Essential Listening for Newbies

Dr Fager
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Essential Listening for Newbies

Post by Dr Fager » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:35 am

Im going to go this weekend to shop for some cd's to start my classical collection and was hoping you guys could give me a hand with creating a "must buy" list. If you guys could quickly list the top 5 symphony's for a noob it would be much appreciated. I have only one complilation cd of great excerpts so i have no clue what type or style ill care for so i figure my first substantial buys should be the alltime classics.

Thanks in advance.

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:16 pm

1. Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 6 "Pastoral"(often paired on one Cd)
2. Mozart: Symphonies 40 and 41 (also paired)
3. Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 "Scottish" and 4 "Italian" (ditto)
4. Dvorak: "New World" Symphony No. 9
5. Brahms: Symphony No. 1 or 2

Other possibilites for a newcomer might be a pairing of Schubert's 5th and 8th, Haydn's 104 plus another of his late symphonies, Schumann's 1st and 4th, Tchaikovsky's 5th or 6th, Mahler's 1st.

Let us know what you pick.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:54 pm

Haydnseek wrote:1. Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 6 "Pastoral"(often paired on one Cd)
2. Mozart: Symphonies 40 and 41 (also paired)
3. Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 "Scottish" and 4 "Italian" (ditto)
4. Dvorak: "New World" Symphony No. 9
5. Brahms: Symphony No. 1 or 2

Other possibilites for a newcomer might be a pairing of Schubert's 5th and 8th, Haydn's 104 plus another of his late symphonies, Schumann's 1st and 4th, Tchaikovsky's 5th or 6th, Mahler's 1st.

Let us know what you pick.
This is as good a list as anyone is going to come up with and may I respectfully suggest that we let Haydnseek's suggestions stand and not engage in one of those enthusiastic rounds (so common on the other board) where in the end every symphony ever written has been listed by one poster or another. In token whereof, I propse to offer no emendations myself, sorely tempted as I might be.

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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PJME
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However do not forget..

Post by PJME » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:08 pm

that there is more than symphonic music.
You'll find plenty to enjoy in choral music , organ music, music for pianoduett, cellosonatas, Baroque oratorios, French chansons and German Lieder... and do not forget that good music can be found from Finland ( try Kokkonen's Requiem !!!that is a very melodious and moving piece!) to Turkey and Brazil.

There are terrific composers in Holland , Belgium and Luxemburg.
Do try to discover them.

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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:43 pm

I suggest shedding the straightjacket of Germanic orthodoxy:

Mozart, 40 & 41 -- a great recording and great value is Szell's with the Cleveland Orchestra on Sony's budget label (includes #35)

Beethoven: 3, 5, 6, 7, & 9 -- A great disc to start with is Carlos Kleiber's Vienna Philharmonic pairing of 5 & 7, but there are some terrific values in complete sets of all 9 symphonies--like the Brilliant Records issue of Blomstedt conducting the Dresden Staatskapelle

Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique -- perhaps the Michael Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony or Colin Davis/Royal Concertgebouw recording

Tchaikovsky, 4, 5, 6. For just one I'd start with the 4th, say the Bernstein/New York recording. All three are often packaged as a specially priced bargain set, however, and the Markevitch/London set is an excellent choice.

Sibelius, 1-7 Perhaps the ideal starter disc is a coupling of 2 & 5, but I cannot recommend any pairings of those on one disc. The fine Segerstam/Helsinki account pairs 3 and 5. For about the same price there's a decent Colin Davis/Boston Symphony twofer that has decent accounts of 1, 2, 4, & 5 on two discs for the price of one.

If you choose to replace the Berlioz with Brahms, Carlos Kleiber's recording of the fourth is a safe bet. Or go with Bernstein's NYPO Dvorak 9th--or maybe one of the bargain twofers of Dvorak's 7, 8, & 9 with the Cleveland under von Dohnanyi or under Szell.

Note also that there are several sites as well as books aimed at steering the novice classical listener through the bewildering array of choices.
"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

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"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by Ralph » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:53 pm

Get some of the works by Dittersdorf. You will discover a great composer who has never been well-known, even here.
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Dr Fager
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Post by Dr Fager » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:03 pm

Ok, heres the list im going to work off tomorrow when i go shopping...

Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 9
Mozart: Symphonies 40 and 41
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
Bach: Orchestra Suite 3

Im also going to look for a classical guitar cd of Bach's works. I saw a guy (last name Beam i belive) who im going to try to find.

Also, i read something last night about a guy who composed a symphony while in a Nazi POW camp based on revelations. Thats sounds freaky enough to give it a shot if you guys can give me the exact info on.

I also heard a Vivaldi peice called "Summer" that was amazing last night. Very good stuff. I might look for that if i can find the larger work it appears in.

The excellent thing i see about classical music is that its dirt cheap. I may be able to find all of this for a very affordable price. Not a bad intro if i can get it all.

Im very excited. I feel like an entire new musical world is in front of me. I guess with age (only 26 :wink: ) im starting to appreciate different things.

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Post by DavidRoss » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:17 pm

A good beginning! I think everyone would have recommended some Bach--and quite likely the Brandenburgs--had you not restricted suggestions to symphonies in your original post. Selecting the Orchestral Suite #3 (why only #3?) seems an odd choice for your survey since you alread have the Brandenburgs. I'd advise going with one of the other recommendations given above instead, or maybe with Vivaldi's Four Seasons (the work that includes Summer). Or, since you've expanded the quest to include orchestral music other than symphonies, how about works by Debussy including La Mer, or by Stravinsky including The Rite of Spring? Boulez is good in both, though again there are some great bargain doubles available: the Haitink set for Debussy, and Abbado's recording of all the early Stravinsky ballets.

As for the POW camp piece, I wonder if you might be thinking of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time -- not a symphony, but one of the great works of the 20th Century? Finally, rather than Julian Bream for Bach on guitar, you might consider David Russell, Nick Goluses, or Sharon Isbin, each of whom has a fine disc devoted to his works.
"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

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Post by dirkronk » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:35 pm

Whatever else you get, I urgently recommend that you purchase a disc of Rossini overtures--I'd say Reiner/Chicago Sym on RCA. When you're starting out, the music should be familiar and fun, not just "big and important." And few thngs are more familiar OR fun than Rossini.

Cheers,

Dirk

Dr Fager
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Post by Dr Fager » Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:35 pm

DavidRoss wrote:A good beginning! I think everyone would have recommended some Bach--and quite likely the Brandenburgs--had you not restricted suggestions to symphonies in your original post. Selecting the Orchestral Suite #3 (why only #3?) seems an odd choice for your survey since you alread have the Brandenburgs. I'd advise going with one of the other recommendations given above instead,
Air on the G String is the peice that got me into this craze, so i wanted to get the suite that had all of the music that was originally with it. Thats why i was looking for the Orch Suite #3.

Being that Bach is to blame for this i figured i needed to get something additional. I saw good reviews for the Brandenburg Concertos so decided to add that to the list.
DavidRoss wrote:Vivaldi's Four Seasons (the work that includes Summer).
Thanks! Ill add that as well.
DavidRoss wrote:Or, since you've expanded the quest to include orchestral music other than symphonies, how about works by Debussy including La Mer, or by Stravinsky including The Rite of Spring? Boulez is good in both, though again there are some great bargain doubles available: the Haitink set for Debussy, and Abbado's recording of all the early Stravinsky ballets.
Ive wrote all of these down. Ill look for them in phase 2 :D
DavidRoss wrote:As for the POW camp piece, I wonder if you might be thinking of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time -- not a symphony, but one of the great works of the 20th Century?
Thats it, im going to try to get that one.
DavidRoss wrote:Finally, rather than Julian Bream for Bach on guitar, you might consider David Russell, Nick Goluses, or Sharon Isbin, each of whom has a fine disc devoted to his works.
I look for those names, id especially like to get one with "Air" on it.


My new list is...

Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 9
Mozart: Symphonies 40 and 41
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
Bach: Orchestra Suite 3
Vivaldi: Four Seasons
Messiaen's: Quartet for the End of Time
Bach Classical Guitar: David Russell, Nick Goluses, or Sharon Isbin

Now if i can find good discs of these ill be off and running.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:36 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Im also going to look for a classical guitar cd of Bach's works. I saw a guy (last name Beam i belive) who im going to try to find.


Bream. Julian Bream. I kept trying to think of his name and couldn't.
I also heard a Vivaldi peice called "Summer" that was amazing last night. Very good stuff. I might look for that if i can find the larger work it appears in.


The entire larger piece is L'estro Armonico, Op. 8. You could do worse than buy the whole thing. But you probably would do just as well with the 4 popular concertos known as The Four Seasons from within the larger work.
The excellent thing i see about classical music is that its dirt cheap. I may be able to find all of this for a very affordable price. Not a bad intro if i can get it all.
Don't forget to buy used on Amazon - it's even cheaper that way. And always check Berkshirerecordoutlet.com which deals exclusively in cut-outs for a mere pitance.
Im very excited. I feel like an entire new musical world is in front of me. I guess with age (only 26 :wink: ) im starting to appreciate different things.
By George! I think he's got it! :D You're only obligation is report back here to tell us what you bought and what you are enjoying.
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AntonioA
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Post by AntonioA » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:16 pm

The Vivaldi work is actually "Il Cimento dellÁrmonia e dell´ Inventione,(it´s still op. 8 ) but L'estro Armonico is another nice Vivaldi work. It´s easy to confuse them :-)

Narciso Yepes made a wonderful collection on DG Archive with all Bachs works for lute. I recomend it if it´s availible.
Last edited by AntonioA on Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AntonioA

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:18 pm

AntonioA wrote:The Vivaldi work is actually "Il Cimento dellÁrmonia e dell´ Inventione,(it´s still op 8 ) but L'estro Armonico is another nice Vivaldi work. It´s easy to confuse them :-)

Narciso Yepes made a wonderful collection on DG Archive with all Bachs works for lute. I recomend it if it´s availible.
Dang! You're right! :lol: :lol: Thanks for the correction.
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pipelare

Post by pipelare » Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:10 pm

Dr Fager wrote: Im also going to look for a classical guitar cd of Bach's works. I saw a guy (last name Beam i belive) who im going to try to find.
Since others have already identified Mr. Bream and other classical guitarists, let me suggest that you also consider Bach on the lute. I have a particular predilection for the work of Hopkinson Smith:

Bach Lute Works
or
Reissue (Cheaper but no booklet).

And allow me to add that discovering the world of classical music is as rewarding as the music itself, so enjoy! :D

Dr Fager
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Post by Dr Fager » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:47 pm

Ok back from my first mini shopping spree. Didnt find the time today that i had hoped to devote to getting the music on my list but on my way home i decided to stop into B&N to see what popped out. Heres what i got...

Mozart Symphonies 40 & 41 "Jupiter" performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bach Orchestral Suite #2 & 3, Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor performed by Academy of St Martin in the FIelds Sir Neville Marriner

Messiaen Quartet for the end of time performed by Gil Shaham, Paul Meyer, Jian Wang and Myung Whun Chung

David Russel plays Bach

The NPR Curious Listeners Guide to Classical Music by Tim Smith

I wish i had brought my list but i did this on the spurr of the moment. Im going to go back tomorrow for the Beethoven, Vivaldi and Dvorak. Started with the Messiaen on the way home.... weird stuff. Ill be back tomorrow with my first reviews. Very excited to get into some of this music.....

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:17 am

Excellent choices, Doc. Keep those reviews comin'.
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Gregory Kleyn

Re: Essential Listening for Newbies

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:26 am

Dr Fager wrote:Im going to go this weekend to shop for some cd's to start my classical collection and was hoping you guys could give me a hand with creating a "must buy" list. If you guys could quickly list the top 5 symphony's for a noob it would be much appreciated. I have only one complilation cd of great excerpts so i have no clue what type or style ill care for so i figure my first substantial buys should be the alltime classics.

Thanks in advance.

No, no, NO. This is completely the wrong approach, - like entering a bar in an unknown town to ask the assembled wiseacres who all the hot women are.

You got any independence, any adventurousness, - yea, any romance at all in your blood??

Just cruise around, buddy. Follow your hunches and intuitions, and seek out the byways, - the standards so often can bore. It's called seasoning, - taking your knocks and making your own discoveries, which will mature you and turn you into a man, - that sheep herded into a pen never achieve.

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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:26 am

Messiaen: Quartet For the end of Time

Weird stuff. My first impressin was 70's horror theme music. Perfect for a Halloween background, but how one could listen to this with any regularity im not sure. Seemed repetitive. Not that it was unlistenable, but i guess this would be better to see performed in person then driving around town or cleaning the house.

I give it a 4 out of 10 for a newbie.

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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:52 am

Mozart: Symphony #41

Now this is some music!!! The opener "Allegro Vivace" is excellent. Love the full sound, and how he shifts the tempo. The little breakdown from silence where he comes crashing back in with those two building notes is awesome. Being a guitar player myself i appreciate what he does there as its not just a claer shift in notes, but it sounds as if it rolls between the two where they combine int he middle. Thats by far my favorite moment in the opener. Dynamic!

"Andante contabile" is a nice shift from the first peice. Very peaceful. Not much jumps outat me but this seems to be what i "picture" in classical music from a quiet peice.

"Menuetto Allegretto" i really dig how he baits you into believing your in a safe place then picks the tempo up. And once you get going down that path he slows it back down. I like this approach where its a constant ebb and flow with both attack and pace.

"Molto Allegro" Excellent opening to this final segment! The first 30 seconds of the peice are great! I like the violin melody that follows. He seems to be following the prior peices approach except this is amazing! There is so much going on its hard to belive one person could make all of this up. Whats also astounding is that in an 11 minute peice like this that he can still find ways to heighten the tension. I was going to note in running time the parts i thought were superb but really this is just a remarkable segment in its entirety.

Newb gives it s 9 out of 10. The scope of the work is crazy. It almost overwhelms you at times. I didnt think the opening "movement" ( i think thats the proper term :D ) could be topped but the final "movement" is stunning.

Ive got to run around town for a bit, but i going to take my Bach cd with me so ill have my thoughts on it when i get back. Im going to save Mozarts 40th until i can give it proper respect at home with a cup of coffee :D Im also going to try to get some more things from my list.

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Post by Richard Mullany » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:38 am

I am anxious to hear what you think of the slow movement of that Bach Concerto for two violins. That interweaving of the two themes is, to my mind, one of the most beautiful moments in all of music.

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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:20 pm

Hello guys! Just picked up three new cd's

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons... Neville Marriner, Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Beethoven: Symphony #5 in C Major, #7 in A Major... Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Beethoven: Symphony #9 / Fidelo Overture... Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell

The only things im missing to this point from my initial list is Dvorak #9 and Bach's Brandenburgs. I only found one Dvorak 9, and wanted to campare a few so i passed. The Brandenburgs have about 175 different versions and the two i narrowed it down to were 17.99 a pop so i passed since i was finding good versions of the others in the 6.99-11.99 range. Ill end up getting them regardless, but im trying to build a nice intro set quick and im pretty happy with my start.

____________________________________________________________

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Threw this in the second i left the store. Violin mania!!! At least i belive those are violins. The highlights to me were the opening of Spring, and the end of Summer. The final peice of Summer is off the charts. I was about as impressed with that peice as anything ive heard in classical music. The way those violins attack and weave around each other is very nice. As an entire work i was more impressed with Mozart's 41, but this definently has its moment. There were a coupld point where i lost sme enthusiasm, but he finds a way to bring you right back in.

All inall a very impressive work. 7 out of 10 stars for me....

Dr Fager
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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:24 pm

Richard Mullany wrote:I am anxious to hear what you think of the slow movement of that Bach Concerto for two violins. That interweaving of the two themes is, to my mind, one of the most beautiful moments in all of music.
I did listen to peices of the Bach cd, but not all of either Suite or any of the Violin Concerto. I pretty much kept listenign to Air and the Suite #2 Overture over and over again 8) Im going to listen to the Violin Concerto right now and ill give you my thoughts.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:29 pm

Dr Fager wrote:
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Threw this in the second i left the store. Violin mania!!! At least i belive those are violins. The highlights to me were the opening of Spring, and the end of Summer. The final peice of Summer is off the charts. I was about as impressed with that peice as anything ive heard in classical music. The way those violins attack and weave around each other is very nice. As an entire work i was more impressed with Mozart's 41, but this definently has its moment. There were a coupld point where i lost sme enthusiasm, but he finds a way to bring you right back in.

All inall a very impressive work. 7 out of 10 stars for me....
Only 7? :cry: Well, never mind. You're in luck, Doc. Vivaldi wrote a gazillion violin concerti. You can pig out.
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Dr Fager
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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:04 pm

Bach: Concerto for Two Violins, String and Continuo in D Minor

If this makes any sense, Bach seems to have a classic style of classical music. I dont know if its just the sound or construction of the peices but it feels very elegant. Im not sure how your supposed to listen to classical music but ive tried to listen and let the music take me wherever it does. This felt very noble. The intro "Vivace" felt too clean and smooth. The second section "Largo ma non tanto" is excellent. Very slow, but it feels like the meat of the concerto. Im not sure wether it was a sad tone or a deep joy. In a weird way it could be either. The "Allegro" portion to me was more impressive then the Vivace section. I can allready tell my favorite parts of classical music is violin sections, and this portion while not as good as Vivaldi end to "Summer", was about as impressive as anything else ive heard with a violin. Intrestingly i thought the Vivace section was too clean and smooth, but thats what makes the Allegro portin great. The attack is picked up, but it always feels extremly precise and has a great fllow to it.

Ill give it a 7 out of 10 on the newbie meter based on the strong showing of the "Largo ma non tanto" section.

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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:10 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Only 7? :cry: Well, never mind. You're in luck, Doc. Vivaldi wrote a gazillion violin concerti. You can pig out.
Yes 7 seems low. An 8 would probably be more proper. I think the problem was that my high maintenance show pony was jawing nonstop about floor rugs for a large portion of the work 8) Ill have to give it another go round...

Im going to throw in Beethovens 5th now...

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Post by Dr Fager » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:53 pm

Beethoven: Symphony #5 in C Minor

"Allegro con brio"
The opening is classic, but i was more impressed with the way he works off it.

"Andante con moto"
The slow peice is a nice break from the first. When it builds up it starts to feel like a march. Feels very grand. Ive been more impressed with the soft melody that follows it more then anything else. The buildup in the last minute of the section is my favorite part of this movement.

"Allegro"
Another nice slow peice that builds from time to time. Nothing really stands out from this movement to me though.

"Allegro"

Not sure why two different parts are called allegro, but oh well. Starts superb with an excellent buildup. Sounds like a celebration peice.

I dont know if i should say it, but im a little dissapointed with this work. I threw it in expecting more or else something different. I respect the work, but it just didnt do anything for me except a few brief moments. I give it a 6 out of 10. I hope you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me!

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:06 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Bach: Concerto for Two Violins, String and Continuo in D Minor

If this makes any sense, Bach seems to have a classic style of classical music. I dont know if its just the sound or construction of the peices but it feels very elegant.
If you liked the two violins, you would probably enjoy the violin/oboe concerti like BWV 1060R and 1053R and 1059R. (BWV is the universally recognized list of Bach's works which is useful because he was so prolific and there are only so many keys. They are Rs because they are reconstructions using oboes, which could be freely substituted for violins and vice versa in the Baroque era.)
Im not sure how your supposed to listen to classical music but ive tried to listen and let the music take me wherever it does.
Sounds right to me. Fall in love first; then learn whatever will enhance your experience.
The second section "Largo ma non tanto" is excellent. Very slow, but it feels like the meat of the concerto. Im not sure wether it was a sad tone or a deep joy.
Well, that answers Gregory's question. You have a lot of romance in your soul. You respond very feelingly to the adagio sections. Add this to your list:

Albinoni, Op.9, #2. There's some exceptionally beautiful music on this disc.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:09 pm

Dr Fager wrote:I respect the work, but it just didnt do anything for me except a few brief moments. I give it a 6 out of 10. I hope you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me!
Don't worry, Doc. You can always take refuge with me. I don't care for orchestral Beethoven, except the piano concerti. I've given my share to all the guys here who really like Beethoven.
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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:47 pm

I always like to plug the BBC Radio show "Discovering Music" as a great resource for learning more about the great masterpieces of music. Each hour-long show is dedicated to a single work. Many shows have been archived for listening "on demand."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discovering ... hive.shtml
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Dr Fager » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:25 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
If you liked the two violins, you would probably enjoy the violin/oboe concerti like BWV 1060R and 1053R and 1059R. (BWV is the universally recognized list of Bach's works which is useful because he was so prolific and there are only so many keys. They are Rs because they are reconstructions using oboes, which could be freely substituted for violins and vice versa in the Baroque era.)
Ill have to put these on my master list.

So Bach has over a thousand different works? Could take me a lifetime to get them all :D
Corlyss_D wrote:Don't worry, Doc. You can always take refuge with me. I don't care for orchestral Beethoven, except the piano concerti. I've given my share to all the guys here who really like Beethoven.
Yes i was a bit let down by the 5th. I hope tonight i find a nice quiet time to give the 7th and 9th a try.
Haydnseek wrote:I always like to plug the BBC Radio show "Discovering Music" as a great resource for learning more about the great masterpieces of music. Each hour-long show is dedicated to a single work. Many shows have been archived for listening "on demand."
Ill give it a try. Thanks!

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Post by Dr Fager » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:38 am

Ive been listening to Mozarts 41st and 40th at work the last couple days. Its just brilliant. I need to find more mozart. What are some of his other great symphonies i should look for next?

Im going to give the Bach Suites 2/3 a full listen this afternoon.

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Post by dirkronk » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:55 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Ive been listening to Mozarts 41st and 40th at work the last couple days. Its just brilliant. I need to find more mozart. What are some of his other great symphonies i should look for next?
If you want to stick to Mozart's symphonies, try #35, #38 "Prague" or #39 next. All are excellent.

But you might want to start listening to his piano concerti, too. Any between numbers 19 and 27 will do nicely. You'll eventually want all these, plus a few of the earlier ones as well. The #21 "Elvira Madigan" is good if you want familiar tunes, but #20 and #24 or #25 offer even more "meat" IMO. Look for pianists named Kempff, Casadesus, Curzon or Serkin (w/Szell) and I doubt you'll have regrets--plus all should be on budget-priced CDs.

At some point, you'll also want to listen to some VERY familiar tunes--Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and some of Mozart's other serenades, and overtures to his operas.

All good stuff. Enjoy!

Dirk

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Post by Haydnseek » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:59 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Ive been listening to Mozarts 41st and 40th at work the last couple days. Its just brilliant. I need to find more mozart. What are some of his other great symphonies i should look for next?
Symphonies 36, 38, and 39 are considered among his very best. The piano concertos are wonderful; any from the 9th up to the last, the 27th, could serve as a starting point. The Clarinet Concerto is great and the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings. I'm sure you would enjoy a disc of the Overtures to his operas. And there is the famous Serenade "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." Personally, I'm not a big fan of his string quartets, string quintets and piano sonatas but others certainly are. For me, Mozart is the greatest composer of operas and The Marriage of Figaro is my favorite.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:21 pm

Note also the 25th. Real attention-grabber, IMHO.

My favourite Mozart work remains the Mass in C Minor (Fricsay recording: Maria Stader is simply glorious). The piano concertos are part of my staple musical diet.

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Post by Dr Fager » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:50 am

Hey guys.

Spent yesterday relistening to The Four Seasons. Great, great work. On my cd each season is divided into three peices, and i kept repeating the third part of summer over and over again. Lovethe violin work there, and the melody is just excellent. Ive also started to appreciate the second half of the disc as ive noticed he uses the same basic melody throughout, he just changes a pitch here or there and the attack of the violin. Very cool stuff. I think it warrants an upgrade to 8 out of 10 8)

Im going to try Beethoven's 9th this afternoon.

So for Mozart i need to look for 25, 35, 36, 38 and 39. Ill see if i can find a couple of those this weekend. 41 is probably my favorite purchase thus far. Its just amazing.

What about Bach symphonies? Which are the best ones? I still need to get the Brandenburgs, i hope to get it this weekend with a couple more Mozarts.

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Post by karlhenning » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:06 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Ive been listening to Mozarts 41st and 40th at work the last couple days. Its just brilliant. I need to find more mozart. What are some of his other great symphonies i should look for next?
Don't limit yourself to his symphonies.

You know in your heart that you want to listen to:

Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K.466
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K.467

Serenade in B-flat 'Gran Partita', K.361

The 'Prussian' String Quartets:
in D Major, K.575
in B-flat Major, K.589
in F Major, K.590

Vesperae solennes de confessore, K.339

Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, K.452
Karl Henning, PhD
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http://www.luxnova.com/

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Post by Dr Fager » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:03 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Dr Fager wrote:Ive been listening to Mozarts 41st and 40th at work the last couple days. Its just brilliant. I need to find more mozart. What are some of his other great symphonies i should look for next?
Don't limit yourself to his symphonies.

You know in your heart that you want to listen to:

Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K.466
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K.467

Serenade in B-flat 'Gran Partita', K.361

The 'Prussian' String Quartets:
in D Major, K.575
in B-flat Major, K.589
in F Major, K.590

Vesperae solennes de confessore, K.339

Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, K.452
I see your a composer, i guess i need to listen to your advice! 8)

I havent made it past the basics yet, but im going to save your list here. Are piano concertos single instrument works, or do they involve other instruments with the piano in the forefront?

Ive stuck with mostly symphonies thus far because i really like the big full sound of something major. I guess its my newness to the music, but im not sure if im ready for piano solo's yet. Better yet, i dont know if im ready to appreciate them yet.

But since you recommended them ill put the first piano concerto on my short list for this weekend. I might be pleasantly suprised.

Thanks for your response!

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Post by taisiawshan » Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:50 am

Hi, I'm Shan, a newbie.
I see Dr Fager posting his feeling after listening, so I want to join.
I've been listening to Mozart's Piano Concertos.
No 19 & 23 by Murray Perahia,
No 21 by unknown.
I feel that in the whole, the concertos are very joyful.
The melodies are sweet, very easy to remember, can sing along. Some of them are very well-known already, like 2nd movement of 21.
I'm amazed that the piano notes flow so swiftly & lightly.
However, I don't get attracted very much by them. I mean I can't concentrate while listening, not the whole movement.
An exception is the 2nd movement of 23. I like it very much.
I'll go for Mozart's symphonies after this, including 36, 39 & 40. Plus Serenade in G, K525.

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The Elvira concerto - stop!!

Post by PJME » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:20 am

dear forum members! Please stop giving pianoconcerto nr 21 its "Elvira" title. It has nothing todo with Mozart and is confusing for newbies. DGG used a still from the film on the Lp cover - creating a hard to eradicate misunderstanding.

I take this comment from Amazon - but there are certainly other places where you can buy the 1967 film by Bo Widerberg on DVD

Reviewer: Rudy Avila (Lennox, Ca United States) :
Maybe audiences aren't attracted to good classic foreign films. Which is odd. "Life is Beautiful " and other independent films certainly have had recognition. "Elvira Madigan" won the Cannes Film Festival Award for best foreign film when it was released. It is the allegedly true story of Sisten Sparre and Elvira Madigan, their romantic summer escape and consequent suicide. Sparre is a lieutenant and Madigan is a runaway circus tightrope walker. They give away everything they had for one summer of love. The cinematography is very beautiful, focusing on the lush countryside of Sweden, with beautiful fields, lakes and forests. The music is perfectly set to this tragic story of love- the director uses the second movement of an enchanting Mozart piano concerto, his 21st, with its mellow and romantic sound and to Vivaldi's 3rd movement of "Summer " from the "4 Seasons " appropriate as the lovers run away into the forest escape.....etc.

And ,by the way, I recommend Mozart's harp&flute concerto which definitely is pure joy from start to finish.
Last edited by PJME on Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by taisiawshan » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:27 am

Just finished Serenade in G, K525.
Listened to 2 conductors: 1, Leonard Bernstein with NY Philharmonic
2, Herbert von Karajan with unknown
I prefer Karajan. He uses less time.
Especially the 1st movement. I listened to LB first, when the theme came again the last time( I think the 3rd time), I was like "again?!"
And then, LB made the melody sounds so "aggresive". Karajan's version is more "emotional".
All 4 movements in this piece sound very familiar to me already. Like some of the pop music, after listening, I'll hum or whistle the melody instinctively. But then, I don't really love them in my heart.
I think if I'm not mistaken, when I listen to K525 for the 1st time, I like it very much, because it's very "easy". It's sweet & lovely.
Do we get bored with a too familiar melody?
However, I still think to create beautiful melodies need talent. And Mozart is a genius for creating all melodies( which I've heard) so beautifully.

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Post by RebLem » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:38 am

Symphonies are not necessarily the place to start. I would suggest that a good alternative is a 10 CD set, EMI 5 85562 2, consisting of performances of 31 concerted violin works by 20 different composers ranging from Corelli & Bach to Walton & Tippett played by Yehudi Menuhin, one of the great violinists (and conductors) of the 20th century. This will give you about half of the standard violin concerto repertoire plus a few things outside the standard repertoire, too, including the only recording of the Nielsen Violin Concerto that has ever, for me, made it into an exciting, interesting work.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:47 pm

RebLem wrote:Symphonies are not necessarily the place to start.
:?:

I thought the place to start is where you is. Whatever genre tickles your fancy and will get you listening to more music. I don't think any of us believe there's a "right" way and a "wrong" way to get into classical music. Follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell would say.
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Post by taisiawshan » Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:33 am

I didn't go for Mozart's symphonies as said before.
Instead, I was feeling like Schubert's "Unfinished" which I like very much the last time I listened.
I still feel the same. I like it.

The 1st movement is like a tragedy to me. I think I personally like the 1st theme very much & I felt so sad when it "diminished". A few time in the middle part, I felt like crying because it's been "attacked" so suddenly & mercilessly. And many parts of the movement is really soft, sometimes seems silence to me. Yet, the silence is very powerful because of what follows after it. I'm very impressed. We don't need loud noise to attract attention. The movement is over 11 minutes, but I don't find it long :D

The 2nd movement is also quite nice, but I don't like it as much as the 1st. I imagine the 1st as a portrait of the emotion of a struggling spirit. The 2nd is more like giving the background of the story.

Ah, sorry I forgot about the conductor.
He's Karl Bohm, with Berliner Philharmoniker.

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Post by jserraglio » Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:36 am

Dr Fager wrote:So Bach has over a thousand different works? Could take me a lifetime to get them all.
And several more to listen to them. One click of a mouse will send this 153 disc set your way for the irresistible price of $1,199.98.
Image<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00001 ... nce&n=5174">Bach 2000: The Complete Bach Edition</a>

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Post by taisiawshan » Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:28 am

I'll be disappearing for... a while, I hope. :(
Why?
Because no internet connection.
I'll miss this forum.
I'll continue listening, of course.
And I'll try to do a little bit reading too (as soon as I get them).
I'll be back.

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Post by Dr Fager » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:54 pm

Hello everyone. Sorry ive been away for a while. Had a nice little vacation and actually built my collection up substantially. I told my grandad i was into classical music now and he responded by taking me to the local bookstore and throwing a few cd's in my direction. He got me...

Essential Rossini

Rosini Overatures, National Philharmonic Orchestra

Mozart: Symphonies 38 & 39 .... Kajaran, Berliner Philharmoniker

Mozart: The Very Best Of...

Brahms: Symphony #1, Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra

Mahler: Symphony #2, Kelmperer, Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra

Dvorak: Symphony #9, Kertesz, London Symphony Orchestra

Shubert: String Quartet D 956, Emerson String Quartet

Im listening to the Shubert quartet right now. I like what ive heard thus far.

My gramps also told me a few intresting things. For one that people consider Brahms 1st to be Beethovens 10th. Mahler is too over the top for some people. Perhaps to complex might have been his wording.

Anywho, i went and bought Amadeus yesterday and loved the movie. It seemed to be focused on his operas more then anything else, but i found it to be quite entertaining. I also got a biography of Mozart i hope to start after i get off the net.

Awesome link to that Bach set!!! Who performs on those discs?

Also hello fellow newbie shane.

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Post by taisiawshan » Wed May 03, 2006 8:01 pm

Dr Fager wrote:Also hello fellow newbie shane.
Hei, is that me, "shane" ? :?:

My name "shan" means coral in Chinese.

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Post by taisiawshan » Wed May 03, 2006 8:23 pm

Dr Fager wrote: ...The Four Seasons. Great, great work. On my cd each season is divided into three peices, and i kept repeating the third part of summer over and over again.
Yaa.. I also find 3rd part of Summer & 2nd part of Winter most "exciting".

For the 3rd of Summer, just two parts of the movement at the beginning: one does the same note & the other does the decresending. Simple combinations, but it sounds so "intense". Then when the violin solo comes in, it sounds so nice.

The 2nd of Winter does the similar thing. It's amazing that playing the same notes and changing gradually has the kind of strong power.


Dr Fager wrote:Lovethe violin work there, and the melody is just excellent.
I hear mostly violins in The Four seasons. I'm amazed that violins alone can produce a work like an orchestra.
Dr Fager wrote: Ive also started to appreciate the second half of the disc as ive noticed he uses the same basic melody throughout, he just changes a pitch here or there and the attack of the violin.
I don't understand. Is that also part of The Four Seasons?
I don't hear them.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 04, 2006 1:23 am

taisiawshan wrote:My name "shan" means coral in Chinese.
Very beautiful name!

Are you still okay, out there in the Solomons? The Economist seems to think the problem has gone away.
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Post by Gary » Thu May 04, 2006 1:39 am

Dr Fager wrote: Rosini Overatures, National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor not mentioned. But that's okay, because I'm sure it is Riccardo Chailly and the label is London/Decca.

Am I right? :wink:
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