Classical recommendations

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by Kazman, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I've recently been getting back into classical music, and have fallen back in love with pieces such as Quanta Qualia and Voca Me.

    Does anyone know of any decent, well produced compilcations which include classical pieces in a similar vein to the above. Other faves at the moment are Bella Notte by Einaudi and Totus Totus.

    I bought the Relax & Escape compilation recently, and it is fabulous, although some of it isn't produced too well, there tends to be a little too much back ground noise and you can hear compression in some places. It's worth it for Sua Gan alone though, such a lovely lullaby.

    So, any recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards

    Kaz
     
  2. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi Kazman,

    Haven't heard of the two pieces you mentioned. However, if you can, try any of the "Classic FM" classical music compilation CD's, as they are a good place for new people to classical to start.

    You could also try purchasing some of the budget CD releases, from well-known classical artists like Beethoven, Vivaldi, Motzart, and the like.

    Failing that, there's always the "Classical Music for Dummies" book, that might be of help. :) Or, you could visit the Classic Fm website, for some help.


    Pooch
     
  3. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    I recal reading on some hifi / av forum that if you subscribe to some music mag then you get 30 free classical cds...!! mightbe worth a search..?
     
  4. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Kazman, for great surround SACD I can recommend:

    1. Walter Susskind's version of Holst The Planets (originally a quadrophonic recording in the 70's it has been beautifully mastered for surround SACD, blows most modern classical recordings away).

    2. Tchaikovsky 1812 Oveture by Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Orchestra. This is a fantastic SACD recording, complete with canons in surround (watch your speakers on this one).

    3. Strauss Brothers New Years Day Concert SACD, recorded live in Vienna. This gives a nice live realistic classical experience. Highlights: The Blue Danube.

    4. Vivaldi, The Four Seasons DVD-A, by David Juritz & The London Mozart Players.

    If you know of any good SACD's/DVD-A's let me know :)

    Tim.
     
  5. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Many thanks peeps :)

    I will look into these recommendations.

    The infuriating thing about the Classic FM series of CD's is that they aren't produced as well as I'd hoped they'd be, the compression is unforgivable, or maybe it's just more noticable on classical music?

    SACD and DVD-A look like a good bet to get around this :D So I'm looking forward to raiding the HMV classical section this weekend :)
     
  6. shahedz

    shahedz
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    classical music, shadowwritten is your man, he loves it! drop him a PM im sure he wont mind
     
  7. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Ditto.

    But I started a thread on favorite classical works here which may be of some help.
     
  8. cooperda

    cooperda
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    Well you could try the Classical recommendations on my site. There are 67 CDs listed at the moment.

    No 'reviews' as such but all the details and images of - to my mind - top quality Classical CDs.

    Many are from lower cost labels as well ie Naxos.

    Slightly top heavy in my favourites - piano and violin - sonatas and concertos.

    Cheers, Dave C.
     
  9. cooperda

    cooperda
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    A link might help - sorry!!

    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/davecooper/cmcd1.html

    Cheers, Dave C.
     
  10. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I urge you all to have a listen to Quanta Qualia, I think it is superb, Janet Coxwell/Conventus/English Chamber Orchestra/Patrick Hawes is the version I'm listening to. But just wish I could find a better recording of it.
     
  11. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Kazman, Good luck in finding any SACD's, or possibly DVD-A's of classical, at HMV.

    I think Amazon, Play, & CD WOW are your best bets.
     
  12. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I'm sure they have some large dedicated classical rooms at the larger central London stores. Could have sworn I saw some DVD-A/SACD titles there too. Will be there anyway so no harm in having a peek :).

    Quanta Qualia is on Patrick Hawes Blue In Blue album by the way :) http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?sku=367010&tab=2

    Can be had for cheaper elsewhere I suspect. More modern Classical than the composers we know and love. Music is just awesome, so many different flavours, and I'm addicted to most :D
     
  13. shadowritten

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    That might've been my thread over in music. The offer's now expired: it was for a 40-CD boxset of most of Mozart's major works from Brilliant Classics when you took out a 3-monthly rolling DD subscription to Classic FM Magazine.

    You can buy the set - and others in 'The Masterworks' series, including Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Handel, Bach, Dvorak, Haydn and Schubert - from online retailers like www.mdt.co.uk, as well as elsewhere, for about £30 a box. The site you need to find out all about the sets is http://www.joanrecords.com/epages/j...7a271b3e94b1420654/Catalog/series_masterworks


    I find that samplers like Classic FM's CDs tend to be culled from too many disparate sources: some recordings sound okay, others are laden with background hiss! And their choice of performances isn't often to be admired, either. But they're a great start if you just want to 'conduct' an introductory exploration into classical - or Art, as it should be called - music. I own a fair few Classic FM discs myself, some of which I love because they take me back to my early days of discovering this beautiful and diverse genre of music some 15 years ago. :)


    Cheers :smashin:

    Actually, ToddA on here is infinitely better qualified to hold forth on this subject. Have you read any of his reviews? Guy knows his stuff.

    I'm more your keen amateur, and have no musical training so I can't talk intellectually about the stuff I love so much. Where I can help is in recommending repetoire that's perhaps off the beaten track.

    My favourite period of classical (or Art) music - you'll see why I keep refering to this in just a mo - is the one in bold below:


    1000-1200 Gothic - Not often heard today except in the context of historical interest. Think religious plainchant.


    1200-1400 Medieval - More of the same as above, though music slowly started becoming more polyphonic and secularised, though religion still predominated.


    1400-1600 Renaissance - A delightful period of religious and secular music, both with accompanied and unaccompanied vocals. Composers definitely worth exploring from this era include: Palestrina, Dunstable, Cardoso, Lobo, Byrd, Tye, Mundy and Maghaels.


    1600-1750 Baroque - Pretty well-known as the period of Bach (Johann Sebastian and his sons), Handel, Telemann, Molter, Albinoni and Pachebel. Some criticise this era for being too much for the head and not enough for the heart, but the music remains charming and very popular.


    1750-1820 Classical (see?) - The age of Haydn, Mozart, Spohr, Salieri, Boccherini, Dussek, Zimmerman and others. Very popular, not least for the works of Mozart (Wolfgang, more than his father, Leopold), and Haydn (Joseph, more than his younger brother, Michael). Can sound a bit 'polite' and mannered to some, perhaps even a little formulaic in the hands of less talented composers of the period.


    1820-1910 Romantic - Think the great Beethoven, who redefined music as it was then known, and later, Brahms, the man whom Schumann championed as the new Beethoven. Schubert, Dvorak, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn (every bit the child prodigy, more so than even Mozart), Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Berlioz, Grieg, Wagner, Bruckner, Bruch and so many others belong to this fabulous period, in which music was blown open wide and infused with emotion while still retaining classical forms. Well worth exploring for real colour and variety!


    1910-1960 Modern - Covers everyone from Rachnmaninov, Mahler, Sibelius, Holst, Finzi, Elgar (who often composed in a late Romantic, Austro-Germanic way), Vaughan Williams, Britten, Tippett and Mascagni to Schoenberg, Webern, Berg and others who broke away from tonality and explored music in ways previously not tried. Some gorgeous stuff from this period ... and some utter crap (IMO)!


    1960-Today Contemporary - Nyman, Glass, Ades, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davis, Turnage and plenty more ... though this is not my particular area of interest, as much of it is too experimental for me.


    Do bear in mind this is all purely from a layperson's perspective and that my opinions/biases are mine and mine alone! Oh, and my dates/facts could well be wide of the mark, so I've attached a two-part helpful guide to the periods of music which covers a good many composers.
     
  14. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    if you like stuff along the lines of Tchaikovsky, then i heartily recommend you give Shostakovich and Medtner a bash.......spanktastic russian orchestral style classical music at its best......there are some fantastic LSO discs of Shostakovich available from Amazon, seriously well recorded!.....Medtner i've only known to be good on the Naxos discs i've heard.........

    Shostakovich is a total romantic tho......the whole story of some of his longer pieces just takes you here and there, then over there, then back here, then builds upppppp to a slow crescendo (sounds a little odd, but thats the impression your left with..lol) with a muted passage following, then the big smashing, crashing, all stand up and blow, pluck and bang your hearts out mr and mrs musicians finale......quite often with a nice long slow reverberating finish..........class stuff, keeps you enthralled, even on his longer pieces (the one that defined the reason for me buying my A5 amp, 26minutes long...heh....still cant remember the damn piece tho, keep asking the guy in the shop and keep forgetting by the time i get home...lol)

    or how about some Liszt, again very romantic and storytelling type of classical music, bordering on operatic in fact in some cases.....

    oh and dont forget the gorgeous pianoworks and full orchestra works of Debussy.......ahhhh the man defines the word Nocturne in my mind.......(and that clair de lune thing aint bad either..lol)

    of course the usual suspects, Holst, Grieg, Vivaldi, Mr Hoven, Mozart (got a cool free Mozart disc the other day, either BBC or ClassicFM magazine, very good recording and pieces, some of which i havnt heard before for some reason).....

    but i do urge you to give Shosty and Medtner a bash, very good....

    oh and not forgetting the forgotten (er does that work?..heh) british composers, forgotten the names now, on the disc the shop guy played me, anyhow, some very stirring stuff....i'll try and get hold of it and post names...lol
     
  15. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Thanks again guys, much appreciated. The great thing about the genre is the variety of it. So many styles and influences over the years as shadowritten has so kindly laid out, and then their is the new modern era.

    I'm really excited at the thought of getting back into it, used to play the Cello and the Flute many years ago, alas study and family issues forced me to stop, but I'm seriously thinking of starting to play again.
     
  16. Nick_UK

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    Don't forget the composers of the 20th century who are recognised to be as talented as the ones from previous centuries, like George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill. You don't have to be dead 200 years to be a great composer.
     
  17. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Sorry to go of topic but whist you classic buffs have got you grey matter in gear, Im after identifying a classical piece (if it was not wrote especially for the scene)., but in one episode of The Prisoner episode called The Girl Who Was Death there is a very haunting piece played on the oboe when he is in the 3 shops I think it’s the one in the candlestick makers where he is being poisoned.
     
  18. shadowritten

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    The thing with Shostakovich is that for some, he's a bit like Marmite: you either love him or hate him. Personally, I'm not apt to approach his music in quite such a black & white way, prefering to judge his works on their own merits.

    His Second Piano Concerto is a stonkingly good example of him writing at his most romantic, while still retaining what was, at the time, a very modern feel. Whereas some of his symphonies - and I think now of those composed during the war - are quite dark in places, and I think this can be hard to take, especially if you're new to classical music. His String Quartets (I have all 15 in a box set which I got when I subscribed to The Gramophone magazine - ever the sucker for a good deal!), are a pretty good introduction to his style, as they range from what to some will sound quite angry and haphazard in places, to very pensive, fluid and romantic.
     
  19. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    it is better to get in to him with the right pieces i would agree, but then thats true of a lot of composers.....hear some of their work and you might not give them another chance yet they may have done works you would love.....

    one piece i think most would find a more difficult entry piece is his Lenin one......absolutely gorgeous if you are in the right frame of mind and understand what he likes to do.....if you not tho or you dont, then it could appear somewhat detached and tepid.....

    whereas his Jazz suites are lovely lively pieces to listen to, mebbe not ideal for giving away what the man was truly capable of, but so enlightening to listen to and uplifting :)
     
  20. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Think this is better off in the Music forum.

    Moving.;)
     

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