Ual747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 928 times:
I will give you some must haves.....
First of all, DO NOT go and by a cheap classical CD. Like those Classical Music for Dummies CDs. If you want a serious classical cd collection, invest in good recordings. Some of the best are Phillips, EMI, Deutche Grammaphone, as recordings from these companies will be the best quality, and with well known artists. Nothing worse than pulling out your classical collection in front of people who know a lot about music and having a case full of cheap, no name recordings. Sorry, classical collectors are snobs like that. Also, some of the stuff may be a little mature for your taste at the time. Classical music is tricky. At first you start with the majors, but as your taste matures, you start looking into other things, the majors become pretty boring, and you look for more intricate, different, and dissenent melodies.
Rachmaninoff: (This is a MUST HAVE! All 3 of these! These are probably the best of the best when it comes to literature for Piano Concerto. I have never heard anything so rich, so powerful, yet so melodic and light. Rachmaninoff is amazing!)
2nd Piano Concerto C-minor
3rd Piano Concerto D-Minor
Rhapsody on a Theme Of Paginini
-Probably some of the best music I have ever heard. SO rich. I recommend almost anything Rachmaninoff, the man was a genius.
(The Piano Concerto is a MUST HAVE. Its a great powerful piece)
Piano Concerto B-flat major (Must have with the Rachmaninoff)
Violin Concerto (Can't Remember which one)
Double Piano Concerto (Extremely Powerful, but may be a bit much for a first timer)
Rhapsody in Blue (A timeless classic) (the UAL theme song for a while)
(Okay, for the most part, I find Mozart Extremely boring and dry. Yes he is well known, but his stuff can't compare to the likes of Rachmaninoff and Mahler, but ive posted a few of my fav's. His melodies get extremely repetative and he kinda floats around the pages on his toes. Nothing too powerful to me. I like em big and thick, uh the music that is.)
Symphony number 40
Symphony number 41
Mass In C
(This one will give your speakers a run for their money. Great brass piece. Wonderful tone, and powerful range in dynamics and technicality)
Symphony No. 5
(This one you've probably heard, and its a good one. It will knock your socks off from the opening movement, and it's second movement is one of the sweetest pieces of music.)
Piano Concerto in A minor
(Not my fav., but a good one.)
Unfinished Symphony B-Minor (I think it's B-minor)
(Depending on how badass your system is, you can rock the house with this puppy. I use it when testing out audio equipment. You'll know the first tone poem, its famous.)
Also Spracht zaratusthra (Death and Transfiguration)
Claire de Lune (If you are feeling dreamy, sleepy. Beautiful piece though. You'll find a lot of Debussy's music as being light, dreamy, and peaceful. It paints an image.)
Well, that should give you some flavor, at least in the romantic period. Get these, and if you don't like the period, i suggest looking into some Bach or some baroque masters, however, you will find a lot more powerful and rich piece in the romantic period, as well as some late classical period pieces.
Delta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7 Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 898 times:
As a collector of some very nice Deutsche Grammophon records, I would disagree with UAL and suggest that you do start with a "Classical Music for Dummies" type for collection. They are relatively inexpensive, and provide the highlights of different genres of classical music. Surprisingly, you can find some decent sets by DG and even Time-Life. From those, you can start making some choices as to what your preferences are, and proceed accordingly.
Here are my favorites.....
Tchaikovsky ... Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, 1812 Overture, Marche Slave, Capriccio Italien; the ballets.... Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty; Symphony #6 (Pathetique), and the waltz and polonaise from Eugene Onegin.
Chopin .... Piano, piano, piano .... Waltzes, especially the "Grand Walz", polonaises, and nocturnes.
Liszt .... Hungarian Rhapsody #2, Liebestraum (Dream of Love)
Johann Strauss II ... Waltzes .. Blue Danube, Emperor, Vienna Blood; polkas and marches, and don't forget the Perpetuum Mobile
Brahms ... Hungarian dances (especialy #5), Academic Festival Overture, Lullaby waltz
Mendelssohn .... Midsummer night's dream, Italian symphony (#4), and "songs without words"
Schubert .... dances, dances, dances
Mozart .... Symphonies #40, 41, Violin concertos #1, 2
Opera and ballet music from Rossini (Wiliam Tell, Barber of Seville,...) Gounod (Faust), Verdi (Aida, Nabucco), Bizet (Carmen)
Beethoven .... Symphony #5 and 9, piano sonatas, string quartets
Although I am not a big fan of the boroque era, you should still try some Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Haydn.
Jsmith From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 878 times:
I went to see Handel's 'Semele' last night in Sydney which was performed by a local opera company. The soloists were all Australians currently singing in the US or Europe and had returned for this special 4 night performance. I was truly blown away by the music and the singing. 'Where'er you walk', which is undoubtedly one of Handel's most well known arias, comes from this Opera.
As a huge Baroque fan, I cannot recommend Handel highly enough.
Other well known baroque composers that you might want to also consider in addition to Bach and Vivaldi are Telemann and Purcell. Some works by Gluck are also pretty amazing as well.
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 864 times:
NO!! Don't buy the cheap grade z stuff!! It will hurt your ears and take out all the fun that lies within the music.
There are midprice series that offer great orchestras, conductors, singers and phantastic recordings, but maybe a few years older...go for these and you'll be happy.
As for which ones to buy: Why don't you trust yourself, go to the record store and listen..then buy those you like, it's the only way to have a collection that you'll like in a few years from now.
Just go for good names, it's the best way to avoid bad recordings, as those have a reputation to defend. I can tell you a few of my favorites, but again, this now is personal taste, you might want to check out for yourself:
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (well I'm from Berlin, they are my local band, and I just love them, yet nobody will really disagree that it's one of the best orchestras worldwide, especially now that Simon Rattle took over)
Chicago Symphony Orch., a very close second, they have been shaped by Georg Solti, and he's my alltime favorite, just listen to his 70ies recording of Debussy and the one and only Bolero recording...you'll never want another one, believe me!!, or his Shostakowitch with the Berliners, unbelievable, or Dvorak's 9th with Chicago, that's music that almost makes me get down on my knees and pray.
Vienna and Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestras, love both, very good sound, usually very good conductors, if you love Strauss waltzing away, keep to Vienna, unbelievable strings.
Other pieces you might want to try:
The planets from Gustav Holst, best piece of British music ever!! Listen to the Berlin recording with Herbert von Karajan, precise and very touching!!
and of course Carmina Burana, you know that one (everybody knows the opener and end part "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi"), listen to Georg Solti and the Bayrische Rundfunk Orchester...just brilliant!
Well that's it, no go and listen and have fun...remember: music is about fun, too!!
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 9, posted (11 years 23 hours ago) and read 854 times:
But be careful when listening to 1812: The gunshots in the end are the ultimate test for your speakers, try this on a Nautilus 801, driven by Accuphase pre/amp and turn it up LOUD!!!!...pretty close to sex, I'd say!!
Gershwin: Yes, of course, try the Cuban Ouverture for starters and then an American in Paris...very lovely!
MDCJets From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 175 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 834 times:
Beethoven in my opinion (and many others) is the greatest composer who ever lived. His 9th symphony set the standard for all later romantic composers as to how a symphony should be. Although all Beethoven's works are incredible, some of his finest in my opinion are, the 3rd, 5th and 7thg and 9th symphonies, Piano Concerto No. 5, Piano Trio Op.. 97 "Archeduke", and piano sonatas 23 (Appassionata) and 32 Op.111. These are only a few of the enormous number of works Beethoven created, but some of my favorites.
Another very overlooked composer is Anton Bruckner. Bruckner, I believe is the finest Romantic era composer, far eclipsing Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. It takes a while to know and understand his music however. At first one may perceive it to be drivel, going nowhere, yet with further study and patience, it becomes some of the most stunning, monumental music one can imagine, with some of the most amazing harmony I have heard. I would recommend starting with his 7th or 4th symphony. When those two can be fully appreciated, move on to the 8th, considered by most to be his finest work.
Of course there are far too many other works by other composers to be described, but among my other favorites are Bach, Mozart, Handel, and Schubert. As far as performances go, the standard is set by the Berlin philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan. Musical performance at its absolute peak. (especially for Bruckner) In my mind no one else comes close. For chamber music: the Amadeus Quartet, and for solo piano Arturro Bendetti Michelangeli.
Sorry for my rater lengthy reply--as you may have noted I am somewhat opinionated in this area.
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 13, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 831 times:
in the USA? because over here in Europe he's quite popular, and most great conductors sooner or later just have to do it.
Do you know the recordings of Guenther Wand, especially his 8th with the Berlin Phillies (btw: thanks for the compliment, I'm a Berliner and a live-long fan of our home-orchestra, and I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!! ) from 2001? It was magic, pure magic, and people in the Philharmonie cheered and screamed like mad after the concert, and deservedly so. The whole cycle of Bruckner symphonies was done by Wand with Berlin, and all are truly great....though I believe, this is a bit hard to digest for someone who is just beginning to listen to classical music.
Best Regards from Berlin
Andreas (looking forward to the New years concert in the Philharmonie, this year for the first time with the new chief conductor Simon Rattle).
MDCJets From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 175 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (10 years 12 months 14 hours ago) and read 823 times:
I'm sure Bruckner is more popular in Europe--I think classical music in general is. But Bruckner, at least in the US, seems to have almost a cult like following:although he is well known (to the classical music world) people seem to either love or hate his music. I personally cannot understand how anyone could dislike his music, yet I know people who do appreciate classical music yet seem to think Bruckner is just endless, non-melodic, loud brass choirs blasting aimlessly away. (Once again I cant imagine how one could really think that after listening to any of his symphonies a few times) So in that sense it is not as wildly popular amongst all classical music listeners (at least in the US) as Beethoven, for example.Yet amongst a certain segment of classical music listeners, (which probably does add up to a fairly large number) including myself, Bruckner is one of if not the greatest composers of all time. If only he weren't so controversial!
Enjoy the Berlin under Rattle! If you (Andreas) happen to read this response, I have a question. What is the general opinion in Berlin about Claudio Abbado. I have heard that he was not wildly popular, and that Rattle is a welcome change. (but I may be wrong)
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 15, posted (10 years 12 months 6 hours ago) and read 820 times:
What is the general opinion in Berlin about Claudio Abbado. I have heard that he was not wildly popular, and that Rattle is a welcome change. (but I may be wrong)
Ok, now that's somewhat complicated. First of all, you have to keep in mind that before Abbado, there was Karajan, and only Karajan, and nobody else for several decades. He had the Philharmonie built in the 70ies, he was undisputed king of the music scene in Berlin. Then he left, the first conductor who left not by death but by dispute, because the orchestra was not ready to follow each and every folly of the maestro. You may not know that the BPO is structured as some sort of a department of the Berlin city administration, the musicians are kind of civil servants. (That is being changed right now by "ordre de Rattle"), and therefore they have the right to elect their chief conductor and can even refuse to work with conductors (!!!!!).
That's what they did when Karajan tried to bring into the orchestra some of his protegees, mostly pretty young ladies, without having them go through the usual process new musicians have to go.
Karajan was deeply insulted and left Berlin.
The election of Abbado was a great surprise. Basically all super stars from the conductor scene saw themselves as the new boss of the orchestra, but in the end they elected Abbado, because he's known to be brilliant musician who's not afraid to play new music and broaden the repertoire away from your usual Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart etc.
He did a lot of good things in Berlin, initiated an academy for young musicians, chamber orchestra, etc. Basically he was well liked in Berlin, though some of the older people wanted their basic Beethoven back, nothing new, they were partially on Karajans side etc. Then he became very sick and couldn't work for a long time, in that period BPO worked as usual with all great conductors of the world, even with those who swore never to set foot into Berlin again after their defeat in the Karajan-successor election (Muti and Levine).
When Abbado finally defeated cancer, he told the BPO that he will leave Berlin because of his health and his age, that he wanted to keep on working in Berlin, but not as a chief conductor. After that, BPO had around 3 years time to find a new man, and that was Simon Rattle, chief conductor since October 2002.
Indeed, the audience loves the man, he's a star, he behaves like one, he's nonetheless a very likeable guy, the first thing he did was to find a house in Berlin for himself and his family and moved to Berlin, showing a clear commitment. He managed to change the financial structure of BPO, making it more independent from Berlin city administration.
One thing keeps disquieting part of the audience, though: His commitment to new music and to British composers..but well, you can't please everyone, and besides his first recording was Mahler's 5th, not exactly new or British!
I was glad they chose Rattle, other Favorites were Maazel, Ozawa and of course Barenboim, who is already chief conductor of the Berlin Staatsoper, because I strongly believe he's the man of the future and he will manage to keep BPO at the top end of the greatest orchestras around.
Let's wait and see....
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 18, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 799 times:
fans of good music
Ok, you like it loud and heavy...let's see..you already mentioned some pretty good ones, btw, O fortuna, or rather "Fortuna imperatrix mundi" is just two parts of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" (opener and finale), do yourself a favor and listen to the whole piece, very entertaining, nice to listen to, very good for "beginners", whatever that is.
Well how about Beethoven's) 9th? The final with orchestra, singers and choir (Freude schoener Götterfunken) is classic classic, if you know what I mean, hear it loud and it will be a declaration of war to all your neighbours!! But it might be worth that *ggg*...
ok, maybe not that heavy but very loud /at least in the end) and absolutely brilliant: Bolero by Maurice Ravel, try to get the 1974 recording of the Chicago Sym. Orch. with Georg Solti, the whole thing consists basically of one single theme with a little variation, that is repeated over and over again, using just the instruments to make it great, and it is!!!!! It starts piano, flute and drums, and then it gets louder and louder, when the strings come in, I swear you'll see the sun rise wherever you are, and in the end, when the whole 120-piece orchestra is going full tilt, it is pure power and glory and MEGALOUD!!!!! I've listened to it thousands of times, and it never ceases to totally overwhelm me...just never ever listen to the short version from that movie "10" where it was used as a soundtrack for s.x, that was a travesty of music, and done extremely bad.
Hope that helps to have some fun during the Christmas Holidays
merry Christmas and a happy new year to all
btw: NormalSpeed...Yes, your list is full of classics, too, *ggg*, I'm totally with you there!
ChickenOrBeef From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 73 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 795 times:
I would think Dvorak's " From The New World " is one of the best! And I loved Rachmaninoff's piano concerto #2 . Then there is Tchaikovsky Symphony #5, Marche Slave !!! And Weber's Oberon Overture and Overture Der Freischütz.
The list can go on and on ....