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Classical music - what makes you listen?

Helen 31 Mar 06 - 05:09 PM
Wesley S 31 Mar 06 - 05:32 PM
Kaleea 31 Mar 06 - 06:32 PM
sciencegeek 31 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM
Sorcha 31 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM
Benjamin 31 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM
cool hand Tom 31 Mar 06 - 08:29 PM
Ron Davies 01 Apr 06 - 12:25 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 01 Apr 06 - 01:06 AM
MBSLynne 01 Apr 06 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke (anyone seen my cookie?) 01 Apr 06 - 04:26 AM
Helen 01 Apr 06 - 07:31 AM
Micca 01 Apr 06 - 08:12 AM
RangerSteve 01 Apr 06 - 08:15 AM
Flash Company 01 Apr 06 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,van lingle 01 Apr 06 - 08:44 AM
mack/misophist 01 Apr 06 - 09:09 AM
kendall 01 Apr 06 - 10:11 AM
Helen 01 Apr 06 - 05:38 PM
Ron Davies 01 Apr 06 - 11:34 PM
Helen 01 Apr 06 - 11:59 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Apr 06 - 05:40 AM
Ned Ludd 02 Apr 06 - 05:30 PM
Helen 02 Apr 06 - 05:40 PM
Ned Ludd 02 Apr 06 - 06:53 PM
Ron Davies 02 Apr 06 - 11:52 PM
Padre 03 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM
alison 03 Apr 06 - 01:44 AM
Ron Davies 03 Apr 06 - 07:33 AM
Ron Davies 03 Apr 06 - 07:41 AM
Bat Goddess 03 Apr 06 - 07:46 AM
Bat Goddess 04 Apr 06 - 09:03 AM
Paul Burke 04 Apr 06 - 09:22 AM
Bat Goddess 04 Apr 06 - 12:10 PM
CarolC 04 Apr 06 - 02:07 PM
Don Firth 04 Apr 06 - 03:12 PM
mack/misophist 04 Apr 06 - 03:38 PM
autolycus 04 Apr 06 - 04:24 PM
Chris Green 04 Apr 06 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,van lingle 04 Apr 06 - 05:33 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 04 Apr 06 - 05:49 PM
Don Firth 04 Apr 06 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Ron Davies 04 Apr 06 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Ron Davies 04 Apr 06 - 11:21 PM
katlaughing 04 Apr 06 - 11:32 PM
Helen 05 Apr 06 - 03:26 AM
Daithi 05 Apr 06 - 04:20 AM
Don Firth 05 Apr 06 - 02:10 PM
autolycus 05 Apr 06 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,mack/misophist 05 Apr 06 - 08:32 PM
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Subject: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 05:09 PM

Yes, I know, this is a folk/blues music site, but I'm interested to know what other people's favourite classical pieces are, if any. I have always loved Vivaldi, and JS Bach, because of the complexity, the way the parts weave in and out synergistically (is that a word?) to make a beautifully crafted whole experience.

My current favourite, which I am now listening to, is specifically the Rondo (Part III) of Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, Op 7, called "La Campanella". My CD is by Ruggiero Ricci.   You may have heard it and not known the name of it.

It stops me in my tracks when I hear it. I can't do anything else but listen.

Another one I discovered while driving and listening to the classical radio station is Bruch's Adagio appassionato, Op 57. Still gives me tingles down my spine when I hear it.

So, what are your classical favourites?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 05:32 PM

A lot of my favorites tend toward the "bombastic" side. Copelands "Fanfare for the Common Man" and the second movement of Beethovan's 9th. I remember first hearing that one as the credits rolled at the end of NBC's Nightly News with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Kaleea
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 06:32 PM

Sometimes my favorite works are my favorites because of the memories associated with what I was doing once while listening (or whom I was with!), or because I used a recording of the work for some odd reason, such as when some idiot decided to go ahead & make my day:

Back in collete, when exhausted from yet another of many sleepless nights due to people in the apartment downstairs throwing ridiculously rowdy parties, I waited until it was all quiet & they had been asleep for about an hour.
I dragged my stereo speakers into my bedroom & placed them face down on the floor over the spot where their bed was. Then I played The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky--& I cranked it with the bass up all the way.
   

    Don't mess with this Choctaw woman.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM

I grew up in a household that was filled with music, mostly classical. In fact, my folks met through their love of opera. just mention the name, Sam Ramy, and she'll go on and on ....:)

My first love was Tschaikovsky (age 4), but the first time I heard the Toscanni recording of the Pastorale ( Symphony #6) it was head over heels for Ludwig (ripe old age of 11). Did you know that Beethoven incorporated a number of folk tunes in his works? Especially in the Pastorale. And this goes for many other classical composers.

Both classical and traditional music have stood the test of time. Be interesting to see what comtemporary pieces will be around in the next century.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM

Mozart Violin Concerto in Am.....Rachmaninoff, Tch, Bach, Vivaldi...I pretty much like it all.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Benjamin
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM

The orchrestral version of Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and Alexandre Tansman's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra are two of my favortes.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: cool hand Tom
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 08:29 PM

The thing that amazes me Eg Mozart is the ability to write a whole piece from scratch,tunings,instruments,vocals and make it work.If you gave me paper etc,i could not do it.It is pure Genius,not my fav music but some classical peices totally blow me away.

   Regards Tom


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 12:25 AM

Oh boy, I could be on this for hours. I love a lot of Vivaldi, especially in winter--it's such warm cozy music--especially like the mandolin concerti. I'm swept away (appropriately enough) by the Vaughn Williams Sea Symphony--the surging and falling is so evocative. It seems so English to me--hard to realize the poetry is by Walt Whitman. Also really love Vaughn Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves and the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Got a chance to sing the 40-voice motet that's based on--a great experience.

I passionately love all 4 of Brahms' symphonies--particularly the rich string sound of the 4th movement theme of the Brahms First. Always have to listen to the Beethoven Pastoral all the way through--can't do much of anything else while it's playing--especially love the very start of it and the cuckoo towards the end. Always think it's funny the storm is so well-mannered.

Really like some bombast too--though mostly instrumental bombast--love Wagner overtures--especially Tannhaueser and Meistersinger. Some Verdi--lots from Aida, mostly the greatest hits--which the chorus mostly gets--having been in big choral groups for over 20 years, I've had a chance to sing them several times--makes it even better to hear it.

Love Russian choral music--which is of course great for any bass-- especially the Rachmaninoff Vespers--above all the "Ave Maria" (in Russian). Very evocative of huge Russian churches and of deep faith--though Rachmaninoff himself was not at all religious.

Always like to hear the famous Rodrigo guitar pieces--Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre. Again it conjures up scenes.

Never get tired of the Mozart Requiem--going to sing it again in 2 weeks. Ever since Amadeus I find it summons up scenes from the movie--especially the Lachrymosa, which I believe is played while Mozart's body is carried to the paupers' mass grave, thrown in, and then more lime. Also in the movie was an excerpt from the Serenade, with a wonderfully flowing clarinet line.

My all-time favorite piece is probably the Brahms Requiem (auf Deutsch) which speaks of hope and consolation, rather than hellfire, is much more inclusive than other Requiems, and is wonderfully rich both to sing and to listen to.

From the moment I get in the door, I have music on, and it's often classical, especially if I'm reading, working at the computer or going to bed.

It would actually be a lot easier to say the classical music I don't listen to--which is mostly modern music, where the idea seems to be to break as many rules as possible and/or depict the chaos of modern life. So Respighi, especially the Birds, Ancient Airs and Dances etc, is fine; Gershwin is fine--but after Gershwin that's about it, except some Bernstein.

By the way, is Bruch's Adagio appassionata a whole piece or just a movement? I love his Violin Concerto and Scottish Fantasy.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 01:06 AM

Baroque Music is my favorite but there are so many composers and so many pieces that it would take forever to describe them. My favourite orchestras are The Academy Of St Martins In The Fields (conducted by Sir Neville Marriner of course :), English Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, I Musici, Birmingham Symphony, Cleveland Symphony.

Favorite pianist Rudolph Serkin and Sergai Prokofiev
         Violin Itzhak Perlman, Neville Marriner and Nigel Kennedy
         Cello   Yo Yo Ma and Ofra Harnoy
         Guitar Segovia and John Williams
         Viola   (my brother Peter who is not famous) LOL

Classical music played a big part in my life, one of the first pieces I remember hearing as a child was Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. It is probably my favorite piece.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 04:12 AM

I generally go for baroque too and Mozart is just wonderful, but I also love "Big" music like Bach's tocata and fugue, Part of Brahm's requiem, Ride of the Valkyrie, Tchaikovsky's piano concerto no 1. I like a lot of Tchaikovsky in fact. I love "Danse Macabre" and bits of "The Planet suite". Grieg is fairly high on my list and I like some Mahler...in fact is just as difficult to say what classical stuff I like as it is to say what pop, folk, rock etc. Oh, and I also love Einaudi.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke (anyone seen my cookie?)
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 04:26 AM

What I call orgasmic music- the slow movement from a Corette organ concerto, some quirky CPE Bach pieces that I can't remember the name of offhand, that Giuliani guitar concerto, almost anything except opera by Mozart, Geminiani's Scottish arrangements....

Early music through to early classical. I rather think that typhus or Salieri killed the genre in 1791, and that the rot set in with Schubert and Beethoven. No opera, sod lieder, ballet in tiny doses. I think it's the classical voice training that turns me off, the plum in the mouth style.

I find Romantic stuff a big turn off. Mahler sounds like a big Irishman to me ("I'll mahl ye!"), and our Rafe just makes me giggle. And as for that Geordie stuff Schoenberg wrote, you know, the Toon Row stuff....


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 07:31 AM

Ron Davies,

Rachmaninoff Vespers - I had never heard these but in the last week I have heard two of the pieces on the radio.   Amazingly beautiful.

I agree about Concierto de Aranjuez, too. A perennial favourite of mine.

And I have a cassette of Mandolin orchestra music called Virtuoso Mandolins, which is not available on CD. Brilliant! Some Vivaldi, some Bach, and others.   I bought a cheap but excellent CD of Renaissance vocal music. That's one of my favourite CD's now, too.

Bruch's Adagio appassionata is listed as a separate track under its own heading as if it is a self contained piece. It is very self contained, in my opinion, it goes through the whole range of a totally tragic experience.

And Paul Burke, have you heard those totally dreadful renditions of folk music sung by singers with "the classical voice training that turns me off, the plum in the mouth style"? It's indescribably bad.

A couple of decades ago I looked forward to hearing a radio show of singers performing Elizabethan songs from a book I have, which was compiled by WH Auden and Noah Greenberg. Some stunningly simple melodies, but when sung with that overblown classical style it was a killer. I was so disappointed because I had never heard any of the tunes sung, only played them myself from the book and I really wanted to hear them being performed, but then afterwards I wished I hadn't.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Micca
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 08:12 AM

Like Ron Davies, how long have you got?
The set of Scarlatti harpsichord concerti transcribed for guitar played by John Williams
Mahler, esp the final movt of the 3rd symphony, (one of the most thrilling uplifting pieces of music ever IMNHO)
a LOt of Wagner
Overtures
Lohengrin
The Ring ( which I am lucky enough to have seen LIVE twice)

a LOt of Mozart esp
Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik, 2nd mvt
The Magic Flute
Cosi Fan Tutti
Figaro
Requiem
The Piano Sonata in F (because it formed the soundtrack for one of the (for me) most PERFECT musical experiences ever)
Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermuir( the Carreras/Cabelle recording,absolutely Ravishing music)
Handel, including Messiah
Hayden, The Seasons and Creation

Like Ron, I tend to have "Classicfm" radio on when I am at home,
my Mother was a great Opera buff, but leaned towards Puccini and Verdi
I am a throw back to her Father ,he preferred Wagner and Mozart and so do I,


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 08:15 AM

Anything based on folk music, especially Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, Grieg's Norwegian Dances, etc.

Anything else by Dvorak. Anything by Louis Gottschalk. Obscure American composers from the 19th century. The "Caucasian Sketches" by someone whose name I'll probably spell wrong - Ipolitov-Ivanov (I think), Viennese-style waltzes, Coppelia - I think that's the spelling, it's a ballet by someone who I can't think of right now. The piece that Disney used in Fantasia with the hippos. Rossini overtures. Most ballet music (yeah, I'm a cop and I like ballet music. Wanna make something of it?). Baroque mandolin and guitar music. Aaron Copeland. Virgil Thompson. Gilbert and Sullivan.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Flash Company
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 08:18 AM

i suppose the first classical piece I was really aware of was 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' which our music teacher, Andy Horrocks, played as an organ voluntary on the first Founder's Day service which I went to at Sir John Deane's Grammar School in Cheshire.
I was already in the retentive mode for music which came in very handy later for remembering folk songs, and went straight home and played it on a harmonica. It was some time before I found out what it was, so it was referred to in our house as 'Andy's Tune'.
Now, for relaxing, Mozart or Haydn, or as Helen says above, Rachmaninov's Vespers. If I want waking up, Smetana 'Ma Vlast' or Sibelius 'Finlandia'.
FC


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 08:44 AM

I find I'm mostly listening to late 1800's and 20th century music from Delius (...First Cookoo in Spring, Florida Suite) lots of Vaughn Williams (the ones Ron mentions above plus Lark Ascending, Pastoral Symphony etc.) Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Bartok abd Stravinsky.
Also some of the older stuff by Schubert (Rosamunde Overture) Beethoven, and Chopin (the Barcarolle is one of my favorites).
I mostly listen to this stuff nowadays to relax with and don't really get into anything too intense except for maybe Bartok or Mahler occasionally.vl


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 09:09 AM

'Un Bel Di' (sp?) from Madam Butterfly has to be the most beautiful tune ever written. But to answer the question that was asked, I listen because of the beauty of the sound and the intellectual satisfaction of the structure. Lists are rather a waste of time. Most will more or less agree with each other. Differences are idiosyncratic and relatively minor.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 10:11 AM

I'll mention only my two most favorites.
Number one, Beethoven's violin concerto in "D" as played by Jascha Heifitz.

Fer Elise Beethoven.
I like Beethoven because his music has melodies, and he builds bridges between movements. Plus his music is cyclical.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 05:38 PM

mack/misophist, although I'm not fond of other lists I do like lists of books, movies and music which other people enjoy, because it opens up a whole new set of experiences for me to explore.

I tried to name the thread "Classical music - what stops you in your tracks?" (meaning which music do you hear where you find yourself stopping everything else you are doing so that you can devote your full attention to it) but the thread title was too long. The Paganini "La Campanella" does it for me every time, and also the Bruch Adagio Appassionata. They are total experiences for me, so I was wondering what stops other people in their tracks, in the classical music field. I would like to know why it is such an integrated experience as well, for other people.

For me I just have to sit down and close my eyes and devote my entire concentration to some pieces of music and feel the emotions, marvel at the technical aspects, the complexity of it all and the way that it integrates into a total experience.

I think part of what I am referring to is that we tend to be bombarded with music everywhere we go, some better than others. We start to just experience it as "musical wallpaper", something in the background of our experience which does not take much of our attention. So when I hear a piece of music which makes me suddenly focus on it intently, then I start to realise how special well-crafted music is - and I am definitely not just referring to classical music here. My taste in music is very wide ranging. But totally crafted musical experiences aren't really done in popular music, except in music for movies, perhaps. It's especially obvious in the current popular music *market* (that's what it is all about, making a quick buck and the quality of the music and the true creative process is suffering, in my opinion - but that is another rant for a different thread perhaps.)

So, a list of classical favourites is good, but also any discussions about what classical music does for you is fine, too. I'm interested in all of it.

And I don't think that this is unrelated to a folk/blues site because I know that what we say about why we listen to one sort of music will be relevant to why we listen to other sorts of music.

As for music for certain moods, I always know if I am feeling very down because I find my self playing all 5 CD's of my Vivaldi Complete Sacred Choral Works, over and over. Usually my black mood lifts very quickly after listening to the interweavings of those lovely voices.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 11:34 PM

Well, I said I could be on this for hours. I seem to like any classical piece that has good melodies--(just like any other piece that has a good melody). If it evokes scenes or a story, that's even better.   And if it has really colorful orchestration, that's the hat trick. One that has it all is Rimsky-Korsakoff's Scheherezade. Another great one by him that meets all 3 criteria is Russian Easter Overture.

I really like the Mahler First Symphony for several reasons--first it's just one glorious melody after another, with great orchestration. Secondly the second movement has a very ponderous minor-key version of Frere Jacques. It really sounds absurd---and I always imagine Mahler was showing an impish sense of humor by doing that--not something you'd expect from Mahler.

With very very few exceptions, I really like virtually every piece I've ever sung in a large group--and having done that for over 20 years, that's quite a few. By the time we actually perform a piece, it's an old friend--even some of the modern pieces. Too bad the audience only gets one chance at most pieces-- often the modern pieces take some getting accustomed to. But then I probably have more conservative taste in classical music than some--certainly some in my group like modern pieces a lot more.

And I was in a madrigal group for over 10 years--so I also love a whole bunch of madrigals--especially the more chromatically challenging ones and the ones that have over 4 voices--they seem so much richer-- e.g. Weelkes, Gibbons, and Gesualdo--though I haven't done much Gesualdo--would like to do more.

And I also like virtually every piece I've ever played--though I haven't been in an orchestra in over 20 years. But back then I've played lots of Handel, Corelli, lots of Baroque in general, some Beethoven symphonies, country dances, Mozart, Dvorak etc.

In my experience, familiarity does not breed contempt-- it's exactly the opposite.

Helen, thanks for your info on the Bruch--I'll definitely look for it.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 11:59 PM

Ron,

The violin soloist on the Bruch is Salvatore Accardo, with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. It's a Philips 2 CD set 289 462 164-2.

Accardo is worth listening to anyway, playing anything. I can imagine that some soloists make this piece into something overdone and melodramatic, but this rendition is brilliant - although I have never heard anyone else's version of it.   

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 05:40 AM

The 'Queen of the night' aria from 'Magic Flute'... just hearing that vicious diatribe in song.... makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck - and that's a lot of hair!

Also the 'Requiem'. I sang it 2 years ago at St Martin in the Fields with the East London Chorus but I wasn't all that well and didn't enjoy it. We're doing it again this year and this time I am going to relish every minute of it... especially the Dies Irae.

When I was a child, I didn't have much access to classical stuff except through school, where we were forcefed the 'romantic classics' - Mendelsson, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Never did like them. Doing 'Jesu, joy of mans desiring' three times in one day for various weddings killed any lasting affection I might have had for Bach.

I have a fondness for Scarlatti and the earlier composers but I do mainly put Mozart on if I'm in the mood. Trouble is, being a singer, I prefer to perform in it, rather than listen to it. Hence joining the chorus. Performing the Coronation Mass in a concert is fantastic, but to sing it as it was meant to be sung, as an act of worship in the Eucharist, is mind-blowingly, indescribably, totally out of this world!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 05:30 PM

Lark ascending,
Pagannini's caprices( all)
Spartacus.
All no good in the car 'cos I have to stop.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 05:40 PM

Yes, Ned, I know exactly what you mean about driving and listening. You can't focus all your energies on two important things at once.

I haven't listened enough to the Paganini caprices, yet, but they are on the 5 CD set I bought of Ruggiero Ricci, so I will be working my way through the set and finding out what I like the most, as well as "La Campanella", that is.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 06:53 PM

The player makes so much difference. Perlman is stunning, but Kennedy does nothing for me...I know others find him amazing but I can only speak for myself.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 11:52 PM

I agree about Kennedy--even though Jan considers this heresy--she adores him. His tempos are sometimes so distorted (for me) that the piece suffers. Different strokes...


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Padre
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM

I 'discovered' J. S. Bach while I was stationed in Germany - began to acquire as much of his music as I could get. I think I now have the complete keyboard music, the B Minor Mass, the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, the complete cantatas, and most of the other orchestral music. His precision and grace (in its religious as well as musical senses) is what has held my interest over those 40 years or so.

Branching out from the music of Bach, I have become entranced by 16th, 17th and 18th century English choral music - Byrd, Tallis, Purcell, Gibbons, etc.

Finally (for this message at any rate) I appreciate the English composers who collected folk tunes and used them in their music - Holst, Vaughan Williams, Grainger (I know he's Australian) etc.

Padre


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: alison
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 01:44 AM

Dvorak - especially "New World" takes me right back to a glorious teenage holiday in Minorca very time.

Smetana - Ma Vlast
Vaughan williams - Lark Ascending, dives and Lazarus
Rodrigo - Concerto d'Aranjuez
Rimsky Korsakoff - Russian Easter Overture
Carl Orff - O fortuna (AKA the Omen, Old Spice ads)
Hamish McCunn - Land of the mountain and the flood

and many many more

I love the Bohemian / Russian stuff
never could see the attraction with Mozart & Beethoven

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 07:33 AM

Padre--

You're certainly right about Byrd and Tallis--some of choral singers consider them the absolute best composers ever in vocal music. And I have to say, having sung a fair amount of their music, that it is in fact wonderfully unearthly--probably the most incredible music to sing a cappella. Interesting that they both were Catholic--in Elizabeth's England. I've read, for instance, that in Tallis' Lamentations, his exhortation to return to Jerusalem was meant as code to return to Catholicism.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 07:41 AM

I misstated the Lamentations' message. It's not "return to Jerusalem" it's "Jerusalem, return to your God".


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 07:46 AM

"Au fond du Temple Sant" from Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers" -- can make every hair on my body stand up and take notice.

Vivaldi, Mozart (especially his "Requiem"), Telemann, "Sheherezade" by Rimski-Korsakoff,
Wagner ("Die Meistersinger"), Richard Strauss.

There's a Scarlatti harpsichord LP I bought back in the '60s that I would LOVE to find a CD of -- that particular recording, not just the material, of course.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 09:03 AM

I can no longer listen to classical music on the radio as none of the public radio stations that I can pick up at home, at work or in the car carry a classical program anymore.

New Hampshire's WEVO is almost entirely talk.

I miss Robert J. Lurtzema!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 09:22 AM

Why does Classic FM practically deafen me whenever I (usually accidentally) tune to it?

And why are they always playing one of The Four Season, Le Quattro Stagioni, Les Quatre Saisons, or Die Vier Jahreszeiten?


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 12:10 PM

When I'm working (I'm a graphic designer doing publications work right now), I prefer to listen to classical music.

With trad, I "have" to listen -- so it's usually a distraction.

I'm also too distracted by jazz.

For driving I prefer either blues or morris dance music -- but, of course, usually end up listening to the trad I can't fit into my schedule any other place.

To get housework done, it's Louis Prima all the way!

I try to tailor my "soundtrack" to whatever I'm doing.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 02:07 PM

For people in need of a good classical station who can listen online, this one is my current favorite. I'm listening to it right now...

http://theclassicalstation.org/internet.shtml

I can listen to baroque music all day long. It puts me in just the right frame of mind and the right mood for most things. If I want a change of pace, and if I want my heartstrings pulled, Vaughan Williams is a good choice, but there are several others. Bach is probably my favorite for just about everything, if I have to pick a favorite (but I'd rather not). I like several of the dark and moody composers like Prokofiev and Leos Janacek (his Sinfonietta) when I'm in the mood for something dark and moody. I like a lot of early music, but I'm not entirely thrilled with some of the ways people have been interpreting that music in recent years. I miss the New York Pro Musica.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 03:12 PM

I used to work as an announcer for a local classical music station. What a job! Other than some pre-programming by the program director (who had pretty good taste and was knowledgeable), I got to play pretty much what I wanted within reasonable limits. I read some news and a few commercials, announced the records, then sat there with a cup of coffee in my hands and my feet propped up and listen to the kind of music (one of the kinds of music) that I love, got the ego-boo of my name being recognized by local classical music buffs, and got paid to do this!!

I knew a fair amount about classical music before I went to work there (otherwise, I wouldn't have got the job), but the station had a massive music library and I made a lot of discoveries while I was there. It would really be hard to say that I had (have) favorites. Among other things, I first heard a Luciano Pavarotti record while working there. This was awhile back and not all that many people had heard him. I was playing Rossini's Stabat Mater (oratorio) in which Pavarotti sang the "Cujus animam gementem" aria. Pavarotti was younger at the time, and although his voice is still holding up well, it was even clearer and more ringing when he made this recording. I sat there with my ears bent forward and my mouth open. I was used to hearing great operatic tenors, but this was phenomenal! About ten seconds after the aria was over, all the buttons on the phone lit up, and everybody had the same question:   "My God, who was that!???"

I first head a Christopher Parkening recording there (Parkening Plays Bach). One of the salesmen walked in and said, "You play the guitar, don't you?" I allowed as how I did, so he gave me a pair of free tickets to an up-coming Parkening concert at the Seattle Opera House. I knew a girl who liked classic guitar. I took her to the concert. First date. Married her a year and a half later.

It would really be hard to say that I have favorite pieces. I listen to a lot of Early Music. We have a bunch of Baltimore Consort CDs, along with one of Custer La Rue, one of the vocalist with the group singing folk ballads. We saw them in concert a couple of years ago and I had a chance to chat for a few minutes with Ronn McFarlane, the lutenist. Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, others, anytime. Rimsky-Korsakoff's Scheherezade has some of the lushest orchestration ever written, Tchaikowsky is no slouch in that area either, and Rachmaninoff's piano concerti are also very rich.

Barbara and I held season tickets to Seattle Opera for several years and took in one of SO's Ring festivals (all four of Wagners' Ring of the Niebelung operas in one week—man, was that a lot of sitting!). Wagner is an acquired taste for many, but I think I've acquired it. Favorite excerpts:   Wotan's Farewell sung by a really good bass-baritone (e.g., the late George London) with segue into the Magic Fire Music. Once, when driving down a country road at a good clip, the radio was playing an orchestral arrangement of the Ride of the Valkyries. When it hit the part where the whole orchestra dives in full-blast on the main theme, it was like flying! Wow!

Opera in general. Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Bellini, Puccini, Bizet, lots of others. Speaking of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, I have an old recording of tenor-baritone duets from opera with Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill. They do several, including the duet from The Pearl Fischers and Verdi's Don Carlo, both of which are real goose-bumpers.

Vaughn Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, definitely on the list.

More. Between Barbara and me, we have LPs, tapes, and CDs up the ziggy, and we keep getting more. Great stacks of stuff, including heaps of classic guitar, not to mention all the folk music. HELP!! Is there a 12-step program for this sort of thing?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 03:38 PM

Classical music usually lacks the immediacy of folk and blues but, on the other hand, given the greater range of voices and instruments there is a greater opportunity for beauty in serious music. Also, the greater length - usually - of classical compositions gives more scope for elaboration and invention, development and contrast. Add to that the fact that classical composers steal from folk whenever they like and you have what should be a sure winner. Sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: autolycus
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 04:24 PM

I'm another who could go on endlessly about c.m.

Most could stop me in my tracks in the right circumstances.

I remember, at the secondhand bookstall I ran here at Uni.East Anglia (1985 - 1992) turning on a portable radio for the news, to fing them finishing THE symphony (Beethoven 5). An aquaintance and I had to stop to hear that marvellous ending.

I'm always thrilled when I'm watching a film, and some great piece comes on. Educating Rita is special for me because of the use of my favourite piece, Mahler's Sixth (which will have the centenary of its first performance next month.

I had great fun a few years ago compiling my list of favourite composers = 6th Mozart; 5th Dvorak; 4th Schubert; 3rd Bruckner; 2nd Beethoven; Mahler the tops (the 'Frere Jacques' is the 3rd movement of Mahler 1).

If my neighbours are annoyingly noisy, it's the speakers on the floor (hadn't thought of face down, thanks), and we all get the 5th or 10th movement of Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony. Wild.

As for beautiful tunes, try Barber's Violin Concerto, opening of Bruckner 7, slow movement of Mahler 6 (that'd get in every hit parade if it weren't a0 hidden in a vast,dark symphony, and b) lasted less than 15 minutes.); the slow one of Malcolm Arnold's English Dances; the last movement of Nielsen 3; the last dance of Stravinsky's Firebird; slow movement of 2nd Piano Concerto of Shostakovich; Overture to The Wasps by Vaughan Williams ( beautiful and so, so English); lots by the Russian Kabalevsky (tremendously tuneful); just about the only thing Puccini wrote for string quartet, called Chrysanthemums; Le Festin d'Esope for piano by the reclusive Alkan, about 25 variations in under 9 minutes on a perky tune; Borodin's 2nd string quartet (you;ll know much of it if you've heard the musical Kismet - Strangers in Paradise - Baubles , bangles and Beads);and looooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaads more.

Heartstopping performances - Tchaikovsky 6 with Fricsay; Beethoven 5 under Erich Kleiber; Schubert Unfinished - Furtwangler; Mitropoulos conducting Mahler 6; Toscanini's William Tell overture by the Lone Rang.... I mean, Rossini; Reiner conducting Richard not Johann Strauss's Don Juan.

Favourite performers.

Conductors. Horenstein, Furtwangler, Cantelli,Oscar Fried, Toscanini,Klemperer.

Pianists.   Cherkassky, Josef Hoffman(nearly unbelievable),Horowitz, Richter.

Cellists.   Casals, du Pre


Favourite critics. Hans Keller, Deryck Cooke, Michael Oliver (the most comulsive to listen to music broadcaster IMO), (the other Anthony Hopkins.

Ivor
Horn.       Dennis Brain


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Chris Green
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:31 PM

My all-time favourite piece is the three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances by Ottorino Respighi. It was always our 'going-on-holiday' music when I was a kid - Dad would stick it on as we pootled off down the M6 - and even now it still sends goosepimples up on the back of my neck. It available on Amazon here (the same recording from when I was a kid!)


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:33 PM

Great thread Helen, been reminded of some great pieces here that I've forgotten about.
More favorites:
Le Tombeau du Couperin by Ravel (especially the Orchestral version)
Afro-Cuban Lullaby by Leo Brouwer (Christopher Parkening's version is quite beautiful.)
Resphigi's Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome.
Orchestral Dance Suite from West Side Story (Joshua Bell recently did a fine version for violin with Orchestra.)
The Julian Bream and John Williams Live album. Don't know if it's on CD but it contains some unbelievable duet playing of Spanish and Impressionist music.
Segovia in Central Park.
Mahler 4th
Mysterious Barricade by Couperin.
Concerto for Orchesta, Music for Strings,Percussion and Celesta,    Miraculous Mandarin Suite Bartok. and on and on.vl


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:49 PM

I was just listening to the soundtrack of Master and Commander on my CD player, and that wonderful piece of music by Boccherini La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid N0 6 Op 30 absolutely joyfull music made me think of this thread.
Mozart's Violin Concerto No 3 3 rd movement and Corelli's Adagio from Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 8 in G Minor moved me to post to post to this thread. Great music and an even greater movie... ;-)

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 06:44 PM

In addition to the "modern" composers working with 12-tone scales and other experimental approaches, there are some darn fine recent composers out there who might be considered as following the mainstream of classical music, or whatever we're calling "serious" music these days. The ones I have in mind are mostly famous for writing movie music.

John Williams for "Star Wars, " "Superman," and others, for example. And he's written whole batches of other music.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold. He did scores for several Errol Flynn swashbucklers like "The Sea Hawk," "Captain Blood," and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (all fairly stirring stuff), but he has also written a lot of symphonies, violin concerti, piano sonatas, lotsa good things.

And then there's Alan Hovhaness. He's written a number of things, including his Symphony No. 50 (That's 50. Gives you an idea of how much he's written!), the "Mount St. Helens." It has this lovely pastoral sound, most of the way very evocative of a quiet, sunny, early summer Sunday morning. And then, when the mountain blows—the sound of the orchestra—you know it! Talk about goose-bumps!

By the way:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Philip Glass!

(You really have to be familiar with Philip Glass's music to get the humor of that).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,Ron Davies
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 11:01 PM

Don--

Yes, Hovhaness is great. I remember a classical station used to start it's midnight program with I think it's "Magic Mountain"--did he write a piece on that?--and it was so peaceful, mysterious, and ethereal-- but still not "New Age" --used to think it was a perfect choice.

What do you get when you play Phillip Glass backwards? Phillip Glass . (I'm sure you've heard that one)

Parkening is wonderful, isn't he? Wasn't he a student of Segovia? Sounds like a great first date, all right! And that was a dream job--as classical DJ. I've thought about that too.



Bat Goddess-

It's true an annoying number of formerly classical stations have gone to all-talk format--whether or not it makes economic sense, they must think it does. But WETA locally (DC area) which has done that, has cut itself off from any contribution from me--and a lot of
others.

But Mudcat has stepped in. Carol's suggestion is a great idea--it is in fact 24 hours classical--and no ads--although, of course, appeals for support--they now get from me more than WETA used to.

Charlie Baum had another one--VPR (Vermont Public Radio)--which is also heavily classical.

In fact, there are classical stations all over the world which you can get on the Net. If anybody has interest I can list a few more.

I've also put virtually my entire classical CD collection on the computer-- about 48 hours worth--in case the radio stations don't appeal.

So there are options--I hope they work for you.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,Ron Davies
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 11:21 PM

Well, Jan is watching Animal Planet, so no Jon Stewart for me tonight.

By the way,

Helen--


If you like the Pagannini violin concerto, you might well like Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso--another violin tour de force--just stunning. The version I remember is by Zino Francescatti--but I haven't found it on CD. But Itzhak Perlman has it also.



Mack/Misophist--

Classical composers "steal" from folk? They even "steal" from each other--but it wasn't considered stealing for centuries. Also, we sometimes see folk origins where there are none. Case in point--"Going Home" from the New World Symphony. The Dvorak melody came first--the words came from one his students--it was not a spiritual Dvorak borrowed or "stole". I also believe a lot of the Slavonic Dances were in fact written by Dvorak--not folk melodies. Influence yes, wholesale borrowing or stealing, no. After all, "I Wonder as I Wander" was written by John Jacob Niles--not a folk tune he heard--though possibly based on a kernel of a traditional music fragment--or maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 11:32 PM

Kendall, you and me, both: Number one, Beethoven's violin concerto in "D" as played by Jascha Heifitz. It almost makes me swoon and I have had that exact recording for over 35 years; just got it on CD.

Don, thanks for the plug for some modern composers. One who springs to mind is Douglas Moore, who wrote The Ballad of Baby Doe. My brother, Delton Lorenzo Hudson, is a tonal classical composer whose symphonic tone poem, "The Ode to the Rockies" has been performed and recorded. He has written several symphonies and piano concertos as well as solo piano pieces. All have beautiful melodies and impressive counter-point, etc. He is able to compose it all in one draft, by hand, just as they showed Mozart doing in Amadeus. (BTW, seems, contrary to the movie, Mozart did revise sometimes.:-)

Anyway, I used to be my brother's manager. We also recorded a live all-Hudson concert in RI at one point. He studied, privately, with Roy Harris, whose music I love, esp. a piano suite (can't remember the name of it right now) which uses several old trad tunes, including "Black is the Colour."

We grew up with tons of classical, on all of the time at our house, plus we all took piano lessons and some other isntrument (violin, for me.) My brother would put on some new favourite and teach me how to pick out each instrument, then explain the interweavings, etc. It was great and fun ear-training.

I love Mozart most of all, esp. the Magic Flute. Love Tch., Rimskey-Korsakov (whom my brother considers the best orchestrator of them all,)some Beethoven, Bach, Haydn and Brahms, as well as many of the others mentioned.

As to what makes me listen? Tonality, contrasts, a picture painted in my mind and a stirring in my heart. An elusive "something" which grabs me and lifts me up out of the mundane world.

For anyone who might be interested, my brother is working on his first opera and has just started a blog about it at Daily Process-composing an opera. His website has a couple of analog recordings of pieces from his live performance in RI, at metacomposer.com.

Thanks, this is a great thread!


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Helen
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 03:26 AM

If you want to hear an excellent classical music station via the 'Net you can go to
Australia's ABC Classic-FM and listen online for free.

You have a choice of either listening to the current programme, playing now, or you can choose recent programmes via the 2 links near the top of the page.

I have to warn you that it is an expensive process, though, because you will want to buy more CD's.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Daithi
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 04:20 AM

Just a quickmquestiuon whilst we have the attention of so many classical music fans...

Any body heard of a recording of a piece by Domenico Scarletti called "Il Contese id Stagioni" (The Battle of the Seasons)? It's a "semi-opera" which hw wrote when he was young and before he got into the harpsichord etc stuff he is now most famous for. It's similar to what his father Alessandro was writing at the time.

I've been through many a catalogue since I first heard it twenty odd years ago, in live concert broadcast by the EBU from somewhere in Geermany I think - all to no avail.

Other passions - 17th Century Italian Violin music - Marini, Farini, Gabrielli et al - any one heard the Devil's Trill?

Best - Dáithí


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 02:10 PM

Yes, Christopher Parkening did study with Segovia. His cousin, Jack Marshall was a studio musician and staff guitarist with MGM. Parkening says that when he was eleven years old, he loved the way his cousin played and wanted to learn to play like he did. Marshall told him that the best thing for him to do was learn some classic guitar, and then he would be well prepared to play any style of music. When he heard his first Segovia recording, he knew for sure what he wanted to do. The music store where he bought his first guitar recommended that he take lessons from the Romero family (Pepe, Angel, Celine, and father Celedonio), who had recently moved to Los Angeles. He took lessons with them until their concert schedule kept taking them out of town, then he continued on his own. He'd been playing for all of five years (age 16) when he submitted an audition tape for one of Segovia's master classes and was accepted. Segovia was very impressed and took him under his wing. The rest is history.

Parkening put a guitar manual together back in 1972. Good, but very rudimentary. He has since revised and expanded it into two volumes, entitled "The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vols. I and II : The Art and Technique of the Classical Guitar" (published 1999). It's excellent, full of photographs of hand positions and drawings of finger action and such, with thorough explanations. It moves along pretty fast, but many of the melodies he uses for exercises are familiar, which is fun, and they contain a lot of really nice guitar solos:   Dowland, Bach, Sor, Tàrrega, others, from very easy to some real finger-busters.

For teaching classic guitar, I've used the Aaron Shearer books ("Classic Guitar Technique, Vols I and II," plus some of the supplements) for years, but I'm now incorporating the Parkening books as well. They make a good combination. In fact, after a long period of general laziness, I'm trying to get my chops back a bit, so I'm diligently playing through both methods myself. Maybe, if I live long enough, I'll learn how to play this bloody thing!

As Azizi would say   "—snip—"

The story is told about several different conductors, but usually laid at Toscanini's door. The musician who originally told the story said that he was sitting in on a rehearsal of a piece of modern music, and the conductor in question, who had not worked all that much with music by modern composers, was having trouble getting a section of the piece that was in 5/4 time to hang together. Finally, he seemed to get it, the orchestra picked it up, and things started going okay. But the musician noticed that the conductor was mumbling something to himself. He moved up close behind the conductor to see if he could hear what he was mumbling, It turned out to be "Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov- Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov- Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov. . . ." Yup. 5/4.

"Chris-to-pher-Par-ken-ing" is 6/8.   

Don Firth (2/4)


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: autolycus
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 05:37 PM

Daithi (sorry for misspelling)

Contact your nearest Classical CD retailer to see if the Scarlatti is available.

You could try emailing Rob Cowan at thecowancollection@bbc.co.uk to see if it's ever been recorded. Failing that,Westminster Central LIbrary (bound to be on the web). They specialise in collecting on music.

As for what makes me listen, where poetry has been defined as the right words in the right order, the finest music is ....(need I go on?).

I get beauty, the sense that the composer has made something solid, with every note counting, so there is no slack, that sounds full of the unanticipated and the surprising, yet the work sounds inevitable. I get flights of imagination, fresh takes on what can be done with sound that is attention-grabbing. Perhaps above all, a direct communication of feelings and of the otherwise-inexpressible in languages where 'I've heard that before' thoughts tend not to happen.
Oh, 'n' joy, beauty,expressions of exuberance,power, delicacy and all the rest. The best composers were/are deep/powerful musical thinkers/people. If you like that sort of thing.

Ivor

Ivor


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Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
From: GUEST,mack/misophist
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 08:32 PM

A minor but lovely piece that ought to be included is Reynaldo Hahn's 'Bal de Beatrice d'Este" (I may have left out an article or adjective.)

Anecdote: When Ottarino Resphigi was starting his career, he was torn between the priesthood, composing, or being a concert violinist. As a result his first major work was 'Concerto Gregoriano', a violin suite based on gregorian themes. It's worth a listen.


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