Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Classical Music

Rate this topic


Dikaiosyne
 Share

Recommended Posts

So many incredible works of Western Art Music! Here are a few favs:

Monetverdi: L'Orfeo

J.S. Bach: concert (Brandenburg and violin in particular); solo violin, cello and lute music

Haydn: symphonies (many favorites including #s 13, 22, 46, 60, 63, 77), string quartets, cello concerti

Mozart: symphonies, piano concerti, operas

Beethoven: just about anything!

Mendelssohn: incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, String Octet in Eb

Schubert: String Quintet in C

Brahms: Two orchestral serenades, Haydn Variations

Dvorak: Serenade for Strings, Slavonic Dances, Legends, Czech Suite

Vaughan Williams: Tallis Variations

Copland: Our Town, Two Pieces for String Orchestra

Lutoslawski: Preludes and Fugue for 13 Solo Strings

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Being a musician I listen to every genre for inspiration and for different melodic and harmonic ideas, even 20th century music that'sa bit "off the rails". Lately I'm into ...

Dmitri Shostakovich

- Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"

- Festive Overture

- Piano Concerto No. 1

Percy Grainger

- Lincolshire Posy

Sergei Rachmaninov

- Vespers

Gustav Holst

- The Planets Suite

Alberto Ginastera

- Suite of Creole Dances

- Piano Sonata No. 1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...
I enjoy having classical music playing in the background when Im in the house. But how does one judge what is good or bad classical music?
FYI, "classical" sometimes refers to a particular period, basically Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn; or it refers to "long hair" music (a classical term no longer used in ordinary speech), which extends from Mozarabic and Gregorian music (earlier, if you could get it) into the modern era including (snooze) Philip Glass. I'm an afficionado of what's lovingly known as pre-music, e.g. Mozarabic (not Gregorian), some Medieval, most Renaissance, Baroque, Rococco and classical Classical tapering off on Beethoven. To that I would add Andalusian, classical Arabic, Kurdish, Indian and especially Karnataka style Indian. I can deal with classical Japanese music, and I prefer to not deal with classical Chinese music. Them's the breaks. However, when we talk about "classical" music, we almost always mean specifically western versions. What does unify all of these other types, however, is that they are identifiable rule-governed systems with highly developed standards of excellence, which could only be achieved by a few people who had great ability.

"Good" objectively refers to certain standards established for a particular genre. From the perspective of Mozartian musical standards, the Andalusian Nouba Hijaz is not "good music" because it isn't structured correctly, but neither is Die Zauberflöte "good music" by the rules governing good Andalusian style. What this means, then is that you need to identify the genera that you are even willing to consider, and then the species. Presumably you are only considering Mozart and later, and hopefully you are not considering e.g. Scriabin or Glass (editorial comment). In order to judge, you need a standard of judgment. You can judge according to technical proficiency, or you can judge according to something else, such as "what vision of man does this convey?". What is your purpose in listening to music? That is the first thing to sort out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My purpose in listening to music is to have it make me feel something. I listen to "We are the Champions" by Queen when I want some extra motivation. I listen to "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger when I want to experience the emotions of his anecdotel lyrics. I listen to "I know" by Fiona Apple when Im blue. Mostly though, I think I enjoy pieces that make me feel an incredible emotional high, where it gets my adrenaline pumping. Preferably, the song will start off subtle, constantly building momentum until the emotions just explode at the time of the chorus. Do you have any suggestions of specific classical music that represents this structure?

Also, why is Mozart, Bach or Beethoven considered good? By what standard of judgment? Theyre all of the same era, arent they?

or you can judge according to something else, such as "what vision of man does this convey?".

How do you determine that with classical music. I have a hard time doing that, especially since there is usually no lyrics.

I listen to an online classical music radio station: http://www.xlnc1.org/nuke/iframe.php?file=listen.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't listen to much classical, but there was this song that came with my mp3 player that I really like. Its called "the saint" and its by Dr. SK chew. Its kind of classical meets modern. Has anybody else heard of him? I can't find his music anywhere! Only that one song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My purpose in listening to music is to have it make me feel something. I listen to "We are the Champions" by Queen when I want some extra motivation. I listen to "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger when I want to experience the emotions of his anecdotel lyrics. I listen to "I know" by Fiona Apple when Im blue. Mostly though, I think I enjoy pieces that make me feel an incredible emotional high, where it gets my adrenaline pumping. Preferably, the song will start off subtle, constantly building momentum until the emotions just explode at the time of the chorus. Do you have any suggestions of specific classical music that represents this structure?

How do you determine that with classical music. I have a hard time doing that, especially since there is usually no lyrics.

It's worth reading Rand's discussion of music in the Romantic Manifesto. One would need a clear statement of how particular music affected the psychology to clearly state a standard of value; however, that does not mean you can't judge good music by how it makes you feel.

The effect you're looking for, emotionally. It can be rendered by tempo, dynamic, phrasing, the climax of a particular theme. I listen to rock, mostly now when I'm working out, and I need something simpler with a tempo. However, for the emotional experience you cannot beat classical. Hands down. I think lyrics are a bit of a crutch for the actual effect of the music. If the composer can suggest something with lyrics that he cannot communicate with the music itself, then you don't get the full effect.

If what you're looking for is something strong [masculine], then I would try these:

Finale from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite

Liszt, Les Preludes

Finale from Shostakovich No. 5

Respighi, Trevi at Midday

Holst, The Planets - Jupiter

If you want something more feminine, but with the same emotional effect:

Barber's adagio for strings

Adagio from Rachmaninoff Symph No.2

Adagietto from Mahler Symph No.5 (probably one of hte best pieces on the planet)

Tchaicovsky, Romeo and Juliet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Im judging classical music by the wrong standard. Its a much different type of music than what I usually listen to, which is classic rock. Classic rock is much more simple and easy to understand. What do you guys use as the standard when judging classical music(Mozart, Beethoven era)?

Edited by konerko14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Im judging classical music by the wrong standard. Its a much different type of music than what I usually listen to, which is classic rock. Classic rock is much more simple and easy to understand. What do you guys use as the standard when judging classical music(Mozart, Beethoven era)?

Try this. Next time you're in a movie, and you are at a part that is particularly emotional (whatever the emotion is that you want). Stop and listen to what music is playing.

I think David is right when he says a standard should be for a genre. Mozart is phenomenal, but it is a different kind of listening experience than, say Mahler. I think the culmination of musical innovation is the Romantic period so I would suggest that if you want a "standard", maybe Mahler or Rachmaninoff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Im judging classical music by the wrong standard. Its a much different type of music than what I usually listen to, which is classic rock. Classic rock is much more simple and easy to understand. What do you guys use as the standard when judging classical music(Mozart, Beethoven era)?

Since the romantic composers (usually 19th to early 20th century) were generally more emotionally expressive than their classical predecessors, and what you want to do is feel some strong emotions, but at the same time not be overwhelmed by complexity, you might listen to the shorter works first, such as the etudes of Chopin, the preludes of Rachmaninoff, the overtures of Brahms, Finlandia by Sibelius. Just listen, following the music, letting yourself feel, or think, or imagine whatever the music suggests. Then you might listen to some longer works, such as piano concertoes by Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

Myself, first visiting New York when I was 19, and knowing nothing but rock n roll and church music, I went to an outdoor concert and heard Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony. I had never felt such exhilaration in my life. I remember thinking something like "Damn, I have finally heard MUSIC!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One composer I have liked for a long time is Camille Saint-saens. Though not in the Classical period, his romanticism-era music is sensitive and powerfully-inspiring. The best rendition of his Organ Symphony Nr. 3 is the one that was done at Boston Symphony Hall in 1959, with Charles Munch conducting and Berj Zamkochian on the organ. No one to this day has performed it with more passion and expressiveness.

Other works that have pleasing effects are the works of Tchaikovsky's "Winter Dreams", some of the French impressionists like Dupre produced some interesting music as well.

Baroque was defined almost exclusively by J.S. Bach. His organ works are the standard in my collection. Logical, structured, measured and almost hypnotic. Virgil Fox used to say that Bach is like a jetsream--once you get on it, you soar.

There is a lot of good treasure in the Classical/Romantic/Baroque music periods. There is also some good music being produced today, offshore, for film scores, mostly in Japan and Korea. Some of the finest music of today's era comes from a select few composers over there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Myself, first visiting New York when I was 19, and knowing nothing but rock n roll and church music, I went to an outdoor concert and heard Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony. I had never felt such exhilaration in my life. I remember thinking something like "Damn, I have finally heard MUSIC!"

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes when I listen to Tchaikovsky I think to myself that from all the modern music that exists today, there is absolutely nothing to compare to this. His music is ingenious.

Yet in everyday life I usually listen to other stuff that somehow fit my life and temperament better.

I don't like other composers of classical music. But I don't know many pieces by others. Once I bought a Rachmaninoff CD but found it depressing and threw it away.

Maybe I have this special love for Tchaikovsky because my parents used to play it to me as a kid (actually when I was still in the womb).

Tchaikovsky's music tells a story that I can imagine as I hear it. It has mystery in it, it has magic.

Some of his stuff (from The nut cracker) seem to go so fast that they break the rhythm and break free, and others become more intense as the song progresses. Some sound like a terrible and glorious battle.

Take Peter and the wolf for example: there is something eerie about that music, and it is very special, tons of imagination in it.

So anyway, I'm done talking about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once I bought a Rachmaninoff CD but found it depressing and threw it away.

You ought to give Rachmaninoff a second try! Try Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini AND Suite No. 2 for 2 pianos, op.17 AND 3rd piano concerto 2nd movement. Those are the most beautiful, romantic, uplifting melodies ever written.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You ought to give Rachmaninoff a second try! Try Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini AND Suite No. 2 for 2 pianos, op.17 AND 3rd piano concerto 2nd movement. Those are the most beautiful, romantic, uplifting melodies ever written.

Rachmaninoff's Symphony #3 is, to me, extremely beautiful and uplifting, and his Symphonic dances are full of power and passion. His Spring song is a most beautiful jewel of joyous innocense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like other composers of classical music. But I don't know many pieces by others. Once I bought a Rachmaninoff CD but found it depressing and threw it away.

Good gravy! What Rachmaninoff piece did that to you? I'm with Sophia on this one. You must try it again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rachmaninoff's Symphony #3 is, to me, extremely beautiful and uplifting, and his Symphonic dances are full of power and passion. His Spring song is a most beautiful jewel of joyous innocense.

Correction. That last piece is called Spring Waters. It was written for piano, though I have heard it beautifully orchestrated as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good gravy! What Rachmaninoff piece did that to you? I'm with Sophia on this one. You must try it again.
I will third this! Perhaps Ifat, you could try Rachmaninov's choral pieces, All-Night Vigil, Op.37, which are very beautiful and I think uplifting. Of his piano concertos, number 2 is my personal favorite; it is brilliant!

I will add that it is also very important to find a good musician (pianist, choir and conductor, etc.) for his music; for any music, really, but I think especially Rachmaninov's.

Edited by JASKN
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will third this! Perhaps Ifat, you could try Rachmaninov's choral pieces, All-Night Vigil, Op.37, which are very beautiful and I think uplifting. Of his piano concertos, number 2 is my personal favorite; it is brilliant!

I will add that it is also very important to find a good musician (pianist, choir and conductor, etc.) for his music; for any music, really, but I think especially Rachmaninov's.

You make a good point. The best orchestra for Rachmaninoff's works is Rachmaninoff's personal favorite, The Philadelphia Orchestra, with Eugene Ormandy conducting. For some of Rachmaninoff's shorter piano pieces, no one is better than Rachmaninoff himself; his clarity, fine touch, and exciting speed is beyond compare. Listening to a popular modern pianist play his works, then listening to Rachmaninoff himself play them, is like going from a barren planet to one on which life has been discovered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...