Classical Music Thread -

Calandrino

kiwifarms.net
Maybe I'm late to the party but I stumbled across this doohickey that makes Spotify semi-usable for classical music: https://getconcertmaster.com/

It's honestly pretty janky and open source-y but it's still a major improvement over trying to e.g. surf by composer in the default interface. Made my day.
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Maybe I'm late to the party but I stumbled across this doohickey that makes Spotify semi-usable for classical music: https://getconcertmaster.com/

It's honestly pretty janky and open source-y but it's still a major improvement over trying to e.g. surf by composer in the default interface. Made my day.
Should be a boon for people who listen to classical music through streaming services. Musical metadata have always been a headache because they have been designed with pop music in mind.

Still I'll stick to CDs.
 

Strine

a way a lone a last a loved a-log
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Not exactly classical, but I can't think of a thread besides this one where this very fine harp arranging and playing would be appreciated, especially after Positron's recent concession that he's into Celtic harp:
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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(I have that album actually).

Speaking of Celtic harpists, the late Derek Bell of the Chieftains used to be play the harp in the orchestra (and was known for his misbehavior, such as smuggling girlie magazines behind his scores during rehersals). He also composes. The Toccata Burlesca, for Piano and Oboe, reminds me of his crazy piano showboating that rounded up each Chieftains concert:


(I miss him)
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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Postmodernism in the immediately post-Beethoven age. In his Symphony No. 6, Louis Spohr fashions each movement after the style of a musical period:
First Movement: The Period of Bach and Handel, 1720
Second Movement: The Period of Haydn and Mozart, 1780
Third Movement: The Period of Beethoven, 1810.
Finale: The Contemporary Period, 1840.


The work was a commission by the London Philharmonic Society and was roundly booed in its premiere (something that might happen today when, say, a violinist chooses to play Alfred Schnittke's "polystylistic" cadenza to the Beethoven Concerto), so much so that the Society had to later issue a notice telling their patrons not to express disapproval in concerts. Robert Schumann tried to be diplomatic, praising Sphor for his structure and unique style, but the fact that he didn't pour his typically lavish praises meant that he too had misgivings.
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf might be one of the ten most famous pieces of classical music, yet few people are aware that he made a setting of The Ugly Duckling too. It is his student work, Opus 18, and in its original form it did not travel. The piano writing is very astringent, and the Russian text understandably creates handicaps. The composer's later orchestration softened the edge considerably, but it is still hardly "kid music". And here is a version with an English text (whose writer I can't track down):

 

alreadyhome

kiwifarms.net
Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf might be one of the ten most famous pieces of classical music, yet few people are aware that he made a setting of The Ugly Duckling too. It is his student work, Opus 18, and in its original form it did not travel. The piano writing is very astringent, and the Russian text understandably creates handicaps. The composer's later orchestration softened the edge considerably, but it is still hardly "kid music". And here is a version with an English text (whose writer I can't track down):

Wonderful song.

I've been appreciating the flute lately.

 

Medical Hawaii

Whatever it is, I'm against it!
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I first stumbled upon John Gould while searching for slower interpretations of Rondo Alla Turca; this is one of my favourite videos of him! He vocalizes in tune along with the music, gets up randomly to go to the window, then sits back down and resumes playing perfectly on beat!
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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Of the three collaborations between The Hilliard Ensemble and Norweigen saxophonist Jan Garbarek, the middle one Mnemosyne is by far the most experimental and artistically satisfying. The most memorable moment in this 2-CD set is their setting of an Angus Dei by Antoine Brumel. Youtube has put everything from ECM behind paywall so I can't show you this absolutely magical music. You may go to Apple Music to taste a small excerpt (Track 7; I can't link to individual tracks).

Irritatingly The Hilliards did not identify the Mass it came from and I'm still at a loss. The piece, however, has evidently been drastically adapted. Very little material from the original is used, and a three-note figure is turned into an rolling ostinato (something as dear to me as McNuggets to MovieBob) atop of which the sax improvises.

While it is unfortunate that I can't show you this piece entire, here is The Hilliards singing another Angus Dei by Brumel straight. They have a very consistent sound.
 
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Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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Who's everyone's favourite composer from each period of classical music?
You know this is hard to answer right?

For Early Music I pick a somewhat left-field choice: Nicolas Gombert. His turbulent volleys of sounds are like no one else.

For Baroque J. S. Bach is hard to avoid, but on balance I think Handel's achievement is greater: his works simply cover a wider emotional range.

The genius that shines brightest in the classical period is Haydn. People favor Mozart and I have no complain with that, but to me Papa Haydn is the man.

The early romantic period is backwoods to me; I just find it hard to tune to the highly subjective music of say Beethoven or Schumann. It took me a long time to learn to appreciate Chopin, and it is only though understanding his connection with the Classical period (rather than Schumann).

Brahms is a Big One, perhaps the BIGGEST on my estimation. The genius of Brahms is the way he organizes the musical discoveries of the arch-Romantics, and uses it in a less subjective, more purely-musical, manner.

When we arrive at the 20th century things get interesting, and it is far far harder to speak of favorites. Various composers have contribute uniquely to classical music: the expansion of the diatonic system (Debussy, Ravel); the pleasure of tone color for its own sake (again Ravel, also Scriabin and Zemlinsky); the justification of twelve-tone system not as an academic exercise but as a genuine expressive means (Berg, Lutoslawski); the irresistible, decadent allure of the massive high-romantic orchestra (Richard Strauss). And there are some favorites that simply cannot be pigeon-holed, such as Ralph Vaughan-Williams.

When it comes to the modern / post-modern period it is simply impossible to give an overview. Let's just say the composer I admire the most is Elliott Carter, and the one who touches me the most is Alan Hovhaness.
 

Beowulf_Polaris

I like cash and my hair to my ass
kiwifarms.net
I plan on getting really into classic guitar & Spanish guitar. Something I have been wanting to do ever since I got into playing these intricate thrash metal intros that derive from these genres. It tickles my fancy and I would love to make some sweet classical music on my own, besides playing my Cello.
 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
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Just discover a very curious song by Robert Schumann. "Die Löwenbraut" or "The Lion's Bride", Op. 31/1. The song tells of a zookeeper's daughter going inside the lion's cage to bid her childhood companion, now a full-grown beast with a regal mane, good bye. She is getting married and has to leave the place. The beast was downcast as is the girl. She moves closer and gives the lion a farewell kiss -- and is horrified to see the bridegroom outside the cage. All hell breaks lose, and in the end both girl and beast are dead.


The poem is written by Adelbert von Chamisso, who was also responsible for the more famous song cycle Frauenlibe und Leben (The Love and Life of a Woman). When a singer programs "Die Löwenbraut" with the song cycle, which depicts the quasi-religious (and today rather political incorrect) submission of a woman to a man, can she be offering a wry comment on the sexual politics at the time?
 

Battlecruiser3000ad

greetings frum the hive i hate gays
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I'm trying to recall the name of a symphony that I heard a snippet of the other day. All I can remember is that it's a late 19th century DeBussy-like symphonic poem about a river in Eastern Europe. The opening and closing movements are kind of melancholy and majestic, but there is a very cheery, fast tempo movement in the middle that is supposed to capture the atmosphere of a peasant wedding. That's about all I got.
4 years later, dunno if you found out on your own, or stopped caring, but the river poem is Smetana's Vltava

You're welcome I'm fast.
 

cuÞbert

kiwifarms.net
Bach wrote no traditional operas, the closest being a piece named Schweigt Stille, Plaudert Nicht ("Be Quiet, Stop Chattering")

It's about how tasty coffee is.

 

awoo

Awootist
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4 years later, dunno if you found out on your own, or stopped caring, but the river poem is Smetana's Vltava

You're welcome I'm fast.

I know it as "Die Moldau" when I played it in high school orchestra. Very memorable opening and melodies.


I first stumbled upon John Gould while searching for slower interpretations of Rondo Alla Turca; this is one of my favourite videos of him! He vocalizes in tune along with the music, gets up randomly to go to the window, then sits back down and resumes playing perfectly on beat!
Idk who John Gould is, but Glenn Gould was an eccentric Bach genius.
He turned a piece normally played quickly into one where you could listen to every single note. Prelude in C Minor from the Well Tempered Clavier

idk how to describe it but his performance has an extraordinary clarity and simplicity but still every note is clear and well intentioned


Also one of my favorite "remixes" of the Prelude in C Minor is the famous Wendy Carlos Switched On Bach interpretation. Now her record label is notorious for taking down recordings everywhere so Internet Archive is the only place it exists on the clearnet not taken down (and torrents).


And for contrast, how it probably sounded in Bach's era on harpsichord

 

Positron

Wearing the same blue mask since 2004
True & Honest Fan
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Just got the news that eminent Chinese pianist Fou Ts'ong has died at the age of 86 due to covid.

Fou made his name for his performance of Chopin; indeed he was the first Chinese pianist who ever won a prize in the International Chopin Competition


He subsequently developed an interest in Baroque keyboard music, in particular Scarlatti.

Fou's influence extended outside the realm of music. The correspondence between him and his father has been the inspiration for Chinese youth. Their letters cover everything from Chinese philosophy, the importance of literature in life, the nature and goals of the artistic pursuit, to mundane advice concerning daily living and romantic love. But the overarching theme is how to live life with truthfulness and integrity, both under the evil, soul-destroying Maoist regime, and as an uprooted expatriate living in the alienating atmosphere of the West.
 
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