Classical Music

Who here listens to Classical music? I find that my favorite is the baroque period. I love Handel’s Messiah, Bach and Pachelbel. I’m just starting but the music is great.

JS Bach is a firm favourite of mine. The Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor BWV 1043 is probably my favourite piece of music ever, especially Ii: Largo Ma Non Tanto. The at times plaintive dialogue between the two violins is very emotive.

I also have a soft spot for adagios by various composers. Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ are particularly moving, though a bit overplayed following their use in the films Platoon and Gallipoli respectively.

I have a few dozen pieces of classical music in my mp3 folder. I listen to some of them frequently (like Moonlight Sonata, Sonata Pathetique, Beethoven’s 9th, Ave Maria, Clair De Lune, Rhapsody In Blue, Mozart’s 25th, Chopin’s Nocturne, Bach’s Air On The G-String and 7th Toccata, Adagio, and Canon).

I don’t like, get into it or anything though.

I love Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Beethoven and Mozart. I like Poulenc a lot (I did “La Bestiare” for my final voice jury, it was really fun). The newer stuff is hit or miss, but some of it is fascinating. I enjoyed “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” much more than I thought I would when the music history teacher was describing it.

If you’re new to the whole genre, I recommend Prokofiev’s second (Classical) as a very accessible yet deep work.

I sometimes go out to the symphony, but the last couple times have been bad experiences. Last time I went I wound up writing about how much I now hate Bruckner in my blog.

I can’t listen to Baroque very much - growing up playing mostly big band stuff, I guess my musical habits stretch from the mid-19th century on. A bit Wagnerian (instrumental, not operatic stuff), Holst - though I penchant for a few modern composers and works… Alan Hovhaness probably my favorite out of the bunch. Not many really know his name, though his music may be more familiar to some folks (a few of his pieces were used in Cosmos, and his Symphony #2, Mysterious Mountain, is probably his most oft-played piece). Many of his works center around nature, mountains, etc. - but when we wants to get loud, man does he ever.

— Alan

I started out with the popular 19th century stuff, from Mozart to Tchaikovsky, but eventually worked my way backward to baroque and earlier music, including Gregorian chants. I like the early moderns as well, about up to Stravinsky and Webern, but most of the more recent cacophonies no longer sound like anything I’d call “music”. There are a few exceptions but they strike me as fairly mediocre compared to the old masters – unfair comparison, granted, since they have to compete against a history of over 500 years!

Today I have about four times as many classical records as pop music – actually I don’t listen to new pop music at all anymore, just lost interest. Jazz I could never get into in the first place. But the classical collection keeps growing…

I listen to it, unfortunately I have no Idea what a lot of the stuff that I like actually is (which is really annoying when trying to buy it).

Beethoven’s good, Bach is sublime and I still really like Saint-Saens (the music from Babe basically).

I’m just starting to get into some Opera but again am hindered by a complete lack of knowledge about it. (Fortunately we have a good section in the local Virgin store where they are pretty good at answering the “Do you have that piece of music from <insert advert/film>, I have no idea what it is called or who it is by?”.

I love classical music. Mostly I love piano sonatas because I play piano, and it’s a chance for me to go green with envy that I can’t play like they can. My favorite pieces are generally those by Beethoven.

My favorite symphony of all time is Holst’s “The Planets”. It’s beautifully haunting. As someone who was in astronomy and astrophysics at one time, I feel that it really evokes the sense of awe one can get when you just look up into the night sky and try to wrap your mind around the expanse you’re looking into. It’s totally cliche and cheesy, but I used to listen to “The Planets” when I was observing with my backyard telescope, and I used to play it when I worked out at one of the observatories by myself and it was dark and quiet and I could stand in the dome listening to it while I took images of the night sky.

My father was a professional violinist, so I grew up with an appreciation for all kinds of music. I don’t have a favorite genre of classical music. I basically like anything that’s good from the Baroque thru the Romantic era – Vivaldi to Mahler. The only thing I really don’t care for is atonal mid-20th Century stuff.

That’s a subgenre of classical music I’d actually like to get to know better. I believe “The Planets” was an early 20th century piece, and to me it feels like a bridge between pre-20th century classical music and today’s classical music.

If anyone has any recommendations of “modern” classical music composers (apart from movie soundtrack stuff) I’d be very interested.

Love it.

I’m a total Beethoven fanatic, but I can appreciate Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Brahms, Handel, Holst. Not a Wagner fan.

There’s a whole lot of late-20th century music that isn’t cacophanous or even atonal.

For instance, Arvo Part’s religious music is absolutely gorgeous. It’s got something of a medieval feel.

Steve Reich has some really cool pieces. He’s a minimalist like Phillip Glass, but I find him much more interesting. (The only problem is, his work is pretty uneven–some of it is rather dull). I’d recommend “Tehillim” or “The 4 Sections”.

Benjamin Britten has some really melodic music, as well as more disturbing pieces like the War Requiem.

I’m a big classical music fan, mostly at the two ends of the spectrum (I like early music (up through the Baroque) and modern stuff, but the Romantics and a lot of the classical period leave me cold).


Beethoven’s good? :(

My primary use for LimeWire lately is D/Ling classical pieces to see if they are ones I’ve heard or like, then buying a CD compilation with as many of them in it as I can (for the better quality). I’d try that.

Saint-Saens. Shostakovich. Tchaikovsky. Yum.

Beethoven’s good?

He’s not bad for a deaf bloke ;)

Gav has already listed a few choice examples of 20th century composers that I hate :P so instead I’ll recommend some that I like: Igor Stravinsky and Anton Webern.

Stravinksy was a long-lived eclectic. His works cover just about any style that was popular at some time or another, from neo-classicism to jazz. For starters you could try his ballets Firebird (L’oiseau de feu) and Rites of Spring (Sacre du printemps), and perhaps one of his symphonies.

Webern was a Schönberg student and wrote atonal music. Although I’m not a big fan of Schönberg himself, I love the chamber music of Webern and Alban Berg. Webern’s various string quartets are incredibly beautiful, perhaps the most delicate and introverted music ever written.

Ok, lets tap the collective knowledge then.

The Original music is by Beethoven which is as much as I know.

In Mr Holland’s Opus, while he is explaining about Beethoven being deaf etc it is playing on the record player.

The version I am looking for is faster with Opera style singing on top of it (all women I believe) and it has cropped up on a couple of classical compilation (adverts/chillout/etc) CD’s none of which, helpfully, I can remember the title of.

Has anyone got any idea what the hell it is I am looking for?

Webern and Berg can be interesting (unlike Schoenberg who is just sandpaper for the ears) if you have the score in front of you (and can read music) and Webern’s textures are cool, but it takes a lot of work to like Webern or Berg, I wouldn’t recommend them to a non-musician.

Avro Part can be fantastic, but also can be weird at times

I mentioned Alan Hovhaness earlier; he was extremely prolific although many of his works have not reached CD, but are slowly dribbing out here and there (a lot more exist on LP).

My current recommendations would be: the recent (1990s) recordings by the Seattle Symphony, cond. Gerard Schwarz, of the CDs for Mysterious Mountain/And God Created Great Whales, Symphony No. 50 (Mount St. Helens) & Symphony No. 22 (City of Light) and perhaps Crystal Records’ Requiem and Resurrection; Symphony No. 19 “Vishnu” (an older recording) and Symphonies Nos. 6 (Celestial Gate) & 25 (Odysseus)/Prayer Of St. Gregory, Op. 626.

Klavier has a series of wind symphony recordings, most of them by the North Texas Wind Symphony, an awesome performing group. A lot of the things they play are either wind symphony transcriptions or mostly new compositions within the last fifty years or so. My favorite so far is the Luminaries album, with Ghost Train Triptych being the highlight.

The BBC’s music magazine comes with a new CD every month. Usually they either feature new conductors with lesser known symphonies or new works. If you’re looking for something new each month it’s hard to go wrong.

Holst’s The Planets is probably one of my favorite works ever.

— Alan

Game tie-in:

Return Fire was fucking great. All the audio tracks in that game are from works totally worth checking out in their entirety.

Growing up, I always recognized the William Tell Overature as “the Lone Ranger theme”; it wasn’t until I captured my first flag in RF multiplayer that it made the hairs on my arms stand up.