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As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.

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ariston
KVRAF
 
2831 posts since 28 Jun, 2009, from Wherever I lay my hat

Postby ariston; Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:05 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

I started out with classical music, and moved on as I got older. Today, so much of it sounds formulaic and staid to my ears. I never liked the lack of rhythmic ingenuity in classical music - and I've always wondered whether Bach grooved or not. Somehow, I (like to) think he did, at least a lot more than the people who play his sheet music these days.

And another problem I have with classical music in general is an aesthetic one: the emotional expression is heavily stylized (and often stilted). It's like telling someone you love them by saying "Much to my surprise, I have to admit to a certain kind of... emotional attachment, shall we say... that has taken hold of me recently." I prefer immediacy here, the kind found in Jazz and Rock. Classical music is for sitting still, closing your eyes, folding your arms, and biting your lower lip in ecstasy, whereas Rock is body music.

Or operatic singing: they take perfectly lovely human voices and make them all sound the same. I like it when the character of a voice is preserved. Fans of opera will have gasped in outrage now, but consider Tom Waits vs. Thom Yorke, and Pavarotti vs. Villazon. Where do you hear the greater difference?

I also hate, really really really hate the snobbishness that abounds in all things classical. It's got nothing to do with the music, but it's enough to make me want to avoid membership in that particular club.

It's kind of frustrating to me, as I consider an orchestra to be the finest instrument in existence, and the harmonic and tonal complexity it affords is just overwhelming. But it's not easy to find live concerts of works that haven't been played to death (especially out here in the boonies).

Note: I like Penderecki, Ligeti, Strawinsky, Pärt, etc. and I don't consider these "classical", as they're so far removed from this unfortunate label.
Mr Arkadin
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1316 posts since 11 Mar, 2003

Postby Mr Arkadin; Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:28 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

Can't really agree with most of that. Try listening to Bach performed by someone like Sir John Eliot Gardiner on period instruments. When I first heard the opening the St. John Passion in his version it was a revelation. I now always hunt for period instrument recordings as they are the punk of classical: raw sounding, imprecise, performers have to play dig in to get the volume.

As much as Nigel Kennedy is a bit of a comic character, I think he performs in a manner that the composers would have enjoyed: Bach grooving out indeed! You might enjoy his somewhat punk attitude to classical performance.

The snobbishness you mention can be applied to any music - none more so than jazz (which I don't get along with).

The operatic thing - well it is either love or hate. However you have to remember it is borne out if the necessity to be heard in a large theatre. Try getting Thom Yorke or Tom Waites singing with no microphone and see how far they get, particularly Yorke.

I like the same people you do in your last sentence, but do consider them 'classical' (we all know the term is a bit of a misnomer anyway).
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Numanoid
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8714 posts since 20 Jan, 2008, from Down on the farm

Postby Numanoid; Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:53 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

Naer wrote:Any else?

How old are you?

I got hooked on Shostakovich in the early 90's, but classical music as a genre hasn't really grown much on me since.

I find the limited sound palette the main downer.
Halb Wesen und halb Ding
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
33652 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:05 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

i hit 40 a month ago, since then ive been listening to a lot of industrial classical.


as jan said, its much the same as anything theres stuff that grabs you and stuff that doesnt.

using classical in the loose sense of course, not the period.

also as robojam points out, seeing orchestras perform live helps with the appreciation a little, but again that can help with most styles of music.
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Numanoid
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8714 posts since 20 Jan, 2008, from Down on the farm

Postby Numanoid; Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:07 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

skipscada wrote:I went through a phase where I appreciated bossa nova. Typical early middle age thing.

I got trapped in middle age early, even picked up an Astrud album last weekend :tu:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TMH9bbSp6U
Halb Wesen und halb Ding
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ariston
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2831 posts since 28 Jun, 2009, from Wherever I lay my hat

Postby ariston; Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:19 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

Mr Arkadin wrote:Can't really agree with most of that.


...and you don't have to.

Two rejoinders: singers can learn to project their voice without sounding like they have a potato stuck in their gullet. The technique is also an attempt to turn the voice into an instrument like any other instrument in the orchestra. My comparisons were aimed at clarifying the marked differences (or lack thereof) in voices, your comparison was a typically cheap retort meaning that the two T(h)oms are somehow inferior to classical singers. Different styles and different techniques. Classical singers couldn't do Waits or Yorke, either.

Agree about the snobbishness, but there is a particular type of snobbishness in classical (evident, incidentally, in your remark about singers, see above). You can hear it in the whole vernacular: we don't talk about playing music, no, it's always "performing". We don't hear songs or tunes, we hear "works", or, even better "masterworks". Music is never written here (excepting the copyists), it's always "composed". And whenever people talk about classical tunes, they use a language that takes you way back to the romantic period, idealizing it up to lofty, unreachable heights and thereby glorifying their own tastes. Rattle your jewellery all you want folks.

I've got a love/hate relationship with classical, can you tell? :hihi:
Kalamata Kid
KVRian
 
1296 posts since 26 Jul, 2001, from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Postby Kalamata Kid; Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:49 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

I have been a Classical Music addict for a long time. On occasion I stray to other genres but always return to CM. So I remain a CM junkie thanks to the musical geniuses of the great composers.

I do occasionally listen to jazz. I also like ambient, new age space music which I try to play and record.
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bharris22
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697 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:52 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

spaceman wrote:I've always enjoyed classical music, but the last 3 years or so it has taken over my musical live through an obsession with J.S Bach. Glenn Gould initially was the catalyst. 90% of the time, I listen to classical now, with 90% of that being Bach. The other 10% to old trance and electronic stuff, and lately a lot of Cynic (their latest is brilliant again).


This. I have always thought of Glenn Gould's original recorded performance of the Goldberg Variations to be the gateway drug for classical music - at least it was for me. Before hearing this I had always thought of classical music in general, and Bach in particular, as rigid and staid. Listening to the young Gould play this piece, though, makes you realize the complete range of emotion that Bach was able to write into this. I am more amazed every time I listen to Gould's Goldberg Variations, and am completely awed by Bach. To me the talent of Gould was staggering, and there has never been a greater musician (except for Bach :)). I grew up on classic rock (Zeppelin, Yes) and absolutely love this as well as alt-country (Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar) and jazz (Wes, Joe Pass, Miles, etc.). However, Bach is God and Gould was his prophet.

Treat yourself and pick up Gould's 1955 recording of Goldberg Variations. Another recommended recording is the soundtrack to "32 Short Films about Glenn Gould" - sort of a Gould greatest hits. After that, just buy every Gould recording of Bach :).
Unfocused
KVRist
 
322 posts since 7 Jul, 2004

Postby Unfocused; Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:08 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

jancivil wrote:For me it is usually is not that broad a term: I don't call Stravinsky 'classical music'. I would rather say something like 'concert music' for a larger catch-all. There is a classical period and it's more or less a genre, as far as my above remarks that is more what I mean. I might take 'Brahms' as more of the same, but technically he's past it.
I can't relate to this dinner-music-for-the-nobleman whole trip and I don't really place myself prior to say Debussy with a lot of comfort.


This!

While I don't have any grounding in the musical education you have, as a man of catholic (small "c") taste in music. I have educated myself with my ears and my abilities to find and critically listen to any "genre" of music that I have more than a passing interest in.

As such, my taste for what I call "orchestral music" (though "concert music" might be more accurate) has developed for the same era in composing for that specific palette of instrumentation. I fell in love with the very populist Pictures at an Exhibition when I was quite young. Drifting away from orchestral music and back again many times over the past 30+ years, my interest always seems to be grabbed most by the "20th century composers." Some of my biggest compositional inspirations are Bartok, Holst, Bernstein, and Gershwin. But my *favorite* is Stravinsky!

Then the bridge to film music is not so wide. I love it too.

More strange for me though is that, as *I* mature, I'm appreciating pop music a lot more. Not top 40, mind you--but the pop form. I always focused on technical merit in my own music (still a big prog rock fan), but for me the hardest thing to learn has been how to write a truly good pop (or folk) *song.*

"Song" is a different medium altogether, and to do it well takes a lot more skill than I have.

Hats off to all who can create something original and/or emotionally moving! I thank you. :clap:

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson
Unfocused
KVRist
 
322 posts since 7 Jul, 2004

Postby Unfocused; Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:12 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

spaceman wrote:The other 10% to old trance and electronic stuff, and lately a lot of Cynic (their latest is brilliant again).

I think the first Cynic album (Focus) is brilliant. Didn't care too much for their second (felt like a lot of filler around flashes of brilliance). Will have to check the new one out.


-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson
Mr Arkadin
KVRian
 
1316 posts since 11 Mar, 2003

Postby Mr Arkadin; Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:39 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

ariston wrote:My comparisons were aimed at clarifying the marked differences (or lack thereof) in voices, your comparison was a typically cheap retort meaning that the two T(h)oms are somehow inferior to classical singers. Different styles and different techniques. Classical singers couldn't do Waits or Yorke, either.

Agree about the snobbishness, but there is a particular type of snobbishness in classical (evident, incidentally, in your remark about singers, see above).


I think you have misinterpreted what I wrote. It was not a cheap shot as you imply. I am a huge fan of Thom Yorke, but without a microphone you would not hear him. This is just the physics of his singing style, not some cheap attack on his vocal ability. If he had to project like an opera singer he too would not sound like Thom anymore - that intimate style he has exists because of microphone technology. At no point did I say that he was a bad singer because he can't fill a hall without a microphone. Two different things.

No need to be so defensive. You could accuse me of being a music snob in my 20s, but not now, matey. :ud: If anything you're an inverted snob. I've heard many rock gigs referred to as 'performances' So what? I'm not going to let other people's use of language or snobbery affect my music choices. I like what I like.
Last edited by Mr Arkadin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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fmr
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2876 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:40 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

ariston wrote:I started out with classical music, and moved on as I got older. Today, so much of it sounds formulaic and staid to my ears. I never liked the lack of rhythmic ingenuity in classical music - and I've always wondered whether Bach grooved or not. Somehow, I (like to) think he did, at least a lot more than the people who play his sheet music these days.

I need some references to contradict this, since "formulaic" is something that can be much more applied to jazz and even more to pop than to "classical" (using the term in it's broaden sense) Also, "lack of rhythmic ingenuity"? I really didn't follow you here. Are you implying classical music lacks rhythm or has a rhythm too complex?

ariston wrote:And another problem I have with classical music in general is an aesthetic one: the emotional expression is heavily stylized (and often stilted). It's like telling someone you love them by saying "Much to my surprise, I have to admit to a certain kind of... emotional attachment, shall we say... that has taken hold of me recently." I prefer immediacy here, the kind found in Jazz and Rock. Classical music is for sitting still, closing your eyes, folding your arms, and biting your lower lip in ecstasy, whereas Rock is body music.

Classical can be very much "body music" too. And "soul music" definitely. About emotional expression being stylized, what I can say is: pick a work (any work) by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, you name it (I could be making a list here, and I will gladly do it for you, if you are interested), and collect like five reference interpretations. Listen to them in a row. You'll be surprised by how varied and different the same work can sound.

ariston wrote: Or operatic singing: they take perfectly lovely human voices and make them all sound the same. I like it when the character of a voice is preserved. Fans of opera will have gasped in outrage now, but consider Tom Waits vs. Thom Yorke, and Pavarotti vs. Villazon. Where do you hear the greater difference?

Opera was once the "pop music". It was created for entertainment, mainly, and was a mass market music. Singers had to sing without amplification against an orchestra that was becoming bigger and bigger - that's why voices started to get specially trained. There will always be differences, though - again, listen to several singers singing the same arias - and you'll be surprised.

And opera is not just singing, is also acting. You have to get into the spirit of it, accept it for what it is, or you simply will remain out. But bear in mind it was opera that, since it's appearance, in the XVI century, paved the way for all the innovations in melody, harmony and orchestration.

But, as a teacher of mine once told, opera is to be watched live, or at least in film. You cannot simply listen to it, because it will be amputated of a very important factor - the acting.
Fernando (FMR)
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ariston
KVRAF
 
2831 posts since 28 Jun, 2009, from Wherever I lay my hat

Postby ariston; Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:14 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

fmr, thanks for your reply. There's really no need to try and educate me on the subject - as I said, I listened to gobs and gobs of classical music when I was younger (still do now and then). I went to uncounted concerts, attended the most famous orchestras, took in opera in Germany, Italy, England, the US, and even Australia once. I sat through the complete Ring at least three times. I know what classical music is all about. My very personal point of view, which I've already described in detail, is, if you will, completely tied to what classical music IS. The very things that make it what it is are the things that I no longer enjoy. Simple as that.

To clarify: "lack of rhythmic ingenuity" - just listen to any street ensemble in sub-Saharan Africa or classical Indian music and compare what you hear (rhythm-wise) to classical music (pre- 20th century). I ain't talkin' bout time signatures, I'm talking polyrhythms and, above all, GROOVE. Classical music is a lot of things, but it sure as hell doesn't groove. It's harmonically rich and rhythmically barren.

Emotionally stylized: well, if you don't get what I mean, then even explaining it won't help. Hint: I'm not saying there's no emotion in classical music.


@ Mr Arkadin: if I misunderstood your statement, then I'm sorry. It was an easy misinterpretation, though, the way you presented it. And about being defensive: you started it, nyaa nyaa nyaa! ;)
nasenmann
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575 posts since 24 Oct, 2005

Postby nasenmann; Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:27 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

Have to admit that i probably won't get into operatic singing in this lifetime.
It's typically a sound i mostly appreciate for comedic value :)

On the topic of bossa nova...i think "the sims" did a swell job at changing its 'old people music' status.
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Tricky-Loops
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8266 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:44 am Re: As I mature I'm appreciating classical music a lot more

ariston wrote:...just listen to any street ensemble in sub-Saharan Africa or classical Indian music and compare what you hear (rhythm-wise) to classical music (pre- 20th century). I ain't talkin' bout time signatures, I'm talking polyrhythms and, above all, GROOVE. Classical music is a lot of things, but it sure as hell doesn't groove. It's harmonically rich and rhythmically barren.
That's why I LOVE Arabic, African and Indian music, as well as Latino music! :love:

It's music with groove that makes you wanna move. I couldn't sit quiet for 2 hours just to listen to a classical concert. Classical concerts were always some kind of torture for me where over-dressed people are nearly chained on their seat and aren't allowed to stand up or move some body parts... :o

However I can sit on a mountain for 2 hours, watch the clouds and listen to nature sounds or meditate, that's a different thing. :D
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