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  1. #1

    The Classical Music thread

    Following on from the Beautiful Tracks thread, I thought of a few classical pieces that would fit the bill, but that thread went in a different direction, and anyway classical music is such a broad category I think it deserves a thread of its own. So, if you have a favourite classical tune or composer or if you've heard a piece on TV or films that you don't know the name of, post it up on here. Extra points if it's quite obscure.

    The description 'classical' can be fairly loose - anything from opera (Bizet's Pearl Fishers duet holds a special place in my heart), film (Schindler's List) or even video games (the sig from Fallout 3 and the piano version in 4 are favourites of mine) is fine.

    To kick off, the first one I thought of for the Beautiful Tracks thread was The Gadfly Romance by Shostakovich (try the second movement of his second piano concerto too) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0Xfyn0-YhU


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    I like both of the above. At the moment I'm listening to Chopin piano stuff, and I'm particularly fond of this one (my daughter plays it when she's home from uni): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_6APTb3RNQ

    I'm also listening to Holst's military band suites, and this is my favourite bit (from the First Suite in Eb): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7EZEEuTmu0

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    @hibs.net private member snooky's Avatar
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    Chopin's Opus 10 etude no. 3 is my favourite piece.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpiJbQvBP8A

    I also love the music of Johann Strauss II.
    Last edited by snooky; 14-11-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by snooky View Post
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    Chopin's Opus 10 etude no. 3 is my favourite piece.
    I also love the music of Johann Strauss II.
    The Strauss waltzes are good uplifting music and I particularly like the Fledermaus overture. I'm a great fan of Chopin too (Stravinsky not so much, but the Firebird isn't bad).

    My own favourite composer has to be Beethoven - the Egmont overture is stirring stuff and his odd-numbered symphonies are just brilliant (I got the organist to play Ode to Joy at my wedding). Favourite pieces are harder to identify - there's just so many of them. One I've been listening to a lot recently is Borodins 'In the Steppes of Central Asia' and one that makes me grin while being awestruck by the musicianship is Monti's Czardas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMOHAcjlIWs ).

    I also think a lot of the 'mainstream' stuff - e.g. Beethoven's fifth, The Blue Danube Waltz, The William Tell Overture - are played so much that people tend not to hear the subtleties in them any more. They're all excellent pieces of music if you listen to them rather than just hearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    The Strauss waltzes are good uplifting music and I particularly like the Fledermaus overture. I'm a great fan of Chopin too (Stravinsky not so much, but the Firebird isn't bad).

    My own favourite composer has to be Beethoven - the Egmont overture is stirring stuff and his odd-numbered symphonies are just brilliant (I got the organist to play Ode to Joy at my wedding). Favourite pieces are harder to identify - there's just so many of them. One I've been listening to a lot recently is Borodins 'In the Steppes of Central Asia' and one that makes me grin while being awestruck by the musicianship is Monti's Czardas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMOHAcjlIWs ).

    I also think a lot of the 'mainstream' stuff - e.g. Beethoven's fifth, The Blue Danube Waltz, The William Tell Overture - are played so much that people tend not to hear the subtleties in them any more. They're all excellent pieces of music if you listen to them rather than just hearing.
    I think you've got a good point there. For a long time, I didn't listen to those for that reason. I really like all of them now; they're also much better and more interesting when you listen to the whole piece and not just the famous bits. The 1812 Overture is another of those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.a.m View Post
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    I think you've got a good point there. For a long time, I didn't listen to those for that reason. I really like all of them now; they're also much better and more interesting when you listen to the whole piece and not just the famous bits. The 1812 Overture is another of those.
    I think that's particularly true of Beethoven's 5th. Those famous four notes don't come near to telling the story of the symphony that doesn't want to end - particularly when you know the background of his deafness kicking in.

    I agree that the 1812 is another of them. One of Tchaikovsky's that's similar but less well known is Capricccio Italien - try it if you don't already know it.

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    I'll give that a go.

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    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hibrandenburg's Avatar
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    Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 from Liszt. The piece was so far ahead of its time I find it hard to believe he composed it back in 1850 odd.

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    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    Following on from the Beautiful Tracks thread, I thought of a few classical pieces that would fit the bill, but that thread went in a different direction, and anyway classical music is such a broad category I think it deserves a thread of its own. So, if you have a favourite classical tune or composer or if you've heard a piece on TV or films that you don't know the name of, post it up on here. Extra points if it's quite obscure.

    The description 'classical' can be fairly loose - anything from opera (Bizet's Pearl Fishers duet holds a special place in my heart), film (Schindler's List) or even video games (the sig from Fallout 3 and the piano version in 4 are favourites of mine) is fine.

    To kick off, the first one I thought of for the Beautiful Tracks thread was The Gadfly Romance by Shostakovich (try the second movement of his second piano concerto too) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0Xfyn0-YhU
    Good thread. And I agree beauty takes many forms when there is such a broad and diverse range of classical music.

    For vocal or choral pieces, I will chip in with Allegri’s “Miserere” and Geoffrey Burgon’s “Nunc Dimittis”.

    I like Shostakovich a huge amount and there is a different kind of beauty to be found in his symphonic works. The first movement of his Tenth Symphony, especially as it builds roundabout halfway though is perhaps my favourite, but it’s also difficult to match the third movement of his Fifth. The piece as a whole has been interpreted in conflicting ways over the decades and I choose to interpret ithe third movement as a portrayal of the horror of Stalin’s persecution of the population.

    Final recommendation is something from the same time and also very ethereal, but completely different altogether - Vaughan Williams’ “Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus”. It’s simply sublime.
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    @hibs.net private member Just Alf's Avatar
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    That bit of opera in Shawshank Redemption gives me goose bumps!

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    @hibs.net private member Just Alf's Avatar
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    Also.. Related to the thread... I remember when Classic FM started up... When driving in heavy traffic I always switched over to it..... Made me a better driver.... Peace man!


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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Good thread. And I agree beauty takes many forms when there is such a broad and diverse range of classical music.

    For vocal or choral pieces, I will chip in with Allegri’s “Miserere” and Geoffrey Burgon’s “Nunc Dimittis”.

    I like Shostakovich a huge amount and there is a different kind of beauty to be found in his symphonic works. The first movement of his Tenth Symphony, especially as it builds roundabout halfway though is perhaps my favourite, but it’s also difficult to match the third movement of his Fifth. The piece as a whole has been interpreted in conflicting ways over the decades and I choose to interpret ithe third movement as a portrayal of the horror of Stalin’s persecution of the population.

    Final recommendation is something from the same time and also very ethereal, but completely different altogether - Vaughan Williams’ “Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus”. It’s simply sublime.
    I don't actually know a lot of Shostakovich's work and only the bare bones of his relationship with the Soviet authorities - I must look into it a bit. I know Allegri's Miserere but not the others - I'll give them a listen.

    Incidentally, don't think I've forgotten about your slur on Rachmaninov - there's nothing wrong with a bit of overblown romantic guff, in fact it's the only thing that makes Brief Encounter remotely watchable. So just to annoy you here's the sugary one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNyQz7SiPQY. I think I prefer the first movement to the rest of it tbh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Alf View Post
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    That bit of opera in Shawshank Redemption gives me goose bumps!

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
    I'd forgotten about that, and when I googled it it turned out to be a different aria from the one I was thinking of. It's from Mozarts 'The Marriage of Figaro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzuM2XTnpSA

    Probably my favourite aria from my favourite opera is the very dark 'Va Tosca' from ....Tosca. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lPxwct2sk

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    @hibs.net private member GlesgaeHibby's Avatar
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    Dvorak's 8th Symphony is a big favourite. Amazing melodies, punchy brass in the orchestration. Nobody comes close to Mozart as a composer IMO, but I love Dvorak's music and outside of Mozart probably listen to his works the most.

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    Rachmaninov. Anything by Rachmaninov!

    Love his piano works (prelude in C# minor is utterly amazing, I once spent about 2 years trying to master it, and got nowhere near!) and his orchestral stuff is fantastic. It seems a bit 'overplayed' now, but the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini is one of my go-to pieces of music, it's fantastic. Think it's variation 18 (beautiful strings) that gets me every time...

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    Testimonial Due Geo_1875's Avatar
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    Was listening to Strauss' Casanova a while back and had forgotten how good Anni Frind's Nun's Chorus was. Been listening to it regularly recently.

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    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    I don't actually know a lot of Shostakovich's work and only the bare bones of his relationship with the Soviet authorities - I must look into it a bit. I know Allegri's Miserere but not the others - I'll give them a listen.

    Incidentally, don't think I've forgotten about your slur on Rachmaninov - there's nothing wrong with a bit of overblown romantic guff, in fact it's the only thing that makes Brief Encounter remotely watchable. So just to annoy you here's the sugary one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNyQz7SiPQY. I think I prefer the first movement to the rest of it tbh.
    I was maybe a bit harsh on Sergei and I’m not immune to something heartfelt. Always been a big Sibelius fan, Second Symphony in particular, which is heart on the sleeve, “I’m in love with Finland” stuff and doesn’t lose anything for it. There is nothing like driving in windswept snow and having that on in the car, second movement in particular.

    Sticking with Rachmaninoff, I would give him a lot of credit for one of his few choral works, The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. This Liturgy is the most important, or one of the most important, masses in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Rachmaninov’s rendering of it is beautiful. For some reason it’s a piece I tend to reach towards in November and it gets a few good plays up until Christmas.
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    Coaching Staff heretoday's Avatar
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    Beethoven's five piano concertos are what I'd recommend to a newcomer to classical music. Each one is short enough to listen to at a sitting.

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    I write a lot to classical music when I'm at work. Data analysis/programming requires heavy rock, but writing requires classical music!

    In terms of original pieces, Barber's Adagio in D is probably my favourite piece. I'm also a fan of Gabriel Faure's Pavane, and Holst's Planets' suite. I've also recently been listening to a lot of Dvorak's work - definitely provides the ups and downs required for any piece of written work!

    I also listen to a lot of 'contemporary' classical in the form of film/game soundtracks - Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack is a popular choice, but anything by Hans Zimmer or John Williams is likely to capture my attention for a while.

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    @hibs.net private member snooky's Avatar
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    Having only scraped the surface of classical music in my time, this thread is great and is encouraging me to dig deeper.
    My thanks to CG for kicking this off.

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    Promising Youngster Alfiembra's Avatar
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    Not very knowledgeable of classical music but my all time favourite would be the The Flower Duet (British Airways Advert) Leo Delibes I think

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    Testimonial Due Geo_1875's Avatar
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    I see the theme from The Lone Ranger was mentioned earlier. I'm surprised nobody has brought up the Hamlet advert yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfiembra View Post
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    Not very knowledgeable of classical music but my all time favourite would be the The Flower Duet (British Airways Advert) Leo Delibes I think
    Then give this a go - it's Bizet's 'The Pearl Fishers' Duet': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOewwwDgsTk

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by heretoday View Post
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    Beethoven's five piano concertos are what I'd recommend to a newcomer to classical music. Each one is short enough to listen to at a sitting.
    Good shout - I'd add the Coriolan, Egmont and various Fidelio/Leonore overtures to that. Leonore No. 3 was the one that first made me appreciate Beethoven's genius.

    Quote Originally Posted by s.a.m View Post
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    Then give this a go - it's Bizet's 'The Pearl Fishers' Duet': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOewwwDgsTk
    Or this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XttF0vg0MGo Which was also a BA ad IIRC.

    Some interesting stories behind it. It was written at the time Italy was trying to unify and free itself from foreign rule and was adopted as the country's unofficial anthem. Also, Verdi had instructed that no music should be played at his funeral, but the crowds lining the streets spontaneously started singing Va Pensiero as the funeral procession passed.
    Last edited by Caversham Green; 14-11-2017 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Schoolboy grammatical error

  27. #26
    On the subject of TV adverts, remember the perfume one with the woman in her skimpies and the campest sailor on the planet? Rescued by this lovely song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg4L5tcxFcA

    Sopranos can be something of an acquired taste (no offence intended Tony) but here's a couple with minimal screeching.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHM3zMBQxTQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuYQ9KRJms

  28. #27
    If you wonder what the term "Wagnerian" means ..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTM7E4-DN0o

    (Play it loud!)

  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    If you wonder what the term "Wagnerian" means ..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTM7E4-DN0o

    (Play it loud!)


    One of my favourite pieces. A potential side thread would be your ideal concert - the Tannhauser overture fits the bill nicely because you could have it alongside a concerto in the first half, with a symphony after the intermission.

    I came to like Tannhauser a lot because I cook a lot and I listen to music when I cook. I eventually got a Bluetooth speaker to sync to Spotify on my ipad but before that I had a quite smart but very old CD system in the kitchen. It gradually stopped playing CDs and in the end I was left with only a few that actually worked on it, one of which was Sinopoli's 'Tannhauser' with Domingo and Salminen. As a consequence it got played to death in my kitchen
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    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar View Post
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    I write a lot to classical music when I'm at work. Data analysis/programming requires heavy rock, but writing requires classical music!

    In terms of original pieces, Barber's Adagio in D is probably my favourite piece. I'm also a fan of Gabriel Faure's Pavane, and Holst's Planets' suite. I've also recently been listening to a lot of Dvorak's work - definitely provides the ups and downs required for any piece of written work!

    I also listen to a lot of 'contemporary' classical in the form of film/game soundtracks - Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack is a popular choice, but anything by Hans Zimmer or John Williams is likely to capture my attention for a while.
    I think that's an important point.

    I don't really listen to Classic FM much but recognise that it is a very accessible way for people new to classical music to familiarise themselves with it and work out what periods and styles they like.

    One thing I do like about them is their annual chart, voted for by the public - I think it's a top 300 and is broadcast over the Easter weekend.

    I've not caught all of it ever, but usually hear a bit of it at least and what has been noticeable in recent years is the increase in the number of pieces that have featured on games.

    What seems clear is that there is an increase in people liking music of that ilk. If that translates into more people thinking of listening to more 'traditional' classical music then that's got to be a good thing.
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  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caversham Green View Post
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    I'd forgotten about that, and when I googled it it turned out to be a different aria from the one I was thinking of. It's from Mozarts 'The Marriage of Figaro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzuM2XTnpSA

    Probably my favourite aria from my favourite opera is the very dark 'Va Tosca' from ....Tosca. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lPxwct2sk
    Your Gianni Schicchi link was one that I would have posted as befitting of a 'beautiful track'

    My turn to be accused of overblown romantic guff - - I'm a sucker for 'Mi chiamano Mimi' and 'O soave fanciulla' from La Boheme and hide no shame in admitting to a fondness for 'Un bel di vedremo' from Madama Butterfly

    I'm a big Puccini fan and would rather listen/see his work than Verdi, for example, notwithstanding the quality of what Verdi wrote. Tosca is outstanding and like so many of Puccini's works it tells a tale that is essentially an eternal truth and is therefore easily translatable into different settings and eras - a truly timeless story.

    My favourite however is La Fanciulla Del West, sadly under-performed nowadays. Some of the duets are sublime and the mostly male arias are sumptious. It's a shame the opera isn't performed more often, I believe it was Puccini's favourite of all his compositions.
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