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Classics help needed


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#1 Donk

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 01:28 PM

On Friday night we went to a performance by the Atrium String Quartet. On the programme: Mozart's String Quartet in D minor K421, Shostakovich's No 9 Opus 117, Brahms' B flat Opus 67. If I heard any of them tonight, I wouldn't be able to recognise them :hihi:

There's a lack in me somewhere. I just don't "get" a lot of classical music. I have a good ear - I can pick out the individual instruments in an orchestral piece; I can recognise a bad or off-beat note when I hear one. What I can't do is gestalt the whole piece. All I hear are individual phrases, beautifully played but signifying nothing. I need to hear a melody before I can remember a piece. Holst's Mars and Jupiter: no problem. The 1812, likewise. Bolero... if I can whistle it, I can remember and identify it.

My Lady can listen to a few bars of just about anything and name at least the composer, and usually the title of the piece as well as the orchestra and conductor. How does she do it? More to the point, can I learn to do it as well? :gun4:

This sort of music has been enthralling many thousands of people for hundreds of years. They can't all be wrong. It must be down to how I'm listening to it, or what I'm listening for. Can anyone give me any tips?

#2 DFINITLYDISTRUBD

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:18 AM

Meh....could be who your listening to...for me its Bach, a very little Brahms (pretty much strings only), Vivaldi, Strauss, and a very little Mozzart.....BUT....this all depends on who are playing and more-so who is conducting! Why so much emphasis on the conductor?

It boils down to THEIR vision of the piece when it comes to how it is performed... how they see it, how they feel, it how they hear it.

Unfortunately Their Vision may not have anything to do with how the Original Composer envisioned the piece...or for that matter how the audience hears it.

I've heard many a wonderful piece ruined by an over zealous conductor ("talented":D yeah right)

The best example off hand would be Bach's Six suites for Violoncello...While at present Yo Yo Ma's version sells better (but is pure garbage) and by that standard must be more popular (at least amongst the masses)...But I'll swear till the day I die that Pao Casals version performed in 1954 from the 1730 copy put to paper by Bach's second wife is the only recording worth having.

It is much more full, expressive and lively to my ears. Of course You may seek out a listen to both and decide the opposite (I don't think it likely but there's always a chance:D)

BTW- you tube has a pretty good film version of one of the suites from '54 and I seriously doubt they wouldn't have the same suite being played by "mr Ma" (Great flying spaghetti monster I hate him....partially cuz I'm jealous that he has a Strad whilst I'm stuck with a "Yami" but mostly because he has the skill and a Strad but seemingly not the "heart")

My Lady can listen to a few bars of just about anything and name at least the composer, and usually the title of the piece as well as the orchestra and conductor. How does she do it? More to the point, can I learn to do it as well?

Listen to lots and lots of performances of the same piece as performed and conducted by different conductors. Eventually the differences will become clear as day and night.

#3 lawcat

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:57 AM

They can't all be wrong.


That's great Donk. Man, why do you have to be like others, or force yourself to like something you don't like?

I like classical music in general, but I can't say I like all classical music. (Sometimes I don't like the mood, or sometimes it's rhytm that disagrees with me, or the melody.)

Music is a matter of inspiration (The Internet Classics Archive | Ion by Plato). It either resonantes with you or it does not.
Memory: Repetitio est mater studiorum. Practice makes perfect.

It must be down to how I'm listening to it, or what I'm listening for.

Elitism: If you do not like classical music, or appreciate only segments of seminal tunes, it generally indicates lack of formal training. People who are formally trained, whether in youth for a few years or decades, have much greater appreciation and gust for classical music. Now, whether their inspiration came later, or whether they were first inspired and then started playing, is a question of what came first: chicken or the egg?

How you are listening to it, and what you are listening for, is a matter of sophistication that comes from training your ear. You ear is best trained through performance of playing.

Can anyone give me any tips?

Enjoy what you enjoy keeping in mind your inspiration, and respecting the inspiration of others. Or, if you want to develop sophistication for classical music, try playing.
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#4 Don Blazys

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:46 AM

To:Donk,

Quoting Donk:

There's a lack in me somewhere

.

No there isn't ! Your sensibilities are perfectly valid and accurate!

A lot of classical music is simply not very memorable,
which is to say, not very inspired.

A lot of it is far too dependent on meaningless,
self indulgent arpeggios, passing phrases and filler patterns.

I would never "train" my mind to remember
things that are, in fact, not memorable.

For all we know, such "training" might even diminish our ability
to distinguish between exquisitely beautiful melody,
such as Schubert's "Ave Maria" and mere "mood music".

A truly great melody is one that sticks in your mind and
makes an emotional impact the very first time you hear it.

I own a fairly large collection of classical music CD's,
but I will never ever hear the entire collection
because I will always fast forward past all the boring parts
and go straight to all the good parts.

Don.
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#5 Christopher Walken

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:04 AM

Below are benefits of classical music
1.) After listening to Classical your more likely to be in a relaxed state, and have a good sense of well being.
2.) Classical music helps us to concentrate, and think more clearly.
3.) Classical music can reduce stress and anxiety.

#6 Moontanman

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:33 AM

Below are benefits of classical music
1.) After listening to Classical your more likely to be in a relaxed state, and have a good sense of well being.
2.) Classical music helps us to concentrate, and think more clearly.
3.) Classical music can reduce stress and anxiety.



I get the same effect from listening to Heart, Dream Boat Annie was my favorite album for many years, you can sit down and listen to the entire album and come away feeling like you've heard something complete and not just an amalgam of single songs, # 2 on my list would be Heart, Desire Walks On, if you prefer to listen strings of unrelated songs or albums that tell a story, but the key is to listen to what you like. I wouldn't give up on classical music, there is a lot of music that fits that genre and much of it is very different from each other, I remember Peter and the Wolf from grade school very fondly...
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#7 scherado

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 04:08 AM

...
This sort of music has been enthralling many thousands of people for hundreds of years. They can't all be wrong. It must be down to how I'm listening to it, or what I'm listening for. Can anyone give me any tips?

.
My suggestion--not that anyone's waiting after all this time--is that one start with Rachmaninoff and work backwards after taking a liking to his music. Some musicians don't consider him to be of the "classical" category, which I agree; but that's only a technicality.

Ruth Loredo did exquisite versions of Rachmaninoff solo piano music.

Edited by scherado, 09 September 2017 - 04:11 AM.