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Which Classical Music to Buy? (Composer, etc.)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

There's just so many good symphonies, sonatas, etc. out there.. I'm having trouble finding something worth buying. So all of you who have an extensive classical/orchestral music collection, let me know what you listen to.

 

I enjoy the energetic classical music, and I'm not really a fan of the slow stuff, if that helps. Thanks!

post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by officetally View Post

There's just so many good symphonies, sonatas, etc. out there.. I'm having trouble finding something worth buying. So all of you who have an extensive classical/orchestral music collection, let me know what you listen to.

 

I enjoy the energetic classical music, and I'm not really a fan of the slow stuff, if that helps. Thanks!


If you like modernism I can highly recommend the album "Nielsen & Aho - clarinet concertos" with Martin Fröst. It's an absolute joy to listen to - I do however play the clarinet myself so that might influence my opinion k701smile.gif

post #3 of 22
Some popular favorites:

Beethoven, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th (I'm partial to the 7th)
Dvorak, New World Symphony
Holst, The Planets
Stravinsky, Firebird Suite
Orff, Carmina Burana

And there's a lot more. Consider picking up the NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music. Some nice background and good suggestions for building a library.

Should you get the itch, NPR's Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz is awfully good, too.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well.. I do really like the old stuff, like Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, etc. I'm not really much into the modern stuff haha.

 

Also, any links to where you bought it would be sweet.

post #5 of 22

Carlos Kleiber. That man could put any piece of music on fire.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by officetally View Post

I enjoy the energetic classical music, and I'm not really a fan of the slow stuff, if that helps. Thanks!



 

post #6 of 22

Liszt piano concertos 1 & 2 played by Sviatoslav Richter.  gorgeous, electric stuff.

 

Album named "Rite" Gustavo Dudamel conducting the simon bolivar orchestra, playing the rite of spring by Stravinsky and Noche de los mayas (night of the Maya) by Silvestre Revueltas.  The final movement of the Revueltas piece has this manic energy to it, 17 percussionists going crazy on all sorts of drums with full orchestra, wild.  Oh, and BTW, it was recorded LIVE!  (no audible coughing though, amazing!)

 

Complete piano concertos of Prokofiev played by Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca)  Piano concertos 2-3 are pure electric magic from the piano and orchestra.  It is modern, but Prokofiev wasn't considered "ultra" modern, he was a Neo-classicist.  Fantastic Russian music.  The 3rd movement of the 2nd Concerto is like the gates of Hell being dragged open, marvelous.

 

Finally, the most modern (its worth a listen though, I know you like the older classics), but probably one of the most stunning pieces of music ever written is the 8th String Quartet written by Shostakovich in C minor (Get the Borodin Quartet on BMG Classics, Shostakovich chose them to showcase this work, they are fantastic).  According to the score, it is dedicated "to the victims of Facism and war".  I've never heard music with such meaning, strife, and depth.  I got this from Classical archives and it gives you an idea of its emotional power:

 

"Along with the Symphony No. 8, Shostakovich's eighth string quartet is his most poignant expression of personal wartime experience, and remains one of his most popular and haunting pieces.  The music of this quartet burns throughout with a passionate yearning and angry outbursts. The impact of the work, while it is technically complex and demanding, is wholly emotional, and is best heard with the composer's words kept in mind: "I feel eternal pain for those who were killed by Hitler, but I feel no less pain for those killed on Stalin's orders. I suffer for everyone who was tortured, shot, or starved to death. The majority of my symphonies are tombstones. Too many of our people died and were buried in places unknown to anyone, not even their relatives. Where do you put the tombstones? Only music can do that for them. I'm willing to write a composition for each of the victims but that's impossible, and that's only why I dedicate my music to them all."'

 

This is the deep end of "Classical" music, but once you've been there, everything else seems superficial to a certain extent, not recommended for casual listening.  It is a refreshing change from my typical "Classical" music, I wouldn't lose this album (Boxset of complete Shostakovich String Quartets played by the Borodin quartet) for 1000 rock, pop, or jazz albums, and the performance of the 8th String Quartet is worth the entire set.  It may be modern (written in 1960) but this is great music, and is at least worth a serious listen, who knows, you might like a little "modern" music.  

 

hope you find something worth buying! 

post #7 of 22
I'm working my way through the RCA Living Stereo box set right now. It's 60 disks, but the price is dirt cheap considering the excellent performances, great selection of recognizable classical pieces and spectacular sound. If you can go $125, you'll be richly rewarded for your investment.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by officetally View Post
Well.. I do really like the old stuff, like Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, etc. I'm not really much into the modern stuff haha.

Also, any links to where you bought it would be sweet.

 

ImportCDs (www.importcds.com) sells their classical-music catalog at pretty good prices - lower than Amazon across the board, and I've compared dozens of CDs. Every single one of them was cheaper at ImportCDs, even with their shipping-fee structure ($1.50 for the total order plus $1.50 per CD).

 

Also the composers you mentioned are fairly different from each other - I'd put Bach & Handel together (Baroque era, and they were both religious guys who wrote a lot of music for their church), Vivaldi by himself (he was progressive between Baroque and Classical eras), and then Mozart & Beethoven. For "energetic" music, Mozart & Beethoven is definitely where you want to start. And get into other Classical-era composers, plus Romantic and Modern too. The Romantic era is where most composers tended to amp up at least one of the following: sadness, anger, darkness, melodrama, etc.


Edited by Asr - 3/18/11 at 10:25pm
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

This is some good stuff, guys, I appreciate it. Keep the info coming!

post #10 of 22
Energetic Baroque; Bach Brandenburg Concerto 3 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buGvGMvtwgI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGsxU7XOcQU&feature=related

Classical; final movement Mozart's Symphony 41 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prvBEXbnDR0
post #11 of 22


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I'm working my way through the RCA Living Stereo box set right now. It's 60 disks, but the price is dirt cheap considering the excellent performances, great selection of recognizable classical pieces and spectacular sound. If you can go $125, you'll be richly rewarded for your investment.


I bought this on your recommendation, and we're also working our way through it.  As Billie Holliday sang "Nice work if you can get it ...".  Thanks for the tip.

post #12 of 22

My advise is just dive into the sea that is classical music. Buy anything! and then you will slowly decide for yourself what floats your boat. I've been into classical music now for about 15 yrs and at the start I did just that, bought the magazines to get ideas and recommendations, but at the end of the day it's only music and therefore it is very subjective.

 

Obvious choices would be, Beethoven's 9th ( Karajan 60's or 70's), Bach Goldberg variations (Gould or Schiff), Mozart Requiem (Gardner), Schubert Trout quintet(Richter), Brahms 4th (kleiber)

Tchaikovsky Nutcracker(Gergiev)

 

and if you fancy dabbling into opera just get the greatest.. Mozart "Marriage of figaro" (Solti would be a good start) 

 

Cheers.

 

 

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjackson View Post

Energetic Baroque; Bach Brandenburg Concerto 3 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buGvGMvtwgI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGsxU7XOcQU&feature=related

Classical; final movement Mozart's Symphony 41 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prvBEXbnDR0


These are freakin' brilliant man.. thanks! More like these would be awesome..

 

And now that I'm familiar with it, I almost enjoy the Baroque sound more than just the Classical sound; i.e. the energetic stuff.

 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by falis View Post

I bought this on your recommendation, and we're also working our way through it.

Chicago and Boston were the homes to some pretty formidable bands!
post #15 of 22

As Uncle Erik said, Beethoven's 5th symphony is a good idea. It is very energetic as you like, and it is quite easy for a beginner, it is the first classical CD I bought more than 15 years ago.

Here is a link for the famous first movement with the video by Karajan, it is fantastic :

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cnv4G05vqY

 

and the finale, if you want a lot of energy, you won't be disappointed

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o-Onn92w5c&feature=related


Edited by pasgod - 3/22/11 at 4:11am
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