Greetings from a newcomer

Scott in VT
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:51 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Greetings from a newcomer

Post by Scott in VT » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:30 pm

Hello, everyone,

Just discovered this site, and it's more than a little overwhelming! I'm more or less of a newcomer to classical music, have been an avid jazz fan for many years, and have been a Debussy addict for a long time (I make no apologies).

In addition to the 19th century giants (+ Mozart and Hadyn, of course), I've been discovering 20th century "neo-romantic" and "neo-impressionist" composers (my terminology) such as: Roussel, Bax, Delius, Koechlin, Hanson (and a bunch of other "American" composers), Martinu (love his stuff!). My most recent discoveries: Rautavaara (his later stuff) and Takemitsu. Haven't heard much of the latter two them but I was immediately hooked on what I did hear.

Since I'm coming to classical music late in life, I probably don't have enough years left to hear it all! But I'm certainly enjoying the ride.

Based on the composers I've listed above, can anyone recommend others I might want to explore? Apologies for the long post, but I'm looking forward to reading all the posts here.

And, oh, yes: Merry Christmas to all!

Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:19 pm
Location: San Francisco, California

Re: Greetings from a newcomer

Post by Vaseena » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:33 pm

Hi Scott,


Scott in VT wrote:and have been a Debussy addict for a long time
Do you love Pelleas et Melisande ?

Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:45 pm

Welcome Scott. If you care to divulge it, where in Vermont do you live? My sister lives outside Burlington. When I am home for the summer in upstate NY I can catch VPR.

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

Posts: 2013
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:25 am

Welcome Scott and Merry Christmas.

You might find an interest in Benjamin Britten and the colorful music of his teacher, Frank Bridge. Britten has written a great deal of vocal music, but has written large scale orchestral, concerto and chamber music works as well. I don't believe there is a lot of Bridge out there, but some of the chamber music I've heard is as original as Debussy, or at least that is how it strikes me. :)

Among Americans, I'd recommend Willaim Grant Still. I find his music melodic, harmonically rich and formally original. Many of his pieces are short, but I find them beautiful.


Scott in VT
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:51 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Merry Christmas

Post by Scott in VT » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:43 pm

Thanks to all for the warm welcome.

Yes, Vaseena, I love Pelleas, saw the San Francisco Opera do it about 15 years ago. BTW, did you ever hear the few fragments of "The Fall of the House of Usher?" What a pity Debussy died before completing it! It would have been an incredible opera.

Jbuck, I am at the other end of the state: Brattleboro, near the NH and MA borders -- not too far from Tanglewood.

Charm, thanks for recommending Britten and Bridge. Grant Still is a new name to me (there are so many I haven't even heard of!). For the present I'm not listening much to vocal music (that's subject to change, of course), but mainly to symphonies, concertos and string quartets.[/i]

Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:55 pm

Welcome, Scott. Given your list, I'd suggest Vaughan Williams, Barber, Copland, Piston, Hindemith, Dutilleux, Poulenc, Walton, Alwyn, Korngold, Elgar, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Sibelius. As a jazz fan are you already familiar with Gershwin and with Milhaud's Creation of the World?
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill


Posts: 1713
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 1:15 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States, North America, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe

Re: Greetings from a newcomer

Post by MaestroDJS » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:50 am

Scott in VT wrote:Since I'm coming to classical music late in life, I probably don't have enough years left to hear it all! But I'm certainly enjoying the ride.
That's the right attitude. Classical music, like life itself, is more about the ride than the destination. I've loved classical music since I was 11, and the men in our family tend to live to between 80 and 100. I may have only 4 or 5 decades to go, and I still won't enough time to hear it all. But I'll keep trying.

I suppose I could listen to music 24 hours a day with different pieces in each ear. Nahhhhh. That really works only for the music of Charles Ives. :)

Welcome aboard.


David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
Tango: Summer Night in Montevideo for Violin and Piano (3:20) ... reid=78610

Personal Assistant and Der Webmeister to author Denise Swanson
Murder of a Smart Cookie
Penguin Putnam ~ Signet, New York, NY

Scott in VT
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:51 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Post by Scott in VT » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:49 pm

DavidRoss, responding to yours of th 26th: I'm getting into Vaughan Williams right now: the 4th and 5th symphonies.

Thank you for the list. The only name that was new to me is Alwyn; I've at least heard of the others. I have a 2-CD set of Dutilleux' chamber music put out by Radio France, but the music therein doesn't grab me. It sounds a little too "brittle" and cerebral. Maybe his symphonies are better.

Yes, I love all those shlocky Gershwin symphonic pieces! Last year I picked up a great CD by Michael Tilson Thomas titled "New World Jazz." It's got the Gershwin "Rhapsody," the Milhaud and Stravinsky pieces and a few others by Bernstein, John Adams et al.

I also have a great jazz album of a Woody Herman 1946 Carnegie Hall concert, with Stravinsky himself conducting Herman's big band on his Ebony Concerto (which I think he wrote for this occasion).

A lot of jazz players in the 'twenties (most notably, Bix Beiderbecke) were big fans of Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky and you can hear it in the recordings they made.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests