    Have been waking up to Radio 3 for some years now and highly recommend it, though perhaps wait till Penny Gore is back in a couple of weeks so as not to be put off by her stand in! After a slightly dodgy patch a while ago when they were trying to be 'popular' things have settled down and it's on all day at work. The only program I really don't like is the 'Light Music', sort of old school Radio 2.

    Classical music does lend itself to an analytical approach, and it's probably true that the subset of classical listeners who also post on hi-fi forums lean a bit further in this direction, but even for them classical music is still an experience like any other form. (IMHO).
     
    Coda II, Mar 18, 2005
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  5. bottleneck

    PeteH Natural Blue

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    I think we mean the same thing, we're just using different words. I'd say 'academically pleasing but a right earache to listen to' is a contradiction in terms - you can have a work chock-full of obscure numerological references, horizontal and vertical palindromes, intricately related motifs and where each bar, each phrase, each movement and the work as a whole are constructed according to the Golden Ratio, but if it doesn't sound like music then I don't think it counts as being particularly clever - the exercise ends up resembling a cryptic crossword more than a piece of music. The clever stuff IMO is when cunning compositional techniques are used to make a work feel cohesive, tightly written and 'right' in the sorts of ways that might take repeated listening and/or study to really put your finger on.
     
    PeteH, Mar 18, 2005
    #25
  6. bottleneck

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    I was actually referring to number crunchers like 12 note Schoenberg, Webern and some of the Manchester school that dominated British music. Academically sound no doubt, well reasoned and dare one say correct to a fault........It isn't music! I think Pete we mean the same thing indeed
     
    lordsummit, Mar 18, 2005
    #26
  7. bottleneck

    alanbeeb Grumpy young fogey

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    Dutilleux

    I have a recording of his Cello Concerto played by Lynn Harrell and the French National Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit on Decca.... its apparently no longer available. It was coupled with his Violin Concerto - of the two, the Cello Concerto is better IMO.

    I suppose it doesn't really have tunes, but amazing texture and atmosphere and a sound world that is enchanting.

    There are other recordings available - Rostropovich on EMI is in their "Great Recordings of the Century" series, while Truls Mork on Virgin has good reviews. The Virgin recording also has the Violin concerto while Rostropovich has his recording of the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto which I don't know at all.

    Details to be found on Amazon.... I may get the Rostropovich one as I like other stuff by Lutoslawski.
     
    alanbeeb, Apr 1, 2005
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  8. bottleneck

    Coda II getting there slowly

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    Thanks alan, nearly came away from HMV with the Rostropovich disc last time I was in London, I think it was the only recording they had and also the only Dutilleux disc; one hit wonder? Will hopefully get back to it though.
    Instead came home with an EMI budget box of the complete Beethoven String Quartets/Alban Berg quartet, seven discs for £14 pounds seemed a bargain and am enjoying them very much. Also the 50's Furtwangler Tristan & Isolde for around £12, between these two boxes have been a bit busy of late.
     
    Coda II, Apr 4, 2005
    #28
  9. bottleneck

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

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    I like to think that I like classical music from birth, because I was born (at home, my family being rather conservative) at the sound of Liebestraum. My parents claim that when I was about two I repeatedly asked to listen to Eine kleine Nachtmusik. It is true that I remember that record (Felix Proaska was the conductor). Later I just went on listening. When I was about 8 I got enamoured by Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, and my eldest brother showed me how counterpoint worked. That really was the releasing thing. I later studied the organ and the harpsichord.

    That said, there are some quite moving pop songs, and I like Irish music, especially the lamento like arias sung by ladies with very mysterious and elf-like voices.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, Apr 4, 2005
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