Works that you gain from listening to repeatedly....

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miranda
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Works that you gain from listening to repeatedly....

Post by miranda » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:36 pm

I know that for a lot of people here, there's probably too many to list, but I'm just interested in your current absolute favorites--pieces that are like dear friends to you, that you turn to when you need to feel uplifted, exalted, calmed, or even emotionally overwhelmed. I realize, of course, that all of the truly great classical works yield rich rewards to those who listen to them time and again; I'm mainly interested here, though, like I said, in a few personal preferences of you CMG'ers, and what impact these works have had on you lately.

I'll start with a few works that have been getting heavy rotation in my cd player as of late:

I'm sure some people are tired of my ceaseless praise of Montserrat Figueras, but I don't care. Her album Lux Feminae, comprised of mainly medieval songs that illustrate different aspects of medieval/renaissance concepts of femininity, is a treasure and a wonder to listen to. Her voice, like the late, great Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's, can move from sounding richly earthy and sensual to ethereal, seemingly without effort. The accompanying instrumentation is haunting and superb. I listen to this album often at night before I go to sleep, and I always sleep soundly afterwards.

Another singer that I love, and will continue to praise ceaselessly as well, is the aforementioned Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Her Bach Cantata album is simply one of the most beautiful recordings I've ever heard, in any genre. It never fails to do what great music--or art, for that matter--does for me--it takes me outside of myself, to a place that nourishes my mind and heart.

John Holloway's Unam Ceylum album, comprised of a selection of H.I.F. Biber's violin sonatas, has been my introduction to this composer, whom I've only recently dicovered. (As I 've mentioned before, I am still very new to the vast world of classical music.) And what a sublime introduction it is! A true glory of harpschord, violin, and organ playing--three of my favorite instruments. This is music that makes me grateful to have the gift of hearing.

I haven't been as interested in large-scale orchestral music these days, for whatever reason. Lately, I prefer the intimacy of smaller groups--or the very intimate sound of just one person sitting and playing flawless piano. I think Mitsuko Uchida is a wonderful interpreter of Schubert, and her recording of his sonata D960, and 3 Klavierstucke, D946 has left me enthralled time and again. So many emotions and cadences in those piece, performed so well......

So, anything anyone would like to add?

(It's a given that Ralph will be bringing up Dittersdorf...)
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Post by Ralph » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:55 pm

Dittersdorf (there).

Every symphony by Mahler is in some ways a new listening experience whenever I hear it.
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Post by RebLem » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:34 pm

Recently, I recieved a shipment from BRO which included the 8 CD Brilliant set of Brahms Choral works by the Chamber Choir of Europe, conducted by Nicol Matt. This set consists of a capella works and a few works with minimal instrumental accompaniement.

I generally listen to records by quarter and I received this in the third quarter, and I'm still working on stuff that arrived in the first quarter of this year. But I listened to vol 8 of this set just today because in cataloguing it, I found that it had two copies of Volume 8. Before I give away one CD, I wanted to make sure the one I kept was not defective.

One of the works in this volume was 4 Choruses for female voices, 2 horns, and harp, Op. 17. The first of these is one in which the 2 horns and harp play a particularly prominent part, and is a real delight. The introduction by the two horns actually, to my ears, contains portents of Mahler. This is absolutely my most recent discovery, made just this morning. It also has a wonderful Ave Maria, Op. 12, happy and cheerful, quite different from the sad, depressed rendering Schubert gave it.

I have a feeling this CD, and perhaps others in the set as well, is destined to become something to which I will often return.
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Re: Works that you gain from listening to repeatedly....

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:05 am

miranda wrote:I know that for a lot of people here, there's probably too many to list, but I'm just interested in your current absolute favorites--pieces that are like dear friends to you, that you turn to when you need to feel uplifted, exalted, calmed, or even emotionally overwhelmed. I realize, of course, that all of the truly great classical works yield rich rewards to those who listen to them time and again; I'm mainly interested here, though, like I said, in a few personal preferences of you CMG'ers, and what impact these works have had on you lately.
Impossible, hon. Impossible.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:43 am

When I see or hear something live it usually makes an indelible impression even if not the greatest work of all time. I only wish I could get to more concerts than I do but here are my current faves based on live performances:
  • Brahms, Sextet for Two Violins, Violas and Cellos in B flat Major, Op. 18.
    Swept me away. Only a god could write such a masterwork.
  • Mozart, Quintet for Two Violins Two Violas and Cello in D Major, K 593.
    Thou art the cello and upon this rock . . . .
  • Mozart, Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello in F Major, K.370.
    Here the thirsty may drink deep of civilization.
Last edited by jserraglio on Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:52 am

Mozart Clarinet Quintet and Concerto
Brahms Clarinet Quintet and Intermezzi Op. 118
Debussy by Gieseking
Anything recorded by the Early Music Quartet under Thomas Binkley
Las Cantigas de Santa Maria
Music of the Crusades by David Munrow
Medieval Christmas by Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata
Monteverdi's Poppea with Soderstrom and Donat under Harnoncourt
A bootleg recording of Figaro from 1976 with Fischer-Dieskau, Varady, Popp, and Fassbaender.
The Play of Daniel by New York Pro Musica

I may not hear anything 'new' with rehearings. They are necessities.
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Post by anasazi » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:51 am

Sebastian Bach. There, I've said it. It helps when I'm the performer. And yes, this music really cannot be destroyed, even by amateurs like me.
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Post by PJME » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:25 am

Of course Bach! And although I see myself as an agnostic, he helps me to pray - when necessary.....
I return over and over again to a cantata written by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703 - organist in Eisenach) "Meine Freundin du bist schön" It is a wedding cantata and sets fragments from Solomon's Song of songs. When in the last part ( a passacaglia???) a soloviolin weaves intricate lines over chorus & instruments, the doors of heaven open....
-Maurice Ravel's "l'Enfant et les sortilèges"
-Schubert's "Notturno" for pianotrio D897 ( time stops, silence)
-in contrast to Bach : Heinrich Schütz "Psalmen David's" and the exuberance of psalm 136" Danket dem Herren, den er ist Freundlich "SWV 45

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Re: Works that you gain from listening to repeatedly....

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:41 am

miranda wrote:I'm just interested in your current absolute favorites--pieces that are like dear friends to you, that you turn to when you need to feel uplifted, exalted, calmed, or even emotionally overwhelmed.
Almost every work by Beethoven fits this description. And I agree with Ralph that I find something new every time I listen to a Mahler symphony. However, when you posed this question, one CD in my collection came to mind: Alicia DeLarrocha's recording of Granados' "Goyescas." Over the years, I have returned to this CD again and again. This music "speaks" to me, and this pianist, in her prime, was the ideal performer of this masterpiece.

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Post by pizza » Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:09 am

It's a difficult question, but for repeated listening, two of Ives' works stand out: his 2nd Orchestral Set and The Unanswered Question. I haven't found the answer yet. :wink: Both are works of pure genius.

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Post by ichiro » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:29 am

I have too many favorites to list, but if i see the question as extra understanding gained from repeat listening, I would say it is all the late quartets of Beethoven.

I was rather daunted by these 5 pieces, plus fugue, when i started listening to them last december. Granted many consider this set to be the greatest of all music, and my first impression was "all very good, but yes they are difficult to get into", though I loved the Grosse Fugue right away. I've listened to each at leat 15-20 times since, each time they seem to improve a little. only in the last few months can i now say they are all true masterworks, and i havent yet gotten to their core. They "are" difficult, but with perservance and more listening, I think you will get much out of them.

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Post by Sapphire » Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:45 pm

Keeping it very short:

Brahms Piano Quintet Op 34

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Post by Werner » Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:51 pm

If you've got a little more time: Bach's St. Matthew's Passion.
Werner Isler

miranda
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Re: Works that you gain from listening to repeatedly....

Post by miranda » Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:44 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
miranda wrote:I know that for a lot of people here, there's probably too many to list, but I'm just interested in your current absolute favorites--pieces that are like dear friends to you, that you turn to when you need to feel uplifted, exalted, calmed, or even emotionally overwhelmed. I realize, of course, that all of the truly great classical works yield rich rewards to those who listen to them time and again; I'm mainly interested here, though, like I said, in a few personal preferences of you CMG'ers, and what impact these works have had on you lately.
Impossible, hon. Impossible.
Ah, John, I was particularly hoping for a response from you. Oh well.

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I will most certainly be returning to Beethoven's late quartets and piano pieces. I've been meaning to listen to the St. Matthew Passion for years, but I still don't own a copy of it yet.

I've never been able to appreciate Mahler very much. My loss, I suppose.

Corlyss, that Medieval Christmas album is great. You're the only other person I (sort of) know who's even heard of it.

So much listening to do! Hooray!
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

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Post by Gary » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:28 am

Haven't listened to it lately, but it would have to be Moussorgsky's opera Boris Godounov. What impact has it had on me? I went so far as to purchase a book about the tsars and I actually finished reading it.
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Post by moldyoldie » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:58 am

Shostakovich - Symphony No. 8

This is simply the most powerful music I've ever experienced. Despite its obvious connotations, the music sends me where no music has done so before nor since, not even the more popular Shostakovich symphonies like his Fifth or Tenth - I've heard and own them all. What's more, everytime I "go there", pursuant to the thread topic, I experience "something" I hadn't before, whether it's through hearing a different interpretation or revisiting a favorite one.

I own seven recordings of the Shostakovich Eighth, more than any other work, the first being an Angel LP where I first heard it in the early '70s with André Previn conducting the London Symphony and to which I tend to compare the others. The various interpretations, however, offer an amalgam of approaches in tempo and timbral dynamics across its five powerful movements; some I like better than others. I have to agree with many critics that Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on the Decca label offers the best balance of a straightforward interpretation along with a vibrant and resonant analog recording. However, the Chandos digital recording with Neeme Järvi conducting the Scottish National Orchestra sonically blows me away!

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Post by Donaldopato » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:27 am

The completed Mahler 10th. Each version has its merits (except the Mazzetti versions) but the Cooke completion seems to have won the performance battle. Marvelous music; I hear something new every time.

Of course a pity it was not finished by Mahler himself, what a glory that would have been.

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Post by paulb » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:59 am

moldyoldie wrote:Shostakovich - Symphony No. 8

This is simply the most powerful music I've ever experienced. Despite its obvious connotations, the music sends me where no music has done so before nor since, not even the more popular Shostakovich symphonies like his Fifth or Tenth - I've heard and own them all. What's more, everytime I "go there", pursuant to the thread topic, I experience "something" I hadn't before, whether it's through hearing a different interpretation or revisiting a favorite one.

I own seven recordings of the Shostakovich Eighth, more than any other work, the first being an Angel LP where I first heard it in the early '70s with André Previn conducting the London Symphony and to which I tend to compare the others. The various interpretations, however, offer an amalgam of approaches in tempo and timbral dynamics across its five powerful movements; some I like better than others. I have to agree with many critics that Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on the Decca label offers the best balance of a straightforward interpretation along with a vibrant and resonant analog recording. However, the Chandos digital recording with Neeme Järvi conducting the Scottish National Orchestra sonically blows me away!
Yep, no doubt Shostakovich's most powerful sym of all his masterpieces.
The 8th , like the vc with oistrakh/Ormandy, was the 2 most moving experiences I;'ve had in Shosty's music, and any other composer for that matter.


You say you've heard them all, yet failed to mention the Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. The only 2 recordings I listen to for Shsoatkovich, though Haitink does havea fine 11th. I'm sure his 8th is good as well.
but in Shostakovich I'm very partial to russian forces.

I've compared, long ago, the 2 , and came to the conclusion the Kondrashin gets more of the icy, stark, emotional depth, than does the Rozhdestvensky.
Both are excellent, but the Kond gives the deeper experience.

Now as to the new Aulos release of the Kond, there is a more filtering, and so the highs are somewhat slightly muted , they "cleaned up" the old Melodyia.
Thus I get more feeling from the brighter (distorted?) Melodyia cd. Tyhe viollins/winds come through slightly more than the Aulos release.
Though the Melodyia is OOP.
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23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by paulb » Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:11 pm

There's also the flip side to this repeated lsitening experience.
Which works did you hear repeatable and felt it was time to say Adios, Good Bye, It was nice knowing you 8)

...lets see...Rimsky's Scheherazade (man what a tough one to spell). hope never to hear that "little gem" ever again in my life.....Chopin's Ballades, Nocturnes. "nice knowing you" here for me. They don't exsist.

Mendelssohn's violin concerto. Heard that the other day and hope not to again.

And your good bye's?
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Post by moldyoldie » Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:29 pm

paulb wrote:You say you've heard them all, yet failed to mention the Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky.
I meant that I've heard all his symphonies, not all recordings of the Eighth. :wink: Sorry.

I've yet to hear either of those you mention, but if you recommend them I'll have to search them out. (How many Eighths can a collection hold anyway? :lol: )

I have the following:
Previn/London SO - Angel (1973) (LP, now dubbed to cassette)
Sanderling/Berlin SO - Berlin Classics (1977)
Mravinsky/Leningrad Phil. O. - Philips (1982)
Haitink/Concergebouw O. - Decca (1983)
Järvi/Scottish Nat. O. - Chandos (1989)
Rostropovich/National SO - Teldec (1992)
Previn/London SO - Deutsche Grammophon (1994)

The later Previn isn't nearly as affecting as his '73 recording, in my opinion, and he draws out that weighty first movement to nearly 28 minutes! Sanderling comes in at 27, Järvi at 26½, Haitink at 26, Previn '73 at 25, Mravinsky at 24½, and Rostropovich at 23.

I'd be interested in knowing what Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky clock in at in the first movement, if you have them available.
paulb wrote:Which works did you hear repeatable and felt it was time to say Adios, Good Bye, It was nice knowing you
If I ever hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons again, it'll be too soon. :lol: But I still love Scheherazade and Ravel's Bolero!
Last edited by moldyoldie on Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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listening repeatedly

Post by John Haueisen » Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:43 pm

In accord with Ralph, I find each Mahler symphony provides something new each time we hear it.

If anyone would like to "be a kid again," then, in the spirit of this Halloween season, why not listen, (as a kid) to the spooky sounds of Mahler's Third, I believe the third movement subtitled, "what the animals of the forest tell me." If, with the ingenuousness of a small child, you allow yourself to listen for the strange shrieks and cries of frightening night-time animals in the dark forest, you'll experience the auditory imagery.
"Oh, you wretched mortals--open your eyes--and ears!"

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Post by paulb » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:28 pm

moldyoldie wrote:
paulb wrote:You say you've heard them all, yet failed to mention the Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky.
I meant that I've heard all his symphonies, not all recordings of the Eighth. :wink: Sorry.

I've yet to hear either of those you mention, but if you recommend them I'll have to search them out. (How many Eighths can a collection hold anyway? :lol: )

I have the following:
Previn/London SO - Angel (1973) (LP, now dubbed to cassette)
Sanderling/Berlin SO - Berlin Classics (1977)
Mravinsky/Leningrad Phil. O. - Philips (1982)
Haitink/Concergebouw O. - Decca (1983)
Järvi/Scottish Nat. O. - Chandos (1989)
Rostropovich/National SO - Teldec (1992)
Previn/London SO - Deutsche Grammophon (1994)

The later Previn isn't nearly as affecting as his '73 recording, in my opinion, and he draws out that weighty first movement to nearly 28 minutes! Sanderling comes in at 27, Järvi at 26½, Haitink at 26, Previn '73 at 25, Mravinsky at 24½, and Rostropovich at 23.

I'd be interested in knowing what Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky clock in at in the first movement, if you have them available.
paulb wrote:Which works did you hear repeatable and felt it was time to say Adios, Good Bye, It was nice knowing you
If I ever hear Vivaldi's Four Seasons again, it'll be too soon. :lol: But I still love Scheherazade and Ravel's Bolero!

Well consider it a good thing that you got to hear "the others" but now you are about to embark upon the 'real deal".
I have both sets, in some I slightly prefer Rozh, in others Kond gets the slight nod, I'm very happyto have both.
You are in luck, as folks have been waiting impatiently for the Kond to be re-issued, and finally was 3 yrs ago. Even more impatient was the wait for the Rozh set, and as of last month I see a label called Venzia (chinese) has issued the Rozh, sells on Ebay. Hows the sound transfer? Not sure.
Both sets highly recommended.
The Haitink/Concertgebouw 11th is excellent, and surmise all his are good, others fair. He has several orchs. The Kond 8th is the finest, with Rozh very close. I prefer Rozh's 7th over Kond's.
Get them both.


The Vivaldi 4 Seasons is a fine work, but I'm afraid the recordings avaliable are aweful. I hate most every recording. I havea few rare ones and are incredible. Vivaldi's music must be played on fine instruments and performed by Italians. Anything else will miss Vivaldi

I have david oistrakh 1947 in Schehzerade, and as unreal as his playing of the samll violin part, still I hope not ever to hear this work.

Rozh takes the 1st move at 24:37, Kond's at 24.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by rogch » Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:18 am

Beethoven's piano sonatas are so origianal and so many that i get surprised almost every time i listen to them, apart from the most famous ones.

Bruckner's symphonies often get better the more you listen to them, in particlar before you know them well. The fifth is a real mountain-climb with looong lines. It was the first time i managed to concentrate on the entire symphony and enjoy the final climax i fell in love with Bruckner's music.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:38 am

Bach and Schumann gain infinitely from repeated hearings---whether they be keyboard, chamber, orchestral or choral/vocal.

They are perhaps the most "layered" of all great composers, not only contrapuntally but harmonically and in tension and emotional depth.

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Sapphire » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:35 am

Re Shostakovich Symphonies, I don't have No 8. Seeing the comments above maybe I should get it. I have heard No 8 on the radio but it didn't seem that spectacular. I guess you have to listen several times. The recommendations look very good. The ones I have are 10, 4, 7, 11, 14, 5. I thought these are the ones considered best.

I agree with Jack that Schumann's symphonies are wonderful. To me they sound just right: cheerful, bright, melodic, flowing. I always feel elated after a good Schumann session. One of the best Romantics. I never tire. I wish he had written a few more symphonies.

I must say though that I do love Mendelssohn's S5. So majestic. Among Bruckner's symphonies the only two I really like are 4 and 8. I know No 7 is highly rated but I'm not that keen. As for Mahler, I'm a bit old-fashioned but I prefer S4 and S5 to all the rest. For Sibelius it's got to be S2 and S5.

Jack, what are your favourite symphonies post Beethoven/Schubert? Top 10.


Saphire

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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:02 am

Hi Saphire,

My PERSONAL favorite symphonies after Beethoven are the 4 of Schumann, the 4 of Brahms and (only 10 you say...?!) the 4th and 7th of Bruckner. Tough limiting it to ten.....I love the Franck d-minor, Mahler's 1 thru 5, Tschaikowsky, Dvorak, more Bruckner, and many 20th century works by Hindemith, Prokofiev, etc. etc.

Remember that the Schumann symphonies (as with his other works) always have that sometimes almost unheard inner struggle and undercurrent, tragedy---if you will. Schumann is seldom "purely" cheerful.

Best regards,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by DavidRoss » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:49 am

Pieces not mentioned thus far which I return to often for spiritual sustenance:

Ponce's Concierto del Sur

Strauss's Four Last Songs

Pärt's Fratres

Sibelius's 5th Symphony

Bach's 2nd Partita for Solo Violin

Bach's Double Concerto for Two Violins in D minor

Brahms's Piano Quintet in F minor

Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun


Copland's Appalachian Spring

Piazzolla's History of the Tango
"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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Post by IcedNote » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:57 am

I'll keep it short as well:

Rachmaninoff - Vespers

Pure beauty.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Post by paulb » Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:25 pm

IcedNote wrote:I'll keep it short as well:

Rachmaninoff - Vespers

Pure beauty.

-G
For over 20 yrs i loved this work, still do. But only once or 2X's a yr is OK.
Now its Schnittke's 2 sacred works...that gow on me, gow on me, grow.....more amd more...more...more....
You get the idea
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Post by PJME » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:16 am

You get the idea

YES!!!!!!!!

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Post by Brahms » Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:06 am

Brahms, Piano Concerto no. 1
Tchaikovsky, Symphony no. 5
Beethoven, Piano Concerto no. 4
Mahler, Symphonies no. 2, 3, & 6
Brahms, Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel
Bruckner, Symphonies no. 8 & 9
Mozart, Symphonies no. 38 and 39

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:03 am

Chopin's Mazurkas. Quirky delights to my ear that provide endless amusement as well as beauty.

Schubert's late chamber music & piano sonatas. Well, late Schubert in general is pretty spectacular, so maybe I shouldn't narrow it to chamber music. And Winterreisse seems to find its way into the stereo more often than I thought it would.

Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music & Great Mass in C. Fricsay's recordings of these works get regular air time at my place. Maria Stader's angelic voice in the Great Mass is breathtaking (their Verdi Requiem is also terrific but for specific moods).

Jack Kelso
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:08 am

Since I take to Bach's concerti like a giraffe to a tall tree, I thought I'd go back to some things that let me grow just as high from but are longer and more dramatic:

HANDEL: "Samson"; "Belshazzar"; and "Solomon".

SCHUMANN: "Szenen aus Goethes 'Faust' für Soli, Chor und Orchester";
"Das Paradies und die Peri" (oratorio)

I enjoy Mendelssohn's "Elijah" and "Paulus", too----but they are easier to listen to, softer, gentler and less powerful in expression. However, very beautiful....

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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