Advertisement
Where is Report Post on mobile? We've made a slight change, see here
Have your say on the future of the 'Save Draft' feature in this poll
MODs please see this information notice in the mod's forum. Thanks!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

Which composer(s) grew on you

  • 17-12-2012 11:07am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭ Coileach dearg


    Thought it might be time to liven this forum up a bit. Name 3 composers whom you have grown to admire and even become fascinated with since you started listening to classical music and name the piece that drew you to them.
    For example it may be one of the more lesser known composers that you never heard of or even one of the famous ones that you never really understood until you heard <insert piece here>

    I'll start, you can name more than 3 if you wish:
    Sibelius - Karelia suite
    Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
    Brahms - Symphony #1


«1

Comments



  • Interesting that you mention Brahms. I have never liked his larger orchestral pieces, such as the symphonies and the concertos. It seemed to me he was trying too hard to fill Beethoven's shoes at the expense of his own natural voice. Then I discovered his clarinet quintet and began to see another side to Brahms. I have since been exploring his remaining late chamber music, and these have led me on to other works which I really enjoy, such as the Alto Rhapsody and the two orchestral serenades.

    Another composer whose best-known works I have never enjoyed is Debussy. I am thinking of his orchestral pieces such as L'apres midi d'un faune. Then I heard some of his piano music and I was entranced. For me, his two books of Preludes are among the finest works in the repertoire.

    Finally, there is Tchaikovsky whom I had always regarded as overly sentimental and self-indulgent. However, when I really listened to his three ballets I realised that he was capable of suppressing his self-indulgence long enough to produce the most wonderfully inventive music I have ever heard. I was then able to move beyond the awful Pathetique symphony and learn to appreciate his true genius in big orchestral works like Francesca da Rimini, the four suites, and above all the mighty Manfred symphony.

    Of course this is all subjective, but I am glad I persisted with these composers and found something in their work to cherish.




  • Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht, one of the great masterpieces of the twentieth century, this work introduced me to the rest of his work and now he is one of my favourite composers.

    Varese: Density 21.5, one of the greatest solo instrumental works, Varese was truly an innovator and pioneered the use of extended techniques.

    Ian Wilson: Winter's Edge (string quartet no. 1), my favourite Irish composer, I was lucky enough to study with him for a year, one of my biggest influences now.

    Very hard to pick only three pieces, I could easily list another thousand!




  • Actually Penderecki grew on me, and then Lachenmann.
    And eventually Boulez, although his music is still quite difficult and requires a special mood and attentiveness on my part.




  • I rather enjoy Wagner. I really like the selection Ring without words. The opera can take a little getting used to.

    Berlioz: Symphonies Fantastique is good

    Brahms although I did read on another post that he try's to hard to be Beethoven which I guess is true about the symphonies, but I also like most of Beethoven's works.




  • I've recently become obsessed with the German Requiem by Brahms. Maybe it's because I watched most of "The Nazis, a Warning from History" which uses it as a theme. I've owned it on CD for years but never listened to it much.


  • Advertisement


  • Sang that in 2nd year, fantastic work!




  • Oops. Forgot to add in my other two composers that grew on me:

    Rodrigo - especially the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.

    Hildegard of Bingen - superb choral music from nearly a thousand years ago!




  • Some great suggestions for my bucket list here.

    One that grew on me was Brahms. I was Mr. classical for ages before hearing Brahms' 4th. Blew my mind.




  • Some fantastic suggestions so far. I will give some of the pieces mentioned a go to see if I can get into Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, Pendrecki, Boulez etc...
    Great to see Brahms's German Requiem mentioned, haven't heard it in a while so looking forward to getting back into it.
    Starting to really get into choral music now too so Hildegard of Bingen will be getting some attention.
    I have recently been listening to lots of Bruckner's music lately and his Symphonies (especially 7 to 9) are amazing. It's funny that I did Beethoven's symphonies to death, then Mahler's early symphonies (wasn't too fond of his latters ones), then onto Brahms's 4 symphonies and then made my way eventually to Bruckner.
    I had his first few symphonies downloaded somewhere but to my despair can't find them on my laptop. They must have vanished after I had to get it rebuilt and it mustn't have backed up correctly

    Living in Australia now and the biggest disadvantage is the price of internet plans, definitely not very friendly for downloading massive classical scores. Might have to go out and buy Bruckner's entire symphonic cycle if I can get a decent deal.




  • Try bookdepository.com - they have some scores at reasonable prices (by Irish standards, that is) and free delivery worldwide.


  • Advertisement


  • Unfortunately Book Depository change their prices depending on your IP address to give you the "free" delivery. :)




  • Strauss - his waltzes, including The Blue Danube, The Emperor's Waltz, Roses From The South etc, and his Tritsch Tratsch polka

    Offenbach- Barcarolle, I've always loved that from the time I was a toddler

    And yeah, I'd have to give Tchaikovsky his credit where it's due, he inspired me to take up ballet (giving it up is one of my life regrets :( )




  • Strauss - his waltzes, including The Blue Danube, The Emperor's Waltz, Roses From The South etc, and his Tritsch Tratsch polka

    Offenbach- Barcarolle, I've always loved that from the time I was a toddler

    *shudder :p




  • I was always a firm Baroque fan, not fussed about Classical and only mild interest in post 1800. Then I heard Debussy's La Mer and became a huge fan of his. His music led me to Fauré whom I now adore.

    I always thought Beethoven was over-rated (mostly because of the 1st movement of the 5th symphony) until I heard the Op 109 piano sonata. I was hooked. I listened to all of the piano sonatas over and over, bought the scores, downloaded the Andras Schiff lectures on the sonatas and became obsessed. I then started listening, really listening, to the string trios/quartets, the piano concertos, the symphonies, everything really. Beethoven is now my absolute favourite composer, taking the place of JS Bach in my heart :eek: :P




  • I was always a firm Baroque fan, not fussed about Classical and only mild interest in post 1800. Then I heard Debussy's La Mer and became a huge fan of his. His music led me to Fauré whom I now adore.

    I always thought Beethoven was over-rated (mostly because of the 1st movement of the 5th symphony) until I heard the Op 109 piano sonata. I was hooked. I listened to all of the piano sonatas over and over, bought the scores, downloaded the Andras Schiff lectures on the sonatas and became obsessed. I then started listening, really listening, to the string trios/quartets, the piano concertos, the symphonies, everything really. Beethoven is now my absolute favourite composer, taking the place of JS Bach in my heart :eek: :P

    Beethoven is the man! I too am completely obsessed (completely).

    A surprising number of people uphold that Beethoven wasn't a great melodist, I can certainly see why his handling of form and harmony would stand out as his greatest attributes but why does anyone write off his melodies?! A significant number of my favorite melodies are his, one of his most grotesquely catchy melodies in fact has to be the main minor theme of the 1st movement of the Kreutzer sonata, I could rave to that all day long!




  • Beethoven was an extremely powerful melodist... when he wanted to be! I'm always humming something or other of his - he could definitely write some very catchy and beautiful melodies :)

    Those who claim he wasn't great at melody clearly aren't terribly familiar with his work :P




  • Beethoven was an extremely powerful melodist... when he wanted to be! I'm always humming something or other of his - he could definitely write some very catchy and beautiful melodies :)

    Those who claim he wasn't great at melody clearly aren't terribly familiar with his work :P

    True! The Pastoral Symphony No. 6 has some beautiful melodies. :)




  • IceFjoem wrote: »
    A surprising number of people uphold that Beethoven wasn't a great melodist

    Not sure that they do. Who are they? Utter nonesense if they do.




  • I always thought Beethoven was over-rated (mostly because of the 1st movement of the 5th symphony) until I heard the Op 109 piano sonata. I was hooked. I listened to all of the piano sonatas over and over, bought the scores, downloaded the Andras Schiff lectures on the sonatas and became obsessed. I then started listening, really listening, to the string trios/quartets, the piano concertos, the symphonies, everything really. Beethoven is now my absolute favourite composer, taking the place of JS Bach in my heart :eek: :P

    Are those lectures still available? I googled them, got a few results to various file sharing sites but they're all dead links.




  • Dirigent wrote: »
    Are those lectures still available? I googled them, got a few results to various file sharing sites but they're all dead links.

    They are, the Guardian uploaded the whole cycle. Link. I highly recommend them, they made me laugh out loud on public transport more than once :P


  • Advertisement


  • Almaviva wrote: »
    Not sure that they do. Who are they? Utter nonesense if they do.

    Well, Lenny for one...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuYY1gV8jhU

    He says it at 5.10, I had heard that he retracted the statement years later but I'm not sure if that's true or not. Either way, a lot of music heads I know seem to agree with him, and it's a fairly popular stance as far as I know. I agree with him that the opening melody of the 2nd mvmt of the 6th symphony is fairly unremarkable but to say outright that Beethoven's not a great melodist is absurd in my opinion.




  • I'm a bit disappointed in this thread .. I thought it would be about music you ignored or found boring for a while, and then gradually or perhaps suddenly you started to like!

    I'd like to say that I love when that happens, and there are cases, where I'm still waiting for it to happen.

    Bruckner is one I'm still waiting for. Schumann's symphonies ...and the Brahms requiem. And Varèse .. and Boulez ... all mentioned in this thread, so maybe it's not such a bad thread after all! :-D

    Generally the topic is very suited to either avant-Garde music ... or very old music .. or non-Western harmony music (Africa, India). Hardly anybody will listen to Haydn and say "that's not nice". At the very least, it's nice. Though Haydn has written some edgy stuff .. don't get me wrong.

    Just the other day I read that the ancient English composer Dunstable is recognised as the first user of the triad harmony .. time to give him another listen in that light!

    In many ways ... to immediately like a piece of music is kind of boring .... it's more exciting if it has something hidden, which doesn't reveal itself on the first listen.




  • stabeek wrote: »

    In many ways ... to immediately like a piece of music is kind of boring .... it's more exciting if it has something hidden, which doesn't reveal itself on the first listen.

    Yeah this is an interesting thread alright and although I kind of agree in part with the statement above it is also a little off in my opinion
    This idea of liking music that is primarily "challenging" is a little against the idea of musicality itself. The idea of liking music that is in essence non musical (I mean as in 'western harmony' musical) is a little pseudo intellectual to be honest (imo). Not accusing above poster or anyone on this thread of pseudo intellectualism at all but I've noticed a little movement of contemporary music aficionados who snub anything which is lyrical or romantic.
    My own view is that there is good music and bad music.
    Even the most lyrical and romantic music can be in my opinion absolutely brilliant - I know some of Rachmaninov's concertos were criticised heavily for their romanticism but I never understood why.
    Debussy seems to be able to get away with it (probably because he uses strange scales from time to time) which is a good thing because I love his music and - it has really has creeped up on me. I also really like Borodin these days also.




  • stevejazzx wrote: »
    This idea of liking music that is primarily "challenging" is a little against the idea of musicality itself. The idea of liking music that is in essence non musical (I mean as in 'western harmony' musical) is a little pseudo intellectual to be honest (imo). Not accusing above poster or anyone on this thread of pseudo intellectualism at all but I've noticed a little movement of contemporary music aficionados who snub anything which is lyrical or romantic.

    Not necessarily. Western ears are trained to find certain sounds harmonious from birth. People from different musical cultures find sounds that we would consider dissonant to be perfectly beautiful. It's just a matter of what you're used to. In this way, a western person may find certain music to be ugly and unenjoyable at first, but repeated listenings and study will normalise such music.

    That said, a lot of those contemporary music snobs you mention just create random dissonant sounds for the sake of unique "art". :pac:




  • Not necessarily. Western ears are trained to find certain sounds harmonious from birth. People from different musical cultures find sounds that we would consider dissonant to be perfectly beautiful. It's just a matter of what you're used to. In this way, a western person may find certain music to be ugly and unenjoyable at first, but repeated listenings and study will normalise such music.

    I wonder about this question. Is our capacity to appreciate beauty in art innate or learnt?

    I think it is a little of both. It took me a long time to really enjoy classical music, and that is because I stuck with it. Yet there must also have been something within me that could respond positively to the sounds I was hearing.

    That is why I disagree with the final sentence in the above quote. I have never been able to acclimatise myself to, say, Schoenberg's dissonance. I have read all the arguments about how Beethoven's symphonies sounded strange to early-nineteenth century audiences and yet we find them very listenable. In other words, these visionary composers anticipated the possibilities of created sound that become apparent only later to everyone else. This may be true of a Beethoven, but is the same true for all of his successors?

    I am sure the fault lies with me, but I just can't accept the artist is always right, or that the views of the musical intelligentsia should override my own instinctive response to a musical composition.




  • That is why I disagree with the final sentence in the above quote. I have never been able to acclimatise myself to, say, Schoenberg's dissonance. I have read all the arguments about how Beethoven's symphonies sounded strange to early-nineteenth century audiences and yet we find them very listenable. In other words, these visionary composers anticipated the possibilities of created sound that become apparent only later to everyone else. This may be true of a Beethoven, but is the same true for all of his successors?

    I am sure the fault lies with me, but I just can't accept the artist is always right, or that the views of the musical intelligentsia should override my own instinctive response to a musical composition.

    It's hardly a fault to have certain tastes in music. If you don't like Schoenberg it hardly makes you less intelligent or perceptive than those who do. A lot of Schoenberg's later work was closer to scientific experimentation than ground-breaking art, in my most humble of opinions.




  • For myself(a young 23yo composer),
    I just found listening to older composers wasn't as satisfying anymore(don't get me wrong I still do listen to pre 20c music etc.)
    Just I found they music began to bore me in certain respects,
    and I was looking for different music(Currently I'm into more of the post 2000 Avant Garde music being made at the moment).
    So it was more of a case of satisfying my desire to listen to a more complex or multidimensional temporally relevant music,
    one more associated with the current times.
    I mean, what can be more exciting than listening to a work that was just composed(and you're only of a handful to have heard it),
    or speaking to a composer and having the ability touch their world(the crazy is all coming out now.)
    The choices you make and the people you meet having a direct(or indirect) influence on music's development.

    I would liken my listening path to somewhat of a drug addiction,
    a desire for harder stuff when the easier to listen to works didn't do the trick anymore.
    And if that sounds pretentious, well I'm sorry,
    I can't change who my ears want me to be.




  • purebeta wrote: »
    I would liken my listening path to somewhat of a drug addiction,
    a desire for harder stuff when the easier to listen to works didn't do the trick anymore.

    Your perspective on music appreciation is very very interesting.

    I am just a fan with very subjective tastes, but I'm pretty passionate about those tastes. What I am looking for ultimately in the music I listen to is beauty. But as beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, there can be no objective standard that any two people will agree upon.

    What intrigues me about your post is your expression that "easier to listen to works didn't do the trick". Can you describe what it is that the music you like does to you, with maybe some examples that would not be too obscure?

    Ta. :)




  • Can you describe what it is that the music you like does to you,
    with maybe some examples that would not be too obscure?

    Hmm interesting question, I suppose at times it features just a sound or combination of sounds,
    perhaps in some arrangement that I have not heard before,
    the push and pull of tension and then it goes quiet
    and you suddenly hear something that makes you involuntarily react(in my case smile like a madman),
    then it goes away and you wonder why you're still grinning.
    But it's moments like that which for me makes the music worthwhile.
    I'm not a fan of grand predictable textures but smaller more micro things
    that when they happen you're like 'oh, that was a really clever move there',
    or 'how the flip did they think of that?'.
    It can be quite esoteric at times and peculiar to certain ears or brains.
    As I know many people whom this music that I'm crazy about has no effect on.

    I find the term beauty to be such a loaded word sometimes, and as Kundera said
    'What is physical beauty but a celebration of normality or closeness to the basic model of the human genome,
    an average of typical features, symmetry without deviation from the form.'

    When it comes to music, it's the lack of overt 'beautiful' gesture that makes me look deeper for the inner beauty.

    That said, most music from inexperienced or naiive Avant-Garde composers
    is nothing more than a will to impress, and more often than not these are the works which I'm not a fan of.

    Some works which I'm particularly fond of at the moment(but by no means easy to listen to):
    http://youtu.be/HBTSFRqN9V4 - Adámek - Ca tourne ça bloque
    http://youtu.be/Qf2PDi-4BNw - Van der Aa - Imprint
    http://youtu.be/NovmhQV8IfI - André - iv 4 (This one in particular takes some close listening)
    http://youtu.be/H2Rmk0zIECk - Billone - 1+1=1 (Quite heavy, but has some quieter, more still moments)


  • Advertisement


  • Aglomerado wrote: »
    True! The Pastoral Symphony No. 6 has some beautiful melodies. :)

    That was the one piece of music that in a way opened the door for me to classical music.
    I grew up with lots of it around, it's all my grandparents will listen to, and being half-Austrian my family tended to lean very much towards the East in that way - from Mozart to Smetana to Tchaikovsky. But being your normal teenager, I would scorn the lot for quite some time.

    That only changed when I for the first time actually really listened to the Pastoral Symphony. It had me hooked.

    Composers that have since grown on me would include Mendelsohn, Benjamin Britten and just most recently Arvo Paert.


Advertisement