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  1. #1
    it's about the music
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    Excellent idea jack70! i want to listen to some beethoven or bach, where do i begin?

    from my thread asking what should i check out from zappa (abou to borrow a couple of his works) i got the wondeful idea of asking what should i check out from Bach or beethoven. I really like classical music, as i really like jazz, but i seem to be listening to rock and prog much more.
    So where should i start with classical music? i i'm particularly keen on baroque.
    thanx!
    I remember the days when I thought 128kbps sounded great and had never spent more than 10 bucks on cables...

  2. #2
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    re

    Although I have a lot of classical music, I'm just a piker (compared to my Jazz & R&R stuff), and certainly in my "knowledge" of classical. Personally I like Bach's organ stuff. I also think (Turek?) has some excell harpsichord/keyboard albums... and of course Glenn Gould is considered the best of Bach's solo keyboard (piano) works (but his moaning often grates on me). I also like Bach's solo violin Sonatas & Partitas. There are some vocal Cantatas I like, but a collection is a good place to start. Others here, like PatD will be able to give some individual recommendations.

    But I don't think most (new) listeners, or non-musicians care that much about the minutia of different artists. Which is why there are LOTS of collections of such music on CD, for cheap prices. Hard-core classical lovers want new interpretations, but lotsa old material is re-packaged on commercial compilations for dirt-cheap prices. Another good way to hear new music is to listen to classical on FM. I haven't done that in a dog's age, but I used to. You hear something that you like, and then start investigating further. You get bitten, and then forever remain sick. One day you wake up, & your house is overflowing with LPs & CDs.
    You don't know... jack

  3. #3
    Strange Ranger richmon's Avatar
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    bach to the future

    Bach's Brandenburg concertos are an excellent starting point, they're usually grouped 1-4 and 5-9 on seperate CD's, both are baroque masterpieces.

    Wendy Carlo's did two Switched on Bach CD's that are interesting, JB's compositions played on the synthesiser. How the heck does one spell synthesiser anyway?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by richmon
    Bach's Brandenburg concertos are an excellent starting point, they're usually grouped 1-4 and 5-9 on seperate CD's, both are baroque masterpieces.

    Wendy Carlo's did two Switched on Bach CD's that are interesting, JB's compositions played on the synthesiser. How the heck does one spell synthesiser anyway?
    LOL I'm only aware of Six Brandenburg Concertos by J. S. Bach! I like Pinnock and the old Ristenpart ones which I have on LPs. But Pinnock is probably the most common recommendation nowadays, splendid performances and recordings.

    Switched on Bach is often very interesting, for sure. I think "synthesizer" is the most common spelling but "synthesiser" is not wrong.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=synthesizer

    The Bach Violin Concertos (Double VC and VC Nos. 1 and 2) are beautiful works. I like Francescatti but there are numerous others.

    Christopher Parkening Plays Bach uses very nice arrangements for guitar.

    Bach's Magnificat is a wonderful work for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. My old favorite, Prohaska on Vanguard, is very lively and not so super fast, but may sound harsh on many speakers.

    As for Cantatas, nos. 4 and 140 are often coupled, both great works.

    There are a number of collections of Bach organ works. Older reissues with Karl Richter and Helmut Walcha are fine but many may prefer modern digital recordings by Michael Murray, Peter Hurford, and so on. The four great Toccatas and Fugues, the Passacaglia and Fugue in c and the Schuebler Chorales are good places to start.

    There are a number of orchestral transcriptions of Bach works. Mathias Bamert recorded all the Stokowski orchestral transcriptions on Chandos, and there is a good collection other transcriptions for orchestra by Respighi and others with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony on Delos.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  5. #5
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    Beethoven stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaboom
    from my thread asking what should i check out from zappa (abou to borrow a couple of his works) i got the wondeful idea of asking what should i check out from Bach or beethoven. I really like classical music, as i really like jazz, but i seem to be listening to rock and prog much more.
    So where should i start with classical music? i i'm particularly keen on baroque.
    thanx!
    I mentioned some Bach in another reply. Like Bach, Beethoven is one of the three greatest composers--the third is Mozart. Well, that's conventional wisdom and there may be a few others up there, too, or so close it doesn't matter, such as Haydn, Brahms and Wagner. Of course, there is nothing wrong with liking a lot of music by lesser composers: I certainly do.

    Beethoven wrote symphonies, concertos, choral music, songs, piano sonatas and other pieces, string quartets and other chamber music, and even an opera.

    My favorite Beethoven symphonies are Nos. 3 (Eroica, 4, 6, 7, and 9. You will not the absence of the 5th, which is everyone else's favorite--it's not that I don't like it, but it's not one of my favorites. And there's nothing wrong with nos. 1, 2 and 8, either. I like the Leibowitz/Royal Philharmonic reissues on Chesky but it's expensive. The 1963 Karajan recordings have been reissued in a cheap box set and are said to be really good---just ask Soundmind, who is an unregenerate 5th lover. I have a few of that set on LP and they are very fine. Everyone likes Carlos Kleiber's famous recordings of nos 5 and 7 and I do, too, but I think Leibowitz and karajan are just as good. There is nothing much wrong with the budget Naxos recordings with Bela Drahos, either, though I prefer larger string sections.

    Beethovens Piano Concertos nos. 3, 4, and 5 (Emperor Concerto) are wonderful works and nos. 1 and 2 have many beautiful passages, too. The only sets I have are Ashkenazy on LP and Serkin on Telarc. I have a number of other recordings of 3, 4, and 5, too, with Solomon, Rubinstein, Horowitz, and so on.

    Beethoven's Violin Concerto is the greates of all violin concertos, I think. Despite Soundmind's preference, I find Heifetz too fast for this work. I prefer Francescatti/Walter and others. Leonid Kogan, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and Arthur Grumiaux are classic, too, and have their fans. A lot of people like more recent recordings by Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Chung, and others, but I haven't heard them.

    You must get recordings of Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 14, and 23 (Pathetique, Moonlight, and Appassionata). These are not optional, you have to have them in your collection. Kempff is well liked. I like both Horowitz and Rubinstein.

    For the String Quartets, I like the Italian Quartet recordings. However, the Lindsay Qt., Vegh Qt. and others have their fans. I have heard a few by the Kodaly Qt. on Naxos and the ones I have heard are pretty good, more toward beautiful music interpretations.

    The only recording of Fidelio I have is an old one on LP with Hans Knappertsbusch conducting. The recordings with tenor Jon Vickers in the title role are supposed to be among the best.

    The Missa Solemnis is a great work. The only modern recording I have is an original instruments version with Terje Kvam, The Oslo Cathedral Choir and the Hanover Band (actually that's British orchestra, and authentic performance practices group-their Beethoven symphonies seem to be pretty good, too). I have an old Toscanini recording on LP because we had that one at home. You might prefer a larger forces recording.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I got into classical music quite differently...while learning how to play guitar and cello my teacher gave us a lot of contemporary classical stuff, mostly movie soundtracks...John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Gorecki, Elfman, etc...I started listening to a ton of movie scores, and then other works by these guys...

    This did two things: It familiarized me with many popular classics that you still hear in movies from "Carmina Burana", "The Planets", Rachmaninoff, etc, and also exposed me to many of the contemporary composer's influences.

    Wasn't a bad way I guess, in hindsight.

    A lot of classical snobs scoff at the newer stuff, but to my ears, it's all good.

    One thing I've learned is that it takes time to digest more so than most other music, don't get discouraged. I also don't appreciate most "Greatest Classical" comps. Often movements represent a small part of a whole, and they lose too much when separated from the entire piece. That being said, some people learn by listening to comps, find that there's songs they like, then explore the artist further. This is probably effective too.

    And like everything else, recommendations from people whose opinions you respect is probably as good a way as any to "get into" anything.

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