Haydn, Harmony Mass H22/14, La Petite Bande (just played on Radio 3). This music makes me feel good to be alive. What else is there in this category please? (Parla, are you a choral fan?)
'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music'.
Aldous Huxley brainyquote.com
I agree: all the late Haydn Masses are wonderful, life-enhancing works, full of Haydn's most exuberant music. There is a 6-CD box from Harnoncourt, costs next to nothing, contains vibrant performances, all well recorded, of four of the masses, Stabat Mater and the choral version of The Seven Last Words on the Cross.
Kev, I agree with Chris about his suggestion on Harnoncourt's 6 CD box, which I have it, in individual CDs. However, the Stabat Mater and The Seven Last Words are serious, rather dark, not that uplifting, though wonderful, music.
I could recommend The Creation, the masterpiece par excellence of Haydn, some of the late Masses of Schubert (the A flat, in particular; the E flat is too big and serious, but superb music), the short Masses by Bach (the Great one in b minor is again some of the greatest music ever composed, but serious stuff, requiring the optimum of our attention and dedication).
From Baroque, at least don't miss Vivaldi's Gloria, a truly uplifting and brilliantly written choral work, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, a magnificent and so beautiful choral masterpiece. C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat is a feast of music, somehow, in the same vein as his father's one.
Finally, Mozart's Coronation Mass and even the very serious Great Mass in c minor are some of the supreme works of the choral repertory, worthy of repeated listening and utmost attention. As for Beethoven, you may start with his Mass in C major, which is a straightforward, luminous and powerful work. The unique Missa Solemnis has to follow later. Too profound, to begin with (late Beethoven, you see).
From more modern repertory, I love, almost adore, the celebrated Gloria by Poulenc. What a wonderful work, in every respect, in every way.
Are they enough to start with, Kev?
Thanks gents - I'm looking forward to listening to some exquisite music. I'll probably start with the Poulenc. His name was not suggested earlier in this thread when I was fishing for accessible 20th century composers. (I'm still working through those suggestions by the way, but I've not found anything I would label exquisite yet).
Harnoncourt conducting Beethoven´s Pastoral. A very different take, a little bit too relaxed, too broad tempi, almost boring.
Barenboim conducting the Chicago in Brahm´s Fourth. A great performance! Barenboim gives the music all he has. He´s a wonderful musician!
Someone must surely have already said this but I never listen to music while doing anything else, believing that if the music is worth listening to at all then it is worth one's full attention (allowing for occasional wool-gathering).
I usually have Radio 3 on while doing things in the kitchen - sometimes something catches my attention which I write down and come back to later. I think you're probably right Adrian but giving music 100% attention 100% of the time doesn't work for me.
I don't think Adrian means 100% of the time, Kev. That would be impossible. I guess what he meant is that, whenever we decide to listen to music (particularly Classical Music), we should concentrate on that only. Something I fully support and have already stated before. Otherwise, by "doing things in the kitchen" etc., you may simply hear the music on Radio 3 etc. but you cannot listen to it.
..whenever we decide to listen to music (particularly Classical Music), we should concentrate on that only.
Hi Parla, I agree with that but I also agree with this...
"People everywhere have discovered that classical music is an excellent accompaniment for jogging, reading, driving, sex, insomnia, childbirth, house plants, and heaven knows what else. [I would add while loading the dishwasher - kev] It's also great for listening." from the book Beethoven or Bust by David Hurwitz 1992
I rely on the expertise in this forum to help me sort out my confusion. ;-)
I start believing that Mr. Hurvitz didn't love Classical Music that much, back then in 1992, let alone his appreciation for it.
Sorry, Kev, but I cannot agree with his assertion. Not at all. (Of course, he used the word "accompaniment", which, by itself, showed a sort of degradation and lack of understanding of the listening experience).
Parla, I still think there's a case for casual listening as well as critical listening. Some beautiful mood enhancing classical music is just what I need while sitting in traffic congestion surrounded by grumpy motorists.
It would be wonderful to have a chauffeur and big limo with high-end audio to which I could give 100% attention with my eyes closed but alas...
Fair enough, Kev, if you make this distinction. However, I still have the problem with this "as well as". Casual listening in the same line as the critical one is a bit too much, but, anyway, whatever works for you...I'm sure you genuinely love this music. So, whichever way you choose to get into the experience of listening to Classical Music might be fair. I simply prefer to refrain from the casual listening, but, I understand that might be only me...
Probably it's different for each of us. For me, I don't have any say in the matter. If I try to listen to music whilst doing something else, either I do the other job and don't notice what was playing, or else I hear the music and burn the dinner, or whatever. If the music is interesting enough the dinner has no chance!
Could be. I was listening to Radio 3 while reading a magazine recently when I became aware of Haydn's Harmony Mass being played, prompting the above post by me. Maybe there's something going on subconciously. Anyway, it seems you can discover music you like while doing something else.
You're not alone here! I oftentimes put on the radio whilst cooking or tidying up the kitchen, driving, etc. And I've had those "Ah ha!" moments whilst half-listening which have led to me abandoning chores or sitting in my car once I have already arrived someplace so that I might listen to the rest of it! Also, I've made mental notes to check out that radio station's playlist once I'm done with whatever it is that I've had to do. I've also made some delicious meals (I think inspired by whatever it was that I was listening to at the time) whilst listening to the saturday opera broadcast or whatever!
And, yes, there are times too when I find out about an upcoming broadcast and happily curl up on my chaise (possibly with a libretto or a synopis if needed) and just relax and enjoy it! Particularly nice to do whilst listening to a sunday afternoon summertime concert--even better if I can attend it in person! ;-)