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Thread: Recommended Classical Music?

  1. #1
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    Default Recommended Classical Music?

    I'm talking about the really essential stuff. And things which would appeal to those weaned at the underbelly of Pop Kulcha. (Folk like U and me)

    • Beethoven's late String Quartets. Dark innit

    • Bach's Brandenburg Concerto. Cosmic, baby.

    •*Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Proto Avant-Garde.

    • Stravinsky. Music for two people on Piano. Proto Steve Reich.

    • Bartok's Third Symphony. Boom pizzicato.

    • Ravel's Violin String Quartet. Totally romantic existential stuff stuff.

    • Britten. Tenor for Trio, Horn and Strings. Slots right into the opening chapter of the UK Dark Folk thing.

    Thoughts please. And if people are erudite enough to reccommend actual performances (orchestras, conductors, performers, years) to qualify the choice of recording, then bully.

  2. #2
    foret Guest

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    Bartok's Third Symphony
    Are you thinking of his quartets? Bartok didn't write any symphonies but the third and fourth quartets fit your criteria well

  3. #3
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    Couldn't live without:

    Bach: 48 Preludes and Fugues esp, but it's all good really
    Beethoven: late string quartets (esp. A minor)
    Beethoven: piano sonatas (again, go with the later ones)
    Chopin: all the solo piano music
    Bartok: all of it, especially the string quartets, 3 piano concertos, and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
    Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
    Monteverdi: madrigals and Vespers
    Gabrieli: whatever you can find (16th century proto minimalism)
    Purcell: Funeral Music for Queen Mary; Dido and Aeneas
    Josquin Desprez: Missa Pange lingua
    Mozart: Magic Flute
    Dowland: songs

  4. #4
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    I was going to say Chopin's Piano Sonatas as well...absolutely ignorant otherwise.

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    This could well be too much for hard core classical types but for those of us brought up on pop culcha then i'd recommend:

    Mahler - 5th symphony (Visconti used it for Death in Venice)
    Debussy - Prélude à l’Après-Midi d’un Faune

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    • Ravel's Violin String Quartet. Totally romantic existential stuff stuff.
    If you rate the Ravel quartet this high, I'd recommend Debussy's String Quartet in G Minor (I'm sure you've already heard it, since the two pieces are frequently released together). I actually prefer the Debussy for its harmonic structure, and for that killer pizzicato section that opens the second movement (the viola motif against the pizzicato strings; the parts in 5/4 that come later in the movement - so lovely).
    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    •*Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Proto Avant-Garde.
    Not only "proto-", I'd say full on. But as much as I agree, it's difficult not to mention The Firebird (1910) and Petrouchka (1911) alongside 1913's Le sacre as evidence of just how good Stravinsky was during this period. His piano transcription of Petrouchka, made for Arthur Rubenstein, is also stunning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    I'm talking about the really essential stuff. And things which would appeal to those weaned at the underbelly of Pop Kulcha. (Folk like U and me)

    • Beethoven's late String Quartets. Dark innit
    go for the busch quartet, woebot. this is the one i have. the recording quality is not too good (1930s) but if you don't mind that you'll be in heaven. the other one would be the julliard quartet version. there is a sony disc with this one.

    franz schubert. it's hard to pick one thing, but why not lieder (songs)? he set music to friends poems. the winterreise (wintersongs) are truly a wonder to hear, dark, beautiful music.

    webern. in webern you have tension, refinement and an incredible economy that predates much of what was to come. plus i can't think of a better aural representation of the twilight years of world war, it's like the end of classical. i have this, but it's out of print so try this one instead. webern's lieder are equally beautiful. i borrowed this one from the goethe institut. lovely stuff.
    Last edited by bruno; 03-07-2006 at 03:23 PM.

  9. #9
    foret Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruno
    webern. in webern you have tension, refinement and an incredible economy that predates much of what was to come (the minimalists and so on). plus i can't think of a better aural representation of the twilight years of world war, it's like the end of classical.

    i like your description, but webern is antithetical to minimalism; every gesture is self contained and there is almost no repitition; i'm sure he would have found most minimalism bathetic in the extreme

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    you're probably right, foret. i don't know, i was thinking of morton feldman. webern's string trios, for example, if you isolate a snippet, add space between the notes, that could be feldman! and he explicitly cites webern. but i'm no expert on minimalism so i stand corrected.

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    As for minimalism, La Monte Young is the grandaddy in many ways but quite obtuse to get a handle on relative to people like Reich.

    For sheer force and nervous energy I'd recommend the original recording of 'In C' by Terry Riley (Sony 1968). Sadly I believe its out of print though.

    The 25th Aniversary Concert (Wikipedia says released 1995 but Riley's website says 1993) is considered a good version but you can almost taste the excitement and relish amongst the participants as the original recording unfolds.
    Last edited by Logos; 30-06-2006 at 11:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    As for minimalism, La Monte Young is the grandaddy in many ways but quite obtuse to get a handle on relative to people like Reich.
    lets keep it classical aight

    thanks for the recommendations. rambler esp.noted.

  13. #13
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    It is classical!

    Do you mean you only wanted to know about pre-C20th soggy romantic nonsense?
    Last edited by Logos; 03-07-2006 at 08:54 PM.

  14. #14
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    For Ravel I would strongly recommend this cd set, it's actually my favourite classical recording so recommend is to weak a word. Apparently Dutoit was something of a Ravel expert at the time and it really shows. I searched for long before buying it and read on several web pages that it was considered one of the best Ravel renditions, I got it for about $20 though - $69.99 is hefty in the extreme.

    It doesn't include the violin string quartet but features most (all?) of his orchestra works. For his piano works I suggest looking up Vlado Perlemuter's first recordings, available on Nimbus.

  15. #15
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    Radio 3. Just dip in. I don't like the weedly solo piano bollocks but the limpid string-driven stuff is amazing.

    That other thread is kicking.

    You always said you didn't like classical! Good on yer... I'm still planning to invest some time on it.
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