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Author Topic: Classical Music
Member # 8453

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I've decided I want to start understanding and knowing more classical music here lately (and music theory and maybe even a little basic piano) and was wondering if you good people here had any good pieces/composers to recommend.

What would be good pieces for me to listen to?
and perhaps more importantly- what do I need to pay attention for in order to understand it?

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Member # 6688

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Ha! welch ein Augenblick
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Member # 7746

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www.musictheory.net has some good sequential lessons on theory.

I'll have to look up the name of the music history lecturer I watched on video in high school. His approach was interesting, accessible, and included a light-heartedness...

I'll get back to you.

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Member # 9274

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Beethoven. Piano sonatas and conecerti, symphonies, and string quartets.

Brahms. Intermezzi, ballades. Particularly Intermezzo in A major. That has one of my favorite sequences of notes ever.

Liszt. Because he's fun.

Rachmaninov. Piano concerto #3. Supremely beautiful.

Bach. The well tempered clavier. Every key is represented, and each piece is different and interesting.

Debussy. His pieces are so ethereal and the way he plays with harmony and dissidence is fantastic. He really was an impressionist. I always think of him as the Monet of music.

Gershwin. Non-musical comedies. His Concerto in F is awesome as are the Preludes. And Rhapsody in Blue is why I started playing piano 20 years ago.

Chopin. Etudes. Preludes. Fantasies. Scherzi. All of it. Brilliant from start to finish. The preludes, particularly 15, 8, and 13 are amazing.

Well, that's all I can come up with off the top of my head. If I think of more, I'll let you know. When you listen, listen for what makes your soul soar. Yeah, it's cheesy, but seriously I know that even with my extensive music theory background, I still subscribe to Duke Ellington's saying: If it sounds good, then it is good. The theory can make listening slightly more entertaining, but if you don't feel it deep down, all the theory in the world won't make a lick of difference.

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Member # 7039

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I like Handel's Water Music, Mahler's Resurrection Symphony and Mozart's Requiem Symphony. I might have gotten those backwards, I can never remember which one is which. But the two that I'd recomment before anything else are: Dvorak's New World Symphony (and not just the movement that everyone knows that John Williams stole for Jaws, the whole thing rocks), and of course The Planets, by Holst (I think). A lot of people can recognize Mars and Jupiter, but all of them are pretty good.

I've gained a recent appreciation for Stravinsky too. I used to think his music was just GRATING on my ears but, I love the Firebird Suite, I'd start with that.

I'll second Chopin too, I'm really only familiar with his preludes, but they're beautiful.

I could point you to some great soundtrack music, orchestral instrumental classical sounding stuff that is just amazing as well too, if you get to it after you hear all this.

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Member # 6688

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Shawshank, here's a REALLY good forum for classical music discussion, and it has a whole forum within it intended for beginners! I've been browsing/sporadically posting in it for years and the wealth of information is astounding.


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Member # 9116

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what do I need to pay attention for in order to understand it?
This is precisely the question I was asking when I decided to major in music. The answer: everything [Smile] And you still won't understand it all. The things you're listening for will change with the period of music you're listening to--but the over-arching things to listen for are rhythm, melody, harmony, texture (which instruments are playing), and orchestration.

Some of my fav. pieces:

Barber's Adagio for Strings
Beethoven Waldstein Sonata (no. 21 in C)
Grieg and Schumann's piano concertos in A min
Schubert Impromptus (Op. 90)
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
Mahler Symphony No. 5
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

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Member # 4774

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Mozart's Mass in C Minor (Especially the Credo)
Mozart's 39, 40, 41 symphony
Rachmoninov's Symphonic dances
Mendelsohn's Hebirdes (sp) overture
All sorts of things sung by Dmitri Hvorostovsky because his voice is just brilliant.
Eugene Onegin by Tchiachsky (sp) lead part sung by Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Faure's Requiem Mass (especially the Agnus Dei)
Brahm's Requiem Baritone sung by Dietrich Ficsher-Dieskau
Various Brahms string quartets
Faure's Dolly Suite
Satie's Gymnopedies (sp)
Barber's Andagio
Various operas
Bach, especially Sleepers Awake and the Cello Suites
Elgar's Cello Concerto in G? played by Jaqueline Dupre, best version ever.
Janacek's Intimate Letters. Oooo, you've got to hear this one, it's sooooooo powerful in terms of emotions and passion.
Dvorak's New World Symphony

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Member # 3383

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Anything by Boy George

(runs and hides)

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