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Beginner to classical..

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,492 ✭✭✭ antiskeptic


    I'd have enjoyed good music all my life, without delving particularly deeply into any genre. The more interesting pop, bits of jazz, finding myself intrigued of late by Joni Mitchell: who was played to death in our house as a kid, odd bits of classical...

    Watching The Apprentice one night about a year ago drove me to google the theme music. From there I found myself enjoying the LSO version of it on Youtube (the added drama and understanding through watching the conductor and musicians..). The ballet version of Romeo and Juliet sidetracked me into Swan Lake and it's melodies (and into ballet, of all things)

    Between the jigs and the reels, I landed at Beethovens 5th.. which I've spent simply ages listening to. Each section in turn has grabbed me and left me with melodies running through my head for weeks on end. I do tend to plumb the depths of whatever grabs..

    But where to I go from here? Initially I thought I'd discovered an utterly new goldmine called "Classical Music" with a veritable Aladdin's Cave of back catalogue. But I'm finding it hard to unearth music as monumentally complete and melodic as Beethoven's 5th. Now, I'm sure it's me: ignorance has me discard masterpieces as unmelodic dirge. But until such time as I do understand such pieces, what should I listen to from the perspective of Classical Music for Dummies.

    Is there a no-brainer list for such as me? A list that would find Beethoven's 5th somewhere in it's top 10?

    Thanks for any insights..


Comments



  • If you were so mesmerised by Beethovens 5th, try listening to his other symphonies (there are 9, you can just find them by number). The 3rd and the 9th are my favourites, and the 6th is very different. His piano concertos (of which there are 5) are brilliant too, particularly the 4th. Beethoven also wrote 32 piano sonatas which are glorious and very compelling (try looking up Appassionata for instance)

    Liszt made piano reductions of Beethoven's symphonies which I have always really enjoyed. You might try looking up Liszt-Beethoven Symphony 5 Piano for example to find these. If you enjoy piano music you can't go wrong with any Liszt or Rachmaninov.

    Finally, the greats were greats for a reason. Listen to any Haydn, Mozart, J.S.Bach (especially his fugues!!), Handel, Beethoven, Debussy, etc and you can't go too far wrong, tbh. Even just searching Youtube with their names will unearth a lifetime's worth of listening.

    When you've finally heard enough to know what your tastes within classical (A very broad term!) are, you will be able to find more by searching specifically for, eg, Handel recorder sonatas or Wagner's operas or Haydn's symphonies or whatever.

    Happy hunting!




  • Life is too short to spend too much time listening to the also rans imo. The best music is the best music and you will probably enjoy them more than going for particular types of music by lesser composers.

    Start with the holy trinity: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven.
    And any of their music: symphonies, concertos, masses, sonatas, etc.

    Then the 12 apostles : Wagner, Haydn, Handel, Vivaldi, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Berlioz, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Verdi.

    For some variety, and while third-raters might sound low grade, the following saints are nevertheless well worth exploring as variety from the above : Schumann, Donizetti, Telemann, Liszt, Puccini, Mahler, Dvorak, Bellini, Albinoni.

    Until you have well exhausted the above, not worth trying much else. And it is all down hill then.


    But really, just kick off with the Mozart and Beethoven.




  • Leave Lyric on the radio for a few days and take note of what you like! Do take note though, i heard a really nice Horn Concerto one day and my music teacher had to resort to singing the more well known ones to me to figure it out (it was a Mozart).




  • SaveourLyric, surely Debussy deserves a place somewhere on your list?!




  • Valmont wrote: »
    SaveourLyric, surely Debussy deserves a place somewhere on your list?!

    Arguable case he could make the third raters all right.
    Certainly in the next batch.


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  • Arguable case he could make the third raters all right.
    Certainly in the next batch.

    I shudder to think what you make of Schoenberg then :rolleyes:




  • marienbad wrote: »
    I shudder to think what you make of Schoenberg then :rolleyes:

    Anyone who puts Rossini and Verdi above Mahler is clearly not of sound mind!




  • marienbad wrote: »
    I shudder to think what you make of Schoenberg then :rolleyes:

    Hey, keep on topic - this is the music forum. ;)




  • Hey, keep on topic - this is the music forum. ;)

    So why would you want to save Lyric then ? :D




  • marienbad wrote: »
    So why would you want to save Lyric then ? :D

    I dont ! :D

    Havent listened to a minute of it since 2009 (or maybe 2008) since it went down the tubes.
    Havent entirely given up hope that some reshuffle of the RTE 'management' will put someone in charge who can right the heinous wrong that was done to it. But its a long time coming at this stage.


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  • I dont ! :D

    Havent listened to a minute of it since 2009 (or maybe 2008) since it went down the tubes.
    Havent entirely given up hope that some reshuffle of the RTE 'management' will put someone in charge who can right the heinous wrong that was done to it. But its a long time coming at this stage.


    Ah come on - you are just saying that , you know you must have your daily fix of Fur Elise , the cannons in the 1812 and largo al Factotum just to get the opera out of the way and in the afternoon a bit of Shostakovich so you can have a good whinge before tea ! :D




  • marienbad wrote: »
    the cannons in the 1812

    Is that the one by Bach with the fugue ? BWV 1812 ?




  • Is that the one by Bach? BWV 1812 ?

    See a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - you are confusing it with the cello suite bwv 1012 . No best stick to bwv 1068 and your daily ration of Vivaldi . What are you up to now ? Summer ? Tough going is it ?




  • marienbad wrote: »
    See a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - you are confusing it with the cello suite bwv 1012 . No best stick to bwv 1068 and your daily ration of Vivaldi . What are you up to now ? Summer ? Tough going is it ?

    You may be you confusing me with the poster I had to work hard to take down in that disgracefully unmoderated wildwest that was the radio forum a while back (taking a bullet with a permanent ban from that forum for this account in the process).
    (My familiarity with Vivaldi concertos is in the hundreds. Summer is a fine one though.)




  • I dont ! :D

    Havent listened to a minute of it since 2009 (or maybe 2008) since it went down the tubes.
    Havent entirely given up hope that some reshuffle of the RTE 'management' will put someone in charge who can right the heinous wrong that was done to it. But its a long time coming at this stage.

    But SOL also writes, from this very forum, from a thread called 'Lyric FM':

    "Another theory is that it refers, not to the music, but rather to the lyrical voices of the classical music experts that guide the listeners through the testing programming: Gay Byrne, George Hamilton, John Kelly, and the prince among them, Marty Whelan."

    He also writes from before his ban from the Radio forum on the 30th of May last:
    "It seems Neven [Maguire - annoying Daniel O'Donnell soundalike Chef] is becoming quite the classical music afficionado himself. Himself and Mart [Whelan - Cultural rapist] really have such a great rapport that makes for great radio.

    When did we last hear The Teddy Bear's Picnic on MITM. Seems a long time to me. Anyone fancy getting the request in ? Would be appropriate to the lawns and food theme."

    So, it seems he has listened to a little more than a minute of Lyric since 2009.




  • Alright lads, less squabbling and more helpful posts please




  • Alright lads, less squabbling and more helpful posts please

    Ah come on , what is wrong with a squabble among classical music fans ? They can get quite vicious I will have you know ! :)

    And the posts might be even more helpful than just a long list !




  • Debate is fine, digging into other people's posting history is not. Use yer discretion




  • Expunge wrote: »
    So, it seems he has listened to a little more than a minute of Lyric since 2009.

    I assure you not at all !

    I am extremely critical of the dumbing down of Lyric, and started or contributed to the various threads on the topic.
    The likes of your quotes were the unpleasantries of war against the shill/troll that was being indulged on that forum. At first, I won the battle and the enemy was given a 6 month ban (me too, but war is hell). Then, like Napoleon, he returned. And it took another campaign to gain final resolution with the permanent bans. Read through and you will see the shift (the first victory was neatly one I feel, the second a bit more of a blood bath).

    Lyric has a little, but only a little to offer the beginner to classical music (and even that is hardly worth the pathetic presentation). And little to offer those who have moved off the baby slopes. A national disgrace.




  • Yeah, I would agree with you there. Poor, poor service paid for from public funds. A disgrace indeed.
    Try BBC Radio 3 or some of the continental Broadcasters for a much better and rewarding experience, OP.


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  • The Public Libraries have some classical CD's also. I was slowly working my way through them, see what I like and don't like. May even be some DVD's there as well.

    There also some forums which will give you more ideas.
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/626563/best-classical-recordings-ever

    Many soundtrack Albums are all classics. For example this one.
    http://rateyourmusic.com/release/comp/various_artists_f2/cinema_classics/
    You might pick them up in the library or bargain bins in music shops.

    Theres also a lot of stuff on YouTube. Which is a good way to see live stuff. Or just on TV. I think its Sky Arts does a lot of live things there.

    I tend to me more picky about the quality of the recording, when listening to classic stuff. So in that regard looking at the reviews on amazon give you some idea if a CD is poor quality, or good quality. Or even if its a musician you see check out on other formats, radio, TV etc.


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