Classical Music


Music & Audio

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Silver Crusade

I've seen enough people discussing it here and there on the boards to become curious about what kind of stuff we would get in a thread about it.

What are you listening to that's tickled your fancy recently? What concerts have you seen?

I've had Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony on the brain lately. Tchaikovsky's music has a "sweep" to it that seems to carry the listener on with it.

Thread title:
I had half a mind to put Classical in quotes in the thread title. I mean it in the generic sense of the word, which I generally hesitate to do, since it has a much more specific meaning. Feel free to discuss early music, Romantic music, contemporary music, or anything else here.

Prediction:
Not many people go to this sub-forum, which makes me inclined to give this thread about a 40% chance of making it past 10 posts...


I've been listening off and on to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra lately. I happen to have Requiem for a Dream and Lacrymosa on my mp3 player and over time have added a few other orchestral pieces. I have the Opera from Final Fantasy VI: Maria and Draco on there, for example, as performed by Distant Worlds. I enjoy some classical music because it's moving without lyrics in many cases and has that epic sound I like, but I can also get that from some metal bands (e.g. Nightwish). The only concert I've seen is one at the Lyric last spring by Distant Worlds, whom I hope to see again this summer at Wolf Trap.


I recently created a "Jean Sibelius" radio station on Pandora and I've been really happy with it. Lots of sweeping, bombastic classical - Sibelius, Mahler, Dvorak,etc. Its turned me on to a lot of really good pieces.

If you aren't familiar with Sibelius he has some great stuff. Finlandia is his most popular, but the ballade from the Karelia Suite is my all time favorite piece.

Liberty's Edge

I am particularly fond of Wagner and Rachmaninov.

Wagner speaks to me very personally; but Rachmaninov could play throughout my house all day, every day for the rest of my life, and I'd be happy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like tons of classical music - Baroque, Romantic, you name it. Right now, I'm all hopped up on French composers. We just played Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto and Symphony #3 (with organ). Now we are doing Berlioz' Funeral and Triumphal Procession, which is outrageously bombastic and tremendously French. It's scored for something like 200 musicians, including five (5) piccolos. It's impossible to keep one picc in tune, much less five!

Wagner is another favorite, as are the usual suspects: Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart, etc. We recently played Sibelius' Finlandia, which is a truly lovely piece, but I don't know much more of his work. One of my oft-neglected faves is Puccini. His "Crysanthemums" quartet gives me the raptures, and I think his operatic work is awesome.

I'm hoping to get my inherited stereo hooked up soon and go through dad's hundred-odd classical CD collection, which I also inherited. Nobody else wanted 'em. :-(


Beethoven's 9th always get's to me as do the standards like the 1812 , Sheharazade, the Polvotsian Dances..etc.

Elgar stirs the blood with that evocation of British Imperial confidence.

I love the suites created from the film Music of Korngold and Steiner..you can hear where Williams and Horner got their inspiration from.

Silver Crusade

DM Wellard wrote:

Beethoven's 9th always get's to me as do the standards like the 1812 , Sheharazade, the Polvotsian Dances..etc.

Elgar stirs the blood with that evocation of British Imperial confidence.

I love the suites created from the film Music of Korngold and Steiner..you can hear where Williams and Horner got their inspiration from.

Elgar is under-appreciated in the US. Apart from the Enigma Variations, people here don't play nearly enough of his music. The violin concerto and 2nd Symphony can hold their own against any of the German masterpieces.

Historical footnote:
When the various conservatories, symphony orchestras, and other musical institutions were sprouting up in the US in the late 19th century, they wanted to lend prestige to their organizations by bringing in European conductors, composers, and educators. At the time, the US was the ultimate cultural backwater, and most Europeans wanted nothing to do with the place. The only ones who were interested in coming were from Germany and Eastern Europe (including Dvorak and Mahler, who took major posts in New York). Those were areas facing political and economic troubles and were seeing large emigrations to the US as it was. Subsequently, Classical music in the US is extremely German-centric. Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms are household names, while major nationalist figures like Franck and Elgar are virtually unknown.

Edit:
And now I have no choice but to listen to Elgar's 2nd Symphony on my iPod...


Went to see this last month.

I didn't know Albeniz' name, but recognized one of the melodies. The Prokofiev was wonderful. Hahn played so well that even my wife (a very good musician with very high standards) had no complaints. Scheherazade is one of the great old war-horses.


I've been listening to Janacek's piano works, as well as Bach's apparently inexhaustible Orgelbuechlein (BWV 605 & 639 are my favorites). Janacek should be more widely known and appreciated. I've been listening to more 20th century, especially 20th century avant garde, too. I still love all the old tonal favorites, but sometimes they start to seem a bit obvious. I've just listening to Luigi Nono. Also, Jerry Goldsmith's score to the original Planet of the Apes is really good. Film scores are often pooh-poohed, but it is serious music.

Scarab Sages

I am very fond of Griek and of Bethoven.
More recently I (re)discovered an old recording of Donizettis 'Lucia di Lammermoor' sung by Maria Callas.
edit: now, lets see if anybody posts after this ;)

Silver Crusade

therealthom wrote:

Went to see this last month.

I didn't know Albeniz' name, but recognized one of the melodies. The Prokofiev was wonderful. Hahn played so well that even my wife (a very good musician with very high standards) had no complaints. Scheherazade is one of the great old war-horses.

That looks like a nice program. Albeniz does have some famous tunes, especially some of his tangos.

And I never tire of Scheherazade.

I'm planning on attending this concert myself. I haven't heard this particular piece by Corigliano, but I like some of his other work (I sang in a concert of Fern Hill a couple years ago, and I will never forget that music). The other pieces on the program are all very familiar.

Silver Crusade

Treppa wrote:

I like tons of classical music - Baroque, Romantic, you name it. Right now, I'm all hopped up on French composers. We just played Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto and Symphony #3 (with organ). Now we are doing Berlioz' Funeral and Triumphal Procession, which is outrageously bombastic and tremendously French. It's scored for something like 200 musicians, including five (5) piccolos. It's impossible to keep one picc in tune, much less five!

Wagner is another favorite, as are the usual suspects: Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart, etc. We recently played Sibelius' Finlandia, which is a truly lovely piece, but I don't know much more of his work. One of my oft-neglected faves is Puccini. His "Crysanthemums" quartet gives me the raptures, and I think his operatic work is awesome.

I'm hoping to get my inherited stereo hooked up soon and go through dad's hundred-odd classical CD collection, which I also inherited. Nobody else wanted 'em. :-(

These are some great picks. Saint-Saens' 3rd Symphony is fantastic. I never miss a chance to hear it live.

I'm not familiar with the Puccini quartet, but I've been trying to get the choir where I am tenor soloist to do the Messa di Gloria for a while now. Mostly I just want the solos :) And Tosca might be one of my all-time favorites (I was in a production last year).


Orff is another fun guy, and Joaquin Rodrigo is a composer I discovered only recently.

CH, you glory hog! :)


Can't beat Dvorak's New World Symphony for its clear influences on Poledouris' score for Conan the Barbarian. It has many little themes that work well for gaming in my opinion.

Smetana's The Moldau also catches the ear for epic overland travel (a considerable upgrade from Shore's LotR score, which I feel is lacking).

I've been moving away from soundtracks as I get older. They're usually merely derived from older pieces of music, and the older pieces have a depth and authenticity I just don't get from the scores.

Oh, right, if your game has any Cthulu mythos or unfathomable cosmic evil, look into Kryzstof Penderecki.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Can't beat Dvorak's New World Symphony for its clear influences on Poledouris' score for Conan the Barbarian.

I never saw the movie, but in my opinion, that ninth symphony is far and away the greatest piece Dvorak ever wrote.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Driving Under the Influence. I thought this was pretty silly until I found myself doing almost 90 mph on the expressway because "Flying Dutchman Overture" had my adrenaline going.


That Flying Dutchman overture is an adrenalizing piece, all right. (Sorry, Def Leppard.)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Treppa wrote:
Driving Under the Influence. I thought this was pretty silly until I found myself doing almost 90 mph on the expressway because "Flying Dutchman Overture" had my adrenaline going.

I would buy "The Ride of the Valkyries" as a dangerous choice. I've listened to it in the car, but I'm a bit of a speed demon anyway. The scherzo from Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony is another dangerous driving choice, albeit for different reasons. (What can I say? The music was just zipping along, and I was too...)


Celestial Healer wrote:
The scherzo from Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony is another dangerous driving choice, albeit for different reasons. (What can I say? The music was just zipping along, and I was too...)

While I have nothing against the scherzo, I would have thought the first, Allegro movement is the REALLY dangerous one. I recently discovered this piece, and it gets pretty agitated sometimes. And some of those abrupt changes in rhythm and chords are pretty ballsy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

(And yes, Ride of the Valkyries is obvious.)


Interesting.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Can't beat Dvorak's New World Symphony...

I second this one... The 4th movement especially!

I am also a huge fan of Arvo Part... But I am not sure how well that would work at a game.

Silver Crusade

Lathiira wrote:
I've been listening off and on to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra lately. I happen to have Requiem for a Dream and Lacrymosa on my mp3 player and over time have added a few other orchestral pieces. I have the Opera from Final Fantasy VI: Maria and Draco on there, for example, as performed by Distant Worlds. I enjoy some classical music because it's moving without lyrics in many cases and has that epic sound I like, but I can also get that from some metal bands (e.g. Nightwish). The only concert I've seen is one at the Lyric last spring by Distant Worlds, whom I hope to see again this summer at Wolf Trap.

The most interesting recording I've heard by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was an arrangement of Albinoni's Adagio for Strings and Organ with an electric guitar in place of the solo violin. Groups like that occupy an interesting place in the often-overlooked realm of popular/classical crossover. I think they generate interest in a lot of people who might not ever give "classical music" a chance otherwise. And really, re-arranging other people's music has a long history (Liszt was a master at it).


Celestial Healer wrote:


The most interesting recording I've heard by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was an arrangement of Albinoni's Adagio for Strings and Organ with an electric guitar in place of the solo violin. Groups like that occupy an interesting place in the often-overlooked realm of popular/classical crossover. I think they generate interest in a lot of people who might not ever give "classical music" a chance otherwise. And really, re-arranging other people's music has a long history (Liszt was a master at it).

I'll have to find that recording at some point. And I agree with your assessment of the value of the crossover. I can certainly listen to classical music, but I like to also listen to modern versions of those pieces. Modern meaning "using a little interpretation and modern instruments". As long as no one takes the music and turns it into a completely synthesized mess.


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A completely synthesized mess? Hey, give it a chance! One of my all-time favorite pieces is Bach's Sinfonia to Cantata 29, and while the original is great, I wonder if I would have truly discovered it if not for Walter Carlos.

What I hate is adding a continuous beat to classical music. Whoever's responsible for Hooked on Classics should be shot!


Aaron Bitman wrote:

A completely synthesized mess? Hey, give it a chance! One of my all-time favorite pieces is Bach's Sinfonia to Cantata 29, and while the original is great, I wonder if I would have truly discovered it if not for Walter Carlos.

What I hate is adding a continuous beat to classical music. Whoever's responsible for Hooked on Classics should be shot!

Shootin's too good fer 'em. *ptooey*

Silver Crusade

I like the fact that whatever piece of music comes up on this thread gets played next on my iPod. I hadn't listened to Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony in a while...


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Celestial Healer wrote:
Prediction: Not many people go to this sub-forum, which makes me inclined to give this thread about a 40% chance of making it past 10 posts...

While disinclined to contradict denizens of heaven, I believe you were pessimistic about this topic, CH!


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Celestial Healer wrote:
I like the fact that whatever piece of music comes up on this thread gets played next on my iPod. I hadn't listened to Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony in a while...

The scherzo from his Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorites.


Treppa wrote:
Celestial Healer wrote:
Prediction: Not many people go to this sub-forum, which makes me inclined to give this thread about a 40% chance of making it past 10 posts...
While disinclined to contradict denizens of heaven, I believe you were pessimistic about this topic, CH!

And posts from at least 10 unique posters (I think).


I like Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and I have always been a big fan of Edvard Grieg, especially the Hall of the Mountain King.

Recently I discovered the name of a piece I loved for years but could never find the title. You hear it everywhere: O Fortuna by Carl Orff


Holst's 'The Planets' is my favoured music for reading Tolkien to.

The Orff piece is the first song of 'Carmina Burana'..a truely great piece of background music for any Fantasy game..I also use the 'Medieval Baebes' a fair bit

Dark Archive

Palestrina's Angus Dei, Frank Martin's Gloria and Duruflé's Requiem. The fact that I'm a semi-professional choir singer probably has something to do with this, though...

Silver Crusade

Bruno Kristensen wrote:
Palestrina's Angus Dei, Frank Martin's Gloria and Duruflé's Requiem. The fact that I'm a semi-professional choir singer probably has something to do with this, though...

Very nice. Are you singing anything interesting coming up?

I'm singing Vaughn Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem in June and looking forward to it.

(I'm also featured in some not-so-widely-distributed recordings of some of Bach's cantatas and the Mozart "Vespers".)

(Edit: I take that back.)

Silver Crusade

jocundthejolly wrote:
Treppa wrote:
Celestial Healer wrote:
Prediction: Not many people go to this sub-forum, which makes me inclined to give this thread about a 40% chance of making it past 10 posts...
While disinclined to contradict denizens of heaven, I believe you were pessimistic about this topic, CH!
And posts from at least 10 unique posters (I think).

I know. I'm kind of surprised, because threads on the music subforum tend to languish.

Also, Treppa, I'll have you know that the Amazon order I placed today included a recording of Puccini's Chrysanthemums. I was sufficiently intrigued.

Liberty's Edge

I've always found an immense sense of calm listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme". It's like sitting on the deck of a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean with nothing but the horizon in all directions.

Silver Crusade

Júlíus Árnason wrote:
I've always found an immense sense of calm listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme". It's like sitting on the deck of a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean with nothing but the horizon in all directions.

The "Five Variants on Dives et Lazarus" is my favorite of his work. There's definitely a sense of expansiveness and almost non-linearity in Vaughn Williams' music.

Liberty's Edge

Celestial Healer wrote:
Júlíus Árnason wrote:
I've always found an immense sense of calm listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme". It's like sitting on the deck of a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean with nothing but the horizon in all directions.
The "Five Variants on Dives et Lazarus" is my favorite of his work. There's definitely a sense of expansiveness and almost non-linearity in Vaughn Williams' music.

The Lark Ascending is also good. But I think I'm particular to that one because I listened to it a lot when I was in the Irish countryside, seeing larks fly all over the place.


Patrick Curtin wrote:

I like Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and I have always been a big fan of Edvard Grieg, especially the Hall of the Mountain King.

Recently I discovered the name of a piece I loved for years but could never find the title. You hear it everywhere: O Fortuna by Carl Orff

Hall of the Mountain King Is one of my ALL time favorites.

But I like classical music in general.

At work I usually keep the ol' Itunes radio tuned to 'Streaming Soundtracks .com' That way I get to hear all of my old classical faves, as well as music from movies, video games, and TV! The TV tunes are just a fun romp down memory lane, but usually there's something worth listening too. (Some of the the video game soundtracks,... OMGosh! Who knew?!?)


Tidbit for those who may not know: the name is pronounced Rafe Vaughan Williams.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I listen to whatever our local college radio station is playing. KBSU has a great selection of music. I especially love anything that includes classic spanish guitar.

I did hear this amazing piece with a double bass though. Wish I could remember the name of the song. The soloist sounded like three instruments at once.

Liberty's Edge

jocundthejolly wrote:
Tidbit for those who may not know: the name is pronounced Rafe Vaughan Williams.

Fair enough, it's still spelled Ralph though.

Scarab Sages

Patrick Curtin wrote:

I like Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and I have always been a big fan of Edvard Grieg, especially the Hall of the Mountain King.

Recently I discovered the name of a piece I loved for years but could never find the title. You hear it everywhere: O Fortuna by Carl Orff

I still can't believe I misspelled Grieg...

Peer Gynt is a Masterpiece

Silver Crusade

Júlíus Árnason wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Tidbit for those who may not know: the name is pronounced Rafe Vaughan Williams.
Fair enough, it's still spelled Ralph though.

Much like Ralph Fiennes.

Liberty's Edge

Celestial Healer wrote:
Júlíus Árnason wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Tidbit for those who may not know: the name is pronounced Rafe Vaughan Williams.
Fair enough, it's still spelled Ralph though.
Much like Ralph Fiennes.

Indeed ;)


I grew up with classical and opera in the home. Check out the 2nd movement from Chopin's piano concerto #2. Bennisimo...


While we're on Chopin, gotta go with the so-called "Raindrop Prelude", especially from about 2 minutes on.

Keep it coming, I love this thread!

Silver Crusade

Chopin was how I really got into Classical music. I can never get enough of the 4th Ballade. And Killer GM - I'm with you on the 2nd concerto, both the 2nd movement and the whole thing. There's something immediately accessible about Chopin's music.

Silver Crusade

Treppa wrote:

Now we are doing Berlioz' Funeral and Triumphal Procession, which is outrageously bombastic and tremendously French. It's scored for something like 200 musicians, including five (5) piccolos. It's impossible to keep one picc in tune, much less five!

So Treppa, I actually thought of you randomly this weekend (of course, I knew you played flute and piccolo even before this thread). I was in Barnes & Noble and there was a flute quartet playing. The finished their program with an arrangement of "Stars and Stripes Forever", and when one of them pulled out a piccolo for that most famous of piccolo lines, I thought, "I bet Treppa has played that."


The only instrument I can play with any real degree of fluency is the piano. (I've played the aforementioned Raindrop Prelude, incidentally.) When I was flipping through a book and found a solo piano adaptation of The Stars and Stripes Forever, and considered playing it, I thought "Ah, what's the use? It's just not the same without the piccolo part."

Have you ever read the children's book "My Teacher is an Alien" by Bruce Coville? The piccolo part of The Stars and Stripes Forever plays a pivotal role.

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