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 Post subject: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciation
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Hi PPK. Are any of you knowledgeable about classical music, or just appreciate it and also would like to ruminate on it? I've been finding myself going down a classical rabbit hole, but it's all so mysterious to me. Why do I like certain things, and not others? I can't seem to find the words, or even thoughts really, to explain. How do different 'styles' present themselves? I'm finding that it's certainly not about size and make-up of the orchestra or instruments involved, for me.

So my current obsession is Edward Elgar. Have no idea why! Just stumbled across him on a Songza playlist. One of his pieces made me cry! What! Okay I might be a tad emotional right now, but I actually don't cry easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:51 pm 
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I like some classical music but I feel like such a fake when I say so because I know nothing about it. I listen to Chopin, Grieg, Beethoven and some compilations most of the time, ha. And I know I dislike most Mozart stuff.

In general I seem to like sad stuff, especially if it involves the piano.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:00 pm 
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I have a degree in classical music!

As a horn player, I like things with interesting horn/brass parts. My favorite composers are Brahms, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, R. Strauss and Wagner. So, basically, Germans and Russians.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:12 pm 
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I like piano and cello the most. I also feel like I pretty much only know the 'known' composers (Chopin, Rachmaninoff, e.g.) or the new age avant garde-y types like Ludovico Einaudi. I'll listen to Edward Elgar at work tomorrow when I'm shuffling papers around.

...I don't like sad music. If I'm sad, that's ok. But, in general, I listen to classical music because it makes me feel like I'm somewhere else, and I like that shifted sense of place.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:15 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
I have a degree in classical music!

Ooh fun!

So in general is it thought that the composer's country makes a big impact on the 'sound'? Is that why you tend towards German and Russian? Or is it just coincidence?

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:54 pm 
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I'm an early modernist, and I love "early" and baroque music (i.e. late medieval/Renaissance and post-Renaissance), so Dowland, Gibbons, Holborne, Trabaci, Purcell, Scarlatti, Telemann, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Bach, Handel.

Here's an idea of some of the more Renaissancey things I like to listen to.






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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:14 pm 
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I enjoy classical music but know so little about it (I can't even tell you which composers are responsible for the most famous pieces), so I am really enjoying this thread.

I prefer happier or calming pieces. That's all I know.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:18 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
I have a degree in classical music!

As a horn player, I like things with interesting horn/brass parts. My favorite composers are Brahms, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, R. Strauss and Wagner. So, basically, Germans and Russians.


The Toby likes the 20th century Russians because that's when percussion became more than timpani & an occasional cymbal crash.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:00 am 
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An excellent tympani part makes me weak in the knees and other places

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:28 am 
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I'm a classically-trained clarinet player and my favorite composers are Germans and Russians just like jordanpattern. The country and historical period definitely make a difference because of what is going on in the world that the composer is writing about, and also because of whatever musical trends were happening at that place & time.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Classical Music, Rumination and Appreciati
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:39 pm 
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I have a background but not a degree in music (I was in band for 7 years and took a couple years of theory and history). Unfortunately my knowledge has all but deserted me, so I don't feel like I can speak very intelligently about why I like the things I like or what makes them cool or interesting. But here are some that I like!

Desdemona might enjoy this one: Ecco la primavera by Landini


Synphonie Fantastique by Berlioz, 5th movement (Witches' Sabbath) - this was the first instance of strings being used as percussive instruments (they struck the strings with the backs of their bows):


The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Dukas. I'm sure you'll know this one. I love it because we played it in band one year and I got a wee solo. Also because it's just great.


And one of my favourite pieces of all time, based on a poem by Burns - Tam O'Shanter by Sir Malcolm Arnold. This is another one we played in band. It's about a drunk who stumbles upon a witches' sabbath and rides for his life. He escapes by crossing a body of water.


You might notice a theme in my selections - I like the dark stuff. I mean, I also enjoy a good Chopin sonata, but I'm more likely to listen to the Marche Funebre than one of the lighter pieces. I also prefer stuff with lots of wind and brass over strings because I'm a band nerd.

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