Introductions and request for recommendations

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Introductions and request for recommendations

Hi!

 

I’m new here so I thought I’d introduce myself and hopefully start on a journey of making friends with people who like the same things I do!

 

I’m 32 from Essex (don’t hold that against me! I’m housetrained!).  I was brought up in a musical family.  Mum was a classical pianist.  Dad was/is a guitar teacher.  It was only natural that I would end up playing…the drums(!) in various rock bands between the ages of 16 and 30.  Over the last few years, I have become a little bit cynical about rock and pop music in the way it’s constructed and presented so I have been seeking out classical music more and more for nourishment of my soul and I’ve fallen head over heels with what I’ve heard over that time.  Unfortunately, the people who are in my social circles think I’m a crashing bore for liking classical music so instead of trying to filter my tastes and personality for their benefit I thought I’d try and make new friends!

 

I’m currently learning the piano again (my last piano lesson was when I was 10!) and I’m picking it up pretty well but still have quite a distance to go before I can give recitals and such!  I’m currently learning my favourite piece of piano music, which is Debussy’s Reverie and with every bar conquered I feel confidence gradually building!

 

I would love to attend some concerts in future, so I will be keeping my eye on listings for pieces that I’m familiar with and like.  However, I would be very interested to receive your recommendations on what to try based on what I like, especially by some lesser known composers.  In no particular order, my favourite pieces of music are…

 

Vaughan Williams – 5th Symphony

Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis

Debussy – Reverie, Arabesque 1

Aaron Copland – Appalachian Spring, Fanfare for the Common Man

Gustav Holst – The Planets Suite

Mahler – 5th Symphony

Barber – Adagio for Strings

Chopin – Nocturnes, Sonata 2 in B-Flat Minor

Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite

Michael Nyman – Peter Greenaway film music

Phillip Glass – Glassworks

Ravel – Pavane pour une infante defunte

 

 

There’s more that my brain can’t quite summon up right now but that’s hopefully good enough to get an idea of what you may think I’ll like.

dandroos wrote:However, I

dandroos wrote:

However, I would be very interested to receive your recommendations on what to try based on what I like, especially by some lesser known composers.  

Welcome to the forum, dandros. I hope your stay is a pleasant one........

I am not entirely sure why you are so keen on "lesser known composers". Apart from Chopin and Grieg, everything you have listed is 20th Century. That's a lot of earlier "well known" composers to miss out on before you go scraping the barrel for the less renowned: Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Wagner, Bruckner, Schumann, Tchaikovsky.......... There are plenty of big names in the 20th Century, too - Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov etc........I am not sure I would go searching for the obscure composers until I have explored the famous ones first. In this particular area - unlike others - fame really does mean something.

Anyway, putting that to one side.......given your list, why not start with other pieces by the same composers? If you like Chopin's 2nd piano sonata, you will almost certainly like his 3rd. If you like Glassworks, you will probably like everything else by Philip Glass, too, because it is all the same. He writes the same piece over and over and over. You will also like any music with lots of repetitive arpeggios. Ditto for the others. If you like Mahler 5, you will probably like the other symphonies with a bit of work. That hard thing in Mahler is liking any of it. 

Finally, as for Appalachian Spring, you should try different versions. I assume you know the orchestral version, but there is (in my view) a better (original) version for 13 instruments. There is also a longer and shorter version: the longer, which includes an agitated sequence representing a preacher at the wedding, is much the best. Michael Tilson Thomas has recorded the definitive version of this longer, original version. It is on Spotify......

Hi Dandroos, and welcome. I

Hi Dandroos, and welcome. I advise you: there are other much busier forums elsewhere!

Having said that, and before someone points out the futile character of your question and this and that, or before you get buried in suggestions, here are my own, based on your list and with a couple of more adventurous choices. I think you should enjoy them all without any major difficulty.

Bartok's divertimento is the most modern-sounding of the lot, but also one of the most exciting. Coming from rock you might feel closer to it than -say- Mozart! If you don't get immediately hooked into Bruckner's symphony jump straight to the adagio, one of the greatest of all symphonic slow movements.

Debussy: Images for piano, both books. Suite bergamasque. Preludes for piano, Book I.
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe, suite no. 2
Chopin: any selection of his works, certainly his third sonata.
Dvorak: String Serenade op. 20
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (suite). The other ballets too (just the suites!). Serenade for strings Op. 48
Beethoven: Pastoral symphony (No.6). Violin concerto.
Mozart: piano concertos No. 20, 21 & 23. Clarinet concerto
Bartok: Divertimento for string orchestra
Bach: Brandenburgh concertos. Violin concertos.
Prokofiev: Cinderella suite
Borodin: string quartet No.2
Bruckner: 7th symphony.
Schumann: piano concerto.
Grieg: piano concerto.
Mussorgsky: Pictures of an Exhibition

Enjoy!

Thanks for the

Thanks for the recommendations.  I think I should maybe elaborate on my original question which was meant to be more of an ice breaker!

 

I have listened to other works by the composers I mentioned. I didn't hear the 5th symphony by Vaughan Williams and think 'tthat's enough for me'!  I just particularly love the 5th out of all of them.

 

I tend to identify more with the romantic and modern composers than the much earlier composers. While I appreciate their ability and significance,  it doesn't usually get me on a gut level which I think is a fair comment.

 

It's just a friendly 'what do you think I should try?' and I'm really hoping that people don't use it as an opportunity to shoot down or attempt to belittle a fairly new (iI have been listening to classical music for a few years seriously) lover of the music.

 

I will certainly check out the recommendations by both of you and thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it.

 

Dave

x

P I
dandroos wrote:

I’m 32

Tchaikovsky's op 32, Fr. da Rimini, may not be his most popular work, but when Fr. Reiner, during rehearsal with Heifetz, was dismissive of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, the soloist replied, "Compose a better one, then!"

Back to Bach to basics.

Well, while I always believe "lists" of any kind, let alone of recommendations, are useless or misleading, I can only suggest that you go Bach to basics...Bach is a starting point for this Music. If His Music is elusive for you, then, you may "surfe" in the wide net of works by a multitude of all kind of composers.

However, if you really wish to go a bit further than identifying what you may like, start with some most musically gifted composers of Baroque and then move to the Classics by studying and indulging in them. Then, slowly, gradually, you'll find your own way to this Music. Along the way, read relevant material too.

Parla

Pay

Ali Sen Ra wrote:

 

Asking a conductor to compose a violin concerto doesn't sound very smart.

 

If you were in the CSO, asking Reiner anything might get you dismissed.

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