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Classical Music Recommendations

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  • Classical Music Recommendations

    Can anyone recommend any great pieces for me to listen to whilst i'm engaged in my private reflection period :D I'm looking for rabble-rousing compositions on one hand and on the other i wouldn't mind a few sad melodies for those rainy days.

    I've put together a list of my favourites that i highly recommend. You've probably heard of most of them, but here goes.

    Mussorgsky - Great Gate Of Kiev

    Lizst Lento a capriccio in C# (Hungarian Rhapsody)

    Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries

    Strauss - The Blue Danube

    Greig - Morning Mood + In The Hall Of the Mountain King

    Chopin - Minute Waltz

    Moonlight Sonata ( everyones' favourite)

    Mussorgsky - Night On a Bare Mountain

    Mussorgsky - Hut On Fowl's Legs ( Baba Yaga)

  • #2
    Any of Ludwig van B's symphonies, but esp. the 3rd, the 5th, the 6th, 7th and 9th.

    Likewise, Mahler's 5th Symphony.

    Also, Samuel Barber's 'Addagio for Strings' (although it is a bit over-played now since it was used in Oliver Stone's Platoon.

    Try Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue in D Minor'.

    And Handel's 'Messiah' and 'Fireworks Suite'

    Holst's 'The Planets'.

    For light relief, Saint-Saأ«ns' 'Carnival of the Animals'. :)

    More contemporary, I like Philip Glass' score for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters immensely, but anything by PG is good,

    Same goes for Michael Nyman's film scores for Peter Greenaway, and Howard Shore's scores for LOTR.
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #3
      Can you guys reccommend some stimulating harpsichord concherti?
      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
        Can you guys reccommend some stimulating harpsichord concherti?
        Bach, Bach, and more Bach.

        Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor is very nice.

        Also, go listen to this guy. He has mp3s you can download to hear samples of his stuff. He does Bach well. Full-on harpsichord, though, not a bunch of strings and stuff in there.

        Sample: Courante from C minor Suite
        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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        • #5
          If you're looking for Romantics, then yes, Beethoven is the way to go. Aside from that, Johannes Brahms (I'm particullarily fond of his Hungarian Dances) is the logical next step. Also high on the list would be Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin (the latter's Nocturnes are very good).

          For a more classical sound (well, rennaisance, baroque, and classical actually) I'd go with Handel, the various Bach's, Hayden, and one my personal favorites: Vivaldi. Of course, one could also include the obvious Motart and Hayden as well.
          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
          --Thomas a Kempis

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          • #6
            Dreamweaver, I would recemmend that you listen to Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in its entirety. The Great Gate of Kiev is quite moving as the finale to Pictures, even more than it is as a stand alone work.

            And I second demos' recommendation of Carnival of the Animals!

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            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback. I looked into the various recommendations and had a good time to boot. This type of music is good for the soul.

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              • #8
                A tiny selection of my favourites - could easily double - or maybe even triple this list, and still be in 'all-time fave' territory. Ah well, time is limited...

                (N.B., the Tallis Fantasia and Shostakovich's 11th are both very much 'either you'll love them or you'll hate them' pieces):

                Shostakovich, Symphony no.11 - The Year of 1905: Tremendously brooding and powerful, rendered even more so if you know the story that it tells. Its different movements also work together in a way that few symphonic movements do, creating a whole that's infinitely more powerful than the sum of its parts.

                Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez (2nd movement)- Sweeping romance of the highest order.

                Vaughan Williams - Serenade to music - Eerily, hauntingly beautiful music, weaving itself around Shakespeare's words.

                Saint-Saens - Piano Trios (esp. no.2) - Undeservedly obscure pieces here, given that they combine sweeping power, with the intricate subtlety that only a small ensemble such as a piano trio can provide.

                Finzi - Eclogue for piano and strings - Calmly, serenely beautiful. Great for those late-night reading/thinking sessions.

                Shostakovich - Piano concerto no.2 - A bizarre, schizophrenic piece this, sandwiching the rightly famous and hauntingly beautiful slow movement between two slices of fast, frantic, sometimes discordant lunacy. Would massively recommend Shostakovich's own recording of this - available in the EMI 'composers in person' series - esp. since it comes with the best of the rest of his piano output. His interpretation is very, very different from that of more modern interpreters, and, imo, incomparably better.

                Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis - Massed Strings R Us! If you want truly sweeping, unrestrained romance, this is where to come! Glorious! His Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus and The Lark Ascending are also good!

                Sibelius - Symphony no.5 - Scary! As a child, I could never bear to listen to the first movement of this while at home on my own. Gloriously powerful, with a truly triumphal ending.

                Verdi - Requiem. Wow! It has everything, it is everything. This runs the whole gamut of emotions, and doesn't seem to have a single weak section. Listen to it... then buy some serious speakers, turn the volume waaay up, and listen to it again... and again!

                Delius - Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda - an absolutely lovely little piece - perfectly encapsulates a lazy summer afternoon.

                Torelli - Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op. 8, no.6 - Italian baroque at its very best, ranging from aching sadness to stately grandeur to dancing, carefree joy - and all in just over six minutes. Remarkable!
                Arma virumque cano.

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                • #9
                  Completely forgot this first time round:

                  Elgar - 'Nimrod the Hunter' from The Enigma Variations.
                  _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                  _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                  _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                  _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I might also add Copeland's Rodeo or Billly the Kid for a taste of the American experience. Unfortunately, much of this has been used as program music and for commercials.

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                    • #11
                      One composer and one work that springs to mind when classical music is mentioned is 'Peer Gynt' by Grieg. So evocative.
                      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doc
                        I might also add Copeland's Rodeo or Billly the Kid for a taste of the American experience. Unfortunately, much of this has been used as program music and for commercials.
                        Both excellent pieces, without a doubt, but I would hardly consider either to be brooding, somber, or deeply emotional. They are truely Amican in that they both seem (as with most of Copland's work) to stress the excitment of America over all else. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them both, I just wouldn't consider them to be overly moving...of course, they would definately fit the "rable rousing" criteria! Of course, for that I'd also go further into the modern area and recomend Elmer Bernstein. His scores to "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" are iconic, and many of his other scores are nearly as good.
                        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                        --Thomas a Kempis

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